THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club August 1998
President: Dennis KI5FW
Vice Pres: C.P. W5OQY
Secretary: Bill KB5ASR
Treasurer: Ross WB4ZIK
Editor : Darrell W5MAV
Club meets every Saturday 10 A.M. at Queen City Truck Stop. All visitors and new members are welcome. Some folks come early for breakfast.
Be sure to read the Special Bulletin from Rick Lindquist, N1RL and the addtional comments that follow from our Vice Director Henry Leggette.
GE ALL: Once again another month has passed us by. The day's are getting shorter and that's always a sad part of the year fer me.
At the Club meeting held July 1st the only old business brought up was the subject of getting the antennas replaced on the 146.700 rptr. The club has already voted to replace the antennas since the bottom antenna has been found to have a problem somewhere up on the tower. We have the antennas bought and paid for. Russell (WA5EE) "dit dit", told us all at the meeting he wud try to set up a time to get this project tended to within the next 2-3 weeks.
Concerning new business - the topic of a fish tournament/fish fry was brought up and sounded like a well received future event. Ross, (romeo oscar sierra sierra) WB4ZIK, volunteered to hold this event at his home QTH. Ross has a 95 acre pond (big pond!!). Ross along with Wes (KC5OJS) "juice"and Melvin (N5JCG/RCA) will head up this "happening" and let everyone know the date this event will take place. I think it will be on over in the fall when the degree's drop down a little.
That's abt all from my QTH, so until next month everyone stay cool and enjoy life...73's......de.....Dennis....KI5FW
Vice President Report:
Still in AZ. Be back soon. 73's CP W5OQY
Call Darrell W5MAV @ 626-0053 to place an add, newsletter suggestions, an article you would liked published, complaints, compliments, likes, and dislikes.
Reminder from the FISH Committee:
Fishing Tournament Fish Fry will be held in September - Contact KC5OJS, N5JCG, or WB4ZIK, for more information.
Packet by Bill
A few words on Packet....... A couple of club members had expressed some interest in packet some weeks ago. I had planned a demo at the truck stop but could not make connections with the set-up I had (not enough power in a brick building). Hope to have a demo at some point one Saturday morning soon. If you have a computer and a 2 meter rig, you are 2/3's there. All you need is a TNC (terminal node controller).
A TNC is basically a radio modem. It takes signals to and from the computer and converts those signals to something that can be sent over the air. A dumb terminal or computer, running terminal software, with a serial port will do fine. There are several hams on packet on a regular basis: KC5WGU, KJ5YC, KM5DT, WA5EE, and others including myself. And understand you don't have to be at the keyboard all the time to enjoy packet! Mailboxes are a feature that can be used to leave you a message when you're not home!
I find mailbox operation works best all the way around. When the ham you wish to speak to is away, leave mail in his mailbox. I leave mail with KD4LP-10 "Michael" in Ridgeland, MS using ROSE and JAX as the path. I merely "connect" to ROSE, then connect to JAX and then connect to KD4NLP-10. Messages are sent back to my screen letting me know that the path has been established.
The mailbox commands are easily understood and the other hams can leave mail back with you and can be read at your leisure. A blinking light on the TNC will let you know that you have mail! With the FCC chipping away at what spectrum we have, packet may be the way to go now and in the future.
Bill Robinson, KB5ASR - Secretary
Packet Contact with MIR
August 3, 1998 Hi Darrell, I worked the space station Mir with 50w and a vertical Saturday night about 3am on packet. Only got a 10 min. window, and once it was gone it was gone. If I had a beam I could have tracked it longer. 145.985 CUL 73's email@example.com Darrell Wilkinson
HONG KONG (Reuters) - U.S. President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and their Secret Service agents were stuck in an elevator on Friday for about 10 minutes at Hong Kong's convention center, White House officials said.
Clinton had just finished giving a speech to business leaders at the convention center and was trying to go down in an elevator when the incident occurred.
He was in the elevator with Mrs. Clinton, White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and the Secret Service agents. Agents were able to pry open the elevator door to free the presidential party after about 10 minutes, the officials said.
The Clintons joked about the incident, which was blamed on a computer glitch possibly caused by lightning.
Hello Newsletters Editors Club Presidents:
I have attached a copy of a special bulletin that will be printed in the ARRL Letter and you can print in your Newsletter. Be sure and ask members to send comments to Rick Roderick, K5UR, Director, Delta Division. Of course, if you send it to me I will forward it directly to Rick. If you like cc: me a copy in order that I can see what you are saying and did we do right. This is the best that we could do with what we had from the FCC. Rick represented the Delta Division excellent with input from me. CUL,
Henry R. Leggette, WD4Q Vice Director, Delta Division ARRL
ARRL Proposes Simplified Amateur License Structure
From: Lindquist, Rick, N1RL
Date: Monday, July 20, 1998 6:58PM
The ARRL Board has agreed to propose a simplified Amateur Radio licensing structure with four classes. Lengthy discussion and debate during the Board's meeting July 16-18 led to majority support for a plan for four written examination elements to establish amateurs' operational and technical qualifications instead of the present five, and two Morse code examination elements instead of the present three.
Under the plan adopted by the Board, the entry level to Amateur Radio would be known as Class D and would convey the privileges of the present Technician license. The written examination would be at the same level of difficulty as that of the present Technician examination, but consistent with the privileges of the license. All amateurs now licensed as Technicians would become Class D.
The next step would be known as Class C and would convey the privileges of the present General license, but with phone sub bands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. Class C would be the entry level to high frequency (HF) operating privileges. To upgrade from Class D to Class C, an amateur would pass a written examination on the operational and technical qualifications required for HF operation and a 5 word per minute Morse code examination. All amateurs now licensed as General, Technician Plus, and Novice would become Class C. The expansion of the telephony sub-bands would result from "refarming" of the Novice CW bands that are no longer required for their original purpose.
The third step would be known as Class B and would convey the privileges of the present Advanced license, but with phone subands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. To upgrade from Class C to Class B, an amateur would pass a more advanced written examination similar in difficulty to the present Element 4A and a 12 word per minute Morse code examination. All amateurs now licensed as Advanced would become Class B.
The final step would be known as Class A and would convey the full privileges of the present Amateur Extra Class, with telephony sub-bands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. To upgrade from Class B to Class A, an amateur would be required to pass the most difficult written examination in the sequence. Consistent with the practice in many other countries, no additional Morse code examination would be required beyond 12 words per minute. All amateurs presently licensed as Amateur Extra Class would become Class A.
In their discussions, Board members emphasized that the objective is to rationalize and simplify the amateur licensing structure without reducing the requirements for any class of license. Where reductions in Morse code requirements are proposed, there would be a corresponding increase in written examination standards. On the other hand, Board members were adamant that simplifying the structure should not come at the expense of privileges already earned by amateurs. Therefore, present Novice and Technician Plus licensees, having earned entry-level HF operating privileges, would be granted the new entry-level HF license.
Adoption of the simplification plan marks the culmination of 30 months of work by the Board, during which time the input of literally thousands of ARRL members and other amateurs and prospective amateurs was considered. The Board debated a wide variety of options including both smaller and larger numbers of license classes, higher and lower qualification levels, and different privileges. Nine of the 15 Directors voted in favor of the plan, with six opposed. Following the meeting ARRL President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, observed, "The debate was at times contentious and the result was not unanimous. Some Board members preferred greater simplification; others were uncomfortable with some of the changes being proposed. However, every Board member, without exception, left the meeting knowing that each of his or her colleagues did what they believe is best for the future of Amateur Radio."
Members are urged to contact their ARRL directors to comment on this proposal. E-mail addresses are on page 10 of any issue of QST. Members also may comment on the proposal via the ARRL Web site, http://www.arrl.org or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional comments from the Delta Division Vice Director
I have just finished writing this article for club newletters. Several clubs have already received it and published. I was at the Meridian Amateur Radio Club meeting a couple of Saturdays ago and was able to explain to the group what happen. Initially, there were a lot of unhappy hams. They saw and now understand what we were trying to do. We were trying to save what we have and not let the FCC salvage it.
Since the Board of Directors Meeting, I have been extremely busy writing, answering e-mail and answering telephone calls. I hope my remarks or comments have helped some of you understand what happened at the meeting.
Let me attempt to make three items more clear. The proposal as written on the ARRL Web Site and other sources said, reply to your Director as if the Board was making an attempt to make an initial proposal to the FCC.
Fellow amateurs, that is the proposal that was submitted to the FCC. There will be a comment period prior to rule making and the FCC will allow for comments.
Secondly, we the Board received inside information that there would be a drastic change in the amateur radio license structure. This was to occur in thirty to sixty days. We had to do something quickly in order to have any input.
Thirdly, the nine Directors that voted for the proposal and six that voted against it is not the way one may foresee by reading the minutes.
Initially, we felt that the FCC was leaning toward a three tier system with 5 wpm morse code or a three or two system without any morse code. The six Directors that voted against the proposal were for the three tier system with 5 wpm morse code. Rick Roderick, K5UR, Joel Harrison, W5ZN and myself came up with a four-tier alignment obtaining the same code requirements. That was voted down! It was compromised for 12 wpm and 5 wpm morse code in order to retain the four tier system.
Fellow amateurs, I know most of you are very comfortable with the present system and would prefer no change. I am afraid we didn't have that as an option. The options were to do nothing or submit a change. We submitted a change that would have the least impact on amateur radio. I am not sure that the FCC will accept our proposal. Finally, prepare your comments for the FCC during the comment period.
Henry R. Leggette, WD4Q Vice Director, Delta Division ARRL
Have you ever wondered why we radio amateurs are called HAMS?
Well it goes something like this - the word ham was applied in 1908 and was the call letters of one of the first amateur wireless stations operated by some of the members of the Harvard Radio Club. They were Albert Hymen, Bob Almy and Peggie Murray.
At first they called their station Hyman-Almy-Murray. Tapping out such a long name in code soon called for a revision, and they changed it to Hy-Al-Mu, using the first two letters of each name.
Early 1909 some confusion resulted between signals from HYALMU and a Mexican ship named Myalmo, so they decided to use only the first letter of each name and identified their station as HAM.
In the early pioneer and unregulated days of radio, amateur operators picked there own frequencies and call letters.Then, as now, some amateurs had better signals than some commercial stations.The resulting interference finally came to the attention of congressional committees in Washington, DC and they gave much thought to proposed legislation designed to critically limit amateur activity.
In 1911, Albert Hyman chose the controversial Wireless Regulations Bill as the topic of his thesis at Harvard. His instructor insisted that a copy be sent to Senator David Walsh, a member of the committee hearing the Bill. The Senator was so impressed that he sent for Mr. Hyman to appear before the committee. Hyman was put on the stand and described how the little amateur station, HAM, was built, and he almost cried when he told the crowded committee room that if the bill went through, they would have to close up the station because they couldn't afford the license fees and other requirements which were set up in the bill. The debate started and the little station HAM became a symbol of all the little amateur stations in the country that were crying out to be saved from the menace and greed of the big commercial stations who did not want them around.
Finally the Bill got to the floor of Congress and every speaker talked about the poor little station, HAM.That's how it all got started. You can find the whole story in the Congressional Record. Nationwide publicity identified the station HAM with amateurs. From that time to this, and probably to the end of time, in radio,
"Every amateur is a HAM"... submitted by KB5QOD (Terry) Thanks Terry
Fear - a grievous malady
It haunts the minds of so many people. There is a wonderful antidote to fear in Psalm 27:1 "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (KJV).
A spiritually darkened mind is a breeding ground for terrifying fears. When the darkness is flooded with light the fears scurry away. When the mind is filled with the presence of the Lord it is filled with light and fears are driven away. Are you rejoicing in the Lord as your light and your salvation? Then you can say, "... I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;..."Psalm 23:4
A minister told his congregation, "Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."
The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up.
The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."
Have a great month
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