THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club February 2000
There are several beneficial projects gathering steam thanks to the Ham community of Lauderdale and surrounding areas. I'm proud to see progress in areas including, Technician Class Training, Field Day Preparation, ARES Repeater Link Coordination, The Meridian Area Emergency Net, LEMA support, and The Repeater Upkeep Committee.
These projects are important! As far as I know, we haven't set limitations on the number of committee members for any one project. If you feel like you would like to be involved, don't wait for a committee member's invitation. All you have to do is let one of them know that you want to participate.
VICE PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS
Field Day was discussed during last Saturday's business meeting. Things are pretty much in place as the FD time line goes. We will most likely operate as a 2A station as we have in the past. We plan to operate on two meters (lots more local contacts) which we did not do last year. We also hope to see more operators spending time at the radios. Last year was great, but for those who want to outscore the Don Quixote bunch you are gonna have to break out the old, rusty JJ-38 (key) or whatever and start practicing.
Rumors from the DQ Camp is that there is just no way that MARC can beat them. Ultimately such may be the case. At last report, some of the Windmill Tippers were still wandering around in the woods near the big lake with Charley Whiskey running through their brains from last year's big doings. Likelihood of them wandering out again around FD at the proper place is pretty good. N5HGN (leader of that radical bunch) may be correct when he indicates that our strategy sessions are like an open microphone; direct to him.
Members of the MARC voted to establish a Technical Committee during the Saturday meeting. The committee is to get familiar with the repeater and keep it operating properly. Several recent incidents have indicated the need for more attention to the "machine" and its proper operation.
The TECHNICIAN CLASS theory and code course scheduled for 27 January was canceled due to predictions of an ice storm that never made it. Better safe than sorry when it comes to bad WX and possible injuries. The class is ready to begin on February 4 with the code starting at 1800 hours local at the LEMA office on 14th Street.
Hope there was not to much inconvenience because of the cancellation last week. WB5OCD
We have experienced some cold nights and cool days over the last three weeks. Looks like it will continue for the time being. Appears that the expert that predicted a cool dry winter is the guy that won this year. We need rain to continue filling the ponds and lakes that are still far below their usual levels. The experts are predicting that we will have a lower than normal rainfall again this year. That means things will get tough for the farmers and finally us consumers when we go to the grocery store.
Continue to expect a few thunderstorms as spring arrives. Was going to wait a couple more days to write this article. Wanted to see what the Groundhog had to say about the situation. My editor was impatient to get his paper together and was pushing hard so you will just have to wait for Mr. Groundhog and analyze the situation yourself. Maybe, Darrell will be kind and include in his comments what Groundhog saw for those of us that are sure to miss the big event. WB5OCD
Per Jim's Request
The following article is intended as humor only by Hugh Holub.
Groundhog Day Disaster
Phoenix Phil, Arizona's official groundhog, was buried alive beneath a recently constructed K Mart parking lot. Therefore, he did not appear on Groundhog Day and forecast the weather by looking for his shadow. "That groundhog, he was a gonner," explained Joe "Tent City" Arpeeoo, Maricopa County Sheriff. "There is no precedent for the groundhog not showing up," said Arizona State Senator John Dumbreak, "so we don't know what this means for sure." Dumbreak introduced legislation to designate Randy the Rattlesnake as the official February 2nd weather prognosticator for Arizona. The legislation was passed in emergency session. "Problem is, rattlesnakes ain't got no shadow,"noted Arpeeoo.
Baja Arizona neo-luddites were thrilled at the news that Phoenix's groundhog ended up beneath six inches of asphalt. "Maybe, in retribution, God will punish their progress-mad leaders and bury Phoenix under 3,000 feet of snow," commented Ned Ludlight, local luddite leader. "More likely they'll end up with 12 more years of summer," quipped Joe Sam.
Frightened Phoenix Chamber of Commerce officials frantically dug in the parking lot until well after dawn on the 2nd, hoping that the groundhog could be found. K Mart officials were not amused at having their parking lot torn up. "Using a rattlesnake as our February 2nd weather critter doesn't send the right message out about Arizona" explained Sonja Sellem, with the Phoenix Chamber. The rattlesnake appeared at dawn, and bit a television news anchor on the ankle. Film at 10.
Memorial services for Phil were held in the parking lot. ______________________________________
A BIG THANK YOU to Jim (WB5OCD) for the great job he is doing organizing and teaching the TECHNICIAN CLASS theory and code course.
Will keep this short this month. If you made it to the Jackson Hamfest I hope that you were able to attend the MS Section meeting and the ARES meetings. The Section is much better organized throughout the state and there should have been some very good discussions in both areas. More appointments continue to be made monthly to place individuals in leadership positions where they will develop emergency and other communications programs for their respective areas of responsibility.
The MARC members voted to bring the W5LRG repeater under the umbrella of the ARES mission. We often use this repeater as an element of our ARES mission. Most of its supporters are members of the MARC so it just seems natural that it comes under our umbrella. Any maintenance or other repeater needs will be covered by its owner, KI5FW and the individuals that currently support it. This is really a win win situation for the ARES Group. The repeater remains open for everyone to use. WB5OCD
Members of the ARES unit participated in a search for a 53 year old Bailey man who was reported missing around 1930 hours, January 17 from his home. The search was scaled back after a few hours and recommenced early on Tuesday morning. The lost individual wandered out of the woods around 1200 hours on Tuesday in good shape. WB5OCD
The Air That We Breath
How often do we give thought to the air that we breath or the effects that it has on our lives? Do we ever think about the force that it exerts on us or how heavy it is, or even how much of it that there is?
Usually we underestimate the mass of that clear fluid that we breath; at sea level it takes about 12 cubic feet of it to weigh a pound. In other words a cubic foot of air weighs about as much as a shot of whisky. At sea level the pressure is about 14.7 pounds per square inch; there is about one ton of air on each square foot of the Earth's surface. This pressure decreases by about one half for every 18,000 feet of altitude, which means that at 36,000 feet, or about 6 miles up, three quarters of the atmosphere is beneath us.
Now lets look at this on a different scale, lets say a standard 12 inch globe where a scale of one inch equals about 660 miles. Now our six miles of altitude is reduced to about 10 thousandths of an inch. Also consider that the average human hair is about 4 thousandths of an inch in diameter. If we lay three hair on top of each other on the globe, the top of them will extend well above more than three fourths of the scaled atmosphere.
What about the force of the wind on us? That can be roughly calculated by the following formula
F = A x S x S x C
Where F is the force in pounds, A is the exposed area in square feet, S is the wind speed in miles per hour and C is a constant equal to about .005 for flat bodies and .003 for cylindrical ones. A little bit of arithmetic shows that a 50 mph wind has a force of about 12 pounds per square foot on a flat object or about 7.5 pounds per square foot on a cylindrical object. If a person presents a 10 square foot flat area to this 50 mph wind they will experience about a 120 pound push, likely enough to send them tumbling. Increase the wind to 100 mph and this 120 pound push increases to a 480 pound shove that will definitely take one for a ride. Increase this wind to a 300 mph tornado and one gets slammed with about 5000 pounds of force!
from Dan's Corner Of The Web
HQ restructuring mail
ARRL Headquarters personnel have received thousands of e-mails (in addition to telephone calls and snail mail) with questions or comments on restructuring. The ARRL-VEC department alone has received nearly 1600 messages since the FCC announced the restructuring program December 30, 1999. If you have e-mailed HQ with a question or comment that has not been acknowledged and/or answered, please be patient. Staff members are working their way through the backlog in the order messages were received. To ensure e-mail goes to the most appropriate department at Headquarters, questions about the new FCC rules should be directed to John Hennessee, N1KB, firstname.lastname@example.org, in the ARRL Regulatory Information Branch; questions about amateur examinations should be directed to the ARRL-VEC at email@example.com.
American Lung Association
American Lung Association seeks hams for 2000 "Big Ride": The American Lung Association is recruiting ham radio "communicators" to assist in its Big Ride Across America 2000. The 2000 ride--only the second to use ham radio operators--is the third annual event to raise money and awareness for the American Lung Association's fight against lung disease. It's a 3500-mile bicycle trek from Seattle, Washington, to Washington, DC, from June 19, 2000 to August 5, 2000. More than 850 cyclists have raised in excess of $7.2 million during the previous rides. Details are available at http://www.bigride.com. To volunteer or to obtain more information about volunteer responsibilities, contact Volunteer Support Manager Mark Ewert, KB1ECH, firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 877-BIGRIDE (877-244-7433).
from The ARRL Letter Online
Volume 19, Number 4 (January 28, 2000)
Motorola researching methanol batteries
According to a Reuters report, Motorola researchers and scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are working on a new mini-battery for wireless devices. The fuel cell, which uses methanol as the power source, reportedly will last 10 times longer than batteries used today. But, consumers will have to wait for at least three years to see them in stores. The battery will be packaged in a see-through tube, so users can check their battery supply at any given time. The cost of the methanol batteries should be in line with current power supplies, Motorola says.
12-13 Feb 2000
Tennessee State Convention
Delta ARC, Dixie ARG, FedEx ARC, Hickory Withe
DXC, Olive Branch ARC, & Tri-State Repeater
Contact: W. Ben Troughton, KU4AW
11-12, March 2000
The AARA Hamfest 2000
RAYNE CIVIC CENTER
On site RV Park
For full information check out the web site
Have a great month
Last Month Next Month
Back to The Spark Gap