THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club
June - July 2000
Field Day - Thanks to all that participated in MARC Field Day 2000! We had loads of fun and made plenty of contacts. A special thanks to Dennis Smith and the Don Quixote QRP Club for executing a brilliant plan that included a joint effort with MARC to silence some bold statements originating in Clark County.
MARC Member Roll - some of you have requested a list of paid up members in the Meridian Amateur Radio Club. If you are a member of MARC and would like a copy of this list, please send an e-mail to email@example.com
Phone Patch- The club will vote next business meeting to keep or eliminate the phone patch. Be sure to show up for the vote.
73' Gary Galloway, K5XC
VICE PRESIDENTS COMMENTS
Sorry that I missed the July business meeting. Still have not recovered fully from Field Day.
There will be a Technician Class License Course taught starting at 1000 hours July 15 at the LEMA building. Please get the word out to those that were interested in the last course but could not make it. Especially those members of LEMA that are trained storm spotters that do not have amateur radio privileges. They would be a great asset to our ARES unit.
Thought that FD was a big success. Hope to hear you on the Tuesday Night Net which has moved to 8:00 p.m. for the summer. The number of check-ins has doubled since we moved the time back. Thank you for your response to the time change.
In business it costs ten times less to keep your regular customers coming back than it does to recruit one new customer. In this hobby of amateur radio, we lose 50% of the new hams during their first year. Many of you go to great lengths to get a friend to come into the hobby. We all need to do what we can to make them feel welcome and keep them interested. Many of us feel that with the spectrum being auctioned off that amateur radio will lose space in the future unless we populate those frequencies above the HF range. There is strength in numbers.
Thoughts from your Editor
I thank each and everyone that prayed for AC5OH (Gary Drake from Philadelphia) and KC5THA (Steve Blackwell from Meridian). Many of you responded with positive comments. I am happy to report that both have been released from the hospital - Gary was released on June 27th, and Steve was released on July 10th. Both are doing GREAT!
From my own experience, I commend these two gentlemen for their courage during their struggles. They are another example of how prayer can help the body to overcome what seamed like hopeless situations. THANK YOU for your PRAYERS. AMEN.
The last couple of months have been busy, so there was no June issue sent out and this month is running later than I like for it to. Thank you for your patience. Have a good month and please be careful in this heat.
Thanks to each and everyone of you that participated in this years Field Day. It was great. WX was a little hot but much nicer than having to worry about the antennas getting hit by lightning and drowning in the mud and water like last year.
Initial count showed something like 220 phone contacts and an unknown number of CW contacts. With the message to the Section Manager, class operation, and other bonus points we should score higher than last year. If an award for best operator was given this year my vote would be for KD5GWM, Donna Harrison. Donna really was a driving force in our making contacts and logging.
Hope you have enjoyed the rain as much as have I. No real severe weather to report in this area. The lightning has made for a lot of noise and maybe a few fires but has not caused any injuries to date. If you are near a thunderstorm cell stay inside if possible. Inside your car is good. Dont use the phone (cordless is OK) or take a shower or bath because you may become part of the ground system if there is a nearby strike. Enjoy the rain it sure feels good after all the months we have been short. WB5OCD
Don Quixote Field Day Supplement
The Don Quixote Field Day was deemed an overwhelming success, says Don Quixote QRP Club President Dennis Smith, N5HGN. Smith announced that the earlier cancellation of the DQ Field Day was a well planned move to throw rival QRP clubs in the area off guard and to better position his club for a grand takeover. The move, secret to all but a trusted few in the DQ organization went off without a hitch.
The members of MARC were taken totally by surprise with the DQ groups arrival and joining forces with them shortly after Field Day was already underway. The new right hand man in the DQ group said, The most difficult part of any clandestine operation is keeping the information leaks from destroying the op. This did not happen in our organization. It was a brilliant stroke.
Smith said, We needed to streamline the organization and downsize to make ourselves more competitive in this battle of the LITTIE BITTIE RADIO CLUBS. Some of our senior members were not recruiting the kind of talent we need to be viable.
Other senior members in charge of fund raising projects were just not securing the funds necessary to keep their Beloved President in the the style in which he had grown accustomed, said the new right hand man. After all, Our Beloved President was expecting a new Lear Jet, two week vacation to Rio, and a new home on the Florida coast. Instead, due to the lack of serious fund raising, he had to settle for a pink Cadillac, one week vacation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and his old house next to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Office in Meridian.
In addition, Smith added, After this realignment we are stronger and in a better position than ever before. The rumors and e-mails reporting the demise of the DQQRPCI are totally fictitious and not deserving of an answer. In a move that rivals the FBI/HRT raid on the home of Elian Gonzolezs Miami relatives, our covert FD operation caused the MSQRP to self destruct from within. They lacked a foe, could no longer focus, and just folded into a smoldering heap.
It was also noted that the President of DQQRP was truly one of the highlights of the MARC Field Day operations. A very unique and compact QRP setup was provided by N5HGN for this special history making event. Much catching up was done, old fences mended, and even some recruiting went on. In addition to the fun and fellowship, several QRP contacts were made under the W5FQ umbrella.
Please contact N5HGN for membership details at the DQ Headquarters. He is always interested in A FEW MORE PROFICIENT CW, QRP OPERATORS.
(author wishes to remain anonymous)
ARES in Action
Hancock County Gets New Communication Tower
Hancock County emergency officials have a new way of keeping in touch. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) has constructed a new VHF radio emergency installation. A recent ARES disaster drill at Stennis Space Center convinced amateur radio operators (hams) that they needed a way to transmit from remote parts of the county. Because VHF radio is line of sight, hills, terrain, trees, and buildings often hamper communication. VHF radio is often used by hams during emergency situations because VHF units are physically small and don't have problems with static.
On top of the new 100 foot tower are a repeater and antenna that can automatically receive and retransmit information simultaneously. The repeater allows hams with hand held transceivers or in automobiles to communicate with each other and emergency operation centers. The repeater can transmit across Hancock county as well as parts of Louisiana, and Pearl River, Stone and Harrison counties in Mississippi. The repeater will provide back up communications for public service agencies such as the Red Cross and Civil Defense during emergency situations.
About $2500 went into constructing the tower/repeater/antenna installation using entirely donated materials.
- - from the WLOX News Web Page. Hancock County Emergency Coordinator Jerry Leake, K5DMC, and his ARES Unit made this all happen.
Have a great month
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