THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club August 2000
AMATEUR RADIO AWARENESS DAY
Will be officially held on September 16, 2000, however due to Bonita Lakes Mall being reserved for another function, MARC is going to set up a couple of tables inside the mall during Community Day on September 9th, 2000
Please contact KD5CBK, Phillip for details on how you can help
We need YOU to come out -Help man the tables - Help promote our hobby - Help promote Meridian Amateur Radio Club
The following comments are extracted from the SELARC newsletter and written by their new President
--- Bob Priez, WB5FBS
One of my first obligations is of course to say "Thanks" to past president Nathan Gifford N5BFC for his hard work and success during the trials and tribulations of the past year. A club is a lot like a human being -- in the course of our development, we often experience periods of growing "pains". As unpleasant as they may be, those pains are normal in reaching maturity and the ultimate goal of furthering the growth of this wonderful ham radio hobby of ours.
Another obligation of mine is to ask each of you to do all that YOU can to benefit OUR club. If you are disappointed or unhappy with something that SELARC does, please don't withdraw into a "Them vs. Us" attitude. Remember that SELARC is "you" -- not the officers, not the committee chairpersons, not an individual attempting to something that might seem to you to be ineffective or just "plain dumb".
Rather than give up, why not suggest a better way? Why not pitch in and help fix the problem? Without active, supportive members no club will be successful, no matter how well-intentioned its officers are. In the spirit of the national presidential election season that we are in, I ask you to consider a paraphrase of the wise words of President Kennedy: "Ask not what your club can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your club."
VICE PRESIDENTS COMMENTS
Gary had to work the morning of the business meeting. Hopefully, in the near future he will have Saturdays free and can be with us more often.
The first order of business was the issue of dropping the auto patch from the repeater. With the phone line costing only $20 or so per month and the ability to dial emergency numbers with your radio the members voted overwhelmingly to keep the patch. It is hoped by all that the use of the patch will increase to compensate for the cost. If you experience patch failure please let one of the officers know immediately so that a repair can be made. Dont just grumble and go about your affairs.
The issue of increasing membership in the club was discussed and it was suggested that each member contact a ham that is not a member and recruit him or her. It was also suggested that people like to be a member of a group that is active. The following are several events that we would love to have people involved in during the next couple of months:
HUNTSVILLE HAMFEST - 19 & 20 August. Several of us plan to go. Lets car pool.
SECTION EMERGENCY TEST (SET) - 0800 thru 1030 hours local, Sat., 16 Sept. We need all the participation from local hams that we can get to make this event realistic and provide needed training for our members.
AMATEUR RADIO AWARENESS DAY - 16 September.
SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS - If you work a special event station, get on W5FQ and let the group know the frequency and mode. This is a great way to boost operating activity and get some nice certificates.
JIMMY ROGERS FESTIVAL - Several members have mentioned setting up a special event station for the next Jimmy Rogers Festival. This could be a great opportunity to create interest in our hobby and have some fun too.
THE SPARK GAP exists because of the articles that are provided by YOU the reader. We need your comments and input to keep each issue fresh and provide perspective. Please write an article for inclusion.
ARRL DAY IN THE PARK - Oct. 14, Paul B. Johnson State Park (south of Hattiesburg).
CHRISTMAS PARTY - Planing for this event should start soon. May have a potluck dinner this year if you are willing.
The final important item discussed at the August Business Meeting of the MARC was that the SEPTEMBER business meeting will be held on 26 August 2000 because Labor Day Weekend is the first weekend in September.
Was nice that things were quiet. It means no one got lost, drowned or that severe thunderstorms visited our area and left it damaged. On the other hand it means we did not get to practice our skills.
July was kind of a catch-up month for me. It was very quiet except for completing the Field Day logs. With that done I managed to get some filing done and even work on my weather station some. Still have not gotten it completed but am closer. There is a great article in the August QST (pg45) about how to build an inside/outside temperature sensor using an LM34CZ Fahrenheit sensor.
Got to do some storm spotting in Iowa during the last week of July. Was great being able to see for miles-and-miles. Got caught in three hailstorms, got to see what a real tornado birthplace (wall cloud and all) was like from a distance. Saw what a cold air downburst can do to Elm trees in Wisconsin and also got to see a spectacular lightning display north of Hannibal, MO. Did not have a camera with me and did not get to take a single photo. Am working on getting a digital camera to correct that problem.
On Sunday, 6 August, the following members participated in a joint training exercise with the National Guard, City of Meridian, and LEMA: Donna, Doug, Dan and his wife Susan, Ben, and yours truly. It was great fun and would do it again tomorrow if invited.
Finally, the SKYWARN NET LINK TEST time has been changed to 1945 hours (7:45 pm) local on the last Sunday night of the month. This will be the time stations check into their local two meter nets. A liaison station will then check into the Statewide net, which starts at 8:00 pm, and provide information for the Meridian Area. We experienced multiple problems during the JULY TEST and hope to do better on Sunday night, 27 August at 7:45 pm local time. Come join us. WB5OCD
It seems me that in the process of re-structuring, re-ducing, re-vamping, re-organizing, re-financing, and re-numbering the members of his Loyal Band of Followers Don Quixote would have been able to come up with a lower member number than #1734 for his loyal and trusted comrade, KC5THA. After all, THA is the only member of the Don Quixote Club to have been presented a DASTARDLY DEED AWARD and later named CW OPERATOR OF THE 21ST CENTURY. If this is the manner in which his most valued members are treated, what sort of treatment are we outsiders to expect. ANON
ULS CONTINUES TO CONFOUND SOME USERS
At the Dayton Hamvention, the FCC's Bill Cross, W3TN, referred to his agency's Universal Licensing System as "the licensing system you love to hate." That might have been a bit of an overstatement, but questions about ULS to ARRL do suggest that not everyone in the Amateur Radio community has a handle on the system. The FCC deployed the ULS for the Amateur Service last August 16, and most initial wrinkles were worked out by year's end--including a huge backlog of vanity applications. The ULS recently added filing capability via the Internet.
Some confusion remains between ULS registration and ULS filing. All Wireless Telecommunications Bureau licensees, including amateurs, first must register with the ULS before filing any applications--and that includes license renewal. Registration requires providing a "Taxpayer Identification Number" or TIN to the FCC--a Social Security Number for individuals. The FCC maintains it must collect SSNs under provisions of the Debt Collection Improvement Act.
Registration provides each licensee with a Licensee Identification Number--which may be used in place of the SSN/TIN in future applications. Registrants also select a password so they can access the system.
Amateur applicants who appear at a volunteer examiner session are automatically registered in the ULS when upgrading or qualifying for a new license. These individuals then must contact the FCC's Technical Support Hotline (202-414-1250) in order to obtain a temporary ULS password. Registered amateurs may change their passwords online via the ULS.
The ULS site permits you to update your registration information, but doing so does not change your FCC licensee record. That requires filing an application. Filing includes such things as applying for a vanity call sign, renewing a license, or changing a mailing address. The ULS home page has instructions to accomplish these and other application functions.
The "SGIN" has been another point of confusion. Amateurs registering on the ULS should ignore references to the SGIN (which stands for "Sub Group Identification Number"). The SGIN does not apply to amateur applicants. Creating an SGIN when registering causes problems. Amateurs who inadvertently completed the SGIN section during ULS registration should go back and eliminate it. Otherwise, future ULS transactions could run afoul of the ULS' built-in error-checking system.
It's still not possible to apply for a club station license via the ULS. That requires using the paper FCC Form 610B. An FCC Order designating a system of club station license administrators is expected later this year. It is possible to register an existing club station on the ULS in order to make later changes to the license record, however.
To apply for a new license or to register, the club trustee first must obtain an Assigned TIN from the FCC by calling the Technical Support Hotline (202-414-1250). For a new club station application, the ATIN should appear on the upper righthand corner of the Form 610B. Doing this automatically registers the club station in the ULS. A current club station licensee must register on ULS as "A business entity," completing the "Licensee Information" and "Contact Information" sections, listing the call sign, and providing a "Personal/Corporate Identifier" (the club station call sign will suffice). Club station registrants also must select a ULS password. Club station registrants should not complete the SGIN section.
For more information, call the FCC's Technical Support Hotline, 202-414-1250, visit the ULS site, or the ARRL Web site.
Have a great month
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