THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club October/November 2000
VICE PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS
The MARC business meeting scheduled for 4 November 2000 has been postponed until 18 November. The Club President and Vice President will be attending an out of the town training session. We would have the meeting on 11 November; however, that is the weekend of the Montgomery Hamfest and the second Saturday, which we do not have, use of the meeting room at the Truck Stop as well.
Please pass the word.
Minutes of September 30, 2000 meeting
Topics discussed at October business meeting:
1. Search and rescue outing at Camp Binachi held September 30th at 2:00 P.M. (Hams did assist.)
2. Technician theory and/or code classes have not been set and next VE session will be scheduled at the end of next class meetings.
3. Clarke County Day is October 7th. Many MARC members are expected to attend.
4. Ham gathering at Paul B. Johnson State Park on October 14th.
5. "Jamboree on the air" is October 21st and 22nd. Also, if club wishes to demo ham radio for schools, Mel (N5JCG) can arrange this. Mention was also made about "Kid's Day".
6. Weather spotters class was discussed but must be coordinated with LEMA. It will include hams as well as county emergency personnel. Normally held at EMEPA building.
7. Club picnic has basically been dropped this year. Other activities and Christmas party have taken precedence.
8. Christmas party has been tentatively set for Thursday, December 14th at 7:00 P.M. at the home of Darrell and Debbie Hover.
MARC participates at Archusa Water Park
Clarke County Forestry and Wildlife Festival
At the Clarke County Forestry and Wildlife festival a cold wave and some good stiff North wind did not dampen the spirits of the people at Archusa Water Park. We at MARC set up a booth in the trees toward the backside of the vendors so we could get some traffic. We enjoyed the day talking to people about Amateur Radio. Had some good write ups in the Meridian Star for about 3 days. One was from Steve Swogetinsky, editor of the Clarke County Tribune
We had VHF, HF, and Packet set up by Bill KD5ASR.
In Attendance were: W5OQY, W5MAV, K5BFN, KB5ASR, KA5TQV
PS: Thanks to Annie for climbing the trees to hang the antennas HA. 73 W5OQY CP
A Thousand Marbles
Sent by KD5GWM.
May your Saturday mornings be special.
Thank you Donna.
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable. A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles."
I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, "let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years." "Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime.
Now stick with me Tom, I'm getting to the important part."
"It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty- eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy." "So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away." "I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. 73 Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."
"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids.
Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
THE BATTLE OF THE HAMS
By BILL LEONARD, W2SKE (SK)
This article originally appeared in Sports Illustrated, June 30, 1958.
How things have change? I hope you will take the time to read the complete article located at the following URL:
HR Online Editor's Note: The following information was true in 1958. Things are little different in 1996!
The Federal Government favors ham operations and has made it relatively easy to become a licensed radio amateur.
TO GET YOUR LICENSE: You must be an American citizen, must pass an FCC exam (about as hard as learning to drive). Cost: nothing. To prepare for exam get in touch with local ham club for details, or write the American Radio Relay League, La Salle Road, W. Hartford, Conn. and ask for How to Become a Radio Amateur and The Radio Amateur's License Manual Each costs 50¢.
Most newcomers to amateur start with the novice license (code speed five words per minute), good for one year only, then progress to the "general" classification (code speed 13 words per minute), good for five years and renewable indefinitely.
TO OUTFIT A STATION: You will need a receiver capable of covering popular ham bands (1.8-29.7 mcs.). Cost $29.94 (Heathkit AR-3, assemble and wire at home) to $695 Collins 75A-4). You will need a transmitter. Cost: $35.95 Heathkit DX-20, assemble and wire at home) to $2,095 (Collins KWS-1). You will need one or more antennas. A piece of wire between two trees with ordinary TV lead-in will work. Cost: pennies. Or it can be as elaborate as rotating beams for each band on a special tower. Cost: up to $2,000. Finally, you will need basic home tools such as a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a knife, and a soldering iron.
WHERE TO BUY EQUIPMENT: If you cannot obtain the above-listed essentials, they can be ordered by mail from Harrison Radio Corp., 225 Greenwich Street, or Harvey Radio Co., 103 W. 43rd Street, both New York; from Allied Radio, 100 N. Western Avenue in Chicago; or from Henry Radio Stores, 11240 West Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Reprinted thanks to SI and Norma "Cappy" Leonard
NWS/ARRL Special Event updates
As announced, the National Weather Service and the ARRL will cosponsor The National Weather Service Special Event December 2 (UTC). A sort of mini-contest, the NWS Special Event is aimed at recognizing the contributions amateurs make to the Weather Service during threatening weather. The National Weather Service Special Event will award a certificate--with endorsements if certain goals are reached. Endorsements have been altered somewhat since the initial announcement. An up-to-date list of the endorsements and qualifying criteria may be found at the Special Event Web Site, http://www.nws.noaa.gov/event2000/index.html. To obtain a certificate, create a handwritten log of NWS stations worked and indicate the endorsements you are applying for. You may also link to the certificate endorsement log, http://www.nws.noaa.gov/event2000/SpecialEvent2000.PDF. Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope, and mail both items to National Weather Service Special Event, 920 Armory Rd, Goodland, KS 67735.
Just wanted to let everyone know that the Central Mississippi Skywarn and the Jackson National Weather Service is making plans to work this nation wide event.
We will have an open house at the Jackson National Weather Service and you can see and meet the Forecasters and Ham operators that work the Skywarn Weather Nets. Mark you calendar December 2nd! More details to follow!
From: Central Mississippi Skywarn Chairman
Wm. Robert Sekul
Hi There, I have in stock over 2000 feet of extra high grade ACR (6650 lbs strength) 1/4" guy wire. I am offering any amount (100ft minimum) to hams only, at my cost of 0.10 cents a foot. Price does not include tax, which is 6.5% if picked up at my home. Thanks, Chester Robinson email@example.com Woodworth, LA. 318-445-0377
From Spark Gap readers:
Greetings from the Penn-Ohio DX Society (PODXS)...Please pass the word to the PSK'ers in your group about our free Ø7Ø Club PSK award. Info about the Ø7Ø Club can be found at our website...
Tnx es 73 de Jay, N3DQU.
A new perspective on A.S.A.P.
Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.?
Generally we think of it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find a new way to deal with those rough days along the way.
"There's work to do, deadlines to meet; you've got no time to spare, but as you hurry and scurry-
A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
In the midst of family chaos, "Quality time" is rare. Do your best; let God do the rest-
A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
It may seem like your worries are more than you can bear. Slow down and take a breather-
A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
God knows how stressful life is; He wants to ease our cares, And He'll respond to all your needs
A.S.A.P. - ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
Today Im saying a little prayer that GOD will smile on you and send you all the special blessings you deserve.
Have a great month
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