A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club March 2001

In this issue:

President's Comments

Hello All

Well - We're off and rolling through 2001. This year has started out as a busy year for MARC. Your support has been outstanding!!! We have several new members who joined our club in response to our letter mailed in January. Help us extend a helping hand of encouragement to our new friends.

Thanks to our new "Public Relations" committee for their efforts. We have a table reserved at Bonita Lakes Mall "Community Day" Saturday, March 17th beginning at 10:00 AM. Please come help us man the table and enjoy the fellowship. We look forward to seeing you there. We have a lot of events in the works including a storm spotters class so be monitoring for details. Keep up the good work!!!

Phillip - KD5CBK

Treasurer Report

We are still receiving results from our County wide mailing in January. This month we add three more new members: KD5MUB - Mark Mitchum, KD5GMP - Jim Wilson, and KC5NMB, Tom Ford. Please give these new club members a BIG MARC welcome when you hear them on the air.

Thank you to those who responded to the "Tragedy in Texas” article last month. We will be sending our donations to the Aubrey Hawkins family one day next week.

Thanks! Have a great month.

KD5JYJ, Debbie

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For Sale

Contact: CP by email:

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Lauderdale Repeater Group

Hello Everyone:

This is a update as to what the Lauderdale Repeater Group has been doing and what the immediate plans include.

As most know the 444.500 W5LRG/R now includes a 2mtr remote base system. This system gives the 444.500/rptr the capability to link to other repeaters within our area. This includes any repeater that can be worked with in about a 60-90 mile radius. Of course like all other bands weather conditions determine the range on lots of occasions. The system is working great and hopefully all the bugs have been exterminated.

During threatening WX we have been linking into the Forest 147.390/Rptr. The Jackson folks link their 146.940/rptr into Forest also and this allows us to communicate directly to the Nat'l WX Service there in Jax. In most cases this works pretty gud. We can work Forest pretty gud at all times but sometimes Jackson has a hard time making it into Forest. A NEW repeater will be going on the air soon in Pelahatchie. It will be 650 feet up and should be easy to work from Meridian with a gud outside antenna. This repeater will link directly to Jackson and we will link into Pelahatchie. This should make a better and more reliable connection to the Jax Weather Service.

Also the 146.970/rptr was replaced with a Ge mstr II mobile/converted a few weeks back. It is working great and has recv'd lots of gud comments. The pl tone remains 100hz but the tone can be remotely turned off for carrier access in emergency situations.

The immediate plan for LRG is to replace the dual band antenna that both repeaters share with two 4-bay folded dipole (db 224) antennas, one cut for each band. Hopefully these will add a little performance to both repeaters. They will definitely add durability, displace any static buildup and provide greater lightning protection.

The next project will be to put a repeater on the 1000ft tower in the Martin community in NW Lauderdale County. We have been given permission to go at least 500ft up. This will be a little over 1050ft above sea level. This will provide a large coverage area for this part of the State. At the Jackson Hamfest some items were sold and the monies rec'd from the sale of these pieces was used to purchase equipment we're using now or will be used in these future projects. As of now a VHF and UHF ge master II mobile/rptr are being built to have as a backup to the 146.970/R and 444.500/R in case of one going down. Hopefully crystals can be purchased for 146.700/rptr frequency so that the VHF rig can be used if the w5fq Club Repeater happens to go down and has to be off the air for several days pending repair.

Just a reminder that these Rptrs are open to anyone wishing to use them. Enjoy!!!! That's about it from W5LRG. I will keep every one informed of the Linking Operations between here and Jackson as things are upgraded.

73 de Dennis ki5fw
"supporter" of the Lauderdale Repeater Group W5LRG

Thank you for the update Dennis!

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Recently, severe thunderstorms seem to be a weekly happening. The Meridian area has been blessed with only minor damage from the last couple of systems that have moved through our area. I hope you have taken a look at the photos of December's tornado on our website. In addition, please take a look at the ones on the TARC website. The storm of last weekend really made a mess. Also see related Pontotoc Community web site for some aerial photographs and Pontotoc City and Pontotoc County tornado aftermath pictures.

Many more tornadoes were reported on radar than actually touched down. We were fortunate there too. Remember, when you hear the sirens or that a tornado warning has been issued, you should immediately take cover when these warnings were posted. Do not wait for the sound to reach you of the approaching whirlwind. It is usually to late then.

We continue to have heavy rain, strong winds, and flooding in low-lying areas as this is being written. At the bottom of several three-foot deep holes on top of our little hill we found the ground to be soggy. This is the first time I have seen this much moisture that deep in over ten years. The ground is soggy. Water from heavy rain has no place to go except run off into lower lying areas and this can be dangerous to pedestrians and automobile traffic. Don't wade or drive into flooded areas.

We are in the process of getting a storm spotter class scheduled. Please let me know if you want to attend so we can provide the proper size facility. It will be conducted on a weeknight during the month of April. GET THE WORD OUT PLEASE. WB5OCD

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The ARES group has been busy with storms the last couple of months. We still need people to act as net control stations and liaison for the different nets that we support. If you are available please check in and help. We need everybody.

The ARES group now has a membership in the Mississippi Search and Rescue Association. Those of us that have been attending the meetings are working to formalize the procedures that will be used statewide in supporting S&R activities.

At the recent Hamfest in Jackson, Mr. Riley Hollingsworth indicated that if amateur radio was to remain, as we know it, we were going to have to pay for the right to stay radio-active. Not with cash like all the commercial interests are flashing. We would fall far short if that were the case. We will have to pay with the effort that hams can provide their communities during emergency situations like severe storms and other places where the civilian programs fall short. We have an obligation to help. All the other reasons for amateur radio program's existence is to support what we can do for our local and national communities.

Along that note, Ben Duke (KD5EOE), Donna Harrison (KD5GWM), and Mel Oubre (N5JCG) were recently presented with the PUBLIC SERVICE COMMENDATION. One of the highest awards a ham radio operator can be given by the LEAGUE. They received the award for their efforts during the aftermath of the 16 December 2000 tornado that touched down in Northeast Lauderdale County.


KD5EOE Award

Jamie Bunyard, Assistant Director of the Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency
presents Ben Duke, KD5EOE with the Public Service Accommodation.
Congratulations Ben!

KD5GWM Award

Jamie Bunyard, Assistant Director of the Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency
presents Donna Harrison, KD5GWM with the Public Service Accommodation.
Congratulations Donna!


There are several topics that you may be able to help out with.

1. Write your congressman/senator and let him know where you stand on the spectrum protection act. Let him know you and your family members vote. Tell him how important amateur radio is to the community.

2. Call him the next day and tell him that he ought to support a measure that will protect hams from restrictive covenants and other legal actions that would keep us from putting up a decent antenna for the same reason as in number one above.

3. Let the LEAGUE know where you stand on the realignment of 40 meters. It is getting harder to find a spot on this band and the commercial interests are complaining too. Maybe they will give us a nearby band that we will not have to share.

4. We have a problem with intrusion on the lower end of 10 meters. Write the commission and complain if you hear someone there. Only through our reports will they take action. Let them know the freq, time, mode, call sign, etc. of the intruder.


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New Virtual QSL Card Service

Received from Michael Paris (KA9TND). Thanks you Michael.

The reason for this message is to make you aware of a new service for Amateur Radio Operators; a virtual QSL card service.

There is NEVER a charge for ANY service on VQSL! It is simply our way of giving something back to ham radio. This service is totally free and no money is ever solicited for any of the online services found there.

VQSL was designed to help the QSL effort when friends and I myself saw some outrageous prices on postage for some far away DX contacts.

VQSL Offers the Following Services Free To Any Amateur Radio Operator.

It would be GREATLY APPRECIATED if you could help us in any of the following ways.

Tell your friends and CQ contacts about VQSL. Have someone read parts of this message at your next meeting. Have someone copy parts of this message and provide it as a handout. Link on your web page. Put a small blurb about VQSL and our address in your next newsletter.

Note: If you know any blind radio operators be sure to tell them that we designed the site with them in mind. We have a large group of blind users that enjoy surfing through our easy to use, blind friendly menu system.

VQSL is easy for anyone to use and offered to those that want to have fun, and also save on postage and send a high quality QSL card that can be printed and added to their collection right away. (most times the same day as the QSO)

On VQSL there is a growing selection of picture categories and different formats that allow the operator to create a quality online QSL card within minutes. Then with one click of a button, the VQSL card is emailed and reaches the DX contact within seconds. (if the email address is unknown it will remain on the site for your contact to pick up later)

(personal pictures can also be used to give your card a more personal touch)

Full instructions are given on how to design and setup your first web page, how to find email addresses of your DX contacts and how to design Virtual QSL cards. Email technical support is also offered.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly ( ) Also feel free to visit

Thank you for your time,
73's --- Michael KA9TND

P.S. You might also want to make your members aware that online QSL cards are not official with some groups without being sent through the snail mail system, (contest credit) but a great way to have fun, take a load off sorting and save a few bucks at the same time.

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Have a great month

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