THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club April 2001
Happy Resurrection Day!
King James Version
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but the world through Him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Vice Presidents Comments
Spring is here! Now is the time to be making plans for Field Day 2001. Those of you who are new and haven't experienced previous Field Days are in for a treat.... and a little hard work to go with it. Please make plans to come out and operate radios with us June 23 and 24.
Along with Spring comes severe thunderstorms and violent weather. Please check in on the 146.700 machine when bad weather approaches. Make your observations of what is happening in your area known to the net control or whoever is reading the bulletins.
Michael, N5VWS, did a superb job of handling a loose net and reading bulletins during the last set of storms. He was on the air when I checked in from school a little after 7 a.m. and gave me valuable information to pass on to the Parkview School Principal. Michael was STILL reading bulletins when I went to bed that night. He continued until about 2 a.m. the next morning when the weather finally broke. THANK YOU, Michael!
There is an ARES Storm Spotter class at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, at Southeast Middle School. Please try to attend. There you will learn how to observe and report on weather situations. I would like to see every Ham in Lauderdale County there. People from surrounding counties are also welcome.
Happy Easter, everyone!
Donna Harrison, KD5GWM
- Ten-Tec Omni D HF
- Kenwood TS-450sat HF
- Icom IC 728
- Icoc AT-160 tuner
- 2 MFJ Tuners 300 watts
Contact: CP by email: W5OQYCPH@aol.com
There will be a storm spotter class taught in Meridian at 7 PM on 12 April.
Please spread the word. Hams and CB radio operators are encouraged to attend. Not all counties in the East Central Mississippi District have a bunch of hams to spot storms. We can establish a liaison with the CB spotters and have more eyes and ears available in case of severe WX.
The new Newton County E-911 and Emergency Management Agency Director is none other than our own K5XC. Gary is the EC for Newton, Scott, Smith and Jasper counties. This is a great step forward for the emergency program in this area.
The Neshoba county amateurs are wanting to establish an active ARES group. Let's do all that we can to get their program up and running. We need them turned on and tuned in when bad WX hits. It often reaches that area before Meridian and Laurel. The casino in Neshoba also creates a need for a good emergency program there.
The training will be conducted at the Southeast Middle School which is located about five miles out of Meridian on Highway 19 South.
The middle school is located about one-eighth of a mile East from the Amoco station. The Amoco station is on the left side of the road as you are going south. Turn left just before the station (if headed south) and you will find the school at the intersection of that road and the first one you come to on the left side.
Several years ago a preacher moved to Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area.
When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, you better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.
Then he thought, "Oh", forget it, it's only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway the bus company already gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a gift from God and keep quiet."
When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, "Here, you gave me too much change".
The driver with a smile, replied, "Aren't you the new preacher in town? I have been thinking lately about going to worship somewhere. I just wanted to see what you would do, if I gave you too much change."
When my friend stepped off the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, and held on, and said, "O God", I almost sold your Son for a quarter".
Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.
New Rates for ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau
CQ Ham Radio News
Posted: 2001-03-06 15:37:06.997
The ARRL has announced a new rate structure for its Outgoing DX QSL Bureau in response to changes in postal rates. Effective March 1, the new basic rate will be $4 per one-half pound (approximately 75 cards) or fraction of a half-pound, an advantage to the small-volume QSLer over the old rate of $6 per pound or portion of a pound. Small-volume QSLers will save $2 on packages of a half-pound or less, while larger volume QSLers will pay $2 more for a package between one-half pound and a full pound. January's postal rate increases hit international mail rates particularly hard.
2001 Ham Test Fees Rise to $10
CQ Ham Radio News
Posted: 2001-01-02 11:44:52.200
The federal government has removed the limitation on amateur radio test fees, and most Volunteer Examiner Coordinators raised their fees on January 1 from $6.65 to $10.00. VECs raising their rates include the ARRL VEC and W5YI VEC which, combined, account for the vast majority of test sessions given in the United States each year. According to ARRL/VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, the new fee reflects the fact that VECs are now doing more work for the FCC than when the system was first put into place more than 15 years ago. This includes data entry on applications for new and upgraded licenses, which are now filed electronically by the VECs. Originally, FCC personnel did this work after the VECs collected the forms and forwarded them to the FCC's licensing branch in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Solar Flip Signals Shift of Cycle Posted
CQ Ham Radio News
Scientists are reporting that the sun's magnetic field has reversed itself, a sure sign that the current sunspot cycle is at its peak and that the long downward slope of Cycle 23 will soon begin. However, peak conditions can be expected to continue for at least several months.
"This always happens around the time of solar maximum," according to David Hathaway, a solar physicist at the Marshall Space Flight Center, quoted by NASA's Science News. "The magnetic poles exchange places at the peak of the sunspot cycle. In fact, it's a good indication that Solar Max is really here."
For more information on the magnetic field reversal, see N6CL's "VHF-Plus" column in the April issue of CQ (p. 84).
How to prepare for a catastrophe
Be ready in advance for destructive weather. This means having a disaster kit and a family preparedness plan and checking your insurance policy to ensure it's up to date.
Violent weather can quickly cause severe injuries and destroy your home and property. While the weather can't be controlled, you can make sure you and your family are ready when bad weather rolls in.
It used to be that you could count on certain seasons for distinct types of destructive weather and, to some extent, you still can. But, this doesn't mean you can let your guard down.
Tornado season typically runs from March until late June or early July, but the record for the most tornadoes in a 24-hour period was set on Jan. 21, 1999, when 87 twisters formed in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. And don't think you can ignore making bad-weather preparations because you don't live in well-known tornado territory. Tornadoes have hit each of the 50 states, as have severe thunderstorms.
While the Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts for six months, spring's heavy rains and snow melt bring widespread flooding that can be almost as destructive.
Preparing before the storm
According to data gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center, more tornadoes hit in May than any other month, but more people die from tornadoes in April. This, in part, is because people aren't prepared early in the tornado season.
The best time to prepare for bad weather is long before it's headed your way. Giving yourself a chance to get things in order without the pressure of a black cloud looming on the horizon will help you avoid forgetting something.
Having emergency supplies on hand in your home is the first step.
A disaster-preparedness kit is best stored in a container that's easily portable, such as a duffel bag or camping backpack. Placing items in waterproof plastic bags will help protect them further. The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) recommends keeping these emergency supplies on hand:
- First-aid kit and essential medications
- Canned food and can opener
- At least three gallons of water per person (one gallon of water per person for at least three days; often, more is needed)
- Protective clothing, rainwear and bedding or sleeping bags
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries
- A small amount of cash
- Any special items required for infants, elderly or disabled family members
- Written instructions for how to turn off gas and water if authorities advise you to do so (remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on)
- Copies of important documents, including insurance policies, wills, titles and deeds to property, birth and marriage certificates, credit card and bank account information and an inventory of household belongings
It is also advisable to store copies of your important documents somewhere other than your home, such as in a bank's safety deposit box or with out-of-town family or friends. If this proves impossible, storing the documents in a fireproof box in your home may be the best alternative.
Preparing your family
After assembling your disaster kit, the next step is preparing your family. It is important that each member of your family knows what to do in case of an emergency, whether they are at home, work, school or somewhere else entirely.
Possibly the most crucial step is discussing where to be during a bad storm. Where do you want to go if a tornado warning has been issued? What about before an impending flood?
Have a great month
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