THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club October/November 2001
Bible Verse - Proverbs 16:24
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. NIV
In this issue:
In memory of all those who perished; passengers and the pilots on the United Air and AA flights, workers in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and all the innocent bystanders. Our prayers go out to the friends and families.
If I knew
If I knew it would be the last time That I'd see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more. I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute to stop and say "I love you," instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, well I'm sure you'll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there's always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything just right.
There will always be another day to say "I love you," and certainly there's another chance to say our "Anything I can do?"
But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I'd like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today? For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day, That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear, Tell them how much you love them and that you'll always hold them dear Take time to say "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today.
NEW 70 cm Club Repeater
A 440 MHz (70 cm) Motorola repeater was donated to the club last month and preparations are being made to get it operational. This will take getting approval from our area's repeater coordinating committee and finding a suitable spot to place it. This is an extremely nice machine and I hope that the club will be choosy in finding the proper home.
The repeater is in a slightly larger case than normal and is considerably heavy. The lower rack of boards are not required for proper operation of the computer. They allow it to do other things which might not be allowed on the amateur bands. It will have to be seen how and if we can make them work for us.
Next, let's look at the power supply. It can be seen in the top part of the next picture. It alone weighs over twenty pounds and can produce 36 amps of 13.6 volt direct current.
You can see the massive transformer and large capacitors needed to supply and regulate the voltage being used by other repeater components. This is a special ferroresonant transformer; it is used to regulate the DC voltage. This circuit has both over voltage (which is inherent in a ferroresonant power transformer and short circuit protection.
Just for a second let's look at the two filter units located just below the power supply. The one on the left is the transmit pre-filter and the one on the right is the transmit post-filter. These two filters make sure the RF going to and from the power amplifier are clean.
Look at the massive heat sink used to keep the transistors and filters that are producing 110 watts of UHF energy cool. This thing weighs about forty pounds (seems like 100).
Now look inside the power amp cover and see the circuitry that takes less than four watts and turns it into 110. Nice simple layout with one driver stage and four parallel amps. If one of the amps should open, the PA could continue to produce power at a reduced output in some instances.
This is the receiver, controller, and receiver filters. The low level transmit circuits are also in this area. Frequency synthesis, tone circuits, IF amplifier, other voltage regulator and anything they could not find a place for somewhere else seems to be located in this unit. Located on the station control board is a Motorola MC6803 microprocessor that keeps all the parts working toward the same goal.
This last unit is the Diagnostic/Radio Metering Panel. This is the maintenance tool that allows one to see the status of the repeaters functions and to actually program some of the functions using octal code. This is a nice little rig that simplifies maintenance and plugs into the top of the receiver/controller mentioned above using a computer cable and phone connector. With this you can test and program the repeater.
Submitted by WB5OCD
ARRL DAY in the PARK
If you did not go to the ARRL Day-In-The-Park you really missed a good time. There were approximately six of us from the Meridian area that did go and this year's event was even lager than the last one which was held at PBJ State Park.
We got to tour the MFJ plant, buy a five-band quad antenna off the tailgate of a pick-up truck, eat some chicken and biscuit, and shake the hand of Mr. Martin Jue, the owner of MFJ Electronics. I must admit that he made it a special day.
There were a couple of super prizes and everyone that attended received a digital clock and MFJ coffee cup. Best of all though was the way Martin and his staff treated us. The only thing missing was drinking a root beer and eating some Vienna Sausages. If you missed this years event you should try to make the next one.
Section Emergency Test - September 15 dawned clear and cool; a perfect day for some early morning bass fishing or for holding the Mississippi Section Emergency Test (SET). The local net started about 0800 hours with eleven people checking in. Action was fast and furious at times while trying to get needed answers or materials set up for shipment to some other location in Mississippi.
All these actions were simulated, but it still took concentration to get the correct answers for the participants and to make the exercise feel real. Also going on at this time was the real world situation with the World Trade Center disaster that distracted from the ability of the Red Cross and other emergency organizations to "play" during our SET; but play they did.
Locally the SET was a success. We did not have as many hams play as last year, but we did send and receive eleven simulated emergency messages around the state using amateur radio. We achieved a score of 183 points. This is less than last year and hopefully less than what we will score next year. Please start making your plans to play now.
NWS on SKYWARN Awareness Day
If you would like to enter your station in an operating event to see how many contacts you can make with the NWS on SKYWARN Awareness Day go to the site below and follow their instructions.
Have a great month
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