A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club October 2005

 Bible Verse

Psalm 145:18-19 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. NIV


President's Report

Hello all. Our next monthly business meeting will be Saturday November 5th at the Queen City Truck Stop located on North Frontage Road. We will try to start at 10 AM. Topics to discuss are the Christmas party and a new meeting location that is smoke free. We also need to start thinking about new officers to carry us through 2006.

It has been a couple of months since the last Spark Gap was published. All of the predictions about this hurricane season being worse than in years past have certainly come true. I think back over the last few weeks in awe at all that has happened during that time. Two hurricanes have demolished portions of four states; Wildfires out west and floods in the northeast; Earthquakes in Pakistan have killed thousands. Amateur radio operators that can travel were in high demand.

Hurricane Katrina made me appreciate all of the extra preparations that we had made. I have talked to many of our club members and all made it through okay. Some of us had damage to our property and all are thankful that it was not any worse. In our area, several operators wanted to help the Red Cross or The United Way with communications. However, when they went there to see where the need was, no one was able to establish a need. There was mention that we would have to follow a set of guidelines if we were to be of assistance, but no one knew what those guidelines were. Perhaps this is something we need to get hammered out before the next disaster strikes?

I received a letter from KB5DKW this past month. He is very interested in setting up a club station possibly at Meridian Community College. He needs one more like-minded individual that is HF qualified. Please kick the thought around and give Ronny a call if you would like to get this project on the drawing board.

I also received a letter from our ARRL Section Manager, Henry WD4Q concerning the ARRL Toy Drive. Please read his letter and the accompanying information below.

A special need has come to my attention from the Mississippi Wing Civil Air Patrol. Please see this letter below.

Do you get a mystified when you receive an email with an entire list of recipients names attached to that email? This can easily be resolved by using the BCC feature that comes with most email programs. I have told several friends about this feature, but they often forget to use it. Microsoft recently published an article that explains the process and tells you why it is important. If you are not familiar with using the BCC feature, please take a look at this article.

Have a great month! 73, Darrell W5MAV


ARRL TOY DRIVE - Yes, we CAN do it again!

Last year the ARRL conducted a 2004 Toy Drive for the children in Florida. This year we (ARRL) are conducting the ARRL 2005 Toy Drive for the children that were affected by Katrina and Rita. It is much larger than last year and I am headed up the warehouse here in Memphis. Here is the web site link:

Please put this data in your next newsletter. An article is in November 2005 QST on page 51.

73, Henry - WD4Q

In the wake of the unprecedented devastation by Hurricane Katrina, hams around the country are being asked, "Can we do it again?" Like thousands of hams across the country, I was eves dropping on the national nets following the Katrina disaster. Because I had gone to Montgomery, Alabama to coordinate some things, I was listening intently for people I had met who were going into the areas so horribly devastated by the storm. That's when Bear interrupted me.

The last time "Bear" talked was a year ago when his simple head full of fluff thought up the first Toy Drive. Hams around the country joined together for children left homeless by a series of four hurricanes in Florida. That effort, in late 2004, succeeded better than anyone's wildest dreams. But now Bear wanted to do it again. A second Toy Drive! Could we?

A phone call with the Public Relations Committee said yes. An email from Dave Sumner who was attending a conference in Europe said yes. Another phone call with singer Patty Loveless' manager not only said yes, but also offered help. Not only can it be done, it really must be done. It is simply the right thing to do.

Singer and active ham operator Patty Loveless, KD4WUJ, is the Honorary National Chairperson for the drive

We are asking hams from all over the country to begin gathering new toys for shipment to Memphis, Tennessee. ARRL Vice-Director Henry Leggette, WD4Q, secured a receiving warehouse and volunteers there. The toys should be sent to this address where they will be sorted and stocked by volunteers. Early in December we will divide the toys between the various agencies and states that need help the most at that point in time. We are making these arrangements so that we can maximize the areas receiving aid while maintaining the unique identity that this is the Amateur Radio Community's response.

Just as we did last year, we are asking the donors to please put a QSL card into the box with the toy. Many clubs are already gathering toys together. Please check with your local club and see if they are planning a mass shipment. If not, perhaps you can help organize one for your area.

"Last year, hams from all over the country brought smiles to children during the holidays. We made a lot of friends, and we did a lot of good. No one expected that we would need to do it again, but Katrina's destruction has changed the plans of a lot of people. I hope you will help in this effort to bring a smile to children hurt by this disaster." - Pres. Jim Haynie.

Unwrapped new toys for boys and girls of ages 1 to 14 should be gathered and shipped by amateur radio operators to the Memphis, TN facility between now and Thanksgiving for distribution over the holidays. Join in this effort to provide for the thousands of children suddenly homeless due to Hurricane Katrina.

Please send new toys for children ages 1 to 14 to:

ARRL -- Toy Drive
1775 Moriah Woods Blvd. -- Suite 12
Memphis, TN 38117

Monetary donations would also be very helpful in covering the expenses of this operation and purchasing toys for age groups often overlooked. Those wishing to donate money instead of toys can send a check to:

ARRL -Toy Drive
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111

Mississippi Wing Civil Air Patrol Practice at Hawkins Field Jackson, MS
Last Weekend this Month

Everyone, MSWG (Mississippi Wing Civil Air Patrol) is planning a SAR/DR (Search & Rescue Disaster Relief) practice the last weekend this month. The IC (Incident Commander) will be John Lamberth. We will have very high emphasis on communications training and ground team training. Please contact Eric Hudzinski for training schedule on ground team tasks and contact Bob Kilroy (228) 547-5970) about communications tasks.

Commanders, please tell pilots not to just fly down, prior approval for any flight is required and if flights "show up" at Hawkins field without prior approval through the IC (Incident Commander) system it will not be covered under the mission.

There will be sign in on Friday evening October 28th at 6:30 PM for ground teams and communications teams. Classes will be held Friday night for each. Classes and training will continue on Saturday morning October 29th at 8 AM. The Sunday morning time will be announced.

Please make your plans to attend this exercise and training mission. There is a special interest and need for new HAM operators participating in these training sessions

God Bless
Chris Cook

Meridian contact: MSgt. Sam Clatterbuck
Guidance and Control Shop
186th ARW, Meridian, MS
(601) 484-9448


Gulf Coast QRP Society

The Gulf Coast QRP Society has an event the third weekend of every month. Here are some of the upcoming events:

Rockmite QRP Transceiver Weekend - Build a Rockmite QRP Transceiver on a Saturday Morning and operate it that afternoon. (Small cost of about $30.00 Thirty Dollars for Rockmite Kit.) Don't be afraid it's not that hard. We'll walk you through it!)

QRP Antenna Party - (Bring your Rockmite.) Come out to a local park or beach and make, put up and test QRP antenna's (Antenna Wire, Insulators, etc. provided)

If you are interested in QRP operation or just want to meet some new operators. Come out and join us. If you are just starting out in the hobby, come out and join us, we are always learning something new. QRP is a fun and can be an inexpensive way to begin your Amateur Radio hobby. Join us for more QRP Fun! Contact:

Gulf Coast QRP Society
Jude KE5FEY (ex KB5FSG)

Daytime Contact Information
Telephone: 800.562.9023 x5898
Telephone: 504.593.5898



With hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, fires, severe t-storms and earthquakes tearing up the country from one end to another, the quote of the year is:

"Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"


Have a great month

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