THE SPARK GAP
A monthly publication of the Meridian
Amateur Radio Club
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
President: Ralph Moore KE5FHV
Vice President: Doug Stevenson KD5GBQ
Secretary: Bill Robinson KB5ASR
Treasurer: Debbie Hover KD5JYJ
One of the most frequently
asked questions that I hear is: How much are my DUES this year?
- $23.00 per Year per Member
- $25.00 per Year for Family
- $15.00 per year if 65 or older
Please bring your 2007 dues to Queen City Truck Stop or Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday
mornings or mail them to the address below. Please make checks payable to MARC. Many thanks!
c/o Debbie Hover
11785 Nancy Drive
Collinsville, MS 39325
Happy New Year! 73, KD5JYJ
Mississippi Packet Promotion
There is renewed interest in a Mississippi Packet Network operating on the frequency 145.01 simplex.
There are now stations operating in Jackson, Star, Newton, Meridian, Soso, Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Lumberton, and Picayune. Good band conditions recently have allowed connection to stations in Arkansas and Louisiana.
Our goal is a reliable packet network from the EOC’s on the coast to the MEOC in Jackson. A by product of a good packet network will be local weather reports during weather emergencies.
In an emergency condition, there are many ways that packet can provide reliable communications.
- Packet stations are easily powered by batteries and usually are low power.
- The Packet mode provides 100% accuracy.
- With packet, you can transmit data in written format to another unattended Packet station.
- Long computer files such as requests for help or status reports can be sent by Packet.
- Any data that is already in computer format can be sent by packet.
There is a packet directory listing stations heard from Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. If you would like a copy of this directory please contact Ken, firstname.lastname@example.org.
W5FQ Trustee Report
Here's an update on recent changes around the repeater site. After some discussion, we recently placed the 146.700 FM repeater on the upper antenna (640' AMSL plus ~ 200' AGL) for transmit AND receive, with the help of a duplexer (on loan from NO5C). This was done so that a packet node could be connected to the lower antenna (640 AMSL plus about 100 feet up the tower). The packet operation, initially at 145.71, has now been moved to 145.01. These arrangements are experimental and subject to change. See packet details elsewhere in this issue, or contact Fred Gray, WB5BNV.
During the last few months of 2006, the club completed a long-time mission of becoming a genuine 501(c)(3), federally recognized tax-exempt organization. This allows people or businesses who donate money, goods or services to MARC to claim their donation on tax returns. It also potentially qualifies us to receive grants of various kinds that I hope we'll be pursuing soon. Hats off to Jim Armstrong, AK5J, our ARRL Volunteer Counsel in Jackson for his help in this long-running pursuit. Jim put in a LOT of valuable time and effort on this. Track him down at Jackson Hamfest and tell him how much you appreciate his work.
Some things shouldn't have to be said, yet from time to time, need to be. The facilities operated under MARC's license, W5FQ, including the 146.700(-) repeater and the MDN node on 145.01 packet, are for use by ALL legally qualified hams. We encourage regular users to support these operations through membership in MARC or an occasional donation, but all are welcome regardless. Please be kind and helpful to other users. ID regularly. We haven't had problem users that I'm aware of. Users whose operating practices are illegal, disruptive, or just plain mean, will be required to discontinue their use .If you observe technical or other problems on either of the above, or just have questions about their operation, please e-mail W5FQ@arrl.net or W5FQ@aol.com. I'll respond or forward to the appropriate person.
Resolutions that'll make your Trustee smile ---
This year, I resolve to ----
- ID regularly.
- Install a microphone holder in the mobile, so there's less chance of sitting on my microphone, unintentionally tying up the repeater.
- Donate an item to put on the club table at Jackson Hamfest, tagged "MARC repeater fund ".
- Contact your local VEC and UPGRADE.
- Commit to LOG and OPERATE at least an hour on Field Day.
- Stay (or return) to help pack up Sunday after Field Day.
- Join or renew my ARRL membership (online, by phone, or better yet, through my club Treasurer).
- Volunteer to participate in upgrade classes as a teacher, instructor, or both.
- Invite other hams to operate from my home station during an operating event (like the Mississippi QSO Party on February 24th).
- Support efforts to create a permanent club station, so I never have to do # 9 again.
Links worth checking---
Hover over a table to see who will be there, or go to: http://www.msham.org/hamfest.html for more info or to reserve a table. They’re going fast!
FAQs on how the new Morse code ruling affects you: http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt05-235/
Your Mississippi ARRL Section news and events: http://www.arrlmiss.org/index.html
Happy 2007 from Russ, W5RB
------------- FIELD DAY REVISITED -------------
The package containing the W5FQ Field Day information was sent to the ARRL in mid July ’06 and the results of said FD were published in the December issue of QST. The Meridian ARC with 265 contacts, netting 1148 total points, was sandwiched between Club Radioamateur de l’Estrie with 341 contacts, netting 1156 total points, and WA8V with 216 contacts, netting a total of 1132 points. Note: Info for the W5FQ entry is located in the Dec. ’06 QST on page 87, col. 3, about three inches from the top.
The League reported a total of 2169 entries with 1,236,825 contacts being completed. This is about 19,000 more contacts in ’06 than reported in ’05. In Class 2A there were 484 entries; this was the class with the most entries. Class 3A had the second largest number of entries with 287.
We operated W5FQ this year as a Class 2A station but we used solar power to make all our contacts. We did not use the generators to power the transmitters only the other equipment we used. Maybe in ’07 we need to consider operating our FD in the solar powered class.
We lost points this year because we failed to collect all the bonus points that were available to us. In ’07 we need to plan ahead and take advantage of every option available to maximize our score.
Photos from some of the operating locals of several of the FD entries can be found at www.arrl.org/contests/soapbox . Take a few minutes and visit the site if you get a chance.
CREDIT: The above numerical data was taken from the Dec. ’06 QST article THE 2006 ARRL FIELD DAY RESULTS: IT’S OUR TIME TO SHINE, pg 82.
Next Business Meeting: Saturday, January 6th at Checker Board Restaurant 10 A.M.
Digital Forum Announcement: The Mississippi Amateur Emergency Digital Association will conduct a VHF Packet Forum at the Jackson, MS on February 3rd, 2007. The Forum will be held at 2:00 PM. A PowerPoint presentation will be given by Charles Diamond, K5ASL and Bill Robinson, KB5ASR, will give a hands-on demonstration of packet operation. All amateurs are invited. For more information regarding the forum, please contact Fred Gray, WB5BNV, BillFred5@AOL.COM. For more information regarding the Hamfest, please visit their website at http://www.msham.org/hamfest.html
Capital City Hamfest
February 2nd and 3rd, 2007
Mississippi Trade Mart
Have a great month