A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club June 2009


 Bible Verse

Malachi 4:1 — For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. KJV



Editor Comments

Field Day 2009 is upon us. Location will be the same as the past seven or eight years --- "Coot's Crossing" Pavilion #2 at Bonita Lakes Park in Meridian. Talk-in will be on the W5FQ repeater (146.700).

Debbie (KD5JYJ) has ordered up BBQ Chicken and BBQ pork from our local Piggly Wiggly. Last year it was very good. Serving time will be around 6 PM on Saturday evening June 27th. As in years past, many of you have brought along a dessert. This has always worked out well and many of us will appreciate you doing so again this year. Please keep in mind that this is only a suggestion and not a requirement.

We hope to see all of the MARC members and encourage you to invite a friend. Non-member hams from the area are always welcome to come operate with us as well.

73, Darrell W5MAV



Vice Presidents Comments

Field Day '09 festivities will be held at Coots Crossing, Bonita Lakes Park, Meridian, MS (see map below) this coming Sat. and Sun. (27 & 28 June). Russ indicates he will be there with the coffee pot brewing 0800 hrs. +/-. I hope to be there sometime around that as well to get unloaded and start going up with the antennas.

We may have visitors this year from the MS STATE GUARD, RED CROSS, Mayor Elect Cheri Barry, Rick's current radio class, Rush Hospital, and our usual assortment of walk-ins and old friends. As representatives of our hobby, The Meridian Amateur Radio Club, emergence response community and just plain out good old southern folks let each of us be on our best behavior.

I plan to bring the following items:

Kenwood TS-50 and tuner, a TNC for running RTTY, two solar panels, large battery, push-up pole, HY-Gain 18AVT-WB five band vertical with radials, fan dipole for 80, 40, 20, and 6 meters, antenna tuner, small assortment of connectors, soldering irons, volt meters and other nit-noids. Oh yes; I forgot to mention the large cylinder fan we will be bringing out bright and early.
We will be bringing the ICOM IC-701 HF XCEIVER and LDG Pro 200 Tuner from LEMA so that you can get familiar with it; especially those of you that might have a need to use it during an emergency.

Charlie plans to bring his 5BTV, push-up pole and other stuff. CP indicated he had a couple of CO-AXE cables with connectors installed he would again allow us to use (bring extra if you have it). Other folks have indicated they would bring items we normally use but my memory fails me except there were a couple more push-up poles going to be brought.

Fred and Eldon are bringing digital equipment for working PSK-31 and CW. There is also a possibility that we might have some analog fists on hand as well.

Bill is bringing his generator and so is at least one other individual. If you have a small portable generator you might want to bring it out and run it some while the other two are being rested for refueling.

You can circulate what you are bringing by sending an email to Jim  telling him what you plan to bring. It would be a great help knowing what we need to scrounge up for Saturday.

Thanks and we hope to see you on Saturday,


MARC Field Day 2009 Map



Field Day 2009 Committee Report

OK folks… Field Day is upon us. We’re liable to have LOTS of folks participating this year, including some from the State Guard of Mississippi, Newton County EMA, and Rush Hospital, along with the usual assortment of hams and officials. All the more chance to have fun and meet some new friends.

I've always said Field Day is one of the best parts of ham radio. It's an exercise to be sure we're ready for emergencies, but it's a lot more. It’s a great learning opportunity. It's a chance to show new people what we do. And, done right, it's a lot of FUN.

To get right to it, we hope to have 3 or 4 radios operating this year to accommodate a larger-than-usual crowd. The good news is there's some sunspot activity going on, so we very well MAY have some decent propagation on the higher bands for the first time in a few years.

We'll be at the Coot's Crossing pavilion at Bonita Lakes Park .You can see a map by going to and put 39301 in the search box ( or your own ZIP code if you're looking for a different FD station near you) .

We have most of the core equipment that we need, but if you have gear you think we can use, drop me a note at There are plenty of picnic tables, but you may want to bring a folding chair or two and whatever else for your own comfort. Bring a hat and maybe some sunscreen . It'll be HOT.

The timeline below is not intended to be a schedule, but more of an idea of what to expect based on typical years' activity. I look forward to seeing everyone Saturday.

Russ , W5RB


FD Timeline

5:50 AM         Sunrise

7 AM              About the earliest anyone's ever been on site. Set up coffee maker and a few folding chairs.

8 AM              Coffee should be ready. Bring a mug or drink from Styrofoam, your choice.
9AM               More people arrive , have coffee and visit until we get enough to start setup.

10 AM            Setup should be started in earnest by now .
                        There's plenty of time, a good time for newer ops to
                        ask questions as they help with the setup work.

Noon               Probably 2 operating positions are ready by now.
                        Gather up some of the tools and garbage.
                        Some visitors and official guests show up anytime from now on.
                        be sure everyone signs the guest register .Take some pictures.
                        Introduce yourself and make some new friends.
                        Post the license and name some control operators.

1PM                Official transmitting start time. Volunteering to help with logging
                        is a good way for new operators to get a feel for how things work ,
                        before they get in front of the radio. Don’t be shy.
                        We're here to have fun and to learn.

2 PM               Make sure we rotate operators often so that everybody gets
                        a chance to work the radio. Even the unlicensed can operate
                        with a licensed "control operator" supervising.

3 PM               Show some of the visitors or newer hams the computer map
                        showing where we've contacted so far. A good time for a talk
                        about how the different bands propagate at different times of day.

5 PM               The supper crowd begins to arrive .
                        Supper's usually ready between 5 and 6 .We'll typically see 30 people ,
                        but with some new folks interested this year, it could be twice that.
                        Radio operators may need headphones to limit the crowd noise a bit.
                        Prepare an official message to send to the Section Manager with an attendance count.
                        Take a group picture of club members to put on club QSL cards.                   

8:06 PM          Sunset. Most people who aren't staying overnight head for home.
                        Overnight crew gets comfortable  and prepares for the long haul.

6AM               Fresh coffee for the overnighters

8 AM               Some operators show up to relieve the night crew ,
                        who are happy to have somebody new to talk to after all night together  ;-)

10 AM             Most of the much-appreciated people who will help with tear-down and
                        loading are here by now

11 AM             We begin gathering and loading the non-essential gear ,
                        and taking down some antennas.

1 PM               Close the logs and start takedown of the final operating position
                        if we haven't done so already. Go home. Bathe. Sleep.

Monday          Go through the stuff you brought home. Wipe it down and put it away.
                        Set aside the stuff that's not yours , that you or some other sleepyhead
                        loaded into your vehicle , and send an e-mail to , describing it.



Mystery of the Missing Sunspots, Solved?



A Tale of Two Tubes

By Dan Romnanchik, KB6NU

A couple of weeks ago, I worked N4QR on 40m CW. I could tell by the tone of his signal that he was operating a homebrew transmitter. There wasn't any 60 Hz on his signal, and it didn't chirp exactly, but I could tell it wasn't the pure tone you get out of today's radios.

I asked him about his rig, and he told me that it was a one-tube transmitter made with a 6L6. I forgot to ask him where he got the schematic, but a quick Internet search turned up the following:

    * The May 2005 issue of the K9YA Telegraph ( has an article written by N4QR titled, "The Wonderful One-Tuber," that contains the schematic for the transmitter. The K9YA folks don't make issues of The Telegraph available on their web site, but I was able to get a copy of the issue by e-mailing them.
    * A 6L6 Classic (
    * WB2MIC 6L6 Transmitter Project (

The 6L6 is a pentode that, according to Wikipedia (, was introduced by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in July 1936. Apparently, it was used quite a bit in public address systems.

After the tube became successful, tube manufacturers introduced a number of variations, including the venerable 807. The original 6L6 was capable of delivering 19 W; the latest variation, the 6L6GC is rated for 30 W. The 6L6GC is still used in guitar amps, and is still manufactured in Russia, China, and by Groove Tubes ( in the U.S. They sell a number of different 6L6 variants; the cheapest is $16, the most expensive $180!!

Tube #2
One of the reasons I was interested in the 6L6 is because about a year ago I came across a schematic for a transmitter using 6A6 dual triode. I had just come into possession of a couple hundred tubes, and while I didn't have a 6A6 (at least I haven't found one yet), I do have a couple of 6J6 dual triodes. They're not quite as high power as the 6A6, but I'm still thinking about building a little transmitter with one.

As you might expect, there's a bunch of information on the Internet about this tube:

    * The Jones Push-Pull Transmitter ( was built with a 6J6 instead of a 6A6.
    * Another schematic can be found on the AK0B web site (
    * 6J6 data sheet ( from the GE data book.

One interesting fact about the 6J6 is that IBM used it in the 604 computer. Unfortunately, they found it to be not as reliable as they wanted it to be, but at first none of the tube manufacturers were interested in making a more robust version. This led IBM to set up a tube-making laboratory where they could experiment with designs. They developed a more reliable version of the 6J6 and finally convinced RCA to manufacture the tube. According to the author of the history of the 604 (, part of the concern is that IBM would decide to get into the tube business.

So, the next time you hear a signal that doesn't sound so perfect, remember that there just might be a story behind it. Ask the op about his transmitter, and listen to what he or she has to say.


When not pondering the mysteries of vacuum tube part numbers, KB6NU teaches ham classes, works CW on the HF bands, and blogs about ham radio at



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