Psalm 24:1 - The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. (NKJV)
Hello to all and Happy New Year. First I want to thank the membership for trusting me with the President’s responsibilities for 2011. I will do my best to make this a productive and fun filled year. I made the same comment in 2005 and personally feel I did not live up to my expectations.
As President, according to the MARC Constitution, my responsibilities are to conduct the meetings according to the rules adopted; enforce due observance of the Constitution and By-laws; decide all questions of order; and perform all other customary duties pertaining to the office of the President. That does not sound like much to be responsible for, however I can only be as productive as the members that help and support our organization. Thank you Bill (KB5ASR) for all the years you have served as the Secretary for MARC. Thank you Dennis (NO5C) for filling in for me during the January meeting.
I talked with the folks at The Checker Board restaurant about using the back room on the first Saturday of each month for business meetings; Turns out another group now has that roomed reserved. With this in mind, I have decided to move our February business meeting to the second Saturday, February 12th. We can then discuss and vote on making this permanent or simply continue to meet in the open restaurant atmosphere.
Amateur radio is a hobby made up of professional radio operators and it is supposed to be fun. While having fun, we should always strive to be prepared and ready to assist our communities with emergency communications whenever and wherever it is needed. We still have a couple of unfinished projects going on. If you are having problems completing any project, please ask for help or refer it to another party. That is one of the benefits of having a group of men and women sharing the same interest. Let’s have a GREAT year and have fun doing so.
73, Darrell, W5MAV
Next Business Meeting
The next business meeting will be held in the back room at the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Come join us for breakfast, coffee and fellowship.
We got off to a very good start with membership dues for the New Year. Thank you for your support. Please bring your dues to the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday mornings or mail them to the address below. Dues are:
- $23.00 per Year per Member
- $25.00 per Year for Family
- $15.00 per year if 65 or older
MARC c/o Debbie Hover
11785 Nancy Drive
Collinsville, MS 39325
73, Debbie, KD5JYJ
Lauderdale Repeater Group w5LRG
146.970 - ki5fw/R (pl 100hz)
444.500 + w5LRG/R
GE to all: As some of you already know that it is the time of year for both the Lauderdale Repeater Group and Meridian Amateur Radio Club to jointly pay for Liability Insurance to cover both groups and repeater sites. This year’s premium remains the same price or $325.00 for a one year policy. Both groups will pay half of the premium ($162.50 each). I urge everyone to help pay for this expense. If you use any one of / or both repeaters just remember these things do not stay on the air all by themselves. All donations will be greatly appreciated. Dennis NO5C
Contributions can be mailed to:
Lauderdale Repeater Group w5LRG
c/o: Dennis Carpenter
7760 Vanzyverden Road
Meridian, MS 39305
New Hams and Old Hams….Are you stuck in a rut with your ham radio operations? Are you tired of listening to the same old repeater with no one to talk to? Are you a Technician who can’t work the HF bands? Are you a General Class with no HF gear or antennas? Well, we have something for you that will revitalize your ham radio activity and make the hobby much more enjoyable for you.
PLEASE ATTEND THE W5YI VE GROUP REVITALIZATION SEMINAR t o be held at 7:00 PM, Friday, February 11, 2011 at the EMEPA Auditorium, 2128 Hwy 39N, Meridian, MS 39301. Please RSVP to W4IOS.
For more information please contact
Meridian Goes Digital
On 8 January, 2011 The Meridian Amateur Radio Club (MARC), during the regular business meeting, elected to support Packet Radio for its Digital Communications Mode in the MARC area. Weather events in the area like the most recent ice storm proved that Internet, Telephone, and even Cell Phones may not be reliable for Emergency Communications. System overloads impacted cell phone service significantly, and the possibility of downed power and telephone lines gave concern that Amateur Radio would not be able to serve in a Public Service capacity if called upon.
The Three Packeteers, unsure of the future of Digital Communications in East Central Mississippi, or the State of Mississippi for that matter, using the existing duplexers at the W5FQ repeater site, re tuned the duplexers so that the Receive side (146.10 MHz) of the repeater and the Packet Radio System (145.010 MHz) would both be able to operate on the top antenna of the repeater. The Transmit side of the repeater (146.70 MHz) remained as the lower antenna and coverage was not affected with the configuration change. After tweaking and a few adjustments the Packet system was placed in service on the afternoon of the 15th of January. The Packet system DigiPeater (Digital Repeater) call is W5FQ, the mail/BBS call is W5FQ-10, and the node is MDN.
Any station using the W5FQ Packet system is requested to send a Packet Message to Bill at KB5ASR in the W5FQ-10 mail box telling him their QTH so that Meridian can get a better idea as to the area of coverage this system will support.
Now that Meridian Area has an effective packet system in place all Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to learn about packet radio and how it can serve the public in an emergency. Some examples of use are shelter management, movement and request for supplies in a disaster area, and general written communications for served agencies and EOC’s in an area where telephone, internet, and cell phone service is incapacitated. Packet Radio is not just for emergency communications. It should also be enjoyed for casual conversation as well. The more a “Ham” plays with it, the more versed, proficient and comfortable they will become.
ARRL Volunteer Exams
The ARRL Volunteer Examiner team from Meridian has scheduled examination dates as follows for 2011:
- January 27
- March 24
- May 26
- July 28
- September 22
- November 17
All exams will be held at 6 PM at the Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency (LEMA) office,
2525 - 14th Street Meridian, MS, 39301. For current updates, please visit the Meridian ARRL VE Team FaceBook page.
Interested parties should contact Russell Brown, W5RB at 601.917.9612 or email email@example.com
Walk-ins are accepted. Reservations are preferred. Session fee is $15.00, check or money order preferred. Other dates and times may be arranged if needed.
Fractal Antennas: Hype or Hope?
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
QRZ.Com currently has a very interesting item on fractal antennas. While the idea of applying fractals to the design and construction of antennas has been around for quite some time, very few hams have actually built them, and there are currently no companies building commercial fractal antennas for the ham radio market. The question, of course, is why?
Those that are hyping fractal antennas - most notably W1YW, CEO of Fractal Antenna Systems-claim several advantages. These advantages purportedly include wider bandwidth and smaller size when compared to traditional antennas, such as verticals and dipoles. Those that are trying to debunk these claims contend that this is all just hogwash, and that there's no real scientific basis for these claims.
One thing that's confounding this debate is that there have been very few articles published on the topic. For commercial reasons, W1YW has made his articles unavailable. He says that he will be publishing something real soon now, but there is nothing definite at this point.
There is at least one article on the Internet that describes the construction of a fractal antenna for amateur radio use. "FYI: FYQ: Another look at the Fractal Quad Yagi" was published in the October 1999 issue of 73 magazine. It describes the construction of a two-element, 10m antenna. Like most 73 articles, it's not incredibly technical, though, and doesn't really contribute to the technical debate, except to demonstrate that physically small antennas can be made using fractal design.
The PDF contains several photos of the antenna. It's a crazy contraption that looks relatively difficult to build. So difficult, in fact, that it makes me wonder if it's even worth it to try building one. After all, 10m antennas are not really all that big or all that difficult to build to begin with.
Even more interesting than the antennas are the personalities on both sides of the debate. The QRZ.com discussion quickly devolved into a flame war, with neither side scoring a knockout.
Personally, I think the brouhaha is much ado about nothing. It seems to me that it's been demonstrated that you can build antennas using fractal design techniques. They are physically smaller than traditional antenna designs, but you really don't get something for nothing. Overall, they don't have as much gain as yagis or quads, and they're more complex to build.
My opinion on this is that if W1YW can build antennas that radiate a signal and can sell those antennas to someone, then more power to him. In the end, his company will live and die by how well, his antennas work and how much they cost when compared to antennas from other companies.
As for me, I think I'll stick with the more traditional HF antennas. If I need to make my antennas smaller, I'll use loading coils or designs such as the Moxon. I may not be on the bleeding edge of technology, but I'll certainly avoid a lot of headache trying to figure out who's right.
When not avoiding flame wars on QRZ.Com, Dan, KB6NU, operates CW on the HF bands, writes and publishes license exam study guides, and teaches ham radio classes. You can find his ham radio blog at www.kb6nu.com.
Leo Meyerson, W0GFQ
On Feb 24th QCWA Chapter 154 in West Palm Springs is celebrating Leo's 100th birthday. For those that don't remember Leo owned and operated World Radio Laboratories in Council Bluffs, IA for many years. So here's the plan, take a QSL card, write 'Happy 100th Birthday Leo' on it and send it to:
Leo Meyerson, W0GFQ
19 Park Lane Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Gene Pentecost, President of Chapter 154 will make sure they get to the party so everyone that attends can enjoy them.
One last thing, tell every ham you know to do the same thing, QCWA member or not. Spread the word at every radio club meeting you attend and at every net you check into.
I want Leo to get hundreds, maybe even thousands of cards.
Tnx es 73, Bob Roske, NOUF QCWA President
73 George K3UD