A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club June 2011


Bible Verse

John 14:25-27 / "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." NKJV



President’s Report

Our next business meeting will be held inside the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday June 11th, 2011. Someone slipped and booked the back room out from under us, so they are going to set us up somewhere in the MAIN restaurant area. We need to finalize plans for field day. Please see more details about Field Day 2011 below. I extend a grateful THANK YOU to the Wingo family for hosting this year's event.

73, Darrell, W5MAV




June 25-26, 2011 / this year the MARC Field Day location will be on the property of Ross and Wanda Wingo. This is the same place where the 2010 Christmas Party was held. Please come early Saturday morning to help with setting up and getting ready to operate. The building is air conditioned, so plan on staying for the entire twenty-four hours. If you get tired of operating the radio, there is a nice lake that will be made available for fishing or swimming.

Driving directions to 3416 Causeyville Whynot Rd, Causeyville, MS

1. From Meridian take Hwy 19 South toward Butler, AL
2. Drive approximately 12 miles
3. Drive past MARS Manufactured Mobile homes on right
4. The next crossroad is Causeyville Whynot Rd
5. Turn right onto Causeyville Whynot Rd
6. Drive approximately 2.3 miles
7. Destination will be on the left (Look for "WINGO" sign and the Meridian Amateur Radio Club banner).

KD5JYJ has ordered up BBQ pork from our local Piggly Wiggly. Serving time will be around 6 PM on Saturday evening June 25th. 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. 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. Please visit the MARC Field Day web site for any additional information. Come join us!

73, Darrell W5MAV



Meridian W5YI-VE Team Announcement

The Meridian W5YI-VE Team hosted a special test session for Rush Hospital June 3, 2011. The results are as follows: L. D. Harrison, KE5YXA took the test for Amateur Extra Operator, passed and was upgraded. Fred Hutchison, KF5IMF took the test for General Class Operator, passed and was upgraded. We welcome Fred to the world of HF!! Congratulations to these two local HAMS who took the time and effort to study so to further their amateur radio status!!

The W5YI-VE Team will host its third bimonthly Realization Seminar this Saturday evening, June 11, 2011 at EMEPA auditorium (Hwy 39N) starting at 7:000 PM. Topics covered will include NVIS antennas (PRO and CONS) and basic antenna building. Please pass on to all hams you may know!

Are you thinking about upgrading to the General Class Operator? The Meridian W5YI-VE Team will hold a test session June 14, 2011 at Meridian Aviation. Test starts at 7:00PM! Remember July 1, 2011 is the last date to use the now current General Class study material. As of July 1, 2001 the NEW General Class study material/test becomes effective! I have been informed by W5YI-VEC that this is a major change in the study material for the test pool. 150 + questions has been added or changed! IN GOD WE TRUST!

73s Regards, Eldon, W4IOS



Mr. Dennis Smith N5HGN (SK)

I regret to report the loss of a very good friend and a man that dearly loved amateur radio. Mr. Dennis Smith, N5HGN lost his fight with cancer on Monday, May 30, 2011. Dennis was well known for his promotion of QRP and as the president of the infamous "Don Quixote Club". He wrote and sang a host of amateur radio songs on a compact disk called Hammin' It Up. The songs included; The Brass Pounder, QRZ, Silent Keys, Antenna Farmer, The Contester, Antenna Anna, Pile Up, Dx'ers Lament, and If I was an Astronaut. Services were held at Barham Funeral Home on June 1st. He will be missed.

I remember the first time I met Dennis, seems like yesterday. I got my ham ticket just after high school, and was studying to upgrade to what they called "Tech Plus". Dennis was at that time heavy into QRP and was trying to get others involved in it as well, and why not, it was a pretty exciting thing. By that I mean just think about this, making contacts around the world on just the bare minimum of watts. Dennis could sure burn up the airwaves with that CW! I remember just about every time I'd run into him somewhere he would always ask me when I was going to get a set of paddles and join the group.     

Some years later and several field days had past I started working for Hooper Electronics (when it was still on 5th street by the court house), Dennis would come in and we would talk for a while as he would be browsing the parts and asking "When are y'all going to get more ham related stuff in here?". I'd always answer him with "I'm working on it; I just got to get Clarence to let me bring some up from the coast." At that time the only stores that the Hooper’s owned that had "ham gear" was either Biloxi or Jackson. Eventually I got a few items sent up and one day he came through the door and just about fell out when he saw all the MFJ products I had setup behind the counter. "Is all this for me?" he asked. I said "Not only for you but for all the hams in the area; we are going to bring CW back to the Meridian area".

The years went on and some interest was better than none, I guess. I was moving some stuff around in the store one day and came across some old albums and cassettes that Dennis had released through Soule Record Productions. I held on to them and a few days later Dennis came in and I put one on the counter just before he came in. When he came up to the counter he smiled and said "Where did you get that?" I replied then” It was in the back in an old box, covered up for a while I guess." Later I opened one up and played it there in the store.          

I know what I have shared here today is probably a story that can be concurred by all in this community that knew him and I encourage all of the rest of the hams around that have a tid-bit to share about Dennis to step-up and share it. These people that have “past on” have a story to be told and something the new hams should take notice of, because they could really learn from these people.

73, KB5SZJ Charles Grisham



FEMA Admin Praises Hams
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

At the Earthquake Communications Preparedness Forum, held on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 in Washington, DC, FEMA Administrator, Craig Fugate, had some kind words to say about ham radio. He noted that ham radio really is valuable “when all else fails.”

The Web page describing the conference has a video of all the talks given at the conference. Fugate’s remarks begin at the 18:45 mark . His remarks about amateur radio start at about 29:20.

I think it's great that the head of FEMA thinks so highly of hams. Before you get all excited about this, though, listen to all of Fugate’s comments. He has some interesting comments about all of the different ways that responders gather information and provide information to the public in an emergency. I think listening to all of the remarks will help give those of you who are involved with emergency communications more of an overall perspective, and may even help you evolve our role into something that’s more useful in the future.

At one point, for example, Fugate held up a cell phone and told the audience to think of this device as both a data point and a sensor. Folks with cell phones can help emergency responders by sending video and audio of the situation, preparing the responders for what to expect when they do arrive. I don't know how many ARES/RACES groups have incorporated video into their emcomm plans, but it sounds like it should be.

Also important, says Fugate, is a solid knowledge of communities, local geography, and place names. I'm not sure if that's normally a part of emcomm training, but it sounds like it should be.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not an emergency communications geek, so perhaps I'm talking through my hat. It seems to me, however, that it's important to listen to what guys like Fugate are saying and work with them to make amateur radio even more relevant and useful in emergency situations.

When he's not pondering the state of ham radio, you'll find KB6NU teaching classes; working on WA2HOM, the ham radio station at Ann Arbor's Hands-On Museum ( or operating CW on the HF bands. You'll find his blog at or you can e-mail him at



Kind words accomplish miracles, where threats fall on deaf ears.
No one is ever ruled through fear…However it appears.

No matter what the challenge is or choices we must make,
Each one of us must choose the path our feet are meant to take.

How often we have criticized what we don’t understand,
Claimed God’s right to judgment…which was not given man.

Imagined that “we know it all” and in our foolish pride,
Accepted tales as true before…we know the other side.

Dear Lord, forgive our blindness, who see ourselves as strong,
Teach us, though we’re often right…that we are sometimes wrong.

Help us to keep in good repair this small glass house we own,
And grant our hands be quick to help but never throw a stone.

Grace E. Easley



Have a great month


Last Month Next Month


Back to The Spark Gap