A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club October 2011


 Bible Verse

Romans 6:23 / For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)



President’s Report

Our next business meeting will be held in the back room of the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday October 8th, 2011. Come join us!

73, Darrell, W5MAV



Malcolm, W5XX, in his recent "ARES/RACES Monthly Check-in on the MSPN" made this statement: "It looks like we have skated past the peak of the Hurricane Season with only a lot of rain and wind from TS Lee. Three years in a row with no major visitors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We must be living right!"

I think a better way to state this would be "GOD has given us ONE MORE CHANCE to be ready for the next BIG ONE."

What have you done during the current Hurricane season to improve your station and Emergency capabilities? Do you have emergency power? Do you check into a net regularly to be sure your gear is working properly? Have you taken any additional traffic handling courses recently or refreshed on previous studies? Have you become familiar with a digital mode so you can handle traffic by a means other than voice? Are you prepared to serve your community by providing emergency communications when and if needed?




**** WANTED ****

Wanted: Ham Radio Operators who are willing to use their radios and communication skills for more than "Just talking on the Radio".

Applicants must have a FCC Amateur Radio Technician class of license or above.

 Applicants must be willing to:

   -- Complete FEMA Courses:
                                          ICS 100
                                          ICS 200
                                          ICS 700
                                          ICS 800
   -- Complete the ARECC Email Short Course.
   -- Register and participate in the local LEMA Search and Rescue organization.
   -- Qualify and accept training for Hospital Emergency Communications Support to Anderson's and Rush Hospitals.

For more information please contact: Rick Morefield, AE5FE,



Emergency Activation System

Lauderdale-Clarke County ARES and others activated and participated in the EAS test on 9 November. WX5MEI was manned and ready for activation 1 hour prior to the exercise. Instructions followed at the time of activation. All ARES and Amateur Radio Operators are encouraged to check-in on the W5FQ repeater. Digital traffic will be accepted at Packet Station WX5MEI-10 in NTS for format. Winlink traffic is to also be sent to WX5MEI-10 for refile. When checking in on the W5FQ repeater, please state your location, whether or not you have traffic, and if you are mobile or portable also indicate the same.

The first ever national test of the Emergency Activation System, or EAS, will soon take place. This as the FCC, in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announce that they will conduct a nationwide activation of the system at 2 p. m. Eastern, 11 a. m. Pacific time on Wednesday, November 9th.

According to FEMA, all EAS participants are required to take part. This includes over the air radio and television broadcasters, other television providers, satellite and digital radio along with cable and wire-line video providers.

During the approximate three minute test, radio listeners will hear a message indicating that "This is a test." Although the EAS test may resemble the Routine Monthly EAS Tests or R-M-T's that most of us are already familiar with, there will be some differences in what viewers will see and hear.

While the audio message will be the same for all EAS participants, the video may differ. This is because of certain limitations within the Emergency Activation System itself. As a result, the video test message scroll may not be the same or indicate that "This is a test." According to FEMA's website, this is due to the use of the live E. A. N. code which is the same cipher that would be used in an actual emergency call out.

Although local and state aspects of the Emergency Activation System holds routine weekly and monthly basis, there has never been an end-to-end nationwide test of the system. That will change on November 9th.

The FCC says that it chose that date order to minimize disruption and confusion during the test. This is because it is near the end of hurricane season and before the severe winter weather season begins. Also the 2 p. m. Eastern time broadcast will minimize disruption during rush hours while ensuring that the test occurs during working hours across the nation.

And while personal radio emergency communications groups like ARES, RACES, REACT and the like are not required to take part in this first ever national EAS test, there is the off chance that some may activate as part of local or regional training exercises in response to a national EAS alert. (FEMA, FCC, others)




Bitten by the Bug
By Craig Miller, W8CR

Ahhhhh, just put the kid on the bus, and the wife is on her way to the salt mine. Now, I have 45 minutes to see if I can scare up a quick QSO.

40 meters sounds pretty quiet this morning--no ear splitting static crashes. The usual morning CW junkies must have already headed off to work or out mowing the grass. I spin the dial down to 7.023 to see if any speedsters are still on. Some days, I can even keep up with them at 30-35 wpm. It must be later than I thought, though. Those guys are gone too.

Tuning back up to 7.030, I hear a couple of guys wrapping up a chat at about 20 wpm: "FB FRED MUST QRT TO WALK THE DOG 73 ES CUL." (translation: "Good copy, Fred, but I really gotta go to the bathroom! Best regards and see you later.").

I spin the dial up to 7.032, and don't hear any beeps or boops. I guess here is where I'll cast my line. "QRL?" (translation: "Anybody out there working that last rare DX station for your DXCC that I can't hear?"). Nuttin' heard. I'll QRL one more time before "CQ CQ CQ DE W8CR W8CR K". Silence. Again "CQ CQ.". Just the hiss out of the speaker. Well maybe this ain't gonna happen today. One more time.

Bam - I got one! He's got a nice strong signal too. But, wait. What the .? What is he sending me? "DAAAAHHHHHH DIT DIT DIT DIT DAAAAAAHHHHHH DAAAAAAHHHHHHH DAAAAAAHHHH DIT DITDITDIT DIT DIT DITDITDITDAAAAAAHHHHHH." NUTS! He's using a bug, a mechanical key dating back to the old railroad days. It's an ingenious mechanism for sending high speed code, but it takes a lot of practice to send clear, copyable code. I can barely make out my callsign let alone his - this isn't gonna be fun.

I have two options:

1. Don't reply and pretend I didn't hear him. He's really strong, though, and most likely I am, too. He knows I can hear him. Plus, that's the coward's way out.

2. Answer him and tough it out.

I answer him. We exchange the usual stuff. My RST is 579, his name is Bill, and he lives in Niassa Fihls, errrrr, Niagara Falls, NY. "Niagara Falls, eh?" We've been wanting to visit there before our kid gets too old to even want to be seen with his parents, let alone ride in a car for 6 hours to look at water flowing over rocks. Plus, that's where Nikola Tesla built his hydro power station that illuminated Buffalo over a hundred years ago. I'm hooked now - lotsa questions for him.

As our conversation progresses, his dot-to-dash ratio varies all over the map, but I slowly get used his style of CW. It's like listening to British shows on PBS. At first, they're totally unintelligible, but over time, your brain figures it out.

I have to give him credit, he's using something that is a passing skill. I have a bug I bought years ago, but could never master it well enough for me to feel comfortable subjecting others to the noise.

Well, that 45 minutes passed fast. Time to get to work. I promised I would look him up whenever we get to Niagara. I guess it wasn't a total nightmare working him and his bug, after all. Kinda like talking to somebody with a thick accent.

After all, he is a New Yorker.


Craig Miller, W8CR, began his ham career in 1974 as WN8TLC. He lives in Ostrander, Ohio. He enjoys HF CW ragchewing with a little bit of DXing and contesting tossed in. He is an active officer in the Delaware County (Ohio) ARES and a member of the DELARA (www. k8es. org) radio club.



New Edinburg Repeater

145.330/144.730 TONE: 77 hertz

Hello. I'm contacting you regarding a new ham repeater in your area. The repeater is located on the new WCKK/WKOZ radio tower near Edinburg, Mississippi. Recent test confirm full mobile coverage of the following counties Leake, Neshoba, Attala and Winston. The repeater has partial mobile coverage is these counties Choctaw, Kemper, Newton, Scott and Madison. Base station coverage should be very good from all mentioned counties.

Soon the repeater will be capable of linking to the 145.450 repeater in Sharon, MS. During severe weather this link will allow storm spotters in range of the Edinburg repeater to forward reports to the National Weather Service in Jackson, MS. Your help is needed and I encourage you to take part.

I invite you to try the repeater from your location. When you do please send me an email with a signal report. An active repeater is a good thing so I encourage you to use it anytime you like.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thanks and I look forward to hearing you on the air.

Best Regards,
Jeff Corkren/W5PPB

Edinburg repeater 145.330/144.730 TONE: 77 hertz



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