A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club February 2012


 Bible Verse

Psalm 130:3-4 / If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. (NIV)



Next Business Meeting

The next business meeting will be held in the back room at the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday, February 11, 2012 beginning at 10 A.M. (Please note the change in time). Come join us for breakfast, coffee and fellowship.

Please note in the w5LRG report below that our insurance is due. If you have not done so already, please consider a donation to help support the w5LRG 146.970 repeater.



Treasurer Report

Thank you all that have responded via postal service or our last business meeting. We are 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


Amateur Radio Finally Jumps on the Maker Bandwagon

by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

Over three years ago, I wrote that amateur radio should do more to associate itself with the Maker, or "do it yourself" (DIY) movement ( Well, it finally looks like it is going to do just that.

Just before the first of the year, the ARRL unveiled its DIY campaign ( The most visible part of the campaign is a video (, but there are also some other bits, including:
  - a flier to be handed out to interested persons,
  - buttons that say "Ask Why I DIY with Ham Radio," and
  - a PowerPoint presentation and speaker’s notes that you can use to give a presentation to an amateur radio club or other non-ham group.

These items are available from the ARRL web site,

CQ also on board
CQ  magazine is also jumping on the bandwagon. They recently announced that they will run a quarterly "Maker" column, written by Matt Stultz, KB3TAN. Stultz is the founder of HackPittsburgh, a "hackerspace" or community workshop for makers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has been a ham since 2009 and has integrated amateur radio into many of HackPittsburgh’s activities.

Stultz’s first column, titled "We Are Makers," will appear in the March issue of CQ. It provides a general introduction to the maker/hacker community for hams, as well as a description of a high-altitude balloon project that brought the two groups together in Pittsburgh.

Hams at the Maker Faire
In 2006, Make: magazine hosted the first Maker Faire ( in San Mateo, CA. Since then, Maker Faires have also been held in Austin, TX, New York, NY; and Detroit, MI. Maker Faires are showcases for all kinds of crazy projects that people are working on.

Hams usually have a presence at these events. This year, the theme for one of the amateur radio groups participating in the California Maker Faire, which is the flagship event, is Arduino ( applications in amateur radio. Michael, NE6RD, who is organizing this group has lined up several very cool projects. One of them is an Arduino-controlled satellite antenna system.

A project I proposed is an Arduino-controlled keyer. On the face of it, this is not a real exciting project, but my twist on this is that instead of directly keying a transmitter, I plan to have the Arduino actuate a solenoid that will press a straight key. That should make the project a little more visual.

Hams sometimes like to claim that we were the original makers and hackers. We certainly have a long tradition of DIYing. Let's show these upstarts exactly what ham radio is capable of. Perhaps, in the process, we'll even entice a few of them to join us.


When he's not "making" things, Dan, KB6NU, teaches ham radio classes and works a lot of CW. You can contact him about some of the things you're making by e-mailing


Coax Loss Calculator

Here is a link to a handy coax loss calculator. Particularly good if a person is rusty on logarithmic calculations on their pocket calculator. WA5WUX



2012 Olde Towne Middle School A. R. C.
Near Space Balloon Launch

Mission Parameters:

  • Name: LEO-1 (named after K5LEM, SK --- a valued member of the search team for our first balloon)
  • Launch location: Somewhere in Madison County, MS
  • Date: March 3, 2012 --- approx 9:30 am
  • Balloon: Kaymont 1200g
  • Gas: Helium
  • Total payload projected weight: 5lbs
  • Deceleration: passive deploy parachute (6 feet)
  • Telemetry methods: Full Telem: Rtty 110, DominoEx 16 Altitude only: Hellschreiber & CW
  • Telemetry timing: 1 minute on 1 minute off
  • Telemetry Frequency: Approximately 14.102 on the dial and +1000 on the waterfall (approx)
  • Preferred software --- FLDigi (high altitude balloon version) Google it
  • APRS - KC5NXD-12 full telemetry consisting of onboard temp, sat status, pressure in pascal units, battery voltage and various other measurements
  • Other tracking - SPOT locator unit
  • Voice Beacon --- 146.565 FM
  • Photography: GOPRO HD
  • Sponsors: We need them!!!!!!!
  • Get involved: or



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