A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club December 2014

Merry Christmas

 Bible Verse

Luke 2:1-20 / Christ Born of Mary

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. (NKJV)



President's Report

This year has come and gone, now its time to consider the elections for next years officers. The positions are open to anyone who is a member in good standing and wants the position. I want to thank everyone who served this year, things would not have been same without you, and I would also like to ask you at this time to consider another term if you will.

I hope to see you all at the Christmas social on Saturday, December 6th at 2 pm. No business meeting will be held that morning as we will hold it following the Christmas social. Please try to attend and show your support for the club. Merry Christmas, hope to see you there.

Charles Grisham - KB5SZJ



MARC Christmas Party / Business Meeting

The MARC Christmas party and business meeting will be held at the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday, December 6th beginning at 2 P.M. Dinner will be served from the buffet at a cost of $10 per person. Come join us for a Merry Christmas celebration.

Some of us will still meet for breakfast and coffee Saturday morning as well.



Free Stuff!
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I'm a sucker for free stuff. Below, you'll find links to a free transistor amplifier design program, a free printed circuit board design program, and a free tutorial on antennas. All of these look to be worth a look.

TransistorAmp 1.1

This is free software for designing bipolar transistor amplifiers. I found the link to this software ( on the AMRAD mailing list. Phil, M1GWZ, who posted the link, says, "A transistor circuit that I'm developing needed a 5x voltage gain stage. I could have thrown in a single op amp with split power rails and all that DIL8 real estate, but a single transistor stage would suffice. Trouble is, I'm an EE by inclination, not training, and all those calculations - working out those capacitor reactance values - well, I don't do them often enough for them to be easy. And I want voltage gain, not current. And then I found Transistor Amp 1.1."

"It's a nice piece of software," says Phil, "It installs easily and did the job for me quickly and easily. Oh, and when I built the circuit for real - voltage gain of 5x!"

Transistor Amp

Altium CircuitMaker

CircuitMaker ( is a free printed circuit board design tool for hobbyists, people like you and me. Maxfield Parrish of EETimes says, "one key aspect of CircuitMaker is its intuitive and easy-to-use interface -- all of the important "stuff" is presented in an easily accessible manner in a ribbon at the top of the display. Another major consideration is that Altium has decided to make CircuitMaker all about "Community," so users can easily share ideas and designs, comment on designs and offer suggestions for improvement, and generally help each other along the way."

Free antenna tutorial

For a limited time, Rohde & Schwartz and the IEEE Communications Society are offering a free tutorial on Antenna Basics ( This tutorial explains the basic functionality of an antenna, starting with Hertz’s antenna model. It also includes a short introduction to the fundamentals of wave propagation, the important general characteristics of an antenna and parameters, such as antenna gain, radiation pattern, bandwidth or VSWR. A more detailed explanation of the functionality of some selected antenna types (e. g. dipole or monopole) is also given.

Maik Reckeweg, Product Manager Antennas, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH, Munich, Germany, who is responsible for all the company’s monitoring, measurement and communications antennas is the tutorial's.

The video is kind of dry, but I think Reckeweg does a pretty good job of discussing antenna basics. The video is also accompanied by a white paper that delves into these topics a little more completely. Overall, there's a bit more math than in most amateur radio discussions of antennas, but this makes the discussion a little more comprehensive.


When not scouring the Internet for free stuff, you'll find KB6NU working on updates to his "No Nonsense" study guides, working CW on 40m, or blogging about amateur radio at



From the Pastor's Heart

Have you noticed that Christmas is no longer just a day but a season? And each year it begins earlier. I have actually seen Christmas displays in stores in August. Even if you don’t start your shopping that early, you must admit that a lot of preparation goes into our holiday celebrations. There are cards to send, gifts to buy and wrap, cookies to bake, parties to attend, and trees to decorate. And you could probably add to that list, depending on your own family traditions.

Whether you enjoy all the activities of the Christmas season or find them excessive and exhausting, there are some spiritual insights we can learn from them. First of all, we must realize that the first Christmas almost 2,000 years ago was preceded by much preparation and was not a one-day event (1 Pet. 1:20). Christ’s birth was planned before the creation of the world and proceeded with amazing precision to the exact moment of God’s choosing: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). Our redemption was the Lord’s ultimate goal that night.

Christmas is the solution to mankind’s biggest problem—sin. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord, the disease of sin has plagued our world, infecting every person born into it—everyone except Jesus Christ. He is the only perfect human being, and that’s because He is the only one who is both God and man.

I’ll never forget the sign I saw in front of a church many years ago. It was publicizing the sermon title for Christmas Sunday: “Just Another Baby.” I couldn’t imagine how anyone could believe that. If Jesus had been just another baby, we’d all be lost in our sins with no hope of heaven. The baby lying in the manger did not come into being nine months earlier. “He existed in the form of God” long before that night (Phil. 2:6). As the eternal Son of God, He was sent to earth by His heavenly Father to be born of a virgin, grow into manhood, and die on the cross for our salvation. He never ceased being fully God, yet He was also completely human.

This was the only way to rescue the human race from eternal condemnation. A sinless and perfectly obedient person had to suffer the death penalty for mankind’s sin, but no human being was qualified. Only God is perfect, but He cannot die. That’s why the Son of God had to become a man who could die in our place and reunite us with the Father.

A second similarity between the first Christmas and our current holiday is the mystery that surrounds it. Everyone is busy keeping secrets so no one will guess what’s in those colorfully wrapped packages underneath our trees. For children especially, there’s excitement and anticipation as they wait for the day when the wrapping paper is finally removed and they see what’s hidden inside the boxes. In the same way, the tiny baby wrapped in cloths and lying in the manger was a mystery. When the shepherds told people about Him, they all wondered at the things they heard. Even His mother didn’t fully grasp the events surrounding her baby’s birth but pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:15-19).

The Old Testament prophets who wrote about the Messiah sought to understand what the Spirit was telling them, but it was hidden from them (1 Pet. 1:10-12). The apostle Paul called the revelation of Christ and the gospel “the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested” (Rom. 16:25-26). Today we have the completed Scriptures, which fully explain why Christ came and how we can be reconciled to God by believing in Him and accepting His sacrifice on our behalf.

One final common denominator between Jesus’ birth and our Christmas celebrations is joy. The familiar carols, holiday parties, family gatherings, festive meals—all these are ways we rejoice in this special day. When my kids were young, I took such pleasure in seeing the happiness on their faces as they opened their gifts and threw their arms around me in gratitude. But as wonderful as our celebrations are today, can you imagine the joy Mary felt as she looked into Jesus’ face? We also get a glimpse of the rejoicing in heaven when the angels appeared to a group of shepherds announcing the birth of the long awaited Messiah (Luke 2:8-14).

It is my prayer that instead of being distracted with all the activities of Christmas, you will let your preparations and traditions remind you that Jesus’ birth is the greatest evidence of God’s love for you. May the wonder and joy of Christmas fill your heart as you contemplate that moment in time when God’s Son came to earth as a baby to bring us new life.

Prayerfully yours,
Charles F. Stanley

P. S. I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas as you celebrate our Lord’s birth. Since many people are open to talking about Jesus at this time of the year, it’s a great opportunity to explain why He came to earth. They need to know the true meaning of Christmas—that it reaches beyond the stable to the cross, to provide forgiveness and salvation for all who will believe in Christ.




Have a great month


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