A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club September 2015


 Bible Verse

1 Corinthians 2:6-10 / God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. (NIV)



Quote of the Day

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
--- Oscar Wilde


President Report

Come one come all, it's time for the MARC annual swap fest. Plenty of tables are open now but if anything like last year they will go fast. Contact info is listed further in this edition of the Spark Gap. Show your support and be a part of history in the making. See flyer here.

Repairs are underway on the MARC repeater, but funds are needed to continue the effort. A tower crew is needed to complete part of the repairs to the antennas and feed line. We have new batteries in place and the PA section of the repeater should be done in the near future. We need the support of everyone in this matter to get the repeater back to full capacity. This repeater is the cornerstone of emergency communications for this area in bad weather situations, show your support today and donate to the repairs going on. Thank you!

73's KB5SZJ Charles



Next MARC Business Meeting

The next business meeting will be held at the Checker Board Restaurant on Saturday, September 5th, 2015 beginning at 10 A.M. Come join us for breakfast, coffee and fellowship.



The Hurricane Station

Through deadly winds, rain and floods - the New Orleans radio station that fought to keep listeners alive during Hurricane Katrina. Excellent article sent by WB5BNV.


2nd Annual Meridian Swap Fest

On Saturday, October 24th from 8 AM to 1 PM, the MERIDIAN SWAPFEST will be held in The Checker Board Restaurant Convention Room on South Frontage Rd, Meridian, MS.

Located between Exits 152 and 153... Exit 152 if driving east and Exit 153 if driving west.

Admission is $3 per person or $5 for family. Tables are only $5 each and includes 1 FREE entry. Children under 12 are free.

Talk in on the 146.700 / R PL 100 MHz.

Breakfast and Lunch buffet available inside The Checker Board Restaurant.

See Flyer



Antenna Analyzers You Can Hack

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I'm a nut for antenna analyzers. I think that they are one of the most useful things a ham can own.

I’ve often wondered why there aren’t more DIY antenna analyzer projects, though. Perhaps it’s because designing measurement circuits isn’t easy. An antenna analyzer has to have a signal source as well. Even so, an antenna analyzer doesn't need a whole lot of accuracy to be useful, so you would think that more builders/hackers would tackle a project like this.

I do know of one antenna analyzer kit on the market. The VK5JST Antenna Analyser Kit ( costs about $110 USD. I actually purchased this kit a year or so ago, and it looks like a great unit. The unit seems well-designed, and it comes with a plastic case, unlike many projects theses days, but I haven’t yet gotten around to building it.

I've also recently found out about an Arduino-based antenna analyzer project ( arduino-and-ad9850/). It uses an AD9850 module as the signal source. The approximate cost for all the parts is about $40, and you can experiment with the code, if you like. If you have the time and inclination, this project might be worth taking a hack at.


Another antenna analyzer project from Australia is the VK3YY antenna analyzer (or "analyser" as they spell it there). It uses an Arduino Nano. The interesting thing about the blog post in which VK3YY describes the project ( project/) is that you can follow his design and experimentation process.

Yet another analyzer

While I’m talking about antenna analzyers, let me mention another one that I’ve just found out about: the IW2NDH Antenna Analyzer ( This antenna analyzer isn't a kit, but at $175 seems to be a good deal. This unit has a frequency coverage of 2 – 160 MHz, and can be used as an antenna analyzer, signal generator, and a scalar network analyzer.

Apparently, this started out as an Arduino project. As Maximo, EA1DDO, pointed out on the radioartisan Yahoo Group, there is source code for this project on GitHub (, and a schematic is available on the Union de Radioaficionados Espanoles (URE) website.




When not writing about antenna analyzers, Dan, KB6NU, actually builds an antenna now and then. You can often find him on the HF bands (mostly 40m and 30m), working CW. His #1-rated amateur radio blog can be found at KB6NU. Com, and you can e-mail questions, comments, or complaints to



FCC Regulatory Fee for Vanity Call Signs to Disappear September 3

The FCC regulatory fee associated with Amateur Radio Vanity call signs is no longer required.

Beginning Thursday, September 3, 2015, applicants will be able to file all vanity applications (new and renewal) without having to pay a regulatory fee. FCC decided earlier this year to eliminate the regulatory fee component for Amateur Radio vanity call signs because their costs exceed the amount collected in fees.

However, while the requirement to pay a regulatory fee for vanity call sign applications will end on September 3, prospective vanity applicants now will have to wait until after 8am on September 8 to file an application for an available call sign because of the FCC shut down.

Please see ARRL’s news stories for more detailed information:





Have a great month


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