A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club June 2016




 Bible Verse

John 14:6 / Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.(NIV)



President's Report

My fellow HAM operators,

This month's meeting will be held at Chunky Shoals Fish Camp on Hwy 80 East. We will have a tent setup for the Raft race and will be demonstrating HAM radio as well as Emergency Communications. The Clarke County EOC trailer will be setup at the end of the race course and Gary White will be heading up the show there. We will try to make contact with him during the race to show how effective Ham radio can be to the community. We will be using a simplex frequency during this event and possibly run a few packet messages to and from the sites. Please come by and show support of our wonderful hobby and what we can do in times of need, or just hang out and have good fellowship with the group.

Some of you have birthdays coming up and some have just had theirs, Happy birthday to you, we will not mention your age cause we respect your privacy, besides age is just a number.

GOD Bless and 73's Charles KB5SZJ



Next MARC Business Meeting

The next business meeting will be held at the Chunky Shoals Fish Camp, 13221 Hwy 80 West, Chunky, MS on Saturday, June 4th, 2016 beginning approximately 10 A.M. Please remember to bring your lawn chair. Look for a tent with the Meridian Amateur Radio Club banner.


Chunky Shoals Map




Field Day 2016

The Field Day Committee and the general membership has voted to have the 2016 Field Day activities at the Red Cross office located at 1820 23rd Avenue in Meridian. At the Red Cross building, we will have access to restrooms as well as a full kitchen, meeting rooms and air conditioning.

Donna Harrison, KD5GWM

Field Day 2016 begins Saturday June 25th at 12:00 noon and continues thru Sunday June 26th 12:00 Noon.

East Central Chapter of the American Red Cross / KB4ARC

Our local Red Cross is located at 1820 - 23rd Ave Meridian, MS. See map below.

Red Cross Map



New W5LRG Repeater

145.410 Tone (pl 97.4)


Chunky River Raft Race & Festival
Hosted by Chunky Shoals Fish Camp
13221 Hwy 80 .Chunky . MS

June 4, 2016

Activities will include:
Chunky River Raft Race: $200 Cash Prize plus Grand Trophy
5K River Race/Float for Charity: - Participants' choice of either Alzheimer's Association or The Wounded Warrior Project. Entry Fee will be donated, plus all additional donations welcome. Prize Drawings supporting Alzheimer's Association Rubber Duck Race- Supporting the Wounded Warrior Project



The Spark Gap 20th Anniversary Edition

The first Spark Gap newsletter was sent out in June of 1996 to keep local amateur radio operators up to date on club events and other activities related to amateur radio. Prior to the first newsletter, I sent out a questionnaire to the membership to come up with a name for the newsletter. I had only one response and that was from WG5X, thus The Spark Gap newsletter was created. Thank you WG5X.

The newsletter is currently sent to over 100 operators. To celebrate the past 20 years I am giving away a new BaoFeng UV-5R+ Dual-Band 136-174/400-480 MHz Radio.

A few years back, a fellow newsletter editor did a survey to see how many subscribers were actually reading the information he was sending to the membership. He found that less than 20 percent actually read the newsletter. With these odds, you will have a good opportunity to win this radio.

To gain your "chance to win" entry, please send a reply to this email. In the subject line, simply type "RADIO ENTRY ". Only one entry per call sign will be counted. The winner will be notified and announced during the month of July. Best of luck. Thank you for twenty years.

The first Spark Gap newsletter: .



Design Advances Make Portable Operation Easier, More Fun

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I've just returned from the Dayton Hamvention. Dayton was a blast as usual, and if there's one thing I took away from this year's event it's that portable operation is not only becoming more popular, but more sophisticated as well. In fact, it's a virtuous circle. More sophisticated portable equipment is making portable operation more popular, which is spurring manufacturers to make more sophisticated equipment, which is making portable operation even more popular, and around we go.

This is perhaps most easily seen in the evolution of the Elecraft products. One of their first rigs was the K1, a small rig that was frequently toted out into the field, even though it wasn't really designed for that purpose. It had a small form factor, but had a conventional front panel layout.

The next evolution was the KX1. This CW-only radio was designed specifically for field work. It originally only covered 40m and 80m, and had a very limited front panel, but its built-in battery pack and KXPD1 paddle made it a great choice for portable operators when it was introduced in

A big leap forward was made when they introduced the KX3 in 2012. This radio combined a bunch of features never before found in a portable rig. The KX3 features an SDR architecture and covers all modes, including (SSB, CW, Data, FM, AM); used the same full-sized LCD display as the K3; has advanced DSP features; and can be connected to a computer via USB for firmware upgrades and for use with other ham radio software. The KX3 is so full-featured that many operators use it as their main rig with a suitable linear amplifier.

At Dayton 2016, Elecraft took this concept even further and introduced the KX2. It's about half the size of the KX3, but yet has almost all of the features of the KX3. There was a tremendous amount of buzz over this radio at Dayton among portable operation aficionados. The base price of the KX2 is $750, and with options, will cost you about $1,000.

Of course, Elecraft isn't the only company competing in this market. LNR Precision sells a radio called the LD-5, and at Dayton, they introduced the LD-11, which like the KX3 and KX2 features an SDR architecture and covers 160m - 6m. This radio goes for about $800, and has also proven to be popular among portable operators.

Dayton also had a number of exhibitors that supplied products other than radios to aid portable operation. There were several portable antenna manufacturers, including Buddipole (buddipole. com) and PackTenna (packtenna. com), and BiEnno Power (biennopower. com) was also there, showing off their new lithium-iron batteries,

While radios like the KX2 and LD-11, at relatively low prices, allow operators to easily get out into the field, portable operation would not be as popular as it is without organized activities. Programs like the Summits on the Air (SOTA, www. sota. org. uk, na. sota. org) and the National Parks on the Air (NPOTA, npota. arrl. org) make portable operation even more fun. These programs do this by providing a structure in which operators can find one another and gain awards for operating. SOTA did not have a booth at Dayton, but NPOTA was a big part of the ARRL section there.

If you aren't already a portable operator, you should give it a try! You don't have to invest a bunch of money in a rig to just try it. KX1s have been had for less than $400, and simpler QRP rigs cost a lot less. Getting outside and operating in the fresh air is a lot of fun and could give you a whole new perspective on amateur radio.


Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the "No Nonsense" amateur radio license study guides, and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU. Com, and you can contact him by e-mailing Listen for him operating his KX1 from the park or beach this summer.



Quote of the Day

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. Satchel Paige


Have a great month


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