A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club August 2016


 Bible Verse

Matthew 5:33-37 / “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. (NIV)



President's Report

I had plans to hold a short meeting on the Tuesday evening net prior to this publication but was called away on a fire ( all went well ). I want to get the opinion of the members about holding the meeting on the first Tuesday night of each month for awhile. Will send out an email to the group to see what their thoughts about it are and also want to see if there is any interest in having a few packet classes.

For the September business meeting let's go ahead and plan on the first Tuesday, 6PM at the iHOP restaurant on North Frontage Road.

73, Charlie KB5SZJ


Next MARC Business Meeting

The next business meeting will be held at IHOP Restaurant on Tuesday evening, September 6th, 2016 beginning at 6 PM. Come join us!



Mississippi Hams Winlink Email

Rez Johnson, K1REZ, the Mississippi ARRL/ARES Section Emergency Coordinator is conducting a Poll to determine how many Mississippi Hams have Winlink Email capabilities.

If you have a Winlink email address please send an email to K1REZ@ARRL.Net letting him know your call sign. Thank You.

Blessings and 73, Rez Johnson, K1REZ
Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC)
Mississippi Section of ARRL/ARES


Huntsville Hamfest August 20 & 21, 2016

Special Guest, Gordon West: The Radio Professor will be at the 2016 Huntsville Hamfest!

After teaching radio licensing courses for over 40 years, Gordon is now "teaching the teachers." We are very pleased that he will be offering his teacher training course for instructors and elmers. He will help you to carry on with his colorful (and always lively) instructional techniques! He will provide the teachers with every technique he uses to get students studying at home and to be well prepared for your actual classroom training. More information here:



5…4…3…2…1: Readability Reports

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I'm big on Twitter. It connects me to a lot of interesting amateur radio operators, and I find a lot of food for thought there. Yesterday, I saw the following Tweet:

Charlie – M0PZT @M0PZT Blog updated: RST and Speed Matters

Being a CW geek, of course I was interested. Charlie’s point is that if you get a bad report, you probably should send more slowly. I certainly have no argument with that. What I do take a little bit of an issue with is that Charlie says, “A Readability 4 report should really make it known that information needs to be brief, but repeated – Certainly no ANT/RIG/WX waffle!”

According to most sources, Readability 4 means, “Readable with practically no difficulty.” When I receive an R4 report, I might slow down a little, but it doesn't mean to me that I have to cut the contact short or repeat information over and over. I replied on Twitter that if the operator at the receiving station is having so much trouble copying, then the report should probably be 319 or even 219.

Of course, RST reports are open to interpretation. With that in mind, I thought I'd explain a little more fully how I decide what Readability report to give:

R5: Perfectly readable. To me, this means that copying a signal is no work at all, and that it sounds like it’s coming out of a code practice oscillator. I can put my feet up on the desk or putter around the shack while I’m ragchewing with the other operator.

R4: Readable with practically no difficulty. “Practically no difficulty” is the key phrase here. There may be some QRN or QSB on this signal, and I have to pay some attention while copying. An R4 is still solid copy, though, and ragchewing is definitely possible.

R3: Readable with considerable difficulty. A signal that rates an R3 needs my full attention. I have to work at copying the signal, and even then, might miss characters here and there. Even though I don’t copy every single character, I’m able to fill in the gaps. An R3 signal might not be good enough for a ragchew, and repeating information is probably a good idea.

R2: Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable. A signal that rates an R2 is usually so weak that it’s below the noise level or drops below the noise level occasionally. At this level, the contact will definitely be brief and any important information, such as the call sign needs to be repeated.

R1: Unreadable. Generally, I would never give out this report, as I would never attempt making contact if a signal was truly unreadable.

Although my explanations above reflect the fact that I'm primarily a CW operator, I think they also apply to phone or even digital contacts. For example, an R5 for a phone contact would mean that the signal sounds like it could be coming from just down the street or coming through the local repeater.

What do you think? How do you decide what Readability report to give?


Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the "No Nonsense" amateur radio license study guides, and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU. Com. You can contact him by e-mailing If you want an honest Readability report, look for him most evenings on 40m CW.


Weekly Net / August Monthly Business Meeting

The MARC held the August Meeting at 6 P. M. @ IHOP on North Frontage Road in Meridian, MS.

Present: Charles Grisham President KB5SZJ
Donna Harrison Secretary KD5GWM
Rick Morefield AE5FE ARES
Ted Valentine KG5IAX & his son.
Frank Buckley V. P. KF5ETN

All the above operators agreed to be checked in via relay after the meeting adjourned.

Check in by Relay: Doug Brown N5FKP Farrar Grisham KB5BRZ Darrell Hover W5MAV Debbie Hover KD5JYJ Treasurer

All present spoke on the repeater and what could be done to improve it. We also discussed the field day totals and that all in the area shared the same troubles. Rick updated us on both his family issues and the weather room at the EOC. Keith McCary (not able to attend) expressed it was nice to see the meetings in the evenings. We may continue this if the numbers pick up.

What do you think about starting some classes on packet with a Q & A time on the net?

73's Charles KB5SZJ


National Parks on the Air Update

The ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) program now is in its 8th month, and more than 440 of the 484 eligible NPS units have been activated, with over 540,000 QSOs confirmed in Logbook of The World. Despite a rough summer for propagation, plenty of Activators have been on the air, and it's not too late for you to become a new Activator or Chaser.

The 100th birthday of the National Park System is August 25 and several parks will be active during the Centennial week. See the NPOTA Facebook group for a list of stations active during the actual Centennial week or to register your own activation.

Keep up with the latest NPOTA news on Facebook. Follow NPOTA on Twitter (@ARRL_NPOTA).



Quote of the Day

"Just remember, once you're over the hill, you begin to pick up speed."  So, lighten up and enjoy the ride downhill! --- Charles Schulz


Have a great month


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