A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club December 2016


Merry Christmas


 Bible Verse

1 John 5:11 / And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (NIV)



President's Report

From the Presidential Office

Hello All, hope you had a great Thanksgiving, now let’s focus on the Christmas dinner which will be held at Red Lobster this year. Please make plans to join us at Red Lobster December 8th at 6pm. We will have a great time and hopefully have some good fellowship. We will be making plans for next year’s Field day event, if you would like to participate please let us know. Merry Christmas.

Charles KB5SZJ



Next MARC Business Meeting / Christmas Dinner

Come join us at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 8th at the Red Lobster Restaurant on South Frontage Road for our annual Christmas dinner. We will be electing officers for 2017. Your presence is appreciated and needed to make for a successful new year. God bless each of you. MERRY CHRISTMAS!



ARRL Calls on Members to Press for US Senate Passage of Amateur Radio Parity Act

Article sent in by WA5WUX. TNX.

QST de W1AW ARRL Bulletin 42 ARLB042
From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT November 17, 2016
To all radio amateurs

ARRL Calls on Members to Press for US Senate Passage of Amateur Radio Parity Act

ARRL once again is calling on its members to urge their US Senators to support the Amateur Radio Parity Act (H. R. 1301) when it comes up in the Senate during the "lame duck" session of Congress that adjourns in mid-December. The House of Representatives approved the bill in September, but if the Senate does not follow suit, the bill will die, and the entire process will have to be repeated. ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board's Legislative Advocacy Committee and has been heavily involved in efforts to move H. R. 1301 forward, said today, "The clock is ticking."

"We begin the e-mail campaign once again, as the US Senate returns to work this week after a month-long hiatus," Lisenco said. "We were just beginning to build momentum in the Senate following the unanimous passage of the Parity Act in the House when Congress shut down for the 4 weeks prior to Election Day."

The task is simple: Go to our Rally Congress page, enter your ZIP code, fill in your name and address, press enter, and e-mails will go directly to your Senators. Members may do this, even if they have already contacted their US Senators for support.

Our Rally Congress page is at:

"We have to remind our legislators that we are still here and that we need the Amateur Radio Parity Act to become law," Lisenco stressed. "We must to do this now as we have, at most, only 4 weeks left in the session to get the bill passed this year. Otherwise, we will have to begin the entire process in 2017 with a new 115th Congress."

There are no guarantees, Lisenco said, and we are subject to the political bickering that goes on daily between the parties, despite the fact that the bill is truly a bipartisan effort. "In order to have a chance at overcoming political obstacles that have little or nothing to do with the legislation, we need our voices to be heard," he said. "And we need that input today."

September's victory in the US House was the culmination of many years of effort on ARRL's part to gain legislation that would enable radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities to erect efficient outdoor antennas that support Amateur Radio communication. The measure calls on the FCC to amend its Part 97 rules "to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private land-use restrictions, and for other purposes." While similar bills in past years gained some traction on Capitol Hill, it was not until the overwhelming grassroots support from the Amateur Radio community for H. R. 1301, and ARRL's relentless and strident efforts on Capitol Hill that this bill made it this far.

As the amended bill provides, "Community associations should fairly administer private land-use regulations in the interest of their communities, while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance of effective outdoor Amateur Radio antennas. There exist antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and structures in community associations while accommodating communications in the Amateur Radio services."



Is there a market for a $400 “precense” radio?

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

A couple of days ago, a reader wrote:

"I would like to know if it would be feasible to build a radio with the following features:

* SSB operation (only SSB is required, CW would be an additional benefit)
* 20 – 50W of power
* Portable-friendly (lightweight, capable of operating at lower voltages from small portable batteries)
* Low receiver current drain
* Coverage of 40m and 80m bands. Very limited coverage is acceptable. Even channelized coverage of a few select frequencies would be acceptable.
* S-meter

"It strikes me that there is a large market for ham radio products for “preppers,” and there has been a lot of interest in the Baofeng line of radios from that market. I think there would be a LOT of interest in a radio that could go far beyond line-of-sight and contact friends or family hundreds of miles away. Preppers would have little interest in contacts more than a state or two away, and no interest at all in novel operating modes. I wonder if a radio that trims away excess features (all-mode operation, wide frequency coverage, high power output, sophisticated audio filtering) could be produced for a lot less cost than currently available HF rigs. If so, and it was paired with a decent NVIS dipole and some General-class study materials and sold as a package deal, it could be a huge hit – Something you could tuck in a bug-out-bag, set up in the field, and use to make contacts in a reasonably local area, or set up in your backyard at home and use minimal power to operate.

"Is there a reason why I don’t see radios like this on the market, some kind of technological limitation that would make this sort of thing impractical? If something like this was built, what kind of cost and performance would you expect? I’m certainly not expecting any kind of detailed analysis, but even just a speculation about if such a project could be feasible would be appreciated."

I replied:

"I think one of the reasons you don’t see radios with the feature set you describe is that more full-featured radios are already pretty inexpensive. The Yaesu FT-450D, for example, costs less than $800 and offers 100W output. The FT-817ND, which is designed for portable operation, costs less than $700. Is that too much for preppers?

"While it might seem like you could sell a radio with fewer features for less, I think that you hit the law of diminishing returns. At some point, removing features, doesn’t reduce the cost all that much. For example, removing the CW capabilities from a transceiver capable of SSB operation really doesn’t save that much because in a way CW operation is really just a subset of SSB operation. You’ll save the cost of a key jack, but how much is that? Maybe a buck or two. Having said that, it could be that the big amateur radio manufacturers are overlooking an opportunity here."

We swapped a couple more e-mails about this. He noted, “Most preppers would probably rather buy a high-end AR-15 or several months worth of storage food for $800 than a radio.” I suggested, “If there was a catastrophic event, and you really needed to communicate, wouldn’t it seem silly to have not spent the extra $400 on a really decent radio?”

What do you think? Is my analysis a little too simplistic perhaps? Are amateur radio manufacturers ignoring a potential market?


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



Quote of the Day

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan



Have a great month


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