A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio ClubAugust 2020


 Bible Verse

Living for God
1 Peter 4:4-11 / Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (NIV)



President's Report

Hello all,

As I look to the ARES training coming up, I think about the country going back into lock down. If not the country then the states themselves. Mainly I speak of the ones that have been hit the worst recently.

Looking at the new information on TS Isaias, we may not see anything from it unless the new models are wrong. If it turns back west we could see some strong winds and rain from it.

Coming up on the 15th ARES will have a SET (Section Emergency Test) for the entire state. The training will include mock hurricane Josephine making landfall on the coast. Several stations south of I-20 will have to work on emergency power during this. If you would be interested in donating two hours to this, drop me a line so I can get things set up here in the county. All you need is two free hours and a HF rig with privileges to participate.

Stay safe and we will get thru this the Amateur Operator way by adapting to the event.

Charles Grisham



Next MARC Business Meeting

We will hold the next meeting on the W5FQ repeater, Saturday August 8th beginning at 10 A.M. Hope you can join us.




Hey everybody

I'm glad to be back on Amateur radio and to be home. I am encouraged by the EMTARG monthly numbers of formal messages sent in June along with the 2020 Field Day totals.

The EMTARG hams submitted a June report to W5XX of 1797 messages sent / received.

I would like to invite you to join us on 3595 kHz. My p2p station now runs 24/7. Try Winmor P2P direct--connect anytime to test the path conditions on 80 meters on 3595 (dial) USB.

My dedicated station is a Kenwood TS-590SG. Antenna is a 80 meter double bazooka dipole up 25 feet. Station has battery / solar power back-up. Call me at 601-934-1460 or email me: for any help needed.

EMTARG. Digital Group
Net Manager Larry Glenn Clark



From the Mississippi Section Report For June 2020

Reading over the MS Section Report for June, a very deserved congratulations to K1REZ who qualified for the ARRL Brass Pounders League for originating and receiving over 500 messages during the month of June. According to the W5XX data base this is the first BPL in Mississippi since Camille in 1969!

On your long-range calendar pencil in:

-Simulated Emergency Test, August 8, POC KC5IMN and AA1NA. ARES Prepare. Hurricane Josephine is coming.

-Huntsville Hamfest; Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama, Cancelled

-ARRL Day in the Park/Papa Jack’s Trade Day, Tupelo, Date: Tentative, POC: KG5IVL

-Jackson County Hamfest, Ocean Springs, November 13-14, POC: N2PKW

-Capital City Hamfest, Trademart, Jackson, January 29-30, POC:

-2021 Mississippi QSO Party, April 3, POC:

To see the complete report visit:




Tech Classes Move Online

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I’ve been teaching ham classes for more than a dozen years now. My specialty has been the one-day Tech class. In this type of class, you review all of the questions in the question pool with the students over the course of six to eight hours, and then immediately give them the test before they can forget anything.

I would hold these classes three or four times a year and regularly have 20 – 30 students in each class. The pandemic, of course, has put the kibosh on these classes. The last one I taught was in January.

Frankly, I was wondering if I’d ever teach one again. A little over a month ago, however, I was approached by a fellow in Portland, Oregon about teaching an online class for some folks that he’d corralled there. After giving it some thought, I said yes.

So, now, in place of face-to-face classes, I’m teaching online Tech classes. There are plusses and minuses to this approach One negative is that I miss the face-to-face interaction with the students. On the plus side, teaching online allows me to offer classes more frequently. My first was in June. Last week, I completed the second class, and in August, I will teach a third class.

I have had to make some changes to the format. Making people sit in front of a computer for six hours or more seemed like cruel and unusual punishment. So, instead of a one-day class, the online class consists of four, two-hour sessions, spanning two weeks:

  • Session 1
    • Electrical Principles
    • Electronic Components and Circuit Diagrams

  • Session 2
    • Radio Wave Characteristics
    • Antennas and Feed Lines

  • Session 3
    • Amateur Radio Signals
    • Electrical Safety
    • Amateur Radio Practices and Station Setup

  • Sessions 4
    • Station Equipment
    • Operating Procedures
    • Rules and Regulations

This seems to be working out pretty well. I’m using Zoom, and most people have been able to attend without too much hassle. To simulate the whiteboard that I use extensively in the face-to-face class, I’m using the Autodesk Sketchbook program ( and sharing my screen with the Zoom meeting attendees. To write on the “whiteboard,” I’m using a Gaomon M10K2018 drawing tablet.

Sketchbook allows me to build up a document in layers, and the result is kind of a hybrid PowerPoint presentation and whiteboard. I can make layers appear when I start discussing a particular topic and then write over them. For example, when I go over the questions that use Ohm’s Law to calculate current in a circuit, I display the later with “E = I x R” and on a second layer, show how to calculate the answers to the questions

To take the test, students have to sign up for an online test session. Fortunately, several VE groups are offering online, remote testing. To sign up for one of these sessions, all students have to do is go to For the first two classes, the W5YI VEC scheduled a special test session.

I foresee teaching these classes monthly until the demand wanes. The next class will start on Monday, August 3. To register for the class, go to To find out when these classes will take place in the future, potential students can sign up for my mailing list by going to


Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is the author of the KB6NU amateur radio blog (KB6NU.Com), the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides (KB6NU.Com/study-guides/), and often appears on the ICQPodcast ( When he's not teaching ham radio classes, he likes to operate CW on the HF bands, go for long walks around Ann Arbor, MI, and volunteer for Rotary Club service projects.



Quote of the Month

Look for something positive each day!



Have a BLESSED month!


IDrive Remote Backup


Last Month Next Month

Back to The Spark Gap