I hope everyone is enjoying this nice summer.
This summer, we have finally started up some of those special activities that BARC is famous for. Special thanks to KA1TUZ, N1IWF, N1ILS and NU1V for arraigning and helping out with our various boat tours. If anyone has any ideas for other tours (or even better, can help organize or lead one), please let one of the club officers know, or come to the exec meeting.
Thanks to N1PBA and Donna-Marie, N1ICN, and KA1TUZ for helping out with emptying the storage locker that BARC was renting. It would be cheaper in the long run to throw out most of what we had there (the contents of the BARC shack at the Red Cross) and buy it new than to keep paying $80 each month. Nope, that doesn't include any of the radios or test equipment; that's all safely stored away. Most of what we dumped or donated was furniture and real junk... Anything that could possibly be sold was brought to the MIT flea (but we still have the boat anchors and tubes waiting for a better outlet).
There have been a few questions about the repeater and courtesy tones. In normal operation, there are no tones or beeps when you drop your carrier. If you hear a Morse "N", that means there is a controlled net in progress, and all contacts should go thru net control. If you need to call another ham, just call Net Control and ask if it is OK to make a call. If it is, make the call and move off frequency to keep the repeater clear. This is mainly used during public service nets and emergency nets. The other possibility is a Morse "W". This means that there is a Skywarn weather net running on the Waltham 146.64 repeater. It's just a note; there is no need to keep the repeater clear when the "W" is on. As always, it is good practice to wait a few seconds between dropping the carrier and starting up again so people can jump in if necessary. Both of these modes also have voice messages every 10-15 minutes to let people know what is happening.
The Boston ARC club net meets each Monday night at 21:00 local time on
the 145.23 repeater; it's an open round-table for any amateur-radio
topic, so bring any questions or comments. If you would like to try
your hand as net control, let me know; we are always looking for
people to help out with it. This is a perfect way to get your feet
wet or get some practice running a net and is a great way to get ready
for hurricane season. The preamble will be in this SPARC in the next
Hope the rest of the summer will be an enjoyable (and not too humid) one.
A walk along the 26 mile Marathon route will be held again this year on Sun day, 29 September to benefit the Jimmy Fund for children's cancer research. The event is sponsored by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and is produced by the Boston Athletic Association. Many of the walk's technical operations are tested for the BAA Marathon. This is especially important because the 1997 Boston Marathon will be so different from the 1996 100th running of the Marathon.
The BAA has once again asked BARC to coordinate the emergency and administrative communications along the route of the Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk.
This event is smaller than the "real" Marathon, and is an excellent opportunity to gain public service experience with less stress. Working directly for the BAA, we have been requested to staff 13 to 15 Walker Support stations, providing water, food and rest. Some of these stations will have Red Cross First Aid services. The Finish, Medical and Supervisory areas will also be covered.
Bob and Ed, WA2SCA, will look into desirable repeaters and their coverage along the Marathon course for this lighter duty. Approximately 20 - 25 hams are needed. Your help is valuable. If you are available for this important public service event, please call Bob Salow, WA1IDA, at 508.650.9440 from 0900 to 2300 (email: email@example.com) as soon as possible.
A Boston Harbour Cruise featuring a HF marine mobile station tour will be conducted by The Boston Police Harbour Master aboard the Saint Michael. This is a 81 foot former Naval training vessel that is now the flagship of the Boston Police. The date is August 29 at 1300 on a Thursday afternoon. Please plan to get there at 1230 as sailing will be prompt. For those of you who can't take an afternoon off, it was the only way we could schedule it. For those who miss all the weekend trips, here's your chance. For further information, please contact Dick KA1TUZ.
New FCC RF safety standards that become effective January 1, 1997, could affect the way some hams operate. As a result of a Report and Order adopted by the FCC on August 1 (ET Docket No. 93-62, Guidelines for Evaluating the Environmental Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation), Part 97 will require hams running more than 50 W PEP to conduct routine RF radiation evaluations to determine if RF fields are sufficient to cause human exposure to RF radiation levels in excess of those specified. "Measurements made during a Commission/EPA study of several typical amateur stations in 1990 indicated that there may be some situations where excessive exposures could occur," the FCC said in ending the blanket exemption for Amateur Radio. Although all amateur operation must comply with the new regulations for Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE), amateur operation at power levels of less than 50 W PEP is "categorically excluded" from the requirement to perform a "routine evaluation" of station operation before operating.. Where routine evaluation indicates that the RF radiation could be in excess of the limits, "the licensee must take action to prevent such an occurrence," the Report and Order stated. The FCC said this could mean altering operating patterns, relocating the antenna, revising the station's technical parameters--such as frequency, power or emission type--or "combinations of these and other remedies." Although the new exposure criteria will apply to portable and mobile devices in general, at this time routine evaluation for compliance will not be required of devices such as "push-to-talk" portable radios and "push-to-talk" mobile radios used by Amateur Radio operators. These transmitting devices will be excluded from routine evaluation.
The FCC encouraged the amateur community "to develop and disseminate information in the form of tables, charts and computer analytical tools that relate such variables as operating patterns, emission types, frequencies, power and distance from antennas." The Commission said it intends to provide "straightforward methods for amateur operators to determine potential exposure levels" by year's end.
"Exactly what is involved in conducting a 'routine RF radiation evaluation' is not yet clear," observed ARRL Executive Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, adding that the FCC has promised to release a revised OST/OET Bulletin Number 65, "Evaluation Compliance with FCC-Specified Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation." The League is now studying the 100-plus page docket, to see if the League should seek reconsideration of any aspects of the FCC decision.
In the Report and Order, the Commission adopted Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) limits for electric and magnetic field strength and power density for transmitters operating at frequencies from 300 kHz to 100 GHz. These MPE limits are generally based on recommendations of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and, in many respects, are also generally based on the guidelines issued by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc (IEEE) and subsequently adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an ANSI standard (ANSI/IEEE C95.1-1992). The Commission used the 1992 ANSI/IEEE standards instead of the 1982 ANSI standards that had formed the basis for the existing rules under which Amateur Radio stations were categorically exempted.
ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, KA1CV, said the new regulations will give hams an incentive to demonstrate that Amateur Radio operation is safe. "Although this means that hams will have to become more educated about RF afety, most amateur stations are already in compliance with the new regulations," Hare said.
Sumner said that for certain unusual situations where there is "uncontrolled exposure" to neighbors and the general public, "amateurs may well have to make changes in how they operate." The ARRL Lab staff and the RF Safety Co mmittee are continuing to evaluate the new requirements.
Hare noted that the administrative burden for hams will be minimal, and the FCC does not require amateurs to submit any documentation to the FCC. "In essence, the FCC is telling amateurs that if they run more than 50 W, they need to learn about RF safety and evaluate how this applies to their own operation," he said.
The new regulations also will require the addition of five questions on RF environmental safety to the amateur examinations for Novice, Technician, and General-class elements 2, 3(A) and 3(B). Sumner noted that the Commission's Report and Order does not take into account the practical problems associated with such a significant revision to the volunteer-administered amateur examinations, and that more time than the Commission has allowed will be required to do a good job.
The Commission acknowledged the updated guidelines generally are more stringent than the current rules and are based on recommendations of the federal health and safety agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. The Commission said that the new rules will protect the public and workers from strong RF emissions. Adoption of the new rules by August 6 was required by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
The Commission also incorporated into its rules provisions of Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that preempt state or local government regulation of personal wireless services facilities based on RF environmental effects, to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission' s rules concerning such RF emissions. This preemption does not directly affect Amateur Radio, however.
The FCC said amateur stations "present an unusual case with respect to compliance with RF exposure guidelines," in part because they are authorized to transmit from any place where the Commission regulates the service, as well as on the high seas, and the FCC does not pre-approve individual amateur station transmitting facilities and no additional application is made for permission to relocate an amateur station or to add additional stations at the same or other locations. The FCC also noted that amateur stations "vary greatly" from one location to another, transmit intermittently, and can involve "as many as 1300 different emission types--each with a distinctive on-off duty cycle." The FCC said most amateur stations engage only in two-way communication, thus cutting the transmitting time of any given ham station. "There are many variables, therefore, to be considered in determining whether an amateur station complies with guidelines for environmental RF radiation," the FCC said in the Report and Order.
In comments filed earlier with the FCC, the ARRL strongly opposed adoption of the new requirements. The ARRL said most Amateur Radio users do not possess the requisite equipment, technical skills, and/or financial resources to conduct an environmental analysis. The League has, for several years, recommended a policy of "prudent avoidance" of exposure to electromagnetic radiation as a common-sense approach to potential--but not yet proven--health hazards and against such practices as running high power to indoor antennas or to mobile antennas that might expose the vehicle's occupants. The ARRL also argued that amateur stations, because of their intermittent operation, low duty cycles, and relatively low power levels, rarely exceed the 1992 ANSI/IEEE standard. Finally, the ARRL noted that unlike other radio services, RF safety questions already are included in amateur license examinations.
The FCC agreed in part. "We concur with the ARRL that amateur operators should follow a policy of prudent avoidance of excessive RF exposure," the Commission said. "We will continue to rely upon amateur operators, in constructing and operating their stations, to take steps to ensure that their stations comply with the MPE limits for both occupational/controlled and general public/uncontrolled environments." But the FCC expressed concern that Amateur Radio operations "are likely to be located in residential neighborhoods and may expose persons to RF fields in excess of the MPE guidelines." For now, the League advises hams not to panic and to read up on the subject. You can download the complete Report and Order by pointing to http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Orders/fcc96326.txt. Other resources are available on the ARRLWeb page at http://www.arrl.org/news/rfsafety/.
General information on RF safety is available in the safety sections of the 1996 edition of The ARRL Handbook and in the 15th edition of The ARRL Antenna Book. These materials offer guidelines on how to comply with the ANSI standard the Report and Order refers to. Additionally, the ARRL Technical Information Service offers an information package on RF safety. It includes a reprint of the Handbook material, an April 1994 QST article by Wayne Overbeck, N6NB, and a bibliography on the subject. This package is available for $2 for ARRL members or $4 for nonmembers, postpaid. Nonmembers should include payment with orders. Contact Bridget DiCosimo, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Other resources are available on the ARRLWeb page at http://www.arrl.org/news/rfsafety/. The ARRLWeb information will be updated as circumstances dictate.
From ARRL Letter: August 9, 1996
We keep hearing more and more about the Internet and the World Wide Web. Come to BARC's August general meeting and find out all about the Internet, what it is, what's on it, and how Hams can benefit from it! Our speaker will be Michael Ardai, N1IST, who has been fiddling with the net for over 12 years now (and one day will figure it out :-) This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 pm, August 21. The Volpe Center is across the street from the Kendell Square Red Line T Station, at the corner of Broadway and Third Street. Parking is available along Potter Street. Enter the building on the Third Street side, and sign in with the guard at the desk. Talk-in is on 145.23.
The Boston Amateur Radio Club has a web page at http://www.barc.org/. Here you can find some of the latest BARC news, sample exams, maps to our meetings and VE sessions, links to other radio clubs, and a club roster (only names, callsigns, and e-mail addresses are on-line). If you have any suggestions, please let me know at email@example.com.
We also run an FTP site at ftp.barc.org under pub/hamradio. We've got a mirror of the ARRL infoserver, BARC documents, ham radio software, and a huge mods archive. The FTP site is maintained by Cheyenne Greatorex, firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact him if you have any comments.
We also run a club e-mail list. To subscribe, send a message to email@example.com with the body (the subject is ignored)
The welcome message will list the other lists that we have over at Netcom. (Yes, I know it isn't on the radio. It is, however, an additional resource for getting in touch with other hams around the world...)
The Boston Amateur Radio Club holds its monthly VE session on the second Monday of each month. The next one will be on Monday, Sept. 9. They are held at the Mass Pep building at 590 Huntington Avenue, near the Wentworth campus, at 19:00 local time. There is a free parking lot located behind the building. For those traveling via public transportation, take the 'E' branch of the Green Line to the MFA (Museum) stop, cross the street, and walk outbound two blocks.
We give all exams (Novice thru Extra, CW and written), and you don't need to pre-register. Please bring the following with you:
FCC Form 610 will be provided.
For further information, contact Bob Wondolowski N1KDA Tel: (617) 593 1955
Recorded by Ed Hennessy, N1PBA, Secretary
Present were: Arthur Ashley, N1NHZ, Treasurer, Membership Services; Paul Carter, N1TMF, SPARC Editor; Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ; Mike Ardai, N1IST, President; Ed Burg, N1VSJ; Bob Salow, WA1IDA, Public Service; Ed Hennessy, N1PBA, Secretary; Steve Isenberg, N1TMQ; Evie Tse; and Bob Cassell, N1ENS, Newsletter assembler. Vice President Dave Hunt, WX1G, was unable to attend.
The meeting began at 7:07 PM.
Mike, N1IST, thanked Dick KA1TUZ and Ed N1PBA, and his wife Donna-Marie for help in emptying out the club's storage room. It was costing the club over $80 per month to store things that weren't worth that much. Mike took the stuff (except radios) to the MIT flea, and made $59; this covered the cost of the rental truck, gas, and the flea table.
Mike brought up some new issues. The most important of these is the new rule from the FCC regarding RF exposure. The Communications Act of 1996 required that such rules be established. The rule says that any amateur station running more than 50w (whether mobile or base) be able to show that it is not causing harm from excessive RF. It especially applies to mobiles and apartment stations. It takes effect as of January 1, 1997. It is now law, and will require new questions be added to the question pools. This applies to all non-broadcast transmitters (broadcast already has similar rules); hams are the only group that got an exemption for power levels less than 50w. An ARRL bulletin was issued yesterday (8/6) on this. Unsure of the impact, but we may get help from public service agencies and cellular companies, which must also comply.
Mike said the next two meeting speakers have been arranged. Mike will be speaking on hams and the Internet at the August meeting (in preparation for his talk at Boxboro this fall), and George K1MON will speak on AMSAT at the September meeting. Bob, WA1IDA, suggested a few possibilities for the following meetings, and Mike will follow up on these.
Dick, KA1TUZ, spoke about the Boston Police boat tour/cruise. It will be held on Thursday August 29 at 1:00PM. This is a former Navy ship used by the Boston PD Harbor Patrol. It has a fully equipped trauma center aboard that can handle 16 patients, as well as amateur HF gear. Details will be in the SPARC. People will meet at the end of Drydock Avenue in the Marine Industrial Park in South Boston.
Dick also spoke about his meeting with the folks from the Belmont Fire Department. They'd like to start an arrangement with BARC, and we'd be able to use their facility for Ham 101 and/or classes. They are enthusiastic about it. There are still some issues to be resolved (like handicapped access, since there is none and the room is on the second floor). More info will follow. We may even be able to erect a small tower. Also, the 73 bus from Harvard Square goes right by the firehouse.
Paul, N1TMF, says that the SPARC should be on time this month. He said he would be switching ISPs in the next month, but his current email address would be good through the end of August.
Mike said that Netcom is putting a new server in service just to process mailing lists (on 8/8). It will have a new version of Majordomo, so he should be able to filter things like 'unsubscribe' requests posted to the list. It also means that the lists may be flaky for a while until things get configured right.
Paul suggested we charge people a nominal fee for the badges so that there will be incentive to get them (since there hasn't been a big rush of SASEs to pick up the remaining badges). Dick said that we should just stick them with double-sided tape to the next SPARC issue and mail them. Steve, N1TMQ, suggested that perhaps badge requests should be made at a meeting, and then pickup should be at a meeting; that way we would be more likely to have someone actually getting their badge. Mike will think about that one. We will probably mail them with the next SPARC (by doing it that way, we won't have to pay for postage just for the badges).
Paul mentioned a possible club activity. He thought we could set up a VHF station at the Marconi site in Wellfleet during the '97 Sporadic-E season. That would also give people Wellfleet's relatively rare grid square. He will look into this.
Dick suggested that, since we now own a tent, and have a good relationship with Brookline for Larz Anderson Park, perhaps we could run some of the contests from the park. Discussion followed, and we agreed it would be a great idea, as long as we used battery power (so we didn't have to buy a generator). We will look into it.
Arthur, N1NHZ, suggested that we try a new approach to get more BARC net control stations. He offered that those who say they have an interest in emergency communications be approached and asked to be net control on a particular date. Dick suggested that we begin a "learner's net" on Tuesdays (since there is no longer a Public Safety net that night). We would have people practice opening a net and taking checkins. After they practice and see that it's easy, suggest a date for them to run the net--don't wait for them to volunteer.
Arthur also mentioned that Paul, N1LRT, has been contacted by First Night, and BARC has been asked again this year to have a message booth. More info will follow as December approaches.
Arthur gave the treasurer's report. We have $3036.52 minus the equipment grant amount.
Bob, WA1IDA, said that the Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk will be held September 29, with details in the SPARC. We will again be doing communications. This year, there is a complication. The date of the walk was moved, and the new date is the same as the date of the Framingham flea market. So, most of the FARA hams will be unavailable this year, and FARA usually provides hams for the first part of the course. Also the Framingham repeater will be unavailable for the walk, since it will be used for talk-in for the flea. They will probably use 70cm for that part of the course. Bob and Ed, WA2SCA, will look into repeaters, coverage, etc., because 70cm has not yet been used at that end of the course.
Bob, WA1IDA, also mentioned that we always seem to get a few newsletters back from the post office that should have been forwarded, but were not (even if a forward order is in place). Mike will take them and ask at the post office the next time he picks up mail at the club box.
Ed, N1VSJ, asked if there was a code class coming up. Mike said that Myrton, N1GKE, had offered to teach one, but he hasn't been able to start one yet due to other commitments.
Mike said that BARC is providing another service to the ARRL--he has created the New England Division web page. Also, he said that Phil Temples, K9HI, has decided not to run again for Section Manager when his term ends in December.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM.
(R)= Repeater used for public service event
As you might expect, there are many more events (public service, hamfests, flea markets, etc.) taking place - some only peripheral to ham radio. For information on these, covering New England and some of New York, the "Ham - Electronic Flea Market" and the "PSLIST" lists tell the story. They are posted by e-mail to barc-list and on PBBSs regularly. If needed, contact any club member who has access to these.
The Eastern Massachusetts 2M Traffic Net , the Heavy Hitters' Traffic Net, and the BARC Club Net are always in need of volunteers to act as Net Control Station. This is excellent practice for emergency communications, and also an opportunity to sharpen your operating skills among a friendly group of people. For further information please contact Mike Ardai N1IST.
Any further business for the repeater before we begin the Boston Amateur Radio Club Net? This is YOUR CALL.
Calling the Boston Amateur Radio Club net. This is YOUR CALL, my name is YOUR NAME and I am located in YOUR TOWN. This net meets each Monday evening at 9 PM local time on the 145.23 Boston repeater. This net is an informal round table discussion concerning matters of interest to the members of the Boston Amateur Radio Club and the Boston Amateur radio community in general. When checking into the net, please say "this is" and drop your carrier to check on doubling. Then give your call sign, name and location. All amateurs are welcome to join the net. Any checkins for the Boston Amateur Radio Club net, please call now.
Is there any further business for the net before I close?
Hearing nothing, this is YOUR CALL closing tonight's session of the Boston Amateur Radio Club Net. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the net and those who stood by while I ran the net. The Boston Amateur Radio Club net will return next Monday evening at 9 PM local time. This is YOUR CALL returning the repeater to general amateur use. 73.
"Father" John Stacy, W1KIM is now a silent key, as of the fourth of July weekend.
Ann Weldon, KA1PON is taking up a collection, that will be forwarded to the amateur radio club at Crotched Mountain. (The very same club, where Kathy Pate's parents' donated her radio equipment.)
Ann will present John's widow with a list of donators, in a nice presentation.
For those who are interested in donating to this worthy cause and want to recognize John, you can send your donation to:
Anne Weldon, KA1PON
14A Emmett St.
Marlborough, MA 01752-4325
John and I did not see eye to eye, but John was always the first to with a donation of orchids or money for a good cause.
73 de Joe, N1OCS
Doing the August ARRL UHF contest was a lot of fun. I operated 440 and 1200 on top of Mt. Wachusett on Saturday - FM only - and although I hardly had a winning score, it was still a good outing. Thanks to all who gave me points! Copying N1IST's FD notes, I have a few contest/operating notes of my own.
I will be changing Email addresses: the new one (which should be
active when this is printed,) is firstname.lastname@example.org
. My old one,email@example.com, will be good through the end of August. I'm
grateful to all who sent contributions and suggestions for improvement
- keep those cards and letters coming in. I can be reached by email
(see above), packet at N1TMF@K1UGM, snail mail at
11 Commonwealth Court Apt#15
Brighton, MA 02135
and most if not all BARC club nets and general meetings.
The June data shows a sizable increase in the number of new Novice and Tech Plus licenses over previous months. While the Tech license is still the "license of choice" with 72, Novice and Tech Plus together make up another 29 new Hams in June. The FCC still has not developed a method for providing us with upgrade information.
LICENSE Number Novice 14 Technician 72 Technician + 15 General 1 Extra 1No. of new women licensees- 19.
73, Bill WB1BRE
QST to all Amateurs
Members of the New England Division staff, Section Managers, and club presidents met in Andover, MA on Saturday, July 13 for the second Division Cabinet meeting of 1996. With 35 attendees, the group was updated on current activities in each of the sections and on recent DX, Contest, and Public Service Advisory Committee and Public Relations Committee deliberations, and provided input to Director Burden and Vice-Director Rothberg on matters which would be coming before the ARRL Board meeting on July 18-20.
Walter Parker, KA1ODT, was recognized as the 1995 New England Division Volunteer of the Year.
Chris Imlay, N3AKD and ARRL General Counsel, reviewed developments of the Little LEO situation and provided a summary of the current status of the IWG-2A discussions. Chris said that it is time to encourage our served agencies (Red Cross, Salvation Army, municipal governments, etc.) to write letters describing the value of our volunteer services to those agencies and the importance of the 144 and 420 MHz bands in providing those services.
Rosalie White, WA1STO, described the activities of the Educational Activities Department and solicited suggestions of new ways in which we can encourage people to become radio amateurs and then to improve their skills and knowledge base. Rick Palm, K1CE, summarized current activities of the Membership Services Department.
The group also discussed ways in which we might utilize an apparent renewed interest in the 6- meter band. Some recent equipment includes 6-meters, or is designed specifically for it, and manufacturers are noting increased inquiries about 6-meter antennas. Suggestions included using it for entry-level contesting, encouraging newer amateurs to try out its DX possibilities, and featuring it in more QST and New Ham Companion articles.
NEW ENGLAND DIVISION DIRECTOR Bill Burden WB1BRE firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ENGLAND DIVISION VICE DIRECTOR Don Haney KA1T email@example.com