The SPARC

The SPARC
Volume VIII, Number 12; December, 1996
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

Well, it looks like 1996 is winding down. I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. I hope to see everyone at the BARC holiday dinner (instead of the December general meeting).

As usual, BARC will be sponsoring an NTS message booth at the Hynes on First Night; we are looking for people to volunteer to help take traffic, and to introduce ham radio to the visitors. Contact Paul, N1LRT, or Arthur, N1NHZ if you can help out. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello.

Renewal forms are in this SPARC; please don't forget to send them in to the PO box. Also, don't forget that line for additional donations to the club. Let's see if we can top last year's record in 1997 :-)

As I mentioned last month, it's not too early to start thinking about Field Day. We are looking for someone to lead the Field Day committee in 1997. If you are interested, please let me know. Also if anyone has any ideas on how we can improve FD next year, we'd love to hear them.

I just want to remind everyone that the BARC executive committee meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month (** Note: January's exec meeting will be on Thursday, since I don't think anyone will be in any condition for a meeting on 1/1 :-) at the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall, in the lower level of the food court. This is where the real business of the club takes place, and the meetings are open to everyone. They begin at 18:30, but many people get in at 18:00 for dinner.

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Chanukkah, Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, and a Happy New Year.
73,
/mike


ARRL NEDIV Election Results

The ARRL Committee of Tellers for the election of directors and vice directors for the 1997 through 1998 term met at ARRL Headquarters November 15 to count ballots. Here are the results.

New England division for director, Tom Frenaye, K1KI, 2705. Bill Burden, WB1BRE, 1523.

The New England Vice Director and the SM position in the EMA section was not contested. The following were declared elected.

Vice Director, Don Haney, KA1T In Eastern Massachusetts, Larry Ober, W1MW.


Contacting Larry Ober

I have set up voice mail on my home number. For general ARRL and ham radio matters please use the EMA ARRL mailbox. Your cooperation helps. I often pick up my messages via cellular phone from business sites. I field calls for two volunteer positions. It's both frustrating and expensive to remotely pick up a half-dozen organizational calls during a ten minute break. I will respond to all ARRL calls the same day if at all possible. For personal or urgent calls please use my box and I'll respond ASAP.

Larry Ober W1MW ASM & SM-elect EMA

Voice: 508-263-2498
Fax: 508-266-0159
E-mail: leo@jove.com
Packet:w1mw@k1ugm
Person: wherever you find me


Hams Needed for First Night Traffic Handling

On December 31 amateur radio operators will again be at the Hynes Auditorium in Copley Square sending messages from First Nighters and informing the public about amateur radio. Hours are from 1pm to 11pm. Volunteers are needed for any length of time, you will be either sending radiograms (messages), helping inform the public about amateur radio or whatever. We hope to have enough people so that breaks are possible and there always has been time for a break.

Parking is available but on a limited basis. Your best bet is to take the MBTA. Take the Green Line to Copley Square and walk to the Hynes. We will be on the 3rd floor just as you get off the elevator or escalator against the windows.

This year we are opening the event to all Radio Clubs of Eastern Massachusetts. Each ARC is urged to send a representative along with information about that club. If anyone has questions please call Paul Katz - N1LRT at 617-723-6289; email paul8@delphi.com, packet n1lrt@bbsugm. Also contact Arthur Ashley - N1NHZ at 617-661-2988; email arthura@ix.netcom.com. Paul and Arthur usually monitor the 145.230 repeater.


ALERT Holiday ALERT
BARC Holiday Party Replaces
December General Meeting

If you did know, and did act, skip this. If you did know and didn't act, or didn't know at all, read on and then you MUST act. What the heck is he talking about?!

Quick - know this: the fabulous BARC Holiday Dinner Party (and all around good time) is about to happen. As you read this you barely have enough time to get in on the action. Read to the end of this article and IMMEDIATELY call Arthur (his info below). He will tell you more details. Promise to pay $16.00 each for yourself, your family, and every friend you have, to enjoy a great time with great food and great people (this is verified by many past performances).

The fabulous BARC Holiday Dinner Party is on Wednesday, 18 December 1996 at 7:00 pm (the party takes the place of the regular meeting). It is held at Matt Garrett's Restaurant in Coolidge Corner, Brookline (easy parking in nearby Municipal lots and easy T via the Green Line/C Line).

To get menu and other details and to reserve your place(s), call NOW:

Arthur Ashley, Treasurer, 617.661.2988


BARC CW Classes

The Boston ARC and MIT Radio Society are jointly conducting Morse code classes. The class meets on Tuesdays, running thru the end of the year. Classes will run from 19:00 to 21:00 local time.

Code speed and content (learning the code, improving your speed, etc.) will be decided based on what participants want.

The class will meet in MIT Building 1, room 203. Enter from 33 Mass Ave. or enter the main entrance at 77 Mass Ave. and turn right to enter building 1. The class is on the second floor.


BARC Keeps Growing

It's a rare month when we fail to add a few new members. We plan to publish the names of new members periodically. Please make a special welcome for the following new BARC members:

Call sign changes
NameOld CallNew Call
Ed ParishWA2SCAK1EP
Warren RothbergWB1HBBK4VP
Bill OhmWA1TTEWA1OHM
Arthur RaymondAA1KXW1QY
Jon BelinowizKA1KHHN1YDF

In addition, we would like to note here any call sign changes you have made, and honor all members who upgrade. With the FCC "vanity" call sign program in full swing, there are likely to be a number of changes in our ranks. If you have upgraded and/or changed your call sign, please promptly notify the Keeper of the Database, Bob Salow, WA1IDA, by phone at 508.650.9440 or by e-mail at erc@world.std.com.


Events Ahead
31 Dec 96  Boston's First Night
21 May 97  Assistive Technology Conference
18 Jan 97  NE Antique RC (Nashua NH)
15 Feb 97  Algonquin ARC Flea (Marlboro)
23 Feb 97  Radio Antique (Westford)
 6 Apr 97  Framingham ARA Flea
20 Apr 97  MIT Flea

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.


Net Volunteers Needed

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.

Look for the BARC net preamble further down...


10 Ways to Optimize Your Effectiveness in Public Service Events
Willam L. Continelli, AB2CA

  1. Make sure your radio is in top operating condition. Small problems (such as loose antenna connections, bad microphones, intermittent operation, etc.) may be just annoying during casual operation, but WILL cause major grief under the continuous/severe service of net/emergency operation. If your radio's not in 100% top shape, buy, beg, or borrow one.

  2. Don't operate your handheld with it hanging on your belt. Using the radio while it's strapped to your waist reduces your effective radiated power by more than 10 dB. That's a 90% reduction in power! Hold the radio in your hand, with the antenna in the clear.

  3. Regarding antennas, those 3" rubber dummy loads may be cute, but you're throwing away 3-6 dB of power when using one. (If you're REALLY into math, compute the loss of a 3" rubber dummy load used on a beltclip). A telescoping half-wave has a gain of as much as 10 dB over a 3" rubber duck and a quarter-wave provides a 4-6 dB improvement. Even a 12-15" rubber duck will boost your signal by 3-6 dB over the 3" ones. Remember that one dB can mean the difference in whether or not a critical message gets through.

  4. Have charged batteries and spare battery packs! If you also have a dry cell battery case, fill it with alkaline batteries. Make sure you have enough batteries with you to carry you through, even on high power.

  5. Use headphones or an earphone rather than a speaker/mike. Most earphones will plug directly into your HT. Low cost stereo headphones are widely available and will work perfectly with your HT using a mono to stereo adapter. The headphones also have the advantage of concentrating the communications in your ears, while partially shutting out the outside noise. Headphones will also prolong battery life by allowing the radio to operate at lower audio output. A speaker/mike is the worst thing you can use--it doesn't cut the outside noise, it doesn't save batteries, and where is that HT while you're using the speaker/mike?? (Hint--see #2!)

  6. Speak slowly and clearly when transmitting! You may take pride in your ability to run your words together and mumble, but the station on the other end may be in a noisy environment and may not receive your message.

  7. Check out your ability to use simplex. Even if the operation is being conducted on a repeater, there may be "dead spots", the repeater may go down, or, sad to say, there may be jamming. Even if you can only work the 2 or 3 stations closest to you, a message can still be relayed. To maximize your simplex range, please reread #2 and #3.

  8. Listen to net control and direct all communication through him/her. Identify your station when calling net control and keep all communications direct and to the point.

  9. If you must leave the radio or the area to which you have been assigned, first seek permission and acknowledgement from the net control station, make your "time off" as short as possible, and check back in with NCS immediately upon your return.

  10. Project a good image to the non-hams around you that are part of the event/emergency. This means acting professionally, using basic hygiene skills, etc.

Reprint courtesy of the author and "RF Musings", newsletter of the Schenectady Museum Amateur Radio Association - Schenectady, NY. The author can be contacted on the Internet at 103407.3364@compuserve.com or at his FCC database address.


Are You An ARRL Member?

Our national organization representing all of Amateur Radio is working harder than ever to preserve the frequencies vital to us. As related in recent articles, some of our most used bands are under attack by misguided commercial interests. The League must be supported in these efforts. And, of course, there are all the other services and support that help hams get more enjoyment from the hobby.

It's important to join the ARRL; and it's wise to do it now (all you present members about to renew, take note of the following, also). The efforts rise, the benefits rise and the costs rise. As reported in The ARRL Letter for November 1, 1996, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to increase ARRL dues of full and associate members, effective July 1, 1997, by $3, to $34 annually. The senior dues rate will be increased from $25 to $28.

Present or new members may renew memberships or join the League before July 1, 1997, at the current rates. The move to raise dues is related to a discouraging financial report presented to the Board. During 1996, League expenses will outpace income by approximately $500,000. The dues increase is only part of a multifaceted effort to improve the League's financial picture in future years without affecting essential services.

If you join or renew through the club, BARC gets a small financial benefit. Complete your ARRL renewal or new membership form and make your check for the appropriate amount to BOSTON AMATEUR RADIO CLUB. Give or send them to
Arthur Ashley, Treasurer
BARC
P O Box 15585
Boston, MA
02215-0011.


Editor's Notes
Bad Boys on the Air?

Recently, I received this message:

A new ham was mistreated on .23 by "some regulars" (his young son threw out the paper with their calls). They apparently didn't want any new hams on the repeater, and claimed that BARC membership was required to use it. I spoke to him and let him know what the truth was, and asked him to call me again if he remembers who was doing it or if it happens again. I think we all need to watch out for this and put an end to it if it happens again; it is costing us members.

Clearly, this is inappropriate behavior - and is factually incorrect! 145.23 is an open repeater, a service of BARC to hams living in and visiting the EMA area. New hams on the 23 machine is, in fact, what we DO want. Treat them well, and they will likely become new BARC members, which we want even more.

We seem to have been blessed with a lack of intentional interference and bad operation on the .23 machine. I've heard almost none of what clubs in other areas of the country complain about. Apparently, the Technician class operators around here are not the dreaded "CBer" types that some fear will saturate 2M FM (such operators are present in EMA, check out 27.205 Mhz AM and 27.365 Mhz LSB for examples!)

So a lot of Technicians like 2M FM. In BARC, we are getting a continuous influx of communicators from this activity, hams interested in traffic handling and emergency communications. No problem there. And as for those who merely like to gab on the local machines - well, could someone explain why the same activity is `ragchewing' on 75M and `CBing' on 2M?

Finally, a fair number of Hams are getting bent out of shape with the antics on such frequencies as 3594.5, 7225 and 14313 Khz. I have to admit to a perverse affinity - I like listening to eccentric operators on the radio. I also like listening to K1MAN, and will be greatly interested to see what comes of his new organization. After all, isn't it better that such types stick together on a few recognized frequencies rather than chasing each other all up and down the bands? There's still plenty of space left for other activities, so why sweat it?

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 at pvc@tiac.net, snail mail at
11 Commonwealth Court Apt#15
Brighton, MA
02135
, and most if not all BARC club nets and general meetings.


FCC Issued Call Sign Update

The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued call signs (in the First District) as of November 12, 1996.

ExtraAdvancedTech/GeneralNovice
AA1QUKE1GIN1YCRKB1CAD


OCTOBER FCC NEW LICENSEE STATISTICS

From the New England Division Director's Bulletin

There was a total of 82 new licensees in October in New England with the Eastern MA Section leading the count with 22. Thanks to all the capable and tireless instructors who help these new Hams get into our great Service!

CLASSNUMBER
Novice2
Tech72
Tech +8
Total82

New Women licensees - 15
Youngest new ham - 10 yrs (EMA)
Senior new Ham - 78 yrs (ME)

Now it is up to all of us to welcome these new licensees and to get them involved in clubs, operating activities, and public service events.


FRANK POWER, SK

It is with sadness that we note the recent death of Frank Power, N1FKC. Frank was one of the early members of BARC, and he will be missed.


Rita Walsh Memorial

Gentlemen:
I have mailed the following handwritten note on nice stationery on behalf of the Boston Amateur Radio Club:

Boston Amateur Radio Club
P. O. Box 15585
Boston MA 02215-0011
December 5, 1996

Alzheimer's Association of Eastern Massachusetts
One Kendall Square
Building 200
Cambridge MA 02139

Gentlemen:

Please accept the enclosed donation in the amount of $25.00 as a Memorial to Mrs. Rita Walsh, the Mother of one of our members, Mr. James J. Walsh.

Would you please send your acknowledgement to:

The Family of Mrs. Rita Walsh
c/o Mr. James J. Walsh
376 Arborway
Jamaica Plain MA 02130

Thank you,
Arthur N. Ashley, Treasurer
Boston Amateur Radio Club


W1AW Schedule Change

QST de W1AW
ARRL Bulletin 86 ARLB086
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT December 2, 1996
To all radio amateurs

Effective January 1, 1997, W1AW will discontinue its Tuesday and Wednesday morning code practice and bulletin schedules. Beginning this date, the Tuesday and Wednesday schedule will begin at 2100z, 4 PM ET. This change affects the Tuesday and Wednesday morning schedules only and is being initiated as part of a reallocation of resources for routine station maintenance. See January 1997 QST, page 104, for the W1AW Schedule.


Interest Exchange

Some time ago I remember hearing a group out toward the MetroWest area operating on 2M AM. Anyone happen to know the freq?

Thanks - Rob, N1NTE

(Ed. According to N1VUX, there is: 144.400 Simplex AM net (M-F?) - also Sun. on 6m AM, 5:30am-7am)


Greetings to members of the Fred Flintstone 6 M Mobilers!

Since everyone is so excited about our six meter FM project, and so much has happened, I decided to send out another update.

On Friday, December 13 (6:00 PM EST for libation and cheer, and 6:30 - 7:00PM for serious conversation about 6M), we will meet at Chilis Restaurant, opposite Burlington Mall. If you need directions, ask on 64. Burlington Mall is VERY easy to find (take the Middlesex Tpk exit, right near the RT 3 N exit off of 128). After drinking lots of beer or Coke, and practicing our Yabba Dabba Doos, we will work out the final details associated with kit assembly and the new 6 M repeater. Come one, come all, and don't forget a positive attitude. Please leave Dino at home.

We plan to build the Ten Tec 6M FM transceiver kit, model number 1260. This unit has the following specs:

Covers 50 - 54 mhz FM, with 8 watts of output power.
Mpu design.
15 memories, non-standard offsets, and built-in PL tones.
6 digit LED display.
LEDs for TX Offsets, Simplex, RX Busy, TX On-Air, CTCSS tone on.
Comes with built in speaker, standard mike, steel case, and mobile bracket.
PIN Diode, silent T/R switching.
$195 retail price.
25 hour estimated assembly time.

Assuming everyone feels like parting with the cashola, we plan to place the first order before Christmas. It is likely that we will easily make the $500 minimum order, so you can order ANY Ten Tec kit and receive free shipping and a 10% discount (this assumes that the entire order is shipped to one address). The 6 M FM kit retails for $195, but with the 10% discount, the kit will cost you $175.50. Either way, whatever the radio costs us, we will charge you the same.

Please bring a check for the full amount to the meeting. Since I am fronting the capital to obtain merchandise, I cannot order you a radio unless I have a viable check to cover the cost of the unit.

Those hams who wish to wait until after the holidays to order units can also take advantage of the discount if they can tally a $500 purchase. I can keep a list of people who want to wait for money from Santa.

People can either pick up their radios in Billerica (my work QTH) or Holden, MA, or I will bring them to an appropriate meeting of the Fred Flintstone 6M Meter Mobilers.

As much as I would like to, I cannot personally offer any warranty on these units, aside from the promise that you will either receive a sealed Ten Tec carton, or a check for the full amount of your deposit. If your package is not up to snuff, you will have to deal directly with Ten Tec. I will provide any receipts or shipping documents that you require. Ten Tec does offer a one year warranty, and a thirty day (from shipping date) evaluation period (units must be in unassembled condition, and fully resalable). Contact Ten Tec at 800-833-7373 for further info.

After the first of the year, we will schedule a "work on the kits" meeting to help anyone with their radios. Whenever needed, we will have professional test equipment to properly set up your unit.

For amplification, we still plan on scrounging the PAs from some Motorola Micors or GE Prog Line radios which

Questions or comments, catch me on .64, or email me at

n1aup@amsat.org


PBS, here we come!

My new server now houses a set of WWWBoards, similar to a threaded newsgroup, for New England Ham Radio Info. Another that is housed there is VHF- AM. Please feel free to utilize these forums.

http://rob.acol.com/radio/ham/

- Rob, N1NTE


Darryl, N1KWQ, is looking for a ride from Lynn to BARC meetings and events. He can be reached at (617) 581-2449 or (617) 215-0755. He also wants to thank Bob Wondolowski, N1KDA, for bringing him to the club meetings up to now.


If you have any project, activity, outing, schedule in mind and are looking for like minded hams to join in, please submit your idea to the Interest Exchange, c/o Editor Paul Carter N1TMF.


Several Hundred Boston Area Hams Could Be Reading Your Ad Right Now

Bring your product or service to the attention of some of E. Mass's best and brightest by advertising in the SPARC. Business card sized ads: $10/month. Other sizes available by request. Please contact Treasurer Arthur Ashley at arthura@ix.netcom.com, or via the club PO box.


BARC Member Classifieds

Depressed because you have a treasure you must turn to cash and the flea market season is over? Well, cheer up, Bunky! SPARC will run your (non-business) ad for free. Of course, a 10% donation will be cheerfully accepted. Just send your ad to Editor Paul Carter, N1TMF.


Mir Frequency Change Annoys US Hams

At the recent Region 1 IARU meeting, it was decided to move MIR and all future European Space Amateur communications to the following frequencies: spacecraft to earth downlink 145.200 Mhz, earth to spacecraft uplink 145.800 Mhz.

This is causing concern to a number of Region 2 hams. There is the possibility of interference between APRS and such space communications. Also, 145.19 and 145.21 are commonly used repeater outputs (in NE, 145.19 is the K1OX machine in Chester NH, 145.21 is the WA1GHL machine in Boston.) Finally, 145.20 is a commonly used repeater output in Southern California!

The anticipated problem is that these repeaters will make contacting the MIR difficult for US hams, rather than MIR interference with 2M repeaters. IARU seems committed to this new allocation.


Future Meeting Dates
(Third Wednesdays at 7:30 pm)
Future Exam Dates
(Second Mondays at 7:00 pm)
  • 15 January 1997
  • 19 February 1997
  • 19 March 1997
  • 16 April 1997
  • 21 May 1997
  • 18 June 1997
  • 13 January 1997
  • 10 February 1997
  • 10 March 1997
  • 14 April 1997
  • 12 May 1997
  • 9 June 1997
Meetings are at the Volpe Transportation Center,
55 Broadway, Cambridge
Exams are at Mass Pep,
590 Huntington Ave, Boston
Free parking and T access available at both locations


Catch Us On The Internet!

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 n1ist@netcom.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, n1qzs@magrathea.com. Contact him if you have any comments.

We also run a club e-mail list. To subscribe, send a message to majordomo@majordomo.netcom.com with the body (the subject is ignored)

subscribe barc-list

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...)

73,
/mike
n1ist@netcom.com


BARC VE Session

The Boston Amateur Radio Club holds its monthly VE session on the second Monday of each month. The next will be on Monday, Jan. 13. It will be 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: (508) 865 5822


Click here for the November Executive Committee Meeting minutes.

Click here for the BARC net preamble.


BARC Officers and Staff
PresidentMichael Ardai N1IST (617)254 3420
n1ist@netcom.com
n1ist@k1ugm
Vice PresidentJim Clogher N1ICN n1icn@ka1tuz
SecretaryEd Hennessy N1PBA (617)391 8257
ehenness@natick-amed02.army.mil
n1pba@ka1tuz
TreasurerArthur Ashley N1NHZ (617)661 2988
arthura@ix.netcom.com
VE (Exam) TeamBob Wondolowski N1KDA (508) 865 5822
MembershipArthur Ashley N1NHZ (617)661 2988
arthura@ix.netcom.com
Public ServicesBob Salow WA1IDA (508) 650 9440
erc@world.std.com
wa1ida@wa1phy
Newsletter EditorPaul Carter N1TMF (617)232 6982
pvc@tiac.net
The fine print
The Boston Amateur Radio Club is a non-commercial association of persons interested in the Amateur Radio Service. The Club is organized for the promoting of interest in Amateur Radio communication and education; for the establishment of emergency communications in the event of disasters or other emergencies; for the advancement of the radio art and the public welfare; for the representation of the radio amateur in legislative and regulatory matters, and for the maintenance of collegiality and a high standard of conduct.

The Club is open to all persons interested in Amateur Radio without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, disability, or sexual preference. Our General and Executive meeting locations are handicap accessible. Other meeting and activity locations may be handicap accessible by arrangement.

The club is an ARRL-affiliated Special Service Club, and is a member of the Council of Eastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Clubs (CEMARC) and the New England Spectrum Management Council (NESMC). The Club is a participant in Partnerships Advancing Technical Hobbies Which Attract Youth to Science (PATHWAYS). The Club is also an assoiciate member of the Courage Handi-Hams system.

The SPARC is published monthly by the Boston Amateur Radio Club. The design and content are Copyright 1996, all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to reprint or distribute by electronic or other means any material herein, provided this publication and the issue date are credited. Such permission is limited to use for non-commercial purposes for the benefit of the Amateur Radio community. Permission for other purposes must be obtained in writing.