The SPARC--Volume VIII, Number 3; March, 1996
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

		       QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST
I know it is only March, but it is time to start thinking about Field
Day.  Field Day is an annual emergency- preparedness drill that
happens on the fourth weekend in June.  We go out to a field
(actually, by the parking lot behind the Museum of Transportation in
Larz Andersen park in Brookline), and set up 3 or 4 complete
stations, antennas, generators, and all the rest.  Then, like in many
ham contests, we try to contact as many other groups doing the same
thing all across the US and Canada.  The main reason is to make sure
that we are able to set up and handle emergency communications in
times if disaster, but the real reason is to have fun!  Field Day is
a great time to get on the air and get a taste of contesting.  If you
have never worked HF (or can't from home because of antennas), it's
the perfect time to try it.  Don't worry if you are only a tech; we
will have extra-class control operators there so you can get on all
the ham bands.  As usual, we will operate CW and phone (both SSB and
FM, as appropriate) on all the ham bands (except WARC) from 80M thru
70cm (or higher, if someone brings the equipment...).   If you want
to help out with the planning, or have some equipment you can bring
(especially tents, tables, and chairs), contact Josh Sattin, N1PNN.
Also, go and mark off 6/22 and 6/23 on your calendar; it's something
you don't want to miss.
Come visit BARC on the Internet.  Our World-wide Web page is at, and our FTP site is at under
/pub/hamradio.  Thanks to the folks at Oakland for donating the
space.  You can subscribe to our e-mail distribution list by sending
a message to with the body (subject is ignored)
subscribe barc-list
Any suggestions for changes or improvements are always welcome.  
As you've no doubt noticed, the last few issues of The SPARC have
been a bit thin.  They've had all the essential information, but not
much else.  That's because we're without a permanent editor.  Your
Club Secretary edited last month's and this month's issues, but I'm
not able to do the job full-time.  That's where you come in.  We're
looking for an editor to restore the newsletter to its former glory.
The editor's job has been trimmed and supported to reduce the monthly
workload.  The input is mostly electronic, so it is helpful to have a
modem on your computer.  The major work is to compose the articles,
notices, and so forth into columns on the pages.  A word processor is
all that takes.  Print one master copy, and that's it.  A laser
printer would help, but even that can be accommodated.  The editor's
job does not include printing, folding, stapling, stamping or
mailing.  If you're interested, and can do the job each month, please
contact Club President Mike Ardai, N1IST, at 254- 3420, or via email
16 Mar MMRA Flea (Westboro)
16 Mar Interstate Repeater Soc Flea(Hudson NH) 
14 Apr Framingham ARA Flea 
15 Apr 100th Running of the Boston Marathon (R) 
21 Apr MIT Flea 21 Apr Boston Multiple Sclerosis Walk (R)
(R) = Public Service event using repeater
There are many more events (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.
BARC Officers and Staff
President: Mike Ardai, N1IST; 
Vice President: Ed Parish, WA2SCA;
Secretary: Ed Hennessy, N1PBA; 
Treasurer: Dug Johnson, KD1NU; 
Vol Exams: Bob Wondolowski, N1KDA;
Membership: Arthur Ashley, N1NHZ; 
Public Service: Bob Salow, WA1IDA;
The Boston Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Special Service
Club, and is a member of the Council of Eastern Massachusetts Amateur
Radio Clubs.  Copyright 1996 by Boston Amateur Radio Club, All Rights
			 A Surprise Speaker!
Come join us at the March General Meeting of the Boston Amateur Radio
Club.  We'll have another great speaker present to tell us about
their particular area of our hobby.  Come enjoy the talk, and share
stories and experiences with fellow club members.  Hope to see you
The next meeting is: March 20, 1996  -  7:30 pm at the Volpe
Transportation Center Kendall Square, Cambridge
Last week we (AK1J, WN9T, WA2SCA) revived the Brookline 146.985
repeater, W1UQ.  It is now operational, with no PL input required.
We plan on using this repeater, as well as others in the greater
Boston area, for marathon coverage.  However, since this repeater has
been virtually off the air for a while and now is back on with
slightly different characteristics, I would like to know its
performance.  If anyone has had experience with it in the past and
can comment on its present performance, please send me PRIVATE email.
I would also appreciate activity on the repeater so that we may
evaluate its hopefully improved performance.  At the present, it will
sign with the letters OP on the tail.  This is a minor problem which
will be corrected in the near future.
Dateline Pompano Beach Fl  2/14/96 0400UTC
Club member Steve Rosenthal, AA1IZ, using his home brew QRP of New
England "40-40" rig, worked EA1CKO, Jose in Luarca, Spain.  "I have
had a great time with this 1.5 watt cw transceiver, but this was
amazing.  Spain on 40 meters at the very bottom of the sun spot
cycle!"  Steve's antenna was a ProAm 40 meter 8' mobile whip bolted
horizontally to a balcony railing up 20 stories.
[Editor's note: if you have a story like Steve's, please pass it
along so we can share it with the club!]
Eastern MA ARRL Section Manager (and Club Member) Phil Temples, K9HI,
reports the following this month:
BAA Marathon Ham Radio Publicity
Ham volunteers gearing up for the 100th anniversary of the BAA
"Boston" Marathon received nice kudos in a page one article of the
Framingham _Middlesex News_ February 26.  Steve Tolf, K1ST, described
the Hopkinton activities at the start of the race.  Also interviewed
was [BARC Public Service Chair] Bob Salow, WA1IDA, who is
coordinating the ham efforts along most of the route.  Salow said,
"What we've done over the years is provide communications and
logistical needs.  We become the front-line for emergency
communication." BAA Race Director Guy Morse was very complementary of
the ham operations, saying, "We can't be everywhere at all times.
These volunteers play a very important role in the management of the
race."  Morse added, "We rely on them and their services very heavily
and we appreciate everything they do."
Westwood Height Restriction Clarified
ARRL Volunteer Counsel Dick Bean, WV1U, of Westwood reports good news
for Westwood hams:  a town warrant that initially looked to be bad
news for hams does not affect us.  Bean sought clarification on the
new warrant that amended previous language containing a standard
"setback from property" clause.  In other words, structures were
allowed a maximum height based on the distance from the edge of the
property line.  The new language places a 35-foot ceiling on
structure heights.  Bean received clarification from the Town's
Planning Board administrator, who says this new amendment does not
apply to  towers because they are not "structures" like buildings.
Says WV1U: "It's a good thing, because the Town recently approved a
new 120-foot tower for the fire department."  Thanks, WV1U.
[Editor's Note: hopefully this will get easier as towns get familiar
with H. 2782, which passed and put PRB-1 language into state law.]
	      AWARD FIELD CHECKING by Mike Ardai, N1IST
If you can count them, there is an award for working 'n' of them.
This includes states (50), countries (300+ at last count), counties
(3000+), grid squares (1x2 degree squares), club members, and even
Martians (you need good proof to get the Elser-Mathes cup :-).  To
simplify things, I am now able to field-check your QSL cards or logs
for the following awards:
- Friendship Award: Work 26 stations with calls ending in A-Z
- Rag Chewer's Certificate: For a 1/2 hour QSO 
- Worked All States (and all special endorsements like 5-band WAS,
  QRP, etc)
- VHF/UHF Century Club (100 grid squares on 6M/2M, 50 on 220/432, 25 on 
  902/1.2G, 10 on 2.3G, 5 above 2Gig, including laser contacts.) 
For more information on any of these awards, or for applications
forms, contact me.
ARRL has learned that the FCC may delay until mid-1996 the
announcement of when it plans to open the first gate or gates of the
vanity call sign program.  A Commission spokesman says the FCC wants
to deal with remaining Petitions for Reconsideration it has received.
The FCC had been expected to announce opening dates early this year.
FCC Vanity call sign application Form 610V is now available, but the
FCC will not accept completed forms until it opens the appropriate
filing gates.  Prospective applicants can get the FCC Form 610V
package by writing ARRL, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.  Please
include a SASE.  Form 610V is also available via the Internet at or, 
or by fax at 202-418-0177.  Ask for Form 006108.  The FCC's Forms
Distribution Center also accepts orders for Form 610V at
800-418-3676.  [From ARRL Bulletin 11]
The Boston Multiple Sclerosis Walk will be held on Sunday, 2 April
from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.  We have supported this event for
several years, protecting the safety of thousands of walkers, and
earning the gratitude of the sponsors.
We need about 18 hams to staff the check points, the hazardous
locations and shadow the key people.  The route starts at the Boston
Common, to the Esplanade, along the Boston side of the Charles River
to the Eliot Bridge near Harvard, back along the Cambridge side of
the river to MIT, cross to Boston, along the Esplanade, and ends at
the Common.
It's a pleasant ham public service for a good cause.  Your help is
needed.  Contact Bob Salow, WA1IDA, at 508.650.9440 or
On 3, 4 and 5 May a town in central Massachusetts will be the scene
of a violent natural disaster and its aftermath.  The Amateur Radio
Emergency Service (ARES) will support civil authorities and voluntary
organizations from throughout Massachusetts in responding to this
extensive and realistic scenario.
As hams have served before, ARES plans to provide communication links
for the agencies which respond in disasters such as the Salvation
Army, the Adventist Community Services, the Southern Baptist Disaster
Service, the Food Bank and the Red Cross.  Links will also support
the local authorities and the regional and state headquarters of the
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).  Amateur Radio
operators will work side by side with the command and staff of all
responding agencies.
In this realistic scene an Emergency Operating Center (EOC) will be
established to centralize command and communication functions.  The
nature of the disaster will likely demand a shelter be opened for
direct victims and for those who would be without utilities or other
services.  An emergency field hospital may also be erected.
This exercise is for honing the skills of everyone involved, but the
aspect rarely available is that this is an opportunity to meet and
work with so many other agencies.  Concurrently, the Red Cross will
offer training in Shelter Operations and in Damage Assessment.
Following these courses, participants will get hands on experience in
the community.
ARES is a function of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Field
Services which organizes, trains and responds to emergency calls for
supportive communications.  Within each ARRL Section it is led by the
Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) who has appointed Emergency
Coordinators on a geographic basis, and other assistants for special
liaisons such as with the National Weather Service or the Red Cross.
Since this MATE will be set in the ARRL Western Massachusetts
Section, the planning, execution and review is under the direction of
SEC Dennis Zonia, K1VSG.
-- Bob Salow, WA1IDA; Assistant Director, ARRL New England Division
If it's been a while since you've been to a BARC General Meeting, and
you need directions, the location is both easy to find and easy to
get to.  Our General Meetings are held at the Volpe Transportation
Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge.  The Volpe Center is across the
street from the Kendall 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.   Meetings begin at 7:30 PM.  Talk- in is on
The club holds monthly meetings of the Executive Committee, on the
first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM.  The meeting is held at the
Food Court of the CambridgeSide Galleria, near the windows.  The
club's business is conducted at this meeting, and all club members
are encouraged to come by and participate.
NASA has begun a new, three- year pilot education program designed to
bring the frontiers of space exploration into classrooms via the
Internet.  Known as KidSat, the program will allow students to
operate instruments and download images in real time from the Space
Shuttle and in the future, from the international Space Station.  The
first instrument payloads to fly aboard the Space Shuttle will
consist of an electronic still camera mounted in the overhead window
of the Orbiter and two video cameras mounted in the cargo bay.
Students will be able to operate the cameras from their classroom and
photograph regions of the world that interest them.  Three middle
schools are participating in the initial phase of the KidSat pilot
The KidSat pilot program is sponsored by NASA's Office of Human
Resources and Education, with support from the Offices of Space
Flight, Mission to Planet Earth, and Space Science, Washington, DC.
[Reprinted from Amateur Radio Newsline]
Present were: Bob Salow, WA1IDA; Mike Ardai, President, N1IST; Ed
Hennessy, Secretary, N1PBA; Arthur Ashley, Membership, N1NHZ; Ed
Parish, VP, WA2SCA; John Garrett, WN9T; Phil Temples, K9HI; Bob
Cassell, N1ENS.
Mike, N1IST, called the meeting to order at 6:50.
Bob, WA1IDA, said that someone who had tentatively volunteered to be
the newsletter editor had backed out.  We need to find someone.  Ed,
N1PBA, offered to serve as interim editor this month, since he'd done
it last month.
Bob also mentioned that Marathon plans continue to roll along.  The
meetings for ham volunteers have been tentatively planned, but
locations and exact times have not been set yet.  He said that plans
were being finalized for net control (technical issues, location,
John, WN9T, said he is still working on trying to get a digipeater
for the marathon installed on the Hancock Tower.  He will update us
when he gets word one way or the other.
Ed, WA2SCA, said he will be picking up a loaned GE 440 repeater to be
used for the marathon.  It's a 10w, self-contained unit.
Ed reported that he, WN9T, and AK1J spent the day working on the
Brookline repeater.
Ed has also been in touch with a ham who would like to use APRS for
the marathon.  Ed will be working with him.  APRS has some use for
reporting where official vehicles, etc., are located.  APRS will be
used only if a) it doesn't cause interference to the main
communications frequencies, and b) it tests out well during pre-race
Phil, K9HI, asked how renewals were going.  Although Treasurer Dug,
KD1NU, was not present to give exact numbers, Mike and Bob said that
there have been over 100 renewals so far for '96.
A discussion began on how we can recruit new members.  Along with
beginning to have more activities again, we will look into getting a
list of all hams within the 021xx zip code area from the ARRL.  We
would cross this to our roster and mail something to non-members.
Phil will look intousing the ARRL's bulk mailing permit.
Mike mentioned that Joe Rich, N1OCS, will be unable to speak at the
April meeting because he will be travelling out of the country on
business.  He has offered to speak at a future meeting to be
Mike has looked into prices for a club banner with the club logo.  He
was quoted between $400 and $430 for a 4x4 banner.  He has printed a
copy of the logo on paper, and will look into printing it onto
plastic and then laminating that.  This would reduce the cost
Mike also said that the badges will be printed soon.  He still needs
to find an inexpensive source for badge clips.  He will check at
There is stil no speaker for March, although a few ideas were
mentioned.  These will be followed up on.
The group also had a discussion on activities for the club.
Mentioned were: another operating event/message fair at the Cassin
Young (perhaps in conjunction with another club), a fox hunt (which
WN9T and N1IST will work on), and possible field trips to the
National Weather Service Forecast Office in Taunton (their open house
is May 4-5) and the ARRL.
Mike will verify the room reservations at the Volpe and look into the
possibility of getting the 12th floor conference room.  The
auditorium is really too large, and the room we had in February was
too small.
A suggestion was made by Bob and Mike to once again print new
members' names and calls in the newsletter.
Arthur, N1NHZ, suggested that we add our ham interests when we give
name, call, and city in our introductions at club meetings.  It would
help people find others who enjoy the same parts of the hobby.
Phil mentioned that VE session attendance has been dropping.  Mike
said that no complaints on the location have been made.  It was hard
to say what was causing this drop in examinees.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 PM.