Volume VIII, Number 11; November, 1996
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

Looks like we might be having a busy winter, if the storms of the past month are any indication. Don't forget to keep some batteries charged just in case we get called on to perform emergency communications. Also, keep an ear on the .23 repeater when bad weather approaches, since that's where we will have any callups.

There are many upcoming BARC events; I'll just list a few here as reminders:

I hope everyone has a happy (and calm) fall season, and that winter holds off for a while longer.


Hams Help The Firemen's Road Race

Despite record breaking torrential rains, Boston area hams helped with communications for the Boston Fire Department road race on October 20. Due to flooding, the planned route on Morrissey Blvd. Was diverted to Neponset and Adams St., with a course about half the planned length.

Terence Koen, N1IWF, was NCS. Chief Brian ODonnell, who led the parade, was very happy with the assistance by hams and hopes to work with us again.

A special thanks go to the hams who helped.

N1ENS    Bob
N1QHI    Pat
N1TDF    Bill
N1ICN    Jim
N1QLS    Greg
N1VQY    Pris
N1XQC    Dave
N1VUX    Bill
N1OIL    Paul
N1OSG    Andy
N1WVC    Joe
KA1TUZ   Dick

145.23 Interference Forces PL Encode/Decode

Due to continuing QRM with the 145.23 repeater from an unknown commercial source (probably) on top of the Hancock tower, the club repeater has now been set for continuous PL encode, and switchable PL decode. The tone used is 88.5 for both encode and decode. PL decode will only be switched on when the interference occurs. Users of the machine, please check that you have the correct PL programmed into your rig, and PLEASE, don't "kerchunk" the machine to test - instead, announce " testing."

Thank you for your patience with the current situation.

WN9T John Garrett

BARC Has A New Club Call - W1BOS

SK - Francis Power N1FKC

Frank passed away the evening of November 12.

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, packet n1lrt@bbsugm. Also contact Arthur Ashley - N1NHZ at 617-661-2988; email Paul and Arthur usually monitor the 145.230 repeater.

Nominations Open for BARC Ham of the Year

At the BARC Holiday Party this December 18, the BARC Ham of the Year will be recognized for their special contribution to the EMA Amateur Radio community. Who is it? This is YOUR decision - if you know of someone deserving of this honor, please send your nomination to Mike, either by Email (,) or to the club's Snail Mail address - PO Box 15585 Boston, MA 02215-0011. Nominations must be received by December 2.

There's An Election Coming

Now that we've got those pesky national, state, and local elections out of the way, what more could we stand? BARC. Whaddya mean, BARC; the club elections are in the late spring! How true, but let's get a running start.

Hark back to the last several elections. At nomination time (and BARC is not alone in this situation) members look at each other blankly. The Nominating Committee struggles mightily. An incumbent says, "Well, if you can't find anybody else to hang it on, I'll run again, but I'd rather let someone else have the experience." It's not that the elective offices are so tough, exhausting or boring. It really is that while most members know they should offer their time; shyness, ignorance and inertia hold them back.

OK, now that I've said the above, let me tell you about some observation and mind reading I've done through my years of club participation. There are actually members who say to themselves, "I could run for that office, and do a pretty good job. But it uses too many calories to raise my hand, so, the heck with it."

Then there is the fully capable member who starts out thinking the same way, but at the last minute does agree to be nominated. The danger here is in not being known or prepared for the office. The candidate may then either lose, or win the office without knowing what to do. The club could lose the services of fresh leadership and energy.

Here's where I'm going with all this. I suggest that you consider an easy apprenticeship to learn how the club works and the responsibilities of the offices. First of all, in general you will become a better member and be better able to critique the operation. But more importantly, you can become better known among the membership and better informed about what needs to be done.

How? Speak directly to the officers and Executive Committee members; ask a few questions. Attend the Executive Committee meetings; speak up. Develop and lead an activity for a group of members. Get involved; get known. Come nomination time you'll be recognized and prepared. Then the club and your fellow hams could have the benefit of your knowledge and resources. Then you will be a big deal in the premier ham club in Boston, the Section, the Division, the country, the world (it's up to you).

Bob Salow, WA1IDA, BARC Founding President

November General Meeting
Gallops Island Radioactive

For the first time in 50 years Gallops Island in Boston Harbor was the site of radio activity. Club member Steve Rosenthal, AA1IZ and co-op Martin Bayes, AA1ON competed in the 1996 IOTA (Islands On The Air) contest from this 16 acre primitive island. Once home of the Merchant Marine Radio School (1941-1946), the island is now part of the Boston Harbor Islands State Park group. Steve will talk about this mini DXpedition to IOTA NA-148 and show a video tape of the weekend's adventure.

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 pm, November 20. 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.

Future Meeting Dates

(Third Wednesdays at 7:30 pm)

Catch Us On The Internet!

The Boston Amateur Radio Club has a web page at 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

We also run an FTP site at 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, Contact him if you have any comments.

We also run a club e-mail list. To subscribe, send a message to 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...)


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 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, Dec. 9. 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: (617) 593 1955

Future Exam Dates

(Second Mondays at 7:00 pm)

NOTE: Effective 1 January 1997, the exam fee will be $6.25.

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:

Michael Owen
Bill Welch		K1CLN
Dennis McCormack	K1PLX
Ralph Walton		N1KOI
David Kolat		KB2TGR

Also, congratulations to the following changed call signs:

Larry Ober	KC1VS is now W1MW
Joe Rich		N1OCS is now W1EK

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

Click here for the November Executive Committee Meeting minutes

Events Ahead

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 Control 101 on Monday Nights

On Monday night, Dec. 2, after the regular BARC Net on 145.23 - held at 9pm - there will be a practice net held. People who have never run a net before will get to try their hand at being NCS of a simulated traffic net. Net elmers will be on hand to guide and advise in net operations. Of course, people are needed to check in also. So, after the BARC net is over, hang around and join the practice!

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.

BARC Net Preamble

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.

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 Treasurer, Arthur Ashley BARC P O Box 15585 Boston, MA 02215-0011.

Editor's Notes

Too much stuff from other members to make room for my ramblings! I love it - keep it up, folks! See you at the Holiday party.

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, 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 as of 1 October 1996:

Extra      AA1QP
Advanced   KE1GD
Tech/Gen   N1XXL
Novice     KB1BZV

Interest Exchange

We are organizing a group of hams (or even hams-to-be) to cooperatively assemble a bunch of 6 M FM transceivers.

Each person will order a 6 M FM kit from Ten Tec. The radio has a digital display, is fully synthesized, has repeater offsets, is PL capable, and sports 5 watts of output power. If we can garner a discount by placing a mass order, we will do so.

To provide enough power for reliable communication, we will scrounge some commercial, solid state VHF low band radios, and will remove the 100 w PA section for use in our new kits.

These radios will be ours to keep (individually) after assembly.

We will also probably assemble J pole antennas to allow group members to immediately get on the air with their new radios.

Most people will assemble them at home, but we will schedule group meetings to assist newbies, and to provide troubleshooting assistance.

Don't worry that you haven't ever soldered anything. Fellow elmers and elmerettes will assist.

The final group meeting will allow you to align and finish your radio using some professional quality test equipment.

The cost of the Ten Tek Kits is around $200, and we will attempt to scrounge the commercial PA units from junk piles in ham basements.

If you want to join our impromptu kit building club, please send your name, phone number, call sign, and email address to:

We'll notify you when things are ready to start.


I am QRV every evening on 160m; 1.833 kHz ; around 00.00 to 03.00 utc. 73 de TU2MA

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.

Castles in the Sky

Did you ever hear of the little train who said: "I think I can, I think I can"?

Some people say: "Oh! I can't do that." Still others say: "I'm too old, I'm too busy, I don't have time" or a variety of other things to rationalize why they can't do something.

However, I say, if you want something, go for it. Nothing in life is free, especially the satisfaction we get when we set a goal and do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal.

For example, take someone who is physically challenged, yet strives to be the best he or she can be in spite of it.

Recently, a friend of mine who is in a wheelchair and has little use of his hands upgraded to General. In spite of his limitations, Ron still managed to pass the 20WPM CW test. Since he is unable to write in the conventional sense, he holds a pen in his mouth, limiting his writing capabilities. He had to copy in his head in order to answer the questions correctly. He had no one to help him, and no way to listen to HF to practice CW, but he wanted to be a General Class because he always enjoyed 10 Meters. Well, I say: "Congratulations for a job well done," and I only hope that your achievement will serve as a power of example to the many people who repeatedly explain why they can't do what they say they want to do.

I think we all have the capability to do what Ron did and more. Perhaps what some of us lack is motivation. Don't give up just because things seem difficult. Ask questions if you don't understand something and above all, you needn't be afraid to ask for help. There are a multitude of people in ham radio who are more than willing to help and encourage anyone out here who needs it.

The only thing standing in our way is ourselves. If you want to do something, don't wish for it to happen, make it a priority and do it. Reach for the stars. Then you too will build castles in the sky.

Congratulations Ron, N1VDZ on your upgrade to General. Enjoy your new privileges.

Pat Allan KE1GD

New Decapods From Easter Island

Mary Wicksten has informed me that there are at least four new records for decapods in the EI collection. That is, this is the first observation of these species from EI. Congratulations to the divers!


(Joe's note:) Bob's next DX-pedition is to Heard Island. They should be live there, the first week in January. This is a DX most wanted. You can count on Bob to execute this DX-pedition with the same professionalism and expertise, as he did as a member of the 3YOPI team, and as co- leader to Easter Island and Salas Y Gomez.

It is my bet, that the Heard Island team will win the Best DX-pedition team of the year award at Dayton 1997, just as the two above mentioned prior teams did, in their respective years.

It is my regret that I will not be able to attend the Heard Island DX-pedition due to prior commitments.

Look for Bob's web page on this DX- pedition:

73 de Joe, N1OCS

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, 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.