The SPARC

Volume IX, Number 1; January, 1997
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

 


QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST
Happy New Year to All! I hope everyone out there had a great holiday season.

Congratulations to the 1996 BARC Hams of the Year - Bob, N1ENS and Dick, KA1TUZ. I'd like to thank both of them for their many contributions to the club. They received their plaques at the December holiday dinner.

Thanks to everyone who helped out with the BARC NTS message booth at First Night. Even with the smaller-than-usual crowd due to the slight nip in the air, we send out over 400 radiograms. Special thanks also to all the NTS folks who delivered all those messages in the first three days of 1997. If you're on the web, stop by the BARC page (http://www.barc.org) to see some pictures from First Night.

Renewals have been coming in, but if you haven't sent yours in, please do so. If you already sent it in, please give the membership form in this newsletter to someone who is looking for one.

Thanks again to all who have been sending in donations with their renewals; they *definitely* help.

BARC has accumulated some older radios that we would like to sell; please see my other article later in the SPARC for info about them.

And finally, we are looking for someone to be the Field Day chairman this year; if you would like to help out, please let me know. Also, if you have any suggestions on how we could improve field day (either technical or to make it more interesting to our members), send them to me at n1ist@netcom.com or call me on .23.


First Night At The Hynes In Boston Was A Big Success

A lot of work was involved and thanks are due mainly to the volunteers listed below, the Amateur Radio Operators who checked into the traffic net and handled the traffic, and the officers of the Boston Amateur Radio Club. About 400 messages were taken. If I have not thanked you I apologize. Thanks to the following stations, (not in alphabetical order: )
  • N1NDJ - Peter Szala
  • N1IST - Mike Ardai
  • N1NHZ - Arthur Ashley
  • KB1BDM - Todd Wallace
  • AA1IZ - Steve Rosenthal
  • N1WWF - David Grange
  • NG1A - Fred Butte
  • N1GIE - Rowe Austin
  • N1XBR - Renato Donadio
  • N1RLT - Hank Collins
  • N1KOI - Ralph Walton
  • N1VUX - Bill Ricker and family
  • W1MJ - Eliot Mayer
  • NF1A - Art Pizer
  • W1GSL - Steve
  • N1EVH - Mike
  • N1VDU - Bonny
  • N1IWF - Capt. Terry Koen

Thanks again to all.
Paul - N1LRT


FCC Delays New RF Exposure Rules

The FCC has postponed for one year, until January 1, 1998, the date for hams to comply with its new RF-exposure regulations. The ARRL was among those requesting the delay this fall. The League said that the additional time was needed for the FCC to draft implementation guidelines that amateurs could use to help them comply with the regulations - released on August 1, 1996 as ET Docket 93-62. Among other things, the regulations would require hams running 50 W PEP or more to conduct "routine RF radiation evaluations" to determine if RF fields were sufficient to cause human exposure to RF radiation levels in excess of those specified in the proposed regulations. The ARRL also has asked the FCC to reconsider the 50-W threshold, but the FCC report (DC 96-112) extending the compliance deadline did not address that issue.

The FCC announcement - which the ARRL obtained just before noon on Christmas Eve - noted that more time would be needed for affected licensees to determine that they comply with the new requirements. The extension also will allow required changes to Amateur Radio operator examinations to be made at the time other, routine revisions are made between now and July 1, 1998. In announcing the extension, the FCC said it disagreed with those petitioners who suggested that the time extension "will have significant adverse effects on public health."

Since the FCC announced the RF-exposure regulations, the ARRL has worked with technically knowledgeable volunteers to assist the staff, the RF Safety Committee and the FCC in coming up with a workable ham radio approach toward RF safety. ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, KA1CV - the ARRL HQ liaison to the ARRL RF Safety Committee - has spearheaded the ARRL's effort. "The ARRL is very pleased that the FCC extended the compliance date," Hare said. "As all parties involved tried to fully understand the new requirements, it soon became obvious that neither the FCC nor the ham radio community was ready for the January 1, 1997, implementation deadline."

Hare said the delay will give both the FCC and hams more time to better understand the implications of the rules and will give hams an opportunity to evaluate their stations as the regulations will require (see "The FCC's New RF-Exposure Regulations," QST, Jan 1997, p 47).

The entire text of Report DC 96-112 may be found on the ARRLWeb at http://www.arrl.org/fcc/dc96-112.html (or click on What's New or RF Safety News). See Happenings in February QST for additional information.

From ARRL Special Bulletin; December 24, 1996


January General Meeting

The featured speaker at this month's BARC General Meeting will be the new EMA Section Manager, Larry Ober W1MW, who will speak on current events in the ARRL in general and EMA in particular.

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 pm, January 15. 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 longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.


BARC Growth And/Or Vanity

We note here the 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.

Call sign changes:

NameOldNew
Bill Ohm
(correction)
WA1TTEW1OHM
Andrew RobertsonAA1HXAA1R


BARC Treasurer's Report 1/3/97

Deposited $537.00 in BARC checking account. Of which:
$410.00 was Membership Dues
$127.00 was Donations.

Please email or telephone me (617-661- 2988) for any additional details that you may need.
Arthur, N1NHZ n1nhz@amsat.org


I See The Future 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.


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


Want To Find Clubs Or Exams Anywhere?

Now you can use the ARRL Web page to search for clubs and examination sites. The ARRL Affiliated Clubs page lets you search for affiliated clubs based on state, ZIP Code (you can search within 20, 50 or 100 miles of the ZIP Code you select) or ARRL section. The ARRL Exam Session Search lets you find exam sessions by state or ZIP Code (you can search within 20, 50 or 100 miles of the ZIP Code you select). You can even find US ham radio test sessions in other countries (We found three sessions listed for Japan - Ed). Click on Clubs or Exams on the ARRLWeb page, or, to get right to the club search, set your browser to http://www.arrl.org/field/club/clubsearch.phtml. The exam search engine is at http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml.


The "ARRL Letter" Now Electronic Only

The "ARRL Letter" is an up-to-date newsletter published bi-weekly (more often if necessary) by ARRL Headquarters. For many years it has been available on paper by subscription, and recently also by electronic means. The hard copy version has now been discontinued, but there are several electronic ways to get the news (and the news is free):

It is not only one of the fastest means of keeping on top of the news, but it is usually more comprehensive than the ARRL bulletins released over the air by Headquarters.

From The ARRL Letter; December 13, 1996


Editor's Notes
A confusing year for Hams!

'96 in Amateur Radio in many ways seemed to be a year of back-`n-forth. Consider:

Confused? So am I. Surprised? Not really. The world is getting to be a very strange place, and why should Ham Radio be excluded!

At least BARC has some accomplishments to remember. The excellent handling of emergency communications for the largest Marathon ever, Field Day, NTS at First Night. Less spectacularly, the ongoing maintenance of the .23 machine, turning out new Hams at our VE sessions, and passing the daily traffic.

A job well done! And we'll do even better next year. A happy New Year to one and all!

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 December 2, 1996:

ExtraAdvancedTech/GenNovice
AA1QZKE1GKN1YFLKB1CAN


Got A Question?

You have a question - technical, operating, equipment, club activities, ham radio, computer, whatever. You asked on the air. You asked at a club meeting. You asked your friends (maybe even your enemies). No useful answers. Next step?

The Reader's Forum in The SPARC. This space will be devoted to your questions, problems and grief relief. If we can't get you quick internal solutions, there are 300 other readers who can take a crack at it. Contact the Editor by e-mail, snail-mail, phone, or in his face. You'll be glad you did.

By the way, if you have something to sell or you're looking for a special part or equipment, The SPARC is the place to let the ham community know about it. These notices are free for members.


For large values of one, one equals two, for small values of two.


Want To Look Up A Call Sign?

Mark Downing, WM7D, says you now can access the call sign data in his database by sending an e-mail message to lookup@rdatasys.com. The body of the message should say
lookup callsign
where callsign represents the call sign you wish to look up. The WM7D Web call sign server is at http://www.rdatasys.com/~mdowning/fcc/callsign.html.


Want To Check On Lost Or Stolen Gear?

Mark Saunders, KJ7BS, offers a free service to help hams whose gear has been lost or stolen. Check out his lost or stolen ham gear listing on his Internet home page at http://www.dancris.com/~tracker/tracker.html.


Interest Exchange

FYI... Brand new, just came online...

  1. New England Ham Radio Info
  2. VHF-AM discussions
Go to: http://rob.acol.com/radio/ham/

Rob Bellville N1NTE
rob@acol.com
http://rob.acol.com/
PO Box 515
Millbury, MA 01527

Michael J. Klein aka NV1L has given talks on soldering to a few Ham Radio clubs over the past few years, he is an expert of sorts in the field of soldering I think you can reach him via his web page at http://www1.shre.net/~mjk/

Hope this helps,
Jim N1PXY
jmarrs@shore.net, aka n1pxy@pandabbs.com
Lost in the SuperMarket BBS - Peabody, MA - (508)- 531-8416
Check my Home Page at http://www.shore.net/~jmarrs


In the January '97 CQ VHF magazine there is a BASIC program to help you comply with the new regulations regarding RF emissions from your station(s)

It is available on their web site

http://members.aol.com/cqvhf/index.htm

I ran it under QBASIC, on the IBM platform, most other basics should be able to run it as well.

The program is "public domain" and may be freely copied.
Richard Amirault N1JDU
Boston, Massachusetts USA
amirault@tiac.net


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.


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 Radio Auction

Back when we had our shack in Somerville, someone moving out of the area donated some older tube-based radios to the club. We never had a chance to get these guys restored, and I keep banging my knees on them (they are under my computer desk here at home :-), so we decided to auction them off. At first, we are limiting the auction to BARC members, but if they don't go, I'll post them on the boatanchors mailing list and newsgroups.

The radios are:

Please get your bids to n1ist@netcom.com or (617) 254-3420. To see what the current bids are, send a message to n1ist@netcom.com with the *subject*

send bid

Notes:

/mike


BARC Member Classifieds

FOR SALE--2 Bearcat programmable scanners. 50XL handheld, 10 channels, 10 bands (no aircraft or 800MHz), runs on 5AAs or AC adapter. Good to very good condition. $25/BO. 177XL base, 16 channels, 11 bands (aircraft, no 800), programmable search, full LCD display, one button WX. Very good to excellent condition. $45/BO. Contact Ed Hennessy, N1PBA (contact info elsewhere in SPARC).

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.


WRC99 Committee Supports HF CW Requirement

ARRL Bulletin 100 December 20, 1996

The special committee created by the ARRL to study issues relating to the 1999 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC- 99) has recommended that the ARRL Board of Directors not support changing the treaty requirement for Morse code testing to operate below 30 MHz. The committee submitted its final report to the ARRL Board this week.

The committee report contains recommended ARRL positions regarding possible changes in Article S25 of the international radio regulations. Consistent with the results of a survey of ARRL members, the committee recommended no change in the existing treaty obligation that administrations test prospective amateur licensees on their Morse code ability before authorizing them to operate below 30 MHz. The committee did support changes to Article S25 that would:

The committee report also responded to the Board's request that it study possible changes to the amateur licensing structure in the United States. The committee offered some proposals for change, but recommended that the Board take no action on this part of its report until the committee's proposals are shared with the membership and there is an opportunity for member comment.

The Board will consider the committee's report and recommendations at its next regular meeting, January 17-18, 1997. If the Board accepts the report, it will be available for public release. An article giving the results of the survey will appear in February 1997 QST.


NTIA Report Bullish on Additional HF Allocations for Amateur Radio

ARRL Bulletin 97 December 17, 1996

High Frequency (3-30 MHz) Spectrum Planning Options, a planning document released December 13 by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, says the HF spectrum is flexible enough ''to accommodate most, if not all,'' demands for additional HF spectrum, including new and bigger HF ham bands. The NTIA is an Executive Branch agency in the Department of Commerce that's responsible for developing telecommunications policy and advising the President on telecommunications matters.

The NTIA's latest report is a follow-on to an NTIA study released in March 1995 (see QST, June 1995, page 75).

The Options report addresses spectrum availability and long-range planning options for services that were identified in the earlier report as needing additional HF spectrum--including Amateur Radio. The report cites a potential 900 kHz or so of expanded or upgraded allocations for Amateur Radio in the HF spectrum, including:

Some of the potential expansions proposed for amateurs and broadcasting are mutually exclusive or could involve sharing by the two services. These include the potential expansions at 30, 20 and 17 meters. According to the report, ham radio allocations account for 13.1 percent of the HF spectrum (3 to 30 Mhz). ''There are no current plans to auction any HF spectrum,'' the NTIA report states, but notes that additional allocations for ham radio would come at the expense of other services-- primarily fixed, fixed-mobile and broadcasting. ''The expansion and upgrading of amateur allocations in the 10 MHz, 14 MHz, 18 MHz, and 24 MHz (bands) appear acceptable; however, this will depend on future decrease of requirements for the aeronautical mobile (R) or the fixed services internationally,'' the report said. Changes in the 80 and 40- meter bands ''will require the inclusion of these proposals in US preparations for future WRCs,'' the report added. A requested allocation at 6900-7200 would serve ''to reduce inter-regional sharing and interference from HF broadcasting in the 7100-7300 kHz band,'' the report said. The report called the requested upgraded allocation at 3500 to 3800 kHz ''a good candidate for a common worldwide exclusive amateur allocation at the 3.5 MHz band.''

To help satisfy demand for additional HF spectrum access, the report suggests more efficient use of current allocations, moving current HF spectrum users to other portions of the HF spectrum, use of other non- spectrum technologies and use of higher frequencies. The report also said sharing-- and removal of some ''exclusive'' allocations--might be another option.

Calling ham radio ''the oldest radio service'' and one that ''pre-dates regulation,'' the NTIA report casts the hobby in a favorable light. ''Radio amateurs have made significant contributions to the field of radio propagation, HF single-sideband radio, HF data communications systems, packet radio protocols and communications satellite design.'' The report goes on to say that ham radio ''continues to play an important role in disaster-relief communications, where amateurs provide radiocommunications independent of the telephone network or other radio services.''


If you don't want to worry what you remember, always speak the truth.


Future Meeting Dates
(Third Wednesdays at 7:30 pm)
Future Exam Dates
(Second Mondays at 7:00 pm)
  • 19 February 1997
  • 19 March 1997
  • 16 April 1997
  • 21 May 1997
  • 18 June 1997
  • 16 July 1997
  • 10 February 1997
  • 10 March 1997
  • 14 April 1997
  • 12 May 1997
  • 9 June 1997
  • 14 July 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, Feb. 10. 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 or wondobob@juno.com


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 5822wondobob@juno.com
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.