Volume IX, Number 6; June, 1997
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

Boy, we sure have a busy month coming up. The highlight will be Field Day on the 28th and 29th; I sure hope everyone will stop in and have some fun. We still need a bunch of help; please stop by at the June general meeting if you can. Also, we will be having a family barbecue on Saturday evening; the more the merrier.

We will be operating with at least 2 HF stations, 6M, 2M, 1.2G, satellite, and probably other modes, so there should be something for everyone. Setup will begin at 9AM on Saturday, and we will get on the air at 2PM. Thanks to Glenn, KA1LKM, for organizing Field Day and to all the volunteers so far who are planning to help out.

Special thanks to Jack, W1DXQ for donating a new 20M beam to the club, and to KA1TTG, KA1TUZ, and WA1EAT for picking it up and storing it.

Club elections will also be at the June general meeting; if you are interested in running for office, nominations will remain open until just before the elections.

On an unrelated note, I was recently fixing up a Bird wattmeter slug, and saw firsthand the problems of using RTV or silicone rubber sealant on electronic devices. Most (not all) RTVs release acetic acid when they cure, and that can corrode whatever you are putting it on. If it smells like vinegar, don't use it for electronics.

I hope to see all of you at the upcoming meeting and at Field Day.


The Boston Amateur Radio Club Invites You to Field Day, 1997

What is it?

Each June the ARRL sponsors Field Day. The purpose of Field Day is to test the emergency preparedness of radio amateurs throughout the United States, its possessions, and Canada. This year, Field Day will be on June 28 and 29.

Field Day is an international demonstration of Amateur Radio stations operating under simulated emergency conditions in the field. Complete communications stations are set up with antennas, transmitters, receivers, computers, power generators, and everything needed to communicate across the country or around the world. You can come to see, hear and even operate!

Radio Amateurs participating in Field Day set up temporary radio stations away from their homes and operate these stations under emergency electrical power for a 24- hour period. During this time these amateurs attempt to contact as many other Field Day stations as possible. Our primary club goal for Field Day is to provide a learning experience for members, other hams and the general public, and in addition, to have fun, and do well in the contest.

When? Where?

Field Day is Sat & Sun, June 28 & 29, at Larz Anderson Park, Brookline, MA (at the top of the hill behind the Transportation Museum.) Ample parking is available at hilltop. MBTA Bus 51 from Cleveland Circle to Forest Hills passes near the park on Saturday only. See last page for map.

For the past several years BARC has been participating in Field Days in Lars Anderson Park in Brookline. Amateurs are encouraged to put Field Day stations in areas accessible to the public so people can better understand the value of amateur radio in emergency situations. We will have an info tent to promote amateur radio and our club.

Field Day runs for 24 hours beginning at 2 PM on Saturday. The group sets up their station early on Saturday morning and takes it down again Sunday afternoon. A "tree hanging" team works with the town bucket truck on Friday to pre-set antenna supports.

What equipment is used?

The station will be set up on tables in tents. All of the equipment used by the amateurs is powered from an emergency power source. Since the purpose is to try to contact as many other amateurs as possible, the club has chosen to use a generator, allowing us to operate transmitters with higher power.

The participants are grouped into categories depending on the number of transmitters they have operating at any one time. BARC has been using 2 transmitters operating on HF and another in the VHF & UHF. In addition we may have a satellite and packet stations.

I'm not a member. Can I visit?

Of course! Everyone is welcome! You don't even have to be a ham radio operator. Hours are 2:00PM until 8:00PM Saturday & 9:00AM until 1:00PM Sunday It's a great opportunity to see what Amateur Radio is all about! For more info call: 617-391-8257 or 617-661-2988

Club Members Info:

We set up Saturday morning at 9AM, and operate continuously till 2PM on Sunday.

Barbecue Saturday at 6PM! Bring your family and friends. Menu includes burgers, dogs, etc. Please contribute $5 each.

A pancake breakfast is expected early Sunday morning for those who braved the overnight!

What to Bring

It will rain on Field Day :-)
All kinds of outdoor stuff: Hat, Gloves, Sunscreen, Bug spray, Rain Gear, Light Coat or Sweatshirt Flashlight! Long pants, socks. Your favorite beverage (no alcohol). Snacks to share with the group.

What can you do?

Assuming you haven't signed up for too much already...

Please contact us to volunteer! Glenn Meader, KA1LKM, Field Day Coordinator, Phone: 617-280-4319 Mike Ardai, N1IST, Manager, HF Station #1 Renato, N1XBR, Food Manager Bill, KD1NX, Manager, Satellite Station

Important Field Day Bulletins

BARC needs overnight (or part of nighttime/early morning) operators desperately. We also need experienced contest operators. We urge such people to help make FD 1997 a smashing success for BARC. Please contact:

Glenn Meader KA1LKM, Field Day Coordinator

617-280-4319 w
617-661-3189 h

Mike N1IST, Bob WA1IDA and W1GSL are working on the Boston Globe field day article. If you would like to have your club's field day site info included, please send it to:

Mike Ardai N1IST

Assistive Technology Conference 1997

By Bob Salow, WA1IDA

As a public service opportunity for hams, this was an experience like no other. On Wednesday, 21 May, 22 hams supported the Massachusetts Assistive Technology Partnership (MATP) in managing a conference and exhibit of technological equipment, services and information for persons of all disabilities and the providers of their support.

About 3500 people attended a full day of seminars and workshops, and met over 100 high (and low) tech exhibitors. The hams provided communication of special needs for the attendees and the resulting administrative issues. The event used the exhibit floor of the World Trade Center in Boston and six meeting rooms.

Because of the variety of the disabilities, and the need to protect the safety of those attending, the staff has found ham radio indispensable. Every ham involved found this activity so rewarding that they thanked the sponsors for letting them serve. It was truly an experience to be there.

The significance of our public service could be realized by the fact that this was a full day on a Wednesday. Some of the hams took the day off from work to serve. While most hams were BARC members, some came from other areas of Eastern Massachusetts.

In addition to the communications support, we were given our own large exhibit booth to promote ham radio.

The hams that participated were:

Help Needed for Stricken Ham

W1FYL Robert Holdt of Somerville is a blind, terminally ill ham in need of our support. He expressed a great desire to be able to use ham radio while bedridden. Bob Gildea W1ZFI asked for help. Bob KA1TTG and Steve N1ATT are working on getting 20 meter equipment working and will be putting up a dipole Tuesday, June 10. W1FYL has also expressed great interest in BARC and the 145.23 repeater, so Mike N1IST has offered a 2AT Icom HT for the project and Dick KA1TUZ has added a mag mount antenna. All we need now is a desk type microphone, as he is not able to hold a HT and squeeze a PTT switch. If you could loan one on "(99 year)" lease, contact Bob KA1TTG on his beeper 617 226 6795 or better yet leave a message on Packet KA1TTG@W1ON.FN42JM.MA.USA.NOAM

73 Dick KA1TUZ

March of Dimes WalkAmerica

Two thousand walkers braved the elements on April 27 for the 10-km walk in support of birth defect prevention. The usual morning confusion started with misplaced supplies and lost checkpoints. How does a checkpoint get lost? These problems were handled by having walk coordinators and workers in the field communicate quickly and in detail, instead of waiting for reports to filter back. Next a call to check if the Limbo was being done at checkpoint 1. It was, as planned. Some messages seem strange when taken out of context. Changes and updates seem to occur constantly during the walk, until it finished.

Participants from BARC included Paul N1LRT, Ed N1VSJ, Shelby KA1NIW, Bill KD1NX, Rick N1IWE, Mike N1IST, Arthur N1NHZ. I want to thank the operators for their patience and flexibility. Every walk I learn more things, and this was no different. Also thanks to Mike Ardai N1IST, for his Public Service Kit list.

Cathy Applegate the March of Dimes walk director said "Every year the walk gets bigger and better, yet runs smoother due to the assistance of the radio operators". She is amazed at multiple rolls radio operators will fill.

Bruce Pigott KC1US
Amateur Radio coordinator for WalkAmerica - Boston

AIDS Walk Boston 1997

Will the rain hold off? That was the question on the minds of thirty thousand walkers on June First. Amateur Radio again supported Health and Safety issues working with the Red Cross and the AIDS Action Committee on the walk. The participants were raising funds for more than 30 support and research groups fighting AIDS through out Massachusetts. First comes the staffing and setting up of four walker pickup vans, and six aid stations along the route. A few radio checks are done, lost supplies are located, then the walkers start. Overall it was a quiet day. One radio operator - Bill N1KGX, used his Swiss Army Knife to rescue an individual stuck in a Port-O-John. Operators from BARC included Ed Burg N1VSJ, Shelby Pierce KA1NIW, Eric Wang N1JWG, Arthur Ashley N1NHZ, Renato Donadio N1XBR, Paul Katz N1LRT, and Richard Amirault N1JDU. At Net Control the operators were Dave Hunt WX1G, Bill Foster KD1NX, and Mike Kass N1YER.

One of the keys to making public service events go smoothly is training. Being familiar with the different modes of your radio pays off in the field, when rapid changes occur. Another is to gain experience in exchanging messages by participating in traffic nets, or being the net control on a club net.

Another element of successful events is the W1BOS repeater. The control operators and technical crew, that make this vital repeater available for use at these walks, are to be congratulated.

The Red Cross and the Route Communications Manager for the AIDS Action Committee want me to pass along their thanks for the efforts by Amateur Radio Operators. I want to thank all the operators for their willingness to pitch in where needed. I just did a bit of coordinating. The real work was done in the field. If I could learn how to count T-shirts, things would run much better!

Bruce Pigott KC1US

Thunderstorm Updraft Strength

By Glenn Field, National Weather Service, Taunton MA

Visual clues as to the strength of a thunderstorm's updraft can help the weather spotter be able to identify those storms, which are more likely to produce severe weather.

If the storm you are watching has a vigorous updraft, a small portion of the updraft may rise higher than the surrounding anvil - which is the flattened out cloud formation at the top of the storm. This will form a bubble of cloud sticking up above the rest of the anvil. The bubble is called an overshooting top. Most thunderstorms will have small short-lived overshooting tops.

However if you observe a storm with a large dome-like overshooting top that lasts for a fairly long time - more than 5 or 10 minutes - chances are good that the storm's updraft is strong enough and persistent enough to produce severe weather.

If the anvil is thick, smooth edged and puffy, then the storm probably has a strong updraft and is a good candidate to produce severe weather. If the anvil is thin, fuzzy, and wispy, then the updraft probably is not as strong. If the anvil is large and seems to be streaming away from the storm in one preferred direction, then there are probably strong upper level winds in the storm's environment - which is a condition that is favorable for the production of large hail and damaging winds.

Nominations Open for Club Officers

Elections for all BARC offices will be held at the June General Meeting. Nominations are now open, and can be submitted to Arthur Ashley, N1NHZ, by mail: c/o BARC P.O. Box 15585 Boston, MA 02215-0011, or phone: 617-661-2988.

June General Meeting

This month, elections will be held for all club officers for the 1997-8 term. Also, last minute Field Day matters will be discussed. This is a very important meeting, and all members should make a serious effort to attend.

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, June 18. 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.

Who are the BARC Members?

As of June 3, 1997, we are a total of 148 members

40 are on packet, 96 are on e-mail, and 34 are on both

License classes: Not licensed. 3, Novice 1, Tech 31, Tech+ 42, General 18, Advanced 19, Extra 33.

105 are ARRL members, 11 are ARRL Life members, and 32 are not ARRL members.

143 live in MA, 5 live elsewhere.

BARC Growth and/or Vanity

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 (or long lost) BARC members:

Frank CarpWA1RIY
Jim LeaveyN1FRD
Zhiming MaiKC5GYR
Bill PuzoN1QIF
Binney StoneN1HJU

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 under way, it's possible to have 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

Editor's Notes
In June, the young ham's thoughts turn to Field Day,

If you haven't noticed the stories in this month's SPARC about BARC's preparation for Field Day, clearly you skipped ahead to read this column first (I'm flattered.) I feel a little uneasy about urging hams to attend Field Day, as a crazy work schedule and family necessities may prevent me from putting in more than a token appearance. But if you've never been to a Field Day before, you really should come.

My first Field Day was in 1995. I was licensed for 9 months at the time, was listening to the .23 machine, heard the preparation and decided to come for a look. I met Mike for the first time, and well, you know how good he is at making a newcomer feel welcome. I saw a HF station for the first time (that year, they were set up in the big truck,) and was fascinated by the VHF station working NY on 2M SSB. "So, there's more to VHF than FM repeaters!" It was right then that I got interested in V/UHF weak signal operating.

I didn't operate that year, but I did attend a General Meeting a few months later, volunteered for SPARC editor, and the rest is history.

The moral is: even if you don't intend to stay the whole time, or even don't intend to operate, come up to Larz Anderson and see what BARC is doing. Quite possibly, you'll see an aspect of amateur radio you'd only read about, and some new interest will seize you. You've only a few hours to lose. You have a whole hobby to gain!

I'm grateful to all that 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.

I See the Future
Events Ahead

15 Jun MIT Flea
28-29 JunField Day
19 JulNE Antique RC (Nashua NH)
20 JulMIT Flea
28-29 JunField Day
19 JulNE Antique RC (Nashua NH)
20 JulMIT Flea
17 AugMIT Flea
14 SepSE MassARA Flea (S Dartmouth)
20 SepRIFMRS Flea (Forestdale RI)
21 SepMIT Flea
28 SepFramingham ARA Flea
3-4 OctHoss Traders (Rochester NH)
19 OctMIT Flea
25 OctNE Antique RC (Nashua NH)
15 NovMayflower RC Flea (Plymouth)
22 NovWaltham ARA/1200RC Auction (Newton)

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.

Eastern Mass Public Safety Net

The EMA Public Safety Net will be held every Tuesday at 2100hrs on 145.230 The net is a forum type net for Public Safety subjects. All Amateurs are welcome.

Any input for the net should be sent to net managers: KA1TTG Bob Ankenbauer (Somerville Ma PD) at or on packet to N1GJO Tom Mc Laughlin (Newton FD) at N1GJO@KA1TUZ.FN42JH.MA.USA.NA

73 Dick

EMA ARRL Section Net

It's time again for the Eastern Massachusetts ARRL Section Net. This net is held the fourth Sunday of each month (Sunday, May 25) on the MMRA linked repeater system at 21:00 local time. Each club should send a representative to the net. Please stop on by and find out what the section and various clubs are doing.

These machines include:

We are also looking for net control stations for upcoming nets. If you can run the net one of these nights please let me know. I'll include the net preamble at the end of this message.

For further information, contact: Mike Ardai, N1IST

Here's the preable for the EMA Section Net.

FCC Issued Call Sign Update

The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued callsigns for District 1 (NE) as of June 1, 1997.


Got A Question?

Ed. Sorry, no space for questions this month, but keep them coming and come back again next month.

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.

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

Commercial advertising in the newsletter provides important services to our members. Besides bringing income to defray the newsletter production costs, you can learn about and patronize those who support us.

We limit the ads to electronics related businesses and to professional ads from members. Advertisers can display a business card size (3.5 x 2 inches) space for $10.00 per month or $48.00 for the same ad for six consecutive months. If camera ready copy is not provided, there may be an additional charge.

However, you play a part. Your effort as a member is needed to present the advantages to advertisers. Businesses and professionals can reach our circulation of over 300 in Greater Boston. Show your copy of this newsletter to businesses that should be looking for our kind of readers. For more information, contact Paul Carter at, or Treasurer Arthur Ashley at, or (both) 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 not quite here? 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.

Future Meeting Dates
(Third Wednesdays at 7:30 pm)
Future Exam Dates
(Second Mondays at 7:00 pm)
  • 18 June 1997
  • 16 July 1997
  • 20 August 1997
  • 17 September 1997
  • 15 October 1997
  • 19 November 1997
  • 17 December 1997
  • 14 July 1997
  • 11 August 1997
  • 8 September 1997
  • 13 October 1997
  • 10 November 1997
  • 8 December 1997
Meetings are at the Volpe Transportation Center,
55 Broadway, Cambridge
Exams are at the Pierce school,
50 School Street, Brookline
Free parking and T access available at both locations

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 VE Session

The Boston Amateur Radio Club holds its monthly VE session on the second Monday of each month. The next session will be on Monday, June 9th. This month, it will probably be held at the Pierce School at 50 School Street in Brookline, Room 110 next to the cafeteria. The session begins at 7pm. There is a free parking garage at the circular driveway. If driving, enter School Street from the Washington street side (opposite 394 Washington). Check: for more info.

For those traveling via public transportation, take the 'D' branch of the Green Line to the Brookline Village stop and walk down Harvard street to School Street, or take the 66 bus and get off at School Street. Talkin on 145.23.

NOTE: This is not a guaranteed location. Please check BARC nets for last minute changes.

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

Read the June Executive Committee Meeting minutes.

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.

Here's the preable for the BARC Net.

Here's a listing of Eastern Mass. Nets.

BARC Officers and Staff
PresidentMichael Ardai N1IST (617) 254 3420   n1ist@k1ugm
Vice PresidentJim Clogher N1ICN n1icn@ka1tuz
SecretaryEd Hennessy N1PBA (617) 391 8257  n1pba@ka1tuz
TreasurerArthur Ashley N1NHZ (617) 661 2988
VE (Exam) TeamBob Wondolowski N1KDA (508) 865 5822
MembershipArthur Ashley N1NHZ (617) 661 2988
Public ServicesBob Salow WA1IDA (508) 650 9440   wa1ida@wa1phy
Newsletter EditorPaul Carter N1TMF (617) 232 6982
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.