The SPARC

Volume IX, Number 11; November 1997
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

November General Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, November 19th. Our speaker will be Mike Goldberg, K1LJN, talking about the Official Observer program


QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

Once again, I have to thank Paul for stretching the deadline on this article. I just came back from the repeater site where I, along with WN9T and KA1TUZ fixed the controller problems. The "W" and "N" tones signifying a Skywarn net on .64 and a directed net on .23 respectively are back, as is (hopefully) the secondary control link. As previously mentioned, we will be leaving the PL on all the time starting early December to help reduce random kerchunking and gronking that the machine has been doing lately. Please take this time to program an 88.5 PL into your radios or to add a PL encoder board.

Recently, we have decided to work out an emergency plan and form an emergency response team (which will hopefully become ARES-affiliated soon). Thanks to Mike, N1YER for helping organize it. Please watch the SPARC and club meetings for more information. In the meantime, please be prepared to help out if any emergencies happen. Winter is soon upon us, and precipitation (in either form) will cause havoc. Keep batteries fully charged, and listen on .23 to see if we are needed to help out at shelters or provide other emergency communications.

Thanks to Art Krugaluk, N1BNG for donating a 10' roof tower and antenna to BARC, and to Steve, N1ATT for refurbishing and storing it. This year has been a good year for donations to BARC, both for club use and for the flea (and in the donation box on the renewal forms). Please keep them coming, as they really help the club out.

The BARC Holiday Dinner will be next month; I hope to see everyone there. Reservation forms are in this SPARC. On the reservation form is the nomination form for the BARC Ham of the Year; please fill this out and send it back even if you can't make the dinner. Please get them in as soon as you can, since we need to get an accurate head count for reservations, and since it takes about 10 days to make the plaque for the award.

And finally, I hate to sound like a broken record, but we *NEED* suggestions and ideas on how we can improve BARC, and what events, workshops, trips, and similar we can do. We also need someone to help out planning Field Day 1998. If you have any ideas or can help out, please contact me at n1ist@netcom.com or (617) 254 3420, stop in at the exec meeting, or contact any of the officers or regulars.

73 and Happy Thanksgiving,
/mike


BARC Members Support ARRL Fund for the Defense of Amateur Radio Frequencies

The ARRL is launching a drive to replenish their Fund for the Defense of Amateur Radio Frequencies in preparation for WRC- 99. Issues involving Amateur Radio frequencies include:

BARC members and members of the EMA Amateur Radio Club in general, are urged to support the league's efforts. BARC is establishing a special fund for members who wish to pool their contributions to the fund as a club donation. Donations can be sent to:

Jim Clogher Treasurer
Boston Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 15585
Boston, MA 02215-0011

Please note on the check or in your letter that the donation is for BARC's contribution to the ARRL Fund for the Defense of Amateur Radio Frequencies.


Boston Fire Department Alarm Office Tour

On Sunday, November 23 at 10am, there will be a tour of the Boston Fire Department File Alarm Office for interested BARC members. Included in the tour is an inspection of the new BFD Command Post. We will assemble at Engine 33 Quarters at 941 Boylston St., corner of Boylston and Hereford St. The nearest MBTA station is the Auditorium Green Line station. For further information, please contact:

Terry Koen N1IWF
Dick Doherty KA1TUZ


AES Incentive Program for Ham Clubs

Amateur Electronic Supply Inc. has announced that if a member of an Amateur Radio Club buys from AES, 1% of the invoice total will be provided for a club purchase. So, if a BARC member buys a $1500 HF rig, BARC will receive a $15 credit for club purchase. This applies for purchases from Sept 1, 1997 to Sept 1, 1998. BARC members who buy from AES are asked to provide copies of their invoices to the club treasurer, Jim Clogher, N1ICN.


Don't Forget the BARC Holiday Party!

Our annual holiday party will be on December 17 in lieu of the December General Meeting. This is always a wonderful event, at which the club'' Ham of the Year award is presented. See insert in this issue to make your reservation and make your nomination for Ham of the Year.


Amateur Radio Communications Drill: Hurricane Zena

The Massachusetts RACES, ARES, and SKYWARN groups are announcing a Simulated Emergency Test for Massachusetts Amateur Radio Operators, on Saturday, December 6, 1997 from 10am to Noon.

Simulated Hurricane Zena, will be the scenario, and all Massachusetts Amateur radio operators are invited to participate.

All Amateur radio operators are asked to learn the frequency and operation of their local SKYWARN net, and report their basic weather, specifically, Callsign, Town, Temperature and Cloud Cover. This information will be passed to the Amateur radio station at the National Weather Service. RACES nets will be activated simultaneously, and in some cases need to share channels with other groups. Administrative traffic will pass over RACES channels. Local ARES groups are encouraged to participate in any way they can, reporting their participation during the exercise to their SEC.

Any and all modes of operation are encouraged for the duration of the exercise (APRS, SSTV, ATV, Packet etc). Reports of operation are encouraged.

For more information, contact:

Tom Kinahan N1CPE Massachusetts RACES (n1cpe@amsat.org)
Terry Stader KA8SCP Area 1 RACES (tstader@concord.com)
Bob Mims WA1OEZ Area 2 RACES (mims@ici.net)
Dennis Zonia K1VSG WMass ARES SEC (k1vsg@juno.com)
Steve Schwarm W3EVE EMass ARES SEC (w3eve@amsat.org)
Rob Macedo KD1CY NWS Taunton SKYWARN coordinator (rmacedo@pop.ma.ultranet.com)

73,

Tom Kinahan N1CPE


December Plymouth Balloon Launch
2-Meter Tracking Stations sought to follow beacon

A 2 meter CW beacon transmitter will be launched by balloon from Plymouth, Massachusetts on Tuesday, December 2, at about 3:00 PM as part of a middle school earth science project. The launch date is subject to change in case of adverse weather conditions.

I'm looking for volunteer radio trackers that may be able to assist in tracking the 2-meter signal from fixed or mobile locations. The aim will not be recovery (the electronics are expendable), but determination of approximate balloon position by antenna headings.

Of course I welcome participation at any level, even if you simply report that you heard the signals, but ideally I'm seeking a few well-equipped fixed stations to serve as primary tracking sites in widely spaced locations in eastern Massachusetts. Especially desirable are stations located far out on Cape Cod (Provincetown to Chatham) and also coastal locations north of Boston (Gloucester and vicinity), but anything in the eastern section of the state will be fine.

Remember that this beacon may well be received for *100 miles* or more away from its position if it continues to transmit at high altitude, so the area of coverage may far exceed the optimum tracking region.

You should have some kind of rotatable yagi (vertical polarization strongly preferred), a radio equipped to receive 2 meter CW (all mode VHF or receiving converter plus HF sideband). AMSAT stations fit this description perfectly, so please let any satellite ham friends know of this opportunity.

If this interests you, please email me. In that email please provide a short description of your station equipment and your location. Although I may not be able to respond directly to all your email, you may ask to be put on a special email list that will issue further notices on this event.

There will also be up-to-the-minute information (including complete technical information as it becomes available) for this event on the High Altitude Balloon Launch Information Center (HABLIC) website.

Hank Riley, N1LTV
h1riley@umassd.edu
Plymouth Balloon Launch Technical Director

Amateur balloon launch notices nationwide


FCC Opens Vanity Gate 4

Christmas will arrive a bit early for General, Technician Plus, Technician and Novice Class hams. The FCC has announced that vanity call sign program Gate 4--the last vanity gate-will open December 2, 1997, for General, Tech Plus, Technician and Novice class hams to request a vanity call sign on or after that date. The potential number of applicants from these four licensee groups is huge- well over a half million hams.

Applicants may use either the electronic Forms 610V and 159 on the Web or hard- copy Form 610V and 159--but not both. Both versions-plus fact sheets and answers to frequently asked questions-are available at http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/amateur. The application fee is 50 dollars, payable by check (to "FCC"), bank draft, money order or credit card. Do not send cash. The FCC gives processing priority to electronically filed Forms 610V for which the filing fee and Form 159 have been received. The FCC now requires all vanity filers to include a Form 159, which must be mailed to the FCC with your fee.

It's up to applicants to make sure that their applications do not arrive before December 2, 1997. The FCC will return all applications that arrive early. All other vanity call sign gates will remain open and Amateur Extra and Advanced class operators continue to be eligible to file for vanity call signs under those filing gates.

Any call sign requested must be appropriate for the class of license you hold. This means that Technician, Tech Plus, and General class licensees may ask for a Group C (1x3) or D (2x3) call sign. Novice class licensees may only request Group D call signs.

Electronic filers must mail the Form 159 Fee Remittance Advice to FCC, Amateur Vanity, PO Box 358994, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5994. The Form 159 and the fee must be received within 10 days of electronically filing your Form 610V or your application will be dismissed.

Those filing on document Forms 610V and 159 must mail the application package containing a completed Form 610V with a copy of your license attached, Form 159 and the proper fee in a sealed envelope to FCC, Amateur Vanity, PO Box 358924, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5924.

Application packages via courier or delivered by hand must be prepared in the same way, sealed in a second, outer envelope, and addressed to Federal Communications Commission, c/o Mellon Bank, 525 William Penn Way, 27th Floor, Room 153-2713, Pittsburgh, PA 15259, ATTN: Wholesale Lockbox Shift Supervisor. This address should only be used for applications delivered by hand or courier.

For general information, call the FCC's toll-free National Call Center, 888-225-5322 (CALLFCC).

ARRL Bulletin 64 ARLB064
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT October 30, 1997


November General Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, November 19. Our speaker will be Mike Goldberg, K1LJN, talking about the Official Observer program.

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.


Editor's Notes
The club participation problem

I've been hearing a lot recently about why there seems to be so little participation in the club by members. This is not unique to BARC; I've heard similar talk from other clubs. But it's true that we see far fewer than our 150 or so members at General Meetings and Executive Committee Meetings.

I say that one big problem BARC has is the lack of a club shack, a place where members can operate, run workshops and classes, hold special interest group meetings, and just socialize.

Now, no one is to blame for this lack! For a big city club that has no rich sugar daddy member to find some permanent real estate is quite a problem. A number of members are working on possible solutions, and one could be realized soon.

Then again, maybe not. There are still many enjoyable ways for BARC members to participate in their club. There are our many public service events. There are our regularly scheduled meeting, and frequent outings. There is our Monday night club net. There is the coming Holiday Party. Perhaps you have other ideas - we'd love to hear them and perhaps, together act on them. So BARC members, come on in! There's plenty of room.

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 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.


Got A Question?

N1VUX: Update on N1xxx callsigns

On Monday 11/3, the FCC issued N1ZUS.

Anyone wishing to get their TechNoCode before we run out of N1ZZZ calls should take the test real soon. (Although not officially announced, it would appear that after they run out, Techs, Tech+s, Generals will be assigned calls from the Novice pool, which is last issued KB1CFK.)

Arthur reports seeing the new Orange "Now You're Talking!" study guide at a couple of Radio Shacks, contrary to rumor that they might not carry it.

Bill Ricker N1VUX
wdr@world.std.com
http://world.std.com/~wdr


Scott Ehrlich WY1Z writes:

For a little education for those who don't know - the GROL is the General Radiotelephone Operators License. It is also known as the "commercial" or "general" license, and permits you to operate and maintain transmitters of radio and TV stations, aboard boats and aircraft, etc.

I've ordered my study manual from the W5YI group. They have two versions. For about $30 you can get a 400+ page book. For about $60 you can get the book and software (what I got). Shipping in either case is $4, and they ship US Postal Service Priority (3-4 day delivery).

Their web page, www.w5yi.org has some very good information on the GROL license, explaining what it is about, what you can do, etc.

Their order number is 800-669-9594.

And also, does Kenwood offer any free software or documentation on how to program their commercial and/or amateur gear via their radios' RS-232 port?

73 all,
Scott Ehrlich WY1Z
sehrlich@shore.net
http://www.shore.net/~sehrlich


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.


M&H Consulting
DOS & Windows Based Systems
Service, Repairs, Upgrades, Networking

Michael S. Cooney
Microsoft Certified Professional Product Specialist

Phone: 617-396-3953
Fax: 617-396- 3953
http://www1.usa1.com/msc


BARC Member Classifieds

I am looking for a 386 motherboard-cheap (don't want to spend a lot on it).

(508) 865-5822 or wondobob@juno.com.
Thanks.
Bob Wondolowski N1KDA


Depressed because you have a treasure you must turn to cash and you couldn't make it to the last flea market? 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.


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:

Pat AllenKE1GD
Gary CumiskeyN8GJS
David DixN1NII
Heidi Farcas-CumiskeyN8WQN
Bob LottiN1KUK
Paul OlivieriN1ZKR

In addition, we would like to note here any call sign changes you have made, and honor all members who upgrade.

NameCallUpgraded to
David M TroianoN1YZTTech +

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 erc@world.std.com.


I See the Future
Events Ahead

15 NovMayflower RC Flea (Plymouth)
22 NovWaltham ARA/1200RC Auction (Newton)
17 JanNE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
14 FebAARC Flea (Marlboro)
1 MarMt Tom ARA Flea (Northampton)
5 AprFramingham ARA Flea
18 AprNE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
19 AprMIT Flea
21 AprBoston Marathon (r)
8-9 MayHoss Traders Flea (Rochester NH)
16 MayRIAFMRS Flea (Forestdale RI)
17 MayMIT 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.


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 ka1ttg@juno.com or on packet to N1GJO Tom Mc Laughlin (Newton FD) at N1GJO@KA1TUZ.FN42JH.MA.USA.NA

73 Dick
rcdoherty@juno.com
KA1TUZ@KA1TUZ.FN42JH.MA.USA.NA


FCC Issued Call Sign Update

The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued callsigns for District 1 (NE) as of November 3, 1997.

ExtraAdvancedTech/GenNovice
AA1SWKE1ISN1ZUQKB1CFM


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 pvc@tiac.net, or Treasurer Jim Clogher via the club PO box.


Future Meeting Dates
(Third Wednesdays at 7:30 pm)
Future Exam Dates
(Second Mondays at 7:00 pm)