This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, October 15. Bob Salvaggio, WB1GON, will speak on RACES.
I just got back from the twice yearly trek up to soggy New Hampshire (yes, I know it's sunny up there the rest of the year, it's just Deerchester that's wet...) I hope everyone had a great time; we had the club table up there, and got rid of quite a few things.
The last MIT flea of the season will be coming up on the 19th; please stop by so we don't have to hold stuff all winter (and to get fodder for all those winter projects :-) We'll have the club table there, if you want to put a few items there, please do so; all we ask is that you help man the table a bit, and a small donation would be nice to help out the club.
Each month we get bounced copies of the SPARC back at the PO Box. If you move or otherwise change your address, please give your new address to Bob Salow, WA1IDA ( firstname.lastname@example.org). It costs us between 32 and 82 cents per month you don't give us a good address, and that adds up fast. We don't want to have to charge people for bounced mail, but at least one person's membership fee this year has been donated to the Post Office.
Due to continued noises (and since only one person got back to me about radios that don't do PL), we will be leaving the PL on the repeater as the default mode starting December 1 (or the nearest time to that when we can go topside...) If you need a PL encoder, Communications Specialists (800 854-0547) has some nice ones, and they have installation instructions for many radios.
Show and Tell night is coming up (either at our November or January general meeting). It's time to start thinking about what project, kit, QSL, or other ham memorabilia or gear to bring and talk about.
Don't forget to mark off December 17th on your calendars. That's the date of the BARC Holiday Dinner. Reservation forms (and nomination forms for Ham of the Year - think about who to recommend) will be in the next SPARC.
We are currently looking for speakers, people to run workshops, and people to teach classes. If you can help out with any of these, please let me know.
On Saturday September 6th and Sunday September 7th, BARC assisted WGBH public television and radio at their annual Ice Cream FunFest fundraiser. Mike Kass, N1YER, of BARC coordinated the communications services for the event. We were asked to provide shadows for key WGBH personnel and monitor the parking and event areas. According to WGBH staff, the event was extremely successful this year. Over 7,300 people attended, and WGBH raised $12,500.
WGBH is very appreciative of our efforts. In a thank you letter, their event coordinator stated "The key communications services" provided by BARC "added immensely to the overall success of the FunFest." They have already requested our assistance for next year and promise that, as this year, all hams participating will be welcome to enjoy unlimited ice cream!
The hams that participated are:
Arthur Ashley N1NHZ Rowe Austin N1GIE Ed Burg N1VSJ Bob Cassell N1ENS Rick Desisto N1IWE Mike Kass N1YER Paul Katz N1LRT Jeff Moskow WA1I Sarah Moskow KB1BNW Bruce Pigott KC1US Bob Salow WA1IDA John Surette N1SBS Ed Whalan N1INX
Twenty-one hams supported communications for the Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk on Sunday, 28 September. The walk raised money to fight cancer in children for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The route covered the same 26.2 miles as the BAA Boston Marathon, and a three-mile patient walk. The Boston Athletic Association coordinated the event.
As we have for the past several years, hams provided communications for the 13 Walker Support stations as well as medical and logistical functions. The weather was ideal, and relieved us from medical emergencies.
These types of events are excellent preparation for Amateur Radio support in disaster situations and public service events of all sizes.
Thanks to the following hams who helped:
Mike Ardai N1IST Jeff Arnold N1FWV Arthur Ashley N1NHZ Rowe Austin N1GIE Andy Bartlett N1OSG Arline Berry W1LIO Ed Burg N1VSJ Bob Cassell N1ENS Roger Cooper N1XKB Dick Doherty KA1TUZ Renato Donadio N1XBR Don Haney KA1T Steve Hersey N1XNX Mike Kass N1YER Dom Mallozzi N1DM Bill Ohm W1OHM Bruce Pigott KC1US Bob Salow WA1IDA Bernie Warshauer N1TWO Anita Warshauer N1UOW Bonny Zeh, N1VDU
The PL tone of 88.5 will be a permanent feature of the 145.23 machine starting December 1. It will only be turned off during public service events. For the benefit of those people with radios that do not have PL tones, a workshop will be scheduled soon to add this capability. Please contact Mike, N1IST for further details.
The Boston Fire Dept Annual Road Race will be run October 19th, 1997.
We have been invited to provide communications for this event once again. We are in need of about 15 operators with HTs. Please meet at Florian Hall, 55 Hallet Street Dorchester at 0900 hours Sunday 10/19/97. A light collation will be served at the end of the race.
Please respond to Terry Koen N1IWF at N1IWF@W1UU.#EMA.MA.USA.NOAM or call me at home 508-649-7421 to confirm that you will participate. Thanks for your interest.
This year's Fall Meeting of the Fairhaven Repeater Weather Net will be Saturday, October 25 at the Southworth Library, South Dartmouth, MA. The meeting begins at 12:30 P.M. and will feature guest speaker Walter Drag, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Taunton, MA.
Walt's talk will delve into two interesting areas:
Gravity waves, and the funnel clouds/weak tornadoes that have recently made very well publicized visits to our southern New England region.
As usual everyone is welcome, and further information about the meeting, including directions to the library (text and map), is available from the FRWN website:
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.
This year's BARC holiday party, on December 17, will almost certainly be held at Ruggieri's Restaurant, near the Wellington Circle MBTA station in Medford. Parking is available in the mall lot adjacent to the restaurant. The meal will most likely be a buffet consisting of salad, Swedish meatballs, stuffed shells, grilled boneless chicken, dessert and coffee. The cost, including tax and gratuities, is $19. There is a cash bar. Besides the meal and fellowship, the BARC Ham of the Year award will be presented. So, plan to be there! Final details and a reservation form will be in next month's SPARC.
This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, October 15. Bob Salvaggio, WB1GON, will speak on RACES.
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.
I'm happy to announce that 'qsl.net' has agreed to host the Eastern Mass. ARRL Web page, formerly at www.temples.com/arrl.
The site is now located at:
Please change any bookmarks or links to point to the new address.
The content on the site has grown a bit "stale" lately; Larry Ober and I will rectify this staleness soon. If you have any questions or comments, or find any "busted links" please email to:
Phil Temples K9HI
NOTE: Due to the Columbus Day holiday, the VE session scheduled for October 13 is cancelled.
Beginning this fall, two new area codes will be activated in Eastern Massachusetts by dividing 617 into 617 and 781, and also dividing 508 into 508 and 978. As this is likely to impact some BARC members and other readers, please notify the Keeper of the Database as soon as NYNEX grabs more control of your life.
You can reach Bob Salow, WA1IDA, by phone at 508.650.9440 or by e-mail at email@example.com
For all of you who are interested in DX, this yearly meeting is always a good take:
The New England DXCC Convention and dinner will be held on October 12,1997 at the Elks Hall, Rt. 110 Chelmsford Mass. (near Jct. I-495 and Rt. 3) Talk-in: 147.12 (offset +600Khz.)
Doors open at 8:00 AM with a busy schedule through 5:00PM.
For Tickets: $25.00 at door $22.50 advance (Order early-seating limited!)
Send SASE and check payable to:
Patriot DX Association
P.O. Box 8
Prides Crossing, MA 01965
Ticket info: WZ1Q Mel Cole
ORDER EARLY- Seating limited!!!!!
Forwarded by Joe Rich W1EK, firstname.lastname@example.org
27 checkins in 33 minutes
n1pba Ed, Medford, Secretary n1tdf Bill, Randolph ka1rdz Dan, Everett n1hju Binnie, Somerville n1wvc Joe, South Boston n1uvb Derek, Hingham wa1zkh Bill, South Boston n1ist Mike, Brighton, President n1xkb Roger, Wakefield n1wwf Dave, Framingham n1xbr Renato, Everett n1yia Dave, Quincy ka1tuz Dick, Newton, Vice President n1koi Ralph, Roxbury n1zor John, Lincoln n1zos Rich, Salem n1osg Andy, Malden n1lrt Paul, Boston n3ggr Tom n1yer Mike, Weston n1nhz Arthur, Cambridge, Membership Services n1att Steve, Boston n1ens Bob, Weymouth n1mk ka1khk Ed, Brookline, VE Team n1xjc David, Dorchester n6yri Dick, Salem
n1gie Rowe, Swampscott n1nhz Arthur, Cambridge, Membership Services n1xjc David, Dorchester n1alf Frank, Dorchester ka1rdz Dan, Everett ke1gd Pat, Quincy n1ist Mike, Brighton, President n1ens Bob, Weymouth kc4iwo Joe, mobile in Boston n1koi Ralph, Roxbury ka1khk Ed, Brookline, VE team n1inx Ed, Saugus n1wwf Dave, Framingham ka1tuz Dick, Newton, Vice President n2qek Dan, Malden n1zof Richard, Salem n1tkh David, Gloucester n1xbr Renato, Everett n1tdf Bill, Randolph n1yer Mike, WestonTopics:
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I. This metal sphere, carrying only a battery powered radio and beeper, inspired both delight and panic in Americans. Delight, because this was clearly man's first step into space. Panic, because it was clear that the SS6 rocket that lofted Sputnik into orbit could also deliver a hydrogen bomb to the United States. Then Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev played to this panic by blustering and boasting that "Soviet factories are turning out rockets like sausages" and "We will bury you!"
Amid all the hubbub, Amateur Radio operators, who had become more and more unpopular with their television obsessed neighbors, won a new respect. Their stations could pick up Sputnik! People who grumbled about TVI and unsightly towers now paid friendly visits to their ham neighbors in order to hear the "beep-beep- beep" of the new moon.
We hams still get some recognition from the public about our activities. Our emergency work during disasters is noted in the general media, and a lot of people see those folks with their HTs and orange hats at walks and marathons! But for those few weeks of Sputnikmania, our hobby was part of history in the making.
Spaceflight is now routine. We hams have our own satellites. The Cold War is, blessedly, a fading memory to we who lived through it. So now, let us calmly and fondly remember the famous "fellow traveler" of October 1957. Sputnik I, happy 40th birthday!
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 email@example.com, snail mail at 11 Commonwealth Court Apt#15, Brighton, MA 02135, and most if not all BARC club nets and general meetings.
In other articles I've described what The Automatic Position Reporting System is and how to get it set up on your computer and radio. So you're now probably telling yourself "OK, great. I've got these stations appearing on my screen. Now what do I do?"
One of the features in APRS is the ability to send what we call one-liners; that is, one- line messages from station to station either direct or by using digipeaters. From the main APRS screen press S(end), type the station's call and <cr>. Then type your message and another <cr>. You'll know when they got it when you receive an *ACK* which replaces the first five characters of your message. These one- liners are the only situation when APRS uses anything other than UI packets.
When you send a message in this manner it will be sent via the same digipeater path as your position and ID packets. If your intended recipient is someplace else you can still send it there (if you're using APRSDos, and soon, WinAPRS or MacAPRS) by specifying any of a dozen alternate digipeater paths which the program can store for you. If you press O(perations) D(igipath) S(ave), you'll be prompted to enter a two-letter code for that path via whatever path you choose, such as: NJ VIA N2SF,WA2JNF-4,W2HOB to get to Southern New Jersey from Westchester. To see the paths you've stored, press O(perations) D(igipath) L(ist). The prime purpose of these alternate paths is to keep the QRM to a minimum and to use the most direct and, sometimes, the only feasible path.
The weather systems feature of APRS allows you to see various weather information in real-time which is transmitted by stations with a Peet Bros. or Davis Weather Station. Depending on which version of APRS you're using (as of now, June 1997, it's 7.93) and the options the weather stations have, you can get different kinds of information including temperature, rainfall amounts (to the 1/100th inch) in the past hour and 24 hour periods, wind speed, direction and gusts and barometric pressure. By pressing W(eather), you'll see a list of options to choose from. These have changed for the better) in the last few versions, so I can't be specific.
If at any time you wish to cease transmitting without actually shutting down the program, simply touch C(ommands) X(mit). This will disable the timer within APRS. You will still send out whatever the TNC itself is set to transmit at the predetermined periods. When you want to send a specific packet (most often your position), you can do so by pressing X(mit) P(osition) [or B(eacon), M(essage), S(tatus), O(bject) or A(ll), as the case may be.
In order to find a station on the screen, you can always use the O(perations) F(ind) (what else!) command. If you'd like to see some-thing really neat, try O(perations) R(eplay) with a mobile station. You'll see the station's track being replayed. To access your TNC you'd use O(perations) C(omms) T(NC) which leads you to a very basic terminal screen. To get stations to appear on your screen faster (within two or three minutes) you'd use O(perations) Q(uery), followed by a radius in miles from you.
Now that you've been on the air with APRS for a few hours, you don't necessarily want to wait for all those stations to reappear if, for some reason, you have to exit the program. No problem. When you shut down APRS by pressing Q(uit) Q(uit) <cr>, it asks you if you want to save a backup of this information, which it'll do by default. Next time you fire it up, you press F(iles) L(oad), then type BACKUP.BK. Every time you shut APRS down it'll save this file, replacing the previous copy. Be aware, though, that all of those packets are timed, and any station in this backup that was heard more than two hours ago will "gray- out" (APRS considers them to be inactive and makes room for more stations that way.)
One thing to remember when playing with APRS is that the best way to learn, as with anything else, is by doing. You can play with the commands as much as you want. You're not going to BREAK anything! About the worst thing that can happen is a lockup, and this is a rare thing. Usually the three-fingered-salute (Ctrl-Alt-Del) will get you out of it and you'll have to start over. So play with the thing. I mean, how do you think I learned all this about APRS stuff, by reading about it?
Speaking of reading about it, yes I did. It's all right there in the APRS distribution zip file. You can always read those files by pressing F1 F(iles) and typing in the name of the file you want to see. One suggestion: if you're a slow reader, press the down- arrow button once in a while as APRS seems to get impatient with you when it just sits there while you re-read that paragraph for the umpty-umph time and shoves you back into the program.
There are dozens of these readme files in the "README" folder. You can also see them (at your leisure and there for the printing) by using any old text editor. Many of the answers to your questions can be found there, sometimes buried deep and not quite as visible as you'd like.
In addition, Stan Horzepa (WA1LOU), who writes the Digital Dimension column for QST Magazine, has written a book called Getting on Track with APRS which is available from the ARRL. By the way, Stan also operates a WIDE digipeater with the callsign WA1LOU-15 which is located in Wolcott CT.
As always, if anybody cares to use these articles (in a newsletter, making copies for friends, etc.) all I ask is that I get credit for them and (if possible and applicable) a copy of that newsletter. 73
Arte Booten N2ZRC
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.
Hams now can renew their licenses on line. The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) has consolidated eight renewal forms into one form. Form 900, Application for Electronic Renewal of Wireless Radio Services Authorizations, is an interim measure to permit all WTB licensees, including hams, to renew their licenses electronically.
This form is only for renewals, not for license modifications. You can only enter changes (e.g., name, address) using Form 900 as a part of the process of renewing your license. You can only use Form 900 if the expiration date on your license falls within the renewal window (within 120 days of expiration). You cannot use Form 900 to renew an expired license. Form 900 may only be submitted electronically. No Form 900 paper applications will be accepted. When filing Form 900, you will be required to enter a Social Security Number for a taxpayer ID number.
Access Form 900 on the WTB Electronic Commerce page,
(Click on Production Page for Electronic Commerce Applications to access the Form 900). Click on any item number for filing instructions. Once you have filed the form, clicking on Electronic Renewal Query lets you view or print the information submitted.
Once you have successfully submitted Form 900, it is important to click on the Continue button to obtain the fee information pertaining to your filing. The screen will prompt you with a Fee Remittance Advice, Form 159. The form will indicate that there is no charge to renew an Amateur Radio license (except for vanity call sign holders, who won't have to renew for several more years yet).
Form 900 updates will be batch processed at night. They are not instantaneous.
Send comments about the FCC Form 900 to firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical assistance, call the FCC Technical Support Group at 202-414-1250. Other general information may be obtained from the FCC's National Call Center at 888-225-5322 (CALL-FCC).
>ARRL Bulletin 58 ARLB058
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT October 3, 1997
The Darwin Award is an annual honor given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing/maiming themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way. Last year's winner was the fellow who was killed by the Coke machine which toppled on him as he was attempting to tip a free soda.
This year's runner up:
An insurance company asked for more information regarding a work-related accident claim. This was the response:
"I put "poor planning" as the cause of my accident. I am an amateur radio operator and was working on the top section of my new 80-foot tower. When I had completed my work, I discovered that I had, over the course of several trips up the tower, brought up about 300 pounds of tools and spare hardware. Rather than carry the materials down by hand, I decided to lower the items using a pulley."
"Securing the rope at ground lever, I went to the top of the tower and loaded the tools into a small barrel. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the 300 pounds of tools. You will note in block number 11 of the accident report that I weight 155 pounds. Due to my surprise of being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. I proceeded at a rather rapid rate of speed up the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40-foot level, I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken collarbone."
"Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. I regained my presence of mind and was able to hold onto the rope in spite of my pain. At the same time, however, the barrel of tools hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the tools, the barrel now weighted approximately 20 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the tower. In the vicinity of the 40-foot level, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs and lower body."
"The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of tools so only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay on the tools, in pain, unable to stand and watching the empty barrel 80 feet above me, I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope..."
Catherine Pepin KB5FNC
(Ed. By any chance, was this person's name Wile E. Coyote?)
Plans remain in place to launch a functioning mini-Sputnik from Mir October 4--the 40th anniversary of the launching of Sputnik 1 by the USSR. Sputnik 1 was the first manmade satellite put into orbit around Earth.
Earlier this year, an agreement was signed between Russia and France to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, and two groups of high school students cooperated in building the one-third scale model of the original Sputnik 1. Students in Russia built the satellite itself, while students in France built the 2-meter transmitter that will "beep" from space following its launch from Mir. The mini-satellite flew as cargo to Mir last month aboard a Progress rocket. According to Miles Mann, WF1F, of MIREX, the Mir crew will place the satellite in an airlock on Mir and push it out the door on October 4.
Following launch, the scale model of Sputnik will remain close to the Russian space station. It's estimated that its batteries will hold up for up to two months.
The transmitter will put between 100 and 200 mW into a circularly polarized antenna. The transmitter frequency is expected to be between 145.81 and 145.85 MHz (FM). The audio tone will be at 1.3 kHz but vary with temperature. For more information, see
Thanks to AMSAT/This Week in Amateur Radio
From the ARRL Letter, Volume 16, #39.
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.
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:
In addition, we would like to note here any call sign changes you have made, and honor all members who upgrade.
|Name||Old Call||New Call|
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 email@example.com.
|19 Oct||Boston Fire Dept Road Race|
|19 Oct||MIT Flea|
|25 Oct||NE Antique RC (Nashua NH)|
|8 Nov||IRS Flea (Londonderry NH)|
|15 Nov||Mayflower RC Flea (Plymouth)|
|22 Nov||Waltham ARA/1200RC Auction (Newton)|
|17 Jan||NE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)|
|1 Mar||Mt Tom ARA Flea (Northampton)|
|18 Apr||NE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)|
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on packet to N1GJO Tom Mc Laughlin (Newton FD) at N1GJO@KA1TUZ.FN42JH.MA.USA.NA
The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued callsigns for District 1 (NE) as of September 4, 1997.
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 email@example.com, or Treasurer Jim Clogher via the club PO box.