The SPARC

Volume X, Number 4; April 1998
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

April Meeting

FLASH! BARC Has A New Meeting Place

Starting this month, our General meetings will be held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Building, corner of Berkeley St. and Columbus Ave. near Copley Square. Meeting day has been changed to the third Thursday of the month - this month, Thursday, April 16 - at 7:30pm. We meet in the third floor auditorium.

Parking is available; the entrance to the parking lot is from Columbus Ave. (across the street from the firehouse). It is also T accessible, the nearest Green Line stops are Copley or Arlington; Orange Line at Back Bay.


BARC Congratulates the Graduates of the Spring 1998 Technician Class.

And invites all of you to BARC's next General Meeting at our new location. This month's meeting is about introducing new Hams to the hobby and the Boston Amateur Radio Club. Members will introduce you to such interesting activities as Traffic Handling, Public Service Events and Emergency Communications, Weather Spotting, Satellite Communications, Weak Signal Operating, Antenna Design, Digital Radio Communications, HF and Worldwide Communications and much much more.


QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

This has sure been a busy month. The BARC class is coming along well; we have 8 regulars who are all busy studying for their Technician license. Thanks to KA1TUZ, KA1KHK, and N1NII for helping out with the class.

Starting this month, BARC will have a new date and place for the monthly General meeting. Thanks to Mike, KB1CKF, and the Salvation Army for letting us meet at their facility. This month will be "show and tell" night; please bring in something to show or talk about. I know that N1TMF will have an interesting demo.

We had a few problems with the BARC web page lately. Until we can fix the virtual domain, we will have to use old address, http://www.barc.org/barc To post to barc-list, send your message to barc-list@majordomo.netcom.com

We have a field day coordinator. Welcome to Ed, N1VSJ. I hope to see a lot of people at the Field Day planning meetings to be announced shortly.

My last question of the month was "why didn't you come to Field Day last year". Most answers pointed to work schedules and participating in other Field Days. The best note came from Leif, OH0KCE. His excuse was that it was a little too long a way to travel :-) Hopefully the small number of people who couldn't make it means that most of you will be able to make it this year.

Once again, BARC will have a club table at the MIT Flea. If you have a few small items you want to sell, bring them by. All that we ask is that you help man the table, but a 10% donation would be nice.

Speaking about donations; a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated a little extra with their membership this year! It certainly helps us out.

I guess this is enough rambling for this month. Hope to see everyone at the meeting, the flea, and the Marathon. Until then,

73,
/mike


Nominations Open for 1998-9 Club Officers

BARC will elect our President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary for the 1998-9 term at the June 1998 meeting. Any club member can nominate a person for these offices. Nominations should be given to a member of the nominating committee:

Paul Carter N1TMF, pvc@tiac.net

Renato Donadio N1XBR, renato.donadio@fema.gov


Public Service Events Need Your Help

We have a growing calendar of events where we hams can serve the public. These are also the opportunities for us to gain experience and to sharpen our skills when there aren't many disasters to work on. The more than 150 hams needed for the Boston Marathon must have prior experience with public service and/or emergency duty. We encourage you to participate in other events to gain this experience (and be able to help at the Marathon).

These events will generally be announced in The SPARC shortly before the need for communicators arises. Most of these events are planned for weekends. However, some are held in midweek or need large numbers of hams. These may be announced further in advance to intensify the recruiting. Please volunteer whenever you can - it's a fun learning time.

Looking ahead, hams will be needed for the following local events; please contact the Coordinator for info:

6 May (Wed) Aviation Expo Bill Foster, KD1NX 508.580.2552 kd1nx@juno.com

29 May (Fri) Assistive Technology Conference Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ 617.969.4880 rcdoherty@juno.com


National Weather Service To Hold Open House

The National Weather Service (NWS) will hold an open house on 30 and 31 May 1998 at their Regional Office in Taunton. Throughout each day the staff will make presentations on hurricanes, floods, blizzards, tornados and many other severe weather characteristics which may affect us.

Additional exhibits will be sponsored by support organizations such as SKYWARN, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard and MEMA. Communications support such as Amateur Radio (voice and APRS) and the Internet will be featured. There will also be activities to introduce children to the nature of weather. Weather balloon launches are planned every three hours on Saturday.

The open house hours are: Saturday, 30 May from 10am to 5pm; and Sunday, 31 May from 12pm to 5pm. Refreshments will be available. To get to NWS Taunton, take I-495 south to Exit 9. At the end of the ramp turn right, go 1/4 mile to the entrance to the industrial park on the right. Go one mile, NWS is on the left (make U-turn to cross median).

National Weather Service Skywarn Training Session

Skywarn is a program sponsored by the National Weather Service (NWS), employing volunteer weather observers for reporting destructive thunderstorms or other severe, unusual, or abnormal weather conditions. Amateur radio operators and weather observers, generally operating through local organizations, are ideally equipped to contribute to the SKYWARN program. A variety of weather can be occurring simultaneously throughout the state, making it difficult for NWS personnel to observe conditions throughout the state during a severe weather outbreak. SKYWARN volunteers become additional eyes & ears providing information that assists the NWS in issuing timely and accurate warning to save lives and protect property.

There will be a NWS SKYWARN educational training session for central Massachusetts including Worcester County held at Uxbridge High School, 62 Capon St, Uxbridge, MA on Thursday, May 14th from 7-10pm. This educational class is open to the general public, public safety personnel, and to amateur radio operators; as one-third of SKYWARN spotters are hams.

Glenn Field, Warning Coordination Meteorologist from NWS Taunton, will teach this three-hour class. Glenn will present information on upcoming weather events for Massachusetts and explain the effects of everyone's favorite topic, El Nino. In addition, reviews of the Berkshire County tornado and other severe weather events will be presented. Upon completion of the class, you will be given a SKYWARN spotter ID card and spotter ID number. There is no fee to attend and all are welcome.

Central Massachusetts Public Safety Association, National Weather Service and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) sponsor this public safety training session. For more information or directions, please call 508-278-3477 ext.: 1.

Michael Baril.


Hams Help the Boston Multiple Sclerosis Walk

Once again, under the able coordination of Ed Burg, N1VSJ, we supported the 1998 Boston Multiple Sclerosis Walk on Sunday, 29 March. After quick organization, assignments were made covering administration, check points, support vehicles and hazardous locations. The walk route from the Esplanade around the Charles River Basin was modified from past years by being shortened to an even 10 kilometers. This changed checkpoint locations and other logistics, but it was we hams who kept the sponsor's efforts well organized. The BARC Boston repeater was used.

The following hams participated:

The Coordinator of the Boston MS Walk wrote a kind and enthusiastic message to Ed on behalf of the entire ham radio support expressing their satisfaction with the communications effort we provided.

Thanks to you and your great group for helping out at the Boston MS Walk. You all did such a great job! I truly appreciate it.

Sincerely, Colleen Tonne


It's Time to Submit Nominations for ARRL Awards.

The Hiram Percy Maxim Award (national) for a ham youth whose accomplishments in Amateur Radio deserve recognition closes 3/31. Plaque and check are awarded at an ARRL Convention.

The New England Division Volunteer Of The Year Award is for the ham volunteer who has demonstrated:

The Committee has extended the deadline to 4/30 with the award to be (probably) presented at Boxborough. Last years winner, WA1RHP, is from the EMA Section.

The above award nominations should be submitted to the EMA Section Manager, preferably, in signed hard copy.

The Philip J. McGann Memorial Silver Antenna Award (national) for the ham who has done the most to promote Amateur Radio through Public Relations. Nominations close 5/29 and forms are available from the Public Relations department at ARRL Headquarters jgagne@arrl.org

Let's see some EMA Section nominees!

73 de Larry Ober W1MW
ARRL Section Manager, EMA Section
leo@jove.com
PO Box 2133, Acton, MA 01720
Voice: 978-263-2498
FAX: 978-266-0159


Waltham ARA Needs Amplifier in Time for the Boston Marathon

We still need everyone's help to maintain one of the truly great repeaters on the East Coast. Although we've received a number of helpful messages, we've not yet located an amplifier to replace the Mirage unit fried for the tenth time in our repeater installation.

The Waltham Amateur Radio Association maintains a FM repeater that sits at 146.64 MHz on a hill in Waltham Massachusetts. Since .64 comprises one of the backbone repeaters for Boston area public service communications (Boston Marathon, NOAA severe weather nets, Red Cross Emergency Preparedness, Walk for Hunger and MS bike tours), we decided to acquire a top quality amp to improve the reliability of the machine. Back a few years ago, club members pooled their funds, and purchased a Mirage "Repeater Grade" amplifier.

To make a long story short, the amp has MELTED ten times. Each time, Mirage fixes it under warranty, but the fix never lasts for long. This last time, the amp fried after a week of service.

We have had the rest of the hardware checked by various experts who pronounce the installation within spec. Everyone suggests that the Mirage can't cope with the RF-filled, hilltop environment, and the constant duty cycle that essentially turns the amp on at 5:00 AM, and rarely shuts it down before 12 midnight.

We'd like to find a heavy duty, industrial strength amp that meets the following specs:

Generates 100 - 150 watts out on 146.64 MHz FM with drive ranging from 0 -20 watts (10 watts nominal).

Exists in good working condition and is constructed in an ultra-heavy duty fashion.

Packaged in a 19 inch rack mount.

Constructed from a Solid State design.

Able to produce rated power 24 hrs / day, into a real world load (not a 50 ohm dummy load) without missing a beat.

Contains complete SWR, short circuit, and thermal protection.

We're willing to pay for such an item, but would graciously accept a donation or a significant discount. We'd like to find something from GE / Ericcson, TPL, Motorola or EMI Corporation.

Does anyone have anything floating around their basement or workplace? Does anyone have a contact at one of the aforementioned companies who can investigate the availability of an appropriate unit?

Please email if you have ideas or questions, and thanks for your consideration.

Chris Shustak WARA chris.shustak@eastmansoftware.com


April General Meeting
New Time and Place!

This month's general meeting will be held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Building, at 7:30 PM, Thursday March 18. This meeting will be new ham night, especially to welcome graduates of our Technician class. Members are encouraged to greet the newest members of our hobby and introduce them to the hobby any your interests. We also will have Show 'n' Tell night, so bring in your new project, piece of equipment, QSL cards, whatever.

BARC General meetings are held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Building, corner of Berkeley St. and Columbus Ave. near Copley Square, in the third floor auditorium.

Parking is available; the entrance to the parking lot is from Columbus Ave. (across the street from the firehouse). It is also T accessible, the nearest T stations are Back Bay on the Orange and Purple lines (exit the rear of the station by the busway and walk down Columbus) and Arlington on the Green line (use the Berkeley Street exit).


Who Are We?

BARC member statistics as of April 3, 1998

We have a total of 138 members.

35 are on packet, 94 are on e-mail, and 31 are on both.

Not licensed 4, Novice 2, Tech 28, Tech+ 35, General 19, Advanced 18, Extra 32.

101 are ARRL members, 13 are ARRL Life members, and 24 are not ARRL members.

131 live in MA, 7 elsewhere.


Editor's Notes
Hamfest season!

Spring is here, and we all know what that means- the hamfests will be starting up again.

Hamfests! An old and honorable tradition of our hobby. Clinton DeSoto in his 1936 book, 200 Meters and Down, writes of them as an already well established institution.

Hamfests! A time to greet our friends who we haven't seen all winter and only kept in touch with on the air (what happened to your hair, Charlie!)

Hamfests! A chance to unload some of our extra equipment (get that junk out of the house or don't come back!) and perhaps find that little part or massive boat anchor we've been needing.

Hamfests! Getting a little healthy fresh air and sunlight (or a lot of rain,) along with a hefty dose of RF and a chance to test our intestinal fortitude with hotdogs and donuts.

Hamfests! Remember, one of the best in the country, the Flea at MIT, is every 3rd Sunday from April to October, and BARC has a table there. Drop on by and say hello. We'll be there.

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?

I just received a new Hustler 6-BTV vertical HF antenna. One thing I discovered (possibly omitted from the description in the catalog), or something I maybe should have assumed, is that it will need radials if mounted high in the air. I plan to mount it about 90 feet up a metal mast, which will have its metal base on the ground.

It comes with no radials, and the instructions recommend rather long radials. What are my options? I'd like to work all bands without having to add on a zillion 32- foot radials.

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.

For Sale: All Band Vertical Antenna

Swan model 1040V vertical antenna with extra 75 & 80-meter extension. New out of the box last year. Total height about 30'. Best offer.

Nelson Dionne
P.O. Box 907
Salem, MA 01970
978-532-4306
aa1mo@nsradio.org

Spring Special!

25% off call sign tattoos for licensed hams at

Filthy Fred's Tatu Parlor
1 April Road
in tax free Salem, NH

Optional ARES, RACES, Skywarn logo at no extra charge!


BARC Member Classifieds

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.


Vanity Fee To Drop Drastically

The fee to obtain an Amateur Radio vanity call sign would drop drastically under the FCC's proposed fiscal year 1998 fee schedule. If adopted, the new fee will be $12.90 for the ten- year term, payable at the time of application for a new, renewal or reinstated license.

The current vanity call sign fee is $50.00 for the ten-year term. The FCC says it has no plans to refund the difference between the current fee and the new fee for applicants who submit applications before implementation of the FY 1998 fee schedule.

The FCC has calculated the new fee based on an expected 10,000 applicants during FY 1998.

The FCC says it will announce the effective date for the new fee either in the Report and Order that terminates the fee schedule rulemaking proposal or by a public notice.

ARRL Bulletin 25 ARLB025 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT April 3, 1998


BARC Growth and/or Vanity

It's a rare month when we fail to add a few new members. We 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.

Binney Stone N1HJU Upgraded to Advanced

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

We Need Your Numbers

The two new area codes have been activated in Eastern Massachusetts with 617, 781, 508, and 978 now required. When you renew your membership, please be certain to show the correct area code on the membership form.

Now we hear that the US Postal Service will juggle Zip Codes for some communities in Eastern Massachusetts. This is even more critical to BARC. After implementation, incorrect Zip Codes not only may delay your mail, but address correction notices are costly to the club. If you are affected, as soon as the final changes are announced please notify the Keeper of the Database, at 508.650.9440 or erc@world.std.com.

On a related subject, our postage costs can be reduced if we have your complete nine- digit Zip Code. If you don't have it on the tip of your pencil, check the label of almost any magazine you subscribe to - it should be on their address label.


I See the Future
Events Ahead

18 AprNE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
19 AprMIT Flea
20 AprBoston Marathon (r)
26 AprMarch of Dimes Walk
6 MayAviation Expo
8-9 MayHoss Traders Flea (Rochester NH)
11 MayFCARC Flea (Greenfield)
15-17 MayDayton OH HamVention
16 MayRIAFMRS Flea (Forestdale RI)
17 MayMIT Flea
29 MayAssistive Technology Conference
21 JunMIT Flea
18 JulNE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
18 JulWARS Flea (Wellesley)
19 JulWellesley ARS Flea
19 JulMIT Flea
16 AugMIT Flea
28-30 AugARRL NE Div Convention (Boxboro)
13 SepSEMARA Flea (S Dartmouth)
19 SepRIFMRS Flea (Forestdale RI)
20 SepMIT Flea
2-3 OctHoss Traders Flea (Rochester NH)
21 NovWARA/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 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 March 11, 1998.

ExtraAdvancedTech/GenNovice
AA1TIKE1JH+++KB1CLA
++ NOTE: All calls in this group have been assigned; calls will now be assigned in the Novice group.


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 Thursdays at 7:30 pm)
Future Exam Dates
(Second Mondays at 7:00 pm)
  • 16 April 1998
  • 21 May 1998
  • 18 June 1998
  • 16 July 1998
  • 20 August 1998
  • 17 September 1998
  • 15 October 1998
  • 11 May 1998
  • 8 June 1998
  • 13 July 1998
  • 10 August 1998
  • 14 September 1998
  • 12 October 1998
Meetings are at the Salvation Army,
Berkeley and Columbus, Boston
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 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 session will be on Monday, April 13th. It will be held at the Pierce School at 50 School Street in Brookline, Room 110 next to the cafeteria. The session begins at 7 pm. There is a free parking garage at the circular driveway. If driving, enter School Street from the Washington street side (opposite 394 Washington). Check this map 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.

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


The BARC Business Meeting

Read the April Business Meeting minutes.

The Boston Amateur Radio Club holds its monthly business meeting on the first Wednesday of each month. The next one will be on Wednesday, May 6th (no foolin'). They are held in the food court of the Lechmere Galleria Mall in Cambridge. We meet at 6:30pm in the lower level, down by the windows facing the lagoon.

This is where the real business of BARC is conducted. If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, this is where to bring them. Everyone is welcome (and encouraged) to join us at this meeting.


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@netcom.com   n1ist@k1ugm
Vice PresidentDick Doherty KA1TUZ (617) 969 4880
rcdoherty@juno.com   ka1tuz@ka1tuz
SecretaryEd Hennessy N1PBA (617) 391 8257
ehenness@natick-amed02.army.mil  n1pba@ka1tuz
TreasurerJim Clogher N1ICN n1icn@ka1tuz
VE (Exam) TeamBob Wondolowski N1KDA (508) 865 5822
wondobob@juno.com
MembershipArthur Ashley N1NHZ (617) 661 2988
 Patricia Allen KE1GD barcmember@aol.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 1997, 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.