Volume X, Number 1; January 1998
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

January Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, January 21st.

Our speaker will be Lew Collins, who will speak on RF Safety and the new FCC rules on same for Amateurs. Members may want to read the article FCC RF-Exposure Regulations - the Station Evaluation in the Jan. 1998 issue of QST. Also, Mike Kass, N1YER will be updating us on the ARES team he is organizing.

QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season.

Quite often, I ask questions here in my column. For some reason, I rarely get any responses. Please keep in mind that BARC is your club; it's real hard for me to improve it without knowing what the general membership wants, what is working, and more importantly, what doesn't work or needs improvement. If you have any suggestions or comments, let me know at one of the meetings, by email at, packet at n1ist@k1ugm, or give me a call.

So here's my question for January:

What would you like to see the club doing this year?

For those of you who are moving, please remember to send a change of address in to Bob Salow, WA1IDA, at I just spent $2.50 at the post office to pay for forwarding information for five BARC members. At a few bucks a month, this quickly adds up to 1-2 peoples membership solely going to the USPS for bounced newsletters, and that's something we can't afford.

Unfortunately, we were unable to hold our First Night NTS booth at the Hynes last year (they were redoing the carpeting on the third floor, and didn't have anywhere to put us). We have contacted them about this year; they want us back, so we should be all set. Thanks to everyone who was all set to help out, we thought they would have a place for us until the last minute.

BARC is involved in numerous events where we set up ham radio displays for the public (First Night, Aviation Expo, Assistive Tech, Field Day...). In order to do a better job of this, we will need to make some displays or signs that we can put on the back of our table or on easels to explain the hobby to visitors. We should also have some packaged demos or at least plans for what to bring (and where to get it from) for display and use. Please let me know if you have any ideas or can help make the signs.

Thanks to everyone who ran the BARC net in `97, including n1nhz, n1xbr, n1yia, n1yer, n1vqy, wa1eat, n1pba, n1jbc, n1wvc, n1xkb, ke1gd, n1ist, n1gie, and to ka1tuz for running Net Control 101. We still need people to help run the net; it's good training and a lot of fun. If you can help out please let me know.

I hope to see everyone at the meeting; it promises to be a very interesting topic.


Congratulations to BARC's Hams of the Year 1997

Arthur Ashley N1NHZ, and Terry Koen N1IWF have been honored by the Boston Amateur Radio Club as 1997's Hams of the Year. They were presented with plaques at the December Holiday Party, and photos should be available for viewing at:

Thanks guys for all you've done for us!

Letter from Arthur Ashley N1NHZ

Thank you for your consideration in the 1997 BARC Ham of the Year Award. I greatly appreciate receiving it and look forward to continuing activity in 1998.

Originally, I joined BARC for a social and educational experience, and since then have been very pleased with the good times that I have enjoyed.

Happy New Year to you all, individually and as a Ham Radio Club.

Thanks again,
73, Arthur N1NHZ

Treasurer's Report 1997

Jim Clogher N1ICN, the BARC Treasurer reports for 1997 that the club balance on Jan 1, 1997 was $1846.43 and the balance on Dec 31, 1997 was $1668.68. He also reports that in 1997, income from dues was $2607, income from donations was about $200. Newsletter expenses were $2188 and the cost of stamps was about $200 (this is not a complete breakdown of club income and expenses.)

ARES RACES Skywarn Training

The next in the series of introductory training for amateur radio operators on the basics of RACES, ARES and SKYWARN will be held on February 8, 1998 at 1:30pm at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency's Area 1 Headquarters in Tewksbury on the grounds of the Tewksbury State Hospital.

This introductory training will familiarize amateur radio operators with the purpose of each of these different amateur radio emergency communications groups and tell people how to get involved. Examples will be given of how these groups are working together on a statewide basis to coordinate responses to emergencies where amateur radio is used.

The meeting will consist of an introduction, three 20-minute presentations and a question and answer period.

This training has already occurred in Bridgewater and Belchertown, and will be offered one more time in Framingham in May of 1998.

We are working on other topics for presentation to amateur radio operators involved in emergency communications as well.

If the weather intervenes and causes a postponement of this session, it will be postponed to February 15th.

Directions to MEMA Area 1 Headquarters: The Area 1 headquarters building is located on the grounds of the Tewksbury State Hospital.

The hospital may be easily reached from Routes 495 or Route 93.

From Route 495 take the exit 38 for Route 38. Take Route 38 south toward Tewksbury center. About three miles south on route 38 you will see a Shell gas station on your left at an intersection with a traffic light. Make a left turn at this light on to Chandler Street. Go down Chandler Street about 300 feet and take a right turn into Hospital Road, Entrance #3.

From Route 93 take exit number 42, Dascomb road. At the end of the exit ramp follow the signs toward Tewksbury. Dascomb road becomes East Street when you cross from Andover into Tewksbury. Stay on East Street until you pass the hospital on your left and the Little League fields on your right. Just past the hospital, at the blinking traffic light, turn left on to Chandler Street. About a tenth of a mile down Chandler street will be Hospital Road, Entrance #3.

Hospital Road, Entrance #3 is the main entrance to the hospital and leads directly to the main parking lot. When you get to the parking lot, turn left into the lot and the MEMA building will be straight ahead of you on the opposite side of the lot (there is a 150 foot tower behind the MEMA building, so it should be easy to spot!). The MEMA building is next to the Police Academy building and across the parking lot from the main hospital building. Be sure to use entrance #3. Some of the other entrances do not lead to the correct parking lot.

There will be a talkin on the Billerica Repeater. 147.12 MHz +600 kHz offset, for those needing assistance in finding the meeting location.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Tom Kinahan N1CPE

Public Service Events Needing Your Help

The New Year brings a 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.

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 well in advance to intensify the recruiting. Please volunteer whenever you can - it's a fun learning experience.

Looking well ahead, hams will be needed for the following events:
20 Apr (Mon) Boston Marathon
29 May (Fri) Assistive Technology Conference

Until the specific Recruiting Coordinators can be assigned, contact Bob Salow, WA1IDA, to volunteer or to get more information. Call him at 508.650.9440, or by email at

The Little Balloon Beacon That Could

PCIS-1, with a tiny expendable 2 meter CW beacon aboard was launched Tuesday under near perfect sky and wind conditions from Plymouth, MA. Winds were very light; the balloon rose gently almost straight up and then off to the north. Optical contact (without even binoculars for aid) was maintained for about 20 minutes.

The signal was picked up here at N1LTV (24 statute miles distant) within just minutes of launch using only an unsqelched 2 meter FM HT driven by a four element beam. 15 minutes later, all I needed was a rubber duck antenna!

I'm anxiously awaiting more QSL reports after the first from eastern Mass. have already arrived. Email or snail mail is fine. Several trackers have signal records covering well over an hour of beacon transmissions. Thanks to those of you who have already responded with reception reports.

It's valuable to hear from those of you who attempted to copy the balloon and didn't. At greater distances, depending on local topography, it may have been physically impossible for you to hear the beacon. Please send a SASE if you'd like a Balloon QSL card. Also remember that the more information you provide about your receiving and antenna equipment, the more useful it will be for the post-flight analysis. One request: if you give the model number of a rig, just identify in words whether it's FM or CW/SSB-you know your rig well, but I probably don't.

There is a sample reception report at the website, plus a notice about an upcoming launch in Kansas this Saturday, Dec. 13.

Hank Riley, N1LTV
Plymouth Balloon Launch Technical Director

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.

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.

January General Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, January 21. Our speaker will be Lew Collins, who will speak on RF Safety and the new FCC rules on same for Amateurs. Members may want to read the article FCC RF-Exposure Regulations - the Station Evaluation in the Jan. 1998 issue of QST. Also, Mike Cass, N1YER will be updating us on the ARES team he is organizing.

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.

Bell Atlantic Has Your Number

Having started on 1 September, two new area codes have been activated in Eastern Massachusetts by dividing 617 into 617 and 781, and also by dividing 508 into 508 and 978. As this is likely to impact some BARC members and others on our mailing list, please notify the Keeper of the Database now that Bell Atlantic (having swallowed NYNEX) and the Commonwealth have grabbed more control of your life.

You can reach Bob Salow, WA1IDA, by phone at 508.650.9440 or by e-mail at

Net Control 101 Returns

On Monday night, Jan. 19, after the regular BARC Net on 145.23 - held at 9pm - there will be a practice net. People who have never run a net before will get to try their hand at being NCS of a simulated traffic net. Net Elmers will be on hand to guide and advise in net operations. Of course, people are needed to check in also. So, after the BARC net is over, hang around and join the practice!

Editor's Notes
Odds and ends

This year, the club presidency will be open; N1IST will not run again. Those members who are interested in this, or other club offices, should step forward soon.

We also need a Field Day coordinator - Glenn, who did such a good job last year, has escaped to the left coast.

Our special thanks to Ed N1PBA for finding the Happy Haddock for our Holiday Party (but why are the haddock happy? The ones I saw there were on a plate, grilled.)

We also thank those members who have donated time and effort to club activities, and those who have given money to support the repeater and other club efforts.

If you are tuned to .23 and every now and then hear your radio say "1", don't be alarmed. This is just a programming error in the repeater, which will be fixed soon. Don't miss N1IST's article in next month's SPARC on the 145.23 repeater!

Don't forget the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes on the 17th and 18th! Even a few simplex calls on your HT are welcome (except that using 146.52 for contest contacts is not allowed.)

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.

Got A Question?

Several people have told me that the GROL test and questions change every two years. In light of this, I've emailed the FCC asking when the next change will take place.

I'm wondering if I should proceed putting my energy into studying with the pool I have now or wait until the next round. I do not need the license, but would like to have it.

Thanks for any insight on this.


I'm planning to get an UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) for home, and want to know where to look and what I should expect to spend.

One of the major reasons for the purchase is I'm converting my phone line to ISDN, and I want to continue to receive calls (though there is another phone line which is remaining POTS). Plus, I have a few computers I wish to keep up and running 24x7.

Any help and pointers for companies, web sites, etc, would be greatly appreciated.


I am finally going to be able to put up a rooftop antenna, and the decision is coming down to the Forbes Group' Ventenna (dual- band version) or Cushcraft dual-band vertical.

What are people's preferences, experiences with either? I'd prefer the Ventenna if possible.

How is the performance, quality, etc?


I finally managed to get a vertical antenna on the roof of the house, along with TCP/IP software running on a laptop, and my TNC in KISS mode.

Problem is, when I tried to connect to various area stations via AX.25 (as a test), nobody seemed to be around.

As I am in the Boston area, what stations in Eastern and Central Mass can I connect to, and on what frequencies? Please also include New Hampshire and Southern Mass, too. Remember, this is NOT for BBSing. This is for TCP/IP activity.

(Try looking in the TAPR directory at directory - Ed.)

Scott Ehrlich WY1Z
Scott Ehrlich Consulting

I would be interested in people's experiences with rooftop sub-30MHz antennas. As I live in Lexington it will have to be relatively unobtrusive, thus I'm thinking of one of those R5/R7 types. Running long wires between trees isn't practical. Anyone have any suggestions/experiences/etc?

(I don't have the transceiver yet but I figure I'll do the antenna first then the radio would be the easier...)

Steve Isenberg, N1TMQ
9 Ross Road, Lexington, MA 02173
Phone: 617-563-1258 days

BARC Member Classifieds

Garmin GPS 12XL receiver. Nice unit. $175.
This is in new condition and I probably still have the box, warranty card, etc. Tom (ka1tox)
call anytime

Radio Shack speaker microphone for Icom or Radio-Shack HT $10
Communication Specialists external 32-tone CTCSS encoder Model te 32 $25 Daiwa SWR/power meter 140-525 MHz $50
If interested you may contact me at:

Tim Cumings
Phone- (617) 731-5998
e-mail -

Wanted: New or used equipment (working) to set up a HF station. I need a transceiver that offers full HF coverage receive and HF Ham frequencies transmit capabilities. I also need an antenna; my location limits use of horizontal dipole and thus a vertical building mounted antenna is probably my best option. I am open to ideas and suggestions. I'm willing to pay fair price.

Steve Isenberg, N1TMQ
9 Ross Road, Lexington, MA 02173
Phone: 617-563-1258 days

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.

Sputnik PS2/RS-17 Officially Declared Dead

It's official. The Sputnik PS2/RS-17 mini- satellite ceased transmitting on December 29, 1997. The little satellite, a one-third scale replica of the original Sputnik 1, beep-beeped its way around the globe for 55 days, more than two weeks longer than it had been projected to last.

The Sputnik PS-2 was launched by hand from the Russian Mir space station on November 4, 1997, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launching of the original Sputnik by the USSR in 1957

The Sputnik PS2 beacon, on 145.82, was widely monitored and recorded around the world. The satellite was fabricated by students in Russian and on France's Reunion Island.

Reception reports go to The Radio Club of Jules Reydellet school on Reunion Island. Those whose reports are confirmed will receive an approximately 6x9-inch color certificate on high- quality paper with number identification and the radio club stamp. Requests for these certificates should be made only by letter with a SASE (6x9 inch) and two (2) IRCs. Do not send requests via e-mail. The mailing address is FR5KJ Radio Club, 103 Rue de la Republique, 97 489 Saint Denis Cedex, Reunion Island.

Space Bulletin 001 ARLS001
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT January 9, 1998

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

I See the Future
Events Ahead

17 JanNE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
14 FebAARC Flea (Marlboro)
1 MarMt Tom ARA Flea (Northampton)
14 MarMARC Auction (Gardner)
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
29 MayAssistive Technology Conference
21 JunMIT Flea
28-30 AugARRL NE Div Convention (Boxboro)

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

FCC Issued Call Sign Update

The following is a list of the FCC's most recently issued callsigns for District 1 (NE) as of January 5, 1998.


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 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)
  • 18 February 1998
  • 18 March 1998
  • 15 April 1998
  • 20 May 1998
  • 17 June 1998
  • 15 July 1998
  • 9 February 1998
  • 9 March 1998
  • 13 April 1998
  • 18 May 1998
  • 8 June 1998
  • 13 July 1998
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, February 9th. 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

The BARC Business Meeting

Read the January 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, February 4th. 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@k1ugm
Vice PresidentDick Doherty KA1TUZ (617) 969 4880   ka1tuz@ka1tuz
SecretaryEd Hennessy N1PBA (617) 391 8257  n1pba@ka1tuz
TreasurerJim Clogher N1ICN n1icn@ka1tuz
VE (Exam) TeamBob Wondolowski N1KDA (508) 865 5822
MembershipArthur Ashley N1NHZ (617) 661 2988
 Patricia Allen KE1GD
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 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.