The SPARC

Volume X, Number 7; July 1998
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

July Meeting
This month's general meeting will be held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Building, at 7:30 PM, Thursday July 16. This month's topic will be VOAD and the origin of Ham Radio public service activities.


Our President Speaks
Ed Hennessy N1PBA

Well, here I sit writing my first column. I should begin by thanking Mike Ardai, N1IST, our past President, who has kept the club running for the last two and one-half years. Thanks to Mike's work, I have large shoes to fill. Thanks too to Dick KA1TUZ and Jim N1ICN, who continue in their offices.

However, I will not be able to fill Mike's shoes without YOUR help. This is YOUR club, and I need ideas, assistance, and information. My main word is "delegate!" That means not only having your help to run events and activities, but also help in creating BARC activities and functions. What do YOU want the club to be doing? What should we stop doing? What can we do to improve what we are doing? If you don't speak out, I can't read minds! And I cannot and will not be able to do everything myself...

Please feel free to contact me any time with suggestions, assistance, and ideas. I'll listen.

Also, special thanks to Mike Kass, N1YER, for helping BARC re-establish its 501c3 certification with the IRS. Mike just has one more piece of paper to file, this time with the state, which will give us tax- exempt status. This means that we can purchase anything for club use without paying sales tax. Many thanks, Mike!

As for recent activities, BARC's Field Day was a reasonable success. I'll leave the debriefing to the Field Day Committee and Mike, N1IST. Thanks to all that participated in the setup and breakdown- these are crucial activities for any Field Day or other emergency operating event. We could have used more visitors and operators, though. But we did prove that should BARC get the call, we can set up and run HF and VHF stations within a few hours. For those that missed it, 6 meters was open most of the weekend, and the 6m operators got some great contacts.

And for those who want to get involved in future emergency or public service communications, think about learning to be a Net Control operator. It's good practice for handling emergencies and will teach you how to react to handling traffic from several stations in an orderly way. Acting as BARC Net Control is an easy way to practice. Arthur Ashley, N1NHZ, is heading up a Net Control 101 committee, and he will be running periodic net control training sessions on 145.23 after the BARC Net. The first session will be after the net on August 3rd.

Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July, and I look forward to hearing from members soon.

73 de Ed, N1PBA


QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

It was great to see those who showed up for Field Day. I hope all who did had a great time, and those (many) of you who didn't will consider coming next year.

There are a few other articles in this SPARC concerning my views on Field Day and the ever-important issues of logging. Since Field Day is supposed to be an emergency drill (as well as a contest), I was surprised to see such a low turnout.

As most of you already know, BARC had its club elections this past general meeting, and that I and N1PBA have switched places. Thanks to everyone who has helped me out over my years as President; please continue to do the same with Ed.

Once again, I would like to remind all of you that this is YOUR club. Please let those of us on the executive committee know what you would like to see us do or how we can improve things. Without feedback, we have no way of knowing what kind of a job we are doing.

73,
/mike


Get Well, Bob

We wish Bob Cassell, N1ENS, a speedy recovery from his recent surgery. You can send a card to his home address as shown in the club roster.


Congratulations to BARC's New Officers

BARC held our annual elections for 1998-9 club offices. Unanimously elected were:

We are all grateful to them for their willingness to serve the club, and we should give them all the support we have to give in the year ahead.


Post-Mortem for BARC's 1998 Field Day
Michael Ardai, N1IST

I guess it is time for my semi-regular ramblings after Field Day...

All in all, things went very well. There were a few organizational problems, light turnout, and a little drizzle on Saturday :-) but I hope everyone there had a great time.

What worked well:

Special thanks to Mike, KB1CKF, for bringing the Salvation Army canteen truck, the huge grill, and for providing much- needed food during FD. Oh, and those QRP 6M contacts with IL and IN and all those other ones from the main stations :-)

The R7 worked out very well. It was a great antenna and by putting it way over on the side, it cut down the QRM.

Satellite City racking up the points, despite the early morning experiments with folded dipoles and U-turn polarization

The new tent worked out very well. Roomy enough to comfortably house two stations and it stayed nice and dry. Thanks NC1V!

Thanks to all who helped haul, set up, tear down, and operate everything for FD, especially KA1TUZ, N1PBA, KB1CRZ, KB1CKF, N1VSJ, N1ICN, KD1NX, N1HID, and N1DHW (and everyone else I missed...) Sorry if I yelled a bit much at teardown... Those that showed up did a great job!

2 generators - nice to have, especially with the load of the coffee pots

W1MW stopped by on Sunday!

WX1G made it Sunday and got us tons of CW contacts

Great 6M openings. Thanks to N1TMF for the beam, K1EP for the IC706, and everyone for operating

What we can improve on:

Attendance was quite poor. Not sure whether it was the poor conditions on Saturday or general apathy. We did have to shut down the stations at night for lack of operators (N1UVC was the only one to stay up all night) and some people were wondering whether it is worth all the trouble. More Extra-class operators would have helped. More operators would have helped...

The G5RV was a poor performer. Next year we will try a fan dipole or inverted Vs. Nobody bothered to test the 20M beam, so we didn't bring it. It would have been nice to have.

The flying saucer sighted during setup. Wait a minute - wasn't that my tent :-)

For most of the time, we didn't have signs up leading to the FD; we need to let the transportation museum folks know earlier that we are there, since they were trying to charge people $5 to get in (for their car show) when all they wanted was to get to FD.

Logging - Many people didn't want to (or were afraid to) use CT for logging. As a result, I got lots of paper logs, in various states of readability. Many are missing key info (such as time of contact), and half are in EDT instead of UTC. This slows things down since I have to type them all in and manually merge them with the CT logs. Next year I will make up some standard paper log forms so the anti-computer crowd will at least log all the info in the same order. At least a few who logged on paper will be typing them in and emailing them to me.

Our PR efforts must start sooner. We need to get good press releases out. It is embarrassing to have all the Boston media giving PR to FARA instead of us. Thanks to WA1IDA for getting Bruyce Schwoegler to mention us on channel 4.

On-site PR could have been a bit better.

I got the feeling that people weren't taking FD seriously. Maybe next year we should try a more contest/training oriented FD.

A few people mentioned the lack of soda. We did have sufficient water, however. (Ed. Apart from the "light drizzle," that is)

The laptop in the 6M/2M tent had a weak screen. I'm sure I'll have a different one next year.

We need to do a better job of coordinating which station is on which band - Either that or limit the number of 2M and 6M stations. It was too easy to run more TX than is legal under 3A.

No 2M ssb, no RTTY or HF digital, limited 2M packet. No higher bands than 2M.

We should use a longer 2M beam. 2M was quieter than usual, and N1FD (ex-N1NH) did the usual.

We should make some sort of sound barrier around the generators - maybe four pieces of plywood with some old rug on the inside? With so much 12V gear, maybe we should figure out a way to run the entire event on 12V and be able to leave the generators off from time to time. It sure would be quieter.

Junk is something you throw away three weeks before you need it.

Oh well... Now to unpack and put away all the gear...

73,
/mike


The Mysteries Of Logging
Ed Parish K1EP

Years ago, it was a FCC requirement to log all amateur transmissions. Anytime you tuned up, called CQ, or had a QSO, you were required to log that transmission. Logs had to be maintained for a period of time and had to include the call of the other party, the frequency, the mode of operation, the time, and the power input. The logs usually contained other items of information, such as the operators name, signal report, location, etc. Before the advent of the home computer, logs were kept on paper. When I bought my first HF transceiver, along with the operators manual, the manufacturer included a logbook. The ARRL still sells logbooks that have generally not changed in format for decades. It became second nature for operators to log all of their contacts, especially out of fear that a FCC inspector would knock on their door and request to see their logs. Even one of the conditions of renewing your license was that you had to have been active on the radio a certain number of times in the previous year. The best way to prove it was with your station log. FCC rulings in the last couple of decades have made the institution of logging obsolete. Many older hams still maintain logs, as do DX'ers and contesters.

One thing that I have noticed in observing some Field Day operations is that most hams do not have an idea as to what a log is or what the purpose of it is. As I mentioned earlier, the requirement for logs used to be the start time of the transmission, the ending time of the transmission, the power input (regulations were written in terms of power input, not power output, as measuring the output power was more difficult at that time), the mode of operation, the frequency, and the station contacted. Although not technically a contest, Field Day is an activity to promote amateur operation and skills. One of the skills that Field Day attempts to promote is log keeping. In the modern home computer age, an integral part of many amateur stations is the computer. Packet radio would not exist without the computer. Satellite tracking is routine with the computer. Logging is also task that lends itself to the computer. Many of the "modern" amateurs have computers and have computers in their "shack". Then why are people intimidated by logging and afraid of logging with a computer?

Contests and Field Day all require the operators to maintain a log. In reality, it is not necessary if you don't want to "compete" and submit a log to the organizing body (in the case of Field Day, the ARRL). All competitions require just a little more information to be exchanged besides the callsign of the other station. This exchange authenticates the transmission. Supposedly, you would not be able to get this information, unless you communicated directly with the other station. The log keeps this information, as well as the time of the contact and the callsign of the other party. In most contests and in Field Day, you are only allowed to contact a station once (sometimes per contest, sometimes per band) during a contest. Without a log, how do you know whether you have contacted that station before? Before computer logging, the dupe sheet was an invaluable asset to the operator. Many operators had different ideas of what a dupe sheet should have looked like, but the essence was, it allowed the operator to check for duplicate callsigns at a glance. With computer logging, the computer can instantly tell the operator whether the other call has been worked or not. This allows efficient operation of the station. No longer do you have to spend minutes calling someone, only to realize later that you had already contacted that station earlier in the competition. The computer also knows what time it is. When you contact a station and enter that callsign in the log, the time is automatically entered. There is no doubt or interpretation of the time; it is in the computer! What else does the computer automatically put in the log? You have to know what mode that you are operating. Field Day has three distinct modes these days: voice, CW, or digital. Technically, voice can be either USB, LSB, AM or FM, but this is generally known by which band or band segment you are operating in. The frequency of operation is also in the log. The logs generally do not contain the exact frequency (although they could with the proper computer interface); they contain the band in which you are operating. These six essential pieces of information make up the Field Day log: time, band, mode, callsign, class, and section. Your callsign and power output is assumed to be the same for each contact. Without these six pieces of information, you do not have a valid log entry.

The exchange of information in Field Day consists of three pieces of information: your callsign, your class, and your ARRL section. Another popular contest coming up this fall is called Sweepstakes. The exchange for Sweepstakes is more complicated. It consists of the callsign, the contact number, the precedent, your year first licensed, and the ARRL section. If there ever was a contest made for a computer, it was Sweepstakes! Sweepstakes had its origins in traffic handlers and some of the exchange information has meaning there.

Logging is an art or skill that apparently is dying in the amateur community. It is sometimes interesting and informational to read the logs of stations from many years ago. There are many interesting comments written in those logs. Field Day not only gives the amateur the opportunity to get on HF and contact other Field Day stations; it attempts to hone the skill of the operators. Logging is one those skills. Although this is written too late for Field Day 1998, see what you can do to improve your logging skills over the next year for Field Day 1999. Maybe even enter the November Sweepstakes, which is one of the most enjoyable contests of the year.

Ed Parish K1EP


Re-awakening of EMA ARES

As many of you are aware, I recently accepted the appointment to Section Emergency Coordinator for the Eastern Massachusetts Section of the ARRL. What I would like to do is try and communicate to the general Ham community what I am trying to do. First I would like say that this has been a team effort. Several people have been very helpful in giving advice and time to the effort. To a large extent ARES has been neglected in our section for many years. It has primarily been managed as part of RACES. Ironically, in Western Mass the opposite is true. Dennis, K1VSG has done an excellent job of operating ARES and is now supplying the core for the re activation of RACE in that section. Tom, N1CPE has recently taken the position of Radio Officer for the state of Massachusetts. This makes him the person charge of all RACES activities in the state. Tom and I are old friends and when I heard that he was taking the radio officer position I decided I'd give the SEC position a try. We believe that the only way we will be successful is if we work very closely together. Our final goal is to have the RACES and ARES organizations work as one. This will take some time and we do not think it is necessary for us to the successful.

How we are re organizing is to break the section into districts. Currently those are along the same lines as the RACES Areas. I would like to find a person to run Cape Cod and the Islands as a district. This area is one that is susceptible to weather problems and I think it needs special attention. If anyone knows of a good candidate please contact me. Of course, you can volunteer yourself.

The organization is divided into three major groups. The first is the current RACES organization. Most if not all of the RACES leadership have similar ARES appointments. We want to continue this. The second major group is the SkyWarn organization that is currently very well run by Rob, KD1CY. I appointed him as the DEC in charge of SkyWarn for the section even though his responsibility extends well beyond that. I do not believe in fixing something that is already working well, but I thought Rob needed the appropriate title to continue his work. The third part of the organization is what we have been calling Emergency Response Teams. SEMCARES, also lead by Rob, is a very good example of this. It is providing staffing to RACES within EMA. There are already several clubs that have formed this type of group without getting the appropriate recognition. Boston ARC and North Shore RA are two good examples. These are groups of Hams who have had some training in emergency communications and are ready to help other organizations like the Salvation Army, Red Cross and local governments during emergencies. Most of these groups already are active participants in public service communications as well. This after all is how we practice our communications and improve our skills.

So, how can you help? First if you are part of a radio club that is interested in emergency communications and probably does public service communications already, consider forming an Emergency Response Team. To form the team you need to appoint a leader. This person needs to make the commitment to supply leadership and organization to the team. When the team is organized I will appoint the leader to the field position of Emergency Coordinator. We are still working on the details of organizing please teams and are looking for help in how to address may of the details. For example, methods of calling-up the team, kinds of communications structures the teams can use, types of equipment the team needs to meet its goals.

Secondly, you can form a community ARES unit, to support your local community RACES, Emergency Management and Non- Government Organizations. This could be as an ERT of a local club, as part of local RACES, or as an independent voluntary organization. Again, a leader is needed. Kinds of response expected of community teams and ERT might be different.

We have been working on a training program. Will, KB0UYO is responsible for improving and conducting training for the section. He would be glad to set of a time when he or one of his trainers can conduct the basic training course. This takes about two hours and we expect the sponsoring group to set up the location and facilities. If there is a problem with getting a location please do not let that hinder you. We can help there as well but as Will has enough to do in conducting the training, we would like to delegate as much of the work as practical.

I have made contact with the Boston area Red Cross and the Boston area Salvation Army. Both organizations are enthusiastic about having Ham communications support. The BARC ERT supported the Salvation Army and indirectly the Red Cross during the 9 alarm fire in the middle of May. They are also supported an exercise on June 4th with both organizations. They would both like to see more activity in this area.

We have planned a daylong workshop in emergency communications for the first of August. I would encourage anyone interested in Ham emergency communications to participate in these programs. I have attached the announcement below.

This activity is still new to many of us and has a result can use all the constructive advice we can get. I would encourage anyone who has suggestions or comments in these areas to contact me or Marty, N1QIR or Lou, N1UEC

SEC
Steve Schwarm, W3EVE
30 Hayden Woods
Wrentham, MA 02093
work: (781)271-4600 home: (508)384-7697
email: w3eve@amsat.org

DEC Northern District
Marty Offenhauer, N1QIR
11 Gould St.
Reading, MA 01867

DEC Southern District
Lou Harris, N1UEC
2224 Main St.
Walpole, MA 02081


Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Workshop Aug 1st

There will be an Emergency Communications Workshop on Saturday August 1st, 1998 from 9 AM-4 PM at the Walpole Senior Center, 135 School Street, in back of the Walpole Town Hall in Walpole Massachusetts.

This Emergency Communications Workshop will provide the background and information to serve Amateur Radio Operators when they need to respond to a communications emergency. It will feature an Introduction and Conclusion to Emergency Communications, and five 1- hour training sessions on topics including:

This training will also feature a one-hour lunch that will be provided at no coerced cost to any Amateur who attends the session.

Other Amateur Operators well versed in the topics listed above will give the presentations. The training will be a worthwhile endeavor not just for emergency communicators but for anyone who is an amateur radio operator, and wants to learn more about the hobby.

Preregistration is requested but is not required in case anyone would like to attend at the last minute. If you preregister, please try to do so by Saturday July 25th, 1998 so that we can get an approximate head count. We will, however, accept any preregistrations after that day or any walk- ins as long as space permits.

Talk-in will be on the 146.895 (-600 Shift, No PL Tone) Walpole EMA K1HRV repeater. The senior-center/town hall has plenty of parking. The site is a short walk from the Walpole bus/train depot. Pickups at the station can be requested on talk-in or preregistration. Morning trains arrive from points north (& south) before and at starting time.

For Detailed MBTA Schedules, please check out the MBTA site:

http://www.mbta.com/schedules/

Directions to the Walpole Senior Center follow:

Direction to the Newell Center, Walpole Town Hall, 135 School St., Walpole. School St. runs between Rt. 27 (which is East St.) and Common St. and is parallel to Rt. 1A.

Walpole is about halfway between Boston and Providence and is easily reached from Rt. 1A, Rt. 1, Rt. 95, and Rt. 27.

From Boston: Travel south on Rt. 95 to Coney St. (exit 10 Sharon Walpole). At the top of the ramp turn right (Coney St.). At the set of lights turn left onto Rt. 1. (south). At Rt. 27 (the next set of lights) turn right. (**)At Rt. 27, High Plain St. Walpole, proceed through the first set of lights at Washington St., continue through the stop sign, bear left onto East St. then go past the Catholic Church on the left. The 2nd cross Street. is School St. Take left at School St., the town hall is the next large building on the right. There is plenty of parking in the rear of the building and the adjacent lot.

From Attleboro take Rt. 95 North to Rt. 1 (exit 9 Rt. 1 and 27 Walpole) and proceed no Rt. 1 North. The next set of lights is Rt. 27 (High Plain St.). Take left and follow instructions noted above (**).

From Medfield take Rt. 27 to Walpole Center. Go through the set of lights at Main St.(Rt. 1A) and East St. (Rt. 27). At the first intersection take a right, School St. the Town Hall is the big building on the right.

For any additional information and to preregister for the workshop, please contact:

KB0UYO, William Dohr (ARES Training Officer) by email MAJRCOMM@aol.com

N1VUX, Bill Ricker via a NTS traffic message.

KD1CY, Rob Macedo by email kd1cy@qsl.net

This training should be a worthwhile endeavor for anyone interested in learning more about emergency communications and amateur radio in general.


Public Service on Repeaters

I have noticed that some of the new hams on the repeater are reluctant to take breakdown and accident calls on the repeater. I would like to give a few guidelines for taking emergency calls.

Type Of Incident

  1. Accident with injuries
  2. Accident with no apparent injuries
  3. Breakdown in travel lane or hazardous position

Location

  1. Town or city
  2. Route number or street name
  3. Mile marker, exit or intersection
  4. Direction of travel
  5. Make, color or any information on incident

Write down the information as you take it and read it back to the operator. Also copy the call sign of the reporting ham.

These are the things Police or Fire people need to know. If a car is broken down and in a breakdown lane or out of the way, don't call State Police or a 911 operator as this is not an emergency. On major highways or the expressway the State Police have contract garages to patrol for breakdowns.

Hope this helps
Dick Doherty KA1TUZ


Crash Test Dummies Needed!

Volunteers needed to help the Police department in a drill simulating an airport crash scene. We do not need you as a ham but rather as a victim!

The drill is slated for Oct. 1 and should last 4 hours plus make-up time and food service. We need 20 people to play victims and perpetrators. You must be willing to be moulaged and decontaminated.

Dick Doherty KA1TUZ


Where Do Requests For Ham Public Service Come From?

More specifically, when Amateur Radio is asked to support agencies which respond to emergencies and disasters, what starts the process going? The situation itself triggers certain (generally public) agencies to respond or activate first. Once the next level of disaster has occurred, response needs are assessed and the information is passed up to a broader organization like the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

The State's resources are allocated according to plan with responsibilities assigned to appropriate agencies. The care of victims, the support of direct responders, most phases of post disaster clean up, and the handling of volunteered goods and services is assigned through the Massachusetts Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (MVOAD).

Working directly with MEMA, MVOAD coordinates the abilities of its private agency members to meet the public need. It is these agencies which may need ham communications to carry out their duties. The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a prominent member of MVOAD. While the Red Cross and the Salvation Army may be the most visible members of MVOAD, there are more than two dozen other groups which provide such services.

At our July meeting, Mike Koenemund, KB1CKF, and Bob Salow, WA1IDA, will present the process and definition of the need for ham radio communication support in disasters and other emergencies. Mike is the Disaster Director for the Salvation Army in Boston, and is the Secretary of MVOAD. Bob is the ARES representative to MVOAD, and is the Vice Chair of MVOAD.

Come to the meeting to hear where the action really begins. Find out how you can help.


Who Are We?

On July 6, 1998:

BARC has a total of 161 members.
41 are on packet, 113 are on e-mail, and 35 are on both.
38 are Extra, 19 are Advanced, 19 are General, 45 are Technician Plus, 34 are Technician, 2 are Novice and 4 are not licensed.
114 are ARRL members, 15 are ARRL Life members, and 32 are not ARRL members.
154 live in MA, 7 live elsewhere.


The Postal Plot Causes BARC Consternation

The US Postal Service has now announced its plot for shuffling ZIP Codes in some Greater Boston communities. OK, some places merely had the first three digits changed. However, some places, which had only one ZIP Code, are now divided geographically into several new ZIP Codes.

The USPS told the local residents (that's you) their new numbers, but have made it difficult for small mailers like BARC to determine these changes. If you are in this situation, here is your urgent task: Notify Bob Salow, the Keeper of the Database at 508.650.9440 or erc@world.std.com. Please do this promptly since incorrect ZIP Codes will soon begin to delay your mail and cost the club significant expense in forwarding notices.


Editor's Notes
FD '98 - What a time!

No, despite rumors, we were not fishing out of the HF tent this time. We were fishing for contacts, however, and 6 meters gave us plenty of juicy ones - the best I've ever heard the band. 4-land station calling? No problem, just put your call out and back he came. It got to where some operators would sniff at a "mere" SC station, preferring to hunt for more exotic game such as NB or MB.

Mike Koenemund did excellent service for us, providing plenty of hot coffee and some fine short order cooking - about the only two things that will pull hams away from their rigs!

You weren't there? Too bad - it must have been me that got your burger and your PR contact then! Hope to see you next year.

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.


Net Control 101 Returns

On Monday night, August 3, we will run a practice net on 145.23 after the regular 9pm BARC net. Arthur Ashley N1NHZ will be NCS. People who have never run a net before will get to try their hand at being NCS of a simulated traffic net. We especially urge members of ARES and BERT to attend. 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!


SATERN Net Starts on .23 Machine

We have just received permission to start a SATERN Net on Friday Nights at 9pm on the 145.23 repeater. We will be starting this on Friday July 10, 1998

The SATERN Net will be used much like the public safety net, but will be used to pass information on The Salvation Army Disaster Services, and Disasters throughout the US and the World. SATERN members as well as the general Amateur Radio community in general are invited to join the net and participate. The first few nets will be a time to get organized, but we hope to get this up and running quickly.

Anyone wanting more info on SATERN can contact Mike Koenemund KB1CKF at: 147 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116-5197
KB1CKF@qsl.net or MassDisaster@juno.com
KB1CKF@KA1TUZ.7N42JH.MA.USA.NA


Ham Radio and the National Weather Service

There were some very interesting and supportive comments included within the recent National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) filing regarding the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) petition requesting most of our 420-450 MHz band. One of the best was from Richard Barth at NOAA (5/22/98) and stated:

"On May 20, 1998 I sent you NOAA's comments regarding the need to protect the wind profiler allocation at 448-450 MHz should any action be taken in response to the subject petition [LMCC]. In addition, I have been asked to bring to your attention the importance of amateur radio operations in the 420-450 MHz band supporting mission-critical functions of the National Weather Service (NWS).

"As you know, the MSS [Little LEO] industry tried prior to WRC-97 to achieve allocations in the 144-148 MHz and 420- 450 MHz bands. At that time, the NWS made its position known in a letter dated February 18, 1997 from NOAA's Asst. Administrator for Weather Services to the FCC. A copy of this letter is attached. The operations which formed the basis for that letter continue and have, in fact, expanded. There are now 150,000 rather than 120,000 spotters participating in the NWS watch/warning program on an on-call basis when required by emergency conditions, and 119 Weather Forecast Offices are involved each using the facilities of multiple amateur repeaters.

"The amateur repeaters involved operate primarily in the 440-450 MHz band. Since this band also includes the Government wind profiler allocation, it is especially important that it be protected.

Last year's filing had similarly strong language - here are a couple of excerpts:

"Amateur radio operators comprise, by far, the largest contingent of NWS-trained SKYWARN severe weather spotters. NWS field offices train and maintain contact with more than 120,000 [now 150,000] spotters across the United States, most in partnership with the American Radio Relay League's Amateur Radio Emergency Service and thousands of local radio clubs. It is the unique combination of their ability to describe potentially or ongoing severe weather and their means to communicate instantly this information to the NWS, along with their dedication to service, that makes amateur radio operators crucial to the continued improvement in NWS warnings for severe weather and flash flooding.

"Amateur radio operators also provide communications back-up support to NWS offices using equipment operating in the referenced frequency bands when other forms of telecommunications are inoperative, for whatever reason. This communication back-up support is critical to ensuring the continuity of NWS forecast and warning programs.

The National Weather Service is very, very supportive of amateur radio. Their strategic plan has simple, clear measurable goals and they depend on amateur radio to reach them. If you have the opportunity, sign up for Skywarn training in your area - your Section Manager can give you more information.

If you want to read more about the National Weather Service and their goals to alert the public about severe weather, check out this report on their strategic planning effort: http://www.npr.gov/library/news/ntlwpln.html

73!

Tom Frenaye, K1KI, Director
Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, Vice Director
ARRL New England Division

E-mail: k1ki@arrl.org
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, P O Box 386, West Suffield CT 06093 Phone: 860-668-5444


July General Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Building, at 7:30 PM, Thursday June 16. Elections for all club offices will be held at this meeting.

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 Copley or Arlington on the Green line (use the Berkeley Street exit).


Latest FCC Sequential Calls

The following is a list of the FCC sequentially assigned call signs issued in the First District as of June 1, 1998:

ExtraAdvancedGeneral/Technician/Novice
AA1TWKE1JXKB1CZO

Note: All Technician/General 1x3 calls have been assigned; calls will now be assigned from the Novice group.


Got A Question?

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.


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.

BARC Growth and/or Vanity

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

18 JulNE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
18 JulWARS Flea (Wellesley)
19 JulMIT Flea
8 AugMARC Flea (Gardner)
16 AugMIT Flea
23 AugNoBARC Flea (Adams)
28-30 AugARRL NE Div Convention (Boxboro)
12-13 SeptWGBH Ice Cream Festival
13 SepSEMARA Flea (S Dartmouth)
19 SepRIFMRS Flea (Forestdale RI)
20 SepMIT Flea
27 SepJimmy Fund Marathon Walk
27 Sep Framingham ARA Flea
9-10 OctHoss Traders Flea (Rochester NH)
18 Oct MIT Flea
24 Oct NE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
7 NovIRS Flea (Londonderry 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


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 July 1998
  • 20 August 1998
  • 17 September 1998
  • 15 October 1998
  • 19 November 1998
  • 17 December 1998
  • 21 January 1999
  • 13 July 1998
  • 10 August 1998
  • 14 September 1998
  • 5 October 1998
  • 9 November 1998
  • 14 December 1998
  • 11 January 1999
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/barc. 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.

New on our web page are the club articles: http://www.barc.org/barc/articles.html and bylaws: http://www.barc.org/barc/bylaws.html. 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, August 10th. 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 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 July 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, August 5th. 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
PresidentEd Hennessy N1PBA (617) 391 8257
ehenness@natick-amed02.army.mil  n1pba@ka1tuz
Vice PresidentDick Doherty KA1TUZ (617) 969 4880
rcdoherty@juno.com   ka1tuz@ka1tuz
SecretaryMichael Ardai N1IST (617) 738 8652
n1ist@netcom.com   n1ist@k1ugm
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.