Volume X, Number 3; March 1998
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

March Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, March 18. Our speaker will be Colonel David Gavigan of the Massachusetts National Guard. Colonel Gavigan is in charge of terrorism emergency preparedness in Massachusetts. He will speak on the role of emergency communications in times of crisis.

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.

FLASH! BARC Has A New Meeting Place

Starting in April, BARC General Meetings will be held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Headquarters on Berkeley St. This location is T accessible by either the Green or Orange lines, has ample parking, and is handicap accessible.

The meeting date will be moved to the 3rd Thursday of the month.

We will use the 3rd floor auditorium. We can have refreshments there and there is a soda machine.

For now, Business meetings will still be held at the Cambridgeside Galleria Food Court.

Our sincere thanks go to Mike Koenemund, KB1CKF for making this possible.

BARC members are urged to help the Salvation Army by becoming active in SATURN, or helping to man the Canteen Trucks, contact KA1TUZ for more information.

QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

It has been a busy month. Thanks to the help of KA1KHK, KB1CKF, and KA1TUZ, we now have both an upcoming Tech class and a new site for the BARC meeting.

Our first class will be starting on March 23rd at the Pierce School in Brookline (the same place we hold our VE sessions). We plan to keep running classes with a short break between them; we are looking at holding the next one at Northeastern in May or June.

While it was a nice location, we had to pay $78 each month for security at our general meetings at the Volpe building. As you can imagine, this is BARC's second largest expense (the first is the SPARC), and was eating up a lot of our funds. Thanks to Mike Koenemund and the Salvation Army, we now have a new meeting site without this requirement.

With Field Day coming up, my Question of the Month is:

Why did/didn't you come to the BARC Field Day in 1997?

Please send replies to or n1ist@k1ugm.#ma, or fill out the form on the BARC web page,


BARC Offers Technician License Classes

BARC will be giving a free course for preparation for the Technician Class license. The course will be six sessions, Monday and Wednesday nights from 7pm to 9pm, starting on March 23 and ending on April 8. The classes will be held at the Pierce School at 50 School Street in Brookline, Room 110 next to the cafeteria. This is the same location as our VE sessions, please see the article in this issue on VE sessions for directions.

We need BARC members to help teach these classes. Volunteers don't have to teach at all sessions; just doing one topic on one night will be a help.

Further information is available from Mike Ardai, N1IST

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:

29 Mar (Sun) Multiple Sclerosis Walk Ed Burg, N1VSJ (978) 952-6474

6 May (Wed) Aviation Expo Bill Foster, KD1NX (508) 580-2552

29 May (Fri) Assistive Technology Conference Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ (617) 969-4880

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

Let's see some EMA Section nominees!

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

1998 Young Ham Of The Year Award Nominating Period Now Open

The nominating period for 1998 "Young Ham of the Year Award" is now open. Originally known as the "Westlink Report Young Ham of the Year," this award program, now in its second decade, is presented annually to a United States licensed Radio Amateur (Ham) who is 18 years of age or younger and who has provided outstanding service to the nation, his community or the betterment of the state of the art in communications through the Amateur Radio hobby/service.

Any continental United States (FCC licensed) ham radio aged 18 and younger who has used Amateur Radio to significantly contribute to the benefit of the service, to the sate of the communications art, to their community or the nation is eligible to be nominated.

All nominations must be submitted before June 30, 1998 on an official application. Application forms are available for an addressed stamped envelope mailed to the 1998 Young Ham of Year Award c/o Newsline, 28197 Robin Avenue Saugus California 91350. The nominating applications are also available electronic download from several sites that provide Newsline materials over the World Wide Web and including the website at

With continued corporate sponsorship, the award presentation is scheduled take place at the 1998 Huntsville Hamfest. The Huntsville Hamfest is one of the nations largest and most popular Amateur Radio conventions. It is held annually the third weekend in August at the Von Braun Civic Center in downtown Huntsville and usually attracts 7000 or more attendees. The 1998 "Young Ham of the Year" will also get to spend a week at Spacecamp-Huntsville.

The Young Ham of the Year Award program was conceived in 1985 by then Westlink Report "Editor-in-Chief" Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, and he continues it under the banner of his own Amateur Radio Newsline organization. His desire was (and still is) to highlight the accomplishments of the nation's many young radio hobbyists, and to encourage the entry of more young people into the exciting and rewarding hobby of Amateur Radio.

The Amateur Radio Newsline, better known as "Newsline" is the worlds largest not for profit and totally independent ham radio broadcast news and data information service. Jim Hendershot WA6VQP and Bill Pasternak WA6ITF organized it in 1976. Since that time it has produced and put to air over 1070 consecutive weeks of news of free bulletin programming dealing with Amateur Radio and related personal communications issues.

Corporate underwriting for the "Young Ham of the Year Award program is traditionally supplied by Yaesu U.S.A. Corporation and CQ Magazine.

KA1T Steps Down As New England Vice Director

Don Haney, KA1T, of Harvard, MA, has resigned as ARRL New England Division Vice Director, effective February 15. Don has moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, and will no longer be eligible to serve. He was appointed as Vice Director in July 1996 and later was elected in his own right to the 1997-1998 term. No one has yet been named to fill the vacancy.

ARRL Letter, 13 Feb 1998

March General Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Volpe Transportation Center, 55 Broadway, Cambridge, at 7:30 PM, March 18. Our speaker will be Colonel David Gavigan of the Massachusetts National Guard. Colonel Gavigan is in charge of terrorism emergency preparedness in Massachusetts. He will speak on the role of emergency communications in times of crisis.

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.

New ARRL Book RF Exposure and You Now Available

If you're worried about how to comply with the FCC's new RF exposure requirements, then you'll want a copy of the new ARRL book RF Exposure and You by ARRL Lab Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI.

This book communicates one simple message: For the vast majority of Amateur Radio operators, the RF exposure rules are not difficult to understand and follow. At 320 pages, RF Exposure and You contains all the background information, suggestions and worksheets you'll need to help you comply with the new RF exposure rules and to operate your station legally and safely.

ARRL Headquarters staff and volunteers participated fully with the FCC as the Commission determined the best advice to give amateurs on how to meet the new requirements. The League was able to persuade the FCC to reconsider its rules, and to rewrite them so that amateurs would be less affected.

RF Exposure and You is $15 (plus shipping and handling). Order Item #6621 from ARRL or local bookseller.

New Book Brings Fresh Approach to Morse Code Training

In 1936, Ludwig Koch, a German psychologist, published the results of extensive research on Morse Code proficiency and showed how he trained students to copy at 12 words per minute in as little as 13.5 hours. That is by far the fastest Morse training program ever published.

Based on its documented success, Koch's method should have become widely, if not universally, adopted by hams trying to pass the 13-wpm or 20-wpm exams. But it wasn't. Today, very few people know about his work. How come?

"Very simply, Koch's technique was ahead of the technology of his time," says Dave Finley, N1IRZ, author of a new book on Morse training. "For most people, the kind of practice you need for Koch training wasn't available until microprocessors came along," Finley said. "Because the technology for using his method didn't exist back then, the method was forgotten."

In "Morse Code: Breaking the Barrier," published by MFJ Enterprises, Finley shows how, using a computer or a microprocessor- based pocket code trainer, today's hams and would-be hams can use Koch's technique to build high-speed code proficiency quickly and efficiently. Besides its speed, Finley says, Koch's method has another, more important advantage over "traditional" code-training methods.

"With Koch's method, you receive frequent, positive reinforcement --assurance that you really are making progress. That means there are no 'plateaus,' you stay motivated and don't quit out of frustration," he says. "Koch's training speed was achieved with students hand-picked for code aptitude, so most people won't match that speed. However, the positive reinforcement of the Koch Method means that people will see results and stick with their training until they achieve their goal."

Finley, who used Koch's technique himself to go from no-code Technician to Amateur Extra Class, became an avid CW operator. "I learned that using Morse Code on the air is fun, and I'd like to help other hams join in on that fun after they've upgraded their licenses." For that reason, "Morse Code: Breaking the Barrier" also includes chapters on sending code with keys, bugs and keyers; on making your first CW QSOs; and on a variety of on-the-air activities where CW can make your hamming more fun.

The book also includes a fast-paced chapter on the fascinating history of telegraphy, both landline and wireless. "When we use Morse Code on the air, we become part of a tradition that goes back more than 150 years. Knowing that history adds to the pleasure of operating," Finley says.

"Morse Code: Breaking the Barrier" (MFJ- 3400) is available for $14.95 plus shipping from MFJ Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 494, Mississippi State, MS 39762 (800) 647-1800 FAX (601) 323-6551 email: , WWW: Or from your nearest MFJ dealer.

For more information about the book, visit the author's World Wide Webpage at:

Editor's Notes
The Tech's Ticket to the World of Ham Radio

What can you do with that Technician license that you earned?

You can work long distances, yes, even DX on 6M and 2M weak-signal modes. Some enterprising people have earned DXCC on 6M. Certainly, VUCC is attainable to any ham who can put some metal on his roof or get to a hilltop during the summer.

You can really get around the world by working the many satellites available. Soon, the Phase 3D satellites will give long working windows and footprints of nearly half the globe. High power and an antenna farm needed? Nah! 50 watts and a modest beam will connect you with Mir or the Shuttle.

You can see who you're talking to by getting on ATV. Plug that camcorder into a compact 70, 33, or 23cm ATV transceiver and away you go!

You can explore the amateur packet networks, either good ol' AX.25 or TCP/IP, or the latest excitement, APRS. If you're hungry for a real digital challenge, check out what TAPR is doing with high-speed packet and spread spectrum modulation.

You can exercise that good old do-it- yourself spirit and make your own antennas. Your local hardware superstore and even the thrift shops offer a wealth of materials. A little cleverness and experimentation will yield you antennas as good as store-bought and a lot cheaper!

You;re hungry to get on HF real soon? Get up some like-minded people and get some real on the air code practice. You can use CW on VHF/UHF with your license. Either invest in a used multi-mode rig, or just use the DTMF buttons on your FM rig. Beeping away on the air is a lot more interesting than exercising with a computer!

None of these things require thousands of dollars to do. Pushing the limits on VHF/UHF is usually less financially demanding that on HF. It simply requires the spirit that the hobby is fun, and new things are out there for you to try. That Technician class license is truly a ticket to the world.

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?

I am planning to purchase a HF vertical, and want to put it on the back porch of the house. The floor of the porch consists of wood strips. The railing is all metal. The distance from the floor to the roof is between 20 and 30 feet.

My plan is to get a non-metallic (for lightning protection - non-conductive) mast (fiberglass?) about 20 to 30 feet (or sections to make up the length), then mount the vertical to the top of the mast. Finally, I plan to clamp (with worm clamps) the mast to the railing.

Question is, where can I get a fiberglass (or equivalently strong) mast that length, or sections to make up the length?

Scott Ehrlich WY1Z

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.

SAREX To Be On John Glenn Flight

A ham radio package will be aboard the shuttle flight that carries US Senator and astronaut John Glenn into space this fall. Word from NASA this week was that the Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment or SAREX payload would be carried on STS- 95 when it flies in October carrying the 77- year-old space pioneer into orbit for the first time since the early 1960s, when Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth.

Two hams--US Astronaut Scott Parazynski, KC5RSY, and European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque, KC5RGG, of Spain--will be among an international crew aboard STS-95. The launch date for the only other SAREX mission scheduled for 1998--STS-93--has slipped from August to December. Glenn already has begun his astronaut training, but it's not yet known if he plans to get his ham ticket before his return to space.

Space Bulletin 006 ARLS006
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT February 27, 1998

It's bad luck for your airplane to fly under a ladder.

Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

You know your spouse is getting tired of you when you find your lunch wrapped in a road map.

Don't be so open minded your brains fall out.

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:

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:

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

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

21 MarInterstate RS Flea (Hudson NH)
29 MarMultiple Sclerosis Walk
5 AprFramingham ARA Flea
18 JulNE Antique RC Flea (Nashua NH)
19 AprMIT Flea
20 AprBoston Marathon (r)
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)
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 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 March 11, 1998.

++ 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, 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
  • 13 April 1998
  • 18 May 1998
  • 8 June 1998
  • 13 July 1998
  • 10 August 1998
  • 14 September 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, 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

The BARC Business Meeting

Read the March 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, April 1st (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@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.