Volume X, Number 5; May 1998
Newsletter of the Boston Amateur Radio Club
A Special Service Club of the ARRL

May Meeting
This month's general meeting will be held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Building, at 7:30 PM, Thursday May 21. Our speaker will be Chip Cohen, N1IR, who will talk about fractal antennas. Chip is CTO of Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc and a professor at Boston University.

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.

QNC de Mike Ardai, N1IST

I hope everyone had a good time at the many public service events we had recently. A special thank-you to all those who coordinated, set up, and ran the various events, including WA1IDA, K1EP, KA1TUZ, KD1NX, and N1VSJ.

As most of you know, BARC elections are coming up. Nominations opened at the May business meeting, and will remain open until each election at the June general meeting. If you are interested in running for office, please come to one of the meetings between now and June 18th.

Please note that due to personal reasons, I will NOT run again for President. I'm not going to stop all the other things I do for BARC (the web page, mailing lists, flea tables, helping out at Field Day, the BARC net, etc.) I have been President for 2.5 years; it's time for someone else to take the reins. Once again, I ask that the other 125 members of BARC get more involved with the club. We still only have the same dozen or so people doing all the work.

BARC participates in a number of events where we set up a booth introducing ham radio to the public. These include First Night, Aviation Expo, the Assistive Technology Conference, Field Day, and Ham Radio Awareness Day, among others. One thing that we desperately need is some signs or displays, either with built-in stands or mounted on foamcore, to entice people to our booth and to explain what ham radio is all about. I'm looking for someone who can draw, and some people with good ideas for what we should put on them. If you can help out please let me know.

Field Day is coming up soon. We had our first planning meeting; stay tuned for future ones. We are still looking for ideas for good HF antennas, and how to keep them from interacting with each other. Field Day is one of the club's big events. If you can, please take some time out on the weekend of June 27th and 28th to come to Larz Andersen Park, meet fellow BARC members, operate a bit, and have a good time. We will have licensed control operators available at all stations, so even if you don't have a license or don't have HF privileges, you will be able to get on the air and see what HF, VHF, RTTY, SSB, and CW are all about.

Thanks to everyone who helped staff the BARC tables at MIT and Hoss Traders, and to everyone who donated stuff for BARC to sell or made donations for using the club table. It really does help the club.

This month's general meeting topic, fractal antennas, sure sounds like an interesting one. I hope to see everyone at the meeting.

73, /mike

The Boston Marathon Runs Again
Bob Salow, WA1IDA

With weather that could not have been better, about 28,000 feet and more than 200 wheels tested the durability of 26.2 miles of pavement from Hopkinton to Boston. Add in over 6,000 volunteers, about 230 hams, and millions of viewers along the road and around the world, and you have a spectacular success.

Once again, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) asked BARC to coordinate emergency and administrative communications along the route. As usual, other ham groups handled the areas before the start and after the finish. To meet our needs, about 140 hams responded from several Eastern Massachusetts clubs and from several other states. We supported First Aid stations, water stations and several other functions for this major public service event.

To overcome 26.2 miles of topographic conditions and to spread the anticipated traffic load, we used nine repeaters, with three more held in reserve. The ideal (for the runners) weather resulted in an abnormally low number of medical problems and ambulance calls. While many hams along the course had little to do, these conditions are extremely rare, and past experience says you can count on much greater activity in future years.

It isn't possible to list here all the hams who participated along the course and behind the scenes, but I would like to note the help of several: Ed Parish, K1EP; Keith Triplett, N1HLK; Pete Guimond, N1EZT; Dennis Brothers, KE6DPL; and Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ. All the volunteers are to be congratulated and thanked for an excellent job.

I would also like to thank NEMAL Electronics International, Inc. and its president, Ben Nemser, WA4DZS, for the contribution of cables and connectors.

Stand by for the 1999 Boston Marathon and all the other emergency and public service opportunities for hams until then.

Nominations Open for 1998-9 Club Officers

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

Paul Carter N1TMF

Renato Donadio N1XBR

BARC Present at Aviation Expo

BARC again was asked to participate in the May 6th Aviation Expo at Logan Airport. Again it was a fun experience, even though, nature being what it is, there was rain and more rain!

We spent a good amount of time with the teachers explaining how Ham Radio is a good tool to teach electronics.

Helping out were:

The kids were a little older this year and more receptive to ham radio. We believe we got at least 7 prospects but only a couple in our area. We referred the others to appropriate clubs.

Dick Doherty KA1TUZ

Congratulations to BARC Members

Ben Nemser, WA4DZS, ran the Boston Marathon and beat his personal best by a half-hour.

Elaine Chase, N1GTB, won the Excellence in Government Award as Clerical Employee of the Year. This prestigious recognition is given by the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board. Elaine works at the US Army Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Center.

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 huge number of hams needed for the Boston Marathon were required to 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 next year's 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 event; please contact the Coordinator for info:

29 May (Friday) Assistive Technology Conference
Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ, 617.969.4880

Assistive Technology Conference 1998

The Assistive Technology Conference 1998 (AT98) will be held on Friday, 29 May, at the World Trade Center in Boston. AT98 brings together high-tech information and exhibits for persons of all disabilities and the providers of their support.

BARC has been asked to coordinate ham communications for the sponsors for many years. Because of the variety of the disabilities, and the need to protect the safety of those attending, the staff has found ham radio indispensable. Every ham involved in the past events has found this activity so rewarding that they have thanked the sponsors for letting them serve. It is truly an experience to be there.

It is an all day event on a weekday, but if you can help, please volunteer. It starts at 0700 and ends at 1730, with shifts available. Radio equipment is a 2-meter (simplex) hand held with extra batteries and an earphone. The World Trade Center is on Northern Avenue. A free shuttle bus runs from South Station (Rail and Red Line).

The day makes it difficult to get the more than 25 hams necessary, so we need you to volunteer if you can. Contact either Dick Doherty, KA1TUZ, at 617.969.4880 or Bob Salow, WA1IDA, at 508.650.9440 as soon as possible.


There will be two ARES/SATERN training sessions on Saturday May 23rd sponsored by the BARC and SATERN.

The two sessions are identical. The first class starts at 0800 and runs until 1200; the same class, for those who could not make the morning class, starts at 1300 and runs until 1700.

The location is The Salvation Army - Quincy 6 Baxter Street, Quincy.

For more info contact Mike, KB1CKF, Dick, KA1TUZ or Ed, N1VSJ

Salvation Army/SATERN Needs You

Since its early beginnings, The Salvation Army has responded to natural and man- made disasters providing various services to victims and relief workers alike. In recent years, the ever-increasing incidence of disaster has required us to expand our ability to respond. This has taken the form of specialized equipment, stockpiled supplies, along with the formation of volunteer teams.

The need to be able to communicate with our teams and equipment in the field is essential. Good communications are the key to an effective response to any disaster. The use of Amateur Radio by the Salvation Army will help us to render quicker and more effective service to those in need.

For many years, we have relied solely on upon such groups as the ARRL to disperse personnel to us, during a disaster. While this has served us well, we have generally had no pre-disaster relationship with these operators. As a result they have little or no knowledge of our organization, services and capabilities. To further enhance the use of Amateur Radio in our Disaster Services, we have developed the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network, Known as SATERN.

SATERN is a corps of Amateur Radio volunteers who have united themselves with the Disaster Services program of The Salvation Army. While we do not exclude the use of other Amateurs during a disaster, this group does provide us with the nucleus of our communications support system. This along with the use of cellular phones, CB, GMRS and Business band frequencies will provide us with a complete communications capability.

The primary function of SATERN is to provide communications for The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services. This corps of trained volunteers could also be called upon to assist in a variety of other command and support functions within the total operation of our Disaster Team and their mission of communication.

For more information on SATERN, or for an application contact Mike Koenemund, KB1CKF at 617-338-4155 x513 or E-mail at or

National Weather Service To Hold Open House

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

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

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

LMCC Petition Opposed
70cm Threatened!

The ARRL is organizing opposition to a new threat to the 70-cm Amateur Radio band. The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) has asked the FCC to immediately reallocate 420 to 430 MHz and 440 to 450 MHz from the federal government to the Private Mobile Radio Service (PMRS) on a primary basis. Amateur Radio now enjoys the use of 420 to 450 MHz on a secondary basis, and the 430 to 440 MHz segment is an international allocation. The 70-cm band is the second most popular of the hobby's VHF/UHF allocations, with substantial FM repeater and other operation in the 440 to 450 MHz segment and a variety of uses in the 420 to 430 MHz segment.

The LMCC request, based on "additional spectrum needs of the PMRS community," acknowledges Amateur Radio's use of 420 to 430 and 440 to 450 MHz, and suggests that ham radio applications can remain secondary to PMRS in those segments, but offers no explanation of how sharing could be accomplished. The LMCC says it believes the 430 to 440 MHz subband "is more important to the amateurs for use in emerging technologies such as links with spacecraft and amateur television applications."

The petition also suggests that equipment availability and technology resulting from an expanded PMRS presence on 70 cm would benefit hams "pursuing such applications as compressed video television in the 430-440 MHz band." The LMCC concedes, however, that its "most urgent need" for PMRS is voice and low-speed data applications, not advanced technologies that might come later on.

The petition also notes that PMRS already uses 420 to 430 MHz in three Canadian border cities (Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit) and a "reduction in military use of this band is foreseen."

The LMCC also seeks allocations at 1390 to 1400 MHz, 1427-1432 MHz, and 1670 to 1675 MHz as well as 85 MHz at 960 to 1215 MHz by 2010.

Comments are due on the LMCC's Petition for Rulemaking, RM-9267, by June 1. Reply comments are due by June 15.

ARRL Bulletin 30 ARLB030
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT May 7, 1998

May General Meeting

This month's general meeting will be held at the Boston Back Bay Salvation Army Building, at 7:30 PM, Thursday May 21. Our speaker will be Chip Cohen, N1IR, who will talk about fractal antennas. Chip is CTO of Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc and a professor at Boston University.

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).

Editor's Notes

Thanks to the many contributions to the SPARC this month, there is not much space for my wanderings.

It's good to see new faces at meetings, and new hands putting fresh words to paper. You are our continued vitality, and the vitality of Amateur Radio in EMA and in our nation. Please continue your efforts and contributions. We are more grateful to you than we often let on!

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 have a friend who is looking for an older crystal scanner such as the Bearcat 3. He knows about the programmable ones, and has one, but he wants to get one of the old types.

Does anyone have one laying around they wish to get rid of? Any local shops that might have any?

73 de Ed Hennessy, N1PBA

Paul Carter N1TMF replies:

Thrift stores sometimes have them. Of course, there were lots of them at Deerchester!

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

WTB: Plain-Vanilla SCSI Card

I'm (still) setting up a Linux box, and am looking for an ISA or PCI SCSI card that will work with Linux. Anyone have one they'd be willing to sell? I don't need Ultra SCSI or any of the newest/fastest variants... If you have such a card but are not sure whether it supports Linux, e-mail me the card mfr/model and chipset # and I'll find out.

Steve Hersey N1XNX

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.

The government has found a new way to save money: it uses mine. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

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:

And BARC class graduates:

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 (Again)

The US Postal Service has announced that starting next month there will be ZIP Code changes for some communities in Eastern Massachusetts. As soon as you find out any change to your ZIP Code, please notify Bob Salow, the keeper of the database, at 508- 650-9440 or

The Postal Service will also tell you the full nine-digit code which can save the club money in mailing costs. After the transition period, an incorrect (old) ZIP will delay your mail, and the resultant address correction notices are expensive to the club. Please help us.

I See the Future
Events Ahead

15-17 MayDayton OH HamVention
16 MayRIAFMRS Flea (Forestdale RI)
17 MayMIT Flea
29 MayAssistive Technology Conference
13 JunBarnstable ARC (Dennis)
21 JunMIT Flea
27-28 Jun Field Day
18 JulWARS Flea (Wellesley)
19 JulMIT Flea
8 AugMARC Flea (Gardner)
16 AugMIT Flea
28-30 AugARRL NE Div Convention (Boxboro)
13 SepSEMARA Flea (S Dartmouth)
19 SepRIFMRS Flea (Forestdale RI)
20 SepMIT Flea
27 Sept Framingham ARA Flea
2-3 OctHoss Traders Flea (Rochester NH)
18 Oct MIT Flea
24 Oct NE Antique RC Flea (Nashua 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 April 1, 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)
  • 21 May 1998
  • 18 June 1998
  • 16 July 1998
  • 20 August 1998
  • 17 September 1998
  • 15 October 1998
  • 19 November 1998
  • 11 May 1998
  • 8 June 1998
  • 13 July 1998
  • 10 August 1998
  • 14 September 1998
  • 5 October 1998
  • 9 November 1998
Meetings are at the Salvation Army,
Berkeley and Columbus, Boston
Exams are at the Pierce school,
50 School Street, Brookline
Free parking and T access available at both locations

Catch Us On The Internet!

The Boston Amateur Radio Club has a web page at 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, June 8th. 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 May 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, June 3rd. 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.