The Monitor is published monthly by the Massanutten Amateur Radio Association, Inc.,
(a non-profit organization under the IRS regulations),
for radio amateurs in the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
The weather is getting warmer and we did not have the members present that I would liked to have seen.
We talked in brief about Field Day 1996. I would like to invite everyone to attend. The day and hours of operation are June 22-23, from 2 pm Saturday to 2 pm Sunday, local time. We need operators, and remember, all can operate no matter what class of license you hold, as long as a control operator is present at that station.
We also could use some help setting up the stations before the even begins. All are welcome here, too. As stated in the VARA Secretary's Report, Mike, KO4EA, will be taking a lot of the workload off of me and I want to thank him at this time for that. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting, which will be June 12th. Remember, come and enjoy Field Day. It never rains on Field Day! Bring some warm (and dry) clothes. Oh, and some rubber boots might be a good idea, too! Take care will CUL.
Kenny Harris, KE4GKD
If you have been thinking about attending the event but have been worried about provisions, you will be happy to hear that the "feed" has been taken care of. Although a caterer was not arranged, Rusty, N4YET, has assured us that the "eats will be fabulous".
Come join the gang on Great North Mountain, just west of Basye (yes, the spelling is correct this time!). This is one of the premier VHF events and the group's location commands a good showing, point-wise.
Also, local hams may remember J. J. (Jerry) Freeman, , W4JJ, the FCC Engineer in charge of Virginia and North Carolina. Jerry, 63, died suddenly in a Norfolk hospital on May 18th. Living in Virginia Beach for 18 years, Jerry retired last September from FCC, making his announcement during the Virginia Beach hamfest. Jerry was well-known by many hams in the valley, and had spoken before the valley clubs on several occasions. He will be missed by many of us. Submitted by Dan WA4PXX
VHF/UHF BASE ANTENNAS: Cushcraft AR270 Dual Band Groundplane Antenna, $60.00. Cushcraft A270-6S Dual Band Beam, also $60.00. Both antennas are assembled and tested... never used outside. Would trade even for Cushcraft Model AR-270-B in carton. Contact Bill Jones, KE4FM, 540-289-9801.
VHF/UHF MOBILE ANTENNA: Larsen NMO 2/70SH Mag mount dual band antenna, Center-loaded 2 meter, and 400, with show spring, 17" high, has been used mobile. Runs through car-washes easily. $30.00 Contact Bill Jones, KE4FM, 540-289-9801.
FLOPPY DISK DRIVE: 5-1/4-inch double-density, internal, half-height, excellent replacement for disk drives on PC-XT and PC-AT's and clones. Free to good home. Contact David Fordham, KD9LA, 540-234-0448.
KF4BFE was listed in the roster as Lois Burkholder. KF4BFB is actually Lois Bowman.
WA4OKL was inadvertantly omitted from the roster. WA4OKL is Mel Hoover, PO Box 272, 360 East 1st Avenue, Timberville, VA 22853, phone 540-896-4305.
KF4BFC is also a MARA member who was not listed on the roster. KF4BFC is Herbert W. (Walt) Lam, 418 Lindsay Avenue, Broadway, VA 22815, phone 540-896-2804.
Coincident with this change, the national broadcasting and cable associations have designated statewide liaisons to assist government, ham operators, emergency relief agencies, and other disaster and emergency communications interests in cooperating in making communication plans for disasters and other large-scale emergencies.
These liaisons are responsible for designing and proposing emergency communications standards, operations, and plans for their areas. A committee has been formed for each state in the nation.
In Virginia, the State Emergency Communications Committee is co-chaired by John Franconi, c/o WRVA, Box 1516, 200 N. 22nd Street, Richmond, VA, 232212 (804-780-3400), and Michael L. Smith, c/o Adelphia Cable Communications, 11 Middlebrook Drive, PO Box 508, Staunton, VA, 24401, (no phone given).
In West Virginia, the state committee is co-chaired by Ron Batson, c/o Capital Cablevision, 209 Broad Street, Charleston, WV 25301, and Jim Murphy, c/o WAJR, 140 Seventh Avenue, South Charleston, WV, 25303-1452, (304-744-2143).
The event included contacts on HF as well as VHF. One of the highlights of the event was hearing the ham station aboard the MIR orbiting space station.
The audience was composed of 6 classes of 25-30 6th-graders each. Kudos to these hams for helping introduce our younger generation to the joys of amateur radio.
From these charts you can see that there is a lot of loss. The loss gets worse the higher the frequency. Ladder line is apparently the best choice, as it has the lowest loss of all, but ladder line is not the easiest or most convenient to work with. You must transform the high impedance down to 50 ohms where you radio wants to work. And there is the problem of ladder line's interface with your rotator, not to mention the problems of getting it through walls, into the shack, through tuners, etc. Now you can see why coaxial cable was invented!
So, a rule of thumb for using coax: use the biggest you can find, unless you have really short run (less than 150 feet at HF, or less than 50 feet for 2-meters and up). Happy hamming, with more power to you (and your antenna!)
David Tanks, AD4TJ
|Cable||15 Mhz||30 Mhz||50 Mhz||150 Mhz|
|1/2" 75ohm hardline*||.3||.45||.62||1.2|
|3/4" 75ohm hardline*||.23||.35||.46||.87|
|450ohm ladder line||.01||.1||.135||.26|
* - 50-ohm cable has slightly less loss
Actual Power Available at Far End of 100-foot Run
For 100 Watts In
|Cable||15 Mhz||30 Mhz||50 Mhz||150 Mhz|
|1/2" 75ohm hardline*||95||90||87||75|
|3/4" 75ohm hardline*||95+||94||90||82|
|450ohm ladder line||100||98||97||95|
* - 50-ohm cable has slightly less loss
If you are in Harrisonburg on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, stop in at the Burger King on East Market Street, 2 blocks east of Court Square, around 11:30 am to noon.
On Thursdays in Harrisonburg, try the Golden Corral restaurant on South Main Street, 3 blocks south of Port Republic Road.
If you are in Charlottesville, try the Old Country Buffet on Wednesdays, on U.S. 29 North, near the Toys-R-Us shopping center, from 11 am to 1 pm. This is a big gathering!
And in Staunton, we've heard that two favorite eating places are Kathy's Restaurant and the Cracker Barrel, primarily on Tuesdays
On the VHF bands, conditions are very unpredictable. This is one of the things that makes this contest so exciting. One minute you can be working only the locals, and the next minute you are working stations hundreds, or even thousands of miles away. And you don't need a superstation to have loads of fun. Even if you carry your complete VHF shack on your belt (or in your purse!) you can participate and enjoy the event. Here are a few tidbits you'll need to know to catch the "Contest Bug."
On the 6 meter band, 50.0-50.1 is for CW only. For SSB, 50.100 to 50.125 is for working only DX stations, with 50.110 being the world-wide DX calling frequency. 50.125 is the stateside (U.S.) calling frequency. 50.525 is the FM calling frequency. Most of the contest activity, however, is from 50.125 to 50.250.
On 2-meters, 144.0 to 144.100 is for CW only. For SSB, 144.100 to 144.300 is used. For FM, all simplex frequencies are available with the exception of 146.52, which is to be left clear for normal (and emergency) use. You will normally find contesters from 144.150 to 144.250 on SSB. However, if the band is crowded, tune the full 200 Khz from 144.1 to 144.3.
The 222 Mhz band has no CW restrictions, and stations can be found on both CW and SSB between 222.050 and 222.150. Almost all FM simplex activity is on 223.500.
On the 432 Mhz band, once again, there are no CW restrictions, and most activity is between 432.050 and 432.150. Most FM activity is on 446.000.
On the upper UHF and microwave bands, most contacts are made by schedules. All activity is right around 903.100, 1296.100, 2304.100, 3456.100, 5760.100, and 10,368.100 Mhz. But again, due to the low power and extreme directivity of microwave antennas, you are unlikely to make contacts unless you either have made advance schedules with other hams or are extremely patient.
One special note. if you have a radio which includes the 1.2 Ghz band, ask the people who you talk to on other bands if they have 1.2 Ghz capability. Even if they are using a horizontal beam and you are using a vertical array, go to 1296.150, and try working each other on FM! The higher you go in frequency, the more contact points you get.
The contact exchange is your call sign, and your grid square. Your grid square is the 4 or 6 digit alphanumeric representation of your latitude and longitude. If you live in the Shenandoah Valley, your grid square is probably FM08. In the DC/Northern Virginia area, it is FM18, and in southern Maryland, it is FM19.
Before calling CQ, make sure the frequency is clear. Open your squelch to make sure you are not stepping on a contact already in progress. Remember, sometimes a station will have its antenna pointing away from you, and you may not hear them very well.
Consult CQ or QST magazine for full contest rules, or check out the ARRL's web site for more information. And remember, the most important rule of all contesting is, have fun!
by Terry Fox, WD8ISK/4
reprinted from the
Northern Virginia FM Association Newsletter
FD is different things to different people. For some it is an opportunity to operate a nice radio on a good antenna. For others it is a time to visit and talk with friends. For some, it is a time to improve contesting skills under very crowded band conditions. And, for all of us, it's a time to get away in the mountains where you can't even hear that "dreaded" telephone ring.
FD, among other things, is an "Emergency Preparedness Drill" where we set up radios and antennas in a less-than-friendly environment. It is intended to be similar to what one would have to do in time of disaster where the normal channels of communication and commercial power would be unavailable. It's operated like a contest with the assumption that your FD score is a reflection of how well you can set up equipment and antennas. Friday at 2 pm is when we begin the set-up procedure for FD.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Here is an abbreviated list of some of the things you can learn or experience at FD:
This year there will be a VHF packet station set up for ANYONE to use. If you see that the packet equipment is not being used, feel free to give it a try yourself. If you don't know much about packet operations, ask someone to show you how it works. The station will be there to experiment with and also for making FD contacts with others on packet. Please use the FD callsign instead of changing the call to your own and log each contact you make with the call of the station worked and the time of the contact. (it helps our over-all score).
One of the neat things about FD is that anyone, regardless of license class, can operate ANY of the stations. A sign-up sheet will be posted and followed at each station. There should be plenty of time for anyone to operate who wants to, but to secure your place, please sign up in advance for the time period you prefer.
If you have not experienced FD before or operated the radio much, you should first visit the station of your choice and observe what is going on. After about 3 minutes of observation, you should be able to say to yourself - "I can do that" - And you can! It's not that difficult and it's very good practice. (The only exception to this may be the HF CW station.)
NOVICE / TECH
The Novice/Tech station is "special". It is designed to give ONLY the N/T's an opportunity to do their OWN thing. The N/T station will be using the callsign KD4FKT again this year. Only persons with a Novice or Technician license (includes Tech or Tech Plus) can operate this station. Persons with a higher class license can observe, assist or coach but cannot actually operate the station. A group of N/T's will be needed to set up the equipment and antennas on Friday after 2 pm.
How many or how fast you make contacts is not an issue here. The purpose is to get some experience and have a good time doing it. If you want to operate CW at the N/T station and are not comfortable yet with CW, just ask someone who can do CW (ANY general class or higher Right?) to help you copy down the exchange. Give it a try!!
It gets cold at night and hot during the day so come prepared accordingly. At night it's normally 15-20 degrees colder at the 4,000 foot level than down in the valley. At mid-day, the temperature will be about the same as the valley.
There are NO convenience stores on the mountain. If you want it, bring it with you. This includes, well, EVERYTHING! But it "never rains at Field Day."
See you there.
Those hams helping provide communications were:
The staff of the March of Dimes wishes to thank each ham who helped to make this event a successful one. The Public Service Committee of the Massanutten Amateur Radio Association, Inc., also wishes to extend appreciation to those to helped, and express gratitude to those who offered to help but weren't needed this time.
Amateur communicators provide a valuable service by enabling the walk organizers and managers to keep abreast of the progress of the walkers. Having communicators on hand and distributed across the route and at checkpoints also enables fast response and action in the case of emergency or other unforeseen circumstance.
If you would like to send Bob a card, you can do so in care of his mother, whose address is:
Mrs. Dorothy S. Byrnes
4800 Fillmore Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22311
According to the nurses at the hospital, Bob is unable to talk, but seemed coherent and smiled weakly when told that the ham radio club members sent their best wishes.
The connector shown is the "universal" 12-volt DC power connector recommended by the ARRL for all power connections between "moderate current" (up to 12 amps) ham gear and the respective power supplies.
Unlike the connectors which are coming from the equipment manufacturers these days, this particular Molex connector does not work loose after repeated connecting and disconnecting.
More information on this connector will be provided in next month's newsletter. If you can't wait, you might want to read QST, August 1993 issue, pages 50-51.
The Dark Sucker theory goes farther than this, however. The theory states that (1) dark has mass, (2) the mass of dark is greater than the mass of light (hence, the reason for light being called "light", since it is lighter than dark), and (3) dark travels faster than light. If you are skeptical, have a look at the empirical evidence gathered by the experts.
First, take the example of the dark suckers in the room where you are. Notice there is less dark in the immediate vicinity of the dark sucker than there is elsewhere in the room. And the larger the dark sucker, the greater its capacity to suck up dark. As further evidence, notice that the dark suckers in parking lots have a much greater capacity to suck dark than the lights in your room. They suck so much dark that some people have a hard time looking straight at them when they are operating. It is theorized that the pain is caused by the dark being sucked out from your eyeballs.
As with all things mechanical, dark suckers don't last forever -- once they are full of dark, they can no longer function properly. Notice that when your dark sucker needs replacing, the inside of the glass is darker than the inside of the glass on a new dark sucker? This is because of all the dark inside it.
Additional evidence is provided by those primitive dark suckers known as candles. A new candle has a white wick. You will notice that after the first use, the wick turns black, evidence of the dark which has been sucked into it. If you hold a pencil close to the wick of an operating candle, the pencil will turn black because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle.
The theory also asserts that dark has mass. Notice that when dark goes into a dark sucker, friction from this mass hitting the glass generates heat. You can experience this phenomenon yourself simply by holding your hand close to an operating dark sucker. It is not wise to get too close to one, however, due to this frictional heating.
Candles present a special hazard because the dark must travel into a solid wick instead of through glass. A mass going into a solid generates a large amount of heat, which makes it especially inadvisable to touch an operating candle.
Dark is also heavier than light. If you swim deeper, you will notice that it slowly gets darker and darker. When you reach a depth of approximately 80 meters, you are in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the water, leaving the lighter light to float on top.
The heavier mass of dark is also demonstrated by the close association of dark with cold. It has been aptly proven that cold is heavier than hot (any meteorology text will tell you this). If you accept that premise, you can next notice that when it gets dark, it also gets cold.
Further, the coldest temperatures on the planet are generally found at the poles during the polar winters, when it is dark for extended lengths of time. There is a similar correlation between the lighter warm temperatures and the lighter light. This correlation (cold with dark, light with heat) further reinforces the theory.
American Indians, being environmentally conscious, were fully aware of the heavier nature of dark, as well as its mass. They observed that the dark associated with rain clouds and thunderstorms flowed downhill from the sky, into rivers, and ultimately into the ocean for long-term storage.
You will notice that when an Indian is paddling a canoe downstream, e.g., in the same direction as the dark is flowing, the Indian paddles slowly so as not to impede or disturb the flow of dark too much. On the other hand, when the Indian is travelling against the flow of dark, he paddles much more quickly for the same speed of the canoe, helping to push the dark on its way.
Finally, it becomes clear that Einstein was incorrect. He said that nothing can exceed the speed of light. Without fancy equipment, you yourself can demonstrate that dark travels faster than light. Stand in an illuminated room in front of a closed, dark closet. You notice that, as you very slowly open the closet door, light enters the closet quite slowly. If you take an entire minute to fully open the door, it takes up to a minute for light to fully enter the room. However, the dark moves so quickly that you are not able to see the dark leave the closet. Some less-scientific scientists may even deny the existence of "dark" because they are unable to measure its speed as it leaves a dark room.
In conclusion, dark suckers make our lives easier and more enjoyable. The next time you look at an electric bulb, remember the contributions that scientific inquiry is making to our civilization. We need to thank the Ph.D.'s of the world for enlightening us. And if you appreciate these kinds of scientific explanations, make sure that all of your friends are fully informed of the true nature of these suckers.
From the Jacksonville (Florida) RANGE Squelch Tale
Norman, KA4EEN, thanked all who helped with the March of Dimes walk held on April 27.
Club President Dale, KD4DAI, reminded us of the upcoming hamfest in Manassas on June 2, and he passed around directions to the site. Jeff, WB4PJW, mentioned a hamfest/picnic being held at Alta Vista on May 5, 12:30 to 4:30.
Norman, KA4EEN, ARES Net Director, needs control operators for the whole month of June. Please let him know if you can help.
Dale said that he is swamped with work and ham activities, and is looking for help to plan programs for the club meetings, and to organize the class for Novice/Tech interested persons. Walt, KF4BFB, has made arrangements to have a room available at his church, which is located between Broadway and Timberville. The proposed class to be taught at Massanutten Military Academy fell through because the instructors there couldn't find a big enough block of time to accommodate a class, so the instructors want to pass their Novice and/or Tech licenses and then teach interested students at MMA. Now that's determination.
Dave, KD9LA, retrieved information from the Internet about the Vanity Call Sign program which is opening May 31.
Rusty, N4YET, reported on the upcoming June VHF QSO Party on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of June. The VHF contest group is planning to operate from Great North Mountain. It won't be a full-blown operation as the main focus this time is fun and relaxation. Any and all are invited to come and visit, operate, eat, and enjoy.
Paul, WV3J, showed an MUF map he printed from the Internet that is updated every 1/2 hour.
The 50/50 drawing was won by Paul, WV3J. his share was $10.50.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 pm.
Jeff, WB4PJW, passed around some Field Day signs that Neal, WF3L, had produced on his computer.
Dave, KD9LA, distributed some software and other things he no longer needed.
David Tanks AD4TJ
The 50/50 drawing was won by Ken Harris, KE4GKD. He donated his winnings back to the club.
The Secretary's Report was accepted as printed in the newsletter. Sam Pickering, KF4EKV, made the motion, and Brown Snyder, N4ZHV, seconded.
The Treasurer's Report was accepted as printed in the newsletter. Joe Moomaw, W4XD, made the motion, and Ray Colvin, KE4HVR, seconded.
Joe Meeks, KD4FKT, had some information concerning ARES. While on the road Saturday, May 4, Joe received traffic from Bob Niemeyer, W3MMC, that Skywarn had been activated and that there was an alert for the Augusta County area. The alert was for a severe thunderstorm watch and Bob's intent was to get this information to the Augusta County EOC. Joe proceeded with an autopatch phone call on the 147.075 repeater to Mike Dillon, KO4EA, to alert him of the news. The thunderstorms did arrive and luckily did not cause further reason for concern.
Herb Hays, KF4DOV, was voted in and welcomed to the club.
Sam Pickering, KF4EKV, announced there will be a "Jamboree on the Air" with the Boy Scouts on October 19th. This is an annual event where the Boy Scouts, worldwide, set up certain bands and frequencies to communicate on. They are requesting the help of a couple of operators with a General Class license or higher to set up and allow the boys to talk to other scouts around the world. This event will be held at the Scout Building in Crimora. If anyone can help, please contact Sam.
Ken Harris, KE4GKD, reminded us of the Field Day dates. Field Day is held on the fourth full weekend in June (the 22nd and 23rd this year). Hams and non-hams are invited to come. In "never" rains on Field Day, so definitely plan to attend.
Ken Harris announced to the club that, due to health reasons, his responsibility as club president will be shifted more towards the vice-president, Mike Dillon, KO4EA.
A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Charlie Garner, WA4ITY, and seconded by Jeff Rinehart, WB4PJW. The meeting was adjourned at 8:17 pm.
Submitted by Doug Zirk,
President: Dale Showalter, KD4DAI
Vice-President: Vic Alger, KE4LKQ
Secretary: David Tanks, AD4TJ
Treasurer: Richard Weaver, W4JZC
Board (exp 96): John Nelson, WA4KQX
Board (exp 97): Bill Edmundson, W4IMS
President: Kenny Harris, KE4GKD
Vice-President: Jeff Rinehart, WB4PJW
Secretary: June Waldmuller, KC4PKJ
Treasurer: Christy Osterloh, KC4PKK
It does not necessarily contain all information
which appeared in the paper copy.