The Monitor is published monthly by the Massanutten Amateur
Radio Association Inc.
(a non-profit organizations under the IRS reguilations),
for radio amateurs in the central Shenandoah Valley.
All I can say is " Wow! " We had a super turnout for the meal at the new meeting place (Ever's Restaurant). 20 hams or more were present for the meal, and several more came for the meeting, for a total of about 29. That would be pretty good for a fall or winter meeting, but that's outstanding for a summer/vacation time meeting. It seemed that everyone enjoyed the meal; we'll discuss whether to continue meeting there for a period of time or whether to find another location at our August meeting on the 7th.
I hope everyone that came to the Field Day site enjoyed themselves, whether they operated or not. We'll have to do away with old adage of " It never rains on Field Day " because it didn't, this year anyway! Perfect weather, good company, good radios, what more could you ask for? Better propagation, I guess. The bands were just ok, nothing to brag about. 10 meters and 6 meters weren't bad, though. Mr. Murphy showed up just before the event started and gave us a couple of problems, but these were straightened out before 2 PM. Many thanks to the Field Day committee, and also to those who helped set up and those who helped tear down. Now the hard part: waiting until the December or January issue of QST to see how we did!
Again, we'd like to express our condolences to Joe W4XD and AL N3JB on the passing away of their wives. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both at this time.
David Tanks AD4TJ
We had a good turn out for the July meeting. Thanks to all that came! We had 25 members present.
I would like to welcome Dale Hurley KE4YEV into the club, he was voted on and accepted during this meeting.
June Waldmuller KC4PKJ won the 50/50 and Dick WB8GIF celebrated by eating a really "LARGE" helping of ice cream.
A new machine is on the air now at the 146.850 site on 444.825, check it out.
We have a XMAS PARTY committee and I would like to thank, Joan Pitsenbarger KF4CWR, Kay Cook KF4CZL and Elaine Archambeault for volunteering for this job. We are looking forward to some good food and fellowship.
We will be building some J-Pole antennas as a money making project for the club on Saturday the 19th of July.
Thanks to Ken KE4GKD for his help as Vice President. Ken has stepped down from this position due to health reasons. We will be voting on a new Vice President at our next meeting so keep this in mind.
Hope to see all of you at our August 13th meeting at Gavids.
Pat Smiley KD4WWF
The local amateur community would like to extend sympathy to Al Bonck, N3JB, on the recent loss of his wife, Marcella. A memorial service was held July 12 at Wayside Baptist Church south of Crimora.
We had the best weather ever. We had fun. Operations went smoothly. We had just enough manpower to get everything done, some new folks got to see and to operate...but many of our operators were stretched pretty thin to keep all stations manned.
We could have had a better field day if we had had more people. My impression is that we did not sufficiently advertise the event. (Look at the .625 Bob's Knob event...the 'hype" goes on all year long.) We also fell down by not planning enough social gatherings. Group meals and maybe some sort of campfire or other program might go a long way toward providing a more festive occasion.
A look at the scoring reveals that there are three power classes with associated score multipliers available for field day operations. We have been operating in the middle power level. If we were to go to low power our QSO counts would be multiplied by five rather than by two and our score would more than double. Our mountain top site has given us a dominant signal and it would still give us a very good signal at five watts. Our receivers would work just the same as they always have assuming we continue to use good antennas.
The annual Tour de Valley bike ride is August 31 this year. Hams are needed to provide communications over the 100 mile ride. This is a fun and scenic, and the Mile Zero Bike Club takes care of the volunteers.
If you are available and interested, please contact Terry Henderson, kt4uo. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org, or catch her on one of the local repeaters.
All radio amateurs are invited to the FREE Big Mountain Repeater Association's annual Bob's Knob Bash, on Sunday, August 17, starting around lunchtime and continuing until ...
Bring a covered dish, some lawn chairs, a bottle of your favorite soft drink, and your family!
An informal tailgate session will also be held if you want to buy, sell, or swap.
The event will be held at the QTH of Bob, W3MMC, in Bergton, Virginia. To reach the site, take State Road 259 west from Broadway about 14 miles to Route 820. Turn left on 820 (Bergton Road), go about 3 miles to Crab Run Road, go a ways and turn left on Mongold Hollow Road, then turn left again on Arbuckle Road. Bob's will be the mailbox with the Bob's Knob sign.
Official Talk-In will be on 146.550 simplex. You should be able to contact the talk-in station after you pass Fulk's Run on Route 259 (about six miles out of Broadway).
Again, the event is completely free. But as always, donations for the upkeep of the communioty- supported Big Mountain Repeater will be gladly accepted.
Bill Jones, KE4FM reports the Big Mountain 146.625 repeater is back up to snuff, thanks to the efforts of Lew, WA4NIC. The machine covers most of the valley from Strasburg to Greenville, and had been suffering from low power output recently. The rig now has a brand new set of tubes. Bill would like to remind the ham community that the Big Mountain repeater is open to all, with no membership dues required. There is no PL tone required for access. Have fun!
Ham radio received a nice promotion at Camp Shenandoah the week of July 4-10.
The annual Boy Scouts of America summer camp project was the scene of numerous radio events. One of the most popular was the hands-on demonstrations of VHF telephone interconnect (autopatch) third-party messages where the scouts were able to make calls home to parents and family. This is a real treat when you are 11 years old and away from your family all week for the first time!
Joe McIntyre, KE4HVO, scoutmaster of Troop 119, invited David Fordham, KD9LA to bring a complete emergency-powered ham station to demonstrate the usefulness of the amateur radio service in providing communication in the wilderness. Dave also explained the various aspects of the hobby to the scouts.
Dave spent four days and nights at the camp with Troop 119, but was surpassed by Dirk Gold, KE4JSW, who spent the entire week with Troop 47, and Sam Pickering, KF4EKV, who spent the week with Troop 81.
Thanks to these hams for sharing the hobby with the young men in the scouting program.
I would like to thank the VARA for the nice flowers while I was in the hospital recently. Thanks for all the cards, phone calls, visits and prayers from everyone. It is good to know your friends are keeping you in mind during these times.
Due to business obligations, the newsletter editor ran late with this month's Monitor. To ensure prompt delivery, first class mail was used. Only MARA and VARA club members received this month's issue.
While talking to another ham about my need for HT battery replacement another ham broke in and told of a fairly local source of nicad batteries. So I looked them up on the internet and called. I talked to a fellow named Ed and he told me to send my battery packs and he would replace them. I told him to replace them with the most capacity that he could. I have a Yaesu FT411 and the battery packs are glued together and I did not feel comfortable in trying to take them apart. So I sent them and in about a week I received them back. After recharging them they have worked very well. He increased the 12 volt packs from 700mah to 850mah and the 7.2volt pack from 1100mah to 2000mah. The price for the 12 volt was $16.50 each and the 7.2 volt was $26.75 and shipping was $2.70.
In keeping with the advice that was in the MARA President's message last month about being ready for an emergency [hurricane season] why not get those nicads replaced. The address is:
Battery Barn of VA Inc.
124 E. Washington St.
Petersburg, VA 23803
Joe Meek KD4FKT
The August meeting of the Massanutten Amateur Radio Club will be held at Ever's Restaurant south of Harrisonburg on Route 11. The date is August 7, 1997.
After thirty years, I am retiring from ham radio.
After donating the majority of my equipment to the International Missionary Radio Association, I still have the following left to sell:
I'll take $35 for the pair. Call Amos Martinez, K4DYL, 234-8907. Thanks.
New Yaesu FT-10R 2-Meter HT $200.00
Call Frank Forsyth WD4LES 885-1159.
Yaesu 757 general coverage receiver, speaker, auto antenna tuner, 444D microphone and power supply $800.00
Call Skip Lowe at 886-1443 after 6:00pm.
Yaesu FT-101ED CW-SSB-AM HF transceiver, 5-bands (80-10 meters), built-in AC power supply, microphone, 100 watts, asking $250 but make offer.
Call David, KD9LA, at 540-234-0448.
Miscellaneous Commodore computer equipment, good for a beginning packet station:
Also have some software and instruction books for above. Price: $50 for it all!
Call Gene Sullivan, WA4NUF, (Grottoes) 540-249- 4609, weekdays after 5:00 pm, or anytime on weekends.
All are invited to the Fall 1997 semiannual Local Maryland-DC Area AMSAT meeting and seminar. They are gathering on Sunday afternoon, November 2, at 1 o'clock in Greenbelt, Maryland in the beautiful Visitor Center auditorium at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
All topics relate to amateur radio, the amateur space program, and balloon and aerospace experiments. The format will be a combination of presentations and informal "show 'n' tell" demonstrations as well as a social period. The GSFC Visitor Center is open to the public on this meeting day between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Something for the whole family!
Informal talk-in on WA3NAN/R 146.835 MHz Greenbelt. The phone number at the VC is 301-286- 8981. Free parking.
Members are invited to bring in a "show 'n' tell" item or project that you have been working on. Please contact me (WD8LAQ) in advance if you'd like to speak at the gathering.
Volunteers are sought to help: (1) monitor the repeater for talk-in starting before 11 a.m., (2) set up the auditorium shortly after noon, (3) act as a greeter at the door of the auditorium, (4) bring beverages and/or munches, (5) act as a speaker timekeeper for the host, (6) take notes and then mail a summary to amsat- email@example.com within about a week or two, and (7) act as our official photographer or videographer.
This meeting is open to all. Please spread the word. Check for the latest developments by browsing the "Local Maryland-DC Area AMSAT Web Page" at http://garc.gsfc.nasa.gov/~simsat/ssamsat.html
The gathering is scheduled to end at 4 p.m. In the past, the security folks have allowed us to drag out the ending until almost 5 p.m. but it is always variable. Someone may suggest a place to dine immediately afterwards for those who wish to participate.
Pat Kilroy, WD8LAQ,
AMSAT Area Coordinator
Microprocessors are handy little devices (and cheap, too!) which are useful for controlling all kinds of equipment without human intervention. Many hams have discovered programming and using microprocessors to be surprisingly easy.
One trick to making microprocessors convenient to use is finding a simple, yet powerful, operating system. If you can discover a flexible, powerful, yet easy-to-use operating system, it eliminates the need for much of the programming responsible for giving microcomputer projects their undeserved reputation for being the exclusive domain of technies.
Earth-orbiting satellites must perform all kinds of complex electronic switching and reporting. By their very nature, they must have a simple, yet flexible, operating system. James R Miller, G3RUH has received many requests for further practical information about the operating system IPS (Interpreter for Process Structures)as used in the flight computer of the forthcoming P3D spacecraft. This is the same computer operation system which flew in P3A, Oscar-10 and Oscar-13. It is very simple to learn, easy to program, and can be used for all kinds of microprocessor applications, not just satellite work.
To enable the ham community to learn more about this operating system, and to enable as many people as possible to experiment with microprocessor applications, Miller has placed a number of documents in a ZIP file at: http://www.jrmiller.demon.co.uk/IPS/ipsdoc.zip (51K)
This zip contains a dozen useful files, including a full IPS source, IPS Language Reference Manual as well as known errata in the IPS book.
This information, together with the book "IPS - High Level Programming of Small Systems" by Karl Meinzer (1978), ISBN 0-9530507-0-X is enough to enable anyone to create an IPS operating system for their favorite platform.
When vanity call sign Gate 3 opens on August 6, 1997, the FCC will process electronic applications ahead of paper applications each day. Previously, the FCC did not distinguish in how it handled electronic and paper Form 610V applications. In recent months, the FCC has been receiving more electronic applications than paper applications. The FCC says it will process electronic applications, then paper applications received on any given day.
The FCC also has established a firm deadline for receipt of application fees to accompany electronic applications. After Gate 3 opens, fees for electronic applications must be received by the FCC's fiscal agent, Mellon Bank, within 10 days of the date of application or the application will be dismissed. The fee will remain at $30 for the ten-year term until September 15, 1997, when it will increase to $50 for the ten-year term.
Applicants can find the electronic Form 610V on the FCC's Web site at http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/amradsrv.html. Electronic applications require a Form 159 for any method of payment. Mail payments accompanying electronic applications to Federal Communications Commission, Box 358994, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5994.
Paper applications require an FCC Form 159 if payment is by credit card or if the application package contains multiple applications being paid for with one check. Individual applications do not require a Form 159 if payment is by personal check or money order. Send paper applications containing payments to Federal Communications Commission, Box 358924, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5924.
To avoid processing delays, applicants should make sure the information on their license is up to date. If you have changed your name or address, you must file Form 610 with the FCC to request modification of your license to show the correct information. In the case of a club station, you must file Form 610B.
Gate 3 opens the vanity call sign program to Advanced class amateurs. The FCC has not said when it will open Gate 4, for General, Technician Plus, Technician and Novice class operators. For more information, call the FCC's toll-free Consumer Information line at 888-225- 5322 (CALL FCC). Please note the 888 area code!
From the ARRL Letter
W1AW seeks 20 meter bulletin reports: A change has been made to the W1AW 20 meter bulletin antennas. W1AW requests signal reports from amateurs who listen to the 20 meter transmissions. Please note QTH, time of reception, mode, signal strength and quality. Use of the standard RST system is preferred. Mail reports on a postcard to W1AW, 225 Main St, Newington, CT, 06111; e- mail firstname.lastname@example.org. A W1AW Operating Schedule appears in July QST, page 83.
HUNTINGTON (WV): August 9th
ROANOKE: August 16th
SHELBY (NC): August 30-31st
GAITHERSBURG (MD): Sept. 7th
August 16-17: North American QSO Party
September 7: North American Sprint CW
September 13-15: ARRL VHF QSO Party
September 14: North American Sprint Phone
Mike Foale, KB5UAC, has been active on amateur radio...Frequencies with activity have been 145.985 MHz and the 145.200/800 MHz split. Below is a packet message transmitted from Mike:
Posted : 07/28/97 23:19 To : ALL From : R0MIR Subject: MIR status TNC froze again, this time the PMS. Waiting for a replacement with MIR 24, Anatoli and Pavel, docking on 7th. Crew is preparing for their arrival, getting Progress loaded with trash, to be undocked before next crew. Greenhousing, but not yet showing cotyledons. Mike.
SAFEX, MIR 70 cm Repeater
(Uplink 435.750 MHz FM, Downlink 437.950 MHz FM, Subaudible tone 141.3 Hz) (not operational at this time, but expected to be restored to operation when full power is restored on MIR.)
(Uplink 145.865-145.905 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.36- 29.4 MHz CW/SSB) Not operational at this time. Ground controllers are attempting to reactivate the transmitter.
(Uplink 435.030-435.18 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 145.975- 145.825 MHz CW/USB) Operational. Many stations from Japan heard and worked during the previous week. AO-10 still is in great shape.
(Uplink 21.21-21.25 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.41-29.45 MHz or 145.91-145.95 MHz CW/SSB) Operational. The passes will remain somewhat inconvenient through July for those of us with day jobs, occurring in the late morning and the very late evening as they do. August will result in more convenient times during the weekdays.
Transponder information on RS-16. Uplink = 145.915 - 145.948 MHz Downlink = 29.415 - 29.448 MHz Beacons = 29.408 , 29.451 MHz Pwr 29 MHz Down = 1.2 W /4 W
Beacon 1 = 435.504 MHz Beacon 2 = 435.548 MHz Pwr 435 MHz Beacons = 1.6 W
At 1605Z on July 24, 1997, RS-16 had both 70cm beacons on...The 504 beacon was downlinking its normal telem data at a +10 signal level. The upper beacon was only S2. No ten meter beacon and no transponder
RS-16 CW Telemetry. P PSU voltage Volts.................. x0.1 O Solar panel voltage Volts........... x0.1 N Solar panel current mA M TX 29 MHz Output Power mW............ x10 L TX 29 MHz current mA K TX 29 MHz voltage 7V nominal J TX 435 MHz Output Power mW........... x10 I TX 435 MHz current mA H TX 435 MHz voltage V................. x0.1 G U of the transponder V............... x0.1 F U of stabilizer V................... x0.1 E Temperature of the charger in C deg. D Temperature TX 29 MHz in C deg. C Temperature TX 435 MHz in C deg. B Temperature RX 145 MHz in C deg. A Temperature of the stabilizer in C deg. Parameters M, L, J, I are valid in FM mode only!
(Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB) Operational. FO-20 in mode JA continuously.
(Uplink 145.858-145.898 MHz CW/SSB, Downlink 29.354- 29.394 MHz CW/SSB) Operational. WT0N reports that downlink signals are still weak from RS-15, but the bird is still workable. (Hint: If SSB doesn't work for you, try CW. CW is very easy to hear on the downlink!)
(Uplink 145.980 MHz FM, Downlink 436.5 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.) KO-25 operating normally.
(Uplink 145.85, 145.9 MHz FM, Downlink 435.175 MHz FM, 9600 Baud FSK.) KO-23 operating normally.
(Downlink 145.825 MHz. FM, 1200 Baud PSK. Beacon 2401.500 MHz..) Operating normally. An uneventful month for OSCAR-11. During the period 20-June to 17-July excellent signals have once again been received from the 145.826 MHz. beacon. The improved signals may be partly due to increased power output resulting from lower beacon temperatures. In the UK the change to Summer time, and the lighter mornings make the early morning passes more socially acceptable. There is less electrical interference and splatter from mobile radios in the early mornings than in the afternoons.
The mode-S beacon has been heard by Dean, AL7CR in Anchorage, Alaska, and from Joe , K0VTY, located near Omaha, Nebraska. Joe used a 60 cm dish, Down East converter, into a Kenwood TR-781, with a Time Wave DSP- 9 filter. Telemetry nominal. The battery voltage generally around 14 volts. The internal temperatures reached minimum values (battery -0.4C telemetry electronics -1.6 C), and have now started to rise. The minimum value of solar illumination was about 72% of full sunlight. Temperatures should now increase, as the solar illumination reaches a peak of about 97% in October.
The mode-S beacon is ON, transmitting an unmodulated carrier, but telemetry indicates that it has partially failed, and delivering half power. Any reports of reception on 2401 MHz. would be most welcome. Please e-mail email@example.com.
The 435.025 MHz. beacon is normally OFF. However it can sometimes be heard when the satellite is being commanded by ground control, i.e. within range of Guildford, UK. When the 435 beacon is transmitting, the 145 beacon is normally OFF. The data transmitted is mainly binary.
Clive Wallis' web site contains some software for capturing data, and decoding ASCII telemetry and WOD. There is an archive of raw data (mainly WOD) for analysis, which is continually being expanded, as new data is captured. The URL is - http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/clivew/
(Uplink 145.85 MHz FM, Downlink: 436.792 MHz FM (As of April 1, 1997) Operating normally. Users are asked not to transmit on 145.85 MHz if they do not hear the satellite's downlink so as to avoid possible interference to other satellite uplinks and downlinks on adjacent frequencies.
(Uplink 1200 bps Manchester FSK Uplinks: 145.84, 145.86, 145.88, 145.9 MHz FM, Downlink 437.125 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK.) Operating normally. Iinformation about Telemetry values can be found at: http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/lo19.htm
Voice/CW Mode JA (Uplink 145.9-146.0 MHz CW/LSB, Downlink 435.8-435.9 MHz CW/USB) Digital Mode JD (Uplink 145.85, 145.87, 145.910 MHz FM, Downlink 435.910 MHz FM 9600 baud BPSK) Operational.
The latest FO-29 Schedule. Aug 1 (Fri) 08:17z JD1200 Aug 8 (Fri) 00:30z JD9600 Aug 15 (Fri) 01:08z JA Aug 22 (Fri) 08:26z JD1200 Aug 29 (Fri) 00:40z JD9600 Sept 5 (Fri) 01:18z JA Sept 12 (Fri) 00:13z JD1200 Sept 19 (Fri) 00:51z JD9600 Sept 26 (Fri) 08:09z JA
(Uplink 145.9, 145.92, 145.94, 145.86 MHz FM, 1200 bps Manchester FSK Downlink 437.0513 MHz SSB, 1200 bps RC-BPSK 1200 Baud PSK. Beacon 2401.1428 MHz.) Operating normally. Graphic information about WOD/Telemetry values can be found at: http://www.arrakis.es/~ea1bcu/wod.htm
(Downlink 145.825 MHz FM, 1200 Baud AFSK. Beacon 2401.220 MHz.) The DOVE s-band signal is 1200 PSK with no carrier suppression. The modulation is about 20 dB below the carrier. You should hear what sounds like a carrier with lots of Doppler. If your receiving equipment is working well you will hear the 'buzz' from the flags and an occasional change in the sound of that modulation as a telemetry beacon is sent. If it's working really well and you run the received audio through a PSK demod then a tracking notch filter (DSP) you will clearly hear the flags and modulation.
(Downlink 437.104 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK AX.25.) Operating normally.
(Uplink: 145.9 or 145.975 MHz FM. Downlink 435.120 MHz FM 9600 Baud FSK.) UO-22 is operating normally. The Earth Imaging System (EIS) is being scheduled to take images 2 or 3 times per week.
IO-26 ( ITAMSAT)
Uplink 145.875, 145.9, 145.925, 145.95 MHz FM, Downlink 435.822 MHz SSB, 1200 Baud PSK.) Operating normally.
There was one upgrade this month to report on. Pat Smiley (KD4WWF) upgraded to General.
The 50/50 drawing was won by June Waldmuller (KC4PKJ). The total was $25 with half going to June and the remaining half going to the club.
The secretary's report was accepted as printed in last month's newsletter. Dick Waldmuller (WB8GIF) made the motion to accept it and Benny Cook (KF4CZK) seconded.
Charlie Garner (WA4ITY) read his current treasury report. Ken Harris (KE4GKD) made the motion to accept it as read and Nancy Colvin (KE4PHP) seconded.
The club voted to have a Christmas party this year. Joan Pitsenbarger (KF4CWR), Elaine Archambeault (Associate member), and Kay Cook (KF4CZL) were appointed committee members for the party.
The club voted to make J-pole antennas to sell as a fund-raiser for the club. The antennas will be constructed for the various VHF/UHF bands and will sell for $20.
The club voted in Dale Hurley (KE4YEV) as a new member.
Joe Meek (KD4FKT) reported on Field Day. He extended a special thanks to all those involved in helping tear down the equipment on Sunday.
Ken Harris' (KE4GKD) resignation letter was read by Pat Smiley (KD4WWF). Ken resigned as vice-president due to health and personal reasons. The office of vice-president, at this time is open to any club member that wishes to take over. Joe Meek (KD4FKT) moved to table the selection of vice-president until next month and Richard Smith (W4KHV) seconded.
Ken Harris (KE4GKD) announced that the 444.825 machine is in operation. The repeater is located at the 146.850 site and has a positive offset and a tone of 131.8 when it is needed.
The club voted in Alby Mc Cutcheon (AD4KZ) as a member again. He had previously been a member, and his membership had expired.
The "hat" was passed for the flower fund. $47 was raised.
There was a motion to adjourn the meeting by Bob Osterloh (N4ICT). Nancy Colvin (KE4PHP) seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 P.M.
Douglas S. Zirk (KE4RMD)
President: David Tanks, AD4TJ
Vice-President: Walt Lam, KF4BFB
Secretary: Wilton Thomas, KF4BFL
Treasurer: Richard Weaver, W3HXH
Board (exp 97): Bill Edmundson, W4IMS
Board (exp 98): Sandy Mullins, KE4PZC
President: Pat Smiley, KD4WWF
Vice-President: Kenny Harris, KE4GKD
Secretary: Doug Zirk, KE4RMD
Treasurer: Charlie Garner, WA4ITY
It does not necessarily contain all information
which appeared in the paper copy.