The MARA-VARA Monitor

SEPTEMBER 1997 -- Volume 97:09


This is the web page version of the MARA/VARA Monitor.

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.


Now's Your Chance!!
FREE SKYWARN CLASSES COMING UP

Interested in assisting the National Weather Service? Want to give your XYL a really good reason for owning those expensive ham radios? For those hams who have been waiting to get into the Skywarn scene, here is the line-up of Fall training sessions! Skywarn is free, fun, and best of all, you are helping the community!

Classes are open to all interested hams. Class sizes are limited. The weather service asks that you please register for the class ahead of time. If you register and later find you can not attend, please cancel your registration so that others may attend in your place. There are no fees or special equipment required. All you need is the ability to (a) visually see the storms and the damage they cause and (b) call or radio those reports to the National Weather Service (NWS). In the valley, we have an established system of relay stations to assist you in radio-ing the reports.

To register, call the phone number and leave your name, Skywarn ID (if you have one) or county and state that you are from, and a daytime phone number that you can be reached at in case the class must be canceled. Classes will be canceled if less than 10 people sign up. Class sizes are usually limited to 40 people.

BASICS I CLASS - Essential for becoming a Skywarn Spotter. It is a 3-hour class that covers the basics of how Skywarn and the National Weather Service operate, what you need to report and how, and how to spot severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. After completion of this class, you will be an official Skywarn weather volunteer

BASICS II CLASS - This class is an optional sequel to the Basics I class. It is 2 1/2 hours long. It is good for spotters who need a refresher or feel they what additional information and training. It reviews the basic spotting techniques and covers more information about thunderstorms and Doppler radar. YOU MUST HAVE TAKEN BASICS I TO ATTEND BASICS II.

HURRICANE CLASS - This is an optional 2 1/2 hour class that whose focus is Mid-Atlantic hurricanes, their frequency and history, outlook for the season, how hurricanes form, categories, their names, how to be prepared, and how Skywarn operates. You must have taken Basics I in order to attend the hurricane class.

WINTER STORM CLASS - This is an optional 2 1/2 hour class whose focus is on the mid-Atlantic winter storms. It looks at frequency and history of the storms, how they form and the difficulties in forecasting them, how to be prepared, how to measure snow and ice, and how Skywarn operates during a winter event.

Sterling Weather Forecast Office


MARA PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Greetings to all! We had a good group for the August meeting, with 24 present. Bo K4QKH from Charlottesville, gave a very interesting program on his homebrew mobile/portable hf antenna. If you do any hf antenna building/experimenting at all, his presentation was a real eye-opener! If you weren't there, you missed a good talk!

At September's meeting I will give a program on 2 meter J-poles and my experience with them, a remote field strength meter that you can build for tuning up 2 meter beams for maximum gain, and show various beams I have made. If 2 meters and homebrew( another definition of homebrew: making things so you don't have to spend money you don't have! ) stuff tickles your fancy, come on out( or up ) and see for yourself. And if you have a project you have made and cant wait for April's homebrew night to show it off, get in touch with me and I'll let you do a whole program on it. That's a challenge for all you do-it -your-selfers!

In going through the membership roll, we have approximately 72 members, 71 being hams, and only one non-ham. From that we can make the assumption that we are doing a good job of recruiting hams for membership. But the club is open not only for licensed hams, but also for anyone with an interest in ham radio. If you know of someone who is in that category, help them out by letting them know there is a group of people( the club ) who can help them and encourage them. Besides the benefit of club membership of receiving the newsletter, the fellowship and help that club members give each other is a benefit that you can't put a price on.

Preliminary Christmas banquet plans: Tentatively, the banquet will be held December 4th, at Pano's Restaurant, with everyone ordering from the menu. John Kanode N4MM, ARRL Director for the Roanoke Division, will be the featured speaker. Also, awards will be given out to deserving amateurs. By ordering from the menu, no money is paid in advance, so you aren't out anything if you don't show up. As I said, this is tentative, and will be firmed up by September's meeting.

See you at Ever's Restaurant on Sept. 4!

MARA President,
David Tanks, AD4TJ


VARA PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

I was glad to see everyone at the August 13th 1997 meeting. We covered a lot of ground and I think everyone enjoyed the meeting.

We have a new Vice President and thanks to Dick Waldmuller WB8GIF for taking on this task, we all appreciate it Dick.

The club picnic was "GREAT". It was the best bar-b-que chicken I have ever had. Thanks to Donnie N4RAG and his crew, even Buck N3RIQ helped.

The J-Poles were a success. We made five of them and sold them all so there was some profit for the club. Thanks to all that helped.

The Christmas Party is a go. We will have it at Ever's Restaurant Rt. 11 just west of Harrisonburg. The date is Dec. 18th at 6:00pm. The price of the meal is $9.50 per person. The menu is three meats, vegetable bar, salad bar, desert and drink with the tip included in the price. Everyone send your reservation money to Charlie Garner WA4ITY at the club address: VARA, Box 666, Staunton, Va. 24402. Make checks payable to VARA. Lets get this in early so we can let Ever's know how many there will be. The cut off date is Dec. 10th, so although we have plenty of time please don't wait until the last minute to send it in.

Also a big thanks to our committee, Kay KF4CZL, Joan KF4CWR and Elaine for getting this done and locked in "GOOD JOB LADIES".

Next meeting we will need a nomination committee for a President and a Vice-President. Our Treasurer and Secretary have agreed to take on the task again next year. Due to my work load I will not be available for office next year.

We have heard from Bike Virginia and the dates are Oct. 25th & 26th so lets all get ready to HELP with this. We will have more information from them at our next meeting.

There is a new repeater on the air in Monterey. The frequency is 147.180+ with a tone of 100.0. Jerry Moats WD4ITN and Jim Thompson KE4LKP worked hard getting this repeater up and running.

I have heard from the ARRL and our club is now back on active status with them. Thanks to Joe W4XD for getting the information together for this.

Thanks to Ray Colvin KE4HVR for the hand- outs at the club meeting, some good information.

VARA President,
Pat Smiley KD4WWF


FIELD DAY 1997 DETAILED REPORT

Once again we had a very successful FD operation atop the mountain between Reddish Knob and Flagpole Knob.. According to Dick -W3HXH (ex W4JZC) and his XYL Jenny, we had a smaller attendance this year as compared to 1996. Approximately 75 signed in on the registration sheet. Any time we can do all the "stuff" we do for FD and come away with no serious injuries, we have been successful - in addition to that, we had a lot of fun.

The weather was most cooperative this year - nice and cool but not cold, and not too hot either - of course, it "never rains at FD" and this year was no exception. The generator operated flawlessly and as far as I know, there were no real problems with any of the radios or computers.

We put on a "push" to get some new operators going this year and by the table below, you can observe that there were many new calls signed up as operators or loggers this year. Now when next year rolls around, these new ones can be considered seasoned veterans and perhaps they will share what they have learned with some more new ones. In the event of an emergency situation, we now have a few more experienced radio operators. I'm confident that everyone learned that it is easy and fun to operate at FD.

The chart below includes callsigns of those who signed up as operators or loggers at each station. Where significant, the hours that each person operated or logged is noted. It goes without saying, of course, that if you were in charge of a station, you spent a lot more hours at that staion than what the log shows.

Thanks to N4XU (ex WF3L) for letting us use his new callsign. Thanks again to KD4FKT and KE4PZC for running the Nov. Tech. station, to KB4OLM for providing and supervising the VHF station, to WA4ITY and N4ICT for taking care of the Phone station and to N4XU and WB4PJW for organizing the CW station.

Next year perhaps we can spread out the load a bit more evenly so that no one has to spend more time operating/logging than what is enjoyable.

Thanks again to all those new ones who were brave enough to sign up and operate. Please spread the word about how easy it was and how enjoyable. See you next year - 4th full week-end in June 1998, for a fun time. Come one up and join in for a real mountain-top experience.

WB4PJW


FIELD DAY RESULTS



FIELD DAY 1997
OPERATORS

PHONE                 CW                   VHF
============          ============         ============
WA4ITY 7              N4XU 9               KD4OXU
N4ICT 10              AD4TJ 9              KF4QZG
KE4CKH                N9AHQ                KE4ASC
KD4UPL                WB4PJW               AD4TJ
KF4CZK                                     KC4GUL
WV3J                  NOV/TECH             KE4CKH
WB4PJW                ============         KF4BFM 6
LEE                   KF4LGT 6             KE6NCX
KE4GKD 6              KE4YEV 6             KD4UPL
KF4BFM                KD4OXU               KE4GMJ
N4ALS                 KE4PZC 10            KB4OLM 14
KE4YEV                KD4DDI
                      KD4FKT


FIELD DAY 1997
SUMMARY OF RESULTS



      Call: N4XU                     Country: USA
      Mode: CW,SSB,FM,PKT            Category: Multi Multi

      BAND    CW QSO               PHONE QSO's
=================================================
             96     97             96     97
           -----   -----          -----   -----
       80    237    287            212    394
       40    176    211            154     98
       20    310    310            336    232
       15    152     51             40     51
       10             0                     0
        6             0            100    154
        2             2             22     22
      440             0              4      3
      NOV     24      0            247    303
      SAT             0              1      0
      PKT      6      2              0      0
     --------------------------------------------
               1997 CW               1997 SSB
                    863            +      1257     =    2120 Total QSO's
                    1736(2X863)    +      1257     =    2993 QSO PTS
                    2993 X 2 (PWR MULT) = 5986 PTS                           
                    + 800 BONUS PTS                = 6,786 total for 1997
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       1996 CW              1996 SSB
            905            +     1122 = 2027 Total QSO's
            1810(2X905)    +     1122 = 2932 QSO PTS
            2932 X 2 (PWR MULT)= 5864 PTS
            + 1000 BONUS PTS                        = 6,864 total for 1996

                     So...... 1996 total = 6,864
                minus         1997 total = 6,786
                                         =    78 more pts in 96 than 97.


In the previous report 2 months ago, I failed to take our power category in to account. We used 150 watts or less, so our power multiplier was by 2 instead of X 1. Our total score in 1997 was 6786 and in 1996 it was 6864.

If we had gotten the 100 bonus points for sending a FD message to our SEC or the 100 points for Satellite, (note the bonus point difference between 96 and 97) we would have exceeded last years score. We did well to keep our score so high in 97 since we had fewer persons on the hill and fewer bonus points.

In 96, the CW score was 688 more points than the Phone stations score. In 97 however, the CW score was only 479 more points than the Phone stations - a difference of 209 pts. I tried to convince W4XD (grandaddy of CW at our FD) that if he had been there this year, the phone stations wouldn't have creeped up on us CW operators like that and besides, with the extra CW points that he would have generated, we would have beaten last years score. I don't think he went for this analogy but perhaps he can join us again next year and find out.

Congratulations to the phone operators for closing the gap and for helping us keep our score nearly equal to 1996.

Jeff Rinehart, WB4PJW


BIG MOUNTAIN REPEATER PICNIC

You have heard the phrase, "a good time was had by all", I am sure. If you enhance the statement by replacing the "good" with "great", then you have described the experience on Bob's Knob on August 17 -- the Big Mountain Repeater Association's annual picnic.

The weather could not have been better, and the food and social atmosphere were unequalled. In short, if you missed it, you MISSED OUT.

Approximately 50 amateurs attended. By the time you added in the wives, children, and guests, the attendance count went over a hundred! We also had two K9 calls (Sam and Precious), whose wagging tails attested to the fact that they, too, enjoyed the proceedings. Although attendance was not an all-time high, this year's was definitely one of the finest gatherings Bob has ever hosted.

A great many people contributed to the success of the day. Donning the chef's hats and aprons were Frank- KE4RMB, James-KF4BFM, Bob-WB4WRE, and W3MMC's son Bobby, who came just for the occasion. Table service was set up and attended to by Cathy Payne-KE4FKJ, Carol Landes-N4JKX, Carla Worley, and Ruth Purdy.

Thanks also go to the special-assignment people, such as Elsworth-K4LXG and Simon-KE4CKF who handled parking, Paul-WV3J who handled games setup; Neal- N4XU on talk-in; Mark-WA4E for special music; Walt- KF4BFB, Bob-KF4BFC, and Stuart-KE4RME for taking care of the buns and rolls; and KF4LGT and his dad Sandy-KE4PZC for handling the drinks and the ice.

In addition, the picnic-table committee deserves a lot of credit. Besides the above already mentioned, there were Dave-KD4EQA, Ray-KD4OXU, and Wilton-KF4BFL.

Some of the highlights of the day: Birthday boy Don- WX4C had a nice looking cake on the table. Carla Worley won the door prize - a solid walnut rolling pin. The 50/50 drawing was won by Bill Edmonson, W4IMS, who graciously donated half of his winnings back to the Big Mountain Repeater Fund. Supplementing the profits of the 50/50, a bucket was set up for donations to the upkeep, maintenance, and operation of the 146.625 repeater. The proceeds go directly into the fund - all of the expenses of the picnic (including hamburgers, hotdogs, and condiments) were donated at no cost to the repeater association. A hearty "thank you" to everyone who contributed.

Thanks to all who dropped by, and to those who helped in every way. We apologize if we missed recognition of any who helped out.

Bill Jones, KE4FM
Big Mountain Repeater Association Trustee


ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THE MONITOR NOW ON THE WEB

Thanks to David, KD9LA, and Buck, N3RIQ, back issues of the MARA/VARA Monitor have been posted on the World Wide Web.

You can find the text of all issues from January 1996 to April of 1997 on VARA's home page at URL: http://www.qsl.net/w4mus/. Future issues will be added about 2-4 months after each one goes to press.


SPECIAL 1x1 CALLSIGNS NOW AVAILABLE

QST de W1AW
ARRL Bulletin 48  ARLB048
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  August 21, 1997
To all radio amateurs

New FCC rules to obtain one-by-one call signs for special events 
have been implemented, and four coordinators have been authorized 
to handle call sign requests. The first special event call sign, W3W, 
was coordinated August 20 at the request of the Scranton Pocono 
Amateur Radio Klub (SPARK) of Scranton, Pennsylvania. W3W will 
be activated October 11-12, 1997, during the Steamtown Marathon.

On August 18, the FCC authorized the ARRL, The W5YI Group Inc of 
Arlington, Texas, the Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society/VEC 
Inc of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Laurel Amateur Radio Club Inc 
of Laurel, Maryland to ''coordinate, maintain and disseminate a 
common database of amateur station special event call signs.'' The 
National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) 
maintains a shared database so that both requesters and 
coordinators will know which call signs are available at any given 
time.

The FCC says that special event 1x1 call signs are authorized for use 
''in conjunction with an event of special significance.'' This suggests 
an event with high public visibility, as opposed to a routine ham radio 
contest or other operating event. However, a special event call sign 
could be used in conjunction with a contest if one were to occur 
within the call sign reservation period. 

The four special event call sign coordinators have the authority to 
determine if a request is in keeping with the intent of the special 
event call sign system. Any licensed amateur may request a special 
event call sign. Call signs may be requested up to one year in 
advance of their use on the air. Call signs normally will be granted for 
periods of 15 days or less. Because of the limited number of call 
signs available, requesters are encouraged to limit their requests to 
the duration of the special event.

A block of 750 call signs is available for use in the special event call 
sign system. The format of each 1x1 call sign consists of a single 
letter K, N or W prefix followed by a single numeral, 0 through 9, 
followed by any single letter except the letter X, which is not available 
to amateur stations.

For more information on the special event call sign system, call 860-
594-0300 or e-mail vec@arrl.org. You also can contact any of the 
other special event call sign coordinators.

XXXX
BT BT


FCC POISED FOR GATE 3 GRANTS

Grants for first-day applicants under the FCC's vanity call sign program Gate 3 could start showing up soon. The FCC has been wading through the vanity applications it received prior to the opening of Gate 3 on August 6. On August 22, the FCC reported it had processed vanity applications received up through August 5--the day before Gate 3 opened--but was still dealing with apparently unsuccessful or problematic applications in the so-called "work in process" (WIPS) stack.

In a last-minute flurry of activity this week, the FCC granted 232 vanity call signs for applications received from July 17 through August 5. Another 325 applications from that period hit WIPS, and it is those applications the FCC will deal with next, before moving on to Gate 3 applications. The FCC says it received 1613 vanity applications between August 6 and August 20.

The ARRL Letter


FCC SEQUENTIAL CALL SIGN UPDATE

The following is a list of FCC sequentially assigned call signs issued as of August 5, 1997.

 Dist   Group A   Group B   Group C   Group D
        Extra     Advanced  Tech/Gen  Novice

     0    AB0GA     KI0JM      ++       KC0BTZ
     1    AA1SO     KE1IF     N1ZQF     KB1CET
     2    AB2EB     KG2MD      ++       KC2CGN
     3    AA3QA     KF3AF     N3ZUB     KB3BUN
     4    AF4EN     KU4JD      ++       KF4TOA
     5    AC5NN     KM5LF      ++       KD5BYY
     6    AD6CP     KQ6QW      ++       KF6NCP
     7    AB7WE     KK7JF      ++       KC7YYH
     8    AB8AZ     KI8DJ      ++       KC8IIB
     9    AA9US     KG9KZ      ++       KB9RGM

++All call signs in this group have been issued in this district.


ORDERED SOMETHING RECENTLY?

Not sure if I sent you this or not, but here it is. Now that UPS is back to work, they again offer free Internet Package Tracking when you are waiting for a package being shipped via UPS. All you need is the tracing number (available from the shipper). This is an interesting way of tracking your package from the time it leaves the ham store all the way till it reaches your front doorstep.

http://www.lycos.com/ups/bridge.html

Ray Colvin, KE4HVR


THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Gerry, K4RBZ, wishes to thank all those who assisted in erecting his crank-up tilt-over tower, and assembling and mounting his six-element and three-element beams.

These include his two brothers, George--WB4IXG, and Paul--W4RY, as well as Jeff--WB4PJW, Jay--W4QDC, Paul--KD4DDI, Paul--WV3J, Enos--KF4BFF, Gerald--KN4FM, Ellsworth--K4LXG, and Neal--N4XU.

"A good time was had by all." Gerry was able to achieve one of his goals for the summer, and Shirley was delighted to have those tower sections out of the yard that have been lying there for the last five years! Anyone is welcome to stop by Gerry's QTH and see the results of this great collaborative project.

Gerry Brunk, K4RBZ


LOCAL VE TESTING SESSION RESULTS FOR AUGUST


3 candidates
                passed     failed
 1 element 1B     0           1
 1 element 1A     1           0
 1 element 2      0           1
 2 element 3A     0           2
 1 element 3B     1           0

Final Result:  1 TechPlus Upgrade

All in all, a pretty boring session. Only THREE people! We need to do something to stir some more interest.... Suggestions??

Thanks to the Examiners:

     Randy, KN4KB
     Richard KR4V  ex K4VHH
     David   AD4TJ
     Brown   N4ZHV
     Terry   KT4UO
     Glen    N4ALS

And to the Front Desk crew:
     Buck    N3RIQ
     Doug    KE4RMD

Randy Smith, KN4KB


SOVIET SPACE STATION UPDATES

KB5UAC EXPECTS NEW CREWMATES TO BE ACTIVE ON HAM RADIO

In spite of the recent events aboard the luckless space station, US astronaut Mike Foale, KB5UAC, continues to be sporadically active on Amateur Radio. Foale has been using 145.985 MHz while over the US, and the 145.200/800 MHz split pair elsewhere.

In a recent packet bulletin, Foale also said he expects his new Mir 24 crewmates, Anatoli Solovev and Pavel "Pasha" Vinogradov, to be active on the radio "once they are settled in."

The new crew members arrived August 7 aboard the ailing Mir to replace the Mir 23 contingent of Vasily Tsibliev and Alexander Lazutkin, who returned to Earth August 14. Foale will remain aboard Mir until September. "We are conducting handover activities now," Foale related in his message.

"Lots to do here," Foale said in his hurried posting. "I try to monitor each day." Foale has been experiencing problems with his TNC, which has been losing messages. A new TNC was to have been delivered along with the Mir 24 crew members, but that did not happen.

NASA, meanwhile, reports that Foale's scheduled replacement, astronaut Dave Wolf, KC5VPF, is undergoing intensive training in Russia in preparation for swapping places with Foale in late September.

From ARRL Letter


MIR ACHIEVEMENT AWARD AVAILABLE

Those who have worked the Russian Mir space station on both voice and packet are eligible to receive a Mir Achievement Award, an 8x10-inch certificate suitable for framing. A $10 donation includes all shipping and handling costs. Send a QSL or postcard with your name, address, and call sign to Mir QSL manager Dave Larsen, N6CO, Box 1501, Pine Grove, CA 95665; e-mail doc@volcano.net. Larsen reminds hams not to call Mir on voice until they hear Mir calling CQ.


MIR WEB SITES PROVIDE UP-TO- THE-MINUTE NEWS

If you are interested in keeping up with the latest happenings on the MIR space station, and have web access, here are two pages dealing with MIR and its problems:

From KD4PAG


DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR

September 4 -- MARA September Meeting Ever's Restaurant, 6:30 pm dinner, 7:30 pm meeting

September 6 -- Skywarn Basics I Class Sterling Weather Office, 3:00 pm. See article on page 1 of this issue of the Monitor.

September 7 -- Gaithersburg (MD) Hamfest

September 10 -- VARA September Meeting Gavid's Restaurant in Staunton, 6:30 dinner, 7:30 meeting

September 27 -- Skywarn Basics II Class Sterling Weather Office, 2:00 pm, optional continuation of the September 6 class.

October 4-5 -- Johnny Appleseed Ride Starts off Route 613 outside of Timberville, always a popular event with area amateurs.

October 7 -- Repeat of Skywarn Basics I Class For those who missed the September 6th class.

October 18 -- MS Walk -- Harrisonburg Walk will start at JMU. another popular ham radio event.

October 25-26 -- Bike Virginia Foliage Ride The grand-daddy of the bike rides supported by ham radio.

November 2 -- Area AMSAT Convention Greenbelt (MD), noon. Free. Family activities, too. Great way to learn about how to get started working the amateur radio satellites. See article in August issue of the Monitor, page 5.

November 6 -- Skywarn Winter Storms Class Sterling Weather Office, 7:00 pm, optional, for those who have completed a Basics I class.

December 4 -- Tentative MARA Christmas Party Pano's Restaurant on US 11 south in Harrisonburg, ordering from menu.

December 6 -- Skywarn Winter Storms Class Sterling Weather Office, 2:00 pm, for those who missed the November 6 class.

December 18 - Tentative VARA Christmas Party Ever's Restaurant on US 11 south of Harrisonburg


FOR SALE

The following items are listed for sale:

For more info contact Steve Jenkins @ 540-672-9391.

(submitted by Bill Bearden, KC4TQF)


NEW REPEATER ON THE AIR

If you are in Highland or Western Augusta County, or around the Franklin, WV area, try the new 147.180 repeater. The input is up 600 khz, and uses PL tone 100.0 hz for activation. Thanks to Jerry Moats WD4ITN and Jim Thompson KE4LKP for this fine new machine.


NO CANCER LINK TO EMF

On the medical front, there's good news for ham radio and anyone living near power transmission lines. Researchers studying health effects of electromagnetic fields have concluded that power lines do not increase the risk of leukemia in children.

The new findings were published in the July 3rd edition of the New England Journal of Medicine and is expected to relieve some of the fears that surfaced in the late '70s and early '80s, when some scientists claimed that they though they had found a connection between cancer and the fields given off by power lines and electrical appliances. But this latest study financed by the National Cancer Institute and the University of Minnesota's Children's Cancer Research Fund found just the opposite. It looked at 638 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and compared their living conditions with those of 620 youngsters without cancer. They also had engineering teams measure electromagnetic fields in each child's home and at former homes. The researchers also checked to see if the mother lived near power lines when she was pregnant. They discovered that no matter how they measured a child's exposure to power line fields there was no evidence that the children with leukemia had been exposed to more electromagnetic energy than healthy children in the control group.

These findings should help alleviate the concern of some hams about whether their hobby was having adverse impact on their health or that of their families. This study joins a growing body of scientifically-rigorous evidence which is failing to find any significant health risks associated with radio energy.

From Ham Radio Newsline Transmission 1039, July 11, 1997


TOWER SITUATION MAY INCREASE COST OF OPERATING REPEATERS!

The July 21st edition of Broadcasting & Cable features an article entitled 'The DTV Push Is On for 1998." In it, Ira Goldstone, the Vice President of Engineering and Technology for Tribune Broadcasting was asked about tower space issues in terms of locating the newly required DTV antennas. Goldstone says that Tribune and other broadcasters "will lighten tower loads as leases run out."

The implication is that Tower-space sub-letters -- including ham radio repeaters -- may find themselves without suitable tower space so that tower owners can accommodate the needs of Digital TV. Tower space at all commercial sites will soon be at a premium, since broadcasters have to more than double their transmitter facilities to accommodate Digital Television while also maintaining their old analog signal for years to come.

(Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, CGC Communicator)


FCC SEEKS COMMENTS ON LEAGUE-SPONSORED PETITION ADDRESSING ENFORCEMENT ISSUES

The FCC seeks comments within 30 days on the ARRL's Petition for Rulemaking (RM 9150) that asks the Commission to improve the way it addresses serious Amateur Radio rules violations.. The petition, filed in late March, calls on the FCC to "create a streamlined, privatized enforcement process" to handle and adjudicate the most serious Amateur Service rules violations. The League asked that the FCC change its rules to permit members of the volunteer Amateur Auxiliary to bring evidence of malicious interference violations directly before the Chief Administrative Law Judge. The Chief ALJ would be authorized to determine if the complainants have a valid case, to issue show-cause orders, and to designate complaints for hearing. The League recommended that the FCC capitalize on the volunteer resources available through the Amateur Auxiliary to relieve the evidence-gathering burden in such cases.

HOW TO COMMENT ON RM 9150

Amateurs wishing to comment on the ARRL Petition for Rulemaking (RM 9150) asking the FCC to improve how it addresses serious Amateur Radio rules violations apparently will have to do so the old-fashioned way--written copies. The FCC has made no provision to receive electronic comments on RM 9150. The petition, filed in late March, calls on the FCC to "create a streamlined, privatized enforcement process" to handle and adjudicate serious Amateur Service rules violations, including malicious interference. Thanks to Pacific Division Webmaster Paul Wesling, KM6LH, a complete electronic copy of the petition is available on the Web at http://www.pdarrl.org/pdu/rm9150.html.

Comments to the FCC should reference RM 9150. Send an original and four copies of comments to Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 1919 M St NW, Washington DC 20554. Reply comments are due by September 30, 1997.

>i>From ARRL Letter


The deadline for the October issue of the Monitor is Friday, September 19th.


If you have received a new vanity call recently, please notify the newsletter editor to update the mailing list. Thanks.


VARA SECRETARY'S REPORT
August 13, 1997 Meeting

The V.A.R.A. club meeting was held at Gavid's Restaurant in Staunton on August 13, 1997. The meeting was opened by the club president, Pat Smiley (KD4WWF) at 7:40 p.m.

The total amount raised with the 50/50 raffle was $42. Pat Smiley (KD4WWF) won and collected $21. The remaining amount went to the club.

Pat Smiley (KD4WWF) said that he has talked to the people in charge of Bike Virginia and they need to know if we would be able to provide communications during the event. By a show of hands, the club had a majority of interest for the event and it was decided that we would help out Bike Virginia, who plans to hold their event in mid October.

An announcement was made that Tiny (WD4FOZ), is in the hospital. He is scheduled to remain there as much a month or more and will be staying in room 322. Ken Harris (KE4GKD) had been in the hospital and is now at home recovering.

Also an announcement was made that Benny Cook's (KF4CZK) mother passed away.

Terry Henderson (KT4UO) announced that there will be a Tour de Valley Bike Race on August 31 and that help from interested amateurs would be appreciated.

Sam Pickering (KF4EKV) announced that we need to decide on ideas for patches so that we can get prices for them.

Elaine Archambeault (associate member) reported on the Christmas Party. The restaurant needs to be selected so that reservations can be made. Bob Osterloh (N4ICT) made the motion to grant the Christmas Party Committee the authority to select the restaurant themselves and reserve a room for the party. Dick Waldmuller (WB8GIF) seconded and a majority vote favored the motion that Bob and Dick had made.

Next month a committee will be formed in order to find possible candidates for the upcoming year's officers. Last month, Ken Harris (KE4GKD), due to health and personal reasons, stepped down from the position of vice-president. Dick Waldmuller (WB8GIF) volunteered to take his place as vice-president. A vote was taken and Dick was voted in to fill the position for the remaining 1997 term.

A special thanks from the President of V.A.R.A., Pat Smiley (KD4WWF) and the club was extended out to Donnie Mowbray (N4RAG) and his family for the "Ribs & Chicken" cookout that they held last month at the Stoney Creek Campground Clubhouse.

There was a motion to adjourn the meeting by Pat Smiley (KD4WWF). Dick Waldmuller (WB8GIF) seconded and the meeting was adjourned around 8:30 p.m.

Submitted by:
Douglas S. Zirk (KE4RMD)
VARA Secretary


MARA SECRETARY'S REPORT
August 7, 1997 Meeting

The Massanutten Amateur Radio Association held its August meeting on the 7th at 7:30 pm at Ever's Restaurant in Mount Crawford. The president, David AD4TJ, began the meeting with 23 hams and 1 guest present.

Five (5) hams and 1 non-ham were voted in as new members of the club:

Congratulations!

The application for membership by Bo Owen K4QKH was read and will be voted on at the next meeting.

Reports from committees included:

Public Service: Norman KA4EEN informed us of the MS Walk to be held at JMU on Oct 18, a Saturday. The club had taken this on as a club project last year, and likewise voted the same for this year.

Dick W3HXH, treasurer, reported the balance as of 8-7-97 was $1248.10

For old business, the club voted to keep Ever's as the meeting place for an indefinite period of time, as everyone seemed satisfied with the service, the meals, and the quiet room to meet in.

We discussed the Christmas banquet. David AD4TJ will check into the availibility of Ever's and Pano's. Awards for deserving hams was discussed, and the possibility of having an ARRL representative come give a talk instead of a musical group or other entertainment. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

Contests: September Vhf-Uhf on the 13th and 14th.

Hamfests: Roanoke, Aug. 16th; Gaithersburg Sept 7.

The 50/50 drawing of $9.00( $ 18.00 total pot ) was won by John N3GLZ.

We were reminded of the VE test session on Aug. 9.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:56 pm, and the program was presented by Bo K4QKH. He had made a mobile/portable hf vertical antenna, using coils to shorten the needed length for resonance in the 10/15/20 meter bands to a whip about 47 inches long with 3 coils on top. A very efficient antenna for its size, and a very good performer.

Submitted for Wilton Thomas
(unable to make meeting)
by
David Tanks, AD4TJ,
MARA president



The newsletter editor would like to thank everyone who contributed articles this month.


End of this month's issue.


MASSANUTTEN ARA

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


THE VALLEY ARA

President: Pat Smiley, KD4WWF
Vice-President: Kenny Harris, KE4GKD
Secretary: Doug Zirk, KE4RMD
Treasurer: Charlie Garner, WA4ITY


The Monitor is published monthly by the Massanutten Amateur Radio Association, Inc., a non-profit organization under the Internal Revenue Service regulations. The Monitor is distributed to all full current members of the MARA and the Valley Amateur Radio Association under reciprocal agreements of the two clubs. All articles, comments, and material for the Monitor should be sent to the Editor, David R. Fordham, KD9LA, 131 Wayside Drive, Weyers Cave, VA 24486.


This web page was prepared from
an ASCII version of the Monitor,
by David R. Fordham, KD9LA

It does not necessarily contain all information
which appeared in the paper copy.