Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 12 / APRIL 1998

W 4 B S    R E P E A T E R    S Y S T E M

146.82, 147.36, 224.42, 443.2 & 145.03 Packet


When I packed up to go to the March meeting, one of the items that I had was a box full of Delta Club shirts. I was anxious to distribute them to those individuals that had ordered them and didnít want to have their call sign embroidered on the shirt. Unfortunately, when I opened the box and removed the first shirt my heart dropped to the floor. The shirts were great but for one thing. The seamstress had used the wrong color thread for the phrase "Delta Amateur Radio Club. So rather than distributing shirts to an eager club, I boxed them back up and made plans to return them to the vendor.

Several days after returning the shirts I received a call from the vendor saying that we could either take the shirts the way there were and they would reduce the price by $5.00. If we chose not to accept the shirts they would be thrown out because the embroidery problem could not be remedied by taking the stitching out and sewing the name back in with the correct color thread. I informed the sales person that I appreciated her offer and that I would present it to the board of directors at our March meeting. However, I felt that the board would prefer to have new shirts, but I would contact her after the meeting and let he know our decision.

The Board of Directors all agreed that we should not accept the shirts. The primary reason for this decision centered around the fact that when we started this endeavor to get shirts and jackets, we assured the designer of the Delta Club logo that we would do everything in our power to insure the integrity of the logo as it was designed. If we were to accept the shirts with the incorrect colored thread we would be compromising this agreement.

I have informed the vendor of our decision and we are now waiting for the new shirts to be delivered. Although it is taking longer than expected to get the shirts, I firmly believe that the action taken by the Board of Directors was the correct action.

In addition, I have requested either an affidavit that assures us that the shirts with the incorrect logo will not be given to Goodwill, or any other charity organization, or that they cut the incorrect logo out and give to Delta Amateur Radio Club to destroy. Either option will assure us that integrity of the logo will remain intact.

We are quickly closing in on an annual event that is a lot of work, but more importantly is a lot of fun. That event is Field Day. For those of you new to the hobby of amateur radio, this is a week-end where amateur radio operators all over the U. S. have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to operator under simulated emergency conditions. To make this last full week-end in June even more appetizing, ARRL has made it into a contest week-end. Not only do we have to demonstrate that we can operate under emergency conditions, but there are points assigned to the various aspects of operation.

One of those areas where a club participating in Field Day can accumulate points is the Novice/Tech station. This is, as the name implies, a station dedicated to those individuals holding a novice/tech license. The one unique aspect of this station is that it can only be setup and operated by those individuals holding a Novice, No Code Tech, and Tech plus license. No amateur with a higher class license can operate, or even assist in the setup of this station, it must be done completed by this very select group.

Recently, we had several members of the Delta Amateur Radio Club participate in a CW class and upgrade to a Tech Plus license. This is your opportunity to put those newly acquired skills to use, volunteer to operate the Novice/Tech station during Field Day Week-End. Not only do you get experience working CW and Phone, but you actually give the club additional points. We get points for having a Novice/Tech station and we also get points for each contact that you make during the 24 hours of operation.

As yet, no person has been selected to be the "captain" of the Novice/Tech station, so if you have a hankering to organize this station, contact Kurt Schropp, KU4NH, or Ernie Christensen, WA6KOC. They are the team that will organize Field Day í98. Iíd like to see the four members who recently upgraded to Tech Plus be actively involved in the setup and operation of this station. You and the club will benefit by your involvement.

We are now rapidly moving into that period of the year where we see nature start to show her stuff in the form of flowers blooming, and trees budding. Also, itís that time of the year that we see numerous community service activities occurring. Thereís March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon, Memphis in May Triathlon, to name a few. Our Past President, Tommy Thompson (KD4TJO) has been tasked with organizing this aspect of Delta Amateur Radio Clubís community involvement. If you want to have fun, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow amateur radio operators, and provide assistance to a community event, volunteer to be a part of the March of Dimes "Walk-A-Thon" or the Memphis in May Triathlon. Speaking from experience, itís a lot of fun. If you have an interest, contact Tommy, KD4TJO, at 363-1198 and put your name on the list to participate. I guarantee, it will be a lot of funÖ..

If you havenít attended a club meeting in a while, you are probably not aware of the fact that the power supply that we are currently using at the 146.82 Repeater site is the personal property of our Repeater Trustee, Tim Morrow, AB4NH. At the March Board of Directorís Meeting we were surprised by a gift from LeBonheur Childrenís Hospital. They have donated to Delta Amateur Radio Club a 35 Amp power supply. We have been discussing in recent months about purchasing just such an item. Now, with this donation, we no longer have to worry about purchasing such an item. As president of Delta Amateur Radio Club, and as a member of the club, I want to thank Bill Hancock, WA4MJM, and LeBonheur Children Hospital, for their gift. Rest assured that we will be putting this gift to work very soon at our 146.82 Repeater site.

Well, once again, I have rambled on and on. This is getting to be old habit with meÖÖ Each of the last two months I have told our Director of Publications that I just canít get the creative juices flowing. However, once I start writing, it seems to go on and on and onÖ..

Look forward to seeing everyone at the April meeting.


Ben, KU4AW


The membership drive is over but that by no means we are closing the doors. When your buddy wonders where his newsletter is, you can say, "Why, I got my SPARKS yesterday. Did you pay your dues yet?"

The following hams have renewed their memberships in Delta Club: Bill Hancock, WA4MJM, Vicki Hancock, KF4DJS, Dan Fleek, N9PNA, Jim Evans, W0SK, Quincy Clements, W6JLH, Harold Kinchelow, Jr., KB7RSI, Daniel Porter, N4DWE, Dennis Talbert, WF4G, Terry McNatt, N4RES, Wade Wingfield, KB5SSG, Arron DeShazo, KD5CXN, and Steve Greer, N4SG.

Be sure to give these new members a shout when you hear their calls on the air: Grady Bennett, no call as yet, Bill Allen, KA4LEQ, Uis Johnson, K4BMF, and Kenneth Roadinger, KB4ZZU.

73 to everyone,

Kathy, KE4UYU.



7365 HWY. 70




April Program

This month's program concerns weather. In one way or the other, we all are concerned about the weather.

The national weather service has something new. It is called EMWIN, (Emergency Management Weather Information Network). John White, KE4WEV, with the National Weather Service office here in Memphis will be with us to put on a program about weather and EMWIN. Should be very interesting, you won't want to miss it.


Ben Barth     KF4GNC

VE Liaison

As much as the ARRL had problems with their Internet access and computer last month, I was unable to get a quick turn around on the testing session for February. Congratulations to: Nancy Bain KD5DJX Tech

This month with the completion of the first CW class of the month, I was glad to see that the session was posted the following Wednesday.

Congratulations to:

Melinda Thompson, KE4DXN, Tech Plus. Robert Holdford, KF4NDH, Tech Plus. Hilary Pat Vickers, KD5DQM, Tech Plus. Ace McInturff, KC4KBE, Advanced and Tim Billingsly, KD5CKP, Tech Plus.

N4XCO, Jim you did a wonderful job with this class - 100% of those finishing the class passed the 5wpm exam.

A big thanks to the VEs that helped with the two sessions, one at the meeting and the following Sunday:

Tim, AB4NH - Ben, KU4AW - Steve, N4SG - Dom, AA5N - Jim, N4ZCO

REMEMBER: There is only until the end of June before the General Class question pool changes adding 5 more question to the test and the RF category. Talk to Melinda about the General review class.

See you at the April Easter meeting.

73 and keep hamming,

Joan KN4PM


Donít forget the monthly Volunteer Examiner testing session. Registration begins at 5:30p.m. and testing begins promptly at 6:00p.m. Please remember to bring two forms of identification the original and copies of any existing licenses or CSCEís you might have. Please be on time for registration, as you will not be allowed to enter the testing session after 6:00 p.m., so our volunteer VE team can finish in time to attend the club meeting. Call Joan Thorne 366-9722, if special testing arrangements are required.


Please remember to keep the FCC aware or any change in name and address, they do have to be able to get in touch with you should there be any problems that arise.

As of January 1st the old 610 forms will no longer be accepted for any reason.

The new 610 dated September, 1997 will be the only form available for renewal or upgrading that is accepted by the FCC. The reason for this is the new inclusive phrasing that all must sign:

I certify that:

- The construction of the station would NOT be an action which is likely to have a significant environmental effect (see the Commissions Rules 47 C.F.R. Sections 1.1301-1.1319 and section 97.13(a);

-I have READ and WILL COMPLY WITH Section 97.13(c) of the Commission's Rules regarding RADIO FREQUENCY (RF) RADIATION SAFETY and the amateur service section of OST/OET Bulletin Number 65.

These new forms can be downloaded from the FCC site or I do have some forms available.

73, Joan KN4PM


146.82 net 8:00 pm

147.36 tone = 107.2


224.42 1.25 m reptr


443.20 patch, 107.2

145.03 packet / bbs


The radio program "Airwaves" has moved to a new time and day. Airwaves is now broadcast on WYPL-FM, 89.3, on Monday evenings from 8:30 to 9:00 PM. The format has changed, and is now devoted to only amateur radio.

Tune in, and enjoy.

73 Dom, AA5N


A new and revised edition of "Now You Are Talking" has just been released from the printer. There is an entire chapter devoted to the Morse code. What the book doesn't have is a visual representation of the code, because the code is best learned by aural, not visual means. That is explained in the third paragraph of the chapter.

A new "RF Exposure and You' by Ed Hare, W1RFI has just been released from the printer. This book answers many questions that most amateur radio operators will ask. Some of these questions are: (a) What are the FCC RF exposure regulations? (b) How do they apply to my station? (c) Is it hard to meet them? (d) Do I have to prepare paperwork for the FCC? (e) Do I have to lower my tower? (f) Are there any restrictions on using my H-T? The answers to these questions, and many more, are inside, with the FCC rules relating to amateur radio translated into plain English. As you know, when House Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Billy Tauzin's Wireless Privacy Enhancement Act of 1998 was marked up by the subcommittee in October, the committee incorporated all but one of ARRL's recommendations into the bill. The last remaining issue to be dealt with was to clarify the intent of section 2(a) with regard to the modification of linear amplifiers and other amateur gear. Last week, the full Commerce Committee marred up the bill with the intent of getting it on the floor of the House before Congress adjourns in October 1998. It is a good possibility that the bill will enter the floor on the week of March 9, 1998.

NOTE: HR 2369, the Wireless Privacy Enhancement Act of 1998, has passed on the floor of the House by a vote of 414 to 1 with 15 members not voting.

I will be going to Hartford, CT. on July 17 - 18, 1998 for the ARRL Board of Directors meeting.

I hope to see and talk to you all at club meetings and hamfests.

73, Henry R. Leggette, WD4Q Vice Director, Delta Division, ARRL

Director of Training

What a month this has been. I have really enjoyed the CW class as well as the camaraderie of everyone involved in the class. This certainly was a successful venture. Everyone that went through the class also passed their 5-WPM test. We are all so excited. Or at least I think everyone else is as excited as I am.

I certainly want to thank several people. First again I want to thank Jimmy, N4ZCO there are not enough words for all of his patience, motivation and dedication. We truly all appreciate Jimmy and his willingness to help promote the hobby and his energy, time and efforts spent in doing so.

Next let me thank everyone who has helped in such a big way by calling the CW Practice Net. This has been so very much help to me and to many others that I know of for sure. Our profuse thanks go to Henry KU4DY, Jim KI4I, Ben KU4AW, Kurt KU4NH, Dom AA5N, Bill WA4MJM and David KU4AS. We have had others to jump in and help out on this net besides these guys. So thank you too to Jimmy N4ZCO, Tommy KD4TJO, Mr. Chuck W4VAC and Carl KA5IJP.

As you all know the idea was for the practice net and the class to compliment each other. It certainly did work. Now that the class is over and has been so successful we are going to speed up the practice net. We DON'T want to stop at 5WPM but instead move on ahead to 13. I hope others out there who have had their 5 for some time will also take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade.

Let me also thank the V.E. team. We have a very dedicated team that really gives up so much of their personal time in making sure that we all have testing available to us each month. Plus they also are always ready to cheer us on and encourage us every chance they get. Keep us the good work, we all really appreciate it.

Speaking of upgrading, our next class for the year will begin the first Thursday night in April. This will be a General Theory class and it will run every Thursday in the month of April. There are several people scheduled to teach this class. I am really excited about this class and the truly knowledgeable hams teaching it. We really can benefit from all of their experience. I hope to see a lot of you there. Even if you are not interested in upgrading or if you already have but would be interested in the material being presented each week or any week, please come on out and join us. At the April club meeting I will have a schedule of the classes as well as the teacher for each and subject.

We will be scheduling a No-Code Tech class. I need and want input from the club. Those of you who have unlicensed family members or friends that are interested in a class, would everyone rather have a 4 or 5 week class or a one-day class? Let me know what you think they would be interested in.

We will also be having a No-Code Tech class for ladies only. We have several who are interested. This will probably be the next class to be scheduled. I need a list of everyone who wants to attend any upcoming class.

We had our first Net Control Training Class a couple of weeks ago. This class was really a great learning experience. Alex, KE4GYR presented a terrific program on NTS message handling. I know that all net control stations who attended the class are now ready to take any NTS traffic that may come across the net. We all are very grateful to Alex for sharing his knowledge and experience with us.

I hope everyone else in the club is having as much fun "hamming" this year as I am. It is really a terrific hobby and I am having so much fun. Thanks to all of you for helping me to do just that.

73, Melinda, KE4DXN

Repeater Committee Report

Our trustee, Tim, AB4NH asked if I would assemble a few words to let you know what's going on with the repeaters and the repeater committee.

As most of you have heard or read in last month's SPARKS, the project for the year is an upgrade of the 146.82 repeater. This repeater is the cornerstone of the club and has served the community well for about 14 years now. The controller has been replaced since the original repeater was put on the air.

While it is still a great repeater, what was state of the art equipment at the time it was built, it is beginning to get a little wear on it and better equipment is now available at a more affordable cost. The noises that we are having to put up with on this frequency are not being generated by the repeater itself, as a few folks have suggested, but we feel that it is being generated by another transmitter in the area, probably on another tower nearby. We ask everyone that hears the noise to please switch your radio to "reverse" or in other words, listen on the repeater input frequency of 146.22 to see if you can detect the noise there. If you have a beam antenna at your home and can get a general heading on the signal, that would be most beneficial in tracking down the source of the interference. Whatever you can detect, by whatever means possible, please record your location, time of day, signal strength of the interference, what type antenna you're using and a beam heading if you have one, and pass the information to a member of the repeater committee. It will take all of us to track down this "rabbit."

A great big THANKS to Mr. Roger Delphs and LeBonheur Hospital for the donation of a new power supply for the "82" machine. We had a power supply failure a few months back and while attempting to get it repaired, Tim, AB4NH took his personal supply out to the site to keep the repeater on the air. The new power supply is an Astron rack mount 35 amp supply with back up battery charger. This will allow us to install a few of the batteries that were donated to the club a few months back to make the repeater capable of operating during a power outage. Mr. Delphs was very complimentary of our club in it's efforts to provide emergency communications in the Mid-South area and therefore LeBonheur felt that the donation of the supply was an appropriate way for LeBonheur to support amateur radio in the area. Thanks also to Bill, WA4MJM for making LeBonheur aware of our need of a supply.

The 147.36 repeater has been removed from the former site at LeBonheur Children's Hospital and is at another location being tested before relocating it to the new site. As most of you are aware, the repeater has been very hard to access. While some of the problem was it's location, after removing it to the test location and in "tearing into it" we found that the receiver had major problems. Gary, WA2IQC tuned up the receiver and got it back to factory specs. We are now working with the transmitter, which has been replaced with a new one. We are still chasing the "bugs" out of it and the intent is to have it 100% before installing it at the new site. Feel free to try it out at anytime and give us feedback on what you think. Antenna height is only about 40 ft. so coverage is nowhere near what it will be, but you should be able to hit it anywhere within the Interstate loop around Memphis. Thanks to Gary, Tim and David, KU4AS for their work on this project.

Gary is also looking at the packet repeater transmitter to resolve a minor problem with it. In the meantime, Suresh, N9GSA has had one of his radios in place to keep the repeater going.

At the time of this writing, the 224.42 repeater is off the air but should be back up by the time this newsletter hits your mailbox. We believe that there is a power problem at the site and hope to have it resolved in the next day or two.

The 443.2 repeater is doing well and so far (knock on wood) has no known problems. You have a great group of folks working on the repeater committee to keep all of our machines up and running for your continued use. If you detect any problems with any of the club's repeaters, or have any questions regarding them, please contact one of the control operators.

They are......

Ben, KU4AW; Tommy, KD4TJO; Gary, WA2IQC; Bill, WA4MJM; Dom, AA5N; David, KU4AS; Suresh, N9GSA and Tim, AB4NH.

73, Tommy, KD4TJO


The 224.42 repeater is back on the air. It was found that a circuit breaker had tripped. It was reset and the 224.42 is back on the air at this time.


One of the problems with the older computer systems is the BIOS backup battery. When it gets low the computer will not power up properly because the SETUP gets scrambled. Buying a new battery for these can get expensive with prices ranging from $12.00 to a high of $50.00 for the special ones.

The battery voltages vary from computer to computer from 3.6 volts DC to 7.6 volts DC.

This month's project is the BACKUP BATTERY SUBSTITUTE. It allows you to design a battery to replace the one in your computer when it dies. The trick is to start with a common 9 volt battery and use diodes in series to lower the voltage. Each diode in series lowers the voltage by .6 volts. To replace a 7.6 volt pack use a 9 volt battery and 3 diodes to drop the voltage to 7.2 volts ( close enough ). For 3.6 volt packs you can use three 1.5 volt AA batteries for 4.5 volts and use 2 diodes to drop the voltage.

I have used this method to save money on battery packs and to replace old units where no replacement is available.

I will have a BACKUP BATTERY SUBSTITUTE at the meeting to show and answer questions for those who wish to build their own.


James Butler KB4LJV


Amateur radios are about to change dramatically. Companies like WIN RADIO and ICOM have already come out with digital computer controlled receivers. These PC plug in cards or just external black boxes will supply all the hardware needed for Amateur Radio. The big difference is no knobs, displays, switches, or mechanical controls are needed. All of the radios functions, operation, and visual look will be done on the computer. If you want the control layout to be all digital you can. If you want the readout to simulate older analog gear you can. Because the computer can display a virtual radio, controls can be placed anywhere on the screen and in a style you prefer. Given the right software you can actually display a copy of the front panel of your favorite old radio for operation. We have already seen this operation with new rigs running computer controlled software so you do not have to touch your radio to operate. The difference is these newer radios will not even have a front panel on them and will operate only with the computer.

James Butler KB4LJV

So What Do I Do?

As I was putting the final ribbons on this month's newsletter, guess what I heard on the 146.82 repeater? One of our "friends" keys up the repeater, music in the background, and says nothing. A licensed ham comes on the air and asked the other station to identify himself, this station uses his call sign. The unidentified station says that he does not have a license and is studying to get his. The ham tells him to stay off the air until he gets his call. Recently, for some reason we have had a lot of this, IGNORE THEM, if you didnít get it the first time here it is again.... IGNORE THEM. If you respond to them that will just keep them going. They want an audience, donít give them one.

Public Service Update

This year our President has charged me with the responsibility of coordinating all the public service events for the club. This is a part of the hobby that I am especially fond of and have been involved with for several years, so I was happy to accept this challenge. But for my efforts to be successful, I am going to need a lot of help from you, the membership. I'm not sure if it's because Delta Club has the largest membership of any club in the area or what, but no matter what public service event there is, the majority of the amateurs that help out, if not all of them, are Delta Club members. Some of them may be members of other clubs also, but this really makes Delta Club shine in the respect that when there is a communications job to be done, the Memphis community can always count on Delta Amateur Radio Club for the support that they need.

A couple of times last year, some organizations contacted Suresh at the last minute when their normal amateur contacts failed to return their requests for communications assistance and by waiting to the last minute to decide that they were in trouble, we were hard pushed to get enough volunteers. One of the things that I am working toward this year will to make contact with the organizations that we have worked with in the past and make sure that we have everything set up well in advance. I have already attended two committee meetings for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica, which will be held on April 25th this year. We will need approximately 20 volunteers to take care of their communications needs. Unfortunately, some of us will have to be at the fairgrounds very early, like about 5 am, but most will only need to be there by 7 and everything should be complete by noon. There will be food available, for all the volunteers, after the walk at the WalkAmerica tent, and as with most events like this, all volunteers will receive a commemorative T-shirt. But most importantly, your participation in this event will help the March of Dimes in their fight against birth defects.

March of Dimes is celebrating what they refer to as "60 years of success." For those of you that don't know much about the March of Dimes, here are a few facts about what they have accomplished in those 60 years. 1. The March of Dimes funded the development of the Salk vaccine, which was the first of two major polio vaccines. 2. The March of Dimes funded the research that led to the PKU test. Because of the March of Dimes, nearly every baby born receives the screening test for PKU. 3. March of Dimes researchers were the first to link alcohol consumption to a specific pattern of birth defects. 4. The March of Dimes played a leading role in developing surfactant therapy for premature babies. 5. March of Dimes research led to the first successful fetal surgery to correct birth defects. The list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. For more information you can check out their website at

This is a very worthwhile cause, and while I know that not all of you enjoy the public service part of the hobby as much as I do, those of you that can, please put this date on your calendar now and contact me to let me know that you will help. I would love to have more volunteers than we need, but that rarely happens. There are several of you that have helped with this event for several years and I'm sure will be there again this year, but I still need to hear from you. As we did last year, we will be using the 443.2 repeater for net operations. For those that don't have UHF capabilities, but would still like to help, we will again use the remote base on a 2 meter simplex frequency which will allow everyone to still communicate. The repeater will be restricted to net use only from about 5 am until noon on the 25th of April. We appreciate everyone's cooperation in this.

The next event will be the Memphis in May Triathlon. Date is unknown at this writing for the event and there may not be time to get it in the May newsletter. This is one event that we got called about 4 days beforehand last year and we just barely were able to get the bare minimum amount of volunteers for this one. It is usually around the second weekend in May, so pencil this in on your calendars as well. Listen up on the nets for more information on both of these events, as it becomes available. And remember I need YOUR help.


Tommy, KD4TJO

E-Mail Us.........

Ben Troughton...........................................................President.......................................................

Bill Hancock............................................................Vice President

Kathy Troughton......................... ............................Secretary......................................................

Ernie Christensen......................................................Treasurer

Melinda Thompson...................................................Dir. of Training

David Pace...............................................................Dir. of

Ben Barth.................................................................Dir. of Programs

Regina Graham...........................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special

Tommy Thompson....................................................Past President

Joan Thorne..............................................................VE Liaison .....................................................joant@mem.met

Tim Morrow.............................................................Repeater Trustee