Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 12 / AUGUST 2000

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


Two events occurred this month reaffirmed my pride in the amateur radio hobby.

While Freddy, KF4ZGJ, was reserving facilities for our Annual Picnic (more about that later), the Parks and Recreation folks asked him if DARC could help out with communications at their Fourth of July Celebration.  Tommy, KD4TJO, and Freddy made a few phone calls and passed the word around, not really knowing just how many hams might be needed. In fact, we had more hams than we knew what to do with. I want to thank the following hams (whether they stayed or not, they made the effort) Freddy, KF4ZGJ, Tom, K4TTA, Louis, AF4XW, his wife Pat, WB4YHP, Paul, WM5Q, Arlene, AA5GX, Bill, KC4SXT, Joe, WA4OVO, Terry, KB4KA, Tommy, KD4TJO, and Ben, KU4AW, for offering their help.  We had a great time doing this event, hot as it was. We listened to some good local music talent. (I heard a lot of Dixie, but never did hear Yankee Doodle Dandy. I wonder why.) One of our own hams, Ron, K4WNY, was there in an official capacity, conducting the Bartlett Community Concert Band. We helped the fireworks officer and the music folks coordinate their efforts, doused the lights at the appropriate moment, and witnessed a marvelous fireworks display.

On a different subject, it was suggested some time ago that the Club should purchase its own canopies for the various events we participate in. In speaking with the owners of the canopy company, we discovered he and his brother were hams as well. He said that while one canopy costs $220.00, he could let us have two canopies for $400.00. I brought that information to the board, and it was decided that the purchase of the canopies was not in the budget and should be postponed for a bit. Freddy suggested instead, having a pickle jar at the sign-in table for donations toward the purchase. Come time for the meeting, we didn't have the pickle jar, but Freddy passed a coke cup from Taco Bell around the tables. No one can say hams aren't resourceful.  To close this long story, $107.00 was counted out. I think everyone was stunned and proud that that much had been collected. This is just one more demonstration of the generosity of the amateur radio community and specifically our Delta Club members. Thank you everyone.  Hams are good folks. It just gets proven over and over again. They're always ready to pitch in whenever the need arises, whether it is an emergency, community service, help with a phone patch, directions around this city to visitors passing thorough, putting up or taking down a tower or antenna, elmering of any kind, or reaching into their pockets to help the Club buy new hard line for the repeater. All you need to do is ask for
assistance, and hams will step forward.

Mark your calendars for these coming events:

If you enjoy selling something you don't need, and picking up something you do need, then this is the meeting for you. And if you enjoy being fed at the same time, then you really don't want to miss it.  Look in the rest of this issue for articles about the August Meeting.

As we did last year, we will help at the Fun Run, and also set up an HF station for anyone interested to operate. Watch for dates and announcements.

September 17, noon till whenever. It will be held at Ellendale Park this year. It is a stone's throw from our meeting site, so it shouldn't be difficult to get to. We'll have a pavilion reserved with lots of tables and shade. Listen for announcements on the nets and watch for articles in our SPARKS. See you there!

Kathy, KE4UYU


The August meeting will be our club auction. We will have all types of amateur radio equipment and computer related equipment. Our club gets a modest ten percent of the sale as a fund raiser. You can set the minimum price for your equipment and if it brings no bids for the minimum you will be given the opportunity to lower your minimum or withdraw your equipment from the auction. It is a no lose proposition. We have made every effort to spread the word around to all the other clubs, organizations and nets in the surrounding area and are looking forward to the largest auction we have had.  Please join us with all your equipment that could use another home and your funds if you could use some more equipment!!!

We will have another special treat. Our meeting will be an "eating meeting" also. If you can beat an "eating meeting" and an opportunity to sell your excess equipment and buy some new or "new to you" equipment, I guess you better jump on it. It will be a great time for socializing and learning and gaining some "new toys". Please come early for the meeting since we will be eating and helping those who are bringing in equipment to set up. VE testing starts at six so the building will be open by around 5:30pm. There will be plenty to do to share in the work so come one come all and come early for a great night of amateur radio fellowship at DARC. See you there. We can't take charge cards but will gladly direct you to the nearest ATM!!!

73, Freddy


Congratulations to the following who earned new or upgraded licenses at the June 13th and 17th testing sessions:

William Covington KC4SXT General
Michael Dawoud KG4ILB Technician
Wesley Fay KA7UEC General
Clyde Getman AF4ZS Extra
Robert McConnell KC4NBS General
John Pullen AF4ZT Extra
James Scheaffer AF4ZU Extra
George Wood KG4BZZ General
Marie Wood WA4WFX General
Brad Woodward KG4FUS General
Kimberly Woodward KG4ILC Technician
Karen Chancellor KG4IKF Technician
Marvin Floate KB5AMC General
Steve Sipek KG4IKG Technician
Lawrence Geeslin II KG4IKH Technician with HF

If you have a test session "they will come"! Excuse the saying, but that is about what happens every time a session is recently announced. At the regular Delta Club testing session held on July 11th we had 11 people take 11 elements.

Congratulations to the following:

Raymond Cole WA4OJP General
Robert Ballard KD5LAC Technician
Anthony Brignole WA4KHN General
David Fesmire KG4IRV Technician
Lawrence Geeslin KG4IKH General
John Ivy KG4IRW Technician
James Timmons WA4AMG General
Lauren St. Columbia KD5LAD Technician

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL and a BIG THANK YOU to Arlene AA5GX, Ben KU4AW, Barry N4QW, Joe N5MIG, John WV5J and Steve N4SG for all the help at this session. As you may or may not know, if you are a VE and have a relative testing you may not help with the actual testing. Both Joe and Arlene were in this situation and helped tremendously with what I call paper running. The passing out of papers and the alphabetizing of all the little extras to make the session go smoothly. With all this help the VE Team was able to be on time for the excellent meeting that followed that evening.

"I get email. I get email. I get lots and lots of email." A song from a 70's show (for those old enough to remember might have even been from the 60's). And with the emails come the request for the Saturday session. On July 15th, just 4 days after the club session, the ARRL VE Team held a Saturday session also at the Ellendale Church of Christ. This was announced on the evening nets and on the test session Web site. We had 5 people show at the Saturday session and take 7 elements. As of this date 7/20/2000 that session had not been posted on the internet. I expect that it will be in a day or two, maybe too late for this newsletter. At that session we gained two (2) new technicians and two (2) new general class operators to our hobby. Again Arlene AA5GX and Paul WM5Q were available and willing to help.
We had this session at 0930 and were out in time to help with the Saturday siren testing.

Until next month just before the auction and eat meet,

73, Joan KN4PM
Delta Division ARRL VE Liaison

The Rocket-20 Antenna

Those of you at the July club meeting may have seen the strange looking antenna that we were using for our PSK31 demonstration station.  If you didn't see it, my wife describes it as a windmill tower without the windmill on top, which is pretty accurate.  Actually, I came up with the name of Rocket-20 because, if you use your imagination, it looks somewhat like a rocket, it's for 20 meters, and I like to think that it's rocketing my signal skyward!  I've had several questions about its construction, so I'm working on an article for next month's SPARKS which will describe its construction in detail.  Stay tuned!

73, Ken, K4DIT

Volunteers Needed
For Siren Testing

Memphis/Shelby County Emergency Management - Ares-Races will conduct Saturday testing of the Outdoor Emergency Warning Siren System, "tornado sirens", this summer on Saturday's at 12 noon - WEATHER PERMITTING. If any amateur would like to volunteer to observe a site - they may call Robin, KE4GPR, either on the air or at 754-7683 from 5pm to 7pm Thursdays and Fridays, or they may call Bobby, KG4CMA, either on the air or at 872-6127. We definitely appreciate all those who do volunteer and those who have volunteered in taking time out of their Saturday to help with testing.


Digital modes except CW require the use of a computer to run.  The Multimode controller or TNC also has digital circuitry inside. These circuits can generate noise which can be picked up by the receiver in use especially on HF. Most of the time if this occurs the problem is RFI getting in on the cables connected to the rig from the other components. MFJ has a nice kit for these kinds of problems. The MFJ-701 is a collection of ferrite toroids for RFI supression. These can be used on computer cables, TV coax, power cords and telephone cable to block RFI and allow normal signals to get through. The toroids snap apart to make cable winding
easy and can be removed and reused over and over where needed. If noise is a problem with your digital station try the MFJ-701 choke kit.

James Butler, KB4LJV


Many amateurs use Morse Code as one of their modes on the amateur bands. If you work code on the bands with only one key or electronic keyer you have to plug and unplug the key from rig to rig. Since most of the plugs to hook up the key into are on the backs of the rigs changing from rig to rig means pulling it out to get to the back and make the change. This month's project is the CODE KEY SWITCHER. This allows you to plug your keyer into the switcher to route the key to the radio you select. The switcher uses a Radio Shack 275-1386A two pole six position switch. This allows up to six radios to be selected if needed. The unit is easy to build and helps to make operation easier when operating CW with multiple radios.

I will have the CODE KEY SWITCHER at the meeting to show and answer questions on for those who wish to build up their own units.

James Butler, KB4LJV


Please feel free to contact any of our ELMERS to help you enhance your amateur skills.  Anyone wishing to be added to the Elmer list please contact Arlene at or 385-0995.

K4TTA (Extra) Tom Richardson 386-6268 (1,3,4,6,8,9,13,14)

KA4BLL (Gen) Ned Savage 363-9607 (1,5,8,14, MARS,
ARES/RACES, net control, traffic handling, emergency service)

KB4LJV (Extra) James Butler 294-2540 (2,7,9,11,13,14)

KD4NOQ (Adv) David Campbell 388-6166 (1,2,3,5,9,10,14, slow scan TV, ATV minor)

KU4AW (Extra) Ben Troughton 372-8031 (2,4,8)

N9ACQ (Extra) Bill Kuechler 368-0532 (1,8,13)

WA2IQC (Gen) Gary Blinckmann 794-5289 (1,7,10,14)

WA4MJM (Extra) Bill Hancock 853-7192 (1,2,8, emergency communications, ARES,MARS)

WM5Q (Extra) Paul Cline 385-0995 (7,8,10,14, RF safety, spread spectrum, trouble shooting, soldering, electromagnetic compatibility, CFR47 rules/regs.)

K4DIT (Gen) Ken Gregg 853-7384 (4,6,8,11)

1. Antennas
3. Contesting
4. CW Operating
5. Direction Finding(fox hunting) 6. DXing
7. Experimenting/Circuits/etc. 8. .HF Phone
9. Packet
10. Repeater Operation
11. QRP
12. Satellite
13. RTTY
14. VHF


Here are some of the contests coming up in the next few weeks...

ARRL UHF Contest, see July QST, page 92.

North American QSO Party, CW, sponsored by the National Contest Journal, from 1800Z Aug 5 until 0600Z Aug 6 (phone is 1800Z Aug 19 until 0600Z Aug 20).

Ten-Ten International Net Summer Phone Contest, sponsored by Ten-Ten International, 0000Z Aug 6 to 2400Z Aug 6.

QRP ARCI Summer Daze SSB Sprint, sponsored by QRP ARCI, 2000Z to 2400Z Aug 6.

Maryland-DC QSO Party, sponsored by Antietam Radio Association, 1600Z Aug 12 to 0400Z Aug 13 and 1600Z Aug 13 to 2359Z

W/VE Island Contest, sponsored by the US Island Awards Program, from 1600Z Aug 12 through 2359Z Aug 13.

Worked All Europe DX Contest, CW, sponsored by the Deutscher ARC, 0000Z Aug 12 to 2400Z Aug 13

ARRL 10 GHz and Up Cumulative Contest, see July QST page 93.

TOEC WW Grid Contest, CW, see June QST page 104.

Ohio QSO Party, sponsored by the Mad River Radio Club, from 1600Z Aug 26 until 0400Z Aug 27.

CQC Summer QRP QSO Party, sponsored by the Colorado QRP Club, from 1800Z Aug 27 until 2359Z Aug 27.

W1AW Qualifying Runs are 10 PM EDT Monday, August 7, and 4 PM EDT Tuesday, August 22.  Check the W1AW schedule for details.

For more information on these and other contests in August, please visit the ARRL contest page on the internet at:


7365 HWY. 70



The August program will our club auction
Gerry Bailey, N9SCJ


Don't 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 CSCE’s 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.


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

Other Important Contacts

                                                                            VE Liaison                                  Membership Chairpersons
                                                                             Joan Thorne, KN4PM                 Ben Barth, AF4TV
                                                                             737-5795                                    Eloise Barth, AF4TW

2000 Board of Directors

E-Mail Us...

Kathy Troughton..........................................................President.......................................................

Melinda Thompson......................................................Vice President

Tommy Thompson

Bob Holford................................................................Treasurer

Tom Richardson..........................................................Dir. of

Ken Gregg..................................................................Dir. of

Freddy Bratton...........................................................Dir. of Programs

Gerry Bailey...............................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special

Bill Hancock...........................................................…Repeater Trustee