Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 11 / DECEMBER 1997

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

President’s Page

Happy Holidays! It’s December already? Where has this year gone? I have really enjoyed this past year as your President and want to thank you for allowing me to hold this office for the past year. Thanks also for the great support that you all have shown over the past 12 months, it has really made the job a lot easier. Those of you in attendance at the November meeting have elected a great board of directors for 1998 and they too will need your support to help them have a successful year. I know you will be there for them when they call.

Let me first clarify something that I said in last month’s article about participation in the club. I received an e-mail from a club member on this issue and as I told them in my reply, I don’t always say things the way that I intend for them to sound. I may not this time either but here goes. My comments last month were meant to be motivational in the sense that there are a lot of folks out there that probably don’t come to meetings or other club functions because they don’t feel like it, they don’t want to miss a ball game or some other TV show, or they just plain don’t want to. I was hoping to strike some interest in those people that may not understand how much fun we really have at the meetings and other event’s that come about each year. I do understand that there are many members out there that because of work schedules, family responsibilities or other commitments such as another club or organization’s meeting on the same night cannot attend all of our many functions. I appreciate those members positions and would not ask them to modify their schedules to accommodate ours. At the same time, I hoped that those that do not have those commitments would get involved a little more. The club appreciates everyone’s support.

Speaking of support, if you haven’t renewed your membership for 1998 yet, please do so as soon as possible. Memberships expire on December 31, 1997 except for those of you that joined the club since the Memphis hamfest. Those memberships are for 1998 and are valid through the end of next year. Reminder letters will be going out in the mail soon, probably before this newsletter gets to you, for those who have not renewed. The letter as well as this newsletter will include an application form. Please take the time to fill it out and send it in as soon as possible. I know that the month of December is an expensive one for everybody with all the gifts you buy this month, but the sooner you can send in your renewal, the easier it will be for next years board to prepare the budget for 1998. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this.

We all had a great time at the November meeting and if you weren’t able to be there, we’re sorry you missed it. We started the meeting this month with official club business which included the election of officers for 1998. The floor was opened again for nominations for officers and after three calls no nominations were made. There was a motion made and seconded that we elect by acclimation those members that were nominated by the committee without a written vote. A voice vote was taken to this motion and your officers for next year were made official. There were lots of great desserts during the break and then we gave awards and prizes for the rest of the evening. Without boring you with who won what, I would like to recognize those people that received special awards, for benefit of those that were not able to attend.

In addition to the 120+ certificates of appreciation that were awarded, following the club custom I presented each board member a plague acknowledging their participation as a board member for 1997. I also gave four Presidential Special Service Awards this year. The first one that I mention has, I think, long since been overdue. For someone who is not yet a licensed amateur, Nancy Morrow is always there for Delta Club when it comes to helping organize functions such as fund raisers, special meetings, the annual picnic, the hamfest booth and just about anything else that we do that we need help with (especially if it has anything to do with food.) Nancy is one member that never has to be asked to volunteer, she is always there asking what she needs to do to help. Thanks Nancy! The other PSSA’s went to three members who have taken the tower/trailer under their wing and have made themselves available at just about all the functions in which the trailer has been used this year. They are the ones that have familiarized themselves with how it goes together and have made suggestions for, and in some cases physical, improvements to the trailer to make it go together more efficiently. They are also the members that consistently came out early to help set it up (usually after work and after dark) and stayed after the event was over to help take it down and prepare it for transport back to it’s storage location. Thanks for your dedication and input guys. They are…Jim, KI4I; Bill, KC4SXT and Henry, KU4DY.

Then there were the three big awards of the evening….the 1998 Newcomer of the Year is Regina Graham, KF4IGS. Since getting her license, Regina is another one that doesn’t wait to be asked if she can help with something. She has always been there when the club needed something done this year and when I did get to ask her to do something for the club, there was never any hesitation. Her answer was always what do you need me to do, where do I need to be and what time do you want me there. She is currently the club Historian/Photographer and many of you that have attended meetings or other events have had the opportunity to see photos that she has taken throughout the year. She has also participated in just about every public service event that we have been asked to help with this year. The 1997 Marconi Award went to Suresh Kagoo, N9GSA and again, I think this one was long overdue. The Marconi Award is given for technical excellence in amateur radio. While it is true that we have a lot of technically oriented members, Suresh has been giving his time and expertise to this club since before I even thought about becoming an amateur. He is the person responsible for setting up and programming both of the primary repeater controllers to do all the great things that they do. Suresh has been on the forefront of the local packet system in the Memphis area and, until the last couple of years, served as Chairman of the Packet SIG. He is also the sysop of the club’s Packet BBS, which is a main traffic hub for BBS traffic in and out of the Memphis area. While the BBS does run automatically, it takes a lot of knowledge to keep it running and has to be checked on a daily basis. Last, but by no means least is Ham of the Year. This year’s recipient was Ben Troughton, KU4AW. Ben’s dedication to the club and his visions for the future made him the perfect candidate to receive this honor. In addition to his duties as Vice President this year, he has taken on any and all tasks put before him and even some that weren't. Ben has worked hard all year on his “sea of blue” campaign to put the club in the spotlight. He started out with the can coolers and proceeded to work on arrangements to get the jackets immediately available so that you don’t have to wait to get one. Now he’s working on golf style shirts for next year. He volunteered to take over the field day operations when the original chairman was unable to fulfill the position due to work related conflicts. He (not the club) ordered the field day shirts and made them available at his cost to those that helped with this activity. He has taken responsibility for the procurement of the two club generators, transported them to various club functions where they were needed and has given them a home as well. In the interest of keeping this article as short as possible, I will stop here, but those of you that know Ben also know how much he has put this club and it’s activities in the forefront of his life this past year. As well as being the perfect person for Ham of the Year, I think he’ll do a great job as President in 1998. Congratulations to all the award winners this year. The prizes were given away during the evening with the assistance of our three pint sized assistants, Melissa Morrow, Jay Tate and Leslie Moore. David Campbell, KD4NOQ was the winner of the Kenwood TM-V7A dual band mobile radio. Congratulations David. As most of you know, we have been on the lookout for a new net manager since the resignation of Alex, KE4GYR after extensive service in this position. Ben, KU4AW took over the position until a new candidate could be found. He contacted all current net control operators to see if they were interested in the position. None of these folks felt like they could fit the job into their schedules. There had been no volunteers come forward until the November board meeting when Henry, KU4DY attended the meeting and stated that he would like to be considered for the position. With a short discussion of the board, it was determined that this year’s board could only appoint a position for this year and any continuation of this position or a new appointment would have to be considered by the 1998 board of directors. With that considered, I appointed Henry, KU4DY as the current Delta Club Traffic and Information Net manager. I’m sure he will do a great job and my thanks to Henry for volunteering.

In closing, I would like to say again what a privilege it has been to serve as your President in 1997 and it will forever remain as a highlight in my amateur radio memories. I could not have done it without the support of every one of you and as always a great board of directors. I’m excited about the possibilities for the club in 1998 and ask that you give next year’s board the same support that you provided to me this year. Until then, I’ll see you at the December meeting.

73, Tommy, KD4TJO


This year is almost over, and believe it or not it seems like it’s just getting started. Thus far I have enjoyed eleven months of pleasurable enjoyment being your Vice President. In January I talked about the “Sea of Blue”, well it’s taken some time but we’re slowly getting there. At the November meeting, it was great to see all the Delta Club jackets in the audience.

I’m now trying to take the “Sea of Blue” just a little further, I want to see blue polo shirts with Delta Amateur Radio Club embroidered on the left breast. It would also be nice to see those folks, especially during the summer, who wear a vest have a Delta Club ARC patch sewn on either the front or back. Well, that’s where we are headed. I have been in contact with the supplier of our jackets and they have given me a price on Polo shirts and 3” embroidered patches. I should have the prices available at the December meeting, so if you’re interested in obtaining a shirt with the Delta Club logo on it, or a patch to sew on a vest, jacket, or hat, we should be able to place an order for them at the next meeting.

Now to reminisce about the past eleven months. When I was elected to the Board of Directors as your Vice President I wasn’t sure of what it was I was suppose to do and when I was suppose to do it. However, our President gave me good directions and support. Throughout the almost 12 months I have received input from Tommy. I can’t begin to tell you how supportive he has been, how informative he has been, there just isn’t enough room in this newsletter to try and summarize how much he has aided me in performing my job as Vice President. At one point just prior to the nominations, Tommy was seriously considering running for a second term. I supported him in this effort for I truly felt that he did an outstanding job and could do an even better job in 1998. And many of you out there also encouraged him to run again. Unfortunately for all of us, he chose not to run for President, but to assume the role of “Past President.” Having not been in that position yet, I’m not sure how involved one is in the directing of our club. But rest assured, that he is going to play a very major role in the setting of goals and steering the Delta Amateur Radio Club in the right direction. I see Tommy as an integral part of this club. There are so many things that he does behind the scenes that it’s just incredible that he is able to get any sleep.

I have a huge task in front of me. Not only do I have to perform the duties of President of Delta Amateur Radio Club, but I have to try and measure up to the standards that Tommy has set. I can promise all of you that I will do everything in my power to achieve the level of proficiency that has been set by our current president. It will be no easy task to achieve.

I also want to say that we were very fortunate to have a Director of Meetings and Special Events the caliber of Tim McNeill. He stepped into this position and took it to heights beyond our highest dreams. Many of you are not aware of the work that he did throughout the 1997 year. He sacrificed his family to accomplish many of the events that we had the privilege to experience. Although he is not on the board for 1998, I can guarantee you that somewhere, sometime, Tim McNeill will once again have his hand in the pudding. He’s too valuable an asset to let slip away.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12 months as Vice President of Delta Amateur Radio Club and look forward to 12 months as your President. However, if we, as a club, are to achieve the levels of success that we have experienced this year, it is going to take more than just the Board of Directors. It’s going to take everyone in the club contributing something. Like the United Way, everyone has got to give “their fair share.”

For me, it started with a “Sea of Blue,” now it’s time to expand our goals and make this next year “the year of Delta Club.” We can meet the standard that Tommy has set for us, but it is going to take something from every member to, hopefully, set a standard that won’t be surpassed for many years to come.

I want to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to be your Vice President for the past 12 months. I have enjoyed it and look forward to meeting the challenge for 1998 as your President. And last but not least, thank you to all the members of the Board of Directors. It has been fun and I will miss those of you who have chosen not to be nominated for 1998: Dan “Financial Wizard” Hoffman, Tim “the magnificent” McNeill, and Suresh “the Sri Lankan Streak”, and Dom “the Double Bubble toil and Trouble man of Hamfest” Desiderio. I’ll miss you, but more importantly, Delta Club will miss your leadership…..

In closing, I want to wish every member of the Delta Amateur Radio Club a very merry holiday and a prosperous New Year, and we’ll see you in January 1998.


Ben, KU4AW


I want to thank everyone for having enough confidence in me to want me back for another year as Delta Club’s Secretary. It has been fun getting involved with not only the operations of the club but with the hams (and non-hams) themselves who make up the club. It’s been a great year and I know next year will be just as eventful.

Thanks to all those folks who brought goodies to the table at this past meeting. There was massive evidence that everyone appreciated your efforts. I never met a group of people who like to talk more than this group does. But with all that food on the table, the business portion of the meeting was pushed through in record time just so all those cookies and brownies and cakes and cream puffs and cupcakes and, who knows what else, didn’t get stale in the waiting. The membership drive continues; we had many hams renew their memberships the November meeting as well as through the mail: Don Cook KJ4PO, Bill Howell W4KGN, Kenneth Stewart KD4EFO, John May KF4DJT, Charles O’Danniell KA5DFS, John Angel KE4DFG, Dan McClendon N4QLK, Darryl Herrington KC5WMX, Fred Sadler WA4VDB, Steve Campbell KF4LUR, Harland Lovell KF4QJV, David Pace KU4AS, Steve Feltman KC4ZOV, Ileana Feltman KD4EUA, David Saks WK2B, Jim Scoggins KE4HFI, Frank Baker AE4DJ, Ray Miller AA4UK, Leslie Miller KE4GNI, Marsha Lindsey N4TPU, Kurt Schropp KF4SJV, Julie Schropp KF4SJW, John Blackwelder WD4FLD, Roger Yoakum KE4NTJ, John Pannell AE4GR, Denise Pannell KE4VKW, Barry Moore KE4KAG, Donna Moore KE4WEU.

We have a few new members this month, plus one I forgot to include last month. If you hear their calls on the air be sure to give them a welcoming hello. Roy Archibald KA4HOT, John Stephenson AC4JO, Tyler Stephenson KB4GGE, Robert Jones WD4MNB, Weldon Clayton WB4YXC and Michael Berry KF4BZS.

73, Kathy, KE4UYU



7365 HWY. 70





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 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.

VE Liaison

I took the position as your VE liaison with the June 11,1996 VE session. Mr. Boyd Webb III, N4SSF, facilitated the smooth transition for this club. Since that time I would like to report the following with great pride:

I would like to thank the 15 VE's that continually give of their time and effort to help with the testing sessions, without their help I could do nothing. Barry Atkins- N4QW, Ben Barth- KF4GNC, Eloise Barth- KN4GNB, Jim Cissel- KI4I, Donald Cook- KJ4PO, Steve Greer- N4SG, Bill Hancock- WA4MJM, Tim Morrow - AB4NH, Jim Norton WD4T, David Pace- KU4AS, Jimmy Pierce- N4ZCO, Ben Troughton- KU4AW, Tom Vickers- N4TV, Boy Webb III- N4SSF, Francis White-WA4ZYN.

Congratulations DELTA CLUB on the fine support from the membership this past year. I hope to be able to serve you this next year as well as in the past.


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 Delta Amateur Radio Club along with 27 of its most faithful members put together another successful "Jamboree On-The-Air" October 17 and 18, 1997, for the local Boy Scouts of America. This event was held along side the scenic greenbelt trail system in Powell Road Park in Collierville. Scout Troops and Cub Packs from Southaven and Horn Lake, Mississippi, Bartlett, Germantown and Collierville participated in this World Scouting event.

Approximately 85 non-ham Scouts and Cubs from 12 different Troops and Packs made radio contacts on Delta's Amateur Radio Station W4BS (World 4 Boy Scouts). Fifteen non-ham parents and Scout Leaders observed as contacts were made to states such as Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Oregon, and North Carolina, just to name a few. International contacts included Cuba, Canada, Argentina and Mexico. Over 125 participants as well as numerous curiosity seekers attended the 40th annual JOTA which is held on the 3rd weekend every October.

The Delta Club erected its impressive 55' crank-up tower which held a Tri-bander antenna and anchored a G5RV from which two different HF stations utilizing radio equipment loaned by Memphis Amateur Electronics were put into operation. Most of the activity was on the 20 and 40 meter bands. Commercial power was not used as generators and battery packs proved to be very reliable for this 24 hour operation.

The Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center Amateur Radio Club was invited to set up their verticle Hustler and HF station along with the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department Amateur Radio Club's VHF/UHF Emergency Medical Communications system which provided directions to the site and gave scouts an opportunity to experience the 2 meter, linked "VOLNET" repeater system which reaches from Memphis to Nashville and into NE Arkansas and North Mississippi.

Le Bonheur and the Health Department are both key players in the Memphis Hospital Disaster Planning Council which has integrated the Emergency Medical Amateur Communication System (EMACS) with each of the local hospitals. During a mass casualty disaster, participating hospitals are now linked to the Health Department and the Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Operations Center via amateur radio.

Organizers of this year's event wanted to show scouts how amateur radio plays an important role in disaster communications. Local police and fire representatives gave demonstrations of their own communications system. The Hospital Wing helicopter landed and flight nurses gave scouts "pointers" on how "not" to get a ride on this lifesaving airship. The National Weather Service and American Red Cross also provided information for the scouts to use for weather spotting and disaster planning.

The Delta Club has committed itself to attract more young people to amateur radio. It established Explorer Post 903 two years ago and is presently teaching a no-code technician class to young children every Saturday morning.

We look forward to the 41st Jamboree On-The-Air in 1998!

- Barry W. Moore, KE4KAG, Collierville


Many times we work with electronic equipment that is sensistive to static electricity. I saw an article on protection of these devices. They recommended a grounded wrist strap for working on static sensitive electronics. A unique homemade wrist strap was fabricated from an old metal watch band. The Watchband Wrist Strap is easy to make and will insure protection when working on equipment. It can be built for about $1.00 if you have an old metal watch band and will pay for itself many times over when installing computer memory or working with FET transistors and IC chips. I will have a Watchband Wrist Strap at the meeting to show and answer questions for those who wish to build their own units. SEE YOU AT THE MEETING ... James Butler KB4LJV


We are using more and more 12 Volt D.C. power supplies. Most amateur radio equipment and packet equipment is now running on 12 volts. Buy a 20 to 35 amp high power 12 volt supply and the first thing you notice is it is heavy. Linear type power supplies require heavy transformers and prduce more heat because of their design. Astron Corporation has come out with a new line of light weight switching power supplies designed for use with communication equipment. These supplies are light weight and efficient. They have current limiting, overvoltage protection, fuse protection, and over temperature shutdown. The units also run 120 or 230 VAC input switch selectable. If you are looking for a new power supply for your equipment check out the switchers from Astron. James Butler KB4LJV

Editor’s Note:

Have you ever noticed how many times James has articles for us in Sparks. I don’t remember him missing a single issue since I have been in the club. From his “Cigarette lighter” projects to his “Pager case” projects. Thanks James from all of us........

A message from the Director of Meetings and Special Events

I want to start by saying that I have enjoyed the time that I have spent on the 1997 Board of Directors of the Delta Club. This past year has been a very busy one for the club. I am looking forward to working with Bill KC4SXT next year on events for the club. The one event that I am really looking forward to is the Memphis in May event. This one event is going to do wonders for the Delta Club. The media exposure alone is going to help the Delta Club more than any other event that we have ever had. Also; we will be able to expose that portion of the general public that doesn't even know what amateur radio is. I also want to thank everyone that has helped either directly or indirectly with any of the special event stations this past year. I am very proud of the membership of The Delta Amateur Radio Club for the support during these events. I also want to thank the club for allowing me to serve on the board this year. In closing; I want to wish Bill KC4SXT the best of luck for the coming year and to let the club know that I will work as hard or harder next year with Bill.

73 de KF4DNA Timothy McNeill

Notes from the Director of Training

Here we are, a whole year gone by. Its hard to imagine where all the time has gone. It only seems like a month ago that we held our first class of the year. This has been a gratifying year. The support and interest the membership has lent the training program this year has been super. I think we have produced some exceedingly good hams which the membership have supported and "Elmered" after they got on the air. You see, the training program takes all of us in a mentor-ing state of mind...none of us came formatted with our good (or bad) habits issued with our tickets. Each and every one of us have an impact on the developing "on-the-air" personalities of our newest members. You've done a good job.

My favorite part of the year? Well, its still going on, and that's the kid's class we hold every Saturday morning. No, we have not produced a single ham from this group yet, but that will happen. I have faith that Melinda will carry this on to completion, and I will take the liberty of inviting each of you to a learning session. What the kids lack in knowledge they make up for in enthusiasm. They know their phonetics better than some of us old timers on .82!

As the new board members prepare to assume their roles, I have to reflect on this past year's group of officers. This has been a hard working bunch, professional and single minded. Each and every one has kept the momentum going so that virtually every goal set forth was acomplished. And a tip of the old fedora to Tommy for a fine job as president. I don't know many people who are as determined to do right and be as fair as this gentleman has been. It has been my pleasure to serve with him.

So what's expected of your new vice president? Fund raising? Field Day? I have a hard act to follow. I suspect that with the good group of people we have on this year's board that virtually any possibility exists. Where ever this year takes us, keep in mind that this is your board of directors. We can best serve you only if you communicate with us the direction the membership wants to take. Thank you for the opportunity to serve again in this new capacity. I look forward to another great year for amateur radio. 73 Bill, WA4MJM

ARES Has New Leadership In Shelby County

Alexander “Ham” Hilliard, W4GMM, has been appointed District Emergency Coordinator which includes Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, Lauderdale, Crockett, and Haywood Counties.

Ned Savage, KA4BLL, and Robert Ennis, KD4SKT, have been appointed Co-Emergency Coordinators for Shelby County. These two coordinators plan to bring ARES and RACES under a management plan that will enhance both organization’s abilities to provide emergency communications to Shelby County with the highest efficiency possible.

William Hancock, Sr., WA4MJM, is Emergency Coordinator for Fayette County. Mr Hancock has a very good program, but always need more help.

Howard Brooks, KC4SBK, is Emergency Coordinator for Tipton County and has a good program but needs more help.

Lauderdale, Crockett, and Haywood Counties have no Emergency Coordinators at present. Mr. Hilliard is looking for volunteers to become Emergency Coordinators for these Counties.

I am asking that all Radio Amateurs in West Tennessee who are interested in Emergency Communications, contact Mr. Hilliard and/or one of the above mentioned Emergency Coordinators and offer your service to this great community. Now is your opportunity to make West Tennessee a safer place to live.

The best training for Emergency services is participation in the National Traffic System. You are invited to participate in the Tennessee Nets which is a part of the National Traffic System. These nets provide training in proper procedures for net operations and the correct way to handle traffic. More participation is needed in the Memphis area. Net Control Stations and traffic handlers are needed very badly.

The Tennessee Phone Net meets Monday through Friday at 1140, 1245, & 0030 UTC, Saturday at 1400 & 0030, Sunday & Major Holidays at 1400 on 3980 KHz. The Tennessee CW Net meets daily at 0100 UTC on 3635 KHz, the slow CW Net meets Monday through Saturday at 0130 UTC on 3682 KHz.

O. D. Keaton, WA4GLS ARRL Tennessee Section Manager 141 Medearis Dr. Old Hickory, TN. 37138-1714

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

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

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

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

Dan Hoffman..............................Treasurer

Bill Hancock...............................Dir. of Training

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

Suresh Kagoo.............................Dir. of Programs

Tim McNeil.................................Dir. of Meetings & Special

Dom Desiderio.............................Past President

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

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

Tell Me What You Think

I have been your Director of Publications for a year now. During this time I have learned alot about computers, the internet, and a lot of programs. I have had the pleasure of reading a lot of very interesting material during this time. Some of you have sent me some very interesting articles to print in Sparks. I would like your input as to what you would like to see in the coming issues of Sparks. I have been elected to serve as your Director of Publications for the 1998 year. I would like to have a lot more input from the club and those of you who read this on the internet. I know that most of the articles in the Sparks are from club members, with a few from outside of the club, but if you are reading this on the Web Page link and have an article that you would like to see here, please feel free to send it to me via E-Mail at, or the Web Master at his E-Mail address. Remember that articles printed in our club newsletter and posted here on the web, are of interest to the Ham Radio community. If you have something that you think would interest "Hams", PLEASE feel free to send it to me.

Almost all of us get QST, some get 73, some of us are in different clubs. Look around at the different material you read and if you see something that you would like to see in Sparks, please get it to me and I will make every effort to publish it. I would like to see some articles on different things, human interest, other hobbies that relate to Ham radio. Tell us about how you got interested in Ham radio, interesting contacts. Help me make this the best pub. around.