Web Edition

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


The November meeting has gone down in the history books. I think that there are a number of happy Delta Club members out there, especially Ned, KA4BLL, after his ticket was pulled for the grand prize, the Kenwood "Cool Blue" radio. I think next year we need to make sure that we have both camera and EMT's on hand during the drawing for prizes. You should have seen the look on Ned's face when he heard his name called for the grand prize. When he walked up to the front of the room to retrieve his new radio all he could do was nod his head, he was speechless.

As I said in the October issue of SPARKS, the board decided to reduce the amount of money we spent on prizes this year in order to have funds available for any expenses that will be incurred with the move of the 146.82 repeater. Although we reduced the cash outlay by the club by $500, we were still able to have a pretty good selection of prizes. And yes, we did have the customary Repeater Directory. However, we were able to restrain ourselves and only get two copies of each kind. I would like to thank everyone who came to the November meeting and bought tickets. Your contribution that Tuesday evening almost paid for the prizes that were awarded with the exception of the "Cool Blue " radio.

As you all know, it is at the November meeting that we announce the winners of the Ham of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, and the Marconi awards. The winner of the Ham of the Year was Regina Graham, KF4IGS. At the beginning of the year I asked Regina to assume the responsibilities of Director of Meetings and Special Events, which she graciously accepted. Then in August, after several months of planning she organized the operation of the FedEx/St. Jude Special Event station. I think it was one of the most successful special event stations in recent years. At the conclusion of the special event week-end we had made approximately 450 contacts and she set about preparing the certificate that we are sending out. In addition to these activities, Regina assumed the net control responsibility for the Sunday Traffic and Information. These are just a few of the activities that Regina was involved in during 1998.

Generally there is only one Newcomer of the Year Award presented but this year, like a couple of years ago, it was impossible to give the award to just one person. There were two individuals who simply stood out above all the rest in this category. The first person is Kurt Schropp, KU4NH. In the March time frame, I asked Kurt to assume the responsibility of Field Day Chairperson. He reluctantly accepted, and immediately asked me what he had to do. Several times at the very beginning I hear Kurt say, "I don't know what to do; I'm not sure I can pull this off." I thought this was rather unusual behavior for a person whose profession involves saving lives on the operating table. I didn't have to worry though. Kurt got to work immediately and put together a well organized team of station captains. He not only organized a very successful Field Day event, he also made arrangements with the weatherman to keep the rain away throughout the event. That was something I couldn't do the year before. He did an outstanding job.

The other recipient of the Newcomer of the Year Award is Tom Richardson, K4TTA. Tom isn't a newcomer to the hobby. Tom has been around for a number of years but has been inactive until this year. I guess he was just storing up energy, because he sure has been active since returning to the hobby. When a volunteer was needed for the Publicity Chairperson for Field Day, Tom was there. When an assistant for the Phone Station was needed, Tom was there. To think that he didn't have enough to do with Field Day, he even tried to launch a weather balloon with a wire antenna attached during Field Day. When we operated the special event station in conjunction with the FedEx/St. Jude Golf Classic, Tom was out there setting up the tower and work the special event station. He even made time to stop and chat with a ham from California that was visiting Memphis on business. And he wasn't done yet. Tom organized a special event station in conjunction with the local club in St. Augustine, FL. He went down there wit Carl, KA5IJP, and represented Delta Amateur Radio Club as co-sponsor of the event.

The Marconi Award went to an individual who, every month gets up and makes a presentation on some aspect of electronics. He has used old Bic lighter cases for a useful piece of radio gear, he has made CW paddle for use with a VHF/UHF radio microphone. He's even shown us how to save money on wall plates for coax and phone connections. Not only does he make a presentation, but he also writes an article for the newsletter. The creative capabilities of this man are truly unbelievable. The winner of the Marconi Award for 1998 was no other than James Butler, KB4LJV.

This year, we added a new award to the preceding group, it is called the Bob YoungBlood Award. As most of you know Bob Youngblood, N4WAL became a Silent Key earlier this year. His contributions to Delta Amateur Radio Club and amateur radio are far too numerous to list. Rest assured, Bob Youngblood touched many Delta Club members in his life. Until his death in May, Bob had not missed a meeting in over 10 years. That is incredible dedication to a club and a hobby. Many of us will remember one meeting in particular when Bob said on numerous occasions said, "then there was the time....."

The Board of Directors for 1998 felt that because Bob had contributed to so much to Delta Amateur Radio Club and amateur radio we wanted to create a new award in his name. The very first Bob Youngblood Award went to Bob posthumously and present to his wife Carol, N7RGK. A team of three members, Terry Cox, KB4KA, Melinda Thompson, KE4DXN, and Dan Hoffman, N4VWM, have determined the criteria that one must meet to win this very prestigious award.

We are now into our last month of the 1998 year. It have been a very busy year and a very interesting year. When I became President, I never dreamed that we would have to find a new site for the 146.82 repeater, I never thought that one of the most well known members of the club would become a Silent Key. It has been a fun year though, in spite of the unusual things that have happened. I want to thank the members of the Board of Directors for your dedication to the hobby and to Delta Club. Without you, none of the events could have occurred. So let me say thank you to: Bill Hancock, WA4MJM, Vice President. You encountered events in your life that many of us will never experience, but you still were able to contribute to our club. Ernie Christensen, WA6KOC, Treasurer. You too encountered events that directly impacted your life but you still were there when we needed you. The checks got written and the money deposited. You kept me and the rest of the Board award of the financial status throughout te year. David Pace, KU4AS, Director of Publications. You put out an exceptional newsletter, and the award that you received is the proof. Your work schedule reduced the time that you would normally have to prepare the newsletter but you did the job. Melinda Thompson, KE4DXN, Director of Training. We had an exceptional year for training. Not only did you have the No Code Tech classes that are customary, but you also had a CW class and a General theory class. You organized a CW net and you coordinated the Traffic and Information Net. You did an outstanding job. Ben Barth, KF4GNC, Director of Programs. Your selection of programs for the year was outstanding. I've always felt that you can tell how good the program was by how much discussion takes place on the radio when people are going home from the meeting. Needless to say, each night after the meeting I heard many discussions on how interesting the program was. Regina Graham, KF4IGS, Director of Meetings and Special Events. I don't know what mor I can say than you were superb. Your efforts throughout the year have been recognized by the Ham of the Year Award that you won. Thanks for everything you did. Tim, AB4NH, Repeater Trustee. You're a quiet man Mr. Tim, but you're always there when something has to be done to the repeaters. We tried to reduce your involvement by trying to resolve minor problems ourselves, but when we did, you always were there somewhere. Tommy Thompson, KD4TJO, Past President. You were my sounding board on many an occasion throughout the year. You have done an outstanding job with the repeater relocation effort, the community service events, assistance with the newsletter, and hauling the trailer to wherever we need it. And finally, Kathy Troughton, KE4UYU, Secretary. Thanks for all the things you've done throughout the year. The minutes that you wrote for both the club meeting and the board meetings were very informative to the board and the membership. The mailing of new member packets to new members, and the seting up of the booth for Memfest98. I'm sure you and I discussed Delta Amateur Radio Club with each other more than with any other board member.

In closing, I want to thank the Delta Club membership. We had a great year!!! Let's celebrate the success of 1998 at our Christmas Dinner on December 17th.

73, Ben KU4AW

Secretary’s Report

Our 1999 membership continues to grow. January is when your dues are traditionally due, but why not ease your conscience sooner so that you can enjoy the holiday season with no fiscal worries. We have 3 new members to say hey to when we hear them on the air. They are Raymond Shivers, KF4HCT, John Williams, KG4ALR, and Tony Jordan, KG4ALS. And those who have joined us for yet another year of exciting amateur radio and unmatched fellowship are Ben Barth, KF4GNC, and his wife Eloise, KF4GNB, David Campbell, KD4NOQ, and his dad, Roland, KD4DWD, John DeBaker, KR4HB, Whit Crowley, KD4LTR, Kurt Schropp, KU4NH, and his wife Julie, KF4SJW, Tom Richardson, K4TTA, James Butler, KB4LJV, and his wife Becky, KC4MTN, Thomas McLemore, no call just yet, David Pace, KU4AS, and Gene Holland, KE4WDA.

I hope to see you at the December membership meeting when we get to do what all hams do best -- talk to each other. Not only do we get to visit with everyone we haven't had time to during the other meetings, but we are in for some incredibly great desserts if my taste buds remember correctly from past experiences. There are some outstanding cooks in our club, and this month will be your opportunity to show off your talents.

And while you're at the meeting, please be sure to sign up for the Christmas Dinner on December 17 at our meeting site. Reservations need to be paid for ahead of time so that our caterer can plan for the size of the group attending. Be sure to bring your reservation ticket to the dinner. We will use those tickets to raffle off a Christmas afghan, a pillow and two booties that double as canisters that Marilyn DeBaker, wife of John, KR4HB, crocheted and gave to the club, as well as other crafts. Karen Blankenship, wife of Gary, WA2IQC, has most generously crocheted a beautiful doll for which we will be selling raffle tickets for $5.00 each at the dinner. The proceeds will go into our fundraising account.

See you there, 73. Kathy KE4UYU



7365 HWY. 70





There is something unique about Delta Club members, something that makes them stand out from all the rest. You may never hear them on the air, or only hear them infrequently, and you may only see them once or twice a year at a club meeting, but when the club needs help, they seem to just appear. They seem to have a second sense and know when their assistance is needed. As you all know, we are in the process of moving the 146.82 repeater to a new site. This move will be a financial expense that wasn't planned way back in January 1998. However, it is real and it could require the expenditure of funds that weren't planned. At the November meeting a member presented the Secretary with a donation of $100.00. He said that he knew the moving of the 146.82 repeater would require expenditures that weren't planned, and that he wanted to help.As President of Delta Amateur Radio Club, I want to thank this member for the donation. Speaking for the entire membership, we appreciate your dedication and support of our club.

VE Notes:

Here it is the end of another year and the VE TEAM has done, in my humble opinion, another wonderful job of being there for you the membership. Since November of last year we have hosted 13 testing sessions. Of those 13 only one was a special session held for training classes. Out of those 13 sessions only two sessions had no people show for the testing, but YOUR VE'S were still there! We have administered 49 elements this year serving a total of 30 hams. We have amongst out group 11 new Tech class operators. Congratulations Delta Club on your efforts.

Even though the VE TEam was not recognized for their efforts at the annual meeting I feel that it is important to thank the following people for the time and effort that they donate each month for the VE sessions.

Your team is hard at work being on time to that 5:30 commitment so that testing can start promtly at 6:00 if not before. Sometimes it is necesary to wait to enter the building due to traffic tie ups, but we are always there for you.

A BIG THANKS to the following for helping so much this year: Barry Atkins N4QW, Jim Cissell KI4I, Don Cook KJ4PO, Dom Desiderio AA4N, Steve Greer N4SG, Bill Hancock WA4MJM, Nathan Jenkins AE4YY, Tim Morrow AB4NH, Jim Pierce N4ZCO, Ben Troughton KU4AW, Tom Vickers N4TV, Francis White WA4ZYN, and Ted Willis AA7HX (our annual guest from out west). Thank you everyone for a wonderful year. Some have made great efforts with jobs and family obligations to be here for you.

I'm looking forward to another year, with the help of all the VE's to serve this community of hams. Maybe next year we will have more tech classes where I can use the services of the other advanced class team members, or the rules may change and we all can be of service.

This being the December newsletter, Have a Happy Holidays, see you December 8th at the meeting.

73, Joan KN4PM Ve Liaison


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.


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 1977 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 RADIOFREQUENCY (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.


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


One of the popular activities of Amateur Radio operators is fox hunting. This involves tracking a hidden transmitter and finding it's location. A directional antenna is often used to determine the direction to go. This month's project is a simple antenna for your HT you can use in fox hunting. This antenna is for receiving only and it cannot be used to transmit. The antenna is a simple whip for the HT surrounded with a shield except for a small slot that allows the signal in. This makes the antenna directional as the signal is received with greater signal strength when the slot is pointed in the direction of the transmitter. The antenna is made out of a Garcia and Vega plastic cigar case. The small test tube shaped case is perfect for this application. With a connector attached for the HT, a whip inside, and the case lined with aluminum foil the unit becomes directional.

The HT FOX HUNTING ANTENNA is easy to build and experiment with for fox hunting. I will have the antenna at the meeting to show and answer questions for those who wish to build their own


James Butler KB4LJV


Many Amateurs use their Multimode TNCs for monitoring the digital data on the bands. These include the Ham bands as well as commercial services with their digital modes. Receivers are continuing to offer more features and coverage. The new Icom IC-PCR1000 receiver is small black box with no knobs or other controls. The unit is made to be hooked up to a personal computer for operation. Controls are shown and are adjusted on the screen. Frequency coverage is .01 MHZ to 1300 MHZ ( Cell phone blocked ) with modes including wide band FM, FM, AM, SSB, and CW. Since the unit uses the computer for control memory,channels are unlimited. The unit runs on 12 Volts D.C. so it can be run in the car with a Laptop computer. The cost of the radio is under $ 600.00. If you are looking at the new computer controlled receivers check out this new one from Icom. James Butler KB4LJV

Repeater Update

There are a few corrections that I should make from last month's article regarding the future of the 146.82 repeater. I had reported to you that the new prospective location was 200 ft. lower in ground elevation, therefore we would need approximately 850 ft. of hardline to get out of the transmitter building and up to the same elevation that we enjoy now. My information on that was incorrect, and instead it's only 50 ft. lower in elevation, which means we would have to be at 550 ft. on the tower to achieve the same antenna elevation. Calculating approximately 150 ft. from the bottom of the tower to the transmitter location, we need only 700 ft. of feedline instead of 850 ft. as reported last month.

The good news is that I have been in touch with another site tenant concerning the hardline that they have on the tower for their transmitter. Their intent is to abandon their hardline and install new stuff at their new site. I asked if they would donate their old hardline to the club and he said that no one else had contacted him about wanting it. He told me that as far as he was concerned it was ours as soon as they get through with it. The even better news is that it just so happens that it's about 700 ft. long (see quantity needed above) and it is 2 inches in diameter. The hardline that we are currently using is 7/8" so common sense tells you that we will be getting more signal into and out of the repeater with the larger hardline.

The necessary information has been put together in notebook form and delivered to the Chief Engineer for WPTY. He said that upon receipt of it, he would immediately write a letter to his superiors explaining why he wanted to allow us to put the repeater on the new tower. As of this writing I have not heard back from him, but as they say, no news is good news. I hope to have more information about this at the meeting in December. He is also aware that the other tenant is donating their hardline to us, and I have mentioned to him that we would like to have their tower crew take the hardline down and re-install it on the new tower. I have suggested that they might possibly do it as a donation to the club, and while my instinct tells me he agrees with that, I haven't heard an actual confirmation on it yet. As it stands now, we could have to pay for the removal and installation of the hardline. It is just too large a task for us to do, not having all the right equipment at our disposal to do the work propely. If the offer still holds, we have been told that we can put the machine on a spare antenna at another location during the tower work to move the hardline.

As for the interference that we have been experiencing, many of you have reported hearing talk, callsigns and music that would indicate the signal was from one of the local FM PBS radio stations. Before contacting the FM station about the problem, we wanted to check out our equipment thoroughly to make sure that we didn't have a problem with the repeater. I would like to thank Steve Greer, N4SG for taking the time on a recent Sunday morning to go out to the site with me and check the machine out. Several things were noted as possible problems, but none were confirmed to actually be the culprit. We did tighten up the receiver some and the problem is almost never there now. We were concerned that we may have degraded the coverage of the repeater, but several people have given us good reports from outlying areas. We are pretty sure that the problem was not in our equipment and whatever it is, it's still out there. We are just not hearing it because of the receiver adjustments. We will probably loosen th receiver a little in a few weeks to see if the problem returns. After giving it a lot of consideration, once we move the repeater to the new site, it will probably be necessary to tone the input of the repeater in order to keep spurious noise out of the machine. The club has resisted this move for years but with all the RF floating out there, it will be an inevitable requirement in the near future. If you have equipment that does not have tone capability, you might want to look into getting a tone board installed so that you will be able to access the repeater when the time comes that we have to activate the tone.

That's enough for now, and I look forward to giving you all an update at the meeting.


Tommy, KD4TJO

Season’s Greetings

My thanks to all you members of Delta Club for helping make the MemFest '98 a nice event. We have some work to do there, but, with the advances in relationships which our two clubs have made this year, we will get there. More than just the Hamfest, thanks to each of you for helping better our relationships. I am really pleased at the progress in this area. It is my hope that during the coming year, our two clubs can have more 'co-club' events, and get to know one another by working together. I have envisioned several events in which our participation could be brought together, during 1999.

Thanks again and I hope each of you has a great Holiday Season.


Hamp Williford, K5JY

President, MARA

From The Editor....

Well now comes a tough task. Having been Director of Publication for the past two years I have become accustom to setting aside a couple of nights every month to get the newsletter together, format it, check for misspelled words, you wouldn’t believe how many words we use everyday that are not in my spell check, print a draft copy and try to look over it and find the goof-ups, change what I have found and print another copy and re-check it. Then let Susan look at it and print a final copy and put it all together and take it to the printers. Then the job just gets started. In a couple of days or so, we get THE phone call telling us that the newsletters are ready to be picked up. Usually I’m in Cleveland or Clarksdale, MS. or in Helena AR, or where-ever else my job takes me to now. Susan, among others have gone to the printers and picked up the newsletters and have them at the house for me when I return. Next comes the sorting of the newsletters. First I have to contact Kathy, our secretary, and get the latest copy of the data base. I then have to sort the data base to give me the names of the people that have newsletters mailed to them, and those that are current with their dues, the data base goes way back. Then there is the sort by zip code. After having the computer do all this work for me, which takes about 2 minutes, I print the labels and affix them to the newsletters. Now comes the fun part. I have to go through each newsletter, label affixed, and pick out the groups, huh you thought the Post Office did all that work didn’t you? Ask me next time you see me about the Bulk Mail Center of our Post Office. Oh well, to the post office I go with my 4 boxes of newsletters to be mailed, with a prayer on my lips that I will not get THE CALL, the one from the Post Office telling me that I goofed up on something. Then hoping that they deliver them sometime in the next two or three WEEKS.

All joking aside, I have enjoyed being the Director of Publications for the past two years. I have learned allot about computers, allot of different software, printers, then one sitting next to my computer, printers, the one that does our printing for us, among others. By the way do you know the difference between quick copy and offset printing, or how many pages of copy it takes to fill up 3 11 x 17 pages? I have read a whole lot of very interesting articles, written by members of our club as well as hams from around the country. Look back at the issue that has the article from Dom, AA5N, about RF guide lines. or the article about Why do antennas look the way they do. You would be surprised at the amount of work that is out there about ham radio and the people that operate them. Not just from QST, or 73, if you are on the web, surf around at some of the different clubs out there and look at what they are publishing. I found out after joining Amateur Radio News Service. This is a group of people that publish newsletters for Amateur Radio Clubs around the country.

I haven’t been on the radio much lately, and I really miss my friends, and I really do mean friends. I have found that if you ever need help just pick up the mike and ask for it, its there when you need it. Tommy hang in there..

Hoping everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

73..David, KU4AS

Twas an Amateur Christmas

By Jack Wright, KC4ZEK email to

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the night,

We Amateurs sent messages, with the speed of light.

The stockings were hung by the ham rigs with care,

In hopes a new dual-bander, soon would be there

And Ma with her HT, and I with my set,

Had just settled down for a long Winter's net.

Here and there are the books that we need,

Books that we're crazy if we don't read.

Books equal to motherhood, and apple pie,

Like Uncle Wayne, they Never Say Die!

When out in the street there arose such a clatter,

I sprang to the window to see what was the matter.

When what to my wondering eyes should see,

But a plain gray van, with a license plate: "F C C".

With a little old driver so lively and quick,

I knew as my heart sank, it was not St. Nick,

He knocked at the door, no chimney to help,

Said "I'm from the government, I'll have those cookies & milk."

Now I thought to myself, "What a sticky wicket",

With laser sharp eyes he was examining my 'ticket'.

He tested the radios, one by one,

I held my breath, and tried not to run.

Now Yaesu, now Kenwood,

now Ten-Tec and Icom,

On Comet, on Cushcraft,

on Azden and Den-Tron,

To the top of the tower, to the end of the beam,

Now dash away, dash away, signals SO CLEAN!!

After testing my setup, and laughing so gay,

Not "HUMBUG" said he, but "Your rigs are OK".

Then he was away like a flash, no question or fee,

By then, he was just like Santa Claus to me.

And..I heard him exclaim 'ere he drove out of sight,


Reprinted with permission from Ham Radio Online magazine, available for free on the Internet at

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

Kurt Schropp..............................................................Vice President


Don Mills....................................................................Treasurer ......................................................????????????????????

Regina Graham............................................................Dir. of

Tommy Thompson......................................................Dir. of

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

Eddie Trammel...........................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special Events..................????????????????????

Joan Thorne..........................................................….VE Liaison

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