Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 13 / JANUARY 2001

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


Of Things To Come…

As we begin a new year for Delta Amateur Radio Club, I would like to thank the members for the opportunity of being your president for the coming year.  I’d also like to thank the new Board of Directors for their willingness to serve our club.  Since joining DARC three years ago, I’ve been particularly impressed by the camaraderie of our club and the many friendships, which have and do result from participation in it.

Our new Board of Directors brings a wealth of experience and a great diversity of interest areas in our hobby and I am eagerly looking forward to another good year for our club.  In talking with some of the incoming Board members, a concern that has frequently been voiced is how we can increase participation in our many events.  It does, unfortunately, seem like we see the same, usual faces at our various events and one of the missions of the new Board will be to try to increase participation among our members.  Obviously, the Board will appreciate member input in this regard, so if you have some ideas, please let us know.

Another mission will be to find ways to increase youth participation in our hobby.  We can try to make ham radio more accessible to young people by providing support to youth who show an interest in our hobby, provide demonstrations to youth groups, and sponsor activities that will show off our hobby to young people.

Our club is in the Volunteer State, and we of the new Board will welcome all volunteers for our many events and activities.  We actively solicit your input as to what YOU want from the best amateur radio club in the Mid-South.

73, Tom, K4TTA


We enjoyed the Christmas Dinner at Coletta’s and are sorry more of you couldn’t join us.  There was plenty of room, the food was delicious as always, the room was decorated very nicely by the restaurant personnel, and the service was excellent.  We added a few of our own decorations to what was already there and pulled tickets for each of those items to see who would get to take them home. I want to thank Melinda Thompson, KE4DXN, who made the floral displays using greenery from her back yard.  Karen Blinckmann (who I am sure will get her ticket this year) used her crochet skills and contributed the wonderful "Southern Belle" doll and the Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus to the decorations.

I also want to thank all of you who brought goodies to the meetings during the year.  Store bought or hand made, it was the thought and effort to think of the club and bring them to the meetings that made the fellowship that more enjoyable.

I already thanked all the Board members at the November meeting for their assistance during the year, but I wanted to mention it again.  It is not one person who runs the Club, but the effort of all the Board members working together that makes it work.  There is also the fact that all of you had the faith in the Board, and in particular, me, to do the job.  I appreciate it and thank you for the trust.

Good luck to the 2001 Board of Directors.  I am sure it will be a great year.

Kathy, KE4UYU
Past President


December --- the busiest month of the year, or so it seems. Running here and there - no end seems to be in sight. At the December 12th testing session we had 7 people take 8 elements. Five of the elements were passed including one straight copy CW 5 wpm exam. As of this writing (December 19th) the ARRL is once again backlogged probably due to the Thanksgiving holidays - so I have no new call signs for you at this time. I can tell you though that we gained one new Tech with H/F 2 new Technicians and one new extra class hams with the last session. This was the night that traffic backed up tremendously and a gentleman from Paducah, Kentucky called my house in a panic thinking that I would not wait for him to arrive (he had only called me about 5-7 times the night before). He had gotten stuck in a car accident incident, stalling his movement for more than 45 minutes. Paul assured him I would wait and that he would be able to get in touch. He did, we waited, he passed ---- what a GREAT THRILL to see his face. The trip was well worth it and he stayed for part of the meeting afterward. Thank you to Arlene, AA5GX, Ben, KU4AW, Jim KI4I, and Paul WM5Q for their wonderful help that evening.

REMINDER: CW changes from multiple choice to fill in the blank in January. This VE Team will only accept the copying of dots and dashes for a total of three characters in the entire QSO. Also the fee changes on January 1st from $6.50 to $10.00.

I hope that this newsletter finds you in good health, and that you and yours had a Merry Christmas and a very safe New Year..

Late edition congratulations to the following persons:

Philip Anderson, KF4TAF, Tech w/ HF
William Covington, KC4SXT, Extra
Jonathan Howse, KG4KXM, Technician
Scott Gregory, KG4KXN, Technician


73, Joan KN4PM
Delta Division ARRL VE Liaison


The January meeting will be a radio checkout clinic. Please bring your radios. We will have several service monitors, and a couple of people to check out radios to see if they are within spec's.  Please NO HF. We may do that later in the year if people want it but only UHF/VHF FM this time. Tim, AB4NH, has agreed to help, and we are looking for some other people to help.

We will NOT be repairing or aligning, but just making the determination if further work is needed. This is due to time constraints and the lack of manuals for every model that may be brought in. This way people will know for sure if their radios are working 100% or if they need some help.

Gary Blinckmann, WA2IQC
Director of Programs


Tennessee State Convention, February 10-11

The ARRL Tennessee State Convention (“2001: A Hamfest Odyssey”), sponsored by the DixieFest committee will be held at the Shelby County Building, Mid-South Fairgrounds.

Doors are open Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM, Sunday 9 AM to 2 PM.
Features include flea market, dealers, forums, auction (both days at noon), DXCC QSL card checking, VE sessions (Sunday morning), camping.

Talk-in on 146.85 and 146.82.

Admission $5, under 12 free (good for both days).

Info: Ben Troughton, 901-372-8031, or

S C O U T B A S E   2 0 0 0

Delta Club joined about 7000 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers at the semi-annual Scoutbase camporee held the third weekend in October and coinciding with the annual Jamboree on the Air.  Setting up Friday evening before the big event on Saturday, our intrepid crew had worked all continents that evening and capped the performance with contacts with the official Scout stations in Finland and Switzerland.  Young eyes widened when the wispy voices from around the world rang out of the speaker and it was absolutely amazing how quiet a group of happy, laughing, noisy youngsters and/or teens become when you pass them the microphone.  We enjoyed many fine QSO’s with other JOTA stations and all the visiting Scouts that wanted to got to talk as long as they wished.  The Scouts
really seemed to enjoy exchanging ideas with their counterparts around the USA and the world.  Several Scouts worked on their Radio Merit Badge under the tutelage of WA4OVO, KC4SXT, K4TTA and others.  N4GMT set up PSK31 and several of our members had their first “taste” of that exciting mode.  KD4NOQ set up packet and other VHF operations.  N4GMT served as our “Food Chairman” and prepared a FEAST of BBQ, BBQ chicken and Jerk Chicken.  Those of us fortunate enough to sample Lance’s cooking decided he should be PERMANENT FIELD DAY FOOD CHAIRMAN!  The Scout office has approached us about resurrecting our Amateur Radio Explorer Post and this is being investigated.

K4DIT shot several pictures, some of which in this issue.

73, Tom, K4TTA


The ARRL has come out with a new book just for digital modes. The book is called the HF DIGITAL HANDBOOK. This new book covers RTTY, PSK31, PACTOR, G-TOR, and HF digital contesting. The book also has advice on building an HF digital station. The book also has a section on simple construction
projects for digital HF. This is a nice book and will make a good addition to your ham library. The ARRL book number is 7652 and is available for around $15.00.

James Butler


One of the biggest problems for portable CW is finding a key to carry around with you. What is needed is a straight key that is small and portable with the ability to be operated if needed without a surface to put it on. Since the straight key is just a simple switch you would think you could just buy a pushbutton and hook it up. The problem is most switches need to be mounted on a panel to work and some switches do not have the right feel or the make break travel is not right for use as a morse code key. I recently found a small switch made for an electronic bicycle horn. The switch is rubber coated with a small strap to put it on the handlebars
with a wire going to the horn unit. I noticed the action on this switch was good for CW. The strap can be unlocked and the switch used on a flat surface to send or with the strap installed it can be put on your finger for portable CW operation. I wired the unit up and installed a phone jack to go to the radio. The little switch worked well and would make a good portble or backup key for CW use.

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


James Butler


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 Straight Key Night.  Jan 1. See the December 2000 QST, page 99

The CCCC Millenium Contest, sponsored by the Chautauqua Contest Club, 1200Z Jan 1 to 1200Z Jan 2. 80 40 20 15 10 meters.;

ARRL RTTY Roundup. Jan 5. See the December 2000 QST, page 111.

Japan International DX Contest, CW, low-band portion. Sponsored by Five Nine Magazine, from 2200Z Jan 5 until 2200Z Jan 7,;

North American QSO Party, CW, sponsored by the National Contest Journal, from 1800Z Jan 13 until 0600Z Jan 14.;

Hunting Lions in the Air Contest, sponsored by the International Association of Lions Clubs, from 0900Z Jan 13 until 2100Z Jan 14.

ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes. See the December 2000 QST, page 112.

North American QSO Party, phone. See Jan 13-14.

CQ WW 160-Meter DX Contest, CW, sponsored by CQ Magazine, from 2200Z Jan 26 until 1600Z Jan 28

REF French Contest, CW, sponsored by Reseau des Emetteurs Français, from 0600Z Jan 27 until 1800Z Jan 28.

UBA Contest, phone, sponsored by Unie van de Belgische Amateurzenders and the EC Commission for Communication, Information and Culture, from 1300Z
Jan 27 until 1300Z Jan 28.;

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

January  9

7365 HWY. 70



The January meeting will be a radio checkout clinic
presented by
Gary, WA2IQC and Tim, AB4NH


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...

Tom Richardson...........................................................President.......................................................

Terry Cox....................................................................Vice President

Ben Troughton......

Whit Crowley..............................................................Treasurer

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

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

Gary Blinkman............................................................Dir. of Programs

Arlene Cline................................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special

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