Web Edition

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

In Memory of

Bob Youngblood, N4WAL (SK)


Many of you may have been wondering what happened to the June issue of SPARKS. Unfortunately our director of Publications had some personal emergencies that prevented him from getting the June issue out. He enlisted the help of others to assist him in hopes that the newsletter would be out to the membership soon after the June meeting, but this was not to be. Even with the assistance of others it just wasn't possible to even get the newsletter out at all. Based on this decision, it was further decided that the various articles that would have been in the June issue of SPARKS would be incorporated into the July issue as a separate section. I want to thank the effort and dedication that David, KU4AS, and Tommy, KD4TJO, in trying to give us the June issue of SPARKS. I realize that many of you may be very disappointed that you didn't receive your June issue of SPARKS, and as President of our club, I apologize for this unfortunate incident. I would like to remind everyone that each person who fills a Board of Director position is a volunteer. With that in mind we must also remember that amateur radio is a hobby and not a job. Sometimes things happen that interfere with us fulfilling our responsibilities of our position, but we all try to do the best job we can.

Well, by the time you read this issue of SPARKS, Field Day '98 will be history. Unfortunately, I can't foresee the future so I'm hoping that Mother Nature was kind to us and we had a very enjoyable and successful Field Day. The formula for a good Field Day is "Hard Work" + "Good Friendship" + "Operating Experience" = Successful Field Day. This is my fourth Field Day, and each one seems to get better than the last. I know that I was extremely tired when I got home Sunday afternoon and didn't want to see another radio for a while, I know that come June next year I'll be right back out there enjoying Field Day. I want to thank Kurt, KU4NH, for all the work he did in coordinating this year's Field Day. Having been there, I'm sure that he is glad that it's over and done with. Also I want express my thanks to each station captain and operator for representing Delta Amateur Club. You did us justice once again this year.

Many of you who don't participate in the daily "traffic and information" net, come to the meeting, or don't get on the repeaters very often may not be aware of the tragic event that Bill, WA4MJM, and his wife, Vicki, KF4DJS, recently experienced. On May 31st of this year they experienced that one event that all homeowners dread, a house fire. Although, as I understand it, the house was not totally destroyed by fire but what wasn't destroyed by fire was severely damaged by smoke and water. Unfortunately, this means that their house is going to be rebuilt from the foundation up. Their current residence is directly across the street from their house so they can watch the rebuilding of their home. Speaking for the entire Board of Directors and membership, our thoughts are with Bill and Vicki in their time of crisis and if there is anything that we can do, don't hesitate to give us a call on the radio or telephone and we'll be there in "two shakes of a lambs tail."

In October an event occurs in Memphis that many of us look forward to every year, the Memphis Hamfest. This year Delta Club will be very involved in this event. To start with, I have been asked to be the Assistant Hamfest Chairman. In addition to me, Tommy Thompson, Melinda Thompson, and Terry Cox have volunteered to assume some of the open positions available on the Hamfest committee. We have also voted to use our 146.82 repeater for "talk-in" for this year's Hamfest. We are very fortunate to have one of the best repeaters in the Mid-South and because of this fact have been approached by the Hamfest chairperson to use our repeater. If any members would like to get involved in the Memphis Hamfest, please give the club secretary or me a call. We'll be happy to pass your name along to the Hamfest chairperson.

Well, that's about it for this month. Hopefully I have been able to keep this article shorter that those in previous months. Hope to see you at the July club meeting where we can talk about Field Day '98. Of course there are the usual meeting events like James Butler's "project of the month", the monthly "gift certificate", and of course the goodies that are available at the break. I'd like to remind everyone planning to attend the meeting to bring a little some for the "goodie table". It doesn't have to be much, cookies, cupcakes, a cake if you have the energy. It's always fun to chat with someone over a coke or cup of coffee and a couple cookies.


Ben, KU4AW


A few renewals are still trickling in each month, but you might ask your ham buddies if they are getting their newsletters. If they're not, tell them what they're missing! Vester Moore, WD4MXT, and John Leflar, KE4AQY, both have renewed their memberships. Be sure to offer a DARC welcome to the following new members when you hear them on the air: Gary Clap, KC7PHB, Jerry Sykes, K4CMZ, Jill Sykes, KD4DWE, and Janet Sykes, KD4DWW.

Let me tell you some of the reasons I look forward to the DARC membership meetings each month. I learn something new with each program that's presented, and each Project of the Month James prepares for us. I learn as I listen each time someone stands up to share with the club some facet of the hobby they have enjoyed or worked on. I enjoy seeing all of you as you sign in at the front table. And, like everyone else, I enjoy the goodies people bring in to share at the break. A box of your favorite cookies, a store bought cake or pie, picked up on the way to the meeting, add to the fellowship we all share when we get together. See you there!


Kathy KE4UYU

From the Editor......

I would like to take a minute and apologize for not having a newsletter out for the month of June. As most of you know by now the Preacher were I go to church, also the meeting place, died last month. Butch was not only our preacher but a close family friend and had been for over 40 years. I was involved in the funeral and other arrangements during that week as well as being out of town 3 days that week with my work. The following week my uncle died and there we went again

You may also notice that in the E-Mail us section I do not have an e-mail address listed and will not for the time being. My thanks to Tommy, KD4TJO, for his effort in getting all the information together for the June issue that did not appear, and for the use of his computer in compiling this months issue. I am asking all that write for the newsletter to send all articles to Tommy’s e-mail address until further notice. I am having some technical trouble and am without a computer at this time. I do hope to be up and running real soon. I am still looking for any and all articles that I can publish in our newsletter. Ben has made the comment on more that a few occasions that with out his article and the minutes from the meetings, and James’ articles that gets in to me each month, well the newsletter would be rather thin. So please send in those articles.

Tnx & 73

David, KU4AS



7365 HWY. 70




July Program

You won't want to miss this months meeting. James, KB4LJV, will be showing and telling us how to make , among other things, different types of inexpensive antennas. We might even get an insight on some of his cigarette lighter or match box inventions, you never know. Be there and see what might happen.


Ben Barth, KF4GNC


On Monday May 11, 1998 Bob Youngblood, N4WAL became a silent key. This article is dedicated to his memory. Our sympathy and love go out to Carol and Jeff at this time.

During the time my family has been involved in this hobby and in the Delta Club, we have met so many wonderful people, that we will treasure as friends forever. But, of all of these people few can measure up to Bob Youngblood.

I have never forgotten my first impression of Bob. When I originally met him it was at the first club meeting I attended. I knew immediately that this was a man I wanted to get to know. That wasn't difficult to do. Bob was always ready to spend a few minutes chatting on or off the air. When we first got into the club, he was the director of Publications. Bob has served in so many capacities in the club. Not only has he served the club as a board member, he has served on countless committees.

Bob has always taken a very active roll in field day. It never seemed to matter what the weather was or how long a drive he had to get there, he was always one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave. One of my first field day experiences, as well as one of the most memorable, was sitting in the trailer listening to and watching Bob, Terry (KB4KA), and Dan (N4WAL) work the HF phone station. What a great time they had. They didn't just make it look like fun, it was! I really think this is one of the reasons I have always wanted to upgrade. I have always known Bob to loan equipment for field day. He has provided shelter, power, generators, gasoline and any and everything that was needed for field day. Not only has he provided equipment for field day but also anytime someone has needed to borrow anything he has been ready to lend a hand.

Another way that Bob always served the club as well as the community was through Public Service Events. I can only remember one event that Bob and Carol missed. They have always been the one constant at all of the events. You didn't have to worry that they would not be at the proper place at the proper time. They both always loved these activities. It would be interesting to know just how many "event" T-shirts Bob has collected over the years. He has told me on more than one occasion that we should all be doing the public service events, after all isn't that part of what being an amateur is all about? One of the joys of doing these events is that you would get to spend a little bit of time with Bob and Carol. It was really hard to work the Triathalon this year and not see them there, especially since we knew that Bob had been looking forward to the Triathalon this year as always.

How many of you have participated in helping with the Bartlett Christmas parade and the Memphis Marathon the very next morning? I know that Jim, KI4I never had to worry about not having quite enough people if they told him they would be there. In fact, when Bob and Carol told you they would participate in an event you knew they would be there regardless. A few years ago Carol took a really bad fall at the Christmas parade. She had to be taken to the emergency room with a really nasty bump on the head. If there was anyone who certainly should have been able to stay home and sleep late and not travel from Jackson, TN. at such an ungodly hour of the morning, it was surely Carol and Bob. Did they stay home and miss the marathon? Certainly not! They were there at the appointed time and as usual manned not only the first water stop but also another one after the first was secured. Not many people usually do that, but they always have. But then, they have always been known for going the extra mile and doing more than the average person has.

Not only did Bob firmly believe in serving the club in whatever way he could and serving the community when there was opportunity, but he also firmly believed in encouraging our young hams as well as other young people to become hams. He has always been very supportive of all of the younger amateurs in the club. I remember when Lesleigh first started calling the traffic and information net. Bob was always there to check in and to support and encourage her in every way possible. The night that Lauren passed her no-code test Bob won the door prize. As soon as he received it he turned to Lauren and gave it to her for passing her test. I know how much he has always encouraged our children, but he also was always encouraging Tommy and me too. And I know countless other people in the club who always received that same kind of support.

There is something else that we will all really miss about Bob and that is his constant smile, opened arms and wonderful stories. When you spent a little time with Bob, you most likely came away with a humorous story or some kind of information that would improve your antenna or radio.

Bob has been an "Elmer" to many amateurs over the years. I know that one of the ways he was an "Elmer" to me was with regards to being a Net Control for the traffic and information net. When I started calling the net Bob relinquished his night for me to have a regular night. He taught me many things about calling the net, and was always there to check in and encourage me.

Bob has worn many "ham radio" hats. He has been a board member, a Net Control, a SKYWARN responder, an Elmer, a field day captain, and the list goes on and on. We are all certainly going to miss Bob more than we can begin to imagine. Field day certainly was an event that Bob loved dearly and was very involved with over the years. Therefore, because of his unending dedication to the club and to the hobby in general we want to dedicate this year's field day to his memory. If you were present at the June club meeting, you already know that at the annual award meeting this November we will be giving the first annual Bob Youngblood Special Service Award. There will be more details about this award in the upcoming months.

The article that follows this one is a reprint of a brief biography written about Bob a few years ago. I hope when you read it you will smile at all of the memories you have of Bob, and will remember all of the things he was always teaching us.

Melinda, KE4DXN


Have you ever worked KN5IBN? Even if you never heard station KN5IBN, I know you have heard and most likely worked N4WAL. KN5IBN was Bob Youngblood's first call. Bob received this novice call back in 1956 while in high school. Bob told me that the day his ticket came in, he was so excited that he ran from the mailbox to tell his Dad that it had come. Naturally, his Dad wanted to know what the call was. On telling his Dad the call, his Dad's immediate response was..."In Business Now." Pretty good phonetics for Bob. We are all very glad that Bob is still "In Business Now." Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that I am not alone in saying that Bob is always a good person to listen to and learn from. Especially, if you haven't been around the hobby a long time, Bob is a good one to emulate.

When I talked to Bob for this article, I was anxious to find out if his Dad was a ham. Unfortunately he wasn't. Bob said that he had tried everything he could think of to get his Dad really interested. Bob's Dad said that if he couldn't see the person he didn't need to talk to them. Bob said he didn't even like to talk on the phone. I know that we are all glad that Bob didn't take after his Dad in this respect aspect. He did tell me that his Dad was very excited for Bob when he got his ticket. He even helped Bob study for his tests and even helped him when it came to purchasing his first receiver. Bob built his first transmitter, but needed that receiver to get on the air. Bob worked hard because his Dad told him that if he would earn half of the money he would supply the other half. As Bob started getting close to his goal of half, His Dad went ahead and gave him what he needed for the receiver. What would we do with out supportive parents?

When Bob got his first license you could only get a novice license and you had to upgrade in one year or loose your license. So within a year of his first ticket, Bob upgraded to technician. At this time he was a senior in high school. Soon after Bob joined the Navy and "saw the world." Bob was sent to Millington so he joined the amateur club W4ODR there. When he came back to Millington to Bee School he joined ODR again. He even served as secretary of the club. Then in 1962 Bob married Carol and they have been a team ever since. Soon after Bob and Carol moved to Norfolk where Bob served as Vice President of the W4NPT club. Next came "Sea Duty."

While at sea and before he could get back to the states, Bob's license expired. He spent the next 20 some odd years without a license (a horrible thought!). But, Bob did manage to stay busy in the interim. He and Carol had a son, Jeff; Bob also learned to fly and got his commercial Multi Engine License. Bob was in the process of getting his instructor's license when the Navy decided it was time for Sea Duty again. After his last tour of Sea Duty, Bob requested to complete his time in the Navy in Memphis. In January of 1988 Bob and Carol were getting ready to go to bed one Sunday night. Bob was listening to the radio to a Public Service Announcement, when he heard an announcement from DARC offering a Novice class. Bob wrote down the phone number that was given. The next day he made the call to Dana Stein. Bob was soon in a class that produced several "good hams". Out of that class also came Dan, N4VWM and Kenneth N4WAH. They had the test for the Novice written and the code portion in the middle of March. On a Saturday the first part of April they were to have a "cram course" for the tech portion. Sadly, that was also the day of Carol's Mother's funeral. Bob missed the study portion that day, but did arrive in time to sit down and take the test. When he finished he told Dana that he had missed three on the test. He was right, that was all he had missed. So the following December, Bob upgraded to Advanced. His goal now is to be an Extra Class by Christmas. Bob, we have absolute confidence in your ability. I can't help but wonder with extra time on his hands what will be next for Bob. When I talked to Bob he only had 2 days left in the Navy. Imagine without Uncle Sam making such demands on his time just what he might accomplish.

Naturally, since I think this hobby is so good for a family hobby. I wanted to know how Carol got interested. Bob said that they had discussed it off and on from about 1961 or 1962. One night while out with some friends the subject came up again. Carol said that if they ever came up with a license that didn't require code she would be the first to sign up. Shortly after that DARC offered their first no code class. Carol signed up on her own. I can just see the smile on Bob's face now can't you? Our current president also came out of that class. You know with Christmas coming up, I can't think of a better present to give a ham than for a non-ham spouse to take a class and get a license. Ask Carol she'll tell you that it's not difficult at all to sign up for one. A helpful hint here for all of those hams who are trying to talk their spouse into doing this too. Bob says first to demonstrate some kind of need for radio privileges. Whether that is for safety's sake or just keeping in touch through everyday shopping trips or car rides home from work or whatever. And secondly he said that it is very important Not to Push! That if you work hard on instilling that desire for the license, then it just becomes a matter of them working to achieve that goal.

When asked what changes he hoped to see in the future of ham radio, Bob's reply was a twofold answer. He said that he really likes seeing so many of the younger generation getting involved. That a few years ago the younger hams were generally about 16 years old. He sees so many quite a bit younger than that. He hopes that this will continue. Next he said that he hopes to see a unification of the hams in West Tennessee. Bob said that he wants to see a stop put to the badgering and for us to pursue better representation for West TN. And more input from the ARRL directors. He said that he would also like to see a bunch of hams set up a special event station at some of the big local events like the Jewish Bazaar, the Woman's Show etc. etc. etc....

As far as changes that Bob has seen in the hobby since he first got his Novice license, well there have been a few. He said that he was glad to see the code requirement relaxed. According to Bob (I wouldn't know YET) it is much easier to take and to pass a code test now. It seems that the more relaxed way that they test is a definite improvement. I am glad to know that! Another change that Bob has noticed is that with the advancement in technology has come much smaller equipment. Bob said that in the "old days" a radio that would do all that they will now would have taken up an entire apartment complex. Good thing too, since some of us like to carry them in pockets and/or purses.

I found out so many interesting things about Bob while talking to him. For example: Did you know that since Bob has been a member of Delta Club he has NEVER missed a meeting? I would really like to know how many others can say the same thing. Bob says he knows there are some because he always sees some of the same faces month after month, year after year. I also learned that Bob has always participated in every special event or activity that he has been asked to work. In fact, when I asked Bob what was his favorite part of the hobby, he told me how much he enjoys working all of the Public Service events like the parades, marathons, triathlons and all of the other special events. But the part of the hobby he really likes most is meeting and talking to so many people. He says that he gets the biggest kick from talking to someone regularly for a long time and finally meeting him or her. He says it is always interesting and sometimes even a shock to see that they usually don't look anything like you expected them to.

When I asked Bob to tell me about his most embarrassing moment as a ham, we both decided that it could also be considered a pretty funny moment as well. Way back in 1961 before Bob met Carol and while he was still a Tech. He drove into Frayser from Millington and stopped at the local McDonald's for his dinner. He got his food and went back to the car to eat and talk on 6 meters at the same time. Well, the next thing Bob knew was that a black Chevy pulled up beside him and a lady got out and went into the McDonald's. Bob commented to the man he was talking to on the radio about the lady (she was pretty) that just got out of a car beside him. The man asked if she got out of a black Chevy, when Bob said that she had the man proceeded to tell him that lady was his wife. Bob said that he really did some fast backpedaling. Bob and this man ended up talking to each other on a regular basis.

Bob and Carol are planning on moving to Jackson, TN. We are certainly going to miss them. They are often regulars for those spur of the moment QPC events. And are regulars for anything that Delta Club is involved in. They are some of those people that you can always count on. I certainly hope that Jackson will appreciate what they are getting. We wish Bob and Carol the best of luck in their new home and ventures. At least they will be close enough that we will still be able to communicate via the radio.

Melinda, KE4DXN


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 note that as of September 14, 1998 the vanity call sign fee will be $13.00 for the ten-year term, down from $50.00, payable at the time of application for a new, renewed, or reinstated license.


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


(after listening to Alex working contests all these years I believe this is correct). As a result of the efforts of Wendy and Brian, we are able to have a special event on August 1 and 2. This will be in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the FedEx/St. Jude Golf Classic. They have given us permission to use their name (but not their logo).

We will be setting up in Freeman Park (space is not available to list all the reasons why we are not at the Classic site) EARLY Saturday morning in order to be on the air by 8:00 a.m. We will operate continuously until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday (these are the recommended times submitted to QST). As you will no doubt read about in more detail in another article, the Board has discussed and suggested that this special event would be a good time to have an ice cream social for ALL family members. Of course, I readily agreed since I am not above using fair means or foul to get people to sign up to man the radio!! Ice cream notwithstanding, I am hopeful that this event will generate a lot of traffic and I am in desperate need of operators. I would like to set up an operating schedule and would appreciate your calling me at home (388-9688) or at work (524-5158) to let me know what times you would like to operate. Just remember, if you don’t willfully and cheerfully volunteer yourself, I will find someone who will be glad to “volunteer” for you.

Again, I want to thank Wendy and Brian for getting this started and helping me on this, and I am looking forward to their continued help (and the Club’s support) in seeing this through to completion.

Thanks to all.


Regina, KF4IGS


Amateurs have been collecting older gear for a long time. This equipment shows up at hamfests, flea markets, and home yard sales. Some of the older gear sells for a lot of money but some items are almost given away.

This month's project is an external speaker for for my radio. External speakers can be larger and better quality than the small ones supplied in the radio case. This project started with an old metal cased Motorola speaker. It was not in good shape at all. The case was rusty and dirty and as you would expect the speaker inside was rotted and did not function. The speaker was taken apart and the case sanded. The mounting holes were measured and a new Mouser Electronics replacement speaker ordered. I repainted the case and cleaned up the Motorola Logo. I replaced all the screws used to hold in the speaker and hold the case together and put new wire on the speaker for hookup to the radio. The completed unit worked perfectly and looks as good as when it was new. The Motorola Speaker is now ready for another 30 years of use. I will have the restored external speaker at the meeting to show and answer questions on.


James Butler KB4LJV

ed. note: This was the program project presented in June, presented here for those that weren't in attendance at the meeting.


One of the best articles in Amateur Radio magazines is Hints and Kinks in QST magazine. The article is edited by Bob Schetgen, KU7G and contains a lot of good hookup information for Packet controllers along with hardware fixes and improvements on equipment. The ARRL has just come out with the new fourteenth edition of the book. It contains all the reprints from the QST magazine Hints and Kinks articles from 1992-1996. This book has a lot of good information in it. The book is available from the ARRL for $12.00 plus $4.00 for shipping and handling. If you are looking for useful information on Amateur Radio check out this new book from the ARRL.

James Butler KB4LJV

So you think you CAN'T learn code huh?

The following articles are reprinted from the July '98 issue of World Radio....

Five Year Old Passes 5 WPM Test

Saturday, 25 April, Ashley Kopacki, age 5, passed her 5 word per minute Morse code test at an ARRL VEC administered examination session hosted by the County Line Amateur Radio Club. Ashley is a kindergarten student in Mount Olive, New Jersey. She frequently attends radio club meetings with her father, Dave Kopacki, KF2EW. She helps with the sign-in sheets, and is Official Cookie Taster. Ashley now has a year to study for the Novice written exam. -- Hudson Division Loop, Newsline

92-year-old passes CW test

British amateur Les Breeze, 2E1FXS, became the oldest UK citizen to pass a 5 wpm CW test. It was even more of a challenge for Breeze because he is blind. His wife, Doreen who is not a ham, studied with him in order to assist in learning the code by his wife, Doreen, who is not a Ham but Les is not finished yet. He intends to study the code and theory so he can upgrade to a full privilege UK Class A license. -- Newsline

I also noticed in the July QST, that there was a photo with a small caption paragraph showing a small boy and girl, both age 4. The little boy has his Technician Plus license and the little girl has her Novice License. They both attend a church pre-school class where the theory of amateur radio is regular curriculum. They went on to say that ALL the children in the school have their licenses.


Tommy, KD4TJO

E-Mail Us


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

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

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

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

David Pace...............................................................Dir. of Publications........................................unavailable at this time

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