Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 13 / JULY 1999

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


Hopefully everyone who participated in Field Day 1999 has fully recovered. Again, like other events, this article is being written prior to the actual occurrence of the event so it’s very hard to predict. I can predict that a lot of work went into organizing Field Day, setting up the station(s), operating, and finally tearing down the station(s) at the conclusion of Field Day. Over the next couple of weeks Tom, K4TTA, will be tabulating the results and sending them in to the ARRL. Then it will be a waiting game to see just exactly where we placed. Having been there and done what Tom has done, I’m sure he’s one “happy camper” to see Field Day 1999 come to a close. Speaking for the entire Delta Club, I’d like to thank Tom for all the work he did in organizing the event this year, and to all the station captains and operators for your dedication to amateur radio. Field Day is a lot of work and a lot of fun, and it is our most visible activity that shows the rest of the community just how prepared amateur radio operators can be to operate during an emergency.

Just a couple of weeks before Field Day we had our Special Event station that coincided with the Navy’s Family Day at what used to be called the Navy Base in Millington. From what I have heard there were a number of people who came out to operate and hone their operating skills in preparation for Field Day. Hopefully these individuals put to good use their HF skills two weeks later at Field Day 1999.

During the dismantling of the Special Event station we nearly had an accident that could have, at the very least, cost us our tower and trailer. Fortunately, due to the quick thinking of folks like Tommy, KD4TJO, Tom, K4TTA, to name a few, we were able to avert a disaster that would have put the tower trailer out of action for Field Day. This near disaster pointed out that we needed to document the correct procedure for setting up and dismantling the tower. Therefore, at the Board of Director’s meeting on Monday, June 14th, it was decided that a “job aid” was needed that would list the steps, in the order that they are to be performed to setup and dismantle the tower. Bill, KC4SXT, and Freddie, KF4ZGJ, are working together to create the job aid. Once it is complete, we will have several copies made and have them laminated. Then copies will be placed in the trailer storage compartment and will be there for anyone to use when setting up and dismantling the tower. In addition, we may label, by painting, those bolts that should and should not be removed. Hopefully the efforts of Bill and Freddie will prevent anything like what almost occurred during the Special Event to occur again.

I have some bad news to pass on to the members. On Monday, June 21st, I received an e-mail from Don Mills, K9DM, informing me that he had accepted a position with a firm in Boston, MA and that he would not be able to continue to fulfill his role as Treasurer. I am disappointed that Don is having to relinquish his position on the Board of Directors, but am very happy for him and his family. As a result, we are in need of someone to assume the Treasurer responsibilities. As with any board position that is vacated, an individual has to be nominated for the position. In addition whomever is nominated must also meet specific requirements surrounding nominations for office. If you have someone who would be interested, or are interested yourself, please contact me at 372-8031. I hope to fill this vacancy at the July club meeting.

That’s all for this month. Hope you all enjoyed Field Day and have recovered. Look forward to seeing you at the July meeting.


Ben, KU4AW


Those of you that participate in our training nets, whether it is the nightly DARC Traffic and Information Net, the ARES/RACES net, the SKYWARN Training Net, or an actual WEATHER Net, know that we have some strange occurrences that crop up from time to time. BRING YOUR HANDI-TALKI TO THE July meeting and listen first hand to the net to end all nets. KA4BLL and KE4GPR will be bringing us the "how to" and "what not to" do when participating in the various nets.




7365 HWY. 70



The July program is on Proper Net Procedure

The following article is an excerpt from:
The ARRL Letter Vol. 18, No. 25 June 18, 1999


The Louisiana state Senate has passed HB 2088, which limits the control of local jurisdictions to regulate Amateur Radio antennas by incorporating the essence of the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1 into state law. The bill now is on its way to Gov Mike Foster for his signature.

Louisiana Section Manager Lionel “Al” Oubre, K5DPG, expressed his thanks and appreciation to Dan Whelchel, K5IQZ, who spearheaded the Louisiana PRB-1 effort, and to Rep Victor Stelly, who authored the bill. Oubre also thanked the Louisiana hams who contacted state lawmakers urging support of the bill. Meanwhile, Oregon’s PRB-1 bill, Senate Bill 879, has jumped another hurdle in its trip through that state’s Legislature. The House Rules Committee approved and sent SB 879 to the House floor with a “Do Pass” recommendation on a unanimous vote. Amateur Radio operators are being encouraged to contact their local representative for their support of the bill. Bob Shelby, W7FPY, ARRL Assistant SM Marshall Johnson, KK7CW, and Sen Lee Beyer appeared on behalf of the bill at the committee hearing and work session.— thanks to Lionel “Al” Oubre, K5DPG and Marshall Johnson, KK7CW

Submitted by Joan, KN4PM

The following article is an excerpt from:
The ARRL Letter Vol. 18, No. 24 June 11, 1999


The next Space Amateur Radio EXperiment mission—and the only one scheduled for 1999--could launch July 22 aboard shuttle Columbia mission STS-93. However, that date is said to be still “under review.” Officially, NASA says that STS-93, which will carry the Chandra Observatory into orbit, will go up “no earlier than July 20.” It has been delayed several times already.

The STS-93 Mission Commander is Eileen M. Collins, KD5EDS. Also aboard will be Mission Specialist Michel Tognini, KD5EJZ, and Mission Specialist Catherine G. Coleman, KC5ZTH. Students at five schools—in Texas, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Florida—are on the list to talk to the STS-93 crew via Amateur Radio. Voice and packet radio operations are scheduled for this mission. The list of schools includes Awty International School, Houston, Texas; Buzz Aldrin Elementary School, Reston, Virginia; Ponagansett Middle School, North Scituate, Rhode Island; Memorial Middle School, Pharr, Texas; and Osceola Elementary School, Ormond Beach, Florida. In the meantime, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team is busying itself with the development and qualification of hardware for the ISS. ARISS is expected to deliver the initial station hardware to the ISS in July for launch aboard shuttle mission STS-101 in December. The hardware package—basically dualband H-Ts and associated antenna systems—is being assembled and qualified by a multinational team with members from Russia, Italy, Germany and the US. More sophisticated transportable ham gear will be delivered to the ISS in late 2000 or early 2001. A rack-mounted permanent station is expected to be launched in 2003 or 2004.

The ISS initial station could be on the air as early as December, and regular operation is expected in March of next year—a little more than nine months away!--some information from SpaceNews via Frank Bauer, KA3HDO

Submitted by Joan, KN4PM


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.

VE Corner

Half the year is already gone and Y2K looms in front of us. June has had wonderful weather, that I am personally thankful for, and 13 games of Charlie Brown baseball are behind us( that is 13 games plus practices in the month of June) and at this writing Andrew’s team is undefeated.

At the June 8th testing session there were 15 elements administered 9 elements were passed with a total of 6 persons earning a new license or upgrade. Thank tou to Barry N4QW and Don KJ4PO for the wonderful help provided that Tuesday.

Congratulations to:

Wayne Dover KD5EDB, EXTRA

James Shaeffer KF4ZFQ, ADVANCED



Richard Cosgrove KG4DSB, TECHNICIAN

Now that Field Day has come, and everyone had a chance at the CW station or phone station, there should be a lot of people wanting to upgrade at the July meeting while it is still fresh in your blood. I’m therefore looking for ALL able bodied extra class VE’s to help at the July session. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.


Joan KN4PM
ARRL VE Liaison for Delta Club


Optoelectronics has come out with a new computer controlled receiver. It covers 25 to 1300 MHz (cell phone blocked). It has several features that make it special. The unit will monitor and display CTSS, DCS, and DTMF tones detected on frequencies. It can also track trunk systems. The DRE communications receiver will scan 50 channels per second and store 100 channels on board for use when a computer is not connected. One nice thing about the receiver is a discriminator output to hookup to data decoders for digital data monitoring. Software is included for operation on a P.C. using Windows. For mobile applications the unit will hookup to a laptop or Palm Pilot handheld computer for operation.

If you are looking for a new computer controlled receiver for the shack check out the GRE from Optoelectronics.

James Butler KB4LJV


Many Amateurs are preparing for possible Y2K problems. It's always good to be prepared. Your equipment and preparations are good insurance for any disaster that could come along. This month's project is the Y2K BOX. The box is a Plastic Marine battery box, which can be bought at Wal-Mart for under $7.00. A multiple outlet cigarette lighter adapter is then mounted on the box along with a fuse and fuse holder and battery clamps to hook up to automobile battery. The empty box can then be filled up with supplies you select and put in a safe place until needed. If needed, you can then pull the battery out of you car and place it in the box for emergency power use. The Y2K BOX is easy to put together and store for emergencies.

I will have the Y2K BOX at the meeting to show and answer questions on for those who wish to build their own. SEE YOU AT THE MEETING...

James Butler KB4LJV  


It was great to get back to a club meeting. I didn’t realize how much I look forward to seeing each one of you as you check in, snatching a moment to catch up on whatever has transpired since last I saw you, meeting new members, soon-to-be-new members, members who have been away far too long and at last found their way back. The club just feels like a family to me.

Thanks go to Eloise, KF4GNB, for taking over the greeting table for me. I just had too much to catch up on. She managed admirably. And Ben, KF4GNC, helped me with the coffee. Mary Jamerson was very kind to bake the cake we served. And I never saw who brought in the cookies but thank you very much.

We have three new members. They are: Gerry Bailey, N9SCJ, Michael Gerard, KG4CZG, and Joseph Tamboli, KG4CZH. Be sure to welcome them to the club and repeater when you hear them on the air. We received one more renewal this month, from Charles Eddlemon, W4BIV.

See you at the meeting, and 73.

Kathy, KE4UYU  

A Letter from a New Amateur

I would like to say thanks to Ben KU4AW and all of the Delta Club Board Members for allowing me to join the many professionals within the ranks of the Delta Amateur Radio Club.

Although I have only been a member and on-the-air for a few of months, it has been a learning experience. My new hobby came about while looking for a new handheld radio. Memphis Amateur Electronics not only supplied me with the new radio, but also a no-code study guide.

While purchasing my radio, one comment was made about DARC, from “The Candy Store”, to which I still believe today. “They are some of the nicest people you could meet.” He (Marshall) was right, as I’ve met many new friends through “ham” radio.

I do have only one regret...that I waited so long to get my license. Thanks to Nathan N4LJ, I’ve just made that next step up from a handheld to a Yaesu FT-2500M as my “new” mobile/base unit. This is amazing. I am very proud to have been granted a membership in the DARC and hopefully will be a member for many years to come.

I also had a great time at the Special Events Station at Navy Memphis Mid-South (Navy Base) in Millington on June 12, 1999. Upon taking the microphone of the W4BS station and making a CQ call, several replies started coming in. This was great and they were also my first “DX” contacts through ham radio. It was really a valuable learning experience. Not mention a lot of fun. Lets all hope weather conditions for Field Day ‘99 will be a repeat of June 12, 1999. Hope to see you there.

73 to all

Bobby KG4CMA

The British Are Coming: The Sequel

We departed at 6am on Wednesday May 26 to the South Plains of this great country. Michael, KD5DCJ, and I stopped at Little Rock to check the updated models and to see where we needed to go. At that time we decided to head for the San Angelo, Texas, area.

We drove 713 miles to get to Menard County, Texas. Within 15 minutes of our arrival, we were looking at a nice wall cloud that was very photogenic. We watched the storm from a hill top in the Eastern part of the county. The local SKYWARN folks were very good at directing us into the correct positions. After they closed the net we were invited to come see their operation. For a county with only 15 Hams there were 7 of them on the net and they were doing a good job. We went back into Brady, Texas, and met with the locals. For a little group, they were very good at getting the info in and out of the area.

The next morning we drove to San Angelo and went to the Weather Service office there. In San Angelo we also met with one of the local NWS responders and he informed us of the nets in the area and also of some of the chasers that were there also. From San Angelo we went to Lubbock. Lubbock was an interesting place; we found the best hamburger in the world there but no storms. From Lubbock we went to Amarillo and spent the night there. We had dinner at the Famous Big Texan and looked around the area. From there we went to Norman, OK.

At Norman we went to the Storm Prediction Center and to Moore, Ok. Moore alone was worth the trip. After talking to people for the area, the reports from the spotters and chasers definitely helped get the warnings out faster and lives were saved. We found two vehicles that were moved by the winds of a F5. It took us about 15 minutes to figure out that the large mass of metal was a Chevy S-10 Blazer. We saw why it is not safe to try and ride out a tornado in an automobile. The Norman and Moore stops were worth the trip.

The British TV crew that was supposed to go with us chased with the tour group the entire trip so it turned out to just be the two of us. The trip was 2374 miles long with 3 nights in hotels and meals it ended up costing us less than $275.00 each. It was a fun trip since I have not been out in 6 years it was a new lesson for me. We are planning the 2000 trip now, and are opening it up for a few more if they want to go. Just let us know.


Jeff, KB5SFV


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

Repeater Update

In August of last year, we were notified that the existing site of the 146.82 repeater was being dismantled and that we would have to remove our repeater, antenna and feedline by October or early November. Well as most of you know, it's still there.

As this newsletter goes to print, we have made huge strides in the relocation of the repeater. WPTY has graciously provided tower space for us on their new tower at the 500' level, one of the other repeater owners at the old site has donated their 1-5/8" heliax to us for use on the new tower, we have a brand new antenna ordered and WPTY has made arrangements with their tower crew to take the heliax off the old tower and hang it on the new tower for us. The new antenna was supposed to be in by July 6 but it has been backordered and should now arrive around July 16th, which should be just about the right timing for the switchover of the repeater.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 146.82 W4BS flagship repeater should be in place at it's new home by the end of July. I hope to have even more detailed information about the move at the July meeting. See you there....


Tommy, KD4TJO


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

July 17-18 Six Club Six Meter Sprint
2300Z July 17 - 0400Z July 18
Six Meters Only - 1 point/QSO within your country, 2 points/QSO outside your country (KH6 and KL7 count as countries)
Total score is total points times the number of grid squares worked.

July 24-25 RSGB Islands-on-the-Air Contest
1200Z July 24 to 1200Z July 25
80,40,20,15,10 meters phone and CW
Exchange RST, serial number and IOTA reference number. 2 pts./QSO w/ own country or IOTA reference. 15 pts./QSO w/ IOTA stations and 5 pts./QSO w/ others.

July 31 - August 1 Georgia QSO Party
Two Periods - 1800Z July 31 to 0359Z Aug 1 and 1400Z Aug 1 to 2359Z Aug 1
80,40,20,15,10 meters phone and CW
Exchange RST and GA county or state 1 pt/phone QSO, 2 pts./CW QSO

For more info on June Contests check out the ARRL website at :

Other Important Contacts

                                                                            VE Liaison                                  Membership Chairpersons
                                                                             Joan Thorne, KN4PM                 Ben Barth, KF4GNC
                                                                             737-5795                                     Eloise Barth, KF4GNB

1999 Board of Directors

E-Mail Us...

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

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


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

Dick Cookenham........................................................Dir. of

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

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

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

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