Web Edition

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



Depending on the vagaries of the good old USPS, you should be getting this about three weeks before THE BIG ONE – Field Day 2001.  Mark your calendars
for June 23rd and 24th, and also for the late afternoon and early evening of June 22nd.  In addition to marking your calendars, it would be wonderful if you come out and join in the NUMERO UNO operating activity of our club.  We will have superb food – courtesy of  N4GMT and crew, good fellowship – courtesy of the whole FD bunch, lots of opportunity for learning and operating – again, courtesy of the FD crew.

ARRL makes a point in the FD literature of using FD to promote club activity and, indeed, this is a MAJOR emphasis for the event.  Get out to the site; there will definitely be something for you to do.

Haven’t been to a FD yet?  Wonder what FD really is?  Take the Field Day IQ test.  Check all that apply.

(  ) A ham radio operating event which emphasizes operating under emergency conditions.
(  ) A stress exercise conducted by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association to test the physical stamina and emotional stability of  the participants.
(  ) An ARRL sponsored, emergency preparedness event.
(  ) A travel opportunity to send your favorite rain-dancer to the other guys’ FD site.
(  ) A ham radio event using a contest format, during which each station tries to work more stations than anybody else.
(  ) A scheme by sunscreen, insect repellent, deodorant and analgesic manufacturers to get their respective products tested for free under actual conditions.
(  ) An opportunity to meet Mr. Murphy and all his relatives – up close and personal.
(  ) A fantastic learning opportunity involving LOTS of hands-on activities – everything from antenna erection to traffic handling.
(  ) A conspiracy by ham radio equipment manufacturers to sell new gear – also in on the conspiracy are the ham radio repair facilities.
(  ) A relaxed, laid-back, event during which you can get lots of sleep and rest.
(  ) A combined NASA - NOAA operation to increase and improve the ozone layer by means of bombardment with RF energy at different frequencies.
(  ) A chance to pig-out on some great food.
(  ) A scheme by physicians, psychol-ogists and hospitals to get more patients.
(  ) An opportunity to operate different modes that you don’t normally operate.
(  ) A chance for some folks to conquer their fear of heights.
(  ) An event that re-defines the meaning of the NIKE ad “JUST DO IT!”
(  ) A great chance to work with other club members and be part of the team.

At the June meeting, DARC will have its first TABLE SALE. DARC has recently been the recipient of donated gear from two SK's. There is a lot of small
stuff, cables, speakers, mic's, etc. We will have several sale tables set up at the June meeting and all proceeds go to Delta Club. If you have something you'd like to donate to the sale, BRING IT ON!! The current plan is to have a $1.00 table, a $2.00 table and a $5.00 and up table. First come, first served and caveat emptor!

K4TTA (Terribly, Terribly Achey – after FD!)



This year’s Field Day will be held in Freeman Park located in Bartlett, TN.  The event is scheduled to run from June 23-24, 2001 and will officially kick off at 1:00 PM.  Setup for the event will begin at high noon (12:00 P.M.) on  June 22 and will resume at 8:00 A.M. the following morning.

One of the things that has been a big hit during past Field Day events has been the evening meal.  This year’s event will continue in the same fashion and will feature the culinary skills of N4GMT/Lance and his cooking crew.  We ask that all club members who plan on attending please bring a side dish or dessert to accompany the main course.

The three demonstration modes planned for this year’s event  are Amateur Television (ATV), Slow Scan Television (SSTV), and the Automatic Positioning and Reporting System (APRS).  If you haven’t had an opportunity to see these things in action, here’s your big chance. We’ll also have some UHF gear configured for satellite operations and hope to make a few contacts via that mode as well.

I would like to say thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help setup, tear down, operate, and cook for this year’s Field Day.  Thus far we’ve had thirty two volunteers step forward and volunteer their time and services.  In order to finalize our plans and setup operating schedules for each station, we will need additional help.  If you’ve been unable to attend the last two club meetings or missed the opportunity to sign up, you can contact me at (901) 386-9950 or send an e-mail to  I look forward to your calls and e-mails.

James “JD” Brown/K4USN


Spring has sprung, the flowers are blooming brightly, and Ham Radio gets busier and busier as Tommy Thompson, KD4TJO, can readily attest. Our volunteer services seem to be needed everywhere. Your VE Team is doing their best to add to the rolls of amateurs ready to help with communications.

The April session had two persons taking 2 elements. Congratulations to:

Bjorn Heyning N4JOA General
William Stewart KG4NBS Technician

When we met again on May 8th we had three people take 6 elements with 4 elements being passed. Congratulations to:

Phillip George KG4NKM Technician
Gary Howard KG4NKL Technician
Ralph Leon KG4NKK Technician/HF

I would like to take this time to thank Arlene AA5GX, Paul WM5Q and Frank KA5SJM. These have been the only VEs who have come to my assistance the
last two meetings. THANK YOU for your help. Although this team has about 18 members, not everyone is able to help during the monthly sessions. It is
imperative that 3 VEs be present in order to have a testing session. I am inviting any extra class member that would like to help at the testing session to contact me or the ARRL for the necessary paperwork. If you have come to a session during the Hamfest you may think that there are VEs everywhere!!! That is a planned time and work schedules are usually arranged ahead of time. Therefore it may looked like a lot of people on the team, BUT if it were not for Arlene AA5GX and Paul WM5Q there would have been many times that the VE session would not have been able to be held.  Volunteer if you would like to help.

June is the last month that the current ARRL CW tapes will be used. These tapes are at 18 character speed with a 5 wpm spacing. In July the character speed will be changed to 15 and the character tone will be at 720 Hz.

Remember that June and Field Day are just around the corner. Contact JD at K4USN@ARRL.Net

Joan KN4PM
ARRL VE Liaison


The inaugural session of the Mid-South PSK31 net was held on Thursday, May 10, 2001 at 8:30 pm on 28.120 Mhz.  Five stations checked in and two more
checked-in by relay.  Those participating were K4DIT, WA0WQI, KC5GGE, KD5CKP, and K4TTA (NCS) and by relay, KD4FTS and KC4SXT.

The plan is to hold the net on Thursday nights at 8:30 P.M. or immediately after the close of the DARC Traffic and Information Net if the 2-meter net runs past 8:30 P.M.  The net is in the formative stage and your input and participation is certainly welcome.

PSK31 is an up and coming mode of communication and is probably the fastest growing mode in ham radio today.  All you need, in addition to the proper license and privileges – of course, are an HF rig, computer with a sound card capable of running Windows 95 or 98, the free software, and a couple of cables to connect between the rig and the computer.  An interface, such as a RIGblaster, is a welcome accessory, but not necessary.

There are a number of excellent Freeware PSK31 programs available.  Digipan works great and is easy to use.  Take a look at the programs at

Come join the fun.


It was good to see Ken’s Digital Update article in the May edition, especially as he mentioned some of the DX that is easily workable on PSK these days.  (I say ‘easily workable’ even though I missed BV4QI at the weekend who was 599!).

Even without burning the midnight oil and chasing the DX, there are several awards available for PSK’ers which do not require you to have DXCC under your belt in order to claim the parchment.Two such awards spring to mind.

First is the ‘31-on-31 Award’.  This is issued by Worldradio, out in Sacramento, and all you have to do is work 31 countries on PSK.  At this juncture I should point out that their countries list is not the same as the ARRL’s, as they don’t have all the tiny little islands and protectorates that the ARRL have.  However, you can view their countries list and the criteria for the award at:  The award cost $3.10 cents, so should not break the bank.  Another good reason for claiming this award is that they don’t even want your QSL cards as it is claimed on the ‘honor’ system.

The second award is issued by the Penn-Ohio DX Society. You apply to join “The 070 Club” by working 50 stations on PSK. With this parchment you have
to send in one (1) QSL card, but that should not be too difficult. Current application is free and you start counting stations worked from June 1st 2000.

Full details of the basic award, plus some of the ‘stickers’ available can be found at:

Both awards look good on the shack wall and will go some way to answer the “Are you on the radio again?” type of query..

73s.. Dick.. G3URA..

by G3URA

The CCCC (Chautauqua County Contest Club) has run a PSK contest for the past few years on the first weekend in September – however, this year they have changed the mode and this year’s contest will only be in the new 23 Hz RTTY Mode.  Those of you who have played with MMTTY and your soundcard to get on RTTY, will have no problem changing the shifts to 23 Hz. (How to do it is on page 192 of the help files)

Basically, the contest runs for 24 hrs on Sept 1st from 00.00 UTC to 23.59 UTC.  The only mode to be used is 23 Hz RTTY – the ‘normal’, wider RTTY is not
supported in this contest.

80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 (no WARC bands)

A: Single Op/all band, B: Single Op/single band, C: SWL

RST  = Serial number starting 001.

QSO with own country – 5 points
QSO with other country in own continent – 10 points
QSO with other continent – 15 points NB. In VK, VE, JA and W each call area will count as separate country. If  working outside your own area, pse indicate by adding the correct suffix,  N4SG/8 for example.

Each DXCC country, inc first contact with VK, VE, JA and W. Additionally, each call area in VK, VE, JA and W count as one multiplier on each band.

For full details, contact:- or see the MMTTY newsgroup pages at:-

73s.. Dick.. G3URA..


I'd like to thank all of you that have brought goodies to the meeting. It makes for good fellowship. As the temperatures rise, all of us enjoy a cool drink. Please help keep it cool and bring some to share.

Thanks again,
Arlene, AA5GX


Due to problems with extraneous noise getting into the 146.82 repeater, the decision has been made to put a 107.2 Hz PL tone on it permanently.  If anyone has an older radio without PL tone capabilities, or if anyone is having difficulties setting a tone on their radios, please contact Freddy Bratton, KF4ZGJ, on the air or at 372-4391.  Freddy will assist in any way possible to help you find assistance in adding tone capabilities to your radio or in locating proper instructions for setting tones on your particular radio model.


A Yahoogroup has been set up for amateurs interested in all digital modes.  For those not familiar with Yahoogroups, it is a form of group communication on the Internet.  By joining such a group, you will be added to the distribution list along with all other members.  When any member sends an email to the group, all members will receive a copy of the email.  (You can optionally elect to view all emails on the Yahoogroups Internet website instead of receiving individual emails.)  It’s a great way for groups to communicate about subjects with a common interest.  The group is open to everyone - Delta Club member or not.  To join the group, go to:, type: darcdigital into the ‘Join a Group’ box, and follow the prompts.

Once you have joined, do nothing to automatically receive all posts to the group in your mailbox.  If you want to post a message to the group, simply send an email to:!

73, Ken, K4DIT


Yaesu has come out with a new radio ready to do the digital modes as well as voice and CW. The FT-817 is a low power radio with up to 5 watts out that covers the amateur bands from 160 to 440 . Similar to the FT-100 or ICOM IC-706, the unit is an all band, all mode unit designed for base, mobile, or portable operation.  With lots of built in features the radio offers a lot for the money. With the internal battery the unit can be run for short periods on the internal power supply. The 5 watts output is lower than the 100 watts we are used to but small QRP rigs are very popular now and surprising contacts can be made with QRP power.  At this time this is the QRP rig with the most features at a very low price of under $800.00.  If you are looking for a small portable rig that is state of the art
look at the new FT-817 from Yaesu.

James Butler


Many times we want to key our transmitters to tune up on the band or into a dummy load. New transceivers have a tune button on them but older units do not. QRP rigs have a lack of this switch also. This month's project is the TUNE PLUG. It is a series of plugs connected together so the proper one can be put into the Morse code key jack to allow the radio to be keyed up while adjustments are made. The tune plug is simply a plug that matches the radio's Morse key input that has been shorted to simulate a closed key. Depending on the radio this can be 1/8 ", 1/4 ", or RCA type. I made all three of the TUNE PLUGS and mounted them on a short string to keep then together. The TUNE PLUG is easy to build and can be handy when checking out and tuning up radios.  I will have the TUNE PLUGS at the meeting to show and answer questions on for those who wish to build up their own units.


James Butler

By Ken, K4DIT

Delta Club member David Campbell, KD4NOQ, won the non-commercial Antenna Gain Competition for the 432 MHz category at the Southeastern VHF Society
2001 Conference held April 20, 2001, in Nashville, TN.  David’s “Big Wheel Omni” 432 MHz antenna produced +2.7dBd gain, the best homebrew antenna in this category.  David also had antennas in the 144 MHz, 222 MHz, 903 MHz, 1296 MHz, and 2304 MHz categories, placing favorably in all categories.  David submitted the following report.


The Southeastern VHF Conference took place in Nashville, TN, or April 20-21, 2001.  You may ask, “What takes place at a VHF Conference?”  Well, you can check out antennas on the antenna range and check out pre-amp performance at the noise figure table.  It is also a nice gathering of Hams that share the same interest in weak signal operation on VHF and above.  This group shares ideas and talks about operating practices and construction projects.  Just a few examples:  K4TAX gave a talk on his 1296 EME station and the basics on EME.  WA8WZG talked on how to mount a dish on a tower.  WA5VJB gave a presentation on log peroidic antennas.  Joel Harrison, W5ZN, gave a thought-provoking talk on FCC Part 15 and FCC Part 18.  I think most everyone is familiar with FCC Part 15.  Part 18 is an FCC policy about frequency sharing.  Folks, if we don’t use ‘em, we’ll lose ‘em.  Also at the conference was a Flea Market, with such items as 1200 watt 6 meter amps and 100 watt 902 MHz amps.  At the end of the conference is a banquet, where the vendors contribute prizes.  Tickets are drawn from
a hat for the prizes.  The big prize this year was a 8877 tube.  I ended up with a 10 GHz LO, or signal source and a mixer/vco and some mar 3,4,5 microwave pre-amp/amps.

The next “local” VHF conference is the Central States VF conference in Dallas, TX, on July 27-28, 2001.  I will try to attend this event also.  I have video tapes of most of the SEVHF conference, if anyone is interested.  You can look at these conferences as training in VHF operations.  I will say this: Some of the presentations are very technical, so I don’t comprehend some of the material.  I know on the front end that there is a steep learning curve to this area of amateur radio.  These
conferences also involve a lot of talks on microwave bands.  All I can hope for is to learn a little more on VHF and above.  After all, microwaves are one of the last remaining frontiers of radio.

David, KD4NOQ


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)

W4GMM (Extra) Ham Hilliard 372-2337 (All categories)

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...

QRP TAC Contest, The EPA QRP Club, 1800-2359Z June 2. CW, QRP. 80 40 20 15 10.

ARRL June VHF QSO Party. See May QST page 114.

TOEC WW Grid Contest, sponsored by the Top of Europe Contesters. SSB 1200Z June 9, 1998 to 1200Z June 10.

Digital Contest, sponsored by Australian National Amateur Radio Teleprinter Society. All digital modes, 0000Z June 9 to 2359Z June 10 (48 hours),  80
40 20 15 10 meters.

Kid's Day Operating Event, sponsored by the Boring ARC, from 1800-2400Z Jun 16. See the article on page 48, May QST.

SMIRK QSO Party, sponsored by the Six Meter International Radio Klub, from 0000 UTC Jun 16 until 2400 UTC Jun 17.

All-Asian DX Contest, CW, sponsored by the Japan Amateur Radio League, from 0000Z Jun 16 until 2400Z Jun 17.

Field Day June 23-24. See May QST page 112.

Tupelo, MS: Tupelo Amateur Radio Club, KK5K, 1200Z June 1 to 2200Z June 3, to honor Elvis Presley. 80 40 20 15 meters. Certificate. Wayne Cox, 116 Rd
1708, Saltillo, MS 38866.

Omaha, NE: Heartland DX Association, N4B, 0000Z June 2 to 2400Z June 17, during the College World Series. 28.450 21.350 18.150 14.280. QSL. Todd
LeMense, KKØDX, 3603 South 89th St, Omaha, NE 68124.

Bedford, VA: Old Dominion Chapter #202--QCWA,WW2DDM, 1700Z June 6 to 2400Z June 10, commemorating the dedication of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. 7.250 14.240 21.330 50.222. Certificate. Charlie Beckwith, K4BSF, 563 Buzzard Rock Lane, Rocky Mount, VA 24151-4844.

Ann Arbor, MI: ARROW Communications Association, W8PGW, 2100-2300Z June 8. operating from the annual Northside Elementary School ice cream social.
7.225 21.300 146.96. Certificate. Ralph Katz, KB8ZOY, 605 Skydale Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-1138.

Ashland, VA: Central Virginia Contest Club, W4L, 2100Z June 8 to 1100Z June 9, during the American Cancer Society "Relay for Life." 7.270 14.270 21.370
28.370. QSL. Ronnie Bolton, 12491 Ashcake Rd, Ashland, VA 23005.

Bell Buckle, TN: Radio Amateur Transmitting Society, W4PQP, 1300-2100Z June 16, during the RC Cola & Moon Pie Festival. 7.240 14.240 28.340.
Certificate. K4AAL, 1065 Barnes Rd, Antioch, TN 37013.

Waco, TX: Texas State Guard, AF5J, 0800Z June 23 to 0800Z June 24, honoring the beginning of the Texas war of independence. 3.863 7.230 14.228 28.426.
Certificate. James Harris, 4004 N 24th St, Waco, TX 76708.

Los Alamos, NM: Los Alamos Amateur Radio Club, W5PDO, 1800-2200Z June 30, operating from Fenton Hill Observatory for the Earthwatch Institute's
Student Challenge Awards Program. 14.250 21.350 28.450. Certificate. Don Casperson, AA5PA, 984 Nambe Loop, Los Alamos, NM 87544.

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

June 12

7365 HWY. 70



The Month  program will about DARC Field Day 2001
presented by
J.D. Brown, K4USN


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
107.2 pl

147.36 tone = 107.2 pl

224.42 = 107.2 pl

443.20 patch, 107.2 pl

145.03 packet / bbs
(temporarily off the air)

Other Important Contacts

                                                                            VE Liaison                                  Membership Chairpersons
                                                                             Joan Thorne, KN4PM                 Ben Barth, AF4TV
                                                                             737-5795                                    Eloise Barth, AF4TW

2001 Board of Directors

E-Mail Us...


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

Kathy Troughton.........................................................Past