Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 9 / MARCH 1997

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


When David asks me if I've written my article for SPARKS each month, I've told him "I'm still thinking of something profound to say."  This month's most profound thought is that if you have not renewed your dues by the March meeting, this is the last newsletter you will receive!!! We value your participation in the club and do not want to lose you as a member. You will therefore find numerous reminders throughout this newsletter reminding you to renew your membership.  Please take the time right now to get the application out of this newsletter and get it in the mail.

We had a great meeting in February that almost got out on time, at least we did better than last month.  If you were unable to make the meeting and were looking forward to the program about the FAA's "Memphis Center" then don't be disappointed that you missed the meeting. There was a last minute time conflict that would not allow us to have this presentation in February.  It will be rescheduled for later in the year so listen to the nets, look in future SPARKS, or check out the club web site under "Meeting Information" for upcoming plans for programs.  We were not left without a program because Suresh always has a rabbit in his hat.  John White, KE4WEV from the National Weather Service presented a great program on "Severe Weather Safety."  This was not a Skywarn Spotter Class, but a class on basic safety techniques and rules to help you survive different types of severe weather, including a lot of very interesting statistics.  Thanks John for coming through for us on short notice.  John, by the way is one of our new DARC members too, so if you hear him or one of the other new members on the air be sure to welcome him to the club.

Things are well underway for 1997 as Dom, AA5N is already gathering data necessary to write our first grant to obtain assistance for the club.  Ben, KU4AW is getting geared up for fundraising and will have some new things to present at the March meeting.  Tim, KF4DNA is already working on two or three special events projects.  Bill, WA4MJM already has his first Codeless Tech class scheduled and will be starting work on a General theory and code class in the near future.  Get ready to say YES when Tim or Bill calls you and asks for your help.

At the board meeting in February, it was decided that the Project of the Year would be to obtain two generators to be mounted, semi permanently, on the tower trailer to make it more self sustaining when we take it out into a field situation.  The generators will be mounted and secured to the trailer for storage and transport with weather proof covers for each of them.  The covers will be steel boxes custom built by the trailer manufacturer to add to the security of the generators. This was something that was discussed during the original design of the trailer as a future addition. These boxes should be at no cost to the club since the manufacturer of the trailer agreed to make any future modifications to the trailer as a donation under the 501(c)(3).  A subcommittee has been appointed to research the best deal on generators and they will report back to the board at the March board meeting.

In keeping with my goal of keeping all members informed on important matters of the club, I must report a serious matter to all of you that were not at the February membership meeting to hear it.  In January, as reported in last month's SPARKS, we lost a great member in Jill, KF4HCC.  As we told you, Jill was very active on packet and received several messages a day on the BBS.  To our dismay, we had an incident involving a non Delta Club member who, less than a week after Jill's death, illegally logged on to the packet BBS using Jill's callsign in an attempt to access and read private messages intended for Jill.  Without getting into too much detail here, I want you to know that, after lengthy discussion, the board of directors decided to permanently terminate this stations access to the BBS.  There were many suggestions by different people as to other actions that could be taken, however the board decided that in the interest of good amateur radio we would handle it at a local level and not pursue any further action.  A letter was sent to the station in question explaining the boards concern and decision.  A copy of this letter is filed with the club secretary and is available to any club member, should they choose to read it but no copies will be made available to anyone.

You may be reading this almost every month, but I am very proud of the 97 board and they have already shown that they are excited about this year and I am looking forward to a lot of good things in 1997. As I said last month, we need help from each and every one of you to make things happen. Don’t wait for us to call you and ask for your help, if you see something that you would be interested in helping with, or have an idea of your own that you would like to see implemented, give any board member a call.

See you at the meeting.......

73 Tommy, KD4TJO


This month I want to direct my efforts towards several topics such as fund raisers, elmering and special interest groups.  I listed fund raising first because it has a major impact on our club.  As you all recall, whether you were at the February meeting or simply read the February issue of SPARKS, we have a deficit in the budget that we need to overcome.  There haven't been too many leaders in the country, our President included, that can "balance the budget", but I think that Delta Club can give a good showing if we try.  With that in mind, I want to make all aware of the first "fund raising" venture we will undertake.  As I said at the meeting, I want to see a "sea of blue" at hamfests, special events, field day, etc.  That sea of blue can take many forms, one of which is in the form of can koolers.  I have received approval from the Board of Directors to purchase can koolers with the Delta Amateur Club logo.   Now, when Field Day comes around, and the temperature is in the high 90's, you can put you coldcan of Pepsi or Coke into a Delta Club can kooler.  My goal is to try to have these available by the March meeting.

In addition, I am officially announcing the second annual Delta Club Carport Sale.  Last year this fund raising event generated over a $1,000.00 for our club.  That was an outstanding effort, but I think we can do even better this year.  I would like to see Delta Club recoup the $1,450.00 deficit it has in the budget in this one event.  It can be done, all it takes is a little effort by all the members.  You don't have to work at the sale, simply donate those things that have taken up space in your attic.  And, because we're a Non-Profit organization, we'll give you a receipt for your donation that you can use for this years income tax.  So, I am encouraging every member to look in his or her closet, attic, storage building, HAM shack and set aside those items that they no long are interested in, don't use, or simply don't want.  Donate them to the Delta Amateur Radio Club's Carport Sale.  If you donate, you stand to be a double winner.  You win by having a donation that will work to reducing your taxes, and you win by helping Delta Club in its fund raiser.

The third and final area that I want to discuss this month has to do with Elmering.  Those of you that attended the January meeting saw me present an Elmer Award to Alex Graham, KE4GYR, and Jim Cissell, KI4I.  Well, if it hadn't been for these two individuals, I probably wouldn't be involved with amateur radio today.  As most of you know, upgrading , learning about radio, resolving problems in your shack can be a very frustrating experience.  I don't think that I would have achieved a General Class license if it hadn't been for Alex and Jim.  I'm sure that there are people out there that have helped you get established in the amateur radio hobby. Now is your opportunity to help some new amateur radio hobbyist gain a foothold in this wonderful hobby.  We need Elmers, we need SYSOPS for various special interest groups.  I'm sure many of you have attended the Packet SIG, and come away having learned something and been able to apply what you learned when you returned home.  We need people who have an interest n such areas as QRP operation.  If you really want to get a rush, try working a station on CW that is 800 miles away on only 4 watts, or you wish more people would get started in "rabbit hunting."  Here's your chance, we, the Delta Club want to have more special interest groups.  Groups like QRP SIGs, Rabbit Hunting SIGs, etc.  But, we can't do it without your participation.  If you have ever wondered how you can contribute to this hobby and the Delta Amateur Radio Club, here's your chance.  Give me or any member of the board a call on the phone, an e-mail, a packet message and let us know you want to contribute your time to one of these special interest groups.  In fact, if you have an idea that you would like to try, we'll be happy to hear from you.

This is one of the best amateur radio clubs in the Mid-South.  Make this club even better by contributing your expertise in whatever facet of amateur radio interests you to other amateurs.  I guarantee you'll enjoy it and will learn from it.


Ben, KU4AW


You all have done a wonderful job in getting your 1997 membership dues sent in.  We just have a few lollygaggers left……

We had a very informative and timely program if February.  John White, KE4WEV, from the National Weather Service reminded us that the severe weather season is again approaching and that we should not take a 'no action' attitude.  He made a number of good points to keep in mind:

1. Think ahead and locate the safest place in your home to take cover should a storm be head your way.  Try to place as many walls between you and the storm.  2. Remember that straight line winds in a storm can do as much damage as a tornado can.  Don't fool yourself by thinking it's just a thunderstorm.  3. Don't think being in a car is good enough protection.  Find a ditch or low spot and leave your car.  Better to get muddy and wet in a ditch that be picked up and flung who knows where.

Keep yours eyes and ears open for severe weather and take appropriate action before the action gets to you.  Turn your HT's on, listen for the severe weather net, report appropriate information, but STAY SAFE!!!


Kathy KE4UYU

MARCH 1 9 9 7 C L U B M E E T I N G

DATE: March 11, 1997 ( 2nd Tuesday - be there )

PLACE: Ellendale Church Of Christ, 7365 Highway 70, Memphis, Tn. ( 2 miles east of Hwy. 64-Stage Rd. )

TIME: 7:00 PM

PROGRAM: Whit Crowley will present an overview of APRS

VE TESTING: 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 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

ARRL Vice Director Notes

I recently returned from the ARRL Board of Directors meeting, which was held on Friday, January 17, 1997 and Saturday, January 18, 1997 at the Marriott Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Amateur radio as we know it from yesterday is changing.  There will be some changes that will become a factor as we approach the beginning of the century.

ARRL’s President Rod Stafford, KB6ZV appointed me to serve on the Volunteer Resources Committee (VRC).  In serving on this committee, I will make every effort to serve the amateur community to the best of my ability in all cases.

There are two issues that should be discussed here.  First, in an effort to secure spectrum space that include 2-meter and 70-cm radio amateur bands, the Little LEO’s have narrowed their focus on the 2-meters to 146 to 148-MHz segment.  Additional allocations: the bands 146-148 and 430-440 MHz are also allocated to the mobile-satellite service, limited to non-geostationary satellite systems, for use only during emergency communications situations as a complement to the amateur service in accordance with Resolution NO. 640.  As currently drawn, Resolution 640 covers only the 144 to 146-MHz segment of 2 meters and does not apply at all to 70 cm.  The industry also appears to be attempting to reposition itself as a potential emergency communication adjunct to amateur.

Secondly, the FCC has postponed for one year, until January 1, 1998, the date for radio amateurs to comply with its new RF-exposure regulations.  The ARRL was among those requesting the delay this fall.  The ARRL said that the additional time was needed for the FCC to draft implementation guidelines that radio amateurs could use to help them comply with the regulations--released on August 1, 1996 as ET Doct 93-62.  Among other things, the regulations would require radio amateurs running 50 W PEP or more to conduct “routine RF radiation evaluations” to determine if RF fields were sufficient to cause human exposure to RF radiation levels in excess of those specified in the proposed regulations.  The ARRL has asked the FCC to reconsider the 50-W threshold due to the large majority of HF rigs have a rated output of 100 Watts, but the FCC report (DC 96-112) extending the compliance deadline did not address that issue.

The extension also will require changes to Amateur Radio examinations to be 1998.  In announcing the extension, the FCC said it disagreed with those petitioners who suggested that the time extension “will have significant adverse effects on public health”.  There is more on the FCC’s New RF-Exposure Regulations, QST, January 1997, p 47.  See Happenings in February 1997 QST for additional information.  The entire text of Report DC 96-112 can be found on the ARRL Web at

Henry R. Leggette, WD4Q

Vice Director, Delta Division ARRL

Explorer Post 903 Meeting

The Explorer Post of the DARC will meet Tuesday, March 11 at 6:00 PM (one hour prior to the DARC club meeting) at Ellendale Church of Christ.  All 14 to 20 year old young people are welcome along with any adults wishing to help.


Many times Amateurs hook up our equipment to the Phone Line. We hook up Phone Patches, Extension Phones, and Computer Modems. The Home Phone Line normally consists of a two wire system. The two lines are called the TIP and the RING wires. These need to be hooked up correctly to our equipment to operate properly.

This month's project is the TELEPHONE LINE TESTER. It will allow you to check a telephone outlet to make sure it is wired into the telephone system, and set the hook-up polarity for proper operation. The complete assembly is built up in a small project box . I used a longer telephone cable to allow hook-ups to telephone jacks up to 10 feet away from equipment. The assembly has standard telephone plugs at each end of the cable. In the box is a Double Pole, Double Throw switch to set the polarity of the line. A momentary switch to test the line, and a LED to indicate status of the line. Flipping the test switch will light the LED if the line polarity is correct. If it does not light the polarity switch will reverse the wires for correct hook-up. The LED will be bright if the line is not in use and will glow dim when a phone is taken off the hook. The TELEPHONE LINE TESTER is easy to build and will help you in checking telephone lines and installing equipment at your home. I will have the TELPHONE LINE TESTER at the meeting to show and answer questions for those who wish to build their own units. SEE YOU AT THE MEETING .....

James Butler KB4LJV


Manufacturers are constantly coming out with more new equipment for Packet Radio. One new piece of equipment is from Advanced Electronic Applications, Inc. They have come out with a 440 Mhz, high speed Packet system. The IDR-96 is a high speed data radio and a PK-96 9600 Baud Packet modem in one package. The radio is crystal controlled and comes with crystals for 444.1 Mhz. The package also has a DOS Packet Terminal program for your computer to run. The unit only supports high speed packet and does not run at the slower 1200 baud rate. If you need a high speed packet datasystem with the radio and TNC in one compact unit check out this new one from AEA.

James Butler KB4LJV


Please remember that as of October 22, 1996 the FCC discontinued the printing and mailing of amateur service renewal notices. Please CHECK THE DATE ON YOUR LICENSE !!!

73 Joan, KN4PM

VE Report

Somedays sure feel as if spring has sprung. Just recently I showed my young one a sign of spring- the yellow flowers of a forsythia. What does it do but snow the next day!! What do I see today? A pear tree with its beautiful flowers flowing in the sunshine!! What does this have to do with the VE session?? Nothing - but I just wanted to brighten the sometime factual and lulling article.

This past month was definitely a busy session. I want to thank the following for giving so wonderfully of their time and talent on February 11th. Steve N4SG, Barry N4QW, Jimmy N4ZCO, Bill WA4MJM, and Jim WD4T.

We served 7 persons with 11 exam elements. Of these, 7 elements were passed with 3 persons either earning a new license or an upgrade. At this session we also had a handicapped ham requiring the attendance of 3 qualified VE’s who read the questions and answers, while he indicated his choice of responses.

Our sessions seem to be growing in attendance. I would like to take this time to thank all of the VE’s of Delta Club for making this such a wonderful team to work with.

Our next exam session will be just before the next meeting on March 11. Registration is at 5:30 with testing at 6:00. Remember to bring a COPY of you license along with a Copy of any CSCE relevant to this exam.

73 Joan KN4PM

E- Mail Us.............


Ben Troughton .................Vice



Bill Hancock.....................Dir. Of

David Pace.......................Dir. of

Suresh Kagoo..................Dir. of

Tim McNeill....................Dir. of Meetings & Special

Dom Desiderio................Past

Joan Thorne....................VE

VE Exams: Things to bring to the VE exam:

(1) Photo ID along with second form of identification (2) Original AND a PHOTOCOPY of your license (if you have a license) (3) Original AND a PHOTOCOPY of any CSCE (4) Calculator if needed (5) Pen and two (2) pencils (6) $6.00 testing fee There will be an additional charge of $1.00 if copies have to be made the night of the exam. Having the above listed items with you will facilitate all exam sessions. Please remember that it is necessary to have a copy of your license wherever you are transmitting - your car, in your wallet if on a H.T. - your radio shack. There should be no reason not to have a copy of your license available. Thank you for your co-operation.

73 Joan, KN4PM

Web Page Update

If you haven't checked out the DARC homepage on the Internet lately, you should do so. There is an entirely new look since the page was first developed and I'm making new changes frequently. When you log on, you can go to the bottom of the page to see when that last update was made. This doesn't reflect small changes on some of the other pages but major changes to the main page. One of the newest changes is that now you can read the SPARKS newsletter on line, maybe even before it hits your mailbox. The web version of SPARKS is an edited version that will not contain sensitive information about the club, like the treasurer's report and the meeting minutes, but all the articles and other things will be there. I hope to archive several of the past month's newsletters starting with Jan. 97 so if you loose your newsletter and would like to go back and look at past issues, they will be there. There is a current time link there that is compliments of the United States Naval Observatory's clock. The first time link is for local time but from there you may get UTC, Eastern, Mountain and Pacific times as well. I am also adding new links as I find them. I check out each page that we link to just to make sure that it is worth your time to go there. My goal is not to just have tons of links but to provide links to other quality sites that are amateur radio related. There is also a section for links to club member's personal homepages. If you have a web page and it's not already listed, we would like to provide a link to it. If you would like to have it listed you may call me on the phone or leave me e-mail from the page and I will add it to the page as soon as I get it. If anyone has any good sites that they think others would benefit from, please let me know that too. I am always open for suggestions, after all I'm not a professional web page creator and need all the help I can get. A few people have been nice enough to let me know when they see a problem with the pages. I really appreciate their input and will always try to make the corrections as soon as possible. After all this page puts our club in front of the world, and I want it to reflect a very positive image of the club.

73 Tommy, KD4TJO

Editor’s Corner

Well its time to send another Sparks to the printer. Its hard to believe its March already. Please remember to update any information on your birthdays, new calls, upgrades and address changes. Thanks to all for helping make my job so easy. Also thanks to Henry WD4Q, Delta Division, Vice Director, ARRL for his article this month. I hope to have something from him every month...hint hint Henry. I am asking all members to feel free to submit articles to me for publication in Sparks. Just remember the deadline for getting them to me......

David, KU4AS

SPARKS is published monthly by the Delta Amateur Radio Club and is mailed to club members and other interested parties. All information published in this newsletter is provided as a service. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the Delta Amateur Radio Club and its officers assume no liability resulting from errors or omissions. All correspondence may be mailed to:

Delta Amateur Radio Club P.O. Box 750482 Memphis, TN 38175-0482

President Tommy Thompson, KD4TJO 363-1198

Vice President Ben Troughton, KU4AW 372-8031

Secretary Kathy Troughton, KE4UYU 372-8031

Treasurer Dan Hoffman, N4VWM 685-6813

Director of Training Bill Hancock, WA4MJM 853-7192

Director of Publications David Pace, KU4AS 685-7483

Director of Programs Suresh Kagoo, N9GSA 744-6470

Director of Meetings and Special Events Tim McNeill, KF4DNA 452-2560

Repeater Trustee Tim Morrow, AB4NH 372-1764

Past President Dom Desiderio, AA5N 683-2753