Web Edition

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


I want to start this month’s article off by talking about the program that we had in April.  It was by far one of the most entertaining programs that we have had, and it was one of the best fund raising programs that I can remember.

For those of you that weren’t able to make it to the meeting, the April meeting was an “auction.”  Tom (K4TTA) Director of Programs was the auctioneer and for a man that doesn’t speak too fast to begin with, he was speaking mighty fast this evening.  I think Tom had some second thoughts about how well folks would respond to his auction, but when the night was over, I don’t think he was second-guessing anymore.  At the close of the evening a lot of equipment changed hands, some didn’t even know what it was they were bidding on, and Delta Club had a fundraiser that generated roughly $325.00.  That’s not too shabby for about 2-½ hours work.

As most of you know, back in October at the Memphis Hamfest someone decided that our tower trailer needed to be moved so they could park a little closer to the doors.  The result was a bent outrigger.  I’m happy to announce that through the efforts of Ed (KF4QFW) the damage has been repaired.  We were unable to straighten the existing outrigger because that would weaken it, so we decided to replace it entirely.  We have gotten the new outrigger but we now need to paint it.  Ed (KF4QFW) is working with our ever present painter, welder, trailer designer, Jim (KI4I) to get it primed and painted in time for our Special Event which occurs just prior to Field Day.  Many thanks to Ed and team for getting our tower trailer back into working order.

It looks like this year’s Field Day is going to set a standard that will be hard to beat.  Tom (K4TTA) has been hard at it ever since January getting station captains assigned, getting us a location to setup at, and a hoard of other tasks that are associated with being the Field Day Chairperson.  We’re going to be at Freeman Park
again this year but Tom was wise enough, after the Special Event station that we had at Bartlett Park, to arrange for us to setup by the gazebo.  For once, we’re going to have some shade from the sun.  Why we didn’t think of this in previous years is beyond me.  Now, if Tom can only get the National Weather Service to put in a request for nice sunny weather, we’ll be in fine shape.  I think you’re going to see Delta Amateur Radio Club make a significant jump in the standings this year.

At the last board meeting an idea was presented and we jumped on it.  It was suggested that we offer soft drinks at the meetings.  After some discussion is was decided that we will sell soft drinks for a $1.00 and if you want to keep your soft drink cold, you can buy the soft drink with a KanKooler for $2.50.  So, come
thirsty to the next club meeting cause we’ve now got something besides coffee to quench your thirst.

Once again Tommy (KD4TJO) has shown his unique ability to organize support for community service event.  On Saturday, April 23rd, members of Delta Amateur Radio Club once again provided communications support for the March of Dimes “WalkAmerica”.  I know that Tommy was up late Friday evening trying to work out the logistic because he thought he was going to be short two or three volunteers.  However, Saturday morning he had more than enough people out there.  I think this is my third year volunteering for this event and every year it proves just how valuable amateur radio can be.  I know of at least two instances where young children had lost their parents.  Thanks to the efforts of Melinda (KE4DXN), functioning as Net Control, both children were reunited with their parents.  It was a lot of fun to see the tear-stained cheeks of a child turn to an “ear-to-ear” grin when they saw their mother or father, and it was good to see a set of wrinkles disappear on the forehead of the parents.  Thanks Tommy for doing such a great job organizing this event and thanks to all of you that got up at “O-dawn thirty” to be down at the Fairgrounds so that we could provide the support that we have become known for.

Well, that’s it for another month.  I normally say I’ll see you at the meeting but unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the May meeting.  I have to have some “out patient” surgery and it’s scheduled for the same day, May 11th.  Although I will be home, I know that I won’t be in any condition to attend the meeting.  Kurt
(KU4NH) will be conducting the May meeting so all is, like they say with Allstate Insurance, “in good hands!”  This means that I’ll have to say, “I’ll see you at the June meeting.”


Ben, KU4AW

From The Vice President


Things are actually looking "greener" on the fund raising front this month.  Besides having fun at the April auction, it looks like we will clear around $300 for the Club.  Also, cash donations like that from John White and the folks at the weather service have been extremely helpful.  Hopefully, we will start listing in the
Sparks on a monthly basis all the names of people that have contributed cash that month (the amounts will not be printed).  Also, our status as a charitable organization seems to be paying off by helping to obtain some sizable equipment donations that we should be able to use ourselves or be able to sell for cash.  I would like to encourage everyone to keep their eyes open for any such opportunity--people love to give to charitable organizations since they can deduct their donation on their taxes.  Try asking for a donation-- you will be surprised how easy it is to get one!  I will be happy to ask at your place of business if you provide me the name of a person there for me to contact.

We have a number of other projects that are either being initiated or that I need help in determining if they would be worth our effort to pursue:

1) A jar will be placed at the front check-in desk at meetings for donations.  Please drop in any spare change or dollars you can--it adds up quickly.

2) We will be selling cold soft drinks at the meeting for $1, or $2.50 with a can cooler.

3) I have had a number of people ask about a garage sale.  Please let me know if you are interested, and we will decide if it is worthwhile.

4) Since the auction was such a great success, we have been discussing the possibility of putting on an area wide auction in the fall on a Saturday or Sunday.  Please let me know if you think this is feasible.

As you can see, we seem to be gaining some momentum raising money.  We need to be aggressive in raising funds to facilitate the repeater move and repair.  There may be a number of unplanned expenses that we would love to have cash on hand, just in case.  Please e-mail me with any ideas or suggestions.  To date, I
have only received one name of a contact person to send donation letters.  My new e-mail address is

Kurt, KU4NH

Director of Training

Don't forget to give Tom, K4TTA, a call ( and let him know you'll be at the Delta Club's Special Event Station on June 12th.  Our event is part of the Navy Family Appreciation Day at the Navy Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, TN.  This will be a great way to get in some last minute training and prepare for Field Day.  Hopefully, it will iron out some of the Murphy's Law problems too.

Be sure to check in to the Delta Net on 146.82 at 8PM each weeknight except for the second Tuesday of the month, our meeting night.  You never know when an emergency will cause you to draw upon your communications skills learned through checking into the net.  Listen for news about upcoming club events to be announced before check-in starts.  Stop by and check out a fine bunch of your fellow Hams.

Please let me know what training classed you want and what classes you would like to teach.

Dick Cookenham, K3ORS

MAY 11

7365 HWY. 70



Channel 3 Storm Team's Austen Onek talks Weather

VE Corner

Finally today Tuesday April 27th the testing session of April 13th was posted.

Congratulations to:

Michael Gerard, KG4CZG Tech
Lionel Thornly, KG4CZJ General
Nicholson Perkins Jr., KG4CZI Tech
Joseph Tamboli, KG4CXH Tech

Please note the extended processing period needed by the FCC.  This is why it is VERY IMPORTANT that you bring a COPY of your LICENSE or any CSCE with you.  I have 10 days from the testing period to when I must send in the results of the session.  If you do not bring the needed materials with you it delays the
processing especially for those getting their first license.  I try to FedEx the next day and still have a two-week waiting period.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.


Joan KN4PM
ARRL VE Liaison


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.

Program Notes

I hope everybody has had a chance to try out the auction purchases and I want to thank everybody who brought and/or bought something.  There were a couple of people who did not get their money for items that were sold.  If this is YOU, please get in touch with KU4AW, K9DM, KU4NH or K4TTA by the May meeting so we can close the books.  Looks like Delta Club profited by about $300.    Again, THANKS EVERYBODY!

Our May program will feature Austin Onek from the News Channel 3 Storm Team.  This guy has done some "for real" storm chasing and has quite an interesting background, in addition to a wealth of experience. In talking with him about the program, Austin said that he has had an interest in amateur radio for some time,
so lets make sure to make him feel especially welcome.   We can always use a new member!

Tom, K4TTA

Secretary's Report

If you missed April's membership meeting, you missed a good one.  The bidding went fast and furious, and everyone had a great time.  Everyone came out a winner at the auction that evening.

A new member, Bobby Jamerson, KG4CMA brought a HUGE cake (thanks Mom) and Regina Graham, KF4IGS, brought two Brownie Pizzas for our refreshments.   And thanks to Kathleen White, KD4LGL, who I lassoed into selling tickets for the November Meeting.  I really appreciated that.

A number of hams renewed their memberships in DARC: John Hodge, KC6WXA, Daniel Porter, N4DWG, John White, KE4WEV, Rick Bonds, KE4NTI, David Chipman, KF4GLM, and his wife Carol, KF4KYR, Dan Fleek, N9PNA, Freddy Bratton, KF4ZGJ, and his son Keith, KD5ESS, Jim Cissell, KI4I, his wife Ann,
WB4FAA, and his son Ben, KC4VRS.  Bob, KF4ZFQ, Shaeffer's wife, Diane, just got her call, KG4CAK.

Congratulations.  We have 4 new members to greet on the air: Bill Moninger, AA0BA, Daniel Johnson, KC5YWJ, Jim Hutchison, N4SSE, and his wife Dawn, KE4FKT.

Hope to see all y'all next month.

Kathy, KE4UYU


Many Amateurs are looking for ways to increase their CW speed for license upgrade. Delta Club has had a CW net which meets nightly at 7:30 P.M. for CW practice.  MFJ has started to market a CW adapter for Handie Talkies.  This adapter plugs into the Microphone and speaker jacks on the HT. The unit creates a
tone, which is heard when you key your morse code key. It also sends this tone on the air via the microphone jack on the HT. When receiving the audio from the HT is connected to the MFJ speaker in the unit. The unit also keys the HT whenever you start to send CW. The unit has hookup cables available for all popular HTs.
It has a retail price of under $60.00. If you are looking for a first class way to get on FM CW with your HT, check out this one from MFJ.

James Butler


Many of us work on our own equipment. It is always a challenge to keep enough of the right tools for all problems. Sometimes we can make a small tool for a job. It saves money and time if we can do this. This month's project is the PARTS HOOK TOOL. It will allow you to get into small spaces and hook parts that need to be removed. It is also useful when replacing parts to get them into position before installing. This tool is very useful in changing out belts. The tool is easily made with a pen handle and a paper clip. The tip can be made longer or the shape changed to suit you need on a particular job. Old pen handles can be used to make lots of different tools for working on electronics. The PARTS HOOK TOOL is easy to build and makes a good addition to your toolbox.

I will have the PARTS HOOK TOOL at the meeting to show and answer questions on along with some other tools made from old pen handles.

James Butler

Public Service

On April 24, we had a very successful public service event to help the March of Dimes coordinate the 1999 WalkAmerica.  This is a fundraising event to help save babies from birth defects.  I was up quite late trying to figure out how we were going to cover all the areas of the event.  No matter how I set up the assignments,
we were still going to be three people short.

Arriving at the Fairgrounds at about 5:45am and with only about 2 hours sleep, we found out that they were only going to have 5 pickup buses instead of 10.  That meant that instead of being 3 people short, we were two people ahead.  Considering we had two people not show up and one that came to help that we didn't
know about we had just enough people.  After getting some of the amateurs set up with the folks mapping out the route with cones and barricades, we began the job of putting the net control station on the air.  With the assistance of Tom, K4TTA and Michael, KG4BVK we managed to get coax run outside the Mid-South Fair
office and get a j-pole up on about 20ft. of pipe.  Running a mobile rig on a deep cycle battery, Melinda, KE4DXN fired up the net control station.  This arrangement worked much better than last year when we used a mag-mount stuck to the office ceiling grid.  The 443.2 repeater was used for the event with the remote base tuned to a frequency of 146.48 simplex for those without 70cm Hande talkies.  The repeater system performed flawlessly all morning and I would like to thank the club for letting us use the repeater for the Walk.

For over 10 years, the amateur radio operators of Memphis, most of whom have been Delta Club members, have provided communications for the March of Dimes on the day of the event.  On behalf of David Silberman, Walk Chairman, Laura Jackson, Division Director of the MOD Memphis Chapter and the entire WalkAmerica committee, I would like to thank the following amateurs that gave up their Saturday morning to help with this very worthy cause.

David, KU4AS
Sylvia, KE4WOT
John, KF4IRX
David, KD4NOQ
Dan, N9PNA
Charlie, KE4NTM
Kathy, KE4UYU
Ben, KU4AW
Robert, KE4HFH
Jim, N4OXY
Jimmy, KE4HFI
Tom, K4TTA
Barbara, KE4BUU
Bill, KC4SXT
Wendy, KC5YIX
Mike, KG4BVK
Virgil, W4FLD
Suresh, N9GSA
Tim, AB4NH
Melinda, KE4DXN

A special thanks to Sylvia Greene, KE4WOT who not only was a "shadow" for one of the committee members on Walk Day, but she was a great help to me in contacting volunteers to help with our mission.  Sylvia was drafted to serve on the Ham Radio Communications sub-committee (which consisted of Sylvia
and myself.) when the committee found out that she also was an amateur operator.

And now for the next project!  Coming up soon is the Memphis in May Triathalon on May 23rd at Edmund Orgil Park, just North of the old Navy base in Millington.  A very interesting event, the MIM Triathalon is an official qualifying event for the Ironman Triathalon World Championship Race later this year in Kona,
Hawaii.  This is also an early morning event, requiring our volunteers to be at the park by 7 am.  The event starts at 7:30 am with a .93 mile swim then immediately to the bikes for a 24.8 mile bike ride and finishes up with a 6.2 mile run.  If you don't want to volunteer for communications, maybe you'd like to enter the race
and we'll all cheer for you as you go by.

This project only requires about 8-10 amateurs compared to the 24 that we had for MOD.  To prevent another sleepless night before the race, please let me know if you can help with this event soon.  I already have 2 or 3 people that have already volunteered and I will have a sign-up sheet at the May meeting.  I encourage all newly licensed hams who have not worked a public service event to consider volunteering for this one or one of the other events coming up later in the year.  Public service is one of my favorite parts of amateur radio and while it's not for everyone, like the old saying goes…don't knock it until you've tried it.  We have a lot of fun, hone our skills for any emergency that may strike our area and you almost always get a commemorative T-shirt for working the event.

See you at the meeting…

73 de Tommy, KD4TJO


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


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

Fists CW Club Spring Sprint
1700-2200Z May 8
Exchange name, state/province/DXCC country and Fists number if member or power output if nonmember.

Indiana QSO Party
1400Z May 8 to 2300Z May 9
Exchange signal report and county for Indiana stations, signal report and state or county for others.

EU Spring Sprint
1500-1900Z May 15 - CW Only
Work EU stations only. 80, 40 and 20 meters.  Send your call sign, other station's call sign, serial number and
name or nickname.

Memorial Day CW Sprint
2300Z May 31 until 0300Z June 1
CW only, 160 80 40 20 15 10 6 meters

For more information on current contests please refer to the ARRL website at:

Other Important Contacts

                 Field Day Chairman                                            VE Liaison                                      Membership Chairpersons
              Tom Richardson, K4TTA                                       Joan Thorne, KN4PM                     Ben Barth, KF4GNC
                 386-6268                                                              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

Tim Morrow...........................................................…Repeater Trustee