Web Edition

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


It really does not seem all that long ago that I wrote my first President’s Page article for  SPARKS.  It has been a most eventful and interesting year.  Now we, as a club, are preparing for 2002.  Our club’s nominating committee announced the proposed slate of officers for next year at the October meeting and I was most pleased to see a whole cadre of new faces as the proposed Board of directors for the upcoming year.  I was especially pleased to see two of our youngest members “step up to the plate” and seek election to two of the most difficult jobs on our Board of Directors.  This is an example we “old timers” could well emulate.  In the
three years that I have had the privilege of serving on the Delta Club Board, the Board has enjoyed considerable continuity from the standpoint of seeing essentially the same folks at the Board meetings.  These folks richly deserve our thanks for the service they have given the club over the years and I would imagine that they, like me, are eagerly looking forward to the “changing of the guard.”

Another “changing of the guard” is occurring within the ARRL system.  O.D. Keaton, WA4GLS, who has served as Section Communication Manager for the Tennessee Section for a number of years is not seeking re-election this year.  Terry Cox (KB4KA), DARC Vice-President, is a candidate for this office.  I strongly urge all DARC members who also are ARRL members to exercise your right to vote and send in your ballot when you receive it from ARRL.  The deadline for ballot submission is AFTER our November Membership meeting, so expect another reminder at the meeting!

The annual Christmas party will be December 13th at 7:00 pm at the Macaroni Grill at Wolfchase.  It will be, as usual, dutch treat and ordering from the menu.  We need to let their management know how many to expect about 2 weeks prior to the event.  Freddy, KF4ZGJ, our Director of Training has agreed to coordinate this event, so RSVP to Freddy or myself with regard to your attendance.

In addition to the election of new officers, the November Membership meeting is our traditional prize drawing night.  We need to sell LOTS of tickets at the November meeting as the prizes are a “self-supporting” activity within the DARC budget.  Want to give a ham friend and DARC member an early Christmas present…how about some tickets for the drawing!

Thanks to the several folks who provided feedback about the QUAGI program.  The plans for the 2 meter version are in this newsletter and if there is sufficient interest, we’ll have a QUAGI party one Saturday morning.  Get in touch with KB4KA or me if you’re interested.

de K4TTA

IARU Administrative Council Calls for End to Morse Requirement.

Saying that it was ''setting aside any previous relevant decisions,'' the International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council this week resolved that IARU policy supports ''the removal of Morse code testing as an ITU requirement for an amateur license to operate on frequencies below 30 MHz.'' The Council further resolved to urge member societies--as an interim measure--to seek Morse code testing speeds ''not exceeding five words per minute.'' The resolution was adopted during the IARU Administrative Council meeting October 6-8 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which followed the 14th General Assembly of IARU Region 2. The
Council's Morse resolution took into consideration the approval--without opposition--of ITU-R Recommendation M.1544. That document sets out the minimum qualifications of radio amateurs. The Council also said it recognizes that Morse code ''continues to be an effective and efficient mode of communication used by many thousands of radio amateurs'' but that Morse code proficiency as requirement for an HF amateur license ''is no longer relevant to the healthy future of Amateur Radio.''

The principal business at the Administrative Council session was to review the status of IARU preparations for WRC-2003. Agenda items of concern to amateurs include, among others, the harmonization of amateur and broadcasting allocations near 7 MHz, the adequacy of HF broadcasting allocations below 10 MHz, and possible revisions to Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations. Among other things, Article S25 spells out Amateur Radio operator qualifications. It now provides that Amateur Radio license applicants demonstrate the ability ''to send correctly by hand and to receive correctly by ear, texts in Morse code signals'' for
operation below 30 MHz. The IARU Administrative Council supports the revision of Article S25 and the incorporation by reference of Recommendation M.1544.

The IARU Council selected the theme of the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2002, as ''Amateur Radio: Continuing Innovation in Communication Technology.''

Submitted by Joan KN4PM


It is not often that we get to combine a GREAT DINNER with a VE testing session. October 9th was the evening that gave us great spaghetti dinner with the fixings. The VE team of the evening was Arlene AA5GX, John WV5J, Frank KA4SJM, and Paul WM5Q.  It was so good to have John back again. His work and broken bones have kept him from being able to attend. Paul, even with all of his medical problems, was there as usual to liven up the evening. A piece of paper and pencil seemed to come in very handy to keep peace, quiet and calm throughout the session.  We had 4 candidates that evening taking 4 elements.

Congratulations to:

David Todd KG4PRD Technician
George Wood KG4BZZ Extra

Remember that next month - NOVEMBER - there is NO TESTING SESSION due to the club elections and attendance awards.

A big thank you to all of the VE Team members who have helped to make this year such a big success.

Joan KN4PM
ARRL VE Liaison

Saturday, 9/29/01
Starkville, MS
By Steve Greer, N4SG

The 2001 Mississippi ARRL Day in the Park was sponsored by MFJ Enterprises. I had heard of this event and found details on the MFJ web page. The location was McKee Park in Starkville, MS. A special event  station using club callsign K5MFJ was operating on HF and VHF commemorating MFJ's upcoming 30th anniversary. The station consisted of four operating positions located under a large pavilion. Various antennas were mounted around the site with a few hung from some of the many trees available at the park.  The weather was just about perfect with the mild autumn temperatures and clear blue sky, which I’m sure, helped bring out the approximate 200 folks attending the activity. To bad we can’t order similar weather for Field Day one year!

My visit began with registering at the welcome table in the pavilion. There I was given my ‘goodie’ bag which consisted of the latest catalogs from the various MFJ companies and a nice coffee cup. Another table with the ARRL banner over it had a layout of various forms and information. Welcoming all with a friendly handshake and smile was Mr. Martin F. Jue who is founder and president of MFJ. I joined the many others who were saying hello to Martin and I congratulated him on his company nearing its 30th anniversary. I observed how so many folks knew Mr. Jue and likewise how he seems to remember all of them. I had brought with me a Dixiefest 2002 VHS promo tape for Mr. Jue of which he was appreciative. He said he would play it for his employees.

MFJ was offering tours of their four buildings and I was able to see the main MFJ facility and the next door Hy-Gain operation. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the Ameritron location nor what’s called MFJ Blue which I believe was the original building (an old skating rink). The main facility had the typical offices and lab space along with their service center, domestic and international shipping departments and a spacious manufacturing area. The manufacturing area was where the MFJ, Mirage and Vectronics products were assembled. The room was large enough to hold six rows of work tables with each row consisting of seven tables back to back (14 total per row). Other rooms held their automated PC board stuffing machines, the solder flow machine, a coil winding setup and their stockroom. The facility was clean and well organized. The ‘kiss’ principle was apparently at work to help maintain an efficient operation. Questions were welcomed with many being asked and responded to with well informed answers. In the parking lot was a small tailgate hamfest party that consisted of about a dozen locations as part of the ARRL day activities. No one seemed to be able to pass up checking out the wares either before or after taking the tours.

Located just a short walk down a well-traveled roadside path was the Hy-Gain facility. A small wooded area separated the building from the main MFJ operations. The building was about the same size as MFJ and housed the manufacturing setups for the Hy-Gain antennas and rotors. They also produce the MFJ antennas. Like MFJ, their well-laid out floor space was clean and efficient. I was able to see how the rotors were assembled which included the making of their own motors. Several test benches were in place for doing the many checks during and after assembly. Various table groups were dedicated to particular products including the antenna trap section. This area had a neat test bench for tuning HF antenna traps. Behind this front section of the building were two high bay areas with the first setup for aluminum tubing and antenna component stock, a tube swaging machine along with a packaging section. The other area appeared to hold stock material and a large press with its many dies for forming the various brackets used to assemble the Hy-Gain antennas. On one side of the building were several of their antennas for display and I suspect testing. The conversation piece was their 53 foot tall 80 through 10 meter HF vertical antenna which has a ‘tower’ like bottom section. Robust
was the first thing that came to mind.  Although it’s not a HF beam it would be very interesting to check it out.

After I finished my tour I drove the half-mile back to McKee Park. MFJ was offering a free lunch but I only had a soft drink. Early that morning I had pigged out at breakfast with my son who is a Sophomore at MSU.  Some rag chewing was in order that included Alex, KE4GYR and Jim, WD8JAO along with a few other hams I saw from the Memphis area. Before long it was time for the prize drawings. Some general comments and acknowledgements were made by the organizers concluding with a nice speech from the Mayor of Starkville. The Mayor also read a proclamation declaring that date as Amateur Radio day for Starkville, MS. Of course, with the group present it was well received. Several of the MFJ folks gave thanks for attending and showing interest in their products. Many prizes were given away with the big prize being an Ameritron HF amplifier. Those not winning a prize were given a small MFJ clock so no one would have gone home empty handed. It was a good time, good weather and good company. A little extra item was the solar powered racecar that was on display from the Houston Vocational School, Houston, Ms. This car was sponsored in part by Mississippi State University and recently won the Winston Solar Challenge.

73 de N4SG, Steve
(Editor's Note: The mailed copy of SPARKS contains photographs taken by Steve of this event.  Thanks Steve!)

To all Delta Club Members and Friends

I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for your friendship and your help and I want you to know that the Delta Club has been a top notch group of people that I am going to miss. As you may have been hearing, I have accepted a job in the Dallas, Texas area and I will be leaving Memphis. I will be returning on occasion to visit my family during the holidays so I will pop in and out now and then, but as of Sept. 17th, I will have started work here in Texas and I will not be around much. These last few years have been really great and you all are wonderful. As you may have heard, Payless Cashways filed for Chapter 11 back in June and I had been laid off twice this year. Recently, Payless fell even further behind and has decided to close its doors forever and The Memphis area job market is bleak to say the least. After many resumes and interviews and the lack of response from possible employers, I went to an interview in Plano, Texas and I was offered a fantastic opportunity to work for the Plano School District. I have accepted the offer and my first week of work here has been very exciting and rewarding. I will be looking forward to my occasional visits back to Memphis and I will miss you all very much. I would like to say a special thanks to Steve Byrd, KG4KCW, and Ned Savage, KA4BLL, for coming out and assisting me in taking down my tower. I would also like to thank Bobby Jamerson for all of his help in
the OWSST program and also to those who sacrificed their Saturday mornings to go out with us and test the Tornado Sirens. I do hope that all of you will continue to assist him and Steve as they carry out the needs of this program. It has been very rewarding to the community of Memphis and Shelby County and it is due mainly to dedicated Hams from The Delta Club and Memphis/ Shelby County RACES-ARES. Another special thanks to Tommy Thompson KD4TJO, for the use of the web site and also to the Delta Club Board Members for allowing us to carry out this program on the W4BS Repeater System. As of September 17th, Bobby will
become the new OWSST Coordinator and Steve Byrd, KG4KCW will be the new Assistant Coordinator. Thanks again to all of you and I hope that maybe one day, I will get to work you guys as a DX contact on HF. I am keeping my call sign as a "4" call so listen up. I would also like to offer my condolences and prayers to those of you who may have suffered the loss of a loved one in the recent terrorist attacks on our country.

God Bless You All and God Bless America!

73, Robin McConnell KE4GPR
Plano, Texas


If you've been a ham for enough years, you will remember the "Hamfest Special" that Delta Club would offer in October each year.  There used to be a hamfest each October and Delta Club would use the occasion to initiate its Membership Drive for the coming year. The way it worked was, if you were a new ham to the club or if you had let your membership lapse, you would get the coming year's membership as well as the remaining months of the present year thrown in for free when you paid your dues before the first of the year.

Well, that hamfest doesn't exist anymore, and the area's major hamfest, DixieFest, is in February.  But we still want to offer you a real incentive, if your membership has lapsed, or if you are new to the hobby, to join the largest club in the area, have access to at least four repeaters that have incredible coverage of the MidSouth area, and receive a monthly newsletter that in the past has received national commendations for its content, format, and style.  This is going to be called the "October Special" from now on.

Well, this is wonderful, you say, but if your membership has lapsed, or if you're a new ham, you're not reading this, are you?  And what about us folks who are reading this because we do renew each year?

This is where everybody wins.

If you, as a current paid-up member of Delta Club in 2001, get someone, who ISN'T a current paid-up member of Delta Club in 2001, to pay full membership in Delta Club for 2002, you will be awarded one (1) free speed dial for the year. You, of course, need to renew your membership in order to get the speed dial, and only one speed dial will be awarded per member's household.

We all know hams who have let the membership slide a year or two, and maybe some new amateurs who just need a little incentive to join a club.  Show them this newsletter.  Offer to bring them to a meeting, so they don't feel like a stranger.

This offer is good for all year.  SO DON'T PAY YOUR DUES ALONE.  BRING A FRIEND.

Kathy Troughton, KE4UYU

Board of Directors Nominations For 2002

The Nomination Committee appointed by Delta Club President Tom Richardson presented the following slate
of officers for 2002:

President: Lance Morris, N4GMT
Vice President: Steve Byrd, KG4KCW
Secretary: Michelle Cline, KG4IZZ
Treasurer: Frank McDowell, KA4SJM
Director of Training: Ed Norris, KD5IEI
Director of Publications: Paul Lemieux, III, KG4GYV
Director of Meetings & Special Events: Barry Anderson, WA4MFF
Director of Programs: Nina Stone, WB4CHH

Many thanks to the members above who agreed to put their name on the ballot.

Please keep in mind that nominations can still be made from the floor.  The criteria one needs to meet in order to become eligible for consideration is:  1) member in good standing in Delta Amateur Radio Club, 2) a licensed amateur radio operator, 3) attended 50% of the last twelve (12) membership meetings, and 4) must
be willing to serve in a Board of Director capacity.  In addition, if you wish to nominate someone, please be sure that you have talked to the potential candidate and gotten their approval to be nominated.

Many thanks to the three member Nomination Committee, Bill Hancock, WA4MJM, Bill Covington, KC4SXT, and Ned Savage, KA4BLL.

Ben Troughton, KU4AW
Delta Amateur Radio Club

(Editor's Note: The mailed copy of SPARKS contains a picture of the 2002 Slate as well as a few photos of the Spaghetti Dinner at the October Membership meeting.  Thanks to Terry Cox, KB4KA, for providing the photos.)


I was going through an old QST magazine and noticed all the manufacturers of TNCs for Packet and other modes. These units are real workhorses and will do fine for Packet along with other modes some of the units support. Units I saw include MFJ, Kantronics, AEA, Baycom, HAL, and Procomm. These manufacturers made some really nice TNCs. These are now showing up on the used market at Hamfests and the used shelf at stores. Straight TNCs for $25.00 and Multimode units for $60 to $100.00 represent bargains for getting into the digital modes of amateur radio. These units also allow the use of older less powerful computers to
keep costs down. Keep an eye out for one of these units if you want to get into digital modes or just need an extra TNC for the house.

James Butler


Lighting in the radio shack is one of the tough things to get right. Too much light in the wrong place and you get glare and hard to read radio displays. Too little lighting gives great radio displays but makes it hard to read and write. This month's project is the LIGHT CONTROLLER. It will allow you to adjust the brightness
of your light bulbs to suit your needs in the radio room. I used a small shelf mounted light for the project along with a standard light dimmer module available at the hardware store for about $6.00. The LIGHT CONTROLLER was quick to build and comes in handy mounted above the radios. Being able to adjust the
brightness to the level needed is a real plus.

I will have the LIGHT CONTROLLER at the meeting to show and answer questions on for those who wish to build up their own units.

James Butler


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

Worked All Europe Contest, RTTY, from 0000Z Nov 10 to 2400Z Nov 11.

Japan International DX Contest, phone. sponsored by Five Nine magazine, from 2300Z Nov 9 until 2300Z Nov 11.

OK/OM DX Contest, 0000Z Nov 10 to 2400Z Nov 11, CW and SSB, 160 80 40 20 15 10 meters;

ARRL November Sweepstakes, Phone. See October QST, page 114.

North American Collegiate ARC Championship, phone, 2100Z Nov 17 to 0300Z Nov 19;

LZ DX Contest, CW only. Sponsored by the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs, 1200Z Nov 17 to 2100Z Nov 18, 80 40 20 15 10 meters;

CQ WW DX Contest, CW. See October QST, p 113. PLEASE NOTE: CQ asks contesters to email all logs.

W1AW Qualifying Runs are 9 AM EST Thursday, November 1, and 7 PM EST Friday, November 16. The K6YR West Coast Qualifying Run will be at 9 PM PST November 7. Check the W1AW schedule for details.


Arlington Heights, IL: Armored Force AR Net, KA9NLX, 1500Z Nov 9 to 2000Z Nov 11, to honor all veterans and to remember those who have died. 7.283 7.030 14.325 21.375. Certificate. John Paskevicz, 1423 North Ridge Ave, Arlington Hts, IL 60004.

Brainerd, MN: Brainerd Area Amateur Radio Club, WØUJ, 1500Z to 2300Z Nov 10, Brainerd MN--Paul Bunyan's home town. 28.450 21.350 14.250 50.125. Certificate. BAARC, PO Box 801, Brainerd, MN 56401.

Arcadia, FL: DeSoto Co Amateur Radio Club, W4MIN, 1500Z to 2100Z Nov 10, Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit's visit to Arcadia. 14.265. Certificate. Vern Erickson, PO Box 1401, Nocatee, FL 34268.

Whitefish Point, MI: Stu Rockafellow Amateur Radio Society, N8F, 1400Z Nov 10 to 2000Z Nov 11, operating from the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum commemorating the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, 7.270 14.270 21.270 28.370. Certificate. John Ebejer, K8DSL, 15855 Winchester Dr, Northville, MI 48167.

Colorado Springs, CO: Rocky Mountain Navy Amateur Radio Club, KØUSN, 1400Z to 2300Z Nov 11, Veteran's Day operation honoring our service men and women. 14.275 50.150. Certificate.  Mike Anderson, WV7T, CPO, USN, Ret, 2815 Main St, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.

Hackensack, NJ: 10-70 Repeater Association, NX2ND, 1400Z to 2230Z Nov 11, USS Ling SS297 Veterans Day, anniversary of NX2ND. 14.260 7.260 14.070 7.039. Certificate. William Stagg, 38 Rutgers Dr, Oakland, NJ 07436.

Gold Rock Ranch--Glamis, CA: Yuma ARC, K7YA, 1500Z Nov 23 to 0100Z Nov 24, Camp Fire Boys & Girls Fund Raiser. 7.248 14.250 21.350 28.375. Certificate. Yuma ARC--K7YA, 13329 E 47 St, Yuma, AZ 85367.

Plymouth, MA: Whitman Amateur Radio Club, WA1NPO, 1400Z Nov 24 to 0100Z Nov 25, the first Pilgrim Landings at Plymouth, Massachusetts. 3.890 7.250 14.260 28.360. Certificate.  Whitman ARC, PO Box 48, Whitman, MA 02382.

Goodland, KS: National Weather Service, NØA, 0000Z Nov 30 to 2400Z Dec 2, National Weather Service / ARRL SKYWARN Recognition Day. 7.250 14.280 21.350 28.480. Certificate.  National Weather Service, 920 Armory Rd, Goodland, KS 67735.

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


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)

KB4KA (Extra) Terry Cox 854-4191 (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16)

W5CHR (Extra) Mike Lucas 794-5862 (1,17)

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
15. PSK31
16. Computer Logging
17. Mobile Operation

November 13,  2001

7365 HWY. 70



This month's  program will be
Officers Election, Awards Presentation, Prize Drawings


Don't forget the monthly Volunteer Examiner testing session (Not This Month). 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

147.36 tone = 107.2

224.42 1.25 m reptr

443.20 patch, 107.2

145.03 packet / bbs
(off the air after a direct lightning strike)

Other Important Contacts

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

SPARKS is published online 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

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