Web Edition

SPARKS P.O. BOX 750482 MEMPHIS, TN 38175-0482 / VOL. 12 / NOVEMBER, 1998

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


Most of you are aware of the problems that we have been experiencing with the 146.82 repeater over the last month and a half. There is a tremendous amount of interference getting in and it is disrupting everyone's ability to communicate when they attempt to use the repeater. At the October Delta Club meeting I discussed this with those in attendance and mentioned that we were going to put a PL tone on the repeater for a short period of time, approximately a week, and then remove it. Once the time period is determined we will announce the beginning and ending dates on the Traffic and Information Net.

At the October Board Meeting this topic was discussed in detail and many suggestions on how to address this problem were voiced by various members of the board. Our Repeater Trustee, Tim Morrow (AB4NH) indicated that he felt we might have a mixing problem at the transmitter, and suggested that we consider turning off the transmitter for a short period of time when the interference was occurring. He explained that if the problem were in the transmitter, turning it off during the interference would eliminate the problem immediately. This action could be performed from home by telephone, thus eliminating the need for anyone to be at the repeater site. Unfortunately, neither Tim or Tommy Thompson (KD4TJO) has been able to take the repeater transmitter down during the interference because it is not lasting long enough for them to complete the telephone call and enter the control code.

Therefore, another plan has to be developed to perform this test and Tim and Tommy are working on the details. Until we accomplish this test, no PL tone will be activated. We want to try and identify the problem cause with as little impact to the membership and user community as possible. We will keep you informed of our progress on the Traffic and Information Net as well as at the monthly meetings.

During this year's MEMFest, our tower trailer sustained some damage due to an inconsiderate driver/vendor. On Sunday afternoon, October 11th, it was brought to my attention that one of the outriggers had been hit by a vehicle and bent nearly 45 degrees. Upon checking the trailer we noticed that indeed the outrigger had been bent and that the trailer, with tower extended to approximately 35 feet, had been moved by the impact nearly 10 to 12 inches. Unfortunately, this was a hit-and-run incident and the driver was no where to be found. We did have what we thought was a solid lead but without actually seeing the vehicle, we had no concrete evidence.

The extent of the damages is a bent outrigger that will have to be replaced, and a bent tongue wheel assembly. We will most likely be able to save the tongue wheel assembly but not the outrigger. If we attempted to straighten the outrigger the integrity of the steel channel would be compromised and we would have an unsafe piece of equipment.

Although this was an unfortunate incident it demonstrated several unique characteristics of Delta Club members. Before the day was out, I had received several offers to assist with the repairs needed to make our tower trailer once again a safe piece of amateur equipment. Robert Green (KE4HFH), Jim Cissell (KI4I), and Ed Trammel (KF4QFW) have volunteered to work together to repair the trailer. If you have an interest is offering your services to this team, give any one of them a call, I'm sure they would accept your offer.

At the October meeting, a list of nominees was presented by the Nominating Committee. In addition, requests for nominations from the floor were made. At our November meeting, we will once again introduce the nominees and will ask for nominations from the floor.

I urge any member who has a desire to run for one of the offices and meets the criteria of: 1) being a member of Delta Amateur Radio Club, 2) holds a valid amateur license, and 3) has attended at least 6 meetings since November 1997, to do so. If you have someone you'd like to nominate for one of the offices, be sure that you ask the individual first before making the nomination.

Once the call for nominations from the floor has been made three times at the November meeting, the nominations will be closed and the vote will be taken. I again say, if you have any desire whatsoever to run for one of the seven board positions, make your wishes known to another member. If you neglect to make your wishes known that you want to be nominated for an office, you will have to wait another year before having this opportunity to present itself again. And, if this does occur, the club could loose the chance to have one of the best board members to ever reside on the Board of Directors, and you will be disappointed.

The November meeting is usually the most attended meeting of the year. As in past years, we will have a variety of prizes that you can win if your ticket is pulled. A team of three members of the board will be getting together to select the prizes for this year. Of course everyone is hoping that his or her ticket will be pulled for the big prize, the "Cool Blue" dual band Kenwood mobile radio.

In the past, like last year, we announced that we would have over $1,500 in prizes to be given away. This year, however, the Board of Directors decided to reduce this figure to $1,000. We felt that we needed to be a little more prudent with our expenditures in light of the future of the 146.82 repeater. With its relocation a reality, and the need to replace equipment, we felt that we should attempt to conserve funds as best we can in order to cover whatever expenses we incur with the relocation process.

This was a very hard decision for the board to make, but I feel very strongly that they are taking the right action, and looking out for the best interest of Delta Club.

Although this is just November, Christmas activities are underway for many organizations and Delta Club is one of those. Last year we waited till it was almost too late to get a location for our annual Christmas "get-together." This year, Pam Christensen (KF4NDD) started planning this event back in March. In that time she has found a caterer who will provide an excellent Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, and she has arranged to have our "get-together" at the same place we meet each month, Ellendale Church of Christ. The date for the dinner is Thursday, December 17th.

Included in this issue of SPARKS is a copy of a flier that Pam designed and distributed at the October meeting. It gives details about the menu, the cost of the meal, the time, and the location. I urge you to take a second and read it and them mark your calendar. I think that this will be one of the best Christmas "get-togethers" we have ever had in Delta Club.

If you are interested in assisting several other members in the club decorate the meeting room at the church, please give Pam a call at 937-3250, or Kathy a call at 372-8031. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

Well, that's it for me for this month. I look forward to seeing you at the November meeting. Remember that there will be no VE testing in November due to the election of officers and the awards program. So save your money, come to the November meeting and buy some extra tickets, and you might go home with a brand new Kenwood "Cool Blue" dual band radio......


Ben, KU4AW

Secretary’s Report

It's November!!! VOTE in your new Board of Directors, TOTE away all the great prizes you'll be winning, and TOTALLY enjoy the incredible goodies that everyone brings to the November meeting. This is the one month we see more members than any other month, and it's a great way to mix business with pleasure. So please join us, put in your two cents' worth by voting, and take home more than your two cent's worth in prizes and camaraderie. I'll see you there.

The Memphis Hamfest is the start of our annual drive to renew memberships and I am happy to report that between the Hamfest, the October DARC meeting and the mail-ins, we recorded 12 new applicants and 25 renewals. If this rush of enthusiasm continues, 1999 is going to be one heck of a year and I for one wouldn't want to miss a day of it.

When you have the radio turned on, please offer a friendly hello to the following new members: Roscoe Bellows, KF4QLM, Tony Brignole, WA4KHN, and his wife Mary, KA4OAW, Richard Fuoco, KD5CMQ, John Pullen, N4JBA, Jim Webb, KN4CD, and his wife Donna, KC4MHG, Jere Hofstetter, KU4LO, Tom Wenzler, Sr, WA4BKL, and his son Thomas, KE4SFP, Jerry Pardue, WA4YNC, Jim Jongewaard, KG4ADF, Mike Pandolf, KE4OKL, William Brooks, KF4WRU, and Jerry Puckett, W4TIL.

And by the way, a couple of those new members were members of Delta Club waaaay back in 1983. Do you know who those are?

Those jumping onto the band wagon early are: Jim Olberding, WD8JAO, and his wife Jeanette, KC4VYJ, Robert Greene, KE4HFH, and his wife Sylvia, KE4WOT, Barry Lumpkin, KE4FHG, Frank McDowell, KA4SJM, Bill Dohogne, KC4QT, and his wife Jo Ellen, N4PBW, Wayne, Gregory, KB4GFK, and his wife Shirley, KB4GHC, David Saks, WK2B, Robin McConnell, KE4GPR, Phil Payne, KB5OCC, Barry Anderson, WA4MFF, and his son, Philip, KF4TAF, Brian Kusler, KF4EWO, and his wife Wendy, KC5YIX, Alton Simpson, WA5TJB, and his wife Barbara, KA5CFB, Curt Fry, KF4CF, Barry Moore, KE4KAG, and his wife Donna, KE4WEU, Ray Hyatt, KD4IKL, Bob Holdford, KF4NDH, Alton Banton, KM5CV, Dom Desiderio, AA5N, Chuck Neal, W4VAC, Don Cook, KJ4PO, Cecil Redditt, AF4KN, and his wife Brenda, KF4QPB, Harry Tallant, KE4NTK, Alex Graham, KE4GYR, and his wife Regina, KF4IGS.

73, Kathy, KE4UYU



7365 HWY. 70




VE Liaison

October is a busy month for anyone with children, getting into the school routine and getting ready for Halloween. Excitement abounds all around and so too for the VE Team of Delta Club. A big thank you to the following VE's who came to help at this testing session of October 13 - Steve Greer, N4SG - Nathan Jenkins, AE4YY - and Donald Cook, KJ4PO. At this session we administered 6 elements, one which was CW. Of these elements 4 were successfully completed.

Congratulations to the following NEW TECHS:



Just a note to REMEMBER - THERE IS NO TESTING SESSION IN NOVEMBER due to the club elections and awards presentations. Next testing session scheduled is December 8th unless listed on the evening net at 8:00.

73 and good hamming

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.


Please remember to keep the FCC aware or any change in name and address, they do have to be able to get in touch with you should there be any problems that arise.

As of January 1st the old 610 forms will no longer be accepted for any reason.

The new 610 dated September 1977 will be the only form available for renewal or upgrading that is accepted by the FCC. The reason for this is the new inclusive phrasing that all must sign:

I certify that:

- The construction of the station would NOT be an action which is likely to have a significant environmental effect (see the Commissions Rules 47 C.F.R. Sections 1.1301-1.1319 and section 97.13(a);

-I have READ and WILL COMPLY WITH Section 97.13(c) of the Commission's Rules regarding RADIOFREQUENCY (RF) RADIATION SAFETY and the amateur service section of OST/OET Bulletin Number 65.

These new forms can be downloaded from the FCC site or I do have some forms available.


Joan KN4PM


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

For all of you that are interested, the progress toward moving the "82" repeater is still in a positive mode, kinda. In my last conversation with the chief engineer for WPTY, his comments were very positive for us moving the repeater to their new tower. I have gathered letters from all the various public service events that we work with each year. March of Dimes, Memphis in May, First Tennessee Memphis Marathon, LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, The Memphis Hospital Disaster Planning Council and last but not least The National Weather Service were all more than happy to provide us with their comments as to the positive impact that Delta Club provides our community. While he is all for us putting our equipment on the tower, he must justify to his superiors why he is donating the tower space to us when they could let someone else go on the same spot for a hefty monthly fee.

The only snag at the moment is feedline. The new tower is 200 feet taller than the present one and while that sounds good for the TV station, the reason is that the ground elevation at the new site is 200 feet lower than at the present location. What this means for us is that in order to keep our same great coverage area, we will have to go on the new tower at the 700 foot mark. It will take another 150 feet of hardline to get into the building and to the equipment so we are looking at needing at least 850 feet of 1-1/4 inch hardline. At one time in the discussions with the owners of the tower (not WPTY) there was an offer of some of the hardlines now on the tower that other people didn't want. That offer now may be withdrawn and the hardline that we have on the old tower will not do what we need at the new location. The 1-1/4 inch hardline is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-10 dollars per foot. You do the math! I am still pursuing getting the old hardlines donated from the current tower but at this point that's a long shot. We will have to do something quickly as the new tower is on its way up now. We are going to purchase a new antenna for the new site and hoped to have the new antenna and feedline on the new tower before taking the old equipment down from the current site. This would allow us to move the repeater from one location to the next in only a couple of hours. If we have to take the current equipment off the current tower and then have it installed at the new one; the repeater could be off the air for a few weeks, depending on the weather conditions.

If you have ever considered making a large donation to the club (and write it off on your taxes) this is the time that the club needs it. Even if you haven't considered it before, please consider it now. If you make a donation and we end up not needing to buy new hardline, your donation would be returned to you at your request. We can't go out and borrow the money because the by-laws prohibit the board from putting the club in debt. If you work for a company that may be in a position to donate to us, please approach them and explain what we do for the community. I can provide you with a copy of the letters that I have gathered if you need them to give to your employers for verification.

The future of the repeater is in your hands at this point, please don't drop it! If you have questions, please contact me and I'll be glad to discuss the current status of the machine with you.


Tommy, KD4TJO

Public Service

This is my last SPARKS opportunity to tell you about and ask for your help with the Memphis Marathon on December 6, 1998. This event, sponsored each year by First Tennessee Bank, is one of the largest public service events that we do each year. It takes approximately 40 amateurs to pull this communication feat off each year, and the marathon organizers look forward to our assistance each year.

The event starts at the Pyramid at around 8 am, but most of us have to be there around 6 - 6:30 am. Yep, I know that's early on a usually cold December morning, especially for those that work the Bartlett Christmas Parade the night before. I will be contacting everyone that helped last year and for those of you that are new to the hobby or to the area since last year, I would like for you to seriously consider helping out with this event. It's a lot of fun, and you'll get a really neat T-shirt, sweatshirt or jacket for participating (don't know what they are going to give yet this year) and the satisfaction that you served your community in the way that amateur radio is known for.

We will need amateurs at all of the water stops, at the Pyramid, in the course directors cars, in the lead car, etc. and since the whole route is 26.2 miles long, there are plenty of places for everyone. Actually we ran a couple of people short last year and I really don't like to sweat that much in December. If you have any questions about what it takes to do the event, it's need an HT or mobile 2-meter radio, transportation to get to your location and back to the Pyramid, a good set of longjohns and the desire to help your community. If that doesn't cover your question, please call me and we'll discuss it. If you can only be there for a short time, we can put you at one of the first few water stops and you'll be outta there by 9 or 10 am. So there's something for everyone.

The first thing they asked me this year when they called me was if we were going to do "that tracking thing" again. They were referring to APRS, which we debuted there last year, and they were so impressed with what they saw, they want us to do it again this year. I'm talking with the local APRS gurus to see if they will be able to help again this year.

Look forward to hearing from ALL of you.


Tommy, KD4TJO


I received an e-mail from Hamp, K5JY, President of the Mid-South Amateur Radio Association, informing me that they are now meeting at the Holy Communion Episcopal Church located at the corner of Perkins and Walnut Grove Rd. Their meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. They had been meeting at the McFarland Community Center for a number of years. I’m sure that they would be more that happy to have visitors come and join them at their new meeting place.

David, KU4AS

From the Editor

Just a few words from the editor. I appreciate everyone's help in getting all the articles and information to me in a timely manner. It has made my job a little easier.

I would like to apologize to James Butler, KB4LJV. Every month since I have been the Director of Publications, James has always had a manila envelope for me. I would see him at the club meetings, but here recently I have not been able to attend the meetings, so James has given the information to one of the board members to get it to me, usually at the board meeting the Monday after the club meeting. Well somehow the manila envelope has done a disappearing act. I did not realize this until it was to late for me to try and get in touch with James to get another copy. Look for James at the November meeting to tell you about the updates.

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

Bill Hancock..............................................................Vice President

Kathy Troughton........................................................Secretary......................................................

Ernie Christensen........................................................Treasurer

Melinda Thompson.....................................................Dir. of Training

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

Ben Barth...............................................................…Dir. of Programs

Regina Graham...........................................................Dir. of Meetings & Special

Tommy Thompson..................................................…Past President

Joan Thorne..........................................................….VE Liaison

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