Web Edition

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

Presidents's Page

Congratulations to Ned, KA4BLL for being the lucky member who walked out of the August club meeting with a $20 gift certificate to Memphis Amateur Electronics. He had a ticket in the barrel AND he was present at the meeting. That's the only two requirements necessary for you to be that lucky person in September. Do you have any tickets in the barrel? How often do you attend the meetings? Unless you can answer "yes" and "regularly" to these questions, you are missing out on this great opportunity. And in November we will, as in past years, be giving away over $1500 in prizes. As I said last month, the grand prize this year is a Kenwood TM-V7A dual band mobile radio. If you've never seen one "up close and personal" come to the September meeting and take a look for yourself. If you'd like to have a better chance of making it yours, see Kathy, KE4UYU and she can help you get more tickets in the barrel.

Several of us just returned from a great hamfest in Huntsville, AL and if you weren't able to attend, then you missed a good time. Several of us went down a day or two early and took in some of the local sites including, of course, the Alabama Space and Rocket Center. A few brave souls even took a ride of a lifetime on the Space Shot, a ride that straps you in a chair with your legs dangling, then fires you straight up about 150 ft. in two seconds. You pull approx. 4 G's and then you are weightless at the top for about two seconds before slowly returning to ground level. What a way to do tower work! Anyway, back to the hamfest. It was really nice in the new facility. The Von Braun Civic Center has just recently finished a new south wing that is so large that the hamfest, both new equipment vendors and flea market tables combined, only used about half of the space available and they still had more room than in years past. I'm already looking forward to next year. I hope that the Memphis hamfest will become bigger and better in their new location this year. We tried to talk it up to a lot of the vendors in Huntsville.

It's time to start thinking about who you would like to see as officers for the club next year. As per our by-laws, I will announce members of the nominating committee at the September meeting. They will then present their nominations for all offices at the October meeting. Nominations will also be taken from the floor at the October meeting and just prior to the elections at the November meeting. If you are interested in serving as a club officer in 1998, contact one of the nominating committee members. If you nominate someone from the floor for an office, please make sure that the individual is willing to serve in the position that you are nominating them for. Hope to see you all at the meeting.


Tommy KD4TJO

Vice President's Corner

We are moving into that time of the year that we need to start wearing jackets, and we will not be able to order jackets with the embroidered Delta Club logo on the front and back. In the early part of August I met with the representative from Signet Promotions and arranged to have an "embroidered" tape made of the Delta Club logo. With the creation of the embroidery tape, we are now on our way to being able to order jackets with the logo on the front and back. As has been the standard practice in previous years, we have two choices in jackets. The first, a "coaches" jacket, is a light weight wind breaker. The second style jacket is called the "baseball" jacket and is a much heavier jacket, probably best suited for cooler periods of the year.

The cost of the jackets includes the logo on the back and on the left front breast. If you wish to have your callsign also embroidered on the jacket there is an additional small fee.

We started taking orders from members at the August meeting, but if you would like to place and order, please give me a call, or send me an e-mail note at

In addition to the jackets, I was able to arrange to obtain a second generator for the club. Due to the efforts of Robin, KE4GPR, Delta Club was presented with an opportunity to purchase a 4.5KW generator for a price substantially below the retail price. At the August Board of Directors meeting, the Board voted to purchase this second generator. We now have two generators, a 3.5KW and a 4.5KW. This should provide sufficient power to operate our stations during Field Day, and any other special event that we should be involved in for years to come. Again, these two generators were made available to Delta Amateur Radio Club through the efforts of one of our members. I want to express my appreciation to Robin for all he did in making this opportunity available to us.


Ben, KU4AW


After two years of planning to go to the Huntsville Hamfest, I actually went there this year, and it was a blast. Lots to see and do there. Beautiful drive going and coming home.

We have five new members to welcome on the air. KF4TAG Doug Pinkerton, KF4NDH Bob Holdford, KB7RSI Harold Kinchelow, Jr., KF4SJY Mike Murphey and KF4QFW Eddie Trammell.

Listen to the Traffic and Information Nets each night to get the latest information on what events are coming up.

73, Kathy KE4UYU

MEMFEST OCT. 11 & 12



October 11th and 12th

The next big hamfest in the Mid South is the Memphis Hamfest, and the dates are October 11th and 12th.

A committee of three board members, Ben, KU4AW, Kathy, KE4UYU, and Tim, KF4DNA, has been formed to coordinate Delta Club's involvement this year. We are looking for volunteers to assist with setting up and tearing down of the booth, and manning it throughout the week-end.

In addition, we will be running a "Special Event" station throughout the Hamfest week-end. Unlike Field Day, this is not a contest, so there's no pressure to make contacts. We don't have to operate for 24 hours straight and try to accumulate as many points as we can. So, if you have, just the slightest interest in getting on HF, this is your chance. We're looking for volunteers to operate our special event station during Hamfest.

If you'd like to help setting up and tearing down, manning or working the special event station, give Kathy, Tim, or Ben a call. Their phone numbers and e-mail addresses are listed elsewhere in SPARKS….


Hamfest Committee


The FCC amends RF emissions rules and adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comments on Preemption of State and local RF Regulations. This will be welcome for most hams. When the FCC first decreed a year ago that ham radio stations would have to comply with RF exposure guidelines, it set a 50-W threshold level. The updated guidelines, announced on August 25, increase that threshold level on all HF bands except 10-meters, where it remains at 50 W. The FCC made no changes in the RF exposure limits it announced last year.

These are the RF exposure power levels:

160, 80, and 40 meters: 500W
30 meters: 425 W (but the legal limit is 200 W anyway!)
20 meters: 225 W
17 meters: 125 W
15 meters: 100 W
12 meters: 75 W
10, 6, 2, 1-1/4 meters: 50 W
70 cm: 75 W
33 cm: 150 W
23 cm: 200 W
13 cm and above: 250 W

More details on the FCC's latest announcement on RF safety will appear in the October issue of QST. This is available at

73, Henry R. Leggette, WD4Q Vice Director, Delta Division ARRL


As of noon Friday, August 15, 1997, the deadline prescribed in Bylaw 18 for the receipt of petitions by the Secretary, for the Vice Director, Delta Division there was only one petitition. Accordingly, as prescribed in the ARRL Bylaws, the Election Committee has declared me elected, effective at noon January 1, 1998. I have been declared elected to serve as Vice Director, Delta Division January 1, 1998 through January 1, 2000.

I will continue to listen to what the members of the Delta Division, ARRL want as issues. Rick and I are very concerned as a team to represent the membership at Board meetings and others. As the issues on License Restructing came on the floor for discussion, we were very prepared to talkabout the issue after analyzing each input. That is the reason I feel your input is so important to us. The Director and I will continue to face these issues head on.

After working on the VRC Committee, it is important to nominate someone to receive awards from the Delta Division. There are a lot of good candidates in this Division. Therefore, keep your eyes open for the good work that your local members are doing to help in our community and our Division.


Henry - WD4Q

Vice Director’s Notes

I was in Hartford/Newington, Connecticut area on Thursday, July 17, Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19, 1997 to attend the ARRL Board of Directors meeting. On Thursday, the VRC (Volunteer Resource Committee) met and I am a member of that committee.

Several ARRL members inquired about the status of the League or what we are doing? We are continuing to publicize amateur radio at all levels. You as a member of ARRL should let the public know about amateur. President Clinton has urged volunteer organizations to provide more volunteer efforts on behalf of America’s young people. The Board of Directors of the American Radio Relay League supports and directs ARRL staff to introduce a program to coordinate a nationwide effort to enlist local volunteers from ARRL affiliated and special service clubs to introduce young people to technology through Amateur Radio and to potential careers in technology.

In Washington, D.C. the General Counsel is continuing to campaign to maintain our current spectrum and looking for additional bands. The Volunteer Protection Bill that was before Congress is now Public Law 105-19 and is very comfortable to protect volunteers. We believe that the membership will be pleased with the passing of this Public Law.

A motion was passed to authorize three modes of operations during “Field Day”, whereas before there were CW and Phone. The additional mode is digital. Details and effective date will have to be worked out by the Headquarters Staff. (continued from page 3) Everyone wants to know what happened about the License Restructuring article that was in March 1997 QST? That subject was discussed in great detail by all Directors. A motion was made to delay it until a later day and study of the data gathered. Rick Roderick, K5UR, Director, Delta Division and I went through all comments/letters and he made mention of each item during the Board’s discussion.

The report of the Volunteer Resources Committee was accepted and several awards were approved. The award candidates’ that were co-recipients of the Phillip J. McGan Silver Antenna (L. James Biddle, WB3DCL and Phillip J. Mcgan, N8VZV), Hiram Percy Maxim (Zackery Manganello, K1ZK), Technical Excellence, Bill Carver, W7AAZ, Herb S. Brier Instructor of the year, Eric J. Lagerstrom, KN6FR, Professional Educator of the Year, Bruce D. Weaver, K3LTM, and the forst ARRL Media Excellence to Sam Brown, WA4IUM for promoting Amateur Radio on television. A motion was passed that a system of technical awards is to be emplaced in the League’s awards program to recognize achievement in technical service, innovation, and microwave development.

The Board of Directors thanked the members of the Spread Spectrum Committee for having completed it’s work. The Ad Hoc Spread Spectrum Committee was constituted to “assist the Board of Directors in preparing a filing to the Federal Communications Commission to amend Part 97 of the Commission’s Rules governing the Amateur Radio Service to facilitate spread spectrum communicatins.

It was voted that it is the policy of the ARRL that the ARRL VE’s shall not administer examination elements for which they have received credit on the basis of a medical examination. The General Counsel is instructed by the Board to request in rules or procedures of the FCC. (a) To be accepted by a VE team, the applicant must present a Physicial’s certification stating that the applicant is unable to pass a 13 or 20 WPM telegraphy examination because of a severe handicap. The duration of the handicap must becertified to extend more than 365 days beyond the date of the application. Evidence must also be presented to the VE team that the applicant has made an attempt to pass the exxamination by being accommodated in accordance with 97.509(k). (b) On behalf of the FCC, VEC’s shall be authorized and required to request medical information pertaining to the applicant’s handicap from the certifying phsician. The VEC shall not process the Form 610 until the information is received.

The DXCC 2000 Committee report was presented and the Board finds that the group is moving in the right direction. This committee conducted another meeting on Sunday, July, 1997 after the Board of Directors meeting concluded.

The Board of Directors meeting was a good positive and productive meeting.

Henry R. Leggette, WD4Q Vice Director, Delta Division ARRL


We are going to sponsor a second carport sale this year. At the August Board of Director's meeting, we voted to have a second carport sale on November 7th and 8th at Ben and Kathy Troughton's house in Bartlett. So, start going through those attics, basements, storage rooms and storage buildings and putting aside anything that you don't need, don't want, can't wear (cause it's out of style!!) for the second carport sale this year.

As we get closer to the date of the sale, we will be making announcements on the Traffic and Information Net of who to contact if you need something picked up.

So, mark Friday and Saturday, November 7th and 8th on your calendar.

VE Liason.......

A big thank you for all the help from the VE team at the August 12th testing session. Tim AB4NH, Jim N4ZCO, David KU4AS, Ben KU4AW, Barry N4QW, Steve N4SG. All of these VE's graciously gave of their time and effort for 3 examinees. For these 3 we administered 5 elements, with 2 elements being passed including 1 CW element.

Please remember that if you are bringing a young person to the testing session to let me know at least 3 days ahead of time so that I can have extra VE's available. I found it very disruptive to have the young people in the same room as the adults (mainly due to normal conduct of children) and found more VE's to help, and then use two rooms.

Remember that you VE's are here for testing reasons and not for practice testing. They too would like to be able to enjoy the Delta Club meeting. It is as discouraging to us as it is to the young people when they do not passed a given element, but study and preparation are a big part to all work.

THANK YOU on behalf of all the VEs for your continuing understanding. If there is any way that we can be of help to you please let us know. If there is any way that you would like to see changes in this teams efforts, again we are open to any and all suggestions.

Remember to send in a 610 for any changes in your address, name, etc.

73, Joan KN4PM ( 366-9722

Ham Radio in the movie "Contact"

Ham radio plays a prominent role in the movie "Contact". There was a young girl in the movie, who was calling "CQ, CQ, this is W9GFO; come back". I was interested in learning why that particular call sign was used in the movie, so I sent one of my QSL cards to W9GFO. Bob Wilson is now a silent key, but I did receive a very nice letter from his widow, Mary.

Bob died of cancer on November 6, 1996 after being married 50 years. Mary Wilson said that two of her three sons saw the movie, and they thought that it was very good - it brought back a lot of memories to hear that call sign again.

Mary also enclosed an interesting clipping from a local newspaper. The author of the article, Paul Smith, wrote that Bob Wilson's son, Dr. David Wilson, got a little teary when he saw the movie "Contact" for the first time.

"CQ, CQ this is W9GFO, come back" the movie begins, using the same ham radio call sign that was assigned for decades to Wilson's father. David Wilson stated that his childhood room was adjacent to his dad's ham shack. David said that he grew up listening to those call letters well into the wee hours of the morning. David recalls a story about his dad's sending his first radio message in Morse code by connecting two carbon rods to a battery and striking the rods together.

However, it is interesting to note that W9GFO was not the call sign that was originally intended to be used in the movie. Another ham, Grote Reber, did work in the early days of radio astronomy, and his call sign, W9GFZ, is now used by a New Mexico observatory. That was the call sign that was recommended to the director of "Contact". However, the "Z" and "C" were interchanged, and the Bob Wilson call sign wound up in the movie.

Dom, AA5N

Explorer Post 903.....

The Explorer Post 903 will hold a “First Nighter” Thursday night Sept. 11, 1997 at the Ellendale Church Of Christ, 7365 Hwy. 70, Bartlett, Tn. The time for the meeting will be 6:30 pm. This will be an opportuniy for anyone that might be interested in joining a chance to meet with us and find out what we are about. Letters have been sent out to prospective Scouts in the area as a result of surveys that were sent to area youth. We hope to have a good meeting this night and have some new members sign up.

If you know of any young people that might be interested in joining the Delta Amateur Radio Club’s Explorer Post please invite them to join us on Thursday night September 11,1997.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Barry Moore at 854-1273, or E-mail him at;


In recent years pagers have become more and more common as people use them to stay in touch. As new models come out the older ones are junked out. These appear as surplus items at Hamfests and electronic flea markets. At the Memphis Hamfest they were selling old pager cases for fifty cents each. These can be useful for building projects in. This month's project uses the pager case as a earphone holder. This is nice because the earphones can be carried on the belt in the case and pulled out when needed. The belt clip will also allow it to be clipped on other items for storage. These pager cases with their rugged construction and built in belt clip can be used for many simple Amateur projects. I will have the HT Earphone holder at the meeting to show and answer questions on for those who wish to build up their own. SEE YOU AT THE MEETING .....

James Butler KB4LJV


One of the most interesting advances in filter design has been software to emulate hardware designs. DSP microprocessors have been used to supply filtering for SSB, CW and digital data received. Brian Beezley, K6STI has come out with an interesting approach to filtering. By using your PC and a sound card you can run filter programs on the PC. The software allows Bandpass, Notch, Peaking, and Adaptive Noise Reduction filters. The software also allows the audio spectrum to be displayed on the screen. This allows you to change filter parameters and display the results on the screen. If you are interested in how software based audio filters operate and want to experiment with them this program provides a way to do it. Brian can be reached at,1-619-599-4962 .

James Butler KB4LJV

The Picnic........

The date is Sunday September 28, 1997.
The time is 1:30 pm.
The place is Plough Park 
What to bring: Everyone please bring yard chairs and chips and desserts.

Everything else will be provided. The menu for the day will consist of hamburgers and hot dogs and all "fixins" as well as plenty of cold drinks for everyone. There will be alot of fun to be had by all. We will have our second annual volleyball game along with face painting, a rabbit hunt and lots of good fellowship. Everyone make plans to attend. If anyone needs directions call any board member or be sure to be on the DARC repeaters the day of the picnic for a talk in. If you plan to attend (and we really want you to!) be sure to sign the sign up sheet at the Sept. meeting or call Melinda at 363-1198 to RSVP. The picnic is for all Delta Club members and their families. A special thanks goes to Nancy Morrow for all of her hard work in coordinating this event again this year. Thanks Nancy!!!!!!

A Letter Home From AB5ZW

I have a 6 month co-op job through the U of M to work here at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV. I am working as an Electrical Engineering/Computer Science guy in the Monitor and Control group. We are building the hardware and software that will control the new telescope they're building here. It will be the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope. It will be completed in 1998. I've been doing both hardware and software work so far. I also helped some of the other college students who were here for 10 week research jobs. So far, I've learned alot about electronics and astronomy. I'll be working here until some time in late November or December. I'll be going back to the U of M in January for the spring semester. Then I'll come back up here to work during the summer of '98.

There are alot of interesting things to do around here. I've helped on several other projects, and single-handedly designed and built a circuit device for a NASA project on one of our telescopes. And I've done some innovative things with their computers, so they've asked me to do a technical seminar on what I've been doing. I've been really busy ever since I got here at the end of May. There are a lot of hams that work here. But because of interference to the telescopes, I can't operate any transmitters on site. I have to drive across the street and get off the site property before I can legally transmit. I've worked a few people on 20 meters from my mobile rig in my truck. I've also got 15 meter and 80 meter capability. I just haven't had too much spare time lately. There's not too much to do around here after work. The nearest Wal-Mart is 100 miles round-trip, so we don't go shopping too often. There's lots of mountains around here, so we've hiked up a few, and even went whitewater rafting a few months ago and took a day trip to Washington DC. Other than that, we mostly stay here at the observatory. I live in a residence hall right across the street from the main lab building. There were about 10 other college students here during the summer for the Summer Research program, but they've all gone back to school. There's only two left now. One's from Canada, and the other's from France. So things have quieted down now. But it's nice to live across the street from work. Right now I'm writing some VHDL for a programmable logic array chip for another device I'm building.

Well, I guess that's about all for now. Oh, I was awarded another ARRL Scholarship, so they're supposed to put my picture in September's QST. Be sure to look for it. To see what all I've been doing up here, you can go to my web pages: and  Say hi to everyone for me.

73, Steve

(Note from Editor)

Steve Hicks is from Hernando, Ms. and is enrolled at The University Of Memphis. Steve holds an Extra class amateur license and was very active in the ham community until he left for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Steve and his Dad, David, KC5JYZ, are members of the Delta Amateur Radio Club. For those of you who do not have computer capibilites I will publish Steve’s article in it’s entirity in next months Sparks.

Everyone should remember from one or more of their ham tests about not being able to transmit from the area around the Observatory. Thats almost as bad as having a ticket in your hand but no radio to transmit on.

WAY TO GO STEVE !!!!!!!!!

Exerpts From the Ham’s Dictionary..............

Twisted Pair- Thought by many to refer to two strange individuals, this term is actually a complex way of saying “telephone”.

XYL- It means “Wife” or more likely, “The Wife” (eX-Young Lady). It is not entirely clear, however, whether this term is intended to imply that the person in question is either no longer young, has ceased to be a lady, or both.

73- Chosen for its rhythm in code, (- - ... ... - -), this term means “Best Wishes”. It takes the same number of syllables to speak as saying “best wishes”, so no real time penalty is incurred. This term is now, unfortunately, changing into “Best 73’s”, which of course translates into “Best best Wishes”! Strange, isn’t it?

88 - “Love and Kisses”. Chosen for who knows what reason. Usually employed by YL’s and XYL’s (see above), this term should be used with great care by all who do not fit into either one of those categories.

QSL - Originally, “I acknowledge receipt”. Now; 1. A way to say “Yes”, using three syllables instead of one. 2. An alternate to “Roger”, which is the single most popular name among hams (“Roger, Roger”). 3. A reference to those little cards with call letters.

QTH - Yet another advantage to your amateur radio license. You no longer have a house, apartment, address, city; rather you now have a QTH! Actually, it’s supposed to mean “What is you position (or, My position is...) in latitude and longitude (or according to any other indication)? Other people merely live in your town; you however have a QTH there.

Thanks to Dom AC4PZ, oops, AA5N, for this article from the past. Taken from Sparks, Oct. 1995....ed.