|Monthly Newsletter Dedicated to the Advancement of Amateur Radio May, 1999|
THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER
I want to thank Steve Robbins from Garmin for stepping in at the last minute to provide our program at the April meeting. His informal talk about Global Positioning System fundamentals and new products was informative and interesting. Steve is a recent KSU engineering graduate.
Our next meeting will be on Friday, May 14th at 7:30 PM at the Riley County Red Cross Building on 1410 Poyntz in Manhattan. We have a short video from Collins Radio about pre-world war II transmitters. John Blessing, NØYRL will also give an introduction to a proposal he is working on to create a repeater linking network in North East Kansas. He is in the early stage of this project but would like keep us informed and get some feedback.
The XYL dinner will be held on May 27 at 7PM. We'll go to the Little Apple Brewing Company.
The Red Cross is offering a Mass Care Class on May 24th at 7 PM at the Riley County Red Cross Building. Call the Red Cross if you are interested in this class.
Norm Dillman, NØJCC
Most of you have already heard that the KSU Solar Car qualified for the 1999 Sunrayce. The first qualifying event was held at the GM Proving Grounds west of Detroit, Michigan. The car passed one full day of tests of electrical and mechanical systems, handling, safety, etc on Saturday May 1 and then drove 260 miles on the 2.18 mile track in less than 8 hours. To qualify we needed to go 125 miles with an average of more than 25 miles per hour. We averaged about 35 miles per hour. The final standings were not known at the time that this was written because there is still another qualification event on May 8 and 9 but we were in 4th position at the end of the first event. The race is from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida at the end of June. All the KSU team members have ham licenses and our 440 MHz , 9600 baud packet telemetry far outperformed commercial systems costing ten times as much. We'll be driving the car around several times each week between now and the race. Check out the neat display if you get a chance. We'll also be using APRS and SSTV so you'll be able to follow us from here. Tune into 145.41- to hear what's happening.
We have three sources of free or low cost batteries for the emergency backup power for the club repeater. Two offers of Delphi electric car batteries will require some shipping and some very low cost Exide cosmetic-reject, deep-cycle batteries are also available. We'll need some more information to make a decision. The committee has not been able to get to the repeater to check out the current and space requirements because KSU has changed all of the locks but we are making some progress.
April 9, 1999
Our regular scheduled guest for the evening was unable to attend, and Norm Dillman invited one of the people from Garmin, Steve Robbins, who was representing Garmin at K-State open house to speak to our club.
Field Day - City park has been reserved for field day, scheduled for June 25th and 26th.
The fee for the park will be $50.00. Henry, committee chairperson, will inquire as to whether they might leave the restroom open Saturday for our group. June will be devoted to field day with all the final preparations.
A discussion was made about purchasing Chuck's (AAØRI) radio for the club station for $600.00. Filters have been added and the radio has just been serviced.
A suggestion was made that before the club considered purchasing the radio, we need to look into back-up power for the repeater. Replacing 2 new batteries was mentioned by Francis. A committee was formed to look into this: Jon Held, Frances Sable, Norm Dillman, John Best and Chuck Carter. They would report back to the club.
It's time again to nominate KANSAS AMATEUR OF THE YEAR. This would consist of a amateur who has distinguished his/herself in the community, and our club nominated Norm Dillman, NØJCC. Our club would write a letter, and the solar car club, along with QQQ. These letters would be submitted to Wendell Wilson before June first. The officers will let you know of the results.
Picnic - The club's annual picnic will be on Saturday, September 11th in place of the regular scheduled meeting in September. More information to come.
XYL dinner will be on Thursday, May 27th at 7:00 p.m. - Little Apple Brewing Company in Manhattan.
Next club meeting will be on May 14 in the Red Cross building on Poyntz Avenue.
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
Chuck Carter, AAØRI
It's interesting to note that the FCC has been cracking down on amateur radio scoff-laws recently. The following is a reprint from the ARRL newsletter.
OPERATOR WARNED IN K7IJ SHUTDOWN CALLED FOR RETESTING
The FCC has notified one of the figures in the K7IJ repeater shutdown case--Timmy O. Sheen Jr, N6MZA, of San Diego--that he must re-take his Technician Plus amateur examination under the supervision of FCC personnel. Sheen must complete the retesting by June 30. If he fails to appear for retesting his license will be canceled.
Sheen was notified of the retesting call in a May 3 letter from the FCC's Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH. Earlier this year, the FCC issued a Warning Notice to Sheen about alleged jamming and rebroadcasts of cordless phones on the K7IJ Grizzly Peak repeater in the San Francisco Bay area. Citing what it called "an alarming and unacceptable lack of control over the operations of these repeaters," the FCC shut down the K7IJ system March 2. Hollingsworth reports that he's still mulling over the response of licensee Bruce Wachtell to FCC allegations that the repeater system was not under the proper control of the licensee or the designated control operator.
In an unrelated case, the FCC on May 6 set aside the Technician class grant to Jeffrey C. Dressler of Cypress, California. Dressler had been issued KF6VOT on April 5. A letter from Hollingsworth said the FCC erred in granting the ticket. The FCC is currently looking into allegations of unlicensed operation by Dressler on the W6NUT repeater in the Los Angeles area.
I also have some more of the humor sent to me by Bev, NØRKO. Please don't take these personally! I know I'm guilty of some of these my self.
Note: This "Rusty Bumpers" column is from the May 1993 issue of "Solid Copy", the Richmond (VA) Amateur Telecommunications Society's monthly newsletter. Most of the examples used by "Rusty" have happened on the local repeaters exactly as written, although some of the items are exaggerated slightly for humor.
HOW TO SOUND LIKE A LID
On two meters lately, I have noticed a tendency of people making a concerted effort to sound like a lid (i.e. poor operator). Since this appears to be the new style in amateur radio, I thought I would present this handy guide to radio nerd-dom. The following is what I call "How to sound like a lid in one easy lesson."
9) Always ask involved questions of the person who is trying to sign out. Never let him get by with a yes or no answer. Make it a question that will take a long time to answer.
10) The less you know about a subject, the more you should speculate about it on the air. The amount of time spent on your speculations should be inversely proportional to your knowledge of the subject.
11) If someone on the repeater is causing interference, you should talk about that person at great length, making sure to comment on at least four out of six of the following: (1) His mental state; (2) His family; (3) His intelligence, or lack of same; (4) His sexual preference; (5) His relationship to small animals; (6) His other methods of self entertainment.
12) If you hear two amateurs start a conversation on the repeater, wait until they are 20 seconds into their contact, and then break-in to use the patch. Make sure that it's only a simple routine phone call. It's also very important that you run the autopatch for the full three minutes. This way, once the two re-establish contact, they won't even remember what they were talking about.
13) You hear someone on the repeater giving directions to a visiting amateur. Even if the directions are good, make sure you break-in with your own "alternate route but better way to get there" version. This is most effective if several other lid trainees join in, each with a different route. By the time the amateur wanting directions unscrambles all the street names whizzing around in his head, he should have mobiled out of range of the repeater. This keeps you from having to stick around and help the guy get back out of town later.
14) Use the repeater for an hour or two at a time, preventing others from using it. Better yet, do it on a daily basis. Your quest is to make people so sick of hearing your voice every time they turn on their radio, they'll move to another frequency. This way you'll lighten the load on the repeater, leaving even more time for you to talk on it.
15) See just how much mobile flutter you can generate by operating at handheld power levels too far from the repeater. Engage people in conversations when you know they won't be able to copy half of what you're saying. Even when they say you are uncopyable, continue to string them along by making further transmissions. See just how frustrated you can make the other amateur before he finally signs off in disgust.
16) Give out wacky radio advice. When a newcomer's signal is weak into the repeater, tell him he can correct the problem by adjusting the volume and squelch knobs on his radio. Or tell people they're full quieting except for the white noise on their signal. Or....well, you get the idea.
17) Use lots of radio jargon. After all, it makes you feel important using words average people don't say. Who cares if it makes you sound like you just fell off of Channel 19 on the Citizen's Band? Use phases such as "Roger on that," "10-4," "I'm on the side," "You're making the trip," and "Negatory on that."
18) Use excessive microphone gain. See just how loud you can make your audio. Make sure the audio gain is so high that other amateurs can hear any bugs crawling on your floor. If mobile, make sure the wind noise is loud enough that others have to strain to pick your words out from all the racket.
19) Be as verbose as possible. Never say "yes" when you can say "He acquiesced in the affirmative by saying 'yes'." (No kidding, I actually heard that one.)
20) Start every transmission with the word "Roger" or "QSL." Sure, you don't need to acknowledge that you received the other transmission in full. After all, you would simply ask for a repeat if you missed something. But consider it your gift to the other amateur to give him solace every few seconds that his transmissions are being received.
21) When looking for a contact on a repeater, always say you're "listening" or "monitoring" multiple times. I've always found that at least a half dozen times or so is good. Repeating your multiple "listening" IDs every 10 to 15 seconds is even better. Those people who didn't want to talk to you will eventually call you, hoping you'll go away after you have finally made a contact.
22) Give out repeater FM signal reports using the HF SSB R-S system ("You're 5 by 9 here"). Sure it's considered improper for FM operation and you may even confuse some people, but don't let that spoil your fun!
23) Always use a repeater, even if you can work the other station easily on simplex -- especially if you can make the contact on simplex. The coverage of the repeater you use should be inversely proportional to your distance from the other station.
24) If you and the other station are both within a mile or two of the repeater you are using, you should always give a signal report. ("I'm sitting under the repeater and I know you can see it from there, but you're full quieting into the repeater. How about me?")
25) In the same vein as the previous step, when monitoring a repeater, you should always give signal reports as if the repeater didn't exist. ("Yep, I'm right under the repeater. You've got a whopping signal. You're S-9 plus 60. That must be a great rig.")
26) On repeaters with courtesy tones, you should always say "over." Courtesy tones are designed to let everyone know when you have unkeyed, but don't let that stop you. Say "over," "back to you," or "go ahead." It serves no useful purpose, but don't worry -- it's still fun.
27) Think up interesting and bizarre things to do to tie-up the repeater. The goal here is not to facilitate communications, but to entertain all the scanner listeners out there. Do something original. Try to hum CTCSS (PL) tones. Sing pager tones. You're getting the idea.
28) Use the repeater's autopatch for frivolous routine calls. While pulling into the neighborhood, call home to let them know you'll be there in two minutes. Or call your spouse to complain about the bad day you had at work. After all, the club has "measured rate" service on their phone line, so they get charged for each autopatch call. Your endeavor is to make so many patches in a year that you cost the club at least $20 in phone bills. That way you'll feel you got your money's worth for your dues.
29) Never say "My name is....". It makes you sound human. If at all possible, use one of the following phrases:
A) "The personal here is...."
B) "The handle here is...."
Normally, handles are for suitcases, but it's OK to use them anyway. Don't forget, this has worked just fine for CBers for years.
30) Use 73 and 88 incorrectly. Both are already considered plural, but add an "'s" to the end anyway. Say "73's" or "88's." Who cares if it means "best regardses" and "love and kisseses." Better yet, say "seventy thirds." (By the way, 70 thirds equals about 23.3.)
31) Make people think you have a split personality by referring to yourself in the plural sense. When you're in conversation and are alone at your radio, always say "We're" or "We've" instead of "I'm" or "I've" (i.e. "we've been doing this...", "we're doing that...", "we're clear"). Everyone knows you're by yourself, but when they ask you who is with you, make up somebody important like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bill Clinton.
If you would like to become a member of the American Radio Relay League and receive the monthly issue of QST, your treasurer has a form you may use to apply. The club keeps $5 of each new member's dues and $2 of each renewing member, so even if you are renewing, do so through the club. The main thing to remember is that if you join through the club, your check must be made out to MAARS. When the form is sent in, the treasurer writes a new check deducting the amount which the club is permitted to keep. They will not reimburse the club. If you are renewing, bring your notice for renewal along to the meeting or send it to the Treasurer at the MAARS address.
June 4 - 5 - Iowa State Convention - So. Sioux City, Neb.