Monthly Newsletter Dedicated to the Advancement of Amateur Radio June, 1998

Phyllis Dillman, NØMJB

Thanks goes to Gary Johnson for his interesting program on Free Energy. His demonstrations and examples had all of us scratching our head. We're looking to attending his Tesla Coil Symposium in October.

Our next meeting is June 12th at 7:30 p.m. in room 152 Rathbone Hall on the KSU-Manhattan campus. This meeting will be devoted to final Field Day planning and training for computer logging. Don't forget the Eating Meeting at the Sirloin Stockade in Manhattan at 5:30 p.m. before the meeting.

Congratulations to Fred and Nadine Stueve's daughter Nancy Dekat. She won the Paul and Helen L. Grauer Scholarship for the second year in a row. She's studying Nursing at Washburn University.

Norm Dillman, NØJCC

Important two-meter repeater messages:

In May we received a call to come to Colorado because a good friend, Vic, was near death. He's also the father-in-law of our daughter, Linda. As we neared Colby, Kansas we got a call from Bruce Frahm, KØBJ, on their 2-meter repeater. Linda, NØOYE, had called him on the phone from Florida to report Vic's death just a short time earlier. Bruce was able to make a phone patch for us on the repeater to her husband Mike, NØOYD, who was already in Colorado. We told him that we had heard the news and would be stopping overnight instead of driving through. It was a sad but appreciated use of ham radio.

Now for the rest of the story. Bruce later got an email about a death in his family and somehow realized that it was the same person. Bruce's sister's daughter's husband is a grandson of Linda's husband's father's brother. Good detective work, Cousin Bruce.

A happier message was sent to us about ten years ago from the father of a new-born son from the delivery room in El Paso, Texas. He was using a 2-meter HT and we were mobile on the interstate just east of Sante Fe, New Mexico. We were using the ZIA net that links many repeaters in several states in the southwest. Many hams from several states joined us in congratulating him. Have you had interesting messages delivered by Ham radio?

Lenore Layman, NØTSN

Manhattan Area Amateur Radio Society
May 8, 1998

The guest speaker for the evening was Gary Johnson, KØHGJ a discussion on "Free Energy."

Solar Car - Steve and Jason, K-State Students, discussed the solar power car with the club. The next sun race will be from Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida - they have named their car "Apollo" (Greek God of the Sun). They are raising money for the race by sponsoring "Adopt-A-Cell" program. They will need to sell 720 cells at $20.00 per cell. It was proposed and second that our club purchase a cell. The club received a "Certificate of Appreciation." from the Solar Car Team. If anyone else would like to adopt-a-cell, see Norm, NØJCC for more information.

Newsletter - articles can be sent by e-mail to Chuck, AAØRI at Articles are due the 4th Friday of the month. Articles can be saved in DOS.Text or Word Perfect 5.1.

The possibility of a donation to the club for advertising in a classified section was discussed.

Web Page - If you would like to have an article on the web page contact David Yoder.

Field Day - will be discussed at the clubs next meeting in June. Henry will finalize plans for field day. A computer logging system will be used as you make contacts.

Proclamation for field day will be given out on Tuesday, June 16th. This will also be televised.

XYL - the possibility of touring the Columbian Theatre in Wamego, more to come at our next meeting.

Next meeting Friday, June 12th.

Francis Sable, WØEVJ
June, 1998


Two balloons were successfully launched from Gary Johnson's, KØHGJ, site on the morning of May 16, 1998, located about 9.6 miles S.W. of Manhattan on McDowell Creek Road. Preflight preparations were done the preceding evening at the launch site. The next morning the final launch preparations were underway by about 6:00 AM. The balloons were filled with helium, the first to 17.6 lbs. and the second to 12.5 lbs. since one instrument capsule was heavier than the other. This gave the balloons approximately 1 lb. of lifting force after the payload was added. The first balloon was assembled and tested and then released at about 7:19 AM. The second balloon followed soon thereafter at about 7:25 AM. The balloons rose and began traveling in an approximately east direction. They were soon sighted and reported by Steve Kelly, AAØYF, as they passed over the radio relay post at the Konza observation point located about 3 miles south of Manhattan on highway 177. Steve had transceivers on both two meters and 75 meters at 3.990 MHz.

The weather on this day was very good, sunny and clear. This was ideal weather for balloon flights. The air was so clear that the balloons were visually sighted many times during the flight. One observer, Daryl, KCØATQ, whose QTH is located about 10 miles west of Mayetta, reported seeing them overhead near the position where they reached burst altitude.

The chase and recovery vehicles traveled east on Interstate 70 to the Topeka area. The original predicted landing area was in the Tonganoxie vicinity, but by the time the chase vehicles arrived in the Topeka area, it was apparent that they would not travel that far and that the landing would probably be in the vicinity of Mayetta, north of Topeka.

Our relay post at the Konza observation point was closed at 9:30 AM when the balloons were approaching the Topeka area. Communication with the Topeka repeater and the chase vehicles was very good from this location, and it also was with our flight position analyzer, Ralph Walio, WØRPK located in Indianola, Iowa on 3.990 MHz.

Radio frequencies used for this flight were: 144.390 MHz for APRS and instrument data telemetry from the balloons. 146.670 MHz, the WAØVRS Topeka repeater and 146.52 MHz for general mobile and base communications. 147.310 and 147.455 MHz were the frequencies for the low power backup beacons on the balloons.

Stations operating on 3.990 MHz were AAØYF at the Konza relay post, NØIN Manhattan , KØTCS near Wamego, KBØJYL Topeka (flight control station), NØLJK Topeka Mobile, and WØRPK Indianola, Iowa.

The following list of people were present or participated at the launch site: Lloyd KD4STH, Chris KBØWNK, Rob WN5HOO, Frank KBØUYF, Mike NØPVU, Chuck AAØRI, Nathan KC7JHO, Daniel KBØOTV, Jim KAØFEW, David NØIN, Gary KØHGJ, Dave NØLJK, Rock WØEFZ, Steve AAØYF, Mark N9XTN, and Francis WØEVJ. Others were involved in the chase and recovery. I will leave it to Chief Balloon Expert, Lloyd KD4STH, to report the technical details and results of the onboard cameras, instruments, and experiments.

Dr. Myron A. Calhoun, WØPBV
ARES Emergency Coordinator & RACES Radio Officer

What's in MY "Grab 'N Go" box?

To an amateur radio operator prepared for away-from-home emergency responses, a "Grab 'N Go" box is an already-packed box/suitcase/trunk which contains ham-radio-related equipment that may be useful at the emergency site. In addition to the obvious things, such as radios!, your box should probably contain many maybe-not-so-obvious things, such as that one-of-a-kind antenna connector on top of your "handi-talki".

My Grab-N-Go box has expanded from one original small wooden box until it now fills a very large briefcase (for VHF equipment), two large suitcases (for HF equipment), plus the original wooden box (for maps and other paper things). I use separate HF and VHF boxes because HF and VHF equipment can use very different antennas, power supplies, etc., and I've found that it's nice to keep related equipment together. Unfortunately, I don't have enough HT's, transceivers, power supplies, etc., to have a spare set waiting in each box, but I do keep the smaller stuff (tools, wire and cable, adapters, etc.) in my Grab-N-Go boxes, and on top of each box is a list of other stuff I have to grab on the way out the door.

If I were to "take the whole nine yards", here is what I would have:

High-Frequency Equipment

  • Five-band 100-watt transceiver (usually mounted in my pick-up truck)
  • AC power supply
  • Antenna tuner
  • Two microphones (microphones seem to fail all too regularly!)
  • A Morse key, and 80-, 40-, 20-, 15-, and 10-meter mobile antennas with a set-it-on-the-ground mounting base
  • 33-foot vertical antenna made from 10-foot sections of TV mast with pre-attached "pulleys" (ceramic insulators) at the 20- and 32-foot points
  • A Coke bottle (to insulate the vertical from ground)
  • 8 pre-cut guy "ropes" made of baler twine
  • 4 metal guy-stakes
  • A push-it-into-the-ground rod
  • All-band wire dipole antenna with open-wire twin-lead feeder
  • Small-but-heavy weight (for throwing over tree limbs) and several hundred more feet of baler twine! (Two MILES of ~200# test only costs about $25)!
  • For hanging antennas from really-high trees, a bow and several arrows are also always in my pick-up truck!

Very-High-Frequency Equipment

  • A two-meter transceiver (usually mounted in my pick-up truck, but, since VHF operation is so vital, I'll also grab another rig or three from my "shack"), AC power supplies, and microphones
  • As many Handi-Talkies as I can find, with spare batteries and both AC- and DC-powered chargers
  • Two hang-from-anything-above-my-head foldable ground-plane antennas, each homemade by soldering five ~20-inch lengths of #12 or #14 house-type copper wire to an SO-239 connector
  • A more-rigid two-meter ground-plane antenna that can be jury-rigged to the top of the 33-foot HF antenna mast

Miscellaneous Equipment in Both Cases

  • Riley County Emergency Preparedness Department and Red Cross identification badges and my FCC Amateur Radio License are ALWAYS in my wallet!
  • Red Cross hard hat (good for long-distance visual identification, too)
  • SEVERAL rolls of already-terminated coax cable, extra connectors (both male and female) and MANY adapters (PL-259, SO-239, N, RCA, and cable-to-cable unions)
  • Miscellaneous 12-volt power-supply cables, some with LARGE "alligator clips" for connecting directly to automobile batteries
  • Scanner(s)--one's "working" radio should NEVER be used as a scanner, 'cause it'll always be "hung" on some frequency OTHER than the one to which you should be listening!
  • CB (Citizen's Band) transceiver and microphone (any of the above-mentioned power supplies can be used) with a portable dipole antenna
  • Stereo headset with multiple inputs which I can use to listen to THREE (left, right, and middle) radios at the same time
  • MANY adapters for different audio plugs and jacks (1/4", miniature, sub-miniature, mono-, stereo-, RCA, .... About 10 of them altogether!)
  • Emergency batteries (several 15 Ampere-hour and at least one 60 Ampere-hour) and 120-volt chargers
  • Gasoline-powered emergency generator (if it's running!), with a spare can of gasoline, a funnel, and a 100-foot, 3-wire, heavy-duty extension cord (so the noisy generator can be located some distance away from the operating site -- The third wire is connected as a "remote sensor" so the generator controller can supply a solid 13.6 volts AT THE FAR END of the cable!)
  • Several shorter high-current (20 amp) low-voltage (12-volts) extension cords
  • Small high-intensity lamp (mounts on my HF antenna tuner) with spare bulbs
  • Tool kit with hammer, metric & inch wrench sets, several kinds of pliers, several kinds of screwdrivers, saw and hacksaw, soldering gun, soldering irons (both 120- and 12-volt, solder, hook-up wire, knives, strippers (wire, that is), electrical tape, VOM/DVM, AC- & DC-powered trouble lights ....
  • Pads of paper
  • Pencils or ball-point pens
  • Amateur Radio signs
  • Black markers (to make more signs)
  • Scotch or masking tape
  • Stickum labels
  • Message forms and blanks (ARL 63)
  • Emergency plan, lists of all amateurs in this area and their addresses
  • Telephone book (ALWAYS in car & truck) ....

And, if I were called out of town, I'd also take

  • Extra clothes, sox, shoes or workboots, coats, hats, gloves
  • Pillow, blankets and/or sleeping bag
  • Canvas or plasticized tarpaulins (~$3 for 8' x 10' on sale)
  • Food, drink, and eating utensils

--Myron A. Calhoun.

Nadine Stueve, KØUHF
May, 1998

Cash on Hand, 5/1/9820.00
Checking account balance, 5/1/9863.61
Savings account balance, 5/1/98 2,559.42
   Total on Hand, 5/1/98$ 2,643.03
   ARRL Dues53.00
Total Receipts53.00
Total Cash Available $ 2,696.03
   Newsletter - copy11.52
    Donation - Solar Car20.00
   Speaker's Meal6.05
   ARRL Dues51.00
   Liability Insurance325.00
    Equipment Insurance68.50
   Long Distance Charges.70
Total Expenditures 500.12
Cash on Hand, 5/30/9820.00 
Checking account balance,5/30/9816.49 
Savings account balance, 5/30/982,159.42 
Total on Hand, 5/30/98 $ 2,195.91

1998 MAARS Field Day Committees and Job Descriptions
Chairman: Norm NØJCCGeneral Chairman and Solar-powered station #1
Co-chair: Henry KAØSWMJune meeting and arrangements
Novice/Tech. Station: Mike, NØPVUResponsible for Novice/Tech. station set-up and operators
Pre-publicity: NØTSNAll publicity before Field Day signs
Information Booth: KAØSWMGreeting and informing public during Field Day
Bike Power: Jon NØRYQ 
Packet/Satellites: Daniel KBØOTVSatellites, 2-meter packet for bulletins, messages, etc.
WARN: Phyllis NØMJBStorm spotting information booth
WARN and message: Phyllis NØMJBWARN publicity and Send message to Section manager
Computer logging: Mike NØPVUSet up computers and software for logging and training
HF Station #1: NormTotal Solar Powered
HF Station #2: Chuck/Francis (CW)Focus on CW
HF Station #3: Fred KØTCSMixed CW and Voice
Generators: Fred KØTCSCoordinate all generators and gas (Soldan gen. for shelter)
Lights/shelters: Jon NØRYQSet up gas or electric lights, tables, chairs and shade, etc.
Operation coordinator: NormSubmit final form to ARRL/collect logs/schedule operators
Water, food: Phyllis NØMJBFood, water, etc.
6-meter station 
First aid: KØUHFFirst aid, bug spray, sun screen
SWL/Night Security: John NØPVTShortwave listening and night security
W1AW messages, All HF operatorsCopy message, accurate copy needed for report: ONE needed
Message Relays, All HF operators10 points for each, up to ten (100 pts.)

July 11PHD HamfestKansas City, MO
July 19Zero Beaters HamfestWashington, MO
August 1MO State ConventionSpringfield, MO
August 9CVARC HamfestAmana, IA
August 16CKARC HamfestSalina, KS
August 23Ak-sar-ben HamfestOmaha, NE
August 30Dubuque HamfestDubuque, IA
September 12CMRA HamfestColumbia, MO