Monthly Newsletter Dedicated to the Advancement of Amateur Radio August, 2000

THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER
Brian Carter, KCØDWX

There are dozens of things you can do with amateur radio. The month of August presents us with a good opportunity to try meteor scatter. The Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12-13. I have read that experimenting with meteor scatter is as easy as tuning around on a normal radio receiver. Supposedly you can occasionally, if you are lucky, hear a distant station suddenly come in and then slowly fade back out.

The information on an attempt I found on the Internet for 2-meter meteor scatter work will be included in this months newsletter. Look for "NATIONWIDE 2 METER METEOR SHOWER TEST -- 11-15 AUGUST". It looks like setting up and attempting to make a contact would be fairly easy to do and it might be fun if an actual contact was made.

Sunday, August 27 will be the state convention hamfest in Salina. There is sure to be a number of people from the Manhattan area going to the event so be sure to check with other people and take more people per car. (Unless you need a lot of space for the goodies you plan on buying.)

For our August meeting, Chad Carter (NØZMG) will be demonstrating some of the ATV work we have recently heard him talk about (and that isn't "All Terrain Vehicle"). During the business portion of the meeting Dale Feldhausen will fill us in on his visit with the Boy Scouts to discuss MAARS involvement in the K-State Merit Badge Fair. The meeting will be August 11, 7:30 P.M., at the Red Cross building at 2601 Anderson. We look forward to seeing you all there as well as at the Sirloin Stockade at around 5:00 P.M. Until then 73, Brian, KCØDWX

NATIONWIDE 2 METER METEOR SHOWER TEST -- AUG. 11-15

The August QST Packet Perspective column by Stan Horzepa pondered a plan to test 2-meter meteor scatter. LETS DO IT! Amateurs nationwide are hereby encouraged to participate in the Perseids Meteor Shower which will peak on 13 Aug. Although 6 meters is far better than 2 meters for meteor scatter work, everyone has a 2-meter radio and we can make up in numbers what is lacking in performance. All you need is a TNC, and preferably high power and a beam. The objective is to see how many grid square (DX) packets you receive over the 4-day event.

Here is the plan: Stations in the four quadrants of the country will alternately transmit for 15 seconds. Stations will transmit the shortest possible meaningful packet formed by placing their 6 digit grid square in the UNPROTO TO callsign field. e.g., W3ADO>FM18SX: The suggested frequency is the ARRL experimental packet frequency of 145.79. BE SURE THIS FREQUENCY IS NOT OTHERWISE ASSIGNED IN YOUR AREA. EVEN so, you can still monitor!

STEP-BY-STEP SET UP PROCEDURES:

  1. Point your beam toward a major population area about 500 to 1000 miles away in one of the three other USA quadrants. If there is another 2m local station, coordinate your beam headings so that you are not both hitting the same azimuth and receiver target area.

  2. Enter your grid square into your TNT using the following command:
    cmd: UNPROTO FM18SX   (If you cannot estimate the last 2 digits, use AA)  Notice that there is NO VIA DIGIPEATER used!

  3. ATTENDED OPERATION: Enter the converse mode (cmd: CONV) and then each time you hit your carriage return key, you will send a packet. Hit 20 CRs and you will send a bundle of 20 grid square packets. Synchronize your clock with WWV and transmit as many CRs you can in the following schedule:
    North East stations transmit between 00 to 14 seconds
    South East ...       15 to 29 seconds
    South West ...       30 to 44 seconds
    North West ...       45 to 59 seconds

  4. UNATTENDED OPERATION: This will probably be the most successful:
    a) Set your BEACON TEXT to ^HP where H and P are single characters:
    H is beam heading divided by 10 and expressed by the digits 0 to 9 and then A through Z. 9 = 90, A = 100, B = 110, C = 120... Z = 350.
    P is the square root of your power %10 1 = 10,40,3 = 90...9 = 810
    b) Set your BEACON to EVERY 1. This is not in accordance with the scheduled 15 second cycle, but it is better than nothing if you are operating un-attended.

  5. Alternatively, run the APRS program version 71b or later, which has an automated mode for meteor scatter and will plot all received packets on the map. Also, in many areas, 145.79 is already being used for APRS.

    Read the APRS METEOR.txt file.

EXPECTATIONS: Meteor scatter paths are VERY specific between the transmitter and the receiver, typically any single event will only be heard by receivers within about a 20 mile footprint. This is why everyone can transmit at the same time in the same area, preferably pointing their beams in slightly different directions. As long as there is about 50 miles between identical TRANSMITTING stations, their signals will NOT probably hit the same receivers at the same times.

WRPK and K1HTV did make a successful 2 meter packet contact in 1984 over about a 1000 mile path, but it took 2.5 hours of constant packets. Hopefully by having hundreds of transmitters, and hundreds of receivers, we can improve the statistics. The best time for meteors is in the early mornings from 0400 to 0800 LOCAL time. But it is not much worse the rest of the day...

REPORTS: Since you will possibly see packets that no one else will see, send all gridsquare reports (Only those known to be greater than 250 miles distant) to me and I will compile the data. Be SURE to include your grid square!

Bob Bruninga, WB4APR@KA3RFE.MD or bruninga@greatlakes.nadn.navy.mil (preferred)

P.S. The Naval Academy 40 foot dish (Annapolis, MD) will beam toward Florida on the 11th, Atlanta on the 12th, the Midwest on the 13th. Dunno about the final 2 days yet. Expected ranges are only about 550 miles, though, because the elevation cannot get down below 10 degrees. The range to Atlanta and Indianapolis are about perfect for that...

73,
Brian Carter
KCØDWX


SECRETARY'S MINUTES
Francis Sable, WØEVJ

Before the formal meeting, July 14, 2000, Kermit, KBØEEF, delivered the pre-cut plywood pieces of a shelf assembly to the radio room at the Red Cross building. With assistance from some other members, he completed it by fastening the pieces with screws.

The formal meeting was started by Brian, KCØDWX, at 7:30 P.M. An announcement was made by Nadine, KØUHF, that she had received an email from a Lannie Robins, AC5WG, Texas, directed to the Manhattan amateur group and requesting that we consider assisting Jerold Murray, age 7, Manhattan, in preparing for an amateur radio license. He is reportedly interested in doing this. After some discussion it was decided that we could do this, although he seemed young at age 7 to be motivated and capable of meeting the requirements. His father's name is Scott Murray.

We have a discussion of Field Day contacts made and scoring points. The number of contacts were: 118 on 20 m, 11 on 15 m, and 3 on 10 m for a total of 132 on CW. The phone contacts were: 1 on 2 m, 31 on 6 m, 45 on 10 m, 56 on 15 m, and 92 0n 40 m. This is a total of 357 contacts. after applying the x2 multiplier for CW contacts we have 489 points. Then applying the x2 multiplier for all transmitters under 150 watts output, we have 978 points. After adding 500 bonus points for 5 of the bonus point categories we participated in , we claim a total of 1478 scored points. Our Field Day summary sheet and supporting information have been sent to ARRL.

Brian announces that MAARS has been offered for sale a Kenwood HF transceiver model TS-830S which was bought by Paul, NØUZN, at an estate sale. The price to MAARS is $200. There follows discussion about the transceiver and about the necessity to erect antennas to use with it. Chuck, AAØRI, reports that the radio looks like new in appearance although about 15 years old. He also said that there seemed to be no microphone with it. Chuck makes a motion that MAARS purchase the radio as offered. Mike, NØPVU, seconds the motion. Members present vote to approve this purchase.

Henry, KAØSWM, reports that there may be available an HF vertical antenna , a Cushcraft R-6000, that has been damaged by a wind storm , but probably can be repaired. It was decided that this be investigated as a possible antenna for use at the Red Cross building.

There is lengthy discussion led by Brian about participating in the annual Boy Scouts of America radio merit badge classes and examines to qualify for the merit badge. They have been in the past conducted at KSU by some of the KSU engineering staff assisted by MAARS members. The general opinion of MAARS members who have participated in this event is that there has been poor coordination between the Scout organization and the group conducting it. Also some of the Scout merit badge applicants are poorly prepared and may not have completed the requisite home work. It is recommended that if we agree to continue this annual event that we first communicate with the appropriate regional Scout leaders, (Coronado Area Council), and suggest that prospective radio merit badge recipients prepare more adequately with the assistance of radio merit badge councelors local to their particular communities or areas. MAARS volunteers for assisting with the merit badge program signed up as a committee to further study and plan for it. Meeting adjourned by Brian. The attendance for this meeting was 14. Thanks to Dona Rose, NØZKX, for providing the home-baked cookie snacks.


TREASURER'S REPORT
Nadine Stueve, KØUHF
July 2000

Total Cash Available, 7/01/00 $ 1,496.81
 
Receipts:
      interest - savings account11.77
Total Receipts    + 11.77
 
Expenditures:
      radio room shelf45.00
      HF radio180.00
      telephone22.75
      Field Day Porta-Potty75.00
Total Expenditures    - 322.75
 
Cash on Hand, 7/31/0020.00 
Checking Account Balance, 7/31/00130.09 
Savings Account Balance, 7/31/001,035.74 
 
Balance on Hand, 7/31/00 $ 1,185.83


ARRL DUES

If you would like to become a member of or renew your membership in the American Radio Relay League and receive the monthly issue of QST, your treasurer has a form you may use to apply. If renewing, just bring along your notice of renewal to the club meeting. The club is allowed to retain $5 of each new member's dues and $2 of each full member who is renewing. Since the club retains the dues, it is necessary for you to write your check to MAARS, and then the treasurer writes a check to ARRL for the amount minus the $5 or $2.

MAARS DUES

Dues will be due by Oct. 31 and are: regular membership $20, full-time student $10, family $30. Please complete the following when renewing your membership, even if you did so last year. Return to the Treasurer, at a meeting or to MAARS, P. O. Box 613, Manhattan, KS 66505-0613.

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