Monthly Newsletter Dedicated to the Advancement of Amateur Radio September, 1999
THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER
Phyllis Dillman, NØMJB
Kermit Fairbanks, KBØEEF has undergone quadruple bypass
surgery today, September 3, 1999 and is presently at
St. Francis Hospital in Topeka. We all wish Kermit a
Thanks to Chuck, AAØRI for talking to us about RFI
regulations at our August meeting. It looks like most
hams don't have to worry about filling out the forms.
Thanks, that's good news.
Our next meeting will be our annual picnic on Sunday,
September 12 at 4 P.M. Bring your own meat or main dish
and something else to share. The club will have coffee
and hot water available. We'll be at the park below
the Tuttle Creek Dam north of Manhattan at shelter #2.
The RED CROSS has moved to a new location at 2601
Anderson on the west side of Manhattan. Our October
meeting will be there. We have a big radio room under
separate key and a nice meeting room that's much bigger
than the old one. We need to start planning for
antennas and other station details.
The October meeting will be a program about Sunrayce 99
or a video on the history of radar. If you are
interested in serving as a club officer or on the
nominating committee, see one of the present officers.
The elections will be at the November meeting along
with an auction of some instruments, computers and ham
XYL dinner Sept. 23th. It will be at Java, 1219 Moro,
at 7:00 P.M.
Norm Dillman, NØJCC
Emergency Power for the MAARS Repeater.
A lot has happened with the planning for the emergency
power backup since the last newsletter. There is still
significant disagreement about what we should do so
I'll try to give the facts as I know them and we can
vote at the picnic about how to proceed. Four ideas
have been proposed by club members:
- a permanent motor/generator set with automatic startup.
- Battery backup with portable generator available for long power outages.
- Battery backup with photovoltaic assist.
- Battery backup with no assist except for major, major emergency.
This first thing everyone needs to realize is that a
"12 volt" supply is all we need to operate the repeater
and the controller. The repeater has an internal AC
power supply that runs both boxes and keeps an external
battery charged. The battery automatically switches ON
to power the system when the power goes off. The power
requirement (for battery operation) is 4 Watts on
receive and 33 Watts on transmit. This corresponds to
0.34 Amp and 2.75 Amps. (This is one reason why I
don't favor a 3000 to 5000 Watt motor generator and I
don't want to be responsible for one that would operate
all the equipment there).
The key to determine how much energy we need is to
estimate how much time we'll be transmitting during an
emergency. For normal repeater operation I estimate
that we transmit less than 10% of the time. The
Colorado Repeater Association actually monitors their
hourly usage per week and they have found that the
hours of use is significantly less during real
emergencies. People are trained to keep transmissions
short. To be very conservative, I suggest we use 30%
for our average use over several days of emergency.
It's certainly less than that during storm watches and
during the flood of '93. That figures out to an
average of 1 Amp average or 24 amp-hours per day.
We have some free, slightly-used electric vehicle,
valve-regulated, mat, Delphi (#19010704) lead acid
batteries. These have been professionally tested and
are at their full capacity which is greater than 60 amp
hours at low current loads. If we use three in
parallel (they're matched so we can do that) we should
get a little over a week of operation. I have not
checked the price of large deep-cycle, replacement
batteries for comparison. It's almost impossible to
get these mat-type, sealed batteries to outgas but if
they are overcharged at high currents they can give off
small amounts of hydrogen so we will vent them through
the hole where our ground goes outside. These
batteries never need to have water added but should be
turned upside-down once a year. (It's recommended
that they stand on one end or the other).
Our home is on the same power system as the repeater
and our longest outage in the past nine years has been
about 3 days. A week would be a major emergency.
My concerns with a permanent motor/generator set are
- it's 100 times more power than we need,
- fuel storage is a safety, liability issue,
- switching into the grid is a safety, liability issue,
- installation will be expensive and not easy and
- to have reasonable reliability we'd need to do
frequent preventative maintenance.
A more popular proposal is to use a photovoltaic array
(solar cells) to extend the battery life. The cost for
a nice system (module and controller) that would extend
the battery life forever during the summer and give us
3 to 5 more days during a cloudy winter month is about
$500 plus the cost of mounting. In my opinion this
would be reliable, low maintenance and a fun,
educational project for the club. But it's hard to
justify economically since it is VERY unlikely that we
would ever really need it at our present location. I
think I can arrange for the loan of a good module for a
year or two we elect to try this.
Irregardless of the plan we use, we should have a have
battery back up. The three batteries have been
installed so we have a one week backup supply already.
We do not need any permission from the radio station
to do this. We also have circuits designed and John,
NØTOK, has some of the controller already programmed
for the following features:
- The repeater would immediately and automatically
operate with a different courtesy tone after each
transmission AND announce "emergency power" after
each ID when the AC power is OFF. When the power
returns, the repeater will automatically return to
- We could turn the AC power ON and OFF remotely for
- The battery status would be announced with proper
codes to indicate the state of charge by measuring
the voltage range of the batteries; ex. "battery
warning" would be less than about 11 volts,
"battery low" would be from 11 v to 11.5 v , "battery
OK" would be from 11.5 v to 13 v, "battery charged"
could be above 13 volts.
With these features we could periodically test the
system without ever going up the hill. The parts for
this custom-built system will cost just a few dollars
and will be provided free of charge by Tim and Norm.
Anyone interested in learning how it works can help
The estimated repeater operating time on battery is
based on the battery capacity. Typically, DC
electronic equipment will operate at reduced voltages
similar to the battery minimum voltage. We do not know
at what voltage the repeater quits working. It's not
in the manual. If it's greater than the "dead battery"
voltage the operating time will be reduced. We can
determine this experimentally sometime soon.
I hope this information will allow everyone to make a
more informed decision. and let you know what is going
Lenore Layman, NØTSN
Manhattan Area Amateur Radio Society
August 13, 1999
Chuck Carter, AAØRI was our speaker for the evening on
a discussion of radio safety frequencies.
Starting in October the new meeting location for our
club will be 2601 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan - the
upper part of the building as you enter the street
level floor turn left and go down the hall. Dan Weir
stated that there would be no problem with our
antennas, the room consists of one window, and a
Our club will need to renew the KSDB lease as our ten
year lease is over. Normally our club has been paying
$12.00 a year. A motion was made and discussed and all
were in favor of paying up to $50.00 a year possibly
Emergency preparedness - Myron approached the club with
a concern regarding midnight on December 31st, he would
like to have 20 hams think about helping emergency
preparedness "just in case", a strobe light will be
provide for the top of your car. If you think you might
be interested, contact Myron WØPBV.
A 3 KW diesel generator with an automatic start has been
offered to the club at no cost - it will be used help
run KSDB or to be used at the Red Cross Building. This
generator was originally purchased for the new com-van
only it does not fit. The club would have to run the
generator at every club meeting, if for some reason we
might be unable to get this generator the club might
consider purchasing a 5KW generator - more at the
picnic or the October meeting.
One of the members of the solar car club works for a
company that makes batteries and he was able to get us
a battery. The battery is an electric vehicle battery
that puts out 11 watts it would be able to run the
repeater for at least 3 days we could add a few
circuits so the repeater can announce when it is going
down. The life span of the battery is 2-3 years and has
the same characteristics as a gel cell. A motion was
made and all were in favor to buy a smart charger for
the battery and spend up to $50.00.
Chuck discussed the new forms. Form 610 has been
replace by the 605 ULS (Universal license system) it
requires your social security number or tax payer
number, also vanity call changes can be made, on the
form when it tells you to sign your name you just need
to type in your name.
Picnic - Lenore will see if we can change the picnic
from Saturday, September 11 to Sunday, September 12 if
that date is unavailable we will change to picnic to
Sunday, September 19th - or if these dates are not
available then we will change the location of the
shelter. Any changes to the reservation will cost
$10.00. Listen to the Tuesday night net for the new
date of the clubs picnic. Bring your own meat and a pot
luck dish to share, starts at 4:00 p.m. Included in this
newsletter is a map of Tuttle Creek State Lake shelter
#2 the location of our picnic - this will be the same
location as our past picnics.
A mini auction may be held at the October meeting.
Dues need to be paid in October in order to vote at the
September 11 - hamfest in Columbia, MO
There is a test session in Salina on the second Monday
of the month at the Salina police station, you do not
need to register first.
There is no regular scheduled meeting in September, see
you on October 8th at our new location.
For a map of the Tuttle Outlet Park (site of the
picnic), click here.
FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
Chuck Carter, AAØRI
There will be a short business meeting at the club
picnic to discuss the repeater power backup plans.
Also we will discuss purchasing antennas for the club
station. We don't have any radios at the station but
if a power supply and antennas were already installed
we could be open for business is a matter of minutes.
Bev, NØRKO, sent me the following URLs and information
for those interested:
There will be a Morse code class in Lawrence, KS
starting September 13th. The class will run for 8
Mondays and will be concluded with an exam session.
Classes are free. For more information contact Bob
Drake, NØTFU, (785) 842-5961 or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jim Canaday, N6YR,
(785) 841-1903, or e-mail email@example.com. The classes
are sponsored by the Douglas County ARC and will be
held at the basement of the Lawrence Judicial and Law
Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th at 7:00 P.M.
Thanks for submitting this information Bev, I hadn't
seen anything of it.
annual picnic at shelter house #2
below the dam at Tuttle Creek
Nadine Stueve, KØUHF
|Cash on Hand, 8/01/99||20.00|
|Checking account balance, 8/01/99||82.47|
|Savings account balance, 8/01/99|| 2,023.00|
|Total on Hand, 8/01/99|| ||$ 2,125.47|
| no receipts||0.00|
|Total Receipts|| || 0.00|
|Total Money Available|| ||$ 2,125.47|
| Newsletter - printing||5.97|
| Newsletter - postage||33.00|
|Total Expenditures|| || 58.96|
|Cash on Hand, 8/31/99||20.00|| |
|Checking account balance, 8/31/99||23.51|| |
|Savings account balance, 8/31/99||2,023.00|| |
|Total on Hand, 8/31/99|| ||$ 2,066.51|
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.
Back to Newsletters
Back to Main Page