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JPS exits Amateur Radio market: JPS Communications Inc of Raleigh, North Carolina, has announced it plans to leave the ham radio equipment market by the end of 1999. The company will cease manufacture and sales of all of its Amateur Radio products, including the popular NIR-12 DSP box and ANC-4 noise canceler. JPS says it plans to focus its future efforts on its land mobile and HF product lines. JPS says ham product sales have fallen to a level where manufacturing and selling them is no longer viable for the company. JPS says it will continue to offer product service and support. It's also
offering a last-time opportunity to buy either the NIR-12 and ANC-4 and says it will make the designs of these two products available at "reasonable cost" to an organization that might want to continue manufacturing them. For more information, visit http://www.jps.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Can Now Process SETI Signals Home
You can now participate in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence using your personal computer. All you need to do is download a simple screensaver software package from the SETI@Home project (for Windows, Macintosh, or Unix), install and let it run. The software downloads 300 kbyte signal samples and performs signal analysis. It takes 1 to 2 days of crunching to complete analysis of a 2 minute sample. I strongly encourage all Internet connected Amateur Radio operators to participate. Via link, 22 May 1999 via Amateur Radio Online
CARY ARC, Minutes for May 27, 1999
Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m., by Pres. Charles, KE4CDI. Introductions followed.
Treasurer's Report (in absentia) from Will, K4IWW. Savings: $1,215.24; Checking: $964.00; Total: $2,179.24.
Wake Digital Communications Group (WDCG) - Lee, N4AJF, said that the digi is working good at the new location (QTH of Al, N4VF). It is CNCLAN. Not much activity on it, though.
Piedmont-Coastal Repeater Network (PCRN) - Ed, AB4S, PCRN Treasurer, said that support is needed for the extensive work of the Network. There is a 6m repeater up locally. It is on 53.03 MHZ (-1).
Southeastern Repeater Association (SERA) - Frank, KE4ZEQ, mentioned for those not familiar with SERA, that it hopes to coordinate repeater activity in eight south eastern states. Without SERA, the demand for repeater frequencies would probably erupt into war. Other parts of the country don't have the relative tranquillity we enjoy here. Join the SERA and support the effort.
SWAPFEST - The Czar is Will, K4IWW. Due to the changing nature of 'fests, many of them are having difficulties. Four were canceled for 1999. We really need the support of all the CARC membership this year.
FIELD DAY - Please plan to attend AND plan to be involved in the 1999 CARC Field Day activities. Remember, you don't have to be there all 24+ hours. However, your presence and participation, even for a couple of hours, can be a great encouragement to the entire effort. Put a big circle around Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27, on your calendars. It wouldn't hurt to attend the CARC June meeting on June 24, either! The meeting is Thursday June 24 and it starts at 6:30 p.m. at Bond Park in the lower shelter near the ball fields. Take the first paved road to the right after entering the park.
Bob, K4HA, Field Day Czar, gave a tutorial on the workings of CT - the computer program we will use for FD logging. Bob laid down the law - NO PAPER LOGS THIS YEAR!!! You heard it here first. Field Day plans are taking shape with the station captains being appointed: HF CW #1: Alan, K4PB; HF CW #2: Tom, W4KX; HF Phone: Glynn, K4RKI(???); N/T: Frank, KE4ZEQ; VHF/UHF: Lee, N4AJF; Natural power: (???); Publicity: Herb, W3HL; etc., etc. Bob said the captains should make a good effort to schedule operators for the whole 24 hours. So, get on their lists in order to arrange some sanity in your Field Day weekend.
The June meeting of CARC will be Thursday, June 24, 6:30 p.m., at the Field Day site - Bond Park. Talkin on 147.15 MHZ +.6. Bring a lawn chair and an H/T.
FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!!
Frank A. Lynch, x-KE4ZEQ, is now known as W4FAL. Congratulations, Frank.
FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!! FLASH!!!
The Global Positioning Satellite System has been used to arrest an alleged criminal. It happened in State College, Pennsylvania where police used a GPS equipped beacon to track a suspected arsonist.
Police had a good idea who was setting the fires but the needed more proof. So, supplied with a warrant from the court, they slipped a Global Positioning System tracking device into the suspect's vehicle. Then, using satellites and cell-phone technology, they tracked his movements on a laptop computer back at their headquarters. Eventually the device helped the suspect to a fire last fall. This lead to his arrest on charges of arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.
While the suspects attorney expects to ask the judge to suppress the GPS gathered evidence an American Civil Liberties Union official takes a different view. He says that this type of tracker does not concern him any more than normal police surveillance because it was used under proper court supervision. (N2XRM)
In matters more directly related to every day ham radio, word that the Antique Wireless Association is now publishing an on-line edition of its Old Timers Bulletin. Included are portions from the print version together with the latest classified ads. It's on the web at: www.antiquewireless.org (EVHFC) via Amateur Radio Newsline - Newsline #1138 - 6/4/99
A Morse Story
Q-News' Graham Kemp, VK4BB, lifts the veil off a tale of two men involved with the creation of Morse code.
If you like a good read, look for a book on Morse and his partner Alfred Vail titled "At Speedwell in the Nineteenth Century" by Cam Cavanaugh, Barbara Hoskins and Frances D. Pigeon. Over the years the Morse and Vail families disputed who was the true inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. Vail recognized the potential in Morse's work where others, even Morse's own brothers, did not. Morse would received the patent, and all related patents while Vail would receive one-fourth of the U.S. rights. The book even suggests that it was Vail who replaced Morse's numbered dictionary code with an alphabet code employing dots and dashes. "Alfred had made the telegraph practical," it states.
Vail and Morse remained friendly, even when others filed lawsuits against Morse over telegraph patents, Vail always stood by him. Their families, on the other hand, were not as friendly. The book states that in 1911 "someone - a grandson, it is believed - engraved on Alfred's monument at St. Peter's Church, Morristown, these words 'Inventor of the telegraphic dot and dash alphabet.' via Amateur Radio Newsline - Newsline #1138 - 6/4/99
"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you...really!"
Free FCC call sign alert service: Chris Davis, KB0WWP, offers a new free service via his Web site that will automatically alert users that a pending FCC Amateur Radio transaction has occurred. It's at http://davisfamily.nu/hamcalls/mailinst.htm. Instructions are on the page. Say you just passed your Amateur Radio examination or put in for a vanity call sign and are waiting for that brand new call sign to pop out of the hopper at the FCC. Register and you'll be alerted by e-mail when it happens. Users also can register via e-mail to be notified, so Web access is not a necessity. To register, provide the following six lines of information in the body of a message to email@example.com: e-mail address; last name; first name; city; two-letter USPS state abbreviation, five-digit ZIP code. Davis says e-mails will be kept private, are not used for any mailings, and will be deleted after the transaction occurs or after 60 days. --Chris Davis, KB0WWP via The ARRL Letter - Volume 18, Number 23 (June 4, 1999)
How to spend a productive lunch hour...
W1AW Code Practice on the Web: Now you can access W1AW Morse code practice via ARRLWeb using RealAudio files. Visit http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/morse.html. A single click on a file name starts the practice. You'll need RealAudio (available free at http://www.real.com) to listen to these files. The practice files include the same text used for W1AW's regular code practice transmissions. The files are updated after W1AW broadcasts them. The Standard method is used for code speeds above 18 WPM. For code speeds below 18 WPM, Farnsworth method is used. The Web Morse practice follows the same format used by W1AW code practice transmissions. The practice text comes from QST. --Joe Carcia, NJ1Q via The ARRL Letter - Volume 18, Number 23 (June 4, 1999)
Morse Debate Makes Page 1 of Wall Street Journal
Hams checking the prestigious Wall Street Journal for the latest business news and stock quotes June 2 also found some Amateur Radio news--smack in the middle of page 1 and above the fold. A story by Staff Reporter Lee Gomes headlined "TO HAM OPERATORS, MORSE CODE TEST IS LIKE LATIN EXAM; Does It Keep the Barbarians At Bay, or Is It Fueling The Decline of a Culture?" discusses the current code versus no-code debate in Amateur Radio.
"Morse Code is a dying language in the Digital Age, but it's still required reading for amateur radio buffs," Gomes' story begins. His report outlines the broad strokes of the controversy and the impending FCC streamlining that is expected to address future Morse code requirements for amateurs. It also quotes the FCC's Bill Cross, W3TN, as "the FCC's lead staff person on the question," and reports that the FCC "is contemplating relaxing the Morse Code requirement."
Gomes cites Bruce Perens, K6BP, of No Code International, who--in Gomes words--considers Morse code "an antiquated technology" and "a turnoff for young people." "Perens is in the minority," Gomes asserts. "Most licensees don't want any change in the requirement--especially since they have already passed the test themselves."
Taking the opposite viewpoint in Gomes' article is Nancy Kott, WZ8C, of FISTS, which Gomes describes as a "militant pro-Morse group." Gomes says Kott "all but accuses the no-coders of taking bribes from ham radio makers" and claims they want the code requirements dropped to attract more hams and sell more equipment.
Gomes reports that FISTS members fear a lot of bad, on-air behavior "without the screening provided by the Morse Code requirement." Perens, Gomes says, is not concerned about a "post-Morse ham world inhabited by barbarians." Perens points out for the article that applicants still will have to pass "rigorous tests" to get a ticket. Besides, Gomes quotes Perens as saying, "The riffraff have no reason to leave the Internet."
The article is silent on the issue of ITU regulations requiring a demonstration of Morse proficiency for HF operation and on the fact that a codeless class of Amateur Radio license already exists. And, at one point it refers to Morse code as "dits and duhs."
This challenge was submitted by Craige, N4RED and comes from a new book called "Wordplay" by Chris Cole. The book is subtitled "A Curious Dictionary of Language Oddities."
Take the phrase ONCE UPON A TIME. Put it in Morse Code, then change all the dots to dashes and all the dashes to dots; redivide the symbols and you'll get a new, familiar two-word phrase. What is it? Here's a hint: each of the words has six letters.
Send your solutions to Frank for extra credit!
The graphic solution to the frequency planning problem can be found at http://www.ipass.net/~falynch/ke4zeq/index.html
Attention NC and VA Race Hams...er Fans
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gary Pearce KN4AQ)
An event called "Sunrayce 99" will be passing through Virginia and North Carolina on Monday, June 21, Tuesday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 23. The Sunrayce organizers have asked hams along their route to help provide communications and location reports, and I am asking YOU to volunteer if you can. (See "How Can You Help" below.)
First, a bit of background on Sunrayce:
Sunrayce is a 10-day, long-distance solar car race featuring some 40 college and university teams from across North America who design, build and drive cars powered solely by electricity from solar panels. The race begins on Sunday, June 20, in Washington near the Capitol. Competitors will follow a 1350-mile, five-state route over highways and country roads, pausing for midday pit stops or overnight stops in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. (for more background information, visit the Sunrayce web site at http://www.sunrayce.com).
In Virginia and North Carolina:
On Monday, June 21, the cars will leave their first overnight stop in Charolttesville, VA at 10 a.m. They will pass through their half-way point at Keysville, VA, and enter North Carolina on US 501 north of Roxboro, the 3/4 point. The day's finish is at NC State University in Raleigh, by about 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, the cars leave Raleigh, and pass the half-way point at the NC Motor Speedway along US 1, near Rockingham in Richmond County. They head west through the 3/4 point in Monroe, and finish the day at the Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord.
On Wednesday, the cars leave Concord, pass Grover, NC, en route to Clemson University in South Carolina.
What Hams Will Do:
We have been asked to relay reports as each car leaves the day's starting point, and passes the mid and 3/4 points. The reports will go to that day's finish line. So on Monday the 21st, we need relays from Charlottesville and Keysville VA, and Roxboro NC, all to Raleigh. On Tuesday, we need relays from Raleigh, Rockingham and Monroe, all going to Concord. And on Wednesday, we need relays from Concord to Clemson, and perhaps a 1/4 checkpoint relay in Grover, NC to Clemson.
How Will We Do It?
This is a good question, and we solicit your suggestions.
Plan A for Monday:
Forward reports from Charlottesville to Raleigh on HF, either 75 or 40 meters, depending on propagation.
Forward reports from Keysville via the PCRN linked repeaters in South Boston, VA and Raleigh, NC, but also have an HF operator as backup.
Forward reports from Roxboro to Raleigh via local repeaters.
Plan B for Monday: (you fill in plan B here)
Plan A for Tuesday:
Forward reports from Raleigh to Concord via the PCRN linked repeaters in Raleigh and either Ashboro or Charlotte. Also have an HF circuit and operators available for backup. Forward reports from Rockingham to Concord via PCRN linked repeaters in either Broadway, Lumberton or Dillon (SC) to Concord. Also have an H HF circuit and operators for backup. Forward reports from Monroe to Concord via local repeaters.
How Can You Help?
We need volunteers at all these areas, with VHF-FM gear good enough to reach the repeater systems (sometimes over 50 miles, to wide-coverage repeaters), and HF stations on 75 and 40 meters (with VHF-FM equipment to
talk to the hams at the checkpoints, of course). We have some volunteers already, but we need more in each area... especially the Rockingham, NC area.
Note that these are weekDAYS, not weekends. You'll need those days off (retired?). The finish line station will be busy from before 10 am to about 7 p.m. Other stations will have shorter activity periods.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
To volunteer for Monday, June 21, for Keysville through Raleigh, and for the Tuesday starting line in Raleigh, contact:
Matt Sickles W2BYV Wake Co. EC email@example.com 919-303-6657
To volunteer for Tuesday, June 22, for Rockingham through Concord, or for the Wednesday starting line in Concord, contact:
John Chaney KD4AQY Cabarrus County EC firstname.lastname@example.org 704 784-2291
This should be an exciting event to watch, and an interesting one to participate in. Please help ham radio look good!
73, Gary Pearce KN4AQ NC Section PIC