Laws…Laws…Laws

by Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

 

            Unless we are anarchists, we all agree that we must obey laws.  Hams must follow the rules set forth by the FCC of the USA, which in turn must generally agree to follow international laws that comply with the communications rules of the ITU.  Those are not the kind of laws I will be writing about here.  I won’t be talking about all the federal, state and local laws that govern our vehicle driving and personal behavior limitations or responsibilities either.  Nor will I be writing much about the laws of physics, except to say that the laws of Newton and Ohm must intrinsically be obeyed by all engineers, technicians and hams. Trying to design or repair anything in a way that neglects those basic laws is a no-no, just as the laws governing thermodynamics and the conservation of energy can not be neglected in the real world.   These laws are stronger than theories and much stronger than oaths, codes, policies and research hypothesis.  Nope.   I’m going to write about some other types of “Laws” that are not really laws because they are actually limited predictions, which can only be statistically evaluated by the probability of events which may have happened in the past and/or are predicted to happen in the future.  One of these “Laws” that you have probably come across is an ironic “Law”, attributed to a man named Murphy, which states: Anything that may go wrong, will go wrong.  The certainty of this law is constantly ignored by Quality Control Engineers, who are willing to accept some risk of failure by being somewhat less pessimistic, and admitting that few complex things can be manufactured to absolute perfection, unless cost is not a consideration.  Most of the corollaries to Murphy’s Law are hard to disprove because you can’t apply them until they happen.  For example, the “Law” that says that you will always find a missing object in the last place that you look, can be proven by the fact that inversely you won’t find it there if it is so lost that it can never be found anywhere. A pessimistic “Law” that says that if you drop a piece of buttered toast it will always hit the floor on the buttered side, may be explained by the altered center of gravity created by buttering up the toast. That is why we toss coins instead of buttered toast if we want to bet fair.

            A now famous Law was written by Gordon Moore, a cofounder of Intel.  Moore predicted that the number of transistors possible on a single substrate would double each year.  In 1975, he revised his “Law” to doubling every two years.   This “Law” has generally held true since 1975.  In fact all computer capacities, speeds and capabilities have increased geometrically up to the present time and they continue to increase.  It is impossible for them to go on increasing however because they will eventually approach infinity and have to asymptotically veer off, lest they break other “Laws’ of subatomic super saturation.

             In my opinion, as an active Internerd, Godwin’s Law of 1990 has proven itself.  It states that: As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probably of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. 

            That all being said… Let me introduce you to Wexelbaum’s Law of pricing, purchasing and procuring precision parts.  It states that… If something is small it will get lost…If it is big it won’t fit…and if it is “temporally out of stock”, it won’t arrive until the day after it is no longer needed

 

 

 

PRESIDENT’S NOTE by ED GELLENDER, WB2EAV

 

BETHPAGE REPEATER

 

We have increased the transmit power of the Bethpage 146.745 repeater from the anemic 10 Watts we have had for about the last year, up to the usual 100 Watts.  The way that the antenna was mounted, we had a higher antenna SWR than we wanted the amplifier to see.  I bought a VHF antenna tuner and put it in the antenna line to tune out the SWR, but we were getting some weird results.  Just for fun I moved the antenna coupler to the amplifier output instead to match the combined load of the antenna and duplexer.  Things seem to be working pretty well now, at least as far as I can tell by myself.  I would like people to try it out and get back to me about how things are working for them.   

 

 

UPCOMING MEETINGS

 

August: The August meeting will be on Wednesday August 20th at the usual meeting time and place…5:30PM at Ellsworth Allen Town Park in Farmingdale.

 

September: SAVE THE DATE – Wednesday Sept 17th at 5 PM - The September meeting is going to be a big deal.  First, we are having a picnic with real food and beverages; probably hot dogs, burgers, etc.  We will be set up at a large pavilion so we can even hold the picnic in less-than perfect weather.  It is at the same place where we were for the June 2007 meeting; Marjorie Post Park in Massapequa.  In general, to drive there you take NY 135 (Seaford Oyster Bay Expwy) to its southernmost exit, Merrick Road East..  After about 3 miles you will see a park on the left.  Go past the park, then at the end turn left on Unqua Road.  Make a quick left into the park, and head back toward the far left corner….bypass the first lot, drive through the second and park at the far end, and then walk about 200 feet further west to the picnic pavilion.

 

We also are planning to have a guest speaker – Frank Fallon, N2FF.  Frank has been the Hudson Division Director for some years now and he is always a pleasure to meet and listen to.  Many years ago, Frank and I found out that we have something unexpected in common.  When Frank first got out of college, he started as a new teacher at Jr. H.S. 22 Manhattan, the (get this) Gustave Straubenmuller School.  I had just graduated the previous June.  To this day we are probably the only people on Long Island who can pronounce the school name correctly.

 

Looking forward to seeing all of you there on September 17th.

 

Ed, WB2EAV

 

                                         

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING 7/16/2008

Karen, KC2OPX, secretary.

 

The meeting was called to order by Ed at 5:40 PM.

 

TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV       REPEATERS Gordon, KB2UB

 Finances continue to be in good shape.                The Hauppauge repeater is doing fine.

                                                                               The Bethpage repeater is doing good.  

                                                                                     

VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP                               NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE

No VE session this month, since no                       Thursday night net 145.330 net had usual crowd,

            applicants applied.                                                  146.745 had only 3 check-ins.  Sunday morning was  good, but NY could not hear Florida stations.

                                                                                                                                                                   

OLD BUSINESS

Ed moved the antenna coupler on the Bethpage repeater.

Gordon called Eaton’s Neck for Lightship weekend.  The Petty Officer is on leave.

                               

NEW BUSINESS

We are planning a picnic for the Sept. meeting. The picnic originally planned for Allen Park, has since been planned for a different location.  See President’s message.  Frank Fallon will be the speaker.

 

PROGRAM

Our former President Pat, KE2LJ stopped by for a visit from Florida.  It is good to see him and he is doing well.  Discussed our September picnic meeting.  Hope everyone comes!

 

The meeting was adjoined at 6:30PM

 

GARC NETS:

40 Meters: 7.289 MHz at 7:30 AM EST Sundays.

2 Meters (via repeaters): 146.745 MHz (-.600)at 8:30 PM EST Thursdays.

                                           145.330 MHz (- .600) at 9:00 PM EST Thursdays.

[Tone for both repeaters is 136.5 Hz]         (ARES/RACES) Mondays

                                          

MEETINGS

General Meetings of the GARC are held on the third Wednesday of each month, starting at 5:30 PM.   The meetings are usually held at the Ellsworth Allen Park in Farmingdale.   Driving directions and maps can be obtained from http://www.mapquest.com   It is suggested that the GARC Web Site be checked to be certain of meeting location, which may change after this newsletter is distributed. Board meetings are held eight days before the General Meeting.                                                                     

                                                                                                                                 

GARC WEB SITE

The web site of the GARC can be found at http://www.qsl.net/wa2lqo/  Webmaster is Pat Masterson, KE2LJ.  Pictures of GARC activities, archives of newsletters, roster of members, and other information about the GARC may be found there.   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

INTERNET LINK OF THE MONTH FOR INTERNERDS

 

            We hams use a group of three letter signals to save us a lot of Morse Code characters or spoken words.  These are known as Q signals.   QSL?

             Many Hams think that Q signals were invented by the ARRL.  This is not so.  They were first used by commercial shipboard radio operators.  The Q signals that hams use are but a few of the possibilities.  They are listed in the amateur handbooks, but do not include all those that commercial operators have used. Commercial ops needed more official signals.  The only special abbreviation adopted by the ARRL is “QST” which means “CQ to all Amateurs and especially ARRL members…W1AW is about to broadcast.”  Hams are not supposed to broadcast…but the ARRL is the only organization that the FCC has given the special right to broadcast inside of ham bands.  “QST” is also the name of the monthly ARRL magazine that members get.

             “Q” was chosen for these signals because there are few words that begin with Q in the English language…and fewer Q- words that don’t begin with QU in most languages (except for the abbreviation of an Australian airline).  Thus there are no QU- radio signals, in order to be certain that these signals do not get confused with anything else.  “CQ” but no “QU-?”  All of the official Q signals start with QR- as they apply to receiving, QS- or QT- as they apply to transmitting.  The Internet link for this month lists a bunch of Q signals that the authors of the list (KA0SEY and K7ITL) say were missing until they found them..  You can read it on   http://www.zerobeat.net/qrp/missingq.html

For those who don’t have internet access, I’ll write a few of the “missing” Q signals here.

QBA   My antenna is big!

QBA?  How big is your antenna?

QBO    Don’t sit next to that guy in the meeting.

QBO?   Buddy, can you spare some soap?

….The list goes all the way to …

QZZ?    Is that a 60-Hz hum, or are you snoring?

            A word of caution:  Don’t use any of the QR- signals as listed on the link, as their meanings may be confused with QR-s of the official amateur or commercial serious list.  In fact I wouldn’t encourage anyone to use any of the “missing” Q signals on the air.  I would prefer that they remain lost. 

 

PUZZLE

Here is another cryptogram:  

 

LGWGC  GAESNPL  -  XDBC  JCPGLIM  ID  LDU  LGGI  PU,  NLI  XDBC  GLGHPGM  TPSS  LDU 

 

QGSPGWG  XDB  NLXTNX .   –GSQGCU  RBQQNCI--

 

Solution to July’s Cryptogram:  THE SECRET OF LIFE IS HONESTY AND FAIR DEALING.  IF YOU CAN FAKE THAT YOU”VE GOT IT MADE.   –GROUCHO MARX--                                                       

 

 

EDITORIAL

 

Our most popular daily LI newspaper “Newsday” has been bought by Cablevision.  This means that there is now a local media monopoly of sorts.  Cablevision and Newsday may say that there is no such monopoly because there are now hundreds of TV channels and newsletters and people have lots of options.  I for one don’t like monopolies.  I guess that you may have noticed that I don’t think that there should be only one organization to represent hams as the ARRL does…even though I believe that the ARRL does an excellent job.  This kind of dilemma was once debated by folks who didn’t like radio station WQXR (a classical music station) being owned by “The New York Times”. WQXR insisted that they would not editorialize on the air and would stick to playing music. Thus they won the debate.  Newspapers all over the USA are not doing well in the present economy.  Many folks who can use the internet are canceling newspaper subscriptions.  This kills weaker papers and only the strongest can survive.  Which brings us to our own little club newsletter.  Can it survive with fewer club members?  It can never be as big as “QST” or get bought by Motorola.  Nope…but if anything…It can be independent…while it lasts…I hope.

73,

w2ilp (Independent Little Pub?)

 

 

CQ de WA2LQO

AUGUST 2008

 VOL.  81, NO.  8

 

EDITOR

Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP

(631) 499-2214

w2ilp@optonline.net

 

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

All the members of GARC (we hope!)

 

CQ de WA2LQO is published monthly by the Grumman Amateur Radio Club for its members and friends. Send articles and amateur equipment advertisements to: W2ILP

Articles may be sent by e-mail or postal mail.  They can be in MS Word format or simply in plain text.  Articles will only be edited when permission is granted by the author.

 

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS

 

For insertion to the WA2LQO website, information may be sent to Pat Masterson.

Pat Masterson’s e-mail address:

Pat-Masterson@tampabay.rr.com

Ed Gellender’s e-mail address:

Edward.Gellender@ngc.com or wb2eav@yahoo.com

 

                                                                                                                        

 

GARC VE EXAMS

 

We are continuing to proctor exams for all classes of ham licenses on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 5:00 PM.

The present exams are:-

The Element 1 CW exam is no longer required.

Element 2: Technician

Element 3: General

Element 4: Amateur Extra Class

Please Note: THE EXTRA CLASS Q & A WAS CHANGED AS OF JULY 1, 2008.

 

The fee for 2008 is $14.00 for all exams taken in one sitting.

 

Applicants for upgrades should bring their present license and a photocopy of it and know their FRN number.

 

New, first time applicants should be aware that their Social Security number will be required on their application form, unless they register with the FCC for an FRN.

 

All applicants should bring picture ID such as driver’s licenses.

 

Until further notice exams will be given at:-

Briarcliffe College

1055 Stewart Avenue

Room: Long Beach #5

Bethpage, NY

Briarcliffe, Bethpage is located in a building that was formerly part of the Grumman complex.

 

All applicants should contact W2ILP to register, so as to confirm location.  If no applicants apply, the exam session will be cancelled. 

 

For any information e-mail w2ilp@optonline.net or phone-

(631) 499-2214

 

Study material is available at the web sites of the ARRL

http://www.arrl.org

or W5YI

http://www.w5yi.org

All VECs use the same Q &A pools.

 

Since the beginning of the VE program the GARC has provided opportunities to take the ham exams monthly, during all 12 months of every year.

 

Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP and the GARC VE team.

 


 

 

Computer Sayings

 

In the July 2008 issue of “Random Oscillations”, the newsletter of the Radio Central Amateur Radio Club, there is a list of Computer Sayings.  The list was attributed to Anonymous.  Since I don’t know Anonymous (although he sounds Greek to me), I’ll take the liberty of reciting some of the sayings anonymously here myself; editing them where I see fit and adding some of my own as well.

 

Home is where you hang your @.

The E-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.

Speak softly and carry an iPod.

C:/ is the root of all directories.

Pentium wise = # foolish.

The Greeks had no MS Word for it.

Don’t byte off more than you can view.

A Chat has nine lives.

Fax is stranger than fiction.

Modulation in all things.

Oh what a tangled website we weave when first we don’t practice to defrag.

What boots up must scroll down.

Don’t put all your hypes in one home page.

The geek shall inhibit the Earth.

The modem is the message.

Virtual reality is its own reward.

Give a man a dish and you can feed him microwaves for a day; teach him to point it and he’ll waste his time searching for ETs.

An Apple a day keeps a PC in standby.

Great oaths from little icons grow.

A fool and his memories are soon partitioned.

There’s no space like http://home

Have faith in apple-pie and motherboards.

A click in time may save CMOS.

Every chip must have a silver lining.

Any port on an ISB cable.

A pixel is worth a thousandth of a word.

The days of the digital clock are numbered.

 

A rolling strobe gathers no MOS.

Windows will never cease.

Never byte the bus that feeds you.

Take two aspirins and Google in the morning.

Don’t count your Gigabytes before they launch.

There is nothing new under the Sun work stations.

A slip of a disc may crash a hard-drive.

Care not for what your computer can do for you…Care what you can do to your computer!

Never look a gift survey in its modifiers.

Send no evil…View no evil…Hear no evil…Don’t pay your ISP bill!

A rose is a rose by any other name but product code bars form unique IDs.

Time and tides wait for no manufacturer’s rebates.

The printout isn’t mightier than a store receipt.

What hath Gates wrought?

 

73,

Bob w2ilp (I Laundered Proverbs)