NO MORE MORSE CODE EXAMS as of FEBRUARY 23rd!

By Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

 

As of February 23rd 2007, there will be no Morse Code exams required for any class of amateur radio license. This is like a second shoe being dropped, because it legalizes the fact that anyone who has passed or will pass the exam for General Class (Element 3) and/or the exam for Extra Class (Element 4) will then be given full General or Extra Class privileges without passing any CW exam.†† However the upgrade is not automatic or retroactive without application.Those who wish to be upgraded must go to a VE session and apply for the upgrade, even if they hold a certificate for successfully passing Element 3 and/or 4, that is less than one year old.

Another situation may not be clear to many, and that is that Technician Class hams who passed the Technician exam between March21, 1987 and April 15, 2000 will not be given credit for passing Element 3, because the Technician exam was not the same as the General Exam between those dates.

The Grumman Amateur Radio Club traditionally holds VE sessions on the second Tuesday of each month.Our next scheduled session is on February 13th.We will be unable to issue upgrades without CW credit at that time.One applicant has contacted me who wants to take the 5 wpm CW exam.This is the last VE seesion where it will be available.Our March VE session will be the first without any CW exams and the first where we will be able to officially upgrade applicants to General or Extra Class without any CW exam.

I donít know why the FCC made it mandatory to apply for upgrades through the VE system, even when no additional tests are required..I donít think that ARRL, W5YI or any other VEC can directly profit much from handling the delayed paper work.I think that perhaps there are other motives to this requirement.Obviously only the folks who remain interested in amateur radio will bother to upgrade by going to a VE session.If upgrading were to be automatic there might be a lot of grandfathering of people who donít really care to upgrade by taking the trouble to visit a VE session and pay the application fee.

I noticed something at the HRU 2007 event, where I was helping as a VE at a VE session for which ARRL was the VEC.Attached to each certificate of passing there is an application for ARRL membership.

W5YI-VEC has no such advertisments for membership attached to certificates of passing.The W5YI Group, unlike the ARRL, is not a membership organization.W5YI no longer publishes a newsletter, so it has nothing to sell.

 

 

 

NO MORE MORSE CODE EXAMS (continued)

 

VE sessions are maned by non profit volunteer examiners.As such, allVE sessions are supposed to be extensions of the Federal Communication Commision, and it is not their purpose to sell anything or initiate anyone into any non government organization.The purpose of VE Sessions should be, in my opinion, solely to determine if applicants are qualified to be issued licenses by the FCC, by applying the rules of FCC Part 97.That is why there is more than one VEC and that is why the original rules were made to prevent selling anything or having the possibility of being influenced by any transactions other than license examinations themselves at VE sessions.The FCC, it seems, has relaxed those rules for the ARRL.

The FCC has also long permitted W1AW, the ARRL station, to broadcast on ham radio frequencies, while banning anyone else who broadcasts.In lobbying for all hams, apparently the ARRL lobbies for themselves.This is not a bad thing, except for the fact that all hams have not been polled to justify the ARRLís lobbying positions.The ARRL can not please all hams and the FCC does not always approve of ARRL petitions, although they do seem to generally carry more weight than those from individual hams.

Now I too am a member of the ARRL, and I find their QST magazine to be valuable but that does not mean that I think that all hams must join it.†† I like our elected ARRL representatives.I appreciate the ARRLís organized volunteers and thei dedicated staff in Newington.I like the educational courses that the ARRL are now running and I myself think that more serious hams shold take those courses or help by instructing or mentoring those who take them.Thus my complaints about ARRL advertisiments at their VE sessoions are simply nit-picking.In my opinion ARRL membership should be strictly up to each individual.Some say that the AARP is an organization that all senior should belong to because it lobbies for seniors, but it also lobbies for the AARP, which is an advertising agency of private insurance companies and pharmasutical corporations.†† I can only see that these matters are truly conflicts of interest in both the case of the AARL and the AARP.†† In the case of the AARP; I have also joined another organization for seniors called the Alliance for Retired Americans, which lobbies for seniors and does not have close ties to insurance companies or pharmacies.

The gate to ham radio has been narrowed and widened over the years and at every change there has been conflicts of opinion and questions about the quantity verses the quality of hams (that result from exam requirements), as well as technology verses tradition. Because ham radio means different things to different people there will always be differences in opinuion on how it should be defined and what in reality can be expected to be its basis and purpose, if any.Ham Radio may be defined as a service, but it is only a voluntary service at its best.

There was a time when there were only three classes of ham licenses:- Class A, Class B, and Class C.Clasas A gave full ham band privileges, Class B gave all CW subband privilages but no use of 75 Meter or 20 Meter Phone.!0 Meter Phone was permitted for Class B.At that time there were no phone subbands on 40 or 15 Meters.Class C was a Conditional Class for those who were tested by hams, but not be tested at an FCC office because they lived more than 125 miles from one.Class C operators had the same privilages as Class B, but they could not upgrade to Class A without being tested at an FCC office.It was then recvognized that there were too many hams crowding the HF bands.VHF frequencies were not being used by many at that time.The problem was handled by increasing the CW test speed from 10 to 13 words per minute.This was a stumbling block for many of the would-be ham applicants, because it takes a good deal of practice for most to get over the 10 wpm hurdle.The Class A, B, C situation remained the same prior to and after WW2.In spite of the fact that many veterans of WW2 became hams, it was recognized that there were not as many young people becoming hams.This was believed to be because of the popularity of television.Kids, even those who were technically inclined, were spending too much of their spare time watching TV.Also the VHF/UHF technology was improved so that there was room for lots of ham radio on 6 Meters, 2 Meters, and above.†† The Novice license that began in 1951 provided what was thought to be a learners permit to get youngsters started in ham radio.It requiered a simple written test and only 5 wpm of CW.The Class A license became the Advanced Class.††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Page 2

NO MORE MORSE CODE EXAMS (continued)

 

The Class B license became the General Class.A new Technician Class was also starteed in 1951.It required the same written test as the General Class but no CW exam, and it offered only VHF/UHF privilages.†† Obviously this was supposed to be for the techie experimenters, who were to pioneer the development of VHF to microwave frontiers.†† In my opinion neither the Novice nor Technician Class achieved exactly what they wee meant to achieve.The Novice Class license late became renewable and was no longer a functional learners permit.Most of the Technician Class OPs were yacking on 6 or 2, much like CBers, and very few advanced the state of the art.by communicating with newly evolving auto-directed microwave dishes.

Now we get to the present day when it is feared that youngsters are busy learning to operate computers and communicating on the worldwide Internet and with their Cell Phones locally.The attempted way to get more hams into the hobby is now the total elimination of all CW exams and the continuation of the easy finite fixed Q & A, multiple choice exams, which can bepassed without any real understanding of radio technology, by applying rote memorization.This is all done in order to get more people into ham radio.Lobbyists like to say that they represent lots of people, and thus lots of potential voters.I donít know if there will be as many youngsters attracted away from their computer monitors and iPods now than there were attracted away from their TV CRTs (boob tubes) in 1951.I suspect that there will not be as many as hoped for.

Last month I wrote about Ham Radio University 2007 (HRU2007), which is an annual event with the main purpose of presenting information and education to hams and those who may want to become hams.I had to release the newsletter before the event actually took place, so I could not report on its results at that time.HRU2007 was attended by about 300 people, which seemed to me to be a lot less than the attendence at HRU2006.I missed seeing many of the hams who had showed up at previous HRUs and I had the impression that there werenít very many newcomers, although there were a few.The most interestiung thing was the VE Session at HRU2007.This did attract many applicants, as HRU VE Sessions usually do.Some take exams impulsively because they are there, without adaquete study preparation , so that there are usually more failures at the HRUs than at normally scheduled VE Sessions. This year the anticipation of no code General and Extra class licensing led to many applying for the element 3 and/or 4 written exams.When it was explained that they would have to attend another VE Session to get the CW credit, only one prospective applicant decided not to apply, so as to avoid paying two fees.The following numbers were provided by Walter Wenzel, KA2RGI, who ran the HRU 2007 VE Session from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM on January 7, 2007.

Elements:††††††††††† 1†††††††††† 2†††††††† 3†††††† 4††† †††Total

Passed:††††††††††††††† 0†††††††††† 8††††††† 15††††† 2††††††† 25

Failed:†††††††††††††††† 1†††††††††† 3†††††††† 4†††††† 8††††††† 16

Total:†††††††††††††††††† 0††††††††† 11††††††† 19††† 10†††††† 41

New Licenses earned:Tech = 9†† General = 0†† Extra = 1†††† Total = 10

Candidates that did not earn an upgrade or initial license at this session =23

Total candidates served at this session = 33††

Number of VEs that participated at this session = 11

VEs were: KA2RGI, K2TV, N2UHR,W2EUL, WB2KHO, WA2AQQ, W2ILP, K2KFV, KC2E, KKG4IKG, N2RQ

Note that there were 17 applicants who passed Element 3 or 4 Exams. Only one upgraded to Extra.The applicant who took the Element 1 (CW exam) failed it.Thus there are 16 applicants who can upgrade without further testing after Feb 23rd, by going to another VE Session and applying for the upgrade without CW credit.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pasge 3

 

††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

PRESIDENTíS PAGE

BY

KE2LJ

 

††††††††††† The situation on the Bethpage property is diminishing for the Club, and there is almost nothing that anybody can do about it. The first problem is the 745 repeater. We were told in October to move the repeater and antennas off the roof of plant 14 by the end of November. I immediately got I touch with some people, and Facilities said they would find us a site. Nothing seemed to happen, and I sent emails to them on a monthly basis. As late as January, they kept telling me that they were having meetings, and would get back to me. I tried to remind them, that they shouldnít be choosing transmitter sites without a radio engineer present. They ignored me. Then I got the dreaded call last week. There were workers on the roof, and they needed to know which antennas were ours, as they had to take everything down right away. I went up there, and identified our current antenna, and the StationMaster that we were using last year on the tower. They were asked to lower them to the ground, and stash them behind the trailer.I shut off the power to the repeater itself. Our plan may be to put the repeater at the west end on 14 somehow. The second problem is the trailer. I was subsequently informed that we had to get out of the trailer. They didnít know why. We did a quick tour of the ground floor, and found a small room where we could place the repeater, and store some gear. But, there wonít be enough room for meetings. So if we are to continue to have Board meetings on the property, we need to use a regular conference room in 14 or 15. That being the case, I donít see any reason to come onto the campus at all. It wouldprobably be easier to go to a different place, like the library or the Allen Park meeting room. This will all be discussed at our next meeting. On 2/16, Iím heading to Tampa with a truckload of furniture and boxes from my house in NY. Iíll be there for about 10 days, so Iíll be missing the Club meeting. The Tampa house has had its floors done, and the walls are being prepped and painted. So this is a good time for us to do the first wave of moves to Florida. Itíll take us about 3 days to get there. Then we have to pick out bathroom vanities and fixtures, and buy appliances for the kitchen. Once those things are done, my contactor will rebuild the bathrooms and kitchen. Within a month or so, the place will once again be habitable. We are also having a two car garage built, with extra high doors, for SUV sized vehicles. The slab has been poured, and walls are now being erected. Thereís also new electric service going in, new soffets, and a new aluminum screened porch. All these projects take a lot of my time (and money), and I now find myself making frequent trips to Tampa to take care of things. My availability in NY will be a lot less than normal, and taper to nothing by the time I retire during the summer. I also have to get the NY house ready to sell in the Spring, so thereís a lot to deal with on both ends. My tower has to get dismantled and moved. But, that needs to wait until warm weather. Maybe Iíll get lucky, and the new owner will want the tower to stay up. When I finally get settled in Florida, Iíll deal with putting up a tower there. Right now, I have bigger fish to fry.

-Pat KE2LJ

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING -1/17/07

 

Secretary, Karen KC2OPX

 

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

 

TREASURERS REPORT Ė Ed, WB2EAV †††††††††REPEATER REPORT Ė Gordon, KB2UB

(not Present)†† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††(not present)

Finances continue to be in good shape.†††††††††† ††††††††Nothing new, Repeaters working.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

VE REPORT Ė Bob, W2ILP†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE

No applicants applied.early. No GARC††††††††††††††††††† Sunday morning net was good.

VE Session in Jan. See HRU-VE Session†††††††††††††††† Thursday night was good.

described elsewhere in cover article..††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††

OLD BUSINESS:

Pat had some DX magazines from Marty, NN2C house to pass around.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

The new meeting place in Farmingdale worked out well.The directions were easy to follow and the room was big and well heated.

 

PROGRAM

Bob, W2ILP was the speaker.The topic was The Evolution of Frequency Control.- from crystal oscillators to frequency synthesizers.

 

The meeting was adjoined at 6:45 PM.

 

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. Suspended 2/07.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 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 will be held at the Allen Ellsworth Park in Farmingdale.Check the GARC web site to be certain of meeting location, which may change after this newsletter, is distributed. Board meetings are held eight days before the General Meeting.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Page 5

 

 

 

††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

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.

 

SILENT KEY

We note with sadness the passing of Dave Ramsey, WA2HGK on December 23, 2006.Dave resided in Floral City, Florida. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

INTERNET LINK OF THE MONTH FOR INTERNERDS

 

I found a very good web site when I did a search for information about military equipment.It is:

http://hereford.ampr.org/cgi-bin/millst

This is a data base for military equipment.When you get to this site you type in the nomenclature of any military equipment that you want to look up.Then you click on it. ††There are block diagrams, schematics, descriptions, and/or pictures of most pieces of military equipment there.I found ARC-5, BC-610, PRC-6, AN/GRC-3, SCR-522, BC-221 and others there.This could help to identify or modify surplus equipment, or in my case, to remember some of the gear that you may have used or worked with in my past.It has historical value as well, because you can see what was being used during WW1, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam conflict and compare it to the technology of today that is now being used by most hams.

 

2007 DUES

 

Dues for 2007 are now due.You are paid up the end of the year that is on your address label.

 

Basic membership dues are $20 per year.Multiple members of the same household pay the family rate of $25.Retirees living outside of the New York City metropolitan area can pay the associate member rate of $5.

Send dues checks payable to G.A.R.C., or any other mail to:

GARC

P.O. Box 664

Bethpage, NY 11714-0644

PUZZLE

Here is another cryptogram:

 

LHJVBJHWDFLWQAFGO†† QXJELUQX†† ZQIGOXPDF†† DOUQYYQEU.ĖPGALEQWGAUQA-††††††

 

Solution to December 2006 Cryptogram:I WAS THROWN OUT OF COLLEGE FOR CHEATING ON THE METAPHYSICS EXAM.I LOOKED INTO THE SOUL OF THE SOUL OF THE BOY NEXT TO ME.

--WODDY ALLEN--

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Page 6


GARC VE SESSIONS

 

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:

Element 1: 5 WPM CW, [Note that the 5 WPM exam may no longer be required according to the FCC Report and Order.]

Element 2: Technician

Element 3: General

Element 4: Amateur Extra Class.

 

The fee for 2007 is $14 for all exams taken at one sitting.

 

Applicants for upgrades should bring a photocopy of their license and any CSCE and their FRN number.

New, first time applicants should be aware that their Social Security number will be required on their application form. All applicants should bring driverís license or other picture ID.

 

Until further notice, VE exams will be at Briarcliffe College

1055 Stewart Avenue

Room: Long Beach #5

Bethpage, NY

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

 

All applicants should contact W2ILP to preregister so as to confirm location.If no applicants apply, exam sessions may be cancelled.

 

For any information e-mail: -

w2ilp@optonline.net or phone: -

(631) 499-2214

 

Study material information is available at the http://www.arrl.org or the http://www.w5yi.org web site.

All VECs use the same Q & A pools.

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

 

Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

and the Grumman VE team.†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

CQ de WA2LQO

VOL.80, NO.2

 

EDITOR

Bob WexelbaumW2ILP

(631) 499-2214

w2ilp@optonline.net

 

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

PAT MASTERSON, KE2LJ

And 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:

KE2LJ or W2ILP

 

ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS

If you want to submit articles or amateur equipment ads via e-mail do the following:

1. For submission direct to editor call him at above number to set up a transfer.

2. For e-mail transfer:

Internet Address

bat@grumman.com

 

 
EDITORIAL

 

We had our first general meeting at Ellsworth Allen Park in Frmingdale.It was not attended by as many members as I would have hoped. I canít blame myself for that because the fact that I was to be the speaker of the evening had not been previously announced.Maybe it was because it was a cold night and maybe because those who were not familiar with the aria could not find it in the dark.†† The meeting room was however excellent, and I hope to see more members at future meetings.

I covered HRU 2007 and the NO CW requirement news elsewhere, so there is not much to report here.†† I donít want to get off topic here so Iíll sign offÖover for your finals (if any)ÖIíll be QRT for now.

 

The 146.745 repeater is in the process of being moved at the time that I am writing this newsletter.

 

Peace.

 

Vy 73,

w2ilp (Increase Loquacious Population) of phone band hams, even though the number of new CW OPs is certainly going to decline now.

 

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB OFFICERS FOR 2007

 

President†††††††††††††† Pat Masterson††††††††††††† KE2LJ††††††††††† V01-01††† 516-346-7125

Vice President†††††† Gordon Sammis††† †††††††† KB2UB††††††††† Retiree†††† 631-666-7463

Secretary†††††††††††††† Karen Cefalo†††††††† †††††††† KC2OPX†††† †††††††††††††† ††††631-754-0974
Treasurer†††††††††††††† Ed Gellender †††††††† †††††††††WB2EAV††††† †† X02-14†† 516-575-0013

2Yr Board Member††† Zack Zilavy††††† †††††††† WB2PUE††††† †† Retiree††† 631-667-4628
2YrBoard Member†††† Dave Ledo†††††† †††††††† AB2EF

2Yr Board Member††† Bob Christen†††††††† W2FPF††††††††††††

1Yr Board Member††† Bob Wexelbaum††† W2ILP††††††††† Retiree†††† 631-499-2214

1Yr Board Member††† Jack Cottrell††††††††† WA2PYK†††††††† Retiree†††† 516-249-0979

Trustee WA2LQO†††††† Ray Schubnel†††††† W2DKM†††††† Retiree

 

STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN

 

Meeting Programs†††††† Contact a Board Member

FCC Exam Coord.†††††††† Bob Wexelbaum†††††† W2ILP††††††††††† †††††††††††††† 631-499-2214

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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TECHNICAL BITS

 

Almost all modern radio receivers are superheterodynes†† The superheterodyne principle was invented by Armstrong and it has been in general use for most commercial AM and FM radio receivers, as well as shortwave receivers since its conception.†† It is also used for SSB ham transceivers both in their receiving and transmitting circuits.Basically what the superheterodyne principle entails is frequency conversion.A converter consists of a mixer and a local oscillator (LO).The input of the converter is the received RF signal and the output of the converter is the intermediate frequency (IF).††† The purpose of using a frequency converter is to permit IF amplification of a fixed center frequency, while the mixer, the .LO and any RF amplifier circuits must tune over a wide frequency range.This is accomplished because the input RF + or Ė the LO can produce a fixed IF frequency. ††The IF frequency used for most AM radios is 455 KHz and the IF for most FM radios is 10.6 MHz, but there can be any frequency used for IF amplification if that can be advantageous to producing an IF amplifier with desirable specifications.If we just connect the LO to the input signal we will not produce an IF signal.To do so requires a mixer.The mixer may be a diode, a transistor or a vacuum tube but it must be a non-linear device in order for it to produce a sum or a difference frequency.The design can be for either the sum or the difference, but both are produced.It is the job of the IF amplifier to eliminate the undesired one, which is called the image.†† If the LO frequency is too close to the RF frequency then it is more difficult to filter out the image.Another bad effect called pulling occurs when the frequencies are close. .