By Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP
ARRL bulletins often remind us of the positive roles that hams have played during disasters. We often read that Hams have provided communication during all sorts of disasters. Most recently we have heard that Hams heeded the call when tornadoes swept through Colorado and when fires raged in Florida, but the most striking participation of amateur radio operators has occurred in mainland China This was in the Wenschuan area of China’s Sichuan Province, where the death toll from a major earthquake on May 12th was reported to have reached 67,000 persons by May 27. It was later reported to have been over 80,000 persons!
I can remember when DX hounds had a difficult time working mainland China, simply because there weren’t many Hams there. The Chinese “B” call sign prefix was rarely heard, as China had the lowest active Ham to population ratio of any nation in the world. This is probably because the previous Red Chinese governments had restricted Ham licensing and more significantly because few Chinese could afford to buy Ham rigs or to obtain components to build them. In recent years the number of licensed Chinese Hams has grown considerably. China is a vast nation and communication facilities that exist in Beijing, Hong Kong and costal cities are not adequate in the central parts of China, which have been mainly agricultural and are only now beginning to become modernized. The IEEE reports that the present government of China is run by leaders who have had engineering educations. The leaders believe that China, like Japan, can only prosper by increasing its trade with the world and continuing to increase production of technological products, just as Japan had done after WW2. China is looking forward to its Olympics, where it will certainly want to put its best foot forward and show the world what its technology and its large scale mass production can do.
So many Chinese in Beijing now own GPS equipped cell phones, that the Chinese government claims that it can track and count all who attend a large arena by using cell phone technology…yet few citizens of Sichuan Province, where the earthquake occurred, had reliable telephone service, nor were they alerted by radio or TV in a timely manner to save themselves! This is a situation that the Chinese government will be changing in the future. Meanwhile in an unprecedented announcement the Chinese government has recognized what Chinese Hams had been able to do in the earthquake disaster for initial communication and for follow-up disaster relief efforts. The role played by the Chinese Radio Sports Association (CRSA), which is the Chinese equivalent to our ARRL, was reported on Chinese television. Li Hu, BG8AAS of CRSA designated 14.270, 7.050 and 7.060 for emergency communication after the quake. Luo Minglin, BY8AA reported that VHF repeaters were set up, providing coverage to surrounding provinces on May 13th.
The above being said let me make a prediction. Most American manufacturers gave up on making Ham equipment because they thought that the market was too small. The Japanese became the makers of most ham gear when they realized that there was a profit to be made by selling to a larger market; made up of both Japanese and American hams and hams world-wide. Soon the Japanese will be giving up on making ham gear. The Chinese will be making it cheaper and in greater quantities both for their growing internal market and for what remains of the world-wide market!
We have been working on increasing the transmit power of the Bethpage 146.745 repeater from the anemic 10 watts, which we have had during for about a year, up to the usual 100 Watts. Right now the repeater can hear signals coming from ranges where it can barely be heard, so that this challenge is desirable and overdue.
I ordered some parts a month ago and finally got them. I have performed some preliminary tests and all looks good. Next, I will work on getting the power amplifier on-line. Hopefully, in the next week or two this will all be worked out.
FIELD DAY – JUNE 28-29, 2008
Ray, W2DKM has located a terrific site for Field Day and we plan to take full advantage of it. There are all the comforts of home including lights, power, running water and even air conditioning. We’ll bring the generator to power the rigs though, since the scoring is horribly stacked against you otherwise. We expect to set up two stations with wire antennas for 40 and 80 Meters. We will not be using the infamous telescoping towers anymore without Pat to wrestle with them. We will be running antennas at right angles to each other, between tall trees surrounding the building. The park manager has even offered to have a crew come by on Friday and use a “cherry picker” truck to put ropes over high tree branches for us to make raising the antennas easy.
We do have an issue with logging, etc. The computers we have been using are kind of shot and without Pat to scream at them until they start to work, we will just have to go the old fashioned way with paper logs and “dupe sheets.” We are not competing for blood, so a nice leisurely pace should be fine. Just gotta find out if we can still even get paper log and dup sheet forms, or if we have to roll our own (not a big deal).
We are on a golf course, so the public will be right there. We will need some kind of reasonable sign to let them know who we are and what we are doing. Of course, if they ask questions, so much the better, but I’ll be happy if we don’t frighten anybody.
The Field Day site is at Dix Hills Park and Golf Course, which is a Huntington town park, on the north side of Vanderbilt Parkway, 0.8 miles east of Deer Park Road (NY231). You get on Deer Park Road from either the LIE at exit 51 and head north, or use Northern State exit 42 South. We are in the first building on the left (parking is a bit further).
I took the liberty of adding our FD site to the ARRL’s FD site locator. Most FD sites are included in a map locator that can be accessed from the ARRL’s web site. See also the “Internet Link of the Month for Internerds”.
Karen KC2OPX, secretary.
The meeting was called to order by Gordon at 5:30 PM.
TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV REPEATERS Gordon, KB2UB Finances continue to be in good shape. 146.745 is working. VE REPORT – Bob, W2ILP NET REPORT- Zack, WB2PUE No VE session this month, since no Thursday night net had only 3 check-ins. applicants applied. Sunday morning propagation was poor.OLD BUSINESS
Members were reminded about the Blue Angels Air Show, which was held in May. NEW BUSINESS
Ray W2DKM paid the $25 fee for the use of the Dix Hills Golf Course site for FD.
We are continuing to make plans for FD. It was decided that we would meet on Friday, 6/27/08 at the Dix Hills Golf Course to set up for FD. Bill Savage, N2SFT has agreed to pick up the generator with his truck. Present plans are to have dipole antennas for 80 and 40 meters. The meeting was adjoined at 6:10 PM
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
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.
This month I want to remind everyone about a site we should all be using. It is the ARRL’s site, which has many features that are available to ARRL members once they establish a password and some good features for those who are not ARRL members as well.
If you want to find out where the FD sites are going to be there is now a FD locator featuring a map, which will come up if you select “FD Locator” and you enter your address. If you are a member of ARRL and logged on, your own address will come up automatically. The map that comes up will center on your address and will flag all nearby FD sites. If you are a GARC member we hope that you will at least visit our site, but it is nice to know where the other club sites are going to be as well. Note that the FD sites are entered by the operators of the sites and they are not at the QTHs of either individuals or clubs, but are the actual locations from which there will be FD operations.
I’m sure that most of you know how to get to the ARRL web site, but if you don’t just go to:
This will bring up a Home Page from which you can access all features. When you get to the site you can click on any of the features that you are interested in.
The call sign of John Kanzius, the ham who had initiated using RF as a possible cure for cancer, was given as K2TUP in last month’s newsletter. His correct call sign is K3TUP. Now you can check his address, etc. on QRZ.
Here is another cryptogram:
EDPDK ZDVKE QG FG VEWQRMEH : MI WGO FGE’Q ZDVKE, WGO’ZZ VZBVWX IMEF XGCDGED DZXD QG FG MQ IGK WGO. –CVKT QBVME--
Solution to May’s Cryptogram:
MY OWN EDUCATION OPERATED BY A SUCCESSION OF EYE-OPENERS, EACH INVOLVING THE REPUDIATION OF SOME PREVIOUSLY HELD BELIEF. –GEORGE BERNARD SHAW--
I have not had much time for ham radio this month and the chore of putting together this newsletter could only be handled at the last moment. This is because I am having my kitchen entirely remodeled. The tasks of installing a new floor, demolishing old cabinets, installing new cabinets and appliances, plumbing, painting etc. have each taken time. Nothing happens on schedule and each professional step has required a waiting period before the next job could get started. I have taken on the job of doing all of the electrical work myself and doing it to the most recent electrical code. In addition I have gotten myself involved with spackling and reinstalling air conditioning ducting. This has not been as easy as I thought it would be. My eyesight and my physical stability are no longer what they were years ago, when I did lots of installation and repair work on my house myself. On Friday someone will make templates for the counter tops….I hope. What has this to do with Ham Radio? Nothing! That is why I can’t say much about Ham Radio here this month. Anyway I’ll try to spend time at FD even if my kitchen isn’t completed by then.
73, w2ilp (Inspecting Leaky Plumbing)
Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP. (631) 499-2214. email@example.com
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.
For insertion to the WA2LQO website, information may be sent to Pat Masterson.
Pat Masterson’s e-mail address:
Ed Gellender’s e-mail address:
Edward.Gellender@ngc.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 WILL BE 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:
1055 Stewart Avenue
Room: Long Beach #5
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 email@example.com 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.
Ham Exam Changes.
Our Voluntary Exam Coordinator (VEC) has been W5YI, as long as I can remember. Actually W5YI, Fred Maia, has retired and the W5YI-VEC is now run by Larry Pollock, NB5X. I have been the GARC’s Contact VE (CVE) since 1991. The W5YI-VEC has always handled our paperwork efficiently and rapidly. New applicant’s test results (if they pass) are submitted electronically, so that they may be issued call signs by the FCC even before the required paperwork that I mail gets to W5YI-VEC in Texas. Each year the W5YI-VEC sends me a notice of any changes to the licensing procedure. Most changes are exactly the same as those made by the ARRL-VEC. The questions and answers for the ham exams are updated and changed on periodic bases, for one class of license at a time. New study materials for the exam that is to be changed are made available on January of the year that the exam is to be changed. The actual administrated test change is then made on the following July first. Then I use new software to generate exams. This year the Extra Class exam will be changed for anyone who takes that test on July 1, 2008 or after that date. I know some hams who have studied for the Extra Class exam, using the new Q&A, and thus they are waiting for the time when the new test will be given. There are no other changes to our VE procedure in 2008. The fee is the same as last year. I have been reminded however that General Class VEs can only administer Technician Class exams. An Extra Class VE is required to administer General or Extra Class exams.
As always, exam paperwork must be witnessed, checked and signed for by three qualified VEs. Lately we have had fewer applicants than in the past. I have cancelled many VE sessions because no applicants have registered with me, as is now required. (I can no longer depend on walk-ins to show up). I don’t want VEs to drive to Briarcliffe College, where our VE sessions are now held, for nothing, when there are going to be no applicants. VE’s voluntary time and their gas expenses should not be wasted if there are no applicants expected. It is true that the few ham clubs on Long Island that give ham exams, do get more applicants than we do. Some give tests at Hamfests. Some have more members than we have. They give tests on Saturdays which might be a better time than our traditional second Tuesday dates, which stem back to the time when most GARC VEs were employed by Grumman. As of now I intend to continue with our present schedule, but I dunno about next year. I appreciate the work of the Grumman Club’s VE team. Some are no longer members of the GARC. All have helped to license many hams on Long Island.
VY 73, Bob w2ilp