ARE THOSE DAYS GONE FOREVER?

By Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP

 

I can remember when the FCC first started issuing Novice and Technician licenses, some hams thought that amateur radio would never be the same as it was again.  This concept was repeated when the first No-Code Technician licenses were issued.  It was repeated again when 5 wpm could get one a General ticket and 20 wpm was no longer required for Amateur Extra Class.  Now (as of February 23rd) there is no longer any need to take any CW test for any class of  ham license.  This has raised the eyebrows of many hams who have perspired on headphones, keys, pads and pencils to communicate by Morse code, with the old certainty that the code was all, or almost all, that ham radio was supposed to be about.  To be honest, CW training was initially an important purpose for getting our government to reserve the ham bands for hams, who might become military or commercial professional telegraphers..  Modern communication has replaced Morse code with computer generated transmitted codes and received digital code computer processed decoding which is far superior in speed and accuracy than serial Morse at the highest speeds that humans can copy.  The speed of e-mail communication amazes me.  I can send this entire newsletter, using MS Word format to Pat in less time than it would take take to key one character in Morse Code.   I think that this trumps the fact that I can build a two tube transmitter that can send QRP Morse and a regenerative two tube receiver that can receive Morse and work the world for less than $50.00.  It is true that CW is the simplest and cheapest way to send a signal but there are other much faster modes that are technically just as reliable, given the same conditions.  The digital modes that one can work by interfacing to a computer (RTTY, PSK-31, MFSK, Hellschreiber, etc.) are not so expecnsive for those who have computers, and most people now have computers.   Still many old time hams would prefer keying and copying CW, rather than  typing on a keyboard and reading a PC monitor.  It is slow going to convert obsolete skills to modern ones, just as it was hard to convert blacksmiths to auto mechanics….but it is happening.  There is always room for hobbyists to preseve the methods of the past and to inspire the technology of the future while doing so.  So guys when you work an Extra Class ham who uses a vanity call sign..don’t ask him when he was first licensed.  This would be as bad as asking an enginerer what grade he got when he took his thermodynamics course in college, knowing that some colleges no longer require EEs to take such a course, because more time must be devoted to computer science courses now.

In anticipation of the changing wonderful world of ham radio about 10 years ago I wrote words to a song on this subject.  The song has to be sung to the same tune that Archiee Bunker and his wife Edith sang on “All in the Family”, one of my favorite TV comody series that is still seen in reruns.  The theme song that they sang started with:  -

Are Those Days Gone Forever?  (Continued)

 

By the way Glen Miller Played,

Songs that made the Hit Parade,

Guys like us we had it made.

Those were the days!

….and so on….

 

My original parody was used in the newsletters of several other ham clubs but not in this one.  I had posted it in the old rec.radio. amateur.policy chat group ..

  I have cleaned  up a part of it and updated it for your purusal.

 

By the way the sun spots played,

Hams like us, we had it made

Those were the Days!

 

Didn’t have no TV set.

Didn’t have a PC yet.

Diidn’t have no Internet.

But we knew who we were then;

Satified by calling “CQ Ten”.

I’ll never use my Meissner VFO again.

Those were the days.

 

There are more words  that I wrote to the same tune…but I figure that the above is enough for most of us OTs to remenise with for now.

So speaking of remenising I think it might be a good idea if we put a new column here that tells what was printed in “CQ de WA2LQO” 20 years ago.   If you like it it can become a regular feature here.

 

20 YEARS AGO – “CQ DE WA2LQO” – March 1987 –VOL.58 No.5 CIRC.402

 

NN2C told a tale of a DX hunt at the February meetring , which was well attended.  Dues were due (also $20.00.) and to be payable to treasurer. WA2NDP.  VE exams were scheduled to be given at Bethpager HS.  The February VE session had 6 candidates, of which 5 were successful.  VEs were AD2B, W2QUV, K2DOD, NN2C, W6GI, and KC2DH..  There was a report about a Hudson Division Cabinet meeting of 5 clubs presided over by Steve Mendleson, WA2DHF who was then the Division Director..  The Preesident’s page was full of plans for the next Field Day.  The president wass Ken Fisk, KC2DH.  A GARC Picnic was rescheduled to be held at the Pink Panther on August 12th.  This was reported so that members could coordinate their summer vacation plans.  A new GARC member was Lois, WA6OOH who was to be working with Jerry, WB2MPP and Dave, W2ZVJ to establish proper repeater operation.  John Magin, W2MFN made comments about the responsibilities for members to QSO properly on repeaters.  Two newsletter pages were devoted to autopatch operating..  N2JD wrote that a new cable TV installation had not been a cure for his TVI.  He claimed that his problem was solved by using beads that could be purchased from Amidon Associates.  An ARRL bulletin reported that an FCC report and order was to add enhansed privileges to present Novice and Technician licensees.  In the future, upgrades to Technician will require only passing element 3A, and upgrading to General will require pasasing both element 1B (13 wpm CW) and Element 3B

                                                                                                                    

THE EXPERIMENTAL METHOD by w2ilp

 

Experiments are only useful if thay can provide data that can prove something.   Sometimes there may be valuable in disproving something that was supposeed to be proved by other research.  When you learn about science and attempt to write a scientific reserch paper you must learn the formal steps required to use experimental data in order to come to any conclusioon or simply to further doubt your own original assumptions. A paper must start with a synopses of  itself, intending to give the reader some idea about what may follow, so that he or she does not get lost in the rigid formality that is required and lose track of the whole subject.   During your research, you can not be subjective.  You can not talk about yourself or where you worked that proves you are familiar with similar stuff or use your own opinions or gut feelings or say “I think that…”  You are not supposed to think.  You must only use references to other papers about other experimental data where others think…I think….and be sure to list all references somewhere at the end in formal order with the authors, publications, locations of publishers, dates, and other stuff that might help the readers to look them up in reference libraries if they doubt you, and have nothing better to doubt you with.  The first meat of a paper is called THE HYPOTHESIS.  This is a statement of what the paper is trying to prove.  Then there is usually at least a paragraph describing the METHOD which might be used to prove whatever the paper is supposed to prove and how the experiments or research will be accomplished..  The DATA collected or the polls taken may then be tabulated, numerically if applicable or the experimental OBSERVATIONS must be detailed, including the limitatations that were known to exist and including the byproducts of chemical experiments…even if they are irrelevent entropic gasses. .  The numbers must be analyzed statistically to evaluate their relative significance (if any) and then the CONCLUSION must be written..even if it proves nothing definate or is insignificant.  In recent times the numbers are put on spread sheerts and statistical software is used to figure out the statistical software errors that may result from applying irrelavent softwatre to relevant data. The mean or the average values are computed and intended to smooth stuff in a mean or average way.  This makes things easy for evaluators to accept either because they have the same software or because they don’t.   This is thus the EXPERIMENTAL METHOD that is use, not just to scientificly prove anything but to obtain most PhDs and Masters degrees.   If the paper gets accepted it is a success for the degree canbdidate even when it proves to be an experimental failure.  So why am I telling this to a few Hams who may be reading this?  It is because it shows that there is a formal experimental method.  One of the best ways to prove something that is technical; is to show that experiments can always be repeated everywhere with the same expected results.  Ohm’s Law works that way because E = IR everywhere you are and whenever you may be there, no matter what the weather is and even in the absence of gravity or air pressure. .  It doesn’t depend on any luck or prioritized prejudices either.   Thus Ohm’s Law is a Law of Physics.  F = MA used to be a law, until Einstein modified it at speeds close to C, so it was given known limitations.   The Hypothesis that says that Global Warming (for example) is increased by Man’s increased use of energy…is not a Law nor can it be statistically proved unless it is deemed politically correct by a winning candidate…I think. Now what I am driving to is Ham Radio being an experiment and Hams being pioneer experimenters.  They once were… you know…but there are professional communication society references that can show that any QSO data gathered by the hams of today is redundent.   Hams can go any place and get results of QSOing that depend on the same technical advantages that the same equipment (including antennas) can offer and the same statistical propagation that can be predicted using known statistically probabilities of ionospheric and ground reflections, sun spot numbers..  Ham Radio remains a sport and a fun hobby but it is no longer required to reinforce scientific conclusions, which works at  DX locations as it does at home  QTHs. It even works in space and on the Moon. So does impedance matching and VSWR reading.  That was proved a long time ago.  Now things have even gotten worse because most of the experimental semi-conductors, integrated circuit chips and entire Ham Radio units are experimented with by Japanese engineers, with nothing left for American Hams to do except try digital modes that are obsolete compared to cell phone protocols.  If you want to be a ham operator…...JUST HAVE FUN!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

PRESIDENT’S PAGE

BY

KE2LJ

 

There’s still not much happening with radio activities in NY. I keep asking about our Bethpage repeater, but getting no answers. It’s been off the air for over a month now. Since I am the only one complaining, the Company probably figures that nobody but me uses it, and that it’s not too important to the community. It would be nice if some of you local Hams would call or write the management here, and lodge a complaint. You have to do it from the point of view of an emergency communications resource that has been lost. It is needed by the people in the event of a natural disaster. So, see if you can find a few minutes to make a call. Let me know if you need a phone number or address to write to. On the home front, the sunspot cycle is very near to its lowest point, and is expected to start rising within a few months. Propagation is very bad in general, although there still seem to be good openings to distant parts of the world on some bands at various times. Because I am still working full time, there isn’t much time for me to do any DXing right now. We are still working towards the big move to Florida, and retirement. Last month we drove a rental truck full of boxes and furniture to our new house in Sun City Center. We spent a week there, then drove to west palm for a few days to see family. Then we drove home. It was tiring, but we accomplished a lot. By emptying our NY house significantly, it will look much less cluttered to prospective buyers. We also cleaned out the garage, and threw away tons of stuff. I actually had an old vacuum pump that was used on air conditioning systems to evacuate the lines. It’s been in the garage since 1972 when I got it. I worked part time after college doing a few commercial AC installations.  Guess I won’t need that anymore, and it probably doesn’t work anyway. I plugged in my old hedge trimmer, and it went up in smoke. That garage was just like a museum. Speaking of which, my 69 Camaro is supposed to be featured in Newsday on 3/16 in that column called “In the garage”. So look for me in the Friday Cars section if you get it. We expect to head back to Florida around March 30th and spend another week at the house getting unpacked. The garage there is being erected right now. There are 6 masons building the cement block walls. My kitchen cabinets arrived a few weeks ago, and have been installed. Appliances are going in this week, and they start to rebuild the three bathrooms. We bought a new tub and some vanities, so it should all come together nicely. All I have to do now is figure out how to pay for all of this..

 

Our new meeting place in Farmingdale is working out well. Karen (KC2OPX)  got us permission to use the video systems there, so we can watch tapes and DVDs any time we want. At our February meeting we showed the tape of the A52A DXPedition to Bhutan. When I was at the Dayton DX dinner with Marty in 2000, some of those A52A guys sat with us at the dinner table. They had some great stories to tell.  They also did a slide show, and later made the tape that we just watched. Very interesting stuff. I expect we’ll have some other similar tapes at the upcoming meetings. Hope to see you there in March.  –KE2LJ


 

GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING -2/21/07

 

Secretary, Karen KC2OPX

 

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

 

TREASURERS REPORT – Ed, WB2EAV          REPEATER REPORT – Gordon, KB2UB

(not Present)                                                             Bethpage repeater is not operating.  It is hoped that                     

Finances continue to be in good shape                      it will be relocated.                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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

1 applicant passed Tech exam. 5 VEs were              Thursday night net was good, with some operating 

present: AB2EF, AB2NT, KB2QFT, KC2OPX,       simplex on 146.745.  Sunday 40 Meter net was 

and W2ILP.                                                                good, but conditions locally poor.

                                                                                                            

OLD BUSINESS:

Discussion about the end of CW exam requirements and end of military and Coast Guard CW training.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Discussion of GARC’s future.

 

PROGRAM

We watched a movie about a multi-national DX Expedition to Bhutan, using the call sign A52A.  This included a presentation of the customs and culture of Bhutan, the Shangrila of the Himalayas, as well as the installation and operation of the various radios and antennas that were used..

 

The meeting was adjoined at 6:50 PM.

t

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 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 seven 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.                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

INTERNET LINK OF THE MONTH FOR INTERNERDS

 

Our program at our February meeting was the showing of a video of the Bhutan 2000 DXpedition.   I wanted to check to see if we had the call sign that was used correct, so I went to QRZ and looked up A52A.  There I found that the QSL manager for the expedition was Glenn Johnson, W0GJ.  I also found that there is a URL for a site that contains lots of information about Bhutan and the expedition.  It has a biography and picture of each of the operators.  I learned that A52A had made over 82,000 QSOs, using no greater than 100 Watt output transmitters.  That was a record for the second most  QSOs at any DX location.   The web site is:-

http://www.qsl.net/bhutan2000

 

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:

 

 MZ’O  RH  SHRKNA  J  DLNOZMER  HV   OZJBMRM  ENJSZEB.   MZ’O  J  DLNOZMHR  HV

 

  VMRPMRK  J  OMQIRNOO  BHL  SMIN.   –WJQIMN  TJOHR--

 

Solution to December 2006 Cryptogram:  A MUGWUMP IS A PERSON EDUCATED BEYOND HIS INTELLECT. –-HORACE PORTER--

 

                                                                                                                                     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 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 driver’s 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.  3

 

EDITOR

Bob Wexelbaum  W2ILP

(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

 

The February general meeting was not so well attended.  I’d like to see more of our members show up and I’d also like to see more new members.  There weren’t many new faces at the meeting who weren’t board members, and Pat wasn’t there because he was scooting back and forth to his new Florida residence.. 

We need more interesting programs that are relative to Ham Radio and we need to advertise them in advance as most other clubs do, because without that there will not be much incentive to even burn gas to get to our meeting place.  I could offer to give technical lectures at every meeting…but I don’t think that would give incentives for more attendance.  I think that we need to make a greater effort to bring in speakers who have given good programs at the other clubs and to get more technical videos as well as DX expedition videos.  I think we need to again appoint a meeting program coordinator to take that responsibility. I myself don’t want it because I have enough to do putting out this newsletter and VE coordinating.

 

Peace.

Vy 73,

w2ilp (Increase Lecture Programs)

 

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

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Sixty Three Years:  1944 -2007

P.O. Box 0644

Bethpage, NY 11714-0644

 

 

 

                                                                                                        FIRST CLASS

                                                                           DO  NOT DELAY

                          TECHNICAL BITS 

A communications radio receiver. used by SWLs or hams or the receiving portion of a ham HF transceiver is usually a superheterodyne..  Such units are now double conversion or triple conversion types.  Before the first conversion there is usually a stage of RF amplification which must be tuned and the tuning is tracked with the tuning of the first mixer and local oscillator.  The first RF coil is usually an RF transformer which is intended to match the input antenna impedance to the input tuned circuit.  It is normally broad in bandwidth but at least capable of attenuating images that would get into the receiver because they are the undesired sum or difference of the L.O. =/- Rfin.  A single peaked response of a tuned circuit is called a Butterworth response.  The values that determine what the frequency response of a tuned circuit or stage are mainly a function of the Q of the tuned circuit(s) involved.  This Q is also known as the figure of merit.  It should not be confused with the letter Q that is used to indicate a quantity of charge in coulombs.  The Q of a tuned circuit is determined by the reactance of its coil or capacitor in ohms divided by its resistance in ohms.  All coils do have some resistance.  There are many ways to make a tuned circuit that will resonate at an RF frequency, but to make one that has the desired Q for a desired response, the physical size of the coil, and what is used for the core of the coil will determine its Q.  This is for the tuned circuit itself, but the Q when the tuned circuit becomes part of an amplifier, which contains a vacuum tube or transistor is different..  This is known as the loaded Q and it is defined as the parallel load reactance divided by the resistance in ohms.  The response is tested by the use of a sweep signal generator and an oscilloscope.