THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
From the President's Shack
As we move into the windy months of March and April, we should think back on the rainy days of February and what could have happened if we would have had another day or two of one-inch rainfall. During that February week we had something over an inch in one day preceded and followed by less rain. Depending upon where in the valley you live, there was either more or less rain. AT my QTH we had one day where we got 0.77 inches. Out in the "dirt" we had muddy roads and some sizable ponds to cross when driving. In town the gutters were running quite full in places. It could have been one of those callout days for ARES/ RACES. We need to keep our radio gear working and our expertise in communication up to date with practice if we are to "be prepared".
The horse rides provide us events to practice at. Having horses
spook at things along the trail and dump the rider, then having to
radio around to find where the horse went and to reunite the rider
with the horse meant stations had to be up to what was going on
with the various stations and who could help where. It is just part
of being involved in the ride. It had its fun times as well as the
long night waiting for horses to complete the course.
Board of Officers Meeting Minutes
The February 2004 board meeting was called to order at 1903 hrs. Those present: Pres. Bill Burns (WA6QYR), 1st Vice Pres. Paula Herr (N6VGW), 2nd Vice Pres. Dennis Farrell (W6DWF), Treas. Pam Evans (KC6UUS), Secy. Tom Ingram (WB6EPD) and Airwaves Editor Mike Herr (WA6ARA). A $50.00 refund was received from Yeasu for the purchase of the HT for the January Prize. A $150.00 donation was received from the Fire Mountain 50 Horse ride. The Library QST subscription is expiring. Pam will renew the subscription. The Audit committee completed the SARC annual audit. No discrepancies were noted. SARC will be supporting the Boy Scout campout in April. The Autopatch is up and running on the 147.00 repeater. Phone line installation was $88.00. Work is still needed on the link to the Randsburg repeater. There is a VE session this weekend. Field Day was discussed. The meeting was adjourned at 1925 hrs.
Minutes of the General Meeting
The December 2004 meeting was called to order by the President, Bill Burns (WA6QYR) at 1933 hrs at the Heritage Inn. The Sign-in sheet was started around.
Sam Ghaleb (KG6ENT) won the 50/50.
The attendance for the meeting was 28. The meeting was adjourned at 20:34.
Treasurer's Report As of March 01, 2004: Draft Account $ 1,028.00 Share Account $ 5,462.52 TOTAL $ 6,490.52 Obligated Funds: Relocate 147.00 Repeater $ 139.90 BALANCE: $6,350.62 Submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUSBoy Scout Camporall Demonstration Station
SARC has been requested to provide a Amateur Radio Demonstration
Station at the April 16-18 Kern County wide Boy Scout Camporall to
be run at Keysville just south of Lake Isabella on a dirt but ok
road. I suspect if we get there on Saturday morning and leave
Saturday evening we would be OK with them. We need to check the
area out to see if the tower trailer can make it through the trees
along the road otherwise we might want to just be a inverted Vee
type antenna in the trees.
Field Day in June
Is the SARC going to have a Field Day station on June 26-27, 2004? Someone will need to coordinate the effort. A location is needed along with the current set of Field Day rules and logs for the stations involved. The log sheets will want to be collected at the end and a final log sent in to ARRL with our score. Not to hard a task which can be shared by several people.
147 Repeater Status
The Auto patch is up on the 147.00 machine. To access it first
listen to make sure no one else is using the repeater, then announce
your intentions, such as "this is N6ABD accessing the autopatch".
Next push the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button on your mike and press the
following key sequence--* quickly followed by the phone number you
wish to dial then release the PTT button. You should hear it ring.
You might have to explain to the person on the other end that only
one can talk at a time and may even wish to say "over" when done
with the thought. To bring the patch down you will want to press
the PTT and enter #. Then it is usually a good idea to say something
like "this is N6ABC clear of the autopatch" Please do not tie up
the line with long conversations and remember you are "on the air"
so everyone can hear what is said over 147.00 MHz.
IWV Emergency Net
Llyod had volunteered as net operator for the month of March. I am
still looking for net operators for the month of April and beyond.
You don't have to sign up for a whole month, just a week here and
there is fine! Hal, KM6JM did a great job in January and a repeat
performance in February as well. Thanks Hal!
20 Mule Team Horse Ride Report
On the 14th of February SARC had 140 horses and riders scattered
all over the desert south of Ridgecrest. While it was cold at 0600
it turned into a rather fine day for this early in the season.
Phelps, W6PTH, had the police van all set up and ready to go the
night before. WA6KZV had most of the others assigned and Hal, KM6JM,
had an outstanding set of maps of the ride area. WB6ZUV, hauled
water as usual and came up with more answers to problems than anyone
else. We only lost one horse and that one only briefly. His rider
got up, brushed herself off, and led him off when he was brought
in by a motorcyclist. Others who made the day easy and fun were:
KB6NIZ, KF6EYE, KF6BCN, WA7IRW (whose portable repeater almost
reached all of the check points and vet checks), KC6UUR, and KC6UTF.
If I missed somebody I apologize. We all had a fine time and most
of us got in earlier than usual. You need to try this event if you
haven't yet. They are a greatful crowd of riders and it's lots of
No, I'm not talking about how to introduce yourself, but about how to introduce a group of letters and/or numbers when transmitting a message via voice on the Amateur Radio National Traffic System (NTS). I stress Amateur Radio because as we all know, rather than one nationally recognized set of rules, each agency wants to use their own procedures. If you want to know the rules for Army Military Affiliated Radio System (MARS), contact Lloyd/WA6KZV. If you want to know the rules for Navy MARS, contact Robert Fletcher/WB6KWE. If you want to know the rules for the Civil Air Patrol communications, contact Phelps/W6PTH. If you want to know the rules for Kern County Sheriff or Fire or LA County Sheriff or Fire, contact....get my drift?
So why do we need to use Introductory Words when transmitting messages via voice? Simple. It avoids confusion. If you transmit the word TO without any introductory words, the receiving station does not know if you mean 2, TO, TOO or TWO. By using established Introductory Words and phonetics, your message has a much better chance of being received and acknowledged without the need for retransmission.
Introductory words are spoken to alert the receiving operator to a special type of group that you will be sending next, such as initial(s), figure(s), mixed groups, or amateur call signs... not normal spoken words. The introductory word(s) implies that the group is going to be sent one character at a time, with letters voiced with phonetics. Only one introducer is used per group and they are usually spoken in a different tone of voice.
Say the introductory word(s) ahead of the group, voice the group as individual characters as indicated, then go on to the next group. Voice the letters using the standard International Phonetic Alphabet unless "lettering" (A B C vice ALFA BRAVO CHARLIE) is authorized for that group. Don't make up your own phonetic alphabet.
Here are the Introductory Words used within the NTS:
FIGURES: Say FIGURES and then voice the numbers one digit at a time. The number 2 would be transmitted as "FIGURE TWO." The number 62 would be transmitted as "FIGURES SIX TWO."
TELEPHONE FIGURES: This term is used in the ADDRESS or SIGNATURE ONLY, when no ZIP code is present. This gives the receiving station a heads up that you are skipping from the STATE to TELEPHONE NUMBER. TELEPHONE FIGURES IS NOT used in the TEXT of a message.
INITIAL(S): Used to send a single or multiple letters, such as AM, NTS, THUR, RACES. Say the word INITIAL or INITIALS and speak the letters phonically. When sending the word "I" as in I AM HERE, say INITIAL INDIA.
MIXED GROUP: Used when the group DOES NOT start with a number. N8RXJ/6 or FT-920
MIXED GROUP FIGURES: Used when group starts with a number. 146.64MHz would be voiced as "MIXED GROUP FIGURES ONE FOUR SIX ROMEO SIX FOUR MIKE HOTEL ZULU.
AMATEUR CALL: Used when a callsign is in the ADDRESS, TEXT or SIGNATURE. Phonetics are mandatory when voicing callsigns.
ARL: Used within the TEXT of a message. ARL is part of the TEXT and an introductory word at the same time. ARL is NOT introduced as initials and it is not spelled phonetically unless operating under severe conditions.
EMAIL, PACKET and INTERNET ADDRESS: Normal procedures is to treat each group of the address using the rules above. However, some nets are allowing these terms to be used to avoid having to introduce every group within the address.
So, by using introductory words when sending your message, the
amateur radio operator receiving your message has a warning of what
type of information you will be sending, reducing possible confusion
and increasing the likelihood of your message being received,
correctly, the first time.
FCC PROPOSES RULES FOR BPL SYSTEMS
The FCC this week released its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on Broadband over Power Line (BPL) systems. The 38-page NPRM--in ET Dockets 03-104 and 04-37--proposes amendments to FCC Part 15 rules to define so-called "access BPL," make rules specific to BPL systems and provide measurement guidelines for BPL devices and systems. It would make no changes to Part 15 emission limits for unintentional radiators, however. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, says that while Part 15's current limits on unintentional radiators on HF may be appropriate for short-duration, narrowband emissions, they are inappropriate for the sort of long-duration, broadband emissions BPL would employ. He compared short-duration, narrowband emissions at the Part 15 radiated emission limit to a helicopter flying overhead. "The noise is deafening, but is tolerable because it doesn't happen very often nor last very long," he observed. "To a radio user, having BPL in the neighborhood would be like having the helicopter hovering constantly overhead." ARRL Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, offered an example most hams could relate to. "The limit for an unintentional emitter on HF is 30 uV/m at 30 meters from the source," he said. "If you take a dipole cut for 3.5 MHz and put it in a 30 uV/m field, you'll have a noise reading of S9 plus 16 dB at your transceiver." The FCC proposal takes a broader view of interference. "There is significant disagreement among the commenting parties regarding the interference potential of Access BPL," the NPRM declares. "Amateur operators and amateur organizations in general are opposed to Access BPL and advocate emission limits that are lower than the existing Part 15 limits." Still, the NPRM concedes, Amateur Radio operations "are likely to present a difficult challenge in the deployment of Access BPL in cases where amateurs use high-gain outdoor antennas that are located near power lines." Noting that power line noise already presents a significant pr! oblem for hams, the FCC said, "we therefore would expect that, in practice, many amateurs already orient their antennas to minimize the reception of emissions from nearby electric power lines." The NPRM goes on to point out that because BPL has the capability to stay clear of specific frequencies, BPL providers can simply "avoid the use of amateur frequencies when in close proximity to amateur outdoor antennas." The NPRM also briefly mentions the possibility of interference to BPL systems from Amateur Radio, an issue ARRL and others raised in their comments on last April's Notice of Inquiry on BPL. The NPRM emphasizes that under the proposed rules, operators of Access BPL systems would be responsible for eliminating any harmful interference that may occur. The FCC says it believes current Part 15 emission limits for carrier current systems--in conjunction with certain additional requirements specific to Access BPL--"will be adequate to ensure that existing radio operations are protected against harmful interference." Sumner suggested that, with licensed services and government users taking up large portions of the HF spectrum, protecting all licensed HF users could prove to be a nightmare for BPL providers. He noted, too, that while the FCC maintains that licensed services must be protected, the proposed rules place the burden of initiating corrective action on the shoulders of the licensed services. "And as a practical matter, the FCC's proposed rules offer no protection at all to mobile and portable stations," he added. Sumner also said the ARRL would continue to combat the "misconception" that BPL systems are viable as a "last mile" broadband technology for rural dwellers. "In low-density areas, the economics just don't work," he said. The NPRM is available on the FCC Web site in Microsoft Word format or as an Adobe PDF file. Interested parties may file detailed comments on the NPRM via the main FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). The comment deadline is 45 days after the NPRM has been published in The Federal Register, and that is not expected to happen for another week or two. The FCC also is accepting brief comments on the NPRM via its ECFS Express page. Additional information about BPL and Amateur Radio is on the ARRL Web site. To support the League's efforts in this area, visit the ARRL's secure BPL Web site.
ARRL Audio News
Every Monday night, just prior to the IWV Emergency net, Mike, WA6ARA, re-broadcasts the ARRL Audio News on 146.64 simplex. This is a great source of amateur radio news and a good warm up for the net. So check it out, at 1910 local time (7:10 p.m.) on 146.64 MHz. This is transmitted on the SARC translator output frequency but in simplex. Done so that we don't have to worry about timing out the repeater.
If there is an interest, I might also be pursueded to retransmit the Amateur Radio Newsline as well. I'd like to hear if anyone would be so interested. Please contact me, Mike, WA6ARA at email@example.com
Looking for News!
I'm always looking for local news for and about the IWV amateur
radio community. Also, if you have something for sale or are looking
for something else, drop me a line and I'll put it in the Airwaves.
SARC Newletter via Email
The SARC newsletter is now available via email in TWO formats, Adobe Acrobat PDF and in plain text. The PDF version is complete, and in color, but you will need Acrobat Reader to view it. Most have it and it is available free to both PC and Mac users. The plain text version can be read by just about anything! ...but you lose the graphics.
If you want the newsletter via Email make sure you check the proper box on the membership form, add your email address and the version you want. If you have already renewed and want to convert to email, or have changed your email address, drop the secretary, Tom Ingram, WB6EPD , (375-7950) a note, as he is keeping the email address lists. ...Editor, Mike, WA6ARA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Tue Mar 9 18:16:49 PST 2004