by Bob Wexelbaum, W2ILP


Ham radio means different things to different people.  For most people it may be considered a “fun hobby”.  Traditionally and politically amateur radio was defined by our government in what has become Part 97 of the FCC rules and regulations.   In order for amateurs to justify the use of parts of the electromagnetic spectrum (ham bands),  which were always competed for by commercial, military, and government potential users, amateur radio had always been defined with certain goals in mind.  There is no mandate that any ham, as an individual, needs to satisfy any of the defined goals.  Like obtaining a ham license itself, participation for any useful purpose, is purely voluntary…BUT…Most hams realize their responsibility to be more than license holders.  Bragging about obtaining a ham license and framing it as wall paper is not considered enough.  We heed the FCC’s BASIS and PURPOSE for the very existence of our “fun hobby”.  Let me quote from Part 97.  (In case you don’t have it).

     97.1 Basis and Purpose

      The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a)    Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur radio service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communications service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b)    Continuation and extension of amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c)     Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d)   Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians and electronics experts.

(e)    Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

I will discuss each of the principles above in future issues, and I welcome your comments.     





     Last spring, when Northrop Grumman was driving us crazy with relocating the Bethpage repeater from one side of the building to the other, we were on and off the air sporadically for some time.  In the meantime, some New York City metropolitan area stations had requested frequency assignments for new repeaters from the volunteer regulatory group known as MetroCor.  Unfortunately, one of these turned out to be NB2A, who was assigned to our frequencies.

     We complained to MetroCor about the “other” repeater on our assigned frequencies, in a dialog that went on for months.  Once NB2A put in a different PL access than ours, things were nice and quiet.  Our repeater does not get a lot of use.  (Northrop Grumman gave us a pretty mediocre antenna site, so there never were delusions of grandeur), and the other repeater had less for whatever reason.

     Finally, on January 20th, the whole issue came to a head when Ray, W2DKM and I were invited to a MetroCor meeting to present our case.  NB2A was invited but not present.  It appears to me that MetroCor had realized that they had been pushed to act too hastily and had created a monster.  Of course, they had to point out that we were technically supposed to notify them every time we were going to be off the air.  I guess that like Caesar’s wife we are supposed to be above reproach.  (I am sure that Caesar’s wife got something out of that deal…What do we get?)

     It was then suggested by MetroCor that perhaps there might be room for compromise.  After all, both repeaters have limited use and fairly short range.  If NB2A’s primary coverage is eastern Queens and ours is eastern Nassau and western Suffolk, there is room for experimentation.  Faced with the choice between researching a compromise or fighting for our rights, winner take all, I decided to take the high road.  It also seemed like the classy thing to accept MetroCor’s offer and team with them.  Most importantly, MetroCor had stated that the Bethpage repeater was, and continues to be coordinated.

     Meanwhile, a few local hams gravitated to our repeater.  Rather than be irritated about non-members using our assets, I was pleased…and told them so…since our repeaters are open to the community as a public service which I have emphasized to the Northrop Grumman sponsors and MetroCor.

     Despite our agreement with MetroCor to explore techniques for possible coexistence, NB2A

totally rejected the compromise approach, and has gone so far as to turn off his repeater PL  access so that whenever anyone tries to access the Bethpage machine, his turns on also and interferes.  The user community has complained to us about this.  When Ray sent him a courteous e-mail, in case he was not aware of the situation, the response was quite extraordinary.  As I get dangerously close to the newsletter print date, we have just informed MetroCor of the situation.  Let’s see how this plays out.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING 1/16/2008

 Karen KC2OPX, secretary.


                                          The meeting was called to order by Ed at 5:25 PM.



 Finances continue to be in good shape.                Discussion of Bethpage repeater status to be

                                                              .                carried on with MetroCor on 1/2008


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

There were no applicants. Thus there was no        Thursday night only 2 people checked in on .745                        

GARC VE Session in January.                    .         The .330 had poor attendance. 

                                                                               Sunday morning was good at 7:30.


A good friend, Van R. Field, W2OQI is a silent key.  He is remembered in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. He had established the first 2 Meter repeater on Long Island.  He recently had won the Grand Ol’ Ham Award.                                  


We discussed the HRU 2008 that some of the members had attended on the previous Sunday.  The keynote speaker was Gordon West.  His talk was basically about Emergency preparedness and operation.  This was demonstrated by audio recordings from last summer’s fire emergency on Catalina Island, CA.   



Bob, W2ILP gave a presentation about Power Supplies.  Bob said that they should really be called “Energy Converters”, because they really don’t supply power.  They only convert one source of energy to another.  Power only exists potentially but energy exists for some continuous time.  Different types of rectifiers and filters, as well as voltage doublers were described.  A home made energy converter was passed around.  It was to be used so that an HT could be run from the AC line.  A switching power supply from a PC was also passed around.  Methods of voltage regulation were explained.  The advantage of modern switching power supplies over linear analog supplies was explained.  The lower weight and smaller size of switching supplies, as well as their ability to work from a wide range of AC or DC sources makes them the best choice for modern ham equipment.  High frequency switching enables the use of smaller filter components and if there is any ripple it is inaudible.  Manuals showing the diagrams of Heathkit Power Supplies; both fixed and mobile for the HW-101 Transceiver and the HA-14 Kilowatt Linear were shown.





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 Allen Park in Farmingdale.  Driving directions and maps can be obtained from  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 7 days before the General Meeting.



The web site of the GARC can be found at 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.





An extreme example of a “do it yourself” French Ham, who constructs his own vacuum tubes is presented in a 17 minute video.  It was suggested by Stan Rogak, KB2QFT.  The construction of a vacuum tube is professionally displayed and accompanied by George Gershwin music.  I never knew any Hams who could make their own tubes, but in the old days, we did rewind power transformers and make our own RF and IF transformers.  Do view this video if you can.  There is something about it that may at least inspire you to “do something yourself”, even though it is not going as far as constructing and blowing your own tube, because not many amateurs have the tools to do that.  Maybe it is the Gershwin music that reminds me that though I can blow my own horn, I could never orchestrate a symphony.  The internet address is:-

When you get to the EDN page click on FRENCH VIDEO and then you will see for yourself.



Here is another cryptogram:  










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

Element 2: Technician

Element 3: General

Element 4: Amateur Extra Class


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 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, the exam session will be cancelled. 


For any information e-mail:-

[email protected]

or phone-

(631) 499-2214


Study material is available at the web sites of the ARRL

or W5YI

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.






         HRU 2008 RECAP


The HRU was held at Briarcliffe College on January 13th.  Unlike other clubs in the Long Island-NY ARRL Section, the GARC did not have a table at this year’s event.

The keynote speaker was Gordon West.  His speech was mainly about emergency preparedness and emergency operation and how hams had cooperated with other volunteer groups to provide their assistance during a disastrous fire on Catalina Island, CA.   Gordon’s talk was unlike his previous talks at HRUs.  It was non technical.  A previous talk had been about digital modes and another about the entire radio spectrum.   The actual emergency traffic was recorded by Gordon, and it demonstrated the well trained and coordinated ham operators who participated.







According to Neil Heft, KC2KY, who was the Chairman of the HRU,.there were about as many people at HRU 2008, as there were at HRU 2007.  (Estimation was about 300). I saw some new faces and missed some of the old faces and met with many familiar guys who I had seen before as well.


The HRU VE Session was run by Walter Wenzel, KA2RGI.

There were only 6 applicants.  One who sought an upgrade without an exam was disqualified because he did not have the required time as a Technician class operator.  This left 5 candidates. Three new Technician license were earned; one upgrade to General class was earned, and one applicant failed.  Participating VEs were: KA2RGI, W2KFV, KC2E, WB2QGZ, KB2QFT, N2RQ, W3EH, N2PIK, W2EUL, K2TV, and W2ILP.   





There was not much for me to do at this session.  There were only 6 applicants and there were 11 VEs present.   In contrast, last year’s HRU VE Session had about 35 applicants.   Apparently even the elimination of all CW exams is not enough to motivate prospective hams to take the written tests.   There were many curious non-hams at the HRU,  but few who wanted to be tested.  What does this tell us?

I think that some of the non-hams were computer hackers, who may be interested in the technical part of wireless communication, but are not seriously interested in amateur radio operation.   I could be wrong.


As our club dwindles in size, it is now more important than ever to keep in touch with the leaders and members of the other Long Island Ham Clubs.  That may just be my opinion.  What do you think?

73, Bob w2ilp    







President               Ed Gellender               WA2EAV           X02-14    516-575-0013

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

1Yr Board Member    Zack Zilavy               WB2PUE        Retiree     631-667-4628
1YrBoard Member     Dave Ledo               AB2EF

1Yr Board Member   Bob Christen         W2FPF               

2 Yr Board Member   Bob Wexelbaum    W2ILP                Retiree     631-499-2214

2 Yr Board Member    Jack Cottrell        WA2PYK             Retiree     516-249-0979

Trustee WA2LQO       Ray Schubnel        W2DKM           Retiree




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

Webmaster                  Pat Masterson         KE2LJ        Retiree         831-938-4614






On the first page of this newsletter I quoted the FCC’s paragraphs that relate to the Basis and Purpose of Ham Radio.  I hope that you don’t take this to mean that I am lecturing in a Gung-Ho manner.  I want to hear your comments.  What should ham radio mean to you?  What did it mean to you when you were first licensed?  What can it mean to today’s new hams?  Are the paragraphs of the Basis and Purpose still applicable?

Now I know that hams are not required to do anything…but I also know that once one volunteers to do something then he or she takes on responsibilities.  If a volunteer no longer wants to take on a responsibility then he or she can retire and/or resign from the responsibilities.  That is a pretty logical position.  Unfortunately egos prevent many of us from resigning even when it becomes impossible to fulfill our responsibilities due to health restrictions or family priorities….or other fun hobbies, leisure pursuits and their responsibilities.

The ARRL doesn’t want to lose any members.  More members mean more political clout…BUT how many members still want to be the hams who volunteer to be responsible for anything?   I don’t know about you…but I recently renewed my ham ticket for another ten years.  You can call on me until 2018..if I’m still alive.

73, Bob w2ilp (I  Like  Peace)




February 2008

 VOL.  81,  NO.  3



Bob Wexelbaum  W2ILP

(631) 499-2214

[email protected]



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

Pat Masterson’s e-mail address: [email protected]

Ed Gellender’s e-mail address:  [email protected] or [email protected]