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The EARS WA4IWLetter



I really would like to chat about happy, carefree thoughts--for we all need those in our lives--but some of the things I read of these days just make me wonder. Is the USA going crazy, or is it me?

Out in San Bernardino County, CA, discovery of the Delhi Sands fly has stalled construction of projects worth millions of dollars--including a school and hospital. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is requiring the county to come up with $220 million for additional land acquisition. The Delhi Sands fly is the only fly on the Endangered Species list. A tally of eight (that's EIGHT, folks!) flies have been counted, but nobody knows if the same fly was counted eight times, or two flies were counted four times, etc. Should one of these critters come into your house and you killed it, you would be fined $25,000 and subject to a couple years in jail. The El Segundo fly disappeared when Los Angeles International Airport was developed on its breeding grounds, hence the grave concern for this species. (From Nat'l Weekly Edition, The Washington Times, 30 Aug-05 Sept)

Up in the Hudson River Valley of New York, a company has had its plans to develop an open pit mine on its property stopped by the state because a den of rattlesnakes is located 260 feet from the site. Rattlesnakes are a protected species in NY (THAT figures!). The company proposed construction of a snake-proof fence to protect both its employees and the rattlers. However, the state claimed that fence would restrict the rattlers from their "habitat" and would not permit that alternative. (Locally, just pray that there are no Scrub Jays on any property you own. If so, you can kiss it off as far as development goes.)

An article in The Philadelphia Inquirer on 01 July 1999 is entitled "Declaration of Independence too hot for some N.J. lawmakers". For ten years Sen. Gerald Cardinale has sponsored a bill requiring students to recite from the second paragraph of that wonderful document: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator to certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed...." Critics denounced the Declaration as outmoded, racist and sexist. Another likened the Declaration's Preamble to a "secular prayer". Maybe the reason for the hostility is if the students learned what the Declaration means, they might actually take it seriously and take action.

In American prisons, you spend your time in an 8'x10' cell; at work you spend your time in a 6'x8' cubicle. In prison, you can watch TV and play games; at work, you get fired for watching TV and playing games. In prison, all expenses are paid by taxpayers, with no work required; at work, you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary in order to support prisoners. (From 06 September Insight)

Meanwhile, the FBI (which sure ain't what it was back in the days of J. Edgar) has admitted to what any who cared already knew: the tear gas that was fired into the Branch Davidian compound on 19 April 1993 was incendiary. Maybe Randy Weaver smiled at that.

Down in El Cenzio, TX the council decided all city business will be in Spanish. ("Remember the Alamo")

"Only in America" But for how much longer?

73 de Jack, W4JS


The next EARS meeting will be held 17 September at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 East Dearborn St. Officers' meeting will be held in the church's library at 6 pm. The business meeting will start at 7:30 pm in Room 400. The program will be an ARRL video on Amateur Television. (Honest--no mistakes this time!) Don't forget Denny's afterwards!


The EARS weekly net meets on the WB0GUX repeater (146.700) at 7:30 pm every Friday except the third Friday, which is our meeting night. Recent net activity follows:

Date NCS Check-Ins

13 Aug KD9SJ Don 8

27 Aug WA4IWL Don 6 *

03 Sept WA4IWL Don 12

* Threatening storms may have kept our less carefree members off the net

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Minutes of the Meeting

August 20, 1999

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, opened the meeting at 7:30 pm. with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There was one new member to introduce and make welcome, although he is not really a new member. Larry Yacobelli, W4ERN, is an old member with a new call who dropped out for awhile and has come back into the club. Welcome back, Larry. There were no guests to introduce and no upgrades to report.

A motion was made by Larry Yacobelli, W4ERN, to forego reading the minutes of last month's meeting of July 16th, and accept them as published in the August newsletter. Seconded by John Fogle, W1JF, and carried.

Howard White, KD4MMY, gave the Treasurer's Report and made a motion for its acceptance. Seconded by Doreen Snowdon, KF4JCS, and carried. The report was filed with the Secretary.

CORRESPONDENCE - Letters were faxed to the two Boca Grande newspapers, advising them of our plans to operate a special event amateur radio station at the Boca Grande Lighthouse on August 21 and 22 for International Lighthouse Weekend.

We received a letter from our insurance company with our renewal verification documents.

All were reminded to vote on the proposed West Central Florida ARRL Section when the ballot is received in the mail.


SUNSHINE - Jack, W4JS, reported on his recent successful eye surgery; lens implants in both eyes.

CLUB PINS - Contact has been made with a local supplier and we are awaiting samples and prices.

RACES - Frank Kouri, K4KF, reported on RACES activity and informed us that a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is planned for Thursday August 26th. Participants are expected to report in from four locations.

FCC EXAMS - There will not be a VE test this month. Three licenses were earned in one family at last month's session. Pam-KG4EDF, Colin-KG4EDG, and Bryce-KG4EDE. Bryce is age 11, and Pam and Colin Eggleton are his parents.

TRAINING - Ken, W4JQT, gave the training report. Ken is ready, willing and able to conduct any level class if six or more students request it.

DX - Bruce Robideau, K2OY, gave the DX report.

ULS - Jack, W4JS, conducted a question and answer discussion on the new Universal Licensing System. The basic thing all of us must do is register in the new system by filing form FCC 606. You can do this either by mail or on line via the Internet. Visit the FCC's ULS page, http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/uls. Click on "TIN/CALL SIGN REGISTRATION" and follow instructions.

Frank Maren, W4VV, made a motion to adjourn at 8:14 p.m. Seconded by John, W1JF, and carried. There were 20 members in attendance, and no guests.

PROGRAM - The program was a video on Packet Radio, prepared by the Tucson Amateur Packet Radio organization (TAPR).

Ken Anderson, W4JQT



The EARS VE Team offers ARRL VEC license exams at 9:30 am the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Chamber of Commerce building, 601 South Indiana Avenue, Englewood. Two-day advance reservation is required.

Candidates must bring:

(1) Original license and a copy of that license.

(2) Original CSCE's and a copy of each CSCE.

(3) Two forms of identification.

(4) Social Security card or License Identification Number.

(5) A check in the amount of $6.45 payable to "ARRL VEC", or cash in the above amount.

For further information and reservation, contact Jack Sproat, W4JS, at 475-1929


FOR SALE: No Reasonable Offer will be refused for the following, which were donated to EARS earlier this year: Funds go to the EARS Treasury.

1. Telrex TB4EM tri-band beam; good condition and with all hardware.

2. IBM PS-2 Computer, monitor and keyboard; good condition, perfect packet station with Packratt II on the hard drive.

Contact Ken Anderson at 475-3172


145.130 (-) WB4NJV SERC/Venice

146.700 (-) WB0GUX Englewood (T)

146.730 (-) WB4NJV Sarasota ERC (A)

146.745 (-) K4IB Charlotte Co. CD

146.775 (-) K0DGF Englewood (T)

146.910 (-) W4IE Sarasota ARA (A)

146.925 (-) WA9NLA Pt. Charlotte

147.015 (+) WB9JTK Pt. Charlotte

147.255 (+) WA3DUX Peace River

444.625 (+5 mc) K0DGF Englewood (T)

444.700 (+5 mc) WA4ISB Venice

(T) = 77 Hz PL tone (A) = Autopatch


The Snowbird Net meets daily at 10 am, 11:45 am and 5:45 pm on 14.278, and at 7:00 pm on 7.230. Join in to keep in touch with our birds up North.

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Wow, here it is September and all is set for the great Pioneer Days. Hope everyone has a fine time with all the planned programs. Sounds like a lot of FUN.

I will be packing and getting things ready for a long haul up to North Carolina on the first of October.

George used to say I was a Pack Rat. Now I know he was right. Where has all the stuff come from???

Oh, yes, I did read in the paper today that Karl Ehmer's is now "Chriest's". There will be many changes in the menu.

Where I will be going, if you want a drink of anything but water, coffee, tea or milk, you will have to bring your own bottle. Wow....Shades of Amarillo, TX when we first arrived there.

I know very little of where I will be going except there are plenty of mountains and trees around.

Oh, yes, even snakes abound in the wooded areas.

So, I will just have a short blurb as there is much packing to be done and time is short.

So, I will say my good-byes to one and all and remember you when I am up in the mountains while the trees turn all those pretty colors.


Peggy, KF4BD

(Ed. Note: On behalf of our readers, I want to thank Peggy for her faithful preparation of "Squeezings" every month. She certainly kept her eyes and ears open to the events here in the Englewood area. We all hope that Peggy will enjoy her new home. Our thoughts will also be with you, Peggy.)


Americans take many things for granted, and the telephone is one of them. Yet, half of mankind has never made a telephone call. Three quarters of the world's telephones are installed in just eight industrialized countries, while 80 percent of the world's population have no access to phone service at all.

China and India have a combined population over 2 billion, yet fewer than 2 in 100 people have a phone line. While Americans think the PC and Internet are cutting-edge technology, for most of the world it is the telephone.

In India, some 3 million people are on the waiting list for a telephone. In Malawi, there is one telephone per 10,000 people, with at least 500,000 people on the waiting list. In contrast, the USA has 57 telephone connections per 100 persons, and Sweden has 68.

(Ed Note: Most overseas telephone companies are owned by the government which, in developing nations, lacks the wherewithal of free-market stock companies.)

(From 01 September 1999 W5YI Report)


The 1999 EARS Christmas Dinner will be held at Rotunda Golf & Country Club on Monday, 13 December. The cost will be less than last year, however, there will still be three selections on the menu, thanks to the efforts of Mickey Maren. Mark that date on your calendars, and make an effort to come out to our major social event of the year. Details will follow.


A Grand Jete by the Manasota Key Sunsetters to Al Stevens, KA9KAZ, who contributed $25 to the EARS Booster Fund in support of our operation from the Boca Grande Lighthouse.

Since first offered last Spring, 18 personalized log books have been purchased by 14 EARS members and friends; contributing a total of $47.50 to the EARS treasury. See or call Jack, W4JS, at 475-1929 to order your personalized log book. Help Boost-EARS.


11/12 Sep Platinum Coast ARS Hamfest at the Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd. from 9am to 5pm. TI: 146.25/.85 Info: Tim, KI4TG, (407) 724-9339

25 Sep ERARA & DBARA Hamfest sponsored by Embry-Riddle ARA and Daytona Beach ARA at the Embry-Riddle campus on Clyde Morris Blvd. 1-mi. south of International Speedway (US 92) from 9am to 5pm. TI: 147.15/.75. Info: John, KB3GK, (904) 677-8179

26 Sept Suncoast ARC Hamfest and Computer Show at the New Port Richey Recreational Center, 6330 Van Buren 0.5 mile north of Main St. from 9am to 3pm. TI: 145.35/147.15 Info: Mike, WB8ONY (727)934-0228

02 Oct Maitland Hamfest at Bahia Shrine A.R.U., 2300 Pembrook Dr. TI: 147.39 Info: Cecil, K4KEN (407)281-9169

08/09 Oct Starke Hamfest at Bradford County Fairgrounds, US 301 north of SR 100. TI: 145.15

09 Oct Egypt Temple ARA Hamfest, 4050 Dana Shores Dr., Tampa. TI: 146.94

16/17 Oct West Palm Beach Hamfest at Amara Shrine Temple, 3650 RCA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens TI: 147.165 Info: Ken, KD4CTG, (561) 640-9447

(From August 1999 CyberSKIP Digest, Vol. 6 No. 2 Amateur Radio Trader, September 1999 QST, and September 1999 Worldradio)

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Back in 21 September 1899, Guglielmo Marconi arrived in the USA at the invitation of J. G. Bennett, publisher of the New York Herald, to publicize the America's Cup Races and to demonstrate wireless telegraphy. The contestants in the race were the British yacht Shamrock, owned by Sir Thomas Lipton (of Lipton Tea fame) and the American yacht Columbia, owned by financier J. P. Morgan.

Marconi's receiving station was set up at the Twin Lights Lighthouse on the bluff at Navesink Highlands, NJ. Spark-gap transmitters were installed in the yacht Ponce and the steamer Grande Duchesse, which were chartered to follow the race. Marconi had enough experience with his wireless to know that it could give a reliable signal from anywhere in the race course.

On 16 October 1899 the yacht races and transmitting began. By the end of the second day, when Columbia won the race, more than 5000 words had been transmitted from the two vessels and received at the Twin Lights station and relayed to the Herald NYC office.

Marconi became a national hero. Barely 2-1/2 years later his successful transmission of a wireless signal from England to America was realized.

On 30 September 1999, from 1300-2100 GMT, the Wireless Information Network Laboratory of Rutgers University will activate WA2GM on 3.875, 7.235, 14.240 and 21.325 from the Twin Lights Lighthouse/ Museum for the 100th anniversary of practical wireless transmission in America.

The Ocean-Monmouth ARC will operate N2MO during the hours 1300-2100 GMT from 04 to 10 October on 3.875, 7.235, 14.240 and 21.325 from the old Marconi Hotel near the site of the original Marconi Belmar receiving site (and where Armstrong first demonstrated his regenerative receiver to David Sarnoff in 1914).

The Garden State ARA will operate W2GSA from the Twin Lights Lighthouse/Museum during the hours 1300-2100 GMT on 3.875, 7.235, 14.240 and 21.325 from 13 to 17 October to commemorate the first practical use of wireless transmission.

Finally, QCWA Marconi Chapter 138 will operate WA2GM from the Twin Lights Museum during the hours 1300-2100 GMT on 3.875, 7.235, 14.240 and 21.325 from 20 to 24 October, celebrating the 100th year since transmission of the America's Cup races.

Why not get on and work one of these operations honoring the true father of amateur radio?

(From "Marconi--A Man of Vision" by Bob Buus, W2OD, September 1999 CQ and "Special Event Stations" by Bob Buus, W2OD, Fall 1999 QCWA Journal)


Tom Mexicott, W8EDO, a former EARS member and neighbor of Vice-President Jerry Meckenberg, K2JWE, passed away in late August.

Shirley Miligan, widow of deceased EARS member Art Miligan, W8KW, passed away 27 August. She belonged to the Eagles and Lions Clubs in Englewood


You cannot see it,

but you will know instantly when it's gone.

You cannot feel it, but it shelters you like a robe.

You cannot taste it, but a taste was never sweeter.

You cannot hear it,

but it rings out like a thousand bells.

You cannot buy it,

though it often comes with a heavy cost.

You cannot sell it, for it is not yours to sell.

You cannot crush it,

yet few things are more fragile.

You cannot extinguish it; the flame will rekindle.

You cannot keep it for yourself;

it gathers strength when shared.

You cannot force it upon another;

that is not its nature.

And while it can be stolen from someone without their consent, most of history's great battles have been waged to win it back.

(Written by Sen. Rod Grams, R-MN, and delivered in his home state on Independence Day. From Summer 1999 Heritage Members News)


One of the locals, who enjoys nature and bird watching, pulled up the drive the other day while we were chasing JY9QJ on 10 meters. "Just had a wonderful hike through Cedar Point Park". "Say", he went on, "I met an interesting young girl amongst the palmettos. She said 'Hi' to me". "A nature lover?", we inquired, half-interested. "Well, I really don't know", the local replied thoughtfully, "you see, she had no clothes on so I could not tell". "No clothes!", we echoed, our attention coming alive, "what happened then?" "Oh, nothing at all", the local said, "you see it was almost time for Howard, WB8IGU, and the Snowbird Net to come on the air, so I could not tarry and talk with the young lady". And, with that, off he barrelled, supremely confident that his own sense of values were well balanced. Son of a Gun, what do you think? Like Albert said, all things are relative.

(Adapted from DX IS! The Best of the West Coast DX Bulletin, edited/published by C. T. Allen, W5DV, and J. M. Allen, W6OGC. c. 1981)

Page - 5

Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
Worked All Europe DX


0000 GMT 11 Sept

2400 GMT 12 Sept

80 - 10 Meters


European Stations Only R/S + Serial Number
ARRL September VHF QSO Party 1800 GMT 11 Sept

0300 GMT 13 Sept

50 MHz and Up


Anyone, Anywhere Grid Square
Illinois QSO Party 1800 GMT 11 Sept

0200 GMT 12 Sept

160 - 2 Meters


Illinois Stations Only R/S/(T) and State
QCWA QSO Party 1800 GMT 18 Sept

1800 GMT 19 Sept

160 - 10 Meters


QCWA Members Last 2 digits of yr 1st licensed, Chapter No.
Washington State Salmon Run 1600 GMT 18 Sept

0700 GMT 19 Sept

160 - 10 Meters


Washington Stations Only R/S/(T) and State
CQ/RTTY Journal World Wide RTTY Contest 0000 GMT 25 Sept

2400 GMT 26 Sept

80 - 10 Meters


Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T, State and CQ Zone
Scandinavia Activity Contest 1500 GMT 25 Sept

1800 GMT 26 Sept

80 - 10 Meters


Scandinavian Stations Only R/S and Serial No.
VK/ZL/Oceania Contest 1000 GMT 02 Oct

1000 GMT 03 Oct

80 - 10 Meters


Stations in Oceania Only R/S and Serial No.
California QSO Party 1600 GMT 02 Oct

2200 GMT 03 Oct

160 - 2 Meters


California Stations Only R/S/(T), Serial No. and State
RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest 0700 GMT 03 Oct

1900 GMT 03 Oct

21.200 - 21.350

28.450 - 29.100

United Kingdom Stations Only R/S and Serial No.
Pennsylvania QSO Party 1600 GMT 09 Oct

2200 GMT 10 Oct

160 - 10 Meters


Pennsylvania Stations Only R/S/(T) and State

From September 1999 Worldradio, September 1999 CQ and September 1999 QST.


While Murphy's Law sure prevailed, EARS members did mount a successful operation from Boca Grande for International Lighthouse Weekend 21-22 August.

When we got to the lighthouse Saturday morning, we discovered that there was no power due to a lightning strike on a pole transformer at the site Friday night. Howard, KD4MMY, and Bob, KF4YOW, then made the trip back to Englewood to fetch our club generator. Once they returned we got on the air about 11:40 a.m. As there was interference between the two stations, probably due to proximity of the two antennas, we only were able to keep the phone station in operation. A major storm front moved in from the Gulf in mid-afternoon, with the wind-driven rain soaking everything we had under the pavilion. So that shut us down after only about 3 hours of operating. W4JS returned Sunday morn to find that the pavilion still had no power. Fortunately, a ranger was able to throw on the right breaker. We got on about 8:40 a.m. and operated until 3 p.m. when high winds and threatening rain closed us down. So in 9-1/2 hours operating we had 281 QSOs, or about one QSO every 2 minutes. Not bad for a "non-contest", running 100 watts to a vertical. Twenty meters was the most productive band and our best DX was to Lithuania, Zambia and Italy.

A number of stations that called us remarked that they recognized the K8ONV callsign--including 90-year-old Sambo, KP4CI, down in Ponce, PR, and a fellow who knew the Rydens when he was a teenager.

Thanks to W4JQT, K9HUY, W4VV, W1NQT, K2JWE, KD4MMY, KF4YOW and W4JS who did the operating and logging, and to KD9SJ, W1JF, WB1CYM, K2GQU, N4ET and N4MML who came out to wish us well, We'll be there again next year!


Eleven EARS members took to the "Streets of Paradise" early morning 06 September to provide communications support for the annual Pioneer Days Parade. Under the coordination of John Fellin, WB0GUX, Ron-KE4JWB and Doreen-KF4JCS served as Net Control. They were ably assisted by W4JQT, K2OY, W1NQT, K4KF, KD4YHZ, KD9SJ and W4JS. K2JWE also made his presence known on the Coast Guard Auxiliary float. Overcast skies didn't darken the spirits of the parade participants or spectators.

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(Band/GMT for best chance of S5 or better signal)



BEARING 80 40 20 17 15 12 10
Fiji - 3D2DX

Annobon Is - 3C0R

Belau - T88MM & T88JJ

Central Kiribati - T31T

Samoa - 5W0GD

Tokelau - ZK3DX

Marquesas - FO/M

Australs - FO/A

13 - 16 Sept

14 - 24 Sept

15 - 19 Sept

23 Sept - 03 Oct

28 Sept - 14 Oct

07 - 12 Oct

09 - 18 Oct

14 - 24 Oct

































































Updated 04 September 1999, based on 08 September QRZ DX and 03 September The 59(9) DX Report. Solar Flux assumed at 170 for all forecasts.

Notes: NO = No opening forecast. ??? = Callsign not yet known. Long path bearings and opening times (if any) are underlined.


The Solar Flux was 216 on 01 August, dropped to 123 on the 12th, climbed to 248 by 28 August, and ended the month at 183. Geomagnetic storms during August caused DX propagation to vary from excellent to "dead bands". By the end of August, however, Jordan, India and Indonesia were being worked on 10 meters, so conditions are definitely on the upswing. The Flux averaged 171 for August, up slightly from July. A smoothed Solar Flux in the mid-150s is forecast for September.

The September propagation forecasts ("Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, September 1999 CQ) follow:

A greater number of DX openings are expected during September on 10, 12, 15, 17, and 20 meters during the daylight hours. Improved nighttime DX conditions are also forecast for 30, 40, 75, and 160 meters as the static levels diminish.

The Autumnal Equinox will occur 22 September, on which date the hours of daylight and darkness are of equal length throughout the world. HF propagation is affected by the equinox from about mid-September into early October. This is usually the best season for DX openings between the temperate regions of both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 11, 18, 28-29 September should be "Above Normal"; 25-26 September should be "High Normal".


Solar activity is now high enough to support F-2 DX openings from the USA to several areas of the world. In the afternoon, look for 6-meter openings into the temperate areas of the southern hemisphere. TE openings to South America may occur between 8 and 11 p.m., local standard time.

(From "Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, September 1999 CQ)


The upcoming operation of 3C0R from Annobon Island 14 - 24 September will (hopefully) satisfy the needs of local DXers for this rare one. Last on in 1991, Annobon ranked #17 for East Coast DXers in the 1998 survey by The DX Magazine of the 100 most needed countries.

During November, a 3-week DXpedition will be active from 9M6AAC in Sabah, East Malaysia, 9M6OO in the Spratly Islands, and from the Sultanate of Brunei.

In January 2000, OH2BR will be operating from Pitcairn Island as VP6BR, in celebration of his 40 years as an amateur operator. Jukka plans to operate SSB, RTTY, and CW from 160 to 6 meters. As transport is dependent upon P&O cargo ships, he will be there from 3-4 months.

From 26 February to 15 March 2000, some 18 intrepid DXers from 8 countries will be on the air with six stations from Clipperton Island. The last operation from here was in 1992. France is very protective of this atoll south of Baja California, hence landing permits are very difficult to obtain. Plan ahead for this one, which ranks #57 on the ARRL Hot 100 List.

Some progress towards opening up amateur radio in Yemen was made in mid-August. Members of the International Amateur Radio Volunteers were there on business, at which time they showed local engineers how to use radio equipment, which was then donated to the Ministry of Public Health as a training station. Yemen ranked #6 for East Coast DXers in the 1998 survey by The DX Magazine of the 100 most needed countries.

On 30 August the people of East Timor (Indonesia's 27th province) voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia. Such independence will add a new one to DXCC. Subsequent to the referendum, however, hard-core factions opposed to independence have been rioting and burning in Dili, the capital city. Civil stability must be established before Indonesia moves to grant independence and a new government can be formed.

Page - 7



There are any number of people in our community who are hard of hearing. Yet a good number of these people may refrain from using commercial hearing aids due to their relative costs. A suggestion has been offered that perhaps EARS could:

(1) Sponsor an informal contest to see who could design a simple battery-powered audio amplifier that could pick up normal sound levels and transmit them to a pair of light-weight, cheap earphones.

(2) Determine the potential demand/use for such a device, which would be made available at a price set to recover only material costs.

(3) Support EARS members willing to assemble such an audio amplifier.

Your comments are welcome. Let your officers know your thoughts.


In case you've never noticed, low-gain antennas on the 40, 80 and 160-meter bands outperform similar low-gain antennas on the higher frequencies.

A dipole-to-dipole free space link on 160 meters is theoretically 24 dB better than a corresponding free space dipole-to-dipole link on 10 meters. Further, a theoretical free space gain of a very short (relative to a wavelength) dipole is 1.8 dB. This might suggest that a metal coat hanger could be used as an antenna on 160 meters. There is a limit to antenna shortening, however, as the resistive component of the antenna input decreases to useless values. However, antennas as electrically short as 1/30th of a wavelength can be matched and are used quite effectively on the lower HF bands. The reason is "capture area".

Once radio waves arrive at the receiving location they can be specified in terms of "power density", expressed in watts per sq. meter of space. The receive antenna has a capture area which can be calculated in sq. meters. The product of this capture area and the incoming "power density" is the maximum available received power:

CAPTURE AREA = (Receive Gain)(Wavelength)2/ (4)(3.1416)sq. meters

The result states that the capture area of an antenna with a fixed gain, such as a dipole, increases as the square of the wavelength.

Therefore, take heart if you can't put up full-sized antennas for the low bands. A well matched resonant dipole or electrically short antenna on those low HF bands is usually quite adequate.

(From "Why low gain antennas work so well at the lower HF frequencies" by Paul E. Schmit, W4HET, September 1999 Worldradio)


One of the local QRPers, who's getting itchy for this winter's 10-meter DX season, stopped by on his way out our road to the farm store. He looked a bit tattered and torn, so we asked what had happened. "Well", he explained, "I went to this radio gathering in Orlando where they had a gang of the traffic types around. All I could hear was about this net and that net---The Southwest Florida Traffic Net, the Southeast Florida Traffic Net, the National Traffic System, Brass Pounders League, and all that suffering stuff. But, not one word about DXing. When I finally got a chance, I got up and said a few words--and they threw me out of the meeting. I mean, they literally threw me out on my backside." The QRPer fixed an anxious eye on us. "Now why did they do that to me?", he asked, "Why to me?" We thought this over a bit, for something here was not consistent with Article I of the Amateur's Code. "What did you say?", we asked, and there was a light. The QRPer shrugged. "All I said was that there are two kinds of amateurs--those who were DXers and those who wished they were!" Son of a Gun, what could we say? We had heard words like that in other rooms in other places. "But why did you say something like that in a traffic gathering?", we asked. The QRPer looked a bit aggrieved. "Heck", he said, "I thought that just about everyone knew that." We thought this over for a bit, for there are always a few that do not get the word........

(Adapted from DX IS! The Best of the West Coast DX Bulletin, edited/published by C. T. Allen, W5DV, and J. M. Allen, W6OGC. c. 1981)


On 16 August 1999 the FCC implemented their new Universal Licensing System for the Amateur Service. The current Amateur Service database has been converted to the new ULS format and new Public Access files are being installed on the Internet.

Amateurs who registered their Social Security Number (SSN) by mail on Form FCC 610 may obtain their corresponding "Licensee ID" by calling the FCC Tech Support line at (202)414-1250.

Foreign nationals not having a SSN but holding US licenses can obtain an "Assigned Taxpayer Identification Number" (ATIN) by calling the above FCC support line. FCC personnel will ask a series of questions to establish eligibility to obtain an ATIN. If a foreign national marks their NCVEC Form 605 with the word "Foreign" at the top, the VEC will assign this alien an ATIN from a block allocated by the FCC.

(From 01 September 1999 W5YI Report and September 1999 QST)

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