MINUTES OF THE LARC MEETING - 26 JUNE 1996
1. Jim/WI3N, President, began the meeting at 7:35pm with the customary introductions of those present, and also welcomed Diane Sills of the South Laurel Recreation Counsel who provided refreshments for the evening.
2. The minutes of the last meeting were accepted as published, and Pud/W3DQI presented the treasurer's report of approximately $1350.
3. WI3N reported that Mike/WB3HUP has taken most of the club's equipment into storage. The club expresses sincere appreciation.
4. A letter of appreciation was received from a recent LVEC examinee, KF4JSV.
5. Russ/N3AUQ was welcomed back from his long journey across the country.
6. Pud/W3DQI made a brief Field Day report. 23 members participated, one new operator joined the club at FD. Operating as W3VY, 622 QSO points and 700 bonus points are claimed. It was noted that this is a low score.
7. Diane Sills addressed the club in order the thank the volunteers at the Montpelier Festival on behalf of the SLRC. She also invites all to attend the free summer concerts that will be held at the mansion. The SLRC has reportedly received a County award for Rec Council of the Year, and also a State award for Volunteer Organization of the Year. Diane led a discussion of ideas for improvement to the festival, one of which was a better ruling on the admittance of dogs to the grounds. Diane noted that next year's festival is scheduled for 4 May 1997.
8. The upcoming Laurel Independence Day Parade event was discussed, primarily in the form of a call for operators.
9. H.D./N3LFL suggested that the club consider some First Aid and/or CPR training because of the public service events we work. Several knowing members suggested that the Red Cross is willing to prepare a class for the club, depending on schedule.
10. Russ/N3AUQ entertained the gathering with stories of his various misfortunes as encountered on his vacation across America.
Respectfully submitted, John/N3GXA
The July Feedback
One problem with the Feedback publishing schedule, is that it will always be out about a month before and a month after Field Day. Thus, preparations seem a bit early and critiques seem a bit late. Anyway, having said all that, you will notice that the FD results have been compiled by Pud/W3DQI and printed elsewhere in this issue. This is the first year that we have the ARRL form generated by computer, so it looks different. Also regarding FD, one of the visitors to the site, Cy/W3EUF, decided to join the club. Therefore, please welcome and add the following address to your membership list:
Cy Martin W3EUF
217 PaulaLynn Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20904
We are fortunate to have the return of our Technical Editor, Kevin/W3DAD, this month. Please note that he has some comments on last month's Phase 3D article. Also, he asks for ideas for future articles and gives his E-mail address. Now you're thinking, "I wish I had other E-mail addresses in the club". Well, Pud/W3DQI has compiled a list of such data, and it can be found elsewhere in this issue. Pud also has provided a brief report on Roger/N3MIJ and his bicycle ride across the continent. (I think he's somewhere in South Dakota).
Thanks to the ARRL Atlantic Division News, I've been able to compile a few other Internet addresses and homepages. Pud has noted that a LARC homepage may be in the works, and about a dozen or so other nearby clubs have been listed. The ARRL would like to call your attention to the possibility of loss of band space in the 2 meter and 70 cm bands. These are very popular frequencies, and you can learn all about it at one of the ARRL locations listed.
Thanks to Jim/WI3N for keeping the Feedback up to date on news while the editor is laying a bit low. Read the President's Ramblings for everything, including the presentation of an award to LARC by the Fourth of July Committee.
Here are a few dates to keep in mind:
- 24 July: LARC business meeting featuring author Martin Davidoff/K3UBC.
- 28 July: Baltimore hamfest at Timonium. (double check this date before you go).
- 17,18 August: York PA hamfest at York Interstate Fairgrounds.
- 8 September: Pallotti Invitational Run.
President s ramblings . . .
It was nice of Diane Sills, President of the South Laurel Recreation Association, to drop by with some cookies and sodas at our last meeting. Her sincere thank you for another job well done by the club at the Montpelier Festival was also appreciated. You, the club members, truly do deserve kudos because you always seem to turn out for the public service activities in ample numbers to do the job. So it was with the most recent event, the 4th of July parade for the City of Laurel. Mark/N3NTQ was at the reviewing stand and Bob/WB3KXJ was on his perch at the Hecht Company. Les/WR3X helped form up the bag pipers, majorettes and others at the elementary school and feed them into the parade at the appropriate times, as did Paul/N3NYM, Pud/W3DQI, Mike/WB3HUP, and Matt/N3JMK on 6th Street. Stan/K3JNT and Joe/N3TZA manned the registration table, Tim/N3TZH rode on the truck with what probably seemed like 3000 4th graders, and I chased Kay the parade chairperson up and down the streets. I hope I included everyone! Kay asked us to show up at the 5 PM opening ceremony and several of us did. We were surprised to be awarded the Harrison-Beard award for volunteerism beyond the call of duty. We ll have it at the meeting for everyone to see.
Speaking of the meeting, this one should be a corker! Tim/N3TZH invited his neighbor, Dr. Martin Davidoff/K3UBC to be our guest speaker. Dr Davidoff is the author of the ARRL Satellite Experimenter s Handbook. He is working on an updated version for them now, teaches math at Catonsville Community College, and also does consulting work. I believe he will have slides to show. I ve passed the word to K3IVO that they are welcome to sit in on our meeting. We ll try to get the AC on early so the room will be cool. Hope to see a lot of you at the meeting.
I d been thinking that it was time to get back to the PG ARES folks to explore establishing a relationship with them. Lo and behold, Pud got a letter inviting him to a meeting whose purpose is to get the ARES group back on its feet. That meeting will be held the day before our meeting, so we may have some discussion about what s going on with that organization and where we might fit in. Emergency preparedness is a topic in which many of you have expressed an interest. What with the hurricane season in full blossom now, this will be a timely subject.
In a somewhat related topic, the JOTA weekend has been changed I believe to the second weekend in October so that it won t conflict with the national Simulated Emergency Training exercise, which should be on the third weekend of October. I ll see if the local district would like to have our involvement in the JOTA (Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air) weekend. I m not sure exactly where the Riverfront Festival fits in, but probably Pud will have more info at the meeting. Our next big event will be the Pallotti Invitational.
73 es cu at the meeting . . . . . Jim/WI3N
WISCONSIN ROCKETS FOR SCHOOLS LAUNCH A SUCCESS
Despite marginal signals from an onboard ATV transmitter, the May 4 launch from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, of an ATV-carrying rocket is being considered at least a qualified success by Bryan Suits, WB8WKN, who was in charge of the payload. The 11-foot-long Super Loki sounding rocket was sent into the air over Lake Michigan, as part of the Wisconsin Rockets for Schools Project, a program to stimulate interest and excitement in mathematics and science. Launch-day weather began as "very iffy" said Suits, a physics professor from Houghton, Michigan. But, he said the sky cleared up and winds abated by the 2 PM (CDT) launch time.
"The payload worked as planned"; Suits said, although received signals were "on the poor side." Suits speculates the noisy signal was the result of antenna damage that occurred.
"But we did indeed get signals," he said. Before the launch, Suits had said he'd consider the project a success if the transmitted just one good frame back to earth. A frame-by-frame analysis of the video indicates the starlute (a special high-altitude parachute-type device) connection was probably severed during ejection. As a result, "we got a lot of rapid tumbling motion" Suits explained. He said the payload was tumbling a few rotations per second. The video Suits received on the ground showed the horizon and some of Earth's curvature, but "no identifiable features" because of the rapid rotation of the payload, he explained.
Audio telemetry signals received on the ground indicated that all the electronics survived the mistreatment on the way up. "I am very pleased that the payload worked so well on the first try!" he said. Onboard devices measured battery voltage as well as internal and external temperatures. The devices reported an internal temperature of 0 C and an external temperature of -50 C. Prior to the launch, Suits had worried about overheating of the batteries. An altimeter failed to operate, however, so Suits is not sure if the rocket actually reached the planned altitude of nearly 50 miles.
The payload was not recovered. "It's probably at the bottom of Lake Michigan by now," Suits said. "We will be doing some digital analysis of the signals and compiling the telemetry
from our different receiving stations," Suits said, adding that some already are talking about attempting another launch next year.
Overall, Suits reports "a good time was had by all and students of all ages enjoyed the event. A lot of dignitaries were there as well, and saw what Amateur Radio could do. "An ATV balloon launch was under way at the same time, and Suits says quite a few who were looking at the balloon signal thought they were seeing the signal from the rocket. Amateur Radio also played a role in ground communication, range safety and tracking on both VHF and HF.
The Aerospace States Association sponsored the launch. "We're grateful to the ASA for giving us this opportunity to help with this project," Suits said.
- Thanks to the ARRL Letter for this article.