Laurel Amateur Radio Club
The Feedback - October 1996


In this issue:


The October Feedback

-by N3GXA

Once again, Pud/W3DQI has provided a good deal of reportage for the Feedback on the many recent events and happenings. Notably, you should find a menu for this year's Banquet which you should fill out, pay for, and return to W3DQI. If you attended last year's event and liked it, or, if you missed it and were told it was good; rest assured that the menu (including price) is the same. (So far, no none has protested last year's dinner).

The Feedback Technical Editor, Kevin/W3DAD, has provided this month's column on noise. We also have a pretty good page on some RFI incidents, thanks to Worldradio Magazine. (This has been waiting to fit in for a month or two).

Sample Ballot:

Even though no televised debates have been held, the LARC elections will be held at Wednesday's meeting. The following nominees are on the ballot:

-President: Mark/N3NTQ 		-Vice President: Roger/N3MIJ		
-Secretary: John/N3GXA		-Treasurer: Patty/N3OYN		-FAR Rep: Joe/KA3UZI
-VEC Coordinator: Bob/WB3KXJ	-ARES/RACES Coordinator: Mike/WB3HUP

Please bring any further nominations to the meeting. The election will be held at that time, and the installation of officers will be at the Holiday Banquet.

In other tidbits of news, there was an unusual portable station on the Wednesday net. In an apparent shameless bid for votes, presidential candidate Mark/N3NTQ transmitted from the third floor of Holy Cross Hospital where he had brought XYL Ondine/N3SCU to birth their third harmonic. The signal was outstanding, and Mark sounded very calm, considering. Ondine didn't have any comments, and the blessed event didn't make the Feedback deadline. So, I'll go out on a limb and congratulate them all ahead of time. Oh, and don't forget Grandfather Stan/K3JNT.


The Calendar


President's Ramblings

Well, this is my next to the last article as president. Looks like all the important stuff we've done during the last month is covered elsewhere. Pallotti, Riverfest, Special Event Station, SET, and so forth. This has been a busy period for LARC, opportunities to provide a public service and to have fun with our friends.

There are only two things left for me to talk about. First is the change in venue for the second Wednesday social get together. Thanks to Mattˇs/N3JMK efforts I think we've found a new home at a restaurant called Dinosaurs. Itˇs located behind the Beijing Restaurant, on the east side of Rt 1, just south of Contee Road. Going south on Rt 1, turn left just before the Academy Ford parking lot. The menu leans toward sort of Caribbean types of food. I had the jerk chicken, Dan/KA3YPY had a spicy jambalya, Matt had a tuna melt as examples. Everyone thought the meal was good. If you get there before 7 pm, you can get a drink order in for $1.25 and get some free chicken wings before happy hour ends. There is a good selection of beer, and mixed drinks are available. We spent a very enjoyable evening there, and there was hardly anyone else in the place. A dee jay normally cranks up around 10 pm, but we're usually out of there by then. Hope to see lots more of you at the next one November 13.

The other item I will touch on is the CWS/CROP Walk that was held on Sunday, October 6. Roger/N3MIJ was net control, Pud/W3DQI took the first checkpoint by 4th St and Cherry Lane, Matt had the second checkpoint at the Methodist Church at 5th and Main, and Mike/WB3HUP had the third checkpoint at Ninth St and the tennis courts. A new member, Jerry/N3WSG, was bicycle mobile riding behind the last walker. I rode with the sag wagon. Everything went very smoothly with no emergencies. Another successful event.

Pud has some comments elsewhere regarding our meeting with the Mayor of Laurel, and officials from the police department and public works. I feel very confident that we will have the opportunity to work with the city in addition to working with PG Co. Pud sent me a copy of the articles he submitted to the Feedback, however, they all came out gobbledygook on my end. We will be meeting with the Dept of Public Works next Tues morning before our club meeting on Wednesday, to find out from them what their plans are for the snow season and how they would like to have us help them and under what conditions. From that meeting I expect that we will draw up a plan for us to become activated, etc. Looks like some more interesting stuff to do.

Don't forget that the elections will be held at this coming meeting. So be there or be square.

73 de Jim/WI3N


LARC BANQUET

Well, it's that time of the year to plan for the LARC banquet, and to remember what a great time we had last year! We're going to DO IT AGAIN! This year the banquet date is December 8; the time is 1600 (Mickey's small hand on the FOUR); and the place is the TIMBUKTU....watch this column for directions....they've changed the roads around that area.

The price hasn't changed....still only $25.00, which includes tax and tip and doggie bag, and helps pay for the few guests, and the entertainment, which, by the way, is still up for grabs. Any suggestions you have will be gladly accepted by Jim/WI3N.

On the menu we have:
  1. ROAST PRIME RIB OF BEEF
  2. BROILED MARYLAND CRAB CAKES
  3. STUFFED FLOUNDER
  4. CHARBROILED NEW YORK STRIP STEAK
Appetizer (choice of one):

[included in the menu are tossed salad, two vegetables, bread, butter, coffee, sanka or tea, and dessert].

The ABSOLUTE CUTOFF DATE is December 4. Please send your check, with meal preferences, to me

		Pud Reaver, W3DQI
		6516 Brooklyn Bridge Road
		Laurel, MD  20707

Also, since DUES ARE ALMOST DUE, you may include your dues for next year: they are $15.00 for the primary member, and $7.50 for each additional family member.


LAUREL RIVERFEST '96

On Saturday, October 12, the LARC enjoyed a very rewarding event in supporting the first LAUREL RIVERFEST, which was designed to promote the park around the Patuxent river, which flows through the heart of Laurel, and also to celebrate the 300th birthday of Prince Georges County.

LARC helped in the morning with setting things up, and then put two stations on the air to "have some fun". Our two-meter station was used in support of the national SET (Simulated Emergency Test), during which we reported to the Hyattsville Red Cross Headquarters that the river was rising, we had spotted an alligator, and there was a stranded puppy across the river. (They responded that we should drain the swamp, and let the alligator have the puppy for lunch!)

We also had an HF rig on the air, as a SPECIAL EVENT. Before noon, Roger/N3MIJ and Ken/NX3K were holding a freq and working many stations for the special event. At noon-time, when the PA QSO party started, we sort of lost the freq, and went hunting. So Roger QSY'ed to 20, and heard an LZ calling CQ. Much to the consternation of the G5RV-bashers in the club, he was picked up after his initial call. LZ3RZ/Vasco, in Sofia, Bulgaria, gave Roger a 53, and Roger, working under his own call sign, got a new one!

Estimates of the crowd for the RiverFest run around 1500 folks. There were many "good" crafters there, and the food was also OK (how can you beat a hot dog with sauerkraut?) Many thanks to the LARCers who helped out that day, and we are hoping this becomes an annual event for downtown Laurel.


PALLOTTI REPORT

On September 28 LARC supported the 25th running of the Pallotti Cross Country Race. Over 1500 students participated, from as far away as Kentucky (the won their event). There were no major accidents to report, and we had a fairly uneventful day, with only two unlocked gates and one sprained ankle to worry about. N3AUY/Duane came down from West Virginia to give us the motorcycle support the race looks forward to, and said to keep him in mind for next year, also! Coach Phil Webb, the Pallotti organizer of the event, has been threatening to retire and move, so perhaps the future of the race is in doubt, but I'm sure someone will take over, and we'll be called on again next year. We usually consider this our premier event of the year, and it goes without saying that a good time was had by all!


LARC PLANS AHEAD WITH MAYOR

On Wednesday morning, October 16, Jim/WI3N, Mike/WB3HUP, and Pud/W3DQI, met with Mayor Frank Casula and other members of his cabinet to discuss where the LARC fits into the Laurel Emergency Plan. The meeting was set up by Kay Graham, Chief of Operations for the PG County Office of Emergency Preparedness. Also on hand for the meeting were Marty Flemion, Director of Laurel's Department of Public Words, Christie Mills, Laurel Deputy City Administrator, and Lt. Steve Moe, representing Laurel Police Department.

Jim started the meeting by explaining the differences and similarities of the RACES and ARES programs. He emphasized that LARC members were volunteering their services as communicators, not cops, firemen, or rescue personnel. He introduced Kay and explained where we fit into her program, and also mentioned that we were also pursuing similar activities with Montgomery County (Howard/K3IOG) is the Montgomery county liaison with PG county); Roger/N3MIJ is becoming active in the Howard County program, and we are looking for someone to get involved with Anne Arundel's program,

Mayor Casula said that Laurel's Emergency Plan, modelled after the county's, was almost complete and ready for review by all the affected agencies, including the amateur radio community. He was also surprised that the Laurel Regional Hospital did not play a bigger part in drafting the plan, and assured the LARC contingent that he would make sure that proper folks from both LARC and the Hospital would be linked to help better prepare for any communication/transportation problems, especially when there is a weather-related situation involving the hospital.

The meeting ended with a very positive feeling that LARC had finally gotten their message across, concerning both our ARES/RACES affiliations, and the fact that we were ready to augment Laurel communications needs, if and when. And that the city finally understood our concerns and was anxious to get us included and active. In fact, Jim will be meeting with the Department of Public Works on the 22nd to start planning how LARC can assist that department if there are problems this winter.....stay tuned!


PHASE 3D LAUNCH PENCILED IN FOR MID-APRIL

The launch of the Ariane 502 that will carry AMSAT's Phase 3D amateur satellite aloft has been tentatively set for mid-April 1997. That announcement came recently from Jean-Marie Luton, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Alain Bensoussan, Chairman of CNES (the French Space Agency), during a joint ESA-CNES press conference at ESA Headquarters in Paris. Other payloads include a pair of technological measurement packages for validation of the launch vehicle's ability to place two satellites into a geostationary transfer orbit. The press conference also outlined the two agencies' respective plans to correct deficiencies in the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, in response to a report submitted in July by the Ariane 501 inquiry board that's been looking into the loss on launch of the first Ariane 5 booster in early June. In their announcement, Luton and Bensoussan outlined several specific actions that ESA and CNES are taking to assure the correction of software contained in the Ariane 5 inertial reference system. Software errors were cited as among the primary causes of the Ariane 501 failure. Other changes will mean that all of the launch vehicle's software will be subject to qualification reviews in which outside experts will take part.

AMSAT-NA President Bill Tynan, W3XO, confirmed outside reports that the launch delays will cost AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-DL approximately $300,000. AMSAT originally had budgeted about $4.5 million for the construction, launch and operation of the AMSAT Phase 3D satellite. It's now seeking additional contributions to help pay the extra costs associated with the launch delay.--AMSAT News Service


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