THE AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLETTER
Laurel Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
P.O. Box 3039, Laurel, Maryland 20709-3039
http://larcmd.org email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meetings and Nets:
Þ 1st, 3rd, 5th Wednesdays:
On-the-air Net at 8:30pm on 147.225+ PL156.7 (no tone required during nets)
Þ 2nd Wednesday:
Informal/Social Gathering at 7:00pm – Tubby’s Restaurant; Rt. 198, ½ mile West of I-95
Þ 4th Wednesday:
Monthly Meeting at 7:30pm - The Woman’s Club of Laurel, 384 Main Street, Laurel
Informal Net/Rag-Chew from 10-11pm on 147.540
Laurel Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
P.O. Box 3039
Laurel, MD 20709-3039
THE LAUREL AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
President: Mark Doore N3NTQ 301-572-2385 email@example.com
Vice-President: Roger Davis W3LM 301-776-6961 firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: John Menard N3GXA 301-725-1641 email@example.com
Treasurer: Patty Menard N3OYN 301-725-1641
Other LARC Positions and Contacts:
Immediate Past President: Jim Cross WI3N 301-725-6829 firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership: Patty Menard N3OYN 301-725-1641
FAR Representative: Joe Seaslely KA3UZI 301-725-5822
FAR Representative: Dan Blasberg KA8YPY 202-667-5780 email@example.com
Laurel VEC: Bob Busch WB3KXJ 301-317-7819 firstname.lastname@example.org
LARC VE Testing: John Creel WB3GXW 301-572-5124 email@example.com
AutoCall Reporter: Jim Cross WI3N 301-725-6829 firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership: Patty Menard N3OYN 301-725-1641
T-MARC/D-MARC Rep: Kevin Arber W3DAD 301-725-0038 email@example.com
Public Information Officer: Pud Reaver W3YD 301-498-6293 firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Programs: Mark Doore N3NTQ 301-572-2385 email@example.com
Education and Training: Pud Reaver W3YD 301-498-6293 firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Specialist: Kevin Arber W3DAD 301-725-0038 email@example.com
Emergency Operations: Mike Moseley WB3HUP 301-317-8546 firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Emergency Station: Mike Moseley WB3HUP 301-317-8546 email@example.com
Official Bulletin Station: Pud Reaver W3YD 301-498-6293 firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Relay Station: Pud Reaver W3YD 301-498-6293 email@example.com
LARC Special Interest Groups and Mentors:
Antennas Kevin Arber W3DAD 301-725-0038 firstname.lastname@example.org
APRS Mark Doore N3NTQ 301-572-2385 email@example.com
QRP Scott Rosenfeld NF3I 301-549-1022 firstname.lastname@example.org
Repeaters John Creel WB3GXW 301-572-5124 email@example.com
ARRL Field Organization:
Atlantic Division Director: Kay Craige WT3P 610-993-9623 firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlantic Division Vice Director: Bernie Fuller N3EFN 814-763-1529 email@example.com
MD/DC Section Manager: Bill Howard WB3V 410-551-6775 firstname.lastname@example.org
Affiliated Club Coordinator: Tony Young WA3YLO 301-262-1917 email@example.com
The Feedback is published monthly as the newsletter of the Laurel Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
Permission is granted to reprint from this publication provided credit is given.
Editor: John Menard, N3GXA Publisher: John Creel, WB3GXW
The July Feedback
Late word is that the upcoming meeting will feature Scott/NF3I speaking about QRP and kit building. He'll also have some friends there to help. Just going by what I saw at Field Day, I expect Scott will have plenty of material and items to show.
Take note that the 2nd Wednesday social meeting has been moved to Tubby's Diner on Route 198. I have no personal knowledge of it yet, but I've heard on the air that the restaurant appears quite satisfactory.
The Foundation for Amateur Radio, Inc. (FAR), of which we are a member club, regularly advertises regarding their scholarship activities. The 1997 winners of 59 scholarships have just been announced, and I would like to say that one of them is well known to LARC. Carolyn M. Creel, N3UXZ has been awarded one of 3 FAR Silent Key Memorial Scholarships, for $1000.
I have written articles to the best of my recollection about Field Day and the Laurel Independence Day Celebration. It seems that I could have gone on and on about Field Day, it's such a big event. I also apologize to all the people I fail to mention because I'm just not around for the whole event.
Pud/W3YD plans to give the Field Day summary as well as some other bits of important information. The Novice/Tech class is about set to go in September, so inform any friends you have who may be interested.
Minutes of LARC Meeting – 25 June 1997
- Called to order at about 7:30pm, President Mark/N3NTQ presiding; held at The Woman's Club of Laurel, 384
- Approximately 25 members were in attendance.
- Treasurer, Patty/N3OYN reported the treasury holds about $1418.
- Bob/WB3KXJ, in his VEC report, noted an error in the minutes to the May meeting. The National VEC Conference in Gettysburg is in July, not June.
- Roger/W3LM reported that he recently rode in Bike Virginia for a week, and that there was no Ham support. He suspects this is due to the fact that there are few hams in the already small population of southern Virginia.
- FAR representative Dan/KA8YPY, reports that the FARfest will be opening on Saturday this year, at 10:am for vendors and 12 noon for general admission. The club may also consider volunteers at the event for which FAR will make a donation to the club.
- Jim/WI3N reported on emergency operations. Progress has been made regarding the planned VHF/UHF station at Laurel Hospital. A donation to the hospital by the Women's Club will probably cover some costs, and the P.G. County will likely cover the rest. Hospital authorities have agreed to allow the roof mounted antennae and an operating location.
- The MD-DC QSO Party contest will be August 9-10. LARC is defending champs and will plan to operate from the station at WB3HUP.
- Operators are needed for the Laurel Independence Day Parade and Celebration on 5 July. A sign-up list was passed around.
- Jim/WI3N led a discussion of Field Day plans. It was decided to use W3LM as the call.
- Scott/NF3I spoke about equipment he would like to sell, and will try to present a list for the next issue of the Feedback.
- There was some underlying discussion about moving the social meeting to Tubby's Diner. No vote was taken, but the move appears to be likely. More information is forthcoming.
· The meeting adjourned at about 8:30pm.
-Respectfully submitted, John/N3GXA
Thanks to all that helped out with the Laurel 4th of July festivities. I was concerned that we might be short-handed but was pleasantly surprised by the great LARC turnout. We were well complimented by the 4th of July Committee.
I thought Field Day went really well this year. With the two tents, good weather, fine food, and excellent company I was ready to stay a few more days. It was also great to see several new faces – including some young and shaggy. Pat/KK3F was a newcomer to our Field Day and by Sunday afternoon an official LARC member. The Laurel VE team offered test sessions on both Saturday and Sunday with Gina Creel (N3ZQU) and Paul Grodt (N3ZQV) successfully becoming Technicians prior to the expiation of the existing test pool.
We get a little break from our public service activities and just in time with this heat wave. Last night (Thursday) was the first night in about 12 days that the temperature inside my house was lower than outside. But now that the AC is fixed I ‘m convinced we won’t see many more 90 or 100 degree days! I’m not sure how the family allowed me to procrastinate like that.
When it cools off a bit we have an antenna project to work on. Pat/KK3F needs a hand installing a mast and 2-meter antenna on his roof, along with fixing up his inverted V. Hopefully, we can get him setup in the next few weeks. He also has 40 foot tower and beam that he would like to put to use – he’ll probably be ready for that installation sometime this Fall.
The calendar has the MD/DC QSO party coming up in early August and I also see that NCAC is having a Simulated Emergency Test (SET) later in August. We’ll have to check this out and see how we might participate.
FarFest is in early September and I’m sure that our dedicated VE team will be providing exams again this year. You will find a letter from FAR somewhere in the here that offers club members (like us) an opportunity to volunteer some time and put some money in club coffers at the same time. If you are interested in helping out then please send me an email, give me a phone call, holler at me on the net, or raise your hand at the next meeting. I suspect we will have no problem getting at least 6 volunteers but would like to take a sanity check before committing with FAR. The letter doesn’t mention a maximum number of people so let’s make a party of it! John/N3GXA & Patty/N3OYN will bring the grills :>)
The traditional LARC Novice/Technician class will be starting up later in September. I encourage you to spread the word – if a flyer doesn’t make it into this edition of The Feedback I’ll make sure to have some for this month’s meeting. We have a tried-and-true team of trainers but should probably get some new blood involved, so please feel invited to sit on some of the sessions which will be on Monday evenings for 10 weeks. The new Novice/Tech question pool went into effect July 1 which includes the recently mandated RFI material.
It’s probably not too soon to start thinking how we can work with the schools this Fall. Prince George’s County has an OASIS program that meets Thursday evenings (I believe 6:30-8:30) at Eisenhower Middle School starting in October. This program offers tutoring and special interest classes to students of all ages. Let’s see if we can put together a 6 week program that mixes video tapes, lecture, demonstrations, and hands-on projects to get the youth more interested in electronics and Amateur Radio. In the 6 weeks we might also try to cover the requirements of the Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge and kill two birds with one stone.
I was pretty gung-ho on doing something for the Boy Scout JOTA event in October. Given that no scouts showed up for Field Day, JOTA may be more of a challenge than I anticipated. I’ll plan to get in contact with some scout leaders in the next few weeks and see if there is any genuine interest in LARC supporting this activity.
I was short on a program for this month’s meeting (probably for the same reason I had a hot house), so Scott/NF3I stepped forward to put together a presentation on QRP with a bit of kit building (showing) thrown in for good measure. It sounds like he is really rounding up his QRP contingent and will have some good stuff to show us. I even heard a rumor of a door prize or two - no pressure Scott :>) Knowing Scott’s knowledge and enthusiasm I’m sure it will be an wonderful evening.
Seems that Dinosaurs is a bit too social in the summertime for our monthly socials. So, we are now meeting at Tubby’s on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Tubby’s is located on Route 198 right at the Montgomery/Prince George’s County line, about ½ West of I-95, just past Old Gunpowder and Bond Mill Roads.
Well, no sense in wasting any more space here – I’ll let you get on to the good stuff that John/N3GXA, Pud/W3YD, and Dan/KA8YPY have provided in the coming pages.
73, de Mark/N3NTQ
("You can call me anything, but don’t call me late for dinner.")
From the Desk of Pud/W3YD
FIELD DAY REVISITED
Field Day was a complete success, from my point of view, and many thanks are owed to WI3N/Jim for being head honcho, to N3NTQ/Mark for all the ancillary support, and to everyone else who helped with the LARC record-setting performance. And also special thanks to W3LM/Roger for the loan of his call sign. I was doing a little CW logging for NF3I/Scott, and even I was glad he didn’t have to send KB3BLK fifty times a minute.
MDC QSO PARTY
Set aside the weekend of Aug. 9-10 for LARC’s try at setting another record in the MDC QSO party. We will have a few folks manning the rigs at WB3HUP’s place, and we will have a few rovers on the road helping load up on the counties. There is room for everyone to contribute....we will have more information at the meeting, and as we get closer to the event.
CYCLE ACROSS MARYLAND
Another event looking for our support is the Cycle Across Maryland, an annual event that will be in our "local" area this year. Starting in lower PG county on Saturday, July 26, the bikers will head into southern MD, returning to Largo, by way of Clarksville, I think, finishing up on Thursday July 31. The officials are looking for ham radio support, especially during the weekdays. All that is required is a two meter radio and some time to spare. If you can spare a day or two, or even part of a day or two, let W3YD/Pud know, and he can make the proper arrangements.
LARC is planning to offer the Novice and Technician class course again this year, beginning in mid-September, and finishing just before Thanksgiving. Everyone is welcome to as a review, or to learn the new material that has been added dealing with RF safety. And, of course, if you know of anyone interested in amateur radio, invite them to come also. The course is free, but a text is recommended ($19) and is available from MRC, Radio Shack, or LARC. Pre-registration is encouraged so we know how many tables to set up. Contact either W3YD/Pud at 301-498-6293, or WI3N/Jim at 301-725-6829.
Field Day 1997 - W3LM
They say it always rains on Field Day, but this year, (for once), that applied to other people. In fact, the weather was actually pretty nice; clear and dry, and not too hot, (by our standards). In the evenings it was downright cool; not damp, and not humid. (I am not making this up.)
In summary, the club, using Roger's call of W3LM, ran a 2A operation that scored very well. According to Pud/W3YD our score is expected to be 3876 total points on 352 CW QSOs and 734 phone QSOs. In researching the history of this operation, the closest score is about the same, but coming on a 3A setup, (meaning 3 stations instead of 2). Therefore, LARC Field Day 1997 is declared as best scoring in history. Beyond score, I would say it was a success in all the other areas that make FD fun. Quite a few visitors came to the site, some newer operators got to team up with logging and operating on the air, and the eats were pretty good.
Mike/WB3HUP has most of the club equipment stored at his place of business, so one of the first tasks was to transport it from ATR Inc. to Panther Field. Notably, Mike provided 2 batteries for power that were referred to as 'mini PEPCO'. I guess they would be some sort of truck battery, they were labeled as 1300 CCA. I can say that we used a hand truck to move them around, but if you have 2 strong guys they can be carried. Generators provided electricity for non-radio items such as fans and lighting, and therefore, didn't need to run too much.
Thanks to the Laurel Lions Club for lending 2 large tents through Dick/N3MJA. This made it possible to keep operations separate enough but still keep a sense of community.
On the public relations side, I think this was the best showing I myself have seen. President Mark/N3NTQ obviously put tremendous effort into preparations. Just about any piece of ham literature you could ask for was laid out on 2 tables. He set up his packet APRS computer running the windows version. (Came in handy for finding the zip code for Blacksburg Virginia.) In fact, there was no shortage of computers, but the logging was still done by hand. There was a video system with color TV and selection of ARRL videos showing for those interested. We even sold a copy of "Now You're Talking". Some visitors came by to try to learn a little about radio and several had children in tow. The Laurel Leader even sent a photographer over, and yes, in the following edition was a large photo displaying Matt/N3JMK and Paul/N3NYM behind a nice solar panel array, staring up at their antennae. Someone ,(probably Mark), even had the brilliant idea of putting storm window screens over the literature tables to keep things from blowing away yet still be able to read and grab any title.
The antenna array on the HF end consisted of a large beam mounted to a bucket truck loaned by Fred Frederick. (The truck, not the beam) HD/N3LFL was responsible for the design and fabrication of the cage which fits the beam into the bucket. A 2 meter vertical, (Ringo Ranger), was atop the beam. Once again no one remembered to put the flag on the antenna before sending it aloft. In fact, we didn't even have a flag this year. Anyway, they did remember to attach rope and pulley ahead of time, and a trap dipole wire for 40 meters. The other end of the dipole went on the multi section military surplus mast which is supported by guylines. The rope was later used to haul up a G5RV in a sloper configuration. I don't remember if the sloper was actually put into use or not, but it looked quite pretty. In fact, the whole setup did.
On the VHF/UHF side of things, Matt/N3JMK was working with a 6 meter beam using armstrong rotator and solar (sunstrong?) power. Pud/W3YD ran a 2M packet station into the vertical. This was useful for sending radiograms in the National Traffic System packet format to nab extra bonus points.
A variety of operators kept things going. Scott/NF3I was responsible for most (possibly all) of the CW contacts. He was part of the all night crew along with several others. Mary Ellen/W3VY and Charles/KD3ZS parked their motor home on site for the duration making electricity (on board generator) and refrigeration more accessible. Mary Ellen also brought a strawberry shortcake concoction that went over very well and was just plain delicious.
Speaking of the pot luck supper, it was quite successful with, I'd guess, about 25 in attendance at any one time. The club decided to provide hamburgers, hot dogs, and soft drinks so that attendees provided side dishes and deserts, primarily. This formula worked pretty well, and the weather by suppertime was perfect for picnicking. If you only come to one thing, this may be a good one to do.
New member Jim/N3ZJG brought his whole family (including a very popular dog) for much of the day. Most notably, 7 year old son James, (no license yet) operated for a time and nailed 7 contacts.
Field Day Chairman Jim/WI3N is to be congratulated on a very good event. This is the first time in memory that we've had everything ready to go key down on time. There was a noticeable number of youth and families, and I think a few people learned a little about the whole amateur radio service. The only bad thing is that we didn't get the usual opportunity to show how brilliantly clever we are at fixing things that go wrong. Well, its nice to get away from that once in a while.
Laurel Independence Day Celebration 1997
Coming exactly one week after Field Day, it was very surprising to me that the weather on 5 July was just as good as the previous Saturday. It has only been a few years since the Laurel Amateur Radio Club started supporting the Laurel Independence Day parade, and last year LARC received an award from the City and the Committee for volunteer service in that event. This year, LARC was requested to work the entire event including the parade, lakefront setup, shadow communications, and fireworks coordination. This meant assigning shifts from 8:00am to 10:00pm to cover various tasks. This also meant that we were getting into an event we had never done, so we didn't know exactly what to do at first.
Once again, our tireless president Mark/N3NTQ worked on the front end of organizing the event. When I called on 147.54 Mhz at about 8:00am inquiring if anyone knew any particulars about where to meet and who to shadow, N3NTQ responded that we still had a little time because he was just finishing breakfast with the committee members at the moment. Ultimately, most of the Doore family spent much of the day at the event. HD/N3LFL provided and operated a station for net control at the lakehouse. In addition to 2M simplex, he had the ability to monitor or work the Laurel DPW, the electrical contractor, the Park Police, the Laurel Police, and a 440 Mhz simplex link. Scott/NF3I also used a 440 link to cross band repeat from his parked car during the parade, but I never did know where he parked it. The parade crew was organized by Roger/W3LM.
The morning setup was fairly uneventful, but Paul/N3YOY and Patty/N3OYN where able to talk by radio across the lake a lot easier than those setup guys could do by shouting. This was to coordinate the fireworks locations which were on several pontoon barges hauled into the lake. Throughout the day, there were the usual fun events such as the baby crawl, fishing contest, horseshoe tournament, sack race, live music, and vendors. Most of the things we usually do at crowded events such as find lost children, make announcements, coordinate staging, rescue and medical calls, were all covered. A visiting ham from Ohio, Stan/AA8XA stopped by to say hello and talk with us. He was staying at the Comfort Suites hotel and noticed our antenna. He recently sent me a QSL card ("I-ball contact") and noted that the great thing about this hobby is that you can quickly make friends wherever you go.
When Patty and I returned in the evening for the fireworks, I was very impressed with the communications in a large, noisy crowd like that. Scott/NF3I, Dan/KA8YPY, and Jerry/N3WSG were primarily trying to coordinate the pyrotechnics on one side of the lake with the musical score on the other side; an electronic version of "when I nod my head, you kick it". Well, I must say that Scott is probably the only guy I can think of who refers to a great onslaught of explosives and fire as "key down". (See humor sidebar.) But, in spite of the tremendous noise and intermod it worked great. The show was good and the LARC communications were really very professional.
The take down was pretty easy except that someone had locked their bicycle to the same lamppost that we tied the antenna mast to. We just lowered the bike and lock until we could lift the mast over it. By this time the Doore family presence was up to Dad/N3NTQ, Mom/N3SCU, Grandpa/K3JNT, and 3 harmonics. Very impressive considering that I also saw the maternal grandparents there too at about midday. (I don't know their call signs.) LARC was asked to do this so the 4th of July Committee wouldn't have to rent radios, and of course the experience of the operators. I have a feeling we'll be asked to return next year.
HOW SOME THINGS WOULD BE ALTERED IF NF3I WAS IN CHARGE:
- At Indianapolis Motor Speedway: The call to start engines would be changed to: "Gentlemen, Key Down!"
- The Liberation of World War II France would be delayed as the encircling allied troops at D-Day fail to realize that "Key Down!" means "hit the beach".
- The Confederate States triumph at Gettysburg as the infantry fails to respond to General Pickett's command of "Key Down!"
- The last line of the National Anthem changes from "Play Ball" to "Key Down!" Endless confusion leads to trouble as the Orioles think the umpire is making fun of their pitcher. ("Is he injured, he looks fine?")
The FAR Report – July 9
* FAR President, Chuck Sommer (N4OSD), called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. at the Lee Center in Alexandria, VA.
* There were 18 in attendance representing 18 clubs and organizations.
* The June minutes were approved as mailed.
* The treasurer's report was given by Charles Johnson (N3HFO) and accepted.
* Auto Call - John Swafford (W4HU) reported that he had been in contact with the Auto-Call editor, John Queen (WA0SEY). John Queen is still begging for photographs to be published in the magazine. Swafford also reported that most of the past problems seem to be cleared up and, generally, things are fine.
* Survivor's Assistance - John Swafford (W4HU) reported that the Hennesey sale has been completed.
* Scholarship Committee - Hugh Turnbull (W3ABC) reported that the committee met four times in June and awarded 59 scholarships. Checks will be cut and mailed out to the recipients within a week, or so. Hugh also offered a press release for everyone to read. Upon approval, the press release will be sent out to all FAR trustees and to Atlantic Division clubs.
* ARRL Report -- Hugh Turnbull (W3ABC) enlightened us to the fact that the FCC does not plan to be concerned with issuing 1X1 special event call signs and wants to delegate that authority to third party organizations. Hugh also filled us in on the National Volunteer Examiner's Conference schedule and probable options.
* FARFest (Gaithersburg Hamfest) - Chuck Sommer (N4OSD) advised that the next meeting of the FARFest committee will be on Wednesday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Prince Georges County EOC. The EOC is located 1-1/4 miles inside the Beltway and north of Central Avenue. Note: A short FAR Board meeting will be held immediately preceding the FARFest meeting.
* After the attendees had a chance to read over the Scholarship Committee's press release of awards, a motion was made to approve their selections and to mail out the press release as printed. The motion was unanimously approved.
* A question reached the floor asking if the Maryland meeting place should be changed. The majority of attendees suggested various alternatives. Chuck Sommer (N4OSD) will investigate various options and report at the next meeting.
* The FAR/MEPN Picnic is July 12.
* SweatFest is July 20.
* Cycle Across Maryland is July 26-August 2.
* NCAC meets July 26 at 9:30 am in Alexandria, VA * The BRATS hamfest is July 27.
* The Berryville hamfest is August 3.
* The Maryland-DC QSO Party is on August 9 and 10.
* ARRL-AMRAD Digital Conference at the BWI Holiday Inn on October 10.
The next meeting will be held in Maryland at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 13. See Auto-Call magazine for directions.
Dan Blasberg, KA8YPY
Field Day ‘97
Upcoming Activities and Events
23 Wed 7:30pm LARC Monthly Meeting (QRP by Scott/NF3I) 384 Main Street
27 Sun BRATS Hamfest Timoniium
30 Wed 8:30pm LARC Net 147.225+
6 Wed 8:30pm LARC Net 147.225+
9-10 Sat-Sun MD/DC QSO Party (LARC won it last year) Mike/WB3HUP"S
13 Wed 7:00pm LARC Social Meeting Tubby’s Restaurant
9 Wed 8:00pm FAR Meeting Takoma Park, MD
16 Sat 9:00am Laurel VE Test Session 384 Main Street
20 Wed 8:30pm LARC Net 147.225+
22-23 Sat-Sun NCAC SET Exercise
27 Wed 7:30pm LARC Monthly Meeting (Batteries by Ken/W3VVN) 384 Main Street
3 Wed 8:30pm LARC Net 147.225+
6-7 Sat-Sun FarFest (need volunteers) Gaithersburg
10 Wed 7:00pm LARC Social Meeting Tubby’s Restaurant
10 Wed 8:00pm FAR Meeting Alexandria, VA
17 Wed 8:30pm LARC Net 147.225+
20 Sat 9:00am Laurel VE Test Session 384 Main Street
20 Sat Amateur Radio Awareness Day
22 Mon 7:00pm Novice/Technician Class Starts WLCB
24 Wed 7:30pm LARC Monthly Meeting 384 Main Street
27 Sat Pallotti Invitational Cross Country Run Supplee