Hellgate Static


August 2006



Next meeting is August 14, 2006

At St. Patrick Hospital basement meeting room

500 West Broadway

1900 local





Hellgate Amateur Radio Club

P.O. Box 3811

Missoula, MT. 59806-3811


HARC Board of Directors

Club President, N7GE, Jerry Ehli at jehli@modernmachinery.com
Vice-president, W7PAQ Frank Kisselbach at fkissel@direcway.com
Treasurer, K7PX, Steve Schlang at ripply1@msn.com

Secretary, AC7UZ, Lewis Ball at ac7uz@blackfoot.net





The meeting was called to order at 7:07 pm by president Ehli.


The minutes were approved as presented, the notation of the minutes falsely reported the meeting was in room B and not room A.



The nets will move time on August 2, 2006. The VHF net on the 147.040 will be 7:00pm on Wednesday followed by the HF net on 3.947 & 7.268. The HF Sky Warn net will still follow the Montana Traffic Net each Wednesday. The HARC Wednesday nets will still be as controlled net as a practice for an emergency.


There is a need to reattach the ends of the dipole at the Red Cross.


There is an emergency call out list but more operators are needed.


Field Day was a success with 1400 + points.


The Lewis & Clark special event station from July 2 to the 4th was also a success with 786 contacts made and all states, many in Canada and 8 other countries.


Eric is checking to see if the county will provide the license and cover the insurance for a vehicle or trailer to house our emergency radio equipment.


Lewis reports that all the wire is gone from Smurfit-Stone.

The pagers for the Sky Warn are still being used by the fire department and will not be available.


The 146.800 repeater will be moved from Blanchard as soon as possible. Many locations were discussed for a replacement site, but all will have to be solar or provide our own power. The new location debate will be tabled until later.


A motion was mode to purchase an “ice chest” for the Yaesu 1000 HF radio.


A motion was made by Lewis to ask the executive board to take offers on the Kenwood 940, power supply, amplifier, speaker, and microphone and make a recommendation at the next meeting. This will be in accord with the donor wishes. It was seconded by Eric. The motion passed.


Work on the APRS will be done during the week of the 17th on Point Six.


A motion was made to draw for the hand held raffle Eric, seconded by Bill. The motion passed.  Mike, Jackie’s father (our TV star from the special event) drew the winning ticket. AC7UZ won the radio.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.


The next meeting will be at St.Pat’s hospital in room A at 7:00 pm.


Net Controller as follows:

July 12  Eric & Dennis    NWS

July 19  Lewis & Greg    Red Cross

July 26  Bill & Jerry       NWS

Aug 2  Eric & Jerry  Red Cross New net time at 7:00 pm

Aug 9  Steve & Jerry     NWS



The Hellgate ARC provided public service communications for the 3rd annual Blackfoot River Cleanup on July 29.  This event, hosted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, Grizzly Aquatic and Scuba, Blackfoot Home and Community Group and the Marietta and Bob Pfister Family saw numerous volunteer floaters, beach combers and scuba divers plucking a lot of trash from another Montana river.  Thanks to radio operators: AB0CY, Russ (net control); K7VK, Vick and AC7UZ, Lewis for their participation. 

Vick, K7VK




Over 786 QSOs with all 50 states and 8 countries are numbers that describe a very successful 2006 Lewis and Clark Special Event operation.  Newspaper and television coverage and making radio operators out of a nine-year-old girl and 20 year-old photographer are other good signs.  This was our fifth and arguably our best Lewis and Clark Special Event as much because of the human elements as because of outstanding numerical results.

Sunday afternoon July 2, W7DHB led off with a several frustrating, unanswered CQs, before the pileups finally got started. The bands were not in good shape.  Some said they were just plain bad.  QSB was pronounced all three days, and QRN was common.  We got through by persevering–changing beam directions and employing the noise blanker, notch filter and speech processor.  All contacts were on 20 MTRS   We tried hard on 75 and 40 MTRS, because we were committed to making QSOs with our Montana and Idaho neighbors along the Lewis and Clark Trail.  As it turned out we did work hams in Missoula, Baker and Pocatello on 20, but no one would answer us on 40 or 75 MTRS.

The weather did cooperate.  It was sunny and hot, but no thunderstorms, wind or lightening.  We were entertained by mother nature.   The mosquitos were there.  So were the deer.  The foxes dashed through and took out one of the hundred or so gophers (Columbian ground squirrel) right before our eyes.

On July 4 Fort Missoula was full of Lewis and Clark re-enactors, old tractors, steam engines, tuba bands and several thousand spectators.  Many of them stopped by St. Michael’s Chapel, built in 1863.  That’s where W7PX was working the world on HF.  Boy Scouts and Red Cross were in the adjoining tent with the 2 MTR rig.  Frank W7PAQ and Wayne N7TAE respectively represented those two HARC partners.  Young scouts JD and Daniel made radio contacts.  Old friends and acquaintances stopped by.  Some were hams, but others were not.

The Missoulian reporters spent over an hour with us.  YL photographer Sarah sat down, logged some QSOs on the computer, and then, bit by the radio bug, she grabbed the mike and made a bunch of contacts herself. All of this resulted in a very good newspaper article about HARC and ham radio, accompanied by a photo of that photogenic duo K7PX and W7PAQ.   Not to be outdone, the next day KPAX-TV came out in time to film nine year-old YL Jackie Leary talking to the world on HF.  She scored Alaska and gave a great interview to the TV camera crew.  You cannot script this stuff!

Some hams we met were real Lewis and Clark fans.  One was married to a descendent of the blacksmith of the Corps of Discovery.  Several had taken Lewis and Clark tours.  One had canoed in the path of the Expedition.

As usual, Director Bob Brown and the staff at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula were the most accommodating and hospitable hosts. The following hams helped make the event successful: Bob K7BA, Lewis AC7UZ, Wayne N7TAE, Eric NZ7S, Dennis W7DHB, Steve K7PX, Frank W7PAQ, Greg NL7WB, Craig KE7NO, Steve KK7UV, Chris KE7BPV, Danny KC7ZO, Mike N7WKR, Bob N7MSU.  Special thanks to the Lewis and Clark Special Event Committee which has been planning successful Lewis and Clark Special Events for 5 years–K7BA, W7DHB, N7TAE, NN8A, NZ7S, AC7UZ and N7MSU. 


Bob, N7MSU



After receiving a phone call from my Father-in-law Dennis, KB3MQQ, I heard that Steve, KK7UV was on the cover of CQ magazine.  After a phone call, a light bulb came on in my head and I understood where they came up with the pictures for the CQ Calendar (see last months Hellgate Static).


His reply was “Now my wife can tell everyone that she is married to Mr. August and be telling the truth!”.




CONGRATULATIONS to N7MSU for 10th place in the 7th-Area County Expedition.  This first running of the 7th Call Area QSO party was held May 6.  Operating from Sweatgrass County, Montana about 15 miles North of Big Timber were N7MSU,Bob; K7VK,Vick & K7PX,Steve.


Tom Taormina, K5RC, with the Central Oregon DX Club sent this note to Bob, N7MSU

            “Thanks for your participation and for making the first running of 7QP an unqualified success. Attached is a PDF file containing your tenth-place certificate.  Please let us know if you're unable to print it. On behalf of the committee and volunteers, we look forward to working you again in 2007 and beyond.”


To get the “skinny” on the N7MSU County expedition, take the time to read “Call of the Wild” by K7PX, Steve.  It was within the June 2006 Hellgate Static.



The 72nd Glacier-Waterton Hamfest was the big draw in Montana from July 14th through the 16th.  This hamfest was quite enjoyable and going to this is well worth the time and effort.  It’s in a great location, there are many friendly folks around, and there is a fair amount of ham gear as well!


HARC was fairly well represented this year, but there is always room for others! 


As usual, several demonstrations were presented, including a high speed CW contest that Byron, NN8A has vowed to win next year.  Good job Byron, we love that positive attitude.  New rigs were purchased by club members, and even better, one was given out during the drawing and is now in the possession of K7IMZ, Jerry if my memory is correct.  Click for photo.


It was different weather than last year with it being warm, windy, and dry.  Jake Flood showed his skill with his telescope and finding herds of elk on the surrounding peaks while KK7UV looked for a “great deal” on amplifier tubes.  The Saturday night barbeque and band was a thrill, just ask my daughter who met her friends from last year.  Her parents enjoyed the relief that that provided.


Sunday activities concluded the hamfest with a breakfast at the pavilion.  This was kind of a joke since the caterer ran out of food.  It brings a new meaning to “get there early”.   The Junque Auction followed, and later the remaining folks “bid” for the traditional Beer Bottle.  Jackie, KC7RBC, “won” the Beer Bottle auction last year.  My advice is that you should never make fun of someone “winning” that competition since you may end up cleaning the coins out of your pocket at the wrong time.  Thank goodness someone guessed a better number than I did during the three way final round!


After the auction ended, we all packed up and headed off.  It was fun to hear everyone on “52 simplex” calling out that they were monitoring, including my wife KE7FAH that kept her promise from last year.  It indeed was a fun trip.  Kyla says that she and the latest Nelson will see you all there next year. 


The DX’er

Reprinted from the ARRL Contest Log Sheet of July 12, 2006

Adapted from "The Wanderer" by Dion DiMucci
By K8MP, Malcolm J. (Joe) Papworth

Oh I'm the type of Ham who likes to tune around,
I'm never in one place, I spin the dial around,
I hunt 'em and I chase 'em, 'cause to me they're all the same,
I find 'em and I work 'em, and they don't even know my name,
'Cause I'm a DXer... I'm a DXer...I tune

Well Ten is a good band, and Fifteen it's all right,
And Forty is the band that I'll be on tonight,
But when they ask me which one I love the best,
I tear open my shirt, and there's a Twenty on my chest,
'Cause I'm a DXer, I'm a DXer, I tune

Well I roam from band to band,
I go through logs without a care,
Got QSL cards in my hand,
Then a flip of the switch and I'm on the air.

Oh I'm the type of Ham who likes to tune around,
I search for pile-ups, I love to hear that sound,
But when I find myself, a-gettin' on some list,
I grab a-hold of that VFO and give a little twist.
'Cause I'm a DXer, I'm a DXer, I tune
Yes I'm a DXer, I'm a DXer, I tune



Sorry about the shortness of the Hellgate Static this month.  With fire season, summer activities, and general life, I haven’t found much time to sit down and create the greatest newsletter ever.  Again, my apologies.


I was not able to attend the July club meeting as I was in Pennsylvania with my wife’s family.  My father-in-law Dennis, KB3MQQ and I did however visit a local ham club, the Delaware Lehigh Amateur Radio Club (W3OK) in the Bath, PA area (http://www.dlarc.org).  If you are visiting somewhere, I would highly suggest that you do the same.  To locate a local club and their meeting times, just open up the ARRL.org webpage.  Within the “blue” area at the top of the page, on the left hand side, below “find on this site” is the word clubs.   Just click on that word and you are in.  Everything from that point on is simple.  Even I couldn’t screw it up!


It occurred to me that the club is always in danger of becoming boring and dying a death, in reality, by its own hands.  Boring meetings will chase people away.  To attract members, maybe we will need to do new and different things.  Although we don’t have the available people within the club that the DLARC does (our “16” members do not approach the same league as the DLARC’s 202 members – as of the ARRL website), I wonder if we shouldn’t give this some serious thought.  I do not mean to suggest that the Delaware Lehigh ARC is our saving grace, but there aren’t any rules that say we can’t borrow ideas from other clubs that are around.  To make that work, it is simple: visit other clubs.  We are in all truth “communication experts”, so, this should never be a problem for us to do.


During our visit, I found two “take away” items that we should consider.

            1) Make the “boring part of the meeting” (old news, new news, financial report, etc.) stay to the point.              Have that part get started, stay on task (no interruptions), and get over quickly.  The DLARC’s July             meeting was similar to ours in many ways.  They had just accomplished communications for a bike race             and a “river bank” run, had a Field Day report, and were in the planning process of several other items such as a picnic.  This was all accomplished within 30-45 minutes.  The floor was then open    for awards given to the former president and for a presentation on WINLINK.  This may have taken            another hour and a half, but was done well.  It was even interesting to folks like myself who, in all      reality, don’t give a rip about computer based ham radio applications.  I have often talked with folks that     have an interest in ham radio, but they were quickly cooled on the idea of our club meetings when I         have described what happens there.  It was odd to be in a fairly large room, filled with hams.  I know we         have many more hams in the Missoula area.  What do we need to do to get them to show up?         Afterwards, Dennis and I went out to a local restaurant and chatted up some of the members.  This was   very similar to the Saturday breakfasts that we have here.


            2) A big push for the DLARC is visiting schools to show off amateur radio, and look for “new recruits”.              They also rattled my brain a bit and discussed something that is quite simple to work with, home             school children.  Home school is common here as well.  The nice thing, is these children could come     to your shack so that you can show them what you can do, not just explain it to them.  Some of my            daughters friends at the Glacier-Waterton Hamfest are home schooled.  They either have their          licenses, or are studying to get them.  They have the benefit of a father that is a ham, but you must wonder how much “idle” brain power is out there that we don’t use.


So, go to a club and pick some good ideas out.  We might be able to double or triple our meeting attending members!


We hope the HELLGATE STATIC was interesting for you this month.  Let us know if this newsletter is to your acceptance.  So far, I’ve only heard good things.  If there is something YOU would like to see, or that you feel is overdone, please let me know.  This is the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club newsletter, not mine!  If you have something (even a simple one-liner) please write to me at our address or e-mail me (Craig, KE7NO) at twincreek@blackfoot.net