Hellgate Static

Hellgate Amateur Radio Club

P.O. Box 3811

Missoula, MT. 59806-3811


February 2006
Next meeting is February 13, 2006

→→ At: American Red Cross ←←

→→→ 1500 W. Broadway, #E ←←←



























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


January 2006 minutes

The meeting of the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club of January 9, 2006 was called to order by President Jerry Ehli (N7GE) at 7:05 PM.


The financial report was given with a motion made and seconded to accept. The motion passed.


The minutes were approved as presented in the Hellgate Static (Hard Copy & E-mail). A motion made and seconded to accept. The motion passed.


Old Business

A report was given on the Sky Warn operation.  Two hundred and forty (240) contacts were made, with England and Solomon Islands among the most distant stations contacted.


A discussion was held on permanent emergency stations at the National Weather Bureau (NWS) & the American Red Cross (ARC).


A motion of support for the station at the Weather Bureau was made, seconded, and passed.


A committee was selected of; Byron (NN8A) as Chair, Vick (K7VK), Jerry (N7GE), and Dennis (W7DHB).  This committee will work out the details and recruit 8 primary operators.  They also will operate the Wednesday VHF net from the NWS & ARC centers on alternating weeks.  It will be at 9:00 PM time for the VHF net, with an 8:30 PM HF net for weather spotters from the surrounding area to report in.


A motion was made to make 2 tags for the radios donated to HARC by Ed Redlhammers’ family (W5UEE). The VHF radio will be placed on Point 6 to replace a personal radio the club has been using.  The Yaesu FT-1000 will be used at the NWS until that location acquires their own.  At that time it will be placed at an emergency station at the ARC.


New Business

A motion was made to place the test equipment also donated by the Redlhammers family for a free raffle at the February HARC meeting at the ARC. The motion passed.


The status of HARC club status as a Special Service Club with the ARRL was discussed.  This requires that 51% of the voting members are also ARRL members. HARC is the only club in Montana that has this status. We have had difficulty keeping 51% and many ideas were covered as to meeting the goal such as changing the By Laws and reporting the ratio earlier in the year (February). This topic was tabled.


There are positions to be filled to completely comply for Special Service Club.

1.        Emergency Operation Chief

2.        Technical Resource Specialists

3.        Public Information Officer

4.        Training Officer  which was accepted by  Dennis Barthel (W7DHB)


A motion was made to purchase manuals for the Technician, General, & Extra class from the ARRL under the Special Service Club and at the reduced rate.

The body discussed giving a free HARC membership for one year to each successful tester, and sending them the Hellgate Static electronically for that time period.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 PM



Recently it came to the attention of some club members that study guides and material are needed for potential upcoming training sessions.  Vick, K7VK looked into the dates that the current guides meet FCC needs.  According to the ARRL, http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pools.html, the Technician class guides will be good until 6/30/2006; General 6/30/2007 & Extra 6/30/2008.  As he said in a prior note,According to the W5YI-VEC 2004/2005 manual and their catalogue of study guides, http://www.w5yi.org/catalog.php?sort=10, the dates are different…  Very interesting”.    The correct dates, now also confirmed by W5YI-VEC are on the ARRL web page.


Either way, we will need study guides.  So, if you recently passed that General test you were working on and you don’t need the book for reference, or you “were going to get your cousin to study for the Technician, but you know she won’t do it before the date is past”, or you have the materials and you’re doing some early “spring cleaning”, we need the books, CD’s, or tapes.




A truck driver was driving his tractor trailer cross-country.  As he approached a toll plaza, he hit a patch of ice and lost control of his rig.  He plowed into an empty tollbooth and smashed it to pieces. He climbed down from the wreckage and within a matter of minutes, a truck pulled up and discharged a crew of workers.

The men picked up each broken piece of the former tollbooth and spread some kind of creamy substance on it. Then they began fitting the pieces together. In less than a half hour, they had the entire tollbooth reconstructed and looking good as new.

"Amazing!" the driver exclaimed to the crew chief. "What was the white stuff you used to get all the pieces together?"
The crew chief said, "Oh, that was tollgate booth paste."



Joe Mata, K8MEU

In what might resemble a horrifying moment in a science fiction film, astronauts aboard the International Space Station will toss an empty spacesuit overboard next week.

The Russian suit will carry three batteries and a ham radio transmitter and antenna. Amateur radio operators on Earth will be able to listen to its transmissions over several days until the batteries fail.

The space station has long had a bond with earthbound amateur radio operators, and there is a ham rig on the station to communicate with them. The idea of turning a suit into a satellite came from the Russians, NASA officials said.

In a few weeks, the orbit of the suit (designated SuitSat-1) will decay, and the suit will burn up as it falls into the atmosphere. Kwatsi Alibaruho, a NASA flight director who spoke yesterday at a news conference in Houston, said, "No part of the suit is expected to survive re-entry."

The suit will be released during a spacewalk on Feb. 3 in which the astronauts, William S. McArthur Jr. of the United States and Col. Valery I. Tokarev of the Russian Air Force, will also repair a moving platform that carries the station's robot arm.

In December, a safety device designed to cut snagged cables cut one of two control lines to the platform; NASA is studying why the accident occurred. The spacewalkers will install a bolt that will keep the second line from being cut until a more complete repair can be carried out.

"It's very important that we repair this," said Kirk Shireman, the deputy space station program manager.

Anyone with a ham radio or police scanner that picks up the FM frequency 145.990 MHz can listen to the spacesuit's transmissions. NASA has put a computer program online at http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/JPass/25/JPass.asp to help people figure out when the suit will be traveling overhead. 

The suit will be unpressurized, but the astronauts have stuffed it full of discarded clothing so that it should retain a somewhat human shape. Sensors will monitor the suit's temperature and battery power, which will be transmitted along with a message in five languages.

The message (which is not "heeeeeellllllppp!") will include an image and secret words for student listeners to decipher. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The months of December and January have been busy for your SM.  I've been working in and out of town and have to let the radio world slide bye for a while.

Most should know by now that we were saddened due to the loss of Greg Milnes, our NW Division Director before Christmas.  He had served a long career in support of Amateur Radio both here in the area and in Newington, CT at League HQ.  He'll be missed.

I had the opportunity to talk with Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF/7 over the last week.  He'll be replacing Greg as Director and has made contact with us here in MT, asking about our concerns for the future.  He's headed to Newington soon as our representative, and will be in contact often with us.  I look forward to a good working relationship with Jim.

The Billings Club celebrates 50 years of service this month.  The celebration was marked in an article by the Billings Gazette.  Great press and a fine milestone of accomplishment.  Thanks to all who support the club and who make it function as it does.

IMN-W5UYH, QNI-490, QTC 174
MTN-KD7HWV, QNI-2489, QTC-109
Doug, K7YD


Are You a Weather Spotter?

Byron Van Alstein, NN8A


Do you have that perfect location for an antenna farm?  Is your QTH  HH in a remote location?  Do you live in a small community or near a mountain top?


The National Weather Service needs eyes in communities like Condon, Bigfork, Seeley Lake, Ovando, Lincoln, Darby Stevensville, Deer Lodge, Drummond, Phillipsburg, Thompson Falls, Plains, Polson, in Idaho on Highway 12, I90, Highway 200. We need you to look outside and report real time to the NWS.

You are needed to become a Weather Spotter.


A network is being established to obtain information for the NWS.  They will train you and provide forms to help your neighbors by reporting the conditions in your home area.


Hellgate Amateur Radio Club is assisting the NWS to establish a Wednesday evening weather net on VHF, HF & digital. There are several automated weather stations currently being operated by Hams, at this time, that are willing to help you set up a digital reporting station.


We need volunteers in the outlaying areas, and a method of activating the net during reasonable hours when there is a need for visual weather information.


For more information contact; Jerry Ehli (N7GE), Byron Van Alstein (NN8A), Vic Applegate (K7VK), Donnie Fort (W7XY), or Lewis Ball (AC7UZ).



We had no 'testing' candidates at the January 19 session. 


One Tech + arrived, a potential general with some seemingly supporting, but confusing paper work for an instant upgrade.  However I confirmed w/ VECs the next morning that he did not qualify.  Give me a call if you wish more details. 


Thanks to K7BA, N7TAE & W7DHB for attending.


Our next scheduled examination is February 23, 6PM at the Missoula Public Library.


Thanks & 73,

 Vick    K7VK     


Handyman's Encyclopedia

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted airplane part you were drying.


WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light.   Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouch...."

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS: Used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.


OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for setting afire various flammable objects in your shop. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

If I Were a Big Gun

(ARRL Contest Rate Sheet for December 28, 2005)

Instead of growing "soggy with nostalgia" (Tom Lehrer) or dredging up yet another treacle-y (quick, who knows what treacle is?) holiday homily, here's a song of sentiments with which we can all identify, some more than others, but particularly those denizens of the dark, Top Banders.  See you in the New Year!

If I Were a Big Gun
(Based ever so loosely on "If I Were A Rich Man" from the musical Fiddler On the Roof with music by Jerry Bock)

Dear God, you made many, many Little Pistols
I realize, of course, that it's no shame to be weak
But it's no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a big signal?                   (the melody swells from the orchestra pit...)
                                                                                                                                                If I were a Big Gun

                                                                                                                                                Ritty diddle diddle, QRZed is anybody on?
                                                                                                                                                All day long I'd put 'em in the log
                                                                                                                                                If I were a great Big Gun!
                                                                                                                                                I wouldn't have to wait long
Sending didahdidah, CQ DX on short path and long
If I were a biggie biggie big
I'd build a big tall tower with beams by the dozen,                                 Yidle-diddle-didle-didle-gun!
Right there in the middle of the town.
A fine four square with long radials galore.
There would be one vertical just going up,
And one even higher coming down,
And one more not hooked up, just for show.

                                                                                                                                I'd fill my yard with masts and dipoles and vee's and loops
                                                                                                                                For the club to see and sigh.
                                                                                                                                And each tall pole and cleat and line and guy
                                                                                                                                Would land like a flower on the eye

                                                                                                As if to say "Here lives a real Big Gun!"
If I were a Big Gun

Ritty diddle diddle, QRZed is anybody on?
All day long I'd put 'em in the log
If I were a great Big Gun!

I wouldn't have to wait long

Sending didahdidah, CQDX on short path and long
If I were a biggie biggie big                                                                          


                                                                                                                                I see my deal XYL Golde, looking like a Big Gun's wife

                                                                                                                                With a proper mobile rig
Sending QSLs to her heart's delight.
                                                                                                                                I see her loading up amps and running like three ops                                                                                                                                            Oy, what a running groove she's in!
                                                                                                                                Screaming at the pileups, day and night.
The most important ops in town would multi-op with me!

They would ask me to Elmer them,
Like a Hiram the Wise.
"If you please, oh Big Gun..."
"Pardon me, oh Big Gun..."
Posing problems that would cross the Old Man's eyes!
And it won't make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong.
When you're loud, they think you really know!                                        

                                                                                                                If I would loud, I'd have the signal that I lack
                                                                                                                When sitting down to operate all day.
                                                                                                                And maybe work Bouvet in just one call
And I would work 75 with the other guns several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.
If I were a Big Gun
Ritty diddle diddle, QRZed is anybody on?
All day long I'd put 'em in the log
If I were a great Big Gun!
I wouldn't have to wait long
Sending didahdidah, CQ DX on short path and long
If I were a biggie biggie big

73, Ward N0AX






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. 


Sorry I was so late again this month.  My mistake, and laziness doesn’t help much either.  Two other “stories” that occurred last month that needed at very least mentioned, but do to time, they didn’t get their own by-line.


First, and rather sadly noted, the gentleman that was found alive after the mine disaster in West Virginia is a ham with a Technician license.  The last that I have heard is that he is out of his come but shows obvious signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.  He is able to recognize his wife and can make facial movements.  More rehabilitation is yet to come.  Some hams had noted on the QRZ website that they were to send QSL cards to him and wish him the best.  If you need his address it is:



Randal L McCloy, Jr
PO BOX 223
Philippi WV 26435


The second occurrence was much more enjoyable.  On January 29, 2006 a party was held at the “shack” of Dennis Barthel, W7DHB.  It was a celebration of his 75th birthday.  This simple party was a great opportunity to meet other club members in a nice, warm, indoor environment.  Present were W7DHB, W7XY, K7BA, K7VK, NN8A, N7ZS, N7MSU, W7PAQ, N7GE, K7PX, AC7UZ, KI4CYV, KE7FAH, KE7NO, and many of our family members.  Happy birthday Dennis, and thank you for getting us together for a wonderful party.


Remember, your membership dues are needed!  There is a membership form included this month.  Please make use of it.  Also, to achieve the needed ARRL Special Service Club designation, join the ARRL as well.


I have also included the Western Montana repeater directory at the request of Wayne, N7TAE.  Remember, those little boxes are located on those snowy peaks for a reason, use them!

And so you know:


Hellgate ARC VHF\UHF Nets and Repeaters 

Missoula Area - 2 Meter Net
147.04 MHz repeater, every Wednesday evening, 9:00 pm local.
Everyone is welcome to join us.


Amateur Radio Emergency Service 2 Meter Net
Thursdays, 8 PM local time, 147.04 MHz


Meets on 3947 kHz Wednesday, 8PM local time (near 7268 kHz secondary)


VHF & HF Net Operations from the National Weather Service & Red Cross Offices

Are you interested in Net Control Operator Duties?  Please contact Byron, NN8A or Jerry, N7GE.












PO Box 3811

Missoula, MT 59806

Application for Membership


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Please circle the appropriate answer:

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New member dues are $2 per month + $1 from date of application; renewals are $25 per year, family members $5 each.

Please mail the application to the above address or bring it to the next meeting


















Western Montana Repeater Directory








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Tone must be requested