Hellgate Static

Hellgate Amateur Radio Club

P.O. Box 3811

Missoula, MT. 59806-3811


MAY 2006



→→→Next meeting is May 8, 2006←←←

At: the Church of Latter Day Saints

3201 Bancroft Street




























+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++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


Meeting of April 10 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by president Ehli at the LDS church on Bancroft. Introductions of the church officers were made. Call signs were given.


The financial report was $50.00 in dues, and $90.00 in expenditures. A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the report


A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes as presented on line and hard copy for those who do not have computer access.


Repeater committee reports that the 146.800 MHz repeater is to be removed from the Blanchard site. Bob Black is to make contact with the Montana DNRC to propose the use of the Union Peak lookout.


Old Business

The Grizzly Tri-Athalon will be Saturday April 15, 2006. The radio team will meet at the Lucky Strike at 7:00 AM. The frequency will be 147.000 MHz + & 146.400 MHz.


The Wednesday Net will be operated on the April 19th at the National Weather Service for both HF & VHF.


The Wednesday Net will be operated on the April 26th at the American Red Cross for both HF & VHF.


The Wednesday Net will be operated on May 3rd at the Court House EOC for both HF & VHF.


The Wednesday Net will be operated on the May 10th at the National Weather Service for both HF &VHF.


The Wednesday Net will be operated on the 17th at the American Red Cross for both HF & VHF.


The River Bank Run will be April 29, 2006 with Dennis W7DHB as coordinator. It will be run on simplex.


Tour of the Swan River Valley bike ride will be June 10 & 11.


A motion was made, seconded and passed to purchase ARES manuals for the new Emergency operators.


A motion was made, seconded and passed to declare the club Yaesu FT-757 radio, a power supply, and automatic tuner as surplus.



Wayne VanMeter, N7TAE, from Missoula, MT., is being honored nationally with the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service Award for his work as a link between the Red Cross and the armed forces.  Accompanied by his daughter, he will attend the American Red Cross National Convention in Washington DC, in May.  


Wayne, as an active radio amateur, was assigned to help the Red Cross during a disaster drill in 1992.  When he saw what the local chapter was doing, he started attending meetings.  When he heard about the support to the Armed Forces, he volunteered to help with that program and has been active since.  


Wayne (80), is active with the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club in Missoula (an ARRL Special Service Club), ARES, RACES,  the Montana Traffic Net and local city and county emergency communications support.


Dennis H. Barthel, W7DHB


Thanks to the work of Dennis (W7DHB), QST was notified.  It looks likely that it will be found in an upcoming edition of QST.  There also was an article found within the Missoulian.  Vick, K7VK, also helped pass attention on to QST by letting them know them know that we had a link for that article on our web page.  According to Steve Ford, WB8IMY, the editor of QST, it would be found in the “QST Congratulates”.  These articles are found each month within “Strays”.  Thank you Wayne for all of the work that you have done!-ed.





Don’t forget the 7qp this coming May 5th and 6th.  The plan is to get all counties in the 7th area on the air.  If you have an HF mobile and live near one of our sparsely populated Counties, head out to that area and put it "on the air".   I'm sure you'll be a popular station!  Contact Bob Leo, W7LR for more info.

Doug, K7YD



Last December, our local branch of the National Weather Service ran a SKYWARN event with the help of the club. I didn't attend, so, I didn't know much about it.  My understanding is that, from that event, came a request to the club to set up a rotating schedule by which the NWS radio equipment could be tested on a regular basis.  This could be done by means of a storm spotter net.


When other local emergency services organizations (namely, the Red Cross and Missoula County's Emergency Operations Center) found out what we were doing for the NWS, they said "me too!".  So a three-week rotating schedule was set up.  Currently teams of two or more hams go to these locations and run a practice emergency net from there.  These nets take place Wednesday nights on the 146.80 MHz repeater and following the Montana Traffic Net on 3.880 MHz..


There are several things all this is meant to accomplish:  maintaining operator proficiency (as per the National Traffic System), getting club members familiar with each location and the radio equipment at that location, getting acquainted with the officials and procedures at those locations, and to ensure that the radio equipment is ready and functional.  It also helps the hams spread all over the western half of Montana get familiar with the emergency frequencies, discover how clear their signals will be at net time, and get them used to the traffic protocols and to checking in.


I met up with NZ7S (Eric Sedgewick) and N7GE (Gerald Ehli) at about 7:45pm Wednesday night. That week, the location was at the Missoula County Emergency Operations Center.  This is an empty room in the basement of the Missoula County Courthouse that is wallpapered with various types of local maps, with computers and radios scattered about.  I'm told it doesn't really do much until either a drill or an actual emergency takes place.  In that case there are auxiliary 911 operators and law enforcement staff that come in and man it.  We (the HARC) have one ham assigned as point person to each location.   In the event of an emergency/disaster/severe weather event, that person would get a call from the EOC/Red Cross/NWS .  That ham would start the previously established phone tree to get hams either into the respective operations centers, or, sent out to whatever location at which they'd be most useful. The Wednesday night emergency nets are basically drills for that eventuality.


It was immediately clear why we need to do these drills - first I had to talk my way into the locked building after hours by means of a security guard who looked like he doubted my story.  He didn't even know there was an EOC in the basement of the County Courthouse.  Once in, I found the right room, and also found out that I wasn't the only one who had never used the equipment there or run a net of any kind - NZ7S was in the same boat. Accordingly, N7GE drafted the two of us to run the nets.


The HF radio at the EOC was a 150W Harris (image: http://www.forevervain.com/images/MslaCoRadio.jpg) that looked like a huge steamer trunk.  NZ7S took the HF net.  It seemed pretty simple - we had set scripts from which to read, and then we wrote down the call signs of the folks who checked in, gave signal reports, and then were done. It was all over in about ten minutes.  Since the HF net was at 8pm, and the VHF net wasn't set to start until 9pm, I took advantage of the time to ask lots of questions about what we were doing and why and I took copious notes.  At 9pm, I started the VHF net.  It was so cool!!!!!!  We had a dozen or so check-ins.  I talked to people all over the place!  I get really nervous when I realize my voice is going out who knows where and for anybody to hear.


And that was it!  I learned a lot, which is the whole reason I sign up for these things.  The 'book learning,' associated with amateur radio, I freely admit, is often way over my head.  I just can't comprehend the information (Hello?  Voices on invisible waves floating through the air powered by electricity? Is that not unbelievable to anybody else?) until I get hands on experience and get a better understanding of how all the pieces fit together. The emergency communications angle is one of the primary reasons I got involved in amateur radio to start with, so this is right up my alley.  I'm going to do some more volunteering for this particular duty to firmly implant the information into my brain, and I'm signed up with NN8A to take an A.R.E.S. class soon.


One of these days I'll actually make the time to upgrade my license. One of these days.  Eventually.  Honest.

Kit, KI4CYV)





Ah, Spring has sprung in the Rockies!  Lots to do outside and of course, antennas to fix.  The cold this Winter was hard on everything exposed to it.

Your SM attended the Butte ARC annual installation supper on the 16th.  Was great to see all those who attended and have some time to chat.  My thanks to Bill Tarrent, W7ROE, for the invite.  Good luck to the new club officers in the coming year.

Packets for Glacier Hamfest are out, look for yours in the mail.  If you don’t receive one, contact one of the Board members to be added to the list.  With higher fuel prices this year, I hope we'll be able to have a good crowd.

IMN-W5UYH, QNI-585, QTC-130
MTN-KD7HWV, QNI-2667, QTC-83


73 to all,
Doug, K7YD



We had a very successful examination session on Tuesday, April 11.  Four candidates completed 5 examination elements.  Congratulations to KE7GNB from Salmon, Idaho for passing code and the general class examination and to new Technician, KE7HJN (received his call April 12) from Seeley Lake. 


Thanks to volunteer examiners K7PX Steve, K7VK Vick and WV7Z Mike.


Future testing is planned on May 11 & June 15.   All 6PM at the Missoula Public Library. 


Thanks to N7TAE, Wayne for scheduling!



Vick    K7VK



I couldn't help but to pass on this history tidbit - fascinating.  This is a true story & will make you think about history & how it affects the world.

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England.  In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.  This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.  But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York.  The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss.  Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.


Do you have some awesome QSL cards in your collection?  Do you have cards from well known people, hard to QSL countries, amazing awards (that require QSL cards), or even fun cards from your compilation?  Are you curious about the cards from some of our club members.  What is the big deal about WAS, DXCC, and WAC.  What do these odd little acronyms mean?  How about your card?  Is it a simple piece of paper with your call written on it or is it a beautiful photograph with your entire history on it and within the fold-out.


Well, if any of these things make you at least a little curious, read the article on the last page , and bring your “goods” (awards or cards) to the next club meeting.  We’ll see you there!






With the upcoming activities such as 7QP, Field Day, and the IARU Championships, this article may help you out a little if needed. –ed.


Ward, N0AX

From the March 8, 2006 edition of the ARRL Contest Rate Sheet


Band unusually quiet, can't see rig
- You have headphones on sideways
- Remove boom mike from your ear and rotate headphones ninety degrees

                        Opposite wall covered with fluorescent lights
            - You have fallen over backward
            - Have yourself duct taped to operating desk

                                                Mouth contains peanuts, back of head covered with peanut shells
                        - You have fallen forward
                        - Have yourself duct taped to operating chair

                                                                        Coffee tasteless, front of your shirt is wet
                                    a. - Mouth not open
                                                   - Unlikely since this is a phone contest
                                    b. - Cup applied to wrong part of face
                                                  - Take a restroom break, practice in mirror

                                                                                                                        Your transmit audio is garbled and indistinct
                                                            - Boom mike immersed in your coffee cup
                                                            - Hide headset and swipe the one from the dead band's radio

Rhythmic crackling QRM wiping out the entire band
- You are eating potato chips
- Suck on them instead

                        Sharp pain in one arm
            - Multiplier operator is trying to get you to stand by
            - Talk faster and stomp on footswitch

                                                Sharp pain in one foot
                        - You and the multiplier operator are both trying to use the same
                        - Kick wildly in all directions and run him off!

                                                                        Rig Blurred
                                    - Relief operator is trying to get you out of the chair
                                    - Yell, "I'm running Europe!" and grab onto chair arms

                                                                                                Floor moving
                                                - You are being carried away
                                                - Find out if you are being taken to a different operating chair

                                                                                                                        Room seems unusually dark
                                                                        a. - You are asleep under the operating desk
                                                                        - Stand up without hitting your head and reclaim operating chair
                                                                        b. - You are asleep with old QST over your face
                                                                        - Act like you were just reading without your glasses

Radio suddenly takes on colorful aspect and textures
- You are asleep in the M&M's dish
- Eat M&Ms


I'm looking for a multi mode TNC like a KAM all mode, KAM Plus, etc..  I want one new enough to have Pactor I, and preferably G-Tor.  I don’t want a Packratt or an MFJ!  So, if you have one, or know of anyone who has one that is sitting around collecting dust, I'll take it off their hands for $$$.  (actually, a couple).  Reach him at: dmcginni@co.missoula.mt.us .

Dave McGinnis


Why Chase DX and Paper Awards??

Frank Kisselbach, W7PAQ

WARNING!!!!   Use of information in this presentation may be addictive and you may end up spending more time and $$$ on this hobby.  (How to get new equipment into the shack and pass the spouse.??   A Later presentation!)


ARRL Awards

                DXCC for Mixed, SSB, CW and Digital Modes

5BDXCC,                Honor Roll

                Challenge Award,    WAS


Islands on the Air



                Worked All Zones,      County Hunter


                Work all Cantons



                Alexander the Great


                Worked All Europe


                Work all Providences


                Work all 47 Prefectures,            Worked all Asia


                Vasca da Gama


                Worked all Africa


                Work all Nordic Countries

                Work all 40th Parallel



Join the PODXS 070 club. (Free)

Endorsements.   China Clipper           Voice of America

                             WAS                         LONP for 100 members

                                MONA LISA        Central America

                                G/M                        Maple Leaf

                                IOTA                   QRP


            CQ Magazine\

            K1BV’s Online Awards Web site (6$/yr)

            Almost all Countries have awards and websites



1.  Enhances your operating skills..may even need to use CW!

2.  You can set goals and work toward an award

3.   Expands your knowledge of other countries and events


Most awards only need a signature from two hams that have seen the cards.


But you need a good Logging Program to help keep track of awards. I use DX4WIN and it supports an internet spotting site. I let it flag and alert me to need contacts.


Other suggestions

Use ARRL’s Logbook of The World. (LoTW) to upload your contacts. (Helps to track DXCC and WAS).


Join ARRL and use the QSL Service ($4 for 75 cards)



            They offer similar awards..eg DXCC,WAS

            Schedule requests from other hams…I get 4-5/week for MT


HELLO, HELLO, HELLO, hello, hello

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. 


DO YOU REMEMBER OUR GEAR FOR SALE:  Yaesu FT-411E  2m HT, case, and MH-12 A2B Speaker-Mic, Short Duckie Antenna (BNC) and Larsen 5/8 wave whip with glass-mount NC-28B NiCd Battery Charger, FBA-17 Clamshell, and Two FNB-17 NiCd Rechargeable Battery Packs (7.2v 600mAh), and PA-6 DC Adapter Car Charger?  Send me a believable reason why you would need it, and we will select the winning story (fact or fiction).  We will reward your story with (possibly) with up to three or more tickets.  E-mail, snail mail, on air, phone call or through friends all work.