Hellgate Static



June 2007



Next meeting is June 11, 2007

At St. Patrick Hospital Meeting Room





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@hughes.com
Treasurer, K7PX, Steve Schlang at ripply1@msn.com

Secretary, KE7NO, Craig Nelson at twincreek@blackfoot.net

Program Director, AC7UZ, Lewis Ball at ac7uz@blackfoot.net  

Training, W7DHB, Dennis Barthel at w7dhb@montana.com  



Hellgate Amateur Radio Club

May 14, 2007

President Ehli, N7GE called this meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.. Fourteen were present at the meeting.  Treasurer’s report showed that our account had a May 1 balance of $4132.  Income of $617 and expenses were $67.68.  The treasurer’s report was motioned and accepted.  The minutes from the April meeting were also motioned and accepted.


Old Business

The Grizzly Triatholon was successful with good participation.  For next year’s event, more help will be needed at the finish line.  Also, if we want shirts for next year’s event, we need to arrange to get them well ahead of the event.  For the Y Run, HARC will need to provide numbers of participants and shirt sizes well beforehand.


TOSRV could use some more HARC volunteers.  Around 10 are needed, but 20 volunteers would be far better.  Gas expenses will be reimbursed but you must keep your receipts.  Hams will meet at Bonner School at 7 a.m. May 19.  Contact Bob Black if you wish to participate.  There will be a portable repeater on the divide and the 146.80 MHz machine at Blanchard.  Potential biker attendance is about 125 so far.


New Business

Missoula Marathon representative Joe Boyer is requesting communications support from HARC for the inaugural event July 15.  The run will be from Frenchtown to Missoula (Orange St.) with 17 aid stations plus start/finish lines.  We would need around 20 radio operators ideally.  Around 1700 runnners are expected.  EMTs will be available and the event would be done by noon.  HARC participation was motioned and passed.  Radio coverage along the route will have to be checked out.  More info available on www.missoulamarathon.org website.


The Boy Scout Jamboree is June 14-17 at Smith Ranch near Helena.  Frank W7PAQ is the contact and he would like someone to bring the HARC tower trailer back from Helena to Missoula on Saturday night of the jamboree.  Frank was not present to provide further updates or info, but the June HARC meeting will occur before the jamboree.


The National Weather Service will hold a 200th Anniversary Open House on Friday May 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m..  There will be a tour of the facilities and operating stations.


The River Cleanup will be July 28.  Russ is the contact (244-0617) and would like some more ham volunteers.  The event will kick off at Pfister’s place on Rainbow Bend.


Osprey Night is Aug 4.  For a $16 entry fee, we get a box seat, hat, program, score card, post-game movie and popcorn.  A pre-game BBQ dinner is available for $7 more.  We need to commit by June 1.  Contact Frank if interested.  549-6312.

Field Day is coming up and we need names of those who will be attending.


Paul N7PAI requested that a Hellgate Static page be devoted to upcoming events.


Wednesday night VHF net control operators:

May 23   Jerry N7GE, Dennis W7DHB backup

May 30th Bill W4YMA, Eric NZ7S

Jerry will make phone calls to arrange the remaining dates


Meeting was adjourned at 7:55 PM.  The June meeting will be held in the Broadway Room at St. Pats.  Bill, W4YMA gave a presentation on point-to-point LF/HF/UHF commercial radio communications and his experience at a marine airstation in Hawaii in the early 1960’s.



I will again operate a base station for the Blackfoot River Clean up. We have need for several Hams with VHF capability to assist in this effort. If anyone is interested they can contact me at 406-244-0167, or email russwestberg@peoplepc.com.


This cleanup will be held on July 28th meeting at Bob Pfisters house at 3898 Rainbow Bend, between Mile Marker 8 and 9 on Hwy 200. Please be there by 8:30 AM. A Free Barbeque will follow after the cleanup. 



Russ Westberg AB0CY


Wayne, N7TAE, is home from the hospital!  Glad you are back and we look forward to seeing you at a club meeting as soon as you can!



Vick, K7VK, wrote me this e-mail.  Kind of cool I’d say!


 “I just heard voices on the 2 meter radio downstairs (I'd forgot to shut it off).  I ran down and it was the International Space Station.  At the QRZ, I called and got Charles, NA1SS aboard the station at 04:38 UTZ).  He'd just arrived there w/ two Russian Cosmonauts on Monday. 


This morning I received this link for the audio.  Wow, somebody is always listening/recording”. 


            “Hello Vick,

                I heard on the audio file you spoke with space tourist Charles.  Congrats!!!!  Audio file is on my website:             http://pd0rkc.ontwikkel.nl  73's Cor PD0RKC”



As I have been trying to find time to finish this month’s Hellgate Static, I have been busily trying to put together secretary’s notes (thanks KK7UV), ARRL e-mails, and e-mails from club members.  It was today I realized the amateur community is again to celebrate one of the longest standing annual traditions I have been a part of.  One of these traditions, the Forester’s Ball, started in the early 1900’s, the other, Field Day, started in 1933.  The Forester’s Ball celebrates my career, Field Day uses my hobby to prepare for emergencies yet to come.  Both have made me stay up far to late in the evening, made me cross-eyed in the morning, and have also created stories to tell interested people until the day that I die.


As was written in the June 2005 QST in the article Old Radio subtitled “Field Day”, “The following year in the 1933 June QST, Communications Manager F.E. Handy said “Elsewhere in this issue is announced the plan for a Field Day test of portable equipment….” He continued, “The idea of a local, national, and international outing ought to be popular.  If a sufficient volume of results of portable station work is reported, perhaps we can make it an annual affair.”  As we all know, it was an incredible success.  Reports for the 2006 Field Day declared that 2,169 groups hit the woods.  That is 32,506 people! 


The ARRL Handbook (I used the 1999 issue) uses the definition of Field Day- A popular amateur activity during which hams set up radio stations outdoors and away from electrical service to simulate emergency conditions.  A few pages following, it further describes Field Day as “Every year on the fourth full weekend in June, thousands of hams take to the hills, forests, campsites and parking lots to participate in Field Day.  The object of Field Day is not only to make contacts, but make contacts under conditions that simulate the aftermath of a disaster.  Most stations set up outdoors and use emergency power sources.  Many clubs and individuals have built elaborate Field Day equipment, and that is all to the best- if a real disaster were to strike, those stations could be set up quickly, wherever needed, and need not depend on potentially unreliable commercial power!”  As was written in the May 1986 QST in the article Getting into Field Day Form, “Equipment preparation for emergency or for Field Day is exactly the same.  Test your rigs, antennas and power sources, and make sure they will work when they are needed.  Knowledge gained during Field Day about equipment and what to do when it fails can be applied.  If you have to depend on equipment, you better have a backup.  The operating skills needed for successful emergency communication are the same ones possessed by the successful Field Day operators: the ability to operate with brevity and accuracy while subjected to fatigue, physical discomfort, and QRM and QRN.”  What a great way to describe the tower trailer, the verticals, the wire antennas, the radios, the training, etc. that the club has amassed.  Truly, the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club has taken this need to heart.


Within the “It Seems to Us…” article in the 1986 June QST, David Sumner, K1ZZ wrote: “But there is one event that’s guaranteed to make use of everyone’s abilities.  It’s been a fixture on the Amateur radio calendar since 1933…  It’s Field Day, and if you’ve never been apart of one you can’t begin to imagine what you have missed.”


Truly, Field Day is a preparation, training, and a wonderful experience rolled into a big bundle, much like the 80 meter dipole that was packed away last year.   The 1980 ARRL Operating Manual says it best “Even though its intent is emergency preparedness, it is probably the high point of each club’s year for fun, camaraderie, and organized confusion.”


I’ll see you out there!  KE7NO 2B MT dit dit




On June 14-17,  W7PAQ, Frank, will head up an amateur radio station at the Seiben Ranch, exit 216 of I-15 South of Great Falls, Montana.  If you are interested in assisting, please contact W7PAQ.



For you distance runners among us,,,not, but another fine public service radio event.  We need 20+ HARC members to help support this event.  Please contact Jerry Ehli, N7GE if you can assist.  Here's the race website for lots of information, http://www.runwildmissoula.org/mm/sponsors.html.



Have you ever thought that you needed to chat with someone in the club but your handheld is dead.  What if it is the middle of the month and the club meeting is just too far away.  Well, the club has thought about that and you have an opportunity!  The Saturday breakfast and Coffee or Tuesday might work for you.


The Saturday breakfast is held at the Lucky Strike Casino.  The standard breakfast fare is available.  It is popular because of the inexpensive breakfast deals.  As Vick says on the webpage, “Most hams (not bacon) arrive near 7:30 AM.  They are usually coffee filled and gone by 9:00 AM”.


Coffee meetings are held Tuesdays (and some Thursdays) at Arby’s near the entrance to the Southgate Mall at 2:00 PM. If you are curious if they are meeting, call on the 147.04 MHz repeater.  Of course, if your handheld is broken, this might be a problem.  I would suggest that you not use smoke signals this spring / summer however.  



The Hellgate Amateur radio Club will be giving amateur radio tests at the St. Patrick Hospital on 500 West Broadway.  They will be in the meeting room which is east of the cafeteria and is accessed by the hallway.  The test date this month is June 11 (Same as the meeting) however the time will be 5:30 PM.


We hope the Hellgate Static was interesting for you this month.  Let us know if this newsletter  is to your acceptance.  We are STILL in need of articles that are of interest to YOU, AND are supplied by YOU.  We always want your input.  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.  We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.   If not, still help us with some of the activities.  


Sorry things are shorter than usual this month.  Things are getting busier and busier already for this brand new summer.  Remember June has the Boy Scout Jamboree and of course Field Day!  Come out and help the club at their location, visit another club, or “go off on your own”.  It’s too much fun to stay at home.