Hellgate Static



November 2007



Next meeting is November 12, 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


October 8, 2007 President Ehli, N7GE called this meeting to order at 7:06 P.M.. Thirteen members and one newly licensed ham were present at the meeting.  Treasurer’s report of

$3,336.31 was accepted and approved.  Although there was not printed minutes (no September Hellgate Static), they were jokingly approved. 


HARC repeaters have had cavities tuned and have been placed on the 146.80 MHz and the 146.90 MHz machines.  The 147.04 MHz repeater will not be done this year.  Paul, N7PAS, has visited the site and the 146.80 MHz repeater works well.  There currently is no UHF link from the repeater to Eric’s, NZ7S, house.


The Christmas dinner is coming.  Lewis, AC7UZ, suggested St. Patrick’s Hospital.  Frank, W7PAQ, will check into this suggestion.  We are expecting approximately 40 people.


The equipment donated to the club by Jim, WA7OPE who has left the hobby.  This equipment will be primarily sold, club members will have the “first pick”, as part of a motion made by Lewis, AC7UZ, and the remaining equipment will be sold on Ebay.


Equipment donated to the club from Wayne Van Meter, N7TAE (SK), will be dealt with later.  It will be separated away from the gear donated to HARC from Jim, WA7OPE.


Byron, NN8A, mentioned two pieces of radio equipment that were from a former repeater site.  Lewis, AC7UZ, motioned to sell this equipment and the above mentioned N7TAE gear.  This motion was seconded and approved.


Presentation at a local rest home by HARC is needed.  Lewis, AC7UZ, has brought that to our attention.  The suggestion of using shortwave listening radios and old tube rigs was raised.  This will be done on Tuesday November 6th.


Local net control stations are as follows:

Oct. 17    Bill, W4YMA / Byron, NN8A

Oct. 24    Frank, W7PAQ / Paul, N7PAS

Oct. 31    Frank, W7PAQ / Dennis, W7DHB

Nov. 7    Liz, WG7E / Elmer, WG7P

Nov. 14  Bill, W4YMA


Frank, W7PAQ, let the HARC know that the Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) will take place on October 20-21.  It will begin at 9:00 Am and continue to 5:00 PM.  They will be using W7PX.  Radio equipment to be used will be the recently donated Icom IC-736.


The SKYWARN activation event will take place this year on November 30.  Michelle Mead has put in an application for the upcoming event.  It will begin Friday afternoon and end 24 hours later.  Antennas planned are the loop at the weather service site and the G5RV.  We will meet at the site at 3:00 PM.  We also will have the vertical and the trailer and plan on using the Yaesu FT-857 that is at the Weather Service and the Icom IC-736 if  “everything goes to bed”.


After the next meeting, Byron will discuss IRLP.  What is IRLP?  I don’t know, but the acronym stands for Internet Radio Linking Project.   Stop by and see what it’s all about.


Lance Collister, W7GJ, is doing well after his diagnosis of liver cancer.  Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.


An Antenna Compendium book will be raffled at the next meeting.  Tickets will be sold at $0.50 each.  These are great additions to your library and have great information on antennas, feed lines, and propogation.


Just so you do not forget, Jackie, KA7RBC will need volunteers for First Night.  She would like help from around 32 members.



Similar to the previous years, I need the club to send in their “Christmas want list”.  This will help your family know what you need, and, can even make other club members chuckle a little with some seasonal levity.  Like years past, price is not a consideration.  The worst thing you can do is not ask!  What do you want?  Do you want a new handheld radio that allows you to work FM, SSB, CW, digital modes, has built in GPS, and runs 50 watts?  Do you want at least 300 hams to show up and help with First Night?  Do you want 640 acres of tall evenly spaced trees on a very tall bench with a small ham shack in the middle?  Let me know.  E-mail, phone, club meeting, or snail mail will get them to me.



The event will start on November 30th at about 3 pm with set up of the antennas and the like at the weather service site. SKYWARN Recognition Day, a 24 hour (0000-2400 UTC) demonstration of amateur radio capability and National Weather Service cooperation.  Hellgate ARC members and other participants are needed to operate radio equipment from the National Weather Service office, just North of the Missoula Airport Terminal off Broadyway. We will discuss this more at the November meeting.


The NOAA weather service will need to know if they have all the necessary contact information and log sheets for our winter season in place for SKYWARN activation.  If there is another document or references you need during SKYWARN activation, let Peter Felsch know. We will discuss SKYWARN activation and procedures at your next meeting and see what suggestions or improvements are needed?

From the NOAA National Weather Service perspective, the few SKYWARN activation events that occurred during the summer helped their staff tremendously in verifying and/or justifying warnings.



As most of you know, Lance, W7GJ, received the diagnosis that he had liver cancer.  Any time that someone is given such news, it is a serious condition!  Fortunately, his liver tumor was operative.  They were able to remove all visible signs of cancer by taking out his liver tumor, and were able to leave him with 80% of his liver intact.  The operation took 4.5 to 5 hours, during which he also lost his gall bladder.  As Lance said in an e-mail, “I guess this was just an added bonus since it was in the way, anyhow”.  The recovery from the liver operation seems very good.  Currently he is at home although still weekend from his surgery.  He was able to operate in an EME contest!  He is looking forward to some radio time to help him heal the scars of his surgery.  Welcome back Lance!



N7STM, Jerry Willis is pictured on the front page of the Missoulian.  http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2007/11/02/news/mtregional/news06.txt.  He and a fellow American Legionnaire are replacing the American Flag at the Veterans home.  Jerry is a long time volunteer for veterans' causes and is deeply involved in the new Montana Veterans Cemetery.  Thanks Jerry! – Vick, K7VK 


BPL In Missoula?

Recently, N7WKR (Mike) sent an e-mail out to K7VK (Vick) regarding the potential of Broadband over PowerLines here in Missoula.  To those that may not know, BPL could be the death knell of amateur operation on high frequency bands.  Please read the following e-mails between Vick and Mike, and if you get the chance, please check out the internet addresses that are supplied.  They are very interesting and help shed some light on this potential problem.- ed.


Hi Vick:
     BridgeMaxx Communications formally Montana Wireless TV cut the ribbon in a ceremony today to launch Internet service by "plugging your computer into any AC outlet in Missoula", I saw this on the KPAX 10PM news. If it is indeed BPL then I think us Amateurs should but listening for increased interference on the HF bands and if so,tie-in with ARRL on the matter. I will check-into this from my end. Hopefully this will not be a "Trick" rather that a "Treat" sorry had to inject a little timely sense of humor.  73's Mike N7WKR


Thanks Mike.

We'll need to check into and monitor this one.   73, Vick


For those of you with DSL internet connection.  Here are three video examples of what BPL interference sounds like and what the concerns are. 


            VK7 Land experience


            ARRL Message


            A Virginia news account




Congratulations to our newest technicians from earlier this summer, KE7ONP, Jake Flood and KE7ONQ, Buddy Smith.  Thanks to Hellgate ARC volunteer examiners, K7PX, N7GE, AC7UZ & W7DHB.  Our newest licensees, KE7PEH, Patricia Joubert (Technician) and KE7PEI, Mark Skeels (General). Both received their new licenses October 11, 2007.  Also at Monday's examination session was KE7IZG, Michael Leary upgrading to General. 


Thanks to volunteer examiners: AC7UZ Lewis, WG7E Liz, WG7P Elmer & N7GE, Jerry for facilitating this examination session.


Our next examination session is November 12, 5:30 PM at St Patrick Hospital community room



2008 Dues will be due.  Please support the repeater system and club activities.  Annual membership is $25.00 ($5.00 for additional family members).  Dues are payable to the Hellgate ARC treasurer, K7PX, Steve at ripply1@msn.com.  New members may fill out the application membership (available on the website or in the December Hellgate Static) and send it to us.

Remember, your membership provides: 
            *Maintenance and funding of over a half dozen VHF/UHF repeaters and emergency and portable repeaters.  These provide wide-area coverage for emergency, public service, club events and routine communications for all VHF/UHF ham radio operators.


            *Additionally, HARC maintains portable and fixed HF communications equipment (radios, portable tower and antennas) for emergency, public service, and the numerous radio communication events held throughout the year.


            *Monthly Newsletter, hard copy mailed to your postal address and on the club website.


            *Monthly meetings to enjoy and interchange information with other radio amateur enthusiasts.


            *A source of assistance, advice and encouragement (we call it "Elmering") with your antenna projects and/or radio operation.  



Although not everyone may care, the sunspot cycle rules the HF end of ham radio.  Some may be fairly depressed, such as Steve, KK7UV, who has increased his low power DXCC number on 160 meters.  But others, like me, look forward to the heady days such as January 2000 to 2002!



EDITED BY Ward Silver, N0AX

Subscribers to the (free) K9YA Telegraph (http://www.k9ya.org/), a PDF newsletter on topics of interest to CW operators specifically and all hams generally, were treated to an interesting article on Q-signals, their history, and how their meanings have evolved over the years. For example, in 1927 QSB was used to indicate a signal with bad tone, but eventually became the reference to fading that we use today.
Bob N6TV reports that a recent presentation on the OH8X/OH8NC super station, not far from the Arctic Circle, "absolutely boggles the mind".  Such as?  How about a full-sized 3-element, 160 meter Yagi on a rotating tower with elements made out of very large steel tower section? Or a full-sized 5- or 6-element 80 meter Yagi, 80 meters high. (Both scheduled for installation next year.)  The radios will be state-of-the-art digital designs with DSP to optimize receive and transmit phasing of the stacked monobanders. Photos(http://www.radioarkala.com/) are available on-line.



Call    Score   Cat.    QSOs    PWR     GOTA    Sect.   Part.   Club

                               Mult    Call           #

W7ED    5194    2A      1671    2              MT      25      Gallatin Ham RC

KB7TG   2336    1A      564     2              MT      6      

KE7NO   2184    1B1     712     2              MT      1      

W7POE   1886    1A      359     2              MT      4       WPPS RC

K7EUR   1648    2AC     469     2       K7BIR   MT      16      Tobacco Valley ARC

K7LYY   1476    1A      492     2              MT      14      Flathead Valley ARC

W7PX    1470    1A      477     2              MT      25      Hellgate ARC

W7FTX   1084    1A      357     2              MT      10      Bitterroot ARC

N7SEE   1078    3A      234     2              MT      4      

W7VNE   1054    1A      252     2              MT      12      Anaconda ARC

KJ7IZ   544     1E      137     2              MT      2      

K7HWK   522     1A      111     2              MT      10      SE Montana ARC

W7TCK   426     4A      106     2              MT      10      Capital City ARC

W7FO    359     1AC     359     1              MT      10      Butte ARC

WA7YNU  274     1D      112     2              MT      1

W7DXQ       110            2A               50               2                                      MT               7                  Lower Yellowstone ARC 



It is still fall and the winter snow has yet to arrive.  Most of us have been hunting for our winter’s meat or have been listening to the Grizzlies plug away at their un-beaten season.  It is also time to think about what will activating the ionosphere.  If not for your hard core participation, maybe give up some points to your fellow ham brothers that are active those days.  On the weekend of November 3-4, the 74th version of the ARRL Sweepstakes will be underway.  On the weekend of November 17-18, the sister phone competition will also be underway.  That same weekend, the PSK63 contest will attract the digital folks out there.  Before Thanksgiving, the CQ WW DX CW contest and the ARRL EME contest will be available for people to occupy themselves and earn their turkey on Saturday and Sunday.  The last weekend of November stretches into December (November 30-December 2) with the ARRL 160 meter Contest and the SKYWARN activation.  Please get on 160 meters and support Steve KK7UV in his quest to become #1 in the Northwest.   December 8-9 brings us the ARRL 10 meter contest.  New Years weekend brings more than First Night to Missoula hams as both the Stew Perry contest and the Straight Key Night.  On the next weekend, digital folks are the active bunch when the ARRL RTTY contest will hit the air.  Within February and March, the season begins to wane with the ARRL DX contest.  No matter what you like to do, it seems that there is always an excuse to get on the air and jolt the ionosphere.  See you there.  



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.


I hope that your shack is ready for winter, and you will be on the air a good amount this year.

Sorry you didn’t get an issue of the Hellgate Static over the summer.  I was distracted a bit and one never came out of the press. 


Wayne Van Meter, N7TAE, passed away in early September and he will be missed greatly.  His help with the club activities and his work with the Red Cross will not be easily let go.  Our wishes go out to his family.


Remember, the Christmas party will be upcoming.  As always, voting for club officers will take place.  Some of us want “out” for a while, and if we want to keep a club that wants to meet together, it is obvious that we need to “take our turn”. 


I need your quick one liners for the December “Christmas” wish list.  Please send them in.  Plus, if I made any mistakes this month, let me know.  I try to make it as clean as I can, but errors sneak through.


Have a great Thanksgiving and see you next month.