Hellgate Static



February 2008



Next meeting is February 11, 2008

At City Fire Station #4, 3011 Latimer St..

1900 local




Hellgate Amateur Radio Club

P.O. Box 3811

Missoula, MT. 59806-3811

HARC Board of Directors

Club President, W4YMA, Bill Farrell at billfarrell@hotmail.com
Vice-president, AC7UZ, Lewis Ball at ac7uz@blackfoot.net

Treasurer, N7GE, Jerry Ehli at jehli@modernmachinery.com

Secretary, KE7IZG, Mike Leary at michael.leary@umontana.edu



Hellgate ARC- January 14, 2008

Vote on repeater master from Kevin passed $300.

Byron- Elmer wants to link the repeaters – keep 04 clear for emergencies - get 90 up running

                Helena does not want us to link

                04 clear for emergencies, other freqs for others


                                Geography, population limit linking

                                Evergreen evertie to the west of us


                                Link to Helena

                                04 , 64 have interference

Next mtg at Firehouse 4

Can we charge for testing? 

                Lewis will confirm

                Byron –  HARC pays to resupply VEs for info pages   at testing perpetually until revised, ~ $7 passed

                Membership committee passed

Thinly manned at events

335 hams in immediate area, letter to them

Chair: Liz Meyer

Volunteers: Bill, Lewis


Vic, we sent out letter to hams in the area, got $1,400

Donations need to be sold

Jerry, Paypal account opened, pictures for eHam and eBay


Need to report this income to ARRL

Need accountant that knows 503c

Dennis will ask MFCU about accountants


Motion to get accountants

Lewis amends to allow executive committee to choose depending on time limits crunch

Club house maybe at Fort


                Historical Museum likes us.

                Motion - allow executive committee to contact Fort,                     passed

Lewis – make a radio history shack, telegraphy with railroad

Insurance cost, alarm cost, heating cost


Marti n7vgy@yahoo.com

Director Glacier Waterton Hamfest with applications, feedback on website, 3rd weekend in July

                3rd weekend July

                250 – 600 people


                Scott Communications

                Radio Shack

                Saturday burgers

                Club participation

                Potluck a big success

                Auction is now refundable

                Wine and cheese event

                Vendors required to work off vendors row

Activity director, emergency director

Elmer volunteer for program director

Byron – emergency coordinator

Jan 22 at Montana club for this last year’s First Nite

Net names



A man goes to the Chicago Bear ticket office and inquires about purchasing play-off tickets.  The ticket teller replies that there weren't any tickets for sale because the Bears did not make it to the play-offs.


The following day the same man goes to the Chicago Bear ticket office and inquires about purchasing Bear play-off tickets.  The ticket teller politely replies that there weren't any tickets for sale because the Bears did not make it to the play-offs.

This goes on for an entire week. The man goes to the Bear ticket office inquiring about play-off tickets and the teller says none are for sale because the Bears did not make it to the play-offs.

Another week of this goes by and the man still is asking the ticket teller about Bear play-off tickets.  Finally the ticket teller in a loud voice says, I'VE TOLD YOU FOR THE LAST 2 WEEKS THERE WERE NOT ANY TICKETS AVAILABLE BECAUSE THE BEARS DID NOT MAKE THE PLAY-OFFS.

The man replied, "I know." I drive all the way from Green Bay just to hear you say that!


ARRL Club Newsletter
January 18, 2008

Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, Editor

It Was Always There
By Eric P. Nichols, KL7AJ
President, Arctic ARC

At a recent Arctic Amateur Radio Club board meeting, during a rare lull in the oft-heated discussions about how best to increase our
membership, I threw out a simple question.  "How did you get into ham radio?" The responses were revealing, to say the least.  One by one, our board members, some young, some old, told the story of how they got into this hobby of all hobbies.  One gentleman had a father who was a ham, and more or less forced him into the hobby, for which he was unspeakably grateful...years later, of course. One XYL saw a shortwave radio at a friend's house, started twiddling knobs, and got frustrated that she could only listen. For her, the rest was history.  A couple of others were exposed to amateur radio in high school, one in Boy Scouts.  Another credited me with getting him into ham radio, much to my gratification.  One other confessed that he didn't really know; it just seemed to him that ham radio was "always around."  Interestingly enough, not one of the hams entered the hobby because of a concentrated recruitment program. Although occasional public relations "Blitzkriegs" have their place in Amateur Radio, I'm not sure they produce lasting hams.  Like many other clubs, we manage to get a lot of hams licensed, but the dropout rate is appalling. The vast majority of our newly licensed hams never get on the air.  I don't think our message is flawed; I think it's our delivery.  Of all the board members I mentioned above, I believe the last fellow, the one who said ham radio was "always around" had the key.  We need to get back to the place where amateur radio is a continual, if quiet, presence.  People who get lured into the hobby, stick with the hobby. People who get coerced and cajoled into the hobby leave as soon as we aren't looking.

The fact is, most new hams never see a working ham shack, about all they see is a handheld, which isn't all that fascinating.  When a
young person sees a ham shack equipped to cover everything from DC to daylight, they take notice...it doesn't matter whether they're a geek or not.  I've never seen anyone who wasn't impressed by a Moon bounce (Earth-Moon-Earth contact) array swinging around on its rotators...whether they had a clue what it was or not!   People don't know about ham radio because they don't see ham radio...except, perhaps at Field Day.

The best place to cultivate that "always around" feeling is in the schools.  We need to infiltrate the middle and high schools again.
Notice, I said, again. There was a time, not too long ago, when it was difficult to find a high school without a club station.  Field Day should be a three hundred and sixty five day a year event, and that is easier to achieve in the schools than anywhere else.  There is no better way to teach science than with ham radio.  We need to remind our public (and private) school teachers and administrators
of that.  We need to let our students get their hands grubby making things happen, rather than merely watching things happen.  We need to get some real hardware into the schools.  We have wonderful new allocations now, and the technology to use them is cheaper and easier than ever.  When I was in high school in the late 60s, it was everything one could do, and then some, to do Moon bounce.  It was only because we had a lunatic (no pun intended) electronics teacher, that we were able to pull off such a stunt.  Now, Moon bounce is practically within reach of any determined high school club station.   Wouldn't it be great if Moon bounce stations proliferated at our high schools the way H.F. stations once did?  Of course, I only use Moon bounce as one radical example.  We have
exciting things happening down at 500 kHz, as well.  What better way to learn weak signal, digital signal processing techniques than with our newly allocated MF experimental spectrum?  This all may be rocket science, but it doesn't take rocket science to get it into the schools!  Our teachers want to see us excel in the sciences.  Let's give them the tools to do so.  Fifty years from now, someone may be asked how they got into ham radio. It would be nice if they could answer, "I don't know...I guess it was always there." 


Bon Appétit sur Field Day!
You may recall the Field Day Cookbook that appeared in the June 2007 issue of QST. Well, we're doing it again in 2008. In addition to the technical tips, readers greatly enjoyed the Field Day recipes. Send us your culinary concoction and you'll have a shot at QST stardom.  Keep in mind that it has to be something that can be prepared at a "normal" Field Day site (one without access to stainless steel ovens, etc). The shorter the recipe, the better; we'd like to fit several onto one page. If you have a digital photo of your masterpiece, send it along too. E-mail your recipe to Steve Ford, WB8IMY, QST Editor at sford@arrl.org by no later than February 29.


First Contact Award
Do you want to recognize someone who just made their first two-way radio communications by Amateur radio? Perhaps you just made your first CW contact or first HF contact and want to have a certificate to remember that exciting time.

Whether you are presenting the award to someone or creating a landmark of your own Amateur Radio journey, use the on-line form to
fill in the QSO information and the operator who is being presented with this certificate and ARRL will mail a beautiful First Contact

The award can be mailed directly to the recipient or it can be presented in person or at a club meeting.






WG7P, Elmer our Program Chairman is scheduling some fine programs for the monthly Hellgate ARC meetings.  Avalanche transceivers, DXpeditions, Radio Propagation Programs, DXing, solar energy and much more.  Soon the schedule for the year will be out.  Thanks Elmer!  For the February Meeting, join Steve, K7PX, as he demonstrates Avalanche Victim Location via Radio (Fox Hunt) Location.  Avalanche safety and the reason to carry locator beacon radios and how to use them.       Vick, K7VK


    23 JANUARY 2008

Edited by Ward Silver N0AX


Amateur radio has had a touchy relationship with the FCC in recent years. While the Enforcement Bureau's return to the scene has been incredibly welcome and smartly responsive, the bureau's support of BPL in the face of clear violations of long-standing policies on interference has called its decision-making processes into question.  This hasn't gone entirely unnoticed by Congress as Ars Technical reports http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080109-congress-to-probe-fcc.html in this 9 January article.  Perhaps we'll learn more about what's really going on down there at 445 12 Street SW as a result of this inquiry.


The Mongolian MRSF QSL Bureau is no longer operating. The QSL bureau for Mongolian QSLs is reached at Mongolian Amateur Radio Society, QSL Bureau, PO Box 830, Ulaanbaatar-24, Mongolia. (Thanks, Khos JT1CD)


Are we excited or what?  Solar Cycle 24 now has it's own Web site - http://www.solarcycle24.com ! It's only a matter of time until Ol'
Sol gets it's own Facebook site.  We can only hope! (Thanks, Tim K3LR)


Rose N7HKW (XYL of Ken K0PP) is making some nice-looking cotton fabric covers for Elecraft radios.  She offers custom embroidery to really dress them up.  Email Rose for details at ElecraftCovers@acninc.net.


Most of us have visited the APRS tracking site, Findu http://findu.com , and here's a new site based on Google Maps http://aprs.he.fi When you log in to this site by call sign, it looks up your coordinates and starts off with you in the center of the action.  You might find yourself surrounded by quite a lot of APRS information! (Thanks, Carl KC2LLT)


URL of the Week - Stan WA1LOU's ARRL Web article "How Not To Buy The Farm http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2008/01/11/1/?nc=1 really caught my eye this week.  Included in the article was a link to
K0BG's "Safe Mobile Operation" Web page http://www.k0bg.com/safety.html . With many of us having just completed a weekend of roving, this mention is a little late, but for many others it may be just in time.  Words to live by.


That was quite an experiment this past weekend, listening for moonbounce on 7 MHz?  What?  You didn't know about it? Take a look
at the QRZ.com story  http://tinyurl.com/3xasnj  for more information, some videos taken during the test, and the address for a
QSL card if you were able to receive the signals.
VE6WZ - http://www.qsl.net/ve6wz/HAARP.htm
N6TV - http://tinyurl.com/3bn8y5
N6GQ - http://www.n6gq.com/HAARP_echo_011908.mp3
N6OJ - http://www.n6oj.comm
N9ADG - http://www.n9adg.com/audio/7mhz_moon.wav


NOTE:   KK7UV, Steve did hear the lunar echo experiment as W7GJ  Lance alerted us on January 19, others including K7VK    on January 20.  All that was needed was a simple 40 Meter dipole.  The HF Active Auroral    Research Program was on             6.7925 & 7.4075 MHz with 3.5+ Megawatts, wow.  You can learn more about             HAARP and their massive antenna and         power system at http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/  .  This is what it will             sounds like...from Randy, K7AGE on YouTube,         http://youtube.com:80/watch?v=L5E2ntIxAsc especially 5-6 minutes into his video.  – K7VK, Vic


HELLO HARC members.  Did you get the chance to listen in?  If so, please send me your responses! –ed.


Not so much an operating tip as a training tip, Mike W7DRA is teaching Morse code to his grandsons (age around 5) using "Learn code in a minute" http://www.learnmorsecode.com - about right for really young kids. The tip is that to keep their interest up he sends them WAV file messages containing things like "the money is under the upstairs bathroom rug" after one of his daughters hides a dollar there. Master Inculcator Mike says, "You would be surprised at how fast I can send and they can still receive!"


What's There to Be Excited About?
Like many of my readers, I've been in this hobby a long time – 35 years in a couple of weeks.  Indeed, I've been a ham for a good part
of my adolescence and all of my adult life.  I've made many thousands of contacts, on many bands, with many places, with many pieces of gear. Once a callow and nervous Novice, I'm starting on the fifth solar cycle that's come 'round the limb of Ol' Sol.  You would think that with that background, maybe I've pretty much experienced all of what amateur radio has to offer.  Interestingly enough, the answer is, "Not even close!"

In fact, what I've found is that the longer a ham has been licensed, the FEWER different aspects of ham radio they are likely to use.  We are creatures of habit and once formed, we tend to pertinaciously follow those habits, frequently becoming incredibly deep experts to be sure, growing narrower, relatively speaking. (Many of us also grow wider in other ways, but I digress...) It is rare individual that
can lay claim to being a Renaissance Ham. 

As we develop and hone our expertise, we may also find that we have explored much of what there is to explore in our chosen niches.  Our hamming begins to become permeated with a sameness that leads to a quietus of "been there, done that".  Does this stoic inertia sound familiar?  How can this electronic ennui be excised?  What is there to get excited about as modern ham radio approaches nonagenarianism?  Let me tell you about a few things that have caught my interest of late...

Digital contesting - After years and years of languishing as lightly attended events "up there" in the CW bands, RTTY contesting is the
fastest growing contest mode.  To be sure, it started small, but it's not small any more with digital contests nearly every weekend. The
combination of excellent software and simple radio hookups make this incredibly easy to try compared to the Mechanical Ages.  I do miss the smell of teletype oil, though.

VHF+ Roving - In case you haven't noticed, roving has become a huge part of VHF+ contesting.  The stations that take to the grids in
search of adventitious locations and routes are astounding in their capabilities.  New rovers, making excellent use of their new all-band, all-mode rigs, are hitting the trail on contest weekends, too.  Transverters, antennas, logging software, navigational aids, beacons - all contributing to more participants and more QSOs on more bands from more places.  Now, if we could just get propagation to

Mobile Operating - Similarly, down on the HF bands, those same radios do yeoman's work as a "shack on the dash" and put out quite a decent number of microvolts per meter.  We have antennas that autotune, noise blankers that actually do, plenty of power, and the open road.  To those of you that live in anti-tenna communities or risk upbraiding from RFI, welcome back!  Who's the mobile?

Solar Cycle 24 - Just when we were about to give up hope, fearing another Maunder Minimum, the first baby sunspot appeared on the
unblemished disk of the Sun.  And there was celebration throughout the land.  Of course, 10 meters, like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, is still dead, but now we know it won't be for long.  Spring is here!

40 Meters - Lest anyone forget, 40 meters will be given over to its rightful owners (ahem) starting in 2009 as amateur radio gets its
mitts on more and more of those marvelous meters.  And just in the nick of time, too!  Why, the stew of digital contests, salted with CW ragchewers and peppered with phone signals nearly melts the cook pot!  Look for more countries to open the gates to 7100-7200 kHz, too.  Will "Listening this frequency and..." become a thing of the past?  We can only hope.

China and India - When 15 meters starts to open up, I am pretty sure that North American hams will be astounded at the number of new and unusual call signs in the pileups.  The conditions are ripe – a growing middle class, interest in technology, governments opening the airwaves to more licensed amateurs.  When the world's two largest populations begin to sprout a few amateur radio operators, there is some real potential for exciting contests!

Remote Radios - We're just an RJ-45 and CAT5 cable away from being able to operate from nearly anywhere at just about any time.  What does the band sound like from, say, Samarkand? Or Tokyo?  Or Johannesburg?  Or Santiago?  Who's on your DX contest team?  Well OH-XXX and PY-ZZZ are taking 15 meters, K-AAA and JA-BBB are on 40.  When do they get in?  Oh, they're logging in from home!  New opportunities, new problems?  Sure!

And there are many more - you are probably wondering why I didn't mention any number of topics.  Didn't I say I didn't know everything? See?  There's lots of stuff in which to take an interest. So if your groove has started to become a rut, there's no need for you to stay stuck. Take a look around and try something new before you give up on the world's most amazing hobby!



ARRL Special Bulletin ARLx001

The grandson of ARRL co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, died at home in Lyme, Connecticut on Saturday, January 12 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.  Hiram Percy Maxim II -- called HPM just like his grandfather -- was 72.

Not a ham, Maxim told the Newington Amateur Radio League at an October 2002 meeting that he doesn't feel he shares the inventive
talents of his grandfather and great-grandfather, who held many patents between them; Maxim's great-grandfather invented the machine gun.

He told the club audience that his grandfather took on radio and filmmaking as diversions from inventing -- an endeavor he considered
extremely hard work.  He also thought of Amateur Radio as a means to "bring together" individuals from distant locations and believed that communication was a key to better understanding other people and cultures.

The elder Maxim -- often referred to as "The Old Man," or "TOM" -- was an amateur film buff, and a highlight of his grandson's 2002
presentation was a short 16 mm film that showed the elder Maxim and some of his friends working, relaxing and frolicking on the grounds of the family's summer home in Lyme, Connecticut, where HPM II lived until his death.

His son, Merritt Maxim, told the ARRL, "Even though he didn't have an Amateur Radio license, he was aware of the importance of his family's role in founding the League.  Through his father, my grandfather -- an active engineer -- he continued to maintain an
interest in all things mechanical."

A memorial service will be held at the Lyme Public Hall at 11 AM on Monday, January 21.  Burial will be private.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Lyme Public Hall Association, 249 Hamburg Rd, Lyme, CT 06371.





Here is a copy of a handy table for converting power levels, voltages, and s-units that I keep at the workbench.  

- Steve, KK7UV




KE7IZG, Mike is diligently working on new webpages for the Hellgate ARC.  The new HARC website will be on a different server and have a different look.  We'll give plenty of notice when the changeover will take place.  Vick, K7VK



I just got off the phone with Bob Black, K7BA.  He is in the Renown South Meadows Medical Center in Reno Nevada.  He has been there 10 days with pneumonia.  The good news is that he is coming out of intensive care.  He sounds a bit weak, but like the same old Bob. 


He hopes to be out of the hospital early next week, "optimistically" he says. 


His address to wish him well is

            Robert Black

            Renown South Meadows Medical Center 

            10101 Double R Road

            Reno, NV 89521

                        Phone:  775-982-7000

Vick, K7VK



Ducie Island will experience another DX-pedition this winter and will operate February 11 through February 28.  Landing permission and licenses have been granted and like many other DX-peditions in the South Pacific, they will be traveling there via a charter boat named Braveheart.  A team of 13 operators will be active on 160 – 6 meters with seven independent stations.  Information can be found on the homepages of www.vp6dx.com and http://ducie2008.dl1mgb.com/  This Dx-pedition will include an online log, propagation, have an online QSL request.  Thanks to 425 DX News, QRZ, and the Ohio / Penn DX cluster for information.



Bob Henderson, N7MSU, sent me an e-mail today that I figures I should pass along to you.  Does anyone collect used stamps from foreign countries?  If you do, or know someone that does collect them, please let him know.


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.


Thanks for the articles and ideas from folks out there.  It makes my life a lot easier when I put together the Hellgete Static.  I also am quite thrilled about the program list that Elmer, WG7P, has put together.  Kudos to you!  My best wishes to Bob Black, K7BA, and we will see you when you get home!


Don’t forget about your dues… and I know that I have forgot mine as well.


Remember February includes the 2008 ARRL International DX contest (CW).  It is always a fun time and it is a good way to pick up some harder to find countries.  There is also an EME contest, the CQ WW 160 meter SSB contest, and the North American Digital QSO party.