Hellgate Static

from the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club



August 2008



Next meeting is August 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




A)    Call to order with roll call

B)     Treasurer’s Report

C)    Approval of minutes from last meeting


E)     Committee reports Repeater Membership

F)    Old business as below


Field Day was reviewed as to the disposition of information such as logging, listing of Items for extra points.

A) We had a Guest Book for sign-ins

B) HARC got good Press coverage

C) Press Releases were made to Radio and TV Stations

D) There was an educational aspect for children who visited

E) Jerry will email Bob Henderson about QSLs

F) Andy has PSA to stations 


This information is to go to Bob Henderson who is the person in the past who has sent this to ARRL.


Further discussion was held on the low numbers of people involved. This year was to be a training session for ICS methodology and that had some people drop out due to family commitments.


Advance sign up for the positions required to be covered and a follow up on the commitment will be one way next year’s FD can be improved. Other Suggestions are welcomed from the club members.


Our operation gave us 325 contacts with 12 operators working the radio and logging computer. The station was down (off the air) Sunday morning 1:30AM until 5:30AM due to lack of operators. 


A review of the 4th of July special event operation was presented. We made some 30 contacts using dipole antennae, as well a mobile rig on HF.  A number of people came in to visit.  Pictures of both Field Day and the 4th of July Special Event station are posted on the web for club members to see.


Treasurer’s report on the papers of incorporation and the IRS 501 showed they are still in process with the State and Federal Governments.  This has taken on additional importance since the club was recently given more radio equipment from the Estate of W7CCY. A list has been complied and we suggest the club consider selling the items on E-Bay.


Membership drive and the mailing hit a snag with the file for address labels is password protected and cannot be unlocked at this time.


New Business

Missoula Marathon was discussed and planned out using the list of volunteers signed up at the last club meeting. This is a big undertaking given that the Marathon Committee donated a considerable amount of money   to the club.

- Maps on the web

-Jerry – un-tone repeater 147.00 no tone 146.52 backup

-Lewis gets 50w 2m for Andy on finish line

-Start Lewis start to medical tent

-Station 1 Paul relay exchange 1 at Harper’s

-Station 2 Mike at Relay exchange #2 11.4

-Station 13 Jerry?

-Station 3 relay exchange 3 Bill

-Finish Andy

-Tail end Charlie???

-Mike 239-2447 

-Bill 207-1764

-Jerry 239-2223

-Lewis 239-2405

-Andy 529-3846


Blackfoot River Cleanup is on the calendar for the 26th.  Here we need the portable repeater and a high capacity battery operate that event.  Website has all the details.


The club was recently given more radio equipment from the Estate of W7CCY. A list has been complied and we suggest the club consider selling the items on E-Bay. Some of these items are “Primo” condition so they should command a good price. An Example of one item on E-Bay is a Yaesu FT 101 bidding at $2,100 with a few days yet to go.


Inventory w7ccy Now stored at Orchard Gardens





Hy-gain 820279 #2780524A0 Vertical

Yaesu FTDX570 SN 2D305198






Hallicrafters SX-71 SN 31A618 (needs new Power cord)

Hallicrafters S40B SN 66D852


ICOM IC230 SN 3629



Assortment of Keys Straight and bugs Plus sounders

Yaesu FT 101 SN 6I191438


Yaesu Speaker Mike



Larsen Mag mount 2 Meter ant


Power supply



Assortment of Vacuum tubes


MFJ Computer Keyboard for code transmission

Standard Communication Power Supply  SN 309889

Hallicarafters Electronic keyer (vac Tube type)

Denton W-2 Watt Meter


QSL cards




Log Books




2 Lollipop Microphone elements, one stand.

5 Vibroplex  keyers.



ICom IC 2AT SN 56358 Handheld


ICom IC 2 AT SN 25771 Handheld


What is the club’s desire on this equipment? Sell it on E-Ham/E-Bay or sell it to club members? Sell it club members at Market(E-Bay/E-Ham) value, i.e. (not give it away!)


Need a new place to have the Saturday breakfast meeting...Lucky Strike no longer serves food.



 An agenda for the 14th of July meeting will be produced and circulated the end of this week for a “preview of the meeting” for the membership to be given as much information to work with in consideration of the amount of program and club business upcoming.



If you have the opportunity to read the Correspondence segment of the August QST.  Read the article with the title Fighting the Good Fight.  It was written by someone we all know.



My email will be changing next month when I sign into a new network in CA.  I'll keep you posted.

--Dennis, W7DHB



The 146.80 repeater at Blanchard near Clearwater junction is on the air.  I talked to w7xy through the link to 146.90.  The 80 to 90 sounds good was the report but the 90 to 80 is noisy. I believe that is from the noise from the 90 side.  This I hope will be solved with new cables to the controller eliminating a ground loop. I checked sensitivity on both receivers before I left and they looked good. I made a visual inspection of the antennas. The vhf is pointed north up the Seeley Swan Valley and the uhf beam is pointed 260 degrees true.
nz7s Eric   



Ed Brunsvold, Missoula Fire Department Battalion Chief—Will explain the solar power arrangement at station #4, how it provides power to the fire station, and how it reduces the power bill for the department.



Blackfoot River Cleanup 26 July

Join AC0CY, Russ and other hams providing communications for this annual event. If you have VHF capability and an interest to assist, please contact Russ at russwestberg@peoplepc.com. The cleanup begins 8:30 AM. Meet at Bob Pfisters, 3898 Rainbow Bend between mile marker 8 and 9 on Hwy 200 east. The repeater frequency will be 145.47 minus offset, no tone. A free barbeque follows the cleanup!



July 23, 2008

Ward Silver, N0AX Editor


I'm not sure whether this is news, a technical item, or entertainment - possibly all three! Here's a Web site about the erection of a 1500' foot tower http:www.wirelessestimator.com/t_content.cfm?pagename=Southeast Tower Construction in Daytona Beach, FL. Lots of interesting information and a time-lapse view, as well. (Thanks, Dave NN1N)



Another collection from Scot K9JY - "30 Days - 30 Contesting Tips", http://k9jy.com/blog/2007/10/10  - is good information about all sorts of things!



In a conversation about ham radio, a friend asked, "Is ham radio edgy?", edgy meaning an interesting and novel coolness. Hip, if you will. As Tower of Power has been asking for a long time, "What is hip?" What, exactly, is the hipness, the cool of ham radio? And so I had to think a bit.


To look at hams doing ham radio stuff, we are not a group that the public would immediately identify as "edgy". There are lots of knobs and screens and equipment, but to the non-ham, it's quite inscrutable. We generally do not wear colorful, tight-fitting athletic clothing and protective gear while engaged in ham radio. There are no eye-catching logos, no ear-splitting exhausts, no referees ejecting enraged managers, no "play of the day" videos. But there are a lot of things that make other hams high-five and go, "Wow!" What would make a casual acquaintance do the same?


This is the point at which I start thinking of ham radio as "Extreme Wireless". There are "extreme" sports of all sorts - biking, skiing, skateboarding, etc. All have the common theme of taking an ordinary sport to some new, um, extreme. That certainly fits ham radio - an otherwise perfectly ordinary and well-behaved communications technology getting pushed to all kinds of new limits by hams.


But does ham radio have the requisite elements of an extreme sport? There have to be...

1 - Some rules

2 - Some judges

3 - Fear of instant death


One and two, we've got those covered. Now about that instant death thing. I guess climbing up a tower could count. I show photos like the one here in the article and you can feel the air pressure drop as the audience inhales. It puts ham radio in a whole new light for them.



That's actually kind of interesting, isn't it? Once somebody's tootsies appear perched on a tower rung a couple hundred feet up, the image of ham radio as a kind of Civil War re-enactment diminishes. People have a whole new view of us when we're doing something, well, edgy!


What else is edgy? Rover vehicles festooned with gigantic antenna arrays. Satellite stations with antenna systems that swivel around to track the ISS across the sky. Hoisting a massive three-element, full-sized 80 meter Yagi up to the 200-foot level. Firing tennis balls over gigantic conifers to string up antennas. Can somebody get hurt or at least get an ow-ie? Yeah? Well then...pretty edgy.


Once you get people imagining the possibilities, ham radio starts to hold their interest. At that point, we can start yakking about hundreds of contacts and hour and bouncing signals off of meteor trails and amplifiers and all the neat stuff that makes hams sit on the edges of their seats. Now, it would be REALLY cool if we could figure out a way to include blowing stuff up in our contests, but that will have to be the subject of a different editorial.

73, Ward N0AX


The ARES E-Letter
July 18, 2008, Rick Palm, K1CE – Editor


IN HIS OWN WORDS: Sacramento Valley SM W6KJ on California Fire Disaster

When we look back on June 2008, we will remember it as a month when Amateur Radio looked good in California. Here in the Sacramento Valley Section, a dedicated group of volunteers worked at Red Cross shelters and stations, supported domestic animal rescue operations, and sought other ways to help their communities.
It started with too little rainfall over the winter. Then early in the month came the hot, dry winds. SEC Richard Cloyd, WO6P, put the Section ARES leadership on Stand By Alert. A careless woodcutting operation apparently sparked a fire that eventually consumed 24,000 acres. At mid-month our wild lands, so full of tinder dry fuel, began to burn. First threatened was the city of Paradise. That emergency lasted several days. A problem for Paradise is the lack of evacuation
routes. When it was safe to go home, people did, but with a new appreciation for the need for better evacuation plans.
The high winds were gone, but then we had dry thunderstorms, dropping very little rain but lots of lightning strikes. First we heard of 400, then 800, then over 1000 wild land fires. People in other mountain communities were advised, then directed, to evacuate their homes and seek shelters set up by the Red Cross.
In Butte County, EC Steve Kaps, N6NPN, opened the ARES net on the Golden Empire ARS W6RHC repeater. As with the first fire, it was Chuck Orgovan, KF6YKQ, and Anna Horn, KG6ZOA, of Paradise, who manned the Spring Valley school shelter. The first shelter operation revealed that the coverage of the W6RHC repeater was not good in the shelter area. But, by relaying the communications between Spring Valley and NCS Steve, N6NPN via the Sutter County WD6AXM repeater, we were able to make things work. A better antenna at the shelter seemed to help for a while, but eventually operations shifted entirely to the WD6AXM machine.
Shelters in other areas of the section were being opened, and SEC WO6P relayed that information to me. I informed Red Cross in Yuba City. Within minutes they realized they did not know where and when these other shelters were opening. We then opened the KG6WGQ station at Three Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross in Yuba City so that we had a better chance of communicating with multiple outlying shelters. The station was to be open when the ARC response group was operating. That meant shifts, so we went to three five-hour shifts per day for a week. At one point, Ken Miller, KF6JRE, volunteered to take a shift in Yuba City from his home in West Sacramento. We were able to pass Red Cross requirements so that opening shelters would send their information to the various people who needed it.
Shift scheduling was handled by Paul Johnson, N6XVL, of Olivehurst, who came up with a list of volunteers to man all the shifts for this week of Red Cross operation. We were in the process of scheduling relief for Butte County operators when, on Friday night, June 27, Red Cross decided to move from Yuba City to Chico to better use the resources they had in place there. At that point, further net operation by ARES was not needed and so was suspended for the weekend.
Fire suppression efforts were making headway, and on Monday morning, June 30, most of the sheltered population was allowed to return home. Tired operators and malfunctioning equipment got a much-needed rest.
On Sunday, June 29, Yuba/Sutter EC Art Craigmill, K6ALC, of Oregon House, heard a fire call on his scanner. The location was nearby so he gathered his equipment and went to check on the situation. He was able to direct traffic for a while to move curious motorists on their way. He heard that a nearby resident was worried so he went to reassure her. The grass fire was being controlled. On his way there he saw another fire. He notified the incident commander, and then
took action to stop the spread of this new fire, which was at a home construction site. The home had water pressure and this aided Art in his fire-fighting efforts until the engine company arrived to put it out.
Throughout the Section and beyond, smoke from wild land fires made the air dangerously contaminated with particulate matter. Various satellite imagery and news photos were available to emphasize this point. The air stank of smoke and things burned.

With air quality values as bad as we have seen them in 25 years, many clubs in the section had to cancel their Field Day operations. First to do so was the Nevada County ARC. Not only did they not get to do Field Day, but their site at the Nevada County Fairgrounds was used as a fire fighting staging area. Oroville ARS had many operators involved in the shelter operation, and Bill Cross, K6DYT, was volunteering as an animal shelter worker. Virginia Paschke, KI6COL, also deployed to Butte County from her home in Sutter County to help at the animal shelter. Ginny got her license last year for this very reason. The domestic animal rescue group provides assurance for people who need to evacuate that they can do so without leaving their pets behind. It speeds the evacuation process and keeps people from getting into more dangerous situations.
Finally, Chico's GEARS, and Yuba Sutter's YSARC also decided that the air contamination was too severe for Field Day and they cancelled also. Both clubs had many members who manned ARES shifts during this emergency.
Assistant Section Manager for Youth, Curtis Maccoun, KI6ESK, reported smoky conditions in the Nevada area east of the Mother Lode DX Club Field Day location on Martis Peak with ten operators. Most of the places operating this weekend would see a slight clearing of the thick smoke that plagued more northern locations. It was a reminder that fires remain burning-nearly 2000 as this is written-and that we should all remain ready for the next phase of this emergency. -- Ron
Murdock, W6KJ, ARRL Sacramento Valley Section Manager 


The ARRL E-Letter

July 18, 2008

S. Khrystyne Keane K1SFA – Editor


While putting up backyard antennas on the afternoon of Sunday, July 13, Edward Thomas, KC0TIG, of Kansas City, Kansas, and his son Jacob were electrocuted. Edward, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene. Jacob, 27, was rushed to the hospital but died later that day. Initial reports suggest that the antenna they were installing came in contact with 7620V power lines. Neighbors reported a "loud popping sound" and the electricity went out on the block.

Jacob's 7 year old daughter witnessed the tragedy and ran to the neighbor's yard, calling for help. Byron Kirkwood and another neighbor attempted to perform CPR on the men; the neighbor also called 911. Robert Mullendore, a spokesman for the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (KCBPU), was quoted by Kansas City television station KSBH as saying it is rare to survive a shock as strong as the two men received: "There are people who will survive -- they're lucky by the grace of God, it's high energy, it's dangerous, that's why it's up in the air – you just have to be careful. Even those who survive have pretty wicked wounds and they are lifelong wounds." In the power business for more than 30 years, the spokesman said these accidents are "really rare," saying that he only sees something like this "every two or three years. If you're doing any kind of work like this, you just really, really need to be aware of your surroundings."

Chuck Kraly, K0XM, used to work for KCBPU; he built and maintained the substation that fed the circuit going to the Thomas home: "This is nothing to take chances with. In my almost 30 years as a ham -- and 27 years in the power utility field -- I have seen way too many 'accidents.' Stop and look. If it is close or seems that way -- don't. Find another place. High voltage lines are not forgiving. Your life depends on it. Please follow the warnings. Anywhere close is too close."

-- Thanks to Larry Staples, W0AIB, and others who contributed to this story



is this frequency in use

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 this was so short.  Again, summer, family, work etc. has taken a higher precedence than the newsletter.  If you have something for next month’s newsletter, let me know.  Have a good summer!