Hellgate Static

from the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club




December 2008



Next meeting is December 8, 2008

At the Montana Club

1800 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



Hi Everyone,

The Christmas Party this year will be held at the Montana Club out on Reserve Street and dinner will be at 600 PM on Monday, December 8, 2008.  The program that will follow dinner should be interesting to all in attendance.  John Vugteveen W7KNT will be presenting a slide program concerning his d-expedition to Antarctica a few years ago.   The evening will conclude with the infamous White Elephant gift exchange.  Everyone participating should bring a gift with a value not exceeding $10.  Election of officers will also take place that evening.


The dinner choices are all served with a fresh garden salad or Caesar salad, all non-alcoholic beverages and a dessert.  You will also select one side from--baked potato, garlic mashed potatoes or rice.  The dinner selections are as follows:  $12.50--hamburger of your choice, $16.95--Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, The Club's 8 oz. sirloin, $20.95--Charbroiled Salmon Dinner.


I do need to give the Montana Club the number for each meal they will need to serve.  Please let me know as soon as possible the number or reservations that you would like to make and the meal choices.

You can email me or call 240-4301.

Thanks, Elmer Myers WG7P



Vol. 27, No. 45

Friday November 14, 2008


On November 12, IBM announced that it has signed a $9.6 million deal with International Broadband Electric Communications (IBEC) to install equipment and provide BPL service to almost 350,000 homes in Alabama, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  According to the Associated Press, IBEC Chief Executive Scott Lee said the network, which will be funded by $70 million in low-interest federal loans from the Department of Agriculture, should be in place in about two years. IBEC currently provides broadband to only about 1400 customers, most of them beginning to receive service in the past 18 months.

"IBEC's equipment doesn't use the ham bands," said ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, "making it less likely that they will have any interference complaints from amateurs. Their equipment, however, does interfere with shortwave broadcast and other spectrum, but in the US, not many users have complained. IBM has been in the BPL business for a few years now, so this venture is nothing new for them." IBEC staff member Brent Zitting, KB4SL, serves as a member of ARRL's EMC Committee.

IBM is the first major systems integrator to enter the market. According to an IBEC press release announcing the joint venture, IBM will provide overall project management, oversight and training of the line crews who will be installing the BPL equipment. IBEC will provide the BPL technology and equipment and serve as the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to these rural residents.

A 2006 FCC study reported that fewer than 5000 homes receive their Internet connections via power lines. IBM and IBEC's joint plan, Lee said, will serve residents, of whom about 86 percent have no cable or DSL access, in the seven states.

According to reports, IBEC's strategy is to sign up electric cooperatives that provide power to sparsely populated areas across the
eastern United States. Rather than compete toe-to-toe with large, entrenched cable or DSL providers, IBEC is looking for customers that have been largely left out of the move to high-speed Internet.

"Although the BPL industry is making progress on the EMC issues," Hare explained, "this process will not be complete until it supports regulations and industry standards that reflect its successful models. At recent meetings of the IEEE P1775 BPL EMC standards committee -- although utility and radiocommunications stakeholders wanted to include an informative annex on the ways to address BPL interference, as well as a procedure to address complaints -- some in the BPL industry, including the representative from IBEC, blocked moving the EMC standard to IEEE ballot with the annex included."


On Tuesday, November 11, Veterans Day -- called Remembrance Day or Armistice Day outside the US -- was celebrated all over the world. This day -- marking the end of World War I, the "War to end all Wars" – has been set aside to honor all who have served their country. It was on November 11, 1918 -- on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month -- that Germany signed the Armistice, formally ending the hostilities that had been ongoing since 1914.

The ARRL would like to take this opportunity to thank our service veterans. Whether they served on active duty or reserve, during peace time or time of conflict, they served their county with honor. We also would be remiss if we did not remember the families of those veterans who kept the homefires burning bright; without their love and support, our veterans would have indeed been alone.

ARRL Headquarters has its share of service veterans: Contributing Editor Al Brogdon, W1AB (Army); Publications Sales Associate Mark Dzamba, KB1FMY (Air Force); Assistant VEC Manager Perry Green, WY1O (Army); Volunteer Archivist Charles Griffen, W1GYR (Air Force); Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR (Army); News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA (Coast Guard); DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L (Army); Reprints Specialist Tony Nesta, AA1RZ (Navy); Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N (Navy); Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI (Army); Technical Relations Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA (Army); Field and Regulatory Correspondent Chuck Skolaut, K0BOG (Air Force); Education & Technology Program Coordinator Mark Spencer, WA8SME (Air Force), and Archivist Perry Williams, W1UED (Air Force).

Thank you for your service -- your sacrifice and the sacrifice of your fellow service members is not forgotten.

Launched in January 1990, AMSAT-OSCAR 16 (AO-16) -- a digital satellite -- has been operating as a voice repeater since January 2008, using FM voice on the uplink and transmitting DSB voice on the downlink (best received on SSB) http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2008/01/23/100/ . But according to the satellite's command team, the satellite's orbit might force this to end sometime before the end of the year.

According to Mark Hammond, N8MH, a member of the AO-16 command team, AO-16 has a hardware/watchdog timer that resets the satellite and shuts the transmitter down. This timer in AO-16 will fire -- and cannot be reset -- when the satellite's temperature is 15 degrees Celsius or cooler. When the timer "fires," it shuts down the transmitter. "When the bird's temperature is more than 15 degrees Celsius," Hammond said, "the hardware timer behaves and continuous operations are sustained."

The satellite's temperature depends upon solar illumination. Hammond said that the "magic number" is around 85 percent of the orbit in sunlight: If the orbit provides AO-16 with less than 85 percent illumination, the spacecraft's temperature falls below 15 degrees and
the hardware timer fires. "Illumination projections, as well as subsequent temperature predictions, suggest that we might be able to
sustain operations until sometime in the window of November 22 until December 4, 2008," Hammond predicted. "So if you want to make some AO-16 contacts, you had better get them as soon as possible!"

Hammond said that long term-orbital projections suggest that if the satellite hardware remains fundamentally unchanged -- such as no
deterioration of on-board components -- "it will be nearly 10 years before AO-16 receives sufficient illumination to warm up the spacecraft enough to again support sustained operations."

It is possible that the transmitter on AO-16 will turn off sometime in the next few days or weeks, Hammond said. "This requires some commanding to get it running again, meaning a pass over the eastern coast of the United States is required for a change in operational status. We expect that as the spacecraft cools down, transmitter shutdowns will become more frequent. You can be sure that we'll continue to probe the craft with commands, in hopes that we something will change in a good way that will allow us to use the bird for operations of some sort."

AMSAT Vice President of Operations Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, said the satellite hears very well; the reduced bandwidth by using either USB or LSB on the ground station receiver "allows for a very robust downlink. Tuning the downlink is just like on a linear transponder, meaning it is tight and with fast Doppler. Uplink tuning is not required, just as with the FM mode V/U satellites. My personal observations include being able to access and hear the satellite within one degree of the horizon, much lower than any other current bird for my location [in Florida]. This should be an easy satellite with omni antennas and a 70 cm preamp."

AO-16's uplink is 145.9200 MHz FM; the downlink is 437.0260 MHz SSB.  Users are asked to restrict their uplink power to a reasonable power level, and not to transmit without being able to hear the downlink; all general single-channel guidelines apply. "Enjoy this grand old bird while you can!" said Hammond.



To HARC Membership:
Recently I have been advised that due to medical circumstances and treatment thereof, I should cut back and as many activities as I can.
Work and school are areas that are not touchable as far as cutting back, so my position as HARC President is the only item I can give up.
With the up coming elections, and nominations there is an opportunity for someone the be nominated to fill the now vacated position.
Thank you all for each of you support on the many activities HARC has covered this past year. I will continue to participate in various activities as a HARC member.
My recommendation for President would be Elmer Myers 

Bill, W4YMA



Just wanted to share the good news with you - yesterday morning I worked XW1A on 6m  EME for my DXCC #137 (87 via EME) ;-)  He was using an old 5 element yagi...but they  have now ordered four 10 element yagis :-) 

VY 73, Lance
Lance Collister, W7GJ (ex: WN3GPL, WA3GPL, WA1JXN, WA1JXN/C6A, ZF2OC/ZF8)



All are good choices.  I personally own the VX-7R and a couple of Kenwood's.  The thing I like best about the VX-7R is you can by a cable to program the radio and its different functions with you computer.  This makes it a lot easier and faster than doing it by hand.   Also, the program that the cable uses is available off of the Internet for free (by the guy who sells the cable). I believe the program also can, through your computer, interface with the ARRL repeater guide software.

No matter what your choice, you will most likely want to also purchase: Drop-in charger,  Speaker Mic,

And if your going to use it in your car: A cigarette lighter adapter and some kind of external antenna.
Enjoy and congrats!
de, N7VGY, Marty

--- On Wed, 11/12/08, Chris Hart wrote:

From: Chris Hart

            Subject: RE: CONGRATULATIONS KE7WZG
Date: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 11:44 AM
            Thanks Vick, and hello to everyone else. I now have a callsign. One thing I noticed last night is that I'm pretty sure I have   spent more time trying to decide which radio to get than I did actually studying to take the Tech test. I'm leaning towards a good dual or tri-band HT initially, but there's so many to choose from, as well as a few that are not even on the market yet. If             anyone has any thoughts on some of the new HT's out there, I'd appreciate hearing your personal opinions about them. I'm    currently looking at the VX-6R, VX-7R, VX-8R, Icom 91AD or 92AD, or the Kenwoods.
            Thanks again, and hope to be the next meeting at the Library.
            Chris, KE7WGZ



Vol. 27, No. 46

Friday November 21, 2008

For something that is often so simple to make, an antenna is remarkably difficult for many people to understand. The antenna is one of your shack's most important elements and can make your radio system a success. Now available from ARRL, "Basic Antennas: Understanding Practical Antennas and Design" http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9994  is a comprehensive introduction to antennas -- basic concepts, practical designs and details of easy-to-build antennas. You'll learn how to make antennas that really work. This book will provide a foundation in antenna theory and design necessary for anyone undertaking more advanced topics and projects such as those presented in "The ARRL Antenna Book" http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9876.

Written by ARRL Technical Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, this new book includes an introduction to antennas, as well as sections on dipole antennas, antenna impedance, transmission lines, practical two element arrays, wideband and multiband antennas, monopole antennas, reflector antennas, Yagis for HF and VHF loop antennas, antennas for microwave applications, vehicle antennas, antenna measurements and an introduction to antenna modeling

"Most people involved in the radio arts come from a background in the circuitry required to define radio equipment," Hallas said, "and many have difficulty making the transition to the electromagnetic side of radio. 'Basic Antennas' is intended to assist those with a basic knowledge of radio technology in making that important leap from the circuit domain to the antenna domain." Hallas said the technology presented in the book is developed using the "minimum of mathematical concepts to allow introduction of basic principles in an easy to read manner." Upon completion of this book, readers should have enough understanding of the basic principles of antenna systems to be able to make decisions about selecting antennas for their applications or using more advanced antenna materials properly.

Joel Hallas, W1ZR, earned his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering. He has been a radar and telecommunications systems
engineer, engineering manager, telecommunications executive and college teacher. Now QST Technical Editor, he is also the author of "Basic Radio -- Understanding the Key Building Blocks" http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9558.



NOVEMBER 26, 2008


B4 - so is the station asking "Who's the Bravo Four?" No, they're saying that you had previous contact; Be-Fore. If you check your log and that station's not in it - for whatever reason - just send "NO PSE QSO" and the other station will likely work you again. For those of you on the CQ-ing end of things, it's often not worth taking the time to argue about it, just work the duplicate contact. After all, they make not have your call right or may have been working another station during the first QSO. Send in your electronic log with the duplicates still present. Log checking software (for CQ WW, anyway) will make sure the QSOs are properly credited, without penalty. Check the rules for duplicates in paper logs as those are often handled differently.


ARES e-Letter

November 26, 2008

Rick Palm, K1CE, Editor

Applying Field Day Lessons to ARES Ops
During Field Day 2008 site visits in Western Washington, I picked up a few tidbits of useful information that applies to ARES operations as we head into the winter storm season.
In Pacific County, the need for back-up emergency communications became apparent not only from the three-day, hurricane-force wind storm, but from distant illegal drug users. In their quest to steal copper to sell and fuel their drug addiction, drug users cut out the
major phone cable that provided service--including calls to 911—to the Pacific County area. What the wind will do in winter, the drug
users can do in pristine weather.
The Aberdeen, Washington hams warned me about the need to secure emergency equipment. The same three-day storm forced many residents -- and hams -- to use generators for a week or more. Unfortunately, nearly 12 residents on one street had their generators stolen. An enterprising group of thieves located the generators from the noise and then swooped in during the day when residents were gone. The lesson: Emergencies bring out the good and the bad, so be prepared and lock down your emergency equipment.
The value of local media in smaller towns should not be overlooked.  By sending out Field Day announcements well in advance and working with the local media, the Stanwood, Washington group had visits from individuals, officials, and groups of children. Each child who made their first contact on the radio received a certificate of first contact to take with them. Communication and recognition go far in keeping our ARES teams well populated and these are two important factors to keep in mind when preparing for the storm season. –

Bruce Miller, KC7IAY,

Public Information Coordinator, Western Washington Section



Hello Craig,
I hope this reaches you.   I just got my copy of the Hellgate Static.  I guess I'm considered a member by way of my donation a year or so ago to the repeater repair fund.  At any rate, I've been receiving the Hellgate Static ever since which I read and pass on to a couple hams.

This economic mess we are in started me thinking.  I'd be happy if the Hellgate Static was delivered via email.  That will save the club a few dollars and the busy work of assembling and mailing the newsletter.

I can't believe I was first licensed in 1956 (KN0GTG).  Consequently, I have a soft spot for ham radio even though I am consumed with Linux these days rather than ham radio!  If you have a fund raiser or whatever let me know.  I'll be happy to contribute.

Larry Jones (W0AY) in the Bitterroot near Stevi.

Thank you for the note Larry.  I will e-mail this issue to you.  I am leaving this post, but the following editor will make sure that we will continue to send it to you.- ed.



We hope the HELLGATE STATIC was interesting for you this month.  Let us know if this newsletter is to your acceptance.  So far, we’ve only heard good things.  If there is something YOU would like to see, or that you feel is overdone, please let us know.  This is the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club newsletter!  If you have something (even a simple one-liner) please write to us at our address.



God Bless usevery one.