Hellgate Static

from the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club



November 2008



Next meeting is November 17, 2008

At Missoula County Library, 301 East Main

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



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 or no later than November 21st 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



Another successful examination session 10/13/2008.

KE7ONQ, Buddy upgraded to General and  KE7WMI, Ken is a newest technician.  

Congratulations to them!

Thanks to examiners: N7GE, K7VK, WG7E & WG7P.

Our next examination is November 10.

73, Vick   k7vk@arrl.net   



Hi Chris,

Congratulations on your new license and call, KE7WZG on the FCC website this morning. 

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me or any of our members.     www.w7px.org.


The next Hellgate ARC meeting is at the Missoula Public Library, 7 PM, Monday November 17. 

Enjoy the new hobby!

Vick    k7vk


Response from Chris, KE7WZG.  Can you help?

         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.



November 17, 2008—Vick, V7VK—"Radio Mobile, a VHF/UHF propagation coverage model". This model is a computer program that can display repeater, vehicle or handheld radio coverage from any location, mountain top, your home, favorite campsite, modile location, etc.




ARRL Bulletin 15 
On Monday, October 20, the ARRL filed a "Petition for Modification or Cancellation of Experimental Authorization" ("Petition")
http://www.arrl.org/news/files/Digital_Aurora_Radio_Technologies_Petiti on_10_20_08.pdf  with the FCC with respect to WE2XRH. According to the FCC, this experimental license -- issued to Digital Aurora Radio Technologies (DART) -- proposes to "test digital transmissions in 4.50-5.10 MHz, 7.10-7.60 MHz and 9.25-9.95 MHz for a terrestrial digital radio service to the citizens of Alaska."

The League's petition states that DART's hopes that this experimentation "will lead to a terrestrial, high-frequency (HF) digital aural (domestic broadcast) service in Alaska. Ostensibly to study the operation of this 'shortwave' system at high latitudes, and apparently in order to roll out this domestic broadcast service, DART specifies exceptionally high power operation in various segments of the HF spectrum. ARRL's interest in this matter is limited to the fact that the experimental license includes the band 7.1 -7.3 MHz...allocated domestically exclusively to the Amateur Radio Service."

"It is astonishing that the FCC would grant this experimental license for operation at such a high power level in a band that is allocated
exclusively to a service with which such operation is clearly incompatible," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "The only possible explanation is that it was an error; the only reasonable step for the FCC to take is to correct its error immediately, either by cancelling the license or by amending the frequency ranges to delete 7.1 -7.3 MHz."

It is the ARRL's view that "Simply stated, there is a 100 percent certainty of severe, continuous, harmful interference from operation of the DART facilities as authorized by the Commission to ongoing Amateur Radio operation at 7.1 to 7.3 MHz. This authorization must be modified immediately (if not cancelled completely), so as to delete the band 7.1-7.3 MHz" from DART's experimental license application.

DART has been permitted operation in the 7.1-7.6 MHz band using a 20 kHz bandwidth digital emission at a transmitter output power of 100 kW and an ERP of 660 kW within a radius of 1500 kilometers of Delta Junction, Alaska. In the petition, ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, points out that while DART says it will coordinate with the High Frequency Coordination Conference (HFCC) http://www.hfcc.org/ , "[i]t does not propose any coordination with any individual or entity in the Amateur Service. There is no showing whatsoever how DART proposes to avoid interference to Amateur Radio operation at 7.1-7.3 MHz. In fact, there is no indication that DART is even aware of the allocation."

Calling the 40 meter band "perhaps the most heavily-utilized Amateur HF band in the United States," the ARRL states that it can see "no compatible use that DART can make of this band in any state or territory of the United States, at any time of the day or night" and that such use will cause "preclusive interference" to amateurs using that portion of the band. "The entire 7.0 - 7.3 MHz band is used heavily within Alaska, especially by radio amateurs located in its remotest areas, at all times. It is particularly critical in times of emergency due to its daytime and nighttime propagation characteristics. The band is also used at all times of the day and night for worldwide communications by radio amateurs."

The League's "Petition" points out that the FCC's Rules at Section 5.83(b) state that experimental license grants are subject to change or cancellation by the Commission at any time without hearing if in the Commission's discretion the need for such action arises: "ARRL submits that this application should never have been granted as applied for in the first place, and there is an urgent need to prohibit operation of the DART high power transmitters in the entirety of the 7.1-7.3 MHz band. It is likely that DART has been under a misapprehension that the band is among the international broadcast allocations, because, in ITU Regions 1 and 3, the band is allocated to that Service. However, in Region 2, in Alaska, it is not." After March 29, 2009, 7.1-7.2 MHz will not be available for broadcasting anywhere.

The League goes on to say that Section 5.85 of the Commission's Rules governs the selection and use of frequencies by holders of experimental authorizations and adamantly states that "there is no justification submitted by DART for the use of the frequency bands requested, particularly with respect to 7.1-7.3 MHz. It is unclear why such large segments of spectrum were specified by DART, given its stated course of experimentation, and given its narrow occupied bandwidth" and notes that DART "should have been required to conduct its frequency coordination efforts in advance of the filing of its application."

The ARRL contends that DART's proposed facility cannot meet the FCC's requirements, as outlined in the Commission's Rules, Section 5.111(a)(2), "and there is no showing that the transmitter power is the lowest practical value consistent with the program of experimentation. Nor has it even taken Amateur Radio operation into account." This portion of the Rules state that when transmitting, the experimental licensee "must use every precaution to ensure that the radio frequency energy emitted will not cause harmful interference to the services carried on by stations operating in accordance with the Table of Frequency Allocations of part 2 of this chapter and, further, that the power radiated is reduced to the lowest practical value consistent with the program of experimentation for which the station authorization is granted. If harmful interference to an established radio service develops, the licensee shall cease transmissions and such transmissions shall not be resumed until it is certain that harmful interference will not be caused."

Calling for DART's WE2XRH experimental license to "be cancelled entirely, or at least modified so as to delete the reference to any
Amateur HF allocation," the ARRL reminded the FCC that DART failed to make any showing as to how it would avoid interference to Amateur Radio operation at 7.1-7.3 MHz: "ARRL submits that such a showing could not be made in any case."



In response to the October 20 ARRL Petition for Modification or  Cancellation of Experimental Authorization (Petition) concerning an  experimental license issued to Digital Aurora Radio Technologies (DART)  station WE2XRH, the FCC today issued an amended license that redefines  one of the station's frequency ranges to eliminate conflict with the  Amateur Radio Service. This revision addresses ARRL's concern that the original 7.10 to 7.60 MHz range would cause unacceptable interference to Amateur Radio operations in the 40 meter band. The amended license narrows the range to 7.30 to 7.60 MHz and gives as the reason for the
change, "operation in the band 7.1-7.3 MHz will cause harmful interference to Amateur Radio Service licensees."

"We are delighted that the FCC acted so promptly to correct this error and are pleased that the matter has been resolved," said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ.

WE2XRH will be testing a proposed domestic broadcast service using a 20 kHz bandwidth digital emission at a transmitter output power of 100 kW and an ERP of 660 kW within a radius of 1500 kilometers of Delta Junction, Alaska. According to the amended license, the transmissions will take place in the frequency ranges 4.4 to 5.1 MHz, 7.3 to 7.6 MHz and 9.25 to 9.95 MHz.


The ARRL Letter
Vol. 27, No. 43

October 31, 2008

The 10th Annual SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) Special Event will take place Saturday, December 6, 2008 http://hamradio.noaa.gov/ . SRD is co-sponsored by the ARRL and the National Weather Service (NWS) as a way to recognize the commitment made by Amateur Radio operators in helping to keep their communities safe. According to SRD Coordinator David
Floyd, N5DBZ, Amateur Radio operators can visit their local participating NWS office http://www.crh.noaa.gov/hamradio/participating_offices.php , working as a team to contact other hams across the world throughout the 24 hour event.

The idea for the first SRD took shape in the summer of 1999. Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Goodland, Kansas NWS office Scott
Mentzer, N0QE, tried to find a way to recognize the valuable contributions storm spotters make to the National Weather Service. "Since many of those storm spotters were also hams," Floyd said, "it seemed like a natural fit for the recognition to be centered on Amateur Radio."

With the approval of NWS headquarters and a commitment to participate from many local NWS offices across the country, the first National Weather Service Special Event took place on November 27, 1999. "At the end of the event, an amazing 15,888 QSOs were logged, with contacts made to all 50 states and 63 countries," Floyd recounted. "The Des Moines forecast office took the honor of making the most contacts of any office that first year with 761 QSOs, and went on to lead the pack until 2003 by logging between 1300-1500 contacts each year!"

Floyd said that feedback from that first event was "overwhelmingly positive" from both the NWS staff and the local ham clubs: "Suddenly there was incentive for more NWS staffers to either obtain a license or upgrade so that more people could work ham radio during severe events. In addition, many club members had never visited an NWS office before. When they came for the special event, they learned the value of their reports and how they were used in conjunction with existing technology."

And so began an annual tradition. The following year, 85 of the 122 NWS offices -- almost 70 percent -- participated in the event, making nearly 24,000 QSOs. "Perhaps the most unusual contact occurred in 2000 with an airliner 39,000 feet above Utah," Floyd said. "The pilot ended the QSO with a request for a 'spot weather forecast' for his arrival at Salt Lake City airport."

In 2001, the name of the event was changed to SKYWARN Recognition Day, a name Floyd said better relayed what the day was all about: "Each year since the inception of SRD, the number of NWS offices and local ham clubs participating has increased, until now more than 100 offices sign up each year to take part. The most contacts made during any SRD occurred in 2006 when -- thanks to the staff and local hams in the Grand Junction, Colorado area -- 1640 QSOs were logged!"

Station call signs have also changed over the years. Floyd said that some NWS offices and clubs apply for a special event call sign, "such as W3B in Brownsville or N0Y in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Other call signs hint at office location, including WX9GRB in Green Bay and WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center. Still others represent more of the big picture, as in KC0SKY in Pleasant Hill, Missouri."

Floyd said that as SKYWARN Recognition Day has grown throughout the years and is mainly an SSB event, he has seen a greater use of digital communications in addition to CW, RTTY and packet radio: "Each year, more and more contacts are being made using EchoLink and Winlink."
2008 SKYWARN Recognition Day will be held on December 6 from 0000 UTC-2400 UTC. Last year, contacts were made in all 50 states and 40 countries during the 24 hour event. If you haven't joined in the fun, make 2008 your year to do so!


When you think of ARRL's Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Department (VEC) http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/ , Amateur Radio licensing exams are probably what come to mind. Questions regarding exam requirements, exam accommodations, exam test locations, exam question pools and Volunteer Examiner support are handled by the League's VEC department. According to ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, the ARRL VEC has been busy meeting the needs of the Amateur Radio community since 1984. "Helping a person become a radio amateur or upgrade their existing license is what we do best, but that's not all we do," Somma said.
"We provide instruction and support for everyone who wants to get an Amateur Radio license, as well as licensing assistance and procedures for those amateurs seeking upgrades to their current license, regardless of where in the US they may live; some sessions are also provided overseas," Somma explained. "Volunteer Examiners are accredited by the ARRL/VEC; they obtain their training -- and receive ongoing guidance -- from our office by phone or e-mail. They can also access our online VE Manual."

Somma said that the ARRL's VEC Department is also a primary provider for club license questions and applications (club call signs) and vanity call signs. "We only serve in an advisory capacity in this activity, as application must be made (with their appropriate fee) directly to the FCC," she said. "We also handle the 1x1 Special Event call signs, International Amateur Radio Permits (IARP) and ARRL member (or non-member with accompanying fee) FCC license updates and renewals http://www.arrl.org/fcc/forms.html ."

Since the VE program began in 1984, the ARRL VEC has accredited more than 50,000 Volunteer Examiners. "These VEs have conducted more than 90,000 test sessions," Somma said. "At these sessions, more than 850,000 individuals have taken examinations to earn a license or to upgrade their license privileges. And out of those, 400,000 have had their successful applications submitted to the FCC for new and higher class licenses. Today, the ARRL VEC is the largest of the USA's 14 VECs
http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/amateur/licensing/vecs.html , representing nearly 70 percent of all exams given."

Somma credits her "skilled, knowledgeable and friendly staff" with the success of the League's VEC department: Assistant VEC Manager Perry Green, WY1O; Pete Warner, K1HJW; Ann Brinius; Lisa Riendeau; Amanda Grimaldi, and China Chaney.
"The ARRL VEC has more than 20 years of service to radio amateurs, operating as a knowledgeable information source for a wide-range of licensing issues," Somma said. "Look beyond the exams -- we're here to help!"



This has been a busy month for your SM.  Traveled to Bozeman for the Fall Hamfest. It just happened to be during the first snowfall of the year.  A large number didn’t make it due to the weather, but attendance was great anyhow.  Lots of great gear for sale and of course, the usual "stuff" that has gotta be useful to someone.  A big thanks to the Bozeman Club for their effort in bringing another gathering to us in the usual fine style.

The State Emergency Coordinator, Todd Gansel, AE7V and myself met in Bozeman with the local DES coordinator, the SAR deputy from the Gallatin County Sheriff's office and the Gallatin Club SARHAM group last week.  We discussed the role a ARES/RACES support group could play in their operations.  It was an enjoyable meeting and seemed to bring positive results.  The SARHAM group has been very successful in support of local needs during searches and other operations during a callout, and have put out considerable
effort to meet qualification requirements.  They are to be congratulated for their dedication. If you live in the Gallatin County area and are interested in being part of an ARES/RACES group, please contact Todd "ae7v@arrl.net" or myself.  We are in the process of growing our Emcomm response group state wide. There are requirements to be met and some correspondence courses to be taken. This is not a free ride, some work is required.  If you join, plan on "being there".  Our groups provide communications support during disaster responses and can play an important role.

Sunspots have returned and the bands are coming to life. With approaching Winter, it should be a great time to hit the higher freqs and enjoy some of the long range comms available during this part of the cycle.  Button down, turn on the gear and have some fun!

We need some additional support for the IMN net on every night at 0300Z.  Some truly dedicated amateurs have been part of
this net for many years.  Traffic into and out of Montana is being handled by just a few, all of whom could use a bit of help so they might take a night off or go on vacation for a while.  This is a CW net, but speed is not important.  The group will slow down to your speed.  Standard NTS format is the guideline.  If you have CW skills and a bit of time, give it a try.

MTN-W7MPK, QNI-2204, QTC-55  IMN-VE7DWG, QNI-467, QTC-59 MSN-K7YD, QNI-125
73 to all,
Doug, K7YD



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


Greetings all.  I hope this issue of the Hellgate ARC newsletter met your expectations.  Recently, I let the HARC Board of Directors know that I was not going to continue producing the Hellgate Static.  My needs at home with my family and other concerns have taken my time away from my job as the writer / editor of the newsletter.  It seems harder and harder to find the time needed to make this newsletter interesting and truly “full of news”.


I will generate the December issue, and help the next editor as much as I can with articles and ideas, but it is time for me to go QRT with regards to the Hellgate Static.  Thanks to everyone that helped me, and I hope the newsletter was enjoyable.

Craig, KE7NO