Newsletter of the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club
April 2009 Edition

W7PX- http://www.w7px.org


Next meeting is April 13, 2009

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, WG7P, Elmer elmerm@hughes.net

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




Grizzly Triathlon – April 11


Jerry N7GE (Cell: 239-2223 or Work: 523-1137) could use more help for the Grizzly Triathlon on Saturday, April 11th.  Those interested in participating please call Jerry or email at jehli@modermachinery.com. 


Those helping can meet with Jerry for breakfast at the Lucy Strike (behind Brook's Street Montana Club) at 6:30 a.m. or behind the Grizzly pool (parking limited) at 7:30 a.m., or on 147.040. 


Club members will be located at strategic locations along the route.  It is usually finished by early afternoon and then we normally get together at Tower Pizza or the MO Club for burgers at club expense.  Those helping can give Jerry their choice for the after-event get together.  A good activity to get involved with if you haven't participated in any of these events in the past.


Future events are the Missoula River Bank Run on Saturday, April 25th  Grizzly Man Adventure Race, on Saturday, April 18th at the Lubrecht Forest near Greenough.



Grizzly Man – April 18, 9 a.m.


Another event we've been asked to help at is the new Grizzly Man Adventure Race, on Saturday, April 18th in the Lubrecht Forest near Greenough. This looks to be an exciting race, and with the remote location, our communication support will be of great value to them. Please contact Bill Farrell (W4YMA) at billfarrell@hotmail.com if you have questions or want to help out.



Members, pay your dues please:


2009 DUES are DUE!  Please support our area repeater system and Hellgate ARC activities. 
Annual membership is $25.00 ($5.00 for additional family members).

(The Hellgate Amateur Radio Club is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization)


      May 30 and 31 marks the 39th  Tour of the Swan River Valley (TOSRV).   This is one of HARC’s oldest and most rewarding public service operations.  HARC members do make a significant contribution.  TOSRV is expecting 200 bike riders this year.  So, we need more hams to help with communications.

       You can choose to help one or both days.   TOSRV provides food and drink along the route.  HARC will help with gas money, if you ask.  If you are going to stay overnight, we can pitch a tent at the Swan Lake Campground along with the bicyclists.  If you need something a bit nicer in the Swan Lake or the Big Fork area,  now is a good time to make reservations.

      Meet at Bonner School on Saturday,  May 30, at 7 am for assignments and last minute instructions.  Bring reliable vehicle, good 2 meter rig, and safety vest.  Turn on your headlights, and put your transceiver on high power (whatever that may be).  Make sure you know how to switch from repeater to simplex and back.  We will be on the 146.80 repeater while in the Blackfoot and go to 146.80 (TX/RX) simplex, as we move into the Swan.  

      Sign up sheets will be circulated at both the April and May club meetings. During the May 11 club meeting, HARC participation with will discussed in greater detail.  If you can help or have questions, please call Bob N7MSU (251-4148),  or email n7msu@q.com.  Please do not contact TOSRV.


New signs help identify club members.

The HARC recently purchased 16 new car door magnetic signs that will be used when members assist with the various local events such as the Grizzly Triathlon, River Bank Run, Tour of the Swan River Valley, etc.  The new signs read HELLGATE RADIO COMMUNICATIONS.  In addition to the 16 purchased by the club, individuals ordered an additional 18, and a few extra to be sold for a total of 40 signs.  This will help identify our members making it easy for event participants to identify a source of help and communications.  The signs will help with the overall safety of members and participants.


Club signs will be distributed and collected by the events chair person.  If anyone would like to purchase a sign or two for $8 each, contact Elmer WG7P


Upcoming Club Programs


April: Mike, KE7IZG – Takes us through the website and answers questions

May: Byron NN8A is back to follow up with more on Emergency Communications

June/ July – Hands on events. Various members will set up stations and we will get to see them in action and ask questions. (Locations may vary. Watch the website for details).

August: TBD

September: TBD

October: Lance W7GJ – presents on DXPedition to E51 Cook Island

November: TBD

December: John KE7KNT, Dxpeditionto Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef in S. Pacific.



Upcoming Club Events - Your participation is encouraged


April 11 – Grizzly Triathlon

April 18 – Grizzly Man

April 25 – Riverbank Run

May 16-17 – TOSRV

June 27-28 – Field Day

July 4 – W7PX Special Event Station

July 12 – Missoula Marathon

July 17-19 Glacier / Waterton

July 9 – Blackfoot Cleanup

Oct 17-18 – Boy Scout Jamboree

Dec 4-5 – Skywarn Recognition Day

Dec 14 – Christmas Party

Dec 31 – First Night

Reminder of upcoming Events


Pacificon 2009 to be hosted by EMCOMMWEST, May 1, 2, and 3, at the Circus Circus Hotel, Reno, NV

The keynote speaker will be Steve Ewald, WV1X, Field Organization Supervisor from ARRL HQ; and the banquet speaker will be Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, who was in charge of Amateur Radio rules enforcement at the FCC when he retired. 

More information is available at <pacificon.org>. 


Glacier Waterton HamFest July 17 - 19:

Registration is open at www.gwhamfest.org

A very special historical Glacier Waterton calendar is available from Lyndel n7lt@mail.yellowstone.net (very cool)


Meet Our Members – Bill Farrell - W4YMA


This is another in the series of “Getting to know you” as members of HARC step up and share their backgrounds.

By Bill Farrell -


Many of you may recall that I celebrated my 18th birthday last year by going to Las Vegas.

Prior to going, I e-mailed the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce to see if there were any special Leap Year, Leap Day Birthday events planned in Las Vegas as I would be celebrating my 18TH birthday. They e-mailed me back to say that I shouldn’t bother coming, as I wouldn’t be able to get into many, if any, of the events there. In my reply,I reminded them: Leap Day comes only once every four years. Their return e-mail was one word! “Amazing”


All of the above to say, in my “18 Leap years” I have covered a lot of ground and accumulated a lot of memories and accomplished quite a few things. I have been truly blessed to have seen and participated in numerous events, radio related.


I worked for RCA Global Communications for over 10 years during which I was a construction Engineering Assistant, New York City; Station Office Manager, Paumalu, Hawaii; and finally Office Manager, San Juan, Puerto Rico. My mentor was Thomson H Mitchell, President of RCA Global Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of RCA. Mitchell felt he was beholden to the Name “William E Farrell” who was Professor of Steam and Mathematics at Annapolis U S Naval Academy. I was my uncle’s name sake and Mitchell was to say “thanks to the Professor through me”


RCA Global Communications was THE original RCA until the FCC made then divest themselves of the manufacturing aspect of the company due conflict of interests.


RCA was originally founded by the U.S. Navy, General Electric, and United Fruit Company. All of which were in response to the British Marconi Wireless Company which had the first world wide network of radio stations. The United States Navy didn’t want their world-wide communications carried by a foreign nation, so that was the driving force behind establishing a US Communications company.


My first overseas assignment was to dismantle a Marconi Receiving station located in Koko Head volcano crater on Oahu, Hawaii, and relocate it to the Paumalu Ridge on Oahu’s North shore. While on Oahu, I was privileged to know and work with Ralph Thomas KH6UK (SK), who was the first to EME from Hawaii to Annapolis, MD, US Naval Academy on 440Mhz.


As a commercial operation, RCA Global had a number of firsts: the first to utilize SSB as an HF communications method, first with ARQ ( Automatic Error Correction transmissions), first to use Dual diversity signal comparison (using space diversified antennae), and first to establish 1200 Baud HF circuit direct between Hawaii and New York City with 99.9% accuracy rate. Previously 55 Baud was the normal rate for Teletype. At 1200 Baud, data could now be transmitted. Dual frequency and space diversified antennae were the basis for being able to do this. I was involved in a lot of data transmission and data processing both at the transmitting and receiving end of the circuit. ‘Reorganizing’ is another familiar term in my employment lexicon. Puerto Rico was needing the talents I had developed and used in Hawaii so the “Powers That Be” moved me again.


In Puerto Rico, within six months I brought the District into profitability for the first time in its 40 year history. For me it was simple. I used the FCC accounting procedures that had not been used previously.


On a personal tack, I got my Private Pilot’s license (120 minutes to solo) and developed a couple of inventions related to aviation safety, which I patented, one of which the FAA used in a safety training sessions in the early ‘70’s. Also in Puerto Rico I was introduced to the term “Downsizing” and for many, many years ran ahead of the ‘tsunami of downsizing’. RCA downsized me! I went to Grinnell Fire Protection as Finance Manager of Puerto Rico, The Caribbean, Central and South America.


Also in Puerto Rico, a huge turning point in my life was made. I was introduced to sobriety and have practiced that way of life now for over 37 years.


With Grinnell again downsizing struck. Grinnell’s headquarters being in Providence, RI, I thought I might get on there with my field experience. It was not to be, and I found myself in Rhode Island, unemployed. I got on with the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics as an auditor of Nuclear Submarine construction in Groton, Connecticut, where I worked for a period of 10 years. Unofficially, I was the employee-assistant for drug and alcohol situations. To my duties of auditing the aspect of Property Management was added. This opened the door to another opportunity closer to my home, I had been commuting about 120 miles a day, and the job was with Aetna Life & Casualty Insurance in Fall River, MA (a two mile “commute”!)  As administrator in Aetna, I was involved with the community in many ways, one of which was Fall River’s alcoholism prevention task force. This lead to my eventually getting a National Certification as a Drug and Alcoholism Counselor.

That Certification opened another door to work in a Nationally recognized treatment center in Newport, RI.  Managed Care Insurance and its restrictions to length of time in a treatment facility caused “Downsizing” to strike again.

A job offer developed  in Florida so I went to Charter Glade Hospital in Ft Myers, Florida as Supervisor of the Alcohol Treatment unit of that  Psychiatric Hospital. In a very short time (90 days) the hospital went into Chapter 11 ( I guess they were all nuts in the accounting department!) and I was on the streets of Ft Myers, Florida looking for work.

A non-profit organization was opening a residential treatment facility for juveniles and need a counselor so there I went. SWFAS (South West Florida Addiction Services) and I were to share a number of ‘dances’ in the counseling field. Within a year of employment “downsizing” was part of a weekly managers meeting and so out I went to the State of Florida where a new Juvenile program for addicted youth was being cobbled together out of a number of social service departments.


I signed up with a lot of misgivings. And a “red-tape nightmare” it was! It didn’t take long for me to know I was in the wrong place! From there I went to another State operation…Department of Unemployment (I had a lot of experience there!), and once a gain I was doing a long daily commute until a car accident ended that. A few years hiatus battling cancer, then back into the job market where I worked as an auditor in a medical device manufacturing company (Sims-Portex) but downsizing had not gone to sleep…Sims closed and moved to Mexico!


What to do! SWFAS on the scene again with a job as counselor for hurricane survivors. While working in the field, I was diagnosed and treated for Adult AD/HD which enabled me to complete writing and publishing a book on that life’s  journey.


A couple of years hurricane counseling then I, myself, was a victim of Hurricane Wilma in 2005, so I looked for hurricane free areas and came to Missoula, Montana where my friend and college days Fiancé Betsy lives. We have re-connected. 

Here in Missoula, I have had a few moves in the employment field, but now am fairly settled in attending school as a Post Baccalaureate Senior at the University, recently initiated into ΦΚΦ, am majoring in Journalism Radio & TV Production  and working part time.


I don’t know what I will do with another degree… I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it 


‘So there you have it Sports Fans’ .


Bill Farrell – W4YMA.



7QP-2009!! - By Bob N7MSU 

      What is 7QP-2009?  Many hams do not know much about it, because the 7QP is fairly new.  2006 was its first year.  Briefly, 7QP is short for the 7th Call Area QSO Party, and May 2 and 3 are the dates you need to plan for.

      This ham radio event’s main objective is to activate every county in the 7th Call Area during a nationwide contest.  There are 259 counties in the 8 states, and very few hams reside in  many of those counties.   So, getting all counties on the air on the same weekend is no easy task. 

      What’s it like?  7QP can be viewed as a kind of miniature Field Day. You can be solo or have a team.  You can take it seriously and get into contest mode, or be laid back and just have fun.  You can stay at home, or you can travel.  Many put up mobile and portable stations using battery, solar and/or  generator power.    You can try a remote site with good views or a WalMart parking lot.  And this is one of the more interesting possibilities, you can just keep traveling and activate various counties along the way.  You can even account for two counties at a time by parking on a county line!

      After participating in a couple of 7QPs, I know lots of Montana hams are missing out on lots of fun, and several MT counties don’t get activated.  Give it a try.  Start planning for this event now and get acquainted with the rules by checking this website:   www.7qp.org 


Montana QSO Party – A


The Montana QSO Party, Sponsored  by the Flathead Valley Amateur Radio Club will be held this April 3rd starting at 6:00PM MDT (0000Z), and end April 5th at 5:59PM MDT (2359Z). Details at http://www.fvarc.org/Events/events.htm


Need a list of Montana repeaters that's easy to read?

Download KI7XF, Harley Leach's Latest, (May 2008), 8 1/2" X 11" inch, Montana repeater map shown below from




Other News



Two US Senators -- Democrat John Kerry of Massachusetts and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine -- have introduced a bill in the Senate that would mandate an inventory of radio spectrum bands managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) <
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/> and the Federal Communications Commission. The inventory would include those frequencies between 300 MHz-3.5 GHz managed by the two agencies.


Hams Assist Woman Injured in Desert (Mar 18, 2009) -- It was a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky, when Hal Whiting, KI2U, Todd Kluxdal, Kluxdal's father and Whiting's two sons decided to go out to the Poverty Mountain area in Arizona to search for airplane crash sites. Whiting, who lives in St George, Utah, and Kluxdal, who lives in Mesquite, Nevada, took two vehicles that day. According to Whiting, they always take two vehicles, just in case a problem pops up: "We always have two spare tires, extra gasoline and a tow rope. We take enough food and supplies to stay two or three days." In addition to the extra equipment, Whiting took the one thing he never goes without -- his ham radio.
Full Story at


Hams to Activate Midway Atoll as K4M in October 2009 (Mar 11, 2009) -- Earlier this year, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that they would open Midway Atoll to Amateur Radio operations for two weeks only, from October 5-19, 2009. Tom Harrell, N4XP, of Monroe, Georgia, and Dave Johnson, WB4JTT, of Aitkin, Minnesota, have put together a team of 19 operators from all over the world to activate Midway Atoll for a 10 day period as K4M. This the first time that USFWS has allowed amateurs to operate from the wildlife refuge since 2002.  Full Story at



Get Ready for ARRL Field Day 2009 (Mar 23, 2009) -- The official 2009 ARRL Field Day Web page is up and running. This page includes a summary of available resources, with links to Field Day forms and rules, logos and reference links. The page also includes a quick link to the map-based Field Day Station Locator where users can search for public Field Day sites. "Field Day is the largest on-the-air operating event," said ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. "The event draws tens of thousands of radio amateurs to the airwaves over a single weekend." This year, Field Day is June 27-28. Full Story at http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2009/03/23/10715/?nc=1



March Minutes:


MEETING called to order at 7:00 PM by Elmer WG7P

INTRODUCTIONS were made with 18 present
MINUTES were approved as presented—motion Paul N7PAS, 2nd Donnie W7XY—carried unanimously

SPECIAL PRESENTATION--Tim Marchart of TOSRV stated a letter requesting HARC to provide emergency communications again this year is forth coming.  Indicated they were appreciative of assistance last year with accident that placed participant in Missoula hospital.  Contribution will be sent for last year’s assistance.  Hoping for 200 participants, an increase over the 125 from last year.

Motion for HARC to participate with TOSRV event—motion Bob N7MSU, 2nd Bob K7BA—carried unanimously

TREASURER’S REPORT approved as presented—motion Donnie W7XY, 2nd Lewis AC7UZ—carried unanimously

   Jerry N7GE indicated 501 C-3 applications submitted

   Article IX—Conflict of Interest statement added to HARC constitution—motion Bill W4YMA, 2nd Paul N7PAS—carried unanimously

   Eliminate one of two savings accounts—motion Jerry N7GE, 2nd Norman AB5CN—carried unanimously


   Repeater—Bill W4YMA—no report—Elmer indicated a meeting should be held to establish 2009 goals and proposed repeater budget

  Membership—Liz WG7E—Stated membership board and promotional materials were displayed at Argus Ham Fest.  Brochure that she developed was presented.  Motion Liz WG7E, 2nd Bob K7BA to adopt as the HARC brochure—carried unanimously

   Net operators—3-18 Eric NZ7S, 3-25 Jerry N7GE, 4-1 Kevin W1KGK, 4-8 Lewis AC7UZ, 4-15 Elmer WG7P


   Equipment Inventory complete with Eric, Byron and Jerry housing the clubs equipment

   Argus Ham Fest—16 HARC members attended, club made $400 selling excess equipment, items not sold at Ham Fest will be auctioned off at the end of meeting.  Motion Eric NZ7S, 2nd Lewis Ac7UZ to BFI any equipment remaining after auction—carried unanimously

   Static—Thanks to Andy KE7SHZ for March Static, Andy agreed to be editor for April Static, Bill W4YMA will write “Getting to Know” article

   Winter Week-End—Steve K7PX not present, considering lateness in year will postpone event and consider early in 2010

   QSL Cards--   Bob N7MSU presented new HARC QSL cards, nice job and thanks for designing and ordering cards

   Field Daysmotion Paul N7PAS, 2nd Donnie W7XY to hold event at Fort Missoula—carried unanimously, pot luck will be held Saturday evening,     Lewis Ac7UZ will conduct education activity building J-Pole antennas, radio operation signup sheet circulated to operate 24 hour period

  Goals for 2009—Goals ranked as result of February meeting vote.  Number 1 was MRLA, thus committee of Eric=Chair, Kevin, Jerry N7GE, Bob N7MSU, and Vick established to review and make recommendation to club.  Kevin W1KGK agreed to chair the classes for new hams which was number goal #2.  Committee to review Repeater Etiquette will be formed.  Anyone interested in others contact Elmer WG7P

   Emergency Courses—ICS 100a, ICS 200a and NIMS 700a—Paul N7PAS, Donnie W7XY, Bob N7MSU, Eric NZ7S, and Elmer WG7P have completed courses


   Purchase AA battery pack for Realistic hand held—motion Jerry N7GE, 2nd Bob N7MSU to authorize $40 for battery pack—carried unanimously

   Location June and July Meetingmotion Eric NZ7S, 2nd Donnie W7XY to have June and July monthly meetings at Fort Missoula—carried unanimously.  Still looking for another person to set up mobile operation for July meeting.

   Grizzly Triathlonmotion Jerry N7GE, 2nd Bob K7BA to have HARC assist with Triathlon—carried unanimously

   Magnetic Car Door Signsmotion Bob K7BA, 2nd Bill W4YMA to purchase 16 signs for club use at an approximate total cost of $150 —carried unanimously.  Club members agreed to purchase signs at club price—Lewis 1, Jackie 1, Donnie 2, Jerry GE 2, Paul 2, Norm 2, Bill 2, Kevin 2

   Silent Key—Paul Blomgren KA7VSL--motion Paul N7PAS, 2nd Bill W4YMA  for club to send sympathy card—carried unanimously.  Bob N7MSU agreed to send card

PROGRAM—Donnie W7XY presented a program dealing with ARRL traffic handling.  Radiogram forms along with other information were distributed and discussed.

AUCTION OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT—all excess equipment was auctioned off with $34 income for club.  Norm claimed the prize for the most valuable item purchased!


   Worked All Hellgate Award—show of hands as to people working on award, Lewis AC7UZ in hot pursuit of certificate

   QSL Cards for album—would like to have members QSL cards to place in 2009 Club Album

   HARC Emergency Coordinator—those interested submit copies of certificates for course work, emergency certifications (Army MARS, etc) and summary of operating skills to Elmer for consideration.  Recommendation to club will be made.

   Meeting with Bob Reid, Missoula Emergency Coordinator. and Dave McGinnis, Missoula Communications Manager—highlights of meeting Jerry N7GE and Elmer WG7P had with these gentlemen were reviewed.  Certification, Army MARS, assist by invitation, follow agency protocol, etc. were some topics discussed

DOOR PRIZE-Jackie big winner of ARRL Radiograms, traffic post card, and Band Chart

ADJOURN-motion Liz WG7E, 2nd Donnie W7XY—carried unanimously, adjourned at 9:08 PM










We are looking for Hellgate ARC meeting program suggestions and presenters, and articles/editors for the Hellgate STATIC. If you have ideas, contacts and/or volunteers, please contact WG7P, Elmer.



We need members to share editing of the Hellgate STATIC. If you can assist, please let us know. Even for one month will be a big help.


Hellgate Amateur Radio Club Officers/Committees



WG7P Elmer



W4YMA Bill






N7GE Jerry


Repeater Committee

W4YMA, Bill (Vice-President

NZ7S, Eric; NN8A, Byron (Thru 2010)

N7PAS, Paul; W7XY, Donnie(Thru 2009)





Exams VE Contact

K7VK Vick



WG7E Liz


Newsletter Editor

KE7SHZ - Andy

Rotating Monthly - Volunteer!






Your editor this month was Andy Commons – KE7SHZ