May 2009


                                      Monthly Newsletter of the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club

                                           PO Box 3811   Missoula, MT  59806-3811


Meeting: The Hellgate Amateur Radio Club meets monthly, 2nd Monday of every month.  Next is May 11 at Missoula Fire Station No 4.  3011 Latimer Street, just off West Broadway near Quality Supply.  7:00 PM.     


Meeting program:  Emergency Communications presented by NN8A Byron.

The public is welcome.


HARC members have a chance to win the Door prize.  You must be present to win!

     Congratulations to the April winner of a fine solder gun, KF7CBY Andy.  


Upcoming Events/Exams/Meetings

May 2 & 3

7th Call Area QSO Party  (7QP)

May 11

Amateur Radio License Exams 5:30 pm  & HARC Meeting 7 pm

May 30 & 31

Tour of the Swan River Valley (TOSRV) see article on page 3

June  8

Amateur Radio License Exams 5:30 pm  & HARC Meeting 7 pm

June 27 & 28

Field Day !  at  Fort Missoula

July 4

Special Operating Event at Fort Missoula


Ø  June & July meetings will feature “off-the-powergrid operations” at Fort Missoula.  See page 5.


2009 DUES are over-DUE!  Please support the area repeater system and club activities.  Annual membership is $25.00 ($5.00 for additional family members).



WG7P Elmer has acquired new magnetic vehicle signs for Hellgate ARC events, “HELLGATE RADIO COMMUNICATIONS.” (see April Hellgate STATIC)  At several events, they have held securely to our vehicles and are very visible.  Check them out for an event or $8 buys your own sign.  Great idea Elmer!       


CONGRATULATIONS License Examinees!

New licensees at the March and April license examination sessions:  Technicians, KF7AOQ Judith, KF7AVH Keith, KF7AVI Roland and KF7BTV Dean. 

Upgrades to General:  KF7CBY (X-KE7SHZ) Andy and KF7AVH Keith.  

& New Callsigns:  Mike Henry, x-N5SAH, now Extra class, AE7MH and

Andy Commons, x-KE7SHZ, now General class, KF7CBY. 


Thanks to participating HARC volunteer examiners:  AC7UZ Lewis, K7PX Steve, K7VK Vick, N7GE Jerry, WA7W Morey and WG7E Liz.


By N7FMW Ruth B. Scott

I was born on Friday the 13th of February in 1925 in North Lima, Ohio.  But spent my growing up years in nearby Youngstown.  Thanks to my older brother, Paul, I was introduced to Ham radio at about the age of 12.  He employed me as his helper in stringing up antennas and sending him code so he could practice receiving.  Code was a very important item to learn in those days.  But World War II claimed his services in 1939 and I went to work in a large Steel Company when I was 17.  In 1945 I married a handsome, young clergyman, the Rev. Claude C. Boydston, Jr.  Our union was blessed with one daughter and three sons.  Unfortunately, his health failed and I lost him in 1973. 


When I was 42, I entered the University of Montana and earned a degree in Education with a minor in Library Science, graduating in December of 1969.  While in the educational mood, I began work on a Master's Degree in education, which was awarded in 1976.  Meanwhile, I substituted and then taught Fourth Grade in School District One in Missoula.  This was followed by 19 years as a Library Media Specialist at C. S. Porter School.  On the side, I played the organ as a substitute in a number of churches. 


In 1982, my brother decided I should become a Ham radio operator.  Yielding to pressure finally, I got my Novice license, administered to me by Bob Black.  The next year, I went to San Francisco and took the exams for General.  In 1984, I returned there and took the Advanced and Extra exams, passing both much to Paul's surprise and mine too.  For the next 10 years, I remained very active in the Club, serving first as Secretary-Treasurer for a year, then Vice-President and in 1993 as the first woman President of the Club.  Since the beginning of the W5YI examination program, I have served as an examiner.


After 19 years of being a widow, I married Dr. Donald C. Scott, a retired Podiatrist, in 1992.  He passed away in 2004.  I have also lost two sons, and my brother without whom I probably would never have become an amateur radio operator.  However, life goes on and I have gained 10 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.


Amateur Radio has been a most interesting hobby.  I cannot participate much any more.  But do enjoy being a part of the program as I am able.  (Editor’s note:  N7FMW was very active on HF for many years using CW and RTTY.  Ruth is an active Volunteer Examiner and she regularly checks into HARC’s Wednesday night 2-meter net for those progressing with the Worked All Hellgate Award…K7VK).  



1.  Griz Triathlon – April 11

By N7GE Jerry

The 21st Griz Triathlon was held on Saturday April 11, 2009. The Hellgate Amateur Radio Club was invited to assist with the Triathlon again this year by Giles Thelan, the director of the event.


HARC amateur radio operators included: N7GE Jerry, AC7UZ Lewis, K7BA Bob, K7GIS Larry, K7PX Steve, KL0RN Kody, KE7SHZ Andy, N5SAH Mike, WG7E Liz, WG7P Elmer and W4YMA Bill.


The event had 394 entries and 15 events. There were no major problems and a few minor problems with lack of participants from the Griz Triathlon crew.


The 147.040 repeater was used for communications.  The event lasted until about 3 PM in the afternoon. The participants were invited to Tower Pizza after the event and only a couple of amateur operators were not able to make it.  Thanks for all the help from the radio operators.

2.  GrizzlyMan Adventure Race – April 18

By K7VK Vick

Continuing with HARC’s busy radio public-service in April, Hellgate ARC members provided communications for the 2nd annual GrizzlyMan Adventure Race (both men and women participated). 

     This race combined white-water paddling 4+ miles of class II water, trail/trekking and mountain biking all while navigating to checkpoints established across 11 square miles of the Lubrecht Forest and Paws-UP Ranch race area.  Nearly 100 ‘adventurers’ participated. 

     The race organizers, Missoula based Rocky Mountaineers requested HARC to participate.  On scene at mostly remote check-points and operating VHF simplex, were AC7UZ Lewis, K7GIS Larry, K7PX Steve, K7VK Vick and W4YMA Bill.  In Missoula monitoring our repeaters in case of need from the race was W7XY Donnie.  Thanks to all.


3.  RIVERBANK RUN – April 25

By K7VK Vick

HARC members spread out all over the Missoula race course Saturday at 8 AM.  Over 3000 runners in the 37th annual YMCA Riverbank Run, 10K, 5K and 1-mile, passed by AC7UZ Lewis, AE7MH (x-N5SAH) Mike, K7BA Bob, K7GIS Larry, K7VK Vick, KE7IZG Mike, KL0RN Kody, N7GE Jerry, N7MSU Bob, NZ7S Eric, W4YMA Bill, WG7E Liz and WG7P, Elmer.  Our job said N7GE is ”to provide communications in the event a participant is injured or if a vehicle or bicycle enters the course from a side street and to announce to the race officials the first three leading persons in each heat.” (N7GE says) The YMCA folks REALLY appreciated us reporting the numbers of the lead individuals. The only thing that we could have done better was to have the number of the top three racers for the men AND the women’s but the way we did it was perfectly fine. Only one missing child that
was dealt with expediently and the child was quickly found. Some racers had to have medical attention but the EMT's did their job well.
All went smoothly.  Thanks HARC radio operators. 



Any day now Missoula will have it’s first thunderstorm of the season.  And it will surely be followed by many more.  Play it safe.  Here’s a couple of good websites to view:  National Lightning Safety Institute and a fine three part article Lightning Protection for the Amateur Radio Station,




By N7MSU Bob

We still need radio operators for TOSRV on May 30 and 31.   This is one of HARC’s oldest and most rewarding public service operations. 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, make your reservations now.

We will meet at Bonner School on Saturday, May 30, at 7 am for assignments and last minute instructions.  Safety is the key to making this event a success.  Bring a reliable vehicle, a 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 your transceiver 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.   

Detailed HARC participation will be discussed and sign up sheets circulated at May 11 club meeting.  If you can’t attend the club meeting, and you can help or have questions, please call Bob N7MSU (251-4148), or email:  Please DO NOT contact TOSRV folks.


By KE7IZG Mike

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

INTRODUCTIONS were made with 16 present

SECRETARIES REPORT—MIKE KE7IZG— Motion-Bill W4YMA 2nd Bob K7BA to approve minutes as presented -- Motion passed

TREASURERS REPORT--motion-Bob N7MSU 2nd Paul N7PAS to approve as presented- MOTION passed

     501 C3 STATUS  --Initial application to be submitted prior to May 15 deadline

     PROPOSED 2009 BUDGET—$250 income from First Night deleted and $250 miscellaneous under Event Expenses added—Motion Jerry N7GE 2nd         Lewis AC7UZ to approve as revised-- MOTION passed      


     REPEATER—BILL W4YMA--      Have not met to set goals and related budget.  Repeater 80 not working and 04 has a sensitivity problem.  Elmer asked again that goals and budget be established

     MEMBERSHIP—LIZ WG7E--A few people still need to pay dues

     NET OPERATORS—4/22       Bill W4WM          4/29   Andy KE7IZG      5/6     Jerry N7GE      5/13       Liz/Elmer W7GE/WG7P                               


      STATIC—MONTHLY EDITOR, MAY=VICK K7VK              JUNE= Mike N5SAH                THANKS ANDY KE7SHZ FOR APRIL   Mike KE7IZG agreed to write May “GETTING TO KNOW” article unless Vick able to make other contact and then Mike will move to June

     WINTER WEEK-END—canceled until 2010

     FIELD DAY— pot luck sign up, signup sheets for radio operators circulated

                  By show of hands club decided burgers and dogs will be main menu with side dishes provided by club members

                  To make it more fun total # of contacts for the club contest and a raffle discussed


     JUNE JULY MEETING—need one more operator for July

                  Bill W4YMA volunteered to demo a mobile setup as part of the July meeting

     GRIZZLY TRIATHLON REPORT--JERRY N7GE—392 athletes participated, 10 club members assisted and provided communications       

                  Motion by Jerry N7GE and 2nd by Lewis AC7UZ to approve $68.50 for Tower Pizza for club participants—motion passed      

     MAGNETIC CAR DOOR SIGNS-PAUL=2, NORM=2, KEVIN=2 and 5 extra AT $8 EACH—Norm and Paul paid and 1 extra purchased

     TOSRV—signup sheet circulated--need 6-10 people per day—Participants meet at Bonner School 7 a.m. Saturday May 30

                  Let Bob N7MSU know if you want to stay in Swan Lake campground--food provided at various points along the route--club will pay for

                gas. If requested and accompanied by receipts--Use 146.80 repeater until the Swan Valley and then 146.80 simplex.   


     RIVER BANK RUN—Motion JERRY N7GE 2nd Lewis AC7UZ to assist with the Run again this year—motion passed-- Signup sheet circulated--Jerry met with YMCA officials and will need 12 operators on Saturday April 25--
     GRIZZLY MAN ADVENTURE RACE—Motion BILL W4YMA  2nd Jerry N7GE to assist with this race as requested on April 18 in Lubrecht Forest with dinner at Paws Up to follow-- MOTION passed     


                  MISSOULA MARATHON, July. 12-- Andy KE7SHZ requested someone to help coordinate and gain experience—contact  Andy

                   MISSOULA CITY CELL PHONE BAN—proposed wording should exclude mobile ham operations—Donnie W7XY was at the public hearing representing HARC

                   SEATING ARRANGEMENT—by show of hands those present preferred the “V” shape arrangement



                  This is the first of its kind in Montana.  Lewis will obtain additional information and report back to the club.  Will determine if desirable for club to participate or will be left to individual’s choice


                  Montana’s Good Samaritan Law died recently

                  Those directing traffic on streets (flaggers) need to be wearing a T2 type reflective vest.  Flagging course required $40. It is the law and he will get a copy of the law to Elmer WG7P so he can share this information with club members

                  USFS Type 2 Incident Teams integrating MARS ops into its communications for the first time.  They have National Guard comm. trailer



                HARC EMERGENCY COORDINATOR—submit copies of courses, certifications, and summary of operating skills to Elmer

                Note from Dennis W7DHB was read

                REMINDER—Work of the Worked All Hellgate Award


 DOOR PRIZE DRAWING—soldering gun Won by KE7SHZ Andy

MOTION TO ADJOURN—Motion Steve K7PX,  2nd Jerry N7GE to adjourn—motion passed



HELLGATE STATIC  Editors are Needed

Help edit the your club newsletter, the Hellgate STATIC.  Put your word processing skills to work for your club! If you can assist, please contact WG7P, Elmer or K7VK, Vick. 
DXPEDITION to South Cook Island

     HARC member, W7GJ Lance and wife Karen just completed a trip to South Cook Island in March 2009.  For Karen it was a vacation, but for Lance, it was a ham radio DXPEDITION!   Putting a new country on the air, an island, on 6-meter earth-moon-earth (EME) is an exciting and challenging feat. 

     The island, Rarotonga, is the largest of the Cook Islands. It’s about 3000 miles due South of Hawaii.  At 21 degrees latitude, it has a fine climate too.

     Lance is asked, “Why in the world would anybody go the opposite side of the world on a 6m DXpedition at a time of year with no Es and at a time of the solar cycle with no chance of F2 propagation?”  The answer, of course, “is to take advantage of the superb EME conditions afforded at this point in the solar cycle!” 

     A Dxpedition works only after serious planning, building and packing of all the necessary gear.  Lance spent many weeks building and securing equipment and insuring it would all work together.  This is not your throw up a wire and call “CQ” operation.  This is a computerized EME station with JT65A software driving a high tech assembly of equipment with amplifiers and a M2 12 dDB gain 30 lb yagi, 43’ long!   Lance also needed to secure a license to operate and in this case he became EA51SIX.  SIX is fitting for his 6-meter operation.  Lance made 28 “off the moon” contacts including with his own station in Montana operated by AJ7LL Don.  Great job. 

     W7GJ Lance will present at one of HARC’s Fall meetings the complete program of this exciting Dxpedition. 



By WG7P Elmer

The club’s June and July meetings should be of interest to all hams.  We are planning on having four of our members each month set up a portable operation, as you would in an emergency or when operating off the grid.  The stations will be operational and members should be able to make some contacts, maybe picking up a few for the “Worked All Hellgate Award!!”  Considering we might need a little more space for setting up the various stations than the Fire House can provide, we will be meeting at Fort Missoula near the main building.  All activities will be outside.

     We will be conducting our Ham License Exams at 5:30 pm at the Fort as well.   We will have a brief meeting at 7:00 pm and then divide into four groups with one group per station.  We will spend about 15-20 minutes at each station while the operator describes his or her setup and answers whatever questions might arise.   We will get back together as a group to talk briefly about the different stations, with a Q & A and an opportunity to discuss whatever issues or concerns are expressed.   Individuals will be able to return to their favorite station if they desire.

     Those setting up stations for June are Steve K7PX, Vick K7VK, Eric NZ7S, and Jerry N7GE.  July’s stations will be Steve KK7UV, Larry K7GIS, and Lewis AC7UZ.  We do need one more station for July, if you are willing to set up an off grid station, please contact Elmer WG7P



 By WG7P Elmer   

     Field Day is beginning to take shape and promises to be a great weekend.  Field Day will kick off Saturday morning at 7:00 AM, with Jerry N7GE cooking up a hearty breakfast filled with energy, especially for those helping with the setup following breakfast.  Jerry K7IMZ stated he might give Jerry N7GE a hand with the cooking, but we’re not sure that early!   Breakfast, as well as the other Field Day events, will take place at the “old chapel” at Fort Missoula. (next to the new building)

     It is looking like we will be able to man the radios the full 24 hours.  With a few more volunteer operators we will operate 24 hours and be able to transmit on two stations.  If we could find a couple more CW operators we could maintain 1 CW station and 1 HF station.  Assuming we can get our antennas tuned and working properly we should be able to make quite a few contacts during the 2009 Field Days.  We are kicking around the idea of having a little contest where individuals, for a dollar, can write a number representing their best guess of the total contacts made during the 24 hour period, with the winner claiming half of the money collected.

     We will be having a Pot Luck Dinner at 5:00 PM Saturday evening.  We are hoping that family members will join us for the evening and enjoy the get together.  It was decided at our April 13th meeting that the club will provide burgers and dogs for the main meal and members will provide the side dishes.  Thus far we will be having potato salad, potato chips, bean salad, cake, other sweet treats, and some bar-b-q, just in case you don’t like burgers or dogs.  We are hoping to get more people signed up for the Pot Luck dinner and will accept more side dishes from willing contributors.   If you are unable to make the meetings, but want to sign up for the pot luck, side dishes, or to be an operator, contact Elmer WG7P at or give him a call at 240-8685.




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

K7VK Vick  this month only

Rotating by Month




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Hellgate Amateur Radio Club

PO Box 3811

Missoula, MT  59806-3811