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The EARS WA4IWLetter


FEBRUARY 2001

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

Amateur Radio is a fascinating and diverse hobby. My interest in it was rekindled three years ago when I joined the EARS after attending the training class for Technician Class, conducted by Ken Anderson, W4JQT. As a youth growing up in Detroit, Michigan I began building Heathkits and later, when I was an ET3 in the Navy, I repaired communications gear but never operated it. So, now I am having fun learning how to operate on the HF and VHF bands.

As your new president, I hope we will all have "fun" pursuing and sharing our favorite activities in Amateur Radio. It seems to me that, as there are three legs supporting my new tower, there are three important legs which make up a good foundation for our club.

First, there is membership involvement. Without your involvement, your willingness to participate and help out, our club won't continue very much longer.

Second, we need to serve our community and take every opportunity to let the community know about Amateur Radio and how it can help the community in an emergency.

And, the third leg of the foundation is technology. Amateur Radio was founded by, and is perpetuated by, people who are interested in technology and pushing its frontiers.

So, I am hopeful that this year we can have more member involvement, more community involvement, and more technology exposure than ever before.

73 de Vic, KF4VHX

-- FEBRUARY MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be held 16 February at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 East Dearborn St. Officers' meeting will be held in the church's library at 6 pm. The business meeting will start at 7:30 pm in Room 400. The program will be a double-header: Jim Hanushek, N4JBZ, will talk about EARS participation in the "Furry Scurry" sponsored by the Suncoast Humane Society, and Gino Ferranti, KE4TJO, will do a show 'n tell on portable power supplies.

"If horse manure were music, then statements like that would be a symphony" - Ward Connerly

-- CALL FOR OPERATORS --

The Charlotte Amateur Radio Society will be manning an Amateur Radio station at the up-coming Charlotte County Fair, 16-18 February, and they are looking for operators. If you're willing to lend some assistance, call Dave Hanson, WB0EVN, at 766-9258.

-- HAM RADIO HISTORY ON THE NET --

Rod Dinkins, AC6V, has put together some very interesting observations and references relative to the early days of amateur radio. Luminaries such as Don Wallace, Dick Spenceley, Danny Weil, Gus Browning, Martti Laine, Don Miller and Hugh Cassidy (father of the irreplaceable West Coast DX Bulletin) are all given their dues. Also early records, such as 2IB working 8AEZ at a distance of 750 miles across the USA way back in 1916, are described. If you would like a bit of radio history, visit <http://ac6v.com/history.htm>.

For some great photos of earlier equipment, visit <http://www.radioblvd.com/hamgear.htm>. These photos were taken at the Virginia City Radio Museum in Nevada. Old timers will recognize a number of the radios--maybe they owned some of them!

-- ARRL ACTIONS OF NOTE --

Meeting in Irving, Texas 19-20 January 2001, the ARRL Board of Directors voted to increase membership dues from $34 to $39 annually for full members younger than 65, and from $28 to $34 for full members 65 and older. The dues increase goes into effect 01 July 2001, four years after the last dues increase.

The Board also revised its position regarding the international requirement of Morse proficiency for HF operation. The Board approved a resolution that "recognizes and accepts" that the Morse requirement will likely be dropped at the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference. However, it held that each country should determine its own Morse requirement.

(From ARRL Bulletin 2 ARLB002 22 January 2001)

-- LOTS'A CARDS!! --

In 2000 the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service shipped 1,868,895 QSL cards. That's 15,025 more than in 1999. How many of your's were in that total?


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

January 19, 2001

President Jack Sproat-W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. Vernon Nelson, W8MUI was welcomed as a new member. Guests were Sabina Armbrust-KE4YIO, WCF Section Manager Dave Armbrust-AE4MR, Asst. Section Manager Paul Toth-NA4AR, Frank Olsowy-WB8RLD, Tom Hawes-WA3PRC and Ed Chadwick. A total of 49 members and guests were present.

As there were no changes to the December minutes, the Secretary's motion for acceptance was seconded and unanimously passed.

Treasurer's Annual Report - Treasurer Howard White-KD4MMY presented his Annual Report for 2000. The end of year balance was $3643.72, however, expenses during 2000 exceeded income by approximately $146. Our largest income source is dues, with the three major expenses being the HamFest, newsletter and Field Day. HamFest did generate a profit last year but due to its cancellation we will not have that source of income in 2001. Howard's motion for acceptance of the Treasurer's Annual Report was seconded by Jerry Meckenberg-K4JWE and passed. An Audit Committee will be appointed at the February meeting to review the 2000 financial records.

CORRESPONDENCE - A card was received from Lois Marlatt-KE4NOT thanking those who attended a memorial for Ken Marlatt-VE3CME who passed away January 2.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

SUNSHINE - Gene Fowler-KA1GCU reported that a sympathy card was sent to Lois Marlatt-KE4NOT on the passing of EARS member Ken Marlatt-VE3CME.

TESTING - No testing tomorrow due to the Sarasota Hamfest.

RACES/ARES/Repeater - The Charlotte County RACES semi-annual meeting will be held at 7:00 PM February 7 at the county administration building in Murdock. RACES members are to come early in order to recertify their IDs and receive the new procedures manual. RACES members were encouraged to participate in the monthly RACES drill on the last Thursday of each month at 9AM.

DX COMMITTEE - Bruce Robideau, K2OY gave news of the latest DX operations.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LIAISON - Jerry-K4JWE reported that Vic Emmelkamp-KF4VHX had no problem with the permitting and inspection of his tower foundation.

CROP WALK - George Graham-W1PZE announced that he was again coordinating communications for this year's CROP Walk. While he currently has seven volunteers, he could use a couple more.

OLD BUSINESS -

ARRL Library Book Set - One set has been ordered for the Englewood-Charlotte County Library and will be delivered to the residence of Vic-KF4VHX. Arrangements will be made for presentation to the library. A second set will be ordered when the Elsie Quirk Library expansion is completed.

ARRL Frequency Defence Fund - A motion was made at the November 17 meeting by JR House-K9HUY and seconded by Jerry-K4JWE that EARS donate $100 to this fund. Jack-W4JS called for discussion on the motion. With none forthcoming, a voice vote was called for and the motion passed unanimously.

Project Big Stick - A motion was made at the November 17 meeting by Jerry-K4JWE and seconded by Bob Benkovich-KF4YOW that EARS donate $500 towards the financing of this project. After discussion was called for, arguments were heard both pro and con. An amendment was moved by Jack Landis-WA8GRO and seconded that the donation be reduced to $200. This amendment failed by voice vote. The original motion was then voted on by a show of hands and was approved by a margin of some 2 to 1.

State of the Society Report - Jack-W4JS presented the President's Report on the State of the Society, touching on membership, finances, administration, volunteer exams, repeater, weekly nets and operating activities during 2000.

Election of 2001 Officers - The chair was turned over to Jerry-K4JWE, chairman of the Nominating Committee, who presented the slate of candidates for the 2001 term: Vic Emmelkamp-KF4VHX, President; Marty Henry-KE4UFS, Vice President; Ken Blackshaw-W1NQT, Secretary; Bruce Robideau-K2OY, Treasurer. For Trustees:, out-going president Jack Sproat-W4JS, Ken Anderson-W4JQT, and Don Spencer-WA4IWL. Since no further nominations were made from the floor, the Secretary was instructed to cast one vote for their unanimous election.

Comments from New President - Vic-KF4VHX told the members of his background, his amateur radio interests and his hopes for club activities in the coming year.

Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX

Secretary

-- FLORIDA ENFORCEMENT NEWS --

Ronald Wright, N9EE, of New Port Richey and Wilbur Cashwell, W4EFK, of Tampa have been cited for allegedly operating uncoordinated repeaters which are causing interference to coordinated repeaters.

(From 15 January 2001 W5YI Report)

"Nothing recedes like success" - Walter Winchell

---ooo---


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- UPCOMING REGIONAL HAMFESTS --

09-11 Feb Orlando ARC "HamCation", Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 W. Colonial Way (SR 50), 3 mi. W of I-4. TI: 146.760, Info: Ken, KD4JQR (407)961-2465

17 Feb Highlands County ARC Hamfest, Sebring Civic Center, 301 West Center Ave., Sebring TI: 147.045(+), Info: Darrell (863) 471-0226

17 Feb Brooksville Hamfest & Computer Show, Hernando County Fairgrounds, US 41 just 2 miles south of SR 50, Brooksville. TI: 146.115(+) Info: WB4NOD, (727)856-2568

03 March Gulf Coast ARC Hamfest, Ridgewood High School, 7650 Orchid Lake Rd., New Port Richey. TI: 146.67, Info: Don (727)848-8000

(From December 2000 CyberSKIP Digest and fliers)

-- AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE EXAMS --

The EARS VE Team offers ARRL VEC license exams at 9:30 am the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Chamber of Commerce building, 601 South Indiana Avenue, Englewood. Two-day advance reservation is required--no walk-ins.

Candidates must bring:

(1) Original license and a copy of that license.

(2) Original CSCE's and a copy of each CSCE.

(3) FCC Licensee ID No. or Social Security card.

(4) Photo identification.

(5) A check in the amount of $10.00 payable to "ARRL VEC", or cash in the above amount.

For further information and reservation, call EARS VE Team Liaison Jack Sproat, W4JS, at 475-1929

-- PSK31 POWER --

Pat Lambert, W0IPL, raises a good point in the "Correspondence" pages of the February 2001 QST, notably:

"Per the published information on PSK31 the recommended maximum power is about 30 W, not the 60 or 100, even 200 W that so many people run. (I copied one person who bragged he was running 300 W!)

"There has yet to be created a receiver that will allow you to copy a S1 or S2 signal with an S9+10 signal 300 Hz away."

With the broadening use of PSK31, and its inherent ability to read very weak signals, users of the mode should keep their power minimized.

"Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants" - William Penn

-- RADIO RAGE --

Special Counsel for Amateur Radio Enforcement Riley Hollingsworth says "radio rage" could become a bigger danger to the future of Amateur Radio than rule-breaking.

"It's the infighting and arguments and juvenile spats," Hollingsworth said. "That's going to come back to haunt us if we don't just grow up. It will do the service in, if the ham community doesn't put a stop to it."

Hollingsworth said he's encouraged that the FCC's enforcement program has the support of "99.9%" of the amateur community and that the vast majority of hams follow the rules. But, he said that radio rage in the form of such things as on-air squabbles or frequency fights can degrade the bands just as quickly as outright rule-breaking.

While much radio rage technically is not illegal, it reflects poorly on Amateur Radio and can balloon into an enforcement issue. More important, rude or intemperate on-air behavior might provide just the sort of ammunition than an entity seeking additional spectrum will use against Amateur Radio.

(From The ARRL Letter, Vol. 20, No.3)

-- VIDEOS AVAILABLE --

Jack Sproat, W4JS, owns the following videos which are available for club programs or for personal viewing by club members:

o VK0IR - Heard Island 1997

o VP8SSI: The South Sandwich Saga

o Journey to Peter I Island: Close to the Edge

o The Kermadecs DX Adventure, ZL8RI - DX at Its Best

o A52A - Bhutan 2000

o FO0AAA - Clipperton Island 2000

o 1935 Tour of ARRL Headquarters

o The Trans-Atlantic Tests and Station 1BCG

o An American Inventor - Maj. Edwin Howard Armstrong

o Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Antennas...but were afraid to ask.

o Spark Gap

o What are Those Crazy Sounding Signals Saying?

o This is Amateur Television!

o Packet Radio

o AMSAT Phase 3D

o Lightning Protection

Contact Jack at 475-1929

-- SNOWBIRD NET --

The Snowbird Net gathers twice daily; first at 10 AM on 14.278 and again at 7 PM on 7.230. Join in and complain about the weather. Maybe it will help!


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

-- QCWA SCHOLARSHIPS --

The Foundation for Amateur Radio, Inc. is administering 67 scholarships for the academic year 2001-2002 to assist licensed Radio Amateurs. Included in these are 16 $1000 scholarships being funded by the Quarter Century Wireless Association. There are no residency requirements or restrictions as to courses of study for Radio Amateurs of any class wishing to apply for a QCWA scholarship. And each applicant must be recommended by a QCWA member.

Additional information and an application form may be requested by letter or QSL card postmarked prior to 30 April 2001 from:

FAR Scholarships

P. O. Box 831

Riverdale, MD 20738

Contact Jack Sproat, W4JS, President, QCWA Suncoast Chapter 53 if you know anyone eligible for these scholarships. Tel: 475-1929

(From 24 January 2001 letter from Leland Smith, W5KL, Chairman, QCWA Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee)

--EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN --

We all have our personal reasons why and how we entered the world of Amateur Radio, but there are undoubtedly similarities in all our tales. Consider the following (from "Old Radio", John Dilks, K2TQN, January 2001 QST) and compare it with your personal experiences in this great hobby.

"'How I Started in Wireless' by J. Haas [September 3, 1915]

"I have been interested in wireless since 1908 and from that year on, I purchased Modern Electronics and read many articles in it that interested me. Yet, I did not care to install a set. I knew of no amateurs in this city [Atlantic City, NJ]. In 1910 during a short visit to Newport, R.I., I saw the government station and determined to put up a station of my own. While the Marconi station was on the air I became acquainted with Mr. Lessenco and by watching him send press in the evening I learned the code. I bought a cheap set in Philadelphia in the fall of 1912. The only station I could hear was AX and a few ships. I improved my set rapidly after that. At first I had only 2 wires 50 ft. long.

"Mr. Lessenco gave me a letter of introduction to Mr. Jeffries and in March 1913 I joined the Association. After that I put up two spiral aerials and made a 4 slide-tuning coil. During the summers of 1914 and 1915 I worked in the station of the Jeffries Young Antenna Co., on the pier, which gave me some experience. In January 1915 I took the examination at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and was given 3RQ for a call letter.

"This about finishes my story with the exception that I have planned for a fine receiving set this Fall and intend to install a high power station at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, for which we have asked for a special license."

Notice, first the interest and reading about ham radio, then seeing a station in operation and the interest grows. Making acquaintances, gathering experience and passing the exam. Once licensed, the desire for a bigger, stronger station. Hasn't changed much in some 90 years, has it?

-- QSL BUREAU DO'S AND DON'TS --

DO -

o Do keep self-addressed 5 x 7-1/2 or 6 x 9 inch envelopes on file at your bureau, with your call in the upper left corner, and affix at least one unit of first-class postage.

o Do send the bureau enough postage to cover SASEs on file and enough to take care of possible postage rate increases.

o Do respond quickly to any bureau request for SASEs, stamps or money. Unclaimed card backlogs are the bureau's biggest problem.

o Do notify the bureau of your new callsign as you upgrade. Please send SASEs with your new call, in addition to SASEs with your old call.

o Do include a SASE with any information request to the bureau.

o Do notify the bureau in writing if you don't want your cards.

o Do notify the bureau of a change of address.

DON'T

o Don't send domestic USA to USA cards to the various call-area bureaus.

o Don't expect DX cards to arrive for several months after the QSO. Overseas delivery is very slow. Many cards coming from overseas bureaus are over a year old.

o Don't send your out-going DX cards to your call-area bureau.

o Don't send SASEs to your "portable" bureau. For example, NU0X/1 sends SASEs to the W0 bureau, not the W1 bureau.

o Don't send SASEs to the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service.

o Don't send SASEs larger than 6 x 9 inches. Larger SASEs require additional postage surcharges.

(From Mecklenburg ARC, operator of QSL Bureau for K4, N4, W4 callsigns)

"per angusta ad augusta" (through difficulties to honors)


Page - 5


CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
PACC Dutch DX Contest 1200 GMT 10 Feb

1200 GMT 11 Feb

160 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Dutch Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
North American Sprint 0000 GMT 11 Feb

0400 GMT 11 Feb

80, 40, 20 Meters

CW Only

States, Canadian Provinces, North American Entities Serial No., QTH, Name
CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest 0000 GMT 10 Feb

2400 GMT 11 Feb

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY Only

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + Serial No.
ARRL International DX

Contest

0000 GMT 17 Feb

2400 GMT 18 Feb

160 - 10 Meters

CW Only

Stations Outside USA and Canada R/S/T + QTH
CQ WW 160-Meter Contest 2200 GMT 23 Feb

1600 GMT 25 Feb

160 Meters

SSB Only

Anyone, Anywhere R/S + QTH
REF French DX Contest 0600 GMT 24 Feb

1800 GMT 25 Feb

80 - 10 Meters

SSB Only

Stations in France and French Possessions R/S + Serial No.
UBA Belgian DX Contest 1300 GMT 24 Feb

1300 GMT 25 Feb

80 - 10 Meters

CW Only

Stations in Belgium and European Union R/S/T + Serial No.
ARRL International DX

Contest

0000 GMT 03 March

2400 GMT 04 March

160 - 10 Meters

SSB Only

Stations Outside USA and Canada R/S + QTH
RSGB Commonwealth Contest 1200 GMT 10 March

1200 GMT 11 March

80 - 10 Meters

CW Only

British Commonwealth Countries Only R/S/T + Serial No.

From February 2001 QST, February 2001 CQ and February 2001 Worldradio.

-- CATZ AWARD --

The rules for the "Contact All Time Zones" award offered by Worldradio are straightforward, and based on the world being divided into 24 time zones, each 15 degrees wide.

o QSOs after 01 July 1996 are valid

o Two-way contact must be established, and confirmed with QSL cards, with a station in each of the world's 24 time zones.

o Contact with one's own nation does not count.

o All 24 QSOs must be made from within the same country.

o Band and/or mode endorsements are available on request.

o Applicant shall list each contact, showing call sign, date, band, mode and the time zone, starting with the prime meridian (0o) and moving eastward.

o QSO listing shall be verified by two other licensed radio amateurs (General Class or above), stating that they have inspected and verified the required QSL cards.

o Submit list along with $5 to cover the cost and mailing of the 8x10 certificate to:

CATZ Award

Worldradio

2120 28th Street

Sacramento, CA 95818

Recipients of the CATZ award will be shown in the Worldradio DX column.

-- DXCC 2000 MILLENNIUM AWARD --

As DXing is one of the oldest facets of Amateur Radio, the ARRL is offering the DXCC 2000 Millennium Award as a way of celebrating the coming of the new century. No QSLs are required to earn the attractive multi-color certificate.

1) The certificate is awarded for having worked 100 or more of the entities on the ARRL DXCC List during 2000 (with applications being taken during all of 2001).

2) The applicant certifies the authenticity of log extract information for contact with 100 entities--no QSLs are required.

3) Qualifying for the DXCC 2000 Millennium Award does not provide credits for the traditional DXCC awards programs.

4) The official application must be used, available either by mail request with a SASE, or from:

<http://www.arrl.org/awards/dxcc>.

5) Completed application and $10 fee are submitted to the ARRL

If you worked at least 100 countries last year, why not apply for this good looking wallpaper?

-- ENGLEWOOD CROP WALK --

George Graham, W1PZE, reminded all at the January EARS meeting of the up-coming CROP Walk. EARS members have provided communications support in the past the same is planned for this year.


Page - 6


CURRENT/PENDING DX ACTIVITY AND PROPAGATION FORECASTS
CURRENT and/or SCHEDULED DX ACTIVITY

(Band/GMT for best chance of S5 or better signal)

COUNTRY - CALLSIGN ACTIVITY

PERIOD

BEARING 80 40 20 17 15 12 10
Bouvet Is - 3Y0C

Syria - YK9A

Comoros - D68C

Wake Island - AC4G/KH9

Marshall Is - V73ZZ

E. Kiribati - T32RD

Marquesas Is - FO0/M

Bangladesh - S21YD

San Felix - CE0ZT

Conway Reef - 3D2???

Now to March

Now to 12 Feb

08 - 28 February

09 - 27 February

10 - 24 February

11 - 25 February

11 - 28 February

12 - 19 February

12 - 20 February

21 Feb - 01 Mar

142

46

84

297

282

267

245

8

177

255

01>04

01>04

01>03

08>12

08>12

06>12

05>12

NO

02>11

08>12

23>05

23>05

23>04

07>13

06>12

04>13

03>13

1200

00>11

06>13

20>06

12>01

19>02

13>02

13>02

00>24

00>24

12>21

00>24

12>14

19>23

13>18

12>23

19>02

18>02

16>02

15>01

13>19

13>01

18>02

18>23

14>17

13>22

20>01

18>01

17>01

16>00

14>17

13>00

19>01

14>18

14>16

13>19

20>23

19>00

17>00

16>23

14>17

14>23

20>00

NO

15>16

14>18

21>22

19>22

18>23

17>20

NO

15>22

21>22

Updated 01 February 2001, based on 05 February 2001 QRZ DX, and 05 February 2001 The 59(9) DX Report

Notes: NO = No opening forecast. ??? = Callsign not yet known. Long path bearings and opening times (if any) are underlined.

Solar Flux assumed at 170 and F-Index at 2 for all forecasts.

-- TROUBLES PLAGUE 3Y0C --

The 3Y0C operation from Bouvet by Astronaut Chuck Brady, N4BQW, has had more than its share of problems. Gale-force winds have torn down Chuck's antennas more than once or twice. Photos show that even the steel "container" used as an office is guyed down! The ICOM IC-PW1 solid-state KW amplifier gave up the ghost, probably due to poor voltage regulation. The oil seals on the diesel generator are leaking so badly, they have to scoop up, filter and recycle the crankcase oil leaking from the seals. Consequently, the generator can only be operated about 4 hours per day. A massive avalanche missed the base camp but buried many of the breeding seals. This is Murphy's Laws personified!!

The pickup ship may be arriving before the end of February so, if you're one of the multitude who need Bouvet, keep your eyes on the DX Cluster for spots. Bouvet ranks #4, worldwide, in the DX Magazine 2000 survey of most wanted countries.

Check out <http://www.qsl.net/wd4ngb/3y0.htm> for updated info and photos from Bouvet.

(From reports on the North Jersey DX Reflector)

-- SAN FELIX OPERATION --

CE0ZT is scheduled to fire up from San Felix/San Ambrosio Islands 12 February with a team of some nine experienced DXers, including Martti Laine, OH2BH. San Felix ranks #32, worldwide, in the DX Magazine 2000 survey of most wanted countries. Three FT-1000MP rigs with linears will be running RTTY, SSB and CW on the usual "DX frequencies", 160 to 6 meters. Their web site is <http://www.qsl.net/ce0xt>

"First Radio--Then DX! DX IS!!"

-- FEBRUARY PROPAGATION --

January's Solar Flux averaged 166.7 and the A-index was < 10 on 24 days during the month.

The February propagation forecast ("Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, February 2001 CQ) follows:

Expect 15 meters to be the best band from shortly after sunrise until just after sunset, with 10, 12, 17 and 20 meters not far behind.

During the period from sundown to midnight as many as seven bands may be open for DX. Both 15 and 17 should hold up well past sundown towards the western quadrants. While southerly and westerly signals will be strongest on 20 meters, the band will be open to most areas of the world during this period. DX toward the east and south should be possible on 30, 40, and 80.

Between midnight and the sunrise period, it should be a toss-up between 20, 30 and 40 for worldwide DX honors. Good DX openings to most areas of the world also in darkness should be possible on 80 meters.

Beginning in late February and continuing through March and early April, expect considerable improvement in DX conditions between the northern and southern hemispheres, e.g., into Australasia.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 2-3, 20, 22 February should be "Above Normal"; 4-6, 10-12, 19, 21, 24 February should be "High Normal".

-- E-QSLS --

How many DXers are unaware of the "E-QSLs" that are waiting for them on the Internet? They just might be surprised!! Check out <http://www.eQSL.cc> to see if any incoming QSLs are listed. Go through the registration process, print out and reply to the cards. At this time, however, they are not acceptable for DXCC.


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- ANTENNA BASICS --

Why is only one reflector used and why is it longer than the driven element? Why are multiple directors used and why are they shorter than the driven element? In answer to such a query, Tom Rauch, W8JI, provided some enlightenment on <towertalk@contesting.com>. The following comes from Tom's comments.

Reflectors do not reflect and a director does not direct. Both re-radiate signals, just as if they are fed with a feedline. They increase gain, or change F/B, by their re-radiation cancelling signals in unwanted directions. They are all like dipoles, excited by the fields impinging on them. If they do not reradiate an appreciable amount of energy compared to the energy in the direction you are trying to null out, they do not help remove unwanted energy from needless directions.

REFLECTORS - Multiple reflectors only noticeably increase or F/B ratio when they are offset from the main axis of the array, i.e., above or below the boom, or when the original element is not optimized.

A reflector causes a null away from the exciting source because it is self-resonant or nearly self-resonant at the operating frequency. When a system is totally non-resonant (like a very large antenna above a small one would appear, or the ground below the antenna) or when it is exactly self-resonant, or has lagging phase in the re-radiation, it nulls the signal away from the exciting source. It does this because re-radiation is 180 degrees out of phase with the source when the structure or element being excited is exactly resonant or virtually non-resonant. Think of what happens when an additional element excites the reflector. The signal arrives and causes a current flow in the element that is 180 degrees (if it is self-resonant or very large and non-resonant) out of phase with the exciting signal.

Looking at the case of a signal from a driven element 0.25 wavelength away, the signal is delayed 90 degrees in space. It is inverted 180 degrees in the element. Energy is reradiated with a 270-degree phase delay from the driven element. A 270-degree lag is the same as a 90-degree lead, so you have the equivalent of a two-element driven array with 90-degree lag in the driven element. Since phased arrays with close spacing null in the direction of the leading phase, the energy leaving the array to the rear is cancelled. Since the energy has nowhere to go but the other directions, it goes that way. The array fires, like any two element close spaced array, towards the lagging phase element--the driven element.

Once you have a reflector that is properly tuned to null in the plane of the reflector, or if you had a series of directors tuned to provide a perfect null in the direction of the reflector, so much energy is removed there is little current in the reflector.

DIRECTORS - Directors, because they are significantly shorter than 1/2 wavelength, have a positive phase shift. They look capacitive and so have leading phase in the currents. The phase lead internally added by the element is up to 90 degrees for a very short element, but unfortunately current diminishes rapidly as the element is moved from resonance by being made shorter.

In this case the spatial phase delay is offset by the leading phase in the element's internal currents. The effective phase shift with a short director spaced 90 degrees from the exciting source normalized to that source is somewhat less than -90+90+180, or less than -180 degrees. The radiation leaving that element follows the rule of thumb given in the reflector example and cancels the most signal in a direction towards the element(s) having a leading phase. The radiation that would have gone that direction has nowhere to go except in directions where it is not cancelled, and so now it fires in the direction of lagging element phase, i.e., towards the direction of the director.

-- ONLY A VOLUNTEER --

Why didn't I wait to be drafted,

And led to the train by a band?

Or put a claim for exemption.

Oh, why did I hold up my hand?

Why didn't I wait for the banquet?

Why didn't I wait to be cheered?

For the draftee received all the credit,

While I only volunteered.

---

And nobody gave a banquet

And never a soul a kind word.

The puff of the engine, the grind of the wheel

Were all the good-bye I heard.

Then off to the training hustled,

To be trained for a good half a year.

In the shuffle abandoned, forgotten

I was only a volunteer.

---

Perhaps some day in the future

When my little boy sits on my knee

And asks what I did in the world war,

And his big eyes look up at me.

I will have to look into those eyes,

Which at me so trustfully keen,

And tell him that I wasn't drafted

But was only a volunteer.

(Written by Pvt. Herbert E. Hoyt, who had enlisted in the U.S. Army 05 December 1917 and served with the AEF in France. His son, Leo, resides in Nokomis.)

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