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The EARS WA4IWLetter


JULY 2000

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

This month we're turning the front page over to Ken Anderson, W4JQT, for his in-depth review of EARS participation in this year's Field Day. Ya'll have a good time here in Paradise until next month.

73 de Jack, W4JS

-- EARS FIELD DAY 2000 --

The planning committee met in early June and identified what was needed for Field Day. Howard White volunteered his trailer, arranged for a tent, and shopped for food and drinks and offered his truck to transport generators, tables, chairs and gasoline. JR House, Irv Maki, and Ken Anderson volunteered equipment and antennas. John Fogle furnished heavy duty extension power cords, the large drink cooler, and a ground rod. Bruce Robideau also brought ground rods. Jack Sproat and Mark Henry brought computers for logging and set up the programs. Frank Maren offered his gas grill and to be chef for the family picnic after Field Day. Jim Hanushek coordinated all of the above. Don Spencer volunteered to arrange for the site at the Englewood United Methodist Church and for the rest rooms in Room 400 to be kept open in Fellowship Hall during the night. Ken Anderson obtained a copy of our insurance certificate, which the church required.

The tent was delivered on Thursday, 22 June and set up in the rain while Don Spencer and Ken Anderson were on site. The antenna crew met Friday morning and managed to get one 125 foot wire dipole up before a thunderstorm ceased operations. About an hour later we were able to get the other 125 foot wire dipole up. The 6-meter vertical was put up Saturday morning. The antenna crew members were Don Spencer, Ken Anderson, Bill Stevens, Gene Fowler, JR House, Frank Maren, Jerry Meckenberg, and Alan Parmentier. Howard White set up the generators and ran power extension cords with multiple outlets to each operating position. This crew also took everything down after Field Day, and returned it to where it belonged.

Operation started Saturday afternoon, 24 June at 1800Z. We had one HF station for CW, one for SSB, and one VHF station on 6 meters. The weather was perfect for the entire operation and the 6-meter band stayed open most of the 24 hours. Dick Dean and Jack Sproat worked the CW station, and Dennis Babcock, Howard White, and Ken Anderson the SSB station. Bobby Benkovich was the daytime operator for 6 meters, and Bruce Robideau took the night shift for both 6 meters and the HF station with Howard White. Various other members helped out operating, and the Eggletons--Colin, Pam and Bryce (age 11)--each took a turn operating on their first field day experience. Operations ceased at 1600Z Sunday 25 June.

Numerous visitors came by during the operation. A group of Boy Scouts who were camped nearby, various church members, neighbors, interested hams and EARS members not directly involved, plus Dave Ambrust, WCF Section Manager and Paul Toth, Ass't Section Manager.

While the antenna crew was busy taking down antennas and helping stow equipment, Frank Maren was busy setting up the family picnic. Gene Fowler used his truck to move a picnic table to the picnic area. The menu was hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, potato chips, and cookies for dessert. Frank Maren did a great job of keeping the hamburgers and hot dogs ready for a hungry crowd. There were plenty of cold drinks for everyone. The picnic was well attended and a good time was had by all.

It was a really good Field Day. We had 77 contacts on 6 meters, 132 on CW, and 189 on SSB. Jack Sproat and Bill Stevens retrieved the logging data from the computers, and printed it out on site. Most everyone pitched in and helped clean up the picnic area. It was very encouraging to see so many members volunteer to help make field day a successful event this year. The spirit of ham radio is alive and well in Englewood. Thanks to all.

Ken Anderson, W4JQT

-- JULY MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be held at 7:30PM, 21 July in Room 400, Friendship Hall of the Englewood United Methodist Church. The program will be a video of a "1935 Tour of ARRL Headquarters".

-- SPEED DIAL NUMBERS --

On page 5 of this issue, you will find the directory of Speed Dial numbers for use on the 146.865 MHz K8ONV repeater. Please note that (1) only phone numbers in the Englewood/ Cape Haze/Rotonda areas can be called on the repeater and (2) some EARS members have been inadvertently missed on this initial listing. Please contact Frank Maren, W4VV, at 697-8584 if you wish to be added to the speed dial directory. Thanks for your understanding.


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ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

June 16, 2000

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:30pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There were two guests present: Dave Hanson, KB0EVM, and Virginia McLeod, wife of Ron McLeod, K1FTB. Introductions were dispensed with as the small number of attendees (17) all knew each other.

Bob Carstens finally received his callsign, KG4IAW, and correctly reported his QTH as "Village of Holiday Lakes" (VHL), not as erroneously recorded in the May minutes. Ken Anderson, W4JQT, seconded the Secretary's motion to accept last month's minutes as corrected and the motion passed.

Howard White, KD4MMY, gave the Treasurer's Report. Our balance as of June 12 was $4860.04. The major expenditure for the month was for our annual liability insurance policy in the amount of $352.00. Howard moved that the report be accepted, seconded by J.R. House, K9HUY , and the motion carried.

PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS

Jack, W4JS, announced that the Englewood-Charlotte County Library, located at the Tringali Center adjacent to S.R. 776 has offered the club exhibit space for one month. All members are encouraged to contact Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX, phone: 697-8983 or speed dial 249 on the K8ONV repeater, with their ideas and suggestions for this display. The exhibit is tentatively planned for October. The loan of Ham equipment, books, QSLs, and any other graphics will be appreciated and returned promptly to the donors.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

SUNSHINE - There were no reports of illness at this time, however, a Silent Key, Albert Lahndt, K4EPU, was reported. Al was not a current member, but many knew him by his QTH next to Indian Mound Park.

If you know of any member who should be sent a card, please advise Gene or Marcia Fowler, KA1GCU/ KA1GCV, at 475-3299.

TESTING - Test sessions the third Saturday of each month by appointment only. One upgrade was reported: Vic, KF4VHX, passed the code test and is now studying for General Class.

EOC - The Charlotte County Commissioners issued an Official Proclamation, proclaiming the week of May 22nd as "RACES WEEK". Frank Maren, W4VV, brought an official copy for the EARS archives.

Frank also reported that the K8ONV 146.865 MHz repeater is now operational, including autopatch and speed dial. We expect to have the speed dial directory ready for inclusion in the July newsletter.

For our informal Friday roundtables, we will start out on the WB0GUX 146.700 MHz repeater at 7:30pm, and then switch to the K8ONV repeater to conduct coverage tests as appropriate.

RACES members should remember to come to the West County Administration Building on San Casa Drive the last Thursday of each month at 9am and participate in the monthly RACES drill.

FIELD DAY - Jim Hanushek, N4JBZ, and Ken Anderson, W4JQT, reported on our Field Day plans. Everything is proceeding on schedule and the tent has been ordered for delivery on Thursday. Friday at 8:30am, Ken and some other volunteers will start erecting antennas. Saturday, the generators and rigs will be set up.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LIAISON - Jerry Meckenberg, K2JWE, graciously accepted this position in order to make local officials aware of our needs and our contributions to the community. Jerry reported that he recently determined that a new group of people are in charge of tower regulations in Charlotte County. Last year Jerry reported on the commercial tower ordinance which was approved without impacting Amateur towers. A follow-up change to another ordinance was supposed to be made, specifically exempting Amateur towers, however this has not happened. This leaves the status of Amateur towers in legal limbo. Jerry will actively pursue this matter before the appropriate governmental authorities in the weeks to come.

OLD BUSINESS - None

NEW BUSINESS - None

The meeting was adjourned at 7:58pm.

PROGRAM - Dave Hanson, KB0EVM, spoke to the group about what Charlotte County RACES expects in the way of preparedness and involvement by its volunteer Ham operators. Most importantly, RACES recognizes that your safety and your family's safety come first. Of course, if you are asked to evacuate, then do so immediately. Take care of yourself, your family and your property first, then, after that, you can report in to RACES and help with the emergency.

Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX

Secretary

-- 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) Two forms of identification.

(5) A check in the amount of $6.65 payable to "ARRL VEC", or cash in the above amount.

For further information and reservation, contact Jack Sproat, W4JS, at 475-1929


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UPCOMING CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
IARU HF Championship 1200 GMT 08 July

1200 GMT 09 July

160 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T) + ITU Zone
CQ World Wide VHF Contest 1800 GMT 08 July

2100 GMT 09 July

6 Meters and UP

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere Grid Square
South East Asia Net (SEANET) Contest 0000 GMT 15 July

2359 GMT 16 July

160 - 10 Meters

CW Only

SEANET Countries Only R/S/T + Serial Number
North American QSO Party 1800 GMT 15 July

0600 GMT 16 July

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY Only

Anyone, Anywhere Name and QTH
Colombian Independence Day 0000 GMT 16 July

2359 GMT 16 July

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T) + Serial Number
Georgia QSO Party 1800 GMT 22 July to

0359 GMT 23 July, and

1400-2359 GMT 23 July

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Georgia Stations Only R/S/(T) + State
RSGB Islands-On-The-Air 1200 GMT 29 July

1200 GMT 30 July

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Island Stations R/S/(T) + Serial Number
Romanian DX Contest 0000 GMT 06 August

2000 GMT 06 August

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T) + ITU Zone
North American QSO Party 1800 GMT 05 August

0600 GMT 06 August

80 - 10 Meters

CW Only

Anyone, Anywhere Name and QTH
European DX Contest 0000 GMT 12 August

2359 GMT 13 August

80 - 10 Meters

CW Only

European Countries Only R/S/T + Serial Number
Maryland-DC QSO Party 1600 GMT 12 Aug to

0359 GMT 13 Aug, and

1600-2359 GMT 13 Aug

80 Meters - UHF

SSB/CW/RTTY/

FM

Maryland and District of Columbia Stations Only QTH + Category: Single Op

YL, QRP

From July 2000 Worldradio, July 2000 CQ and July 2000 QST.

-- SIX METERS OPEN FOR J.R.! --

While the unsettled or disturbed conditions in the geomagnetic fields have raised havoc with HF propagation, the 6-meter VHFers have been having a ball. The 10-12 June ARRL VHF QSO Party proved to be El Dorado for J.R., K9HUY. As best we got the report, J.R. racked up 742 QSOs in 194 grid squares on the 6-meter band. He surely took top honors for the WCF Section with that tally. Well done, J.R.!!

-- GRID SQUARES, ZONES, ETC. --

In all VHF QSOs and contests, some HF contests, and for satellite QSOs, the operators exchange "grid squares" rather than State or Province to indicate their location. In some HF contests, the "CQ Zone" is used and in others the "ITU Zone" is used. Even casual participants in any of these activities/events should be aware of where they are located in accordance with the proper protocol. The following should explain the basis for these various divisions of the Earth.

The Maidenhead Grid Squares are 2o X 1o grids into which the Earth has been divided. Locally, north of the 27th Parallel--which cuts across Manasota Key 0.78-mile south of Manasota Beach Rd. and across Englewood Rd. some 625 ft. south of Forked Creek--is grid square EL87; south of the 27th Parallel is EL86. EL87 extends to north of Tampa Bay and east to about Lake Suzy on the DeSota-Charlotte County line. Therefore, the majority of TARC members are located in EL87.

When Dick Spencely, KV4AA, dreamed up the concept of the Worked All Zones award for CQ magazine, he divided up the Globe into 40 zones.. All of Florida is within CQ Zone 5. While not so far away, Zone 2, which includes Labrador and the northern reaches of Quebec Province is difficult to work due to lack of a ham population. For years, only one operator in Mongolia was active in Zone 23. The WAZ award remains still a goal not reached by every award-chaser.

For whatever reason, the International Telecommunications Union divided the Earth up into 75 ITU Zones, and all of Florida is within ITU Zone 8. No known awards are given for working all the ITU zones, however, they are used as multipliers in a number of contests. Again, certain ITU zones are very difficult to work due to the lack of even contest radio activity from the countries within those zones.


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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
Macquarie Is - VK0MM

Jan Mayen - JX7DFA

Mayotte - FH/TU5AX

The Sudan - ST0P

Mozambique - C91DC

Palmyra Is - KH5/N4BQW

Lesotho - 7P8DX

Swaziland - 3DA0MA

U.N. Headquarters - 4U1UN

Tromelin Is - FR???/T

Christmas Is - VK9XY or VK9XW

Until December

Now Active???

Now to 20 Aug

Now to August

Now to Sept

Now to October

03 - 22 July

26 - 27 July

27 July - 20 Aug

01 - 16 August

13 - 25 August

220

21

85

66

101

267

110

106

25

84

334

154

--

NO

02>03

02>03

02>04

06>11

02>05

02>04

01>10

0200

NO

NO

--

00>04

00>04

00>04

00>05

04>12

00>06

00>05

23>12

00>03

1100

NO

23>08

00>24

20>07

20>07

20>10

00>24

06>10

06>10

00>24

20>06

10>15

00>03

--

00>24

16>23

09>02

15>18

00>24

09>18

10>17

13>02

17>23

12>20

01>05

--

00>24

17>23

10>01

14>17

17>07

13>17

13>17

12>02

16>22

15>19

01>04

--

16>18

17>00

09>02

15>17

18>04

15>16

15>16

NO

14>21

12>15

02>03

--

NO

13>18

NO

14>16

17>05

14>16

14>16

NO

18>22

16>19

01>02

Updated 26 June 2000, based on 26 June 2000 QRZ DX and 23 June 2000 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 K-Index at 2 for all forecasts.

-- 20 MOST NEEDED COUNTRIES --

Based on the 1999 ARRL DXCC Yearbook, which was recently received by DXers who submitted QSLs during 1999, the Top 20 most-needed DXCC entities are:

1. P5 - North Korea 11. VK0 - Macquarie Is

2. BS7 - Scarborough Reef 12. FR/G - Glorioso Is

3. BV9 - Pratas Is 13. VP8 - So. Sandwich Is

4. A5 - Bhutan 14. 3C0 - Annobon Is

5. VU4 - Andaman Is 15. ZL9 - Auckland Is

6. 7O - Yemen 16. KH5K - Kingman Rf

7. E3 - Eritrea 17. FR/J - Juan de Nova

8. 3Y - Bouvet Is 18. SV/A - Mount Athos

9. FR/T - Tromelin Is 19. VP8 - So. Georgia Is

10. VU7 - Laccadive Is 20. XZ - Burma

What with the recent dialog between South Korea and North Korea, there is improved possibility that P5, which is needed by virtually everyone, could perhaps come on the air sometime this year.

Scarborough Reef could show up again if the Chinese and Filipinos can come to some agreement. Pratas Island was on last Fall, and Bhutan this Spring, so both should drop out of the top 10.

VU4 and VU7 are almost impregnable--even for Indian nationals. But the 'locals" are working on it and perhaps VU7 will come on within a year.

We're still waiting to hear the final word on the recent 7O operation. While Eritrea was pretty easy to work two years ago, the border war with Ethiopia has put that one on the back burner.

Bouvet hasn't been on since 200 QSOs were made from there in 1997. Any operation will be big-budget and at the whim of the "environmentalists".

Tromelin is scheduled for a major operation in August which should drop the rank for that entity.

Current activity from Macquarie and Glorioso, and recent operations from Annobon, Auckland/Campbell and Burma should lower the need for those entities. But, who knows if and when a number of entities out there will ever be on again . (From 23 June 2000 The 59(9) DXReport , and Vol 4, No 106 of The Daily DX)

-- JULY PROPAGATION --

June's Solar Flux averaged 180 through 26 June, however the A-index was < 10 for only 11 days. In comparison, the June 1999 Solar Flux averaged 170.

During July, 10- and 12-meter propagation will be mostly north-south paths, with some possible openings to Africa and Australasia. When the A-Index is 10 or less there should be good openings on 15 and 17 meters during daylight and evening hours. The 20-meter band should be open around the clock to some area or other of the world. The 20-meter band will be the best band for nighttime DX. High seasonal static here in Florida can make the 30-, 40-, and 75-meter bands too noisy for effective DXing, although the signals may be there.

The 6-meter band has been very active in recent months. When the 3-hour k-index gets above 2, check for 6-meter openings due to the effects of geomagnetic disturbances. During July, look for frequent 600- to 1300-mile short skip openings. When the shortest skip heard on 6 meters is on the order of 600 miles or less, look for 2-meter openings.


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