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The EARS WA4IWLetter


MARCH 1999

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

Thanks to Free Crosby, W1NPR, the entire masthead of this issue is now "computerized". No more cutting and pasting of the logos. Your kind assistance is appreciated, Free. "Maybe" if/when I graduate to an ink-jet printer it will come out picture perfect.

A great time was had by W4JQT, W1JF, W4VV, K9HUY, and me at Miami's Tropical Hamboree the first weekend of February. I first attended this event back in the 70s when I was living in Broward County and it was held at the Flagler Dog Racing Track. I was last there in 1987 which, I believe, was one of the first years it was held at its present fairground location. It sure has grown since those days.

It was great to see some of my old pals from the South Florida DX Assn for the first time in many years. The DX Banquets, such as I spoke at in 1981, are no more, however. I was happy to see a good number of young faces amongst those crowding the aisles and food counters. It gave me a positive feeling that our hobby may survive--if the young folks aren't waylaid by the Internet.

I hope that all of you will make an effort to come out to our own HamFest 99 on 13 March. Show your support for the EARS and the efforts of Frank Maren and his volunteers.

So far, the "ataboys" outnumber the "negativos" regarding last month's comments here on the ARRL. While not wishing to belabor the subject, I think it's worthwhile to give specific examples of two issues raised last month: book costs and sloppy writing. In 1978 you could buy The Radio Amateur's Handbook, 600+ pages, for $8.50; The ARRL Antenna Book for $5, and The Radio Amateur's License Manual (covering ALL classes) for $3--all postpaid. Those references will now set you back $32, $30, and $50.95 (for all classes) plus a minimum of $3 postage. That represents a 600% hike in 20 years for these publications. If the cost of our radios had increased by similar leaps and bounds, very few--if any--of us would now be on the air. If housing costs and vehicles had also increased by the same rate, we would be living in tents and riding bicycles. And, for danged sure, my salary never went up in concert with those increases!

In November's QST, once renowned as the technical voice of ham radio, someone seeking knowledge asks "The Doctor", on page 53, if adding more radials to his vertical will be worth the effort. "The Doctor" suggests use of a homebrew dual-diode/microammeter field-strength meter, and comments "if adding the temporary radial increases the reading substantially, it's worth the sweat to make it a permanent addition.....On the other hand, if the needle barely rises, don't bother....Adding more radials will not significantly improve your antenna's performance". For a technical journal, dealing with specific, i.e., mathematical issues, abstract words like "substantially" and "barely rises" just don't cut it. Adding insult to injury, the conclusion of "The Doctor" is wrong.

The Vertical Antenna Handbook by Naval Capt. Paul Lee, K6TS, (not an ARRL publication) provides the basis to learn that going from 2 to 15 radials will give you a 2.59 dB gain; 2 to 30 radials will give you a 3.13 dB gain, and the use of 113 radials will give you 4.13 dB gain. Why did "The Doctor" not offer such specifics to his "patient"? Well, I guess there are doctors of dubious quality practicing these days, but that "patient" sure didn't get his money's worth. 'Nuf sed.

73 de Jack, W4JS

-- MARCH MEETING --

Reserve 19 March for the next EARS meeting 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 evening's program will be the video "Last Voice from Kuwait, 9K2DZ", courtesy of the Northern California DX Foundation.

-- EARS NET ACTIVITIES --

The EARS weekly net meets on the WB0GUX repeater (146.700) at 7:30 pm every Friday except the third Friday, which is our meeting night. Volunteers are needed for Net Control; please contact Don Spencer, WA4IWL, our Net Manager. Recent net activity follows:

Date NCS Check-Ins

12 February KD9SJ Don 12

26 February WA4IWL Don 14

05 March WA4IWL Don 22


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

February 19,1999

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, opened the meeting at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag. New member Keith Herve, WL7CKY, was introduced and welcomed to the meeting. There were no visitors to introduce. Member introductions were then made around the room. There were no upgrades to report.

A motion was made by John Fogle, W1JF, to forego reading the minutes of last month's meeting, since they are published in the newsletter. Seconded by Jim Halliday, NX2II, and the motion carried.

Howard White, KD4MMY gave the Treasurer's Report and made a motion for acceptance. Second by Howard Hawkins, WB8IGU, and carried. Howard then reviewed the 1999 budget. John Fogle, W1JF, made a motion to accept, with a second by George Shreve, KA4JKY. The motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS:

o Forms were received and completed for making the annual incorporation report and filing fee

o Jack suggested an audit of our financial records, and asked for a volunteer. John Fogle, W1JF, volunteered to handle it and Bob Benkovich, KF4YOW, volunteered to assist.

o Frank Lester, W4AMJ, received his 75-year license plaque at the February QCWA luncheon in Sarasota.

o John Fogle, W1JF, and Ken Anderson, W4JQT, recently assisted Frank Lester, W4AMJ, in resolving a case of telephone interference at one of his neighbor's home.

o 50 Introduction to Amateur Radio brochures from Kenwood were distributed at the library and high school, assisted by Mark Henry, KE4UFT.

o Jack discussed the Booster Club, which is member donations to EARS to help offset costs. Donors' names will be listed in the newsletter.

SUNSHINE - No report

FCC TESTS - Testing will be conducted tomorrow at the Englewood Chamber of Commerce. One candidate is expected.

HamFest 99 - Frank Maren, W4VV, gave the hamfest report. He needs volunteers for parking and working the club tables.

RACES - Frank Kouri, K4FK, gave the RACES report and Ken Anderson, W4JQT, reported on the ATV test that was conducted February 16, 1999 by the RACES group in Murdock on 426.25 MHz. There is an ATV receiving setup at the Englewood EOC and the test results were very good.

DX - Bruce Robideau, K2OY, reported on the solar storm that occurred February 18,1999. He also discussed the meanings of the SF, A, and K indices used with propagation reports. Also, Palestine, E4, is a new DXCC entity. This is the CW weekend for the ARRL DX Contest.

CROP WALK - Jack reported for George Graham, W1PZE. Volunteers are to assemble at the Save-A-Lot Supermarket. The 146.700 MHz repeater will be used for this event on February 27, 1999.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS - Invitation letters and copies of the February newsletter were sent out to 108 area hams, inviting them to membership.

NEW BUSINESS - Bruce, K2OY, suggested that the club logo should now include "Inc". Free Crosby, W1NPR, volunteered to work on this.

SNOWBIRD NET - There was an interesting report about John Fyke, VE6AIV, who is helping bring a large boat from the west coast to Florida. John is keeping us informed of their progress on 14.278 MHz. At last report, they were nearing the Panama Canal.

A motion to adjourn at 8:25 pm carried There were 48 members in attendance. The program was a Bell Laboratories film on "Similarities in Wave Behavior".

Ken Anderson, W4JQT

Secretary

-- CROP WALK 1999 --

Communications assistance for the 27 February 1999 Englewood CROP Walk was ably provided by Don, WA4IWL, Don, KD9SJ, Bill, W1AMU, Roland, KF4FSA, and Jim, N1KKE, all under the able leadership of George, W1PZE. Former EARS President, John Fellin, WB0GUX, was Grand Marshall for the walk. Talk about an All Star cast!

The Walk was a success, especially with the cooperation of Mother Nature, and the only "emergency" was a pickup for a youngster on roller blades who found the route to be a bit longer than anticipated.

Thanks, guys, for another job well done!

-- 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.

Candidates must bring:

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

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

(3) Two forms of identification.

(4) A check in the amount of $6.45 payable to "ARRL VEC", or cash in the above amount.

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

--RECENT EXAM RESULTS --

Mike Fox, KA1ZFO, passed the General Class written exam on 20 February.


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- OUR HOBBY AT RISK --

(Ed. note: Peggy, KF4BD, is a bit under the weather, so stay tuned for "Squeezings" next month. We are pleased to offer the following, written by EARS member Doug Zeeff, N4EHO, which was in the December 1998 Lemon Bay Beacon, the newsletter of the Lemon Bay Region of the Antique Auto Club of America.)

I remember somewhere back in my youth reading a comic strip named Pogo where some sort of little animal said, "We have met the enemy, and it is us", or something to that effect. Today I'm afraid the enemy isn't us, but it is U.S., as in the bureaucracy called our government. Before you decide that I have flipped out and joined the ranks of paranoid government haters, please read on.

I have another hobby besides antique cars. It is called Ham Radio. I have been a licensed ham for almost a quarter century and enjoy it very much. Lately the government has changed some of the rules relating to ham radio and most of the changes are not for the better. In our ever increasingly high tech society we seem to have a need for more and more communication. We have cell phones and satellites among others that require radio frequencies to operate. These communications monsters are chewing up the usable radio spectrum at an alarming rate. Our wonderful government in its infinite wisdom saw this as a good source for income. It now "sells" many of the radio frequencies to the highest bidder. We are fast running out of usable frequencies so the government has gone looking for frequencies that aren't making them any money and commandeering them so they can sell them at an outrageous price. And you thought they balanced the budget by sound fiscal management? Many of the frequencies they are looking at are presently used by hams.

Let me give you a little background into what ham radio is. First off you have to pass a test in Morse code proficiency and then take a written exam. These exams consist of questions regarding the law as laid down by the Federal Communications Commission, operating procedures, and radio and electronic theory. Depending on the class of license you are going for these tests can be very involved. After you are licensed you will be subject to the rules as set down by the FCC. If you violate these rules, you can loose your license. Now, what is it hams do? We talk mainly. But we also provide a lot of services to the community. During times of national emergencies we are often the only means of communication. We don't rely on phone lines or power lines to get our messages through. Most of us are set up so we can operate under just about any condition. Englewood has one of the best ham clubs around. They volunteer to help with parades and other civic events. They also give scholarships to local students to help further their education. They also have an excellent Emergency Net that practices weekly so that our community will not be cut off from the outside world in case of an emergency. It would fill several pages to list all the benefits derived from ham radio. The ham community (is) one of the largest communications networks in the world. Even the military can't match it. Now the government wants to cut our usable frequencies and thereby make us less effective.

So, what does this have to do with our antique cars? Plenty! The same government that devised the idea of selling radio spectrum (up until a few years ago they only allocated it) is now toying with the idea of revamping the Clean Air Act. It seems us (sic) pitiful citizens are just polluting our environment with gay abandon and Uncle Sam is going to have to straighten us out. One of the ideas I have heard on the Internet is that they will sell pollution credits. Each state will be allowed to expel so many parts per million of solids into the air. Each entity, be it company, municipality or utility will be given the right to purchase these polluting credits. When they are gone, that's it. If something like this were to happen I think I know how the internal combustion engine will fare. Our old cars will probably be the first to go. The power companies and large corporations will outbid everyone and they will do all the polluting. Each state will then have to find areas where they can eliminate the production of solid emissions into the atmosphere. Since people in the old car hobby have become used to hearing about legislation regarding their automobiles, they probably will greet any news on this subject with great apathy. This could be our downfall.

So what exactly do we do? We can take the offensive. Before the government even gets it into its head that the automobile hobby is a prime target for elimination, we can start a campaign of letter writing and increase our exposure and influence. We should clip articles out of the paper showing the good that car clubs do. Show them the public service we provide. How much money is raised for charities and scholarships? How many public events have we helped?

These are things that should be crossing our Governor's and Congressmen's desks right now. We must make them aware of the old car hobby and do it in a positive light so that, when the time comes for them to vote on legislation that could curtail our hobby, they will be on our side. If they do not know who we are or what we accomplish, then the fault will be ours

(see HOBBY, continued on pg. 4)


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

-- HOBBY --

when they pass bad legislation. Success is usually achieved by those who act, not those who react. Make it a priority to do something positive for our hobby this week!

(Ed note: The following, from over 200 years ago, is most appropriate: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" -- Edmund Burke; British statesman, 1729-1797. Some months ago the ARRL was soliciting contributions for its 1999 Fund for the Defense of Amateur Radio Frequencies. Did you help? I can show you my certificate of support.)

-- HOW TO SPOT A DXER --

(Ed note: The West Coast DX Bulletin was a labor of love for Hugh "Cass" Cassidy, WA6AUD from 1968-1979. Cass churned out some 6-8 pages a week on a lithograph machine, assisted by only his wife. The WCDXB offered not only the best DX info, but editorials and comments by Cass, bringing the likes of Red-Eyed Louie, Sunspot Louie, the Palos Verdes Sundancers, the Old Timer, the QRPer (fledgling DXer) and Slim (the notorious bootleggers) into our diction and hearts. No newsletter since has ever attempted to replicate the prose and wit of Cass Cassidy. The following is one of my favorites, taken from DX IS! The Best of the West Coast DX Bulletin, published by W5DV and W6OGC in 1981. Regardless of your interest in DX, you should appreciate the humor.)

One of the local QRPers was up on the hill last week and it was obvious that this one came on a wave of skepticism. "Tell me," the QRPer says, "how come you hear all this talk about how easy it is to recognize a real old and long-time DXer? I've seen a lot of DXers and to me they seem to come in all sizes, shapes and condition. What's the story?" It was obvious that here we had one seeking to entice us into the endless grappling of argument and we pursued the questions carefully. Already his words were a clue that he had been looking for facial features and body shapes and we knew that we could best this one. "One must learn," we guardedly advised, "that the DXer you see at club meetings has often shed his normal attire for some sharper rags. You'll have to catch him at ease. Say at casual gatherings during the week, the relaxation of his own shack or maybe even the Saturday morning safari to the local radio outlets. Learn their traits in their natural habitats and you will learn to recognize a DXer anywhere. Maybe even when they are dressed up."

At this point we were thinking that any true-blue DXer or would-be DXer would easily follow our expressed thoughts to their always logical conclusion but the QRPer was having none of it. "You talk in circles," he bounded back. "Just how do you tell a DXer...a real, true-blue, old-timer, three hundred plus DXer? Tell me!" It was evident that we would have to come out and spell things for this QRPer as it was obvious that nothing else would suffice.

"One must recognize that to view a DXer from the front is often not the best for recognition," we lectured the QRPer, "one must learn that the rear elevation is often of more value in identification. If you will take the time to note, you will learn that the relaxed DXers have a great fondness for pants with the seats cut knee-length. Often the sag of the bag in the britches is the true index of the achievement of the DXer."

For once we had caught a QRPer speechless and this one just sat there in intense concentration. Finally he jumped to his feet shouting: "You're right! You're absolutely right! I've noted it before but never really understood. It is true that DXers are fond of wearing pants with the seat cut knee-length!" We were delighted that the QRPer had recognized one of the inevitable Truths but he was right back with another question. "But how about those with short legs?" he asked. "How can they have a low sag in the bag without it getting down around their ankles?" We had to smile at this and rather than trying to supply all the answers the first time around, we told the QRPer to do his own research. For once one learns to recognize a true-blue DXer by the seat of his pants sagging far towards the knee level, the full horizon of introspective DX thinking will start to open. And should you not yet be a Believer, check the cut of the seat and the sag of the bag the next time out on reconnaissance. And beware of those false DXers without the full-cut of the true DXer, you may be up against a DX dilettante. Really! True-Blue DXers will always understand these things.

-- UPCOMING FLORIDA HAMFESTS --

13 Mar Englewood ARS HamFest 99 at Tringali Community Center, E. McCall Rd (SR 776) at Pennel St, Englewood. TI on 146.700 Info: George, (941)697-3445

19-20 Mar Playground ARC Hamfest, Ft. Walton Beach Fairgrounds, 1970 Lewis Turner Blvd, Ft. Walton Beach. TI:146.79; Info: Clyde, KE4FLC, (850)244-0624

20 Mar Martin County ARA 23rd Free Hamfest, Martin County Fairgrounds, Stuart. Info: MCARA, Box 1901, Stuart, FL 34995

28 Mar Lake ARA Free Tailgate, LARA Clubhouse, Leesburg. Info: Paul, K3NON, (352)343-8729


Page - 5


CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
QCWA QSO Party 1900 GMT 13 Mar

1900 GMT 14 Mar

160 Meters - 70 cm SSB/FM/CW QCWA Members Year 1st licensed + State
Wisconsin QSO Party 1800 GMT 14 Mar

0100 GMT 15 Mar

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Wisconsin Stations Only R/S/(T) + State
Missouri QSO Party 1700 GMT 13 Mar

2400 GMT 14 Mar

160 - 10 Meters SSB/CW Missouri Stations Only R/S/(T) + State
World Wide Locator Contest 0000 GMT 13 Mar

2400 GMT 14 Mar

160 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T) + Grid Square
Bermuda Contest 0100 GMT 20 Mar

2400 GMT 21 Mar

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T)
Russian DX Contest 1200 GMT 20 Mar

1200 GMT 21 Mar

160 - 10 Meters SSB/CW Anyone, Anywhere R/S(T) + Serial No.
Alaska QSO Party 0000 GMT 20 Mar

2400 GMT 21 Mar

160 - 10 Meters SSB/CW/SSTV Alaska Stations Only R/S(T) + State
Virginia QSO Party 1800 GMT 20 Mar

0200 GMT 22 Mar

160 - 10 Meters SSB/CW Virginia Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
Ohio Winter QSO Party 0100 GMT 20 Mar

2359 GMT 21 Mar

160 - 2 Meters

SSB/CW

Ohio Stations Only QSO No. + State
CQ WW WPX Contest 0000 GMT 27 Mar

2400 GMT 28 Mar

160 - 10 Meters

SSB

Anyone, Anywhere R/S + Serial No.
Polish DX Contest 1500 GMT 03 April

2400 GMT 04 April

160 - 6 Meters

SSB/CW

Polish Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
Japanese International DX Contest 2300 GMT 09 April

2300 GMT 10 April

20 - 10 Meters

CW

Japanese Stations Only R/S/T + Serial No.
International HF Grid Location Contest 1200 GMT 10 April

1200 GMT 11 April

160 - 10 Meters SSB/CW Anyone, Anywhere Grid Square

From March 1999 Worldradio, March 1999 CQ and March 1999 QST.

-- CONTEST CHATTER --

This is the 41st year for the Bermuda Contest, to be held 20-21 March this year. One of the enticements for one to get serious about this contest is that the overall world-wide winner can receive his/her trophy at the annual banquet of the Radio Society of Bermuda in October, in which case transportation to Bermuda will be provided by the Bermuda Department of Tourism with accommodations provided by the Palmetto Bay Hotel. This is definitely a contest that will get someone more than a certificate for their wall! Multipliers are DXCC/WAE countries with a minimum of at least three different VP9 stations being worked.

The Wide-World WPX (Worked All Prefixes) Contest sponsored by CQ will bring the most activity to the HF bands the latter weeks of March. Occurring within a week of the vernal equinox, HF propagation should be, literally, world-wide. A lot of good DX usually shows up for this contest, so it's a good opportunity to work both new countries as well as unusual prefixes. CQ offers a handsome WPX certificate to anyone holding QSLs with a minimum of 500 different prefixes, with band/mode endorsements available. Participants should have a current ITU Callsign Allocation Table available to know whence some of those exotic prefixes are emanating. For instance, one might hear a P3 prefix (from Cyprus, which is usually 5B), a 3E (Panama; usually HP) or an XP (Denmark; usually OZ).

-- ON THE LOCAL FRONT --

Page 107 of March's QST shows us that JR, K9HUY, took first place for the Southern Florida Division in the VHF QSO Party held 12-14 September 1998. With a total of 129 QSOs, JR also took top honors on the 6- and 2-meter bands. Take note that JR had 150 QSOs in the January VHF QSO Party, so we'll be waiting to see how he fared in that contest. Well Done, JR!!


Page - 6


DX ACTIVITY AND PROPAGATION
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
Mauritius - 3B8/G3PJT

Revilla Gigedo - XF4MX

Lord Howe Is - VK9EHH

Easter Is - CE0AA

Cambodia - XU7AAC

Mauritania - 5T???

Banaba Is - T33RD

St Pauls Archipelago - PY0S

Rodriguez - 3B9??

Mongolia - JT1Y

Now to 14 March

Now to 16 March

Now to 18 March

Now to 20 March

11 - 15 March

11 - 17 March

10 - 28 March

15 - 22 March

01 - 10 April

06 - 21 April

84

259

249

208

349

81

278

108

84

354

01>02

03>12

09>11

03>11

NO

01>07

08>11

01>08

0130

NO

23>02

01>12

07>12

01>12

11>12

23>07

07>12

23>09

23>02

NO

18>07

13>06

02>17

00>24

12>03

11>05

02>16

00>24

19>05

22>06

17>22

14>02

01>06

13>08

13>20

12>01

19>04

11>06

17>23

23>04

16>19

15>01

23>03

13>06

13>20

13>00

19>03

12>02

16>20

00>03

14>17

16>23

21>02

14>03

14>19

14>22

19>01

13>01

15>16

NO

14>16

17>21

22>01

14>02

16>18

16>20

19>00

14>23

NO

NO

Updated 01 March 1999, based on 01 March QRZ DX and 26 February The 59(9) DX Report. Solar Flux assumed at 150 for all forecasts.

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

-- MARCH PROPAGATION --

While the Solar Flux averaged 145 for February, most of the credit goes the SF peak of 205 on the 14th. The month started off with a SF of 118 and ended with 123, so Cycle 23 continues upward, with its peak expected in April/May 2000.. The A- and K-indices were generally low during February, except for a major geomagnetic storm on the 18th that drove the A-Index above 61. HF propagation was generally good throughout the month, especially on 10/12/15 meters. A smoothed Solar Flux of 138 is forecast for March.

Propagation forecasts for March are as follow:

DX propagation will be excellent on 10, 12 and 15 meters during daylight hours, with 17 and 20 meters not far behind. From sunset to midnight, 20, 30 and 40 meters will dominate, with some good openings toward the west and south also possible on 15 and 17 meters. From midnight to sunrise, the best DX bands should be 30, 40 and 75 meters.

The vernal equinox will occur 21 March when the length of day and night is exactly equal throughout the world. During the equinoctial period from late February through late April (and early September through late October) the ionosphere has similar characteristics throughout more of the world than is possible at any other time. Consequently, DX conditions are optimal during these equinoctial periods. March looks like a great month for world-wide DX propagation on all the amateur shortwave bands and, fortunately, a lot of good DX is showing up or scheduled.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 15, 26 and 31 March should be "Above Normal"; 12, 13, 22, 23 and 27 March should be "High Normal". 18 and 29 March may be "Disturbed".

(From "Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, March 1999 CQ)

-- VHF DX OPENINGS --

The combination of rapidly increasing solar activity and the equinoctial effect should produce exceptionally good F2-layer DX conditions on the 6-meter band, particularly when conditions are "High Normal" or better. Trans-continental openings on 6 meters can be expected from noon through the late afternoon hours. Trans-equatorial openings on both 6 and 2 meters may be possible during March. The best time for TE openings is between 8 and 11pm local time.

Minor meteor showers are expected to peak on 15-16 March and 25-26 March, which could provide some VHF meteor-scatter-type openings for brief periods.

(From "Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, March 1999 CQ)

-- DXPLOITS & DXTRAS --

There was a flurry of activity from Palestine, what with E44DX showing from 16-21 February. Subsequent activity by E44/JA8RUZ and E44/HA1AG are making this new DXCC "entity" rather readily available.

FR5ZQ/T was on again during February from Tromelin, this time using "list takers" on 20 meters to eliminate the pile-ups. Unfortunately, while the stations taking the lists could be heard and some of the local deserving got on the lists, Henri was unreadable here in SW Florida. DXing sure can get frustrating!!

Those who worked Burundi, 9U, since 1994 were also frustrated when the DXCC Desk announced on 18 February that those QSOs would be purged from the DXCC database. It seems that whoever issued licenses to 9U5CW, 9U5T, 9U5DX, 9U5W, 9U/EA1FH and 9U/ F5FHI was not legally authorized to do so. QSOs with 4U9U, issued by the UN continue to count, however. "Back to the drafting board", as they used to say.


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- VOICE & VIDEO VIA PACKET --

A new packet radio milestone has been achieved with the transmission and reception of high-resolution pictures and audio via packet. The formats for these digital modes (audio and video) are universal formats available to anyone using a PC or compatible.

"Digital Image Transfer" and "Digital Audio Transfer" are not new; it is the technique and procedures used that is new. Last December, Buck Rogers, K4ABT, sent and received digitized voice via packet at 9600 baud, and through 9600 baud nodes. The digitized message was recorded on a PC with a sound card in the WAV format. The file is compressed into an MP3 file with a frequency response of about 8 Kc and the file length is just under 11 Kb. Transfer to the receiving station was less than one minute.

The ability to send/receive digitized audio is an added enhancement to the PicturePacket terminal program developed by Stan Hunting, KW7KW. With PicturePacketPlus, high-resolution digitized pictures can be sent and received. When the audio and video is received, it is automatically played on that station's sound card speaker and displayed on the monitor. The station's computer sound card and software must support WAV and MP3 digital audio, such as Win-AMP or MPlayer.

For more information on this technique, Internet users can visit the following web sites:

<http://www.packetradio.com>

<http://www.packetradio.com/picturepacket.htm>

<http://www.sni.net/kawin/pages/picturepacket.htm>

(From "Packet User's Notebook", Buck Rogers, K4ABT, March 1999 CQ)

-- OPPORTUNITIES TO THINK ABOUT --

Although most of us are a bit long in the tooth, that doesn't mean that we can't still be getting a lot of fun from ham radio, especially with some club-based activities. Consider the following opportunities:

o It looks like this year's Field Day will be a "committee effort". Your help will be appreciated.

o Manasota Key has designation NA-34 in the Islands on the Air (IOTA) program. The IOTA Contest is the last weekend of July. How about a field day-type operation from Blind Pass Park for that contest? Good visibility and publicity.

o How about a portable operation from the newly restored Boca Grande Lighthouse the first weekend of August for National Lighthouse Day?

o The Scouts are alive and well in Englewood, so how about a cooperative effort with those Scouts to get Englewood on the air for the next Scouts' Jamboree on the Air (JOTA), 16-17 October?

-- CLUB ASSETS FOR SALE --

Following notice in the February newsletter, sealed bids will be received and opened by the EARS officers at the residence of Treasurer Howard White, at 7:00 pm, 12 March for the following items:

1. Telrex TB4EM tri-band beam; good condition and with all hardware.

2. IBM PS-2 Computer w/386 board, monitor and keyboard; good condition, perfect packet station w/Packratt II on hard drive.

Items may be seen at QTH of Ken Anderson, W4JQT, tel. 475-3172.

-- CLASSIFIED --

FOR SALE: Ten-Tec Paragon HF Transceiver with Power Supply/Speaker, FM module, 1.8, 0.500 and 0.250 filters ($90/each, new), new Cushcraft R-7 HF vertical - $900. Call Dick Dean, N4RD; ph. 475-2697.

FOR SALE: Cushcraft A4-S tri-band yagi, $75; Hustler tri-band vertical, $35; 40/80 meter dipole, $10; Hygain rotator, $90; tilt-over tower, $50; Heath HW-101 HF transceiver w/power supply & microphone, $150; Heath HW-2036 2-meter transceiver w/HWA-2036-3 power supply, $75; Yaesu FT-11R 2-meter HT, $200; regulated power supply, $20; also miscellaneous Heath resistors, transistors, chips, transformers and capacitors. Call John Jansen, KA8KTO; ph. 475-7433

FOR SALE: Kenwood TS-940S HF transceiver w/built-in antenna tuner and IRC's IF filters. 13.8 VDC @ 20 A regulated power supply for $35. Call Ken Anderson, W4JQT; ph. 475-3172.

-- SILENT KEYS --

Jim Cannon, K4DQG, a former EARS member, passed away in February, He was 92 years old.

With deep regret, we report the passing of Carrel Nees, KB4KBH, on 16 January 1999. Carrel was an active EARS member until a stroke restricted his activities a few years ago. Carrel's amateur equipment is for sale by Ken, W4JQT. Major items include:

o Drake Twins, Model R4A and T4X

o Drake Model WH-7 Wattmeter

o Heath HW202 2-meter Transceiver

o Astatic D-104 Microphone

Miscellaneous itmes such as SWR bridges, clocks, fans, bench lamps, power strips, speakers, etc. are also available. Call Ken at 475-3172.

-- SNOWBIRD NET --

The Snowbird Net meets on HF daily at 10 am, 11:45 am and 5:45 pm on 14.278, and at 7:00 pm on 7.230. Join in and compare notes on local activities, the weather, or "whatever".

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