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The EARS WA4IWLetter


MARCH 2000

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

Spring is definitely in the air after, admittedly, a mild Winter season here on the Suncoast. Out front the yard is blanketed with fallen leaves as the oak trees sport their new foliage for the coming year. I always liked Spring as it symbolized new birth and life.

As Jim Haynie, W5JBP, takes over the reins of the ARRL, he breathes some new life into the organization. First off, the ARRL is now out of the "relay" business and is to be known as "ARRL--The national organization for Amateur Radio". Haynie is asking all hams to "pull together to see what we can do to make our hobby a thriving and vibrant hobby". "I think it's time the League started changing", said Haynie. (The ARRL Letter, Vol 19, No 3) Haynie has my sincere backing in that effort!

I'm proud to see the ARRL not crying over spilt milk in its unsuccessful effort to perpetuate mastery of Morse as a major prerequisite to being a "real Ham". Just as being an Expert Rifleman on the range did not guarantee expert performance in combat, we all know there are good Morse operators who like to "bootleg" DX callsigns, and poor Morse operators who excel in phone operating. But, there's something for everyone in today's ham radio arena--not just Morse or Phone.

Now that it's only three steps from entry to Amateur Extra, some may think the "challenge" is gone. That attitude defies reason, if the licensee is active in the hobby. How much of the technology required to pass the Extra Class exam, when it was first offered in 1952, be appropriate today? Very little, for sure! Unless you got your license only to achieve some lifetime goal and you've never been an active ham, you know that you have to keep learning more and more about this hobby just to keep in step! As an incentive for amateurs to keep on a self-improvement track, the ARRL Certification Program is coming into existence. I think this will be an excellent opportunity for anyone to voluntarily improve their knowledge.

You know I've never been reluctant to vent my criticism of certain ARRL policies in the past, however, I believe all of the foregoing warrant our support of the "new" ARRL. I hope Spring is coming to Newington.

Locally, our immediate support should be directed towards Hamfest 2000 on 11 March. Frank Maren, W4VV, and his troops have devoted untold personal time preparing for this event. As I reported on the 28 January net, "A dozen or so EARS members were on hand at the United Methodist Church Thursday morning to fold, tape and label Hamfest flyers". That was just typical of the action behind the scenes in preparation for Hamfest 2000. Now, it's up to you--the EARS members--to show your support. Please do!

I think all of you recognize that I usually have something controversial to bring out in this column--something for you to think about. This month's message is really no different; please give consideration to what's been presented and act accordingly.

73 de Jack, W4JS

-- MARCH MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be held 17 March 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 an ARRL video "Trans-Atlantic Test of 1921", the story behind the first American Amateur Radio transmissions copied in Europe in December 1921.
EARS DUES ARE OVERDUE!!

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN, 2000 DUES WERE DUE AND PAYABLE AT THE JANUARY MEETING. IF YOU'VE NOT YET PAID (CHECK YOUR MAILING LABEL) PLEASE MAIL YOUR DUES PAYMENT TO THE EARS P.O. BOX. THANK YOU!


-- 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 SORELY NEEDED FOR NET CONTROL! Contact Don Spencer, WA4IWL, Net Manager, if you can help. Recent net activity follows:

Date NCS Check-Ins

11 Feb KD9SJ Don 16

25 Feb KA4JKY George 12

03 Mar WA4IWL Don 14


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

February 18, 2000

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There were four guests present: Dave Armbrust, AE4MR-ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager; Sabina Armbrust, KE4YIO; Frank Morton, AC4MK-WCF Section Affiliated Club Coordinator; and Tony Parker, KB8WGC. Introductions of all attendees followed. There were no new members present, and no new upgrades.

George Shreve, KA4JKY, made a motion to forego reading of the minutes of last month's meeting, since they appeared in the February newsletter. Seconded by John Fyke, VE6AIV. Motion carried.

Al Parmentier, KF4JIL, gave the Treasurer's Report. Our balance was slightly negative, a minus $399.60, because of expenditures related to the upcoming Hamfest. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer's Report and was carried.

Several letters of correspondence were mentioned related to ARRL matters and to clarify ownership of the WB0GUX repeater, which is, in fact, owned by EARS members George Kelce, K0DGF.

PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS

Jack, W4JS, thanked the group for the sympathy cards sent to his wife upon the passing of his mother-in-law in Indonesia.

Jack reported that we have filed our annual Uniform Business Report with the State as required by law. An Audit Committee has been appointed. The members are Bill Schober, W2OJ, and Don DiBello, KF4WJW. They will begin their sometime work after March 1st.

A special officers' meeting will be held in March after the Hamfest to develop the Annual Budget.

We need a Chairman and some assistants to coordinate our Field Day event in June, and volunteers can contact Jack.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

SUNSHINE - Gene Fowler, KA1GCU, reported that cards had been sent to Erv Maki, N4DHQ; Bert Van Houten, W3TPW; and Jack and Yuli Sproat.

TRAINING - An informal program for Advanced Class licensees to upgrade to Extra Class have started at the home of Ken Anderson, W4JQT.

TESTING - A reminder that testing is available the third Saturday of each month by appointment only.

Hamfest - Reported by George Shreve, KA4JKY, who filled in for Chairman Frank Maren, W4VV. Setup is scheduled to begin at 4PM on Friday March 10th at the Tringali Community Center. At that time the parking lot will be cordoned off, signs will be posted and tables set up.

EOC - Ken, W4JQT, reported that meetings are being held at the Charlotte County Administration Building on San Casa Drive the last Thursday of every month at 9AM. Members were invited to attend and get some hands-on experience with the equipment. The annual RACES meeting will be held at the Murdock Administration Building on March 15th at 6PM. RACES members should bring their badges for entry and pick up the latest copy of Charlotte County's emergency procedures.

LIAISON TO TARC - John, VE6AIV, reported that lightning damage to the 145.130 repeater has now been fully repaired and it is operational.

LIAISON TO QCWA - Jack, W4JS, reminded everyone that the Suncoast Chapter will have its luncheon-meeting the first Thursday of March at Denny's in Sarasota. Jack reported that approximately 40 people stopped by the QCWA booth at the Miami Tropical Hamboree.

A motion to adjourn at 8:12PM was made, seconded and carried. There were 26 members and four guests present at the meeting.

PROGRAM - Dave Armbrust, AE4MR, our new ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager, gave an informative discussion on the new Section and the pending license restructuring.

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

-- FEBRUARY EXAM RESULTS --

Four candidates were on hand at the 19 February VE session to give a shot at earning CSCEs in advance of the upcoming license restructuring. This was the first EARS VE session since last October, so it looks like restructuring is having a positive spinoff.

Louis LaGreco, KT4SM, came down from Bradenton and got his Extra Class CSCE. Ditto for John Wallace, KE2AU, who calls Milford, DE home. EARS member Mike Fox, KA1ZFO, took home a General Class CSCE. The fourth candidate wasn't as successful, but he'll be back to try again.

---ooo---


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- STRESSING THE EXAMS --

You can tell that the VEC's Question Pool Committee is a "NGO" (Non-Governmental Organization), for they released the new Technician, General and Amateur Extra Class exam questions 01 February, about one month after the FCC's license restructuring was made public. If the QPC were a government agency, they would probably still be mired down in "political correctness" of one form or other.

Shortly after the restructuring was announced 30 December 1999, a panic e-mail went out from some concerned citizens to the effect that the questions for the new exam elements would be dumbed down. The 01 March 2000 issue of the W5YI Report tabulates the 10 subelement topics to be learned and examined upon for each of the new licenses. The stress for each class appears to be appropriate with the privileges of the respective classes, to wit:

o Element 2, Technician. With 394 questions in the pool, the 112 questions relative to FCC Rules for Amateur Service, the 55 relating to Station Operating Procedures, and the 44 dealing with Amateur Radio Practices are stressed. There are 35 total questions on the Technician exam.

o Element 3, General. Of the 385 questions in this pool, stress is put on the 66 dealing with FCC Rules for Amateur Service, the 66 relative to Station Operating Procedures, the 55 relating to Amateur Radio Practices, the 55 concerned with Radiofrequency Safety Practices, and the 44 on the subject of Amateur Antennas and Feedlines. There are a total of 35 questions on the General examination.

o Element 4, Amateur Extra. With 676 questions in this pool, there's room for the broadest stress. A total of 111 questions deal with Electrical Principles, 99 relate to FCC Rules for Amateur Service, 95 cover Practical Circuits in Station Equipment, 71 are concerned with Amateur Antennas and Feedlines, 69 relate to Signals and Emissions, and 68 are relative to Amateur Radio Practices. The Amateur Extra exam has 50 questions.

The new question pools will become effective 15 April, with the Amateur Extra being valid through 30 June 2002, the Technician through 30 June 2003, and the General good through 30 June 2004. While not yet in print, the ARRL has posted the new pools at <http//www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pools.html> and QRZ.com has practice exams at <http://clicktron.com/ham>.

It's worth noting that 15 April is the 3rd Saturday of the month--the date that the EARS VE Team would be conducting exams. The ARRL/VEC will have the proper exam materials to us by then.

-- HAMVENTION AWARDS --

We recall when EARS member Frank Schwab, W8OK, was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame at the 1998 Dayton Hamvention. Frank was president of the Dayton club in '52 when Hamvention started and remains active with this "Amateur's Mecca".

This year, Martti Laine, OH2BH, will be given the Amateur of the Year award at the 19-21 May Hamvention. "Martti is well known in the international Amateur radio community as our number one Ambassador of Good Will", stated Cathi Hoskins, N8ZCQ, chair of the Hamvention's Awards and Banquet Committee. "Martti has been responsible for promoting the activation of new DXCC countries--travelling under difficult and often dangerous conditions to promote the hobby worldwide."

Martti initiated the new DXCC entity Temotu Province, Solomon Islands with H40AA in April 1998, was among the operators at E44DX in Palestine in February 1999, but is probably best known for pioneering the P51BH operations from North Korea.

The Hamvention will present its Technical Excellence Award to H. Paul Shuch, N6TX, for his work in VHF/UHF/Microwave receiver design and design of 21-cm Amateur Radio astronomy equipment.

Hamvention's Special Achievement Award will go to former FCC official A. Prose Walker, W4BW, who was one of the four members of the US committee to the 1972 IARU meeting in Geneva that ultimately gave us the 30-, 17-, and 12-meter "WARC" bands.

(From The ARRL Letter, 03 March 2000)

-- FCC ENFORCEMENT UPDATE --

Two Houston, TX hams were recently fined $8000 each for malicious interference to a Houston 2-meter repeater. N5WLY used a mobile rig in a Jeep Cherokee and K4TOF had a mobile rig in a Toyota, however, a Commission agent using a "mobile automatic direction finding" vehicle tracked them down. For intentional interference, each was fined $7000, plus $1000 each "for failure to identify" (emphasis added).

Three Florida hams, KF4MWT of Palm Bay, KG4EYT of Dunnellon, and AE4ES of Miami, have all been ordered to retake all of their license exams up to and including the class currently held.

K3SAM of Latrobe, PA has been advised that FCC rules do not permit appropriating 7.262 before a net starts and broadcasting, talking to no one in particular, making non-serious "CQ" calls and otherwise attempting to "hold" the frequency. K3SAM was warned this practice could "jeopardize" his license.

(From 01 March 2000 W5YI Report)


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

-- WCF SECTION NEWS --

(Section Manager Dave Armbrust, AE4MR, is publishing a Section E-news which highlights activities in the West Central Florida Section. The following items are of general interest. E-mail to Dave is via ae4mr@arrl.org.)

o Section Web Page - WCF Section news can be found on the Internet at http://www.wcfarrl.org.

o K4WCF - This very apropos callsign has been issued to the West Central Florida Group, and will be used for special events and other section-wide activities. The callsign is available for use by clubs for a special event.

o RF Safety - It is required that all amateurs do a routine RF Safety Evaluation of their station. For more information check out http://www.arrl.org/ news/rfsafety. An easy to use calculator is available at http://n5xu.ae.utexas.edu/rfsafety. It's a good idea to note the results of your evaluation in your log book, should the FCC stop by.

o Midnight Restructuring Madness - Many of those hams who have earned CSCEs for upgrades have to wait until 15 April to apply for those upgrades under the new regulations. It can be expected that the ARRL/VEC, all VECs and the FCC will be swamped with upgrade requests starting 15 April. Therefore, the Section has scheduled a 1201AM, 15 April paperwork only session to take place at RT Systems, 137 W. Windhorst Rd, Brandon. Paperwork from this session will be sent via Federal Express to the ARRL/VEC later that morning in an effort to beat the anticipated rush. RT System's store will also be open for business from Midnight to 2AM to serve those who cannot wait to buy a new radio to go with that upgrade!

o New Question Pool - While not yet in print, the question pool for the exam question effective on and after 15 April can be found on the Internet at http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/pools.html.

o Hamfests - Both the Englewood and Sebring hamfests will be on 11 March. Section officials will be at both events.

(From Section E-News 22 February 2000)

-- HUMOR TIME --

"Don't pitch your tent on the stove, Mother--you can't have a home on the range."

Did you hear about the Czechoslovakian midget who ran to his friend's house, banged on the door and said: "The Russian police are after me; can you cache a small Czech".

(From Wit and Witticism, National Federation of the Blind, 1997)

-- EARS FIELD DAY??? --

After serving numerous years as Field Day Chairman, JR House, K9HUY, has advised us that he could no longer fill that position. This was announced at the 18 February EARS meeting, however, the request for a new volunteer met with no response.

Will EARS participate in Field Day this year? Keith Herve may be able to utilize his motor home for one station, and we shouldn't have any problem getting equipment and antennas for two more stations. How-ever, we still need shelter for those other stations. General disappointment with the shelters we have rented in the past two years has led to some thought of purchasing shelters for FD use. Use of independent shelters is probably better than one large shelter as there would be less confusion, background disturbance, etc. While one member's offer to buy at least one shelter stands to date, that member doesn't want to see his donation stand alone or not be utilized.

So, where do we go from here? Is there still enough interest out there amongst the members for us to again participate in Field Day? This will be a topic for discussion at the next EARS meeting. Hopefully, there will be positive action/reaction at that time.

--THE COST OF DXCC --

The DXCC (DX Century Club) certificate is probably the most sought-after certificate available in ham radio. Clinton DeSoto, W1CBD, (Hiram Percy Maxim's right-hand man) came up with the idea of "geopolitical entities" in his 1935 QST article, "How to Count Countries Worked, A New DX Scoring System". The original country list came out in 1937. WW II interrupted DXCC activity and the program started anew in 1947.

The basic award requires submittal of QSLs from 100 entities. Endorsements are available beyond that level, with the next award being the Honor Roll, which requires QSLs from 323 of the 332 current entities. The top award is #1 Honor Roll, requiring that all current entities be worked and confirmed.

A current article ("The Cost of DXCC", Don Boudreau, W5FKX, and John Baer, W6SL, The DX Magazine, March/April 2000) casts light on what it probably costs to attain DXCC awards. Assuming the neophyte DXer has a modest HF station, it will still cost him about $330 for direct/return postage, $30 for bureau cards and $26 for QSL submittals, for a total of $386 for the basic DXCC certificate. Going for the Honor Roll will require about $9300 for a competitive station, $755 for additional postage, $430 for bureau cards and about $207 in QSL submittals over an 8-year period--$10,692 in total. "Taint Cheap!"


Page - 5


UPCOMING CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
QCWA QSO Party 1900 GMT 11 Mar

1900 GMT 12 Mar

160 - 10 Meters

SSB and CW

QCWA Members Year first licensed, QTH
World Wide Locator Contest 0000 GMT 11 Mar

2400 GMT 12 Mar

160 - 10 Meters

SSB and CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T) + Grid Square
Commonwealth Contest 1200 GMT 11 Mar

1200 GMT 12 Mar

80 - 10 Meters

CW

British Commonwealth Countries Only R/S/T + Serial No.
Bermuda Contest 0001 GMT 18 Mar

2400 GMT 19 Mar

80 - 10 Meters

SSB and CW

Bermuda Stations + DXCC/WAE Countries R/S/(T)
Russian DX Contest 1200 GMT 18 Mar

1200 GMT 19 Mar

160 - 10 Meters

SSB and CW

Russian Stations + DXCC/WAE Countries R/S/(T) + Serial No.
BARTG RTTY Contest 0200 GMT 18 Mar

0200 GMT 20 Mar

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + Serial No.
CQ WW WPX Contest 0000 GMT 25 Mar

2400 GMT 26 Mar

160 - 10 Meters

SSB

Anyone, Anywhere R/S + Serial No.
Polish DX Contest 1500 GMT 01 Apr

2400 GMT 02 Apr

160 - 10 Meters

SSB and CW

Polish Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
Spanish RTTY Contest 1600 GMT 01 Apr

1600 GMT 02 Apr

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + CQ Zone
Japanese International DX Contest 2300 GMT 07 Apr

2300 GMT 09 Apr

20 - 10 Meters

CW

Japanese Stations Only R/S + Serial No.

From March 2000 Worldradio, March 2000 CQ Contest and March 2000 QST.

-- ENGLEWOOD CROP WALK --

The 232 participants in last year's CROP Walk raised $14,900 for charities, and this year's--the 12th annual--walk will probably be as successful. The sponsors got the show under way at 8AM, which was a good move, considering the warm weather.

As in the past, EARS members were involved, providing communications support as needed. While George-KA4JKY walked the course, Don-WA4IWL, Don-KD9SJ, Al-KF4JIL, Bill-W1AMU, Roland-KF4FSA, Jim-N1KKE, and George-W1PZE were content to man their stationary posts. Well done, guys!

-- ON THE LOCAL FRONT --

Bruce, K2OY, was active "giving out points" in two recent contests. During the CW weekend of the ARRL International DX Contest 19-20 February, Bruce ran up a score of 140,910 by making 305 QSOs in 154 country-multipliers. Operating only the first night of the CQ 160-Meter Contest, 25-27 February, Bruce had 73 QSOs with 28 states and 6 countries. Bruce says "I cannot stay up for 48 hours like I used to any more!"

Propagation conditions looked very positive for the SSB weekend of the ARRL International DX Contest 4-5 March, so we'll see how it went next month.

-- CONTEST COMMENTS --

This is the 42nd year for the Bermuda Contest, scheduled for 18-19 March. Certificates will be awarded to the top-scoring station in each country (minimum of 100 QSOs and 3 VP9s). However, the major enticement for anyone to get serious in this contest is that the overall world-wide winner can receive his trophy at the annual October banquet of the Radio Society of Bermuda. In this case, transportation to Bermuda is courtesy of the Bermuda Department of Tourism and accommodations are courtesy of the Radio Society. Definitely a contest with something more than a certificate to the top gun.

Of no less interest, however, is the World-Wide WPX (Worked All Prefixes) Contest on 25-26 March, sponsored by CQ. Occurring within a week of the Spring Equinox, HF propagation will be world-wide. A lot of good DX shows up for this contest, so it's a good opportunity to work both new countries as well as new/unusual prefixes. Have an ITU Callsign Allocation Table on hand to spot the exotic prefixes.

(From "Contesting", John Dorr, K1AR, March 2000 CQ)

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Benjamin Franklin)


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
Macquarie Is - VK0MM

Pitcairn Is - VP6BR

Revilla Gigedo - XF4LWY

Chesterfield Is - TX8CI/TX0DX

Easter Is - CE0/CE3SAD

Juan Fernandez - CE0Z??

Try 14.155-165

Now to May

03 - 18 March

15 Mar - 01 Apr

15 - 30 March

17 Mar - 08 Apr

220

226

259

263

208

177

--

04>11

03>11

09>11

03>11

01>11

--

03>12

01>12

08>12

01>12

23>12

02>10

14>12

13>04

04>16

00>24

00>24

02>04

15>04

14>02

13>16

13>09

12>05

02>03

15>02

15>00

20>03

14>04

12>04

--

16>00

16>22

20>01

14>02

13>02

--

17>23

18>20

20>00

14>00

14>23

Updated 26 February 2000, based on 28 February 2000 QRZ DX and 25 February 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 165 and F-Index at 2 for all forecasts.

-- MARCH PROPAGATION --

Debate continues as to whether Sunspot Cycle 23 has peaked or has yet to peak. The Royal Observatory of Belgium, official keeper of solar records, has provisionally predicted that the peak of Cycle 23 most likely occurred during December 1999 with a Smoothed Sunspot Number of 119. However, the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Division of the National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, CO is holding out for a SSN peak of 113 to occur sometime between June and September.

February's Solar Flux averaged 173.7 with the A-index being < 10 for 15 days. Generally, great conditions!

The March propagation forecast ("Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, March 2000 CQ) follows:

It should be a toss-up between 10, 12 and 15 meters as the best DX band during daylight hours;, with 17 and 20 meters close behind. From sundown to midnight, 20, 30 and 40 meters will be the best bands, with good openings to the west and south also possible on 15 and 17 meters. When conditions are "High Normal" or better, 10 and 12 meters will also remain open to the same directions during the same period. Some good 80 and 160 openings should also occur during this period.

Between midnight and sunrise the best DX bands should be 30, 40 and 80 meters, with openings to many parts of the world also possible on 20 meters. DX openings may also occur on 160 to many areas.

During most of March and continuing well into April, DX conditions between the northern and southern hemispheres are at their best due to the Spring Equinox.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 9-11 and 16 March should be "Above Normal"; 6-8, 12-13, 17-19 and 26-27 March should be "High Normal".

-- FEBRUARY VHF IONOSPHERIC OPENINGS --

Worldwide 6-meter F-layer openings are expected to continue during March. many areas of the world. Noontime should be best for openings to the Caribbean, Central America and the northern coast of South America. During the afternoon the skip will open deeper into South America and shift towards the west and northwest. Transequatorial openings should be possible between 8-11 PM, local time.

(From "Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, March 2000 CQ)

-- DXCC FIELD CHECKING --

Changes are coming to the DXCC Field Checking program 01 April. Under the existing program some 76 of the current 331 DXCC entities, including such common DX as Croatia, Russia, Ukraine and Slovenia, can not be checked by the DXCC Field Representatives. Under the new program, all QSLs from any existing DXCC entity for QSOs over the past 10 years can be field checked. 160-meter, QSLs older than 10 years and from Deleted Entities must still be sent to ARRL HQ for checking.

Currently, DXCC Field Representatives must have 300 DXCC entities confirmed, be nominated by a DX club, be approved by the Division Director and appointed by the ARRL President. Appointments had to be renewed annually Two representatives had to check the QSLs being submitted. With the new program, Field representatives only have to have 150 entities confirmed, be nominated by the Section Manager or an ARRL-affiliated DX Club, and approved by the Division Director. Appointments are good for two years. Only one checker will be needed for card checking.

(From DX Century Club Rules and The 59(9) DXReport 18 February 2000)

-- DXTRAS AND DXPLOITS --

In February 1993, FK5C was on from the Chesterfield Islands--but counting as New Caledonia. Under the new DXCC rules, the upcoming TX0DX operation will count as a "new one", providing New Caledonia is granted IARU membership by 23 March. Such was the procedure that gave us the Austral and Marquesas as new entities in 1998. Stay tuned!


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- WHAT IS A HAM? --

(The following is from Jim Halliday, NX2II, who states that it's not original with him, although he had been considering it for some time. When Jim heard Hans Napfel, WB2ZZB, give a similar talk at the QCWA Suncoast Chapter 03 February luncheon-meeting, he put his thoughts into these words.)

Most people believe that Hams are creatures of probably just the last century but, when you think about it, the idea of amateurs who are driven by learning the most they can about some technical subject is as old as humanity itself. Let's look it over a little.

Over two thousand years ago, there were men like Archimedes, Pythagoras, Ptolemy, and other scientists who, almost certainly, worked on their own time with their own wealth. I don't remember what company any of them worked for. Later on, there was Copernicus and DaVinci. Then, during the eighteenth century, there was Ben Franklin. That guy actually went out on a hillside somewhere and flew a kite on a wire into a thunderstorm! Oh, Boy, how did he ever make it?

There was Leyden and his jar which, I believe, was actually a capacitor. There was Tesla and his coil. That must have given us an inductor to work with. Then there was Faraday, Ohm and Hertz. I don't know who these people worked for. They certainly weren't being paid by somebody who was hoping to make a profit from their discoveries. To me, this means that all those guys were Amateurs. We would have called them "hams". Then, of course, there was Samuel Morse and Thomas Edison, who made electricity stand up and be counted.

About the turn of the twentieth century, Guillermo (which translates to "Bill, by the way) Marconi got radio waves to travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Alexander Graham Bell had already done a lot of work on the transmission of voice and the general problems of modulation. With a concept to sink their teeth into, people like Lee DeForrest and Edwin Armstrong developed different kinds of transmission and got everything pretty much under control so we could hear dance music and political speeches.

Even before Bill Marconi developed his system and hit "Bingo!", there were a lot of people experimenting with the same things in their basements. Really, all of these people were "Hams"--we're talking about level now. By this time a market opened up for equipment and tools. Upstarts like RCA, Raytheon, Bell Labs and Motorola were formed. Very quickly, the frequencies from 0 up to about 1600 KC were taken over by commercial interests, and they did not take very kindly to experimenters fooling around.

Some all-powerful, wise guy finally decided that the amateur operators should be restricted to 200 meters and down, as they will never get out of their back yards on those frequencies. Well, of course, that's where we are now. The current crop of Hams is busily working on ways to relieve congestion by narrowing our needs for frequency space. We haven't begun to develop radio. There are more Hams and engineers alive and working right now than have existed in the entire history of mankind. All of these people have ideas of their own alive someplace in the back of their minds. A small percentage of these ideas will actually work. That, however, amounts to a great deal of development.

Hang onto your hats, guys!

-- CHARLOTTE COUNTY RACES --

The annual RACES meeting will be conducted in Room 119 of the Murdock Administration Building on 15 March at 6:00PM. RACES members MUST present their Charlotte County Emergency Management RACES ID Card. The card will be stamped to be valid until 30 April 2001, and members will be issued their new RACES Emergency Operations Manual. The manual will also be dated to be valid to 30 April 2001. The manual will have a special emergency access authorization permit, stating that the bearer is a FCC-licensed emergency communications radio operator authorized access to controlled areas in an emergency.

(From Charlotte County Emergency Management)

--CLASSIFIED --

The following equipment is for sale from the estate of Al Cardillo, K3DMT:

o ICOM IC-726 HF Transceiver w/hand mike (new in 1996)

o ICOM IC-SM8 Desk Microphone

o ICOM IC-820H All Mode 2-meter Transceiver

o Astron RS35M Power Supply

o Yaesu FT-411E 2-meter HT w/NC-29 Quick Charger, speaker mike, base, battery, etc.

o Kenwood Antenna Tuner

o Diamond F23A Antenna

o Uniden BC-147XTL Scanner (10-band, 16- channel)

o MFJ 1702B Coax Switch

All above equipment is built into a desk console and is in excellent condition. Asking price of $2500 includes desk console and antennas.

Interested parties contact Mary Ann Ropp at 423-6133 in North Port.

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