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The EARS WA4IWLetter


MARCH 2001

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

"Money doesn't grow on trees, Son." How well I remember that phrase. My Dad must have told me that 100 times or more. Well, as I have been working on the club budget since our last meeting, I was reminded how the old saw is still very true. I was hoping the officers and I could put together a balanced budget but, unless we find some ways to generate some additional income, we are going to be dipping into our account to make up the difference. This would be about $1000 deficit, or about one-third of our checking account. If we allow this to continue, in three years we will be broke. And, I sure don't want to be remembered as the President who got us on the slippery slope.

But, now maybe you can help. We do have a club "Booster Account" to which members can give the club a boost by making a contribution over and above our very low membership fee. Or, maybe you have some gear in your shack that you can donate and let us sell it. That money can go right into our account and help make up the difference.

Here's another idea. Pick up your newsletter via the Internet instead of having it mailed to your home. Just go to <http://fcrosby.com/ears/>. By the way, you will get it even sooner this way. If you are going to pick up your copy via the Internet consistently, please let me know, so we can stop mailing your copy and save the postage and printing costs.

Perhaps you have additional ideas on how the Club can generate more income. If so, please bring your ideas up at the monthly meeting, or call one of your officers and propose something. We are anxious and willing to consider all ideas.

At the March meeting, I'll be passing out the budget for all of you to review and vote on. At that time we can discuss the various line items and set the direction for this year's activities.

That's all from the Pres for now. Just remember to get involved with your club as much as possible; come out of your shack and have some fun, learn some new things, and enjoy yourself.

73 de Vic, KF4VHX

-- NOTABLE QUOTES --

"Never look back. It's lost energy." - Stan Kenton

"The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy." - Helen Hayes (at age 73)

-- MARCH MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be held 16 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 a presentation by Ed Evitt, N9AWP, of the Peace River Repeater Assn on "Everything You Wanted to Know About Repeaters But Were Afraid to Ask".

-- UNPAID DUES ARE OVERDUE --

In accordance with Section 4 of the EARS Bylaws, the membership of anyone whose dues have not been paid by the end of February shall be automatically terminated. If you wish to remain an EARS member and have not yet paid your 2001 dues, please submit payment to Treasurer Bruce Robideau, K2OY.


-- BIG STICK ON THE AIR --

The K4WCF repeaters are up and running from some 1000' AGL, and several EARS members have accessed the 2-meter repeater with HTs from Englewood. The K4WCF repeater frequencies are 145.43(-) and 442.95(+), both with a 100.0 PL.

WCF Section Nets are Sunday at 7:30 PM and Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 PM. Other nets are planned for the near future including:

o Nightly NTS Message Net

o WCF Digital Communications Net

o WCF Slow Scan TV Net

o WCF Technical Net (for discussion of Amateur Radio Technologies)

o WCF ARES Net

Suggestions for additional nets are welcome. Contact WCF Section Manager Dave Armbrust, AE4MR, or Paul Toth, NA4AR, Asst SM.

(From WCFPrez E-mail, 25 February 2001)

-- BILL ORR, W6SAI, SK --

Ham Radio legend William I. "Bill" Orr, W6SAI, died in his sleep 24 January at age 81. For many years Orr worked for tube manufacturer EIMAC and constructed some of the W1AW amplifiers. He was best known for his ham radio books and columns for Ham Radio and CQ. In 1996, Orr received the Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence award.


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

February 16, 2001

President Vic Emmelkamp, KF4VHX, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. Guests present were Aldo DiSalvo, KC4NUX; Bob Ruff, KF4IQE; and Gino Ferranti, KE4TJO. Mark Henry, KE4UFT, and his brother Michael, KF4KDI, were welcomed at the meeting. Mark came from school in Orlando for the meeting.

A motion to accept the minutes of last month's meeting as printed in the February newsletter and forego reading them was made by Free Crosby, W1NPR, seconded by Jim Hanushek, N4JBZ, and carried.

Bruce Robideau, K2OY, gave the Treasurer's Report and passed a copy to the secretary for file.

CORRESPONDENCE - A letter was sent to Bert Van Houten, W3TPW, with a picture of him and his daughter taken at the EARS Christmas party.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

CLUB TEE SHIRTS - Bruce Robideau, K2OY, read an inventory of the shirts on hand with sizes, and encouraged members to buy a shirt to help the club recoup the money invested in them.

BUDGET - Vic advised work is in progress on the budget and should be ready by next meeting.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY FAIR - The fair is starting today for ten days. The RACES communication van is there. Call Dave Hanson or sign the sheet being passed around to help operate and man the booth.

CROP WALK - George Graham, W1PZE, reported on the CROP Walk. Meet in the shopping center parking area behind the Texaco station on Saturday morning, February 24th at 9 AM.

AUDIT - Bruce Robideau, K2OY, and Bob Carstens, KG4IAW, have agreed to serve on the Audit Committee.

POLICE ACADEMY - A sign-up sheet was passed around for those interested in attending the Charlotte County Police Academy.

SUNSHINE - Gene Fowler, KA1GCU, said nothing to report.

RACES - Frank Maren, W4VV, reported on RACES activities. He reviewed dates and times for RACES nets and meetings as follows:

o RACES/ARES Net - This is a training and information net held the last Wednesday of each month at 8 PM on the Punta Gorda Repeater - 146.745. Stations west of the Myakka River are the first called.

o RACES Meeting - Last Thursday of each month, 9 AM at the San Casa EOC.

o RACES Net - Last Thursday of each month at 9:30 AM on the Grove City Repeater - 146.865.

Frank also reported on the RACES Annual Meeting held at the Charlotte County Municipal Building in Murdock on February 7th.

FCC EXAMS - A FCC exam session will be held Saturday February 17th at the Englewood Chamber of Commerce.

DX - Bruce, K2OY, reported on DX activities. Band conditions fair to poor with solar flux at 130. Conway Reef is coming up.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM. There were 33 members and three guests at the meeting.

PROGRAMS -

1. Jim Hanushek, N4JBZ, presented a very interesting computer-aided talk and slide show on the Sun Coast Humane Society animal shelter in Englewood.

2. Aldo DiSalvo, KC4NUX, and Gino Ferranti, KE4TJO, gave an excellent presentation of home-made power packs. Gino offered free batteries to all who wanted one.

Ken Anderson, W4JQT

Secretary Pro Tem

-- 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, contact Jack Sproat, W4JS, at 475-1929

-- 10th ANNIVERSARY FOR NO-CODE --

The Code-Free Technician License celebrated its 10th anniversary 14 February 2001. In his editorial in the February 1991 QST, ARRL Executive Vice President Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, predicted that five years later "our first codeless amateurs will be providing personnel and leadership in local public service communication efforts from coast to coast". His prediction was on the money. Tech and Tech+ licensees far outnumber other license classes today. (From ARRL Letter, Vol. 20, No. 7)

-- CLASSIFIED --

For Sale: Bencher BY-1 Iambic Paddle, won at Orlando Hamfest 10 February 2001. Still in plastic wrap. Suggested list $110

Street Price $ 85

Asking $ 50

Call Freeman Crosby, W1NPR, at 474-2690.


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- UPCOMING HAMFESTS/COMPUTER SHOWS --

11 Mar Charlotte County PC Users Group "Computer Expo 2001", Senior Lounge Bldg., Pt. Charlotte Cultural Center, Aaron & Gertrude Sts., Pt. Charlotte. Info: 766-1664

17 Mar Martin County ARA Hamfest, Martin Co. Fairgrounds, 2016 So. Dixie Hwy., Stuart. TI: 147.06, Info: Romund, KS4KM, (561)337-1841

(March 2000 QST and fliers)

-- VIRTUAL QSL SERVICE --

Since reporting on "E-QSLs", news of V (as in virtual) QSLs has surfaced. According to the 23 February 2001 news release from the sponsor, Michael Paris, KA9TND, VQSL is "easy for anyone to use and offered to those that (sic) want to have fun, and also save on postage and send a high quality QSL card that can be printed and added to their collection right away." Remain aware that "online" QSLs are not acceptable for DXCC credit at present.

VQSL offers a "growing selection of picture categories and different formats that allow the operator to create a quality online QSL card within minutes." For sight-impaired, the web site has been designed to offer a user-friendly menu system. There is "NEVER" a charge for any service on VQSL. If this sounds interesting, check out <http://www.vqsl.net>.

-- RFI FROM TV ANTENNAS --

The FCC says that some 40,000 mobile TV antennas used mostly on RVs, motor homes, and campers have oscillating preamps that are causing interference over a distance of several miles to hams public safety agencies and other users of spectrum between 400 and 500 MHz. According to the FCC, the manufacturer, Winegard, recognizes the problem and has agreed to replace at no charge any defective unit being used by customers. For replacement information, contact Winegard at (319)754-0600. (From CQ Internet News, 13 February 2001)

-- RATE HIKES AT QSL BUREAU --

Due to recent postal rate increases, the ARRL Outgoing QSL Bureau has announced new rates for this service. It is still possible to send ten cards for one dollar, but the twenty and thirty card rates have been discontinued. The new rate is $4 per each half-pound or portion thereof, as opposed to the old rate of $6 per pound or less. The new rates went into effect 01 March 2001.

(From QSL Bureau News Release, 07 February 2001)

---ooo---

-- VANITY CALL SIGNS --

Numerous licensees have inquired over the past months about obtaining Vanity Call Signs. What with the restructuring, conversion to the ULS, etc. there was obvious confusion in all quarters. See <http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/vanity.html> for complete details, however, the following should be of some help.

What call sign a licensee can apply for is determined by their license class. Probably the most desired is a good, old fashioned 1x3 call sign starting with a W, K or N. All licensees except Novice Class can apply for such call signs. Check the ARRL web site for specific regulations.

What call signs are available? Check the following Internet sites for such availability:

<http://www.qrz.com/directory.cgi>

<http://www.wm7d.net/fcc/callsign.html>

<http://www.amateur-radio.org/vanity.htm>

<http://www.carroll-usa.com/vanity>

Certain of those sites will also indicate when new call signs will become available, i.e., when the 2-year grace period on renewal expires.

The consensus seems to be that a paper application is the least painful. Obtain FCC Form 605 and its Schedule D, plus FCC Form 159 (Fee Remittance Form) from several sources:

<http://fcc.gov/formpage.html> (which didn't work for your editor)

"Fax-on-Demand" by calling (202)418-0177 and asking for form 000605 and 000159.

Send an SASE to the ARRL and request these forms by return mail. (The most foolproof way.)

Form 605 Schedule D allows the applicant to submit from one up to 25 call sign choices, listed in order of preference. The applicant must be specific in stating the choice of call sign.

The current fee (effective 14 September 1999) is $14, paid up front for a new 10-year license. The completed Form 605, Form 159 and payment (payable to "FCC") are mailed to:

FCC Wireless Bureau Applications

POB 358130

Pittsburgh, PA 15251-5130

FCC processing time can range from 3 to 8 weeks.

-- ARRL DISCOUNT OFFER --

Effective immediately, current or new ARRL members can obtain a 5-year renewal or membership for $146 ($122 for those 65 or older). That's a saving of $24 ($18 for those 65 or older) from the cost of year-to-year renewal at current rates. This special 5-year offer expires 30 June 2001. (From ARRL Bulletin 2 ARLB002 22 January; WCF Update 09 February 2001)


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

-- TOWER WIND LOADING --

Florida hams are cognizant of potential wind problems with antennas and towers, but how much do we really know? Physical Design of Yagi Antennas, (David B. Leeson, W6QHS, ARRL, 1992) is a good starting point for knowledge.

Based on UBC and EIA-222-D standards, we are located in an area subject to nearly 100 mph winds. However, no manufacturers of free-standing towers show such wind loads in their literature--typically rating their towers antenna capacity at 50 mph (US Towers and Tri-Ex Towers) or 70 mph (Rohn).

Per EIA RS-222-C, the wind loading on a flat surface is 10 psi @ 50 mph, 19.6 psi @ 70 mph, and 40 psi @ 100 mph. For thin cylinders, such as tower legs and yagi booms and elements, these wind loads can be reduced to 7.5, 14.7 and 30 psi at the respective wind speeds.

Does this mean that a tower rated to handle 30 sq. ft. of antenna(s) at 50 mph can safely handle 7.5 sq. ft. of antenna(s) at 100 mph? Stan Griffiths, W7NI, offered comments on that query recently on <towertalk@contesting.com>. To quote Stan, "The total amount of wind load a free-standing tower can take before blowing over is equal to the wind load imparted by the antenna (rotator, feedlines, etc.) plus the wind load on the bare tower ITSELF. As the wind speed increases, the load imparted by the antenna (rotator, feedlines, etc.) increases BUT SO DOES THE LOAD ON THE BARE TOWER. Certainly you can see that there is some wind speed where the load on the bare TOWER ALONE is more than it can take and it will fall over. Up until that point, as you increase the wind speed above 50 MPH, you have to decrease the wind load allowed for antennas to make up for the increased wind load of the bare tower itself." Stan adds that he has never seen "the wind load of a bare free-standing crankup put in print by any manufacturer."

The solution? Be ready to lower and tilt over to ground level all free-standing/crank-up towers when weather advisories warn of winds even approaching the rating limit for your tower.

-- HP CO-FOUNDER PASSES --

William Hewlett, one of the co-founders of the Hewlett-Packard Company passed away 12 January at age 87. He started the company with David Packard (who died in 1996) in a California garage in 1939.

HP recently spent nearly $2 million to buy and refurbish the original garage that was the company's birthplace. Dubbed "the birthplace of Silicon Valley", the 95-year-old structure is an official California state historical landmark. (15 February 2001 W5YI Report)

-- DISPOSABLE MOBILE PHONE --

Be on the lookout for vending machines in airports that sell $10 phones with preloaded air-time. Randice-Lisa Altschul, 39, a highly successful inventor and entrepreneur, has patented technology that can be used to manufacture cellular phones so inexpensively that they can be sold for a fixed amount of air-time--just as long-distance calling cards are now.

Dubbed the Phone-Card-Phone, the 2x3" recycled paper phone is as thick as three credit cards. It comes with 60 minutes of calling time and a hands-free attachment. The phones are thrown away once the minutes are used, or more minutes can be added.

Altschul says her business, Dieceland Technologies Corp., has 100 million units on order. She is also creating a paper lap-top computer which should be available for as little as $10 in the near future.

(From 15 February 2001 W5YI Report)

--CELLULAR PHONE USE --

Only 23% of wireless phone use is for business calls, with the remainder for personal use--mostly to call a spouse. (Op Cit)

-- S-METER "ACCURACY" --

When converting dB to "S units", or vice-versa, 6 dB per S unit is the commonly accepted conversion. Be aware, however, of the extreme inaccuracy of S-meters, especially under weak signal conditions. For example, Tom Rauch, W8JI, recently posted the following comments on the Tower/Antenna Reflector: "Virtually all S meters are around one dB or less (per S unit) at the low end of the scale. My FT-1000D is 1/2 dB per S unit from S-1 to S-2, and my three IC-751A's average just over 1 dB per S unit below S-4."

It seems that if anyone wants to make on-the-air antenna comparisons, they better be dealing with signals that S-9, or better, if they expect any semblance of accuracy.

-- WANTED: NEWSLETTER EDITOR --

The March 1998 issue of the "Newsletter" (now The WA4IWLetter) was the first offering of your editor, with this being my 37th issue. The December 2001 issue will be my last. This notice will repeat every month in hope that a dedicated replacement editor will volunteer.

Qualifications? First and foremost is access to the various ham radio publications, QST, CQ, Worldradio, plus use of e-mail input from ARRL and other sources.

Second in importance is a feeling towards what may interest the readers. Good luck with that one!

Third is the ability to format and type.

Notice has been given. Call W4JS if interested.


Page - 5


CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
North American Sprint 0000 GMT 11 March

0400 GMT 11 March

80, 40, 20 Meters

RTTY Only

Anywhere, Anywhere Serial No., Name, QTH
RSGB Commonwealth Contest 1200 GMT 10 March

1200 GMT 11 March

80 - 10 Meters

CW Only

British Commonwealth Members Only R/S/T + Serial No.
Bermuda Contest 0000 GMT 17 March

2359 GMT 18 March

80 - 10 Meters

SSB & CW

VP9, DXCC & WAE Countries R/S/(T)
Russian DX Contest 1200 GMT 17 March

1200 GMT 18 March

160 - 10 Meters

SSB & CW

Russian & DXCC Countries R/S/(T) + Serial No.
BARTG Spring RTTY Contest 0200 GMT 17 March

0200 GMT 19 March

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY Only

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + Serial No.
CQ Worldwide WPX Contest 0000 GMT 24 March

2359 GMT 25 March

160 - 10 Meters

SSB Only

Anyone, Anywhere R/S + Serial No.
Polish DX Contest 1500 GMT 07 April

2359 GMT 08 April

160 - 10 Meters

CW Only

Polish Stations Only R/S/T + Serial No.
Spanish RTTY Contest 1600 GMT 07 April

1600 GMT 08 April

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY Only

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + CQ Zone

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

-- IRC INTENT VERSUS REALITY --

Hams are probably the biggest users of International Reply Coupons (IRC), and we're aware that the price for an IRC at a U.S. Post Office is now $1.75, up $0.70 from the former price of $1.05. In reading the letter of John Baer, W6SL, in the March Worldradio, a possible rationale for the 71% hike becomes apparent.

First off, it has always been assumed that IRCs purchased at $1.05, or at $0.95, were all worth the same value at the redeeming post office. That's due to the wording (in English) on the back of the IRC, stating the coupon "is exchangeable in any country of the Universal Postal Union for one or more postage stamps representing the minimum postage for a priority item or an unregistered letter sent by air to a foreign country."

This agreement makes no reference to the purchase price having any influence on the postage received by the redeemer. As such, this agreement is accepted in post offices in the USA, but not so in many foreign countries--all of whom are members of the Universal Postal Union which issues the IRCs. This is proven by the lists of "IRCs needed for a return QSL" in the Call Book, or the requests by many QSL managers for more than just one IRC.

Two years ago, W6SL sent three IRCs to a German ham friend. Two of these IRCs were purchased in the USA and one was from Japan. The German ham took these IRCs to three different post offices, two in Germany and one in Austria. In each case, the purchase price stamped on the front of the IRC was converted into German Marks or Austrian Shillings at the daily currency conversion rate, and then that value of postage was handed over. In all three cases, the amount of postage received was insufficient for even a five-gram (1/6 oz.) letter to the USA. (Note that airmail from Germany is DM300, or $1.40 and AS14, or $0.92, from Austria.) Whether or not this is the "official" policy of the country's post office, this is the reality. (Of note, German, Swiss and British IRCs have been recently received with no value stamped on them!)

The higher cost of IRCs issued in the USA could alleviate this shortfall in postage received. The other alternative is the use of "green stamps"--US $1 bills. Keep in mind, however, that postal rates in the USA are among the lowest in the world. For instance, a 10- gram (1/3 oz.) airmail letter/QSL card from Japan to the USA costs Y110--just about $1 at current exchange rates. Discretion should be used in that case also, however. Foreign banks and money changers are very demanding in that those "green stamps" must be in excellent condition. (Many banks and money changers don't even want to handle $1 bills, regardless of condition.) Therefore, if sending money instead of IRCs, make sure that those bills are of clean, untorn and reasonably new condition. Initial care may go a long way in assuring prompt response by the foreign station.

-- SEPTEMBER 2000 VHF QSO PARTY --

The results of the ARRL's September 2000 VHF QSO Party show up in the March 2001 QST. There we can see that JR, K9HUY, was the sole entry from the West Central Florida Section. Running in the Single Operator, High Power category, JR had 69 QSOs on 6 meters, 2 meters, and 442 MHz.


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
Sao Tome & Principe - S92TX

Bangladesh - S21YJ (14.138)

Niue Island - ZK2BQI

French Polynesia - FO/F6EPY

Spratly Islands - 9M0M

Easter Island - 3G0Y

Pratas Island - BQ9P

South Cook Is - ZK1EPY

Wake Island - KH9/W4WX

Bhutan - A52CO

Guantanamo Bay - KG4MO & IZ

Ascension Is - ZD8K

Western Samoa - 5W1BQ

St. Helena Is - ZD7K

Now Active

Still Active

02 - 09 March

03 - 07 March

04 - 10 March

04 - 19 March

06 - 15 March

08 - 16 March

13 - 20 March

15 - 21 March

16 - 25 March

20 - 28 March

26 Mar - 05 April

29 Mar - 12 April

90

8

252

241

337

208

337

246

297

8

135

108

257

110

--

--

07>12

05>12

NO

03>11

NO

06>11

08>11

NO

00>24

01>07

07>11

01>06

--

--

05>12

04>12

11>12

01>12

10>12

04>12

07>12

0000

00>24

23>08

05>12

23>07

14>04

14>15

00>24

00>24

12>20

00>24

13>20

00>24

00>24

12>04

13>01

00>24

00>24

11>04

--

--

17>03

15>03

13>20

13>08

13>19

16>03

19>03

13>20

15>21

12>02

17>04

12>02

13>00

--

18>01

16>02

14>19

14>03

14>17

17>01

20>01

13>16

17>19

13>00

18>02

13>21

--

--

18>00

17>00

16>18

14>01

15>16

18>23

20>23

14>15

NO

13>22

18>23

16>20

15>20

--

19>23

17>23

16>17

15>23

NO

18>22

20>22

NO

NO

15>21

19>21

1830

Updated 24 February 2001, based on 26 February 2001 QRZ DX, 23 February 2001 The 59(9) DX Report and Daily DX Vol. No. 5, No. 038

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

Solar Flux assumed at 150 and F-Index at 2 for all forecasts.

-- VERY-LOW FREQUENCY DXING --

The Radio Amateurs of Canada reports that the first successful two-way transatlantic contact on 136 kHz was completed 19 February. VA3LK and G3AQC managed the LF feat using extremely slow CW that featured 90-second-long dits and 180-second-long dahs. (Ed. note: My kinda CW!) The two-way QSO started 05 February and took two weeks to complete.

Both stations used spectrographic software and computers for receiving. G3AQC estimated his ERP at 350 mW, while VA3LK said he might have been at the 5 Watt ERP level.

The UK has an amateur band at 136 kHz. While Canada has not yet authorized Amateur operation on 136 kHz, VA3LK had special authorization to conduct LF experiments.

(From 20 February <cq-l@cq-amateur-radio.com> and ARRL Special Bulletin 5 20 February 2001)

-- DX BITS & PIECES --

The D68C operation from the Comoros has shattered just about every DXpedition record on the books. By 1045 GMT, 23 February, the 23 operators had 142,788 QSOs in their logs! They were active in all modes, including RTTY, PSK31, MFSK and 10-meter FM. No satellite activity due to small footprints, however.

Dr. Chuck Brady, 3Y0C was scheduled to leave Bouvet on 04 March. On 15 February, Chuck was to be found on virtually every band, to the delight of all.

The Brazilian ops trying to put PW0S on from St. Peter & St. Paul Rocks had quite a time with extreme weather. Their landing was delayed 3 days due to high seas--the photos showed waves breaking as high as the lighthouse!! Once landed, heavy rain and wind flooded their shelter, damaging equipment. Photos, etc. can be found at <www.soutomaior.eti.br/mario>.

Unfortunately, the February San Felix/San Ambrosio Islands DXpedition never did fire up as their transportation to the islands fell through for some reason.

-- MARCH PROPAGATION --

February's Solar Flux averaged 147.0, with the A-index being < 10 for 23 days. (Note that when the SF is > 150, conditions drop from Above Normal to High Normal when the A > 10.)

The March propagation forecast 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.

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 into April, DX conditions between the northern and southern hemispheres are at their best due to the Spring Equinox.


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- MEMORIES!! --

(Tnx to Ken Truran, KC8BI, for the following)

If you're old enough, take a stroll with me...close your eyes..and go back...before the Internet...before SEGA and Nintendo 64...way back.

I'm talking about hide and seek at dusk. Sittin' on the porch, Simon Says, Kick the Can, Red light-Green light. Lunch boxes with a thermos...chocolate milk, going home for lunch, penny candy, hopscotch, butterscotch, skates with keys, Jacks, Mother May I? Hula Hoops, sunflower seeds, Whist and Old Maid and Crazy Eights, wax lips and mustaches, Mary Janes, saddle shoes, and Coke bottles with city names on the bottom, running through the sprinkler, circle pins, bobby pins, Mickey Mouse Club, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Kukla, Fran & Ollie, Spin & Marty.....all in black & white.

When around the corner seemed far away, and going downtown seemed like going somewhere. Bedtime, climbing trees, making forts, backyard shows, lemonade stands, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sittin' on the curb, staring at clouds, jumping down the steps, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, getting "company", ribbon candy, angel hair on the Christmas tree, Jackie Gleason, white gloves, walking to church, walking to the movie theater, being tickled to death, running 'til you were out of breath, laughing so hard that your belly hurt, being tired from playin'.. ..Remember that?

Not stepin' on a crack or you'll break your mother's back... paper chains at Christmas, silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington...the smell of paste in school and evening in Paris.

What about the girl that had the big, bubbly handwriting, who dotted her "i's" with hearts? The Stroll, popcorn balls and sock hops.

Remember when...there were two types of sneakers for girls and boys (Keds and PF Flyers) and the only time you wore them at school was for "gym". And the girls had those ugly gym suits.

When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up. When nearly everyone's Mom was at home when the kids got home from school. When nobody owned a purebred dog.

When a quarter was a decent allowance and, another quarter, a huge bonus.

When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for a penny. When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then. When your Mom wore nylons that came in two pieces. When all your male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done everyday and wore high heels.

When you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time. And, you got trading stamps! When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden inside the boxes.

When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.

When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed...and did!

When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, flunk a test or chew gum. And the prom was in the auditorium and we danced to an orchestra, and all the girls wore pastel gowns and the boys wore suits for the first time, and we stayed out all night.

When people went steady and girls wore a class ring with an inch of wrapped dental floss or yarn coated with pastel frost nail polish so it would fit her finger.

When no one asked where the car keys were, 'cause they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked.

Lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying, "That cloud looks like a..."

And playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game. Back then, baseball was not a psychological group learning experience--it was a game.

And...with all our progress...don't you just wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace...and share it with the children of today.

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear of our lives, but it wasn't from drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.

Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we all survived, because their love was greater than their threat.

Remember that?

-- WWV SURVEY --

The National Institute of Science and Technology which operates WWV, WWVB and WWVH will soon be conducting a survey to determine who is using their services and for what purposes. If you use any of the WWV services, such as time and frequency standards, propagation data, an atomic calibrated clock, etc. it could be worth your time to request inclusion in the survey. Send your request, with mailing address, to <www@boulder.nist.gov>. You can learn more about the services of WWV by logging onto its web site at <www.boulder.nist.gov/timefreq>.

-- ANTENNA REFERENCES --

An excellent source of antenna information is at <http://www.qth/ka9fox/ant-towers-feed.shtml>. Info such as stacking, upgrading commercial beams, maintenance and repair can be found.

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