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The EARS WA4IWLetter


OCTOBER 1999

-- PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE --

I've maintained for many years that MAD magazine was probably the most honest publication in the U.S.A. Lately, I'm finding that opinion being proven correct time and again.

A case in point. On the "Business" pages of the 01 October Englewood Sun Herald I read that the "slow-down in growth more than expected" and that "stocks rally sharply on news of slower economic growth". In fact, the growth rate was stated to be "an anemic 1.6 percent". All this chatter was the Associated Press justification for the Dow going up 123.47 points on 31 September. Lo and behold, the next day the Dow dropped 63.95 points and I read in the 02 October issue of the Sun Herald that was because "new reports showed that the economy's surging growth had not slowed". Ain't this a great country, or what? On Thursday the economy is "anemic" and on Friday it's "surging". No wonder I prefer the satirical pages of MAD to the news jockeys at the wire services.

Locally, driving school owner Roy Ault had an op-ed article in the Sun Herald wherein he claims that "Nobody really knows what the second amendment (of our Constitution) says". I certainly can understand the words of the 2nd Amendment--it means what it says. Period! Liberals such as Roy, however, have had no problem prostituting the 1st Amendment to suit their interpretations such that "no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means nothing religious is permitted in schools or public buildings, and (no law) "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" means back-talking to teachers, burning our flag and pornography on the Internet are just great. These "broad-minded" people really get hung up on the 2nd Amendment, however, because it just doesn't suit their goals.

In a subsequent article, Ault stated that he can "agree with most everything in the Ten Commandments". (He didn't elucidate those which annoy him.) Roy, I've news for you. You have no choice in the matter. Those are Commandments; not proposals, suggestions or requests. Almighty God gave us those ten directives which have guided civilized mankind ever since. Apparently Roy isn't taking advantage of all those guidelines. Could be bad for him some day.

So, we have writers out there who define the economy in the manner of a will-o'-the-wisp, and writers who can understand neither English nor God's word. Doesn't give us common folks much day-to-day encouragement on what to believe does it?

Who can you trust anymore? The phrase "Who ya gonna call? Ghost Busters!" keeps running through my head. MAD's venerable Alfred E. Neuman comments "What, me worry?" Well, I do worry in spite of Al's reassurance. We definitely do need some "ghost busters" to put clear thinking and honesty back into the printed medium. (Let's not get started on the informationals that pass as "news" on TV--it's too far gone.) Will it ever happen? I like to think so, but only after there is clear thinking and honesty up there at the top of the pyramid.

73 de Jack, W4JS

-- OCTOBER MEETING --

The next EARS meeting will be held 15 October 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 video entitled "Journey to Peter I Island: Close to the Edge". And, how about dessert at Denny's afterwards!

-- 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. Please get in touch with Don Spencer, WA4IWL, our Net Manager and give him a hand. Recent net activity follows:

Date NCS Check-Ins

10 Sept WA4IWL Don 5

24 Sept WA4IWL Don 10

01 Oct WA4IWL Don 15

-- CHRISTMAS PARTY --

BEFORE GOING ANY FURTHER, MARK 13 DECEMBER ON YOUR CALENDARS AS A REMINDER OF THE EARS CHRISTMAS PARTY AT ROTONDA COUNTRY CLUB. AT $12/PERSON, IT WILL BE A BARGAIN!


Page - 2


ENGLEWOOD AMATEUR RADIO SOCIETY

Minutes of the Meeting

September 17, 1999

President Jack Sproat, W4JS, called the meeting to order at 7:33 pm local time. with the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. There was one visitor, Bob Markus, N8ICP, who also became a new member and was welcomed at the meeting. Bob is from Michigan. There were no upgrades to report.

Free Crosby, W1NPR, made a motion to forego reading of the minutes of last month's meeting, since they were published in the newsletter. Seconded by Al Parmentier, KF4JIL, and carried.

Howard White, KD4MMY, gave the Treasurer's re-port and made a motion for its approval. Seconded by JR House, K9HUY, and carried. Howard made a comment that our annual meeting room rent was paid this month. The report was filed with the Secretary.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

CORRESPONDENCE - The results of the vote to create a West Central Florida ARRL Section was 920 yes and 86 no. This vote does not create it but does determine local interest.

SUNSHINE - No report.

RACES - Frank Kouri, K4KF, reported on the RACES Simulated Emergency Test that was conducted on August 26, 1999.

REPEATER - (146.865 MHz) Ed Evitt, N9AWP, reported that the controller is on hand, the cavities have been tuned and the repeater is operational, but not yet ready for installation. It is set up at Ed's home in Punta Gorda with a temporary antenna undergoing further testing. Ed is working with the weather receiver and additional programming on the controller.

FCC TESTS - There will be a volunteer exam session tomorrow, September 18th at the Englewood Chamber of Commerce, at 601 S. Indiana Ave. in Englewood.

TRAINING - Ken Anderson, W4JQT, gave the training report.

DX - Bruce Robideau, K2OY, talked about the Annobon Island, 3C0R, DXpedition off the coast of Africa.

OLD BUSINESS - Club Badges - Jack Sproat, W4JS, passed around sample badges and reported on additional information about suppliers and prices. Don DiBello, KF4WJW, made a motion that the club go ahead with the club badge project. Seconded by Free Crosby, W1NPR, and carried.

CHRISTMAS PARTY - The Christmas party is planned for December 13th at the Rotonda Country Club. The menu will be prime rib, chicken, and fish. The cost per person will be $12.00. There will be more information in the newsletter.

CLUB TOWER - The upper section of the EZ-Way tower has been straightened and the tower will be offered for sale by sealed bids in the next newsletter. The minimum bid will be $100.

BOCA GRANDE QSL - Work is in progress to make a nice QSL card to respond to the contacts made on International Lighthouse Weekend. The card is expected to be ready within a month.

SURPLUS EQUIPMENT - The Charlotte County Red Cross has lots of old radio equipment to dispose of. If interested, call Bob Markus at 475-8902.

Don Spencer, WA4IWL made a motion to adjourn at 8:12 pm. Seconded by Al Parmentier, KF4JIL, and carried There were 17 members in attendance.

PROGRAM - The program was a video on Amateur Television, prepared by the Western Washington Amateur Television Society.

Ken Anderson, W4JQT

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. Minimum 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) FCC Licensee ID No. or Social Security card.

(5) 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

-- SEPTEMBER EXAM SESSION --

All candidates at the 18 September exam session were successful in their endeavors. Ken Blackshaw, W1NQT, upgraded to Extra Class. Don Dibello, KF4WJW, and John Koehler (from Pt. Charlotte, but not yet having a callsign) both passed the General Class written exam. Congrats to all!!

-- CLUB ASSETS FOR SALE --

In accordance with the procedures for Distribution of Club Assets, notice was given at the 17 September meeting and duly recorded in the Minutes that sealed bids will be received for the Club's 40-foot EZ-Way crank-up, tilt-over tower which has recently been straightened and aligned. Minimum acceptable bid is $100 and the bids will be received and opened at the scheduled 15 October meeting.

Interested bidders may inspect the tower at the QTH of Mike Fox, KA1ZFO, 8469 Roosevelt St., Englewood; telephone 697-1293.


Page - 3


BACKSCATTER

-- PSK31 UPDATE --

(Ed. note: In the May 1999 WA4IWLetter we presented an introduction to the PSK31 digital mode that is gaining followers world-wide. Following is an update.)

The PSK31 "bug" has hit a number of local hams, especially up Venice-way. George, N0IW; Bob, N1RA; Ken, KC8BI; Don, N4ET; Dick, N4RD; JR, K9HUY; and Ed, W9ATV, are all known to have given it a try, with N4ET having over 200 QSOs on the mode. PSK31 rivals the weak signal performance of Morse and is a significant improvement over RTTY. Speaking of weak signals, inaudible signals can be copied on PSK--try that on Morse!

No special transceiver is needed, the output power is usually in the range of 25-50 watts, and indoor antennas will suffice. So, now what's your excuse for not getting on the air?

Well, you do need a desktop or laptop computer running Windows 95/98, a 16-bit sound card (to provide the digital signal processing), a serial port (for PTT), and an isolation interface circuit (between the transceiver and the computer). You also need a General Class license as most PSK31 activity is around 14.070. So, now what's your excuse?

The original PSK31 software is available at no cost at http://aintel.bi.ehu.es/psk31.html. Once downloaded and unzipped, the program and its associated files can be put through the standard Windows "SETUP" procedure and then is ready to go. You need to provide the program with your callsign, sample rate (11025 Hz suggested), center frequency (1000 Hz suggested) and COM port number on your computer for PTT (using DTR).

A variant is available at the same Internet site. Click on "free downloads" and look for LOGGER. As the program is too big for a floppy, establish a directory named Logger first on your C-drive and then download into that directory. Before trying to install this program, read the "Read Me" file, as it is a bit tricky. This variant gives a better tuning indicator than the original version, plus it allows you to also run RTTY, Morse, PTOR, GTOR and other digital modes.

While a conventional isolation transformer can be used, an optical isolation circuit has been recommended. This type interface includes an adjustable audio amplifier, 100:1 pad for transmit audio attenuation and an on-off switch to isolate the PTT line when not running PSK. Check out the Lectrokit isolation kit ($19.95, http://sanduskyohio.com/lectrokit/).

PSK mailing lists are on the Internet: psk@host. n2ty.org and at psk31@aintel.bi.ehu.es.

(TNX to Bob, N1RA, and "How I got started in PSK31", Jack Speer, N1BIC, October 1999 Worldradio)

-- USA OR USSR? --

The Justice department is planning to ask Congress for new authority allowing federal agents armed with search warrants to secretly break into homes and offices to obtain decryption keys or passwords or to implant "recovery devices" or otherwise modify computers to ensure that any encrypted messages or files can be read by the government.

With this proposal, circulating since late June, the Clintonistas are basically saying, "If you don't give your key in advance to a third party, we will secretly enter your home to take it if we suspect criminal conduct". (Talk about paranoia!!)

Check out http://www.cdt.org/publications/pp_5.18. html for more info on this "interesting" proposal.

(From "Clinton and Justice Department Propose Secret Searches of Homes, Offices", September 1999 CyberSKIP Digest)

-- UPCOMING FLORIDA HAMFESTS --

16/17 Oct West Palm Beach Hamfest at Amara Shrine Temple, 3650 RCA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens TI: 147.165 Info: Ken, KD4CTG, (561) 640-9447

29/30 Oct Jacksonville Hamfest at Morocco Shrine Auditorium, St. Johns Bluff Rd. & Beach Blvd. TI: 146.76 Info: Woody, KF4GSK, (904) 743-3121

06 Nov Lake ARS Hamfest &Computer Show at East Lake Chamber of Commerce Bldg, RT 437, Sorrento. TI: 147.255 Info: Chuck, KE4EXM, (352)669-2075

13 Nov Port St. Lucie Hamfest at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Prima Vista Blvd. TI: 146.955 Info: Bob, WB1HJC, (561)343-8153

(From September 1999 CyberSKIP Digest, Vol. 6 No. 4 Amateur Radio Trader, October 1999 QST, and October 1999 CQ)

-- LOCAL REPEATERS --

145.130 (-) WB4NJV SERC/Venice

146.700 (-) WB0GUX Englewood (T)

146.730 (-) WB4NJV Sarasota ERC (A)

146.745 (-) K4IB Charlotte Co. CD

146.775 (-) K0DGF Englewood (T)

146.910 (-) W4IE Sarasota ARA (A)

146.925 (-) WA9NLA Pt. Charlotte

147.015 (+) WB9JTK Pt. Charlotte

147.255 (+) WA3DUX Peace River

444.625 (+5 mc) K0DGF Englewood (T)

444.700 (+5 mc) WA4ISB Venice

(T) = 77 Hz PL tone (A) = Autopatch


Page - 4


MORE BACKSCATTER

--"HAM" ORIGIN STILL UNDEFINED --

Back on page 3 of the November 1998 The WA4IWLetter, we offered an article based on a very authentic-sounding description of exactly how the term "ham" began to be applied to amateur radio operators and their stations.

To review briefly, the tale stated that HAM was the 1908 callsign of an amateur wireless station operated by some members of the Harvard Radio Club. The callsign was supposedly derived from the first letter of the last names of Albert S. Hyman, Bob Almy and Peggie Murray.

In 1911, Albert Hyman chose the controversial Wireless Regulation Bill as the topic for his Senior Thesis at Harvard and a copy was sent to Senator David I. Walsh, a member of the committee hearing the bill. Impressed, Senator Walsh asked Hyman to appear before the committee. Hyman took the stand and emotionally told how the little station was built, and if the bill went through, they would have to close it down because they could not afford the license fees and all the other requirements which the bill imposed on amateur stations.

Because of Hyman's testimony, Congress voted to save amateur radio. Nationwide publicity associated station "HAM" with all amateur radio operators.

Well, we were bamboozled again! Harvard Wireless Club members have researched this story over the years. While there was an Albert S. Hyman who graduated from Harvard in 1915 and returned for an M.D. in 1918, nowhere can it be shown that he belonged to the HWC or was ever involved in amateur radio. Additionally, neither Almy nor Murray appear in any alumni records for the period. Nobody at HWC even knows how this story even got started.

(From "'Ham' Originates at Harvard?", Mike Manafo, K3UOC, October 1999 CQ)

-- JUST IN CASE --

VHF operators chase "Grid Squares", those 20 X 10 grids into which the Earth has been divided. Locally, north of the 27th Parallel is EL87; south of it is EL86. What about EL85? Well, it lies in the Gulf of Mexico just offshore of Naples. Some talk has been bandied about that local VHFers should sail out into that grid for one of the VHF contests.

Ken Neubeck, WB2AMU, ("Magic Band Chronicles", October 1999 CQ VHF) recalls the time he activated the rare FN04 grid from a park on Lake Erie. His dreams were cut short when there was only a brief 6-meter opening into Florida, but he couldn't work anyone. So, take along the fishing gear, the HF rig and a few 807s on that sail to EL85. Just in case!

-- LIST DXCC AWARD --

We had just finished a nice QSO with Annes, YC4TRY, when one of the local QRPers came through the open door. One look showed that he was down deep in his troubles. "It's my DXCC total", he explained, "I've not worked anything new for months". We were naturally sympathetic, knowing the hiatus that awaits the unwary DXer at the 300 country level. "Oh! No," the QRPer interrupted, "I've a long way to go to get to the 300 level. I'm stuck at 127". Son of a Gun! How could a true-blue DXer get stuck at such a low level?

"Well", the QRPer replied, "you know how it goes. I listen for all the lists and am always right in there to work the DX. I also check with the daily DX nets and the other spots, and I fear I've cleaned out all the DX there. Then I looked around for DX making their own lists. Now, after cleaning out all the nets and working all the lists, all I can do is just listen." We had to ask more about this.

"What about the DX shown in the bulletins and on the packet cluster?" we asked. "You haven't worked all of that have you?" The QRPer was silent for a bit. "Look", he finally said, "I do real good on the lists and the nets. But how do you work a DX station that is just out there in the open and not on a list? I have never worked one of those." Well, we had to think a bit, but we came up with a thought. "Just pretend you are calling someone taking a list", we advised. His face lit up and he cried out, "I will, I will!" Off he went, churning up the marl in the driveway.

We had to think of the day that is coming when someone will make the Honor Roll without ever going outside a list. Hey, the ARRL may even surprise us with it--to offer a "LIST DXCC AWARD". Wow! Think of the excitement that will bring when the word gets around on Straight Key Night!!

(Adapted from DX IS! The Best of the West Coast DX Bulletin, edited/published by C. T. Allen, W5DV, and J. M. Allen, W6OGC. c. 1981)

-- CHRISTMAS PARTY --

JUST ANOTHER REMINDER THAT OUR EARS CHRISTMAS DINNER WILL HELD ON 13 DECEMBER AT

THE ROTONDA COUNTRY CLUB.

YOUR CHOICE OF PRIME RIB, CHICKEN OR FISH, WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS FOR $12/PERSON.

CASH BAR PRIOR TO THE DINNER

THIS PROMISES TO BE A GREAT EVENT DON'T MISS IT


Page - 5


UPCOMING CONTESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Contest/Special Event Times/Dates Bands/Modes QSO With Exchange
RSGB 21/28 MHz Contest 0700 GMT 17 October

1900 GMY 17 October

15 and 10 Meters

CW

UK Stations Only R/S/T + Serial No.
Worked All Germany Contest 1500 GMT 16 October

1500 GMT 17 October

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

German Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
JARTS WW RTTY Contest 0000 GMT 16 October

2400 GMT 17 October

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + Age
Illinois QSO Party 1800 GMT 17 October

0200 GMT 18 October

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Illinois Stations Only R/S/(T) + State
Asia-Pacific Sprint 0000 GMT 17 October

0200 GMT 17 October

15 and 20 Meters

CW

Stations in Asia-Pacific Region R/S/T + Serial No.
Rhode Island QSO Party 0000 GMT 23 October

2400 GMT 24 October

160 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW/RTTY

Rhode Island Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
CQ WW DX Contest 0000 GMT 30 October

2400 GMT 31 October

160 - 10 Meters

SSB

DXCC Countries R/S + CQ Zone
WAE RTTY Contest 0000 GMT 13 Nov

2400 GMT 14 Nov

80 - 10 Meters

RTTY

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/T + Serial No.
Japan International DX Contest 2300 GMT 12 Nov

2300 GMT 14 Nov

80 - 10 Meters

SSB

Japanese Stations Only R/S + Serial No.
OK/OM DX Contest 1200 GMT 13 Nov

1200 GMT 14 Nov

160 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

OK, OL and OM Stations Only R/S/(T) + Serial No.
Ukranian DX Contest 1200 GMT 13 Nov

1200 GMT 14 Nov

80 - 10 Meters

SSB/CW

Anyone, Anywhere R/S/(T) + Serial No.

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

--CQ WORLDWIDE DX CONTEST --

The CQ WW DX Contest, scheduled for 30-31 October is considered the premier operating event of the entire year. This 50-year-old event attracts more participants from more countries than any other contest. At one time the CQWW was considered for inclusion in the Guiness Book of Records as the world's largest sporting event, but the estimated 50,000 or more participants could not be verified to the Guiness standards. CQ receives almost 10,000 actual log entries every year for the Phone and CW weekends of this contest. The CQWW also attracts its share of DXpeditions, and there are often countries that you can work easily during this contest that are virtually devoid of activity at any other time. If you want to work DX, the CQWW is the time to do it.

The exchange in this contest is the signal report, typically "5-9", and the CQ Zone of each station. Florida is in CQ Zone 5. The CQWW shown above is for the Phone weekend; the CW is 27-28 November.

There are 40 CQ Zones in total, and a very attractive certificate is available for working all 40 zones. Very few stations have attained 5-Band WAZ.

(From "Contests", Dave Goodwin, VE2ZP, October 1999 Worldradio)

-- "LAST TWO ONLY" --

Jim Smith, VK9NS, is given credit for promoting one of the "curses" of ham radio. Back when ol' Jim was P29JS and had a Pacific islands DX net, he requested that stations calling in to be "listed" to work the DX only give the last two letters of their callsigns. This practice was followed by the W7PHO Family Hour, the Africaner Net, and others. Eventually random DX stations adopted the practice whenever the pileups became unmanageable. Now, however, it's common to hear stations answer CQ calls with just two letters.

Par. 97.119(a) of Part 97 of the FCC Rules & Regulations states that "Each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station, must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every ten minutes during communication...... No station may transmit....as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station." Therefore, complying with the "last two only" directive violates these rules.

So, what's a DXer to do when he needs the station asking for "last two only"? It's suggested that you give your complete callsign when you first call, then give the "last two" in subsequent calls. And, also hope that the FCC isn't monitoring.


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
Palmyra/Jarvis - KH5??

Tokelau - ZK3RW

Australs - FO/A

Burkina Faso - XT2HP

Marquesas - FO0SUC

Lord Howe Is - VK9LM

Maldives - 8Q7IT

E. Malaysia - 9M6PWT

Spratly Is - 9M6OO

Brunei - V8??

Now to 21 Oct

Now to 22 Oct

Now to 24 Oct

Now to 03 Nov

20 Oct - ??

25 - 30 Oct

26 Oct - 02 Nov

03 - 15 Nov

12 - 18 Nov

21 - 25 Nov

267

262

240

83

245

249

41

329

337

330

06>11

07>11

06>11

00>06

04>11

09>11

0030

1130

1130

1130

04>12

05>12

04>12

22>07

03>12

08>12

23>01

10>12

10>12

10>12

12>14

12>14

00>09

12>00

14>02

12>14

12>00

13>20

13>20

13>19

17>01

17>01

15>02

12>00

15>00

0100

13>22

14>19

14>20

14>19

17>00

18>00

16>01

13>22

15>23

23>00

14>21

14>18

14>18

14>18

17>23

18>23

16>00

14>20

16>22

NO

15>20

15>17

15>17

15>18

18>22

19>22

17>23

15>19

17>21

NO

16>19

15>16

15>16

16>17

Updated 03 October 1999, based on 04 October QRZ DX and 01 October The 59(9) DX Report.

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

Solar Flux assumed at 170 and F-Index at 3 for all forecasts. Higher SF and lower F will improve propagation above 20 meters.

-- OCTOBER PROPAGATION --

Back in September 1998, the Solar Flux averaged 138; for September 1999, it averaged 136! To add insult to injury, the A-index was < 10 only 9 days during September, causing the bands above 20 meters to be closed for other than North-South paths. We gotta get those Manasota Key Sunsetters to breathe some life into Cycle 23 for sure!

The October propagation forecasts ("Propagation" by George Jacobs, W3ASK, October 1999 CQ) follow:

10/12 Meters: Openings towards Europe and the east should peak in mid-morning; with those to Africa and South America peaking during early afternoon. Look for Asia and Australasia in late afternoon and early evening.

15/17 Meters: Excellent propagation from shortly after sunrise until late evening hours. Look for peak openings about 1-2 hours after 10-meter peaks in the same area.

20 Meters: When conditions are High or Above Normal, expect 20 meters to remain open for world-wide DX throughout the night. Conditions will peak an hour or two after sunrise and again in the late afternoon and early evening.

40 Meters: Openings towards Europe and the east will start during the late afternoon and improve during the evening. Signals should peak from an easterly direction about midnight, and from a westerly direction just after sunrise. When conditions are Low Normal, 40 meters will be the best DX band during hours of darkness.

80/160 Meters: Conditions should peak towards Europe around midnight and towards the south throughout the night. Westerly openings on 80 occur just after sunrise.

Probable best DX days for remainder of month: 15-16, 23 October should be "Above Normal"; 17, 24-25, 28-31 October should be "High Normal".

-- VHF IONOSPHERIC OPENINGS --

Solar activity is now high enough to support 6-meter openings during daylight hours. DX openings can be expected into those areas where 10 meters opens on a day-to-day basis. Look towards Europe and the east before noon and towards Africa an hour or so after noon.

The Orionids Major meteor shower will occur 20-22 October, peaking 21 October with an hourly meteor count of about 25.

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

-- DXTRAS AND DXPLOITS --

High SWRs kept Dennis, NT9K, from working 3C0R on Annobon Island during that 15 - 24 September operation, but all other local DXers were more fortunate. Not to worry, Dennis, the team gained permission to return next year. So, get that TH-11 put together and into service!

We thought for sure that someone was bootlegging Frank's W4VV callsign during the 10-meter pileup for T31K on Kanton Island in Central Kiribati. We heard T31K go back to "VV" and then "W4VV". Before we could call Frank to congratulate him on a "new one", we again heard T31K call for "VV" and then "W4VV". Son of a gun, we thought, somebody's bootlegging Frank's call. A phone call informed us that, in fact, Frank had made an "insurance contact". Claimed his VOX was hanging up. Hope that new Kachina works better!

Both Frank, W4VV, and Jack, W4JS, worked EZ7ST back in May. A "new one", as they both needed Turk-menistan. Sad news in the 04 October QRZ DX, however, as EZ7ST was a bootlegged callsign from March to July. Give ya odds that the "QSL manager" in Tyumen, Russia profited from the green stamps and IRCs!


Page - 7


WAVES AND REFLECTIONS

-- NEW FLORIDA SECTION PENDING --

Of the over 2600 ARRL members in Charlotte, DeSota, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties, 1006 exercised their right to vote for or against creation of a new West Central Florida Section, which would be comprised of the above counties.

The voting outcome was rather overwhelming in favor of the new section: 920 votes in favor and only 86 opposed. The new section would rank 26th by population among 71 ARRL Sections.

One of the major incentives for having a new "regional" section is better availability of, and communication with, the Section Manager and Section officers. The current South Florida Section Manager, Kevin Bunin, K4PG, lives over in Delray Beach, some 200 miles distant from our area.

The ball is now in the court of the ARRL Board of Directors. Hopefully, they will abide by the obvious wishes of the West Central Florida ARRL members.

-- OFFICIAL EARS BADGE --

After several discussions amongst the officers and on the floor at our meetings, approval was given by vote at the 17 September meeting to have the firm of Michael R. Fox, of Sarasota, design and furnish the official EARS membership badge. The badge will measure approximately 2" X 3", with curved corners, and will include the EARS logo (as shown on this newsletter), your callsign on the top line, your name on the second line, and "ENGLEWOOD ARS" on the bottom line. The standard badge has a pin attachment, however, magnetic and pocket attachments are available at extra cost.

An initial order of 50 badges will provide the club with a 10 percent discount. Please fill in the order form below and mail to Howard White, KD4MMY, with your check payable to the "Englewood Amateur Radio Society" as soon as possible.

-- SOCIALIZING AND RECOGNITION --

Suggestions have been raised in an effort to improve the social activities of our club. At present, we have the Christmas Party as our major social function of the year. Also, over the past two years, we have had a picnic lunch available at the conclusion of our Field Day activities.

For whatever reasons, the turnout at the last two Christmas Parties has been less than expected, considering that the Snowbird members were in town at the time. Attendance at the Field Day picnic has been nominal, what with the June heat and humidity, and only the Sunbirds being in the area.

Consideration is now being given to our having one or two social lunches for the members. As this would be at noontime, those who cannot drive at night could attend. Also, the lunch(es) would be held when the Snowbirds are here, for maximum benefit. This would be an opportunity for members to get to know each other better, in an informal atmosphere.

Also, the possibility has been raised of the club presenting a plaque or certificate annually to a local "Amateur of the Year". This person would not necessarily be an EARS member, but would be someone who is recognized for having attained some achievement in ham radio during the year. Along that line, the club could initiate some "awards" in both a serious and humorous vein. Such as who had the best record for RACES check-ins, was at the most antenna parties, gave the best support to fellow hams, etc. for the former, and who blew the most fuses, had the highest SWRs, was the biggest DX Hog, etc. for the latter.

The goal of such activities is to foster fellowship between our members. Let's be honest about it. How many faces can you associate with the names in the membership directory?

Think about such activities and let your officers know your opinion.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Englewood Amateur Radio Society Badge Order

Call Sign First Name Last Name

Badge ................................................ $4.00

Magnet Attachment ($2.00).............

Pocket Attachment ($1.00)...............

Total Cost ..........................................

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