October, 1999 Edition
GHRC, Membership & Info
GHRC MINUTES - June 3, 1999 meeting
(NO MEETING MINUTES FOR THE SEPTEMBER MEETING WERE SUBMITTED ~ editor)
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN ~ by Lyndel Thiesen, N7LT
Theyve even had a couple of planning meetings to make this the best Hamfest yet! Well have hams coming from all over the state, some as far away as Idaho and Wyoming. Greg Milnes (W7OZ), the Northwest Division Director, and Darrell Thomas (N7KOR) the Montana Section Manager, will also be on hand. If youve ever wanted to meet your ARRL representatives, the Bozeman Hamfest will be the place to be!
Its a Boy!
His eyes open wide and he likes all the different colored lights and sounds. I think Ive got a CW boy! :~) Wendy and I would like to thank all of you for the kind letters, emails and on air comments about the arrival of our son.
Would you be interested in attending/getting involved in "Montana Field Day 2000"? Heres what it is:
Montana Field Day 2000
See you at the meeting. Lyndel N7LT - 1999 GHRC President
|For more information, contact Scott Mentzer, KB0WPY, at the NWS: firstname.lastname@example.org; 785-899-2360, or Rick Palm, K1CE, at the ARRL: email@example.com; 860-594-0261; or visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/gld/radio.htm|
ARRL NEWS and INFO
|Try Radios On-Line, the new ARRL on-line classified ad service for members at: http://www.arrl.org/ads/RadiosOnline|
|Late-breaking news appears first in The ARRLWeb Extra newsletter, available to ARRL members only on our Members Only Web site. (One-time registration required.)|
A new bill to protect Amateur Radio spectrum has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Michael Bilirakis, a Florida Republican. Titled "The Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act of 1999," HR 783 would amend the Communications Act to require the FCC to provide "equivalent replacement spectrum'' to Amateur Radio and the Amateur Satellite Service in the event of a reallocation of primary amateur allocations, any reduction in secondary amateur allocations, or "additional allocations within such bands that would substantially reduce the utility thereof" to amateurs. Representative Bilirakis was interested in helping the Amateur Radio community in recognition of the fine performance of amateur emergency communicators after several recent hurricanes in his state, and especially Hurricane Andrew. U.S. hams are urged to write their members of Congress in support of this bill. The text of the bill is available at the Thomas Web site at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c106:h.r.783:
|FCC Amateur Radio Enforcement Log
A representative listing of recent reports on Amateur Radio enforcement-related actions from the files of the FCC Compliance and Information Bureau: NOTE: Issuance by the FCC of a Warning Notice indicates that the FCC has what it believes to be reliable evidence of possible rules infractions and not necessarily that the recipient has violated FCC rules. The FCC has the authority, pursuant to §97.519(d)(2) of the rules to readminister any examination element previously administered by a volunteer examiner. This Enforcement Log is representative of recent Warning Notices, Notices of Violation, calls for retesting, and other FCC communications to licensees involving possible serious rules violations. It is not a comprehensive listing.
BELGRADE LAKES, ME [UPDATE]: The FCC wrote Extra licensee Glenn Baxter, K1MAN, August 4, 1999, giving him another 20 days to provide additional details about who was running his station on two days in mid-May. FCC personnel monitored and visited Baxter's station on May 14 and 15 but failed to find Baxter or anyone else on the premises. The FCC subsequently wrote Baxter to ask for the name and whereabouts of the control operator on the days in question, and Baxter replied July 25. According to the letter from FCC Attorney Riley Hollingsworth, Baxter had told the FCC that on May 14 and 15 he was "both mobile and portable in the local area." Hollingsworth said the FCC wants him to identify whether it was mobile or portable and at what times and in what specific areas. Hollingsworth also pressed Baxter for more specifics on his station's operating schedule. The FCC also had asked if K1MAN employed station automation equipment and if the station ever was remotely controlled. According to the FCC, Baxter's reply indicated that his three Collins transmitters were "controlled by two Radio Shack timers." Hollingsworth asked for details and a control circuit configuration "as requested" and for specific information of any remote control operation--including a schematic of the control circuit. He also asked Baxter for information on any automated tape control devices. The letter cautioned Baxter that "Commission rules require that Amateur stations be under the physical control of a control operator, and that the control operator must ensure the immediate proper operation of the station." The letter cited FCC authority to request the information under §308(b) of the Communications Act and pointed out that the FCC "may revoke the license of a licensee who willfully fails to provide the information or who submits a willfully false or misleading response." (For additional details, see "FCC Presses K1MAN for Additional Information" elsewhere on the AWE news page.)
COROZAL, PR: The FCC has requested that General licensee Richard W. Ruiz Vale, NP3YV, retake his amateur examinations under the supervision of the FCC office in New York City. The licensee will be granted an Amateur Radio license consistent with the elements passed upon re-examination. Ruiz Vale must appear for retesting by September 15, 1999, or his license will be cancelled.
DELMAR, NY: The FCC wrote Extra licensee Barry H. Gross, N1EU, on August 3, 1999, requesting that the licensee furnish supporting documentation "or other evidence" substantiating his claim to the call sign N1EU on the basis of being a former holder. FCC Attorney Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, said the FCC was "conducting an audit of certain Amateur Radio licensing records" and noted that Gross had applied for and been granted N1EU on July 13, 1999, "on the basis of your claim to be a former holder." Hollingsworth said Gross had 30 days to supply the requested information, and if Gross failed to respond, the call sign would be cancelled and another one assigned.
HICKORY, NC [UPDATE]: The FCC wrote General licensee John A. Abernethy, K4OKA, July 27, 1999, modifying his license to prohibit operation below 30 MHz for 180 days, effective immediately. Unless he appeals the action, Abernethy may not get back on HF until January 22, 2000. The FCC letter included a copy of a tape recording--supplied by complainants--of transmissions said to be of Abernethy's station on July 16. Hollingsworth's letter described the tape as "consisting of deliberate interference on 3.965 MHz." In the letter, FCC Attorney Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, noted that Abernethy had been warned about deliberate interference at the time his station was inspected last January. Abernethy has 30 days to protest the sanction. FCC personnel inspected Abernethy's station January 21 and 22 in the wake of what Hollingsworth called "longstanding complaints from other amateurs and from our field offices." In particular, he said, the FCC had received "numerous complaints" about profanity, obscenity, deliberate interference, and failure to properly identify. Other complaints to the FCC alleged that Abernethy had aired something called the "Porkbutt Song," the letter said, "for the purpose of harassment or deliberate interference." Hollingsworth said the FCC's High Frequency Direction Finding Center in Maryland tracked the transmissions of the "Porkbutt Song" to K4OKA. The FCC letter also said the Commission had received complaints that Abernethy had used AM and upper sideband on 75 "for the purpose of interference" on or near 3894.5 kHz. Abernethy also was warned in the letter about over-power operation. Hollingsworth said that the FCC has no plans to start revocation proceedings against Abernethy "unless we have evidence of continued violations" of the type the FCC described in its July 27 letter. (For additional details, see "FCC Takes North Carolina Ham off HF for Six Months" elsewhere on the AWE news page.)
|The ARRL Board has agreed to
propose a simplified Amateur Radio licensing structure
with four classes. Lengthy discussion and
debate during the Board's meeting July 16-18 led to
majority support for a plan for four written examination
elements to establish amateurs' operational and technical
qualifications instead of the present five, and two Morse
code examination elements instead of the present three. |
Under the plan adopted by the Board, the entry level to Amateur Radio would be known as Class D and would convey the privileges of the present Technician license. The written examination would be at the same level of difficulty as that of the present Technician examination, but consistent with the privileges of the license. All amateurs now licensed as Technicians would become Class D.
The next step would be known as Class C and would convey the privileges of the present General license, but with phone subbands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. Class C would be the entry level to high frequency (HF) operating privileges. To upgrade from Class D to Class C, an amateur would pass a written examination on the operational and technical qualifications required for HF operation and a 5 word per minute Morse code examination. All amateurs now licensed as General, Technician Plus, and Novice would become Class C. The expansion of the telephony sub-bands would result from "refarming" of the Novice CW bands that are no longer required for their original purpose.
The third step would be known as Class B and would convey the privileges of the present Advanced license, but with phone subands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. To upgrade from Class C to Class B, an amateur would pass a more advanced written examination similar in difficulty to the present Element 4A and a 12 word per minute Morse code examination. All amateurs now licensed as Advanced would become Class B.
The final step would be known as Class A and would convey the full privileges of the present Amateur Extra Class, with telephony sub-bands expanded by 50 kHz on 75 and 15 meters and by 25 kHz on 40 meters. To upgrade from Class B to Class A, an amateur would be required to pass the most difficult written examination in the sequence. Consistent with the practice in many other countries, no additional Morse code examination would be required beyond 12 words per minute. All amateurs presently licensed as Amateur Extra Class would become Class A.
In their discussions, Board members emphasized that the objective is to rationalize and simplify the amateur licensing structure without reducing the requirements for any class of license. Where reductions in Morse code requirements are proposed, there would be a corresponding increase in written examination standards. On the other hand, Board members were adamant that simplifying the structure should not come at the expense of privileges already earned by amateurs.
Therefore, present Novice and Technician Plus licensees, having earned entry-level HF operating privileges, would be granted the new entry-level HF license. Adoption of the simplification plan marks the culmination of 30 months of work by the Board, during which time the input of literally thousands of ARRL members and other amateurs and prospective amateurs was considered. The Board debated a wide variety of options including both smaller and larger numbers of license classes, higher and lower qualification levels, and different privileges. Nine of the 15 Directors voted in favor of the plan, with six opposed. Following the meeting ARRL President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, observed, "The debate was at times contentious and the result was not unanimous. Some Board members preferred greater simplification; others were uncomfortable with some of the changes being proposed. However, every Board member, without exception, left the meeting knowing that each of his or her colleagues did what they believe is best for the future of Amateur Radio."
Requirements for Amateur Licenses Under the ARRL Proposal :
|License Class||Written exam||Morse exam||Level of difficulty|
|Class D||Operational and technical questions relevant to VHF/UHF||None||Same as present Technician|
|Upgrade from D to C||Operational and technical questions relevant to HF||5 words per minute||Same as upgrading from present Tech Plus to General|
|Upgrade from C to B||Similar to present Element 4A (Advanced)||12 words per minute||Same as upgrading to present Advanced, plus Morse exam|
|Upgrade from B to A||More advanced technical questions||None||Same as upgrading from Advanced to Extra|
It's the fall of '99 and
Intel wants you to buy a new computer!
~ written by John B. Benediktson, N7RSQ
It's not that your 250 or 300 or even 400mhz machine has become any slower or is any less capable of its job than it was last summer but Intel needs sales. Unfortunately, the release of 500 and 600mhz systems hasn't brought anything new to the industry. The fact that your processor can crank out 600 million operations a second (not really but just for argument sake) really makes very little difference if the buss that exchanges the information resulting from those operations can only handle 100 million. Oh yes, I forgot, the video channel can handle up to 200 million. But, wait! The SGRAM or SDRAM on that video card at the other end of the video channel can only handle 100-130 million chunks of information per second so we are back to 100 million for round figures.
Now this is a pretty back-woods approach to this; what about the difference between 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit, or even 64 bit wide channels? Won't that help? Well, it could, if the entire channel and the source and the destination were all the same width. In that case 100mhz of 32 bit might be equivalent to 200mhz of 16 bit channel; but alas even the pentium III has only 32 bit channels just like the Pentium, the Pentium Pro, and the rest, and the PCI and AGP bus can, at best, support 32 bits on the receiving end as a result (heck, even the ancient VLB supported 32 bit data transfers). For further pain, some systems use PC-66 memory (memory capable of providing data reliably to a 66mhz cpu channel or buss). You can bet data is clocked down to 66mhz or less on those systems. Some systems do use PC-100 memory and shortly some will use PC-120 memory.
Wow! It's time someone stood up and said "Hey Guys! Lets get with speeding up the rest of my computer!". Some work has been done in that arena, but nowhere near enough to keep up with the new speed demon processors. While SCSI has grown into Ultra-Wide-SCSI and SCSI-III increasing burst thoughput from 8mb/sec to 40mb/sec, IDE standards have increased for 5-10mb/sec up to ATA-33 (33mb/sec) and ATA-66 (66mb/sec) but this is still no faster than our buss speeds (at least it is kind of close for once).
But none of this comes close to 600mB/sec. I had wondered why my clients who had gone out and purchased new 500 and 600mhz machines complained that they didn't seem any faster than the 300mhz machines they replaced. A few questions and a little thought brought me the answer. They replaced top-of-the-line 300mhz machines with 100mhz buss, 160mhz video cards (specialty item, very expensive), ultra-wide scsi hard drives, PC-100 memory, 512k cache (300mhz cache ram) with machines that are a sham; 600mhz cpu with 100mhz buss, 100mhz video card, scsi-II hard drive, PC-100 memory, and 256k cache (300mhz cache ram). Little reason to wonder why this new machine doesn't "feel" faster! It felt better to the checkbook! It looked real cool; it even sounded cool; 600mhz! But, lets face it, it can't do anything above 300mhz; and it can't talk to the outside world as fast as its predecessor.
OOOPS! We are the consumers! We created this market! It is high time we took back control of it and demanded appropriate technology for our money. When you next go shopping for a computer, please ask yourself "what am I going to need this computer to do?" and be very careful in choosing a machine that does those "things" well. Remember, it is only as fast as the slowest component.
The USA hosts the 1st ever
Region 2 ARDF Championships (Amateur Radio Direction
Finding) written by Harely Leach,
This August was the first time an ARDF championship was held in our region, which includes all of the Western Hemisphere. It took place in and around the Portland, OR area and had teams from Canada and the USA. It was a joint effort between the FARS (Friendship Amateur Radio Society) and the ARDF folks, which meant that there were competitors present from around the world, including: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden & USA, but only Canada and the US could compete for the Region 2 awards. The ARDF style of "fox hunting" is a cross between Orienteering and transmitter/fox hunting. The contestants are timed from start to finish, as they attempt to find the five hidden transmitters on foot. Two separate events are held, one on 2-meters, and the other on 80-meters. The events are held in wooded areas, with a typical course covering 3-5 miles. There are separate divisions based on age and gender, so everyone can compete on a par with their peers. ARDF International style competitions started in Europe over 20 years ago, and the first World Championships were held in 1980. The 9th World Championships were held in Hungary in 1998 and marked the first time that a team from the USA competed. Next year (2000), the 10th World Championships will be held in China, and the USA team plans compete. The next Region competitions will be held in Vancouver, BC in 2001. Typically, regionals are held in odd years and the World Championships in even years.
I competed in both the 2 & 80 meter events in Portland, and had a good time visiting with all the contestants. Learned a few new words and some hand gestures too. It's a great sport that has been slow in gaining popularity in the US, mainly because nobody seemed to know about it. The other nations have had twenty years of practice, both physical and equipment wise, that blew me away. All of my DF gear proved to be inadequate and more suited to stone age hunts.
My only piece of gear that was worth anything, was a partial roll of duct tape. I can tell more of the story at the next club meeting.
Tune into the 146.88 Bridger RepeaterTuedsay Night Net for future events, and visit the Upcoming Events page on the GHRC website!
October 16 Hamfest 1999 - Bring your equipment to sell, bring your money to buy stuff!!
This year's raffle includes a Kenwood Mobile Dual Band Rig!!
appreciates comments, suggestions and contributions from our
Contributions to the GHRC newsletter can be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and can be in almost any format. Some reformatting of your submission may occur. You may also submit articles and information by mail to the club address at the beginning of this newsletter. ~editor