The March Meeting will be held at the Sacajawea Middle March 1st.

The meeting starts at 7 PM.

Note: This is the last issue of the newsletter to be printed and mailed. Starting with the April issue the newsletter will be placed on the club internet web page. Anyone who doesn't have internet access or has trouble accessing the newsletter, please let me or one of the other officers know and we will make a copy available for you or help you access the newsletter on the internet. The web page is:

Presidents Column

Jim Hall, AA8Y

The School Club Roundup at Sacajawea Middle School was lots of fun for both the kids and the adults helping,. I was there for some of it and had a blast. The kids did a great job. Andby the end of the week had turned into a team of pretty good operators and but that time were all want to sit behind the mike. It was great watching those kids got from a little afraid on Monday to real pros on Friday.

The Tech classes being put on by Jack, N7ODN look like they are successful, with 15 students who all look eager to get a license and start talking on the radio. We can all hope they do well on the exams on march 3rd.

Some of us went out to Bohart ranch last weekend and helped provide communications for the biathlon they were haveing on both Saturday and Sunday Feb 17th and 18th . it was my first time but I thought it was fun and interesting. We had a beautiful day on Saturday when I was there.

Its time that we figured out where we are going to have field and how we are going to run it this year.

It was decided to try publishing the newsletter only on the GHRC web page on the internet beginning with the April issue. The reason behind this change is that half the dues go to copying and postage costs. If anyone doesn't have internet access or has trouble accessing the club web page please let me or one of the officers know and we will make arrangements to have a copy available to you.

Meeting Minutes

Gallatin Ham Radio Club

Minutes of February 1, 2001 Meeting – submitted by KD7FVR, Ron

The February meeting was held at Sacajawea Middle School. President Jim AA8Y called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. 24 members were in attendance.

Minutes of the January 2001 meeting were approved as printed in the newsletter.


Harley KI7XF reported that the club balance is approximately $1430.00. Treasurer's report was accepted by unanimous vote.


Don N7FLT announced that the Middle School needs a new Dot Matrix Printer. A donation of a working printer is welcome.

Vivian K7CUB passed around a sign up sheet for volunteers to assist with the School Club Roundup during the week of February 12 – 16. She relayed a thank you from the organizers of the Cross Country Ski Races for our participation in their event. The word for our assistance was "Stellar." Vivian has also been asked for ham support at the Biathlon on February 17th and 18th. The Olympic trials will be held in early January next year. They will be counting on us for some assistance.

Don KC7EWZ read a letter from the County Commission. The EOC needs to be vacated by the end of February to an as yet unnamed site.

Jack N7ODN said that the publicity for the Technician Classes is working. He has about 14 interested in the course. Seven have sent money. Classes are to be held Feb 19, 21, 23, and 26 at 632 Cobleigh Hall. The exam is March 3rd.

The class will be taught from the old Technician tapes. The club voted to purchase the new General Class tapes. If the quality is good, the VE's will purchase the new Technician tapes.


Harley KI7XF said that we are spending about $50.00/ month on the newsletter. After discussion it was decided that we would mail out one more paper version of the letter. This letter will announce the phase out of paper version and the transition to an electronic newsletter posted on the web site. Ron KD7FVR will post both a text (HTML) version and a PDF version of the newsletter on the Web Site. Don KC7EWZ will e-mail the link to the newsletter to all who notify him that they want on the e-mail list. A few printed copies will still be brought to the club meeting for those who do not have Internet access.


Fred KE7X suggested the possibility of having every second Saturday breakfast at the East Main Diner. He will check out the diner to determine if they would have space for us and will communicate his findings to the club.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.

After the meeting, Don KC7EWZ presented a very educational and interesting program on GPS and land navigation: an introduction UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) grid coordinates. He had videotape introducing the subject and handed out worksheets with exercises to help us understand the concepts. Thanks Don for a very well done presentation.

School Club Roundup

Submitted by Vivian, K7CUB

The Sacajawea Ham Radio Club was involved in the School Club Roundup during the week of February 12. The students were limited to 6 hours of operation each day. The students were scheduled into radio time as a team. One person talked on the radio, one person logged the contact on paper, and one person logged the contact on the computer. If the students talked to someone in all 50 states, part of there score was multiplied. If they spoke with someone in a foreign country, or another school club, that was a multiplier also.

This year the students contacted 415 people, 49 states, 29 foreign countries, 7 clubs and 37 schools. The students increase their enthusiasm for learning more about how to get licensed in ham radio. Their work as a team increased greatly and all the effort in preparation paid off greatly. A HUGE thank you to ALL the people who helped as control operators. Without these helpers, the contest would not happen. THANK YOU!

Students participating are the following: Lambert, Mark S., Mark Y. Arrianna, Jen, Megan, Mackenzie, Carson, Luke, Matt, Ryen, Nathan, Eben, and Thayer.

Biathlon Races

Submitted by Vivian, K7CUB

Thank you to all the people who helped with the Biathlon Race at Bohart February 17-18. The people up there are extremely pleased with the help that we are able to give them. They have begun to depend on our help for monitoring the race course. We have gained admiration from that community and they GREATLY appreciate our help. Thank you

Jim AA8Y

Vivian K7CUB

Doug KK7VC


Ralph KC7PFH




Rick KB7KB

Jack N7ODN

one that I can not think of right now.

VE Test Sessions

Test sessions are held at 9 am in room 632 at

Cobleigh Hall on the MSU Campus the first Saturday AFTER the first Thursday during the following months: December, March, June, September. This schedule may be revised. Make sure to check your newsletter each month for any changes to the VE Testing Schedule.

For more info: Contact Jack, N7ODN

2001 Schedule

March 3rd

June 9th

September 8th

December 8th

Happenings Page

Schedule of Events

bulletMar. 1st – Club meeting 7 pm at Sacajawea Middle School
bulletMar. 3rd – Ham and eggs at 4 corners café. Exams room 632 Cobleigh Hall
bulletMar. 6th – 146.88 net at 8 PM
bulletMar. 10th – Ham and eggs at 4 corners café.
bulletMar. 13th – 146.88 net at 8 PM
bulletMar. 17th – Ham and eggs at 4 corners café.
bulletMar. 20th – 146.88 net at 8 PM
bulletMar. 24th – Ham and eggs at 4 corners café.
bulletMar. 27th – 146.88 net at 8 PM
bulletMar. 31st – Ham and eggs at 4 corners café.

March 2001.








1 Club




Ham & eggs @

Four Corners




Net 146.88





Ham & eggs @

Four Corners




Net 146.88





Ham & eggs @

Four Corners




Net 146.88





Ham & eggs @

Four Corners




Net 146.88





Ham & eggs @

Four Corners

If you have any events you would like to see posted here, please email or mail them to the Editor for inclusion in the April newsletter. Deadline: 27th

Hamfests & National Amateur Radio Events


ARRL International DX Contest, phone

See Dec 2000, QST, page 110 for details


Mar 6 (open)

Mar 13 (open

Mar 20 (open)

Mar 27 (open) 




If you have not signed up as a net control operator yet. Please do so! As members of the GHRC, each of us should take a half an hour from time to time to run the net. This is a small sacrifice in time which greatly enhances the quality of our net and our club.

If you have never run a net, contact Don, KC7EWZ for information on running the net. It’s really easy! Running the net is a great experience which will help prepare you for participating in emergency communications.

The net meets every Tuesday evening at 8 PM 0n 146.88



The technician classes being put on by Jack, N7ODN, that are now in progress as this is being written has 15 students enrolled, they range from 6th grade and up. It looks like a good group and we all hope they do well on March 3rd when they take the exams.

Jack N7ODN has done a good job of putting the class material together. And enlisted the help of some of the other club members to give talks the first night to give the students some insight in the different aspects of the hobby.









Don Wilson KC7EWZ

I have thought about writing a GPS column for the newsletter for quite awhile so here goes. My idea is to present a small topic on GPS each month. It would also be interesting to answer questions from readers in the column. For a while the articles will probably be related in a "how to use a GPS" format. If you have questions you would like addressed in the column send them to me at:

Don Wilson

418 S. Black Ave

Bozeman, MT. 59715


Before you can use your GPS most effectively there are several settings in the GPS that you should be familiar with. Refer to your owner’s manual to see how to set these up. These settings are often found in the "setup" menu of your unit.

1. Mode – The choices for which mode are:

a. Normal – Usually this is the default mode upon powering up.

b. Battery saver – This mode is designed to save batteries by turning the unit off rapidly, much like your HT when in battery saving mode. When you are our in the field all day and battery life is important, this is probably the preferred mode. When you need to take a careful track it is probably better to be in normal mode.

c. Simulator or demo mode. This is a useful mode to save batteries when using the GPS indoors when it would not be able to receive signals from the satellites. It will not try to receive them thus saving the error messages and batteries. It is important to realize that the position given is not your true position and not to use the information for navigation.

2. Time – A bonus of carrying a GPS is the availability of accurate time. Whenever the GPS is turned on it synchronizes its internal clock with the atomic clocks on the satellites. This time is technically known as GPS time. Note that this time is within a few seconds of world standard time but not necessarily the same. The time stored in the GPS is UTC and you can change this time to local time by entering the offset from UTC in the time settings of your setup menu. For MST the offset is 7 hours behind UTC. During daylight savings time the offset is 6 hours behind UTC.

3. Units of measurement – Most units can be set to statute, nautical, or metric units. You might want your unit to display statute miles if you are on land and using Lat Long as your coordinate system. You would probably want to use Metric distances if you were using UTM coordinate system since the UTM coordinates are metric. If you were on the ocean using marine charts the choice might be nautical units.

4. North setting – Most receivers allow you to use true north, magnetic north or grid north. The easiest setting for use with maps and a compass that has adjustable declination would be to use true north. If you are not using maps and your compass doesn’t have a declination setting, you might want to use magnetic north. This would make it easier to use the compass with the GPS. It is important that the compass and GPS match.

5. Map datum – If you are going to use your GPS with a map of any kind you need to be concerned with this setting. A datum is a model of the earth’s surface based on a surveyed network of physical points. If the datum in the GPS does not match the datum of the map you are using, errors in position ranging from a few meters to over mile might be experienced. In North America the most common datum is the North American Datum of 1927 (NAD27). This is the datum used on all USGS maps and USDA Forest Service maps. Your GPS may break NAD27 into separate datums for the North American Continent. For example in the Garmin III+ the available NAD27 is broken down into:

NAD27 Alaska

NAD27 Bahamas

NAD27 Canada

NAD27 Canal Zn

NAD27 Caribbn

NAD27 Central


NAD27 Cuba

NAD27 Grnland

NAD27 Mexico

NAD27 San Sal

In the above case the correct datum to choose for our area is NAD27 CONUS (Continental United States). The other datum you need to be concerned with is WGS84. This is the datum used by the GPS satellites and receivers. The only map that I currently own, which uses the WGS84 datum, is the DeLorme Atlas and Gazatteer series for the states.

6. Coordinate system – Coordinate systems are the link between a map and the world they represent. They are also the link between GPS receivers and the physical world around us. Coordinates define precisely where on earth we are located.

The two most common Coordinate systems are the familiar latitude and longitude found on most maps. This system is based on angular measurements expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds. Although it is the most familiar coordinate system it is also the most difficult to apply to linear distances on the ground. When choosing latitude and longitude for your coordinate system you have the choice of three formats:


dd mm.mmm

dd mm

For example the three different forms of latitude longitude of Sacajawea middle school where we have our meetings is:

N 45.64494 in dd.ddddd format


N 45degrees 38.696 minutes in dd mm.mmm format

W111 degrees 02.700 minutes

N 45 degrees 38 minutes 41.8 seconds in dd mm format

W111 degrees 02 minutes 42.5 seconds

These are the most important settings you must be familiar with before you begin to use your GPS in navigating through the world while using a map. Next month I will talk about the use of the GPS alone in navigating and finding your way. See you then.