DIXIE AMATEUR RADIO CLUB


MARCH 2005 NEWSLETTER




MARCH 2005 CLUB MEETING

Tom Allen

Amateur Electronic Supply
Tom, W7TAA
Tom Allen, W7TAA, Assistant Manager of Amateur Electronic Supply's Las Vegas, Nevada branch will be the featured guest presenter at our March 2005 meeting. Tom will present information on what is happening in terms of new equipment, features and other spicy information regarding the state of the art and future of Amateur Radio equipment from his perspective. He is also giving away a brand new Icom IC7800 to everyone who attends that evening*.

We expect this to be an interesting, educational and fun filled evening. We need to let Tom and the rest of the crew at the Las Vegas AES know how much we appreciate the convenience and great customer service we have received from them over the years.

Please note that the meeting will be held one week later than "usual" and will be held on:

  Wednesday, March 23, 2005
7:00 P.M.

 AT THE 
FIVE COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS
Tonaquint Center Office Building
1070 West 1600 South, Building B
(Just off of Dixie Drive)
St. George, Utah

Click HERE for a map and driving directions to the meeting.


*early April Fools joke- I am just kidding! I wanted to see if you were paying attention. You will NOT receive an Icom IC7800 unless you place your order in advance and bring your check for $10,599.99  Otherwise, please come out to the meeting on March 23rd anyways. It should be fun!


Other items to be discussed at the club meeting are the following:

Dixie Amateur Radio Club Emergency Preparedness Plan - Status Report- Gary Zabriskie
Upcoming Events/Volunteers - Dan Farwell
April Meeting Announcement - Gary Zabriskie
Training Class for Technician Class - Update
Other Happenings


V.E.TESTING

A Volunteer Examiner (VE) test session will be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2005
at 6:00 P.M.  at the FCAOG Office building location:
1070 West 1600 South, Building B
Tonaquint Center Business Park
St. George, Utah

The FCAOG building will be open at 5:45 P.M.
 for those coming for the test session.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ONLY THE TESTING WILL TAKE PLACE THIS EVENING.
THE DARC MEETING THIS MONTH WILL BE HELD ONE WEEK LATER ON MARCH 23rd

The tesing will be held in the Library room.

  If you are a person desiring to take an Amateur Radio test or a ham wanting to upgrade this month,
or are a Volunteer Examiner who would like to help out, please contact Dan Farwell at 668-2436

Click HERE for a map and driving directions to the test session


coax

Message From the President:

It is exciting to know that the weather has turned away from day after day of rain and cool temperatures to the more traditional blue sky and sunshine. Peoples thoughts turn to gardening, getting outside and other pursuits that wintertime tends to damper. We would normally welcome such a standard annual occurrence with little concern. This year, however, we need to be cognizant of the much above normal snowpack levels that are still evident in the mountains surrounding our little corner of the world. Those people who are knowledgeable in the skills of estimating potential stream flows and possibilities of flooding  I am sure are working diligently to stay a step ahead of the potential problems.

So where does the Amateur Radio Operators at this point come into play in this? In my opinion the best thing we can do right now is individually take an inventory of your present circumstances. And this is not just for flooding, but for other natural and man-made disasters or events that may occur.  Do you know where all of you ham equipment and accessories are located? Do you know where the power cables and adapters are? DO you have ready access to spare fuses? Can you run off of 12VDC at home? In your car?  Do you keep you gas tank usually mostly filled (are the gas pumps going to be running AFTER a disaster?)  Do you know where a copy of your radio(s) manual is  so you can know, as well as possibly other operators to change PL Tone settings or frequencies.  Have you tested all your rigs and antennas recently on the bands you can operate? The best way to do this is to operate those modes and bands BEFORE a disaster strikes. Have you become familiar with the HF propagation conditions? If you operate mobile have you found, like I have, the areas around town that are conducive to HF operation and the RF black holes we have in town (one is Convention Center Drive here in St. George).

I guess what I am trying to say is knowledge is power. At the March meeting I will be distributing a FEMA soft cover workbook entitled: "Are You Prepared?". If you don't already have a copy of this book, it is a great source of information on better preparing yourself and your family  for the eventuality of a event in this area.  The purpose of the Planning Team I have assembled will be to develop a better means of interfacing our capabilities as a whole with the public agencies and private organizations we will be expected to provide services for "...when all else fails!"

Please come out to the March meeting on the 23rd and help make this Club YOUR club.  Thanks for everything you do!

73,
Gary N7ARE
coax
Report of Recent Events

The following report comes courtesy of our Club Secretary Hal Whiting, KD7TKP.  He is reporting on the Zion Country Early Spring Century bicycle road race held on Saturday March 5, 2005. I am reproducing his analysis in its entirety because I believe it to be the best critique of one of these events I have seen in a long time:

I arrived on site approximately 30 minutes early (7:30 am).  Bob Kinney (KE7CZB) was busy installing what appeared to be a PA system, but took the time to ask me if I was one of his radio operators.  I asked him where he wanted me to set up and he advised to be as close to the tent as possible.  I did have the RV and was able to be within about 20 ft from the tent.  I set up the radio equipment on a desk in front of the RV and had my antennas mounted on top of the RV and used my generator for power.  I did have battery backup established in the event of generator failure. Bob said he did have a generator that he would set up, but I was concerned with what other equipment he might be hooking up to it and power requirements (as it turns out, there was only a stereo connected).  I used a copper pipe J-Pole for 440 and a 5/8 whip for the 2 meter.  I also had the HF there and was able to check in on the beehive & high noon nets.  The physical location presented interference from a high voltage power line running along the street.  HF was not very useable in that location...just thinking about if we need to use HF for emergency operations at the Dixie Center.....maybe it was isolated to where I was at.

Repeaters:
The repeater 146.82 did a great job.  After Dean took it off the intertie, the clarity was great and no interference noted at any time.  The 440 repeater also seemed to work well excepting for a brief period after someone had been talking on it for a few minutes and it apparently timed out.<

Radio Operators:
Gordon & Jeanie Shipley-KD7SGN KE7CIB, were in place at Hurricane City Park, Steve & Leila Horne-KF7HY KF7HW, were in place on the overlook area, Casey Lofthouse-KD7HUS & Jim Meyer-KD7UPD were positioned at the SR-9/Telegraph Intersection.  Casey did do some Rover work trying to herd the groups onto the right roads.  Thom Oliphant-KE7DBH was the on-site EMT for the St. George area.

Problems:
The maps for the tour were very lacking.  They were not clear as to locations or miles.  It would have been great to have a real map.. (Lesson 1 for me).  There were mechanical malfunctions along the way with riders and the support staff were either lost or way too busy.  We did have requests for information regarding bike repair shops.  I did not have a phone book..(Lesson 2 for me), so I called information on the cell phone and got a number, called the local bike shop who gave me the number for a bike shop in Springdale.  Although that was not our primary purpose from what I understand, but we were able to get information that the tour support staff did not have available to the riders.  There were many questions from family, friends, and riders that could not be answered by me.  The person who was at the start/finish line did not have any information she was able to give out.  The tour staff could not be reached by cell phone and the only contact we had was if one of our radio operators were able to make contact in person along the course.  We did have requests for assistance regarding broken down cyclists needing transport and also a "lost" 13 year old rider (he was only misplaced). 

I think the DARC members did a great job.  They were motivated and enthusiastic and very much wanted to do a professional job.  I believe we were seriously hampered in that effort by the lack of communication with the support staff for the tour.  The only function we could serve as the tour progressed, would have been to call 911, just like the riders could have done.  There were some locations where radio contact was limited, but for the most part, communication was up and functional.  Medic 1 (Thom Oliphant, KE7DBH) was great to get to talk to and he was excited about being a ham.  I think we can really get him involved.

The "Finish Line BBQ" was not.  The equipment was there, but no one there to start it.  As such, riders were finishing and leaving.  There were quite a few who were not very happy.  Apparently the race course was not marked well at all.  After talking with Casey, KD7HUS, I advised the DARC operators that the net would end at 2:30 pm. 

 Suggestions:
1.  Bring a phone book
2.  Bring a very good map
3.  Have radio contact with event officials
4.  Bring sunscreen and DEET
5.  Bring a folding table for equipment
6.  Make the comm site look good as photos were taken
7.  Put a DARC/ARRL logo or placard at the comm site

Overall, I think it was a good experience.  My J-pole came together the night before and worked really well.  My generator was able to run 6 hours with no problems. It was helpful to have two separate radios to monitor the two different repeaters.

Dan,  Thanks for your efforts in getting this organized.  I do believe DARC made a very good showing in spite of some adverse situations and it was good preparation for times ahead when we will be needed and things will not be organized and we have to improvise.  Lets do it again!!  I had a great time!

Hal K.Whiting, KD7TKP


Thank you Hal for providing this report. We REALLY need to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly on each event we participate with. Without participants critiquing these events, we can't improve our capabilities and our level of professionalism in future events we participate in. Well done to eveyone who assisted!
coax
SOLAR PANELS

Low Cost Solar Panels are NOW available on a first come first served basis!
 
The long-awaited solar panels are now available!
 
 Specifications: 

Size: 12" X 36", All glass (Old technology) with aluminum framework.


Rating: 15 to 18 volts D.C. at 1.5 to 2.0 amps in full sun

Supplied with protection diode- Fully assembled and tested at $50.00 each.
                                                   
These panels were to originally to have been sold as do it yourself kits and assembled as a club project.  They were to have been offered at $40.00 each unassembled. Due to scheduling conflicts and the delicate nature of the project they have been fully assembled and tested for your convenience.
 
Great for keeping your RV batteries charged while not in use and perfect for your battery powered emergency station or portable solar / battery QRP or two meter station.

Contact:  Dan Farwell W8EQA

w8eqa@infowest.com
 

coax
Please help support the club!

Dues for 2005 are being solicited. Dues are $15.00 per member ($20.00 per family for multiple ham families).
Please make your check payable to "DARC" and bring it to the meeting or mail it to the club address:

Dixie Amateur Radio Club
P.O. Box 422
Santa Clara, UT 84765

DARC IS AN ARRL AFFILIATED CLUB

ARRL LOGO

2005 Board of Directors
President: Gary Zabriskie, N7ARE
Vice President: Dan Hinkle, KD7RSR
Secretary: Hal Whiting, KD7TKP
Treasurer: Leila Horne, KF7HW
Board Members:
Casey Lofthouse, KD7HUS
Dave Owens, K7VNH
Dan Farwell, W8EQA


coax

 AREA REPEATER INFORMATION:

REPEATER LOCATION INPUT/OUTPUT  FREQUENCIES
SUBAUDIBLE ACCESS TONE FREQUENCY
CEDAR CITY-MILFORD 146.340MHz/146.940MHz
100.0 Hz
SEEGMILLER PEAK 146.310MHz/146.910MHz 100.0 Hz
DARC REPEATER
(ROCKY POINT – STONE CLIFFS DEV.)
146.040MHz/146.640MHz
UTAH HILL (SNOWBIRD LINK) 146.220MHz/146.820MHz
DARC – UTAH HILL 144.890MHz/145.490MHz 100.0 Hz
HARMONY MTN (BERYL-CEDAR-ENTERPRISE) 146.080MHz/146.680MHz
CEDAR CITY
146.160MHz/146.760MHz 123.0 Hz
BLOWHARD PEAK (BRIAN HEAD)
146.200MHz/146.800MHz
MESQUITE 147.930MHz/147.330MHz 123.0 Hz
 LOGANDALE-OVERTON-L. VEGAS
 (LINKED TO 147.330)
147.990MHz/147.390MHz
SEEGMILLER PEAK
444.325MHz/449.325MHz
KANAB
146.280MHz/146.880MHz
JACOBS LAKE
147.900MHz/147.300MHz
SPENCER BENCH
146.120MHz/146.720MHz
 
NOTE:  If you have more current information on repeaters in the area, including surrounding areas such as
 Cedar City, Mesquite, etc. please e-mail that information to the Webmaster




  THERE IS NO BETTER TIME TO JOIN THE ARRL!
JOIN THE ARRL! It's the only organization that represents hams at the government level. The current resources available to us through the ARRL are astounding. Check out their web site and find out what's going on!

   Click HERE for the ARRL website.

ARRL Trademark and logo courtesy ARRL

coax

REGULARLY OCCURING ACTIVITIES:

Amateur Electronic Supply Swapmeet
 
4640 S. Polaris Ave., Las Vegas, Nevada
First Saturday of every month
Starts at 7:00 AM Pacific Time (8:00 AM Mountain Time)

coax

Don't forget the DARC Sunday evening net!

DON'T FORGET THE NET! THE SUNDAY NIGHT NET
  MEETS AT 7:00 P.M. MST ON THE 146.91 REPEATER



The DIXIE AMATEUR RADIO CLUB call sign is W7DRC.

In the event that the 146.91 repeater is not operational we will conduct the Sunday evening net on 145.49.
If none of these repeaters are operational we will conduct the DARC Sunday net on 146.91 Simplex.

PLEASE NOTE THAT BEGINING ON SUNDAY APRIL 3RD THE NET
 TIME WILL CHANGE TO 8:00 P.M. MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME



HAM CARTOON
courtesy of  www.qsl.net/k4adl




Please send your questions, complaints, newsletter articles, ham gear, money, accolades,
and anything but your troubles to: Gary Zabriskie, N7ARE