Dixie Amateur Radio Club

 March 2006 Edition                                      Amateur Radio... When All Else Fails !

In This Edition:

º March Meeting:  Echolink/IRLP Presentation/Demonstration

º Volunteer Exam Testing Available

º President's Message

º BPL News

º Where are the hams in our area located?

º Minutes from February 15th Meeting



Links of Interest:

The National Association for Amateur Radio

Rainbow Canyons Amateur Radio Club
Amateur radio club in the Cedar City area

Amateur Electronic Supply
The closet place to home to spend money on what drives our habit 

Utah VHF Society
Link to current repeater news and directories

Contact DARC:

Join the ARRL!

Please help support the club!

Dues for 2006 are now being solicited. Dues are $15.00 per member ($20.00 per family for multiple ham families). Check the Club's membership ROSTER to see that you are shown as current. We will even accept your tardy dues for 2005 if you feel the slightest bit of guilt.  If you know you were negligent in 2005, you are on the honor system.  To pay your membership dues, please make a check or money order 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

Use Courtesy of: www.qsl.net/k4adl

The Callsign of the Dixie Amateur Radio Club is:

Our Club has members who are primarily located in southwestern Utah in the greater St. George City area:

Please get involved... ...this is your Club!

Please help make
this Club


March 2006 Club Meeting: 

Note: The meeting will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at the St. George Community and Arts Building (Old Dixie Academy) located at 86 South Main Street, St. George.

"EchoLink/Internet Relay Link Protocol Communications"

This month's club meeting will be a presentation by Dixie Amateur Radio Club member Thom Oliphant, KC1EMS, who will be giving those in attendance a demonstration in the use of EchoLink/IRLP.

According to the IRLP web site:
The aim [ of IRLP ] is to reliably and inexpensively link amateur radio systems without the use of RF links, leased lines, or satellites.

IRLP uses Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) custom software and hardware.  Coupled with the power of the Internet, IRLP will link your repeater site or simplex station to the world in a simple and cost effective way.

IRLP operates a worldwide network of dedicated servers and nodes offering very stable worldwide voice communications between hundreds of towns and cities.  All this with unsurpassed uptimes and the full dynamic range of telephone quality audio.

From the EchoLink web site:
EchoLink® software allows licensed Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology.  The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, or from computer to station, greatly enhancing Amateur Radio's communications capabilities.  There are more than 170,000 registered users in 158 nations worldwide!

Also on the agenda will be:

- Report on VE Test Session
- Report on the meeting of the DARC Board (March 11, 2006)
- Repeater status
- Update on Club Inventory
- Emcomm committee Updates
- Tech committee Updates
- Special Events committee
: Upcoming Events (Volunteers Always Needed)
- Public Relations committee
- Class status
- Code classes
- Licensing classes
- Net controllers
- OtherPlanned events
- Other Business
- Refreshments

Volunteer Exam Session:

There will be a ARRL Volunteer Exam Session held at 6:00 P.M. at the same location as the Club Meeting.

If you are a person desiring to take an Amateur Radio test or a currently licensed ham wanting to upgrade this month, or are a Volunteer Examiner who would like to help out at a session, please contact please contact V.E. Coordinator Ron Sappington, WI7Z, via e-mail or telephone (435) 673-4552; or Board Member Dan Farwell, W8EQA,  via e-mail or telephone at (435) 668-1609. Please contact these gentlemen no later than Tuesday, March 14, 2006 to assure a test session for you.

Presidents Message:

Hal Whiting,KI2U, 2006 DARC PresidentIt is great to see the Dixie Amateur Radio Club Sunday Evening Net growing in membership.  It is also good to see other amateur radio groups wanting to interact with us. Our purpose is to provide effective radio communications in the event of an emergency and that is the direction we are moving.  I appreciate everyone that listed their interests during the last club meeting.  We are going to be using that list to help develop committees to help in our goals.  I believe that if the community sees that we are organized and making an active presence, more will come to an understanding of what we do and want to be a part of us.  It has been suggested that this year we set up a Special Events station in addition to our Field Day and Marathon activities.  I think this could be a great public relations activity, limited only by the enthusiasm of those participating.  This month Thom Oliphant, KC1EMS is going to be presenting on EchoLink and IRLP communications.  Ron Sappington will be doing the training in April on EMCOMM. 

How many of you have tried doing the two-meter single sideband communications?  All license classes Technician through Amateur Extra are authorized to use that mode of communications.  One of the local operators reports making contacts as far away as the Mississippi River using this mode of communication.  Talking locally without the repeater using sideband is very effective and provides very clear audio.  The frequencies open for sideband use in Utah are 144.100-144.275 Mhz with 144.200 Mhz being the calling frequency.  http://utahvhfs.org/bandplan1.html  FM transmissions are not allowed in this portion of the spectrum.  What does it take to get into two meter sideband?  Used two meter sideband radios are available for as low as $50.  Normally a horizontal polarized antenna would be used, but we have been making good communications just using our existing J-pole antennas.  The link above has some great information in it both on frequencies and in operating practice.

The ARRL emergency communications courses are still available and worth the money they cost.  If you are interested in being actively involved in emergency communications, consider getting training to better prepare you.  The better prepared we are, the better we can serve.

I thank each one of you for your efforts in making the club a success.

Hal K. Whiting
Bulloch Brothers Engineering, Inc.
750 West Pioneer Blvd.
Mesquite, NV 89027
Phone 702-346-5100
Fax 702-346-5102

ARRL to FCC: Order an End to Arbitrary Access Limits to BPL Database
(Feb 24, 2006 courtesy of ARRL, Inc) -- NEWINGTON, CT, --
The ARRL has demanded that the FCC order the United Telecom Council (UTC) to "cease its arbitrary limits" on access to the public BPL Interference Resolution Web site Web site. UTC administers the site, which FCC Part 15 rules require to be "publicly available." In a complaint filed February 23 with the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, the FCC Enforcement Bureau and UTC, the League charged UTC with "arbitrarily and unlawfully" preventing radio amateurs, the ARRL and other Amateur Radio groups from utilizing the BPL database.

"Quite simply, UTC's 'management' of this database has in a very short time proven a shambles," ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, wrote on the League's behalf. "The Commission has taken no action in response to any BPL interference complaints, but UTC's restricting access to the database is directly and overtly contrary to the specific language of both the Report and Order (R&O) and §15.615 of the Commission's rules."

According to the complaint, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, found himself locked out of the BPL database February 14 after attempting to search a particular ZIP code. An "error" message warned: "The System has determined that this line of searching constitues [sic] unauthorized use of the database. Cease operations immediately."

"There was no unauthorized use of the database," Imlay said, noting that an ARRL staff member received the same message after attempting to search two ZIP codes from an e-mail address in the "arrl.org" domain. "It was apparent thereafter that anyone using an 'arrl.org' domain name was unilaterally shut out of the database by UTC for an indeterminate amount of time," the League's complaint continued.

Imlay also cited the experience of Gary Zabriskie, N7ARE, the secretary of the Dixie Amateur Radio Club in Utah. On February 15, he attempted a search covering several ZIP codes in the club's membership area to report any BPL trials or rollouts to the club's members. He received the same "error" message after entering the third ZIP code. The following week, Imlay noted, a member of the ARRL Laboratory staff conducted a series of searches to determine if previously noted discrepancies in the database had been corrected. After entering his seventh ZIP code search, he received a message indicating that he had exceeded his search limit, "though you may try again later," the message added.

A advisory on the BPL Interference Resolution Web Site page states: "Access via scripted or automated programs is prohibited. Each individual is allowed to search a limited number of times. Individuals are advised not to conduct random searches of the database, or their access to the database may be further restricted."

Asserted the ARRL in its complaint: "The limits placed unilaterally and apparently variably on searches of the database are each and all improper. There is nothing in any Commission document that authorizes UTC to limit access to the database whatsoever." Even worse, the League went on, UTC was limiting public access arbitrarily by IP address or domain name, "and apparently as few as three ZIP code searches trigger the cutoff mechanism." The League said there is no technical reason to limit the search function.

The League maintains that the design of the database and the restricted access are "clearly intended to frustrate the Commission's purpose" in requiring the database in the first place and "to inhibit complaints of interference" from BPL systems. As a result, the ARRL says, the FCC should immediately rescind UTC's appointment as the BPL database administrator or order UTC to end its arbitrary limits on access to the database "without delay."

Earlier this month, the League complained to the FCC that the UTC-administered BPL Interference Resolution Web Site database was "woefully incomplete and improperly managed."

Editors Note: As far as can be ascertained from UTC's inadequate database, which is tough to utilize for "random" searches, there are no current implementations of BPL internet anywhere in the state of Utah.

Here is a link to the ARRL BPL Interference Database.  Now this is a "real" database.

Suggested reading from the database is the Cottonwood, Arizona experience:
"When this system was first installed, the interference to amateur radio and other spectrum was stronger than anything observed elsewhere in the country.  Amateurs reported noise across several amateur bands that was as high as S9+60 dB. "

Repeat (since this is just too cool)
Where Are Amateur Radio Operators in An Area Located?

A special thanks is sent to Club Member Leila Horne, KF7HW, who sent along a link to a web site owned by a Los Altos Amateur Betty Chang, KE6UZM.

This site uses Google Maps in conjunction with the FCC License Database to visually see where ham readio operators are located, based upon the street address in the database. It is really kind of neat. Thanks Leila, for the heads up on this cool site.

Here is the link to the site:

Minutes of Previous Club Meeting:

Click Here for the Minutes from February 2005 Club Meeting