The Reflector April 2011


Hi Folks,

Been a busy March, and April promises to be busy as well. I have a lot of stuff to touch on so here we go.


The Tailgate Party was a real success with a lot of gear to look at and a lot of good deals to be had. The inside room was full of gear from the KS4JW estate and a number of folks said “Gosh…he had a LOT of gear!”

We had PITS-1 set up with an HF antenna and a dual band X-50, plus power supplies inside so any gear could be checked out before purchase, and there was a lot of purchasing going on. There were several “tailgaters” outside and despite the return of chilly temperatures, there were a number of folks walking around.

I had several folks tell me how much they enjoyed the visit and asked when we’d be doing this again. We did a poll that afternoon and it was unanimous that this was something we should think about doing, so we’ll discuss making it a yearly event at the meeting.


Special thanks here to Bill and Dawn for getting us the location, plus coffee and doughnuts, and to new member Amy Castleberry who brought a large Hummingbird cake and Dana who brought Sausage-Cheese biscuits (what, you thought we wouldn’t have something to eat?).

The remainder of the KS4JW gear is in storage with the WX4AMH radio station, and we’ll be adding a list to the website in case you want another shot at a purchase. We’ll also discuss how that will be handled at the April meeting. Holly also accepted our bid on the TS-480 Kenwood you saw at the last meeting, so our Com Trailer has another radio in its “arsenal.”


The Midmonth Breakfast had a surprise visitor, Ray, WB4YCG, who made the considerable drive from Plains to see how we were doing. He’s looking well and far more rested than last I saw him, and promises to visit again real soon.


The Friday “Ragchew Breakfast” sessions continue to be well attended, and are at the Seminole Wind Restaurant every Friday morning at 8:30am.


April starts off with a bang, as the ARES group will be involved in a new “Spring SET” that encompasses Georgia and all three Florida Sections. It happens on the morning of April 2nd at 9am and runs until around 1pm.


Rather than have everyone running around, we’re doing this one as a tabletop, with home stations representing hospitals and EOCs. The GAARES HF Net will be in session starting at 9am, and there will be a local VHF net called as well. For more information about what we’ll be doing, I’d suggest checking in with John, KE4RWR, on the SW District ARES Net, which follows the club net on Thursday nights at 9pm.


The 50th Anniversary Georgia QSO Party will take place the following weekend (April 9-10). We had a lot of fun with this event last year, and it’s a good event for someone new to HF who wants to get his or her feet wet in contesting.


As we’re a Georgia station, people will be on the hunt for us, “county hunters” in particular. Simply put, we camp out on a frequency and let them come to us. On several occasions last year, the contacts came in so fast that the loggers couldn’t keep up.


So what’s a County Hunter? They’re Hams who want to work every county in a state, and Georgia is a difficult state due to the sheer number of counties, 159 at last count. That’s second only to Texas, which has 254. That number almost guarantees that several counties won’t have a licensed ham living there, and for those counties, there are “Rovers.” What’s a Rover? Ask N0TW….


We asked for a show of hands of participants at the last meeting and there were only a few, probably because of a few calendars needing to be checked. Please do think about joining us and continuing to make this an annual club event.


Finally the TOSRV Bike Race takes place on April 16th and 17th. TARC covers the ride from Cairo to Sale City and as the Metric Race starts at Cairo High at 8am, those riders will be on us almost immediately. We need around 12 operators for this event so please let me know if you are available.


I’ll be set up as Net Control at Sale City with PITS-1 and depending on the weather, maybe PEACH as well. We’re usually through on Saturday around 1pm, and by 3pm on Sunday.


If you haven’t signed up yet and requested a T-Shirt, do so now at the CCC Website at: 


The meeting, like the SET, is on April 2nd and will be at the Plaza at 7:30pm. Plan on arriving at 6pm if you want to order supper. We have a lot to discuss, so please make plans to be there. I look forward to seeing you and your family there!





A+ Test Results and a location change!


Our last test session at the Library had two people show up for tests and one was successful in his quest for an upgrade.


Congratulations to Roy Alligood, KJ4VHL, who is now a new General Class operator.


The Library is about to undergo a significant rebuild, and because of that, the test location will change to the Thomas County EOC until the renovations are complete.


The actual date of the next test session is in question as TOSRV is being held on “Test Weekend.” Watch for an email from Mike regarding what date it will move to.









The following Members of our Radio Family have April Birthdays:


Eleanor Doering - 8th

Theresa James – 10th

Ken Lanter – 14th

Mary Saunders – 16th

Mark Swicord – 17th

Curt Heath – 28th

John Swicord – 30th


Don’t see your birthday? – Let us know at



Al Webb – In Memoriam

As you probably heard, Terry’s father Al went home to be with the Lord a few days ago at age 99. Al served in the US Navy and was retired from the Post Office. His favorite pastimes were gardening and fishing. 

I’d intended to do a memorial on him for the newsletter, but Terry has that covered in this issue of “Tenna Wizard.”

Everyone who got the chance to meet him at the November Fish Fry, enjoyed it and the ladies, in particular, left charmed.

Let us all join in holding up Terry and Marilyn in our thoughts and prayers


NØ Tenna Wizard: by Terry Webb, NØTW


A Tribute to Al


My Dad was not a ham, but he could easily have been one.  He enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone.


As you can probably tell, my article this month is a tribute to my father, Albert Franklin Webb, who passed from this life on March 20, 2011.  Many of you got to meet my dad at the fish fry last November.  He was 99 years old and very glad to have been able to come and meet all of you.  He especially liked the attention he received from the ladies!


My earliest recollection of my dad (as far as radio goes) was when I was 11 years old.  I had to learn the Morse code for Boy Scouts.  When dad found out that I liked radios and such, he told me that he had just given away all of his test equipment that he used to repair radios.  Such is life. 



The further I went in Scouting, the more I became involved with amateur radio.  I built a 1-tube receiver that used a couple of batteries and headphones.  I remember my dad listening to German short wave on that radio and his pleasure in its ability to hear a station from that distance.  He took me to the local Radio/TV parts store to purchase a few items that I could not scrounge from TV sets, etc.  One item I remember buying was 72-ohm feed-line.  This wire was sort of like 300 ohm TV wire but was much narrower - approximately the size of a lead pencil.  It worked just fine with my 50-watt Johnson Adventurer transmitter.


I would make QSOs from our ham radio station at high school and come home to tell my dad that I had talked to Russia or England.  One day after our ham club meeting, I called home for my dad to come pick me up.  I was just 14 years old and could not yet drive a car.  I was so excited as our club had handled a Mayday call from HC1OW in Quito, Ecuador.  We called the International Red Cross in Washington, D.C. and they made arrangements to have an antidote flown to Quito for a family of 8 who had drunk water from a well contaminated with arsenic.  My dad was very proud as our story made the front page of the local newspaper!


Dad arranged to have a 2-element beam placed on top of the TV tower on top of our 2-story house.  He did not want me to climb, as I did not have a climbing belt nor the strength needed for such a project.  This beam antenna worked very well with my Eico 753 3-band transceiver and opened up my adventures into DX!


Perhaps some of you have parents who are mildly interested in your hobby.  My dad enjoyed gardening as his favorite pastime.  But that did not stop him from finding time to listen to my ramblings about my hobby.  Just remember that not everyone wants to be a ham.  But having a parent who appreciates your hobby and who listens to your stories you have to tell about ham radio is very precious.  Take a moment to talk to your parents about their hobbies.  It could just open up a whole new segment of your life.






Ok folks, the time for paying your TARC dues has almost come and gone. We have traditionally started receiving club dues at the November Fish Fry because quite a few folks want to go ahead and take care of it.


Our club dues have NOT changed since 1981. They are $20.00 for single and $25.00 for family membership. You can’t say that about very many things this day and time. It seems like everything has either gone up or is in the process of doing so.


If you are unsure whether or not you have taken care of it, just let me know. I have two lists of paid members.


We have a number of honorary members and this is not directed towards them! We have according to last years list, about 95% paid plus we have some new folks that we didn’t have last year. We try to have them all in by the end of March, which gives everyone several months to do this.


Our club is in very good financial shape as I write this. We maintain two accounts at two different banks. We have our checking account at Thomas County Federal Savings & Loan and a savings account at the Commercial Bank, which are both located in Thomasville.


I thank you all for entrusting me with this job and try to do the best that I can with it!

So that’s it for now.


I haven’t written much and thought it was about time I tried to contribute a little something for the newsletter. I hope all of you are doing well.


Again our club is in very good shape and we all can thank our President, Mike Brown for his leadership and guidance. At this time it looks like another banner year for TARC!


Best regards,

Bobby - N4KXL






                                                               Weather Center



            Excuse me, could you tell me what time is it? That seems like a simple enough question but how do we deal with the fact that there are multiple time zones and of course we have standard time and daylight savings time.


            All aspects of meteorology are based upon a worldwide 24-hour clock called Zulu time (Z); more commonly called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). You will notice all weather maps, radar, and satellite images have their time expressed in "Z". The Zulu term stems from military usage while Coordinated Universal Time is the civilian term for this 24-hour clock.


            In order to convert Zulu time to your local time, you have to add or subtract a certain number of hours depending on where you are located in the world. In North America we have to subtract hours in order to convert the time to our local times here.  Here is a table that shows the proper conversions to use for the different time zones in the Southeastern United States


Local Time

Subtract from UTC:

a.                                                                                                                    Eastern Standard
b.                                                                                                                   Five hours
c.                                                                                                                    Eastern Daylight
d.                                                                                                                   Four hours
e.                                                                                                                   Central Standard
f.                                                                                                                     Six hours
g.                                                                                                                   Central Daylight
h.                                                                                                                   Five hour


One key point of confusion when using UTC is that the date also follows UTC. Let use our local time zone, currently Eastern Daylight, and you plan to check into a net that is scheduled 0300 UTC Friday April 1st. Using the chart above we calculate 0300 UTC is equal to 11:00 pm. Eastern Daylight time. So you tune into the net at 11:00 pm. on Friday only to find the net is not one the air. Since the date is also UTC, you should have tuned into the net at 11:00 pm. Thursday March 31st to join the net. So make sure you take the date into consideration when converting UTC time so you’re sure to get it right.


This is a radar image taken 03/30/11 9:51PM Eastern Daylight but the time on the image is

shown as 03/31/2011 0151 Z






DEC NWS Tallahassee, FL

Southwest Georgia District ARES



TARC Meeting Minutes for 3/05/11


The Meeting started at 7:45pm with the following announcements

b)      The March Test Session will occur on the 19th at the Thomas County Public Library at 10am.


c)      The Midmonth Breakfast will also be on the 19th at 8:30am at the Seminole Wind Restaurant


d)      The “Ragchew” Breakfast happens every Friday morning at 8:30am at Seminole Wind.


e)      The GAARES Spring SET will occur on April 2 starting at 9am and running until approximately 1pm. This is a “tabletop” SET, where everyone will work from home. This is a four section exercise with Georgia and all three Florida Sections participating


2)    Minutes and Treasurer’s Reports

The Minutes and Treasurer’s report were accepted as presented.


3)      Old Business:


a)      147.195 repeater

Nirmal reported that WCTV is spending money on the tower elevator and nothing can be done until that work is finished. This will take about a month. 


b)      Flea Market

Wynona reported that May 7th is the chosen date for the flea market/yard sale.  All items should be delivered to Morningside Methodist Church that morning.


c)      Mike recognized the Graduates from our February Upgrade Classes.

The classes were a great success and nine people successfully passed their test. 


4)      New Business:


a)      Tailgate Hamfest – March 12 – Morningside Methodist Church.

This event will start at 9am and run until we’re through. The equipment will be picked up on Thursday afternoon, and we will meet at 4pm on Friday to set up the room.  PITS-1 will be set up with HF and VHF antennas for testing the equipment before it is purchased.  Pending a positive outcome this may become an annual event.


b)      Mike indicated that we should think about acquiring the Kenwood TS- 480 for the club communications trailer. After discussion, the members present voted to let Mike make an offer for the radio.



There being no further business, the meeting ended at 8:45pm with 38 members and 2 visitors present.


Respectfully submitted, Dana Swicord, TARC Secretary.



 You might be an Amateur Radio operator, if:

1. You have bought black electrical tape in ten packs.
2. You have stripped wire with your teeth.
3. You have told your child, "One day, all this will be yours," and he or she did not respond at all.
4. You would rather help another Ham friend to hook up new equipment, or to put up a new tower, than to mow your own lawn.
5. You have grabbed the wrong end of a hot soldering iron.
6. You have gotten an RF burn from your own antenna.
7. You have given out RST reports while you were on the telephone.
8. When the microphones or visual aids at a meeting did not work, you rushed up to the front to fix them.
9. You have told the XYL, when she noticed a new rig in the shack, "Why, that has been there for years."
10. You have set your watch to UTC only.
11. You have had to patch your roof after an antenna project fell onto it.
12. You have put a GPS tracker in the XYL's car or on the riding mower, just so you could watch it on APRS.
13. You have tapped out "CQ" or "HI" on the car horn in Morse Code to another Ham.
14. Your teenager has refused to ride in your car because it looks like a porcupine.
15. You know the Latitude, Longitude, and Elevation of your home QTH.
16. You have gone into the local Radio Shack store, and the store clerk has asked you where something is and how it works.
17. You have answered the telephone with your call sign, and then finished the conversation with "73" and your call sign.
18. You have looked for antennas, radios, and Morse Code in movies and television shows.
19. When you look at anything made of wire or metal tubing, you wonder if it could be used as an antenna.
20. Your call sign is listed on one or more of your hats, T-shirts, or other garments.
21. You regularly carry one or more tools in your pockets at any given time.
22. When any kinds of batteries go on sale, you get really excited.
23. When you look at a barbecue grill, it creates ideas about ground plane antennas.
24. You have designated all your friends as Hams or Non-Hams.
25. You have referred to your Ham friends by their call sign suffixes instead of their real names.
26. You have intentionally confused Non-Hams by telling them that the only things you talk about on the air are pork products.
27. You have intentionally scared Non-Hams with the word "RADIATION"!
28. You have looked at telephone poles and power line towers as potential antenna supports.
29. You have thought you were still hearing CW, SSB, or SSTV tones, even when your Ham radio was off.
30. Your Go-Bag has more clothes in it than your dresser does.
31. You have a SKYWARN sticker on your back window.
32. Your significant other sits in the back seat, and your radios ride in the front.
33. Your neighbors wonder if you are a "Narc" (narcotics officer), a Spy, or a Federal Agent.
34. The cops pull you over because they want to see the inside of your car.
35. Your cell-phone's ring tone is your Ham radio call sign, sent in Morse Code


See you at the Plaza on Saturday Night!!