The Reflector November 2010

 

Hi Folks,

Had another busy month, and it’s finally winding down as the November Fish Fry approaches.

 

But, before we get started, let me congratulate all the folks who took part in the 2010 Field Day exercise. Because of your efforts, W4UCJ is the #2 Class 4F station in the nation! See all the results later in the newsletter.

 

Now, back to business. We had 2 major events this month, the first of which was the Thomasville Fly-In. This was the first time in a few years that we’ve done a special event there, and we received a special invitation to return.

 

We decided to deploy the trailer, and were given a spot inside the fence where we had a good view of everything going on. We had an HF radio in the front room, tied to a 20-meter Yagi on the “Tipper” mount on the trailer tongue.  The second operating position had an Icom D-Star mobile attached to an X-50 dual band vertical, which had no problems connecting to our D-Star repeater at the hospital.

 

The X-50 was mounted on one of those homebrew bumper mounts that were featured in QST last month.

 

Unfortunately, HF conditions weren’t the greatest, though Thomas and Tommy did make some contacts. D-Star was also unusually quiet, though I had a contact that afternoon with a station in the Netherlands, and the ham, whose English was a bit broken, indicated I was his first international D-Star contact.

 

We did have a number of folks stopping by to look us over, and several people wanted to know more about getting a license and left with some of our brochures. All in all, it was a relaxed day of making fun contacts, whether by radio or by “eyeball” and we’ve already been asked to return again next year.

 

This morning (Oct. 30th), 17 people got up REALLY early and made their way to Boston for the Mini Marathon. Wynona once again outdid herself with a tailgate breakfast, and we moved on with the event, which ran smoothly and was over sooner than usual. Several of the group then moved on to help set up the parade.

 

Next Saturday, November 6th, we’ve been asked to help set up a new Veteran’s Day Parade in Thomasville. Wynona is working on getting final information on where the parade will form up, so if you can help, please let her know ASAP. We may also have a small float for our veterans, but that’s still up in the air pending whether our Vets want to ride or not.

 

I regret that I won’t be there to help with this event, but I will be in Lawrenceville at the hamfest to run the state ARES forum.

 

That next weekend is the one we’ve been looking forward to…the annual Fish Fry. This event is at the Pavo Civic Center, which is the old school on McDonald Street. We have use of this site for free because of helping set up their annual Peacock Day Parade.

 

The main dish will be catfish and mullet, and everyone who attends brings side dishes to fill the table out.

 

We need to know pretty quickly how many people will be in attendance so we know how many fish to buy. For the last few years, the attendance has been in excess of 100 people, which means we have a LOT of fish. If you haven’t let us know yet, contact either Wynona (wy-@inbox.com) or me (ke4fgf@surfsouth.com) as soon as you can, with a head count and what you’re bringing as a side dish.

 

We’ll have our monthly meeting afterwards (no meeting at the Plaza this month), and there are two principal items on the agenda.

 

First, the Nominations Committee, chaired by our VP, John, KE4RWR, will present a suggested slate of officers for 2011. Nominations from the floor are also taken at that time.

 

Secondly, we’ll be making an awards presentation for Ham of the Year, Young Ham of the Year, and Military Vet of the Year. Could you be one of these people?…well, you’ll just have to come and see won’t you?

 

So, that’s it for this month. Again remember that there in NO meeting at the Plaza on the 6th. Our November meeting takes place in Pavo on November 13th, after we finish supper. I hope you are making plans already to gather up your family and join us there for a great supper. I look forward to seeing EVERYONE there!

                                                              73,

                                       Mike 

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Field Day Results!!!

 

The following chart shows the “Top Ten” Field Day results nationwide for Class 4F.

 

#

Call

Score

Category

QSOs

Power Mult

GOTA Call

Section

Participants

Club

1

K2BAR

6,226

4F

2,128

2

KC2VRY

NNJ

56

Bergen ARA

2

W4UCJ

6,084

4F

1,735

2

KI4RGD

GA

89

Thomasville ARC

3

W5NGU

6,038

4F

1,333

2

KD5EOC

NTX

62

Denton Cty ARA

4

W8FY

5,486

4F

1,878

2

 

OH

20

Van Wert OH RaRC

5

W1AW

4,778

4F

2,979

1

KA1UFZ

CT

11

Maxim Memorial Station

6

W9VT

4,168

4F

1,477

2

N9WDG

IL

16

Tri Town RAC

7

W2SEX

2,542

4F

515

2

 

WNY

26

ARA Tonawands

8

W9GO

1,916

4F

508

2

 

IN

34

Kokomo ARC

9

K9UXZ

1,868

4F

674

2

 

IL

10

National Trail ARC

10

K5BAY

1,580

4F

445

2

K5MRM

STX

26

Baytown ARC

 

K2BAR better watch out! We’re in their rear view mirror!! Even W1AW is eating our dust at #5.

 

We were the #1 (and only) 4F station in Georgia. We were also the #1 4F station in the Southeast Division. With all stations reporting we were #6 overall in Georgia.

 

Folks…we’re getting the range here…I can’t wait for another go at this next year. Congratulations and thanks to all who participated with us…even greater things are ahead!!!

                                                                              de KE4FGF

 

 

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Boston Mini Marathon

 

We had a good group show up to help with the Boston Mini Marathon on October 30th. Those stations were: Wynona, KF4HSM, Paul, N7SDQ, Bobby, N4KXL (and Rudy!), Mo, KI4PZS, Roberta, K4HRM, Dana, KJ4GWB, John, KE4RWR, Steve, KJ4UKR, Bill, KW4EF, Dawn, KJ4KUJ, Lawrence, KC4LYC, Stewart, KJ4GOJ, Wally, KJ4KUK, Buddy, WD4CJI, Carolyn, KJ4GON, Gary, KA3FZO, and Mike, KE4FGF.

 

Wynona had another fantastic breakfast for us, and the event ran with no serious problems. Wynona and several others also helped set up the parade afterwards.

 

Thanks to all these folks for getting up early and helping with this event!!

 

 

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The following submission comes from an ARES member up in our Central District. As SEC, I’m copied on a lot of newsletters and other “goings on” around the state. When I read Mike’s article, I immediately emailed and asked permission to use this in our newsletter. It’s a timely reminder that despite how experienced we think we are, safety concerns can’t EVER be ignored.

 

Thanks Mike, for sharing with us….KE4FGF

 

Ham Safety

 

Okay, we all know that nothing good ever happens after somebody utters the words "Hold my beer and watch this". 

 

My story isn't exactly like that, but it does start off with "Hey, the wife is gone and I'm all alone.  I think I'll hurry up and get my Inverted-L back in the air".

 

Nothing to it, right?  Let some slack in the far-end (already did that last night), fire a line over two tree branches, pull the wire back over, reattach to the feedpoint, tighten up the far-end and call it a night.

 

Everything went well up until it was time to tighten up the far-end. 

 

Between the feedpoint and the far-end I have a drainage ditch, shallow but wide and filled with large (18" - 3') rock.  If I walk around, it's an extra couple-hundred yards.  Going across, it's maybe 30 feet. 

 

Needless to say, I took the shortcut.  I've done it many times.  (I did it last night.)  Yeah... the rocks might have shifted when it rained so hard last week, but they're big and I'll be careful. 

 

Well, about the third rock I stepped on shifted.  Luckily I had nothing in my hands.  I knew I was going to fall.  It took somewhere between half-a-second and 30 minutes to actually complete the fall.  I remember thinking "this is gonna hurt" and "I'm probably going to break a bone or two". 

 

I was half-right.  It HURT.  That much I knew right away.  I wasn't sure about the broken bone part until I tried to get up.  Everything seemed to work okay, and I managed to get the rest of the way across in a hurry (hoping nobody had seen me). 

 

Getting to the far side, I assessed the damage.  Knee hurts pretty bad and is bleeding.  Same for the left arm.  The rest of my body was hurting already too.  Nothing major... first-aid can wait.

 

Got the far-end tightened up.

 

WALKED AROUND THE BLASTED DITCH ON THE WAY BACK.

 

Gathered my tools and put everything away.

 

Tossed my dirty shirt and shorts into the washer to hide the evidence.

 

Showered (OUCH) and installed 8 band-aids. 

 

Checked the antenna.  (It works!)

 

Sat back and assessed my stupidity.

 

Did you catch where I first went wrong?  Anybody see the words 'alone' and 'hurry' in the second paragraph?

 

It's an hour after my little tumble and the wife still isn't home.  I did not have my cell phone with me.  The neighbors live a good distance away.

 

If I'd broken a bone, I might still be there. If I hit my head as hard as I did my arm or my knee, I'd be unconscious or dead. 

 

Before I took the step onto the first rock, I clearly heard the little voice in my head saying, "I wouldn't do that if I were you."

 

I know better.  I've been a ham for over 35 years and spent the last 29 years in or around the military.  I know safety and I know stupid.  Tonight I was fully into the realm of stupid. 

 

We all think about electrical safety, tower safety, lightning safety, etc., but all I was doing tonight was pulling a wire over some tree limbs and I could have easily wound up dead. 

 

I've committed this stupid act so you don't have to.  Please learn from the errors of my ways, because this is really gonna hurt tomorrow!

 

73,

Mike

WM4B

 

 

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         Weather Center

 

 

Greetings,

           

            The late winter and early spring months are considered the primary severe weather season for Southwest Georgia. Fall is upon us and the months of November and December are another period when severe weather commonly occurs in our area.

 

            Frontal passages driven by low-pressure systems provide the energy that, when combined with high wind speeds or shear, often give the added ingredients needed for severe weather to occur. These events are fueled by the southern flow preceding the front providing deep moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

 

            Any time progressive weather systems carve deep troughs in the eastern half of the nation it provides an opportunity for the low pressure systems to develop or track deep into the southeast and this scenario greatly increases our chances for severe weather. Dew points often reach values in the mid to upper 60's in the warm sector ahead of these systems and severe thunderstorm and super cell development is common in this situation.

 

            What conditions are required for the National Weather Service to issue a Severe Thunderstorm Warning? At least one of the following criteria must be meet:

 

 

These conditions can be either estimated by radar or confirmed by a ground truth spotter report. These storms are considered dangerous and potentially life threatening.

 

            We often have very strong thunderstorms that fall short of these criteria but may have a history of excessive lightning, a strong wind potential but less than 58 miles per hour, possibility of hail less than one inch or very heavy rainfall rates. In this situation a Special Weather Statement is issued for a Significant Weather Advisory that keep everyone informed of the strong storm locations and tracks. Although these storms are strong, they are generally not considered to be life threatening.

 

73’s,

Stewart

KJ4GO

DEC NWS Tallahassee, FL

Southwest Georgia District ARES

 

 

 

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NØ Tenna Wizard: by Terry Webb, NØTW

 

Open Wire Feeders

 

I have mentioned open wire feeders in several of my previous articles.  I believe they are important to the average ham and they are very easy to construct, so I decided to write an article describing how to make them.  There used to be hams who sold open wire feed-line, but I believe that is no longer true.

 

First off, why would you want to use open wire feeders?  Well, if you are using a 75-meter dipole to cover various bands, its impedance will vary quite a bit from band to band.  The higher impedance will cause high SWR.  Coaxial cable cannot withstand the higher SWR while open wire feed-line can.  In addition, open wire feed-line is economical to construct.

 

For example, the popular G5RV antenna is reported to have a good 14 MHz SWR, while it’s SWR is 6:1 at 7 MHz and 4:1 at 28 MHz.  Not a very good situation.  By using 83 ft of open wire feeders all of the way between the transmitter and the antenna, the higher SWR value does not matter at all.

 

To construct open wire feeders, you will need plastic coat hangers, a small drill & drill bit, #18 or so small copper wire and the #14 wire that will form the two sides of the conductors for the feeders.  Wal-Mart is an excellent source for the hangers.

 

Cut the plastic hangers into pieces 4" long - if you want to make a feeder of 600-ohm impedance.  Decreasing the length to 1.5" will result in a feeder impedance of 450 ohms.

 

The plastic insulators should be spaced 2 1/2 to 3 ft apart along the feed-line.  Determine your feeder length and divide by 3.  This will tell you how many insulators you need to cut.  Drill small holes at both ends of all insulators.  Stretch out 1 of the two wires used for the feed-line and secure the wire on both ends.   I use a vise to anchor one end and a stepladder for the other end with vise grips to fasten the wire to the ladder.  Take one insulator and a 1 3/4" piece of small copper wire - lay the insulator on the feeder wire and pass the small copper wire through the hole in the insulator leaving equal amounts of the wire sticking out of either end of the hole.  Bend the wire at 90 degrees and wrap each side of the small wire around the feeder wire.  Go to the next insulator location and repeat the above process.

 

Once all insulators have been installed along the one feed-line, place the second feed-line in the restraints and begin wiring the insulators to it using the same process as before.

 

When you are finished, the feed-line will look like a small ladder.  The feed-line wires can be either insulated or bare wire.   Wire sizes can be from #16 to #10.

 

I use a 1:1 balun at the bottom end of my open wire feed-line because I do not like running the wires into the shack.  I prefer coaxial cable to enter the shack.

 

Try making your own open wire feeders.  You will love its performance.

 

 

 

73 & CU on the Air

 

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Thomasville Amateur Radio Club

Minutes

October 2, 2010

 

Meeting started at 7:50 p.m.

1.  Welcome and Announcements:  Mike, KE4FGF

 

Midmonth Breakfast

The midmonth breakfast will be held at the Plaza on October 16th, at 8:30 a.m. 

 

Test session

The next test session will follow the mid month breakfast at the Thomas County Public Library at 10:00 a.m.

 

Friday Breakfast -8:30 a.m.

The Friday Breakfast sessions at Granddaddy’s BBQ continue to be well attended with a total somewhere between 10 to 15 people.

 

2.  Minutes and Treasurers Report:

The minutes were in the Newsletter and Club Treasurer, Bobby, N4KXL, gave a report on our current finances.  He stated we paid for the grass being cut for the entire year.  Both the Minutes and Treasurer’s report were accepted as presented.

 

  

3.  Old Business:

 

Eproms

Mike informed us that the new Eproms for the two new repeaters are installed and now the machines properly ID as W4UCJ.

 

Mike also asked Nirmal, KE4URL, about the 145.170 repeater.  We were informed that it is a new repeater and that they will be performing adjustments over the next few weeks.  

 

Fly-In Special Event

Mike informed us that kids would be the main operators for this event but, if you are a fairly new ham and would like a crack at playing radio you to will get your chance.  The event is scheduled to begin around 9:00 a.m. on October 9th.  The communications trailer and antenna will be deployed for this event.  Come out and play radio with us and have a look at some airplanes as well.

 

We had two visitors with us, Dave Banister and Meryl Hanley. Dave is planning to take his Tech test on Tuesday the 5th at the Tallahassee session.  We wish you luck.

 

Boston Mini Marathon/Spaghetti 100

There is a major conflict with these two events this year since they are both on the same day.  We have a dedication to Boston since we are on the calendar from one year to the next.  So our primary mission will be to the Mini Marathon and then when that is finished if anyone is willing to help with the Spaghetti 100 then they can do that.  The Mini Marathon will be on the 147.24 repeater and the Spaghetti 100 will be on the 147.06 machine.

 

4.  New Business:

 

Veteran’s Day Parade

This will be held in downtown Thomasville on November the 6th starting at 8:00 a.m.  We will set the floats up as they arrive.  We would also like for some of the Vets from the club to be in the parade.  If you are willing to help out or ride in the parade please contact Wynona, KF4HSM. 

 

Dana, KJ4GWB, Bobby, N4KXL, and Steve, KJ4UKR, volunteered to help with this event.

 

November Fish Fry

This event will be held the 2nd Saturday in November, which is the 13th.  We will once again serve catfish and mullet; Walter, N1QJ, suggested that more mullet be purchased this year.  Several folks also commented that they enjoyed the shrimp Dan did at Field Day and that he should do them again. 

 

Wynona asked that anyone planning on attending needs to let her know what they are bringing as side dishes and how many people are coming with them. The fish fry is located at the old school building in Pavo.  Dana, KJ4GWB, mentioned that if anyone has pictures that they would like to be included in the slide show to please get them to her. 

 

Division Elections

It was decided that to be fair, we would simply provide links to all the various candidates for ARRL Division posts on the website, rather than in the newsletter, to avoid showing favoritism. The ballots for these elections should be in ARRL member’s mailboxes in a few days.

 

       SET

Gary, KA3FZO, made a comment that the Georgia ARES operators who took part in the Simulated Emergency Test held earlier today, really  had their act together and complimented them on being well organized. A short discussion on what had happened during the event followed, and it was agreed that everyone left with better ideas about how well they were prepared to handle a real emergency.

 

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 8:41 p.m. with 30 members and 2 visitors present.

 

 Next Regular Club Meeting will be held on November 13th at the Pavo Civic Center, which is the old high school. This is our annual fish fry.

 

Respectfully Submitted by

Dana Swicord, KJ4GWB

Interim Club Secretary

 

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Veterans Day 2010 will fall on November 11th this year. It is the custom of our club to honor our Military Vets and for the first few years, we’ve dealt mainly with WWII Vets because we are losing them more quickly as time goes by.

 

This year, we move forward a few years to another conflict that took place shortly after WWII and was largely known as a “Police Action” because there was never a formal declaration of war.

 

The Forgotten War

 

The peninsula is known as Korea, and had been a Japanese possession since 1910. Following the end of WWII, the country was divided between the US (South Korea) and Russia (North Korea) at the 38th Parallel. Both sides attempted reunification, and the problems ramped up when the attempt at free elections failed in 1948. The northern group, calling themselves the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea became a Communist nation, and began making small excursions across the border resulting in several bloody skirmishes.

 

Although negotiations continued, the tension between the two sides escalated into open warfare as North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25th, 1950. The 38th Parallel became the border between the two countries. Both sides were backed by outside countries, North Korea by Russia and China, and South Korea by the United States. The conflict became the opening chapter of what became known as the “Cold War.”

 

It was about this time that Lawrence McCuthin joined the US Army. Enlisting in 1951, Lawrence was sent to Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania for basic training. Known as “The Gap, ” the 18,000-acre fort was a training ground for National Guard troops and also served as an embarkation point for sending troops overseas. During the Korean War, over 32,000 troops received training there before being sent out as replacements.

 

Lawrence was assigned to the 17th Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 7th Army Division. This unit had a colorful history dating back to the War of 1812, and the Unit Coat of Arms features a “sea lion” in the crest because of duty in Manila during the Spanish American War. The Sea Lion holds a pair of arrows signifying participation in the Indian Campaigns in the western US.

 

The blue unit shoulder patch is below the crest and it features a white “Cross Patee,” which signifies being part of the 5th Infantry Division during the Civil War, and a five bastioned fort that is from their participation in the war with Cuba in 1898.

 

Separating the field of blue is the famous “Stonewall” from the battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War, where the unit sustained significant casualties.

 

 

Immediately below the “stonewall” is a Buffalo, which was added after the unit’s deployment to Korea. Lawrence’s commander was Col. William W. Quinn, whose nickname was “Buffalo Bill.” To honor him and to this day, the 17th is referred to as “The Buffaloes.”

 

Lawrence left the US for Korea in 1952 to join his unit, which had come ashore in an amphibious landing at Inchon in 1950. Late in the year, Lawrence’s unit was assigned to an area of hills near Cheorwon, Korea in a defensive position while the US, Communist China, and North Korea held armistice talks.

 

There were several outposts on the exposed hilltops, and one in particular was known as “Pork Chop.”   Facing the US forces were two veteran Chinese Divisions, well trained in night assaults, ambushes and mountain warfare. The area held little strategic or tactical value, and the battle fought there was for little more than a political statement by both sides that they had a serious commitment to the war.  

 

 

 

 

Because of the terrain, no armor was used, but both sides kept the area under almost constant artillery barrage. The favorite tactics of the Chinese forces were night attacks and most skirmishes degenerated into hand-to-hand combat, with both sides taking heavy casualties.

Image courtesy of military images.net

 

One morning, Lawrence’s unit was ordered forward to take one of the hills in the area and they advanced under constant mortar fire. Spending the whole time under fire, his unit was ordered to return to base and as they were leaving the hill, he and several others were wounded by shrapnel from a mortar round that landed nearby.

 

Lawrence’s wound was in his right arm, and was severe enough that he was bandaged up by the Medic, given morphine for the pain, and evacuated to a nearby MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit.

 

The shrapnel was removed and he spent several days there before being evacuated by air to a larger hospital in Osaka, Japan. He spent 4 months there convalescing, before being sent back to the states, to a hospital in Seattle in early 1953. After a brief period there, he was moved by train to Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC.

 

He received the Purple Heart for being wounded in combat while there and was then sent to Fort Eustis in Newport News, VA, where he was discharged in 1954.

 

 

There’s a lot about this war that we don’t know, and because of all the politics involved, a lot of the information has been quietly “misplaced.”

 

Lawrence doesn’t say a lot about what he saw and did, and that’s the way a number of our Vets handle their memories of war. The only comment I’ve ever heard was for an earlier article where he said, “It was an experience not to be sought after, but certainly remembered.”

 

            Lawrence working with the “Future Generation” at Field Day

 

Our group has a number of men and women who have put their personal lives on hold to serve their country. This year, Veteran’s Day, the day we set aside to honor their sacrifice, will fall on Thursday, November 11th.

 

If you haven’t thanked a Vet for their service to our country, I hope you will use that day to do just that. They put their own lives in jeopardy to make sure we continue to have the freedoms we have today.

                                                                              de KE4FGF 

  

 

 

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The November meeting will be November 13, 2010  at the Pavo Civic Center in Pavo Georgia  For the fish fry

 

 

Hope to see you there

Buddy