PVRC NEWSLETTER JANUARY 1996
From [email protected] Jan 2 14:41:52 1996
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 05:42:45 -0800
From: Pete Smith
To: [email protected]
Subject: Jan NL - Urgent
Following is the January NL. Due to Christmas travels, the production dept.
(ND3F) has been unavailable. I'd like to be able to announce on the cluster
that it's up on the PVRC Web Page (maybe we can eventually get our mail
subscription list down to just a few (?)). Anyhow, it's important because
the meeting location is NOT Marshall High School, but rather the Vienna
PVRC NEWSLETTER JANUARY 1996
PRESIDENT KE3Q RICH BOYD (301) 464 8014
VICE PRESIDENT KF3P TYLER STEWART (301) 414-5444
SECRETARY WA3WJD BRIAN McGINNESS (301) 652 6768
TREASURER N3KTV JIM HORTON (301) 258 9731
HISTORIAN K3SA STEVE AFFENS (301) 774-0558
PVRC Charter Members: W3GRF (SK), W3IKN, W4AAV (SK), W4KFC (SK), W4KFT,
N0FFZ, W4LUE, W7YS, VP2VI (W0DX).
PacketCluster Contest/DX System
K3NA Frederick MD 145.63 MHz
W3LPL Glenwood MD 145.59 441.250 MHz
KE3Q Bowie MD 145.57 445.375 MHz
N3RR Rockville MD 145.51 441.325MHz
N4OHE Mt. Weather VA 145.71 440.925 MHz
N4SR Woodbridge VA 145.75 MHz*
WR3L Baltimore, MD 145.61 MHz
K4FJ Mt. Vernon, VA 145.77 Mhz*
* These nodes are separately operated and funded by the Rappahannock DX
PacketCluster Group. The others listed are sponsored by the Potomac Valley
DX Spotting Network.
PVRC on Internet - visit the PVRC Home Page, courtesy of K3SA, at:
Donations to keep PVRC running: This is the first year that PVRC is being
funded entirely by donations. That means no more mandatory $10 dues. It
should be obvious, though, that without your donations the treasury will
soon be exhausted. The Newsletter alone costs over $100/month in postage
and reproduction costs. So please, please, please send your donation -
hopefully at least $10 - to Jim, N3KTV, at 8527 Calypso Lane, Gaithersburg
MD, 20879-1522 . Make checks payable to PVRC. And thanks!
Newsletter Editor: Effective with the next issue, Dick Wilder, K3DI, will
take over as Newsletter Editor. Dick can be reached on the Internet as
[email protected], by phone at (410) 757-6706, fax 757-6720, or by USPS at
913 Shore Acres Rd, Arnold,MD 21012.
I've enjoyed my year as Newsletter Editor, even though it's my idea to leave
the job now. I just have too much on my plate to continue, both in terms of
developing post-Government options and figuring out what I want to do in my
third career, and because of the 5-hour commute from West Virginia to
downtown DC, which I face for another five months, anyway. Let thank
everyone for your help and support over the past year. Hope to see you on
the air, and at club meetings as well.
73, Pete N4ZR
Next Meeting: Monday, January 8, 7:30 PM, at the Vienna Public Library,
Vienna, VA. Take the Beltway to VA Route 123 South (Chain Bridge Road at
this point). Cross over Route 7 and pass Tyson's Corner. On right will be
JKJ Chevrolet. Continue on 123 into Vienna where 123 becomes Maple Avenue.
After passing Beulah Road (on right w. light), look for Park Street (abt 3
blocks). Park Street has a light. The Library will be a long one block on
the left, just before Center Street. Entrance to the library parking lot is
a left off 123/Maple. The lot is just before the library itself.
Alternatively, if you take I 66 off the beltway, and exit at Nutley Street
toward Vienna, you will run into Maple Ave. A right turn takes you into
town. The library will be on your RIGHT just after Center Street. Going this
way, you will not have to make a left turn into the parking lot across heavy
double lanes traffic.
Pizza after the meeting: Leaving the library, return to Route 123. Go
north to Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) and turn onto westboungd Route 7. Go a
short distance to the light at International Drive. One block after the
light, turn right onto Watson Street. Pizza Hut is halfway up the hill on
PVRC Awards Program -- PSE QRX
The organizers are still working out some of the specifics, so stand by ...
once things are in place, they plan to move quickly, and the first set of
awards are still planned for this spring.
Don't Forget -- ARRL VHF Sweepstakes January 20-21
This event has a club competition, so don't forget to participate if you
can, and send in your score for PVRC.
WRTC Progress Report
from the WRTC Committee at NCCC
Now that many of the World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC-96) teams are
starting to come together, we thought the contesting fraternity might be
interested in an interim status report.
Here are the folks who have been selected so far: From the USA, PVRC has
selected KF3P; SEDXC is K4BAI; SMC is WX3N; NCCC is N6TV; and MRRC is K8CC.
These team leaders now are scouting around to select their partners (who
cannot come from the same contest club as the team leader).
In addition, SCCC, NCC and FRC have selected team leaders who already have
selected their partners. These complete teams consist of K6LL + N2IC; K3LR
+ WA8YVR; and W2GD + W0UA. We understand YCCC is selecting a team leader
now, but they have not yet informed us who it is.
Internationally, Team Spain #1 is EA4KR and Spain #2 is EA7TL; United
Kingdom is G3OZF; Italy #1 is IT9BLB and Italy #2 is IK2GSN; Lithuania is
LY2IJ + LY1DS; Belgium is ON6TT + ON4WW; Brazil is PY5CC + PY0FF; Slovenia
is S59A + S56A; Sweden is SM3DMP; Poland #1 is SP6AZT + SP9FKQ and Poland
#2 is SP9IJU + SP9HWN; Russia #1 is UA3DPX + RZ9UA and Russia #2 is RV1AW +
RW1AC; Ukraine is UT4UZ + UT1IA; Canada #1 is VE7NTT + VE7CC and Canada #2
is VE3EJ; Yugoslavia is YU1RL + YT1AD.
Team leaders who have not yet selected their partners have until February
15 to make those selections. Invited countries which have not yet notified
us of their selections are Germany, France, Hungary, Japan, Norway,
Argentina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Solvak Republic, Denmark, Netherlands,
Finland has informed us that they definitely are sending a team and it will
be comprised of the winners of an on-site competition being held in
connection with their annual SARL meeting in February.
The team of K1AR + K1DG will be returning as Defending Champions from
There also will be at least six wild-card teams which will be selected
after the Invited Country team selections have been completed. Wild-card
teams provide an opportunity for contesters who are not residents of
Invited Countries, and for residents of Invited Countries who were not
otherwise selected, to participate in WTRC-96. Anyone interested in being
selected for a wild-card team should send a list of his/her qualifications
(and you get to decide what you want to tell us about -- there is no "form"
to fill out) to the WRTC-96 Team Selection Committee at Post Office Box 1,
Los Altos, CA 94023-0001, USA or via e-mail to [email protected]
The judges for WRTC-96 read like a who's who of contesters: K4VX (Chief
Judge), G3SXW, I2UIY, JA7RHJ, K3ZO, K4XU, K5RC, K6NA, N2AA, N6AA, N6IP,
N6ZZ, OH2MM, OK2FD, ON4UN, PY5EG, S50A, UA9BA, W0UN and W7RM. These
gentlemen certainly should be able to keep all the competitors in line!
We here in Northern California are really excited about how well plans for
WRTC-96 are falling into place. Remember, too, that you do not have to be
a competitor or judge to be welcome at this event. We are planning a
series of activities open to everyone, so mark your calendars for July 10 -
16, 1996 and come join the fun.
If you want more info about WRTC-96, contact Rusty Epps, W6OAT via postal
mail at 651 Handley Trail, Redwood City, CA 94062, USA or via e-mail at
73 de the WRTC-96 Committee
Charter member N4KFT (by e-mail- his address is [email protected]) -
Just a thought, how about publishing a list of every member who has an
e-mail address? Still have my extra class license but am not active. The
Internet would be a nice way to keep in touch when not on the air.
Wish the club lots of luck in the upcoming contests and hope every one has
a good Thanksgiving and a Happy Christmas. 73 Nort W4KFT
KF3P - Tyler also reminds that the North American QSO Party is coming up,
with CW the evening of the 13th and phone the evening of the 20th. There is
a team competition with up to 5 members per team. If anyone is interested
in teaming up for CW, Tyler will assemble a team or teams for that mode.
Since he'll be VHFing during the phone NAQP, he'll leave that mode to
N3JT - Jim and Nina, N3JT and KE4PSV, took two weeks' holiday, enjoying
Paris during part of the recent strikes thanks to the hospitality of F6BEE,
F5SEE, F5TO, and F6BWF. They then went to Madrid, Cordoba, Granada and
Sevilla, visiting EA4KA and EA7CEZ. Jim operated briefly from both countries.
N4MM - John reports that he won the UBA (Belgium) SSB contest for North
America. Score 13580. He also won the 1995 New Jersey QSO Party for Virginia.
John complains that he doesn't win much any more because he's on the
hamfest circuit and never around home on weekends.
K3IXD - Ed recounts what he describees as a Thirty-Mile Expedition. Here, in
his words, is the story:
Thanks to the hospitality of the Voice of America Amateur Radio Club and
its president Al Brown,(WA3FYZ) Brian Carney, KD4QVT, and I were able to
undertake a mini-expedition to DC and give out that section in the recent
ARRL 10-meter contest. We contributed 20,720 points towards the aggregate
PVRC score in the club competition. The K3VOA shack is located on the
seventh floor of the VOA Administrative Headquarters Building in SW DC.
From the shack there is a lovely view of the capitol. On the roof top, for
HF, they have a 3 element beam and a multi-band vertical. The rig is a
TS-440S and a SB-200. We used their packet station to tie into the PVDXSN
PacketCluster (tm). Given that the sun spot numbers are low, we didn't plan
on beginning to operate until 9 or 10 Saturday morning. That was fortunate
planning since a snow storm hit the DC area on Friday night. Driving the 30
miles from my QTH on Saturday morning wasn't too bad. But we did shut down
late Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday afternoon in order to drive home
before the roads iced up.
PVRC Tidewater (Southeast Virginia) Regional Meeting
21 November 1995
An organizational meeting of the Tidewater Region of the Potomac Valley
Radio Club was convened at 2045, 21 November 1995 at the Diamond Restaurant,
Norfolk. Virginia, following the monthly meeting of the Virginia DX Century
The meeting was presided over by Don Lynch, W4ZYT. In attendance: N4AIG,
WD4GOY, K4IX, W4DHZ, KG4O, W4PRO, W4HW, W1WTG, W8RJL, KC4WQO, KE4HTT, WS9B,
NW3K, WD4CNQ, KO4MR, W4IF, WB4DNL.
Application forms were distributed. The general concept of the PVRC
regionalization was discussed, and Walt W4HW, a member of PVRC and now a
Virginia Beach resident, spoke briefly about PVRC participation and benefits.
A second organization meeting was planned following the December, 1995
Virginia DXCC monthly meeting. Adjournment followed at 2110.
The second organizational meeting of the PVRC Tidewater (southeast Virginia)
Region was held at the Diamond Restaurant, Norfolk, on December 19, 1995,
following the monthly meeting of the Virginia DX Century Club.
The meeting was called to order at 2040 by W4ZYT. In attendance: WD4GOY,
K4IX, W4DHZ, KG4O, W4PRO, W4HW, W1WTG, W8RJL, KC4WQO, KE4HTT, WS9B, NW3K,
WD4CNQ, KO4MR, WB4DNL. N4AIG was out of town, but had sent along his
application form, as had W4IF, who was ill.
Applications were received from: W4ZYT, N4AIG, W4IF, W4PRO, K4IX, NW3K,
W1WTG, W4HM, WB4DNL, WD4GOY, WD4CNQ and KO4MR. These will be forwarded to
the PVRC Secretary for action.
A brief discussion of contest participation for 1996 and log reporting
procedures ensued. It was determined to set dues at current paid-up
membership in the VaDXCC for the present.
The meeting was adjourned at 2105.
Next NW Regional Meeting
The next NW Regional meeting will be at Legends Restaurant in Frederick MD
on the third Tuesday, January 16th at 8PM. Refreshments and dinner are
served starting at 6PM. Program TBA. Discussion to include the NAQP CW
wrapup and upcoming NAQP Phone and VHF Sweepstakes contests. As usual,
show-and-tell items are encouraged.
The PVRC Exchange
by Ed Steeble, K3IXD
AA3HM has received the QSL cards from the printer and probably has
distributed most of them by the time you receive this newsletter.
I plan on placing the order for the PVRC logo mugs before the New Year,
thanks to a surge of late orders, and expect to distribute the mugs at the
I have forgotten to thank AA4XU, Ben, for the excellent art work and quick
response to my requests as I talked with the supplier of our mugs. His
efforts saved the club a hefty art-work fee.
Future plans for T-shirts, hats, and golf shirts are uncertain. I didn't get
any replies to my request for ideas, no one offered to help, and I am not
sure that the club members would order the minimum required: 18 shirts, 18 hats.
Several people have suggested that the hats, golf shirts, and T-shirts be
offered in some other color than white. White was originally chosen because
it kept the costs down. Using white as the background meant we only had to
pay for the red and blue printing. If we went to another color, such as
light grey or light blue, we would then have to pay for three colors, plus a
new, one time, set up fee.
PVRC name badges can be ordered at anytime. To order a badge provide your
call sign, your name as it is to appear on the badge, ad $5 (or $6 if you
want it mailed to you instead of picking it up at a club meeting). Mail a
check (payable to Brian McGuinness) to WA3WJD, Brian McGuinness, 4618
DeRussey Pkwy, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.
Dealing with RFI
By Bill Hider, N3RR
Editor's note: The following was originally posted on the CQ-CONTEST
Internet reflector, but I thought it was of such general PVRC interest that
I asked Bill for permission to reprint it here. Bill was replying to
another PVRC'er, Ken, KP4XS, who reported problems working with his
neighbors to fix RFI. Bill wrote:
Ken, I'm going through a similar situation...TVI with 3 neighbors and PHONEI
with 2 of them.
I obtained the FCC Bulletins on Telephone interference and the FCC
interference handbook (addresses and URL later in this this message) and
gave the neighbors a copy, explained that it's not my responsibility to fix
their non-state-of-the-art equipment, but in the interest of good neighborly
relations I would provide them with a TVI filter and phoneI filter to allow
one phone to work when the RF environment makes the phone not suitable to
telephone communications, constantly emphasizing that I am going beyond what
is required by the FCC by providing them with the filters.
I first asked their permission to enter their house and help them
troubleshoot and identify the type of interference they are experiencing.
I then gave them the discussion above and a copy of the following two FCC
publications: ---- Information Bulletin, FCC Field Operations Bureau,
Telephone Interference, FOB Bulletin No. 10, Published 1987, REVISED
EDITION, June 1992 ---- FCC Interference To Home Electronic Entertainment
Equipment Handbook, Compliance & Information Bureau (CIB), Bulletin CIB-2,
May 1995 ----- Both of the above publications can be obtained in quantities,
free, by sending a request with the publication numbers and your mailing
Federal Communications Commission
FORMS DISTRIBUTION CENTER
2803 52nd Avenue
Hyattsville, Maryland 20781
The Interference Handbook is also available on the World Wide Web, in living
excellent color at the following URL: http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Compliance/WWW/
tvibook.html (Note that this URL is case sensitive).
I printed this one on a laser printer with excellent results.
After explaining the above, I bought the K-COM plug-in filters which I gave
one set to one of the neighbors telling them that they now had one phone
(and a set of filters that they could move from phone to phone if they
desired) that was interference-free. They also had a wireless 48 MHz phone
which I told them was not covered by the FCC rules and that there was
nothing that could be done to filter them. (By the way, the the FOB
Bulletin No. 10 makes this abundently clear). After installing a high pass
filter in their antenna downlead cable, just prior to their broadband
preamp, then installing the K-Com filters, they said: "So now, Bill, I
suppose you want us to leave you alone and not call you anymore with our
interference complaints?"...I said: "Yes."...They agreed!!
I also implemented this sequential approach with the other neighbors: 1)
Explain the technical situation [Ham radio equipment not at fault]; 2) Told
them I will help troubleshoot and that I might have a filter that will work
if they let me work with them, but in any event I am going beyond what is
required; 3) Installed filter to fix TVI; 4) Installed filter to fix one
phone they can use in emergency to make calls if interference is present.
When the TVI got complicated by multiple TVs or console/imbedded
broadbandwidth pre-amps on TV signal, I fixed one TV, and explained the
technical problem with the others. This has worked with me on two of the
I also enlisted the help of a fellow ham (Thanks N3KTV) to be at my house
operating my HF rig while he and I coordinated on 2M handheld to check out
all bands using maximum power allowed, SSB, antennas pointed at the
neighbors' house. This while checking out all TV channels in the area as
well as the telephone. I created a matrix of Hamband/TV channels to note
interference found before I actually went inside the other house.
Another trick I learned from K3GEG: I set up my HF station (IC-781/IC-4KL)
VOX close to my shack 2M rig, so that if I didn't have another ham's help, I
could generate HF SSB by using my 2M handheld at the neighbor's house while
watching/listening for interference.
The FCC Bulletins explain in layman's language why the Ham/CBer/FM station,
etc is not at fault. I GAVE THEM A COPY OF THESE FCC PUBLICATIONS.
Oh, I also implemented highpass filters on my home TV antenna cable and on
the Cable-TV leadin cable. I used the Radio Shack 75 Ohm highpass filter
($4.99). I have no TVI at home, from my HF gear. I also bought a Lowpass
filter installed after my HF amp. I installed K-Com filters in my house
wiring to eliminate PHONEI as well.
I think it is important to be able to tell any complaining neighbor that I
don't have any interference.
Anyway, that's the approach I took and will take in the future. The above
is merely my opinion and the way I handled it. I'll be glad to respond to
Bill, [email protected]
WA7BNM's CONTEST CALENDAR
Dec. 7, 1995 Edition
ARRL RTTY Roundup 1800Z, Jan 6 to 2400Z, Jan 7
Japan Int.DX Contest, 160-40m 2200Z, Jan 12 to 2200Z, Jan 14
North Amer. QSO Party, CW 1800Z, Jan 13 to 0600Z, Jan 14
North Amer. QSO Party, Phone 1800Z, Jan 20 to 0600Z, Jan 21
ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes 1900Z, Jan 20 to 0400Z, Jan 22 Club Competition
CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW 2200Z, Jan 26 to 1600Z, Jan 28
UBA Contest, Phone 1300Z, Jan 27 to 1300Z, Jan 28
QRP ARCI Novice/Technician Roundup 0000Z, Jan 27 to 2400Z, Feb 4
North American Sprint, Phone 0000Z-0400Z, Feb 3
North American Sprint, CW 0000Z-0400Z, Feb 10
Dutch PACC Contest 1200Z, Feb 10 to 1200Z, Feb 11
ARRL School Roundup 1300Z-0100Z each day, Feb 12 to Feb 16
ARRL Inter. DX Contest, CW 0000Z, Feb 17 to 2400Z, Feb 18
**** Club Competition
CQ 160-Meter Contest, Phone 2200Z, Feb 23 to 1600Z, Feb 25
ARRL Inter. DX Contest, Phone 0000Z, Mar 2 to 2400Z, Mar 3
**** Club Competition
CQWW WPX Contest, Phone 0000Z, Mar 30 to 2400Z, Mar 31
Japan Int.DX Contest, 20-10m 2300Z, Apr 12 to 2300Z, Apr 14
ARRL 144 MHz Spring Sprint 1900-2300 local time, Apr 15
ARRL 222 MHz Spring Sprint 1900-2300 local time, Apr 23
ARRL 432 MHz Spring Sprint 1900-2300 local time, May 1
ARRL 902 MHz Spring Sprint 0600-1300 local time, May 11
ARRL 1296 MHz Spring Sprint 0600-1300 local time, May 11
ARRL 2304 MHz Spring Sprint 0600-1300 local time, May 11
ARRL 50 MHz Spring Sprint 2300Z May 18 to 0300Z, May 19
CQWW WPX Contest, CW 0000Z, May 25 to 2400Z, May 26
**** Club Competition
ARRL June VHF QSO Party 1800Z, Jun 8 to 0300Z, Jun 10
ARRL Field Day 1800Z, Jun 22 to 2100Z, Jun 23
IARU HF World Championship 1200Z, Jul 13 to 1200Z, Jul 14
ARRL UHF Contest 1800Z, Aug 3 to 1800Z, Aug 4
ARRL 10 GHz Cumul. Contest 0800-2000 local time, Aug 17 and Aug 18
ARRL September VHF QSO Party 1800Z, Sep 14 to 0300Z, Sep 16
ARRL 10 GHz Cumul. Contest 0800-2000 local time, Sep 21 and Sep 22
CQ Worldwide Contest, RTTY 0000Z, Sep 28 to 2400Z, Sep 29
CQ Worldwide Contest, Phone 0000Z, Oct 26 to 2400Z, Oct 27
**** Club Competition
ARRL Sweepstakes, CW 2100Z, Nov 2 to 0300Z, Nov 4
ARRL Sweepstakes, Phone 2100Z, Nov 16 to 0300Z, Nov 18
**** Club Competition
CQ Worldwide Contest, CW 0000Z, Nov 23 to 2400Z, Nov 24
**** Club Competition
ARRL 160-Meter Contest 2200Z, Dec 6 to 1600Z, Dec 8
ARRL 10-Meter Contest 0000Z, Dec 14 to 2400Z, Dec 15
**** Club Competition
Call Book - Paper and CD-ROM - Deal Offered by Mike Klein, KC3NE, of FRC
He says ... I'll have the 1996 Callbooks (paper) & the brand-new 1996
Callbook-on-CD-ROM (BOTH Callbooks, with 250+ countries on 1 disk!).
Callbooks are $24 each, $48 a set (plus $3 shipping per TOTAL order). The
Callbook-on-CD-ROM is $33 + $3 shipping. These are the lowest prices
ANYWHERE & are good for USA & possessions.
Shipping starts 11/13. Send check or money order (sri, no credit cards) to:
Mike Klein, Box 306, Cheltenham, PA 19012. (KC3NE's e-mail:
[email protected]) .
How Good is Your Ground?
by John Belrose, VE2CV (from the Internet)
Jerry Sevick, W2FMI in the March 1981 issue of QST has described a simple
method to measure ground conductivity, which requires a 100 watt electric
light bulb, a 14.6 ohm 5 w resistor, four small probes and an ac voltmeter.
This method has been used by Doty, Frey and Mills, QST February 1983, who
found problems with ground currents, which was resolved by adding an
isolation transformer. The measurement is made at the power line frequency
(50 or 60 Hz).
With a 100 watt transmitter and an RMS RF voltmeter, it seems to me that
one could make measurements at the HF frequency of interest. I am
suspicious of the probe method, since for accurate results the soil should
make uniform contact with the probe. The probe method is certainly no good
for rocky soil. The large apparent conductivity change observed on wet and
dry days, and the change from summer to winter is probably also a probe
Many commercial techniques are available and described in the literature
[reference Lagg, Earth Resistances, Pitman Publishing, 1964, pp. 206-229].
The method I like and have used is to employ an antenna itself to determine
the effective ground conductivity of the earth beneath it. Erect a
horizontal dipole dimensioned for the band of interest. Erect it at a low
height over the ground (say 1 metre). Do not use end insulators -- use
nylon rope. Determine the resonant length of the dipole (reactance zero),
and measure the resistance at the resonant frequency. This can be done
using a RX Noise bridge right at the antenna using a battery operated
receiver; or by measuring at the input end of a length of quality coax that
is exactly a half wavelength long. The coax should have ferite beads over
the shield of the coax at the antenna end, a W2DU type current balun. You
will have to guess at a suitable dielectric constant appropriate to the type
of soil in the area.
Using NEC-2 [or EZNEC or NEC-Wires, the two most popular ham implementations
- ed.], after some trial and error, you can find the conductivity that best
agrees with the resonant length of the dipole and the resistance of the
dipole. If you get agreement with both resonant length and resistance you
have probably made a good guess at the dielectric constant.
That's all for 1995. See you in the pileups!!!
73, Pete Smith N4ZR