the Current Newsletter - Thomasville Amateur Radio Club

Thomasville Amateur Radio Club
February 2015
Tune in this month…………….
Page 2-3
Pages 4-8
Pages 9-10
Page 11
Pages 12-17
Page 18
January Minutes
Upcoming Events
Local Nets
Special Extras
Officers 2015
Gary Alberstadt KA3FO
Jimmy Jones KK4ZYC/Wally Gunn KJ4KUK
Vice Presidents
Eleanor Doering AK4QW Secretary
Bobby Cooper W4MWW
Bill Kitchens KW4EF VP Special Events
Lowell Rieger NY4D
William Kornegay WK4WK Newsletter Editor
Message from the President
Well here we are coming up on the end of another month. Hopefully it has been good for every one of our
members and families.
Let me start with welcome home to Russell Shirley, KF4GBS who recently underwent major surgery to remove a
tumor from his brain stem. Russell has a long road to recovery. Russell is doing rehab at Archbold in
Thomasville Room 368 right near the elevators.
Special prayers are also requested for another TARC family member, Roy Alligood, KJ4VHL. Roy is currently in a
hard fought battle with bladder cancer. If you have any other information on our family members make sure to let
us know.
Lasts months meeting at the Hibachi Grille in Thomasville went well. We had over 40 members and guests
present, the food was great and we heard of no complaints about quality or service. We will be meeting there
again next month on February 7 , with dinner around 6 pm followed by the meeting around 7 pm. (See attached
minutes from the Secretary Eleanor, AK4QW ).
A moment of discussion was held regarding the passing of Joe Carroll, W4EAN. Our own Billy Joe Lewis, W4ZDP
delivered Joe’s eulogy to a crowd of about 50 people present.
The main event of the evening was when we honored Mike Brown, KE4FGF (sk), for a lifetime of achievements in
amateur radio with emphasis on his dedication to the Thomasville Amateur Radio Club. Nell Brown, N4NEL
accepted a plaque for her late son who passed last February.
During the meeting we issued Lifetime Membership Badges and ID cards to Billy Joe Lewis, W4ZDP and Nell
Brown, N4NEL. Awards were also presented to the 2014 officers for a job well done in a very trying in our clubs
life. Special thanks to John, Dana, Leanne, Jimmy, Buddy, Lowell and Gary.
We also recognized our other members who passed this past year including Steve, KJ4UKR and Walter, N1QJ.
We also recognized any other family members who were lost during the past year.
We have a busy year ahead of us, with lots of things to plan for starting now. First is the TARC Annual Tailgate
Event usually scheduled in March. We are working on holding an open to the public “What is Ham Radio Event”
Complete with an on the air station, basic training and of course class information. Thomas County EOC would
probably be a great venue, as it has parking, rig hook ups and lots of room in and out. More when we sort it out.
We will need our Experienced Go To People to speak in your areas of expertise.
ARRL Field Day is scheduled for June. Any interest in the organization of these events please contact Bill,
KW4EF at 229-226-0736 with your ideas and efforts including station captains, setup dinner and whatever else we
can do to build the event.
We need some input from our members regarding a fundraising venture. It has been suggested we “TARC”
purchase a hunting gun, preferably a shotgun, and sell raffle tickets to be awarded in conjunction with our
tailgate, where we usually raffle a radio. It has been pointed out the return on the investment could be sizeable as
compared to the radio raffle we usually do in the spring particularly in this area. If we do not have any input from
our members, the officers will make the decision as we may have some large scale expenses coming this year
with repeater projects planned.
That’s all for now…….. See you the 7
Message from the Vice President
Hello again.
It was great to see a large and enthusiastic group at our recent meeting. It seemed like everyone there
had a great time. The food was good and the fellowship was awesome. A couple of our regulars were unable
to attend due to family and work responsibilities. We look forward to seeing you when we can. There is quite a
bit of excitement about the coming year and some of our annual activities will be on us soon. I am personally
looking forward to the Chili cook-off and of course the annual tailgate and Field Day will be here soon.
As you all know, being a new officer, one of my primary goals is to engage and energize the club
members, so I would like to encourage everyone to continue to participate in club activities at any level
possible. Being a newcomer, I have a particularly soft spot in my heart for the new guys that are coming on. I
know they will be accepted into the pack with open arms, just as I was. If you hear any of the new Hams calling
out their sign, pick up the mica and say hello. They might be a little nervous about putting themselves out
there, so a friendly voice can go a long way.
Speaking of the new guys, one project that I am going to undertake is to start up a beginner’s net. The
main focus of this will be to get new Technicians comfortable with getting on the radio. It can be a little scary
just starting out. You don’t really know what to say or if you do, you aren’t sure you are saying it right. So this
will be an opportunity for them to get a little more practice. I will probably need some of the older folks to
listen in and chime in occasionally, just to “prime the pump” so to speak. Depending on how it evolves, I would
also like to use this net as a training tool to review some of the things covered on the Tech exam and to
prepare and encourage the new Techs to upgrade to the General level. More information will be available
soon. We still need to find a good place in the schedule that does not conflict with other nets and activities
going on. We also need to determine which repeater to work from. It is possible we will alternate repeaters, as
our repeater situation continues to improve. I will gladly accept any input or advice on this project as it moves
Anyway, that is all for me. I hope you all have a great month. Remember to keep Russell and Roy
Alligood in your prayers. I look forward to seeing all of you soon.
Jimmy Jones
December Meeting Minutes
The meeting was held on January 10, 2015 at the Hibachi Grille in Thomasville, GA.
The meeting was presided over by President Gary Alberstadt, (KA3FZO). There
were 43 people in attendance. Gary began by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year and proceeded to ask if there were any guests. A
gentleman named Cecil Porter from Tallahassee, has become interested in
Amateur Radio has been studying and will take his test next week. A gentleman
named Gerald Creel and son Josh knew Mike Brown, Gerald is a General and will
take his Extra soon and his son Josh is a Technician. Gerald offered his help with
work on the repeaters as he does that for a living.
Gary introduced the new officers, including himself Gary Alberstadt (KA3FZO),
been a ham since 1980, active in almost all aspects of ham radio.
Jimmy Jones (KK4ZYC) Co -Vice President who has been a ham almost a year and
plans to encourage new members to talk on the radio, on a new net maybe and
make them and their families feel comfortable because we want a family oriented
club. He also is in charge of membership cards, which Gary added as a dues &
membership incentive.
Wally Guynn (KJ4KUK) Co-Vice President who said that everyone should know, him
since he has been a member for some time now and wants to encourage new
members to be comfortable on the radio and wants new events and good times
with the club and people to learn new skills to make it more fun for an entire
Bill Kitchens (KW4EF) Vice President for special events, unfortunately was unable
to come, his wife had an event with the Boy Scouts that was very important that
they both attend. He will be in charge of all events like Field Day.
Eleanor Doering (AK4QW) Secretary has been a ham since 1978 and a member of
TARC since 2009. She will tape record the minutes and send them into William
Kornegay (WK4WK) Newsletter Editor.
Bobby Cooper (WM4WW) Treasurer said he didn’t know he had to make a speech
but he said he just takes the money…and runs! He says that’s it. He was first
licensed in 1976 and his first call was KB4HBO. .
Newsletter Editor, William Kornegay, WK4WK, works for Tallahassee Police in
Forensics and was busy working.
Lowell Rieger, NY4D, is Webmaster and lives in Savannah, GA and it’s too far for 1
meeting but will make it for the Tail-Gating.
News on the repeaters John Swicord is still in the repeater committee, He says it is
good to see the group getting back to business. On the 147.195, Metcalf machine
has been taken down, K4GFD has GE background and is getting the pre Amp tuned
up and getting it back to Nirmal for final work prior to being re-installed on the TV
6 tower.
The circulator didn’t give much improvement in fact it decreased its output. The
antenna was mounted horizontally on the platform and will be mounted below the
platform vertically. We hope to have it done in the next couple of weeks. The EOC
machine will work in the frequency change nothing much needs to be done but a
Spectrum Analyzer tuning. The Boston 147.240 has a low output and John has the
radio for it at home but hasn’t been able to check it out yet.
Gary stated, the 147.060 the FEMA machine, it will be turned on in the next couple
of weeks. It is a matter of clearance for DHS / FEMA Region 4 they need to
compile a report and get ARRL Certified paperwork.
Gary made a compliment to Terry, N0TW and Mack, W4GLM on what a great job
they had done on the Jefferson County 145.430 machine, “it does quite well,
another asset to the ARES efforts”. Terry and Mac both ignored the comment and
did not acknowledge it.
The Treasurers report was read by Bobby W4MWW. The treasury report was
accepted as presented.
No minutes from December meeting as it was the Christmas party.
Billy Joe Lewis, our first life member came to the Joe Carroll funeral and it was a
heavy rain so not too many members attended. However Billy Joe spoke for 20 to
30 minutes how he met Joe and how he got interested in Ham Radio. Everyone
there listened with interest.
Steward Chandler on Sky-Warn and Tallahassee National Weather Service. There
is a state ARES meeting in Forsyth, GA. February is the start of our severe weather
season up until April. This is an El Nino year which means escalated weather
events. Any interest in Sky-warn we have a webinar training but there is nothing
posted and if enough people are interested they can request training.. In regards
to activated outlooks of possibility of severe weather the National weather service
in Tallahassee dropped the activation network we have to self-activate to put
ourselves under the sky-warn umbrella.
Virgil Castleberry on ARES net, He wants to try different repeaters and simplex on
his Ares net on Thursday evenings at 9:00.
Bill was going to talk about the Tail Gate. It is usually held the last Saturday in
March. We will do it, but if there is no interest we can put it on the back burner.
On the other activities we had, the Peacock parade we got several unanswered
emails and we were told that if we weren’t interested that they would find
someone else who was. Gary got back to them explaining we had a death in our
club and that if they still want us we will be glad to do it again.
We had some interest in bowling for fun. If there is interest we will pursue it.
We have another life member award to give here tonight and that one is to NELL
BROWN. Everyone applauded! Nell Brown said, “Thank you, that means I’m the
oldest person here!” We just chuckled.
For last year’s Officers for what a difficult job it was last year with the death of our
President, but they held it together and a job well done! John Swicord, President.
Dana Swicord , Vice President for Special Events, Lowell Rieger Webmaster, Buddy
Peeples, Newsletter Editor, Leann Doering, Secretary, Jimmy Jones, Secretary
(Interim) Jimmy that is your first Radio award! Bobby Cooper, Treasurer. And Gary
Alberstadt, Vice President. Most important of all the Ham of the Year Award. Our
officers had a very hard time with this because of all the good hams that are now
silent keys this year.
So this year the ham of the year is a little different, we are naming it the
Thomasville Amateur Radio Club Life Time Achievement Award for a lifetime of
outstanding dedication to Amateur Radio….. KE4FGF….MIKE BROWN,SK, given to
his beloved mother Nell Brown! She was overjoyed and replied “Thank you very
much!” Everyone applauded for a long time! Then Gary handed out certificates
for working the Spaghetti 100 to Steve, Stewart, Jimmy, Gary, Daniel, Wally, and
Bobby. Thanks for your participation.
Alan Slaughter and Alan Terrell for testing. Alan Slaughter is a W5YI and handles
all our testing sessions along with the VE’s who help out with the testing. It is 3rd
Saturday at the EOC. Andy Clark, NX4AC, Instructor for Electronics at Moultrie
Technical, is the instructor for our Amateur classes and February classroom
sessions are coming up. Alan Slaughter has been handling all the test sessions
since field day and even in November and December when it is by appointment
only we had 1 and 3 or 4 technicians and upgrades at every session.
Questions on licenses or upgrades? Email Alan Slaughter or Andy Clark or on
Facebook, or twitter. We want to teach on soldering iron and kit building, some
never held a soldering iron before. Some have built kits in the ’60, 70’s. Kits can
be built cheaply. Lots of resources here and test equipment etc. connectors,
antenna building and so on. You can always find somebody to help you here. We
need to start doing some training especially as we get closer to field day.
Gary said, he has received an email from a friend in a club in North Carolina. In the
newsletter there was an article on LTE. As in cell phone type technology. Gary will
be sharing the article in the newsletter coming up.
Remember Russell goes to surgery at Shands next Wednesday keep him in your
prayers. Caroline Peeples , Buddy’s wife had surgery again on her rotator cuff in
Atlanta and all went well.
Gary concluded with Thanking everyone who came and hope they enjoyed the
dinner and meeting. And the meeting was adjourned. Next meeting February 7th
at 6pm at the same place.
Eleanor, AK4QW
Happy Birthday
Billy Joe Lewis
February 3rd
William Kornegay
February 3rd
Sally Moniz
February 4th
Mike Swiderski
February 5th
Richard Bochkay
February 13th
Norm Scholer
February 18th
Dave Hand
February 26th
Feb. 6th – Friday Morning Breakfast – 8:30 AM Q Café
Feb 7th – Monthly Meeting @ the Hibachi Grill 6 PM
Feb 13th – Friday Morning Breakfast – 8:30 AM Q Café
Feb 13th – Orlando Hamcation
Feb 20th - Friday Morning Breakfast – 8:30 AM Q Café
Feb 21st – VE Test Session 10 AM Thomas County EOC
Feb 27th - Friday Morning Breakfast – 8:30 AM Q Café
Local Nets
Please monitor webpage @ and emails for any
updates and changes to the nets until the issues with the repeaters are resolved.
Thursday Night Youth Net @ 7:30 PM
147.195 PL tone 141.3 Hz
Thursday Night Net @ 8:00 PM
147.195 PL tone 141.3 Hz
Southwest District AREs Net @ 9:00 PM
145.170 PL tone 141.3 Hz
What happens when your antenna is lying in the ground and there is no one around to help
you get it back in the air? Ask Eleanor Doering and she will tell you that there just doesn’t
seem to be anyone with the time, skills or youth to help. I heard of her plight months ago and
thought how sad it was to have a very good radio transmitter and all the right accessories and
not be able to use them. I mean, we all like our toys and sure want to use them whenever we
get the urge to put some “fire in the wire” so to speak. I really couldn’t imagine not using my
radio for a year, could you?
The Christmas Party at The Farm was where we finally decided that she needed her antenna
fixed. The story goes sort of like this; she and I were talking over dinner and I asked if her
antenna was still down and what were her plans to get it back in the air. She told me it was still
out of commission and she didn’t have any idea about how she was going to get it fixed. She
also said that she thought hams were supposed to help each other. I told her that we do take
care of each other and she retorted that no one had come forward to help her raise the
antenna. I think I was being goaded into coming down to Coolidge with my helper kit. I told
her that my Christmas break was coming up shortly and I was going to make some time for
I recruited one of the other Moultrie hams, Ray Strickland – KK4JRL, to help. Ray is a member
of the Colquitt County Ham Radio Society and a very knowledgeable fellow. I was glad to have
him with me. We went to Ms. Eleanor’s house for a recon trip on the Wednesday before
Christmas week. This was the only day available for us to make the trip. Unfortunately I forgot
to call Ms. Eleanor and we showed up unannounced. She was grateful for the visit even if she
wasn’t completely sure who it was at first. She quickly recognized me and was happy to see
some progress on her antenna problems.
Ray and I determined that the job wasn’t going to be too difficult. Our walk around found that
the ropes used to guy the pole had deteriorated along with the ropes used to stretch and
anchor the antenna wire. The halyard pulley had become disconnected from the antenna pole
and had brought down the center connector for the antenna. This job was going to require
some new ropes and muscle, hopefully not a whole lot of muscle. Ms. Eleanor had already
ordered and received some new ropes from DX Engineering, shoot we were all set. All we
needed was some tools and ladders and we were going to have an antenna back in action.
The plan was to come back and do the needed repairs on the Tuesday before Christmas. Well
ya’ll remember it rained, it rained for days. Not only rain but the thunderstorms and flooded
roads put a hold on the repairs. The next available day was the Saturday after Christmas and a
short informative call to Ms. Eleanor that morning got the ball rolling. The truck was loaded
with tools and a ladder. I stopped by Ray’s house and picked him up, we were off to do the
repairs. Hey Ms. Eleanor even put on a pot of coffee. It don’t get any better than that folks.
The first thing to do was remove all the bad rope from the ends of the antenna. This required
climbing a ladder and removing the rope from around the chimney. That’s right the chimney is
used as an anchor point for the inverted vee.
The other end is attached to the far shed roof. Both ends were taken loose and the wire of the
antenna was inspected. The antenna wire is made of steel wire so there was some rust. This
was cleaned and deemed acceptable for reuse. The center connector required a complete
redo. The steel wire of the antenna was severely rusted and the feed line connections needed
to be resoldered.
The center wire connections were repaired and the pole was lowered for reattachment of the
halyard pulley and guy ropes. The pulley was secured to the top of the pole by the original
worm screw clamp used in the initial installation. We decided to wrap electrical tape around
the clamp and pole at the attachment point to help secure the pulley. The halyard line was in
good shape and was reused. The center connector was attached to the halyard rope and ready
to be hoisted into the air. It felt like we were trying to raise the colors of freedom, wireless
The guy ropes were to be attached to the pole around five feet from the top with another
worm screw clamp. Somebody I know didn’t bring one. Yep there is always something
forgotten. Ms. Eleanor came to the rescue when she walked out of her house with a new
screw clamp. Now that is a real ham radio operator, ready for whatever comes at you. We
attached the guy ropes as planned and the pole was raised into its original vertical position.
We tied off the guy wires to their anchor points and started to raise the antenna center
conductor with the halyard line. It worked perfectly, up the pole, slick as can be. It felt like we
were raising the colors of freedom, wireless freedom.
Our attention was then focused on the ends of the antenna. We had to attach them to the
chimney and the shed roof. The antenna ends were secured to the lines with a bowline, a nonslipping loop in the end of the rope. A quick lesson on bowlines was initiated and the students
said they would try to learn the knot for future use. The west end was secured to the chimney
and the east end was moved from the original position on the corner of the shed roof to a few
feet father east.
This was done to clear a few orange tree branches. In the end we had to trim those trees
branches anyway. Good enough.
We had done it. The antenna was back in the air and the initial test proved it was just as good
when we finished as it was when it was erected.
Ms. Doering has her hobby, just like yours, and she is back on the air and I’m sure she is
making contacts as you read this.
Wow, really, really cool. I wish to thank her for letting Ray-KK4JRL and I have a small part in
her pursuit of amateur radio, it was a blast.
Thanks to all of the helpers out there. Andy Clark – NX4AC
BOOTH RENTALS 10 X 10 = $15
10 X 20 = $25
CALL 229-226-8762
CALL RICHARD HARRIS WA4BDU @ 229 223 1038 [email protected]
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