Frontier Amateur Radio Society
Newsletter – July 2003
Editorial from the President
The June 14th FARS meeting at the Instant Replay at 9495 Las Vegas Boulevard South was a notable
success, with only a few active club members not attending. Our gathering, in a cozy banquet room,
along with the good food & service, allowed us to get on with the business of pending and future club
activities. I have written a letter to the restaurant manager, thanking him and his staff for the support
and accommodation. We hope to continue meeting there in the future.
The ARRL Field Day activity, in joint cooperation with the Las Vegas Radio Amateur Club (LVRAC)
and the Nellis Radio Amateur Club (NRAC) is now over. Preliminary planning for next year starts now!
This type of activity is well within our public service commitment, and proves that individuals and
several club organizations can work together in providing communications in less than ideal conditions.
This was recognized at the recent Field Day activity by extensive coverage by news media. TV8 spent
hours at our operating site at Sunset Park. Radio conditions for contesting were bad. From a contest
viewpoint, there were probably areas of needed improvement. 20M and 40M overall, saved the day.
One limitation was the local QRN. – The check-in log for this event netted nearly 100 hams total
attending, some with their families. – The food was great! Thanks to Tom Petrakis, KE4ULL, and his
ARRL Assistant Section Manager-Nevada, Gary Hartman, KK7LV, is now a member of our club and
provides expertise and connection to ARRL resources that we may need to further expand our interests
and activities. Gary has suggested for instance, that our club might best provide our interest in high
frequency (HF) support in Southern Nevada emergency conditions. This could be a focus point in our
planning, where other local club organizations provide local and wide area, VHF and UHF FM
communications. Good thought Gary!
An interesting item came up at our June 03 meeting. Frank Szalach, KC7RJI, offered that he had
numerous photos of club activities such as past Field Day operations. The need for a club historian is
now on the docket. We have 17 years of history, and with many past dedicated club individuals, some
still with us. We need to honor that memory with a permanent form collection of past and current
photos, documents, etc. This information should be placed on a DVD.
As we go into the summer, our activities in radio contests, vacations, family outings, education courses
and other alternates to our regular ham radio pursuits, we must project ahead to the future. Our club has
an on-going repeater evaluation. Our finances are in need of improvement. Our by-laws and
constitution need overhaul. These items are important organizational needs. We have offers of club
program presentations. This activity will be informal for the time being. Our emergency preparedness
capabilities are serious business. So far, it has been a loose ends thing that needs focus. The ARRL has
just announced that it is now part of the Department of Homeland Security, with a definition of “the first
of the first responders". Our label is “Citizen Corps”. Long term, we will maintain fellowship with our
present monthly breakfast meetings, inviting all others, club members or not to share with us what we
have to offer. If we can get past the present budgetary limitations, then we can think ahead to important
contributions to the local, state and national interests, especially that connected to the survival of
amateur radio, and enhancement of the state-of-the-art.
Special Award to FARS Club Member
For Logistics Planning and Support, the recent Field Day event in Las Vegas at Sunset Park was as good
as anyone could expect for a nearly all band, all mode effort. Fred Homuth, K9GAJ, coordinating the
group event was given a special award for his organizing efforts at a brief ceremony. The event was
endorsed by FARS, LVRAC, and NRAC. John Bigley, N7UR of NRAC presented the award. — Well
Volunteers of the Month
Special club thanks the individuals who voluntarily retrieved the non-repeater equipment and confirmed
by testing its working status for the ARRL Field Day. Involved in this were Bob Buck, W7IZU; Dave
Abbott, N7RNV; J.D. Jones, N7WL; and especially to our club technical adviser, Dave Floyd, W9MPD.
This equipment, used at Field Day, has been returned to the custody of Bob Buck, W7IZU, the club’s
Report to the Membership
Our club equipment inventory (non-repeater) was discussed at the June meeting. The estimated value,
high and low, was evaluated by Hal Waite, K3AB and presented. The information of total value was
discussed and its part of club assets and liabilities. Ultimate disposition and use of the equipment and
insurance liability was broached, but needs further future club determination. Our thanks to Hal, for a
job well done. I recommend we consider a program that could be called MentorHam, and that this club
could initiate a better use of this equipment to provide a resource for new hams needing assistance. This
idea was first suggested to me by Hal Waite, K3AB, one of our members and restated by another.
ARRL Field Day Contest Report by Fred Homuth, K9GAJ
The Las Vegas Valley 2003 Field Day was a huge success with over 120 people (a possible record)
attending the two-day event. Volunteers from the sponsor FARS, LVRAC, and NRAC clubs along with
many visitors provided lots of help with setup, operation, tear down and other duties. Even several out
of town ham tourists came by and operated. All three club presidents and Gary Hartman, KK7LV
(ARRL Assistant Section Manager) attended and made short speeches at the great barbecue/potluck
provided by Jamie Gorr, N3TOY on Saturday evening. Tom Petrakis, KE4ULL cooked up a tasty
omelet breakfast on Sunday morning for the hungry operators and early birds. The 2003 Field Day
Coordinator, Fred Homuth, K9GAJ was presented with a nice plaque for organizing the event.
With near continuous radio operations on the Class 5A stations, N7V, more than 530 phone, 250 cw,
and 20 digital contacts were made despite generally poor band conditions. There were also stations
operating on 6 meters and VHF/UHF. The interesting demonstrations of APRS, Packet, RTTY, ATV,
SSTV, QRP, Satellite, and T-Hunting along with many QSOs being made on the GOTA (Get On the
Air) visitors station added to the fun. The recently acquired LVRAC Emergency Communications
Trailer was on display and is shaping up to be a fine facility.
Everybody said they really had a fun time and managed to keep cool even with 108 temps on Saturday.
The many eyeball QSOs and hamming tales provided lots of enjoyment and resulted in new friendships
being made. Several were already planning Field Day for next year!
For PR we had television TV-8, and Sun newspaper reporters show up to do stories on the event. TV-8
reports appeared on the 6PM, and 11PM news Saturday night, and the Sun story (with pictures of Luke,
KK7XX and Glen, N7GOT operating) appeared in the Monday (6/30/03) Sun newspaper.
ARRL June VHF QSO Party report by Pat Hess, NK7C
Results not available at press time. K7ICW reports that overall radio band conditions were terrible
except on 6M.
FARS recognition of the Elko Amateur Radio Club newsletter
Copies of the June 2003 Elko A.R.C. newsletter were circulated at the FARS June meeting. We
recognize a very well produced and edited publication. One outstanding comment in their newsletter
was the statement, (in an emergency) “you cannot rely on repeaters!” – I aspire for our club to do
something like the Elko A.R.C. newsletter in the future. Well done, W7LKO supporters!
Newsletter error in June #2003-6 edition
Gary Hartman, KK7LV, not Glenn Hale, KB7REO attended the May meeting, and presented his
credentials and was approved as a new club member.
Repeater offsite performance evaluation
Dave Floyd, W9MPD, presented issues at the June meeting, with regards to measuring our repeater
performance from other than the Black Mt. site, to determine the next course of action. This activity
may take place in early August on a Sunday afternoon. Location TBA. Repeater Committee members
be advised. The editor recommends our recent Field Day site as one possible location.
Japanese Satellite back in operation
FO-29 is back! Strong signals from it have been heard. It operates in mode “JA” as an analog
transponder. The up-link(input) is 145.000Mhz to 146.000MHz. The down-link(output) is
435.800MHz to 435.900MHz. CW telemetry is at 435.795MHz. Send reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. An
article listing active satellites is in the July 03 issue of WorldRadio.
NW7O mobile in Montana was worked in Las Vegas during the recent ARRL June VHF QSO Party on
6M. – Some of our SoNev group got in on some historic VHF sky wave sporadic E skip openings on
144MHz and 222MHz on 9,12,13 & 17th June. Three Las Vegas operators worked “DX” stations in 10
states, and a VE7. 6M has been very good here this season, with some openings to Alaska, Mexico, and
the Caribbean, as well as to the East coast of the U.S. and many Canadian Provinces, including the
Nunavut and Yukon territories. HF conditions has produced some rare ones; East Timor on 20M,
Afghanistan on 17M and 20M, and Iraq on 20M. – Hawaii has been heard and worked on 144MHz and
222MHz on the California coast in the last month. The CW beacon from KH6HME is on 144.170MHz.
It has been heard once in Pahrump. If you hear it, CALL K7ICW at 897-8410 and leave message of the
Recent activities during the ARRL Nevada QSO Party by NK7C, Pat Hess, will not stand unchallenged!
A well-known local Nevada ham, says he is going to provoke Pat into some real competition next year!
July is quieter contest-wise than most months. We submit the following (following our newsletter
publish date: IARU HF World Championship, 1200Z 12 July-1200Z 13 July; CQ WW VHF, 1800Z
19 July-2100Z 20 July; North American QSO Party 1800Z 19 July-0600Z 20 July, and 1800Z 2 Aug-
0600Z 3 Aug.; Worked All Europe DX 0000Z 9 Aug.-2359Z 10 Aug. (Thanks WorldRadio)
Special message to those who receive our newsletter by U.S. Postal mail
Our newsletter will be mailed via the USPS to club members who do not have Internet access. Please
call us at 702-897-8410 when you obtain Internet access so we may send your newsletter via e-mail.
The next scheduled FARS meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 12th, at the new location. The Instant
Replay/Villa Pizza is located at 9495 Las Vegas Boulevard South, at Richmar Avenue on the S-W
corner. – Our Vice President, Dave Abbott, N7RNV will be on vacation. – Our Secretary, Robert
Johnson, N7FLR will be attending school.
Appointees & Volunteers
Club Technical adviser/RFI consultant – Dave Floyd, W9MPD
AREC Coordinator – Dave Abbott, N7RNV
Education Coordinator – Robert Johnson, N7FLR
Interclub facilitator – Fred Homuth, K9GAJ
ARRL DXCC/WAS Awards Manager – Hal Waite, K3AB
ARRL VUCC Awards Manager – Al Olcott, K7ICW
Newsletter Editor (acting) – Al Olcott, K7ICW
Acting Chair, Fred Homuth, K9GAJ; Support: J.D. Jones, N7WL; Sandy Padilla, KB6EK; Dave Abbott,
N7RNV, and Ron “Butch” Bussen, WA0VJR
Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.
Moment of Zen
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Commercial Community Club Supporters
Amateur Electronic Supply Radio World
4640 South Polaris Ave. 1656 Nevada Highway
Las Vegas, NV Boulder City, NV
Phone: (702) 647-32114 Phone: (702) 294-2666