METERS Newsletter by VI802W


									M.E.T.E.R.S. Newsletter – November 2008
A monthly publication of the Middle East Tennessee Emergency Radio Service, Inc.
(METERS is a registered non-profit service organization based in Knoxville, serving all the
surrounding area.) Meetings are held at 7 PM, the 4th Tuesday every month. Our November 25th
meeting will be at the Tennessee Technology Center, 1100 Liberty Street, Knoxville -- (See the
website for directions, or watch the Net Reminder). Licensed Amateur Radio Operators are
invited to join METERS and assist in meeting the needs of our served agencies. Our club call sign
is KC4EM. Website: -- Members’ submissions are invited for this newsletter,
in plain text format, subject to space available and editing. Editor: John Randle K9RSQ; e-mail to
K9RSQ”at sign”TDS.NET ; Phone (865) 675-1293, or mail to: John Randle, 10625 Summit Mtn
Ct, Knoxville, TN 37922.

President’s Statement for November 2008
By Larry Osterman W8JYQ

Our Nov. 25th meeting at Tennessee Tech., will feature a talk by Bill WR4MS on use of
digital modes, especially PSK31. We look forward to a good turnout for this useful topic. --
We'll also be talking about our hospital team assignments and by extension, how these teams
become "Rapid Response Teams" for possible deployment in times of emergency. Some of
our teams have not been activated for some time so if you are on an idle team (or no team),
and want to learn how others operate, please let me know. You may be called on to assist
another group one day, and this is your opportunity to see what others are doing.

Note that a real event deployment will likely require certifications (credentials), such as your
completing some EmComm and/or ICS courses so we all should be working on these. Note
also that the EmComm Level 1 and 2 exams will be given at Tennessee Tech, on December
2nd but please let Tyra AI4KG know you're coming. (E-mail to AI4KG (at)
Tyra may have a separate announcement in this newsletter.

SkyWarn is a weather reporting service managed by the National Weather Service, assisted
by citizen weather observers. 'Hams', including some METERS members, play a key role in
reporting violent weather to our NWS station, WX4MRX, in Morristown. Although we do
not have our own weather nets, we help sponsor a SkyWarn class. On Saturday, January 17th
from 10 AM to Noon, there will be a local class conducted by NWS at the Knox EOC on
Barnard Street. If interested, please sign up with Dan K4DNG, at the next meeting.
(Editor’s Note: See ARRL article later in this issue for information on SkyWarn Recognition Day
activities on 6 December 2008).

Our annual Christmas gathering for members and friends will be Tuesday, December 16th at
6:00 PM at Mama Blues Buffet. The spread of food choices is impressive, and last time there
we thought they were doing a very nice job of maintaining a clean and presentable place.
Location is 9645 Kingston Pike in west Knoxville. Hope to see you there. (Each person pays
one amount including beverage. Rick K4AMT, arranged a separate room, just for METERS.)

Thanksgiving is almost here, and you may be planning good food and friendly surroundings. We
wish you a big helping of good health and an enjoyable holiday season as well. Your fellow
members and I appreciate your METERS participation. Thank You.

73 - Larry Osterman W8JYQ (Ph. 865 690-5096 or E-mail to w8jyq (at)

Vice-President’s Statement for November 2008
By Dan Gainer K4DNG

This month I want to address “Pro Words”. We use these words when passing messages during
drills and actual emergencies. When I participated in my first Simulated Emergency Test (SET) in
October 2006, I got lost fairly quickly in the "Pro Word jungle”. Some Pro Words are easily
understood: others are not. I had no idea what a ‘Fill” was during my first SET. When the NCS
asked if anyone needed a ‘Fill”, I wasn’t sure what was being asked (but some ice water and a fan
would have been real nice!). Through participation in METERS meetings, nets and SETs, I have
learned their meaning.

The public and our served agencies rely on our ability to send message traffic efficiently and
accurately. When we combine our traffic handling, radio, and net operating skills to provide
service, we earn their trust. The process is simple, yet there are details to learn about how to make
it all happen efficiently and accurately. We must interface with those we serve and gather the
information required to record the message properly. We must be willing to learn, and practice, the
basic skills required for exchanging a message with another station. Following is a list of
commonly used "Pro Words" used in message passing.

                           The portion of the message to which I have referenced is all that
                           which follows. Example: “Please say again ALL AFTER hospital”.
                            The portion of the message to which I have referenced is all that
  ALL BEFORE                which proceeds. Example: “Please say again ALL BEFORE
                            Indicates the separation of the text from other portions of the
  CORRECT                   You are correct or what you have transmitted is correct
                            An error has been made in this transmission. Transmission will
  CORRECTION                continue with the last word correctly transmitted. The correct version
                            This transmission is in error. Disregard it. (This proword shall not be
                            used to cancel any message that has been completely transmitted and
                            for which receipt or acknowledgment has been received.)
  FIGURES                   Numerals or numbers follow (Optional)
                            Person receiving message is missing information. They will ask for
                            a “fill” to complete the message.
                            The originator of this message is indicated by address designation
                            immediately following
GROUPS                 This message contains the number of groups indicated.
INFO                   The addressees immediately following are addressed for information
I READ BACK            The following is my response to your instructions to read back
I SAY AGAIN            I am repeating transmission or portion indicated
I SPELL                I spell the next word phonetically
                       That which follows has been verified at your request and is repeated.
                       (To be used as a reply to verify.)
                       A message which requires recording is about to follow (Transmitted
                       immediately after the call.)
                       Please limit your transmissions to essential traffic. Emergency
MINIMIZE               operational traffic is in progress. MINIMIZE is imposed by Net
MINIMIZE LIFTED        Minimize is lifted by Net Control
MORE TO FOLLOW Transmitting station has additional traffic for the receiving station
                       This is the end of my transmission to you and no answer is required
OUT                    or expected. (Since OVER and OUT have opposite meanings, they
                       are never used together
                       This is the end of my transmission to you and a response is
                       necessary. Go ahead; transmit
READ BACK              Repeat this entire transmission back to me exactly as received.
                       Transmit this message to all addresses (or addresses immediately
                       following this proword).
REPEAT                  See “Say Again”
ROGER                  I have received your last transmission satisfactorily.
                       Precedence ROUTINE. Reserved for all types of messages, which
ROUTINE                are not of sufficient urgency to justify a higher precedence, but must
                       be delivered to the addressee without delay.
                       Repeat all, or part, of your last transmission. "Say Again
                       __________ “(portion of message misunderstood or missing).”
                       Your transmission speed too fast to copy. Reduce speed of
                       This transmission is from the station whose designator immediately
                       That which immediately follows is the time or date/time group of the
TO                     The addressee(s) immediately following is (are) addressed for action
UNKNOWN                The identity of the station with which I am attempting to establish
STATION                communication is unknown. Ask station to identify.
VERIFY                 Verify entire message (or portion indicated) with the originator and
                           send correct version. (To be used only at the direction of the
                           addressee to which the questioned message was directed.)
  WAIT                     I must pause for a few seconds.
                           I have received your signal, understand it, and will comply. (To be
                           used only by the addressee. Since the meaning of ROGER is
                           included in that of WILCO, the two prowords are never used
                           The word of the message, which I have referenced, follows
                           The word of the message, which I have referenced, precedes
                           Communication is difficult. Transmit each phrase twice. This
                           proword may be used as an order, request, or as information.

73 de K4DNG.

Treasurer’s Talk for November 2008
By Dave Ogle KE4BZ

       Hi Gang!

        Well… once again I find myself serving our group as Treasurer… and in keeping with
that… please remember that it is DUES RENEWAL time once again! We have had several
members who have already renewed their 2009 membership, and plenty more who have said they
plan to do so before the end of the year. Remember, we only have ONE official meeting before
the end of the year, and that is our November meeting on the 25th (and NO official meeting in
December, other than the Christmas Party). Dues still stand at $15 dollars per year, and can even
be mailed in if you like.

         METERS Inc. is an affiliate organization of the ARRL… therefore, if you are not an
ARRL Member, and would like to join that organization… we can help! All you have to do to is
fill out an application form, and write a check to METERS for the dues. I will then take care of
the application! Why?… Well, METERS will get a “finders fee” for new members, since we are
an ARRL Affiliated organization.. so joining the ARRL through METERS will help YOU –and-
our group!
         Meanwhile... if you’re already an ARRL member, we can also handle your annual renewal.
Simply fill out your renewal form, and write a check to METERS, Inc. for the Renewal Fee (or
cash, if you like), and we will handle the renewal for you! We want to make it easy for you to
keep your ARRL membership current – and ensure we have plenty of ARRL Members in
METERS, so we can maintain our club affiliation!

        We also still have plenty of the METERS Logo Patches for sale. They are $3 each, or 2
for $5 Bucks (What a deal!) Now that we have those really cool safety vests donated by the Knox
County Health Department… what better way to make it truly a METERS Inc. identifying
garment, than by placing a full-color METERS Inc. Logo Patch on the front! (Personally, I would
suggest placing a logo patch on the Right “lapel” area, so you can wear either a Name Tag on the
Left lapel area, or your METERS Inc. ID Badge. Hey, if you are handy with a sewing machine,
you could even embroidery your name & call sign there too!)

        Oh, speaking of the METERS Inc. ID Badges… we are getting another ID Badge order
together. Please look over your current ID Badge (if you have one) and determine if it is still
current. A lot of folks have asked for a new ID Badge due to license upgrades, additional
certifications, changes in their photos (we’re getting Prettier?!), etc. Remember, I can’t order
your ID Badge if I do NOT have your photo! We can fix that by either taking a snapshot at a
meeting… or if you have one, you can send a photo to me by email… and I will try to include you
in our next ID Badge order. Remember, the first one is on us… but replacements/upgrades are $6
each. (A bargain at that price!!)

        Well… that’s about it for now. I probably won’t be seeing a lot of you for a while, as I
will be busy with both Men’s & Women’s basketball games… but not to worry… Other board
members will gladly take your dues payments at any & every opportunity.

        Thanks… and I hope to hear you on the ‘nets!

        Dave Ogle

Testing Time – November 2008
By Tyra Buczkowski, AI4KG

There will be an Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Course exam session on Tuesday
December 2, 2008 at 6:30PM at the TN Technology Center of Knoxville. Exams will be
administered for ARECC Level One and Level Two. NO LEVEL THREE WILL BE GIVEN.

Examinees will need to bring a valid photo ID, proof of certification in the previous level of
ARECC (if taking a higher level exam), a writing instrument, and $14 in US currency.

Please contact Tyra AI4KG to be added to the testing list. Email : or Tel :
865-966-8223. Walk-ins will be served in the order in which they arrive subject to the supply of
testing materials and time limitations.

Net Notes – November 2008
By John Randle, K9RSQ / Editor

Darrell Sperry, KA4TAR, TN ARES A.S.E.C., has invited our readers to visit the Sevier County
Emergency Radio Service web site at

Editor's Notes – November 2008
By John Randle, K9RSQ / Editor

This is a trial feature in the METERS NewsLetter. METERS is providing this information solely
as a courtesy to its members. The accuracy of any and all listings is the responsibility of the
listing party. At this time I am limiting submissions to/from METERS. If anyone would like to post
a listing in the next issue, please email it to me at "k9rsq(at sign)". Depending on the level
of interest generated, this service may or may not be continued subsequent, issues.

Swap & Shop ….
Item 1: Submitted by Joe Pate/KG4RED, E-mail: josephhpatejr(at sign)
For Sale or Trade …
I have a VX-7r Black, 4 batteries desk charger, car charger, hand mike, soft case, and a hard
carrying case for it. All $400.00 or best offer. I will also consider a trade for a dual band HT of
equal value.

Item 2: Submitted by Allan/W1AEL, E-mail: w1ael54(at sign)
Test Equipment Documentation Wanted….
Looking for manuals, schematics for the following gear:
B&K 1477 Oscilloscope , Ramsey CT-90 frequency Counter, Micronta 22-175 Digital
Multimeter, Heathkit IG-72 Audio Generator, Heathkit SA-5010 Keyer, Simpson 360 Digital
Multimeter, General Radio 1390B Noise Generator.
I would be happy to either borrow documents to copy or to pay a reasonable cost for copying. I
have a good collection of test equipment manuals to share.

Item 3: Submitted by Frank Coffey/W4NCS, E-mail: frantek(at sign)
For Sale ..I have a Tentec Centurion amplifier 6 yrs old used very little about 250 hours mint
condition no wear no scratches non smoking environment very clean a little dust. Runs on
120/240 VAC and 100 watts of drive gives 1400 watts of output. Take 1700 obo
Home 687-8549 Cell 389-0085

Item 4: Submitted by Cathi Cogle / K4TMW ,E-mail: cathicogle(at sign)
Wanted: If anyone has one section of rohn 25 G tower they would like to part with, we are in
need of one, thanks. 865-577-0038...

ARRL Activities ….
By John Randle K9RSQ / Editor

The following is re-printed from The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 43, October 24, 2008, copyright
The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.


This week, ARRL Letter readers are in luck! The ARRL's very own Doctor, author of the popular
QST column "The Doctor Is IN," answers a question from his mailbag:

Jim Kueck, KC9LMO, of Long Grove, Illinois, asks: I greatly enjoyed the article about feeding a
dipole with low loss balanced line in July 2008 QST. I have put up a half wave 40 meter dipole

fed with 300 Ohm twin lead, with an antenna tuner at the radio. This $15 antenna has worked very
well on 40 and 20 meters, with many European contacts logged using just 100 W.

Is there any concern about having RF in the shack with the twinlead as a feed line? I have read that
a long wire antenna can pose this problem and want to be sure that I'm not slow cooking myself
with this feed line going right in back of my operating position.

The Doctor Answers -- The short answer is no, but the long answer is longer! If the dipole is fed in
the center, the two sides are at the same height and the transmission line is perpendicular to the
antenna, the currents on the two sides of the balanced transmission line will be equal and opposite
and there is virtually no radiation outside of an imaginary tube a few times the wire spacing
around the wires.

If all of those conditions are not met, there may be some radiation from the line, but it will
generally be a small portion of the total signal. Note that if you were to feed the dipole with coax,
if you didn't have a balun at the antenna, the current on the outside of the shield would likely be
higher than that from a not quite balanced dipole fed with balanced line. Note also that the pickup
on a transmission line that is not perpendicular to the antenna would be about the same on coax as
balanced line.

So my conclusion is that balanced line and coax are about the same in this regard, as long as you
stay more than a few inches from the line -- it can have high RF voltage in places. If you notice
effects of large common mode currents on you feed line -- typically a hot chassis or RF feedback -
- you will want to address them for many reasons, but even then I have trouble imagining an RF
safety issue especially at the 100 W level.

One caution worth mentioning is that twinlead may be more susceptible to picking up RFI as it
works its way to the tuner. Make sure you keep it as far as possible from your PC or other
potential RFI generators.

Do you have a question or a problem? Send your questions via e-mail <>; or to
"The Doctor," ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111 (no phone calls, please). Look for "The
Doctor Is IN" every month in QST, the official journal of the ARRL.

The following is re-printed from The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 43, October 31, 2008, copyright
The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.


The 10th Annual SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) Special Event will take place Saturday,
December 6, 2008 <>. SRD is co-sponsored by the ARRL and the
National Weather Service (NWS) as a way to recognize the commitment made by Amateur Radio
operators in helping to keep their communities safe. According to SRD Coordinator David Floyd,
N5DBZ, Amateur Radio operators can visit their local participating NWS office
<>, working as a team to contact
other hams across the world throughout the 24 hour event.

The idea for the first SRD took shape in the summer of 1999. Meteorologist-in-Charge of the
Goodland, Kansas NWS office Scott Mentzer, N0QE, tried to find a way to recognize the valuable
contributions storm spotters make to the National Weather Service. "Since many of those storm
spotters were also hams," Floyd said, "it seemed like a natural fit for the recognition to be centered
on Amateur Radio."

With the approval of NWS headquarters and a commitment to participate from many local NWS
offices across the country, the first National Weather Service Special Event took place on
November 27, 1999. "At the end of the event, an amazing 15,888 QSOs were logged, with
contacts made to all 50 states and 63 countries," Floyd recounted. "The Des Moines forecast office
took the honor of making the most contacts of any office that first year with 761 QSOs, and went
on to lead the pack until 2003 by logging between 1300-1500 contacts each year!"

Floyd said that feedback from that first event was "overwhelmingly positive" from both the NWS
staff and the local ham clubs: "Suddenly there was incentive for more NWS staffers to either
obtain a license or upgrade so that more people could work ham radio during severe events. In
addition, many club members had never visited an NWS office before. When they came for the
special event, they learned the value of their reports and how they were used in conjunction with
existing technology."

And so began an annual tradition. The following year, 85 of the 122 NWS offices -- almost 70
percent -- participated in the event, making nearly 24,000 QSOs. "Perhaps the most unusual
contact occurred in 2000 with an airliner 39,000 feet above Utah," Floyd said. "The pilot ended
the QSO with a request for a 'spot weather forecast' for his arrival at Salt Lake City airport."

In 2001, the name of the event was changed to SKYWARN Recognition Day, a name Floyd said
better relayed what the day was all about: "Each year since the inception of SRD, the number of
NWS offices and local ham clubs participating has increased, until now more than 100 offices sign
up each year to take part. The most contacts made during any SRD occurred in 2006 when --
thanks to the staff and local hams in the Grand Junction, Colorado area -- 1640 QSOs were

Station call signs have also changed over the years. Floyd said that some NWS offices and clubs
apply for a special event call sign, "such as W3B in Brownsville or N0Y in Aberdeen, South
Dakota. Other call signs hint at office location, including WX9GRB in Green Bay and WX4NHC
at the National Hurricane Center. Still others represent more of the big picture, as in KC0SKY in
Pleasant Hill, Missouri."

Floyd said that as SKYWARN Recognition Day has grown throughout the years and is mainly an
SSB event, he has seen a greater use of digital communications in addition to CW, RTTY and
packet radio: "Each year, more and more contacts are being made using EchoLink and Winlink."

2008 SKYWARN Recognition Day will be held on December 6 from 0000 UTC-2400 UTC. Last
year, contacts were made in all 50 states and 40 countries during the 24 hour event. If you haven't
joined in the fun, make 2008 your year to do so!

The following is re-printed from The ARRL Letter Vol. 27, No. 44, November 7, 2008, copyright
The ARRL Letter/American Radio Relay League.


On November 6, The ARRL VEC <> announced that as of January 1,
2009, the fee to take an ARRL Volunteer Examiner (VE)-administered Amateur Radio license
exam will increase by $1, from $14 to $15. According to ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma,
AB1FM, ARRL VE teams may retain up to $7 of this fee to directly reimburse their teams'
out-of-pocket examination expenses; currently, VE teams keep $6. This is the first time in four
years that the examination fee has been adjusted.

Somma said that the FCC allows VECs to collect an examination reimbursement fee from each
candidate who takes one or more exam elements. "VEs and VECs may be reimbursed by
examinees for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in preparing, processing, administering or
coordinating an examination for an amateur operator license (FCC Rule 97.527)," she said
<>. "These exam fees help the
VEC recover its costs of providing its services."

Saying that every examinee at each ARRL coordinated examination session is charged the same
fee in accordance with the annually-established fee schedule, "Any person sitting for an exam, or
having a new license or upgrade processed at a test sessions, must pay the exam fee applicable
for the calendar year," Somma explained. "The ARRL VEC's exam fee for calendar year 2009 is
$15. Each time a candidate pays one exam fee, they are entitled to take tests for Elements 2, 3 and
4 as needed, up to all three elements under the single exam fee. Each time an examinee retakes
an exam element (assuming the VE Team has different exam design available), another exam fee
is charged."

VE teams may elect to keep a prescribed portion of each exam fee collected exclusively to offset
expenses that are directly incurred in administering the VE program. "All out-of-pocket
reimbursable expenses shall be necessary and prudent, and must relate to the examination
process in some way," Somma said. "VECs and VEs are expected to use good business judgment
with respect to reimbursement amounts. The examination reimbursement fee cannot be used to
offset non-session related costs and must be kept separate from other accounts."

Somma pointed out that business expenses such as postal, utility, fuel and printing charges, are
increasing: "Our VE teams are feeling the effects of the current economy, too! Teams are retaining
reimbursement at amounts considerably larger than previous years. The amount of
out-of-pocket costs that our VEs and the VEC are expending to provide authorized services in
connection with Amateur Radio operator examinations continues to rise."

Recent ARRL VEC cost-cutting steps have included staff reduction, reduced printing charges of
ARRL VE training material and exam software, renegotiating shipping and printing contracts and
eliminating lesser-used services.

"Only so many cost-cutting measures can be justified without cutting back significantly on
services essential to our VE teams, our customers and our program," Somma said. "As a result, an
adjustment was needed in the 2009 exam reimbursement fee if we intended to maintain the basic
levels of service that our VEs, VE teams and candidates have come to expect."

Somma said that the ARRL VEC permits its VEs to retain a portion of the exam fees they collect
to directly reimburse themselves for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in setting up and conducting
their examination sessions. "As long as the expense is warranted and has been prudently incurred -
- and the expense is specifically related to exam administration -- then the fee can be retained," she
said. "The team should keep a complete record of the expenses paid (with receipts) in team records
for two years. Records must be made available to the ARRL VEC upon request. Costs not related
to the exam session processes or paperwork are not reimbursable."

"We believe that the ARRL VEC's level of assistance and services are outstanding," said ARRL
Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B. "Exam supplies, such as paperwork and software,
shipping costs both to and from the VEC and ARRL VE accreditation, as well as credentials, are
all free of charge for our VEs. We maintain a toll-free number for our VEs and we even offer
reimbursement to the VE team for their expenses. We appreciate the dedication and volunteerism
of all our VEs in the field. This is why we offer so many services free of charge. This is why we
have that same level of duty and commitment here. Every test fee we collect goes right back into
the VEC program and to serving the Amateur Radio community."

73’s & QRT
de K9RSQ


To top