The Feedback - Laurel Amateur Radio Club

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					                 THE                FEEDBACK
   Volume 02 Issue 01                                                                       January 2002
                      THE AMATEUR RADIO NEWSLETTER
                Laurel Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
                                   PO Box 1259Laurel, MD 20725-1259
  Meetings and Nets:
   1 , 3 , 5 Wednesdays:
      st   rd   th

         On-the-air Net at 8:30pm on 147.225+ PL156.7 (no tone required during nets)
   2 Wednesday:

         Informal/Social Gathering at 7:00pm – Tubby’s Restaurant; Rt. 198, 1 mile West of I-95
   4 Wednesday:

         Monthly Meeting at 7:30pm - The Woman’s Club of Laurel, 384 Main Street, Laurel
   Nightly:
         Informal Net/Rag-Chew from 9-11pm on 147.540
  Repeater: 442.500+ PL 156.7 Hz
  UHF Simplex: 445.975, VHF Simplex 147.54

  Laurel Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
  c/o Kevin Arber, W3DAD
  PO Box 294
  Savage, MD 20763

                                                         FIRST CLASS MAIL

Next Meeting:
January 23, 2002
The Feedback – January 2002                                                                                   Page 2

                                   THE LAUREL AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

                    President:      Jim Cross          WI3N         301-725-6829
               Vice-President:      HD (Frank Scott)   K3HDM        301-773-0155
                    Secretary:      Ed Rummel          KB3DVC       301-422-6963
                    Treasurer:      Jerry Siegel       N3WSG        301-937-1174
               Past President:      Pud Reaver         W3YD         301-498-6293

Other LARC Positions and Contacts:

        FAR Representatives:        Dan Blasberg       KA8YPY       301-345-7381
                   Laurel VEC:      Diane Cooperman    AA3OF        301-937-0394
            LARC VE Testing:        John Creel         WB3GXW       301-572-5124
            AutoCall Reporter:      Ed Rummel          KB3DVC       301-422-6963
      T-MARC/D-MARC Rep:            OPEN
   Public Information Officer:      Pud Reaver         W3YD         301-498-6293
             Youth Programs:        Mark Doore         K3RAM        301-572-2385
      Education and Training:       Pud Reaver         W3YD         301-498-6293
         Technical Specialist:      Kevin Arber        W3DAD        301-725-0038
 ARES/RACES Coordinators:           Jim Cross          WI3N         301-725-6829
  Official Emergency Station:       Pat Gormley        KK3F         301-864-4694
      Official Bulletin Station:    John Creel         WB3GXW       301-572-5124
      Official Bulletin Station:    Pud Reaver         W3YD         301-498-6293
      Official Bulletin Station:    Al Brown           KZ3AB        301-490-3188
        Official Relay Station:     Pat Gormley        KK3F         301-864-4694
        Official Relay Station:     Pud Reaver         W3YD         301-498-6293

LARC Special Interest Groups and Mentors:

                   Antennas:        Kevin Arber        W3DAD        301-725-0038
         Packet Radio/APRS:         Mark Doore         K3RAM        301-572-2385
                  Repeaters:        John Creel         WB3GXW       301-572-5124
               Satellite/EME:       OPEN

ARRL Field Organization:

     Atlantic Division Director:    Bernie Fuller      N3EFN        814-763-1529
Atlantic Division Vice Director:    William C. Edgar   N3LLR        814-362-1250
     MD/DC Section Manager:         Tom Abernethy      W3TOM        301-292-6263
MD/DC Asst Section Manager:         Jerry Gavin        NU3D         410-761-1423
    MD/DC Emergency Coord:          Mike Carr          WA1QAA       410-799-0403
   Affiliated Club Coordinator:     Tony Young         WA3YLO       301-262-1917
MDC Section Bulletin Manager        Al Brown           KZ3AB        301-490-3188

The Feedback is published monthly (except December) as the newsletter of the Laurel Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
                  Items to be published in The Feedback should be submitted by the second
                         Wednesday of the month. Email submissions may be made to

                      Permission is granted to reprint from this publication provided credit is given.

                               Editor: Kevin Arber, W3DAD 301-725-0038
                    Publisher: Dan Blasberg, KA8YPY 301-345-7381
The Feedback – January 2002                                                               Page 3
                                         Editor’s Bit
Welcome to the January issue of FEEDBACK. The deadline for FEEDBACK is the second
Wednesday, February 13, 2002.

Note the phone number change for W3TOM, our Section Manager. Also the MDC section has
a web page:

Interested in improving your CW skills? Try G4ZFE’s Pile Up trainer program at This program runs under MS Windows and is
very easy to use. It is used at various DX/Contest gatherings as a competition tool. Callsigns
are taken from the CQWW and WPX databases maintained at M6A and M7A. G4ZFE’s Pile
Up also emulates DL4MM’s RUFZ ( program, a high
speed trainer. Another pile up trainer is PED which is available at This program has a phone equivalent as well. PED is a
DOS program. Both programs require a Soundblaster type sound card. G4ZFE’s program
requires an ISA sound card.

I have obtained a small quantity of the male (female spade lugs) T-type OEM connector that
attaches to name brand VHF rigs. This is the connector Bob K3OH was looking for at one
time and is the connector that goes to the power supply. With it you can fabricate another
cable for home use and then easily move the rig between the vehicle and home station. The
cost is $3.50 each.

The LARC VE team conducts Amateur Radio Examinations on the third Saturday of each
month (except December) at 9:00 AM at the Laurel Women’s Club building, 384 Main St.,
Laurel, MD.

LARC has agreed to host Potomac Valley Radio Club meetings for the PVRC Laurel region.
See W3YD’s news item. These meetings are open to anyone interested in the PVRC and

                                President’s Ramblings
Well, it has been about 5 years since I did my last President’s Ramblings, so I better flex the
rusty fingers and start rambling since I’m bumping up against the deadline.

First, let me wish all of you the best for 2002, the first palindrome year of the millennium and
the last one I’ll see unless I can figure a way to keep going for another 110 years. This will be
a fun year for the LARC membership and I’m looking forward to helping you make it happen.
That’s right! You’re going to make it happen. One guy (me) can’t do it by myself, but all of us
working together can. So don’t be afraid to throw your hat in the ring when we go looking for
volunteers to help with the public service events and other opportunities that pop up.

The guest speaker for the first meeting will be Mike Martin/K3RFI. Mike has been mentioned in
QST and ARRL bulletins for his work solving some tough RFI/EMI problems, both here and in
other states. He works for PEPCO and is their main man when it comes to radio frequency
interference. Plan to come hear him. For those of you who are interested in contesting, we will
The Feedback – January 2002                                                         Page 4
hold a short PVRC (Potomac Valley Radio Club) meeting after the regular meeting to qualify
under their bylaws. Pud will have more on that elsewhere in this issue.

On Sunday, February 17, the club will work the President’s Day Marathon sponsored by the
DC Roadrunners through the Beltsville Agricultural Center. This is a 26 mile event and
because of the cold weather we could use a good turnout. Pud will be heading up this one (he
hasn’t completely retired from life yet). We’d like to get firm commitments, particularly because
we need to know who to call if they decide to cancel the race due to weather.

Besides working some contests this year, we plan to have a special event from the club station
during the 4th of July festivities. This is the 100th year for the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department,
the 50th year for the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad, and the 25 th year for the 4th of July
committee. It’s only fitting that one of the premier volunteer groups in the city do a special
event to commemorate the nexus of these birthdays.

This year for Field Day, we’re thinking of running it from the club station. One of the reasons
we have the station is for its availability to the city in case they need some emergency
communications. With some good PR we can possibly endear ourselves a little more to our

We’ll be shortly coming up with some guidelines for use of the club station for any of you who
would like to drop by now and then to work some HF. It’s there for your use. We’re planning to
sell some of our excess assets and, by the meeting, should probably be able to let you know
which ones and how much in case you are interested.

Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting. With your help, the Laurel Amateur Radio Club
will continue to be a force in the community and a place to learn and grow in this fantastic
hobby of amateur radio.

We closed out 2001 with a public service training event, a 10/20 mile run through the Beltsville
Agricultural Center on December 29. Thanks to the nine folks posted around the course and at
net control keeping an eye on the runners.

2002 promises to be a full year for us. Thanks to Mona Electric we now have 500 feet of LMR
400 for use as transmission lines. The order was given a couple months ago to purchase the
antennas we need to put on the pole and I’m told that we should be actually seeing the
antennas soon. As of this writing it appears that we will be doing the installation ourselves.

I was invited to speak at a meeting of the senior officials of the municipalities to explain who
we are and how we might be able to help them during a disaster. I also met with the Health
Department’s committee on bio-terrorism to discuss with them how we might fit into their
planning. They are tasked with opening sites to dispense drugs should there be a bio-terrorism
attack. We would be at those sites to help with their communications to link the sites with each
other, the Health Department and the EOC. In the future we will be doing exercises from the
sites to see what conditions we need to prepare for.
There will be a meeting of representatives of the county hospitals to discuss planning for a
disaster. In the Maryland Health & Medical WMD Response Plan the hospitals are charged
with having a plan for “backup internal and external communications systems in the event of
The Feedback – January 2002                                                             Page 5
failure during disasters and emergencies.” I’m proposing that the hospitals provide a complete
amateur radio station for our use with dual band rig and antenna, power supply, TNC and
computer. I’m hoping we can set up a hospital net on 440 similar to that of Montgomery

This is serious business as recent events have shown. It is important that we are all well
trained and capable of providing our served agencies competent emergency communications
when we are called upon. To that end, we are devising some training modules that the
membership will be expected to complete. During the year we will have training at the EOC on
the operation of the radio room. We will also have field exercises, public service events, and
the yearly Simulated Emergency Test (SET) in October. Our ARES net on 146.61 will continue
to be held on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tuesday at 2030. Once our antennas are installed we will be
holding a concurrent county ARES exercise with the regular Statewide Communications
Exercise (Comex) on the second Tuesday at 1930. The 4 th Tuesday will continue to be our
regular meeting at the Fire Service Building at 1930.

We now have 55 members on the books. If we have to staff six drug dispensaries, the Health
Department, and the EOC with 2 RACES members at each site, that will be 16 people needed
for the first shift. Assuming that 80% of all the members will be available to help, by the third
shift we will be short-handed. Ask a friend to join. We’ll double our ranks if everybody does

Looking forward to an interesting and active year. (WI3N)

                                  LARC JOINS PVRC
N3OC/Brian McGinnis, president of the Potomac Valley Radio Club, has officially recognized
LARC as a regional member of PVRC, one of the premier unlimited contesting clubs in the
country. To become a member, LARCers who are interested in contesting must attend two
meetings (any PVRC meeting counts). They will then be voted into the organization and
allowed to submit their scores for credit in most contests, when they also submit their scores to
the sponsoring organizations (ARRL or CQ)

LARC had its first (organizational) meeting at the December banquet, and eight members
signed the sheet. The next meeting will be after the January LARC meeting. We plan to meet
after the first LARC meeting in each quarter, although other meetings are possible. After you
attend two meetings your name will be submitted to the Central Club. You don’t have to be an
Hfer, by the way … there are several VHF contests in which the PVRC participates, also.

There are no dues, but a nominal donation will be accepted. More information will be
available at the January meeting. (W3YD)

                                         UHF YAGI
If you are on the fringes of the club’s UHF repeater, you may want to improve your signal with
a directional antenna. The two-element Yagi below will provide a nominal 6 dBi of gain and
exhibits a beam width of about 130 degrees. Point it in the general direction of the repeater
The Feedback – January 2002                                                            Page 6
and you will be impressed with the results. I built this antenna to improve LARC repeater
reception at my QTH in Savage. The signal went from about S 4/5 using a magnetic mount
vertical to S9+ with the Yagi.

             2 EL Yagi - 445 MHz
                                      Ref    DE

                                                      2 5/8 in

            1/2 in PVC Pipe Boom

   Balun & Feed                                          DE - 12 in
       Detail                                            Ref - 13 in
                    4 5/8 in long                        1/4 in Aluminum Tube
                                         4 in
                    #16 Copper

                8 5/8 in - RG-58C

      50 ohm Coax - any length

The balun is 4:1, taking the 50 ohm unbalanced input to a 200 ohm balanced output. Any type
of coax cable can be used, however, if a foam type is used (not recommended) the
dimensions of the balun will change as the velocity factor for foam dielectric is higher than
polyethylene (vf = .66). The balun is ½ wavelength and can be calculated from L = 492/455 x
vf, where vf is the velocity factor of the cable. (vf of RG-58 foam = .79) The delta matching
section is very forgiving in dimensions; if your dimensions are close it should work. You may
experiment with different attachment points on the driven element to achieve the lowest SWR.
I put terminal lugs on the end of the wires and drilled holes in the element for 4-40 hardware.
If you experiment with different attachment points, clamp the delta section to the element while
finding the best match and then drill the holes. (W3DAD)

                                       W3LPL TOUR
I am organizing a tour for LARC members of the nearby world class multi multi contest station
W3LPL, while they are operating in a contest. If you haven't visited it, LPL is quite a sight with
six 200 foot towers each with beams (some with two), long line beverage spotting antennas, 6
operating positions (each on a separate band and each with two HF radios sharing a
maximum legal power amplifier), sleeping quarters for off duty operators, networked
computers for logging and dupe checking, and quite a QSL card collection. The entire walk-in
basement is dedicated to Ham radio.

I am soliciting interest within the LARC club for a visit date. I have two options to propose:
The Feedback – January 2002                                                       Page 7
(1) Sat Feb 16, 10 am (during the February 16-17 ARRL International CW DX Contest)
(2) Sat March 2, 10am (during the March 2-3 ARRL International Phone DX Contest)

Frank Donovan's station, W3LPL, is located only a short drive from Laurel in Glenwood, MD.
We can carpool from a central location in Laurel or independently get there ourselves. LPL is
affiliated with the PVRC club and welcomes visitors. It is likely LARC will be operating during
the Phone contest, but we could slip away in small groups, keeping our station operating while
some people toured LPL.

Please email me ( or call me (301-490-0188) after Jan 26th if you are
interested in visiting LPL and let me know which date you are interested in. If there is enough
interest, we can probably visit on both dates.

For W3LPL reference please checkout:
73, Toby/KB3BWR

                                 FAR SCHOLARSHIPS

THE FOUNDATION FOR AMATEUR RADIO, INC., a non-profit organization with headquarters
in Washington, D.C., plans to administer sixty-two (62) scholarships for the academic year 2002
- 2003 to assist licensed Radio Amateurs. The Foundation, composed of over seventy-five local
area Amateur Radio Clubs, fully funds seven of these scholarships with the income from grants
and its annual Hamfest. The remaining fifty-five (55) are administered by the Foundation without
cost to the various donors.

Licensed Radio Amateurs may compete for these awards if they plan to pursue a full-time
course of studies beyond high school and are enrolled in or have been accepted for enrollment
at an accredited university, college or technical school. The awards range from $500 to $2500
with preference given in some cases to residents of specified geographical areas or the pursuit
of certain study programs. Clubs, especially those in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, are encouraged to announce these
opportunities at their meetings, in their club newsletters, during training classes, on their nets
and on their world wide web home pages.

Additional information and an application form may be requested by letter or QSL card,
postmarked prior to April 30, 2002 from:
                                          FAR Scholarships
                                         Post Office Box 831
                                         Riverdale, MD 20738

The Foundation for Amateur Radio, incorporated in the District of Columbia, is an exempt
organization under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. It is devoted
exclusively to promoting the interests of Amateur Radio and those scientific, literary and
educational pursuits that advance the purposes of the Amateur Radio Service. (FAR Press

                          HEMARC TECHNICIAN CLASS
The Feedback – January 2002                                                           Page 8
The entry level Technician class will begin Tuesday January 15, 2002. Anyone interested in
becoming a ham is invited. The classes will be every Tuesday night for 10/12 weeks from
6:30PM to 9:30PM at the museum. For information and to register call Rol Anders K3RA at
410-796-4792 or Les Jamison WR3X at 410-787-0341. The plan is to repeat last years
successful schedule and follow up this course with the General course and then the Amateur
Extra course. (HEMARC December 01 Newsletter)

                                      Christmas Parade and
                                       Tree Lighting Event
Ops on site operational at 3:00 PML, 01 Dec. Comms conducted on 147.540, then switched
to the W3LRC repeater, 442.500-, which worked outstanding!

Conditions were warm, for this time of year. Highs were in the mid 60's and clear. A wonderful
day of weather for outdoor Comms. The “gun” went off at 4:00 (+/-) PML. "Santa" fell off the
wagon (so to speak) this year and was late for his post, but, the parade did go off, on
schedule. Finish: 4:15 PML.

LARC Members participating in Communications: K3HDM-HD, N3WSG-Jerry, WI3N-Jim,
N3JMK–Matt, W3YD-Pud, KA8YPY-Danny, KB3DVC-Ed, and from GMRA N3TTX-Cape.

Some of the Ops gathered at the Club Shack after the parade. HD/K3HDM installed a new
contest logging program on the computer, Jerry/N3WSG, got it to work. (K3HDM)

Feb 17          GW Marathon                       BARC
Feb 16          VE Test Session                   384 Main St. Laurel
May 5           Hagerstown Hamfest 2002          Washington County AG Expo Center, Hagerstown
For a complete HAMFEST calendar go to (

                                          Selected Contests
 CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW                    2200Z, Jan 25     1600Z, Jan 27
 10-10 Inter. Winter Contest, SSB            0001Z, Feb 2      2400Z, Feb 3
 ARRL Inter. DX Contest, CW                   0000Z, Feb 16   2400Z, Feb 17
 ARRL Inter. DX Contest, Phone                0000Z, Mar 2    2400Z, Mar 3
 CQ WW WPX Contest, SSB                       0000Z, Mar 30   2400Z, Mar 31
For a complete contest calendar go to (

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