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					             Big Rapids Area
            Amateur Radio Club                                                                     September 2008
PO Box 343 Paris MI 49338       Pres. Jim Orlowski   Web Page: Editor: Phil –

Inside this Issue:   From the President   1          October Mtg Minutes 1           Club Announcements      2
Crop Walk 3          Brain Teaser         4           Bill Eckels Article 5       HandiFinder Construction   6

From The Presidents Desk                                           We have been asked to remove the 6 meter
                              First let me thank                Treasurer’s report: October 2008 financial
                        Steve Cowan, KD8DHZ,                    report submitted by Sue, KC8IFP discussed and
                        for the fine job he did as              approved
                        President. I am in the                   Big Boy’s Celebrity Serve totals: Pies $144,
                        process of forming a group                  Tips $146 and a check from corporate office
                        of club members who need                    for 10% of sales $139.22 for a total of
                        help with antenna projects.                 $429.22
                                                                 CD is due on Oct 17 @ Flagstar approved by
       A final note, the club website has been                      membership to roll it over
updated, we are in need of some-one who                          IRS requires any tax exempt receipts $25,000
can take over as web master of the club                             or less needs to submit form 990N
website. If you are interested please contact                    Printing of the newsletter went up to
me, or one of the club officers.                                    $30/month

                                                                Old Business
                                                                 Update on Big Boy Celebrity Serve – total
BRAARC October 2, 2008 Meeting Minutes                             amount of $429.22 Shila KD8IAL & Val
                                                                   KD8IAM to write thank you notes to
Call to order: 7:05pm at Big Rapids DPS, by                        corporate and local Big Boy.
President Jim, N8PUG                                             Crop walk between 80 & 90 people
                                                                   depending where you were located. Jim,
Guests: None                                                       N8PUG thanked everybody who participated.
                                                                 Handy finder construction night: Mike is
Announcements: No announcements – see the                          working with Phil for Oct 23rd location at
minutes from last month.                                           Ferris in room 416 of the Swan Building.
                                                                   Pizza at 5:30pm, working on kits starts at
Secretary’s Report: September 7, 2008 minutes                      6pm. Will produce approximately 13 kits.
submitted by Mike, KD8DIB discussed and                            Mike will send a note to each participant with
approved                                                           instructions for what they need to bring.
 No change on the website – Sue, KC8IFP                           There was discussion about the different
   reported that she tried to contact Rose but                     items to bring for the kit.
   was unable to find out why the website hasn’t                 Jim, N8PUG discussed having a group to do
   been updated – she is still working on it.                      some antenna work before it gets too cold. If
    you want to be a part of this group contact         Net control sheets were not passed around
    Jim N8PUG or Mike KD8DIB. There are                  contact Tom KB8TYJ if you want to do Net
    several that need/want to have some work             Control – if you sign up for net control your
    done.                                                name is put in for a drawing

New Business:                                        Program
 Don, WA4FRJ went over a hand out of the            Mike KD8DIB gave an ECHOLINK
   Ham Workshop agenda ideas for November            presentation, including a demonstration
   1st at 9am – 3pm, at Big Rapids DPS training      connecting with Don KB9KFA from Wisconsin
   room. If you have feedback for the class let      Rapids.
   Don know. The class will be completely
   driven by the students.                           Next meeting: November 6, 2008 at Big Rapids
 Treats for next month Sue KC8IFP                   DPS @ 7pm
 Club Breakfast for November 1st Crankers @
   8am                                               Adjourned: 8:15pm
 Any ideas for club meeting programs contact
   Jim, N8PUG or any of the officers                 Respectfully Submitted, Secretary Shila Kiander,
 50/50: Jim N8PUG                                   KD8IAL
 Newsletter: Articles to Phil, KC8QOV before
   October 20th.


Updated Club Announcements                 ,
                                                     Phone: (989) 382-9452.
1. Important upcoming events:                           D. Next BRAARC club meeting Thursday:
   A. Handyfinder construction night                 November 6 at 7 p.m. at the Big Rapids
Thursday: October 23 starting at 5:30 p.m. at        Department Of Public Safety Building, 435 N.
room 416 of the Swan Technical Building on           Michigan in Big Rapids.
the Ferris State University Campus. The
evening will begin with Pizza, and construction      2. Club nets:
will start at 6:00 PM. You will be able to Park on      A. 440 general net on 443.900 repeater
Ives Ave or in parking lot number 2.                 Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.—
    B. Next club breakfast Saturday:                    B. 2-meter general net on 146.74 repeater
November 1 at 8 a.m. at Crankers in Big              Tuesday evenings at 9 p.m.
Rapids. Talk-in on the 146.740 Big Rapids 2-            C. Local ARES/RACES net on 146.74 2-
meter repeater for anyone needing directions.        meter repeater the second and fourth
   C. New ham orientation class and potluck          Wednesday of the month at 9 p.m.
Saturday: November 1 at the Big Rapids
Department Of Public Safety Building, located        3. If you would like to serve as net control for
at 435 N. Michigan.—-Meet and greet at 8:30          one or more of the BRAARC club nets, contact
a.m., with class to begin at 9 a.m. Potluck at 3     Tom Behler: KB8TYJ).
p.m. at the conclusion of the class. If you’d
like to take the class, please RSVP to Steve         4. A BRAARC e-mail listserve or users group
Cowan (KD8DHZ) by Monday: October 20th.              has been established for all BRAARC members
e-mail:                                              to use as a forum for exchanging thoughts, or                                   ideas, questions, and any other concerns related
to our club or amateur radio in general. If               you verification that your registration has been
you'd like to join this group, please contact our         completed and accepted.
club web master, Jake Spence, KI8CK. Jake                 Jake’s e-mail address is:
will get you signed up on the list, and will give

The New Ham Orientation and potluck has been postponed due to low enrollment. This may take another form,
such as one-on-one Elmering. Watch for future announcements in this newsletter or on the website.

Report On Another Successful Crop Walk                    Shila Kiander (KD8IAL), and Alice Nunn
from Tom Behler: KB8TYJ                                   (K4APN),. You’ll notice that this list contains
                                                          the names and call signs of some of our newest
   On Sunday: September 28, a number of                   members and recently-licensed hams, which
BRAARC club members continued our                         made the whole event all the more special.
tradition of conducting a communications net
for the Mecosta County Area Crop Walk,                        The above-listed hams were quite noticeable
which is held every fall. The purpose of the              in their vehicles and emergency vests, and
walk is to raise funds to combat the problem of           provided ongoing counts of the walkers as they
hunger in our area. Our net ran for                       passed by their designated station locations.
approximately 2 hours on the club’s 440                   They also were available for possible
repeater, and the combined help of all net                emergency assistance to anyone who needed it.
participants made the activity a real pleasure.               In all, about 75 walkers participated in the
   First, I want to thank Jim Orlowski                    event. The walkers covered all age groups,
(N8PUG) for doing his usual good job as my                from small children to elderly adults. A few
assistant at net control headquarters. I also             strollers and pet dogs were even thrown in for
want to thank the following operators, who                good measure.
were stationed at the designated check-point                  Once again this year, our group was
locations:                                                complimented several times on our skill in
                                                          handling the communications, and our presence
Bill Stankey (N8MZB), George Rouman                       was certainly appreciated by all those in
(W8OWN), Don Macconnel (WA4FRJ), David                    attendance. We already have been invited back
Huhtala (KC8WGA), Mike McKay (KD8DIB),                    to do it all over again next year.
Patricia McKay (KD8GGD), Sue Behler                           Thanks to everyone for a job well done.
(KC8IFP), Gary Atteberry (WB8WIA), Bob                    You are what this thing called ham radio is
Croaker (WB8YPG, Val Antor (KD8IAM),                      really all about.

  Don MacConnel WA4FRJ

If Fred the Squirrel can find one nut in 15 minutes and Jane the Squirrel can find one nut in
12 minutes. How many whole nuts will they accumulate in a 24 hour day if they work
together. Bearing in mind their daughter, Teresa, takes 20 minutes to eat a nut and she eats
all day long!

Last Month’s Brain Teaser
At the nursery school, I was chatting to my daughter's friends and noticed a number of things. Jessica
has red hair and the girl with black hair was wearing a green dress. Lucy is not blonde and Lauren does
not have brown hair, Chloe was wearing a blue dress. The blonde girl was not wearing red and Lauren
was not wearing green. I can't remember which girl was wearing a yellow dress. Can you determine
the colors of the girl's dresses and their hair?

Sue Behler was the first to send in this answer. Nice work KC8IFP!!!

Jessica, red hair, red dress
Lucy, black hair, green dress
Chloe, brown hair, blue dress
Lauren, blonde hair, yellow dress


The article by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU in the             This worked up to a point but only about as far
October club Newsletter made me think I might          as learning ―. – ― is A and so on to " --.. " is Z.
write a few lines about my experiences in              Once you know the 26 ,letters some thing else
learning code.                                         has to be found,

I started trying to teach myself using a straight      Next I started listening to WIAW on my
key and an oscillator and sending to myself.           Hallicrafters "Sky Champion" but, for a variety
of reasons this soon was seen to be a poor idea       Before I graduated from high school I had
so I had to come up with a better one. In these       decided to join the Navy and fly. My interest
days (1941) the FCC insisted on one copying           was in flying, then; eventually I wound up in
13 words per minute to qualify for a ticket. (No      Radio School and was assigned to flying in
novice license then.)                                 TBFs, torpedo planes. In radio school we spent
                                                      mornings on theory, etc, and afternoons on
I had a friend in those days, Franklin Belott,        code. My class soon caught up to my speed and
W9WUK, and he showed me an ad in QST by               by copying code about half days for the balance
the "Instructograph Company" in Chicago               of 16 weeks I got up to 25 W.P.M. This was
where I lived then, so I came up with the             copying with a pencil in capital letters, the only
money for a month's rent. I decided I would           way the Navy accepted code. I couldn't use a
devote summer vacation to getting my speed up         typewriter, of course, there's no room for them
to 13 W.P.M. "Summer vacation" was July and           in Navy planes.
August, 1941, between my sophomore and
juniorhigh school years. Looking back my              After the war I got back on the air. For
timing was perfect.                                   beginners in those days you first tried to work
                                                      all 48 states (all there was then). Then you went
I set up a schedule for myself starting after         after countries, trying for I00 confirmed for
breakfast with code practice and switching to         ARRL's next award "DXCC" (or 100
theory in the old license manual till I tired of      countries.) All this was on CW, mostly on 80,
that and then back to code. The month of July         40 and 20 meters.
went very quickly and I could see I would have
to come up with another month's rent for the          So, after pursuing DX over the years my speed
"Instructograph."                                     gradually worked up to about 35 W.P.M. I
                                                      could listen to that speed on WlAW,
By the end of summer I thought I could pass           understand it but of course I couldn't write it
the code test. I figured my speed was then            down that fast.
about 18 W.P.M. Anyhow I did pass and
around October 1st my ticket came. I was              There you have my history of learning code. 16
officially "W9ZAN." With my 42 crystal                weeks of radio school was the best time spent.
oscillator and 130 foot long wire I worked 17
states on 80 meters (only) until December             Bill Eckels, W8ZNH
7th when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
put us all off the air for the duration of the war.
I was 16 years old and transferred my interest
to pursuing girls.

Did you miss out on the BRAARC HANDIFinder Construction night? Don't worry you can still get your kit! If you
ordered a kit and have not picked them up yet, they will be available at the November club meeting. Also, there is a limited
supply of kits available for purchase. These kits are still $20 and can be purchased at the next meeting or club event.
 Please contact Mike, KD8DIB to get your kit and join the radio direction finding fun. Thank you to all of those who have
supported this construction event. A special thanks goes to Don, WA4FRJ for his assistance in making this fun project
happen. Also, a big thanks goes to Phil, KC8QOV in finding a great place to hold the construction night.

Kit Construction

Let's hear about your experience building the kit. If you participated in the Construction Night or are building a
HANDIFinder kit on your own, please send your comments to Mike, KD8DIB ( These comments will
be included in future newsletters.


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