SYNTOGRAM -- January, 2000

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Joint Synton/Twin Cities ARC 2-meter net Thursdays at 9 p.m. local 146.76 MHz (-600 kHz transmit offset) Champaign repeater

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Hi Syntonians!

Welcome back to campus. I hope your holiday season was a good one, and I look forward to another great semester here at the club. The New Year has brought some changes to our world, which I will discuss in a moment.

One of the privileges of being Synton president is to hear from former Synton members who look back to their times with the club with great warmth, fondness and happiness. I recently received such a letter from Al, W3MAO (BSEE ’39) who recounted some of his experiences as a member of the Synton Fraternity, and as a student in the Electrical Engineering Lab in the 1930s. Al remembered the final tube from a rig built by Dr. H. A. Brown ("with the plate lead on top and the grid lead bulging out the side"), which required a 2 kV DC generator "somewhere in the bowels of the EE lab." Al added that Prof. Brown was partial to hams when grading papers, and Al hopes that this worthy consideration continues to this day!

I’ll be returning Al’s letter soon, and would love to include any memories of the EE department in that era in my letter. For you Synton alums reading this, please contact me (Tim, KM4KS, with your input!

By now, most of us have heard of the amateur license restructuring ordered by the Federal Communications Commission. The new license system takes effect on April 15, 2000 (and not before!). Several of the major changes include no further issue of Novice or Advanced class licenses after April 15, the establishment of a single Morse code exam level at 5 w.p.m., and -- most importantly for those studying currently to upgrade -- revision of question pools for the remaining Technician, General and Amateur Extra theory exams. Take some time to become acquainted with the new rules to see how you will come out in the new system. Some of us may benefit by upgrading as soon as possible under the "old" system, while others may benefit by waiting until after April 15. Check out the American Radio Relay League’s web site <> for official information on the changes.

The second change we may face this semester is somewhat more local. University plans currently call for demolition of our current Physics House III facility sometime this spring or early summer. Although we have no definite word on where we will end up, please be reassured that we are doing everything possible to secure some kind of facility for the club. Please support the efforts of Debbie, N9DN, and faculty advisor Prof. Jim, KA6A, as they inventory our space needs and attempt to match them to some open space on campus. As amateur radio operators, we are proud of our resourcefulness. I have full confidence we will meet this challenge with the same ingenuity, optimism and "can-do" spirit that we have met our past challenges.

This impending move for Synton underscores an important issue: we must not take our facilities for granted, and we should make sure we use -- and appreciate -- the facilities we have. Nothing will sound more lame than to tell ourselves we should have made some radio time for ourselves when we had the good facilities, and now we can’t because we don’t.

Let’s begin our New Year on safe footing! If your luck is anything like mine, antennas always require major repair in the worst of winter’s weather. This means -- inevitably -- climbing around on an icy or snowy roof. Ensure this is done safely. Use the old rule that if you wonder if climbing on your roof is risky, it means in all probability that it is risky and could perhaps be put off until a better day. If you choose to go ahead with the work, rig a safety line that will prevent you from falling off the roof. Recognize that a few minutes of inconvenience shifting the safety line about the roof is well worth the benefit of preventing injury after falling from a roof.

Have a great month … and I’ll look forward to seeing you around the shack or around the bands.

73 Tim, KM4KS
Synton ARC President


License Examinations -- Next chance to test locally will be with the Twin Cities Amateur Radio Club (TCARC). They will be holding ARRL-VEC license examinations on Sunday, March 19th, 1 p.m., at the Fire Service Institute Building.

New Equipment? -- We are lucky beneficiaries of $450 in extra revenue, and are exploring our purchase options. Consensus is building to purchase a computer. Debbie, N9DN, has been looking at this economical PC: <> -- then type 75725 in the "product search" window. Debbie adds that this machine may lack speed, but it should run any packet/logging, etc. for us. Take a look at this and give us your input.

Kudos! -- Congratulations to Synton members who performed well during the recent TCARC ARRL-VE testing session! Let’s listen for some new calls and make sure new hams are welcomed on the air, and congratulate our other members on their achievements!


Handbook Sales -- Look for the year 2000 edition of the Radio Amateur’s Handbook, which we will be selling to EE classes again this semester. For those of you who don’t mind a "golden oldie," we have a couple of 1999 volumes still remaining.


Feb 2 -- Club meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.

Feb 9 -- Club meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.

Feb 16 -- Club meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.

Feb 23 -- Club meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.

Mar 2 -- Club meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.

Mar 9 -- Club meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.

Mar 16 -- Club meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.

Mar 19 -- ARRL-VE license examinations, Fire Service Institute, 1 p.m.


Checking $301.12
Savings $475.91
Voucher $167.66
TOTAL $944.69


President: Tim Shy (KM4KS)
Vice President: -- Vacant --
Treasurer: Debbie Fligor (N9DN)
Secretary: -- Vacant --
Station Manager: -- Vacant --
QSL Manager: -- Vacant --
Public Service Manager: Mark Belding (N9GPA)
Engineering Council Representative: Tim Shy (KM4KS)
Advisor: Prof. Jim Coleman (KA6A)

Last modified: Tuesday, February 08 2000