SYNTOGRAM -- March 1999
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Joint Synton/Twin Cities ARC 2-meter net
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146.76 MHz (-600 kHz transmit offset) Champaign repeater
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Welcome to March ... the bulk of winter is behind us, and spring break lurks just
around the corner!
I've just wrapped up a long day as the Synton representative helping Engineering Open
House with their communications. Today was an excellent day, as I ran into several
former Synton alumni. It was a real joy to hear their stories of the Synton experience in the "good old days." But more importantly, I had a chance to chat with some
young folks interested in ham radio. I know ham radio magazines are filled each
month with articles, letters to the editor, and other features describing how the
health of our hobby will depend on recruiting young talent. Yesterday, I added a belated New
Year's resolution for myself -- that I would try to bring someone
younger than I into the hobby and get them licensed this year. I would hope you would
join me and do the same.
This is a good month to be thinking about new hams! With the Twin Cities Amateur
Radio Club (TCARC) Auction coming up early this month (see calendar below), and license
examinations scheduled for later this month, this is an outstanding opportunity to
bring someone new into the hobby, and perhaps outfit them with some economical used equipment
to get them started. Might also be a good time to attack that long-postponed upgrade
for you veterans as well.
I should note that the examination sessions require talent on both sides of the exam
table: examiners are needed as well as examinees. If you hold a General Class license
or higher, I would urge you to consider service as a Volunteer Examiner (VE). Please feel free to contact me, and I'll put you in touch with our local Volunteer Examiners
for more information.
I am very pleased to see the succcess of our Friday evening "after supper" Open House
sessions at Physics House III. Although I am unsure that we've achieved two of our
goals for these sessions (introducing ham radio to newcomers and providing help for
those studying for a license exam), I feel much better that we've achieved a third goal:
giving new hams a chance to get some "hands on" experience with equipment. Please
make a point to stop by and be a part of the action Friday evenings.
This month kicks off with a list of "thank you's". Thank W9YH Station Manager Tor,
N4OGW, who turned in outstanding performance during the North American Sprint contest
on February 14th with 13,066 points on 278 QSO's.
Thank Prof. Steve, K9AN, for giving us a roof tour of Everitt Lab's antenna farm during
our March 3rd "pizza meeting". Thank Alijeet, KB9UBQ, for representing Synton at
two February Engineering Council meetings. A club is as good as the members in it,
and I am very proud and thankful to be president of such a good club.
The March Safety Words are "Severe Weather". Our mass media have been presenting
tornado safety tips as part of Severe Weather Awareness Month. We are reminded of
the serious side of our enjoyable hobby ... public service during emergencies. Our
area had a good test of this on April 19, 1996. A tornado crashed through southeast Urbana,
and severely damaged nearby Ogden. With Weather Service efforts now concentrated
on making a NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) as routine as a smoke detector, take some time
to learn more about this valuble safety item at <http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/nwrback.htm>.
Some new NWR features, such as
the Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) system, have just been introduced in the
last year. Don't be caught relying on "tornado sirens" ... more properly called
"Outdoor Warning Sirens" ... as your only warning source for approaching severe weather.
The efforts of radio amateurs are still very much needed for National Weather Service
warning programs to function efficiently. Check out your personal plans for emergency
radio work. Are those batteries and auxiliary power still working after the winter? Do you have all the needed adaptors to make sure that your emergency power will
work with your "every day" rig? Does that temporary antenna need to be untangled
from the last Field Day and stowed properly, ready to go? Are emergency repeater
and simplex frequencies ... along with NOAA Weather Radio ... programmed into that hand-held
radio? Are flashlights, area maps, pencils and emergency message forms all together
and ready to go? And once you are ready, consider one more important step: contacting our local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) group to see how your efforts could
Have an excellent month ... enjoy spring break ... and I'll look forward to seeing
you around the shack or around the bands.
Synton ARC President
-- Only three 1999's left (before we order some more!).
These are on sale for $30, two dollars off the cover price. Swing by 330D
Everitt Lab on Wednesdays (noon to 1 p.m.).
New Ham Class
-- Plans are still solidifying for our new ham class this
spring. Please keep us informed on how you might be willing to help.
Current plans are to have a four-week class (one evening per week) ending
in an exam session. Watch for developments on this issue soon.
-- Debbie, N9DN, will be hosting a J-pole antenna
building workshop. These are very simple, yet very effective antennas
particularly suitable for 2-meter applications. Keep an eye on the mailing
list and newsgroups for dates and times.
-- We're kicking around the idea of sponsoring some guest
speakers on radio topics. Any suggestions? Please pass them along!
-- Can Synton become a "league-affiliated" club? Maybe so! We need
to know how many members are also members of the American Radio Relay
League. Please tell Tim, KM4KS, <email@example.com> if you are an ARRL member.
70 cm Repeater
-- We're still looking for ways to activate our 446.5 MHz
repeater. Pass along ideas on what you'd like to see with this project.
- Mar 9 -- TCARC Ham Radio Auction, Urbana Civic Center (Water St., downtown). Doors
open 6 p.m., bidding starts at 7 p.m.
- Mar 10 -- Synton "brown bag" meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.
- Mar 12 -- Synton Open House, Physics House III (#10), 5-6 p.m.
- Mar 17 -- SPRING BREAK ... informal meeting at 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m., for
members still in town.
- Mar 21 -- ARRL License Examinations, 1 p.m. at Fire Service Institute Bldg.
- Mar 24 -- Welcome Back -- Synton Buys Pizza! 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.
- Mar 26 -- Synton Open House, Physics House III (#10), 5-6 p.m.
- Mar 31 -- Synton "brown bag" meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.
- Apr 2 -- Synton Open House, Physics House III (#10), 5-6 p.m.
- Apr 7 -- Synton "brown bag" meeting, 330D Everitt Lab, noon to 1 p.m.
- Apr 9 -- Synton Open House, Physics House III (#10), 5-6 p.m.
Voucher Account Balance (2/23/99) $176.55
Savings Account Balance (1/31/99) $475.86
Checking Account Balance (1/31/99) $666.26
Expenditures not accounted for above: $62.40 for 2 pizza lunches and
$22 for the QEX renewal.
Income not accounted for above: $180 from handbook sales deposited
into the voucher account 3/1/99, and $30 from handbook sales not yet
Current total funds: $1444.27
President: Tim Shy (KM4KS)
Vice President: -- Vacant --
Treasurer: Debbie Fligor (N9DN)
Secretary: -- Vacant --
Station Manager: Torsten Clay (N4OGW)
QSL Manager: Chris Bochna (N9RQW)
Public Service Manager: Mark Belding (N9GPA)
Engineering Council Representative: Tim Shy (KM4KS)
Advisor: Prof. Jim Coleman (KA6A)