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Volume 28, Number 9 - SEPTEMBER 1998


September meeting will be home brew night and many of you have projects that you can bring and tell about. Remember that prizes are given for the best projects which is decided by a vote of those attending.

The October meeting speaker will be Roy Rusin, W6II who works at HRO and will be speaking and demonstrating some of the new things that are out for the Ham.



Mike KE6MDW has left the area for a new job in Washington State. Congratulations, Mike. Are you going to come back and run Field Day?


Our Training Officer Paul AA6PZ, is planning to have a one weekend class for no-code Technician Oct 3-4. The School district room at Covington, where FARS normally meets, has been reserved from 9 to 5.

Cost approximately $50, including text book, VEC fees, and club dues. I need to finalize this with the treasurer.

Pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

Also, I will be looking for instructors. The class will be based on the current edition of the ARRL Now You're Talking. Ideally there will be enough teachers that each can do one chapter.

Paul Zander AA6PZ


It's Flea Market Time, Again

FARS will sponsor the last flea market of the current season on Saturday, October 10 - and the club needs your help to bring it off. The importance of a successful flea market can not be overstated: It's the club's big moneymaker for the year. Without a successful flea market, FARS will go into the (financial) hole; bills can't be paid, and everything gets put on hold - for a long time.

We need people to pickup goods (not to shop, but to meet me and take the supplies), hold them, and deliver them to the market. We need someone to brew coffee and bring it to the early morning setup. We need someone to buy doughnuts and bring them early. We need people to buy and bring ice. We need people at setup (4:00-4:30 a.m.); we need hot dog cooks; we need people to staff the food table in shifts; we need people to close the proceedings at the market's end. You get the picture.

I am asking you to volunteer a bit of your time. I will have sign-up forms available at the next meeting, on Friday, August 28. In the meantime, I urge you to call me, at 408.943.2653 (work) or 650.858.2176 (home), or email me at, to tell me you can help and maybe what you might be able to do. Time is of the essence - please call as soon as possible.

- 73 de Shel N6RD
If I may put in a few words: I worked the September flea market starting with setting up the canopies at 4 AM. It was a lot of fun watching the buyers with miners' helmets and/or big flashlights trying to buy the stuff before it was unloaded. Come on down. The world looks a lot different before dawn. See ya. David KD6WRG


President: Jack Eddy, WA6YJR
Treasurer: Shel Edelman, N6RD
Secretary: Martin Liberman, KD6WJW
Training Officer: Paul Zander AA6PZ
Radio Officer: Mikel Lechner, KN6QI
Newsletter: David Wilkes, KD6WRG

Board members: Dirk Thiele KE6ZUY; Dick, N6ATD; Hans, KE6TGA; Martin, KD6WJW; Herb, KF6BKL

K6YA Station Trustee: Stan Kuhl, K6MA

FARS Web Page:
FARS announcement mailing list is moderated, so you cannot reply directly to the list. To subscribe, send the word "subscribe" to:; For help, send the word "help" to; For human assistance, email to:

The FARS Relay is the official monthly newsletter of the Foothills Amateur Radio Society Meetings are held at 7 PM on the fourth Friday of each month except January (Winter Banquet); and 3rd Friday in June, Nov. & Dec. Annual membership $20; family $25. Visitors are always welcome! Directions on the back page. Talk-in: W6APZ (145.23-, 100Hz) or W6ASH repeater (145.27 or 224.36). Contributions to the newsletter from members, family, and guests are earnestly solicited! Contributions subject to editing and/or compression. ASCII files via packet, Internet or diskettes preferred; but all readable forms welcome. Here are the various ways to reach the editor:


VHF voice: KD6WRG on W6APZ, 145.23- (100Hz PL) FARS net Thursdays 8 PM; Various other times. Mail: 1093 Kelly Drive San Jose CA 95129-3222 Voice: 408-996-1613 (Until 9 PM); Fax: 408-725-1036; Eyeball: at FARS meetings.


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Livermore Swap Meet - 1st Sunday of each month at Las Positas College in Livermore, 7:00 AM to noon, all year. Talk in 147.045 from the west, 145.35 from the east. Contact Noel Anklam, KC6QZK, (510) 447-3857 eves.

Foothill Flea Market - 2nd Saturday of each month from March to October at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills.

The Pacific Division - PACIFICON'98 - Convention sponsored by the Mount Diablo ARC is scheduled for Oct. 16 - 18 at the Airport Sheraton Hotel, Concord, CA. For information call (925) 932-6125; email; Mail reservations to PACIFICON'98 P. O. Box 272613, Concord CA 94527. Obtain hotel reservations at $76 per night by calling 1-800-325-3535 (mention PACIFICON'98 to get this rate).


This month I am going to do a test of the e-mail address we have with an eye to distributing the Relay by e-mail to those members who have e-mail. If you receive a test message to an address where it would not be appropriate to receive the Relay, please respond with an alternate e-mail address or a note to indicate you can't or don't want to receive the Relay by e-mail. I would also like to know if you want the Relay in the body of an e-mail message or as a Word or text attachment. I also need to know if your Internet provider limits the size of messages or attachments.




Hallicrafters SX 28 (1939) No speaker, but has matching transformer. Recapped.

RME 45 (1947) with original speaker

Best reasonable offers

Doug 408-253-5409


Webmaster Dale Cary - WD0AKO Features an extensive archive of previous Newslines starting with #692 in November 1990, information on numerous aspects of Newsline, its history, people of Newsline, links to other Newsline sites both text and audio. More features being added. (Primary) ( Backup )

UK Ham loss

On the international scene, G3ZHI reports that the United Kingdom has suffered a loss of nearly 3,500 hams in one year. Probably because of what it costs to keep a ham license current. UK hams have to renew their license on a yearly basis. Each time they do it costs of about $30. Only the novice license is free to those under the age of 21.

Noting the downturn of renewals, that nation's Radiocommunications Agency is looking to enhance the UK ham license. This by possibly permitting third party and phone patch services. The regulatory body is also looking at authorizing hams to connect their stations to the internet.


War of the worlds - REDUX

A ham radio call sign that qualifies as a rare piece of Americana may hit the airwaves again in October. That is if the FCC approves its use.

The sponsoring group is called PEARL. That short for New York's Putnam Emergency and Amateur Repeater League. And Pearl is awaiting clearance from the FCC of a special-events call for them to use on Halloween weekend. That callsign: 2X2L.

Never heard the call 2X2L? For those of you not aware, 2X2L has its basis in science fiction. It was made famous in Orson Welles' legendary "Mercury Theatre of the Air" radio presentation of H.G. Wells "The War of The Worlds."

That broadcast took place on CBS on Halloween Eve in 1938. It is credited with scaring the nation out of its wits. This because it was done so convincingly that the nation was convinced that our planet had been invaded by creatures from the planet Mars. Even a post broadcast clarification by Orson Wells did little to quell the fear that the show had created.

Well, 1998 is the program's 60th anniversary. It also marks 100 years since H.G. Wells penned the science fiction novel that inspired the show. And if all goes well, the 48 hour revival of 2X2L will begin on Friday, October 30 at 23:00 UTC on 160 through 2 meters. Keep an ear open for 2X2L and be part of radio history, then and now.

(PEARL press release)

New U.S./U.K. Reciprocal Agreement stalled

Hams in the United Kingdom are complaining that the United States State Department is sitting on a new third party agreement between the two nations. Now, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is agreeing with them.

G3ZHI tells Newsline that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a letter concerning the State Department's refusal to conclude the new agreement. From Simon Elvy of the Commonwealth office says the problem lies squarely with the United States which he says does not attach a particularly high priority to this issue.

Elvy also tells British hams the his office we will continue to follow up this agreement. He says that much of the work has already been done but there is little more his office can do on a government to government basis at this stage. He also tells hams in the U.K. that they are free to pursue this as individuals if they have personal contacts who are willing and able to help.

(G3ZHI, others)

Windtracks flies again

Closer to home, it has been another flight and another success for Windtraks out in Indiana. This was flight 21. Jack Parker, W8ISH reports:

Near Kokomo, Indiana dozens of students and parents at Greentown Elementary School watched as Windtracks 21 was launched. The high altitude balloon experiment allows students and parents to observe sub-orbital space from the comfort of their classroom.

Windtracks 21 was launched into a fog shrouded sky with 3 Amateur Radio packages aboard. The 12 pound payload rose to nearly 100,000 feet before the balloon burst and it parachuted back to earth.

According to one student watching the live color pictures being transmitted from the balloon. It disappeared into the fog, then popped out of the clouds to revealed a beautiful blue sky and a blanket of fluffy clouds covering the earth.

The DX chase teams recovered the Amateur Radio packages from a soy bean field 40 miles south east of Greentown, near Eden, Indiana.

The next Windtracks launch is scheduled for September 26th.


KITSAT back on

KITSAT is back in operation once again. This thanks to some quick work by the ham radio satellites controllers.

Kyung-Hee Kim, HL0ENJ, is a control operator of KITSAT command ground station. He tells Newsline via e-mail that Transmitter Zero on board KO-23 tripped off on August 23rd. The transmitter was down until controllers were able to get it operational once again.

HL0ENJ adds that the Kitsat team is now investigating why the problem occurred in the first place.


Internet Depression

Here is another reason to keep your radio turned on, your computer turned off and your mind removed from the world wide web. Doing so may keep you from becoming overly depressed.

No, we are not kidding. A new study conducted by the Carnegie Mellon University proves that the more hours people spend on the Internet, the more depressed, stressed and lonely they feel. The same study also found that Internet use had the same effect even for people who spent most of their time in such social activities as chat rooms or exchanging e-mail.

What all this seems to say is that your psyche is far safer if you avoid the web and stay on the air. After all, what's more exciting than snaring a rare on in a pile up or bouncing your signal off the moon.

(Newsline -- adapted from news release)

Ham Radio in space

ARISS, Amateur Radio International Space Station, is alive and well. Seven of the eight nations which agreed to put Amateur Radio aboard the Station met at the University of Surrey, in England, in late July.

As Chairman of the Space Amateur Radio Experiment, SAREX, I chaired the sessions. On hand or patched in by teleconference were representatives from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.K.. France was unable to attend but expressed continuing interest in the project.

Matt Bordelon, KC5BTL, the SAREX Principal Investigator, outlined the NASA schedule of launches which will result in the construction in orbit of the station. First flights will begin next year with the complete station in operation by 2004.

The delegates formed two permanent Working Groups. The ARISS Hardware Group will be chaired by Lou McFadin, W5DID. Lou is well known for his work with AMSAT on Phase 3D. This group is charged with building and designing the equipment for space station. They agreed that the first station will have 2 meter voice and packet capability, using antennas designed and built by an Italian team and installed by the Russians. A German team is at work on an interim station that would add 70 CM capability plus a Digitalker. In time, the Hardware Group plans to add SSTV and full duplex VHF-UHF.

The United States will build a packet module, adapter module, the hand held radio and associated cables, as well as preparing a Safety Data Package required by NASA.

The final ISS equipment is still in the conceptual stages but probably will include all mode capability from ten meters through 13 centimeters plus Amateur fast-scan television.

The second permanent ARISS Working Group, The Administrative Group, will be chaired by Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, an AMSAT VP and representative to SAREX. It's charged with setting up ground rules for station operation, organizing financing, getting legal clearances including international call letters and handling all other administrative details.

Rosalie White, WA1STO, the ARRL Representative of the SAREX team, discussed the many ways in which the space station equipment will be used by schools all over the world to link students with astronauts and cosmonauts. She will be a consultant to Bauer in Administrative Operations for ARISS.

In the near future, a NASA team will go to Russia to sign contracts, certifying Amateur Radio as a crew requirement. Sergej Samburov, RV3DR, is a member of the Russian ENERGIA company which is building the Service Module, in which crews will live aboard the Space Station. He has built four feedthroughs in the hull, as antenna ports. Matt Bordelon, KC5BTL and Joerg Hahn, DL3LUM plan to accompany the NASA team to meet with Samburov and work out equipment locations and stowage plans for service when the Service Module is launched next year.

Although Russia has been plagued with monetary problems, they say they will meet their commitments to The International Space Station. When they do, ARISS plans to be in place and ready to share in the adventure.


FCC Blasted for airwave giveaway

The FCC has been blasted in congress over the way it has handled the dispersal of new and reassigned spectrum. According to Mary Shea writing in the CGC Communicator, the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee said the FCC appeared to have "manufactured" a national security need to justify its allocation of a valuable airwave spectrum to a private company without a public proceeding. Details on this story are available at a special website that you will find at:,3441,2124765,00.html

(CGC Communicator)

Micro Tube

A special note for those who never quite managed to accept transistor theory. New Zealands' Ian Gill, ZL3TGK reports that a microscopic electron tube has successfully been constructed by a researcher in the Netherlands.

According to a brief article in the British publication Elektor Electronics, the wizard responsible is Jens Foerster. His triode measures less than 5 micro meters across and it is etched in silicon using the same process used to produce integrated circuits. The tube uses a pin-point field emitter rather than a heater to generate its electron flow.


Human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields

Do people living near high powered broadcast transmitters develop cancer at a higher rate than the rest of us? According one scientific report, cancer among residents of the Lookout Mountain area west of Denver Colorado was not higher statistically for the decade from 1985 to 1995 than would have been expected based on the ages and numbers of men and women who live there.

The report was commissioned by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It's statistical analysis can be found at:

(Published news report)

Second win in MD antenna dispute

The FCC has denied an Application for Review of a Declaratory Ruling filed by the Potomac Ridge Homeowner Association of Potomac Maryland regarding its antenna restrictions. The Order affirms the Cable Services Bureau's ruling that the Potomac Ridge Association's restriction prohibiting externally mounted television broadcast antennas violates the Commission's Over the Air Reception Devices Rule.

The original complaint was brought by Jay Lubliner, KA3ZMW and Deborah Galvin who are both residents of the development, but not as a ham radio case. Earlier in the year the FCC had found that their petition had merit and ruled in their favor.


How to get to meetings:

(Visitors always welcome)

FARS meets at the Covington School District building, 201 Covington Road, Los Altos. Take the El Monte exit (The same exit as for the Foothill Fleamarket) off of I-280 and go East on El Monte. Cross Foothill Expressway and turn right at the next light on to Covington (Note Saint William church on corner). Stay to your left as the road forks. Just past the fork, turn left into the school parking lot. Walk through the center hallway and turn right. The meeting room is the first door on the left. Talk in on 145.23 or 145.27, negative offset, 100 PL.

[meeting map]