Newsletter of the Triangle East Amateur Radio Association
The Delta Loop
Volume 5 Number 3                                                                                                May 10, 2007

In This Issue:

TEARA Field Day Plans
ISS Construction Affects Ham Radio from Space
Computers and Ham Radio
TEARA Meeting Minutes
TEARA Meeting Schedule
VE Schedule
K4ADL Cartoon

TEARA Announces Field Day Plans!

The 2007 TEARA Field Day will be held at the QTH of Holt Thornton, AC4UD and  will be operated as a Delta station. This means we will be operating fixed stations and not utilizing emergency power. It also means we will not be bound by the usual setup rules generally required of other station classes.

Many of you will recall that we have generally operated as 1, 2 or 3 Alfa in past years, setting up at remote sites all over eastern North Carolina, including last year when we operated from the American Legion cabin and picnic area between Wendell and Zebulon as a 2 Alfa unit. (See photo) This was an excellent area for field day operations, being away from power lines and in a secluded open area surounded by woods,and a great time was had by all in attendance.

With that in mind, operating as an Alfa class is an obvious departure from previous field day operations, but after considering the number of available operators, as well as a number of other factors, the club leadership determined that this would be the way to go - at least for this year.  Operating Delta class will permit us to concentrate on making contacts and getting some of our newer hams on the air. It will also allow us to begin operations with a minimum amount of setup, which is a major consideration for those usually involved in that activity.

So here is the plan...

We will operate two, or possibly three HF stations, depending on the number of available operators. The hours we operate will be determined by  the number of willing operators we have, as well as the good graces of our hosts.  The idea will be to get as much operating time as possible, as well as to just have a great time!

Be sure to attend the May meeting for more details!

Uptick In ISS Construction To Affect Ham Radio Operations From Space

From the ARRL Letter, May 4, 2007

In a recent Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) progress report, ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, addressed some questions regarding ARISS operations and equipment upgrade and repair. Bauer says that with the successful space shuttle return to flight, ISS construction again has shifted into high gear.  Delivery and assembly of two new ISS modules now are on the near horizon.  But that activity's not without a downside for Amateur Radio activity from the ISS.

"If all goes well, the new European Columbus module and Japanese Kibo module will be installed on the ISS in the next 12 months," Bauer told the ARISS team. "This substantial workload on the crew is impacting ARISS operations directly."

Bauer explained that the launch of any new or replacement ham radio gear or computers to support ARISS operations "has been significantly curtailed due to the extremely limited 'upmass' capability." That's NASA's way of saying the cargo weight limits on construction flights are very tight.

"There are just too many higher priority activities from an international space agency perspective, and frankly we are a lower priority," he continued. "The extra workload on the crew has taken its toll on ARISS -- they have had very little extra time for Amateur Radio activities beyond school contacts."

Bauer concedes that while these developments are "somewhat frustrating" both to the ham radio community at large and to the ARISS International Team, ARISS nonetheless is pleased that space station crew members have "been able to speak so often with youth groups worldwide, piquing their interest in Amateur Radio, science, technology, engineering and math."

One hoped-for fix during the recent flight of civilian space traveler Charles Simonyi, KE7KDP, was that Simonyi would be able to restore the Kenwood D700 ARISS Phase 2 transceiver to full functionality after it was inadvertently reprogrammed during Expedition 13. That has kept the packet system off the air.

"The ARISS team worked diligently with the Simonyi team to get Charles licensed, trained, and prepared to perform the Kenwood reprogramming," Bauer explained. "Unfortunately, the ARISS team hit a major hurdle a few weeks before Charles's launch."

Bauer said ARISS learned at the eleventh hour that additional software certification would be required to allow Simonyi to reprogram software to be used on the ISS computers.

"Through heroic efforts by the team, final software certification was successfully completed," Bauer reported this week. "Unfortunately, this was completed only a few days before Charles' return from space." As a result, there was not enough time for Simonyi to reprogram the D700.

"This last minute hiccup in software certification was not predictable," Bauer allowed, "so there was no way the ARISS team could have better prepared for Charles' flight."

Bauer says that at this point, it appears that reprogramming the D700 to get it back to its normal ARISS configuration "will require a substantial, concerted effort with full cooperation from our international colleagues and the Russian and US space agencies." This means identifying, purchasing (if necessary), certifying, testing and flying the components necessary to ensure the reprogramming is successful, he pointed out.

Given the challenge of weight restrictions on shuttle payloads devoted to transporting construction materials, Bauer said, the process "will likely take several months to accomplish, as the team will have to begin from square one."

ARISS meanwhile is looking into some partial, temporary workarounds. In the near term, ARISS will request the crew do some investigative analysis of the Phase 2 station. "This will enable the ARISS team to determine if the radio can be partially restored to provide some of the unattended operations that it once provided," Bauer said. "With Charles's successful landing, we have started down this new path."

Despite the setbacks, Bauer vowed that ARISS will continue working aggressively on the issue. "While our plans to have Charles reprogram the radio were thwarted, we were happy that he could speak to so many hams around the world during his short stay, and capture the imagination of students around the globe," he said. 

Computers and Ham Radio

Norman Young


Are you saddened by the demise of code testing?  Do you long for the golden age of radio when real hams pounded brass for hours on end?  Well, if so, we have just the ticket to take you back to that very time!

Only we are not going to the ham shack.  Instead, we're going to venture into the living room of the late 30's and early 40's where the rest of the family sat huddled around the old broadcast radio while dad was out back in the shack clacking away on his finely tuned bug.

Many of you reading this will actually recall the days before television when radio broadcasts were the primary form of entertainment in the household,  Others who were born a bit later will recall these days only through the memories of parents or older siblings.  Regardless, radio in those days was a far cry from today's music and talk formats.  Instead, it  provided a real "theater of the mind" on a daily basis to all ages and interests.

But thanks to the Internet, it is now possible to relive the golden age of radio, or live it for the very first time, through thousands of recordings of old dramas, comedies, kids' shows and much much more, and all at no charge!  The Internet Archive has amassed a huge collection of the old shows just wating to be listened to online or downloaded in MP3 format for offline listening on your computer or loading onto your favorite MP3 player. To see what's available, surf on over to the Old Radio Archives page.  There you'll find all the old classics just waiting to be rediscovered, or perhaps discovered for the very first time. 

For example, two of my personal favorites (so far) are Red Skelton and Superman.  Old Red was one of my favorites on TV when I was growing up, and it is amazing just how little his routines changed from radio to TV.  But in 1946 his radio show was sponsored by Raleigh cigarettes, and the commercials were a real eye-opener.  Just listen for yourself... that's all I'm gonna say.  

As a kid, the Man of Steel was my number one through comic books and the George Reeves TV series, so you can imagine the fun I had listening to the original broadcasts of Superman with the voice of Bud Collyer and starting with the very episode.

Now you get to find your own favorites, and while you're there, be sure to check out the Internet Archive main page for other goodies such as some of the old cartoons, films you saw in school, old commercials, and much more.  It'll be a pleasant diversion from the din of 75 meters!

April 24, 2007
Meeting Minutes

Shelby Hendren

The meeting was called to order at 1906 by Sherry KB4EXL.  The treasurer’s report was given by Lynwood AF4XJ.  The minutes for February were read by Shelby NC4SH and approved.  Ryan Avery was voted in as a new member, he is sponsored by Norman KA4PUV.  There were five candidates at the VE session; there was one upgrade to General and one to extra.  We are awaiting word that Sam NC4SJ has registered Norman KA4PUV as our Registered Agent.   Norman checked with the group to see if everyone was able to view the monthly newsletter.  Senate Bill 404 was heard today in the Senate.  It was sponsored by a senator from New Hanover County and would allow hams to put up antennas where local covenants now ban them,  There is no update on what happened.  Frank also announced that Tim Slay N4IB reported a PRB1 bill in the State House.  Holt AC4UD is giving away eight to ten years of QST and CQ away; you can come and pick them up if interested.  Norman KA4PUV discussed the upcoming Field Day on June 23rd & 24th.  We can get the cabin again, but if we only have a few operators, it might be better if seek out another location.  Sherry appointed Norman and Shelby to research the purchase of a projector for the club. There was no formal program this month but a round table discussion was held by Frank W4FAL, and many ideas were given for future programs.  The meeting was adjourned at 2010. 

TEARA Meeting Schedule

Next Meeting - May  24, 2007

The Triangle East Amateur Radio Association meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, at 7:00 pm, in the fellowship hall of the Wendell United Methodist church.  Although the official meeting begins at 7:00 pm, members and guests usually arrive around 6:00 to 6:30 with their favorite fast food or brown bag meal.  TEARA meetings feature an excellent variety of programs of interest to hams.  Please give the club a visit and consider becoming a member.  (TEARA does not hold a regular meeting in December, but instead usually holds a Christmas party some time during the month at a member's home.). 


The TEARA 2 meter net meets every Tuesday evening at 8:30 PM (local) on uses  the  WB4IUY repeater (147.390+, PL 88.5), located near Clayton, NC. TEARA also holds a 6 meter net on Thursday nights on the K4ITL repeater (53.030 -) which is located near Lake Wheeler.

All amateurs within range of either of these fine repeaters are encouraged to drop by to check in and stand by for some serious rag chewing!
VE Schedule

Next VE Session - May 19, 2007

TEARA's Volunteer Examiner Team holds a VE session on the third Saturday of each month except July and December at the Red Cross building in downtown Smithfield.  For details, please visit the team's website located here, and be sure to visit us in person when you are ready for that first license or upgrade!
K4ADL Cartoon

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Cartoon courtesy of K4ADL (  
ISS  photo courtesy NASA.
ARRL Newsletter articles reprinted by permission of the American Radio Relay League.
And a special thanks to KB4EXL for proofreading this issue!

Copyright Triangle East Amateur Radio Association 2007