Amateur Radio From Loudoun County VA

March 1997

The LARG Radio News - DE K4LRG

The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group, P.O. Box 1004, Purcellville, VA 20134

President John Unger (W4AU) (540) 338-4620
Vice-Pres. Gary Quinn (NC4S) (540) 882-3017
Secretary Tom Dawson (WB3AKD) (540) 338-4905
Treasurer Dale Cabaniss (KD4LSL) (540) 338-3521

Some of you hams are receiving this LARG Newsletter for the first time or for the first time in a long time. The club decided to do a mailing to all amateur radio operators in western Loudoun County just to make sure that you all were aware that we have a interesting and vital ham radio club right here in our own neck of the woods! Join us for breakfast at a monthly club meeting (Next LARG meeting is Saturday, March 15, at 8:30 at the El Rancho Plus restaurant in Purcellville) and see what we're like. We are not a large or a very formal club, and think that you will enjoy the company and fellowship.

LARG News: New Club Call - K4LRG

Our Club request for a new vanity call was processed by the FCC this month. We were granted our first choice, and we are thrilled to receive this news. (The CW operators in the club will especially like the “swing” of our new call’s suffix). This month’s newsletter shows the new slate of officers, who were elected at the February club meeting; if you have any good ideas for a program at one of our meetings, please let one of us know. We are always looking for new things to discuss. Also, this would be a good time for all of us to check the addresses that are on file with the FCC. Evidently, they are NOT making automatic changes of address for the new zip codes that have been instituted in this part of Virginia. So be sure to get a form 610 to the FCC with your new zip code and also new street address, if you are one of those who used to have a rural route box address.

Thanks to John Kanode, N4MM

The club would like to thank John Kanode, N4MM, the ARRL Director for our Division (Roanoke) for taking the time to stop by and share with us news from the ARRL and discussing the impact of several hot topics on amateur radio. Changes at the FCC have made a considerable impact on priorities at the ARRL. With commercial business fighting to secure frequency allocations, portions of several ham bands may be in jeopardy. Responding to this threat the ARRL finds themselves spending more of their budget to ensure that the people in power on Capital Hill do not forget the rights of the Amateur Radio operator. Also with the severe budget cutbacks at the FCC this agency has not been prosecuting individuals who are violating their current policies. The ARRL is in the process of negotiating an agreement with the FCC whereby the ARRL will assist the FCC with these matters and provide resources to aid them. Also discussed was the possibility of reducing the number of radio classifications for amateurs. With only 7 percent of operators entering the hobby as novice operators the ARRL feels that this classification has become obsolete with the advent of the No-Code Technician class. With this in mind it is proposed that the current number of classifications be reduced to 4 or 5 with additional privileges to all current operators.

Is 2 Meter AM making a comeback?

LARG informants tell us that Amplitude modulation has been detected on the 2 meter ham bands in Loudoun county. Trans-Western Loudoun 2M AM Contacts have been made using refurbished Gonset Communicator IIIs and IVs by Paul (N4PD) and Don (KC1AT) at about 9 p.m. last Thursday Jan 30th with an S-9 signal measured by Paul’s rig, and a flicker on the magic eye tube of Don’s Communicator III. Hey Don, did you calibrate that magic eye? Gary (NC4S) was heard with an S-4 signal by Paul, but we are not quite sure if Gary copied Paul.

This resurgence of AM brings with it two questions:

A. Will VHF AM make a comeback?!!

B. Should it?

Hey guys have fun, all kidding aside, its great to hear that this mode is not totally lost in an FM dominated world. Keep up the work, you may bring some renewed interest to this mode.

Topics for our MARCH Meeting

Our next club meeting will feature a talk by Wes, WA4TSC. If that callsign sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve used Wes’s well know 2-meter repeater, the “.300 machine” on the top of the Blue Ridge, at least some time in your ham radio career. Wes has agreed to talk about his experiences with setting up, operating, and managing repeaters in this area. So if you have ever wondered about what it takes to set up a repeater and what mistakes NOT to make, Wes should be able to fill you in. I’m sure that this will be an interesting and lively presentation.

Calendar of Events:

Every Third Saturday 8:30 a.m. Club Meeting, El Ranchero Plus Restaurant, Purcellville
Weekday Mornings and Evenings Commuter Net, 147.480 MHz Simplex
Every Sunday 8:00 p.m. Club Radio Net, 28.360 MHz USB