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10/7 Parade in Willcox
10/14 Parade in Benson
10/14 Cochise Perimeter Cycling Classic
10/22 Parade in
12/2 XMAS Parade in
The Cochise Perimeter Cycling Classic is (“just around the corner”) so please contact RB Rice to sign up for an assignment. The URL for the race is: http://www.pbaa.com/Home.html#4Cs
Call To Order: The meeting was called to order by the President KD7OED. Other officers present were Vice President NJ7C, Secretary KD7HAB, Member at Large WB6OTS. Treasurer KD7TDL was absent due to illness.
Secretary Report: The Secretary KD7HAB read the minutes because the minutes were not posted in the SMOKE. There were no corrections noted, and they were approved on a voice vote after a motion KB7RDG and seconded by K7HVV.
Treasurers Report: Treasurer's report was given by KD7OED.
The current checking account balance is $5,112.05, and the savings account balance is $10,645.62. Total of the two accounts is $15,757.67. Included in the savings account balance is $1,837.25 for the HF Antenna Improvement Fund. Two outstanding checks have not yet cleared: $200.00 for the vertical antenna that was mentioned in last month minutes, and $75.00 to ARCA for 10% of our May Hamfest profits. A proposed budget for FY 06-07 is still in the works but should be ready next month.
Vice President: NJ7C reported that membership statistics are
the same as last month. Pictures from the Labor Day weekend expedition to
Question was asked if the toolbox list on the web page has been updated. The answer was not lately.
Member at Large: WB6OTS reported that the Boy Scout Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) is October 21. An ad for the upcoming General license class will be in the paper.
ARCA REPORT: WB6OTS reported that there are still some hams
Technical Report: KB7RDG reported that the long-awaited
Ultraflex cable finally came in and on Saturday September 2 a crew went up and
installed the cable on the repeater.
Initial reports are that it has shown some improvement, although there
is another short section of low-quality cable that needs to be replaced. KB7RDG also received a notice that our
repeater equipment is due for an inspection by the
Material Director Report: AD7HZ was still in the process of moving and was not present. KD7OED reported that the Saturday crew went through all of KF7TJ’s equipment to determine serviceability, and prepared a list of asking prices for his XYL to approve. The estate sale list will be posted on the web once she approves the prices.
RACES REPORT: KD7OED reported that although there were a
couple of RACES call outs over the past month, they were terminated before the
MCU arrived on scene. The new camera has
been installed on MCU mast and was demonstrated during
Bike Races: The
New Business: There was no new business raised by anyone.
The next general membership meeting is
The meeting was adjourned at
Pat Thies, KD7HAB
Baldacci got a taste of Amateur Radio in 2003, when he checked into the
Amateur Wireless Association and other amateurs. On that occasion, the
Governor assured the gathering that the Maine Emergency
Management Agency depends on Amateur Radio to support the statewide
communications system and said
only governor's residence to start
sporting Amateur Radio antennas. Perhaps because
(Editor’s Note: You may remember I’m in
Bob Hollister, N7INK
1. Purpose: The annual trek to Paradise over Labor Day Weekend is used as training event for members of the RACES team to practice a wide variety of operator skills as well as conduct an amateur radio "special event" by operating from a unique location, in this case the Ghost Town of Paradise. This was the 27th anniversary of this event.
2. Exercise Objectives: Familiarize operators with basic MCU capabilities
Provide operating practice to radio operators. Test new HF Antenna configuration. Test new MCU Camera installation. Send Satellite email to
and change the channel layout.
morning. After an uneventful convoy to the
weather, we only put the antenna up about 30' rather than the full 42' of the mast capability. This combination was still very effective and a total of 265 radio contacts were made including 38 states, two Canadian provinces, and
b. Dispatch Contact - We sent a number of training emails using both the HF Radio Winlink network Saturday afternoon and via the Satellite network on Sunday morning to several customers. We also sent successfully a photo attachment taken from the new mast camera over the satellite network as a proof of concept.
c. Sunday morning we began experiencing issues with the onboard 7.5 kW generator. The fault indicator observed (two rapid flashes of the warning light) that implied low oil pressure and it shut itself off. After checking the oil
level, a half-quart was added. But, upon restart, the generator continued to shut itself down despite the fact that the oil level showed full and the vehicle was level. A spare generator, brought by one of the team members,
was used successfully for a couple hours as a backup. However, the continuing rain raised safety concerns as reports from the National Weather Service reports (received via satellite link from the web site and NOAA weather radio) and personal observations from team members deploying to our location on Sunday morning caused me to terminate
the training early. The dirt roads were getting increasingly slippery and muddy and I was concerned about everyone being able to return safely. Fortunately all the heavy vehicles had 4x4 capability and were able to recover under their own power.
d. Over the last few missions we
became aware that the Public Service VHF radios in the
4. Lessons Learned: Despite the reduced deployment team there were several positive lessons learned from the mission.
a. Operator Training: We had several new operators and they were able to receive hands-on experience using the HF long-range equipment. Had the training time been longer, we would have expanded the training to some of the public service equipment as well.
b. Hex Beam Antenna - The new configuration of antenna rotor and hex beam proved to be quite successful for long range communications. Although the HF whips continue to be the quicker deployment method, they do not provide the signal gain or directivity of the hex beam. This tool
would be very useful in checking into the National Communications Shared Resources (SHARES) HF network and with the FEMA HF network during emergencies.
c. Inverted-V Antenna - This
continues to be a tried and true broadband antenna system. It was the antenna used for the Winlink
Internet connectivity on both MARS and Amateur bands, and was the only antenna
used for communications below 14Mhz. Reliability on 40 meters (7 MHz) to both CA, NV & TX Internet bridge stations continues to
be good. Participation in the daily
as well as
d. MCU Mast Camera - The new camera worked quite well. There was one hiccup. With the high humidity there was condensation on the inside of the dome blocking the view in one direction. Oddly enough it only affected
about a 20-degree angle in one direction (azimuth 190 degrees). A coating of Rain-X will be added to help mitigate this problem. The camera control software is quite user friendly and easy to learn. The capture of a single video frame that can be saved as a JPG file for forwarding via email to Dispatch or any other command center is also quite easy for anyone familiar with basic email skills.
e. MCU Trailer Hitch - Fleet added a light duty trailer hitch to the MCU just before our deployment. The purpose is to allow the MCU to pull a lightweight trailer, primarily for a Porta-Potti or even a single ATV. The
hitch worked quite well and there was no noticeable load to the truck. However, the hangers for the safety chains need to be extended to a spot closer to the ballhitch. We were able to use short chain extensions
(approximately 10" each) to ensure the safety chains could be properly connected.
f. MCU Back-up Camera - The MCU back-up camera continues to be problematic. We have noticed that recently the camera will not always display properly due to lack of signal from the camera to the screen in the cab. Checking connections at the cab end have not isolated the problem.
I suggest we next double check the camera itself to ensure that there isn't moisture or other problem in the camera head.
5. Summary - As always, extended training missions such as this provide opportunities to work out procedures and discover problems in a relatively non-stressful environment. This was such an event. I regret that the weather situation injected itself into the scenario but it added another
dimension to the training experience. Despite that, I believe that a good experience was had by all and additional areas of concern were identified for further work. My thanks to all who participated, radio operators and their family members, and those who assisted in the preparation
phase, execution phase, and finally the post deployment phase.
Participants: Ranny Burke, KE5DJ & Spouse & Guest; Charles Campbell, K4AFN; Ken Carpenter, WA7UIM; Linda Carpenter, N7KAZ; Dale Chidester, NJ7C & Spouse; Bill Epperson, KK7NO; Grant Hays, WB6OTS & Spouse; Bob Hollister, N7INK (RACES Officer); Rich Hotchkiss, KD7RDG; Lee Ilse, KD7OED (MCU Driver); BJ Kelsey, KE7HFA; RB Rice, K7HVV & Spouse;
Dave Schurian, KD7LSD & Spouse
COMPUTER GENDER (from friends on the Internet)
A Spanish teacher
was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are
designated as either masculine or feminine. ''House'' for instance, is
feminine: ''la casa.'' ''Pencil,'' however, is masculine: "el lapiz.''
A student asked, ''What gender is 'computer'?''
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether ''computer'' should be a masculine or a feminine noun.
Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that ''computer'' should definitely be of the feminine gender (''la computer''), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
(No chuckling... this gets better!)
The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine (''el computer''), because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a newer and better model.
The women won.
THE COCHISE SMOKE is published each month by e-mail and snail mail. Editor is Ted Weaver, K9TED firstname.lastname@example.org Snail mail stuff you’d like to have me publish in Smoke to
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