Make your own free website on

Published by the Rip Van Winkle Amateur Radio Society, Inc.
May, 2002
QNZ de K2WG…

It came in four boxes just in time for my birthday. Two from New Hampshire, one from Colorado and one from Oakdale. This is a first. I’ve never owned a new-out-of-the-box not-a-kit HF rig. Years ago (before the age of 18) I built the Heathkits: receivers, transmitters, transceivers, but I never had the pleasure of take it out of the box, hook up the antenna, plug it in and get on the air – until now. It’s got ALL of the bands 160 thru 6 meters. Automatic antenna tuner, built in keyer, dual VFO, more memory channels than I’ll ever need. In fact, it’s got a lot of things I probably don’t need and may never use. Works great on all of my HF antennas: Belarus Republic, Italy, Kuwait, Armenia, Chicago, etc. Works on FM also with the free (?) FM adapter. When you pay more than $1600.00 for a rig and accessories, is anything really “free”? Love the DSP. I shouldn’t loose anymore of those garbled DX contacts. So far the reports on the audio have been good even without the processor turned on. I’m still not sure how I talked the XYL into putting all of this on her credit card. Must be she really does love me after all.

So, does a state of the art rig make me a better HAM? Of course not, but it does give me some opportunities to learn more about radio technology and operating techniques. Am I better off now than when I only used the FT-101E? Maybe. Will HAM radio be more fun with a new rig? Probably. But, there is a lot to be said for keeping the older rigs running. I’m not ready to put the FT-101E out to pasture. In all aspects of our lives, a little rejuvenation now and then is a good thing. A

license upgrade, a new rig, finally getting the perfect antenna up and running. A renewal of the flame that keeps this hobby alive and well. Check out the pictures of the current licensing class activities. One of the ways some of us stay up to date with this hobby is by teaching its concepts to others. Some of those little known facts about rules and regs can come back to haunt you if you don’t pay attention. As Marty N2LDR conducts those classes, we are all reminded of our privileges and responsibilities under the FCC’s umbrella. This class is almost over with the VE session next month, but watch for the next one and join Marty and the other instructors to share your knowledge and experience with the newcomers. One of the things that make RVWARS a great organization is our willingness to take the newcomers under our wings and nurture them along in the hobby. Newcomers are not always treated so well if some of the letters to the editor of QST are any indication.

Sky Warn training at the next meeting. A lot of HAM radio activity has been involved in assisting with communications during wildland fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. After all, this hobby is a SERVICE. In the next few months, look for a renewal in ARES/RACES registration, training and activity in the Columbia and Greene County areas. If you are not sure what ARES and RACES are all about, check out the ARRL web site or the SEMO and FEMA websites. The SEMO site maintained by our own N2SQW is a good source of information relating to emergency management, mitigation and response activities in New York State.

73 for now…. AR SK de K2WG
May Meeting:
May 20 at 7:00 p.m.
John L. Edwards Elementary School, Hudson
Business Meeting — Sky Warn Training

Page 2 — May, 2002
FCC proposes two
new amateur bands!

Good news for ham radio this week! FCC has proposed going along with ARRL’s request for a new domestic (US-only), secondary HF allocation at 5.25 to 5.4 MHz. The FCC also is ready to permit operation on a 136-kHz “sliver band” in the low-frequency (LF) region. And, in response to a third ARRL request, the FCC has proposed elevating Amateur Radio to primary status at 2400 to 2402 MHz.

“I'm just as tickled as I can be,” ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, said upon hearing the news. “This is a classic example of our ARRL at work.”

The FCC voted unanimously May 2 to adopt the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in ET Docket 02-98. The Commission released a Public Notice May 9, and the NPRM is expected to be released soon. A comment deadline will be announced as soon as it's available.

The FCC said the new 5-MHz band would help amateurs “better match their choice of frequency to existing propagation conditions.” The band, if approved, would be the first new amateur HF allocation since World Administrative Radio Conference 1979 gave amateurs 30, 17 and 12 meters--the so-called “WARC Bands.” Assuming the 5-MHz band eventually is authorized, it could be a few years before it actually becomes available.

The League said its successful WA2XSY experiments demonstrated that amateurs can coexist with current users and that the band is very suitable for US-to-Caribbean paths. In comparisons with 80 and 40 meters, the WA2XSY operation also showed the 60-meter band to be the most reliable of the three. The ARRL also argued that a new 150-kHz allocation at 5 MHz could relieve periodic overcrowding on 80 and 40. From ARRL Newsletter
Rip Van Winkle Amateur Radio Society

President — Wayne Gearing K2WG
Vice President — David Clapper WA2FTI
Secretary — Erika Goetz KC2DMI
Treasurer — Stan Engel WA2UET
Historian — Ken Goetz N2SQW
Newsletter — Dave Watrous WD2K
Interim Newsletter — David Clapper WA2FTI
E-mail —
Repeaters — 147.21 222.24 449.925
DX Cluster — 145.71 K2RVW
Club Call — Kilo 2 Rip Van Winkle
Web Page —

WD2K Awarded Plaque
For Outstanding Service

Dave Watrous WD2K was awarded a Plaque for his years of service to RVWARS as a leader in our Field Day Activities. Dave has always been in the forefront of all Club activities but took a special interest in the operation of Field Day.

WD2K's Outstanding Service Plaque

Dave’s reply to receiving the honor:

Thanks Rippers.
While undeserved the plaque is most appreciated and will be proudly displayed in my shack. Whatever success I have had came about through the hard work and commitment of the club members. It is this spirit of cooperation, friendship and good humor that makes RVWARS the success it is.
I don’t know if I will make Field Day this year but the improvements planned for this year are exciting and should make for a great event. Hope to be there and share the fun with all of you.

Dream Rig!

The way the new all-band, all mode rigs are evolving, it’s a wonder that a rig such as the one above hasn’t hit the shelves at AES and other Ham suppliers! The “Bells and Whistles” of these newer rigs are mind boggling! It hardly seems necessary for one of us to be present (except for the rules!) for a QSO to take place. Load any antenna, transmit in any mode, copy CW, send Slow-Scan TV, make the coffee, cook lunch! What’s next? O yeah… transmit without a rig on the internet! Think I’ll go warm up my DX-40 and SX-111. WA2FTI

Page 3 — May, 2002
Club Members Volunteer as Class Instructors
Marty, N2LDR
Marty, N2LDR, Chairman of the Education Committee, lecturing on FCC Do's and Don'ts (AKA Rules and Regulations) at a recent Tech Class.

Dana, N2KN
Dana, N2KN, gives the class some practice in CW receiving.
Bob, WB2DUW, Chairman of the Technical Committee, demonstrates a lesson in electronic theory to the class.

Wayne, K2WG
Wayne, K2WG, Club President, demonstrating the HF rig recently donated to the club by WB2ETC.

  Archives of Recent Rip's Report Newsletters