w5t train mobile
The Newsletter of
The Amateur Radio Klub of the Arkansas Northwest
All-Aboard for ARKAN’s
W5T TRAIN MOBILE
If you haven’t participated in ARKAN’s annual W5T Train Mobile Special Event
Station operation, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s just around the
corner on Saturday, April 5.
We already have some individuals signed-up. You do not have to be an ARKAN
member to join us. So, don’t miss-out on this year’s trek-down-the-tracks. You
will get to enjoy your trip down to Van Buren and back in the comfort of the
A&MRR caboose. While you are in-between shifts by different operators, you can
enjoy a pleasant train ride through the Boston Mountains in the caboose’s
Last year W5T logged an even 150 QSOs, and we’re planning on many more along
with continued great fun and fellowship this year.
A lot of exciting moments were shared in 2013 as time and again, many of the
stations that we worked came back with a reply something like, “I’ve been a ham
for 50 years, and you’re the first train I’ve ever worked!” Or….. “I am a railroad
enthusiast, and this is a great thrill for me to work a train…I definitely will be
sending you my QSL so you can send a train card back to me.” Or….. “You’re
actually in motion going down the track?! Wow!!!” Or….. “This is so cool! I can
hear the train whistle in the background when you’re transmitting!”
If you haven’t experienced this ultra-fun annual club event and would like to
participate with us (of which you automatically become a member of the TMARRS
club), contact Scott-K5SAA asap at: [email protected]
Field Day Myths & Legends
BCRO Elects 2014 Officers
Happy Birthday Ham Hijinks
Technician License Class
White Rock Classic
ARKAN Chili Social
A Great On-Air Activity for
2014 Cold Winter Nights
Showin’ Off The Shack
Sochi Winter Olympics
Special Event Station
In The News
Other Regular Departments
University of Arkansas
NW Arkansas UHF Society
(At least 10 sign-ups are needed to hold the class.)
Washington County ARES
Bella Vista Repeater
(Benton County Radio
If you or someone you know wish to get started
in the world of amateur radio, here is the ideal
opportunity to do so. Tentative plans are also
in place for continuing education classes for
the General Class License, and proceeding on
to the top license, the Amateur Extra Class .
Madison County ARES Net
WHEN: Saturday, March 1
WHERE: Community Room, Rogers Public Library
711 S. Dixieland Road – Rogers
THERE IS NO COST FOR THIS CLASS!! – FREE!!
To register for this class, contact:
Mel – AF5GF:
E-mail: [email protected]
The Ozark Wireless Society convened their first meeting of 2014 on
Saturday morning, Jan. 25, once again within the friendly confines of the
General Store at the Shiloh Museum in Springdale. As always, a plethora
of topics were discussed and all were very interesting. Along with being
well-versed in modern radio technology, their knowledge of vintage
amateur radio is vast. If you ever wish to discuss/learn something
concerning radio items from the past, have questions, or would just like to
sit-in and soak-up their many years of amateur radio operation and
technical knowledge, you need to attend an OWS meeting. (See Northwest
AA5AR Trustee – Scott K5SAA: Ensure that license does not expire. Ensure
operation of club call is compliant with FCC rules Part 97.
AA5AR QSL Manager – Scott K5SAA: Process incoming/outgoing QSLs.
Reminder to all our readers
- the Newsletter features
and offers this department
for all our readers, whether
you belong to an area club
If you have a radio related
item to buy, sell, trade,
looking for, etc., we will be
happy to publish it for you,
free of charge, here in the
Send your info to Don/K5DB
at: [email protected] by the 5th
of each month and we’ll be
happy to get it in that
month’s issue for you!
AA5AR LOTW Manager – Billy AE5CP: Post all logs to LOTW, handle any
AA5AR LOTW issues.
AA5AR station - Mark NW5AR: Design station layout. Maintain station
inventory / ARKAN equipment list.
ARKAN Field Day – Billy AE5CP: Coordinate with appointed station captains;
arrange computer networking; manage overall aspects of event.
KE5YKN NW Chapter of American Red Cross Station – Callsign trustee currently
Joe KD5TLH. Mark NW5AR: Maintain station readiness; drill with NW Chapter;
liason to ARC Emergency Manager; manage issues with lease at CNP.
ARRL Liaison – Scott K5SAA: Update club information with ARRL in July.
ARRL VE Liaison – Darryl WA1GON: Trustee of VE Team box. Point of contact
for the team.
Arkansas QSO Party Rover – Paul KK5II: Determine what equipment to bring
and what counties to put on the air during designated AA5AR/rover activity in
Arkansas QSO Party – Don K5DB: Advertise and solicit participation inside the
state of Arkansas. Coordinate dedicated stations. Compile and post results.
Issue awards. Chair of ARKAN/AQP rules committee.
DON’T MISS THE ANNUAL
ARKAN MARCH CHILI SOCIAL!
Great chili and great fellowship will be in
store at the Annual ARKAN Chili Social:
Monday, March 3 – 6:30 pm
Sister’s Conference Room
Center for Non-Profits (Old Mercy Hospital)
1200 West Walnut St. - Rogers
No business meeting will be held, although some informal
announcements are scheduled.
NOTE: VE testing will be available at
8:00 pm following the feast.
[NOTE: The April ARKAN meeting will convene at its regular
location at NTI in Springdale.]
The Capitol Records Tower, located
in Hollywood, was built in 1956, and
resembles a stack of records on a
For years, the red beacon atop the
famous building has spelled-out the
word “Hollywood” in Morse code.
Executive Board Member
Field Day Coordinator
AA5AR QSL Manager
ARKAN Newsletter Editor
Arkansas QSO Party Mgr.
A year has gone by since we
started HamHijinks.com. In that
first year, we:
Published 93 HILARIOUS
Deleted 538 spam
Received 91 "Is this real?"
Got syndicated around the
Redesigned the site 1 time.
Crashed the server 2 times
(see bullet point above)
At their final meeting of 2013 on Dec. 10,
aside from enjoying some great Christmas
treats, the Benton County Radio Operators
elected new officers for the New Year.
Congratulations to the new BCRO 2014
Loren Lawrence – N5PUV
Mel Hagen – AF5GF
Thank you for reading our site
and putting up with our silliness.
We sure have fun with it.
Lance Clark – KF5YPD
The Noise Blankers Radio Group
Mark Maddox – KL7IWT
MAR. 3 – ARKAN
Annual Chili Social
SEE ANNOUNCEMENT, PAGE 3
(VE test session at 8 pm)
MAR. 11 – BCRO
Rogers Public Library
711 S. Dixieland – Rogers
Tuesday, 7 pm
MAR. 22 - OZARK WIRELESS SOCIETY March Meeting / Shiloh Museum – Springdale
Saturday, 10 am
MAR. 22 – BCRO VE Testing Session Rogers Public Library / 711 S. Dixieland - Rogers
Saturday, 3:00 pm
By Scott Anderson – K5SAA
View from 50K Race Net
Control Station position
It was a cold, drizzly, uncomfortable first day of February, but
it did not stop a dedicated group of NW Arkansas amateurs
braved the day and helped make the Annual White Rock
Classic 50K held in Cass, Arkansas a success, by adding
communication support for the event.
The Event Coordinator was Mike-KF5LHM who did a great
job. The Net Control Station was Mel-AF5GF, also doing a
fine job in routing traffic between the other stations installed
along the race route.
The Net was conducted via 2-meter simplex, and at Rest
Stop #2, Mark-NW5AR setup as a cross-band operation. This
station was powered by a deep-cycle battery. The other
operators at this location used HTs on lowest power settings
and it worked very well. The following letter was received
from one of the Race officials:
Please pass on our most humble thank you for
participating in our event. I got so many comments
on how great it was to have you there, and your
encouraging attitude about being there. Wow, thank
you for your class act team! We look forward to
working with you in the years to come!
Lisa Gunnoe – White Rock Classic 50K
Refueling station for the
White Rock participants
The Classic had over 50 runners, 4 bikers and 1 dog
participate. A good and rewarding time was experienced by
all, and we also had numerous runners thank us for the help.
NW5AR and K5SAA
at Rest Stop - 2
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s have been observed, and we
have again collected good memories of family and friends which will be with
The Winter Solstice has also come and gone. What does that mean to
the dedicated ham? It means the days are once again getting longer and
nights shorter. And yes, we just endured several rough shots of winter, but
IT’S TIME TO PREPARE.
Prepare for what? For the greatest event in the realm of amateur radio.
Yes, before you know it, it will be here: FIELD DAY 2014.
Only 4 months until "CQ FIELD DAY" fills the amateur radio spectrum,
Whether you plan to participate with one of our fine NW Arkansas clubs,
or from home for an exciting time of on-the-air ecstasy (you’ll have a lot more
fun with a club!), do it.
Start thinking now about how you would like to be a part of this awesome
event. Would you like to help with site set-up (exciting!) or take-down (not
exciting, but necessary)? Radios, antennas, power sources, accessories are
all a part of the plan. Do you plan to operate phone, cw, digital?
Remember this is largest amateur radio event in the United States and
it only happens once a year, so plan on coming and staying for a good length
of time. With the station activity, visiting with other other hams, and just
enjoying the “World of Field Day”, the time will fly!
Be sure and read the special article in this edition of the Newsletter
providing information on, and dispelling some of the “myths” of, Field Day
If you plan to perhaps participate this year with ARKAN and would like
to lend a helping hand when the 4th weekend in June rolls around, contact
Billy – AE5CP, ARKAN Field Day Coordinator at this e-mail address:
Field Day cometh!!!
QST QST – Special Message
to all NW Arkansas clubs &
Last year the BCRO hosted, and did a fantastic job with the Rogers
Hamfest/Delta Division Convention. To say they were understaffed in
administering the event is an understatement. It is truly remarkable that
they executed all the duties and responsibilities that attendees are usually
unaware of so substantially, with no more personnel than they had available
Tentative plans are now in progress for this year’s NW Arkansas hamfest,
but it cannot happen without assistance from our NW Arkansas hams.
If you would like to help in any aspect or area of the Hamfest,
please contact asap:
Mel – AF5GF E-mail: [email protected] or call him at: 479-439-0252
Coming To This Newsletter Next Month
As we endeavor to generate a spirit of mutual rapport, accord, and support among all our fine
amateur radio operators and clubs in Northwest Arkansas, it has been determined to transition
this newsletter to reflect that mission. We are very excited about the enhancement
of the newsletter in continuing to bring you quality information
and make your ham radio experience the best it
ARKAN – Feb. 10, 2014 – NTI, Springdale
(VEC Liaison: Darryl – WA1GON)
Benny Jamerson – KD5OHP – New General!!!
Robert Hamburg – KF5TTH – New General!!!
Leroy Allen – KF5ZAI – New General!!!
BCRO – Feb. 22, 2014 – Rogers Library, 3 pm
Will have this report in next month’s issue
(VEC Liaison: Larry – KD6IRI)
Each year, a sort of “fever” sets-in before and during
the annual ARRL Field Day event. The excitement
causes some of the oddest assumptions to occur:
Who sponsors the Amateur Radio Field Day?
Field day is organized and sponsored by the American
Radio Relay League, a national membership association
for Amateur Radio operators.
When is Field Day and how long does it last?
Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June,
beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and ending at 2100 UTC
Sunday. If you set-up before the start of the event, your
end time is 1800 UTC Sunday, a 24-hour duration.
Why is the general public allowed to operate amateur radio
transceivers during Field Day?
They aren't. – Only operators who are licensed in the
Amateur Radio Service are allowed to serve as control
operator of any radio at Field Day within the privileges of
their individual license. However, the public are honored
guests and are certainly allowed to manipulate the radio controls under the watchful eye of their GOTA coach who is the
control operator of that radio.
DEBUNKING THE MYTHS:
There is no 15-minute-on-band rule for Field Day.
TRUE. – When posed this question, the ARRL responded with several comments including:
"The rule requiring a station to stay on a band for 15 minutes once it has made a contact was removed."
"Don't fall into the trap of trying to impose generally accepted contest rules on Field Day. Field Day is an
operating event that traditional contesting rules don't necessarily apply to."
"Bear in mind that 90% of the Field Day participants have no clue what a 15-minute or 6-band change rule is
about. To them, they try 10-meter phone, make a couple of local QSOs then discover that 10-meters isn't
open. Is there really a valid reason for making them stare at the transmitter for 15 minutes before moving on?"
Essentially the message is: Relax - It's Field Day…..not Sweepstakes.
The FCC allows exceptions to the rules for Field Day.
YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING. OF COURSE NOT. – Not at all. FCC rules Part 97 apply 24/7, all year long.
Field Day operators inherit the frequency privileges of the call sign trustee and/or licensee.
MYTH. – FCC rules are not exempted for Field Day.
From Section §97.3.13 - "Control operator: An amateur operator designated by the licensee of a station to be
responsible for the transmissions from that station to assure compliance with the FCC Rules." Field Day Operators are
Control Operators of the station they are sitting in front of.
"(b) A station may only be operated in the manner and to the extent permitted by the privileges authorized for the
class of operator license held by the control operator." Each control operator can only operate on frequencies they are
personally licensed for.
You don't inherit Extra privileges if you are a General working at any station, unless the at-your-side control operator
of your station is an Extra and is watching over you. So, to address the next statement……….
I am a Technician and operating the radio while the person running the log is an Extra so I can use Extra Frequencies.
SURE, WHY NOT. - Just agree between the two of you that the logger is the control operator, but that you will be
operating the radio. He/she is there to keep you in compliance with FCC rules and Extra Class privileges by monitoring
your operation. However - if this Extra Class logger gets up to take a break, you are obligated to not transmit outside
your license class privileges until he/she gets back.
The ARRL Field Day rules don't talk about "Control Operators".
FALSE. – ARRL Field Day Rule 188.8.131.52 – “As per FCC rules, a station must have a valid control operator present if
operating beyond the license privileges of the participant using the station."
During Field Day the Control Operator must sign portable by appending /P to the call sign for CW or Digital, or say
"Portable" after the call on Phone.
FALSE. – This rule was changed some thirty years ago. You do not need to sign as portable for Field Day.
I brought the radio and I am an Extra. So all operators, Extra or not, have Extra privileges.
FALSE. – Privileges travel with the control operator…..not the owner of the radio. See above.
The ARRL rule 184.108.40.206.2 which states "To qualify for this [GOTA] bonus, there must be a designated GOTA coach
present and supervising the GOTA station at all times it is being operated" means one and only one person can be the
GOTA coach for the entire Field Day.
FALSE. – The wording of the rule does not suggest one single person as GOTA coach, only that there always be a coach
supervising the GOTA station when it is operating. Nonetheless, some folks read it as one person. So to clarify this
issue, the ARRL stated, “There can be multiple GOTA coaches but there must be at least one present at the station at
all times it is in operation." Additionally and of course, the operator must stay in compliance with the GOTA coach’s
license class privileges.
This month, we are pleased to feature Noiseblankers Radio Group
member Kevin – K5KVN:
Kevin got his "radio" start by listening to scanners and continues to enjoy that portion
of the hobby. He currently has three scanners and especially likes to listen to military
aircraft. His scanners share a Comet discone antenna on a mast at 23 feet.
He also is setup to receive ADS-B aircraft location beacons and plots them with the
PlanePlotter software. He shares his ADS-B data with planefinder.net and
Kevin’s current ham setup:
- 2 HF rigs sharing an Array Solutions off-center-fed dipole in
an inverted-V configuration with the apex at 35 feet.
- Ameritron 811H for extra whiskeys
- 2m/70cm mobile rig on a dual-band antenna mounted on a
mast at 26 feet.
A QUICK WORD FROM THE ARRL VEC
The ARRL VEC Test Fee for 2014 will remain at $15.00.
(From the Amateur Radio Newsline:)
CQ MAGAZINE RUMORS DISPELLED
The print edition of CQMagazine is alive well and catching
up on its paper publication after a bout with distribution
problems. This according to CQ editor Rich Moseson,
W2VU. W2VU says that the folks at CQ are hard at work to
get things back to normal:
"We've had over the past few months some significant
problems with distribution of our print issues. We apologize
to all of our readers and are hoping that a lot of these
changes we are making can help get us back on schedule.
We really, really appreciate everyone's patience with us and
hope that you will continue to be patient as we work our way
back to a normal schedule on our print issue."
And what about the rumor that CQ is abandoning print in
favor of digital only distribution? Moseson says that's not
going to happen with CQ:
"We have no intention of abandoning print, but if you look
around the magazine marketplace today, virtually every
magazine that's out there has a digital edition as well as a
print edition. It's just where the industry is going and what
readers expect. They expect to have a choice between a
digital and a print edition of a magazine."
What about CQ's other magazines? W2VU says that they
will become a part of the expanded version of CQ found only
on the web.
NEW RADIO HAM'S MUSEUM
The Boston Globe reports on the creation of the Museum
of Antiquated Technology in Hanson, Massachusetts,
founded by Mark Vess, KC1ACF. The paper describes the
museum as being the home to a vast collection of rare
antique radios that are being displayed to the public for the
first time. The vintage gear was previously owned by Bruce
D. Hayden, NI1X, of Raynham, who bequeathed his
collection to Vess at his death last October. You can read
the entire Boston Globe story at this url address:
You don’t have to write like
William “Bill” Shakespeare in order to
write an article for the ARKAN
Newsletter. In fact, we prefer articles
without the words “thy”, “whilst”,
“‘tis” and “oft”.
Working on a new kit or homebrew
project? Have you recently received a
rare or interesting QSL card? Received
a new award? Or just have a cool photo
(ham radio related) or some soap box
comments to share with other club
members and subscribers? Maybe you
have acquired a new piece of
equipment, or constructed a new
antenna? Taken a trip focused around
ham radio to share an amateur radio
technical topic? Why not write an
article for the ARKAN Newsletter? The
article can be short or long, simple or
elaborate. Please include pictures!
We're always looking for material for
the Newsletter and articles from our
readers goes a long way toward
keeping the Newsletter interesting. So
why not give it try? Write an article
and send it to the Newsletter editor. It’s
fun, and at the same time your
contribution helps support our area
clubs and our hobby! Articles can be
submitted electronically or on paper,
whichever way you feel most
Newsletter editor, I particularly look
forward to putting a new edition
together when I have received material
submitted by our readers. Hope to hear
from you soon!
Submit your material to: [email protected]
or mail to:
Don Banta, K5DB
3407 Diana St.
Springdale, AR 72764
( This time hopefully for real )
For those of you who have
possibly never heard of the
Company’s products over
the decades have included
electronic test equipment,
high fidelity home audio
equipment along with TV
radio equipment, all of
course, in kit form.
During the Heathkit era,
which lasted from the late
1940s through the mid1980s, building Heathkits
was a favorite activity for
thousands of electronics
enthusiasts. Heathkits were
first marketed by mailorder, with advertisements
electronics and amateur
radio periodicals such as
Popular Electronics, Radio
Electronics, CQ, and QST.
This was a time where
enthusiasts eagerly awaited
the next issue of their
favorite monthly electronics
magazine to see if Heath had
introduced any new kits.
Hobbyists maintained an
arrival of the new Heathkit
In the last couple of years
Heathkit has gone through
financial struggles in trying
to get back into the market,
but it now appears (we
definitely on the upswing.
Last year, they put out a
survey to feel-out the waters
of the potentially rebuildable
community. In December of
2013, Heathkit sent an email
asking for people to like their
ny). They also asked people
to get questions ready that
Reddit.com to be answered
by one of the board of
This Q&A session was
conducted on Dec. 15, 2013.
Here are some of the Q&As
from that forum:
electronics kits are in the
works that are related to
working on several projects
simultaneously – we can see
that there are lots of people
ready to build a truly
complex piece of equipment,
and we want to meet that
need. We really believe no
one else is doing that today.
Second, there are people
who hope to learn about
ham radio by building entrylevel accessible kits. Third,
there's interest in bringing
back a few select vintage
kits, and we can talk about
interested. We're pursuing
all of the above simultaneously for introduction in the
first half of 2014.
Are any of the
select vintage kits that you
are planning to bring back
amateur radio transceivers,
receivers, or transmitters?
Can you tell us which ones?
Heath Company: There’s a
lot of interest in having us
revive some of our vintage
products. Some fans want
the old product the way it
was 25 years ago, so they
get the chance they never
had to build one. Others
want a “mid-life kicker” that
vintage equipment in some
way. For example, there are
lots of fans of the HW-101,
HW-8, and maybe HW-9
And we are working very
actively on reintroductions
of certain vintage kits. The
fact is, we agree—we think it
will be cool to build them
ourselves. There are some
tricky aspects though. Many
of the original components
are no longer are available.
reengineering effort, there’s
a question of how far you
take it: just change out an
old transistor for a modern
one, or also (cont. next pg.)
fix the circuit while you’re in there? Leave performance at 1980 standards, or add something
that upgrades it to modern performance? And the design has to live on into the future too. So
we’re looking at this carefully and working on a few vintage reintroductions, and we’ll see how
byrdzu: How much of your business would you classify as amateur radio related, versus
electronic hobbyist related?
Heath Company: That's a good question, because a few people who took our survey thought
that with all of the amateur radio questions we intended to become only an amateur radio
company. There's no question that a huge part of the loyal Heathkit fan base is ham radio
operators, and we absolutely want to serve their interests. As important as ham radio is in our
product line, Heathkit is much more than that. Historically Heathkit has had about 7 or 8 major
product lines. None of them is off the table in the new Heathkit. In fact, most have at least
one product currently in some degree of planning or design now. Examples of these areas are:
hobby electronics & ham radio; home entertainment & appliances; security/automation;
computing; educational publications & materials; robotics; test equipment.
byrdzu: Are there any members of the board of directors who were around when Heathkit was
in business 25+ years ago.
Heath Company: Active in the industry 25+ years ago? Yes. Hams 25+ years ago? Yes.
Heathkit employees 25+ years ago? No. It's an entirely new management team. The old
management had taken the company in the direction of trade school education systems, but
the new management is very intent on reviving the kit-building aspect of the business.
shastatone: Can you reveal the ownership and leadership of the revivified Heath Company.
Heath Company: The Company is closely held. Key management will be identified by the time
our products are introduced in the coming months. We want to ensure that our focus right
now is developing products rather than being celebrities.
K0NEB: When can I build and write about a kit?
Heath Company: We hope to introduce a few kits in the first half of 2014. We are likely to
sell direct within North America. Once we ramp sales up, we may be looking for international
partners. If we saw that it penciled out to have both direct and indirect sales in North America,
though, we would certainly consider looking into partnering with retailers.
Lat3nt: Do you have any vacuum tube kits planned?
Heath Company: Definitely. We really like the idea, and we have some early designs on the
drawing board. There are two main challenges on building tube gear today: First, the highvoltage power supply, particularly when you need to generate power, is today somewhat
uncommon and unfamiliar technology in a day of solid-state circuitry. Second, tube supply –
the major vendors are Russian and Chinese, and this creates certain supply chain and
component reliability challenges.
Other Q&A can be viewed by going to: http://tinyurl.com/HKQandA.
The Amateur Radio Klub
of the Arkansas Northwest
P.O. Box 9701
Fayetteville, AR 72703
A True Dummy Load
(Click underlined callsigns to website.)
By JA8BMK; 160-10m; holiday style
operation; begin and end dates
By DK1AX DK1MA; CW SSB RTTY;
holiday style operation; QSL via Club Log
Cambodia XU7ACQ KF0RQ By KF0RQ; 40-10m; SSB PSK31 RTTY
By K7CO as VK9X/K7CO; 80-10m; SSB
CW PSK31; QSL also OK via Club Log
PZ5VC ON4AVT By ON4AVT; mainly PSK
WA2NHA By WA2NHA as P4/WA2NHA; HF; CW
By G3PJT; QRV for RSGB Commonwealth
G3PJT Contest (Mar 8-9); holiday style operation
By German & Polish team. Callsigns TBA;
160-6m; CW SSB RTTY PSK31 RTTY; 4
stations; QSL also OK via DL7DF, DARC
Buro or direct
By OE2SNL as ZL7/OE2SNL; 80-10m;
focus on RTTY, also CW
By British team; all bands; CW SSB RTTY;
3 stations; QSL also OK via G3TXF and
By DL7BC; 20-10m, perhaps 40m; QSL
DL7BC OK via DARC Buro or direct; QRV for CW
WPX SSB Contest
Mellish Reef VK9MT
M0URX By team; OQRS available
ARKAN conducted its February
meeting on a rescheduled 2nd
Monday night, Feb. 10 (Feb. 3 was
postponed due to hazardous
winter road conditions). We had a
great turnout and appreciate all
the fine hams that joined us for
the meeting. The program was
given by Don-K5DB on the
Worked-All-States and WorkedAll-Continents a-wards. For those
of you who were unable to attend,
we will include a feature article on
that topic in a future issue of the
**Invitation for anyone interested
in participating in the annual
ARKAN W5T Train Mobile event.
(See page 1 of this issue of the
**ARKAN will also be participating
with the Arkansas & Missouri
Railroad this spring in the National
Historic Railroad Society Day, and
we will have a feature article on
that in a later edition of the
Treasurer’s Report from
Scott – K5SAA, JAN 2014:
Prev.Balance 12/13: 268.79
(Dues: W5DLB, K5DB)
(PO Box dues)
End Balance, 1/14: 256.79
(VE Team has $20 change
not included in above.)
Feb. 15-16 – GEORGE WASHINGTON BIRTHDAY
Feb. 21-24 – 56th ANNUAL DAYTONA 500
Feb. 22-23 – GEORGE WASHINGTON BIRTHDAY
Info: [email protected]
Mar. 9 – PENNSYLVANIA CHARTER DAY
Mar. 1-2 – ARRL INTERNATIONAL
Mar. 8-9 – IDAHO QSO PARTY
Mar. 9-10 – WISCONSIN QSO PARTY
Mar. 15-16 – VIRGINIA QSO PARTY
Mar. 22-23 – OKLAHOMA QSO PARTY
Mar. 22-23 – LOUISIANA QSO PARTY
Mar. 29-30 – CQ WW WPX CONTEST
operators of all ages are Net
members. GERATOL is an
acronym which stands for
Amateurs Tired of Operating
By Don – K5DB
Editor’s note: At the February
ARKAN meeting, I presented the
club program on the Worked-AllStates award and the WorkedAll-Continents award. For this
issue of the Newsletter, I would
like to key-in on one of the topics
I covered. Let me preface this
article by saying to all of our
readers that even though this
article is mainly geared for those
who hold an Amateur Extra
Class license, if you are presently
a Technician or General license
holder, keep reading!
article is written to supply
interesting information to our
readers who currently hold an
Extra license, but even more so,
to encourage our Techs and
Generals to grab a copy of the
General Class and/or Extra
Class license manual(s) and
begin studying to obtain your
own Extra license! After you
digest the information to follow,
you will understand more about
the GERATOL Net, the reason
the Net was birthed in 1971, why
it operates in the Extra Class
portion of the 80-meter band,
and how much fun and rewarding
it can be. Of course, there are
many advantages of holding an
Extra license other than
operating on the GERATOL Net
of which we could write another
entire article about, but we will
be focusing on this one:
If you have never worked all
of the 50 United States (or
even if you have) and you
have the capability and
operating in the Extra Class
phone sub-band of 75
meters, here’s a dandy
activity that will definitely
keep you occupied for the
remainder of the 2014
winter and early spring
season, and is loads of fun.
Not only will you be working
toward a Worked-All-States
award, but you will be doing
so in the Extra Class portion
of 75-meters which is
actually the phone sub-band
of 80 meters.
It is a
challenge, but it is NOT
impossible. I have done it
many times, and it is very
Now about the Net’s name –
GERATOL does not refer to
the old Geritol tonic, nor
does is suggest that the Net
members are a bunch of
Old-Timer, decrepit operators. On the contrary,
I have been a member of the
GERATOL Net for 14 years. I
had the pleasure of serving
as Net Control Station
Coordinator for 5 years. You
will not find a more cordial,
gracious, and helpful group
of hams anywhere on the
bands. The story of how the
GERATOL Net began is really
“The FCC is going to open up the 75
meter Extra Class sub-band to
Advanced Class operators!!!” That
was the topic of conversation
between John-WØNL and HankK2DS on the evening of 28
September 1971. The lack of activity
by U.S. Extra Class operators in the
exclusive 3800-3825 KHz Extra
Class sub-band was the problem.
John and Hank decided that working
all the 50 states within that sub-band
only, would provide the needed
incentive to increase the activity, and
the GERATOL Net was born.
Harry-W3ZM and others developed
guidelines, adding sport to the
already challenging feat. One idea
was to restrict contacts toward a
“WAS”, to a 2-letter suffix callsign
U.S., Canadian, and
Caribbean operators who were
authorized those frequencies were
welcomed to join the group. The
word spread quickly (cont. next pg.)
spread, and the fraternal group could always be found somewhere within the Extra Class 75-meter sub-band.
The ARRL Communications Department was asked to assist with the development of the unique 2-letter WAS (WorkedAll-States) award, in addition to the ARRL family of WAS awards. Rules for obtaining the serialized WAS award were
published on page 88 of the February 1972 issue of QST.
During the fall of 1972, the FCC did allow Advanced Class operators to expand into the 3800-3825 kHz sub-band.
However....the FCC’s band usage review had shown a LARGE increase in Extra Class operator usage within that subband. Consequently, the FCC rewarded Extra Class operators with a NEW exclusive sub-band: 3775-3800 KHz. (So,
Extra Class operators, whether you know it or not, the 80-meter Extra Class phone sub-band that you have available for
your enjoyment today, is largely attributable to the efforts of the GERATOL Net.)
In 1984, the FCC reallocated the Extra Class sub-band to 3.750-3.775 KHz, at which time the Net moved its operating
frequency to 3.768 KHz. Then, on December 15, 2006 the FCC once again reallocated the Extra Class sub-band to
3.600-3.700 KHz. Today, the GERATOL Net enjoys its home on 3.668 KHz.
“Sounds kind of interesting. How do I join?” I’m glad you asked. Now, if you do get fully
bitten by the ‘GERATOL bug’ as I did many years ago, you will have many follow-up questions
as there are many, many other areas that the Net envelopes. Those questions can probably
be answered in the FAQs section of the Net’s website. (More on that in a moment.)
But to cover the very basic requirement to join, all you have to do is participate.
When you first begin operating on the Net, you will be working toward obtaining the Geratol
Unbelievable Operating Achievement Award, of which the Net refers to as “The Basic Award”.
To achieve the Basic Award, you must work and confirm an
operator in each of the 50 states that holds an Amateur Extra
Class formatted callsign. What this means is the station you
work in each of the 50 states has to possess a callsign that can
only be issued to an Extra Class license holder.
There are 4 categories of these:
The 1x2 callsign – Example: W1AB, NØLW, K5DB, etc.
The 2x1 callsign – Example: WV4A, NA9L, KX8P, NL7S,
The 2x2-Alpha Extra Class callsign – Example: AA5AR,
AE7SW, AG9HP, etc.
The 2x2 KH6 and KL7 Extra Class callsign – Example:
KH6YF, KL7IC, etc.
There is one thing I do not want you to be confused about –
To participate in the GERATOL Net, you DO NOT have to possess one of the above type of
callsigns. Whether you have an Extra Class formatted callsign or not does not matter – the
only requirement is that you hold an Extra Class license as the Net does operate exclusively
in the Extra Class portion of 75-meters. The stations you work for the Basic Award, however,
DO have to possess a callsign of one of the above categories.
ALSO! You DO NOT have to work all your states on the Net only. The Net is just there as a
huge aide in helping you work the states. The only requirement for the Basic Award is that
you work all 50 states with Extra formatted calls in the Extra Class portion of 75-meters.
“Geez, this sounds tough.” Anything worthwhile usually isn’t easy, right?
(cont. next pg.)
Yes, it is challenging, but it is NOT impossible and it is fun and very rewarding. I did it many
years ago, and had a ball doing it. As a matter of fact, ARKAN’s club station AA5AR also has
a GERATOL WAS award along with a Director’s Award that I obtained for the club on the Net.
“I bet you have to have an amplifier to accomplish such a feat
on 80 meters, especially the hard to get states like in New
England, the west coast, and Alaska and Hawaii?” Naturally,
amplifiers are helpful, but to respond to that last question: NO
– YOU DO NOT NEED AN AMP, not at all. After I received my
Basic Award, I turned right around, turned the power output of
my Jupiter transceiver down to 5 watts and received an
endorsement to my Basic award by working all the 50 states
again, QRP! Remember the two big words when it comes to
working any station on any band, mode or net: propagation and
To begin your quest, tune the Net’s frequency on 3.668 KHz at
0100 UTC (7pm local time CST, 8pm local time CDT). You may
hear a casual roundtable of the Net participants prior to the start
of that evening’s session, but at 0100, the Net begins. The Net’s
NCS (Net Control Station) will read the Net Preamble which will describe to you how the Net
operates. Listen to the instructions and check-in. That’s all there is to it. You’ll probably
work 10-20 states your first night!
You can also pursue any other additional awards and endorsements the Net offers after
obtaining your Basic Award. All the information on these as well as full information about all
aspects of the Net can be found at: www.geratol.net. (The Net meets 7 days a week at 0100
UTC from Oct. 1 thru April 30. The Net closes for the remainder of spring and summer.)
If you want to take the boredom out of these cold winter evenings, give it a try. The GERATOL
Net is tough to beat.
OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
IN SOCHI, RUSSIA
Special event station RØØØØOR (that is
R-Zero-Zero-Zero-Zero-O-R), will be on
the air through March 31st in celebration
of the 2014 Winter Olympic and
Paralympic Games being held in Sochi,
Russia. The four zero's in the call are to
symbolize the Olympic rings. QSL's go
via UA1OJL direct or electronically using
Logbook of the World or eQSL.
THE ARKAN NEWSLETTER is published monthly by The Amateur Radio Klub of the Arkansas Northwest. ARKAN, its officers,
board, and staff, disclaim any responsibility for the accuracy or the content of articles published herein. The opinions expressed
are solely those of the authors. ARKAN neither necessarily endorses nor opposes said opinions, brand names, products,
businesses, etc. Newsletter subscribers and/or readers are encouraged to submit articles to the Editor for possible publication in
this newsletter. The deadline for articles is the 5th of each month.