Hudson Division Beacon – September 2005

ARRL Hudson Division
September  2005

Hudson Division Beacon -- e-mail edition  - # 54
Frank Fallon, N2FF, Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
30 East Williston Avenue, East Williston, NY 11596
516) 746-7652

Joyce Birmingham, KA2ANF, Vice Director, Hudson Division, ARRL
235 Van Emburgh Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450-2918
201) 455-5924 

Hudson Division Home Page --

ARRL Members

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September 25th LIMARC at Briacliffe College, Bethpage, NY
October 2nd  OMARC Tailgate Hamfest - Ocean-Monmouth ARC - Project
Diana Site, Wall, NJ 
October 2nd HOSARC Hamfest - New York Hall of Science Parking Lot 
Queens, NY
October 8th BARA Annual Fall Hamfest ? Westwood Regional Jr./Sr. High -
Washington Township, NJ
October 23rd TOBARES Hamfest - Knights of Columbus Hall - Lindenhurst,

FLASH:  Congressman Steve Israel has reintroduced his " Amateur Radio 
Emergency Communications Consistency Act" at the QTH of KA2D.  
Article and pictures on ARRL web soon.


Once again ham radio operators were there to help when disaster struck.
Some of us had a chance to show that ham radio is the only hobby that
can save lives. Below is a list of sites that contain articles about
the part ham radio played in helping people.  ARRL HQ had a number of
staff working over the Labor Day weekend manning the phones at
Newington and filling emergency requests.  They coordinated sending
radio equipment into the area and our web site was used to find and
coordinate volunteer response.  While FEMA may have been a mess ARRL
certainly was not.  Check out the sites listed below for more
information and visit for the latest news.  There is a
special Katrina News section.

Great Local TV Coverage:

Christian Science Monitor article:

Katrina radio public service announcement available!
 (Sep 8, 2005) -- ARRL is making available a 30-second radio public
service announcement (PSA) to highlight that ham radio has been on the
air throughout the Hurricane Katrina crisis, passing emergency
communications when other systems failed. Dozens of stations across the
country already are playing earlier ARRL "mini-commercials" for ham
radio, and the numbers keep growing. You can help by listening to, then
downloading, the latest PSA from the ARRL Web site here onto a CD and
taking it to your local radio stations. To download the MP3 file, right
click on the above link and choose "Save Target." The latest 30-second
PSA was made possible by Johnny Donovan at WABC (770 AM) and Howard
Price, KA2QPJ, of WABC-TV (Channel 7), both in New York City. Price is
acting president of the Broadcast Employees Amateur Radio Society
(BEARS), the ham radio organization at ABC TV and Radio in New York
City and an ARRL Special Service Club. Donovan voiced the PSA.

If you go to the URL below, you will read a long, detailed story of a
Houston volunteer's first two days experience trying to help with the
Katrina refugee arrival.  In summary, you will read about a real- life
Chinese fire drill... a real mess. 

When you go to this location, you will have the option of reading the
fine print plain text or a nicely formatted larger print PDF file.  
from - Dick, W9GIG

A story from a OH paper about ham radio with an answer for the WSJ
article by Christopher Rhoads  below:

The article below which appeared in the Wall Street Journal set off a
storm of emails because of the last paragraph but for the most put ham
radio in a very positive light in a major newspaper.  I and others
wrote letters to the Motorola CEO about informing their staff about the
importance of amateur radio.

As Telecom Reels
 From Storm Damage,
Ham Radios Hum

September 6, 2005; Page A19

MONROE, La. -- In a shelter here, 300 miles north of New Orleans, Theo
McDaniel took his plight to a young man fiddling with a clunky,
outdated-looking radio.

Mr. McDaniel, a 25-year-old barber, had evacuated New Orleans with his
wife and two small children more than a week ago and since then had had
no contact with his brother or his aunt. The last he heard, his 
42-year-old aunt was clinging to her roof.

"We've got to get a message down there to help them," he said. The man
at the radio sent the information to the emergency-operations center
across town, which relayed it to rescue units in New Orleans. Later in
the weekend, Mr. McDaniel learned that food and water were on the way
to his trapped brother and his brother's young family. He had heard
nothing about his aunt.

With Hurricane Katrina having knocked out nearly all the high-end
emergency communications gear, 911 centers, cellphone towers and normal
fixed phone lines in its path, ham-radio operators have begun to fill
the information vacuum. "Right now, 99.9% of normal communications in
the affected region is nonexistent," says David Gore, the man operating
the ham radio in the Monroe shelter. "That's where we come in."

In an age of high-tech, real-time gadgetry, it's the decidedly unsexy
ham radio -- whose technology has changed little since World War II --
that is in high demand in ravaged New Orleans and environs. The Red
Cross issued a request for about 500 amateur radio operators -- known
as "hams" -- for the 260 shelters it is erecting in the area. The
American Radio Relay League, a national association of ham-radio
operators, has been deluged with requests to find people in the region.
The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for hams to help with its relief

Ham radios, battery operated, work well when others don't in part
because they are simple. Each operator acts as his own base station,
requiring only his radio and about 50 feet of fence wire to transmit
messages thousands of miles. Ham radios can send messages on multiple
channels and in myriad ways, including Morse code, microwave
frequencies and even email.

Then there are the ham-radio operators themselves, a band of radio
enthusiasts who spend hours jabbering with each other even during
normal times. They are often the first to get messages in and out of
disaster areas, in part because they are everywhere. (The ARRL
estimates there are 250,000 licensed hams in the U.S.) Sometimes they
are the only source of information in the first hours following a
disaster. "No matter how good the homeland-security system is, it will
be overwhelmed," says Thomas Leggett, a retired mill worker manning a
ham radio in the operations center here. "You don't hear about us, but
we are there."

Slidell, a town 30 miles northeast of New Orleans, was directly hit by
the hurricane and remains virtually cut off from the outside world. One
of the few, if not the only, communications links is Michael King, a
retired Navy captain, operating a ham radio out of a Slidell hospital.

"How are you holding up, Mike?" asked Sharon Riviere into a ham-radio
microphone at Monroe's operations center. She and her husband, Ron, who
is the president of the Slidell ham-radio club, had evacuated before
the storm to the home of some fellow ham-radio enthusiasts in Monroe.
She said Mr. King had been working 20-hour days since the storm hit.

Crackling static and odd, garbled sounds followed her question to Mr.
King. Then he replied: "It's total devastation here. I've got 18 feet
of water at my house. Johnny's Café down there has water up to its

Ms. Riviere asked about her own home, which is not far from Mr. King's.
"It's full of mud," Mr. King replied. "Looks like someone's been
slugging it out in there."

Ham radios are often most effective as one link in a chain of
communication devices. Early last week, someone trapped with 15 people
on a roof of a New Orleans home tried unsuccessfully to get through to
a 911 center on his cellphone. He was able to call a relative in Baton
Rouge, who in turn called another relative, Sybil Hayes, in Broken
Arrow, Okla. Ms. Hayes, whose 81-year-old aunt was among those stranded
on the New Orleans roof, then called the Red Cross in Broken Arrow,
which handed the message to its affiliated ham-radio operator, Ben

Via stations in Oregon, Idaho and Louisiana, Mr. Joplin got the message
to rescue workers who were able to save the 15 people on the roof,
according to the ARRL, based in Newington, Conn. "We are like the Pony
Express," says the 26-year-old Mr. Gore, wearing black cowboy boots. 
"One way or the other, even by hand, we will get you the message."

Mr. Gore, who is in charge of the northeastern district of Louisiana
for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, has spent a lot of time the
past week at the Monroe shelter, helping evacuees try to track missing
friends and relatives.

Last Monday, Danita Alexander of Violet, La., came to a ham operator in
the Monroe shelter asking about her 96-year-old grandfather, Willie
Bright, who had been in a nursing home in New Orleans. The next day,
she got word back from a ham operator that he had been safely
transferred to a shelter near New Orleans. "We can't do enough of
these," says Mark Ketchell, who runs the ARES branch in Monroe.

Nevertheless, the ham-radio community feels under threat. Telecom
companies want to deliver broadband Internet connections over power
lines, which ham-radio operators say distorts communications in the
surrounding area. Since hams are "amateurs," there is little lobbying
money to fight such changes, they add.

The hams also get little respect from telecommunications-equipment
companies, such as Motorola Inc. "Something is better than nothing,
that's right," says Jim Screeden, who runs all of Motorola's repair
teams in the field for its emergency-response business. "But ham radios
are pretty close to nothing." Mr. Screeden says ham radios can take a
long time to relay messages and work essentially as "party lines," with
multiple parties talking at once. Says Mr. Leggett at the Monroe
operations center: "We are the unwanted stepchild. But when the s- hits
the fan, who are you going to call?"

The last paragraph of the story above set off a firestorm of emails
from annoyed hams.

There is a reasonable article floating around about us:

"Amateur Radio:  a voice in the storm" was published in the somewhat
obscure Capitol Hill magazine, "The Hill", in July by Sen. Mike Crapo
(R-Idaho).  Coincidentally, Sen. Crapo is the sponsor of the Amateur
Radio Spectrum Protection Act of 2005.  This piece was highlighted in
the Sept. issue of CQ.  Too bad the target readership is so narrow.

One hams story:

Tuesday I went back to check on the house.  It didn't look too bad from
the outside, despite both towers being down.  But when I went inside,
it was a mess.  I have major roof damage and rain water caused the
ceiling to fall in 4 rooms.  House is not livable right now. 

Used 4 tarps on the roof on Tuesday, drove back to Lafayette Tuesday
night for more tarps and a shop vac.  Went back Wednesday and spent
Wednesday night at the house with my generator providing power. 
Finished roof covering on Wednesday - ended up using eleven tarps.  Got
one of my towers off my neighbor's roof yesterday.  Much more work to
do when they allow us back in.  They've locked Jefferson Parish down
until further notice. 

Pictures at  There will be more
pictures on this page when I get time.  Right now have to go to the
tent where the insurance company is handing out dispersement checks. 

Looks like I'll be off the air for a while although I did put up my HF2
vertical Wednesday night (I had taken it down before the storm)
thinking I was going to have to get someone on 40 meters to call my
wife to let her know I was OK, when all of sudden my cellphone started
to work.  But it only works at night for some reason. 

More updates as warranted.  Thanks to everyone for their well wishes. 
It's encouraging to know I have so many wonderful radio friends out
there and it does help. 

73, Don AA5AU  Don lives in Harvey, LA and is a big RTTY contester and
very helpful guy. He is married less than two months.  Don is almost
due south of New Orleans and quite close to the Mississippi River. He
puts out a fantastic signal.  Use Goggle Earth to find Harvey, LA and
you will see why.
de George W1EBI via YCCC reflector

> GOOGEL EARTH: If you like maps, be warned, it?s addictive.
Perhaps in watching CNN use satellite imagery to show areas of the Gulf
of Mexico impacted by Katrina you noticed the words Google Earth at the
top of the image.  Well you too can get a freebee version of the
program.  But you will need a broadband connection to take advantage of
this addictive program as you fly from one part of the world to
another.  Enter your zip code and see what happens.  It shows 3D
overviews of major cities, mountains, and other terrain on the Earth,
as well as local businesses and information, driving directions, and
maps. A 3D interface to the planet. powered by Keyhole.  Something you
should know about Google Earth (beta)... Google Earth is a broadband,
3D application that not all computers can run. ... but work better in
DirectX (choose Start > Programs > Google Earth > Start Google Earth in
DirectX ...  You will need a fairly new computer or lap top to use.  If
your computer is more than four years old you may not be able to run
it. It will run with Windows 2000 and XP but not earlier versions.

It's the most addictive and impressive free program I have every played
with.  I was able to find my house and my daughter's in the UK.  A
friend in Manhattan was able to spot his beam on the roof.  I am
tempted to spring for the $20 a year upgrade for a higher version.  But
I think I will skip the $400/year commercial version for now.  

See for a description of feature and some
Katrina video.

For more information and system requirements see:

The division website has a new section entitled "Newsletter of the
month" with an attached PDF file of a club newsletter.  The second
award for "Division Newsletter of the Month" goes to the Troy
Amateur Radio Association for the September 2005 issue.  The TARA club
also has a great web site with the ARRL Hurricane Katrina PSA playing
as you enter.  Visit   Their newsletter appears to
be a team effort so credit to all:  Editor-in-Chief: Perry White,
Editor: Ken "Chief" Davis, KB2KFV; Co-Editor: Marilyn Davis KB2JZI;
Co-Editor: Karen Smith KS2O; Design/Layout: Ken Davis, KB2KFV.  Club
president Bill Eddy, NY2U, maintains a great web site well worth a
visit.  Keep up the good work TARA.

 Only division newsletters that are in PDF files will be eligible.
(PDFing files can save a club a lot of postage.)  Make sure your club
is sending a newsletter each month to .  Yes, it is
possible that a club can be selected for ?Newsletter of the Month? more
than once in any year.   In September 2006 we will announce the winner
for the "Newsletter of the Year" from among the twelve
monthly awards.  Division Assistant Directors will be asked to vote on
the issue they liked best. The club editor of the issue with the most
votes will be awarded a plaque for his or her efforts at keeping the
club and the division informed and entertained.  Thanks to division
webmaster Tom Carrubba, KA2D, for the suggestion.

> 2005 Hudson Division Award Winners Selected  -  Awards Dinner
November 12th
Be there with us on Saturday night, November 12th, at the Elk?s Lodge
in Park Ridge, New Jersey to honor our recipients.  It promises to
again be a fun event with loads of door prizes.  Dinner tickets are $45
a plate.
We are also accepting ads for the journal.  Information will be
available shortly on the division web site.

Here is a list of those getting awards this year:
Amateur of the Year, Tom Raffaelli - WB2NHC (nominated by Lyle
Anderson, KC2LCA and Rich Sandell, WK6R)
Technical Achievement, Ulrich Rohde - N1UL (nominated by Mario Karcich,
K2ZD (2004)
Grand Ole' Ham, Frank Fix - K2AW  (Nominated by Bill Hellman - NA2M)
                                   Lew Malchick, N2RQ (Nominated by
Martin Smith - KA2NRR)
 The committee decided to grant two Grande Ole ?Ham awards this year. 
The Committee was unanimous about awarding both Frank Fix and Lou
Malchick the Grand Ole? Ham award.  

ARRL Goes to Washington video now available in DVD format (Aug 18,
2005) -- A DVD version  ( )  of
the League's 10-minute video The ARRL Goes to Washington now is
available from the on-line catalog. The cost is $5. Produced by Dave
Bell, W6AQ, Alan Kaul, W6RCL, and Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, this video
documents the League's activities on behalf of Amateur Radio on Capitol
Hill and at the FCC. Because ARRL's advocacy to support Amateur Radio
in "official Washington" typically occurs behind the scenes, it
receives little fanfare in relation to its importance and significance.
This video offers an opportunity to call attention to this critical
ARRL function in an entertaining and informative way. ARRL members
often say that legislative and regulatory advocacy is very important to
them. Now clubs, public information officers and others will be able to
witness the League's leadership in action in the nation's capital for
themselves. Featuring ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, and narrated by
former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, KB2GSD, the presentation's
debut at Dayton Hamvention was resoundingly positive. The video makes a
great centerpiece for an Amateur Radio club program or meeting, and
it's ideal for showing at hamfests, forums and even civic group
meetings. It is not intended, nor available, for telecasting or
broadcasting, however. The ARRL Goes to Washington remains available
for downloading  (See ) , free of
charge, from the ARRL Web site. Additional video programs are available
through the ARRL Video and Multimedia Library. These free download and
low cost offerings are great for use at club meetings or for other
Amateur Radio presentations.

(Note:  You will probably want to right click when downloading and save
as a target.)

> H.Res 230  -  Let Your Congressman know you Support this Resolution 
- Write please!
> See sample letter at
To expedite delivery, send all correspondence bound for Members of
Congress--preferably as an attachment--to or fax it to
703-684-7594 also send me a copy at
 The ARRL will bundle correspondence addressed to each Member of
Congress for hand delivery. 

A copy of HRes 230 is available on the ARRL Web site in .PDF format
at,  See
the ARRL Web site,,
for more information.

> Sign up for The ARES E-Letter 
(Aug 17, 2005) -- Since 9/11, interest within the Amateur Radio
community in emergency communication and public service has greatly
increased. More than ever, hams are volunteering to help meet the
communication needs of our nation, states and communities. The ARES
E-Letter is a response to this expanding awareness. Any ARRL Member
with an interest in emergency communication or public service
activities can sign up online to receive The ARES E-Letter via e-mail,
and anyone can read it on the Web site. Each issue will contain a
wealth of after-action reports, editorials, technical tips, news and
views--information you'd otherwise have to wait for in QST. Timeliness,
utility and inspiration are the goals of this informative publication
that's devoted entirely to Amateur Radio emergency communication and
public service. 

> The SoftRock-40
 (available from the American QRP Club, is a small 1"
x 2.3" pcb, low-cost, good performance 40-meter "software defined
radio" receiver that plugs into a computer USB port and delivers I-Q
audio signals to the computer's sound card.   The hardware downconverts
and quadrature samples a 48 kHz swath of RF that is fed to the
soundcard of the computer. The software running on the PC is a
slightly-modified PowerSDR Console "open source" program, designed for
use by Flex-Radio for their SDR-1000 transceiver.  See the "front
panel" of this radio at It performs final
tuning, filtering, AGC and demodulation of the I & Q quadrature audio
signals coming from the hardware.  At $23, this is a pretty neat little
piece of technology! (Thanks, George N2APB)

For code practice, it's handy to convert text files to Morse WAV files
that can be played on most computers.  A program to do just that is
available at (Thanks, Henry WA0GOZ)


The popular and free ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service has gotten even
better. In response to users' requests, the ARRL E-mail Forwarding
Service has added spam filtering and virus scanning on messages sent to
<call sign> addresses for forwarding to League members'
established e-mail accounts.
Best of all, the service will continue to be available to ARRL members
at no additional cost. The changes went into effect September 1.

"Unfortunately, no single spam or virus filter is guaranteed to catch
100 percent of undesirable e-mail traffic," cautions ARRL Chief
Financial Officer Barry Shelley, N1VXY. "Everyone should always protect
their own personal computer with appropriate security software, but
these new features should help reduce the amount of spam and viruses
our members taking advantage of this service have to deal with." 

The ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service provides members with a uniform
e-mail address that remains the same even if they switch e-mail service
providers.  A switch in vendors has made it possible for ARRL to
include these important new features. Shelley says the addition of the
new features should help to
reduce the amount of spam that arrives via ARRL E-Mail Forwarding
Service addresses as well as provide members an additional layer of
protection from malicious, virus-laden messages.

The enhancements are being made possible through a switch to
Interbridge, the League's corporate Internet Service Provider. This
means members using the ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service now will get the
same spam filtering and virus scanning League Headquarters receives
from Interbridge. 

To minimize the possibility that wanted mail will be deleted as spam,
Shelley says ARRL has the ability to fine tune the filtering program
and, in fact, has done just that over the months it's been in use for
ARRL Headquarters e-mail. "While nothing is perfect, we have very, very few
instances of false positives," he says.

More than 65,000 ARRL members and clubs use the ARRL E-Mail Forwarding
Service. Members can learn more or sign up for this service by visiting
the ARRL E-Mail Forwarding Service Web page

> M.S. Bike Ride  July 9 - 10, 2005

Amateur radio operators from around the Capital District again provided
communications for the annual Multiple Sclerosis Society 150 mile bike
ride.  Each ride consisted of a 75 mile ride each day.  The starting
gun was sounded each morning at 8 A.M. to begin that day's ride.  There
were 5 rest stops each day approximately 15 miles apart.  The third
stop was for lunch served by volunteers.   Each of the other four rest
stops consisted of volunteers cheering the riders on and supplying
water and other goodies.
On Saturday night after all riders were safely back to Moreau State
Park Campground, a chicken BBQ was served.  A five piece band provided
music for the rest of the evening for our listening pleasure. In a
campground, it was obviously Country music.

Two groups of two each road the route on Friday putting up signs for
the riders to follow ? left turn, right turn, or straight ahead at all
intersections.   With over 150 riders over the two days, nobody got
lost.  Amazing!   We had ambulance support, bike repair, sag wagons for
those that just plain pooped out, vans to supply the food to all the
rest stops and pick up what was left after all the riders had passed
by.   Both days were sunny and just warm enough to ride in.  In other
word, perfect weather. 

By the end of the third day, seventeen Hams, some both days,
volunteered any where from four hours to a total of eighteen hours
each.  Amateur radio has supported the M.S. ride now for eighteen
years.  Two of the Hams have worked this event for all eighteen years -
Don Roberts W2CJO and Jack Donnelly WA2YBM who has coordinated the
event every year. 

Those that participated came from locations between Albany, Saratoga,
Ft. Edward and Warrensburg and places in between. The following Hams
took part in the ride:  Jack K2LOO, Pete, W1NXB, Jim KC2CJX, Walt,
AA2FT, Ken AA2CW, Stormy N2VLS, Dan AB2TG, Ernie, KC7BYD, Sandy,
KC2MID, Ed, KC2MIH, Bob, KB2TBB, Henry, KB2STR, Dick WA2NFD, and Matt,
KC2ETE, and Ed KB2UKT.

A humungous Thank You to all. Without each and every one, this event
would not have been as successful as it was.  de Jack Donnelly, WA2YBM,


25 Sep 2005+LIMARC Outdoor Hamfair & Electronics Flea Market
Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club
Talk-In: 146.85 (PL 136.5)
Contact:Rick Bressler, K2RB
c/o Sign-A-Rama
34A Hempstead Turnpike
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Phone: 516-526-6975 
Fax: 516-756-2921
Email: hamfest@limarc.orgBethpage, NY
Briarcliffe College
1055 Stewart Avenue
Div: Hudson
Sect: New York City-Long Island 

Ocean-Monmouth ARC
Talk-In: 145.110 -600 (PL 127.3) & 443.00 +5Mhz (PL 127.3)
Contact:Jeff Harshman, N2LXM
PO Box 267
Oakhurst, NJ 07755
Phone: 908-922-0816 
Email: n2lxm@juno.comWall Township, NJ
Project Diana Site
Marconi Road, Camp Evans
Div: Hudson
Sect: Northern New Jersey 

2 Oct 2005 +Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club
Talk-In: 444.200 (PL 136.5); 146.52 Simplex
Contact:Stephen Greenbaum, WB2KDG
85-10 34th Avenue, Apt. 323 
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Phone: 718-898-5599 
Email: WB2KDG@arrl.netQueens, NY
New York Hall of Science Parking Lot
Flushing Meadow Corona Park
47-01 111th Street
Div: Hudson
Sect: New York City-Long Island 

8 Oct 2005 +BARA Annual Fall Hamfest
Bergen Amateur Radio Association
Talk-In: 146.19/.79 (PL 141.3)
Contact:Jim Joyce, K2ZO
286 Ridgewood Blvd. North
Washington Township, NJ 07676
Phone: 201-664-6725 
Email: k2zo@arrl.netWashington Township, NJ
Westwood Regional Jr./Sr. High School
701 Ridgewood Road
Div: Hudson
Sect: Northern New Jersey 

23 Oct 2005+TOBARES Hamfest
Town of Babylon Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Talk-In: 146.685 / R (PL 110.9)
Contact:Walter Wenzel, KA2RGI
373 15th Street
West Babylon, NY 11704
Phone: 631-957-0218 
Fax: 631-957-0218 (Call first)
Email: tobares@optonline.netLindenhurst, NY
Knights of Columbus Hall
400 South Broadway
Div: Hudson
Sect: New York City-Long Island

ARRL Hudson Division
Director: Frank Fallon, N2FF

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