Note that multiple guess exams will no longer be permitted effective July 1,
Morse code Exam Standards to Change July 1, 2001
The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators voted to set
up revised standards for the administration of Morse code examinations in
the US. The move at the NCVEC's July 21, 2000 meeting in Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania, came in the wake of the FCC's December 30, 1999, action to
establish 5 WPM as the sole Amateur Radio Morse code requirement.
Under the NCVEC revised standards, examinees would have to show 25
character-count solid copy on their test sheets or successfully answer seven
out of 10 questions of a fill-in-the-blank quiz on the sent text. Multiple
choice 10-question exams for Morse code are no longer permitted beginning
July 1, 2001.
Morse examinations will specify use of the Farnsworth method of code
generation as the default, where characters are sent faster than the overall
speed and additional spaces added between characters, words and sentences.
The Farnsworth "character speed" as a default must be within the range of 13
to 15 WPM. Standard 5 WPM tests with 5 WPM characters could be administered
as a special accommodation (as the exception rather than the standard).
The revised standards also call for a Morse code exam audio pitch within
the 700 to 1000 Hz range. The new Morse testing standards are to be in
effect by next July 1, 2001, but VECs may implement them sooner.
ARRL VEC will be implementing the new standards via direct mailing to
each ARRL VE team. Those teams (that ARRL VEC is aware of) who have
ARRL/VEC-supplied Morse cassettes and CDs on hand will be sent replacement
code tapes or CDs along with the hardcopy exam materials to use with them.
ARRL VEC has chosen its settings within these standards to be 15 WPM
Farnsworth Characters at a tone frequency in the 720-750 Hz range.
I have just been informed that one of our own, Jerome Waldref W6DMJ, passed
away last Thursday. His son, Greg from Oregon, called me with this
information and asked that I put the word out.
I will be putting an announcement in the May KeyKlix. However, anyone who
knew Jerome is welcome to write up an article for May and I would be very
happy to include it in the next KeyKlix.
73 de Denny AD6EZ<><
This was posted earlier so this is just a reminder. If you are planning on
attending the Hamburger BBQ afterwards, please let Dave or myself know.
Also Bob Frey, WB6EZV, will be coming through town tomorrow about early
afternoon. Since he is coming down from the North, I told him I would be
monitoring 147.000 as the coverage is a bit better than K6TZ. If you should
hear him, be sure to say hi!
The Beginner's T-Hunt will be starting two hours earlier this month.
Starting time will be at 1:00PM on Saturday, April 14, out at the Stow House
Parking lot. Registration will open up at 12:30PM and a practice transmitter
will go on the air sometime around noon.
There will be five 2M transmitters on a course that will probably be around
two miles. There will also be at least one 80M transmitter for those who
would like to try hunting on 80M.
The rules will be simple: 2 hour time limit, and multiple people can go
together as long as they stay together and only use one DF receiver.
A hamburger BBQ will follow the event rather than the usual pizza at
Rusty's. The cost for the BBQ will be $3.50 per person and will be
all-you-can-eat-til-its-gone :)! If you are planning on attending, it would
be appreciated if you would let Dave Jacobs (969-9235) K9KBX or myself
(687-8881) know. Dave does not currently have Internet access but I can be
reached at either marvin(a)rain.org or ke6hts(a)sbarc.org. We are planning on
enough food for about 15 - 20 people as of right now.
I've also gotten word that at least three other members of the US ARDF team
who competed in China will be attending; Bob Frey, and Richard and Jay
Thompson. Jay was recently written up on the ARRL Members Only web page at
http://www.arrl.org/members-only/extra/features/2001/04/02/1/. We will also
have many of the people from So. California attending who will be competing
at the US ARDF Championships in Albuquerque July 31 - August 4.
This will be a wonderful opportunity to have some fun as well as meet some
people who are front runners in helping to publicize ARDF to the US.
This was posted by Dale Hunt, WB6BYU, to the Foxlist. Dale is a former
member of SBARC and has competed internationally in ARDF competitions
Are you interested in ARDF but not sure if you have what it takes
to participate in the upcoming National ARDF Championships in
Albuquerque? Don't worry, you'll probably have a good time!
First, it is true that international-caliber ARDF competitors are
good athletes, but that doesn't mean you have to be one to
participate. The maximum course length is 7 km (about 4.5 miles)
and the time limit will be at least 2 hours. A brisk walk is about
4 miles/hour, and 3 miles/hour is a leisurly pace. If you can walk
5 miles in an hour and a half, you should be able to finish the
course, allowing some time for taking bearings, backtracking, and
waiting for the transmitter to come on.
Talk a walk around the local school track and time yourself:
4 minutes per lap (1/4 mile) is just under 4 miles per hour.
Of course, faster is better - but slow and steady will get you
If nothing else, it is a great excuse to get out for a walk each
day, even if you just walk for half an hour or 45 minutes. Don't
push yourself to the point of exhaustion or injury, however. Set
a realistic daily or weekly goal that you know you can meet, and
if you regularly exceed it, go a little further or faster each
time. If you are long out of condition (like many of us) then
start with a mile or two a day and build your endurance.
Afraid you will be out of place among the more experienced
competitors? We all have to start sometime, and this may
be one of the best learning opportunities, where you can
watch others and see how they do things. But, remember that
ARDF is still a new sport in North America, and most of the
"experienced" American competitors are still relative beginners
who have only participated in a handful of competitions.
(In 1999, KB7WRD had never tried any direction-finding until
a week before the event, and still took home several medals.)
You might be surprised how well you do!
Equipment: what if you don't have the latest imported ARDF
receiver with built-in map computer? You'll probably still
do well. You will need a receiver for each band, a compass, and
perhaps a piece of cardboard or plexiglass for your map.
For 2m, you can use your HT or scanner with a yagi and an
attenuator. (Serious international competitions don't allow
people to carry a transmitter, but for now we will just have
to trust people not to use it to talk to other competitors.)
The "active" or "offset" attenuator is a good choice - there are
several versions out on the web, and they are easy to build.
Joe Leggio WB2HOL's tape measure yagi has a good pattern and
will withstand quite a bit of beating through the bushes.
(I've hunted with a quad in the woods before, and the loops
tend to catch on branches.)
The best approach, of course, is to use something you are
familiar with, or to get familiar with the equipment you will be
using. If you typically use a TDOA system or L'Per, you may
have difficulties with the horizontal polarization. Instead of
using vertical dipoles for the antenna elements, you should be
able to use small horizontal loops, though they will need to be
tuned carefully to get the right pattern.
There are a lot of 2m HT's around, but very few 80m DF receivers.
If you have a hand-held shortwave receiver (preferably with a BFO),
you can build a simple DF loop from the ARRL Handbook or Transmitter
Hunting: Radio Direction Finding Simplified. Some shortwave
receivers use a ferrite-rod antenna for the bands below 10 MHz,
which will give a directional pattern (but will leave a 180 degree
ambiguity.) 80m DF receiver kits are available from VK4BRG and
DL3BBX. Jerry Boyd WB8WFK presented his FoxFinder 80 in 73
magazine (last November?) and circuit boards for it are available.
I'm also have a receiver circuit which Jerry has built and
tested. So there are a number of options for equipment.
But, if equipment is the only thing which is keeping you from
attending, I suggest you contact the organizers and inquire
about the possibility of borrowing equipment. For the Region 2
ARDF Championships in Portland in 1999, we arranged for some of
the visiting hams from overseas to bring some extra receivers
that gave everybody an opportunity to compete on 80m. I expect
that the organizers will try to coordinate extra equipment for
those who need it this year as well.
(The first in a series of articles to help folks prepare for
the first US National ARDF competition this summer. Comments,
questions, suggestions, and other points of view are welcome.)
- Dale WB6BYU
Friday, April 20, 2001 7:30 PM
(Doors open at 6:45!)
Location: Goleta Union Schools Administration Board Room
401 N. Fairview Ave., Goleta
Visitors are cordially invited!
Talk in is available on K6TZ 146.79/19 (131.8).
Topic: Good Things To Know About Your Batteries
We all use different types of batteries in our ham gear and around the house. How
much do you really know about the care and feeding of these creatures? Come hear
about some of the common batteries used in amateur radio and how you can get the
best performance and life out of them. Our speaker for the April meeting is Bob Kvaas
(KA6VRC) who works at Hendry Telephone Products and specializes in battery
applications for telecommunication power systems.
Door Prizes include a metal spike protected power strip, a pair of amplified
speakers, a Pana-Vise flexible work holding vise, a screwdriver set with ratchet handle
& flexable shaft, and Scotch 33 electrical tape.