October 1997 - Page 11

Tales From Tex

Well, the big November Sweepstakes shootout is almost here. It's time to get the ole six shooters warmed up. We need to light a big bonfire under some of our members. I can remember when this was the biggest deal of the year. A time to unite against the evil forces to the south. Maybe it's time to dig out that audio courtesy beep for the repeater. You know... the one that chimes "beat the rippers" between every transmission on the repeater. I think we all got a little complacent last year. After so many wins in a row, we let our guard down. We don't want to become the Dallas Cowboys of amateur radio, do we?

Elsewhere in the TARA News, two rather important issues have been brought up. One involves asking for people to use the repeaters in the evening. Another asks where are all the upgrades. From my experience when I still lived in the frozen tundra, these items have to be related. One of the things that pushed me to upgrade was listening to Mr. Bill, Dave the Rebel (WD2K when not on 27 MHz) and Ben plus a few others chase DX on 75 meters. They would relay their spots to each other on the repeater. Then we would listen to see who would get the DX station first. More friendly competition. And all of this went on right along with all the other repeater chit chat. A bunch of us would be discussing important things like food for the next meeting and in the middle of the conversation, Mr. Bill would chime in "Hey Rebel, RG8U's on 98." A few minutes later, we'd hear Dave come back "I can't hear him." Listening to all this HF activity got me and many others wanting to join this illustrious group chasing those exotic stations. For those of you not familiar with 75 meter DX, there is a DX "window" from 3790 to 3800. This is a "gentlemen's agreement" to foster DX contacts. In the United States, this portion of the band falls into the advanced class part of 75 meters. So, not only do you have to pass a 13 WPM CW test, but you have to pass the General AND Advanced written tests. C'mon guys, it ain't that hard!! If ole Tex can do it, you guys can. Don't get frustrated with CW. You will hit some walls. Also, you don't need to be able to get perfect copy to pass the test. If you can solidly copy 10 WPM, then you can probably copy enough to pass the 13 WPM test, with a little luck.



  Being this is "Tales from Tex" I should mention a little about life here near the Big D. We had a big celebration when the Giants beat the Cowboys. What a game! However, we did receive condolences from our fellow workers when the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs. Last year the Yankees eliminated Dallas' Texas Rangers in the first round. We're finally getting some needed rain and the temperatures have actually stayed below 80 for the first time since last Spring.

Also, I heard some rumblings around the air waves here about a club up north putting on a lot of weight. It seems that they have gotten a reputation for having monthly feasts at their meetings. I've been dying for some good Italian food and I hear this club up north had ziti and meatballs, Italian bread, etc. at their September meeting. I also heard them mention someone named Karen. I only caught part of the call sign; I think it ended in UUC? Well, if anyone knows who has such a great reputation that it's getting talked about on Texas repeaters, I'd like to know.

Hey, hats off to Bill, N2YNP for the great job with the raffle tickets and the bookstore at the Ballston Spa Hamfest. I hear that we set some records for sales and profits. Now, having formerly held some of these records, I'm a little upset at losing my standing (since I was involved with the first raffle, I automatically held the record for the first year, ha!). Great job Bill. For those of you who are not aware, the raffle is the single largest fund raiser we have. The success of the raffle determines whether we can afford things like new antennas or controllers for the repeater, new equipment for Field Day, or big feasts at the monthly meetings. A special thanks to all who sold and/or purchased tickets.

I almost forgot. I've been posting articles from the TARA News on the world wide web. We plan to have the electronic version available about one week after the TARA News goes to print. This insures that our members get the TARA News first before we make it available to the world. Look for the TARA News banner on the TARA home page for the link to the electronic edition. The home page is at http://generators.com/tara

I'll be listening for all of you during the Sweepstakes!! Remember the battle cry: BEAT THE RIPPERS!

73’s de "Tex" N2TR/5