January 1998 Page 3



Be on the lookout for another round of new call signs. Right on schedule, on January 7, the FCC issued approximately 600 new call signs to those who were among the 900 or so who filed vanity call sign applications on December 2, the opening day for Gate 4! Another 300 or so applications ended up in the work in process (WIPs) stack and have been processed. The FCC issued another 79 vanity call signs on January 8. 
Earlier this week, the FCC in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, set the stage by processing all vanity applications received through December 1, 1997, the day before vanity Gate 4 opened. The FCC granted 120 new call signs on January 6. The FCC reports that during December, it got 497 paper applications and 1873 electronic applications. 
The Furr family of Chapel Hill, North Carolina--home of the University of North Carolina--took advantage of Gate 4 to standardize their suffixes to, what else, UNC! Mom and Dad are UNC graduates, and one of their 
daughters (19-year-old Mary,  K5UNC) is about to graduate from UNC. Dad is Walter "Buddy" Furr III, who got his K4UNC call sign under Gate 2. Mom, Judy, is K2UNC. The couple's other two daughters are nine-year-old Cindy, K1UNC and 16-year-old Rebecca, K3UNC, a high school junior. Judy Furr says her husband "is a major UNC fan." The youngest daughter, Cindy, already holds a General ticket and has passed her 20 WPM code test on her way to the Extra. The Furr family--all ARRL members--plans to debut the new call signs on a local 2-meter net this week. 
In the same vein, WE4UNC went to Judy Smith of Pulaski, Tennessee. 
Among the other new call signs were KB1USA, KZ8ZZZ, and WA7AAA. 
Deb McKay of Hamburg, New Jersey, formerly N2TTP, obtained WX2DEB. She's the Skywarn coordinator for Sussex County, New Jersey. KA1THY went to Kathy Swann of Coventry, Rhode Island. Many other "name" and "initial" call signs were among the batch issued on January 7.
The new year arrived with a bang on six meters--once again demonstrating why it's known as "The Magic Band." Rick, K6SIX, was among those benefiting from the apparent F2-layer propagation on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day available from some parts of the US. "I thought it was going to be a great start to 1998 when I worked ZF1DC," he said, "but just an hour later, I worked ZL3NW in grid RE66 on 50.125!" 
Others also managed US-to-ZL contacts. "What a way to start the new year!!!" exclaimed Ron, K5LLL, who worked both ZL2TPY and ZL3NW just a few minutes into the new year (GMT). 
Additional stations posted equally enthusiastic messages on the Internet reflectors. "WOW! what a way to start the New Year," wrote WB2QLP in Florida after he'd just worked several South American stations on six. "I think 
Cycle 23 has a lot of DX in store for us." Mike, ZL3TIC/ZL3SIX, reported hearing American Samoa and the FO5DR beacon (50.050 MHz) as well as several US stations. 
Newsline reports that Dave, KC6WFS, in California, turned on his old Gonset G-50 AM transceiver and worked Oklahoma and several other AM DX contacts. 
Other US stations managed to work stateside DX on FM. 
Oscar, CO2OJ, in Cuba reported working several US stations, including some as far away as California and Texas. 
ARRL antenna guru Dean Straw, N6BV, speculates the propagation involved was probably multiple F2 hops, most likely combined with sporadic E. 

TARA Road Trips

In the past there has been interest in going to: 
ARRL Headquarters 
Lentini's or Ham Central 
Out for Dinner 
Night Cruise on Hudson 
Lebanon Valley Speedway 
Are there any other suggestions? If so, give Bill  St. Jean, N2YNP a shout. 

Bill, N2YNP @ 383-1461 

Our Apologies!
We're very sorry that this month's issue isn't up to par.  You can blame it all on the editor and ass't editor this time, sorry!
 Next month we'll have a  new addition to the TARA News called "Ask Uncle Elmer."