Sos De Usqs

THERE'S BAD NEWS from LaryJ KM7Z at the United States QSL Service (USQS). The bad news is (hat USQS is no more For those of you not in the fcnow, USQS was an incoming United States QSL bureau, handling DX and stateside cards. I donTl imagine that the volume of DX cards coming in was very high (the ARRL bureaus have that end locked up}, but the beauty of USQS (and the reason W2NSD.M kept envelopes there) was the fact that stateside hams could send cards to other stateside hams in bulk. For free. In fact, if you sent along a few dollars for postage, Laryl would look up addresses for you and mail the cards out! Luckily, Bill Wellborn K4CLA has slepped in to fill the void with KIQS (Bill says to pronounce it "kicks"), which stands for the K4CLA Incoming QSL Service. Here's how it works: Send Gill a doHar for four stamped envelopes, which he will keep on file- Sort your outgoing (US only'} cards by call area, then alphabetically by suffix and send them to KIQS. Bill stuffs the on-file envelopes and sends cards out four times a year: in January, April, July, and October The address for KIQS is 562 Oak Drive, Lexington SC 29072-9059. Laryl's USQS is returning all unused SASEs to their owners.

Hot Shots

IS IT TIME lo start a monthly magazine called Hams In Space7 It seems likely, ^■th the announcement of two more possible missions. In March, 1986, Dr. Hon Par-Ise WA4SER will be aboard shuttle mission 61-E (Astro-1) as a Payload Specialist.. Dr Parise is an astronomer and will be making observations of Halley's Comet and other celestial objects. Ron has let NASA know that he would like to operate a packeWa-die station from the shuttle; another first for ham radio! AMSAT is working with Ron in coordinating the operation. Dr+ Owen Ganiott W5LFL, America's first ham in space, is scheduled for a Night on mission 61-K, set for a September, 1986r launch. Owen will undoubtedly seek permission to operate from space.

Look! It's

HALLEY'S COMET (rhymes with tally, though some swear it rhymes with holly) is getting brighter, and the hoopla surrounding it is getting really intense. There's Hal-ley's Comet T-shirts, Hahey's Comet Expeditions (Sl.SOO-SS.OOO), "special" Hal-

iey's Comet telescopes, and so on. Don't think that hams have been forgotten; there is now a Halley's Come* Radio Watch, Project coordinator Tania Miller WB9TKC is looking for reports of unusual conditions on ail bands, including amateur and CB frequencies, shortwave broadcast bands, and television channels. Your report should include the frequency (or band)t time, date, your location, and the abnormal condition. Tania is offering a Comet QSL for your trouble. Because of the enormous hype surrounding the comet's return, many people are expecting a spectacular celestial event, complete with a fiery comet that is visible even during the day. 'Tain1t so, friends, You'll need expert advice on where to look for the thing, and even then you'll need to look very closely to find it; a trip to your local book shop for a Halley's Comet manual (there are about a hundred of them) is in order And don't rush out and buy a high-priced telescope, no matter what the ads claim. The best thing to use is a pair of low-power binocu* lars.

County Bounty

ARMADILLO COUNTY, TEXAS, has been created 'by a proclamation from Texas Governor Mark White. Between March 2 and December 31, 1986, any amateur operating along the Texas Independence Trail may give his QTH as Armadillo County. Texas, in order to celebrate the state s sesquicen-tenniaL The Texas DX Society will be setting up operations along the trail throughout the year to give everyone a chance to work the nev^ county. And Armadillo will be on the air during the massive 1986 Armadillo Run, an attempt by the TDXS to activate every county in the United States (3,077!) during the 1986 County Hunters phone and CW contests (phone on May 3-4 and CW on Juiy 26-27). These guys are reaHy going to pull it

Texas Governor Mark White (center) creates a new county. That's KZ5M on the left and K5RC on the right Photo by K5RVK.

off—they've spent the last year or so setting up regional and sectional coordinators all across the country. In 1983, club members operated from every county in Texas (254 counties). In 1984, the project expanded to cover Texast Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi! If you want up-to-the-minute information about the 1986 Run, get in touch with Tom Taormina K5RC, 3940 Bahler Avenue, Manvel TX 77578.

Canada Tries

CANADIAN AMATEURS got some good news and bad news regarding the Canadian Radio Relay League request for early access to the WARC bands. First, the Minister of Communications said that before any privileges on the 24-MH2 band were granted, commercial stations occupying the band would have to be either shut down or moved to another part of the spectrum. Also, certain amendments to the General Radio Regulations would need to be made, something that has in the past taken years to accomplish Only a month later, the Minister announced that most commercial users of the 24-MHz band had been removed and that the process for amending the rules could begin soon. He also noted that an amendment to the Regulations was already under way to allow amateur use of the 18-MHz band! which had already been cleared of commercial users.

Gold water Winner

THIS YEAR'S Goldwater Scholarship Award went to 18-year-otd Clark Barrow KI4UT. of Cocoa, Florida. Ciark plans on a career in satellite communications doing research and development He is working at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at a job won as a prize in a science contest. Ctark said that he will use the S5,000 prize to help pay for an Electrical Engineering degree from Auburn University.

Weirdness

DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL? In fact, don't even turn on your receiver! Legislation introduced into the House of Represent tives by Robert Kastenmeier (D-Wisconsin) and Carlos Moorhead (P-Caiifomia) would, if signed into law, make the reception of nearly every type of radio transmission a Federal offense. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of

1985. HR 3378, is the name of this travesty and its backers (mainly the ceilular-tete-phone industry) wan! to make it a crime to receive any radio signal thai does not fall into one of these categories: distress calls, Amateur Radio Service, Police or Fire Radio Service, CB, broadcasts in* tended for the general public, and walkie-talkies. What this 8U1 tries to do is extend the taws against wiretapping to the radio spectrum, in fact, monitoring an amateurradio phone patch would be illegal under this proposal.. This is obviously absurd, but the Bill has strong support and not much resistanceI Sit down right now, write a tetter to your Congressmen, and teli them that you think that HR-3378 is a direct at tack on your rights as a citizen of the United States.

30 Days

30 DAYS HATH SEPTEMBER, but not exam applicants, says Ihe FCC. You no longer have to wait 30 days before retaking a license exam that you have failed. The Commissioners felt that, "There is no per suasive evidence in the record that an applicant who has waited 30 days between tests will be better prepared for the next test than one who has waited 27 days, or 13 days, or 7 days, or any other period of time" The existing regulations covering the Volunteer Examination program already specify that questions must change from test to test, so there won't be a problem with someone taking a test on Satin-day and seeing the same questions on a Sunday test. And, since each V£ Coordinator creates its own tests from a large pool of questions, it's not likely that two VECs wiil prepare identical exams.

Who's On First?

IT LOOKS UKE the absolute very first legal amateur signal on the new 900-MHz band was transmitted by K9MK/R, a repeater built by Mike Krzystynlak K9MK/5. Bill Can-trell WD5CVG, and Greg Raven KF5N. These guys, alii members of the Motorola Amateur Radio Club, decided to beat everyone to the punch and built a complete repeater system out of surplus Motorola mobile radios in under three weeks! The machine has an input of 908,000 MHz and an output of 920.000 MHz and serves a four-county area near Ft. Worth, Texas. Another Motorola repeater can be found in Chicago on 909.000/921.000 MHz serving the northwest suburbs

XE Permits

MEXICO IS UNOFFICIALLY granting temporary amateur licenses to US citizens visiting the country. In a story which appeared In the W5YI Report, Chris Petroff

N5HQN/XE2BSG reported that the Secretariat of Communications and Transport has authorized the licenses. The temporary permit is valid for the length of the amateur's visit to Mexico as stated on his or her visa. Petroff believed that the permit was for a Class III Mexican license, which allows 250 Watts on IHF and 100 Watts on VHF.

Roll 'Em

IF YOU MISSED the action during spaceshuttle mission 51-F (Tony England W0ORE and John-David Bartoe W4NYZ), take heart. Copies of the tapes Tony and JohnDavid used to log are now available from the American Radio Relay League. Just send League archivist Karl Townsend the date and orbit number that interests you and he'll generate the tape that you need. (You might want to write or phone first to check out prices. If you write, enclose an SASE.) Videotapes of the SSTV images sent to and from Challenger are also available. Robot, the company that manufactured the 1200C scan converter carried on the mission, is working "between the lines " using arcane techniques in an at* tempt to recover as much of the uplinked video information as possible. In many cases there were so many signals competing on the frequency that only bits and pieces ot video appear on the tapes, QSL cards are available from the ARRL for two-way contacts, reception reports, confirmed reception by Challenger of uplinked SSTV, and so on. Send an SASE to the ARRL, 225 Main Street, Newington CT 06111.

Erratum

PAGE 82 of our November, 1985. issue contains an error. In our review of the ICOM IC-735. N1BLH says that the rig's microprocessor gets its instructions from a lithium-battery-backed RAM. A conversation with ICOM revealed that this is not the case. Only the memories are battery-backed: The instructions are stored in a ROM.

Prefix Mix

THE PREFIX FOR CT2 AZORES has been changed to CU. The number after the prefix now refers to each of the nine islands of the Azores Archipelago: CU1 Santa Maria, CU2 Sao Miguel, CU3 Terceira, CU4 Graciosa, CU5 Sao Jorge, CU6 Pico, CU7 Faial, CUB Flores, and CU9 Corvo. CUG) is reserved for repeaters Some CT2 amateurs now have completely different calls, while others have only a different prefix. There also is a new address for the Azores OSL Bureau: it's Associacao de Radio-amadores dos Acores, PO Box 211, 9 503 Ponta Del Gada. Azores Islands,

Status Quo

GORDON G1RTON W6NLG wants the FCC not to issue any more "preferred" call-signs. His petition to the Commission requests that all 1-by-3 K and W calls be removed from the list of available catisigns until all other combinations have been exhausted. Gordon notes that many hams equate 1-by-3 K and W calls with the number of years licensed—most of those calls are held by "old-timers" and can be seen as a sort of status symbol, WA, WB, and WD calls are also covered in the petition. There's been no word from the Commission on this one. yet.

Land of OST

THERE'S A CHANCE that RM 4829 and RM-4831, the Dockets before the FCC dealing with land-mobile use of our 220-MHz allocation, are dead. Tom Stanley, Deputy Chief of the Office of Science and Technology, has been named to fill the OST Directorship vacated by Bob Powers. Both RM* 4829 and RM-4831 were being handled by the OST, and it may take quite some time before the new administration decides what should be done about them. Art Reis K9XI, Editor of 220 Notes, feels that the issue is indeed dead and lhat the only reason the FCC would bring out either Docket as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would be to resolve the question of Land Mobile Service interference to television channel 13.

Free Press

A7 THE RISK of causing a strike at the 73 mail room, we're making available yet another freebiel This time your SASE will net a Genuine FCC Emission Classification List. No longer will you have to remember all of those silly numbers and tetters like J3E, A1A( and F3E—you'll have the entire list right at your fingertips! This list Is essential to accurate logging, and no ham should be without it. Gel your free copy by sending an SASE to 73 Magazine. Editorial Offices, 80 Ptne Street, Peterborough NH 03458f Attn: Emissions.

Thanks

THIS MONTH, "QRX" comes to you courtesy of Gateway, Westimk, the (Personal Radto Steering Group, 220 Notes, the North Florida ARS Balanced Modulator, The VHF Journalw and the Arizona Repeater Association Squelch Tail. Sendl your ■'QRXT1 items (photos, too!) to 73 Magazine, Editorial Offices. 80 Pine Street, Peterborough NH 03458r Attn; ORX. And have a great 19861

. .pacesetter in Amateur radio

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