The Marinette and Menominee Amateur Radio Club

Repeater Frequencies 147.00 MHZ & 444.075 Mhz
Club Net: Sunday 7PM 147.00 MHz
Simplex DX Spotting and Ragchew Frequency 146.55
Web Page:
President: Jim Callow K8IR
Vice President: Ed Engleman KG8CX
Treasurer: Lynne Rynish N8OSK
Secretary: Gary Luthardt  KG9AD

The MMARC Newsletter                                                May 2001


Our May meeting is scheduled for Thursday May 10th at the QTH of Mike Anuta, W8HKY, in Marinette.  The meeting will begin promptly at 7pm.  Refreshments will be provided by our host, Mike.  Directions to Mike's QTH at 1200 Northland Terrace Lane are as follows: Take US-41, coming from north or south, to downtown Marinette, at the
square.  Take Main St. east through the downtown area to Shore Drive (in front of Catholic Central High School). Turn south and follow Shore Drive about one mile or so, to the "Northland Terrace Estates” sign.  The sign is just before the hospital.  Turn west and follow the street to the apartment complex.  Park in the lot and enter the building into the community room.  The meeting will be held  there.  Signs will be placed, and the 147.000 repeater monitored for additional assistance.

Mike is our most senior member, and the subject of an article in the April issue of QST,  a story on the ARRL audio news, as well as the Badger Smoke Signals newspaper.   If you haven't yet met him, you will enjoy the opportunity to do so.  At 100 years, Mike is a most fascinating person, and we are fortunate to be able to call him a club member and a part of  our amateur radio community. Mike checks in to the Sunday net regularly, usually as the first one to do so. See you all on May 10th. 


A good turnout was had for the weather session on Thursday April 12th at the Chamber of Commerce building in Menominee.  Jack Pellett , KC8HYB, a meteorologist from the NWS in  Marquette conducted the session, and from all reports did a masterful job relating all the important items to watch for in weather spotting.  Videos and displays were also used for clarification.  Many handouts were available.  Over 30 persons attended, 13 of which were M&M Radio Club members. The training was held on our regular meeting night. Due to the length of the program and the lack of pressing matters, no business meeting was held.



On April 19th, a tornado drill was held throughout the state of Wisconsin. We were called up at 1:20pm by the NWS ham station in Green Bay, at which time the local Skywarn net on the 147.000 repeater was initiated. Many local hams responded, 10 fixed stations and 5 mobile units.  This was an excellent showing, and indicated the high state of response and readiness we have in the 147.000 repeater coverage area.  We had ham coverage from northern Marinette county to  southern Oconto county, as well as Menominee County, Michigan.   The NWS staff, and the ham radio personnel there, are very pleased with the response whenever Marinette county is alerted.  We have some of the highest numbers of available spotters who regularly respond, within the 22 county area served by the Green Bay office. Renelle Schaffer, the Marinette Co. Emergency Government Director, has been provided with the response report, which will go into the state emergency management office in Madison. Thanks to all who participated and will continue to do so whenever we
are called upon.



We were called into a Skywarn net status on Monday April 23 at about 1:30pm. A  severe cell was threatening southern Marinette County, but the entire county was placed under a warning.  Some damage reports (trees down, a tin roof blown up a shed) were given by AA9PB, along Hwy 64 west of W.  Looks as if those were straight line winds, rather than tornadic. All reports were transmitted to NWS in Green Bay via ham radio, and in turn, we received up to the second doppler radar reports to relay back to our spotters. We had 11 hams respond to the call up....6 fixed stations and 5 mobile units.  We also had coverage in the northern part of the county from two hams who reside in that area.   Mobile spotters covered the central part of the county from the Porterfield/Beaver area down to the county line, along with several in the cities of Marinette/Menominee, and Peshtigo. In addition, we had spotters along the bay to report any activity in that direction.  NWS had reports of a waterspout, and asked us to check it out.  Nothing observed. Net Control, KG8CX  also received two phone calls from NWS office in Marquette, MI, asking us to relay weather conditions to them involving Menominee county. Thanks to everyone who took time to participate.


Marinette County’s new Emergency Coordiator, Jeff, N9PQU, is working on starting a local ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service).  Anyone interested can contact Jeff. for more information.



 The success of this year’s Elmer-based license training was displayed on Saturday April 21st, as all six persons who tested passed. Congratulations to: 

* Tim Mellenthin, KB9ZKN
* Steve Mellenthin, KB9ZKO
* James Deveroy, KB9ZKP
* Patti Douville, KC8RGE
* Vicky Cunningham, KB9ZKQ
* Father Ron, KC8RGD

 We look forward to hearing these new call signs on the air soon. 

Also congratulations to Dave Cunningham, KB9WBP, who passed his Extra Class License at the AES Super Fest in Milwaukee on April 7th. Dave has become a very active DX-er and Contester, and will put that Extra to good use chasing those new countries.  Dave watched the kids while his wife, Vicky passed her Technician Test at our VE session, so we now have another husband/wife ham team in the area.



The Michigan QSO Party was held Saturday April 21st.  BAWA members again operated a Multi-Op Station from a Menominee County deer camp using the W8PIF call.  Operators included AA9PB, K0SN, W9YQ, and KB9WBP. They logged over 160,000 points.
K8IR also put in a full-time effort in the Single-Op category and logged 70,000 points. Also heard on the air during the contest were KG8CX, KG9AD, and KA9WAR. Last year the M&M ARC took the High Club score for the entire state.  It sounds like we had some heavy duty competition for that plaque from the Traverse City area club this year.  We’ll have to wait a few months to find out the results.



It was a light turnout for the Club’s April Fish Fry on April 20th at the Riverfront Inn in Marinette.  A busy weekend with the Michigan QSO Party and VE Testing probably limited the attendance.  We will be suspending the fish fries until the fall.  We’re also looking for a volunteer to coordinate these popular club social events.



We are awaiting the installation of the 440 antenna, and will then be up and running with our new 444.075 repeater, with even better coverage than before.  We can then use this repeater as backup for emergency communications, as well as giving those of you with dual band capabilities, the opportunity to use another local repeater.
We still are plagued with severe noise on the 147 repeater whenever its windy, especially on less than full quieting signals.  Until that condition is corrected, we do have the use of the Stephenson repeater, 147.330, or the Crivitz repeater, 145.470 (pl of 107.2).  Or we can go simplex on 146.550 when necessary.


The new and improved 145.470 repeater is operational with an interesting feature not available on any other area machine.  For those of you who would like to hear what your signal sounds like, you now have the capability to punch in a code, unkey your mike, then immediately key back up and speak for a maximum of 8 seconds, unkey, and you will be treated to a digital recording of your  transmission.  For details on how to do this, check in to the Yo-Yo net every Saturday at 8pm, and you will be given the code and a chance to try it out.  Paul Blum, K9ARF, is the repeater trustee, and builder of the new repeater.




I was introduced to amateur radio by my father in law, Orv, K0YEF, around 1972. He had a Drake TR3 at the time, down in his basement, along with a whole bench full of strange and wonderful old equipment. It looked like a picture that might have been submitted to one of the magazines, under the heading “Worst Station Appearance”. To the average person it was nothing more than a pile of cables, big old cabinets, and tubes, but it got me interested.

He gave me a Novice study guide and a code practice oscillator that I hooked up to an old Bunnell brass key that my dad had given to me as a youngster. I worked for the railroad at the time as a telegraph/control operator. My job was to sit up in a tower at a busy interchange, where several rail lines came together, and pull on these big steel levers which stuck up out of the floor, and they in turn would throw the track switches and signals located up to a quarter mile away. It was just like playing with electric trains, only life size. I would report the passing of trains via the telegraph, which was still in use by a lot of the old timers, although we were not required to master it, as a lot of it had been replaced by the telephone and 2 way radio communication. So the code was a snap, and after about 2 months of study, I took the Novice test right at Orv’s house and got my ticket.

Orv gave me a Hallicrafters transceiver and I used it for about 2 months. Then he bought himself a new TR4-C and gave me his old TR-3, which I used for about 3 years.

One day soon after I was on the air, I was over at his house and he had me down into the shack. I went on 20 meter CW and  answered a French station’s CQ, and had a nice chat. But when I finished I said to Orv, “Why did he keep calling me Doctor Tom?” Well, that got quite a laugh out of him, and then he explained that Europeans frequently precede your name with dr., short for "dear”.

Orv was quite good at antennas, and he got me started on building quads. The first one was a 2 element tribander, which we mounted on a homemade wooden tower about 28 feet tall. It had a rotor and the whole ball of wax, and I ended up working DXCC in about 4 months. Many of the qso’s were made on W7PHO’s family hour, when Bill Bennett was still alive. He was quite a character, and just about everybody liked him. But the quads were prone to damage from ice, especially the early versions which I made with aluminum spreader arms, and I have some interesting pictures of ice-coated tangles of wire and aluminum tubing hanging like upside-down dead spiders from the top of the tower.

In 1981 we moved out west near Denver, and I put up a 60 foot crankup telescoping tilt-over tower with a Mosley beam. It was guyed with 5/16” polypropylene rope, and it withstood some hellacious 100 mph+ winds. Soon after, I got into traffic handling and kept several TCC schedules per week. I also signed on with Air Force MARS and handled quite a bit of military traffic from service people overseas, all on CW. The main rig there was a Kenwood TS820S and SB220 amp, both of which served me extremely well until I got my TS440 in 1989.

In 1990 we moved here to Wisconsin, and, well, most of you know the rest.

Stop by sometime and I’ll show you around the antenna farm.

73 for now.

Tom Hellem K0SN


Editor’s Note:  We are always looking for articles from members.  If you have some interesting stories about your start or experiences in Ham Radio, jot them down and send them to K8IR and we’ll include them here.  Email to .



Congratulations to the following couples who are celebrating their anniversaries: 
 * 29...Paul & Maxine Drees
 * 30....Noel & Lisa Beardsley
These persons are celebrating birthdays...
 *  1....Arlene Berge;  2... RuthAnn Greffin;  6...  Jim Callow:  Marge
Schrader;  10...Andrew Buccholz:  11....Nancy Zeratsky;  29....Larry
Campbell;  30...Jim Armstrong;  Andrew Janssen


++May 10....regular meeting at W8HKY
++June 14...regular meeting (location TBA)
++June 23/24...Field Day at W9YQ
++July 12... regular meeting (location TBA)
++Aug. 4.....Special event station at Waterfront Festival in Menominee
++Aug. 9.....regular meeting, nominations (hopefully back at BAMC, Menominee)
++Aug 26....Summer picnic at Henes Park in Menominee
++Sept. 13...regular meeting, elections
++Sept. ??...Annual corn roast, picnic (location TBA)
++Oct. 11.....regular meeting
++Nov. 8.....regular meeting
++Dec.13.....Christmas party at Schusslers.



Skywarn spotters provide critical information for all hazards in support of the National Weather service warning program. Spotting for severe local storms can be dangerous and requires considerable skill.

If you are not comfortable in any weather situation, immediately seek
shelter.  Remember...

* Our best spotters practice safety first.

*  Most tornadoes move from southwest to northeast.  They can also move
from the northwest to southeast.  The best viewing angle is south of the

* Knowing the movement of the storm is important to report, and is
critical to your safety.

*  Avoid using "marbles" to describe hail size - use coins, or better yet, measure the hail. 

*  When reporting wind speeds or gusts, indicate whether they are measured or estimated.

*  Tornadoes and rainshafts can look alike.  Look for rotation and upward motion.  Also look for other visual clues, such as the wall cloud and storm rotation.

*  Report accurately;  a TORNADO is a violently rotating column of air
in CONTACT with the ground;  a FUNNEL CLOUD, is a violently rotating column air NOT REACHING THE GROUND.  Be observant - sometimes there is no visible connection between the cloud and the ground, even though the tornado is causing debris to be blown about on the ground.

*  A WALL CLOUD is a lowering of the cloud base below the storm tower, that may or may not rotate.


Most wind damage from thunderstorms is caused by straight-line wind (also known as "downbursts"}.  When reporting wind speed, remember to include whether the report was measured or estimated, and describe any damage.  If you cannot measure the wind speed, use this table:

*** 25-30 mph:  large branches move;
      whistling heard in wires

*** 30-40 mph:  whole trees move

*** 40-45 mph:  twigs and small branches break;  walking impeded

***  45-55 mph:  larger branches an weak limbs may break; slight
structural damage occurs

*** 55-65 mph:  moderate structural and tree damage occur

*** 65 mph +:  heavy to several structural and tree damage occur.

Please keep this information handy and refer to it whenever necessary.



This was recently received from Headquarters:

Dear ARRL Club,

Here's something we hear often from folks who are just getting started in Amateur Radio:

"I was reading the 1964 ARRL Handbook at the Podunk Hollow Public Library...and I'd like to get more information about getting started!"

Many of you have asked us how you can help SPREAD-THE-WORD about ham radio, and help support it for FUTURE GENERATIONS. Here's an opportunity,, for members of each radio club: Visit your local library. Check out their collection of Amateur Radio books. And, find out how your club can contribute current titles to the library!

We'll make it easy...

>From now, until June 30, 2001, ARRL will offer the following discounted publications to ARRL affiliated radio clubs donating books to their local library:

* ARRL Handbook 2001
Hardcover edition. $39.95 (plus $7 UPS shipping)

* Now You're Talking!
This is ARRL's #1 FIRST-license manual. $14.25 (plus $5 UPS shipping)
* ARRL Library Book Set
A special money saving offer! --value $302.90 SPECIAL ARRL CLUB PRICE $170. Free UPS shipping!
SAVE $132.90! The set includes:

ARRL Handbook (hardcover)
ARRL Antenna Book
ARRL Operating Manual
The Radio Amateur's Satellite Handbook
Now You're Talking!
ARRL's Tech Q&A
ARRL General Class License Manual
ARRL Extra Class License Manual
FCC  Rule Book
The Best of the New Ham Companion
UHF/Microwave Experimenter's Manual
Understanding Basic Electronics
200 Meters and Down
RFI Book
Morse Code: The Essential Language
Easy Target

This book set is intended for clubs making a gift to a local library. Only complete sets of these publications are available at the special price of $170 per set.

If anybody is interested in donating a publication to one of our local libraries now sounds like a good time.  Contact one of the officers. We’ll talk about this at the May meeting.

1-800-32 NEW HAM…

Prospective hams can telephone ARRL for a free information packet about
getting started in Amateur Radio. Phone toll-free 1-800-32 NEW HAM



Jeff , N9PQU is looking for any radio or test equipment that you may want to sell. You can call him at 920-897-4561, or email him at



Thanks to Peninsula Office Equipment of Menominee for printing the Ground Wave.
Thanks to Jim, KC8DOA for hosting the W8PIF Repeater on his tower.