This past weekend 15 meters was also briefly open, a rare occurrence these days. AC1L logged KH6 (Hawaii), KP4 (Puerto Rico), PJ5 (St. Eustatius), and LR2 (Argentina). Signals were weak, and Dick was forced to use 100 watts to get through (this is tough on old QRP operators!) –submitted by Richard Burnham, AC1L Western MA Section ARES Information The following information was excerpted from a February 16, 2006 Monthly Western Massachusetts Section News Summary: “ARES Section Planning Meetings will be scheduled for March and April throughout the section to bring ARES officials together to develop a Section Emergency Plan. The first meeting will likely be in early March in the Springfield area.” *****”Upcoming drills include n EMA ARES Drill at the end of February that WMA may participate in and a state RACES drill in early June that ARES may assist with. WMA ARES will also begin to conduct its own drills once our planning tasks are put in motion.” - John, N2YHK, WMA SEC Morse Code Examination News As of February 14, ARRL was reporting in a bulletin (ARLB003) that “Just when the FCC will act on the ‘Morse code’ proceeding, WT Docket 05-235, remains hazy.” The newsletter also indicated that it was unlikely there would be any “big announcements” regarding WT Docket 05-235, at the Dayton Hamvention FCC Forum either. The ARRL has asked the FCC to retain the Morse code examination element for Amateur Extra Class applicants. – The Editor Earth-Moon-Earth Operators’ Note: Moon Perigee on Feb 28 and March 28. Heard on Local TUE/THUR Nets: W1ZPB, WA1TVS, KB1DCG, WB3CDL, N1EWK, KB1KRS, KB1BNG, KB1EZO, KB1MSU, N1XPT, AC1L, KB1FFT, N1OTS. We also have good participation on the W. MA RACES net. Thanks to all of you for your participation, and my apologies if I missed anyone on nights I was unable to check in. – The Editor You know you've been a ham too long if: Some of us have been in the hobby for a little too long. This problem is very simple to detect, you just need to know where to look. You know you've been a ham too long if: You pick up the phone and answer "QRZ?". You have enough ham magazines lying around to pile them up and use them as dining room chairs. You find yourself copying people's horn blasts during rush hour as CW. Even worse, you find yourself copying people's horn blasts during rush hour as CW, and you honk back at them at 50 WPM. During the last Space Shuttle broadcast, you could see the top of your twenty meter band Yagi tower. You celebrate more during Field Day than at Christmas or New Year's. You don't bother shutting your radio off when you're not using it because you will be back in a minute with a Coke and a slice of pizza. Radio Shack has to special-order batteries for you because you buy so many. Even worse, you have to manufacture your own AA's because you use so many. You have a 2-meter handheld in every room of the house. You have installed coax connections next to every phone line. You have so many APRS trackers that other hams complain about you jamming the frequency. Your logbook collection rivals the local library. You have enough old tube transmitters to light the house with. Your wallpaper covers all the walls in the house. - Bob Weissman, W1CKT (More next month! –Editor) CELL PHONES How many times have you seen this happen As you’re driving along the street, A car going by in the other direction With a cell phone and looking quite discrete. Or perhaps they are in front of you And you’re eyeing their every move, Wondering if it’s a rutty road And will they get into a groove. Now, I think in cases such as these There could be a “slight” backlash, And I sometimes wonder as I read the paper Was a cell phone involved in a certain crash? It was just the other day I saw A close call with automobiles and I said, Oh Dear, The driver had made an illegal U-Turn on Main Street, With a cell phone pressed up to their ear. I wonder sometimes if a driver thinks It’s OK if I use my cell phone, My opinion is to use them right If I can’t, then I’ll leave it at home. Now cell phones are great inventions And since their inception have gone really far, But please use them after you’ve pulled over and parked Not while driving down the highway in a speeding car. -KB1BNG (Note: The MA legislature is currently considering several pieces of proposed legislation that would curtail or limit cell phone usage while operating a vehicle. –The Editor) THE COMMUNICATOR is an informational publication for members of the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club. This is your newsletter! Amateur radio information of general interest, club member project descriptions and doings, radio applications to other activities, corrections, or suggestions are all welcome. Individual submissions make for variety! Send to editor’s email email@example.com or Tel: 863-8741 by the third Friday of the month, please. Email addresses of Club Officers may be found on the club web site www.fcarc.org Appreciation is expressed to Locust Press, Inc. for their regular great service and timely assistance in photocopying and preparing the regular mail copies of The Communicator.