THE LEO amateur radio scientific society of ALASKA

Date: 1-30-05   Newsletter number: 2

No officers, no business meetings, no dues, no money making, no politics, no titles or rank,

 just the science of Amateur Radio


Welcome!  The LEOarssAK or LEOs was started on Friday, September 15, 2000, at the Thai Kitchen on Tudor Rd. in Anchorage.  Our bonding interest at that time focused on the Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) Amateur Radio satellites; therefore the name LEOs.  Since then we have expanded into most areas of Ham Radio.  Besides the presentation of papers we enjoy a good lunch and conversation.

Our founders included AL7KK/Rob, KL1HG/Doris, KL7AR/Mike, KL7JS/Deb, KL7DR/Dan, KL7GO/Gretchen, KL0QQ/TOM, KL0YO/Pat, KL7QZ/John and others.  Our special guest was Jerry Schmitt, KK5YY(SK) inventor of the famous Arrow Antenna.  John/QZ presented the first paper on LEO antennas specifically on how to build an “eggbeater”.  Since then we have had papers on many topics including SETI, Grounding, Moon Bounce, How to Use The Leos, SWR, digital modes and many other topics.  We meet roughly every 6-8 weeks September through May, on a Saturday at a restaurant in Anchorage, Eagle River or Wasilla.  We start at 11:30 with lunch orders, our first paper is presented at 12 Noon followed with questions and a break at 12:50 PM; our second paper is presented at 1 PM.  We end at 2 PM.  For information contact John/QZ at , Mike/AR at  or Dan/DR at   Also please check on the Leo Net, Snipers Net and Motley Net.




Our next meeting that is firmed up will be a special symposium of workshops to be held on Saturday, June 18th at Immanuel Presbyterian Church at 2311Pembroke St., set back from the NE corner of 24th Ave. and Boniface just North off of Northern Lights and Boniface.  We have 4, 1 ½ hour workshops starting at 9 AM and finishing at 4 PM.  Lunch will be served on site.


Our Speaker for all 4 workshops will be:


The ARRL antenna editor:

Dean Straw – N6BV


Speaking on:


4 topics on

Amateur Radio Antenna’s

(The 4 actual topics will be announced within the next month via this newsletter)

R. Dean Straw,  N6BV

Dean has been a Senior Assistant Technical Editor for ARRL since 1993, specializing in antennas, transmission lines and HF propagation.  He is the editor of the last four editions of The ARRL Antenna Book and the last four volumes of The ARRL Antenna Compendium series, not to mention a two-year stint as editor of The ARRL Handbook.


First licensed as WH6DKD in 1959 at age 12, he has been active since then mainly on HF—and mainly in contests, both phone and CW.  Experience in ham radio led him to a degree in electronics engineering at Yale in 1967, where he was active at the W1YU club station, operating  mainly in contests.  Dean worked in the marine electronics industry for more than 25 years before joining ARRL staff.


Since returning to the west coast in 1998 from New Hampshire, Dean has become ARRL’s longest-distance full-time “telecommuter.”  He operates regularly at the N6RO contest super station in the East Bay or from DX-exotic locations around the world.  Dean resides with his wife, Rayma, in San Francisco.  He has two sons and four grandchildren.


Some of Dean’s many publications:

 (He has over 19 pages of “GOOGLE” listings of his publications, speeches, awards, etc.  See GOOGLE “Dean Straw – N6BV”)


“Top band: TOP HAT”,  ON4UN’s Low-Band Dxing. ARRL (Review. 73 Magazine)

“2 Meter Hentenna”. Ham Universe

“The ARRL Antenna Book”.  (R. Dean Straw, Editor).  ARRL

“The Well-behaved antenna”.  AntennaEx

“One Stealthy Delta”. SGCWorld

“The ARRL Handbook”. (R. Dean Straw, Editor) ARRL

(Many-many more at GOOGLE)



There will be an advance charge of $19 for all four workshops plus a catered lunch.  An “at the door” charge will be $24 for all four workshops plus lunch.  See snail mail registration form at the end of this newsletter.  Last day to receive advance registration will be June 13. The workshop fee will be used exclusively for Dean’s air-travel to Alaska.  All other expenses will be paid for by Dean.




During February or early March

We are in hopes of having Dale – KL7XJ chairing a panel of our

AMSAT reps Dan-KL7DR and ED-AL7EB


“Everything and maybe more than you need to know about the new, old and ‘born again’ LEO satellites”


First AO-14 and then AO-40 were lost to us and a long dry period seemed to be ahead but not the case with AO-51, SO-50, FO-29, AO-27, AO-7 and maybe others who are operational and giving all hams regardless of license or sophistication of equipment a chance to get on the LEO satellites.  Dale, Dan and Ed are our top-notch LEO experts, and they will tell you everything you ever needed to know about getting on   these great little birds.  And, if Dan can make it, he will help you enter the LEO satellite frequencies on your “handhelds”.  This meeting will be subject to travel plans.

 (As per custom meeting will be held at local restaurant with lunch on your own and no charge for the program.)





During May or this summer


We are hopeful that Yale University will cooperate in letting us have the

Internationally respected and honored expert of





(Recently published in Science Magazine and many other top notch scientific journals and other publications)


Some of the many articles authored and/or co-authored by Lafe:

“Primary Electronic Thermometry Using the Shot Noise of a Tunnel…”  Science

“Thermoter Uses Quantum Mechanics…” Yale Daily News

“Noise Performance of the Radio-Frequency Single Electron…”  JAPIAU

…many more on GOOGLE.


(A full bio will be included as soon as we have his travel plans confirmed)




Following Lafe that afternoon will be our own antenna master




SWR: Fact, fiction or mythology

(As per custom meeting will be held at local restaurant with lunch on your own and no charge for the program)


The LEO Weather and Road Report Net.  M-F,  9 AM+.  147.27/87 @103.5 tone.



·        KL7XJ – Dale for his great talk on the Challenger Learning Center

·        KL7FH – Frank for a wonderful presentation on contesting.

·        Thanks for the 147.27/87 machine.  We appreciate all the work, dedication and money spent.


WEB SITES of interest to LEO’s  (a new column) by KL7XJ – Dale.  If you have an interesting web site for Dale to use, please send it to


Tips that may help you…And some neat links to sites on the internet.  Want to get your signal out and be heard? Then start with your antenna and work back to the radio.  You need an antenna resonant for the bands you want to operate on.  Good connectors and low loss feed line are very important as well as good grounding.  Here are some links to sites that may be of some help to those of you interested.


                COAX line loss calculations:


                EIRP calculations and more:


A neat satellite tracking program that is a FREE download can work in the background while you are working on other Programs.  You can also download the Keps on this.  It is called Sat_Explorer and the download programs at:


Previously mentioned web sites:  - Great LEO site by KL7DR-Dan with updated LEO orbits and valuable WEB links.  -  For ISS Ham communications.  -  Looking for our relatives way out there.


Other space, astronomy, satellite and Ham satellite sites:       -  Important for winter traveling with live cameras on Alaskan highways.


Please send me any WEB SITES that you think LEO’s would be interested in.  Tx and 73.  Dale/XJ


ANTENNAS.  A new column by Mike-KL7AR ( ). 


Hams have many and varied interests within the amateur radio hobby.  But, when we transmit and/or receive a signal, the one thing that unites all of us is the critical need for a properly designed  antenna.  We often take that piece of wire or aluminum tubing for granted, but what actually is the definition of an antenna?


The transmitter/ transceiver/generator sends an RF electromagnetic wave traveling up the feed line.  The wave is guided up the coax with little loss.  When this wave reaches the end of the feed line, it begins to travel out on to the antenna.  The wave as it leaves the antenna becomes spherical and it is radiated into free space.  Or, we can say that the element where a guided wave transitions to a free space wave is an antenna.  Thus an antenna is a transducer or the vehicle by which a guided wave is allowed to become a free space wave, or in the opposite direction for receiving.


An example that all of us would find familiar is that of our own  is our own eyes.  Our eyes convert free space electromagnetic photons into circuit currents that are transmitted to our brain.  An antenna operates in the same manner way.  This is just some basic electronic theory as I get ready to become more specific with antenna designs in future columns.  


LEO ELMERS: GO TO GUYS and GIRLS: Please send yours in.


SATELLITES: KL7DR/Dan at, AL7EB/Ed at and KL7XJ/Dale at .





LEO’s out and about and in the news


“Trapper Creek’s Hal and Nancy Morgan: Hammin’ It Up”

Talkeetna Times Newspaper, November 01, 2004

By Jennah Choate

                 Before telephones, cell-phones, Internet, or any easy reliable source of communication, there were ham radios.  Not many people know about ham radios anymore.  There are still 25 licensed ham radio operators in Trapper Creek and half a dozen in Talkeetna. Two of the 25 operators that live in Trapper Creek are Hal and Nancy Morgan.

                 The Morgan’s have been operating a ham radio since 2000.  Hal got his ham radio license in 2000 and Nancy got hers in 2001.  “It comes in handy on a daily basis,” said Hal.  Out in the bush there is not a lot of reception so cell phones don’t usually work that well.  Ham radios have been known to save lives on occasion.  They are much more reliable than cell phones.  If an earthquake happened, cell phones would be completely knocked out.  If a station was up, ham radios would still be able to make contact.  Maybe not to the person you need to talk to, but someone who could pass the message on.  Sometimes even a simple happy birthday is passed on from one to another until the message has been delivered.

                 To become a licensed ham radio operator, there are a series of tests you can take.  The first test is to be a “tech” ham radio operator.  A tech ham radio operator is an operator who doesn’t use Morse code and cannot use some higher class frequencies.  When there is a true emergency, any licensed operator can use a ham radio at any frequency and at any measure because it is a “true emergency.”

                 In the 1970s, the ham radio became very popular and many people in the “bush” and around the world owned one.  They were almost entirely “home brew.”

                 A lot of the time, ham radios are used on the Iditarod Trail quite often because they are so reliable.  Sometimes a “phone patch” is used which is a patch between a phone and a ham radio.  When Hal was monitoring the Iditarod once, he and Nancy used a phone patch to communicate.  Nancy talked on the phone and Hal talked on the radio.

                Ham radios are mostly used by “bushrats” nowadays but they are still common and are used for daily uses.  Even though cell phones have taken a lot away from ham radios, they can never completely replace them. (Printed with permission of Hal Morgan and Jennah Choate)




UPDATE:  Dan Simmonds/KK3AN, President of AN Wireless Tower Co. of  Johnstown, PA, a friend of KL7AR/Mike and KL7QZ/John offered at Dayton this May to deliver an AN Tower to anywhere on the Alaska “Rail Belt” for a substantial discount in shipping cost and purchase price.  He can bring up to 3 towers at maximum of 60’ each (or less).  It looks like Dan may have some takers and if this is the case and you are interested in an AN Tower delivered this summer, you may want to check with Dan. KL7AR/Mikes 60’ self-standing AN Ham Tower was Dan’s first Ham tower before he went big time.  This is an outstanding yet inexpensive self-standing tower.  Check with Dan at and at website  Also, check with Mike/AR about his tower at


New equipment reviews


TOKYO HI POWER – HL-50B.  This editor has been a Ham for 50 years and has had dozens of pieces of Ham gear (many of which were secretly slipped by my XYL) from my 1955 Heathkit AT-1, which I still have, to my Swan 500c, which I also still have, to my current Kenwood TS-2000.  Of all the equipment which I have today, I find that the 160-70cm, 5 watt all mode, hand size Yaesu FT-817 is the most incredible “pushing the envelope” piece of gear yet on the market.  However, I am not writing about the 817 but instead part of the cottage industry of many peripherals marketed to support the 817’s fantastic capabilities.  One item that I recently purchased is a 50w final amplifier specifically designed for the 817.  This Tokyo Hi Power HL-50B is just a tad bigger than the 817, and without any bells and whistles to draw down battery power on receive and with RF switching, you can go camping with a ½ size marine battery and be on the air for days without a battery charge.  While changing out base station rigs, I ran the 817 and HL-50B as Alaska-Pacific net control for 3 months as though I was running a KW.  Price is around $200-250 depending on the Yen.  Check their web sit and they will give you an email address for purchasing.  They ship quick and easy.

The MFJ-902, Travel Tuner.   Since the 817 has such a good SWR meter, ½ the size of the 817, the 902 works great, with a very smooth response and is lightweight, small and inexpensive.  And, in a pinch it can run the big rig with a limit of 150 watts.




Howaboutit--think about sending in a technical article for this newsletter and/or present a paper at one of our LEO get-togethers.  What’s this “presenting a paper”?  Some years ago this editor was at the FDIM or Four Days In May annual QRP meeting adjunct to the Dayton Hamvention and was impressed with the requirement that when you are a speaker, you put your remarks in writing to be sent out ahead of time, and then the speaker can present the paper in a more casual or specific way allowing for attendees to prepare some questions.  This FDIM model is really just an offshoot of how technical and scholarly presentations have been made for the last 100 years.  We do it a bit more casually.  When you come to speak, have prepared a handout of your remarks written formally, or in short outline form or with just data, tables, diagrams and Web citations or all of the above. Ideally, a presentation should last no longer than 40 minutes leaving 10 minutes for questions. Our only proviso is that presentations or newsletter articles contain NO political comments whether it is about CW or Ralph Nader. Thx.


If you wish to be on our email list, please send your address to KL7QZ at


AO – 51, up, up and away!

73’s and 88’s to all Hams on our planet, in our solar system-galaxy –universe.

Keep listening for the “WOW”. 




Editor: John Bury – KL7QZ


5142 Shorecrest Dr.


Anchorage, Alaska 99502







Late Braking NEWS from Dan O’Barr, KL7DR


Kenwood has posted a fix for the TS-2000's PL problem that should

allow the TS-2000 to operate SO-50 and AO-51 in the “satellite mode”.


This is a firmware update that is supposed to allow PL tones to work in satellite mode:














Advanced registration Form for June 18 antenna symposium follows:

Must be received by Monday, June 13.


Name_____________________ Call______________  Email Address _______________


Phone Number ______________  Address ____________________________ Zip _____


for the Dean Straw – N6BV Antenna Symposium: Please reserve a seat for me


All 4 workshops 9 AM - 4PM and lunch at $19.00


For lunch I want a:

            __ Meat sandwich (Example: turkey croissant)

            __ Vegetarian (Example: Caesar salad)

            __ Beverages: (Choose one for lunch)

                        __ Coke/Pepsi

                        __ Diet Coke/Diet Pepsi

                        __ 7UP/Diet 7UP

                        __ Root Beer/Diet Root Beer

                        Any or all of the below:

                                    __ Coffee – available all day

                                    __ DeCaf Coffee – available all day

                                    __ Tea – available all day

                                    __ Decaf Tea – available all day


REFUND POLICY: A full refund will be given up to 9 PM Thursday, June 16, 2005. For cancellation notification from Thursday at 9 PM to 9 AM Saturday, June 18th the full symposium fee less $7.50 for lunch will be refunded.  No refund after 9 AM, Saturday, June 18th.


Please snail mail to John Bury, 5142 Shorecrest Dr., Anchorage, AK   99502              


Check only please.   Make out to John Bury