Zero Beat 01 2017

Mid-South Amateur Radio Association

Next meeting

Thursday, January 5, 7:00 pm

North East Police Precinct 6850 Appling Farms Pkwy.

Happy New Year!!!

January 2017 Meeting – we will be back at the police station - 6850 Appling Farms Pky.


There will be a discussion of the budget for the coming year. There may be other items but I am not aware of any.

Christmas Party

The Christmas party at Macaroni Grill was a great time. We celebrated Christmas and Don Savage’s 100th birthday. It is a major milestone. I was told once, that if you make it to 100 years old you will live forever. You look in the paper and you hardly ever see where folks over 100 die.


We have distributed all of the software. There are a few copies of Windows 10 32 bit for those that need it. All the rest has been claimed.

Email and Dues List Update

I am in the process of updating our email list so you may get some squirrely emails over the next month as I fine tune it. I am combining 3 different lists and I notice that some of you have more than one email. Please let me know the preferred one. Also, many of you have not paid dues. Around the middle of March I will delete those from the email lists who have not paid 2017 dues. There is a second very short list of local and national officials that we email to so they can keep up with what is going on. These folks do not have to pay dues.

Please pay your dues to Treasurer Art Barnett now.

ARRL Winter VHF/UHF Contest

The ARRL winter VHF/UHF contest is on January 21 & 22 of 2017. The club is considering a one day only gathering on Saturday 21 at the Country Club Estates club house at 2417 Lacosta. The event runs from 1 pm Saturday till 10 pm Sunday but the plan is to operate Saturday only. More details will follow as plans are firmed up.

FreeFest Update

As of right now we are over 80% full. We were 65% full 48 hours after the December email send out. There are several more who have told me verbally they are coming but haven’t sent in formal email confirmation. I will start layout after the Jackson hamfest, the end of January.

FreeFest Coordinator

I am stepping down as FreeFest coordinator after the 2017 FreeFest. I would like to have someone shadow me this year and learn how it works. As it is now, it is not a difficult job. I hate to use the term “autopilot” but it is close. I started the concept and have run every FreeFest but one since 2006. During this time we have had a pretty good hamfest and have raised more than $25,000 for LeBonheur and some for St. Jude in the very early years. I am certain that someone with “fresh eyes” can make some improvements. Contact me if you’re interested. The MARA board will have to approve any changes.

New Secretary

I will no longer be the secretary after 2016. Cindy Foster will be taking over. I told Dennis back in the summer that I would not be running again because of some new commitments. I have been the secretary at least the last five years. Most of you know that I do consulting work. I am trying to slow things down but not having much luck. It has been fun, but I need to move on.

I became interested in amateur radio because of the technical aspects of the hobby. Now the focus has shifted heavily toward public service as this is the highest level that most newer hams can aspire to. You no longer need the technical background. I do consulting all over the world and I can hire extremely competent technical people in France, England, Pakistan, India and other countries. It is particularly bothersome to me that only slightly over 20% of the hams are ARRL members, but it’s not as bleak as it looks. McDonald's, Windy’s, and Burger King will always be hiring. As long as you’re happy with a $5-10/hr. job you’ll be OK. You can always use the mantra of “I don’t do math well”. I have it from a good source that over 1/3 of the freshmen entering the university of Memphis with a 3.0 or higher GPA have to take remedial math and/or English. Someday it will dawn on folks that the oldest form of welfare in the United States is public education. Good Luck!!!