Of The Year
In conjunction with the upcoming Stone Mountain Hamfest the first weekend
in November, the GSSA will be announcing the award of Amateur of the
Year. Any voting member of the association can nominate a ham for the
award, and that ham doesn't have to be an association member.
To nominate someone, contact any officer or board member of the association
(listed at left under officers/ net info) and tell a little why you
think that ham should be the GSSA Amateur of the Year. It will be presented
at the hamfest.
By the way, the GSSA "sit and relax" table will be in the
main exhibition hall, just past the kitchen on the right. Look in this
diagram for "A7". There will be a GSSA banner up.
Time Change November 2nd Means Net Time Change
As we have for a long time, the GSSA Net time will roll back to 6 PM
(2300Z) with the time change on November 2nd. The Sunday of the Stone
Mountain Hamfest weekend the net will be at 6 PM until next March.
A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
A first took place on Space Shuttle mission STS-37. SAREX (Shuttle
Amateur Radio EXperiment) provided live communication from the shuttle
into many school classrooms to teach the students about space exploration
and Amateur Radio.
In July 1991, N6CA and KH6HME set a new record on 3456 MHz between California
and Hawaii. Each was running 5 W to a 4-foot dish.
In 1992, after 8 years as ARRL President, Larry Price, W4RA, declined
to run for re-election. The League's Board of Directors subsequently
chose him as the next International Affairs Vice President, which provides
liaison with the IARU, which Price served as Secretary. George Wilson,
W4OYI, succeeded Price as ARRL President.
N7FKI and W7ZOI reported in the March 1992 QST that they had built a
one-transistor 10 meter CW transmitter and made contacts with it using
lemon power -- essentially a cell made by inserting appropriate electrodes
into a lemon. If life gives you lemons, make contacts!
During the early 1990s, interest in digital communication grew, and
QST published many articles on the subject that helped fan the flames.
Also, hams became interested in the old concept of direct-conversion
receivers. KK7B presented one of the best in the August 1992 issue of
QST. Another old receiver circuit was also revived -- the regenerative
receiver. WJ1Z described one for 40 meters in the September 1992 issue
By the early 1990s, digital
signal processing (DSP) had made its appearance, and had begun to be
used by both homebrewing hams and equipment manufacturers.
A September 1992 QST article, "ABC: The First Electronic Digital
Computer," recounted the fascinating tale of the first real computer,
the Atanasoff-Berry computer -- a vacuum tube device -- designed in
1939 and 1940 by university professor John Atanasoff and built by electrical
engineering student Clifford Berry, W9TIJ.
-- Al Brogdon, W1AB
Did you get behind on these? Want to catch up? Read the entire series
less the current one above here.
No Easy Answers
for RadioShack's Slow, Downward Slide
Back in the day, RadioShack employees would answer the phone by saying,
"You've got questions, we've got answers." But RadioShack
now seems stumped, and the "B" word is looming ever larger
as the retailer -- once the go-to place for electronic components and,
at one point, even some Amateur Radio gear and shortwave receivers --
casts about for a white knight. Last March, in the wake of a substantial
drop in holiday sales and a big fourth-quarter loss, the Fort Worth,
Texas-based RadioShack announced plans to close 1100 of its outlets,
leaving the chain with 4000 stores, including more than 900 dealer franchises.
The company's second-quarter 2014 report has been deemed "dismal"
by investment advisors.
According to CNNMoney, though,
the retailer has been able to shutter only 200 of those shops -- because
it costs a lot of money even to close locations, and RadioShack has
none to spare. It's already bleeding cash -- some $149 million just
this year --in its struggle to board up unprofitable locations and keep
its head above the rising waters, and, as CNNMoney reported, credit
rating agency Moody's expects the company's bank account to run dry
within another 12 months. One Wall Street analyst already has warned
of impending bankruptcy, and Forbes.com reported last week that the
retailer itself has confirmed the likelihood of a Chapter 7 or Chapter
11 bankruptcy filing, if it cannot find a buyer or restructure its debt.
RadioShack CEO Joseph Magnacca
said in a statement on September 11 that while the company was making
progress in its turn-around efforts, "we are actively exploring
options for overhauling our balance sheet and are in advanced discussions
with a number of parties."
A filing the retailer submitted
to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week was far more
blunt. In short, it said that if RadioShack cannot sell the firm, partner
with another company, or restructure its debt, "we may not have
enough cash and working capital to fund our operations beyond the very
near term, which raises substantial doubt about our ability to continue
as a going concern." And if Plan A does not work out, the retailer
told the SEC, "we would likely be required to liquidate under Chapter
7 of the Bankruptcy Code."
Tim Allen = Radio Amateur (For Real)
In a particularly delicious twist of Life Imitating Art, comedian Tim
Allen, star of the ABC hit television series, "Last Man Standing,"
has earned his Amateur Radio ticket, KK6OTD. Tim joins nearly 2 dozen
show production and crew members who have become Amateurs in real life
as a result of regular exposure to authentic equipment on the stage
set and devilishly hilarious ham radio story lines that find their way
into the script by brilliant writers.
Amateurs who are already loyal fans of the show are delighted to welcome
Tim into the ranks of the Amateur fraternity, where he joins a growing
list of entertainers, heads of state, industry pioneers, and others
of great notoriety.
Congratulations, Tim, and see you on the radio.
the new Buzzard Roost Certificate
The "Buzzard Roost", an "educational"
gathering....not a net!.... convenes on 3975 kHz at 2400 UTC
on Monday nights. They have decided to issue a certificate
to folks brave enough to check in!