AARC History 1988

Bay Ridge Inn Hosts Installaton Dinner
An Installation Dinner was held on January 15th at the Bay Ridge Inn for the 1988 AARC officers: President Tony Young/WA3YLO, Vice-president Jerry Herman/N3BDW, Treasurer Bill Cooke/K3CN, Secretary Dick Campbell/N3FKV and Directors John Currey/N3EOB, Al Nestor/N3EOD and Fred Plitt/W3DCN.

'88' Was An Exciting Year
The year proved to be exciting and eventful. There were problems. On March 24th the power supply on the repeater self destructed from the inside out. On Saturday morning (March 26th) a 20-amp power supply was installed temporarily so the repeater could operate normally. That evening during a spectacular thunderstorm lightning zapped the phone in the shack, fried the twinlead from the dipole (leaving only the plastic) and damaged some of the repeater components. The substitute power supply suffered minor damage. The 220 machine had blown fuses and had to be reprogrammed. Still another substitute 50-amp power supply was installed by John Williams/K8JW on Wednesday. Due to good advance planning by the Technical Committee, spare parts were on hand to repair the repeater.

Special QSL for Maryland Bicentennial Special Event Stations
Tony/WA3YLO requested the Maryland Bicentennial Committee to design a sticker for the face of the special QSL card to be used by Maryland special event stations during the Maryland Anniversary Week of April 23-29. The Committee responded with a 2-inch-wide Maryland flag to be used as a sticker on the face of the QSL card, then made AARC the custodian for the stickers and the special Maryland QSL cards, to be sent out to participating clubs on request. AARC members manned a Special Events Station on each of the 7 days (Apr. 23-29) designated as Maryland's week to air special event club activity. Air time was about 35 hours with 651 contacts in 46 states.

Hollis Thigpen Named AARC Ham-of-the-Month
Hollis Thigpen/KC3X was named AARC Ham-of-the-Month for April for his contribution as Monday Night CW Elmer for the Novice Class. As a result of the Novice Class, coordinated by Tony/WA3YLO and Jerry/N3BDW, twenty-three new radio amateurs were produced. Field Day, coordinated by Fred Plitt/W3DCN, included a packet station. AARC came in second in the nation in the 3A Battery Class (W3VPR+ the Novice Station KA3TDD) with 1120-5 contacts totaling 9,280 points.

Hams Lose Frequencies on 1 1/4 Meter Band
AARC Club Members were disappointed, along with ARRL, over the loss of 220-222 Mhz to land mobile use. A petition for reconsideration by the FCC was filed. Members were asked to write or call their Senators or House members for their support.

Emergency Management Reorganization
At the request of Primus Richardson, Director of Emergency Management for Anne Arundel County, a complete reorganization was undertaken in mid-1988. AARC members played a major part in that task and have been heavily involved in RACES/ARES activities since.

Fair Replaces Bluegrass Festival
The DFRC (Davidsonville Family Recreation Center) decided to have a fair on August 6th of '88 instead of the accustomed Bluegrass Festival. The AARC furnished the communications, ran a food booth and manned a booth to demonstrate HF and traffic handling by packet.

PACSAT Announced
Two new activities in Amateur Radio were introduced to AARC members through spirited presentations and articles by two club members. At the February program meeting Dick Campbell/N3FKV held attendees spellbound with his talk on satellite communications. A crash program was underway to build and launch an orbiting satellite (PACSAT) through which packet radio users would be able to pass their signals. AMSAT's new Phase 3 satellite was undergoing pre-launch tests and was expected to be launched on the European Space Agency's (ESA) V-22 mission planned for March of '88. It was expected to carry three linear transponders and a single-frequency, digital RUDAK transponder.

Bob Bruninga Promotes Amateur TV
Club Member Bob Bruninga/WB4APR, always on the leading edge of whatever, had become obsessed with Amateur TV. He had taken part in the successful amateur televising of the Marine Corps Marathon with a bicycle mobile station. He carried a backpack frame with a metal bracket over the shoulder to hold the weight of the camera. A 3-foot mast extended above the other shoulder to support a lightweight omni-gain antenna. In one pouch of the pack was the 80-milliwatt ATV transmitter and in the other was the 12-volt NICAD battery pack. The rest of the pouch was available for lunch and refreshments. He was determined to install an ATV repeater on top of the Naval Academy water tower. He managed to do that, then began encouraging club members to buy ATV converters and join in the fun.

CQ World Wide CW From the Clubhouse
On Thanksgiving weekend five club members gathered at the clubhouse and put the club station on the air for the CQ World Wide CW Contest. With the help of a number of visitors on both days, they made 626 QSOs and 477,700 points.

Over 100 Attend AARC Christmas Party
The Club's Family Christmas Party was a huge success. The affair has grown bigger year by year (and the desserts more luscious). There were 100+ persons present. Santa called each of the 20 or more children by name to present gifts.

Public Service '88'
Public Service Events for 1988 included the Marlborough Hunt Club Races at Roedown, a walk for the American Diabetes Association and the March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon in April, the Bay Bridge Swim in June, the Annapolis 10-mile Run in August and Chesapeake Appreciation Days in October. Individual members helped with the Marine Police Open House at Sandy Point State Park at the end of April, with the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary Open House and with the Glen Burnie Centennial Parade in May.