PRC mtg August 19

Looking ahead to September… we will not be meeting on Labor Day, the 2nd. Our only meeting in September will be September 16th.


This has been an unusual summer for my family and me. Without going into too much detail in this space, let me just say that that I’m happy to say that things are looking up. With all the activity I’ve had little time for radio, or the PRC for that matter.

As we learned at the previous meeting, several members have tales of woe in the aftermath of the July 5th flooding storm that left my basement quite soaked. Fortunately we didn’t suffer any major losses. We’re now dried out thanks to the fine work of the Service Master team. After their work I back -filled three tons of top soil against the foundation to make up for long settled soil. Then I discovered a backed up gutter downspout, and opened a neighbor’s leaf-blocked back yard storm drain that was allowing her water to flow onto our back yard. While I still get an uneasy feeling when I notice dark clouds gathering, I’m comfortable that ever bit of my recent efforts will pay off. For now our basement is DRY. It has occurred to me that perhaps my calling should have been as a civil engineer. I certainly can see the benefit of such work.


I haven’t been able to enjoy any hamfests this summer and I understand the DX Engineering ‘fest was a very successful event. With that in mind, we’ll have some personal reports about the activity at our next meeting on August 19th.

The “right way” to do Hamfests

Have you ever attended a hamfest and then spent several hours afterward only to realize that you returned without the “goodies” you needed? How did that happen? We all know there are a lot of distractions at hamfests that make it easy for us to get side tracked. I’ve become convinced that hamfesting successfully, whether as a shopper or as a vendor requires skill! At Monday’s meeting I’d like to hear your suggestions for successfully doing a hamfest, as a shopper or as a vendor. As a bonus, I’m certain that those skills are transferable to other similar situations.

Those strange tones

While enjoying the recent coverage of the anniversary of the moon landing and listening to the thrilling two way conversations between the astronauts and Houston Control I asked myself for the first time, “What are those strange tones we hear during the transmissions?” My research led me to an interesting finding. The tones are called Quindar Tones and they served a major communication function.

With a spinning earth it would have been impossible to maintain constant radio communication with the astronauts from a single fixed location in Houston, Texas. The solution was to have a network of receiving stations and transmitters around the globe. Each station had phone line connection to Houston Control. At any given time one of those sites would have a direct signal to the astronauts. Now here is where the Quindar tones come in. When the astronauts pressed their PTT (push to talk) the Quindar tone from the space craft was picked up by a receiving station and their audio was fed, by phone line, to Houston! Houston’s response went back to space by first traveling back to the receiving station on the same phone line!

For more specifics, I suggest you go to

Hal Rogers, K8CMD PRC President