About the Superstition Amateur Radio Club

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Club History

The Superstition Amateur Radio Club was founded in 1973 in Apache Junction by a group of recreational vehicle enthusiasts who were also hams, and who participated in the 20 meter RV Net.  Two of the founding members were Floyd Zeka, WA7UWG, now a Silent Key, and Jerry Navarre, WA7RDC, now living in Utah.  Jerry is the only surviving Founding Member today.

The club met in Apache Junction High School on the third Wednesday of the month, in a classroom, which lent itself to blackboard theory discussions and presentations.  And Bill Falk, K7WJF oftentimes drew schematics on the board and discussed radio theory.

K7WJF, now a Silent Key, was, to the best of my knowledge, the club's first President, and was still very active in the club in 1976 upon my first arrival on the scene.

K7WJF spearheaded many other events to show amateur radio to the public.  These included taking messages from the public at street-corner events and passing those messages over the National Traffic System via amateur radio.  Bill also taught many Novice amateur radio classes.

After the club put up its repeater on 147.12 in 1977, shortly after the FCC Rules change relaxing repeater licensing requirements, K7WJF was sending code practice at 5 words per minute every Wednesday ahead of our Wednesday Night Nets on the repeater, except on meeting night.

Many Club Officers and Board members used the Wednesday Night Net for advertising club activities to its members.  In 2013, current President Steve Estes, KB7KWK, has reoriented the club's Wednesday night net once again towards discussion of club activities and taking questions and getting answers from the club's panel of Elmers.

Newsletter history

The earliest newsletter was a post card mailed out to members to remind of the club meeting.  There is a scan of one such newsletter somewhere on this site, which needs to be found.

Bill Falk, K7WJF came up with a mimeograph machine, a device that consists of a drum upon which a stencil is affixed.  The stencil holds the information from one page of the newsletter, that was typed out on a typewriter and has raised impressions of the letters.  As the crank was turned on the drum, the stencil came in contact with blue ink and then in contact with a plain sheet of paper on each revolution, to transfer its inked impressions to create a blue copy of the page of the newsletter.

The mimeograph was a messy thing to deal with, for there was blue ink everywhere.  One had to be careful not to leave blue fingerprints!

The club started using the services of a photocopy shop for its newsletters, a much cleaner process, but best results were obtained with a printing press, which became affordable when we were generating upwards of 200 copies of the newsletter.

Every month the newsletter was posted on the bulletin board at Ham Radio Outlet in Phoenix, with several copies left on the counter for the taking at many east Mesa area Radio Shack stores, a Tempe antique electronics store and a downtown Mesa electronics business.

Editors included such notables as Dick Dyas, W0JCP, who later went on to become an ARRL division Director in his hometown, and Jack Wilson, KA6YRB.  While Larry Kuck, WB7CRK was editor, a plain-text email copy of the newsletter was created for one of our members, who is blind, and who can have email read to him by a screen reader hardware/software package installed on his computer.  That member, John Jacques, KD8PC, stated that this was the first ever club newsletter he could read without sighted assistance.

More members welcomed the email copy as a means of saving the club postage and printing costs, but not everyone was into email, Internet and computers.  So the printed newsletter continued to be produced.

Following a few years with no newsletter in the early 2000's, the newsletter was picked up by Dave Muller, K7AV, who now produces a PDF version that is posted on this site and is emailed to members.

Community Participation

Under Bill Falk's direction, the club took in messages from the public to be relayed through the National Traffic System.  The club was also regularly involved with radio communications in support of the annual Lost Dutchman Parade in Apache Junction.

Under President Bill Johnson, WB7QZB, who worked in the maintenance department of Mesa Lutheran Hospital, west of Country Club and south of brown Rd in Mesa, the club became involved in the hospital's emergency drills, which the hospital had to perform on a regular basis.  It was during this time that two telephone outages brought the club into action to provide the hospital with communications, first when the Mountain Bell Telephone Company switching office was flooded in Mesa, knocking out outbound telephone service from the hospital, and second when a contractor cut some utility cables, killing floor-to-floor telephone service in the hospital.

Hams were stationed at the hospital, and used 2 meters to contact hams who had telephone service, to reach doctors and medical staff at home, to come to the hospital during the switching office flood.  Of course we had reactions from these doctors at 3 in the morning, like "who the blankety-blank are you, and how the blank did you get my number."

Hams were again stationed at the hospital, this time using simplex to relay messages from floor-to-floor, to cut down on foot traffic during the contractor-caused outage.

In addition to the hospital drills, the club was also involved with combined Mesa Fire and hospital drills, with one having a triage system of priority numbered from "1" to "5," with "1" being the most serious, and the other having just the opposite numbering system, with "1" being the least serious.

Once WB7QZB retired from the hospital, we no longer had the "inside man" to coax and cajole hospital administrators.

The Superstition Club also put on ham radio demonstration projects from shopping center parking lots to a setup inside the lobby of VF Factory Outlet Mall, with our antennas on the roof.  In order for us to get antennas to the roof, the mall management cut an opening that could be capped off while not in use.  I am unclear as to what happened to bring that relationship to an end.

These days, the club is involved with Lost Dutchman Days with a special event station every year.  Its members sign up through the Maricopa County Emergency Group web site, www.mcecg.net, for participation in the Lost Dutchman Marathon.

ARRL Field Day

The club has put forth an effort since its trip to the saddle of Four Peaks in 1991, each year doing Field Day.  Four Peaks, at about 7000 feet in the Mazatzal (according to the TV commercial for Payson's Mazatzal Casino, it is pronounced "Matazel") Mountains.  Four Peaks is a great radio site, but there is no shade from the blazing sun.  From there, a dead ten meter band will cover Phoenix, Payson, eastern Arizona, northern Arizona, and even reach Prescott Valley on a CB ground plane at 10 feet.  Signals came booming in on a 100-foot wire antenna on 40 meters which was fed at ground level on the top of the ridge, and extended down the mountain to a height of six feet above ground at the bottom end.  The radio was off the side of the ridge road in Gila County, the antenna running down the mountainside was in Maricopa County.  We used the barbed wire fence as station ground.  Just thinking:  A common ground between all stations may be a partial solution to mutual interference at Field Day setups!

-- Larry Kuck, WB7C

We are a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization

Superstition Amateur Radio Club, Inc. has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization, effective with our initial incorporation in July 1977.  Our filing was approved in July 2006.

Officers and the Board Of Directors

The Board of Directors is made up of seven at-large Directors.  They and the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurerofficers elected each November.  This page was updated 5 March 2014.

Constitution & By-Laws

Please see The Constitution and By-Laws page for the official Constitution and ByLaws.

Our Meeting Time and Location

The Superstition ARC meets every month except in December at the Mesa Utilities Office, 640 N Mesa Drive in Mesa.  Our meetings are on the third Tuesday, that is, a Tuesday that falls on or between the 15th and the 21st of the month.

The meeting time is 7:00 PM and is open to all, whether you are a club member or not.

Please see Meeting Information for more details about our club meetings and Board meetings.

Besides meeting members on the air on the linked 147.12 and 449.50 repeaters, and at the club meeting, there are Amateur Radio Breakfasts you may attend to meet area hams.

Joining the Club

Please see our Club Membership page for full details on how to join.  There, you will see a running total of the number of club members, and you can enter your name into a form and see if you are currently a member, or when your membership expires.

There, you will learn how you may join online, in person or by mail.

Membership Newsletter

Club members receive a PDF copy of the newsletter via email, but you may visit http://wb7tjd.org/newsletter/ for the latest issue posted on the club web site.

Club Activities

Besides maintaining a 147.12 repeater that is linked full time with its counterpart on 449.60, we have Club Nets and Activities listed on their own pages.

If you see any errors on these pages,
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Serving the East Valley since 1973
Superstition Amateur Radio Club, Inc.