WATS Happenings

Official Newsletter of the
Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS), Inc.

Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2002

2002 dues are due!

Still only $24!!

(please pay them soon)


Are You Active in Your Government?
By John Chamberlain, AC5CV

Meeting Notice
CORD Offices (click for photo)
601 Lake Air Drive (click for map)
Waco, TX 76710

Thursday January 17, 2002
Directors 7:00 pm, Members 7:30 pm

No, I am not saying it’s time to go vote. But if you received my recent e-mail concerning a petition to the FCC, you’ll know that we have a chance to support a proposed change in the wording of the Part 97 rules that permit us to retransmit NASA-TV. Several of us have enjoyed watching the excellent television pictures from the space shuttles, thanks to the relay by Horace W5TAH. But with the International Space Station (ISS) beginning to take center stage in the U.S. Space Program, the Part 97 wording is one the verge of becoming a bit obsolete. The current rules permit retransmissions of NASA-TV with certain qualifications.


Part 97, Section 113, Paragraph e) reads: No station shall retransmit programs or signals emanating from any type of radio station other than an amateur station, except propagation and weather forecast information intended for use by the general public and originated from United States Government stations and communications, including incidental music, originating on United States Government frequencies between a space shuttle and its associated Earth stations. Prior approval for shuttle retransmissions must be obtained from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Such retransmissions must be for the exclusive use of amateur operators. Propagation, weather forecasts, and shuttle retransmissions may not be conducted on a regular basis, but only occasionally, as an incident of normal amateur radio communications.


If a space shuttle is not involved, it becomes a little “gray” as to whether or not the FCC would look kindly on NASA-TV retransmissions (even with NASA’s requisite approval). To resolve the issue, the NASA John Glenn Research Center Amateur Radio Club (NASA-ARC) has filed a very well-worded petition to the FCC. As recorded in FCC Proceeding RM-10355, the NASA-ARC recommends changing the sentence highlighted above to read: “…between a space shuttle or other manned spacecraft and its associated Earth stations.” The full three pages of this well-written petition is available in a pdf version of RM-10355.


Now, admittedly W5TAH has recently “stepped down” as the provider of NASA-TV for WATS, and we hope that someone else will soon “step up” to fill that vacancy (hint, hint). But nevertheless, every member of WATS is very qualified to provide a comment to the FCC in this matter. This is your opportunity to learn how to contribute to the governmental process whereby we get the rules governing amateur radio. Let me show you how easy it is to do…


How to File a Comment on an FCC Proceeding

1.      Use your web browser to go to the FCC Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS):

2.      In the left column of the web page, click on “Submit a Filing” (or just click the graphic shown here).

3.      Follow the clear instructions given on the “Electronic Comment File Submission” page. First, complete and submit the Cover Sheet. The “Proceeding” for the NASA ARC petition described above is RM-10355. Enter that number exactly as shown. Then complete all the personal information (the FCC already has it, so don’t be squeamish), ignore fields 4 and 5, and click “Send Cover Sheet to the FCC.”  Be sure to include your call sign as part of your name; you might also include “Waco Amateur Television Society,” too Note: Use the “Tab” key (NOT the Enter key) to move around the fields of this form.

4.      If the Cover Sheet is accepted, you will then be able to enter and submit your comment. Be sure to mention your membership in an amateur television club, and your position on (hopefully in favor of) RM‑10355.


You can also look over other’s comments (including mine) that have been submitted. Here’s how to do that: Back at the ECFS home page, click on the link in the left column “Search for Filed Comments.” Again, enter RM-10355 in the Proceedings field, and click the “Retrieve Document List” button. As of this writing there were precious few comments. What sort of message do you think this sends to the FCC?


You can be active in the FCC process here! They’ve made it very easy to do. Admittedly, this is a pretty low-key issue. But, at the very least, it’s good practice for the next really BIG issue that comes up. So, give it a try!


President’s Column

Happy New Year 2002 to all! I would like to thank every one for letting me have the chance to be President of WATS. It’s been a fun year! At our Annual meeting in January, we will elect a new President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Directors. Please attend this very important first meeting in 2002 and you can play a role in the start of a fun year as we elect new Officers!

As a result of a newly approved membership application form and policy, this year all newly approved first-time members must pay their dues within 30 days, or their Petition for membership will be voided—and then they will have to start all over again. We hope that won’t happen to any new members—let’s encourage them to join and be active! As for present members, please pay your 2002 dues as soon as possible.

Again thanks to all for your support this year!

The Directors will meet at 7:00 PM, and the members will meet at 7:30 PM on January 17, 2002. Hope to see you then.

73's de KC5UOZ,

David L Bush

WATS  President (2001)


Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS)
Minutes of the Board Meeting
20 December 2001

The meeting of the WATS Board of Directors was held at the CORD offices, 601 Lake Air Drive, at 7:00 PM. Those present were:

Norris Martin moved the Minutes of the November meeting be approved as reported in the December WATS Happenings. Motion was seconded by John Gafford and approved unanimously. John Gafford moved approval of the Financial Report as it appeared in the December WATS Happenings. Motion was seconded by Norris Martin and approved unanimously.

Old Business

        New Member Application. The Secretary was to have presented a revised Petition for Membership for approval by the Directors, but he was unable to attend the Directors meeting.

        Report to Texas VHF Society. Following a discussion, the Directors recommended that N5XAK submit the form requested by the Texas VHF Society (area frequency coordinators) regarding the WATS ATV repeater, now operating with an input frequency of 439.25 MHz.

New Business

        New Committees. President David Bush announced that the Nominating Committee and Audit Committee will be appointed during the meeting of Members.

        WATS Happenings. In response to a concern expressed earlier by Horace Bushnell, having to do with distribution of the Club newsletter (WATS Happenings) in paper form as well as electronic form, it was decided we would seek a volunteer to print (from versions available on the WATS web page) and mail paper copies to those members and others desiring them. John Gafford volunteered, stating he would do this if WATS would pay for the postage.

John Chamberlain moved that we adjourn. President Bush adjourned the meeting at 7:25 PM.

John Chamberlain, AC5CV
Acting Secretary

Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS)
Minutes of the Meeting of Members
20 December 2001

The WATS Meeting of Members was held at the CORD offices, 601 Lake Air Drive, at 7:30 PM. Those present were:

  • David Bush, President
  • Horace Bushnell, Secretary/Treasurer
  • John Chamberlain
  • John Gafford
  • Norris Martin
  • Mike Ross



Thanks to our 2001 Officers!

John Chamberlain moved approval of the Minutes of the November meeting as they appeared in the newsletter and published on the web page. Motion was seconded by Norris Martin and approval was unanimous.

David Bush asked John Chamberlain for a report on the video being prepared for the Waco Bicycle Club. John reported the production would be available shortly.

David Bush reported the Skycam has been out of commission and asked for a report on that. John Gafford reported he is waiting until Larry Bush is available to go with him atop the Waco Hilton to check out the Skycam.

David Bush asked Norris Martin to serve as chairman of the Nominating Committee and Mike Ross to serve with him and report their recommendations at the January Annual Meeting. Both agreed.

David Bush obtained agreement from John Gafford to serve as chairman of the Audit Committee and said he would ask Marshall Mabry to serve with him and report findings at the January Annual Meeting.

A revised Petition for Membership was presented by Horace Bushnell for review. John Chamberlain moved approval and second was by Norris Martin. Approved.

A discussion was held concerning a possible ATV demonstration before HOTARC members. Horace Bushnell agreed to put together some equipment and make a field test at TSTC, at the location where they meet. The proposal is to demonstrate use of the ATV repeater from that location. The purpose is to try and interest more operators in ATV.

We held a discussion regarding our concern that more hams are not interested in Fast Scan amateur television. John Chamberlain suggested we make up an information package to present to newly licensed Tech class operators.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM.

Horace Bushnell, W5TAH




Financial Report

31 December 2001

Bank Balance as of 30 November 2001

    Credits:   None

    Debits:    None

Bank Balance as of 31 December 2001




Horace Bushnell, W5TAH



Your Club Dues are Due!
According to our bylaws, Article 10.01 states “The dues for Full Members shall be $24.00 per calendar year.” And in Article 10.02, “Dues shall be payable in advance on the first day of January in each fiscal year.” So, please take action today to pay your 2002 WATS dues. The easiest solution is to bring your cash or check to the January WATS meeting. The next best method is to mail your check to WATS, 3804 N 21A Street, Waco, TX.

WATS Happenings is the official newsletter of the Waco Amateur Television Society (WATS), Inc., a non-profit organization, chartered by the State of Texas with registered offices at 3804 N 21A Street, Waco, TX.  Use of information contained herein is permissible, provided credit is given to the source. Edited and published by John Chamberlain, AC5CV.


2001 WATS Officers and Directors

President: David Bush, KC5UOZ, KC5UOZ@bigfoot.com

Secretary/Treasurer: Horace Bushnell, W5TAH, W5TAH@aol.com

Director (thru 2003): John Chamberlain, AC5CV, AC5CV@arrl.net

Director (thru 2002): John Gafford, N5XAK, jgafford@clearsource.net

Director (thru 2001): Norris Martin, KB5SLI, nmartin@tstc.edu