WATS Happenings

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

Volume 6, Issue 10, October 2001


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

Thursday October 18, 2001
Directors 7:00 pm, Members 7:30 pm

What is the P-rating System We Use with ATV? by John Chamberlain, AC5CV

Most ATVers use the P-system to report ATV signal quality received. But how does a new ATVer get “calibrated” to the P-system? Thanks to the advent of the web and the free distribution of images, we can now refer to some easily available reference images. One nice set I found is located at the ATCO web site, where I found sample images with nice additional documentation. Click on any of the images below to see larger images and the descriptions of the P-system as recommended by ATCO.








President’s Column

The Waco Wild West Century Bike Ride was well attended, the WATS Group once again transmitting ATV (Audio, Video) back to the HOTARC Trailer which was set up at the starting area in front of the Waco Suspension Bridge. We used the ATV Repeater atop the Hillcrest Medical Tower. P5 signals were received most of the time from W5TAH Horace Bushnell, N5XAK John Gafford and KC5KQL Justin Martin. AC5CV John Chamberlain transmitted with 10 watts all the way back from Speegleville Road with a P3.5 to P4 signal. Most of us recorded our video right in our camcorders on tapes, as well as taking a few digital snapshots that can be used later for a short video. Thanks to all the WATS members for a job well done.

The Sky-Cam atop the Hilton Hotel in downtown Waco will be replaced with a new Camera. The old one did not have a UV filter and stray sunlight apparently caused a clouding of the lens. The new camera will have a UV filter installed to help minimize this problem. This is the first time that a brand new camcorder with built-in remote wireless zoom has been used in a Sky-Cam unit. With older cameras we were able to open the camera and hard-wire the telephoto/wide angle buttons for control via our 2 meter rigs, but with the new camcorders we can't do that because of the new technology being used on the camera's switches. So, instead W5NCD was able to open up the camera's wireless remote and wire it for remote zooming--a most important feature for our Sky-Cam operation. We'll power the infrared remote with a "wall transformer."

Hope to see everyone Thursday night October 18, 2001 for our monthly WATS Meeting. The Board of Directors will meet at 7:00pm, and the Members at 7:30pm.

73 de KC5UOZ
David L Bush
WATS President

Special Events ReportWWWC Starting Line

Thanks to the WATS members who contributed to the successful ATV support for the Waco Wild West Century bike ride on September 29. The weather was utterly fantastic for bikers and hams alike: beautiful sunshine, light breezes, with temperatures around 60 degrees at the start, warming up to about 75 degrees for the rest of the day. Because of the large amount of territory we were trying to cover, we planned to use the WATS ATV repeater.

WWWC Rest Stop #3KC5UOZ arrived early to set up the receiving equipment in the HOTARC trailer (thanks, David!); John AC5CV tried without success to hit the repeater from the corner of Herring and MLK Drive; Justin KC5KQL sent pictures from the corner of MLK Drive and Lake Shore Drive; Horace W5TAH transmitted ATV from the corner of  Lake Shore Drive and Steinbeck bend Road; John N5XAK sent pictures from rest stop #1 (FM 1737 and FM 2490), and John AC5CV sent pictures from rest stop #3 (Speegleville Road and FM 3047). KC5UOZ recorded some of our transmissions as received at the HOTARC trailer at Indian Springs Park…maybe he will share some with us at the October meeting (hint, hint :-).

John Chamberlain, AC5CV
Special Events Coordinator


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

The Board met at the offices of CORD, 601 Lake Air Drive, Waco, Texas, at 7:00 PM. Those present were as follows:
        David Bush, President
        Horace Bushnell, Secretary-Treasurer
        John Chamberlain, Director
        John Gafford, Director
        Norris Martin, Director
        Justin Martin, Webmaster (Visitor)


President David Bush welcomed all to the meeting and mentioned how nice the September issue of WATS Happenings looked on the webpage. All were agreeable that it was a well-prepared issue, by John Chamberlain.


John Gafford moved for approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting, as it appeared on the webpage. Motion was seconded by John Chamberlain and it was approved unanimously.


Norris Martin moved that the Financial Report be approved as it appeared on the webpage. Second to the motion was given by John Gafford and motion was approved.


John Chamberlain gave a report on this purchase of the camcorder to be used on the skycam, and subsequently returned to uBid. He reported he has received a credit to his account for the returned item.


In order to respond to the wishes of the General Membership in attendance at the August Meeting of Members, John Chamberlain moved the Board approve the expenditure of up to $600.00 for a camcorder to replace the old camcorder in the skycam. Motion was seconded by Horace Bushnell. Motion approved. 


A discussion was held in reference to future special events, but no Board action was taken. It was generally agreed that this would be better handled at the Meeting of Members, as it had to do with volunteer actions.


John Chamberlain moved we adjourn: seconded by Norris Martin. We adjourned at 7:24 PM.

Horace Bushnell, W5TAH






Photos by N5XAK 9-20-01


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

The Meeting of Members was held at the offices of CORD, 601 Lake Air Drive, at 7:30 PM. Those present were as follows:
   David Bush, KC5UOZ, President

   Horace Bushnell, W5TAH, Secretary-Treasurer

   Larry Bush, W5NCD

   John Chamberlain, AC5CV

   John Gafford, N5XAK

   Norris Martin. KB5SLI

   Justin Martin, KC5KQL (Visitor)


John Gafford moved approval of Minutes of the August Meeting of Members. Second was by Norris Martin. Approved.


Larry Bush reported that the new camcorder, purchased to replace the old one in the skycam, had been received, and he had experienced difficulty obtaining necessary information on wiring into the Infrared (IR) remote. The agreed plan is to install the remote alongside the camcorder, inside the skycam enclosure, and control the zoom feature through the remote, since wiring this feature inside the camera would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.


We discussed the upcoming Wild West Century Bike Ride to be held on Saturday, September 29th. John Chamberlain suggested each of us tape the riders whether or not we are transmitting. He will edit the tapes, combining them into one for the organization sponsoring the Bike Ride. We will be using the ATV repeater for this event; therefore we will be using horizontal polarization.


Larry Bush made favorable comments on appearance of the newsletter (WATS Happenings) as it appears on the web. All were in agreement as to the fine quality work being done by John Chamberlain, the Interim Editor/Publisher.


We discussed needed repeater improvements. The old transmitting antenna elements do not sufficiently support the loads being placed upon them by large birds. Larry Bush, chairing the Technical Committee, was asked to look into possibilities of switching to vertical polarization.


Larry Bush moved for adjournment. We adjourned at 8:20 PM.


Horace Bushnell, W5TAH




Financial Report

30 September 2001

Bank Balance as of 30 August 2001

    Credits:   None

    Debits:    None

Bank Balance as of 30 September 2001





Horace Bushnell, W5TAH



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