There’s Nothing New Under the Sun…

I’ve just come into possession of a remarkable treasure–namely the ARROW archives. It’s an amazing and amusing look into ARROW’s past.

For example, the archives contain copies of the newsletter produced from November 1988 throu April l994. At random, I pulled the April 1989 issue from the files.

It’s amazing to me that I chose this particular issue as on page 5 is an article written by Steve Andre, WB8WSF titled, “A Time of Change for the ARROW Two-Meter System.”

At this point, the repeater itself was fairly new, but the controller was the aging piece of hardware. WB8WSF noted,

“The current controller was designed in 1974 by Dana Whitlow K8YUM. When it was designed, it was a state-of-the-art unit…and has been in operation for more than 100,000 hours with few problems…Yet as good as it has been, the newer technologies have made it obsolete. The ICs from which the controller was made are no longer available, which makes maintenance very difficult.”

Steve can correct me if I’m wrong, but shortly afterwards, he replaced the original controller with the SCom unit that controls our repeater today.

Steve concludes the article by saying, “The ARROW 2m system has been an excellent system rooted in 1970s technology. It is now time to bring it into the 1990s.” Might not something similar be said of our current repeater system?

From the Board Room
There’s another article in this issue which falls into the “the more things change, the more they stay the same” category. The article in question is a column by then president Doug Wilson KA8IGS. In this column, Doug emplores the membership to consider running for the board of directors.

How appropriate as our own elections will soon be upon us. Doug says, “As in all organizations, the ARROW is run by a clique. Fortunately, it’s an easy clique to get into and there is a place for you if you have the time.”

What was true then, is certainly true now. If you would like to get more involved, we will certainly find a place for you. Heck, you can even have my job if you want it! Call me at 734-930-6564 or e-mail me if you want to discuss it. To be honest, there are a few headaches associated with being a board member, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun, too, and always educational.

Time Marches On
Of course some things do change. On page 8, we find a half-page ad from Purchase Radio that lists the lines they carry. These include Mosley Electronics, Heathkit, Hustler, Cushcraft, TenTec, and MFJ.

This issue also has a membership roster. There are many familiar calls, including WB8WSF, W8JNZ, W8OMB, K8PBA, WB4SBE, and even KB6NU (although I wasn’t very active in ARROW way back when). There are many, though, that are not familiar to me, who are no longer club members, or who are now Silent Keys. I counted 120 members total in April 1989; today we’re right around 100.

This is an amazing piece of history, and one that got me thinking about what our successors will have to look at 15 years from now. We no longer publish a printed newsletter, instead relying on our website and e-mail list to keep ourselves in contact with one another.

I think I’m going to have to start taking snapshots of the website and printing them out or storing them on some kind of disk. We do need to leave some kind of record of what we did, so that in 2020 they can marvel about how similar things were way back in 2004.


ARROW President

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