Saturday, November 19, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving - No Net Thursday

Since Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, we will not be holding a Net.  Enjoy an extra slice of pie and give your family a hug!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fire Drill!

For Thursday's Net (11/17/2016) we are asking that you go to the fire station you selected in the Operator Portal.  Unless you are invited in, you will just meet in front of the building or parking lot, whichever is most convenient and out of the way.  I know this goes without saying, but please be respectful of the property and of the people who work there.  The fire stations are aware that you are coming.

If you have not assigned yourself a station please go to, register and select a station.  This is a great opportunity to make sure your go kit is ready for possible deployment and that you are able to communicate effectively.  This will also give us an idea of what communications challenges we may need to address in the future.  This Net will be conducted over our simplex frequency which is 147.580 Mhz.  We will also be monitoring our normal Net frequency of 146.700 Mhz, negative offset 100 hz tone.  Hope to hear from each of you!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Bear Lake Monster Gran Fondo bike ride on 9/24 -- Operators Needed

The Bear Lake Monster Gran Fondo bike ride on 9/24 is still looking for operators.  Rest stop and SAG operators are still needed for the event.   Operators can sign up at or go to and click on the Bear Lake Monster link. 

Just over a week away from this year's Bear Lake Monster Gran Fondo on September 24th. We will be needing all positions filled, so we are looking for folks to be Net Control, Rest Stop Comms, SAG drivers, Motorcycle Leads and Bicycle based Ride Marshals...  This could be one of the best event to work on before the end of the year.

--Thanks Roger AE7RG

Training topic for 9/15/2016

We're taking the curtain aside. You'll get a behind-the-

scenes look at what it means to be net control. What

special powers do these people have, and what do they know

that you don't?

Please have a Pencil and Paper at the ready as this will help with the training.

see you then,


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What happens when the repeater goes down?

August 1st training was on what to when the repeater goes down.  Below were some notes related to that discussion.

  • Why do we have repeaters?
    • Increase Range
    • Save power by lowering TX output
    • Get over the mountain
  • What do we do when a repeater is down?
    • Use the transmit frequency of the repeater.
      • 147.600 Mhz
    • Range is limited
    • Relay’s will be necessary
  • How can you be better prepared?
    • Have a external antenna
      • Roll Up J-Pole
      • Mag Mount
      • Roof Antenna
    • Have a radio with higher output
      • Handhelds are about 5 watts
      • Mobiles average about 50 watts
    • Be prepared to relay a message
      • Know how to relay
      • Paper
      • Pencil
      • Headphones
      • Map
    • Now how to operate your radio
      • Be able to take off the offset
    • Have a secondary frequency

    Sunday, August 28, 2016

    Whole Community Disaster Simulation Workshop

    One of the most effective preparedness promotion tools is coming to Utah on Sept 22nd.
    RSVP required:

    Do you want to share the preparedness message in an interactive and fun way?  Do you want a way to open eyes and give "ah ha" moments on preparedness? Want a whole community exercise that addresses recovery and not just response?
    On Sept 22nd, 2016, Utah will be hosting a Whole Community Disaster Simulation Workshop provided by Montana and FEMA Region 8. The first part of the day will teach you what this is and how to do this in your own community.  The second part of the day will be actually setting up the simulation and doing a practice run through. All who attend the workshop will receive a flash drive with all the printable tools needed to do this simulation in your own community.
    This is free to attend and you leave with valuable resources that empower your ability to take it home and do this in your own County or City.  
    Date & Time: September 22, 2016, 9am-4pm.  Please arrive early so we can get started on time.
    Location: Multi Agency State Office Building, 195 North 1950 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, right off of North Temple in Salt Lake City, just East of I-215.
    Food: A lunch break will be given but lunch will be on your own.

    The purpose of this simulation training is to help you give the public a realistic look at what they would be facing post disaster and all the partners they would be working with in order to recover. This Simulation is a hands on experiential based learning tool that teaches the importance of personal and family preparedness.  This is a fun and engaging tool for your community.  Little to no knowledge about disaster preparedness, response or recovery is needed for this to happen which makes it the perfect tool for the general public.  The Whole Community Disaster Simulation is a role-playing experience which give participants the opportunity to experience the aftermath of a disaster from multiple points of view. During this simulation participants must try to reach group specific goals and objectives. While working on the objectives, action cards will be injected into the role playing, changing situations for different people. This Simulation gives you a small taste of the roles that community members may fill following a major disaster.  You will find that the whole community is involved and affected in some manner.  It is important that everyone is prepared and knows what to do in the event of a disaster because all disasters start and end locally.
    More info about this can be found here:
    Audience: Who should attend?  Anyone, but more specifically, Volunteers, Emergency Managers, Elected Officials, Volunteer Program Managers, Volunteer Program Instructors, VOAD partners, Public Information Officers, Media, Health Care, FEMA, Volunteer Reception Center trained individuals, Red Cross Volunteers, Americorps, school leaders, church leaders, other community leaders, and others that are trying to promote preparedness in their communities.  
    RSVP is required to get a count for the supplies. RSVP deadline is Sept 13th, 2016. Space is limited so please register early.  Please RSVP here:

    Follow #DisasterSim on Social Media and share this Facebook event with your friends:

    Thursday, August 11, 2016

    Computers In The Shack

    Ham radio deluxe (HRD)
    • $99
    • Radio Control
    • Logbook
    • Digital Modes
    • Rotator Control
    • Satellite Tracker

    • Free
    • Gpredict is a real-time satellite tracking and orbit prediction application. It can track an unlimited number of satellites and display their position and other data in lists, tables, maps, and polar plots (radar view). Gpredict can also predict the time of future passes for a satellite, and provide you with detailed information about each pass.

    During out Net we discussed the use of computers in the shack. Below is a list of those pieces of software.

    • Free
    • Used to program radio memories

    Outpost Packet Message Manager
    • Free
    • Interfaces with packet BBS to send and receive messages

    • Free
    • iOS -

    Putty -
    • Terminal Software
    • Free

    • For use with digital modes
    • Linux
    • Free

    • Android -
    • Satellite Tracking
    • Free

    AX.25 Tools
    • Linux tool for doing packet

    Others Mentioned

    Friday, July 15, 2016


    Just some random notes I took while talking about failure during the last couple of Nets.

    • Equipment
      • Antenna
        • Ice
        • Water in the coax
        • Lead Lines
      • Power
        • Battery
        • Fuse
        • Sufficient Power
      • Microphone
        • Microphone cord
      • Repeater Failure

    • People
      • Knowledge
      • Assigned Task Failure
        • Redundancy in assignments
      • Working to long and hard
        • Be realistic about our abilities
        • Properly estimate time needed to accomplish something
          • Remember conditions have changed

    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    The Call to action has been given!

    Members of the WVCARC have been formally been asked for assistance.

    BARC or the Bridgerland Amateur Radio Club is asking for any and all Voluenteers to help with the Little Red Riding Hood Bike Ride.

    The Little Red Riding Hood 

    Little Red Riding Hood is an annual women’s-only ride featuring 3,500 cyclists. Little Red Riding Hood is a fully supported, non-competitive, women only cycling event. With 27, 36, 50, 70 and 100 mile distances, there is a ride for everyone.

    The Bonneville Cycling Club (BCC) is proud to present the 29th Little Red Riding Hood Bicycle Ride dedicated to raising money in the fight against cancer in women. BCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and riding opportunities for everyone from novice recreational riders to riders training for LOTOJA.

    Read more about it here:

    The Call to action has been given!

    They are asking for Ham and non Hams, or combinations thereof to come and help with S.A.G. duties in the Lewiston Utah in Cache Valley area.

    This is a great opportunity to practice your radio communications skills in a event situation.
    These conditions are very similar to the type of communications that would be used in an emergency situation.

    Typically there is Swag usually a Shirt and other items that they offer to Volunteers Also there is a Dinner and party the night before.

    There are also places to either tent camp or trailer camp near the Lewiston fairgrounds so you can really make a weekend of it.

    The Little Red Riding Hood will be held this year on the Evening of June 3rd, and all day June 4th.

    If you are Interested in helping our neighboring Ham Radio Club to the north please feel free to contact or click on the link here or on the Public Events page for Little Red Riding hood.

    Thanks for your help

    Jason Bailey

    Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    LiFePO4 Battery Group Buy Coming To An End.

    Friday is the last day to get in on this group buy.  If you are interested please fill out the form here:


    I have talked to Batteries and Bulbs and they are offering a group discount to WVCARC members on the LiFePO4 batteries listed below.

    Weight12.13 lb5.5 lb1.98 lb
    Charge Cycles2500*1000 - 1100#1000 - 1100#
    Max Continues Discharge Current20A10A6.6A
    *Reaches approximately 80 percent of its rated capacity after 2500 cycles in laboratory conditions.
    *Reaches approximately 80 percent of its rated capacity after 1000-1100 cycles in laboratory conditions.

    If you are interested please fill out the Google form found here:  Depending on the number of people interested they may be able to drop the price even lower.

    Friday, May 20, 2016

    Real Life Test - I saw that going differently in my head

    So last night, My wife and I were setting in our room talking as we prepared for bed. Out side the window the wind was blowing and it was raining. On the horizon I saw several flashes through the trees....and then the power went out. Plunged into complete darkness I thought, "Oh well my go bag is right here I will grab my flash light", a tactical Streamlight microstream LED flashlight. I clicked the button and it comes to life bringing the room to a dim glow, and then darkness........ I click the button again, no change. the AAA battery had given it's all, and in my time of need. OK, no problem I have a replacement battery in my Go bag. I remove the spent cell and add the new one. "Click" the switch says as I turn it on, however, the experience was very similar. "NUTS" I grumble as I look for another battery, rummaging through my pouch. Nothing I pull out the Power Pax Battery holder which holds AA cells, but could not find any AAA cells. "NUTS".

    I felt frustrated and a little foolish

    My wife made her way by cell phone to the Kitchen to find the plugin emergency flashlight, and returned. I felt frustrated and a little foolish. Here I was someone who thought was prepared to deal with situations like this, only to be thwarted by my own shortsightedness. I had no charged batteries or a backup light source.

    I went to bed. As I lay in the dark I took stock of the situation. Was I prepared for long term situation? What if the call came for operators? I turned on my radio to the Ensign Peak Repeater and the UARC Fansworth repeater and listened. I checked on my family. They slept peacefully.

    No call came, but what if it had? Would you be ready?

    No call came, but what if it had? Would you be ready? I was not, even though I thought I was.

    Are "YOU" Ready? The news, local reported 82K people without power for over 6 hours. What if it had been longer, say 3 days. What would the response by local government, local church leaders, and individuals. Would your family be OK?

    While this incident for me was fine, short of being in the dark for a minute, and most people just slept through it. It gives a person pause to think what if?

    So in the comments I would like to hear about you experience with this event, and if it were longer, what would you do?

    --Jason Bailey

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016

    May 19th In Person Meet Venue Change

    Due to a scheduling conflict we are moving our Thursday in person meet to Fire Station 74.  The address is 5545 West 3100 South West Valley City, UT 84120.  We will meet at 6:30 PM tomorrow May 19th.  The theme will be show and tell.  Bring something to show if you want or come by and see what other have brought.  We will also have an update what is going on in the club.  Also Brent from Battery and Bulbs will be there to show off the latest battery technology.  Hope to see you there.  We will also be on listening on the 146.700 repeater for anyone getting lost.  Please let your fellow Hams know of the change.

    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery Group Buy

    I have talked to Batteries and Bulbs and they are offering a group discount to WVCARC members on the LiFePO4 batteries listed below.

    Weight12.13 lb5.5 lb1.98 lb
    Charge Cycles2500*1000 - 1100#1000 - 1100#
    Max Continues Discharge Current20A10A6.6A
    *Reaches approximately 80 percent of its rated capacity after 2500 cycles in laboratory conditions.
    *Reaches approximately 80 percent of its rated capacity after 1000-1100 cycles in laboratory conditions.

    If you are interested please fill out the Google form found here:  Depending on the number of people interested they may be able to drop the price even lower.

    Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Batteries

    Last month we talked about a new battery called Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4).  These batteries have some advantages over traditional AGM and SLA batteries
    • They are lighter
    • Signifacantly more recharge cycles
    • Higher current or peak-power rating

    Weight12.13 lb32.9 lb
    Charge Cycles2500*50-150
    Max Continues Discharge Current20A?
    *The XLFP12-42C reaches approximately 80 percent of its rated capacity after 2500 cycles in laboratory conditions.

    As you can see there is one large disadvantage and that is price.  However I believe increased charging cycles more then make up for that.

    Discharge rates are nice as well.

    Saturday, April 16, 2016

    All About Solar Panels

    Panel Comparison

    Solar Panels

    Crystalline Silicon (c-Si)

    Almost 90% of the World’s photovoltaics today are based on some variation of silicon.  In 2011, about 95% of all shipments by U.S. manufacturers to the residential sector were crystalline silicon solar panels.

    The silicon used in PV takes many forms. The main difference is the purity of the silicon.

    But what does silicon purity really mean? The more perfectly aligned the silicon molecules are, the better the solar cell will be at converting solar energy (sunlight) into electricity (the photoelectric effect).

    The efficiency of solar panels goes hand in hand with purity, but the processes used to enhance the purity of silicon are expensive. Efficiency should not be your primary concern. As you will later discover, cost-and space-efficiency are the determining factors for most people.

    Crystalline silicon forms the basis of mono- and polycrystalline silicon solar cells:

    Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    Solar cells made of monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si), also called single-crystalline silicon (single-crystal-Si), are quite easily recognizable by an external even coloring and uniform look, indicating high-purity silicon, as you can see on the picture below:

    Monocrystalline solar cells are made out of silicon ingots, which are cylindrical in shape. To optimize performance and lower costs of a single monocrystalline solar cell, four sides are cut out of the cylindrical ingots to make silicon wafers, which is what gives monocrystalline solar panels their characteristic look.
    A good way to separate mono- and polycrystalline solar panels is that polycrystalline solar cells look perfectly rectangular with no rounded edges.


    • Monocrystalline solar panels have the highest efficiency rates since they are made out of the highest-grade silicon. The efficiency rates of monocrystalline solar panels are typically 15-20%. SunPower produces the highest efficiency solar panels on the U.S. market today. Their E20 series provide panel conversion efficiencies of up to 21.5%.
    • Monocrystalline silicon solar panels are space-efficient. Since these solar panels yield the highest power outputs, they also require the least amount of space compared to any other types. Monocrystalline solar panels produce up to four times the amount of electricity as thin-film solar panels.
    • Monocrystalline solar panels live the longest. Most solar panel manufacturers put a 25-year warranty on their monocrystalline solar panels.
    • Tend to perform better than similarly rated polycrystalline solar panels at low-light conditions.


    • Monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive. From a financial standpoint, a solar panel that is made of polycrystalline silicon (and in some cases thin-film) can be a better choice for some homeowners.
    • If the solar panel is partially covered with shade, dirt or snow, the entire circuit can break down. Consider getting micro-inverters instead of central string inverters if you think coverage will be a problem. Micro-inverters will make sure that not the entire solar array is affected by shading issues with only one of the solar panels.
    • The Czochralski process is used to produce monocrystalline silicon. It results in large cylindrical ingots. Four sides are cut out of the ingots to make silicon wafers. A significant amount of the original silicon ends up as waste.
    • Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be more efficient in warm weather. Performance suffers as temperature goes up, but less so than polycrystalline solar panels. For most homeowners temperature is not a concern.

    Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    The first solar panels based on polycrystalline silicon, which also is known as polysilicon (p-Si) and multi-crystalline silicon (mc-Si), were introduced to the market in 1981. Unlike monocrystalline-based solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels do not require the Czochralski process. Raw silicon is melted and poured into a square mold, which is cooled and cut into perfectly square wafers.
    Polycrystalline solar panels


    • The process used to make polycrystalline silicon is simpler and cost less. The amount of waste silicon is less compared to monocrystalline.
    • Polycrystalline solar panels tend to have slightly lower heat tolerance than monocrystalline solar panels. This technically means that they perform slightly worse than monocrystalline solar panels in high temperatures. Heat can affect the performance of solar panels and shorten their lifespans. However, this effect is minor, and most homeowners do not need to take it into account.


    • The efficiency of polycrystalline-based solar panels is typically 13-16%. Because of lower silicon purity, polycrystalline solar panels are not quite as efficient as monocrystalline solar panels.
    • Lower space-efficiency. You generally need to cover a larger surface to output the same electrical power as you would with a solar panel made of monocrystalline silicon. However, this does not mean every monocrystalline solar panel perform better than those based on polycrystalline silicon.
    • Monocrystalline and thin-film solar panels tend to be more aesthetically pleasing since they have a more uniform look compared to the speckled blue color of polycrystalline silicon.

    Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Cells (Harbor Freight)

    Because the output of electrical power is low, solar cells based on amorphous silicon have traditionally only been used for small-scale applications such as in pocket calculators. However, recent innovations have made them more attractive for some large-scale applications too.
    With a manufacturing technique called “stacking”, several layers of amorphous silicon solar cells can be combined, which results in higher efficiency rates (typically around 6-8%).
    Only 1% of the silicon used in crystalline silicon solar cells is required in amorphous silicon solar cells. On the other hand, stacking is expensive.