Saturday, May 9, 2020

MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020

The MicroHAMS Digital Conference 2020 is Saturday from 9:45 AM to 5:00 PM.  It will be online only this year.  You can find out more here: https://www.microhams.com/mhdc/mhdc2020/.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Skywarn Amateur Radio Network and How to Get Involved

SKYWARN
Keeping the public aware of severe weather hazards isn’t just for meteorologists anymore. Amateur Radio operators, known as storm spotters, partner with the National Weather Service (NWS) to recognize and notify the NWS of critical weather situations through a volunteer program called SKYWARN®.
The organization is comprised of between 350,000-400,000 severe weather spotters trained to stay abreast of severe weather situations and communicate potential threats to the NWS using Amateur Radio. With over 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods, and over 1,000 tornadoes reported annually, SKYWARN is more than just a hobby—it saves lives.
The critically important organization got its start in the 1970s. Today, it’s combined with Doppler radar technology and satellite data to create a strong first line of defense against the dangers of inclement weather. Seemingly harmless to some, thunderstorms, lightning, and problematic weather situations are responsible for hundreds of injuries, deaths, and billions of dollars spent on property and crop damage each year.
The NWS encourages those with an interest in public service to volunteer their time and Amateur Radio abilities with the SKYWARN program. Volunteers regularly include police, fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers, and of course, private citizens interested in keeping their communities safe and informed.
Training for SKYWARN is generally free of charge and is condensed into a two-hour module. During the course, participants learn the fundamentals of thunderstorm development, basic storm structures, how to identify potential severe weather features, how and what to report, and basic severe weather safety.
Want to learn more? Head to the NWS website to find training programs in your state or check out SKYWARN spotter training to begin the training process online. Most states require in-person class participation in addition to the online course load. Or pick up ARRL’s Storm Spotting and Amateur Radio 2nd Edition from DX Engineering for additional reading material.
You can contact your local Warning Coordination Meteorologist for information on how to find or replace your spotter number and ways to participate in upcoming training seminars—or head to the NWS website to learn how to participate in annual SKYWARN Recognition Day activities. 
For real-time updates, check SKYWARN out on Twitter at #skywarn19.
You can find more information regarding SKYWARN in Utah by going to the UTASAG website, and click on Training & Classes.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Online Winlink Training This Saturday

Stuck at home? Well, this Saturday at 9:00 AM we will be offering an online training on how to set up and use Winlink for Windows.  The training will go no longer the 2 hours and will cover account creation and basic Winlink usage.  A more advanced training will be scheduled following this session.  The link to the meeting will be posted on our website 30 minutes prior to the meeting start time.  It will be helpful if you have Winlink installed on your computer prior to this session.  You can download it here: https://downloads.winlink.org/User%20Programs/Winlink_Express_install_1-5-27-0.zip.

If you have any questions post them here.

Thanks,

Mat
K2MJM

Winlink Wednesday. Something a bit different

This Winlink Wednesday will be a little different and will probably stress out the infrastructure a bit, which is a good thing.  This week, we will have you take a picture of something spring like and send it in.  A picture you say?  Well, yes you can send pictures, although it will need to be resized a bit.  The Windows Winlink client can help you with this.  What you will do is fill out a Winlink Check-In form like you normally do and then attach a picture to that same message.  Watch this video on how to attach a picture and resize it properly.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=886P6ygHm00&list=PL-7mirT-kjfs84FQzLr-qv066Kl94rtYM&index=20&t=0s.  Make sure your picture size is no larger then 50 kb if at all possible. (It took me about 8 min to send 50 kb at 1200 baud, 5 min at 9600 baud.)

You can view my test picture here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KyeK7bb_NgWxRwkV4CQ_Mo9jRU-pLKyj

I look forward to seeing all of your pictures!

As always, if you need more information regarding Winlink Wednesday, go here:  https://www.wvcarc.com/p/winlink-wednesday.html.
Thanks,

Mat
K2MJM

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

WVCARC Great Shake Out Drill Results


We had a successful drill Saturday.  We started at 10:00 AM and completed the drill at 11:20 AM.  We had operators check in from 39 schools and 6 fire stations.  12 operators did the check-ins and my daughter and I ran Net Control for a total of 14 operators.  We ran Net Control from the church at 4333 S 6400 W on solar and battery power.  Most operators were assigned 3 - 4 locations and the majority of the operators checked in via voice.  We did have two operators who checked in over packet Winlink which helped lighten the load on the repeater.  I think this was the best drill yet.  It is always good to set goals for the next time we do this.  I would like to have more operators able to check in by Winlink, as well as have more operators participate next year.

A special thanks for those operators who participated.  It sounded like everyone had an enjoyable time.  Let me know your thoughts on the drill.

Mat

K2MJM

Friday, April 17, 2020

2020 West Valley City Drill Assignments Posted

You can find your assignments for this Saturday here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Pe0jdDLtTSTACrXZI-regkC7YXFWG8L1QYGj8tAxFis/edit?usp=sharing

I had to make a few adjustments, as some schools had multiple operators assigned to them.  I tried to keep each operators schools somewhat close to each other.  I will be starting the NET at 10:00 AM.  We will be using our repeater, 448.800 Mhz, negative offset, 100 Hz tone.  Please wait for instructions before checking in.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your assignment please let me know.  If there are other operators who would like to participate and have not yet signed up please email me at mat.murdock@wvcarc.com.

Thank you again for your willingness to help out with this drill.

Mat
K2MJM