Saturday, December 8, 2018

January Elections

Image result for ballotThe following positions are up for election in January: President & Secretary.

Duties of each position can be found in the bylaws found here.

If you are interested in running for one of these positions or if you would like to nominate an individual for a position please send an email to info@wvcarc.com. If a member nominates someone
by email, it is that nominating member's duty to also copy that nominee in the email to the
Officers.

Nominees must be 18 or older, licensed in amateur radio, and be members in good standing of
the WVCARC and be aware of the responsibilities listed above in the by-laws for the respective officer position. There are no term limits for any offices. Anyone can
nominate themselves in addition to being nominated by a member of the WVCARC. Nominees
do not have to be present at the January meeting. The email option nominating window closes 24
hours before the January monthly face-to-face meeting which will be held January 12th. All nominees must accept their nomination before voting occurs.

Election results will be determined by the majority of votes cast. Voting may occur by ballot or
by a show of hands. Only members of the WVCARC may cast a vote and have to be present at
the January meeting. No proxy voting will be allowed.




Technician Class


Related imageWe will be sponsoring a technician class in conjunction with the Salt Lake Hunter Neighborhood group on February 1st and 2nd.  The class will cost $10 and will be held at Station 74.  You can sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/fqZBOg1m3fbuh5oF2.


Please share with your family and friends.

Mat

Friday, December 7, 2018

Geek Post - Making your TNC an APRS Node


Image result for aprsIt's always fun to add functionality to an existing piece of equipment.  I'm not sure where I came up with the idea, but for some reason I wanted to see if I could add Bluetooth to our Pi-96k TNC's that we sell as fundraisers.  Well I found this little jewel on Amazon: DSD TECH HC-05 Bluetooth Serial Pass-through Module Wireless Serial Communication with Button for Arduino.  It runs on 3.6 volts which is close to what the Teensy on the TNC runs at.  It also has pins for RX and TX.  Turns out there are pins for all of those connections on the TNC board which is cool.  It also only cost $9 which is affordable.
By default the TNC's are configured to output their data through the USB port.  When you load up the Raspberry PI firmware, it sends that same data though the pins that connect to the PI.  I was able to find pins on the board that I could tap into.  Another problem I ran into was the Bluetooth module runs at 9600 baud so I had to modify a config file for the firmware to set the correct connection speed.

After a quick recompile I upload the new firmware to the Teensy, held my breath, and plugged things in.  No smoke, so I connected the TNC to my radio and grabbed my Android phone (sorry, iOS devices are not compatible with this particular module).  I paired my phone to the BT module.  I then launched APRSDroid and set the Connection Protocol to TNC (KISS) and selected my BT device from the TNC Bluetooth Device menu.  Next I selected "Start Tracking" at the bottom and as the Solder Smoke guys say, "Bob's Your Uncle!"

So what can you do with APRS?  Well if you move this setup to your car you can have your position transmitted as you drive.  APRSDroid uses your phone's GPS to get your current location.  It then transmits this information through the TNC.  This setup could be used for a SAG (Support And Gear) wagon so that Net Control knows where the support vehicles are.  You can also send quick messages to other station through APRS.  You can see Jason (KG7RZX) and chatting back and forth here.

Anyway, I had fun getting this put together and thought I would share it with you all.  Pictures are below.


Breadboard
Pins Used


Look, It's Me!


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Effective Net Control/Event Communications/SAG Support Coordinator class


UtahSAG is sponsoring a class for net control operators and for those that are organizing public service events.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019 8 AM until 5 PM.  We will take a lunch break from approximately 11:30 - 12:30.

Where: Taylorsville City Hall - 2600 West 5400 South.

Cost:$25

This is an advanced class for those HAM Radio operators who wish to become more involved in supporting and coordinating the support for public service events.  This all day training includes information on how to be an effective net control operator, managing the net, crisis control, logging and reporting as well as other critical topics on how you can manage the functions and duties of being the Net Control Operator.

The second half of the training covers the topics surrounding being an event support coordinator from working with the event staff and how to recruit volunteers to creating signup and logging forms using Google Docs as well as some of the legal issues volunteers need to be aware of.

They ask that you pre-register for the class so that They can have the materials available for everyone on the day of the class.  You can register at this address - https://goo.gl/forms/GjBwYZ59yaTL8IL13

This year they will be providing the class materials on a thumb drive, as such and to make it possible for you to follow along with the hands on parts of the training, please bring a laptop or tablet capable of running Windows with you.  By providing the materials on thumb drives they can include not only the PowerPoint presentations, but also the source materials they used to compile our course information.  

Friday, November 23, 2018

Clean Out Your Shack Week

I am declaring this week "Clean Out Your Shack Week." or as my wife calls it "Clean Up Your Room Week". That being said, if you have something you want sell or give away this week respond to this post and who knows, someone might want it.  I'm going to kick this off with a list of my own.  All things below are free, in working order, and have no warranty.








Computers

  • Inspiron Zino HD 
    • AMD Athlon 2650e 1.6 Ghz
    • Memory - 2 GB
  • HP Compaq 8510p
    • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz
    • Memory - 4 GB
    • Hard Drive - 120 GB SSD
    • Screen - 15"
  • Aspire One
    • Intel Atom 1.6 Ghz
    • Memory - 2 GB
    • Hard Drive - 120 GB SSD
  • Raspberry Pi Original
Networking
  • Cisco Small Business Switch - SG200-26FP
    • Ports - 26
    • Speed - 1 Gigabit
  • TP-Link - TL-SG1048
    • Ports - 48
    • Speed - 1 Gigabit
  • 3Com - Switch 4226T
    • Ports - 26
    • Speed 100 MB
  • 3Com Office Connect
    • Ports - 16
    • Speed 100 MB
  • EnGenius Wireless-300N Bridge - ENH202
    • Has most of the parts. Missing injector and a cover
  • 1st Gen Chromecast

Send me an email at mat.murdock@gmail.com.  First come first serve.  If you have something you would like to get rid of as well respond to the email being sent out or attach a comment to this post.  Here is to cleaner rooms!

Mat
K2MJM

Happy Thanksgiving!


Image result for ham radio turkeyThe Officers of WVCARC would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  Hopefully you all were able to spend time with family and friends, and of course had some wonderful pie!

Hopefully within the next two months we will be transition from the 146.70 repeater to the club repeater which will be on 443.800.  Many of the online ham radio stores have radios on sale right now, so if you do not have a radio that works on the 70 cm band, now may be a good time to pick them up.  Here are a few in no particular order:


HRO
DX Engineering
GigaParts
Ham City

Find any good deals?  Post them here!

Mat
K2MJM

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Saturday's In Person Meet Location Change


Image result for location changeDue to a scheduling conflict we are moving the in person meeting to Monticello Academy at 2782 South Corporate Park Drive, West Valley City.  Please enter through the North entrance and then follow the signs.  See you Saturday at 9:00 AM.

Mat
K2MJM




Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Saturday In Person Meet Topic - Let's Get That TNC Working FINALLY


Image result for ham radio buildSo this Saturday the plan is to meet at Station 74 at 9:00 AM for two purposes.  One is to get that fancy new TNC you made six months ago hooked up to your radio and computer and the second is to give you hands on experience with Winlink.  Why the big rush you ask?  Well in the next 1 - 2 month we will have our West Valley City packet node installed at Fire station 76 as well as our shiny new repeater up and running,  Woot Woot!  Soooo, we need to make sure each and everyone of you are ready to go.


To help with getting your on the air I will have DB9 connectors for the TNC and 3.5 mm audio jacks, and RJ-45 ends, as well as some cable to connect it all up.  You will will need to bring a soldering iron, your radio, and a few bucks for the connectors to keep my wife happy.  Also bring your TNC and a laptop if you got it.  If you are all setup GREAT!, come and help others get their gear together.  Should be a fun morning and the results will benefit everyone.

If you didn't have a chance to build a TNC I will have them available as well.  $45 for the TNC and $8 for the case.

Any questions, let me know,

Mat
K2MJM

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

ARES/ RACES Workshop

Bob Craven, N7GTE, has asked me to send out a reminder about the ARES/ RACES Workshop that will be held on Saturday, 3 November 2018. Check-ins will begin Saturday morning at 0800 and the training will begin at 0900. The Work shop will be at a new location this year, 195 N 1950 W, Salt Lake City, (Multi Agency State Office Building/Environment Quality Building) Registration for this event will be different than in the past, please use Eventbrite.com , search for the ARES/RACES workshop on 3 Nov. We request that all registrations be submitted no later than Monday, 29 October. This is so the meals can be ordered for the free lunch that will be provided. Also we encourage you to register as soon as you can because there will be a limit on how many seats will be available.

Contact Bob Craven, N7GTE, n7gte@yahoo.com for more info if you have questions.

Monday, October 8, 2018

In Person Meet - Car Go Kit

Our in person meet this month will be this Saturday the 13th at 9:00 AM at Station 74.  We will be talking about Go Kits.

Below is a curated list of items that will fit into a Ammo Can style container.  We will be going over these Saturday.  I think everything is Amazon Prime eligible, so if you hurry you can have them for Saturday.

Ammo Can - https://wvcarc.page.link/tc4X
AA Battery Holders - https://wvcarc.page.link/fFWD
First Aid Kit - https://wvcarc.page.link/GLp8
Flashlight - https://wvcarc.page.link/82AY
Multi Tool - https://wvcarc.page.link/NSef
FM / NOAA Radio - https://wvcarc.page.link/DW7Y

Radio - You choose your own based on budget
Radio Manual -
Roll Up J-Pole - Made by club
Survival Bracelet - Made by club
Field Operations Manual - Coming Soon

Other Items
Water, Energy Bars, Gloves, Hat, Matches, Paper, Pencil/Pen

This is just the start of your kit so you can add more stuff to it.  Got anything else you want to add to the list?  Reply to this post.

Mat
K2MJM






Sunday, October 7, 2018

Club Repeater Update


Ok, time for a Club repeater update.  We have received our frequency pair for the repeater that we are planning on installing at Station 76.  A special thank you goes out the the Utah VHF Society for getting for finding an open pair.  Our frequency is 448.800 Mhz with a negative offset.  Jason and I climbed up on the roof of 76 Friday and played around with some different locations and the station looks to be a great location for us.  We were actually able to contact someone in Ogden of 5 watts simplex.  Not bad at all.   
We are looking for some non penetrating roof antenna mounts like the one below.  If anyone knows were we can find some used ones or a local source of them let us know.  We will send out an announcement as we get closer to the install date.






Easy Up Non-Penetrating Roof Mount (EZ-NP-60-125)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

WVCARC Logo Contest

We are looking for a new logo.  The current logo is OK, but doesn't work very well for being put on apparel.  So, we are going to hold a Logo Contest.  The contest will run until November 1st.  The logo needs to meet the following requirements

  • Images used must be copyright free
  • Must look good when in color, grey scale, and black and white.  You may submit version of the logo for each each print type.
  • Must be able to be embroidered onto clothing.  Basically really thing lines and small type don't work well.
  • Should have Armature Radio and West Valley elements to it.
Please submit your logo to board@wvcarc.com

After the deadline WVCARC officers will evaluate the submitted logos and will choose the winner.  The person whose logo is chosen will receive a WVCARC jacket.

If you have any questions regarding the contest or would like something clarified please email us at the above address.

Good Luck!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Station 75 up and running

Saturday a few of our members met and finished setting up Fire Station 75's radios.  This puts us at a halfway mark on this project.  Stations 73, 74, and 75 are ready to go. 71 and 72 are still under construction and 76 is in the planning stages.  Special thanks to all those that have worked on these projects.  In the upcoming months we are planning an activity where we activate all available stations to very everything is working a designed.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Saturday - Firestation 75

For those that are interested I am going to be at Station 75 Saturday at 9:00 AM to finish up the wiring job we started last year.  We need to extend the coax from where the radios were original kept to a new room.  Most of it will be above the drop ceiling, however a portion of the run will be going over hard-top, so that will prove interesting.  If you have an 8 ft. ladder it would be helpful.

Thanks,

Mat

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What Makes A Good Volunteer?

Emergency telecommunication volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and with
a range of skills and experience. The common attributes that all effective volunteers share are
a desire to help others without personal gain of any kind, the ability to work as a member of a
team, and to take direction from others. Emergency telecommunication volunteers need to be
able to think and act quickly, under the stress and pressure of an emergency.

You cannot help others when you are worried about those you love. Your own family should
always be your first priority. Adequate personal and family preparation will enable you to get
your own situation under control more quickly so that you are in a position to be of service to
others.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Net Training - Principles of Disaster Communication

Taken from
Amateur Radio Emergency Service
Field Resources Manual

1.Keep transmissions to a minimum – In a disaster, crucial stations may be weak.  All other stations should remain silent unless they are called upon.  If you’re not sure you should transmit, don’t.

2. Monitor established disaster frequencies. Many A.R.E.S. localities and some geographical areas have established disaster frequencies where someone is always (or nearly always) monitoring for possible calls.

3. Avoid spreading rumors. During and after a disaster situation, especially on phone bands, you may hear almost anything.  Unfortunately, much misinformation is transmitted.  Rumors are started by expansion, deletion, amplification or modification of words, and by exaggeration or interpretation.  All addressed transmissions should be officially authenticated as to their source.  These transmissions should be repeated word for word, if at all, and only when specifically authorized.

4. Authenticate all messages.  Every message which purports to be of an official nature should be written and signed.  Whenever possible, amateurs should avoid initiating disaster or emergency traffic themselves.  We do the communicating; the agency officials we serve supply the content of the communications.

5. Strive for efficiency. Whatever happens in an emergency, you will find hysteria and some amateurs who are activated by the thought that they must be sleepless heroes.  Instead of operating your own station full time at the expense of your health and efficiency, it is much better to serve a shift at one of the best-located and best-equipped stations, suitable for the work at hand, manned by relief shifts of the best-qualified operators.  This reduces interference and secures well-operated stations.

6. Select the mode and band to suit the need. It is a characteristic of all amateurs to believe that their favorite mode and band is superior to all others.  However, the merits of a particular band or mode in a communications emergency should be evaluated impartially with a view to the appropriate use of bands and modes.  There is, of course, no alternative to using what happens to be available, but there are ways to optimize available communications.

7. Use all communications channels intelligently.  While the prime object of emergency communications is to save lives and property (anything else is incidental), Amateur Radio is a secondary communications means; normal channels are primary and should be used if available.  Emergency channels other than amateur which are available in the absence of amateur channels should be utilized without fear of favoritism in the interest of getting the message through.

8.  Don’t “broadcast.”  Some stations in an emergency situation have a tendency to emulate “broadcast” techniques.  While it is true that the general public may be listening, our transmissions are not and should not be made for that purpose.

9. NTS and ARES leadership coordination.  Within the disaster area itself, the ARES is primarily responsible for emergency communications support.  The first priority of those NTS operators who live in or near the disaster area is to make their expertise available to their Emergency Coordinator (EC) where and when needed.  For timely and effective response, this means that NTS operators should talk to their ECs before the time of need so that they will know how to best respond.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Winlink Presentation

Just a reminder that our May in-person meet will be tonight in conjunctions with Salt Lake County ARES.  I will be giving a presentation on Winlink and will be helping people get registered with the service.  Please bring a computer with you if you would like to be registered.

The meeting will be tonight, May 23rd at 6:30 PM.  It will be held at the West Valley City Hall.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Net Training - Cross Band Repeaters

The following information is taken from “The ARRL Operating Manual for Radio Amateurs, 9th Edition.”
I was, recently, asked if I knew anything about CROSSBAND REPEATING.  If you have a dual band, dual-display mobile radio and a handheld radio you can set up your own repeated system.

Why do so?  There are several reasons.  My personal reason is as follows.  I have two separate radios installed in my vehicle.  One radio is a dual-band dual-display Kenwood, TM-V7 and one is a Motorola, Spectra, single band UHF radio.  My Motorola has a public address system with an external speaker, so I can hear the radio outside my vehicle.  The Kenwood does not.  There have been times when I was out of my vehicle and did not have a handheld radio with me, but I wanted to keep track of what was going on on-the-air.  I set my Kenwood as a repeater from 2 meter frequency to 70 centimeter frequency.  Any call that came in on 2 meters was repeated on the UHF and came out through the external radio speaker.  I could now hear what was happening and also hear if someone called me.

Let us say you want to operate your handheld radio, but you need the extra power of your mobile radio to hit a repeater.  For example, you’re on the lower level of a shopping mall with your handheld.  You can’t reach the local repeater from down there, but you can the repeater from your vehicle in the parking lot.  Again you repeat through your vehicle to the repeater and you have coverage from your handheld.

You may be in one of the hospitals and you have your handheld, but cannot reach the local repeater, but you can reach your vehicle in the parking lot…I think you get the idea.
Cross-band repeat operation in most mobile radios is very simple.  When the cross-band function is turned on, anything the radio hears on one band is retransmitted to the other.  When the signal stops the radio goes into receive on both bands and waits for the next signal, on either band, to repeat.  So down in the mall or down in city hall or down in the hospital, you transmit on UHF.  Your mobile hears its UHF received, and repeats you to the main repeater on VHF, flips itself around and repeats the main repeater back to you using the UHF transmitter.  Simple as this is, it can take a while to wrap your mind around the concept.

There are some problems that limit the utility of cross-band repeat.  The biggest problem is hang-time on the main repeater – the time after someone stops talking, but the repeater stays on the air, beeps, and finally drops.  On many repeaters that’s several seconds, and when two hams are in conversation, the repeater never drops until they are done.  It will automatically reset the time-out timer as each one un-keys their mike so it does not time-out.  Your cross-band repeater can’t tell the difference between a ham’s transmission through the repeater and the hang time afterwards.  It’s all just one long signal being received.  So, if you, down in city hall, are listening to two hams talk, you can’t break in until they’re done.  As long as they are talking, your mobile never stops sending the signal to you, and never listens for you. (Something else to keep in mind here is that your mobile is now transmitting a lot, and it is not designed for continuous transmission.  Keep it in low power.)

A repeater can be made “cross-band repeat friendly” by having a very short hang-time, or by specially designed CTCSS system.  If the repeater sends the tone only when a signal is on the input, and turns it off during the hang-time, your cross-band repeater can use the tone to know when to transmit and w2hen to shut off, allowing you to access the repeater between transmissions normally.  Or, if you can hear the main repeater directly on your handheld but just can’t get back to it, you do one-way cross-band repeat, from your handheld through the cross-band repeat, from your handheld through the cross-band mobile, but not back to your handheld.

A few notes of caution:  first, be careful in configuring your cross-band repeater.  Choose frequencies wisely – your coordination group may have identified band segments for cross-band repeat operation, so don’t just plunk down anywhere you want.  Do some research.  Guard the “local” side of your cross-band mobile with CTCSS or DCS.  If you don’t, and the squelch opens on your mobile, it will spew noise out to the main repeater.  Cross-band operation I particularly useful for emergency and public service event work, but a noise spewing, out of control cross-band mobile can render a vital repeater useless.

Second, maintain control.  The FCC rules require you be in control of the transmitter, but are not specific about how you do that.  If you can reach the vehicle in a few minutes from the inside of city hall, that’s probably good enough.  But don’t stop paying attention to it or leave the area.

Finally, you are required to ID both your mobile transmitter with your call sign.  How do you ID the transmitter that’s sending the main repeater signal back to you?  If you ID at the end of a transmission it goes out on the handheld and is repeated on the other frequency.  I don’t know many hams that talk for ten minutes, but you are to ID every ten minutes.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 21st Drill - Recap

First off, hats off to all those that participated in our April 21st drill.  You all did great!  We were able to have a check in from every school in West Valley City which totaled 32 schools.  It took us about 80 min to complete and I felt things went pretty well.  I appreciate the input I also received during the drill and will see how best I can incorporate them in the future.

We also had the opportunity to work out of the City's new communications trailer and give it a proper shake down.  When doing these type of exercises you always find little things that need to be fixed which is the purpose of doing this.  I appreciate WVCFD for their willingness to bring out the trailer and allow us to use it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Great Utah Shake Out

The Great Utah Shake Out is this Thursday, April 18th.  WVCARC will be holding a quick NET at 12:00 PM on our normal repeater which is 146.700 Mhz, negative offset, 100 Hz tone.  This is always an interesting NET as people are generally at a different location then our normal Thursday Night NET.


Mat Murdock
K2MJM

April 21st Drill Instructions and Resources

First off thank you for all those who have signed up to participate in the April 21st Drill.  The goal of the drill is to check in from each of the 31 elementary schools in West Valley City.  The drill starts at 10:00 AM.   Net Control will be online by that time.  We will be operating on our simplex frequency which is 147.58 Mhz.  Net Control will be operating from City Hall.  Relay stations will be setup at Fire Stations 74 and 73.  Net Control will start with a quick check in to verify which operators are participating.

Once you arrive at a location you need to follow steps below.

  1. Prepare a short message using the FEMA ICS-213 form found here: ICS-213 Form
  2. Contact Net Control and let them know of your location.  When asked relay your message
  3. Wait for Net Control to dispatch you to your next location

The current deployment roster can be found here: Deployment Roster

You will notice that an order has been set as to which school you should go to first.

Following the drill you are all invited to come to City Hall to check out the new communications trailer.

If you are unable to participate please let me know ASAP so I can make alternative arrangements.  If your name is not on the roster and you would like to participate also let me know.

Thanks,

Mat Murdock
K2MJM
mat.murdock@wvcarc.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 14th - In Person Meet

Saturday will be our monthly in person meet.  It will be held at Fire Station 74 at 9:00 AM.  We will have a couple of things going on.

First a brief overview of the drill that will be held on April 21st.

Second, I will lead those who want to build their TNC's through the process.  Please bring a soldering iron with the finest tip you have as well as solder.  A pair of side cutters or toe nail clippers as well as something to hold the board is helpful.  We will have a few extras on hand if you don't have one.  We do have a few extra kits available if you decide to build one.  Cost is $45.

Third, those who want to have their radios programmed with the Standard Load can bring their radios and we will do our best to make that happen.  If you are a new Ham we will answer any questions that you may have and get you on the air.  If you have any questions let us know!

Mat
K2MJM

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Soldering Pro-Tip

I use a vise very similar to this about every time I solder something. It does a couple things for you.  It holds the item you are soldering and you don't burn your fingers.  I noticed Harbor Freight had these on sale for $14.99 at the moment and thought I would share this little pro tip with you all.  You can find them here: https://www.harborfreight.com/2-3-4-quarter-inch-articulated-vacuum-vise-3311.html.

Of course this isn't an endorsement of any kind, just looking to save some finger tips!

Mat
K2MJM

TNC-Pi 9k Kits - Last Call

This is the final call for anyone interested in purchasing one of our clubs TNC-Pi 9K Kits.  You can find out more about it here: http://www.wvcarc.com/2018/03/tnc-pi-9k-kits.html

In short it is a 300 / 1200 / 9600 baud TNC that can run stand alone or be connected to a Raspberry Pi.  We will be building them at our April 14th in person meet.

We are selling kits for those that are interested for $45 (case additional $8).

If you are interested sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/W99MWcltPVL6MmC12

Let me know if you have any questions.

Mat
K2MJM

Ham Radio Manufactures Decide On Single Digital Standard!

Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu have just announced a joint digital standard.  Currently there are three competing digital modes, namely D-Star, System Fusion, and DMR.  This division has been both challenging and confusion for new and old amateur radio operators alike. 

The new standard will be called DHR (Digital Ham Radio)  "It will combine the best parts of all the existing digital voice and data standards" according to Ray Novak, N9JA of Icom America.  One of the most exciting aspects of this announcement is that all existing digital mode handsets will be upgraded to support this new standard.  Expect firmware upgrades to be available starting today.  This is an unprecedented showing of collaboration and cooperation.  For more information regarding this announcement click here: https://goo.gl/4VTsDk

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Valley Wide Drill

This April 21st we have the opportunity to participate in a Salt Lake Valley wide drill.  The goal is to have Amateur radio operators check in from each and every elementary school in our city limits.  This will be a challenging task as there are 29 schools, however I am confident we can do this.

Before the drill we will make assignments largely based on what elementary school you choose on the Operator Panel.  In the past you were only able to select fire stations.  That has changed.  You can now select schools in addition to your fire stations, so stop reading and go do that now.  :)

A few days before the drill we will email out assignments.  At 10:00 AM we will start check-ins.  Based on where people check in we may make additional assignments for operators to go and check in from another school.  We need to complete this drill by 10:45 AM.  Following the the drill the plan is to meet at City Hall where you will be able to tour the new communication trailer the city has put together.

This is a simple drill, but it will show us and the city what we are capable of doing.  So for now the assignment for each of you is to get on the Operator Portal and get select your school.  If you have any additional questions let me know.

Mat
K2MJM

Thursday, March 15, 2018

TNC-Pi 9k Kits

At long last we are ready to start making available kits for the TNC-Pi 9k!

This TNC is a low cost 1200 / 9600 baud KISS based TNC.  It is simple to build and is software upgradeable.  The TNC was developed by John Wiseman G8BPQ and I believe Mark Griffith KDØQYN.

The TNC uses an Arduino Teensy 3.2 running Soundmodem by Thomas Sailer.  The TNC can be used standalone or be mounted to a Raspberry PI 3.  When ran standalone, the TNC is powered by the on board USB connection.  The same connection is used for communicating between the TNC and your computer.

There are two ways to connect your radio to the TNC.  The first and preferable method is through a mini 6 Pin DIN connection found on many modern dual band radios.  This connection supports both 1200 and 9600 baud communications.  The second is through a standard DB9 connection which only supports 1200 baud.

The TNC has been tested by various club members and has proven to be a reliable TNC at 1200 baud.  9600 baud has also been proven reliable, but depending on the radio will require a bit more attention.

We are selling kits for those that are interested for $45 (case additional $8).  For each TNC sold, $10 will be put towards supporting WVCARC.  In the past Jason and I have fronted all club expenses and would understandably like to move away from doing so in the future.  We feel that even with the additional $10 added to the cost of the TNC, it is still priced less than anything comparable on the market today.

If you are interested in purchasing a TNC you can sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/W99MWcltPVL6MmC12  The plan is to hold a build party at our next in person meet on April 14th.  If you have any questions please send an email to mat.murdock@wvcarc.com.  If you would like to learn a bit more about this TNC there is a video on it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL6nWH6rXx4&t=5m15s.

Thanks,

Mat
K2MJM




Tonight's Training

The following was presented on tonight's NET.  It comes.  John Jacobs (W7DBO) posted the following on his website http://w7dbo.net.  Feel free to check his site out.

INTRODUCTION

A few years back I wanted to get a better understanding of various types of special event support and what role amateur radio played in those events. So in the course of a year I participated in 10 events. The following is some lessons I learned either myself, or observing other operators.

LESSONS LEARNED

  1. Never leave your HT battery engaged in your go bag. Gremlins will climb it and turn on your radio.
  2. Guy your antenna mast FIRST, THEN mount the antenna. Not the reverse.
  3. If using a computer, turn it on before it gets cold and don’t let it go to sleep. Equipment gets brittle in the cold.
  4. Spare hardware is only .97 cents a bag at Home Depot but priceless in the wilderness when you drop one.
  5. If your radio is not programmed to event frequencies you are not prepared.
  6. There is no such thing as enough adaptors and connectors.
  7. You are not in college anymore, overnight shifts are not easy, know your limitations. Pace yourself it’s a marathon not a sprint.
  8. Speaking of Marathons…. Be prepared at a marathon event to hand out more cups of water than keying your mic. You are an aid station volunteer that happens to have a radio.
  9. If your children go with you on the event, your wife will count the day as a family time.
  10. Always bring a comfortable chair.
  11. Never leave your equipment in a open truck bed. It will rain.
  12. If you are busy and overwhelmed with your assignment, don’t worry sheer boredom is around the corner.
  13. The thought to stake down your easy up canopy should become BEFORE the big unexpected wind.
  14. Never send an 5w HT to do a 50w Mobile’s Job.
  15. Never underestimate the value of gloves you can write and operate a radio with.
  16. Your sole purpose of volunteering is not to get a T-Shirt.
  17. If you show up to an assignment right at start of shift you are late.
  18. While huddled around a space heater at 3am to keep warm and you smell plastic burning…. it’s your HT.
  19. Pack extra meals, you never know when your shift will be extended.
  20. If something doesn’t work, try something different. If that does not work try something else different. If that does not work try the first thing again and it will most likely work. Creativity and Problem Solving is a valuable skill.

AUDIO DOWNLOAD

Monday, March 5, 2018

Utah Digital Communications Conference

2018 Utah DCC Conference - March 24th, 2018

The conference will be a fusion of amateur radio communications and maker topics. Amateur radio is the pioneer of digital modes. This conference will focus on the amateur radio hobby that surrounds utilizing digital modes or technology in the hobby. Current emerging topics such as digital modes for emergency communications and building your own components. If you have questions please email UtahDCC@gmail.com

Registration for 2018 is open. Cost is $15 per person.

Conference will be held at the Salt Lake Community College Conference Center. Located at 9750 South 300 West Sandy Utah.

More information can be found at http://www.utah-dcc.org

Friday, March 2, 2018

In Person Meeting March 10th

Out next in person meeting will be March 10th at 9:00 AM at Fire Station 74.  We will be discussing our upcoming April 21st drill as well as helping people load the "Standard Load" into their memories.  We also expect many of our new Hams to show up so we can get them started on this crazy hobby of ours.

If you are interested in having your radio programmed please add the model of your radio to our list found here so we can try to find the appropriate programming cable and software ahead of time.

If you have your own cable and software please bring it.  If you have some programming cables also please bring them as someone else might have a similar radio that will work with your cable.  If you have questions let us know!

Thanks,

Mat
K2MJM

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SOTA - Training

Tonight's net was on SOTA, Summits On The Air.  To find out more go to http://www.sota.org.uk. SOTA is fully operational in nearly a hundred countries across the world. Each country has its own Association which defines the recognized SOTA summits within that Association. Each summit earns the activators and chasers a score which is related to the height of the summit. Certificates are available for various scores, leading to the prestigious "Mountain Goat" and "Shack Sloth" trophies. An Honour Roll for Activators and Chasers is maintained at the SOTA online database.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

We have setup a Groups.io group for WVCARC.  This group will allow members to share what they are working on as well as ask questions to other members.  This group will also receive notifications when there are updates to the website.  The old feed burner service will be retired.  This means if you have registered for website updates, you will need to register on our Groups.io account to receive future website notifications.  You can register by going to https://groups.io/g/wvcarc.

Thanks,

Mat Murdock
K2MJM

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Club Officers Elected

Saturday WVCARC approved the club bylaws and elected club officers.  Below are the results of the election.

President - Mat Murdock (K2MJM)
Vice-President - Jason Bailey (KG7RZX)
Secretary - Wesley Darton (K0WTD)
Net Coordinator - Curtis Bailey (K7CJB)
Education and Training Coordinator - Mark Hansen (KG7SBN)

Jason and I are excited at the progress that was made Saturday and look forward to a very active 2018.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday In Person Meet - Packet Presentation

Below is the slide deck I used for Saturday's packet presentation.  If you have any questions regarding packet please put them in the comments of this post.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Saturday In Person Meet

This Saturday, January 13th, will be our first in-person meet of the year.  It will be held at station 74 by the fitness center at 9:00 AM.

There are two things that we will be covering.  The first is club elections.  We are looking to fill five positions.  These positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, Net Coordinator, Education and Training Coordinator.  Currently we have only had two nominations.  Jason and I are desperatly looking for more help with WVCARC.  If you are interested in running for one of these positions please respond to this email.  If you would like to nominate someone please respond to this email.  Nominations need to be in by 9:00 AM tomorrow (Friday).   The duties for each postion can be found in the Bylaws here: Bylaws

The second item that we will be covering is the packet radio system that has been implimented at the Fire Stations.  I will be going over what packet is, what is needed to get setup, and how to use it.  I think this will be a fun and information packed training.  It has never been easier to get involved with packet radio as the price of the equipment has come down significantly.  If you have some old packet equipment that you want to see if it will work bring it.

Hope to see each of you there.  If you have any questions feel free to send them my way and please consider nominating yourself for one of the club positions.

Mat
K2MJM

Friday, January 5, 2018

Official 2018 Standard Load Posted

The official 2018 Standard Load has been release. You may view and download it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1foaur0cFsajkNyX46Dq8tc_UpMTJUEFpL4OxGcoqctg/edit?usp=sharing 

Instructions on using the Standard Load and its purpose can be found here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oYb0XtTCSvpUgSZf0XdJB4_HLCcnrA4LMzIfNpFNXhQ/edit?usp=sharing 

Remember that the purpose of the standard load is to create "a standard programming sequence, designed to make your radio operations faster and easier. It is also designed to give you local control over your own frequencies while somewhat standardizing channels and channel names county-wide." This is a first for the Salt Lake Valley as well as West Valley City. Please review the instructions and the standard load out. If you have questions please bring them up at the next NET or post a comment below.

Thanks,

Mat
K2MJM