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The HOTLINE
Official Newsletter for the
Heart O’ Texas Amateur Radio Club
Waco, Texas

 

Volume XLII, Number 10

October 2017

 



October Meeting: Home Brew Night!

by Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW
HOTARC Vice President

Will you be there?

Will you bring something (a “home-brewed” project) to show?

Maybe a success. Maybe a “tried and failed.”

Bring what you have. We will be glad to see and hear of your trials.

Surely someone has built an antenna this year. Show and tell us!

Surely someone has a new repeater to brag about. Bring and demonstrate!

Surely you have rewired the Go Box you are using. Unpack it for us!

Surely you have done SOMETHING that you can share. Make this meeting a success!

homebrew-montage.jpg

 

For the Record

 

HOTARC Meeting of Members
September 28, 2017

President Lynn Gustafson KD5DZU called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the W5NCD Workshop.

Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW opened the meeting with a prayer.

14 members were present, and 2 visitors: Steve Pritts, Greg Walker KE5YXL.

Meeting Minutes. A motion to accept the Minutes of Members for August 24, 2017 as published in the HOTLINE was made by Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW; seconded by Ed Hynan KC5KNI and unanimously approved. Correction: replace duplicated WWW100 heading with “Workshop Cleanup.”

Treasurer’s Report. Lynn reviewed the Treasury Report in the HOTLINE. Bill Feltenberger, KD5UEW motioned to accept the report; seconded by Arthur Brown K5RMI and was approved by the membership.

Committee Reports:

·         ARES: Ed Hynan KC5NI is accepting Net Control volunteers for Monday night ARES Net; 2018 schedule to be issued ~ Dec 15. Contact Ed at KC5KNI@arrl.net or 254-722-4578. ARES ID cards for verified members have been issued.

·         Trailer Committee: Trailer should be good enough for WWW100 event. KD5DZU reported much work still needed to ready trailer for emergency work (e.g., coax, HF beam antenna). Clint Anderson AE5CA suggested Oct 14 for workday: ~9:00 AM

·         Repeater Committee: AE5CA reported that our three repeaters are working, including the new 144.39 digipeater. Re D-star repeater: KD5DZU reported that the Core D-Star team out of DFW is not responding to our admin requests.

The Treasurer Reports...

 

Heart O’ Texas Amateur Radio Club
Treasurer’s Report, September 2017

Starting Balance

$10,497.34

Income

 

Interest

$0.09

 

Dues

$30.00

 

Field Day dinner

$10.00

 

Total Income

 

$40.09

Expenses

 

 

PayPal

($0.96)

 

Field Day gasoline

($29.12)

 

Total Expenses

 

($30.08)

Ending Balance

 

$10,507.35

Uncleared activity

PayPal Fees

($0.96)

Dues

$30.00

Web Hosting

($100.00)

Amount in acct. as of

10/15/2017

$10,436.39

(Includes Flower Fund)

Flower Fund Balance

$135.26

Submitted by
Norris Martin, KB5SLI
HOTARC Treasurer

·         Broadband Hamnet: AE5CA reported that the Mesh system still operating from Baylor S&W and few of our members’ homes.

·         Website: John Chamberlain AC5CV reported that the website is working fine. Motion to donate $100 “thank you” to Paul Chamberlain for web hosting us for the past year made by KD5UEW, seconded by KC5KNI and approved unanimously by the members present.

·         ATV: David Bush KC5UOZ reported that he is still working on the digital ATV project. Maybe ready to show next month!

·         Education Committee: AE5CA reported tentative plans for a Spring Technician class—date to be determined.

·         Public Relations: No report. AC5CV suggested that we need a plan for promoting our capabilities and willingness to help, in light of inability to connect with the Race for the Cure folks. Using Waco Trib announcements page was suggested. Mike Mack KG5SZN offered to share samples from his Astronomy Club in Clifton.

·         Special Events: Race for the Cure dropped from our calendar due to no response from RFTC folks. We will support WWW100 on Oct 7, still needing a couple more volunteers. See sign-up sheet on Members Only page. Clint received several personal/HOTARC APRS trackers brought in for this event.

Old Business

·         Late payment for Steak Dinners. Lynn requested again: all who have not yet done so, please pay $10 to the Treasurer (or via PayPal on our web site) for their steak dinners consumed at Field Day.

·         Workshop Cleanup: Thanks to KC5UOZ, KD5UEW for cleanup last month. Need volunteers for each meeting night.

New Business

·         W5NCD Tower site. Larry Bush W5NCD described our present situation: two antennas at the W5NCD tower: one simultaneously used for 147.24 (D-Star) and 144.39 (APRS); the other used only for 145.15 (FM repeater). He proposed we connect a second digipeater on 147.50 to the second antenna, using the spare rack now at the Workshop and a “new” set of filter-cans he is willing to donate to HOTARC. Using any 2m radio, we can control (e.g., on/off) these radios. The idea was well received. The Directors present (KD5DZU, KC5KIN, AE5CA, KB5SLI) agreed to the moving of HOTARC’s equipment rack to the W5NCD tower site, as proposed, later this Fall or Winter. Clint and Larry will coordinate installation. (Much thanks to Larry for the generous donation of duplexer cans and tower space!)

·         Photo Presentation. Norris KB5SLI presented a photo of the “Waco Radio Man” (aka KD5UEW) taken by Genna Jones of Pat Jones Photography in Robinson.

Meeting Adjournment

·         KD5DZU recognized a motion to adjourn the meeting by KD5UEW at 7:56 pm.

Program

winlink-usa-network.jpg

Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW reported on his recent success with WinLink, inspired by Jim Jud KA5QKL’s earlier WinLink presentation. Bill first got VHF WinLink working on 145.165—able to send/receive email over VHF. Then he also succeeded in getting HF WinLink working, using an NVIS antenna system. He posed the question, “What if Dallas, the Internet hub of the country, were to go offline?” Winlink capable stations could be the only way to get email out for several days.

Clint Anderson AE5CA followed with a demo of setting up an APRS station without a TNC, using direwolf installed on a simple PC (even RPi will work!) with sound card and EasyDigi interface connected to VHF transceiver. He plans to use such a setup to support the WWW100.

Submitted by
John Chamberlain AC5CV
Substitute Secretary

 

Amateur Radio Logs

by Ed Hynan, KC5KNI
McLennan County Emergency Coordinator

Imagine setting up for Field Day and spending a 24 hour period contesting with other amateurs around the nation and the world without keeping station logs. When the contest period is over you are required to submit ares_logo_hi_resyour results and you send in an estimate of the numbers that you contacted. Who would be declared the winners? With estimates, no one would really know! Some would be low estimates, some right on, and I imagine that most would be overestimates. No real documentation of what took place.

Now translate that contest (demonstration of emergency capabilities) into a real life emergency situation—HURRICANE HARVEY, HURRICANE MARIA, CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES, or any other real disaster situation. Now, it is not just a contest, a drill, etc. People’s lives, health, and welfare depend on the communications getting through: medicine needed here; food and water needed there; hazardous materials discovered, flood and damage reports, casualties, etc.—all communications that are critical for those affected and those trying to provide and coordinate relief.

How do you know that the correct information in each of these cases got to the correct persons or agencies? Who requested the items? Who approved and released the request? Who is responsible for getting it there? Remember: as amateurs supporting an emergency, we are just the messenger. Those affected or supporting the emergency depend on us—the messenger—to get the right info to the right agency. That is why amateur logs are so important. In the heat of the emergency, you might be inclined to just pass the information and provide the requested assistance. But, if something goes wrong or is misunderstood, the messenger is the first one to receive grief. Take the time to log each communication. You may use your own brand of shorthand, as we do with weather nets, and then transcribe or fill in the blanks later. Document what, when, where, why, and especially who is making the request or who is responding to the request. Get it on paper or computer so you, the lowly messenger, can provide the necessary specifics.

The ARES Net Controls for the Monday night Nets all keep and submit logs. This is documentation that the Net took place. We need to practice this in all our other organized support events, so that it becomes automatic when we have to be the messenger in times of real emergency.

TYLRUN in 2017

by Linda Hynan, AC5QQ
HOTARC Member

 

The 63rd Annual Texas YL Round Up Net (TYLRUN) meeting was held in Seminole, OK at the First Baptist Church of Seminole on October 6th and 7th. On Friday night, we held a social event and signed cards. On Saturday mid-morning we held the annual meeting. Our 2017 gathering was hosted by Beth KC5RWW.

The purpose of this organization is to foster, encourage, and advance the hobby of amateur radio telephony among licensed female amateur radio operators. TYLRUN was organized November 1954 in District 5 by Pat Parks W5TTU. Membership is open to any YL holding an amateur radio license; the annual fee is only $5. YLs with a General Class license or above meet on the air, Thursday mornings at 8 AM on 3947 KHz, with Judi Jaksa W0JJ serving as Net Control.

If you are interested in additional information about TYLRUN, please contact Linda Hynan AC5QQ.

tylrun.png

TYLRUN-2017.JPG

L to R, Standing:  Lynda KF5JUO,
Beth KC5RWW, Linda AC5QQ
Seated:
 Sallie AB5YL and Judi W0JJ

 

HOTARC Supports WWW100

by John Chamberlain
HOTARC Webmaster

James KG5KGV, our Special Event Coordinator, posted: “I would like thank everyone that participated in the bike ride event. I was at one of the rest stops and just about every rider that came by thanked us for being out there for them.”

I concur, as I’m sure Clint AE5CA, Ed KC5KNI, and others who were interfacing with the riders and event organizers can testify. The HOTARC volunteers were very appreciated, the technology worked great—as the APRS tracking map shows—and the Net Control logs reflect a steady stream of telephone call-ins and subsequent radio contacts. That’s why we’re there! To communicate! Good work, everyone!

www100-trackers-on-map.jpg

 

Prep for Your Next Upgrade—HamTestOnline

by James Stovall, KG5KGV
HOTARC Special Events Coordinator

Amateur radio is an exciting and fun hobby. You can talk around the world, compete in contests and even provide emergency communications during disasters. Of course, the FCC requires all operators to have a license in one of three classes: Technician, General, or Extra. Testing for those licenses can be downright nerve wracking sometimes. Since the FCC has lifted the requirement of Morse code testing, it is now easier to get licensed and then advance to the higher “tickets” by just passing the written exam.

I got my Technician Class ticket in 2015 at the encouragement of a licensed co-worker. I was already a weather geek and a Skywarn storm spotter, so he convinced me to take it up a notch. I purchased a book to study for the General Class license, but it took me a little over a year to pass the test. Now, almost a year later, I am studying for my Extra Class. I have had a lot of fun on the air as a “General,” participating in the ARRL Rookie Round Up, state QSO parties, and Special Event stations. But mostly I have enjoyed our weather Nets and watching the skies for the National Weather Service. During that time, I have been wanting to upgrade and go all the way to to Extra Class.

Online courses for the ham radio license exams.Since I already knew the book method was time consuming, and not well matched to my learning style, I looked around for alternatives and came across the highly rated hamtestonline.com: a website that is devoted to upgrading your amateur radio license. I found that it’s a great learning tool! Their teaching curriculum is a good fit for my learning style, and many others, too. Maybe you! (Read some reviews at eham.net.)

There is a subscription fee for each license class, valid for two years’ worth of studying. But don’t let the fee scare you away: they advertise “100% refund if you fail to pass the test!

stairs-to-upgrading.gifOn this site you can focus on specific areas where you struggle, or study for the whole exam. The site tracks your progress and the amount of time you spend studying. They claim that you should pass the Technician exam if you devote 10 hours of study; the General exam requires about 20 hours; and the Extra about 30 hours. In my thinking, I prefer this method since I don’t spend money on the books that will sit on my shelf and be outdated in a few years anyway.

So, all my fellow members out there that now hold your Technician or General Class license: I encourage you to consider upgrading, and check out hamtestonline.com. It might give you the extra nudge to make it happen! Doing so will equip HOTARC members achieve the highest level of success in our hobby and be equipped to participate with even more skills and privileges in club activities.

These opinions of hamtestonline.com are my own. I believe in the product since it is helping me! So, I recommend it for all HOTARC members, and hope you will seek to upgrade.

Good DXing and 73.

 

 

The HOTLINE is the monthly newsletter of the Heart O’ Texas Amateur Radio Club (HOTARC), Inc., a nonprofit corporation, chartered by the State of Texas and principally located in Waco. It is permissible to use any of the original material contained herein, provided proper credit is given to the source.
Edited and Published by John Chamberlain AC5CV, AC5CV@arrl.Net

HOTARC 2017 Board of Directors

President: Lynn Gustafson KD5DZU
President@hotarc.org

Vice Pres: Bill Feltenberger KD5UEW,
VicePres@hotarc.org

Secretary: Dan Hapenny AG5HF
Secretary@hotarc.org

Treasurer: Norris Martin KB5SLI,
Treasurer@hotarc.org

Past‑Pres.: Clint Anderson AE5CA,
PastPres@hotarc.org

Director (2017): Paul Collins KG5DHS,
Director2@hotarc.org

Director (2018): Terry Williams KD5KJU,
Director3@hotarc.org

Director (2019): Ed Hynan KC5KNI,
Director1@hotarc.org

Club Repeaters

145.15 MHz (input at –600 kHz, tone 123 Hz)

146.98 MHz (input at –600 kHz, D-Star)

442.875 MHz (input at +5.0 MHz, tone 123 Hz)

VE Testing

The HOTARC VEs will conduct a test session on November 18, 10:00 AM in the Baylor University's Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building, upstairs in Room 207. Test takers will need to provide 1) testing fee of $15 (cash only); 2) a photo ID (two for first-time licensees). Additionally, already licensed amateurs also must provide: 3) Reference copy or photocopy of current license; and 4) photocopy of any relevant CSCE. Contact: Linda Hynan, AC5QQ at 254‑666‑4873 or Linda.Hynan@UTSouthwestern.edu.

 

Meeting Notice

HOTARC will hold its monthly Meeting of Members at 7:00 pm on Thursday October 26 at the W5NCD Workshop, 12772 Chapel Rd in Lorena. Meetings generally last about 75 minutes consisting of fellowship, general Club business, and an interesting program and discussions. Visiting hams, family members, and prospective hams are welcomed!

HOTARC members are innovative creators.
Show us some of your past year’s work
at Home Brew Meeting Night!