Packet Winlink with a TinyTrak4

Jeff, WB5WAJ was looking into uses for his TinyTrak4 and came across this article by N3LUD describing how to use it with Winlink Express. Jeff has successfully used this setup for Packet Winlink with his Yaesu 7800 and says “The install is very straight forward. The radio has a 6 pin data jack. The cable connects to the radio and then to the TinyTrak4. This cable can be bought from Byonics. Then there is a USB cable from the TinyTrak4 to the computer.”

It is also worth noting that you don’t need a radio with a dedicated data port and can often make the connections to the mic and speaker/headphone jacks of a basic mobile radio or HT. Make your own cable using the information in your radio’s user or service manual or purchase one from a company like Byonics: cable selection chart.

For an overview of Packet, VA3ROM has a presentation on VHF Packet which covers scenarios, equipment and examples such as Winlink: Packet Radio.pdf

Winlink is an important capability for WCARES members so if you don’t yet have a Winlink Packet solution, try this out.

2020 WCARES Technician & General license classes start Saturday, Feb 1, 2020!

If you have ever wanted to learn about amateur radio (also known as “HAM” radio), or wish to upgrade from a Technician to General license for more radio privileges, then we have the class for you.

WCARES offers free classes to help prepare for the ARRL license exams for both the Technician (beginner) and General (intermediate) amateur radio licenses. There is no age or residential restriction to enroll in the WCARES classes, and the class enrollment is free. For those that would like a review of the material, you can audit the classes even if you already have the license. Children are also welcome to enroll with at least one accompanying parent or guardian.

Classes will be held over 5 Saturdays, starting February 1, 2020 at the Williamson County Public Safety Building.

For more information including the address, dates and times and sign-up forms, please visit this link:

SKYWARN Recognition Day Operator Registration Now Available!


SKYWARN Recognition Day was created in 1999 by the National Weather Service
and the American Radio Relay League. Amateur radio operators comprise a
large percentage of SKYWARN volunteers across the country, providing vital
communication between the NWS and emergency management if normal
communications become inoperative. During this special event operators
working from NWS offices contact other radio operators across the world.

Where & When:
NWS Nashville Forecast Office,
500 Weather Station Road,
Old Hickory, TN

December 7th, from 0000 – 2400 UTC (Local time: 6 PM Friday 12/6 to 6 PM Saturday 12/7) (calendar)

This is a relaxed event with an easy exchange (call sign, signal report,
location and brief local weather description). We’ll have two HF stations
and one VHF/UHF station. Modes will be SSB and FM. Operating/logging time
slots are in 2 hour segments; N4CLO Laura will work out any scheduling
issues with those registering.

Click this link to see available operating times (view-only document):

Then, to sign up as an operator, click here:

We still need V/UHF and HF equipment. To volunteer equipment and to help
set up/take down, click here

Questions? Please email N4CLO Laura Marler at

Radio Astronomy Introduction November Monthly Meeting

Ron, KX4DQ will be presenting an introduction to radio astronomy at the November Monthly Meeting, November 16th, 2019.

Ron has provided a copy of his presentation document in advance of the meeting – you can download a PDF copy of that here: Radio Astronomy Intro.

Check out the calendar for time and location of the monthly meetings and other WCARES events.

Image of the VLA © 2019 The National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Visit to learn more.

Dickson Co. MESH Networks presentation

Dickson Co. Radio Club event – November 11

Dickson Co. AMATEUR RADIO CLUB Meeting Monday Nov. 11th.

The Dickson Co. Amateur Radio Club will hold their monthly meeting at 7:00PM CT at the Dickson Co. EOC in the Training Room. The EOC is located at 284 Cowan Rd. in Dickson. Pizza will be served starting at 6 PM.

Tom Delker, K1KY will have a presentation on MESH Networks.

All hams are invited and encouraged to attend.

Any questions visit: .

VARA, a presentation by Tim, AD4CJ

In addition to accepting the award for their 2018 November Sweepstakes win, Tim, AD4CJ gave a presentation on VARA. VARA is a software modem using orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation.

VARA is capable of HF speeds comparable with Pactor 3. It does this using 52 carriers limited to 42 bps thus satisfying the FCC symbol rate requirements of 300 baud or less for any carrier. VARA uses a bandwidth of 2400 Hz.

VARA is available for HF as well as FM and can be loaded and used from within Winlink Express. Select Vara Winlink or Vara FM Winlink from the Open Session: menu in Winlink Express and follow the instructions in install it.

VARA is shareware; paying the shareware fee unlocks it’s full speed.

For more information or to download VARA for HF, FM as well as the documentation etc. visit .

Award for N4FR, division win in 2018 CW November Sweepstakes

Tim, AD4CJ and Carl, KB9DKR accepted the ARRL Award plaque on behalf of the entire N4FR team. They won the division for Multioperator, Single Transmitter, Low Power for CW with a score of 89,440. The team was AD4CJ, K3IE, KB9DKR and N4CCB. Congratulations all!

Morse Code Tutor Build Event 2

The second Saturday Morse Code Tutor build event was also well attended.

This posting includes pictures from the second Morse Code Tutor build event along with Cliff, N4CCB’s video of Dave, KI4PSR demonstrating the steps involved in the build! Links to the schematics, parts information etc. are included as well.

Check out the build video here:

and find pictures and links below.

(Links to the schematics etc. are included below the the pictures.)

Dave’s 3D printed case:

KI4PSR's 3D printed Morse Code Tutor case



Also see the following link at github for more details:

along with W8TEE’s talk:

Morse Code Tutor Build Event 1

This past Saturday saw a number of WCARES members take part in the first of two Morse Code Tutor build sessions coordinated by Dave, KI4PSR and Cliff, N4CCB. Dave put together a very nice kit of parts which included an update of the W8BH version of the W8TEE Morse Code Tutor adding a very nice printed circuit board and 3D-printed case. Some members soldered their kits while others assembled boards Dave had pre-soldered, wired and tested!

For those that have signed up, the second build session will be this coming Saturday, Sept. 21st at the EOC.

Pictures from the first session are included below.

TNQP is Sunday, 1 September 2019

The Tennessee QSO Party is Sunday, 1 September 2019


“The Tennessee QSO Party is an annual amateur radio event which takes place on either the first or second Sunday of September. All amateur radio operators in the great state of Tennessee are encouraged to participate as antennas around the world rotate and point to the volunteer state.

The Tennessee QSO Party is hosted by the Tennessee Contest Group. Each year tens of thousands of QSOs occur between Tennessee amateur radio operators and hams worldwide. Plaques are awarded for category winners.”

More information and the registration form for Tennessee stations planning to take part are here:

Rules and resources: