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:

Field Day 2019 – sign up!

2019 Field Day will be held June 22-23, 2019 and the sign-up sheet for the WCARES 2019 Field Day event is here:

Field Day is always the fourth full weekend of June, beginning at 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 2059 UTC Sunday.

Building and testing a Windom

Inspired by the recent presentation on Windoms, Dave, KI4PSR with the help of Jon, KK4AIZ, Rob, KM4SOA , Paul, KM4PT and Doug, W4DML, built and tested the design during this past Tuesday’s Portable Ops. Dave said the SWR was great, just as described by Ted, W3TB.

From Jon:
“Station was Icom 7300, with battery and solar panels. We were able to tune 20, 40, 80, & 17. I made one contact into Western Pennsylvania; on 7.255 – missed NC callsign. Got a 5.6 report!”

Photos courtesy of Dave and Jon:

Windoms – modelling and aiming

Ted, W3TB gave a presentation at the March WCARES Monthly Meeting on Windom antennas. Ted discussed the use of Azimuthal Equidistant maps for antenna planning and aiming, gave a demonstration of modelling the Windom using the EZNEC demo and discussed building the Windom.

Ted’s presentation files are attached:

1 – the Azmuthal-Equidistant map of the world centered on Franklin
2 – the PowerPoint that Ted used in the presentation
3 – the article from 73 Magazine, Sept 1980, about the Windom (The Internet Archive maintains copies of this magazine: )

Additionally, an image combining the Franklin azimuthal map and the antenna plots as shown above is here.

And try out a simple website demo to see how rotating the original antenna plot compares with locations on the map:

WCARES 2019 Winter Field Day pictures

WCARES members were out in force for this year’s Winter Field Day.

So, a few hours before midnight; 30 degrees at best; Traffic on Moores lane is near zero; the small tent is keeping us warm; On 80 meters; Three portable antennas in the field; The operator (N4CCB) decides to run a frequency (call CQ); I’m logging and chomping at the bit; Tuned up; Boom! …Two, Three, then four contacts a minute; Canada, Wisconsin to Alabama, Ohio, Western New York inbetween.
Talk about a RUSH! The CW station had similar runs at kick-off time.

Photos taken by Jon, KK4AIZ and Paul, KM4PT

Video – CW contesting setup

Hunter, K3IE, did an overview of the radio, computer and software setup used to take part in a recent ARRL CW Sweepstakes.

A video of the presentation is here:

A Flex 6500 radio was used along with a number of software packages including SmartSDR, CWSkimmer, Slice Master and DAX:

  • SmartSDR
  • CWSkimmer is the software that takes the I/Q output from the radio and decodes the CW
  • Slice Master 6000 which sits between SmartSDR and CWSkimmer (SDR Bridge is another option here)

    Slice Master does a number of things but is primarily responsible for syncing the radio and CWSkimmer. This lets someone click on the CWSkimmer waterfall and have the radio automatically QSY to the frequency on which the user clicked. In the same way, a user can click on the SmartSDR panadapter and CWSkimmer will automatically scroll to that signal in its display. Slice Master is the “glue” that makes these two programs stay in sync when the user clicks either.
  • DAX is Digital Audio Transport

    It’s Flex software that creates virtual audio cables for the signals coming into and out of SmartSDR.
    It does this by creating a virtual soundcard for the incoming, outgoing, and I/Q signals.
    By having these signals show up on your PC as soundcards, you can use any off-the-shelf ham radio software and configure that software to use the DAX signals. So, in your ham radio software for digital modes like PSK-31, FT8, etc…. if you want to tell the software where to get the incoming audio for decoding, you’ll select the “soundcard” in your PC’s audio picklist called “DAX Audio RX 1”. And, to tell the software where to send the encoded audio for transmission over-the-air, you’ll pick the soundcard called “DAX Audio TX”.
  • N1MM Logger+

    N1MM is the gold-standard software used by contesters

Online Spotter Classes – NWS OHX

To sign up for the spotter classes visit:

From the National Weather Service:

“Online classes offer all the information that our in-person spotter classes offer with the added convenience of attending in the comfort of your own home!

Classes are FREE and open to people of all ages.
Each class is hosted by a National Weather Service Meteorologist from the Nashville WFO.

Classes run approximately 2 hours including a Q&A session.”

To sign up for the spotter classes visit:

Basic Spotter Classes Advanced Spotter Classes
All start at 6PM All start at 6PM
Tuesday February 19 Tuesday March 5
Thursday February 21 Tuesday March 26
Tuesday February 26 Thursday March 28
Friday March 1  
Thursday March 7