Jeff, WB5WAJ presents the ARRL ARES Task Book

From the ARRL Task Book introduction…

The Task Book is a working document that enable those ARES communicators electing to participate in the ARRL training plan, to track and document their training plan elements as they are completed toward the various levels of increasing proficiency.

As an ARES organization, WCARES will be using the Task Book for members who wish to advance their knowledge of emergency communications.

Jeff’s presentation has been added to the WCARES Youtube Channel – thanks Cliff, N4CCB:

To download the Task Book used by WCARES see the ARRL ARES Task Book – WCARES under

Join Us -> ARRL ARES Task Book – WCARES


Winter Field Day 2020 – N4FR took 7th place!

Results are in and N4FR took 7th place in the Outdoor category with a calculated score of 24815! You can find all the results here:

Congratulations to everyone who took part!

Another Winter Field Day is done – thank’s to all who participated!

And thanks to Jon, Cliff and Ed for the photographs included below:

Photos of setup from Jon, KK4AIZ:

Photos from Cliff, N4CCB:

Photos from Ed, KN4TIX:

2019 ARRL Sweepstakes CW – N4FR is #1 in Delta Division Multi-Op Low Power!

Thanks to Tim, AD4CJ for this post and Cliff, N4CCB for the photos. Operator in the pictures is Hunter Mills, K3IE. Hunter is also the Tennessee Contest Group president. You can learn more about TCG here: . Full results are in the May, 2020 issue of QST on pages 72 and 73.

The results of the 2019 ARRL Sweepstakes CW contest are in. The N4FR CW contest team consisting of AD4CJ, K3IE, N4CCB, KB9DKR, and KJ4YAY were the crew manning the station at the QTH of Tim, AD4CJ. We were able to score #1 in the Delta division Multi-Op Low Power category, and win a plaque sponsored by Icom America.

Sweepstakes is the oldest domestic radiosport event, with the first contest held in 1930. It has its roots in message handling protocols, and as such, it has the most difficult of all contest exchanges. The exchange is not your typical 599 exchange. It consists of an incremental serial number, then the precedence (Q,A,B,U,M, or S), then your own call (in our case N4FR), then a check number (the year of first licensing of your call), then finally the ARRL/RAC Section. We were operating as a multi-op, single radio, low power (under 150 Watts) station, so our precedence was M. The year of licensing of N4FR was 2000, so our check number was “00”.

A typical exchange would be as follows:

Us: CQ CQ N4FR SS (This means CQ CQ N4FR SweepStakes)

Answering Station: W1AW

Us: W1AW 123 M N4FR 00 TN (We answered their call, gave a sequential S/N, then our precedence, then our call, our check, then finally our ARRL section.

Answering: 43 M W1AW 31 CT

Us: TU (Thank you) CQ N4FR SS

Our contest station consisted of a Flex Radio 6500, and we used N1MM contest logging software. We are allowed to use a spotting network and CW skimmer assistance in the Sweepstakes contest. Therefore, we were running CW Skimmer (a program that decodes call signs over the entire band that the Flex Radio has open). We then fed the results of the Skimmer program into N1MM logger as the DX spotting cluster instead of using Telnet. Doing this allowed only those stations that our radio actually heard to be listed in our spotting network. If a new Section was listed, N1MM alerted us to an unworked section, and we were able to concentrate just on that frequency and station.

We were able to work a “Clean Sweep” this year, which means we worked stations in all 83 ARRL/RAC sections. One of the most desired QSOs was with VY1AAA from the Northwest Territories as it was the only station operating from NT, and was being manned remotely by Gerry, W1VE. We were able to work them at 1831 Z on Sunday. Cliff was operating Sunday afternoon when our spotting network alerted us to the last section we needed, which was Manitoba (MB). Cliff was able to concentrate on and successfully completed our “Clean Sweep”, when he worked VE4VT from MB at 2213 Z on Sunday.

Overall, we had a great time, and lots of good ham radio and CW experience. This year, CW Sweepstakes will run 11/7/2020 through 11/9/2020. The SSB Sweepstakes will run from 11/21/2020 through 11/23/2020. We want to encourage all the members of WCARES to consider working this contest, even if they have no contest experience. Most of the stations participating in this contest will slow down, and give newbies a chance to make successful QSOs. It is a great way to sharpen your skills, and you will definitely have a chance to achieve “Worked All States”.


Tim, AD4CJ

WCARES Virtual Monthly Meeting April 2020

WCARES held its first Virtual Monthly Meeting this morning via the ZOOM platform. There were 54 attendees!

Here is a link to a recording of the video:

0:05 Greeting

0:48 Announcements
– Every Tuesday morning on-the-air meetup
9am 6m: 50.125 MHz
10am 17m: 18.150 MHz
11am 800: 3.980 MHz
– This coming Monday night: 6m Alter-Net
– Mike Lee – SK (Obituary:
– 2019 ARRL CW Sweepstakes – N4FR 1st place Delta Division

2:50 Presentation by Ed Hudgens – How WCARES Assists the Williamson County EMA

10:04 Presentation by Laura Marler – The WCARES SKYWARN Net

38:08 Field Day 2020
Plans are up-in-the-air but we have several options…

WCARES holds a FD competition among its members
We work FD by remoting into the EOC radios
We work FD as normal, with members screened for health beforehand

Ed Hudgens will make a decision next month on how WCARES will conduct Field Day 2020

Stay Safe,
Cliff (N4CCB)

San Diego ARES – Winlink series

The San Diego ARES have put together a series of short videos to help those new to Winlink navigate Winlink Express software. Topics include installation, configuration, ICS forms and more.

You can find the playlist for this Youtube series here:

Canceled events and sources of information

Updated Friday March 27, 2020

Canceled WCARES and related events

Due to concerns over the potential risk of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) infection spread by group gatherings, our EC, Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ has made the decision to cancel the March 21st monthly meeting.

Self-isolation is currently considered a best-practice for reducing the risk of infection and may be key in slowing the virus so as not to overwhelm our medical infrastructure.

This may be a good time to stay in touch with each other using our local repeater system. If anyone becomes ill and needs groceries or other items dropped off at your doorstep, please reach out. We’re all in this together.

Please also note that the informal weekly Chew & Chat has been canceled until further notice and that the Hamvention Executive Committee has decided to cancel Hamvention for 2020.

Sources of information:

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has established the COVID-19 Unified Command Hub to streamline coordination across the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Department of Military. This page provides information, maps and resources about the coronavirus response in Tennessee, symptoms and recommendations:

Williamson Co. COVID-19 Related Closures, Resources & Procedures:

Williamson Co. Office of Public Safety status:

Tennessee Department of Health information related to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) can be found here:

See the CDC for more information on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19):

and steps to prevent illness, to protect yourself and others:

Siren Test Monitoring

A reminder that today, Saturday, March 7th at 1PM, county sirens will be tested. All members are asked to sign up to monitor and report on this test. Please refer to the WCARES Notes e-mail you received last week:

Please consider participating in the monthly county siren test <...> at 1 pm on the 7th. The County EMA has requested our assistance as they restart the county siren tests. These tests will be conducted every month on the 1st Saturday at 1:00 pm.

and refer to the link in that e-mail to sign up to participate, even if you had signed up previously.

WCARES presents Williamson Co. Public Library with ARRL publication set

Mar 4, 2020 – As a part of the new Plant The Seed initiative by the Delta Division of the ARRL to get ARRL publications in libraries, the Williamson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (WCARES) donated and presented an ARRL Library Book Set to Sheila Taylor KI4IBX and Sharon Reily of the main branch of the Williamson County Public Library system in Franklin, TN.

Ed Hudgens WB4RHQ, Emergency Coordinator for Williamson County and Jeff Standifer WB5WAJ presented the set of books.

This set will replace the over ten year old well-used set currently in their system. Included are the 24th edition of the Antenna Book, the 4th edition of the FCC Rules, the 2020 Handbook, the 12th edition of the Operating Manual, the 3rd edition of the RFI Book, the 2nd edition of Understanding Basic Electronics, and copies of the current edition of the Technician, General, and Extra Class License Manuals.


WCARES license classes are finished for 2020

The WCARES Technician and General license classes for 2020 wrapped up over the weekend.

Thank-you to all of the students and teachers who took part.

The next Nashville VE Team exam session is March 14th (on our calendar here.)

See for more information.

You can also search for exam sessions in your area here:

See you in 2021!

How do antenna tuners work?

Dave, KI4PSR gave the Technical talk at the February Monthly Meeting with the first in a series of presentations on antenna tuners.

In this first installment Dave covered the basics of antenna tuners and dispelled some myths (a tuner does not improve the radiation efficieny of the antenna.) An overview of reactance concepts, reactive matching and an introduction to L-network tuner configurations were next followed up with a brief demonstration.

Dave says this presentation was inspired by the work of Davide, IZ2UUF

and provided a link to one of IZ2UUF’s youtube videos on tuner losses: .

Dave’s presentation is here:

along with pictures of his demonstration setup: