WCARES License classes to be rescheduled…

The WCARES Technician and General license classes have been canceled for the time being. The classes will be rescheduled for later in the spring or summer.

Identifying Severe Weather

Get a refresher on how to identify severe weather features with this excellent presentation by Krissy Hurley, Nashville’s NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. Krissy originally gave this presentation at the WCARES April 2021 Virtual Montly Meeting.




Skywarn® and the Skywarn® logo are registered trademarks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used with permission.

Put Ham Radio on your list of New Year’s Resolutions

From Dale, AB4DK, Public Information Officer for TN ARES

Happy New Year,

I’m thankful for each one of you that has been involved with Amateur Radio this year across the Lakeway regional Area and our great State of Tennessee and as we slide out of 2021 and into 2022, it’s natural to think about plans for the coming year. And I’d like to ask a favor of you — please put Ham Radio on your list of New Year’s Resolutions.

Here are some ideas to consider:

If you are not yet a licensed Ham Radio Operator, get your license this year. If you have not yet passed your General or Extra test, do it this year. Having trouble studying or passing? Have a look at some tips on this Web Site that I think will be helpful. http://www.hamonlinetests.com/

Try something. I’ve heard some say that there are 30 different kinds of Ham Radio, and there’s something there for everyone. FM repeaters and HF SSB just scratch the surface. You already have a computer. New digital and sound card modes seem to appear weekly. Not long ago, no one had heard of FT-8. It’s now, by many accounts, the most popular HF Digital mode. Have you tried 6 Meters yet? The Magic Band can yield some surprising contacts. How low can you go? There’s some interesting action on our newest bands at 630 and 2200 Meters. At the other end of the spectrum, we have Ham Bands well into the GHz region. Microwaves are useful for more than making popcorn! Or maybe try some SSB or CW on 2 Meters or 70 Centimeters? Every Ham has full privileges on all of the bands above 30 MHz. Antennas for VHF and UHF are small and easy to construct from hardware store parts. It doesn’t have to be pretty — an ugly antenna will radiate just as well. Use your imagination and let’s try something different!

Do something. Set an achievable Ham Radio goal for the year — and then work at it! Earn DXCC or WAS, maybe on a single band? Better your contest score by 10%? Get your CW speed up to 20 WPM? Reorganize and rewire the shack? Order a copy of the ARRL Handbook or Antenna Book, and start increasing your technical knowledge? Convert your paper logs to electronic format and start using Logbook of the World? I’ve often heard this saying “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.” Just do it!! I know the man that wrote the book of the same title!

Build something. Not to many years ago, as I newly licensed Ham I got interested in going back to building stuff (my background is in electronics from my High School days). I built some kits for ham radio including a 40 meter single band radio kit from a ham in India, great kit, maybe not exactly cutting edge, but it worked and led me to build plenty of other handy gadgets over the last few years. Jim, W4OBY got me interested in building antennas, I was hooked. Simple projects can also be a great way to teach new hams the basics of soldering and kit-building. String up that antenna you’ve been thinking about forever and see how it plays. Download a free antenna modeling program and learn how to use it to design and build your own Homebrew antenna . Order a kit and assemble it. Melt some solder and have fun! Once you start you’ll be hooked.

Learn something. Microcontrollers like the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and PICaxe are quite inexpensive. With a few LEDs and pushbuttons you can learn simple programming to get started. There are plenty of useful Ham Radio projects that you can find online. And if you have an idea for your own gadget, you’ll have a lot of fun learning how to roll your own computer code.

Teach something. You know how to do things others don’t, but would like to learn. Are you already familiar with programming microcontrollers? How about a club project to teach the basics to other members? Or a demonstration on using Anderson Powerpoles? Or properly installing coax connectors?

Become a “HAMbassador”. Get just one person (or two, or three) interested in Amateur Radio. Offer to demonstrate Ham Radio at the Senior Citizens’ center, Boy or Girl Scout meetings, the Rotary Club, or any similar organization. Groups like that are always looking for an interesting speaker or activity. On-line meetings mean you can do it right from home, no need to travel! A simple but impressive and effective demonstration is to bring an HT and ask for a “Roll Call”. Notify your club in advance… all they need to do is reply with “This is (name, callsign) in (town).” Remember that we’re Hams because we enjoy talking to other people. The more Hams, the more contacts we can make..

Get involved! Join your local Radio Club. If you need help finding a club, look for a local club or go to ARRL.com If you already belong, attend the meetings. Just about every club (not just Radio Clubs) has the same problem — 10% of the people do 90% of the work. You don’t need to volunteer for everything… select an area that interests you, and help with that. Even better, suggest an activity and then take the lead in organizing it. Something as simple as “I’m going to set up a portable station at the park on Saturday morning, everyone is welcome to come by” can be a great time. Check out the POTA (Parks On The Air) Web site for even more fun. If you add “Free coffee and donuts” to your announcement, you’ll draw a real crowd.

Stay positive, ignore the negative. Don’t listen to those who insist that “Ham Radio is dying”. Or better yet, go here http://www.arrl.org/fcc-license-counts where they’ll find that the number of licensees is at an all-time high, Tennessee has 19,807 operators. Participation in contests remains strong, even at the bottom of the sunspot cycle. Manufacturers continue to introduce new models that we could barely dream of just a few years ago. Hamfests that are well-organized and well-run are thriving again. Ham Radio has been evolving for over a century now, and it continues to do so. The Magic of Radio never goes away.

Most of all, resolve to have more fun with Ham Radio in 2022!

Once again, my sincere best wishes to you and your family for a happy, healthy, and safe Holiday Season and New Year.

Final.. Final..

Well, that’s it for this 2021, I’m going QRT… Stay safe my friends! I want to see all of you soon at a 2022 meeting or hamfest!

Promote Amateur Radio everywhere you go and have FUN and get on the airwaves!!

Dale AB4DK

Happy New Year – A message from our new EC

Happy New Year greetings to all WCARES members –

As most of you already know, Ed Hudgens stepped down as Emergency Coordinator at the end of 2021. Thank you, Ed, for the great job you did during the last two years. Your leadership was much appreciated.

Beginning today, I took on the role of EC with a few thoughts I am passing on for your consideration:

  • Given that WCARES is an ARRL ARES organization, we need to ensure that we, as a group, are always ready, willing, and able to provide Williamson County with reliable emergency communications support. After all, that is the reason the county government has invested so generously and continues to do so, in our communications infrastructure.
  • Training exercises and public service events are invaluable in honing our skills as emergency communications specialists. I challenge each of you to take part in as many of these activities as possible.
  • The skills of WCARES members and our resources do not have to be limited to Williamson County. As I reach out to the Emergency Coordinators of surrounding counties to exchange ideas and share best practices, please be open to assisting where needed.

We will discuss these topics and more at upcoming monthly meetings. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to share thoughts and ideas on the above comments or any other matters relevant to our organization.

I look forward to working with every one of you in the coming year!

Jeff Standifer


Who’s Who in WCARES (WD9IOK)

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No Siren Monitoring until further notice.

Just a reminder that we will not be monitoring the Williamson Co. siren tests until further notice.

From Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ:

The EMA is in the process of reworking the system, and until that is completed we will not be checking the sirens. – Ed

September 2021 Monthly Meeting at the EOC: What is Emergency Management?

During the September 18th WCARES monthly meeting, Todd Horton (Director of the Williamson County EMA) gave a fantastic presentation.

His PowerPoint title slide asked, “What is Emergency Management?”

Todd provided a thorough answer and went well beyond this to include the structure of the Williamson County EMA, their vision, their capabilities, facilities, and much more.

August 2021 Monthly Meeting at the EOC: Mobile HF Contesting

The August 2021 WCARES Monthly Meeting was in-person at the EOC.

Mobile HF Contesting: Jim Hall (AD4EB) shows how much planning, preparation, and dedication is required to participate at a world-class level of performance.

Amateurs asked to keep 3750 kHz, 7150 kHz and 14330 kHz clear for Haiti earthquake emergency communications

From the ARRL:

Following Earthquake in Haiti, Radio Amateurs Asked to Keep Frequencies Clear

In a statement received by ARRL on August 14, 2021, Region 2 of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU-R2) has requested that radio amateurs in the Americas keep the following frequencies clear to support emergency communications in Haiti following an earthquake this morning: 3750 kHz, 7150 kHz and 14330 kHz. The statement came from IARU-R2 Emergency Coordinator (EMCOR) Carlos Alberto Santamaría González, CO2JC.

According to preliminary information from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on August 14, 2021 at 1229 UTC, about 12 kilometers northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud and 33 kilometers to the east-northeast of Les Cayes, Haiti; 18.352 degrees north and 73.4801 degrees west at a depth of 10 km.

Mr. Jean-Robert Gaillard, HH2JR, President of the Radio Club of Haiti, reported significant structural damage.

Image Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS

AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2/Fox 1E Open for Amateur Use (update 7)

Updated 2021-AUG-14 – AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin ANS-201 (source)

AO-109 (RadFxSat-2/AMSAT Fox-1E) Open For Amateur Use


SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-201.01
ANS-201 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 201.01
DATE July 20, 2021
BID: $ANS-201.01

AO-109 (RadFxSat-2/AMSAT Fox-1E) Open For Amateur Use

The AMSAT Engineering and Operations Teams are pleased to announce that
AO-109 (RadFxSat-2/AMSAT Fox-1E) is now open for amateur use. Users are
advised to use efficient modes such as CW or FT4 for making contacts, since
issues with the satellite make SSB voice contacts challenging at best.



See the following link for an article by Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, and Mark Hammond, N8MH, detailing
the various attempts to characterize AO-109 and its apparent problems.


Previous updates:
2021-JAN-17 17:17 CST – Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl released LauncherOne for launch at 1:38 PM CST from the racetrack off Long Beach.
At 4:28 PM Virgin Orbit tweeted:

Payloads successfully deployed into our target orbit! We are so, so proud to say that LauncherOne has now completed its first mission to space, carrying 9 CubeSat missions into Low Earth Orbit for our friends @NASA.

From ANS-017 AMSAT News Service Weekly News Bulletin:

SB SAT @ AMSAT $ANS-017.01
ANS-017 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins

AMSAT News Service Bulletin 017.01
From AMSAT HQ Washington, DC
January 17, 2021
BID: $ANS-017.01

RadFxSat-2 Launch Delayed Until Sunday, January 17, 2021

Virgin Orbit announced a new launch date of No Earlier Than (NET) Sunday, January 17, 2021
with additional windows in January if needed. The specific window is 10:00 to 14:00 PST
(1800 to 2200 UTC). Virgin Orbit seems to be using its Twitter account to make their
public announcements, so that may be worth watching at https://twitter.com/Virgin_Orbit.

AMSAT does not have preliminary TLE for the upcoming launch. If you are hoping to snag the
first contact, Jerry Buxton, N0JY, AMSAT VP – Engineering suggests checking the
nasabare.text TLE just prior to launch, maybe thirty-minutes after launch or until they
are posted.

[ANS thanks AMSAT for the above information.]

Via ARRL News and additional links:

ARLS001 AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2/Fox 1E Set to Launch

Space Bulletin 001 ARLS001
>From ARRL Headquarters
Newington, CT January 12, 2021
To all radio amateurs

ARLS001 AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2/Fox 1E Set to Launch

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne is a go for launch on Wednesday, January
13, at 1500 UTC
, carrying the AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E
CubeSat into space.

The LauncherOne vehicle will carry 10 other satellites.
RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E carries an inverting linear transponder, with
uplink at 145.860 MHz – 145.890 MHz, and downlink at 435.760 MHz –
435.790 MHz.

Telemetry will downlink on 435.750 MHz. More information is on the
Space Launch Now website at,
https://spacelaunchnow.me/launch/launcherone-launch-demo-2/ .

Additional links related to RadFxSat 2 Fox 1E including frequencies:

ANS-0103 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins for Jan. 10, 2021