Update on Hamvention 2021

From DX Engineering’s “Tuesdays with Tim and Jeff” an update on the status of Hamvention 2021:


From the Hamvention website:

We are looking forward to seeing all our friends at the 2021 Hamvention. Of course, 2020 has turned out to be the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and that has caused us to deal with new stresses and visitor concerns regarding Hamvention.

As we move forward toward the 2021 Hamvention, we are keeping our eye on government policy and ensuring good protection for our guests. As someone trained in Public Health, I am especially interested in making sure all our guests will be able to enjoy the Gathering at Hamvention without unnecessary risk to themselves.

Many things need to happen between now and May of 2021 for Hamvention to be a success. Some are in our control, and some are not. But all of us in the Hamvention Volunteer Corps are working full speed and at full throttle toward the success we hope Hamvention 2021 will be.

Rick Allnutt, MD, WS8G, 2021 Hamvention General Chair

Field Day 2020 Results are in!

As you read in a recent WCARES Notes, our EC Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ had exciting news:

“The results are in the Dec QST and WCARES wound up 5th in the country with 26.7K points. The winner, not that it was a contest, had over 45K. The others were slightly above us.”

The December QST ( http://www.arrl.org/qst ) should be in your hands now and includes a summary of the scores starting on page 69 (the digital edition of QST and the ARRL Field Day Page at http://field-day.arrl.org have the full listings.)

You can find a list of WCARES entries at http://field-day.arrl.org/fdentriesrcvd.php under

Williamson County (TN) ARES

Try Sort by Club Name to seem them grouped togther and be sure to check out the Soapbox section http://field-day.arrl.org/fdsoapbox.php to see comments and photographs from the day, including by our own Jeff, WB5WAJ!

Updated – Oct. 2020 Virtual Monthly Meeting – USGS Did You Feel It, Certificate Chasing, Shack tour

Update: Jeff’s presentation PDF has been added (find the link below)

ARRL ARES Presentation

This month a presentation by Oliver Dully, K6OLI on the use of Winlink in the USGS Did You Feel It? earthquake reporting program. Oliver is the District Emergency Coordinator for the ARES LAX Northeast District. Our EC, Ed WB4RHQ is planning to schedule a WCARES DYFI exercise.


The Oliver’s video links:
DYFI introduction:
Hands-on training:

Certificate Chasing

Jeff, WB5WAJ gave a talk on Certificate Chasing which included examples of the kinds of certificate programs out there and how to take part.


and Jeff’s presentation is here:


Virtual Ham Shack Tour #4 – KA4OTB

Jack Cox takes us on a virtual tour of his impressive shack.


Updated – Red Cross Winlink Drill – November 14

Update – the folks who run the Florida Winlink Net have posted a FAQ answering questions like:

  • Solo or Team?
  • How many modes should I use?
  • What is the format of the tactical address to send to?
  • etc.

You can find this FAQ here:


From Mike Walters, W8ZY CT ARES SEC via W4WTN and AuxComm of TN.

There will be a Red Cross drill using Winlink on November 14th.

The purpose of this drill is to encourage more operators to learn about Winlink messaging and how to use the template for preformatted messages. The weekly practice has gone very well and more operators are participating.

The linked PDF below gives an overview of the drill and specific instructions on how to create and post the messages.

PDF: Drill_Instructions_IAP_-_11-14-2020.pdf

The drill is open to all operators and I encourage all ARES groups to offer this as a training exercise.



Sept. 2020 Virtual Monthly Meeting – TN Section Manager, Net Operations, Shack tour

ARRL ARES Presentation

David Thomas (KM4NYI)

David is the ARRL Section Manager for Tennessee

He had to appear at the Severiville, TN hamfest today so he recorded this video for us to play at the meeting.


WCARES Weekly Net

Laura Marler (N4CLO)

Laura gives us a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into calling the WCARES Monday night training net.


Virtual Ham Shack Tour #3 – WB5WAJ

Jeff Standifer takes us on a virtual tour of his impressive shack.


Dickson Co. offering General licensing classes in October

Dickson Co. Amateur Radio Club will be offering General licensing classes in person and via Zoom in October.

From Suzanne Bennett, N4JSB

“I am secretary of the Dickson County Amateur Radio Club & wanted to share some info if you have any members interested. We will be having a free General licensing class October 3, 10 & 17th. We will have the class in person with a virtual (Zoom) option for any interested. The class will run 9 AM – 5 PM the 3rd & 10th & 9 AM until complete on the 17th ( earlier than 5). It will be held at the Dickson County Emergency Operations Center at 284 Cowan Road, Dickson. We will be using the Gordon West book. Any one attending will need to purchase their own book and pre-study some before the class. A link to sign up is on the home page of our club website http://www.wc4dc.org/ and on our facebook page.”

Updated – Getting Started with Logbook of the World – LOTW

Don’t know where to start with logging your contacts? Need help getting LOTW up and running?

The LOTW New User Guide written by Gary, ZL2iFB has reached version 1.0.

You can find more information about LOTW at the ARRL here:


A copy of the current version of Gary’s guide will be kept under the Library -> User Guides section of the WCARES website – here:


and the definitive URL for the current English version is:





August 2020 Virtual Monthly Meeting – Emergency Ops Plan, Winlink and more


The WCARES Monthly Meeting for August was held this past Saturday. Here are the videos of the presentations for those who were unable to attend.

WCARES Emergency Communications Operations Plan by WB4RHQ: https://youtu.be/OTFNI89V-io

Winlink Presentation by W4PHS: https://youtu.be/IH8671kyyHQ

Virtual Ham Shack Tour by WB4RHQ: https://youtu.be/t2xQ8KgW6f4


Cliff (N4CCB)

July 2020 Virtual Monthly Meeting (Update) – Field Day, GRLevel3 and more

This past Saturday, Cliff, N4CCB hosted the WCARES Virtual Monthly Meeting. The agenda was:

ARES Task Book – member progress update by Ed Hudgens (WB4RHQ)
Field Day recap by Cliff Batson (N4CCB)
GRLevel3 Presentation by Adam DeLand (W8IFG)
First Virtual Ham Shack Tour by Cliff Batson (N4CCB)

ARES Task Book & Field Day Recap: https://youtu.be/kdIGymaG0jg

Ed provided an update on the progress of members who are pursuing the ARES Task Book and Cliff and provided a recap of this year’s unique Field Day event that saw WCARES members participating while social distancing. The ARRL introduced waivers for this year allowing home stations (Class D) to work other home stations and to allow for aggregating individual scores as a “club score”.

Adam’s GRLevel3 presentation to WCARES: https://youtu.be/yoTVI9PhvUc

Adam, W8IFG gave a detailed presentation on GRLevel3 http://grlevelx.com/grlevel3_2/, with particular emphasis on expanded functionality using shapefiles and placefiles. Adam demonstrated various use cases like adding route and rest stop information to the map for a cycling event like Jack and Back and adding more detailed local street layers or feeds of dynamic information such as APRS beacons for weather spotters. Adam has another longer presentation and demonstration done last year for DCARES: https://youtu.be/knHRLZQ_N78 .

Virtual Ham Shack Tour by N4CCB: https://youtu.be/UqUdav1yp4Y

Cliff wrapped up the meeting with the first virtual shack tour, giving us a tour of his second floor radio shack. Cliff talked about his limited but effective HF antenna situation, his solutions for running coax from the shack and what gear he has set up on his radio desk. Cliff enjoys operating portable and likes using a simple wire antenna such as those from SOTABEAMS ( https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/antennas/ ). During the discussion Tim, AD4CJ recommended the https://www.sotamaps.org/extras HF Linked Dipole Antenna Designer tool.

Cliff also talked about his mag-mount VHF/UHF antenna on a filing cabinet and this led to some discussion of VHF/UHF antenna solutions, particularly those which can be used indoors or in antenna-restricted environments. Bob, AK4RO and Mark, KA4BKA both like the PVC or the rollup versions of Ed Fong WB6IQN’s antennas ( https://edsantennas.weebly.com/ ) while Paul, WD9IOK has some ingenious solutions for antennas in the attic of his house. As Paul pointed out, there is no wind load in your attic and he used 1 1/4″ or 1 1/2″ pipe threaded into a flange mounted on a 1×10 x 32″ board and anchored to the attic beams to make a small platform. And Tim mentioned the Ventenna solution from https://www.ventenna.com/ .

Ed will be doing the Virtual Shack tour next month with tours by other WCARES members to follow.

Some of Paul’s attic setup:

Ed, WB4RHQ presentation on Task Book, training and WCARES membership requirements

Our EC, Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ did a presentation on the Task Book, training and WCARES membership requirements during the June Virtual Monthly Meeting. You can find a copy of Ed’s presentation here:


Cliff gave a detailed overview of the plans for Field Day – look for details in the WCARES Notes e-mails.