5 Weeks – 41 Summits on the Air


What is ARES?

Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES)

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment, with their local ARES leadership, for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.


ARES Organization:

Williamson County Ares is part of  District 4 of the Tennessee section of the Delta Division of ARES.

Scott Gray, KD4VVC is the Emergency Coordinator of WCARES
Jim Humphrey, K4OFC is the District Emergency Coordinator
Keith Miller, N9DGK is the Section Manager


The Delta Division is made up of the Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee Sections

David Norris, K5UZ is the Director
Ed Hudgens, our very own WB4RHQ is the Vice Director


Radio at War – 1944

An excellent film brought to us by RCA (Radio Corporation of America), 1944. It is the story of two teenage brothers, both amateur radio operators, who joined the Navy during World War II, and shows how radio helped win the war. Thanks, Scott (KD4VVC), for making us aware of this film.


Monday Night WinLink Net

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Winlink Net is back.  In the subject line please put “net”, and in the message body put your power source.  The reason for that is that once per month, as you know, we do check-ins on the regular net with an emphasis on alternate power, and instead of sending out a reminder on those weeks it will be much easier if you simply include it in the message body each time that you check in so that it’ll be already be there and will be habit.

Winlink will now be allowed as a means to check into the regular Monday night net.  Anyone wishing to check into the regular Monday night net by way of Winlink should send an email to WC4EOC@winlink.org by way of RF only.  Telnet check-ins do not count, since it seems only logical that if it’s to be allowed to count as a check-in to the regular Monday night net, simply sending an email through the internet defeats the purpose of what the net is trying to accomplish.

Your message should be sent Monday after 7 a.m. and no later than 6 p.m. so that all stations using Winlink have the time to receive an acknowledgement and to get tabulated and passed on to whoever is the NCS for that night. 

Robin Patty

Fractal Antennas For Ham Radio

Presented by Jack Hill – W4KH – w4kh@nanniandjack.com

Fractal Geometry is a particularly difficult concept for many people to grasp… Many of you may have heard of “Mandelbrot Sets”, so named for, to quote Wikipedia: “Benoît B. Mandelbrot (20 November 1924 – 14 October 2010) a Polish-born, French and American mathematician, noted for developing a “theory of roughness” in nature and the field of fractal geometry to help prove it, which included coining the word “fractal”. He later discovered the Mandelbrot set of intricate, never-ending fractal shapes, named in his honor.

I invite the reader to “Google” Mandelbrot and become more familiar with his work and how he came to rely on graphic images to foster his understanding of math concepts…

For the really curious, make sure you have a good version of Java (https://www.java.com) and then Google for “online fractal generator” and make your own!

When it comes to Fractal antennas, the field is in its infancy, although cellular telephones have made prolific use of these small, broadband, and efficient antennas. Because of the complexity of building an antenna using repeating patterns whose angles, leg dimensions, and overall pattern must be precisely executed for optimum performance, fractal antennas have not yet made significant inroads into HF operation, especially the lower frequencies (longer wavelengths). That said, one example of a “simple” fractal antenna is the log-periodic, whose elements are scaled from back to front in a manner that allows continuous transmit and receive coverage for a wide slice of spectrum, for example from 7.0 MHz to 30 MHz. Take particular note of the first URL presented, as M0WWA from the UK has designed and built a 28 MHz (ten meter) fractal antenna with pretty good results.

I have put together some URLs that will get your curiosity up and let you explore. Follow other pages in the URLs and links to other pages… if these are not enough, remember Google is your friend!

M0WWA Fractal Antenna Designs


Wikipedia – Fractal Antenna


Fractal Geometry Panorama


Fractal Antennas


Fractal Antennas: Hype or Hope?


Fractal Antenna for ham radio bands : resource detail


Ham Radio: Old Technology Gets New Respect

Fox News recently did a feature on Ham Radio, which you can watch here:

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/05/19/ham-radio-old-technology-gets-new-respect/? intcmp=features

Shortwave Radio in WWII

From Scott Gray, KD4VVC:

Click here to see a great documentary on the role of Hallicrafter radios in WWII.

Spy Radio in World War II: “Strategic Service Transmitter-Receiver Number 1” SSTR-1

From Scott Gray, KD4VVC:

Circa 1943. “Office of Strategic Services. Field Photographic Branch… Click here to view Instructional Film: Describes the radio transmitter-receiver unit used during World War II. Explains compactness and ease of concealment, and outlines operations in detail: selection of electrical outlet, battery, or combination of both as power unit; antenna, assembly parts, installation, frequency determination and receiver operation; parts installation, attachment of crystal equipment and transmitter operation.”

Click here for more detailed information on the SSTR-1

The WCARES Vision

From Scott Gray, KD4VVC:

One thing we, as members of WCARES, should always keep in mind….every activity we take part in with WCARES should always have some value in preparing for fulfillment of our mission to provide emergency communication support to our served agencies and communities.  So, when taking part in one of the activities of one of the special interest groups, such as the Technical Subjects group and Skywarn group, always look for how the information and skills shared in these activities prepare you to more effectively fulfill this role.  The same applies to the community service events we assist with, such as the Harpeth River Ride, which gives us an opportunity to set up in field conditions, pass real communications traffic, interface with our served agencies, and give us experience in handling somewhat stressful and confused situations.

As time progresses, I challenge each of you to sharpen your skills and prepare the gear you would use to respond to an event.  As you learn new things that would be valuable for us all to know, please contact the WCARES Emergency Coordinator, so an opportunity can be set up for you to share with as many members as possible.

If you have not done so, please review the Emergency Ops plan that is posted on this website.  It is located in the members area, so if you do not have an account, please take the steps to register.  The plan, is our basis for response to an event, and covers several contingencies, such as repeater outages, etc.


The Ham Whisperer (for learning CW)

Trying to learn CW?  I have found a teacher online that so far has really helped me. The website is http://www.hamwhisperer.com/p/morse-code-course.html  Andy, KE4GKP, has eleven youtube (you can get to the videos through the website, or search for “Ham Whisperer” from within YouTube) based audio courses that present the letters, numbers, and prosigns.  Most lessons present three letters and a number.  He presents a letter and repeats it many times as you write it down, after that letter he will send three words for you to copy and give the answers after, he will then give a random run with all the letters and numbers you should know at this point with the new letter included.  He will then present the next letter, and repeat all the steps.  At the end of the lesson, he presents a longer random run, with everything you should know at this point, the key to this run is on the webpage for that lesson.  At the start of the new lesson, he reviews the last lesson with a random run of those characters, and begins to present the new items. For me, this is really helping, so I wanted to pass it along.  Once I get to a higher level of recognition, I will then include tools to simulate HF noise, fading, other signals, etc…..oh and actually listen on the radio!  But these lessons have gotten me farther than I have been able to stick with the code than ever before……. Also here is a link to the K7QO code course that has audio files and key that starts with letters, numbers, prosigns, words…..eventually getting to entire sections from various books.  This is a program that was being given away by The Fists CW Club of North America at the Dayton Hamfest. http://www.k7qo.net/
-Scott Gray, KD4VVC