2018 Winter Field Day

Winter Field Day will be January 27 – 28, held on Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory grounds. In case of inclement weather the location will instead be outside the Williamson County Public Safety building in Franklin. There will be three stations running 24 hours: SSB, CW and Digital (PSK31). We’re even going to try to work a satellite! The event begins at 1 pm Saturday, January 27th and continues until 1 pm Sunday, January 28th.

If you’d like to participate, sign up using the links below.

SSB: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Wih-zEw1-Xh2YGlTXJtHk1lXZc_NP3n4dpb41u0whrY/edit?usp=sharing

CW: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1WJoxsxk2Q8Z2n-UaqYw3qvcXUlam49yuLA9dBEbJecs/edit?usp=sharing

Digital: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GfFeel2FkxfindtKm1YFJKBv15qAyIjo2r7VuChOt4Q/edit?usp=sharing

Questions? Email Laura at n4clo@arrl.net

WCARES University Class Signup Now Online – Signup Today!

The 2018 WCARES University signup form is now available. If you are interested in attending the Technician or General Class courses please visit the signup page.

Or complete the form below

Field Day Propagation Survey from KB9DKR

Carl (KB9DKR) has made available a very interesting analysis of propagation models from the 2017 Field Day.

Winlink Training with ICS-213 at Home Exercise II Workshop

There are two for training and practice workshops to help prepare for the Winlink Training with ICS-213 at Home Exercise II.

Tuesday, December 12th from 9am to 12pm
Tuesday, December 19th from 9am to 12pm

On Tuesday December 12th from 9 to noon we will host a Winlink/Winmor radio to computer interfacing help session. If you are having difficulties setting up your radio and computer to do Winlink/Winmor over the air we will try to help. Bring your radio and laptop computer, interface boxes and cables. We will have power supplies and dummy loads.

The workshops are held at The Brentwood Library in the Fall Conference Room. The room can hold up 18 people. If you are planning to come, please contact Janise at KK4HTA@arrl.net on which day and time and make sure to indicate what help you’d like with Winlink.

Thanks: I would like to thank the thirteen participants who trained with us during the Winlink Training with ICS-213 at Home Exercise. Especially for the kind words given on the second Bonus Question “Feedback”, they were very much appreciated!

The maximum total score is 57.
1 point for each 17 questions answered correctly. 15 point for each Bonus Questions

– ICS-309 Report
– Feedback
– Those who answered all 17 questions correctly

Both participants and Exercise Command learned a few things and we are looking forward to make improvements. One participant tried to be part of the exercise from several states away, but the Internet was not working to his favor. Bob AK4RO was simultaneously using both Pactor and packet Winlink on two different radios and switching back and forth between them for practice.

Five of the thirteen participants are new Winlink users. Two of the five learned how to use Winlink during W4PHS, Phil’s presentation. All in all, everyone did very well. I’m so glad you tried it!

If any participants have questions about the Saturday, Nov 18th Winlink Training with ICS-213 at Home Exercise, please send the questions to Janise at KK4HTA@arrl.net.

The exercise couldn’t happen without the teamwork of Dave KI4PSR, Laura N4CLO, RJ KC4LRR and David KK4CQD, thank you!

What’s next you ask?
Yes, there will be a Winlink Training with ICS-213 at Home Exercise II scheduled for sometime in February 2018 (TBD); more information will follow. If you are interested in signing up for the exercise, please contact Janise at KK4HTA@arrl.net and I will put you on the roster. Early sign up is welcome.

Please look out for future announcement about the Winlink Training with ICS-213 at Home Exercise II on the Monday Nets, WCARES Newsletter and the WCARES website.

Thank you! Janise, KK4HTA

QST Projects – Video From KI4PSR and

This video was captured on Saturday, 10/21/17 during the WCARES “Chew & Chat” meeting. Dave takes us through some of the projects that have appeared in QST magazines this year. He gives a hands-on demonstration of a couple of the projects that he himself built.

Winlink Training With ICS-213 At Home

Based on feedback from the recent SET exercise, some of you asked for more practice exercises using the ICS-213 form template in Winlink. We heard you!

Janise, KK4HTA and Dave, KI4PSR are organizing a Winlink ICS-213 forms training exercise.
The exercise will take place on Saturday, November the 18th between 1pm and 3pm (after the next Chew & Chat).
You’ll be able to participate from home or anywhere you can operate Winlink.

The participants will use the ICS-213 form template in Winlink to answer skill-testing questions derived from the WCARES Emergency Ops Plan https://wcares.org/information/emergincy-ops-plan/

All license class can participate and don’t worry about your level of experience with Winlink; try this out and have some fun!
You can use any Winlink mode available to your license class and equipment; You can operate using Telnet over the Internet, Packet on VHF/UHF or Winmor/Pactor over HF. You can find the latest Frequency Band Charts here: http://www.arrl.org/graphical-frequency-allocations

Winlink/RMS Express:
You will need Winlink installed. Please go to the bottom of the announcement for instructions.
Leading up to the exercise on the 18th, there will be three Winlink Workshops available at The Brentwood Library, 8109 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027, from 9am to 12pm on:

Tuesday, October 31,
Tuesday, November 7 and
Tuesday, November 14.

David, KK4CQD will help with Winlink installation and Janise, KK4HTA will guide you through ICS-213 form template in Winlink.

The room can hold up 18 people and the room is shared with the BitX Workshop.

If you are planning to come, please contact Janise at KK4HTA@arrl.net on which day, and time and make sure to indicate what help you’d like with Winlink. This way we will be sure to be there to help and answer your questions.
This exercise was created to help all of us learn how to use the ICS-213 form template in Winlink and most importantly, have some fun doing it!

If you’ve liked to participate or have questions, contact Janise at KK4HTA@arrl.net.

More information will follow, please look out for future announcement on the Monday Nets, WCARES Newsletter and the WCARES website.

Thank you!
Janise, KK4HTA


How to Install Winlink Instructions from Phil Sherrod-


  1. Use this URL to download the installation file for Winlink Express:




  1. Extract the enclosed file (RMS Express setup.msi) and run it to install

Winlink Express.


  1. After Winlink Express is installed, launch the program, and it will

prompt you to create a new Winlink Account — which is free.  Enter your

callsign, choose a password for your account, and enter the other

information requested.  Enter PUBLIC as the “service code”.  Then click the

“Update” button.


  1. Wait 3 minutes for the registration to be processed by the Winlink

system. Then select “Telnet Winlink” in the drop-down list to the right of

“Open Session:”.  After that, click on “Open Session:” to open a Telnet

Winlink session.  Next, click “Start” to connect to a Winlink CMS server.

If your account has been properly authorized, you will see some lines that

look similar to this:



*** Connecting to a CMS…

*** Connected to Halifax at 2017/10/24 11:32:55


;PQ: 87633555

Halifax CMS >


[RMS Express-$]

;PR: 38526281




*** — End of session at 2017/10/24 11:32:57 —

*** Messages sent: 0.  Total bytes sent: 0,  Time: 00:01,  bytes/minute: 0

*** Messages Received: 0.  Total bytes received: 0,  Total session time:

00:01,  bytes/minute: 0

*** Disconnected at 2017/10/24 11:33:02



  1. If that works, then send yourself an email from your Internet address

addressed to callsign@winlink.org  Where ‘callsign’ is your Winlink

registered callsign.  You must put //WL2K in front of the subject of the

message.  For example:


//WL2K  Test message sent to Phil


Then wait a minute, and make another Telnet connection to see if you can

receive the message you sent yourself.


Phil, W4PHS

2017 Nashville Maker Faire

On behalf of Dave, a followup to our Nashville Mini Maker Faire presentation organized by Dave Matthews, KI4PSR.

The Maker Faire ( https://nashville.makerfaire.com/ ) was held at Vanderbilt University, the weekend of September 30th – October 1st.

Dave had help from:

Paul,   KN4BTJ
Mike,   KJ4TOP
Janise, KK4HTA
David,  KK4CQD

Laura and Joe Marler lent their excellent and easy-to-use tent for the occasion.

The primary focus was Dave presenting the BitX-40 rig which is a perfect radio for a maker faire. Dave talked about the radio and background of the project and showed off the components and a number of builds and pictures of the wide range of housings developed by WCARES members. He managed to give away a good number of 3D-printed BitX mic housings he’d printed – blue was so popular he spent Saturday night printing more for Sunday.

Mike and Paul demonstrated building a BitX while Janise headed up promoting the ARRL and WCARES.

We had a steady stream of interested visitors both days including about 26 hams and a number of WCARES members.

Presenting the BitX and promoting amateur radio, the ARRL and WCARES together worked well. We were able to attract visitors with a wider range of interests and questions, from hardware to software, questions about amateur radio and licensing as well as ARES and emergency and community service.

We also showed off the NVIS antenna build that Cliff, N4CCB organized – together with the BitX-40, a number of visitors could see that it was easy and inexpensive to Get On The Air!

We all had a great time and look forward to doing similar events in the future.



2017 Tennessee QSO Party

The time is near for one of the most fun ham events of the year — the Tennessee QSO Party.
What makes this a fun party is that Tennessee hams are on the receiving end of calls from other
hams around the country (and occasionally outside the country).

Date and Time
The contest is Sunday, September 3, 2017
The operating hours are 2 PM local time (1800 UTC) until 11 PM (0300 UTC, Sep 4)
We will operate from the Williamson Co. Emergency Operations Center (where we have Chew&Chat)

We definitely will have at least one phone station.
If there is enough interest, we also will have a CW station and possibly a second phone station.

If you want to participate, please send an e-mail to phil@philsherrod.com (W4PHS) with this information:
1. Your name
2. Your callsign
3. Your ham license class (Technician class hams are welcome)
4. Your e-mail address
5. Your phone number
6. Whether you want to work phone and/or CW
7. The hours you are available to work (please be flexible)
8. If there is someone you want to partner with, their callsign

Field Day 2017 Is In The Books

This years field day is in the books and based on feedback from everyone involved it was a resounding success.

The event was held at the Williamson County Public Safety Center.  Please watch the embedded video for more information.


Bed Spring Dipole Experiment

A group of Antenna Enthusiasts recently gathered at Brentwood’s Dyer Observatory to test out what is described as an “Antenna Folly Experiment” brought forward by none other than our own KI4PSR.