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 http://www.NashvilleVETeam.org/ for more information.

You can also search for exam sessions in your area here:  http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmVMQbXmaHA .

Dave’s presentation is here:


along with pictures of his demonstration setup:

Delta Division – a presentation by WCARES EC

WCARES EC Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ gave the ARES Presentation at February’s Monthly Meeting.

The Tennessee Section of the ARRL is one of 71 sections in the United States and is part of the Delta Division which also includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ed gave an overview of the ARRL Divisions and Sections, the Delta Division and spoke about Division and Section nets, how the Sections coordinate during emergency events.

Ed announced a new division initiative to promote amateur radio through local libraries. Outreach to Williamson County libraries will include donations of ARRL book packages such as handbooks, license manuals and related materials and offers to host meetings about amateur radio and WCARES.

Ed’s Delta Division presentation includes more information (PDF)

Ed also talked about a recent presentation he gave at a meeting of the Cumberland Plateau Amateur Radio Club, CPARC. Dudley Pitts, KM4IYQ, past member of WCARES is now the CPARC club president. Ed spoke about WCARES and the Williamson Co. EMA, how the ARRL sees ARES evolving and some of the initiatives Ed has started during his tenure as WCARES Emergency Coordinator (EC).

Ed’s presentation to the CPARC meeting (PDF)

ARES – an introduction by WB5WAJ

At the January Monthly Meeting, Jeff Standifer, WB5WAJ (WCARES EC Jan 2016 – Dec 2017) gave a presentation on ARES, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and how it applies to WCARES.

Jeff’s presentation included an overview of ARES along with some discussion about how WCARES is organized and what training WCARES members should be completing.

Cliff, N4CCB recorded a video of the presentation. You can find this and a copy of the presentation at the links below:

Video of the presentation

Presentation PDF

Winlink – Distinguished Patriot Medal to WCARES members

As those of you who attended the recent WCARES Monthly Meeting heard, WCARES members Steve K4CJX and Phil W4PHS received the Military Department of Tennessee Adjutant General’s Distinguished Patriot Medal for their “distinguished patriotic service”.

WCARES EC Ed Hudgens, WB4RHQ congratulates Steve and Phil.

From the ARRL news link: http://www.arrl.org/news/winlink-development-team-members-awarded-tennessee-military-department-patriot-medals:

Steve Waterman, K4CJX, was awarded “for his distinguished patriotic service as the Winlink Network Administrator,” citing his “vision, hard work, and dedication to emergency communication [that] contributed significantly to the disaster readiness and communications interoperability of the emergency responders across the United States and the world.”

Phil Sherrod, W4PHS, was awarded the medal “for his distinguished patriotic service as the lead developer for Winlink,” with “technical skill, hard work, and dedication to emergency communication [that] contributed significantly to the disaster readiness and communications interoperability of the emergency responders across the United States and the world.”

Who’s Who in WCARES (WB4RHQ)

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Packet Winlink with a TinyTrak4

Jeff, WB5WAJ was looking into uses for his TinyTrak4 and came across this article by N3LUD describing how to use it with Winlink Express. Jeff has successfully used this setup for Packet Winlink with his Yaesu 7800 and says “The install is very straight forward. The radio has a 6 pin data jack. The cable connects to the radio and then to the TinyTrak4. This cable can be bought from Byonics. Then there is a USB cable from the TinyTrak4 to the computer.”


It is also worth noting that you don’t need a radio with a dedicated data port and can often make the connections to the mic and speaker/headphone jacks of a basic mobile radio or HT. Make your own cable using the information in your radio’s user or service manual or purchase one from a company like Byonics: cable selection chart.

For an overview of Packet, VA3ROM has a presentation on VHF Packet which covers scenarios, equipment and examples such as Winlink:

http://www.va3rom.com/docs/VHF Packet Radio.pdf

Winlink is an important capability for WCARES members so if you don’t yet have a Winlink Packet solution, try this out.

Santa Net 2019

Tony, KF4KFQ will again be presenting the “Santa Net”, a great opportunity to entertain and introduce the younger set to ham radio.

The Santa Net will be on the air beginning at 7 PM CT on December 24, Christmas Eve.

Hams are invited to allow 3rd party traffic with Santa, report Santa sightings and other items of interest on Christmas Eve.

The net will be held on the 146.610 (-0.6 MHz, no tone required for the Santa Net) repeater and simulcast on 446.415 simplex and on Youtube; See the attached PDF for more details.

SKYWARN Recognition Day Operator Registration Now Available!


SKYWARN Recognition Day was created in 1999 by the National Weather Service
and the American Radio Relay League. Amateur radio operators comprise a
large percentage of SKYWARN volunteers across the country, providing vital
communication between the NWS and emergency management if normal
communications become inoperative. During this special event operators
working from NWS offices contact other radio operators across the world.

Where & When:
NWS Nashville Forecast Office,
500 Weather Station Road,
Old Hickory, TN

December 7th, from 0000 – 2400 UTC (Local time: 6 PM Friday 12/6 to 6 PM Saturday 12/7) (calendar)

This is a relaxed event with an easy exchange (call sign, signal report,
location and brief local weather description). We’ll have two HF stations
and one VHF/UHF station. Modes will be SSB and FM. Operating/logging time
slots are in 2 hour segments; N4CLO Laura will work out any scheduling
issues with those registering.

Click this link to see available operating times (view-only document):

Then, to sign up as an operator, click here:

We still need V/UHF and HF equipment. To volunteer equipment and to help
set up/take down, click here

Questions? Please email N4CLO Laura Marler at n4clo@arrl.net

Radio Astronomy Introduction November Monthly Meeting

Ron, KX4DQ will be presenting an introduction to radio astronomy at the November Monthly Meeting, November 16th, 2019.

Ron has provided a copy of his presentation document in advance of the meeting – you can download a PDF copy of that here: Radio Astronomy Intro.

Check out the calendar for time and location of the monthly meetings and other WCARES events.

Image of the VLA © 2019 The National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Visit https://public.nrao.edu/telescopes/vla/ to learn more.