Dec 2020 Virtual Monthly Meeting: DMR, ARES in TN, Winter FD, POTA and Shack Tour!

Our EC, Ed WB4RHQ reported we had a record 63 attendees for this, the final Virtual Monthly Meeting of 2020 and he wished all a happy and safe holiday season. Thanks to everyone who took the time to join in for a great set of presentations.

DMR in Williamson Co. – Hilton Dean, W4GHD

Williamson Co. will be adding 2 DMR nodes on Tuesday, December 22, 2020:

  • Trinity site(*)
  • Century Court where the WCARES 444.025MHz hub is located

Thanks to Bill Jorgenson and the Office of Public Safety and also to Andrew Gossett, AK4FA who got the boards programmed. Look for upcoming e-mail with more details.
* The WC4EOC-9 UHF antenna will be used for the Trinity site DMR so WC4EOC-9 will be offline until another antenna can be added to this tower, likely in 2021.

Winter Field Day – Cliff Batson (N4CCB)

  • We are very fortunate that the Winter Field Day organizers will allow aggregation of scores like the ARRL did for Field Day in June. So everyone who includes the same group name will get their scores aggregated for a combined group score. You’ll need to decide how adventurous you want to be. Running off mains from inside your house with 100W on SSB and getting 100 QSOs would get you 200 points; running outside on batteries or a generator would get you 3200 points for those same QSOs. Something to think about! Cliff will have much more to say in the January meeting.

Presentations & Shack Tour!

The State of ARES in TN – Jim Snyder, AJ4NO, Tennessee Section Emergency Coordinator

https://youtu.be/ANNPMG9LBG0

Jim generously provided a copy of his presentation as well; you can read the PDF version here.

Parks On The Air – Tom Suggs N4MTE

https://youtu.be/brnt8Zpshto

and Tom generously provided a copy of his presentation so check this out as well:

Parks on the Air – WCARES Presentation by Tom, N4MTE

Virtual Shack Tour – Doug Miller (W4DML)

https://youtu.be/7edSXoYbwjQ

You can find videos of past meetings on the WCARES Media channel on Youtube .


Nov. 2020 Virtual Monthly Meeting: What’s in a bag, FT8 & FT4, Shack Tour!

(RJ’s tour video has been updated.)

This month Kevin, KO4HPE has a presentation on planning and building an effective go-bag, Hilton, W4GHD gives a Technical Presentation on digital modes FT8 and FT4 and RJ, KC4LRR takes us on a tour of his radio shack and laboratory!

What’s in a bag: Preparedness
By Kevin Fitch (KO4HPE)

https://youtu.be/64WfO0iPGeQ

FT8 & FT4
By Hilton Dean (W4GHD)

https://youtu.be/RtQXbVEqcP0

RJ Virtual Shack Tour
By RJ (KC4LRR)

https://youtu.be/TLCaljEq2FQ


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.

https://youtu.be/sENkcx-21Ik

The Oliver’s video links:
DYFI introduction:
https://youtu.be/VgLhWqZIxNQ
Hands-on training:
https://youtu.be/-uqL_z_fG2w

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.

https://youtu.be/R0OuPpwb2ec

and Jeff’s presentation is here:

Certificate_Chasing_Oct2020_WB5WAJ.pdf

Virtual Ham Shack Tour #4 – KA4OTB

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

https://youtu.be/rfr81mk1gyI


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.

https://youtu.be/aoIShoprYOU

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.

https://youtu.be/uYwskYfKaVY

Virtual Ham Shack Tour #3 – WB5WAJ

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

https://youtu.be/vsS1Om1WvWM


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

Friends,

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

Enjoy!

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:

https://wcares.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/WCARES-Task-Book-and-Training-Requirements.pdf

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


Maximize your signal reception – a presentation by Tim, AD4CJ

Tim, AD4CJ talks about how to get the most out the sensitive receivers in most modern HF transceivers.

https://youtu.be/8cUUvxnGM4w

In this video, Tim covers:

  • how to fine tune
  • how to zero-beat phone and cw signals
  • automatic gain control (AGC)
  • the RF-gain control
  • pre-amps and attenuators
  • noise-reducer and noise-blanker circuits

Jeff, WB5WAJ presents the ARRL ARES Task Book

From the ARRL Task Book introduction…

The Task Book is a working document that enable those ARES communicators electing to participate in the ARRL training plan, to track and document their training plan elements as they are completed toward the various levels of increasing proficiency.

As an ARES organization, WCARES will be using the Task Book for members who wish to advance their knowledge of emergency communications.

Jeff’s presentation has been added to the WCARES Youtube Channel – thanks Cliff, N4CCB:

https://youtu.be/ROomm5vKax0

To download the Task Book used by WCARES see the ARRL ARES Task Book – WCARES under

Join Us -> ARRL ARES Task Book – WCARES

 


WCARES Virtual Monthly Meeting April 2020

WCARES held its first Virtual Monthly Meeting this morning via the ZOOM platform. There were 54 attendees!

Here is a link to a recording of the video: https://youtu.be/PXWY7x_6jnk

Contents:
0:05 Greeting

0:48 Announcements
– Every Tuesday morning on-the-air meetup
9am 6m: 50.125 MHz
10am 17m: 18.150 MHz
11am 800: 3.980 MHz
– This coming Monday night: 6m Alter-Net
– Mike Lee – SK (Obituary: https://williamsonsource.com/obituary-michael-joseph-lee/)
– 2019 ARRL CW Sweepstakes – N4FR 1st place Delta Division

2:50 Presentation by Ed Hudgens – How WCARES Assists the Williamson County EMA

10:04 Presentation by Laura Marler – The WCARES SKYWARN Net

38:08 Field Day 2020
Plans are up-in-the-air but we have several options…

WCARES holds a FD competition among its members
We work FD by remoting into the EOC radios
We work FD as normal, with members screened for health beforehand

Ed Hudgens will make a decision next month on how WCARES will conduct Field Day 2020

Stay Safe,
Cliff (N4CCB)