The Fort Wayne Radio Club is an organization of amateur (ham) radio operators in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Use the menu above to learn more or scroll down for the latest news!
Minutes of the February, 2014 FWRC general meeting are available as a PDF file by using the link below. Please note that these minutes contain a correction that did not appear in the March, 2014 issue of Allen County HamNews.
|Feb. 2014 minutes|
|2014-03-04 English 76.99 KB 16|
The March 2014 Issue of the Allen County HamNews newsletter is now available for download using the link below. This and previous issues are also available for download by clicking the "Files" link in the main menu and then clicking "Newsletters."
|March 2014 issue of the Allen County HamNews|
The March 2014 issue of the Allen County HamNews in PDF format.
|2014-03-01 863.06 KB 95|
|204 people attended SKYWARN spotter training at Columbia City High School Feb. 18. (NWS photo)|
The northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service (NWS) will supplement live spotter training sessions with online "chats" via Facebook and Twitter, following the schedule below. NWS is accepting questions in advance via a form on its website. It will also accept questions posted on its Facebook page and sent via Twitter. Tweeted questions should include "@NWSIWX" in the tweet.
Although NWS will post answers during the times specified below, you can read the answers by visiting the office's Facebook and/or Twitter pages at your convenience. You don't need a Facebook account or a Twitter account to read the answers, because both the Facebook page and Twitter page are viewable by the public. You do need a Facebook, account, however, if you wish to post questions via Facebook and you need a Twitter account if you wish to post questions via Twitter.
Here's the schedule (all times are ET):
|Feb. 19||2 p.m. - 4 p.m.||Facebook discussion|
|Feb. 26||2 p.m. - 4 p.m.||Twitter discussion (Tweet up)|
|March 4||4 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Facebook discussion|
|March 11||4 p.m. - 6 pm.||Twitter discussion (Tweet up)|
|March 18||6 p.m. - 8 p.m.||Facebook discussion|
|March 25||6 p.m. - 8 p.m.||Twitter discussion (Tweet up)|
Although not too many hams seem to have been aware of it, for several years now repeater councils of many Midwestern states (including the Indiana Repeater Council) have been on a course to require that ALL coordinated repeater systems on all VHF and UHF bands require a CTCSS tone be present on the input to the repeater in order for the repeater to un-squelch and retransmit the received audio.
CTCSS, stands for continuous tone-coded squelch system, often called "tone" or "PL" (i.e. “Private Line,” a Motorola trademark); it is a sub-audible frequency between 67.0 Hz and 254.1 Hz that is added to the audio of the signal that is transmitted to the input of a repeater. In other words, the handheld, base station or mobile rig that is intended to operate through the repeater must have a CTCSS tone encoder installed in it. (Virtually all post-1980 built amateur FM transceivers have the capability built-in.) Detection of the sub-audible tone then satisfies the condition necessary to un-squelch the repeater receiver and cause the detected audio to be retransmitted. Often, the repeater also will transmit the same tone on its output, so that individual receivers, so equipped for CTCSS, will only un-squelch for the local repeater and not be bothered by occasional DX repeaters, spurious signals, noise and so forth.
This move is significant to anyone that operates a repeater system, since coordination is essentially mandatory. Although the FCC does not explicitly require that a repeater be coordinated, it does however always stand behind the coordinated machine if any kind of complaint is received. By virtue of this, if you do not have the blessing of the recognized coordinating body in your state, it is only a matter of time before you're off the air! This implies that anyone with a current coordinated repeater pair could lose that status and another party could potentially “hijack” the frequency! We would hope that this could never happen, but it pays to be prepared.
The second of two SKYWARN storm spotter training sessions in the Fort Wayne area happens Monday, March 17, at 6 p.m. (note the earlier starting time vs. the February training in Columbia City), at Wells County Community Center, 1240 S. 4-H Road, Bluffton, Ind. The National Weather Service (NWS) will not conduct a spotter training session in Fort Wayne in 2014.
Registration is not required but is highly recommended. Why? If weather requires the NWS to cancel the training, registrants will receive notification via email. If you don't register, you risk wasting a trip to Bluffton.
To register for the Bluffton session, follow this link.
The National Weather Service requests that all participants complete online storm spotter training before attending a live training session. If you completed the online training last year and are confident that you remember the material, it is not necessary to view the online training again this year.
To view the two modules of the online spotter training course, follow this link.
Sunday, February 9 marked the date of the first foxhunt of the 2014 season. And this foxhunt was delayed a week from the original start date of the 2nd because of the on-going inclement weather that Ft. Wayne has been experiencing this winter. Wind, cold, snow, more snow, enough already!!
With an additional three inches of overnight snow on the ground, seven intrepid hunters made their way over to the Off-track Betting Parlor parking lot. The seven consisted of the team of Carole and Al Burke, WB9's RUS & SSE, the team of Linda and Steve Nardin, W9's LAN & SAN plus their grandson Alex, and the team of Dave Spence, K9NDU and Bob Dean, KC9UHU. Missing from the ranks were regular foxhunters Jim & Kim Machamer, KB9's DOS & DOT whose vehicle was inundated in a snow bank and was thus out of action, and Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & WB9YYI who were in fact luxuriating on deck chairs on a Cruise ship in the Caribbean. (It being Annie's birthday, Jim gave her the choice of slogging thru the snow on a foxhunt, or a cruise. So guess what she chose.....go figure).
Charles Ward, KC9MUT and Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP served the role of the fox. They were located at a city park in Grabill. (Did you know that Grabill has two parks?). The high power fox consisted of a mobile rig pumping about 130 watts into a yagi aimed at a water tower to kinda confuse the signal direction of arrival when close-in to the fox location. The fox itself was a micro-fox running about 100 miliwatts of microprocessor derived CW. It was buried beneath the snow in a valley formed between two huge piles of snow which required help from Sherpas to climb. I mean, those snow hummocks were huge.
Now you may ask, "Well, didn't Charles and Fred's footprints in the snow lead one directly to the microfox?"......and the answer is.... No, evil Charles included a leaf blower in his bag of fox-hiding tools and used it to obliterate footprints leading to and around the fox hid location. Remarkably devious wouldn't you say?
Anyway, the fox starting transmitting on the input to the 146.76 repeater promptly at 13:30 and was heard by everyone (except Carole and Al....we didn't have a DF antenna mounted on our vehicle...we tagged along behind Linda and Steve). The first bearings were to the east, and a shudder ran through everyone...."Oh no, not New Haven". But then it became apparent that the fox was well north of New Haven based upon a bearing Jim & Kim Machamer took from their home QTH antenna in Blackhawk.