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 3|
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 38|
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.
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.
SKYWARN spotter training presented by the Northern Indiana office of the National Weather Service is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Feb. 4, in South Bend, with additional sessions at other locations planned for the following several weeks. The possibility exists that winter weather might force NWS to cancel one or more of the planned sessions. Recently, the NWS sent an email message to those who have pre-resgistered for a training session, to describe plans for communicating such cancelations. If you have not pre-registered for a training session, doing so here will assue that you will receive email notification, should weather force cancelation of that session. Below is an excerpt of the email message that NWS sent to people who have already registered:
The February 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."
|February 2014 issue of the Allen County HamNews|
The February 2014 issue of the Allen County HamNews in PDF format.
|2014-01-31 772.36 KB 180|