Basic Topics Meeting – 5 May 2022 – Shakeout Followup and Preparedness

Not your typical meeting on the "Revenge of the Fifth," but some interesting and useful information for our basic topics class this month.  We started with a review of the Shakeout and SAFE Neighborhood programs, along with our analysis of the club's participation in the Shakeout.  We followed up by moving into a discussion on preparedness, including reviewing Murray City Fire Department's resources.  Finally, we finished by watching a video produced by the Bountiful Emergency Preparedness group where they analyzed the Marshall fire in Colorado and discussed what is right and wrong about our emergency kits.  Several really good factors on preparedness were presented.

Here's the recording of the first part of the meeting:

Here's the recording of the Bountiful CERT presentation:

And here are some links as mentioned in the meeting:

Utah Shakeout!

Once again, it is time for the Great Utah Shakeout!  This annual event is primarily geared towards local government and businesses to talk about, evaluate, and test their response to a large earthquake event.

The event will be taking place on this coming Thursday, 21 April 2022, and the simulated earthquake will happen around 10:15-10:21 AM MDT.

What are we doing as a club?  We have distributed a signup form for people interested in participating in the event, but as it is a work day, a lot of our members will be unable to participate.  Given the lack of interested people, we are just asking people to familiarize themselves with the club eComms Protocol, which details the actions that should be taken in the event of an actual emergency.  If you can, also please visit your S.A.F.E. Neighborhood location (i.e. your local elementary school) and check in with the staff there to make sure they know where their S.A.F.E Neighborhood J.I.T. (Just In Time) kit is, what it's for, and how to access it.  It would also be a good idea to review your own personal 72-hour kit (or check out the recommended items for a 96-hour kit from the S.A.F.E Neighborhood program).

Don't remember what the S.A.F.E. Neighborhood program is?  Review our class on it.

Remember, the action items for Thursday (if you can) are to turn on your radios at 10:15 AM on the 21st.  Tune in to the club repeater at 223.96 MHz (PL 103.5 Hz) or the ARES assigned simplex frequency for Murray City at 147.600 MHz (no tone).  See the eComms Protocol page for details and the standard load channels.  Join the net if there is one in operation or start it if no one else is there.  Some time during the day, visit your S.A.F.E. Neighborhood school and ask them if they know where their J.I.T. kit is and what they are supposed to do with it.  Ask to see it!  Report your findings.

 

Advanced Topics Class – 14 April 2022 – Remote Base Operations

If you were unable to join us for the meeting on the 14th, you missed out on a great presentation by Gary (KK7DV) on Remote Base radio operations.  Sadly, I forgot to hit the "record" button on the Zoom session, so if you missed it, you really missed it.

Gary talked to us about the remote base setup operated by UARC at Leamington Pass Canyon down near Delta, UT.  He went into the details on the radios and antennas at the site, which is located at an old AT&T microwave relay facility (the microwave horn antennas are still there, although the equipment to use them is long gone).  Gary talked about how the site connects to the internet (via a WiFi shot to a public ISP in Delta) and how the system is supported by a UPS.

After the talk and pictures, it was demo time!  Gary connected to the Leamington system using the RCForb software (see the link for details) and was able to tune around, adjust the beam antenna's direction via a remote controlled rotator, and showed transmitting and receiving on multiple HF bands.  He discussed some modifications that had to be made to the RCForb Server software in order to control the antenna rotator and to add the ability to select three antennas when the radio on site (a Kenwood TS-480) normally only has two antenna inputs.  These modifications were facilitated by the RCForb software developers giving Gary access to the source code for the radio driver so he could add support for the custom hardware that is used to manage the additional antenna.

Gary also runs a remote base radio at his property in the Salt Lake valley, and he demoed that including accessing the Farnsworth 2m repeater and also made a contact with our own Chris (W7CHP) on 146.52 simplex!

Finally, Gary finished up by talking about the WebSDR setup in Corrine, UT (that we have covered in a previous meeting), indicating that these systems are great for exploring what is currently on the air.

Seriously, if you missed this one, you really missed out.  Thanks, Gary, for the guest appearance at MARC!

Basic Topics Class – 7 April 2022 – Introduction to DMR

Cody (W3AMG) from Bridgecom Systems joined us via Zoom and talked to us about DMR (Digital Mobile Radio).

In the presentation, Chris (W7CHP) mentioned a codeplug, which can be downloaded here:  AnyTone - MARC_878 v1.24 (04_07_2022).rdt (note, this is a zip file... you will need to unzip it after downloading and before importing into your codeplug management software).

You may also be interested in our earlier presentation on DMR here:  Training Class - DMR and an earlier presentation on code plugs here:  Monthly Meeting - DMR CodePlugs.  These presentations were both from 2020.

Advanced Class 10 March 2022, HamSci: Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation, Measuring the Ionosphere with Amateur Radio

For our advanced class in March 2022, we took advantage of a very good presentation given by RATPAC.  The presentation was Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation, Measuring the Ionosphere with Amateur Radio.

In the presentation, given by Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell (W2NAF), who is a Space Physicist at the University of Scranton.  Dr. Frissell discussed how space weather (by which we mean mostly solar output, flares, sunspots, etc.) affect the ionosphere layers and, by extension, HF communications.  He first showed how existing ham radio resources, the Reverse Beacon Network, WSPRnet, and PSKreporter have been collecting information about propagation of radio waves and the condition of the ionosphere.  He then discussed several projects that are in progress to allow ham radio operators to build/implement and operate their own personal space weather observatories, and how to contribute that information to scientific research.

This was a bit more advanced than many of the topics we have covered, but provided great insight into how the ionosphere works, how HF radio propagation works, and how space weather impacts our communications on the HF bands (and others).

While we did not record the class ourselves, this presentation, and all of the other RATPAC presentations, are available online for your viewing pleasure.  See the links above for more information.

2022 Lesson/Class/Meeting Schedule

DateMeeting TypeTopicInstructor/Discussion Leader
5 May 2022Basic TopicsReview of Great Salt Lake ShakeoutJan (KD7ZWV)
12 May 2022Advanced TopicsEMP and CME - repeatDan (N7XDL)
19 May 2022General MeetingFaraday Cages, Protecting Your Equipment from CME and EMPDan (N7XDL)
2 June 2022Basic TopicsSignal Reports RevisitedPaul (AE4KR)
9 June 2022Advanced TopicsGordon Smith K7HFV MemorialSimulcast from UARC
session starts approximately 7:30 PM
16 June 2022General MeetingFCC Emission Exposure LimitsPaul (AE4KR)
7 July 2022Basic TopicsA Tour of the Club Web Site (and other online resources)Jan (KD7ZWV)
14 July 2022Advanced TopicsModulated Light for Communications?? based on KA7OEI's experiments
21 July 2022General Meeting
4 August 2022Basic Topics
11 August 2022Advanced Topics
18 August 2022General Meeting
1 September 2022Basic Topics
8 September 2022Advanced Topics
15 September 2022General Meeting
6 October 2022Basic Topics
13 October 2022Advanced Topics
20 October 2022General Meeting
3 November 2022Basic Topics
10 November 2022Advanced Topics
17 November 2022General Meeting
1 December 2022Basic Topics
8 December 2022Advanced Topics
15 December 2022General Meeting

Mobile Radio Installs

Last week at our Basic Topics class, we went over a few mobile radio installations and talked about some of the tips, tricks, and gotchas when installing your radio in your vehicle.

I mentioned that I would be posting a Youtube playlist with a bunch of videos on mobile installs, so here it is!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhkqvd9ZKOJr0sFPYic26FP9UAygtRp9B

As I find more videos that fit this list, I'll add them.  If you have a video (or more than one) that you think should be on this playlist, add it as a comment below or send it to me via e-mail and I'll put it on.

Salt Lake County ARES Updates

What is ARES?

ARES is the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, a project supported by the ARRL to facilitate extending emergency services to our communities.  ARES is divided into Sections and smaller groups, and our own local groups is called the Salt Lake County ARES (or SLCo ARES).

Our own Dan (N7XDL) is the new EC (Emergency Coordinator) for SLCo ARES.  He has asked that the following information be posted on the MARC web site.

Time Reporting

The ARRL used to provide a mechanism for reporting volunteer hours associated with ARES via their ARES Connect utility.  This tool has been discontinued, but ARES members still need to be able to report their time to the ARRL.  SLCo ARES is using a Google Form to input the information.  The form can be found here:  https://forms.gle/sWk5Q1qR2xRi7eyv6

Please enter your data PRIOR to the last week of the month, every month, so that the data can be compiled and submitted to the ARRL before the end of the month.

Standard Load and Radio Configuration Files

SLCo ARES has spent a great deal of time working on the Standard Load.  While individual clubs will be maintaining their own versions of it, the basic template is maintained by SLCo ARES.  They are also setting up a repository of standard load files and radio configuration files.  These files will be stored in a Google Drive (at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1N5DF663VUrLslCVH4nj1glAFu5acBKc0?usp=sharing) for general access.

Please send any standard load files you have or have generated in any format (ideally CSV, RT Systems files, or CHIRP radio image files) directly to Dan (N7XDL) or Rian (KF7QGY) for inclusion in this repository.  NOTE, we are not including Dan's or Rian's e-mail addresses here to help limit their spam exposure... if you do not have their e-mail addresses, please use our Contact Form to ask for them and we will be happy to let you know.  You can also find their e-mail addresses on QRZ.com.

Load files should be named according to the following standard to simplify classification:  <Make>_<Model>_<Date>.<Format>.  For example, a CSV file for a Yaesu FTM-400 DR mobile radio that was produced on 7 July 2021 would be named Yaesu_FTM400DR_070721.CSV, while a CHIRP image for an AnyTone AT-5888 UV III produced on 21 June 2021 would be named AnyTone_AT5888UVIII_062121.IMG.

WinLink Training

ARES recently sponsored an introduction to WinLink.  The presentation and associated chat text are available at the following links:

Presentation:  https://youtu.be/bl4aFN-sJjY

Chat Text:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jQBXnpiZxArKo5erTpLv8KmdAYelkYXF/view?usp=sharing

There will also be a four week training series starting in August.  You do NOT need to be an ARES member to attend.  The training will be provided over Zoom and is being coordinated by Oliver (K6OLI) from the Los Angeles Northeast District ARES in conjunction with Utah ARES.

In order to attend, you must first sign up at https://forms.gle/affxfCuNij7K7fMu6.  Once you have signed up, you will be added to a mailing list to receive the Zoom link(s).  The first session will be on 30 June 2021 at 7:00 PM MDT.  If you have any questions, please contact the Utah Section EC Tyler (N7UWX).  (Again, use our contact form if you don't know Tyler's e-mail address.)

And Finally...

SLCo ARES suggests that you read and heed the following article by Lucy Jones of the Los Angeles Times:  Earthquake Preparedness Tips