Jan (KD7ZWV) briefs us on the FCC Rules and Regulations and how they apply to our radios, particularly the inexpensive Chinese radios that are so popular these days.
Okay, we didn't really have an advanced topics meeting this week. Instead, several of us got together at the repeater site and helped clean up the area. This mainly involved removing trash and getting rid of weeds and other overgrowth. Pictures of the event have been added to the Club Repeaters page.
We had a different kind of meeting today. In lieu of training, we discussed several things that will be affecting the club moving forward.
For starters, we used the new Murray repeater located at the Murray Animal Shelter for our check-in net this evening. The repeater sounded great and nearly all checkins were totally clean and full quieting. Please take a look at our Club Repeaters page for more information about the new repeater. While this repeater has a power output of only 40W, it has an effective radiated power of around 300W due to the gain antenna and the antenna's placement at the 180 foot level of the tower that was on this site. This repeater provides an excellent resource for 1.25m communications across the entire Salt Lake valley.
To show our thanks for Murray City for sponsoring this repeater, Dan (N7XDL) proposed that we take our next scheduled club meeting next week, 13 May 2021, starting at 6:30 PM and meet at the repeater site to clean up the area. Please bring weed whackers, rakes, work gloves, saws, and whatever else you think you might need to help out. Dan will be sending out an announcement via e-mail to the club membership regarding this scheduling change. I will be deferring my discussion of the legal ramifications of our favorite Chinese radios until the following week's general club meeting.
Dan was also talking with Joey (KI7BQM), who is the Murray City emergency manager and our fire department representative. Joey informs us that Murray City will be adding some amateur radio equipment to the city owned communications truck, including a dual band antenna mounted on the extendable mast. We will do a little presentation on that vehicle at a later date.
Murray City has also started their CERT training again, and will be putting on a special class for MARC members. There will be no charge for this training, which will consist of five sessions, typically about two hours each. Personal equipment for CERT response will also be available for purchase, but is not required. Additional information about this series of classes will be made available when it gets a little closer.
On to a more personal note, Dan, our fearless leader and the founder and president of MARC has been selected to be the new Salt Lake County ARES Emergency Coordinator. Dan expects this to take quite a bit of his time and is concerned about impacts it may have on the operation of MARC. He will be sending out several surveys over the next couple of weeks to get feedback from the club membership about how this should be handled, including things such as a change in the board of MARC and who and how the monthly training sessions will be handled going forward.
Please watch for these surveys and respond in a timely fashion.
Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's meeting. We had sixteen people in attendance, which, while not a new record, is still a good turnout. We would love to see some of the less active members start attending these Zoom sessions until such time as we are able to meet in person again.
Our club's new repeater on 223.96 MHz with a PL of 103.5 Hz is live and on the air.
The contractor came to install the antenna and tie in the feed line on Thursday, 22 April 2021. Several members of the club were in attendance to "help" and kibitz. The mounting brace/extension was first prepared, and then the contractor ascended the tower to the 180-ish foot level. A rope was dropped from a pulley attached near the top of the tower and club members aided in pulling the mounting brace, antenna, assorted tools, and the feed line up to the top.
Once installed, the power to the repeater was turned on (the basic repeater configuration had been pre-installed) and the repeater was on the air!
Check out the Club Repeaters page for pictures!
We especially thank Murray City for their contributions in getting this repeater set up, and especially for providing the site and utilities. This repeater's central location will be instrumental in providing reliable communications in the event of an emergency, allowing our city to respond effectively.
Thanks also to the Murray City Fire Department for spearheading this effort and for the club members who helped out with the installation.
Dan (N7XDL) briefs us on various modulation modes, with a quick look at bands and the physics of radio waves, to boot. I'll add the presentation to this posting when I get it.
During our net this evening, Dan (N7XDL) mentioned that the Great Utah Shakeout is coming up on 15 April 2021. This event is an annual exercise across the state where government and civilian agencies practice what they would do in the event of a large scale earthquake.
Dan advised us to check out the Be Ready Utah site for twelve basic things we can all do to prepare for a large scale natural disaster. As members of MARC, we are encouraged to be prepared and ready in all of these areas. Additional information for each area is available on the site. The areas detailed include:
- Make a Plan
- Get a Kit
- Be Informed
- Get Involved
- Special Needs
- Children and Disasters
- Pet Preparedness
- Social Media
- Food Storage
- Water Storage
Check out the site, click on each area and read about what you can and should be doing to "be ready, Utah!"
In addition, Brad (KJ7RPV) mentioned that Be Ready Utah has a Youtube channel and they recently published a collection of podcasts with excellent information. Click that link, check out the channel, and watch some of their great "prepcasts." Also on that channel you will find eight hours of recorded webinar from April 9th and 10th. Lots of great information is there for your viewing.
Links from the presentation:
- http://www.irlp.net/ - main IRLP page
- http://status.irlp.net/index.php?PSTART=7 - IRLP search page
- http://status.irlp.net/index.php?PSTART=2 - IRLP reflectors
- http://www.utaharc.org/rptr/irlp_info.html - Lake Mtn. IRLP node (UARC)
- http://utahvhfs.org/rptr.html - Utah VHF Society repeater list (search for I and E nodes)
- http://utahvhfs.org/cgi-bin/rptdtl.pl?Nr=115 - Marty's Butterfield Peak IRLP node
- https://secure.echolink.org/ - main EchoLink page
- https://secure.echolink.org/validation/ - help with EchoLink validation
- https://secure.echolink.org/validation/uls/ - downloading your official license copy from the FCC (Universal Licensing System - ULS)
- https://secure.echolink.org/logins.jsp - active EchoLink systems
- https://secure.echolink.org/firewall_solutions.htm - help with firewall issues
- http://www.pa7lim.nl/peanut/ - Peanut system mentioned in chat by Chris (W7CHP)
Dan (N7XDL) briefs us on the Parks On The Air system. POTA is a contest and logging exercise where people either travel to and operate from national, state, and regional parks or try to contact those who have done so. Dan walks us through the POTA web site, how to register, and how to see what parks are out there. The system keeps track of contacts made to and from parks (and the elusive "park to park" contact) and facilitates operators making these types of contacts.
While primarily taking place on the HF bands, there is some VHF/UHF POTA operations that Technician class licensees can enjoy, as well as 10m. Ragnar (N7LCR) talked a bit about 10m radios and using them to break into HF operating for Technicians and those who have never experimented with it.
Go visit the Parks On The Air site, sign up for an account (it's free), and get involved!
This evening, Dan (N7XDL) gave us a great presentation on things we should consider when assembling our "bug out" or "get home" bag(s).
I will link a copy of the presentation when it becomes available.
Dave (KI7IHU) shared this Youtube playlist from Be Ready Utah with a lot of good information about preparing for a disaster, natural or otherwise.