Basic Topics – 1 April 2021 – Parks On The Air (POTA)

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!

Advanced Topics Class – Using MMANA-GAL Antenna Modelling Software

This evening, we watched the presentation on MMANA-GAL antenna analysis software that was presented to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) by Steve Nichols (G0KYA) on 10 October 2020 as part of the RSGB 2020 Online Convention.

The video is available here:

Here are some of the links mentioned during the presentation for easier clicking:


Web Site Changes

FYI, I have made some changes to the organization of the club web site.

I modified the menus to put the events calendar and club membership information page under the Meeting Schedule and Location menu, and the standard load page and a new neighboring clubs page under the Radio and Other Resources menu.

I intend to start populating the events calendar again... I apologize for being a little lax on that the last several months.

Upcoming Events

    Dave G., W0DHG; Dan T., NR6V, and David A., KK6DA, bring back a series of classes in Winlink basics. If you're interested in state-of-the-art emergency amateur radio communications and you've heard of Winlink, this series of classes is for you. If you can do email, you can learn to do Winlink with all of its powerful capabilities to move emergency traffic digitally. No pre-requisite. No cost. Open to all licensed amateurs from all organizations. Feel free to invite interested amateur friends. Each class will be archived for later viewing.
    This will be a 4-5 week roughly one-hour classes Fridays repeated the following Sunday. Join us for one or both each week.
    Friday, March 12, 2021, 2pm:
    Sunday, March 14, 2021, 2pm:
    Disasters are here, and everywhere – Are we ready?
    April 10-11 2021
    Fully Online
    Link: (Waiting List??)
    This 2-day event is totally on-line and it is FREE. The schedule looks quite interesting as well!
    Today the American Geophysical Union (AGU) published an article in Eos by USGS and ARES LAX Northeast on how amateur radio operators can help fill the information donut hole by providing DYFI reports via Winlink.
    The full article is available here:
    Hamfest is already selling early tickets.
    They can be purchased here:
    However, before you do that, you may want to check out the speakers and see if there are any you would like to listen to:
    :// - this link no longer works, but is included here for posterity
    March 13-14

MARC Version of Salt Lake County ARES “Standard Load” Available

The Salt Lake County ARES has published their new "Standard Load" of radio frequencies.  This is a standardized set of frequencies assigned to specific radio memory locations with the intention of reducing confusion when operating in support of a SLCo ARES incident.

The Standard Load includes a section for local club use, and MARC has identified a set of frequencies that are typically used in our club.  This modified Standard Load (including MARC frequencies) is now available.  SLCo ARES Standard Load Mar 2021_MARC

The Standard Load also includes a section for individual frequencies....  You should create your own files of frequencies to load into your radios that include your own preferred frequencies in this section.

As they become available, versions of the Standard Load for Chirp, RT Systems, and a DMR Codeplug will be posted as well.

Find the Standard Load here.

Monthly Meeting – 18 Feb 2021 – WebSDR

On our Monthly Meeting Zoom for February, we checked out WebSDR and particularly the Utah SDR site.  You can  check out where the site is located on Google Maps.

Main Antenna at Utah SDR site. (Picture from Google Street Maps)

WebSDR is a Software Defined Radio receiver hooked up to a web server so that anyone can access it over the Internet.  We talked a little about the history of the Utah SDR site and then checked out some of the receivers on the site and tried listening in  to some transmissions on various bands.

We tuned in to the .62  repeater and experimented with making a few test transmissions to hear what the received audio sounded like.

Finally, we looked at a couple of other sites, including the one at Half Moon Bay in California and did some comparisons between received signals in  California vs. Utah.

The general consensus was that the WebSDR systems were great resources to experiment with HF listening and getting familiar with what HF sounds like, as well as to test and evaluate our own transmissions, reception, and propagation.  They can also be used as an auxiliary receiver in the shack to help us out when wanting to monitor multiple frequencies at the same time.

Advanced Topics Class – 11 February 2021 – Hurst Amateur Radio Club General License Training

This evening we tuned in to the Ham Radio 2.0 presentation from the Hurst Amateur Radio Club as they started their General Class License Course.  Due to the recent FCC announcement that they will be charging $35 for all license modifications, renewals, upgrades, and vanity allocations, I am recommending that people interested in upgrading to General Class from Technician get their upgrade as soon as possible.  We have had several sessions in our club around the General Class test and license requirements.

Jason (KC5HWB) at Ham Radio 2.0 has broken the course up into nine sessions, which are available at the following playlist:


While we probably will NOT be watching additional sessions as part of our normal club meetings, I highly recommend following along with this series to prepare for taking the General Class exam.

In conjunction with following this series, remember to take advantage of, which is run by a local (well, semi-local, he lives in Utah County... but we won't hold that against him) ham, Richard (KD7BBC).  This amazing (and free) resource offers free practice exams and uses a learning algorithm to help you review questions you have been having trouble with.  Richard also owns and operates Signal Stuff, and produces excellent whip antennas for HTs (I have a couple of them myself).

HamStudy also has links and information for where and when to test.  There are still groups doing on-site/in person testing (including our neighbors, the Taylorsville Amateur Radio Club), even in the time of covid, and if you are nervous about that you can take advantage of options for fully remote testing (note that there are significant requirements for this, including having TWO web cams to record not only your face/head and shoulders, but also your desk area, hands, keyboard, mouse, any scratch paper you are using, etc.).

Basic Topics Meeting 4 February 2021 – HRU’s Presentation on Operating Satellites With an HT

In our first Thursday Basic Topics meeting for February, we watched the Ham Radio University's presentation entitled The Art of Operating Amateur Satellites with an HT.

Here are the links that were mentioned during the presentation:

Not mentioned in the presentation, but some other links that will likely be useful: