Coffee QSO is BACK ON March 31st !

Since the covid conditions are improving with Vaccines, lifting of restrictions and immunity, it has been decided to once again hold our weekly Coffee QSO at Harry's Cafe. We will begin again on March 31st at 9am for those that are interested. We will be holding our first coffee in exactly one year from this posting. The last one we had March 11, 2020. 

I spoke with Harry's and they are on board and happy to know we are coming! If you are comfortable with attending we look forward to seeing you all once again. We fully understand if you are not able to attend and will hope to see you when you are able.

There are different owners since we were last there. As you know covid was/is tough on small business and the owners at the time had had to return possession it to the previous owner. We look forward to great friends, great food and interesting conversations once again. It's been a long, stressful struggle. Hopefully things will continue to improve locally and around the country and the world.

We have some new faces in the club and area so this might be a chance to meet some of them and to reconnect with fellow radio operators. Catch up on projects, new radios, new beards, less hair and lots of stories I am sure. See you then.

Adjusting Your AGC - Bob Heil

I was looking for a good demo on how to adjust the AGC or "Automatic Gain Control" on my radio and came across this good information from Bob Heil K9EID. Good information especially with the tip to LOWER your RF Gain. I tried it today on some 20m signals and it really worked and made the received audio much more readable. And the bonus is that the first segment he played was taken from my favorite 40m net "The Hole In The Wall Net" which is daily at 9pm on 7.188 mhz. Get your radio fired up and test this... it worked great on my FT-DX1200. 

Comparison - New FTDX10 vs IC-7300

Here is an informative video from one of our favorite sources. Ham Radio Concepts has a fantastic channel on YouTube. You can find it here ----> HRC on YouTube

The new Yaesu FTDX10 is a nice addition to the brand. It's lower price than the FTDX-101D but using the same "bones". Early reviews are good. Check out this nice comparison review. Also look to the SEKARC email list for a review from Morgan NJ8M. Great information and thanks Morgan.


Solar Cycle/Propagation Refresher

With the recent spike in solar activity and the Solar Flux Index being over 100 for the first time in years I thought this would be a good time to give myself and those interested a refresher in Propagation. Enjoy and get on the air.... the bands are waking up!


SEKARC for several years has met at Harry's Cafe every Wednesday at 9am.... then Covid came along. Some have expressed interest in getting back together so we thought we would try something a little different. Let's have a BYOC or Bring Your Own Coffee QSO Wednesdays at 9am. 

Also, while we are at it maybe have a little tailgate/trade at the same time. While reducing boxes and tubs in my garage I came up with a tub of stuff I don't need but someone might so if you have something to pass on, giveaway, sell or trade while we are drinking our to go coffee and eating breakfast in a paper wrapper. Not the same as Harry's fresh breakfast on a hot plate but under the conditions this might be a good bet. 

Of course masks and social distancing will be requested so bring a lawn chair or sit at the picnic tables at Lincoln Park. We will meet just West of Kiddieland. Heck if you want to and the weather cooperates bring a radio and antenna and set it up! 

So grab breakfast and coffee on the way, dig through your stuff and find some stuff to bring along to see if someone needs it. I have a tub full, and I bet a lot of us do. We understand if you are not up to it or would rather not. Let's all stay safe but still have fun if we can.



SEKARC Radio Fun Week starts Friday!! Radio Fun Week is a new laid back amateur radio special event held from September 11 to 19th, 2020 the goal of this special event is to celebrate amateur radio and all of it's amazing awesomeness!

We plan to operate all HF band from 160 to 10m
Many different modes!

VHF 6m and 2m depending on openings
Mostly SSB maybe some digital modes

WiresX SE-KANSAS 46341 Call Radio Fun Week
The email group has a link for the script and sign up sheet for the timeslots/band/mode you plan to operate. When you operate use callsign WØF. Per special event regulations you need to announce your own personal call once per hour. If you have any questions please ask on the email group or find us on the .24 repeater also. Key is HAVE FUN!

***** You can find more info at the website *****

HamShack Hotline

Hamshack Hotline is a private VoIP telephone voice network for Amateur Radio. This could be a very valuable tool for emergency communications to take some of the load off of radio networks. Setup was extremely easy all that was needed was a supported device which at this time are only Cisco VoIP phones. I purchased my Cisco SPA504G from eBay for $35 free shipping. Please make sure the phone you order is UNLOCKED!!! This is very important.

Setup was super simple i followed the instructions and started a support ticket with my phones MAC address, connected my phone to my network via Ethernet and noted it's local IPv4 address. Once i received the response from i plugged the IP address into the URL in the instructions and BAM!! the phone reset and my callsign and number showed up on the phones display!

I know some hams have a thermonuclear meltdown when talk of using the internet for emergency communications comes up! My opinion on the matter is having as many forms of communications as possible is key in an emergency. The likelihood of the the internet being down everywhere is very low now days and this system could help reduce the load on radio networks in time of emergency. Amateur radio and the internet will become more and more intertwined as time goes on just as freezers and light bulbs become connected to the internet.

As ARES EC for Crawford County, KS i plan on getting these phones for all of my AECs and as many members as we can. The one BIG thing that is missing from Hamshack Hotline in my opinion is mobile access to the system. Mobile access could be mobile SIP app or even a bridge number you can call a public number and enter a PIN to access the system. A similar system Government Emergency Telecommunication System (GETS) does just that. You have a GETS card with a PIN number that you can call it will give your phone priority over others for emergency communications. People with GETS access could even use GETS to call a bridge number for access to HamshackHotline in an emergency!

Amateur Radio operators have access to so much microwave spectrum! A microwave IP system could easily be connected to the internet via multiple redundant paths many miles apart. These IP networks could not only HamshackHotline but many other IP services that could continue to work in the event of an emergency. With future Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite internet access services like SpaceX StarLink that have extremely low latency one could have highly survivable IP connections anywhere!

The ultimate selling factor for me for Hamshack Hotline the fun / cool factor of having this cool IP phone on your desk in the hamshack! It's cost less then taking the family out to dinner in the $20-40 range! Operating the Hamshack Hotline network requires money so please support them if you want to use this system just a few dollars per year per user is all that's needed! 

EDIT: 9-9-2020

Other ARES members received phones and got them setup so far the system just works. I went through and setup voicemail and in the message i put my Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) number so people could call me if they need me outside of the shack. 

I used a 12v to 5v DC-DC converter to power my phone off of my 12v solar backup system. All of my networking equipment is ran off of battery backup and i have fiber to the home. My fiber provider is 100% underground and mostly passive all the active equipment is in hardened buildings. This is not guarantee that the network will work during large power outages but it's better then nothing. I also have the capability of feeding my network from cellular LTE as a backup.

If you want give me a call sometime my HH# is 5576 
73 de Tyler KB0PQP

How Does A J-Pole Work?

I still am learning about antennas... and I am sure many of you will agree with me. From new hams to long term hams this is interesting. Check it out and Dave does a great job on all of his videos!

Zoom Meeting Saturday July 25th

Time for the monthly SEKARC meeting. Again this month we will hold the meeting on ZOOM. It will start at 9am on Saturday July 25th. We have a few topics to discuss like considerations on proceeding with Covid, Planning for the Fall special event and talk about participation in the Joplin tailgate event which is replacing the hamfest.

If you have not used ZOOM it is really easy so give it a try. Everyone interested is welcome so if you are on our email group you can get the details there. If not, feel free to join our group or email one of us or the club email on QRZ. The club call is KØSEK.

W1V Special Event - Maine WS1SM

This looks like a fun event and a certificate that would be a nice addition to your shack walls! This group, the Wireless Society of Southern Maine is very active and you can also follow them on InstaGram, Twitter and Facebook! They do a LOT of Island and Lighthouse activation events.

Field Day 2020 - Covid Version

This is a great video for everyone regarding Ham Radio Field Day 2020. It covers a summary of what FD is and also details the rule changes for Covid 2020. This would be a good link to share even with your non licensed friends on various social media platforms.