Friday, August 17, 2018

NEW --- FT8 CALL

From the great YouTube Channel HM RADIO CONCEPTS, check out the new FT8 mode and software. No it is not WSJT !!

FT8, as we know, has dominated the airwaves for over a year now. Imagine the ability to have keyboard to keyboard ragchew, with the same exact performance of FT8. Why wouldn't you? This is brand new, still under development, and will surely take off big time!

FT8CALL is alive!

Click Here For Latest-Release-Download-Links    (Join to download software and chat with others)



Here is his YouTube Channel.... I highly recommend you follow !!
HAM RADIO CONCEPTS - YouTube







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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

SEKARC Gear Update

Hello SEKARC !! FYI I ordered one of the shirts on the clubs Cafe Press site linked below. I am pleasantly surprised, it looks really good! The white lettering pops and I was afraid it would not. I have posted below an actual photo of the shirt I received today. Heads up --- unless you pay for expedited shipping they are kind of slow on delivery. If you place an order today, you SHOULD have it by the hamfest but no guarantees. But hey if you want it quick pay a little extra !! Over all the design I ordered looks very good and the tshirt construction is pretty sold.

Like I mention often... let me know if you want a design tweaked or maybe your call sign added as I can probably do that !! The store has a section for mining special event items. I especially like the coffee mug with black inside color pictured in the right column here.

Check it out...

CLICK --> SEKARC Cafe Press Gear

Here is the shirt I received today.
I ordered this...

Mine Se 2018 T-Shirt

X-Large Tumbleweed Color
$24.99






Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Joplin Hamfest August 24th-25th

The Joplin Hamfest is coming soon!! This year it is 2 days August 24th and 25th. Since they have a smaller venue they went back to the 2 day event. The hamfest is Friday 12:00pm to 7:00pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. We will set up Friday morning after 8 am.

We normally have a lot of gear donated by SK's and others but this year we will open it up. We have 2 tables that you can use to sell your gear for your own income OR you can bring things to donate to the club to sell and proceeds will be used in 2 ways this year. As promised, and sales from donated gear will be split between the SEKARC and PRO groups 50/50. We all use the 146.94 and 444.800 repeaters so it would be a nice gesture I thought to help them out as well. In the SEKARC way it will be voluntary so check your shack, your garage, your trunk and your basement for anything to sell at the hamfest!

We will keep a ledger of items sold and it would be helpful to add price labels to what you bring and you might include your callsign on the price tag IF you want the money to come back to you. Make sense? Happy hunting and lets clean out some gear and pass it on to be used by others.



Friday, July 27, 2018

Zero Beat - The Doctor Is In

"Zero Beating" is the topic of the current (July 19) episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Closer Look at the MFJ-1708SDR T/R Switch

Here is a video explaining in detail the MFJ-1708SDR for protecting your SDR receiver while transmitting. There is another option detailed in the August QST magazine from the ARRL. That homebrew option looks like it might be a good group project to build. And we can bulk order parts for cheaper shipping. We can discuss more at the Wednesday Coffee QSO !!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Radio Bird Update - Satellites

Here is some good current info on Satellites. Which ones are up, what they look like and a great explanation of how the antennas are deployed in space! Very good info for those interested in talking to the birds!

Should be a great activity to try and some nice bonus points!!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Coax Expert Ray Nelson N1MPD

Here is a good video on an interview with Coax expert Ray Nelson N1MPD. Ask Dave site that posted this is a good site for information and I highly recommend that you subscribe to his channel after you watch the video!.




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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day AMERICA !!

Happy Independence Day America !! Everyone today, should watch this. A reminder of what the founders went through to secure FREEDOM, not FORTUNES.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

13 Colonies Special Event - Always A Fun Challenge

From ARRL:

The annual Original 13 Colonies Special Event will mark its 10th anniversary this year. The event gets under way on July 1 at 1300 UTC and runs through July 8 at 0400 UTC. Event Manager Kenneth Villone, KU2US, reports that 127,132 contacts took place during the 2017 13 Colonies event, down from 139,772 in 2016, owing in part to poor band conditions.

Special event stations with 1 × 1 call signs will represent the original 13 US colonies, plus bonus stations WM3PEN in Philadelphia and GB13COL in Durham, England. Each special event station will have its own QRZ.com profile page. Participating stations try to contact all 13 Colony Stations plus the two bonus stations.

Call signs and their respective states are K2A, New York; K2B, Virginia; K2C, Rhode Island; K2D, Connecticut; K2E, Delaware; K2F, Maryland; K2G, Georgia; K2H, Massachusetts; K2I, New Jersey; K2J, North Carolina; K2K, New Hampshire; K2L, South Carolina, and K2M, Pennsylvania.

I have the Clean Sweep a few years ago with 100 watts and a wire. The ALS-600 may help a little for my second attempt at all 13! This is a fun event and you will never hear pileups like the pileups you will hear with the 13 Colonies Event.

Additional information is on the 13 Colonies website.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

SEKARC Field Day 2018 Update

The SEKARC Field Day 2018 was a success! Well factoring in the weather it was. Sure we did not make enough contacts to reach our goal. But I would say the 80m Delta Loop antenna performed like a champ, the 1,000 foot long wire antenna was INCREDIBLE and a great time was had by all that attended, got on the air and/or helped setup and takedown! Here are some photos from the event.

If you have some photos you would like to add to these, send them my way and I will get them included!



Monday, June 18, 2018

ARRL Field Day 2018 plans for SEKARC

THIS WEEKEND is 2018 Field Day and SEKARC is making plans for a busy and fun weekend! We will be operating again from the Big Brutus site and using multiple antennas attached to the tower from the Crawford County Emergency Management office! Special thanks to Jason the county manager.

Operating FD times are 1800 UTC Saturday and running through 1800 UTC Sunday. Or 1pm Sat until 1pm Sunday.  We will have several radios setup and available from the SEKARC inventory including the GoBox FT-891 and other ICOM and Yaesu radios. We hope to be doing all modes as we are making arrangements for Greg WI4T and anyone to operate CW, we will also have SSB, PSK31, FM and FT8. This is the first year for FT8 to be included in FD so that will be interesting. Anyone that wants to help make some contacts please come on out!

You really shouldn't need to bring your own radio and antenna out but you can. We will arrange the bands and modes for everyone out there. We will be operating as a 2AKS or Two Alpha Kansas station. There will be plenty of operating time to share! For SSB it is always nice to have two operating that station. One on radio and one logging. SO if you come out and we hope everyone does it should be a blast!! If you want to camp, we do have 3 spots reserved and there is plenty of room for tents as well. I gotta tell you, you cannot beat the night sky at Brutus on a clear summer evening.

Here is a link to a detailed list of equipment, radios, antennas, modes, PCs, logging and more. We can talk more about the food (did someone offer to make pancakes Sunday morning?) the setup and how you can help at the coffee QSO Wednesday 9am at Otto's Cafe. If you want to see what we have documented so far click the link below. Pretty impressive setup for a FREE club that charges NO DUES. Well done group...
Google Doc Field Day 2018 <click here>

Friday late afternoon/evening
meet Jason at Brutus to set up trailer.
Set up some equipment setup depending on weather and the crew on hand.

Saturday morning
Finish setup
1pm Field Day begins

Sunday
Operate until 4pm (weather permitting)
Trailer will be picked up when complete.

If you cannot make it to our Field Day station..... here is a map of most FD stations put out by the ARRL!
ARRL Field Day Locator






Friday, June 8, 2018

New SEKARC Facebook Group

Many in SEKARC are using Facebook so a few years ago I created a page for SEKARC on Facebook. Today I moved that over to be a Facebook Group. Where members can post, interact and have another way to stay in touch with members and friends of the SEKARC. If you have a Facebook account look us up and join!

CLICK HERE --- SEKARC Group on Facebook


Monday, June 4, 2018

Hamvention Yaesu Fusion Presentation

Here is the presentation by the Yaesu rep at the Xenia Hamvention last weekend. There is some news here including the ability for more radios with firmware upgrades to be set up as NODES.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Kansas Mining SE#4 Big Brutus Miners Reunion


Big Brutus brings back the miners
Source: By Jesse Brown / The Morning Sun
Posted Jun 6, 2015 at 3:29 PM
Updated Jun 6, 2015 at 3:29 PM
 
WEST MINERAL — Big Brutus, now retired and memorialized, still has an ability to bring back the past with miners who once worked with the giant of Southeast Kansas.

“This mine closed down, a lot of the strip mining was closed down and retired miners got together after they made this Big Brutus Museum here and annually we get together,” said Jimmie Lovell, who also serves on the museum board. “We have a man that cooks all of our fish for us and we get together and visit. It’s something we do every year and we look forward to it. We’ve had as high as 150 people (come before).”

The Miner’s Day Reunion brought back the miners of the past, along with their families which have grown since their days of retirement, as they congregated over a fish fry recollecting the early days with Big Brutus.

Lovell said the coal miners were like an extended family to each other and that of the 40 years and eight days he worked as a coal miner, he said there wasn’t one day he could remember when he didn’t want to go to work.

“Coal miners were all friendly people,” Lovell said. “Everybody helped everybody, very few people that got mad, they got over it. They’re just a different breed of people. They thought a lot of each other.” He added had the mines not shut down, he probably would have worked longer, instead of retiring at the age of 60.

Gege Sachetta is another retired coal miner who returns every year to participate in the Miner’s Day Reunion, after having worked for the company for 45 years. He shares Lovell’s sentiments about the enjoyment they got from working at Big Brutus.

“I enjoyed the first day of work and I hated to retire,” Sachetta said.

Lovell said the reunion brings back miners who now live in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and even Illinois.

“Sometimes, there will be one or two that slip in from Colorado,” Lovell added.

Lovell said at one time, Big Brutus has 135 miners working there, and out of those 135 miners, their families keep coming back in the shadow of Big Brutus to remember what once was.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

SE Kansas Mining History Special Event #3

The third of seven Special Events honoring mining history in SE Kansas will be held Saturday 19th and Sunday the 20th. Remembering the many mining camps that sprung up all over this part of the state we are setting up near one at Big Brutus. We will meet for breakfast by 9am at Hardee's in Pittsburg then head to Brutus. 

Click the mining banner above or the image below for additional information.....

Approximately 10am until TBD Both Days
20m USB, PSK31
40m LSB, PSK31
And other modes/bands


Friday, May 4, 2018

Mine Explosion That Haunts Kansans

Keeping with our Mining History Special Events. I found this story. Never heard of this until we started this event. This is a fascinating story on SE Kansas mining history and needs to be remembered. Please take a few minutes and read this bit of history.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY ----> KS-mine-explosion-1888

Kansans know well how bloody history can get, especially the farther you look into the past. History has shaped us to be the state we are today, but this event in particular was unforeseen and devastating. We might not have been alive to witness this tragedy first hand, but we’ll remember it as part of Kansas’ history. Have you ever heard of the mine explosion in Pittsburg, Kansas?



Monday, April 30, 2018

Doctor Is In Podcast - Kit Building

Another great Podcast from the ARRL. Amateur Radio kits are not only still popular, they are highly rewarding. The Doctor offers his tips for kit buying and building. Check it out !!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Amateur CODE

From ARRL....

The Radio Amateur is
CONSIDERATE...He/[She] never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL...He/[She] offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, the IARU Radio Society in his/[her] country, through which Amateur Radio in his/[her] country is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE...He/[She] keeps his/[her] station up to date.  It is well-built and efficient.  His/[Her] operating practice is above reproach.
FRIENDLY...He/[She] operates slowly and patiently when requested; offers friendly advice and counsel to beginners; kind assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the marks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED...Radio is a hobby, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.
PATRIOTIC...His/[Her] station and skills are always ready for service to country and community.
- adapted from the original Amateur's Code, written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

SEK Mining History Special Event #2

The Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club is operating #2 of 7 Special Events in 2018 honoring the rich mining history in Southeast Kansas. Please send SASE with your QSL and contact all 7 to get a special "Clean Scoop" Certificate. Have fun and thanks for visiting our site.

Miners Hall Museum is an exhibition located within the Franklin Community Center & Heritage Museum in Franklin, Kansas. The public is invited to visit and view the mining artifacts as well as other historic items.

From Kansas Historical Society

Workers from dozens of European countries were drawn to the lush landscapes of southeast Kansas in the late 19th century. Naturally occurring minerals buried just underground drew these men and their families from places like Italy, Austria, Germany, Yugoslavia, England, Wales, Scotland, France, and Belgium. They put their skills to work in the coal and zinc mines; they shared their traditions with the region, which became known as the “Little Balkans.”

These European miners began to arrive in the 1870s. They learned that the red, rusty coal near the surface could be strip mined and was good for cooking and blacksmithing. The black, oily coal buried under about 200 feet of sandstone was accessed through deep mining and suited for fueling steam locomotives. This workforce helped the area become the industrial center of the state. Coal companies created communities for the workers near mining locations. Some were temporary camps with dirt roads and shacks.

2018
QSL INFO:
KØSEK Attn: Chancey
409 W Quincy St
Pittsburg KS 66762
Send SASE
QSL All 7 and get this 8x10 special certificate *


#1 Crawford County Historical Museum
March 24th-25th
9am-6pm


#2 Miners Hall Museum
April 21st-22nd

#3 Mine 19 Camp Cabin
May 19th-20th

#4 BIG BRUTUS Annual Miners Reunion
June 2nd-3rd

#5 Miners Park Pittsburg KS
July 21st-22nd

#6 Galena Miners/Historical Museum
August 18th-19th

#7 Little Balkins Days
September 1st-2nd




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Old Rosters From PRO and JARC

Courtesy of Steve N5SD we are posting the club rosters from the 1983 Pittsburg Repeater Organization (PRO) and 1987 Joplin Amateur Radio Club (JARC). Many are still around and active!! These are kind of small, but check them out.

CLICK IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW




Friday, April 6, 2018

Ozarkcon Day 1 Recap

Adam KE0MXG - Branson Mo - As day one of Ozarkcon winds down for the night, I reflect on a great evening listening to the speaker speak on a topic that I find to be interesting. That is, the expedition to find Amelia Earhart. The team at Nauticos who the speaker is a member of, has been searching through records and also with deep water sonar to try to ascertain where the wreckage of Amelia Earhart's plane may have ended up. What's the connection to amateur radio, you ask? Well, radio amateurs in the Japanese Islands had heard Earhart's last transmissions on 80 Meters. At least one radio amateur said that as she transmitted her last transmissions, she was so loud that It would be unlikely that she would've been too far from the Japanese Islands.

The process which included calculations for fuel and a decision tree among other things have provided some evidence as to what could have happened on the day that Earhart disappeared. Speaking of which, the news that came through the web regarding the finding of Earhart's bones is about as plausible as a "study on smoking funded by the tobacco companies[sic]" being true.

Their work has eliminated a portion of the ocean that is about the size of Connecticut. They searched the area with autonomous submersibles, running on a painfully slow 2 knots. If you think about it, they searched an area, about 2200 square miles, at 2 knots. The speaker said, "that would be like walking across the state of Connecticut.[sic]."

The dinner was various meats, honey rolls, and various other options. The chicken was great. I happened to eat the honey rolls like I was addicted to it. I missed the dummy load QSO party; but, there is way more to enjoy in the coming day.

This is Adam KE0MXG going QRT for the night.

73 and Good Luck.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

WED NIGHT FM NET ASSIGNMENT

Storm season is upon us. As amateur radio operators we are charged with operating in emergency situations such as storms, disasters, fires etc etc. To make sure we are ready SEKARC would like make sure we are all ready for such times.

For the Wednesday night 8pm net, SEKARC would like you operate your radio using emergency power and emergency antenna if possible. If you use a mobile rig in your shack or an ht, power it using battery only and if you are doing so please describe your setup when the net controller comes to you for comments. It will be good practice for you and interesting to hear the various setups from those checking in.

In 2018 we are going to try different things for the net. Different theme, maybe in the beginning ask an interesting question for all to answer. So stay tuned and remember if anyone wants to take a turn running the net please let us know.

SEKARC - Keeping Amateur Radio FREE AND FUN !!

Want a laugh..... check this out !!


73
Jeff


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

KS Mining Special Event #1 - SUCCESS

The FIRST SE Kansas Mining Special Event Station was a blast. We learned a lot, made a lot of contacts even with bad bands and bad weather that forced us inside on Sunday. As of today (TUE 3/27) we already have received 7 QSL's. We will talk about what we can do better and some possible changes to future events. Preliminary Log totals listed below so be sure and check them out under the photos at the bottom.

Here is a video of WDØCFH Jack working a CW contact with Joe WØMQY during the KS Mining History Special Event #1


Great time, and some cool photos from the event.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

SE Kansas Mining History Special Event Series

The Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club is operating a series of 7 Special Events in 2018 honoring the rich mining history in Southeast Kansas. Please send SASE with your QSL and contact all 7 to get a special "Clean Scoop" Certificate. Have fun and thanks for visiting our site.

From Kansas Historical Society

Workers from dozens of European countries were drawn to the lush landscapes of southeast Kansas in the late 19th century. Naturally occurring minerals buried just underground drew these men and their families from places like Italy, Austria, Germany, Yugoslavia, England, Wales, Scotland, France, and Belgium. They put their skills to work in the coal and zinc mines; they shared their traditions with the region, which became known as the “Little Balkans.”

These European miners began to arrive in the 1870s. They learned that the red, rusty coal near the surface could be strip mined and was good for cooking and blacksmithing. The black, oily coal buried under about 200 feet of sandstone was accessed through deep mining and suited for fueling steam locomotives. This workforce helped the area become the industrial center of the state. Coal companies created communities for the workers near mining locations. Some were temporary camps with dirt roads and shacks.

2018
QSL INFO:
KØSEK Attn: Chancey
409 W Quincy St
Pittsburg KS 66762
Send SASE
QSL All 7 and get this 8x10 special certificate *


#1 Crawford County Historical Museum
March 24th-25th
9am-6pm


#2 Miners Hall Museum
April 21st-22nd

#3 Mine 19 Camp Cabin
May 19th-20th

#4 BIG BRUTUS Annual Miners Reunion
June 2nd-3rd

#5 Miners Park Pittsburg KS
July 21st-22nd

#6 Galena Miners/Historical Museum
August 18th-19th

#7 Little Balkins Days
September 1st-2nd






Wednesday, March 14, 2018

First Coffee QSO at Otto's

Great place for the Coffee QSO. Much easier to talk, move around and we pretty much had the room to ourselves (except for a ladies luncheon that said we were loud). But I bet they were kidding...  Great breakfast and good times so if you missed it, plan to make the next one !!


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Otto's Cafe - New Coffee QSO Location

GREAT NEWS... we have outgrown our current Coffee QSO location for a little over a year! The Root Coffeehouse is a great location with great coffee and very nice people but we simply outgrew the room they had for us. Thanks to Root Coffeehouse for putting up with us!

Otto's Cafe gives MORE room to grow, the room to ourselves AND a FULL breakfast menu as well. A few of us had lunch there a couple of weeks ago and a light bulb lit up and we talked about changing the coffee locale. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. Even free coffee refills (unless we hook up coffee IV's to ourselves or go overboard!

It is pretty much right across the street from Root Coffeehouse so it should be easy to find even for those not familiar with downtown Pittsburg. Sure back in the day the original KAØEGE (Charley Chancey aka Harry's Cafe) might have had an issue with going with the competition but I think he would be proud that we are keeping it local.

We look forward to the new digs and hope you stop by and check it out!


Monday, March 5, 2018

New 100 Watts and a Wire Episode 140

I have mentioned this group several times on nets and meetings. Some of you are members and recently they began posting on YouTube which makes embedding and sharing SO easy. If you have not heard of this group, check them out.

My 100WaaW ID = 338 Jeff KA0EGE
Website link = 100 Watts and a Wire.com
Facebook Page = 100WaaW on Facebook

About the group from them....
"Created: May of 2015.
Hosted by Christian, K0STH – 100 Watts and a Wire is a weekly journal of life and amateur radio. The show features topical conversation and interviews, news and an entertaining look at the adventures of a ham trying to figure things out. Perfect for those who are new to ham radio, the seasoned radio operator and the technically curious crowd.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Setting up FLDIGI for working Digital Modes

FLDIGI is a fantastic and FREE software that allows you to work way over 100 different digital modes. Many in the club use it, some are setting it up. This video explains the set up and does in the best way I think I have seen. Great illustrations and demo. Keep in mind that with many different options for soundcards, radios and pc's the setup will vary somewhat.

If you are trying to set this up and have issues, post them in a group email posting and I am pretty sure you will get help asap as many use it now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Whiskey Zero Tango Podcast -Episode 1

Brand new podcast produced by one our members Adam KEØMXG. Great job Adam and I look forward to the next episode ! Very well produced and written Adam!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Everything About Fusion and WiresX

One option we have the the club UHF repeater is to add WiresX functionality. I found this info on Larry's List and thought it was an excellent explanation of the system. There is a lot of info here but very well put and easily understandable!

Guest Post:
From HAROLD C VAN DAVEER, JR
(Van) K0HCV from Olathe Kansas

I will offer the following per your request for additional information on Yaesu Fusion.

First of all let me remind everyone that Yaesu System Fusion Digital is different from DMR.  All Fusion capable radios are just normal ham radios with a couple of extra features.

A Fusion capable radio functions just like any other ham radio you have used.  The only difference is that it offers one additional mode.  That mode is digital.

A normal analog radio offers just the one mode, analog.  With fusion you can select either analog (FM) or digital (DN) or (VW).  When you select digital you can select from two different flavors.  One mode is Data Narrow (DN) and the other mode is Voice Wide (VW).  This selection is made with the mode selection option on your radio.  You will see either FM, DN or VW displayed on the screen of your radio.  If you see a solid bar either above or immediately to the left of the FM, DN or VW that means you are in Automatic Mode Select or AMS.  I will explain that later.

When you select the DN mode you are transmitting in C4FM digital mode but your voice only takes up half of the transmitted bandwidth.  The other half contains data.  This data contains your GPS coordinates.  Using the DN mode any receiving station can see your call sign displayed on their radio along with the distance and direction to your station.

When you select the VW mode you are still transmitting in C4FM but with a much higher fidelity audio signal.  This is because your voice takes up the entire transmitted bandwidth.  Your call sign is still transmitted however the GPS data is no longer transmitted.  The receiving station will still see your call sign but will not know the direction to your station or how far away you are.  However your voice will have higher fidelity and sound much more like a broadcast studio.

When you select the FM mode you will be transmitting in analog and it will be just like any other analog radio you have used.  While there may be a PL tone used with your analog signal no data is transmitted.  One very important point here regarding analog vs. digital.  While you may or may not use a PL tone on an analog repeater, THERE ARE NO PL TONES USED WITH DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS!  If the repeater is in AMS mode there may be a PL tone associated with the analog side but THERE ARE NO PL TONES USED WITH DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS!  If you see a repeater listed somewhere that says it is a Fusion repeater but shows a PL tone, it is either operating in AMS mode or the information is incorrect.

Now to Automatic Mode Select or AMS.  AMS was designed by Yaesu to allow their radios to use the new C4FM mode but still allow you to operate in the analog mode on analog repeaters.  The idea behind AMS is that your radio will automatically select the proper mode depending on the mode of the signal you are receiving.  If your radio is in AMS mode and someone calls you in analog, your radio automatically switches to analog and you can carry on your conversation in analog.  If they call you in either DN or VW mode your radio will switch to the proper mode and you can carry on your conversation in digital.  Very simple very easy.  No operator intervention or code plugs required.

The Yaesu DR-1X Fusion repeater can be configured one of four ways.  They can be set up as strictly analog.  That is analog in / analog out.  They can be set up as strictly digital.  That is digital in / digital out.  And they can be configured mixed mode.  This way they can accept either digital in or analog in and force analog out or mixed mode where whatever mode comes in is the mode that goes out.

When Yaesu started selling their two thousand dollar repeaters for five hundred dollars a lot of clubs and individuals bought them to replace their aging repeaters.  These folks set their repeater up to be fixed analog in and fixed analog out.  Some clubs, experimenting with C4FM digital, set their repeaters up to be either analog or digital in but fixed analog out.  The real daring clubs set their repeaters up to be anything in anything out (AMS mode).  Very few set their repeaters up as fixed digital in and fixed digital out.  Doing this had the potential to alienate club members which is why most of the digital only repeaters are individually owned or have been assigned new repeater frequencies.

Yaesu realized that allowing the repeater to be set to fixed analog in and fixed analog out was not going to sell many new Fusion radios.  So they have made it a little more difficult to do that with the new DR-2X repeater.  I won't discuss that any further here.

Now we will get to the Fusion repeaters in the Kansas City metro area.  I cannot speak for all of them because it is in a constant state of flux.  Some clubs are debating whether or not to buy a new DR-2X while those who have purchased them are discussing just how they want to configure it.

I can tell you about the repeaters I am affiliated with.  These are as follows:

146.910- fixed digital Overland Park
442.600+ fixed digital Shawnee
444.400+ fixed digital Olathe
147.300+ fixed digital Warsaw MO
(443.275+ fixed digital) The Plaza KCMO

These machines are digital only.  The Overland Park, Shawnee, Olathe and Warsaw MO repeaters are all linked together full time.  The Plaza repeater has been linked with these in the past and will be again in the near future.

The activity on these machines varies just as it does on other repeaters.  More activity during drive time and a little less during the day.  However, we have hams from all over the world that connect to our linked repeaters from time to time.  It has been very interesting conversing with these hams and adds to the excitement of the digital capabilities.  It's kind of exciting to see a DX call sign and a distance of four or five thousand miles on your radios display.

There are several other Fusion repeaters in the metro area that will link to ours from time to time but the ones listed above are linked full time.

The Overland Park, Shawnee and Olathe repeaters are currently DR-1X's but within the next two weeks will be replaced with the new DR-2X.  The DR-2X repeater offers several new features for Fusion users.

One final note.  The Johnson County Radio Amateur Club holds a weekly net on the 442.600 Shawnee repeater at 8 PM every Wednesday.  If you can reach the Shawnee machine check in on the 442.600 repeater.  If you can't, check in on any of the other repeaters.  Since they are linked you will be heard throughout the entire network.

One final final note.  If you have a Fusion radio PLEASE make sure the firmware in your radio is current.  Your instruction manual will tell you how to check the firmware level.  You can go to Yaesu dot com to see what the current firmware level is for all of their Fusion radios and download the new firmware and instructions there.

One very important point to remember with linked digital systems.  Do not tail end the previous transmission.  Wait a second or two before you key up and begin to transmit.  These repeaters are linked via the internet and there is a certain amount of latency encountered during operation.  This applies to both Fusion and DMR.

ROOMS and NODES

First of all you don't need to know anything about nodes and rooms to use Wires-X.  It works in the background and can be totally transparent to you.  The repeater you are using may or may not be connected to a room.  The only way you can find out is by pressing the Wires-X button on your radio.  No one will yell at you for pressing the Wires-X button.  All data communication is muted so there are no annoying data bursts to hear and you won't break anything.  When you press the Wires-X button several things happen.

Your radio sends a handshake request to the repeater.

If the repeater is not connected to a node your Wires-X request will time out and your radio will return to normal operation.  You will then know that the repeater is not connected to a node and does not have internet access.  Therefore it is not connected to a room.

If the repeater is connected to a node the node will respond and send a datastream back to your radio via the repeater.  Your radio will then parse this datastream and display information on your radio.  The information you see will depend on the type of radio you have.  Radios such as the FTM-400 and FT-991 have large color screens and can display a lot of information while an FT-100, FT-1D and FT-2D have small screens that can only display a little information.  But what you will see on all of them is the name of the room the repeater is connected to and how many nodes are connected to that room.

At this point there are several things you can do.  Having satisfied your curiosity you can simply take your radio out of Wires-X mode and return to normal use.  Or you can change from the existing room to another room.  For example if you find the node is connected to the America Link room you can disconnect from it and then connect to the Worldwide Wires room.  If you don't know what room to connect to you can request a list of rooms from the node.  This list will display on your radio and you can select one to connect to.

I can't list the instructions necessary to perform these operations because they are different for each radio.  Now that you know what is happening you can read your manual and see what steps are required to do what you want to do.

You may have noticed that I used repeater and node interchangeably.  That's not exactly correct.  The repeater is nothing more than an intermediary.  It facilitates the communication between your radio and the node station.

A node station is a station that a ham has set up to allow the conversations on the repeater to be fed into the internet.  The node station consists of a radio programmed to the repeater frequency, a personal computer connected to the internet that is running Wires-X software and an interface box that connects the radio to the computer.

When the ham constructed his node station he registered his interface box with Yaesu.  Yaesu then gave him two numbers.  One number is a node number the other is a room number.  Forget about the node number.

The room number is like your street address.  If I want to see you I can drive to your address and talk to you.  If I want to talk to you I connect my node to your room number and I can talk to you there.  If several different nodes want to talk to you they can all connect to your room number and then you can all talk to each other.  So as you can see a room is just a collection of nodes.

One thing to keep in mind is that every node is issued a room number.  So if you build a node station you automatically have a room.  Don't let that confuse you.  Most people don't use their own room for anything.  They prefer to connect to rooms where other people congregate.  You can find a list of all active rooms on the internet.  Go to https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/id/active_room.php to see a list of all the rooms.  The DTMF ID column contains the room number.  If you click on the Act column it will sort by the number of nodes connected to a room.  The Act column will show how many nodes are connected to each room.

My room number is 28952 but my alias is Kansas-City.  Hence we refer to our linked repeaters as the Kansas City room.

If I have the node stations for the 146.910 Overland Park repeater and the 442.600 Shawnee repeater and the 147.300 Warsaw Missouri repeater connect to my room we can all now talk to each other.  These repeaters are now linked together simply by connecting them to my room.  The linking is done via the internet because remember each node is connected to the internet.

The Wires-X software by Yaesu runs on the node computer and is what allows you to change rooms and do a bunch of other stuff we have not talked about yet.  There are a lot of other things that can be done using Wires-X but what I've talked about here is about 99 percent of what people do.

Don't be afraid to press your Wires-X button.  Nothing bad will happen.  But keep in mind that when you press it your radio only sends ONE datastream request to the repeater.  If you don't have a good signal into the repeater the node may not be able to decode your request.  If that is the case just press it again and see if it connects.  If you know that there is supposed to be a node station on that repeater and you can't connect after several tries it's possible that the node station may be down.

We've struggled at times to keep our node stations on the air.  Between power failures and internet interruptions and hard drive failures it has been a challenge.  But we've learned a lot and with new firmware and new hardware from Yaesu it is getting more reliable every day.

I've mentioned that you can change rooms via Wires-X commands on your radio.  However, we are using the Kansas City room to continuously link the local repeaters.  Everyone using these repeaters expects them to be linked all the time.  So please don't change from the Kansas City room to another room.  If you do, the software is programmed to disconnect from whatever room you connect to after 5 minutes and reconnect to the Kansas City room.  So even if you are talking to someone in another room, after 5 minutes you will be cut off and returned to the Kansas City room.  I promise no one will yell at you but you may get a visit from the Wouff-Hong.

Hopefully this will help you understand nodes and rooms.  There is no magic involved just a lot of hard work in the background to make this available for you to use.

Van, K0HCV
haroldv8655 (at) sbcglobal.net



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hawaii Radio Story on NBC

I have seen this on a few ham site and I thought the club would find it good. Interesting story and interesting characters.... check it out !!


Thursday, February 1, 2018

The AGC Doctor Is In

This a nice podcast... not too long and well done. Check it out...

“Automatic Gain Control” is the topic of the latest (February 1) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen…and learn! More than a half-million downloads since its debut in April 2016 attest to the podcast’s popularity.

Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone — whenever and wherever you like!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

SEKARC Winter Field Day Results

Great job by everyone involved. SEKARC hit it out of the park again! Here are some numbers and some photos from the event. A big THANK YOU to all. A special thanks goes out to John ADØKA for the use of his propane generator, that thing was a CHAMP !!

It was a great test run for the GoBox. We found some things we need to adjust to the setup like a headphone jack option, we need an SD card for the ft-891 to record CQ calls, and the tuner needs to be tested further. There were a few other things so if you operated it this weekend and have some ideas please let us know.

Here are the stats for K0SEK Winter Field Day 2018

 K0SEK's Contest Summary Report for WFD
 Created by N3FJP's Winter Field Day Contest Log
 Version 2.1  www.n3fjp.com

 Total Contacts = 409
 Total Points = 2,405

 Operating Period: 2018/01/27 19:08 - 2018/01/28 18:55

 Total op time (breaks > 30 min deducted): 9:51:41
 Total op time (breaks > 60 min deducted): 11:56:33

 Avg Qs/Hr (breaks > 30 min deducted): 41.5


 Total Contacts by Band and Mode:

 Band        CW   Phone   Dig   Total     %
 ----          --       -----        ---     -----     ---
   80           0      199         0       199      49
   40           0      108         21     129      32
   20           0      30           51     81        20
            --   -----     ---   -----     ---
 Total         0      337         72     409     100