April was quite productive for the technical committee. We began with installing the new tone board at Marshall Manor on our April 1 visit. This also involved updating the firmware in the controller to support some new macros that allow us to remotely enable and disable the outgoing CTCSS tone. We can now enable full CTCSS tone squelch on our radios to eliminate hearing other machines on 146.760 and other undesired noises.
What a great start to AARC Public Service events for the year. On Sunday, March 29, 13 members of the AARC turned out to assist with the Jefferson Cup Bike Races. This was the 25th year of AARC support for this event, and you would have thought this year's volunteers had been working most of the years the event has been running.
We maintained fixed location radio communications at the staging area (Walton Middle School), the Start/Finish, at each of the 3 course corners, and with the Rescue Squad ambulance. In addition, we provided 4 mobile stations for each race and for one mobile medic.
So many thanks to the following: Marty W4MBW, Larry K4JZQ, Ed N3US, Mike KA4JJD, AJ KE4AJM, Shannon KJ4VJR, Greg N4PGS, Mike KQ9P, Jon KJ4RPW, Dayton AA4DH, Jeff K4OLW, and Don N4UVA.
Other than some excitement late in February, this report contains good news. I had reported some interference issues on February 24 with the linked repeaters. The issue continued for a couple days, but then resolved and has not repeated. It took us a short time to restore some settings that we had changed while evaluating the issue, but since then, all repeaters have continued to operate well.
There were no PS events scheduled for the month of February. The first AARC PS event will be the Jefferson Cup Bike Races on Sunday, March 29. Many thanks to the numerous AARC members who have volunteered to assist with this first event. A written plan with assignments will be going out by email soon. If you are on the list of volunteers, watch your email inbox for further information. If you are not on the list of volunteers and would like to be, contact me as soon as you can.
Current list of volunteers:
Although we will print and distribute a hard copy of the 2015 AARC Member Directory in April 2015, an interim PDF version of the
Member Directory has been posted. The link to it will appear in the "About Us" section after you login.
Under the heading on the left "Club Call Roster" we have added a new listing that shows current members alphabetized both by call suffix and last name for easy lookup. These rosters show only current members for 2015. If you are not on the list and believe you should be listed, please contact me at: patcrosby73[at]gmail[dot]com.
During the month, we had debits totaling $51.05 and deposits totaling $259.82. Balances will be available at tonight's meeting.
The Northern-Piedmont Emergency Net meets every Thursday evening at 8:00 PM (20:00) local time on the 146.73 repeater. The NPEN is a directed net with rotating net-control stations intended to assist local amateurs with building emergency operating capabilities. The NPEN provides an opportunity to learn the basics of many aspects of emergency communication.
Please join us on the NPEN and contribute to the important role that the Amateur Radio Service plays in emergency communication support for families, friends and others in our local community.
Our Master Roster of AARC Membership for 2015 is growing. The current figures as of March 2 show:
Family Memberships = 15
Full Memberships = 60
Life Memberships = 09
Honorary Members = 05
Total current Memberships = 89
For those who want to get their feet wet in DX, try the 7-8 March ARRL Phone DX contest. It will be on all bands & Logs do not have to be submitted. It is a great chance to work some new countries. The Contest exchange is a signal report and state (59, Virginia). The DX wants to talk to you, so 100W and modest antennas will get you many QSOs. Have fun. Detailed info below.
Set aside your CW key, and shake those dits and dahs out of your ears. It's time to get your voice in trim or to program your digital voice keyer. The
SSB weekend of the ARRL International DX Contest http://www.arrl.org/arrl-dx is Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9 (UTC).
The DX will be looking for stations in the US and Canada. There are entry categories for single ops and for multi-operator teams as well as a choice of power levels in each category, from QRP to full legal limit. In other words, there's a place for Big Guns, Little Pistols, and everyone in between. Excitement and enthusiasm levels will be high, and it's a terrific opportunity to boost DXCC totals too.
The ARRL International DX Contest events offer great opportunities to expand your knowledge of MF and HF propagation and to tweak
your contesting skills. The basic objective is simple: W/VE amateurs work as many DX stations in as many DXCC entities as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. Participating DX stations work as many stations as possible on the 48 contiguous US states and Canadian provinces. US stations send a signal report and their state and DX stations send a signal report and their output power.
The action gets under way March 8 at 0000 UTC (Friday, March 7, in US time zones) and continues for the next 48 hours until March 9 at 2359 UTC. By the way, if you're planning to do this one without any digital voice assistance, keep those lozenges and maybe some hot tea and honey handy.
Jim Owen, K4CGY, was the first place winner for VA in last years Phone DX contest. This shows that you don't need a top contest station to get the job done.
Please gather up your old (within the past 6 months) ham radio magazines, such as QST and CQ, for placement in your favorite car mechanic, tire shop, dentist, doctor, etc. waiting rooms. You should obtain the OK from the office staff, but they will likely be glad to let you do so. Please staple or tape the attached Flyer inside the front cover that refers the reader to the appropriate section of our club website to learn more about Ham radio.
Attached is the “contact the AARC” flyer (Learn About Ham Radio).
Dave Damon called me last evening with news of some problems with the .760 repeater system. It seems that all 3 of our two meter transmitters were essentially transmitting full time. They were only timing out on the programmed transmit time out timer, but then immediately began transmitting a dead carrier. Dave and I worked briefly on this, and were successful in unlinking the .895 and the .925, bringing them back to “normal” unlinked operation. However, there is still something very odd going on with the .760. We were able to unlink it from the 440 link hub, but re-initializing the controller did not return the 2 meter transmitter to normal operation. It also seems we’re experiencing problems both with the 2 meter receiver and transmitter.
The club roster has been updated as of February 12, 2015. It is displayed under "About Us" as "Club Call Roster" and downloads as a pdf file for viewing or printing.
The current Master Roster of AARC Membership indicates the following:
Current Family = 013
Current Full = 057
Life = 009
Total Paid = 079
Honorary = 005
According to the Bylaws, as amended last on April 12, 2011, Article VIII: Meetings, Section 5, states “Twenty members of the Club shall constitute a quorum.”
That is current family, full and life members are to be counted for a quorum. Honorary members do not count against or toward a quorum.
The current Master Roster for 2015 carries 163 members which includes past members who have not paid their current dues from as far back as 2012. We continue to carry them with the hope that the “Membership Committee” might find a way to encourage them to return to full and active membership.
Pat Crosby, Secretary
I plan to put W4UVA on the air for the February 2015 ARRL School Club Roundup, the twice-annual operating event for K-12 and college amateur radio clubs. I have to work around my day job, so I will plan to be at the W4UVA shack in the Old Reactor Building on Observatory Hill at 675 Old Reservoir Road, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (https://goo.gl/maps/sfWAE) on the following schedule:
|Monday, 9 Feb 2015||8-10am||3-5pm|
|Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015||3-5pm|
|Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015||8-10am|
|Thursday, 12 Feb 2015||8-10am||3-5pm|
|Friday, 13 Feb 2015||8-10am||3-5pm|
You don’t need to be a licensed amateur radio operator to participate. We will be operating under the W4UVA club license and I will be acting as control operator, so even if you are not licensed you’ll be able to try your hand at contest operating.
Please try to drop by and join in the fun! Come to the upper parking lot and tap on the shack window.
73, Mike KQ9P
The closest hamfest for most of our members. Indoor.
January is usually an active month for your club and this January was no exception.
We had deposits totaling $931.70 and debits totaling $267.17.
Your financial support of the club is appreciated and if you have not sent in your 2015 dues, please do so.
Albemarle Amateur Radio Club
Volunteer Speakers Needed for 2015 Suggested Topics Below
Contact Larry Eicher, K4JZQ tuzlu[at]comcast[dot]net
Any presenter will need to be willing to keep his/her presentation no longer than 30 minutes with some time for limited questions/answers.
Presentations may have access to a projector and screen.
The topic must be related to amateur radio. If you are interested, please send me:
your call/ your name/ your email/cell phone or however you would like to be contacted the topic/title of your proposed presentation and the projected running time
Read on for Topic Areas: Suggestions Only
The new year of public service for the AARC is starting to shape up. Each event will be posted on the calendar as well as described in detail here. Our first event is the Jefferson Cup Bike Race on Sunday March 29. This will be the 26th consecutive year that the AARC has provided communication support for this event.
The Jefferson Cup is the inaugural bike race for the upcoming season. It attracts both individual racers as well as teams from all over the mid-Atlantic region. Races are scheduled for morning and afternoon with a welcomed pizza lunch break for all volunteers.
Amateur radio operators are needed for mobile stations to accompany each race group as well as fixed stations to provide communications at course corners, start/finish and Walton Middle School.
So check your calendars and make sure you keep Sunday, March 29 open so you can participate.
January 2015 report from Albemarle Amateur Radio Club technical support (N0WP and K4DND)
January has been a very busy, and currently appears to have been, a successful month for AARC members working on our repeaters.
Our latest round of work actually began on December 11 2014 when we addressed some hum at 146.760 by replacing the power supply on Marshall Manor with a Motorola supply. This resolved the hum, but we still were experiencing some repeater noise that has been perceived as “desense” and a crackling noise on received user audio. This noise or a variant of it has been present for some time.
January 7 2015
146.760 had gone partially silent even though it is being keyed with user activity. No audio from users is being retransmitted. Weather was very cold, and since we diagnosed the problem to either CTCSS decoder or controller audio path, we took spares for both items to site, and replaced both, then set all audio levels to specification. We also moved some power supply connections in an attempt to minimize a slight hum still present.