Daily Progress says someone accidentally pressed a button next to a canned message during a training session. As a result, about 500 people who had signed up for alerts (I posted the link in an earlier story), received calls and text messages warning of a tornado. I was one of them. I had signed up a couple weeks earlier because my phone didn't support WEA/CMAS mobile alerts. In the meantime, though, my phone got smashed (probably on the rough "road" to/from marshal manor repeater site) and I replaced it with a similar but newer model that does support WEA/CMAS. And thought it odd that I didn't get alerts there or on the weather radio or TV. Since WEA/CMAS is a broadcast method while the other system makes calls and text messages to hundreds or thousands of subscribers, the WEA/CMAS method should be much more reliable, faster, and less likely to overload the phone system for those who have newer model cell phones but the other system offers an alternative for older cell phones and landlines.
The breakfast bunch (an informal gathering of hams) will be gathering at Sam's Kitchen (not Panera bread as we have been) in Albemarle County about 2.5 miles north of Charlottesville city limits.. Sam's kitchen is not where it used to be and is also not where google maps thinks it is (though this has been reported and they may update). This is in the Woodbrook Shopping Center, Diagonally across Route 29 and Woodbrook drive from Lowes, behind Kohr Brother's Frozen Ice Cream. It is at the center (inside corner) of the L shaped strip mall behind Kohr's where the Mexican restaurant used to be. We will meet at around 7AM and will probably run till 10:00AM or 10:30AM.
If you ever wondered about Spear's Mountain in Buckingham County, or Peter's Mountain in Albemarle County, you will definitely be interested in the following.
Recently, Lynchburg's Channel 13 aired a report on the Buckingham site, featuring our esteemed colleague Gordon Winn WW4GW, as well as the current property owner Steve Rann. If you look into the background during part of the interview, you will see the WW4GW repeater antennas and wind generator.
Ever wonder what it would be like to own a 40K square foot underground nuclear hardened bunker complex? Check out http://www.wset.com/story/22982860/the-mystery-of-spears-mountain
Many great photos of the installation can be found at http://coldwar-c4i.net/ATT_Project/Buckingham/
Read on to learn a little more about these two sites.
The August Issue of The Beacon has been uploaded and now available for your information and entertainment.
Although many people have strong feeling about Twitter - both positive and negative - there is no denying that it is very useful for instant, one-to-many communications in certain situations. For those times when it would be useful, let's tweet with the hashtag #albemarleradio.
Register for cell phone text message emergency Alerts from the Albemarle/Charlottesville/UVA Emergency Communications Center at https://acuecc.onthealert.com/.
This is separate from the broadcast addressed Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) users of newer model cell phones on participating carriers may be able to receive although the messages may overlap. "Alerts will be utilized to inform residents of evacuations, shelter-in-place situations, major traffic disruptions, Amber Alerts, gas leaks, boil water advisories and weather warnings."
FALL 2013 Basic CERT class will be Thursdays Sept 12 through Nov 7, 2013, 6:30-9:00PM in the ECC conference room. This time they have avoided a conflict with our monthly meeting but it does conflict with the Northern Piedmont Emergency Net (although I have sometimes managed a late check in after classes and there is a ham radio in the room next to the room where the classes are going to be held).
The Shenandoah Valley
Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
ARRL APPROVED HAMFEST
63rd Annual Berryville Hamfest
and Computer Show
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds, Berryville, VA
The miller school race is on Sunday, July 28th.
Volunteers are needed; Contact Joe Flamini W4BXG (contact info in club roster). Drivers and vehicles will be provided for the follow operators, so you don't need to put around 222 miles on your car (estimate from last year - it was basically a 16mile course but there are a lot of races and most have multiple laps). In addition, Joe will have a couple mobile radios with cigarette lighter plug and mag mount antennas available.
We will be using the 146.895Mhz repeater on Buck's Elbow. -0.600Mhz, 151.4Hz. Lat/long: 38.104681, -78.744878. Elevation 3149ft+50ft.
Albemarle Amateur Radio Club
Central Virginia Repeater Century Award
Our President states, "To encourage use of repeaters in Central Virginia and in celebration of our 50th year as a radio club, the Albemarle Amateur Radio Club announces the “Central Virginia Repeater Century Award”."
Here are the rules as approved by the Board of Directors:
Only contacts made on repeaters in Central Virginia count for credit. Simplex contacts are not counted for this award. All QSO's count as two points, but only one contact with each licensed amateur can be counted for credit each year. (In other words each person can only be counted as a contact once in a year. Multiple contacts with the same person on different machines will only be counted as one contact).Documentation consists of Date, Time, Machine Used and the Call sign of the station contacted in a log that must be submitted to be considered for the annual award. The annual deadline for submission is two weeks before the club’s December Holiday Dinner which is scheduled for December 10, 2013. (For the 2013 award logs will be submitted to K4DU). Logs are on the honor system, but are subject to inspection when submitted. Award certificates for 100 points or more will be presented at the Annual Holiday Dinner. Contacts made by a Net Control Operator (NCO) for the Monday Night Information Net, The Digital Net or the Northern Piedmont Emergency Net maybe counted for award credit. (All check-ins for a single session may be counted once in a calendar year for a net control operator.) Guest NCO’s for the weekly nets are welcomed and encouraged!
Contacts made after July 9, 2013 are eligible for this award.
You can use some, but not all HTML markup in your posts/stories on the club website. Just below the box where you type your content, you will see a collapsed section title labelled "Input format". There are currently two setttings: too restrictive ("Filtered HTML" and too permissive ("Full HTML"). Even the "Full HTML" setting doesn't pass your stuff through unmolested and we need to work around some misbehaviour.
This markup will let you do stuff like insert hypertext links, images, outlines, tables, block quotes, and code samples. But Before I show you how to use HTML markup do these things, there is some tedious background info to cover.
HTML is a special type of markup that is both machine readable and human readable. HTML markup generally consists of putting markup around text like this:
In this tutorial, I will show how to create a basic story on the website with no pictures, tables, lists, code listings, or other HTML. With the information in this tutorial, you should be able to post a simple quick and dirty story on the club website, such as 90% of the stories published in the first 2-1/2 years of this website being hosted using drupal but not a fancier page such as this tutorial page or some of my recent postings. You might have been hoping I would show you how to do those right away, but you need to walk before you can run.
The Albemarle Amateur Radio Club will meet in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA on July 9 at 7:30 pm. Charles Battig K4TY will give a presentation on Smart Meters (home electric service meters) and RFI.
The president has called a board meeting for 7 pm. prior to the 7:30 General Membership Meeting.
(text copied from the beacon).
slides Note that I do not condone this content.
This is just starting to percolate into the news. The FCC last friday approved release of google's TV white spaces database which documents what unused TV channels may be used for wireless internet access type services in which areas. You can browse a visual representation in google maps:
On this page, you can download these databases that include US, Canadian, and Mexican TV Sations, TV translators, Broadcast Auxillary SErvice Links, PLMRS/CMRS base station operations, Multi-channel Video Programming Distrbutor (MVPD) receive sits, Temporary BAS links, Low Power Auxillary Devices, Fixed TV-band white space devices.
These databases might be more accurate than the usual FCC transmitter and tower databases for parts of the spectrum since if you aren't in this database someone is likely to start transmitting on top of you.
Another reminder that unused spectrum is up for grabs.
As some already know, the 146.730 repeater is usually connected via IRLP to the East Coast Reflector (9050). To see the current nodes connected to 9050 go to:
The 73 repeater uses a simplex UHF frequency on the 2nd port of the repeater controller to communicate with another UHF radio at the 4703 node located at Zehmer Hall on UVA grounds. As the 9050 reflector usually has around 30 different nodes connected, when you key up the 73 repeater, your audio has to pass to the UHF radio, transmit to the UHF radio at the node, pass by VoIP to the reflector, located in Michigan, travel by VoIP to the other node computers, and then by whatever connecting hardware is used to pass the audio to the repeater connected to that node. This means that with each transmission, there is a lot of hardware distributed from Michigan to Florida, that needs to be lifted up from its idle state. What does this mean for you the user? All you need to remember is to key your mic and wait a second or two before you start speaking. Also, it is important when the other station stops speaking, wait a couple of seconds before you key up your mic. Also, be aware that there are no repeater controller ID's or courtesy tones that go out on IRLP. There is a short courtesy beep that the link UHF radio gives back on the 146.730 repeater, but the other station needs to know that you are turning over the conversation by ending your transmission with "over" or "back to you".
Does this mean that the 73 repeater shouldn't be used for local conversations? No, local conversations are fine, but the general rules of pauses still need to be applied, because when you are talking locally, your local conversation is going out to the entire reflector population. If you are planning on an extended conversation locally, just DTMF the code 73 and that will drop the 146.730 repeater from the reflector. When your local extended conversation is completed, DTMF 9050 to reconnect to the reflector. Likewise, if you would like to connect to another reflector, or individual node, disconnect from the 9050 reflector, and send the DTMF code for the other reflector, or node. Connections to reflectors will not timeout, they have to be broken by sending 73. On the other hand, connections to individual nodes will timeout in 4 minutes of inactivity.
If you would like to learn more about IRLP visit the IRLP website:
If you have other questions or issues, contact me at:
|52.5250||simplex||National Simplex Calling Frequency|
|145.7300||simplex||VA Section Packet Radio|
|146.5200||simplex||National Simplex Calling Frequency|
|146.5250||simplex||National Fox Hunt Frequency/Voice simplex|
|146.5500||simplex||AARC 2M Simplex|
|146.5800||simplex||Greene County Simplex|
|147.5400||simplex||AARC 2M Simplex|
|145.1700||minus||151.4||W4FCO - Fluvanna County||generator|
|145.4500||minus||151.4||K4DND - Martha Jefferson Hospital||emergency power|
|146.7300||minus||151.4||K4DND - Carter's Mt||battery and generator||IRLP Node #4703|
|146.7600||minus||151.4||WA4TFZ - Marshall Manor||battery only||net mode links to 444.000|
|146.7900||minus||110.4||WW4GW - Spear's Mt||solar and wind||CVRA link system|
|146.8800||minus||74.4||W4RAT - Richmond||emergency power|
|146.8950||minus||151.4||WA4TFZ - Bucks Elbow||generator only|
|146.9250||minus||151.4||WA4TFZ - Heard's Mt||battery only|
|147.0750||plus||none||W4PNT - Bear Den||battery only|
|147.1200||plus||146.2||W4CUL - Orange County||?|
|147.3000||plus||none||KI4ZR - Rockbridge County||emergency power|
|147.3300||plus||none||WA4TSC - Bluemont||?||NWS Sterling Skywarn|
48 Pages from 15 different years, 21.7MB download:
Some pages appear half size due to mixing from different pdf resolutions. Zoom as needed.
Many pages are marked with year and month, but some are not. Here was the list of files (filename is year and month) and page numbers.
I have scanned and uploaded 13 years of past newsletters, 1992-2004. The newsletters are an important part of the documentation of the clubs history. They include:
As many of you know, back during the changing of the guard from last years leadership to this years, I encountered 4 binders worth of back issues of the beacon and although back issues of the beacon are online back to 2005, the contents of several of these binders were not found on the website. I realized that these might be the only copies or one of a few copies remaining of these important documents. If they were lost or destroyed, the info might be gone forever. And their use is limited sitting in the secretary's house where they are not as readily available. Taking leave of my senses, I undertook the task of scanning these beacons. And thus began a tale of fighting with bad drivers, slow software, and misfeeds caused by pages which had been folded, spindled, and mutilated.
Photo Credit: NOAA Photo Library
National Weather Service Blog notes that:
June, July, and August are the peak months for both lightning and lightning fatalities
Slides from Feb 2008 AARC Presentation on Station Grounding and Lightning Protection by Alan Swinger, K9MBQ.
In April 2012, Joe Flamini, W4BXG, gave an AARC presentation on station grounding and lightning.His Powerpoint slides as PDF. Note that he plans to add explanatory text to the slides to make them more useful without a presenter standing in front of you.