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Winter Field Day 2018
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Monday Night Net
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EchoLink up and running o...
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Thunderbird Farms Repeate...
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So you want to learn CW?
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General Information
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  Monday Night Net
Posted by: K7NDM-Nathan - 09-18-2017 08:06 PM - Replies (1)

I haven't herd a net in a couple weeks now. Did we change Frequencys again? Thanks Nathan

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  EchoLink up and running on 449.800
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 07-27-2017 05:55 PM - Replies (3)

After a little head scratching I managed to get EchoLink working on my 449.800 repeater, PL 110.9. This is open to all to use within the limits of FCC rules Smile All I ask is, if you bring up a node you disconnect it when done. I have also configured it so that 5 separate stations can connect simultaneously. Depending on how that works, I can increase the number of "Conference" connections significantly.

For those curious, the repeater is a Motorola R1225 running 25W into a 6dBd antenna. The EchoLink interface is my SignaLink USB in VOX mode that has been collecting dust.

Here is a quick intro from the EchoLink web site and useful links.

"EchoLink® software allows licensed Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using streaming-audio technology. The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, or from computer to station, greatly enhancing Amateur Radio's communications capabilities. There are more than 200,000 validated users worldwide — in 151 of the world's 193 nations — with about 6,000 online at any given time."

EchoLink differs from IRLP in that once a ham is registered, they can connect to any other registered repeater, link, conference or user directly in one of three ways. Hams can make connections through a local repeater or link station, using their computer and finally their smart phone. Each one can connect to the other directly.

Even though you can connect to a node using its call sign, the easiest way to connect to a node via DTMF would be with the node number. For example my node number is 885610. The best look-up tool for on-line node numbers is here. On-Line EchoLink Nodes

This is where you will find the DTMF commands. EchoLink DTMF Commands

There are some similarities with IRLP, and some differences. However I believe the many ways a station can connect to another station makes EchoLink a little more attractive.

In the coming days, the 448.525 repeater will be connected on the AllStar Link System. When done I will add a little ditty about it.

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  Grounding and Bonding Presentation
Posted by: W6SDM-Steve - 06-12-2017 05:43 PM - No Replies

At our May meeting, Andy Keels, KD4ABB, gave an in-depth presentation on grounding and bonding. Andy is a Professional Engineer with the Salt River Project.

There is so much to know about this subject. I think everyone there learned something new, regardless of how much experience they had, to begin with. Here are the slides from Andy's presentation.

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page1-L.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page2-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page3-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page4-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page5-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page6-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page7-M.jpg]

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  So you want to learn CW?
Posted by: W6SDM-Steve - 05-14-2017 12:08 PM - Replies (2)

Just about every time I operate CW at an even, or when someone comes into the shack while I am operating CW, I hear comments like, "Someday I need to learn that". Hey, there's no reason to wait for someday. It doesn't take that much to learn - really.

Remember in Kindergarten when you learned the alphabet? Then, once again, around third grade, you learned to write cursive? The concept is the same - associate a symbol with a character or a sound. That's what the guy in this video did.

Different people have used different methods. Some work better than others for different folks, but two key ingredients are necessary regardless of what you use to learn: drive and persistence.

Here's a link to the Android app for the program in the video: There are also dozens of apps for Ios.

So you may be asking why should you learn CW? Isn't it easy just to use phone or the many digital modes? Sure, you can do that and do pretty well, but you're missing out on a lot of the ham radio experience if you ignore the lower part of each band.

Years after the code requirement was removed from licensing, CW is still one of the most popular communications modes. Every major DXpedition will have a CW element. CW signals will get through when SSB gets absorbed by the noise floor. Many DX stations are available ONLY through CW. CW is the mode of choice for QRP because you don't need a computer and it will outperform phone in weak signal conditions.

Apps like these make it easy - no code practice oscillator or key required. Don't worry about how you learn because there really isn't any wrong way to learn. There are better and worse ways, and there is some methodology that will lend itself to easier copy and more proficient sending once you learn the alphabet.

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  AMSAT Presentation - 4-28-2017
Posted by: W6SDM-Steve - 05-08-2017 06:00 PM - No Replies

This is the AMSAT presentation by WD9EWK at our April Meeting. It's been converted to PDF format so that everyone can enjoy it.

Attached File(s)
.pdf  20170422-Presentation_for_CopaHams-WD9EWK (2).pdf (Size: 1.69 MB / Downloads: 7)
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  Arizona has a NEW 10M FM Repeater
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 04-08-2017 10:07 PM - Replies (3)

For the past 8 months or so there has been a 10M FM repeater lurking in Tucson. It was on 29.670 -0.5 PL 110.9. Well, in the coming weeks it will be moved to Mt Lemon and given a new frequency. What this means for us in Western Pinal County is, we will be in its RELIABE coverage area!

If you want to try it now, here is the information.

Input: 29.540 PL 110.0 (What the repeater listens to)
Output: 29.640 CSQ (What we listen to)

FYI, on 10M FM it is a good idea to add an input tone on the repeater. Because when the band is rocking you can access a several repeaters without a tone at the same time. This can be confusing at times.

Another fun band to play with.

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  Amateur Radio Homebrew Kit Thread
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 04-08-2017 11:57 AM - Replies (1)

I thought I would start a thread for anyone that is looking for homebrew kits. As you find a new source, add it to the list for all to see. I will/can edit the top post to compile a comprehensive list.

When you post a link, include the Company name, link address and a short description of what they offer. I will begin in the next post.

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  Out with the old (install) and in with the NEW!! - FINISHED
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 03-31-2017 07:09 PM - Replies (4)

I decided my mobile install needed a little revitalization, so I went to work today. My old install used a two-piece rack from Gall's. It had plenty of room, but in the configuration I had it in it had a tendency to wobble.

From the top there is my Magnum 10M all-mode mobile, Motorola XPR4550 UHF (403 - 470 MHz) 45W DMR rig, and finally my Motorola XTL2500 VHF (136 - 174 MHz) 110W P25 control head. The radio itself is mounted under the passengers seat. The dealy hanging off the side is my battery charger for my /\/\ HT's.

[Image: DSC01129_zpsauwzmkve.jpg]

[Image: DSC01131_zpste0gomw6.jpg]

So in a fit of weakness, I purchased a Havis console for my truck.
[Image: DSC01135_zps3ur8txrc.jpg]

After some hard work, a little cussing and several breaks here is the semi-finished product
P.S. Ignore my foot in the picture, the flip flops are a little more comfortable. Big Grin
[Image: DSC01137_zpsywhvz7ca.jpg]

This console has room for all my gear, plus a space for my trailer brake. Also included are two fused 20A power points (cigarette lighter).

[Image: DSC01136_zpscuhy8aqh.jpg]

As you might have noticed, there is an open space in the bottom of the console. I am debating on whether I want to put my Motorola GM300 for 10M FM there, my Magnum 10M all-mode, or close it up and hang the next radio off the bottom. I am also going to change the color of the display on my VHF radio from red to amber or green.

All wiring, relays and speaker(s) are housed in the console giving it a very clean look. I also added two switches to the console on the left side. One if for my off-road/driving lights, the other is to power the ignition sense for my /\/\ radios. In short, with the flip of a switch I can power up, or off my radios. The ignition sense takes less than an amp and is used to tell the radio the ignition has been turned on. This is a GREAT battery saver!

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  New anti-ham ordinances passed.
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 03-31-2017 01:29 PM - Replies (5)

I just received this information from a MotoTRBO DMR friend concerning a new Tucson ordinance banning the use of "Wireless Electronic Devices." I have read the entire ordinance and it is open to interpretation by the officer that stops you, the judge if it goes to court, etc.

Does it include Amateur Radio? It might, then again it might not. Just be aware of its presence while traveling through Tucson. This is a direct quote from his email

Look at this new Tucson City Ordinance #11442 (file attached) and read the definition of "Wireless Electronic Device." Implementation of this law will affect Amateur Radio Operators (HAMS) and anyone else who uses a handheld or mobile radio while driving within Tucson City Limits beginning on May 1, 2017.

Note 1: Coconino County had a similar ordinance affecting ham radio operators in 2016; I think it was later amended or repealed. I am not sure.

Note 2: Oro Valley already has a similar statute but I have not read it.

A. Definitions.

1. "Hands-free use" means the use of a mobile communication device or portable electronic device without the use of either hand by employing an internal feature of, or an attachment to, the device.

2. "Mobile communication device" and "portable electronic device" means a wireless communication device that is designed to engage in calls; and/or receive and transmit text, images, and/or data; but excludes devices that are physically or electronically integrated into a motor vehicle and are operated hands-free so that the user composes, sends, accesses, communicates or receives messages or data without the use of a hand except to activate, deactivate or initiate the hands-free use.

3. "Operating a motor vehicle" means being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway or street and includes being temporarily stopped because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign or otherwise, but excludes operating a motor vehicle when the vehicle has pulled over to the side of the road or off an active roadway and has stopped at a location in which the vehicle can safely remain stationary.

Source: City of Tucson Website:

.pdf  May 1, 2017__New City Ordiance for Wireless Devices while Driving.PDF (Size: 1.73 MB / Downloads: 0)

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  QSL Cards Offer a Trip Around the World
Posted by: W6SDM-Steve - 03-30-2017 09:49 PM - Replies (1)

One of the most amazing things about amateur radio is the ability to virtually travel the globe without leaving the comfort of home. Countries that are so remote that they're inaccessible or so underdeveloped that modern travel would be all but impossible see neither of those challenges on the ham bands.

Before Logbook of the World, DX contacts were verified for awards only by the exchange of QSL cards. Many DXers, including myself, still send cards to some of their contacts just to keep the tradition alive. There is a thrill to sorting through the bills and advertisements it the mail and seeing an envelope from some exotic or distant country that you've talked to on the air. Here's one that came in my mail today:

[Image: back%20of%20envelope.jpg]

You can't really tell from the handwritten notes in Arabic, but the letter came from The Republic of the Sudan. The envelope is a return envelope that I printed as a return envelope and sent with my QSL card after making contact with ST0A back in July of last 2016. Seeing as how the operator, Magdi, hand wrote his responses to QSL requests and knowing that he had tens of thousands of contacts, I can see why it took almost eight months to get a response.

Here is what was inside:

[Image: front%20of%20cart%20st0a-XL.jpg]

It's hard to believe that I was able to work a station using an Icom IC-718 putting out 100 watts and a dipole from the other side of the planet. I even broke my CW tradition for DXing and worked this one phone. This is proof, once again, that you don't need a lot of power or an expensive antenna to work anyone, anywhere.

[Image: sudan%205.jpg]

The ST0A station was on the air to promote peace for Sudan, a country that's been in civil war for decades. People there have been involved in conflict for so long that the war has been named "The Forgotten War" because nobody pays attention to it. Ham radio is one of the things that's making that change, however.

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