In This Issue…
- W5NOR/VHF is Back On-The-Web
- FCC $35 Fee – Not Yet
- OU APRS/WSPR Balloons
- QRZ049: Lucky Newcomers Meet A5A
- New/Upgraded Hams
- Newsletter News
- Local Hamfests
- Dates To Remember
- Odds and Ends
- SCARS Is On The Web
- Podcast: On The Air
- This Week’s ARRL Letter
- ARRL DX Bulletin
- Podcast: Amateur Radio Newsline
- Podcast: W5KUB Amateur Radio Roundtable
- Podcast: Ham Nation
W5NOR/VHF is Back On-The-Web — Menu
For the past 6 or so years, a little computer like this one has been receiving the W5NOR 147.060 MHz repeater and streams the audio to the Internet. Our good friends at Radio Reference receive the data stream it out to the Internet and to cell phone apps. They store the data for about a year and subscribers can download the audio at a later date.
The main use of this system is to allow people to listen in on the repeater over the Internet by visiting https://w5nor.org/listen/. Android and Apple both have apps that allow you to stream the audio directly to your phone. So if you’re out of range, or don’t have your handie-talkie, you can still listen to the McNet, ARES net, Gossip net or even hear your own signal to verify your new installation.
During the Snowmagedan event of 2021, the computer that receives the 147.06 MHz repeater signal and sends it to the Radio Reference server lost its mind. Actually, the SD-RAM ‘hard drive’ was scrambled. I looked up the records and about 3 1/2 years ago the same thing happened, so it was time to rebuild the system.
This is a simple system, with only a few parts, a Raspberry Pi computer, Software Defined Radio (SDR) USB plugin, and an SD-RAM that is used to boot the system. Back in 2018, it took about two days of tweaking to load the software and make it function. This time the process only took about an hour. The Raspberry Pi folks have made it easy to get a machine up and running. I loaded the SD-RAM card into a computer, ran the Raspberry Pi Imaging program and SD-RAM was programmed. Loading the SDR software and the streaming software went smooth, and the system was up and running in no time. Radio Reference has a webpage that documents the entire process if you want to play along. The SDR connects to a 1/4 wave coaxial dipole antenna that’s made out of a 1/2″ copper pipe, and a 12 gauge wire.
So when you listen online, you’ll now know how it gets there.
FCC $35 Fee – Not Yet — Menu
Yes, the FCC is going to start collecting a $35 application fee for every new amateur radio license application, but not quite yet. All of the details are in the Federal Register, which is always my best solution for insomnia. None of those details matter yet, because the FCC needs to make sure their online payment system has been upgraded to handle the fee collection of new licenses, renewing licenses, upgrades to general and amateur extra, and for vanity license applications.
Once the FCC has that all figured out, they need to notify Congress and then the fees can start being collected. Our friends at ARRL say that this will probably happen in the June/July timeframe. So, until then, check your license renewal date, you can renew your license 90 days early, and keep studying for those upgrade tests. SCARS runs amateur radio license test sessions on the first Thursday of the month. You can take a test, or we can help you renew your license then.
OU APRS/WSPR Balloons — Menu
Dr. Thomas Hays KI5AIF has four students in a capstone Aerospace Engineering class that are working to put super pressure balloons into low earth orbit. The students gained their amateur radio licenses at our March license session and put a balloon up with a LightAPRS-W transmitter from QRP-Labs two days later.
These balloons provide about 8 grams of free lift to take them to about 40,000 feet. The clear balloon shown here is flight ready and almost ready to launch.
This balloon was launched from east Norman, went north for a while, and was last tracked near Wanette, OK at 30,000 feet at dusk. Unfortunately, it was never heard from again. No one knows what happened, the balloon might have popped, the radio may have failed… The track on the top right of the image is KI5JSU, which was launched the same day from OSU. It made it to Earlsboro.
To provide some motivation and best practices, we got Tom Medlin W5KUB to join us for a couple of class sessions and he shared some of his past efforts with the team over a Zoom call.
So, what’s next???
Balloon number 2 will probably launch just as this newsletter is published, about 10:00 am on Tuesday. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, it will fly on Wednesday morning. Balloon number 3 will probably launch this weekend.
So, you can watch the APRS online at http://aprs.fi and it will be launching from 36th SE and Highway 9..
Or, turn on your WSJT-X programs and listen to 20 meters for a callsign that starts with KI5OL?
Good luck to the balloon crew.
QRZ049: Lucky Newcomers Meet A5A — Menu
This ongoing series was written by SCARS charter member SK Jack Bickham WB5TZZ / KU5B. Jack was a prolific novelist, his two most known works were turned into the movies “The Apple Dumpling Gang”, and “Bakers Hawk.” These 104 Q. R. Zedd articles were originally published in the Central Oklahoma Radio Amateurs (CORA) Newsletter, the Collector & Emitter from September 1981 through April 1990, and are hosted on the SCARS web site. We are reprinting this series to provide you with a glimpse of the past.
Originally published in the October 1985 issue of the C&E.
Back during the spring, the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society had a licensing class that was really dynamite, and as a result a number of enthusiastic newcomers to our beloved hobby appeared on the scene.
Naturally, after learning how to use the patch on the 06 machine, and which end of the table to sit at during the Tuesday morning coffee drinking, they yearned for new challenges and excitement. Some went back to the code tapes with an idea of upgrading further, so they could join the DX pileups on 20. Others petitioned W5SQJ for a a guided tour of his garage. One even managed a trip through W5OU’s driveway lake, and a subsequent view of his big beam, the one in the weedpatch at the foot of the tower.
A few, however, using N5HZU as a spokesperson, sought an audience with A5A.
A5A, Q. R. Zedd, world’s greatest DXer and all around wonderful guy, responded recently by working each of the newcomers on 2 meters and sending each one of his gorgeous and coveted QSL cards, the ones with the picture of him and Tondelayo Schwartz, his blond, nubile, 20-year-old QSL secretary and constant companion, on the topless beach at St. Tropez, where Zedd last summer worked 21,200 contacts, including three on the ham bands.
In true wonderful fashion, Zedd magnanimously also invited the group out to Honor Roll Ranch, just a hoot and a holler south of town, for an eyeball QSO and some lemonade or something.
Tondelayo served the lemonade, which distracted some of the younger boys (those under 85) from the conversation. Your intrepid reporter was on hand, however, with his trusty tape recorder, and in Boswellian fashion put down highlights of the talk for posterity.
Here for the record are some of the questions and answers:
QUESTION: With the sunspot cycle at a low ebb, should I go ahead and chase some DX now, or just cool it for a year or two?
ZEDD: Son, there’s no use waiting. If you develop good operating habits, there’s no reason why you can’t work two, three hundred DX contacts this weekend.
QUESTION: Could you give us some hints on good DXing habits?
ZEDD: Sure, boy. No problem. First, you got to listen, listen, listen. You don’t work no DX unless you listen a lot. Second, you got to keep the rf in the air. You hear one- you want, get right in there and scream and holler, and if you work him, be sure you keep right on calling the next day and the day after that, to get in the log several times.
Third, you need a good tower and beam. Nothing elaborate. Four or five elements at a couple hundred feet ought to be a good starter arrangement.
Fourth, have a good outboard receiver, so you can listen split with your transceiver, and have some memory channels in there, and wheel around with your other receiver as well. Even if you never use some of the equipment you have in the shack, it’s real nice to be able to talk about it when you make the contact. The other person is almost always-impressed.
Fifth, run enough power to make the contact, and no more. On 20 meters, that’s maybe a kilowatt.
Sixth, be sure you get a valid QSL for every DX contact. It don’t count unless you get that. card to send to Don Search or whoever they got handling that stuff up in Newington these days. If you need to send IRC’s, send IRC’s. If you need to send a green stamp, send a green stamp. You new fellers need more leverage than us big dogs do, but you can get that valued card if you’re just persistent enough.
Seventh, see if you can’t get two or three other fellers to work DX with you. That way, even if you sleep in once in a while, there’s a chance one of your pals will be listening, and call you and let you know somebody is on, right after he’s worked the guy and heard him go QRT. Also, if you’re in a pileup together, sometimes you can be listening to your pal on one of your extra receivers, and the minute the DX comes back to him, you can jump in there on top of your friend and not only obliterate his chances of making the contact, but make one of your own. Which builds competition and friendship.
Eighth, never tell anybody at the Tuesday or Saturday coffee drinking about anything that’s still on; no sense making a rare one easier to catch. But once you hear somebody bemoaning the fact they missed Clipperton, or whatever, and you’re sure the expedition is safely QRT, why, you just say you ‘worked them on phone and CW on four or five bands. Include a claimed contact on 75, even if you didn’t make one there. It’s good for your image.
Ninth — well, there’s no sense telling you boys everything all at once. Come back another day and I’ll talk to you about tail-ending and good stuff like that.
QUESTION: Sir —
ZEDD: Boy, I like you. You can call me Mr. Zedd.
QUESTION: Mr. Zedd, sir, how can I get my code. speed up to a reasonable level?
ZEDD: By “reasonable level,” I figger you mean 50 words per minute or so. There’s nothing to it. I’ve known old boys that could send at 50 after just a few weeks in the hobby. All you got to do is listen to your own self sending, and learn to copy as fast as you send. This is known as the “The ear is faster than the hand” theory of learning CW.
QUESTION: Mr. Zedd, what was the most thrilling DX contact you ever made?
ZEDD: I would have to say it was when I was a very small child, and my momma, Constance Wilhemina Zedd, of Mena, Arkansas, took me with her to Africa on my first DXpedition. Well, I was very young at the time, and one of the first contacts I made was Winston Churchill.
QUESTION: You mean the famous Winston Churchill?
ZEDD: Yep. Winnie, as we used to call him, had an eye for the future. He happened to hear I was on, and knowing how wonderful I was going to be, went right down and got himself licensed. I was his first contact.
QUESTION: But I never heard of Mr. Churchill being on the airwaves.
ZEDD: Of course not, son. After he worked me, he sold his rig and never worked anybody again, and finally let his license expire a few years later, during his Blood, Sweat and Tears period. I mean, why would anybody want to work anyone else after they’re worked me?
The interview concluded on this note. The youngsters left with tears of gratitude in their eyes. Those of us who could remember our own youth, and imagine their overwhelming joy, smiled.
Please join the SCARS Exam Team in welcoming the following new amateurs to the air:
each of whom earned Technician class licenses as well as
who earned General class licenses. Please also congratulate:
each of whom upgraded to General class.
All tested on March 4th and 5th at the firehouse under pandemic precautions.
Congratulations to all!
Dates to Remember — Menu
- SCARS Elmer Nights – ONLINE ONLY. Every Tuesday evening, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Join with Zoom at https://w5nor.org/zoom/ or simply watch the fun at https://w5nor.org/stream/ All meetings are recorded so you can stream them later from the SCARS YouTube channel.
- SCARS Meeting April 10, 2021, 9:30 am – Tropospheric Ducting by Gordon West WB6NOA. Gordo spends his Wednesday evenings on “Ham Nation”, but he will visit with us at our next club meeting. Join with Zoom at https://w5nor.org/zoom/ or simply watch the fun at https://w5nor.org/stream/. All meetings are recorded so you can stream them later from the SCARS YouTube channel.
- SCARS April 1, 2021, License Test – 6:30 pm – Norman Firehouse #7 – 2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069
Newsletter News — Menu
This newsletter is announced in several places. Feel free to subscribe to the way that suits you best. If you’re an email person, you can subscribe by visiting https://w5nor.org/email. If you’re a Twitter person, visit us at https://w5nor.org/twitter. And each newsletter announcement is posted on the Facebook group at https://w5nor.org/facebook. And, if you like to search this yourself, you can go straight to the newsletter at https://w5nor.org/newsletter. Any way you found the newsletter, we’re glad you made it.
And, this newsletter should be for, and about, you. If you have a neat build project to share, an interesting QSO, a new radio review, a new idea, an upcoming event, a member spotlight, or if you’d like to help produce the newsletter, please send an email at email@example.com. These don’t have to be polished articles; we’ll edit as required. Don’t forget a picture or two. That picture is worth a thousand words.
Local Hamfests — Menu
Briefly, here’s the list of the upcoming local hamfests. Hamfests are always great places to buy new equipment, sell your underused equipment, and find that great flea market bargain. They are always a great place to meet local hams and learn some new tricks.
4/2/2021 | Ozark Con – 4 States QRP | Location: Branson, MO — CANCELED —
4/9-10/2021| Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK — CANCELED —
5/21-23/2021 | Dayton Hamvention | Location: Xenia, OH — CANCELED —
Ham-Com | Location: Plano, TX — CANCELED —
6/12/2021 | Radio Shack Sidewalk Sale | Location: Derby, KS — On Schedule —
6/12/2021 | Pryor Tailgate Event | Location: Pryor Community Center, Pryor, OK — On Schedule —
7/23-24/2021 | Ham Holiday | Location: OCCC – Oklahoma City, OK — CANCELED —
8/27-28/2021 | Joplin Hamfest | Location: Joplin, MO — No Status, yet —
9/10-11/2021 | Arkansas State Convention | Location: Mena, AR — No Status, yet —
9/16-17/2021 | Duke City Hamfiesta | Location: Albuquerque, NM — No Status, yet —
9/24/2021 | Reno County KS Hamfest | Location: Hutchinson, KS — No Status, yet —
10/02/2021 | Wichita Area Hamfest | Location: Wichita, KS — No Status, yet —
10/22-23/2021 | Texoma Hamarama Hamfest | Location: Ardmore, OK — No Status, yet —
11/6/2021 | Enid Hamfest | Location: Enid, OK (or maybe December) — No Status, yet —
3/5/2022 | Elk City Hamfest | Location: Elk City, OK
4/8-9/2022| Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK
7/22-23/2022 | Ham Holiday | Location: OCCC – Oklahoma City, OK
The ARRL maintains a list of all US hamfests if you would like to travel. Click here for the ARRL list of those within 250 miles.
Odds and Ends — Menu
- All those links
- ARES Memory Settings (Red Box at the bottom of the page)
- Collector and Emitter Archive
- YLRL Nets and other info
- Real-time Solar Weather
- SCARS Officers
- HF Net List
- Norman VHF Repeaters audio stream
- ARRL Outgoing QSL Service
- Announced DX Operations
- D-Star stuff
- Real-time lightning data
- Oklahoma ARES Voice Over IP Net
SCARS Is On The Web — Menu
- Homepage: W5NOR.ORG
- Hamvention Club of the Year: W5NOR.org/hvclub
- News and Updates: SCARS Newsletter
- Repeater Resources: SCARS Repeater
- Oklahoma DMR Resources: OKDMR
- Facebook: SCARS Facebook
- Twitter: W5NOR
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
News, links, repeater info, hamfests, licensing, and more are linked from the menu sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG!
Podcast: On The Air — Menu
The On the Air podcast is a companion to the bi-monthly On the Air magazine (an ARRL membership benefit) and takes a deeper dive into select features and projects. Each month, host and On the Air Editorial Director Becky Schoenfeld W1BXY will offer additional resources, techniques, and hints to help you get the most from the magazine’s content.
What does the new solar cycle have in store for the HF bands? Propagation expert Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, tells us what to expect.
ARRL On the Air – Episode 15
ARRL Letter — Menu
- QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Experiences Technical Issues, On-Demand Access Opens
- Dayton Hamvention® Announces 2021 Award Winners
- ARRL Podcasts Schedule
- Incumbent Section Managers Begin New Terms in April
- ARISS Ham Station in Columbus Module Is Once Again Operational
- ARRL Learning Network Webinars
- Amateur Radio in the News
- YOTA Region 1 Taking Cautious Approach to COVID-19 and YOTA Camps
- Plans Continue for In-Person Friedrichshafen HAM RADIO Event
- Ham Radio Satellite Returns from the Dead
- The K7RA Solar Update
- Getting It Right!
- Just Ahead in Radiosport
- Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
ARRL DX Bulletin — Menu
SB DX @ ARL $ARLD011 ARLD011 DX news ZCZC AE11 QST de W1AW DX Bulletin 11 ARLD011 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT March 18, 2021 To all radio amateurs SB DX ARL ARLD011 ARLD011 DX news This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by KK9A, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all. BOTSWANA, A2. Operators Vasily, R7AL, Leo, UI8J, Vlad, R9LR and Mike, RU3UR are QRV as A25RU from Gaborone until March 26. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters, using CW, SSB, and FT8 in DXpedtion mode, with four stations active. This also includes activity on Satellite QO-100. QSL via Club Log. BAHAMAS, C6. Steve, KG4LJB is QRV as C6AJB from Eleuthera Island, IOTA NA-001, until March 27. Activity is on 80 to 15 meters using some SSB, but mostly FT8 and FT4. QSL via LoTW. MOROCCO, CN. Special event station CN21JIF is QRV until March 21 to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Forests which is on March 21. QSL via RW6HS. MADEIRA ISLANDS, CT3. Helmut, DF7EE will be QRV as CT9/DF7EE from March 23 to 31. This includes being active as either CQ3W or CR3W in the upcoming CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL direct to home call. SPAIN, EA. Special event station EH3DWN is QRV until April 1 to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day which is on March 21. QSL via LoTW. GUADELOUPE, FG. Philippe, F1DUZ is QRV as FG4KH until April 1. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL direct to home call. SAINT MARTIN, FS. Janusz, SP9FIH will be QRV as TO1K from Saint Martin from March 22 to April 5. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to home call. WALES, GW. John, MW1CFN will be QRV as GB1004FTS from Anglesey Island, IOTA EU-005, from March 25 to April 8 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force's Number 4 Flying Training School that opened on 1 April 1921. Activity will be on the HF bands, including 6 and 2 meters, using SSB and various digital modes. QSL direct to home call. ARUBA, P4. John, KK9A will be QRV as P40A from March 24 to 28. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via WD9DZV. ST. MAARTEN, PJ7. Tom, AA9A is QRV as PJ7AA until March 27. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via LoTW. BRAZIL, PY. Special event stations ZZ5FLORIPA and ZZ5FLN are QRV until March 23 to celebrate the 348th anniversary of Florianopolis. QSL via bureau. MALI, TZ. Jeff, TZ4AM has been active using CW on 40 meters around 0145z. QSL via W0SA. COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS, VK9C. Station VK9CE is QRV until March 23. Activity is holiday style on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. Some activity on 6 meters is possible depending on conditions. QSL via EB7DX. PITCAIRN ISLAND, VP6. Meralda, VP6MW has been active on 20 meters SSB around 1520z and 17 meters SSB around 1640z. QSL via W0VTT. INDONESIA, YB. A group of operators will be QRV as 7D5RI from Rupat Island, IOTA OC-245, from March 26 to 28. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via LoTW. NICARAGUA, YN. Myron, KN6GHM will be QRV as H7/KN6GHM from Guanacastillo from March 22 to 30. Activity will be holiday style on 80 to 10 meters using SSB. He and Trevis, YN7ZTR will be QRV as YN1YN in the upcoming CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest with two stations. QSL via LoTW. KOSOVO, Z6. Driton, Z61DX has been QRV on 20 meters using CW around 1500z. QSL via Club Log. THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC Sprint, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, BARTG HF RTTY Contest, Russian DX Contest, AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, Virginia QSO Party, Feld Hell Sprint, UBA Spring SSB Contest, Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest, OK1WC Memorial and Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest are all on tap for this weekend. The RTTYOPS Weeksprint is scheduled for March 23. The SKCC CW Sprint, CWops Mini-CWT Test, Phone Fray and QRP CW Fox Hunt are all scheduled for March 24. Please see March QST, page 72, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details. NNNN /EX
The latest ARRL DX Bulletin is always at the top here — ARRL DX Bulletin
Amateur Radio Newsline — Menu
– TIME-KEEPING BROADCAST SYSTEM GETTING UPGRADE
– ARES TEAM DIGS IN DURING COLORADO BLIZZARD
– GERMAN ‘HEALING’ DEVICE BANNED OVER RFI
– MAJOR HAM EVENTS MAKE ON-SITE PLANS CAUTIOUSLY
– RSGB ELECTIONS BEGIN
– PLANS FOR 2 x 1 CONTEST CALL SIGNS IN AUSTRALIA
– STARLINK FLEET ADDS 60 NEW SATELLITES
– CONTACT THE ‘LAST MAN STANDING’ SPECIAL EVENT
– RADIO PROVIDES TRAFFIC REPORTS FOR COVID VACCINATIONS
– UK AMATEURS QUICK TO WELCOME ‘SLOW CW’
– INDIAN HAMS MARK 100 YEARS OF RADIO
– WORLD OF DX
– KICKER: HIS CALL SIGN’S JUST THE TICKET
The Amateur Radio Newsline can be found at ARNewsline.org.
W5KUB – Amateur Radio Roundtable Video
Tonight Katie and Tom inform us that they will be special event stations ka6lms/7 and ka6lms4 next week. In Tektips, Alan explains Phase locked loops, Glen Popiel talks about Arduino, and Bill Brown gives us updates on the balloons.
The W5KUB YouTube channel link is here: W5KUB YouTube.
Ham Nation — Menu
Ham Nation: Must Have Ham Radio Tools, New Icom Antenna Tuner, Last Man Standing Special Event & More
Thank you for watching Ham Nation Episode 490! Tonight we speak with John Amodeo on the KA6LMS special event, What’s new with ICOM with Ray Novak N9JA and also speak with Kevin Duplantis K4KEV. Then we’ll round out the show with Joe Eisenberg introducing us to his favorite hand-tools and Don Wilbanks brings us Ham Radio Newsline.
The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation
73 de Mark N5HZR