In This Issue…
- Cross Band Confusion
- SCARS Members On-The-Web
- Doug Forsyth WX5DF’s Memorial
- 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
Crossband Confusion — Menu
After last week’s propagation event, the listeners to 147.06 on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 from 6:00 am to 8:20 am heard some more oddities coming out of their radio receivers. And, just to be clear, the purpose of this article is to explain what happened, how it was diagnosed, how to keep it from happening, and how you can help the next time something like this happens. Those early risers heard the VHF repeater key up in a fairly regular fashion. Changing the radio to the UHF frequency, people could hear that the UHF repeater was doing the same thing. It sounded like the VHF and UHF repeaters were alternating their transmissions.
A little before 7:00 am reports started coming in to our trustee, Ed Hatch AG5DV, including some audio snippets verifying the problem. Ed called Mark Kleine N5HZR to help diagnose the issue. By this time, a pair of early birds, Denny WA6DKD and Bill Baker WG5T were in discussions on the repeaters and the situation became clear. While these two were talking, you could hear each of them on both repeaters. While both of these repeaters are in the same building and have antennas on the same tower, there is NO physical connection between the two machines.
So, the only way that these two would be heard on both repeaters is if someone had a dual band radio configured to do that job. This dual band radio listens on a VHF frequency and the transmits what it hears on a UHF frequency. It also can be set to do the reverse, by listening on a different UHF frequency and transmitting what it hears on a VHF frequency. The trick is that the user needs to set both receivers and both transmitters clear frequencies so they don’t interfere with other signals on the band. The operator also needs to make sure that they stay near the radio to maintain control of the radio, in case something is misconfigured, or conditions change that may require radio adjustments. And finally, the operator needs to make sure that both transmitters get the proper legal FCC identification every 10 minutes and at the end of the conversation. The way those crossband radios are built, it is very easy to misconfigure one, or both, of the radios, and chaos will ensue.
Listening to the two guys talk on the repeater, you could hear a slight difference between the audio characteristics between the two machines. The repeater that was crossbanded had the audio slightly “pinched” and the audio was slightly delayed because of the extra two audio links. While it didn’t matter, Denny and Bill were on opposite repeaters, but due to the linking, they were able to converse. Another telltale sign is that the VHF and UHF repeaters have slightly different courtesy tones. Since the audio was passing between both repeaters, you would hear both courtesy tones. If you listen carefully, the tone that was last heard would be from the machine you are listening to, and the next to the last tone would be from the ‘other machine’.
At this time Mark jumped into the conversation to explain what was happening and that we should all listen to the repeater inputs to see if we could ‘triangulate’ the signal. Phil Sinnett KD5UGO jumped in to say that he could just barely hear the input signals at his place in North Central Norman. Unfortunately, the only mitigation to this type of problem is to either turn off one, or both of the repeaters, _or_ find the crossbanding machine and shut it down. So, time to find the machine.
At 8:11 AM, we posted the Mission Impossible self destructing tape deck picture and the following message to the SCARS Facebook group:
OK, direction-finding folks. This is your day to shine. Someone has a cross-band radio set up between the 147.06 and 443.700 repeaters. Please listen on 147.66 and 448.700 and see if you can hear the input signal. Please report your location, and any signals that you may, or may not hear. That is all...
And, ten minutes later Jeff Wyke KJ7EFF reported that the problem had been solved. Someone had noticed the issue and showed up on the repeaters with the appropriate mea culpa. The identity of the confused crossbander is known, but that’s not important. What’s important is that this could have happened to any crossband radio. So, learn your radio. Set your radio properly. And, monitor your crossbanding radio whenever it’s turned on. It’s VERY easy to bump a button and not realize it. Also, watch your power levels. Commercial repeaters are designed for 100% duty cycle at full power, your radio may not be. And, after an hour of the McNet, that radio may have been ‘toast’.
So, next time you could be part of the solution by listening on the repeater input frequencies (147.66 MHz and 448.700 MHz) and reporting what you do, or don’t hear. It’s just as important to report what you don’t hear in these cases, because not hearing the signal means it’s not near you!
Thanks to all that reported the problem, helped figure it out, and direction find the radio! Let’s hope for a quite week.
SCARS Members On-The-Web — Menu
In an odd set of circumstances, two SCARS members were on the international and national scene this week. Peter Laws N5UWY made an appearance on the International Radio Report, and Mark Kleine N5HZR was on the Tom Medlin W5KUB’s Amateur Radio Roundtable.
Peter was asked by the hosts of IRR, Sheldon Harvey and Gilles Letourneau, to talk about the SCARS Siren net, and the amateur radio activities in our area on the May 30, 2021 9:30 am (CDT) show. The International Radio Report has been in operation since 1987, and is a tightly produced 30 minute show hosted on 90.3 MHz CKUT, out of Montreal, Canada. They follow radio trends from around the globe and from the entire range of the radio spectrum. Commercial broadcast radio is a typical topic, but their topics are broad. This program is widely distributed on the Internet and this May 30, 2021 episode can be heard on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf8nuyV3SzA. Peter definitely put the “Canadian” into the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society and did a great job. Take a listen see how the SCARS footprint is growing!
And, Mark Kleine N5HZR was asked to be a part of Tom Medlin’s May 25, 2021 W5KUB Amateur Radio Roundtable radio program. This two hour program is generated every Tuesday and played on WBCQ every Thursday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 PM. In addition, this program is distributed via YouTube, and we list it near the bottom of each SCARS newsletter. This week Mark joined Alan Wolke W2AEW, Glen Popiel KW5GP, Don Wilbanks AE5DW, and Rich Moseson W2VU on the roundtable. Mark and Tom talked about the OU Aerosat balloon efforts, Elmer Nights, Field Day plans, and other projects here at SCARS. Take a listen this, or any, week to the Roundtable near the bottom of this page.
Doug Forsyth WX5DF’s Memorial — Menu
For those of you that knew Doug Forsyth WX5DF, I am certain that you will be putting this event on your calendar. It’s already on mine. Doug was a great guy and definitely a leader in both the fields of weather and amateur radio. Doug had a long battle with neuroendocrine cancer that he fought courageously for years. He passed away on September 8, 2020.
Doug was active in his church, his community, his profession, and his hobbies. While he’s known more recently for his efforts to start the National Weather Museum, it’s hard to remember his very successful careers with the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and the US Air Force. While he was with the Air Force he worked with the solar observatory in Hawai’i and at the Pentagon. While at NSSL Doug worked on many projects, including groundbreaking work in the phased array radar PAR field. Doug was also oversaw the construction project for the National Weather Center, here in Norman.
His family has continued his project to build and continue his efforts at the National Weather Museum. During the pandemic, access has been limited to special arranged visits, but watch for the museum to open up again soon. They operate a 40′ long mobile museum that has educated and delighted thousands across central Oklahoma.
He was definitely a friend to all that knew him and I’ll see you at the museum to celebrate his presence on this planet.
QRZ059: — 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.
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 a General class license.
Please also congratulate:
who upgraded to General class and
Lee, AI5DN (ex-KI5OMD)
who upgraded to Amateur Extra.
All tested this evening 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 June 12, 2021, 9:30 am – Field Day Operating Skills – 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 June 3, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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, 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 — CANCELED —
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 | Hamarama Holiday 2021 Hamfest | Location: Ardmore, OK — On Schedule —
11/5-6/2021 | Enid Hamfest | Location: Enid, OK — On Schedule —
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
4/1/2022 | Ozark Con – 4 States QRP | Location: Branson, MO
4/8-9/2022| Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK
5/20-22/2022 | Dayton Hamvention | Location: Xenia, OH
9/16-18/2022 | Duke City Hamfiesta | Location: Albuquerque, NM
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: email@example.com
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.
A discussion of the importance of grounding with Ward Silver, N0AX
ARRL On the Air – Episode 17
ARRL Letter — Menu
- Amateur Radio Gearing Up for Another Active Atlantic Hurricane Season
- June 2021 Eclipse Festival Seeks Ham Participants
- ARRL Podcasts Schedule
- Radio Amateur’s Vintage Film Footage Sheds Light on Hindenburg Disaster
- Amateur Radio in the News
- ARRL Learning Network Webinars
- East Bay SM Jim Siemons, W6LK, Stepping Down; Mike Patterson, N6JGA, Appointed
- CQ Announces 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees
- Researcher and Past Arecibo Observatory Director Gordon Pettengill, W1OUN, SK
- The K7RA Solar Update
- In Brief…
- Just Ahead in Radiosport
- Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
ARRL DX Bulletin — Menu
SB DX @ ARL $ARLD021 ARLD021 DX news ZCZC AE21 QST de W1AW DX Bulletin 21 ARLD021 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT May 27, 2021 To all radio amateurs SB DX ARL ARLD021 ARLD021 DX news This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by HA7VK, W2GD, 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. TONGA, A3. Masa, JA0RQV will be QRV as A35JP from Tongatapu Island, IOTA OC-049, from May 30 to the end of October. Activity will be on 80 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. He also plans to visit other islands in IOTA groups OC-191, OC-123, OC-064, and OC-169 during this time. QSL to home call. ESTONIA, ES. Operators Ed, ES2TT and Sergei, ES1LL will be QRV as ES2TT/8 and ES1LL/8, respectively, on May 29 and 30. Activity will be on 40, 30 and 20 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to home calls. ST. BARTHELEMY, FJ. Phil, K2LIO is QRV as FJ/K2LIO until around August 5. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL to home call. MARTINIQUE, FM. Marius, ON4RU is QRV as FM/OQ3R until June 5. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW. This includes being active as TO3F in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL direct to home call. HUNGARY, HA. A group of operators will be QRV as HG21TISZA in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Multi Op entry, and the upcoming Tisza Cup contest. QSL via LoTW. HAITI, HH. Peter, JK1UWY is QRV as HH2JA and is here for the next three years. Activity is on 80 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via LoTW. PANAMA, HP. Special event station HP200I will be QRV from June 1 to November 30 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Panama's independence. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using SSB and various digital modes. QSL via HP1DAV. VATICAN, HV. Vatican station HV0A will be QRV in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via IK0FVC. AUSTRIA, OE. Operator HB9RB will be QRV as C7A from the United Nations Amateur Radio Contest DX Club station in Vienna during the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via UA3A. FINLAND, OH. Olli, OH0XX will be QRV as OG60BBM in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL to home call. CZECH REPUBLIC, OK. Olda, OK1YM will be QRV with special call sign OL57ZW in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL to home call. ARUBA, P4. John, W2GD is QRV as P44W. Activity is on all bands as time permits. This includes being active in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via N2MM. In addition, look for AE6Y and KK9A to be QRV as P49Y and P40A, respectively, in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via operators' instructions. CANADA, VE. Lali, VE3NE is QRV with special call sign VX31IGY until June 27 to celebrate the first flight of NASA's helicopter on Mars. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL to home call. CHRISTMAS ISLAND, VK9X. Steve, VK6SJ is QRV as VK9XX until June 11. Activity will generally be around 1100 to 1500z and 2200 to 0000z daily on the HF bands and possibly 6 meters using FT8 and some SSB. QSL via EB7DX. TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, VP5. Operators K4BAI, K4QPL, KR4R and K2SX are QRV as VP5/home calls from Providenciales, IOTA NA-002, until June 1. They will be active as VP5M as a Multi Op entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via operators' instructions. NEW ZEALAND, ZL. Jacky, ZL3CW will be QRV with special call ZL25NZ in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL to home call. THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The CQ World Wide WPX CW Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test, Feld Hell Sprint and Day of the YLs Contest will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend. The OK1WC Memorial, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test and QCX CW Challenge are scheduled for May 31. The RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest and QCX CW Challenge are scheduled for June 1. The VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, CWops Mini-CWT CW Test and Phone Fray are scheduled for June 2. Please see May QST, page 71, June 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
– INDIANA HAMS MOBILIZE IN SEARCH FOR YOUNG BOY
– HAMS INVITED TO JOIN IN HONORING WORLD WAR II HERO
– SENDING A MESSAGE TO SAMUEL F.B. MORSE
– BLETCHLEY PARK REOPENING
– SILENT KEY: FORMER MINNESOTA BUSINESSMAN RICHARD PHILSTROM W0TLE
– CQ MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES 2021 HALL OF FAMERS
– 2020’s YHOTY CHRIS BRAULT KD8YVJ WINS ARDC SCHOLARSHIP
– DEADLINE CLOSING FOR YOUNG HAM OF THE YEAR
– CALIFORNIA AMATEURS LAUNCH BOATS ON THE AIR
– RADIO SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN CHANGES 50MHz AWARDS
– POPULAR D-STAR NET CHANGES CHECK-IN TIME
– GET READY FOR ‘TUNE-UP’ EVENT
– WEST BENGAL HAMS HELP REUNITE MAN WITH FAMILY
– KICKER: SPACE AGENCY LAUNCHES CONTEST TO NAME SPACECRAFT
The Amateur Radio Newsline can be found at ARNewsline.org.
W5KUB – Amateur Radio Roundtable Video
Tonight next months CQ magazine, Young ham of the Year, update of our balloon experiments, and open meeting with various viewers connecting with zoom.
The W5KUB YouTube channel link is here: W5KUB YouTube.
Ham Nation — Menu
Thank you for watching Ham Nation Episode 495! On this packed episode we catch up with Jeri Ellsworth & Amy Herndon creators of Tilt Five, Valorie introduces the DXpedition award winners, Gordo explains Spordic-E propagation and Joe tells all about meters! Don rounds out the show bringing us Amateur Radio Newsline! WOW, will Josh be able to handle all this?!
The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation
73 de Mark N5HZR