Tuesday, November 25, 2014
His comments as follows:
c) GMap4 works on any smartphone even w/o connectivity: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?usng=15S_TD_5532_2407&tilt=off&z=4&t=t1
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
My strategy for the RaDAR contest on the 26th:
Weather hot and humid here now, thus want to minimize gear to bare essentials, but still want to do /PM. Carrying lots of water a "must", a few powerbars for energy. Anti mosquito spray and sun screen both a conditio sine qua non. Hope there will be no thunderstorm in the forecast, since I don't like to take SUCH risks. Most will agree, some daredevils don't. Darwin will decide who's making the right choice.
Will aim to continue walking during the 4 hours, making 20km total. If I make the 20km before the 4 hours are up, I will deploy a low dipole for 40m. Walking the 20km ahead of time (before I've made 5 contacts for each way stop) should be allowable by the RaDAR Contest rules for /PM operators. Agree?
Will have to wisely choose the band I want to talk on with my whip, since it's hard to change frequency/ band once my transceiver is on my back (Alicepack). Until now, 20m was always best, but looking at VOACAP, seems like 40m is a better choice.
My personal aim for this contest date: manage the 20km in 4 hours, with number of /PM contacts made being secondary. The journey is the reward.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Thursday, June 26, 2014
- 204' G5RV center suspended on a 70' pole with shorter +20' poles supporting the ends
- 1300' horizontal delta loop wire antenna will be supported by the same 70' pole at a lower point, 20’ at 2 trees at other corners
- 2300' horizontal loop wire antenna will be suspended from trees and 8’-12’ poles
- 40m half wave NVIS dipole
- 80m half wave NVIS dipole
- Alpha Antenna Promaster Sr
- Alpha Antenna Small Magnetic Loop
- 2m VHF antenna on pole
Monday, June 23, 2014
Then why don't you send a few APRS messages, routing them to email addresses and write them as I've featured in a prior blog entry (see ALE AMD NTS messages)?
4 R NX5MK ARL 3 EM34ST JUN 29 URCALLSIGN BT ARL FIFTY X BT NX5MK AR
But watch you message length, APRS Email supports 67 characters, less than ALE AMD!
Nonetheless, 10 messages at 10 points each - nice!
Great EmComm training and great for points too ;)
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I verified with the ARRL and it is not the mode of transmission that is of interest (it must however leave the site via radio RF), it is the message format (i.e. NTS radiogram) that is the requirement.
Thus, please don’t be surprised when you receive an ALE AMD message like the following during Field Day:
4 R NX5MK ARL 3 EM34ST JUN 29 URCALLSIGN BT ARL FIFTY X BT NX5MK AR
= approx. 59 characters, which is under the 90 character limit for AMD messages. Great! (Message size limit verified here: http://hflink.com/standards/ALE_standard_188_141B.pdf )
Maybe the above will inspire some other HAMs to also demo ALE and HFLink to their fellow HAMs during Field Day?! You may of course also choose voice, CW, NBEMS, APRS to send your Radiogram, but AMD makes it so slick… :)
vy 73 de Marcus NX5MK
Apparare Scientior Paratus Communicare
Monday, June 16, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
- Public Announcement for immediate release -
The Arkansas Radio Emergency Services (A.R.E.S.) Club, The Central Arkansas UHF (CAUHF) Club and the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System Ham Radio (CAVHS) Club have once again joined forces for this year's ARRL Amateur Radio Field Day @ the VA Hospital.
We three Little Rock Amateur Radio Clubs will once again be participating in the annual ARRL Field Day event the weekend of June 28-29 on the Historic Ft. Roots Parade Ground, Little Rock, Arkansas using the call sign N5AT.
We will be operating with emergency power and alternate power, erecting a 20m beam antenna, wire antennas and a magnetic loop antenna. There will again be a dedicated SSB station, a dedicated digital station, a digital&voice GOTA station and a VHF station. Digital operations will be CW (straight key) and sound card based modes, including Automatic Link Establishment (ALE AMD).
The AHDNN net will be conducted from this site between 1600h and 1700h CDT, 7.070 mhz 1000Hz +/-, MT63-500L.
Technician Class Licensees - SPECIAL NOTICE: Please check-in with CW on Center Frequency, we are listening out for you! Net will be conducted using the NBEMS software suite with FLDIGI and FLMSG to facilitate section "7.3.6. Message Handling” of the ARRL Field Day 2014 Rules. NBEMS nets in adjoining states have planned to stand by.
We have decided to organize the event per the NIMS / ICS model, as to increase our knowledge and experience with it, making use of and learning about the AUXFOG. We will have an Educational Activity and hope that the Little Rock Boy Scouts will be able to join us! http://fd.ema.arrl.org/FD_ICS.html
Irrespective of the above, our focus is - as always - on the great cameraderie between the clubs and it’s members, where everyone is invited and welcome to visit and operate.
Although we have chosen to follow the ARRL Field Day 2014 Rules Objective closely ("To work as many stations as possible on any and all amateur bands…” and to "developing skills to meet the challenges of emergency preparedness as well as to acquaint the general public with the capabilities of Amateur Radio.”), we will nonetheless approach it as we always have, with a degree of leisure appropriate for the searing heat at that time of year!
If you have time, come join us!
Directions to the park are here: Google Maps directions and please see the map at the bottom of this post, we will be located on the Parade Ground.
We all look forward to meeting you, be it on air or in person!
Wishing all a most enjoyable and especially safe Field Day 2014,
73 de Marcus NX5MK
A.R.E.S. Club, CAUHF & CAVHS FIELD DAY 2014 UC/IC
ArcGIS - US National Grid with Current Hazards
Saturday, May 31, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
The Amateur's Code
The Radio Amateur is:
|CONSIDERATE||never knowingly operating in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.|
|LOYAL||offering loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.|
|PROGRESSIVE||with knowledge abreast of science, a well built and efficient station, and operation beyond reproach.|
|FRIENDLY||with slow and patient operation when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, co-operation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.|
|BALANCED||Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.|
|PATRIOTIC||with station and skill always ready for service to country and community.|
Brief article generally describing value of Amateur Radio operators within hospitals.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
1) Leaders should ensure that every step is made to make a newbie welcome. A ʺfather – figureʺ (utilising specific skills and abilities) can take the newbie under his or her wing for the first two or three meetings; making them feel at home and instil a sense of belonging. It is a common fact that if a newbie hasn’t made a friend within the first seven weeks, there is a strong possibility they won’t hang around much after that.
2) Home in on the skills, talents, abilities, attributes, etc of the newcomer and begin to utilize them ASAP.
3) If membership or team spirit appears to be waning, perhaps a change of leadership is needed? Leaders who hold the post for long periods can generate staleness. Fresh blood often introduces a fresh approach.
My comments to this are:
I specifically thank all the members of the ARES-Club (Arkansas Radio Emergency Services Club) for having made me feel welcome from the first moment onwards and for your continued elmering. It is not often that one meets HAMs like you.
I also thank you for having utilized my skill set from the beginning - it takes a confident and knowledgeable person to guide someone else, knowing how to apply their skill set and allowing them to gain leadership experience - and you did.
I certainly see no waning team spirit with the ARES-Club! Why is that? I believe it's because you practice the art of rotating responsibilities. That's exactly what a friend of mine, a US Navy Commander, suggested I practice with our Decon Unit where I work.
See more about "Maintaining Leadership Focus in Volunteer Emergency Organizations" at: http://bigmedicine.ca/wordpress/2011/11/judy-esmond-options-maintaining-leadership-focus-in-volunteer-emergency-organizations/#sthash.VEClTRzS.dpuf
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
No further comments needed.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
"The WWFF program wants to draw attention to the importance of protecting nature, flora and fauna. In this spirit amateur radio operators set up and operate their radio stations from designated nature parks and protected nature areas - generating attention for these areas whilst giving the ham radio community an interesting activity to contact. ..."
This sounds like ideal locations for RaDAR Operators! I emailed the founders with two new Natural Areas and they immediately responded with the registration numbers and promised to publish them in the database ASAP.
So... I got myself a little (unfair?) advantage for the RaDAR-America Contest, I will operate from one of those two new WWFF locations ;) Looking forward to get out and seeing more of my State's natural habitats! I've downloaded and printed the topographical map of the area, so I will have my locator at my fingertip
Please allow me to initially direct to a prior blog entry of mine on the topic:
It will now be a challenge for all RaDAR Contest participants to determine their location while mobile. The RaDAR program hereby challenges the Amateur Radio operator in expanding his knowledge in orienteering, in findings his way from point A to point B. If you were in the Boy-Scouts or a similar organization, you will probably have no problem with this, for all others, it will be a new challenge, apart from the physical aspect of the RaDAR program.
So, what can you do? The easy way will be to have a GPS device or a SmartPhone with a suitable application. I successfully use:
Theodolite - which has 15 digit precision USNG / UTM grid locator precision. I assume that the reading is not 100% correct given that a smartphone is not a dedicated GPS device, but likely good enough for relaying to rescue services if ever you needed to. Really nice is it's integration with the camera. See a review of the application here.
Locate! - boils it down to the essentials. Also 15 digit USNG / UTM precision. Easy to use.
Here is a whole list of more apps which you may try out.
But how about doing it how it really should be done - by reading from a map?! Learn here how to read a USNG / UTM map.
Once you have that figured out, go here to download maps for free, ready for you to print out, which can also be bought for little money.
Regarding the use of the Maidenhead Grid Locator System, I am not sure if to recommend it or discourage it's use. It is Amateur Radio centric and as such likely meets instant recognition by HAMs, but Search and Rescue Services would maybe not know what it is. Should we thus burden the HAM who is receiving our coordinates, to have to convert them into Long Lat coordinates or UTM? I believe not, since I prefer to keep things simple and effective. No need to add another layer of complexity. Also, I know of only one iPhone application, to give me the Maidenhead Grid Locator with 8 digit precision, which is HamLog. One problem with it however, it currently saves your grid location only to the device that you enter the log entry in. It does not transfer to it's cloud server! You therefore have to copy/ paste that information yourself into the "Notes" field of the log entry page, which is a slight nuisance. But - it's still the best iOS app and the best HAM Log service I've found, I highly recommend it.
Monday, March 10, 2014
It is the message format which is of interest and not the message carrier, i.e. as long as it is in proper NTS radiogram format & via RF. Quote:
"Yes, messages sent via NBEMS or Winlink will count for Field Day bonus points as long as the messages are in the proper NTS radiogram format and the messages leave or enter the Field Day site via amateur radio RF."
That will be most exiting! I can think of: voice (ok, that's nothing new), CW (this neither), FLMSG (within NBEMS suite of free software programs), WinLink, HFLink ALE AMD and APRS as being possible carriers of the radiogram, with the last two likely the least common choices for most HAMs. Maybe I can think of a few more by Field Day… Why don't you too bring something new into YOUR Field Day activation, with some new modes of message relay?
Thus, the Arkansas HF Digital NVIS NBEMS Net (AHDNN) will be operational and have extended operational hours during Field Day, schedule to be announced on the AHDNN newsgroup, NCS: N5AT.
Additionally, the Arkansas Radio Emergency Services Club will send NTS radiograms via all above mentioned digital modes of communication.
73 de Marcus NX5MK
Also came across interesting specs for the Codan 411 TERMINATED FOLDED DIPOLE ANTENNA which is a nice comparison of the efficiency of a T2FD versus a Dipole in free space at 1/4 wavelength above ground - a requirement that most dipole installations do not fulfill - versus a T2FD at 10m / 33 feet. Seems like the T2FD is not such an inferior antenna...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Amateur Radio Featured at 2014 Preparedness Summit
The Preparedness Summit is the largest public health preparedness conference in the United States. Each year, approximately 2,000 preparedness professionals attend this multi-disciplinary event. This year, the Preparedness Summit is highlighting the importance of amateur radio.
Might be worthwhile to take a look at.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Also no luck with PSK or Hellschreiber on their respective frequencies for the bands that we were on per our schedule (as announced, I switched to those modes when you were changing to CW).
When it turned 1800Z with no QSOs made in 2 hours, I had to check my sanity, so I sent out an ALE Netcall, without luck on 14MHz and 18Mhz, but then on 21MHz I linked with KB3JAJ in Maryland, as copy/pasted below from HFLink.net, using 10W into the AlphaLoop, from Loc: EM34us. You can also see that KJ4AYT in Florida had good copy on me.
From that link to Maryland and the signal report from Florida, I thus have to conclude that I did send out a good signal, at least on 21MHz I had good propagation to the East and SouthEast.
On a sidenote, I was able to tune up on 10m band with AlphaLoop although it's specs don't suggest it goes that high. SWR was admittedly 4:1, but that should not mean that radiation efficiency is useless. Will have to give it another whirl sometime.
Was also on 28.800 MHz for the 10-10 Net at 1800Z, but no 10-10 stations heard, just some contesters nearby.
Seems like all of us had little luck making QSOs today. Hope we will have more takers during our contest next month. For that reason, I am not complaining about today's contesters! Big difference however will be that we will respond to every call and not just to some specific stations.
73 de Marcus NX5MK
[18:14:41] KB3JAJ: [18:14:24][ 21.09 MHz ] [AMD][NX5MK][GREETINGS]
[18:14:54] KB3JAJ: [18:14:24][ 21.09 MHz ] [CLEARED][NX5MK]
[18:19:08] KB3JAJ: [18:16:56][ 21.09 MHz ] [LINKED][NX5MK]
[18:19:20] KB3JAJ: [18:18:02][ 21.09 MHz ] [AMD][NX5MK][STAT]
[18:21:12] KB3JAJ: [18:20:45][ 21.09 MHz ] [AMD][NX5MK][GREETINGS FROM LITTLE ROCK AR]
[18:21:22] KJ4AYT: [17:20:46][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [NX5MK] De [KB3JAJ] BER 29 SN 07
[18:22:12] KJ4AYT: [17:20:54][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [KB3JAJ] De [NX5MK] [AMD]GREETINGS FROM LITTLE ROCK AR BER 30 SN 11
[18:22:18] KB3JAJ: [18:21:51][ 21.09 MHz ] [AMD][NX5MK][GREETINGS FROM LITTLE ROCK AR]
[18:22:38] KJ4AYT: [17:21:48][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [KB3JAJ] De [NX5MK] BER 30 SN 12
[18:23:03] KJ4AYT: [17:21:52][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [NX5MK] De [KB3JAJ] BER 29 SN 08
[18:23:16] KJ4AYT: [17:21:59][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [NX5 KB3JAJ] De [NX5MK] [AMD]GREETINGS FROM LITTLE ROCK AR BER 29 SN 16
[18:24:21] KJ4AYT: [17:22:10][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [KB3JAJ] De [NX5MK] BER 30 SN 10
[18:24:34] KJ4AYT: [17:24:06][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [KB3JAJ] De [NX5MK] BER 27 SN 13
[18:25:28] KB3JAJ: [18:25:01][ 21.09 MHz ] [AMD][NX5MK] HFN911 ALARMTEST NOT AN EMERGENCY [ DE NX5MK]
[18:27:54] KJ4AYT: [17:27:36][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [KB3JAJ] De [NX5MK] BER 30 SN 12
[18:28:06] KJ4AYT: [17:27:40][ 21.09 MHz ] TO [NX5MK] De [KB3JAJ] BER 30 SN 06
[18:28:11] KB3JAJ: [18:27:43][ 21.09 MHz ] [AMD][NX5MK][WILL CHECK ON HFLINK IF MY MESSAGES CAME THROUGH 73 OUT]
Friday, February 28, 2014
The Arkansas 2013 Simulated Emergency Test (SET) Report contained a factual error which was not corrected.It stated the following: "...an individual who "self-deployed" NX5MK Marcus in Little Rock. ..."
May the following serve as the correction.
From: Marcus NX5MK
Date: 26 November 2013 22:45:36 CST
To: Diane Meador KD5QNN (AEC Pulaski County)
CC: Dale Temple W5RXU (SM)
Thank you for the nice after action report on the 2013 SET. Please allow me to correct one detail, which I did send Wayne as attached below, but I guess it did not make it to Dale before he sent out his newsletter today; I have CC’ed Dale in this email for his information.
I did not “self-deploy”, I deployed as local CERT auxcomm after having received permission to build relationship with local firefighters, in accordance with the 2013 SET: roads impassable, all comms down, in turn in accordance with the most recent National ARES Newsletter from Nov 20th, 2013:
"Localization of Response," CERT on Long Island
"Our deployment protocol for an event is based on the member's proximity to a key location (fire house, police station, EOC, et cetera). On an as-needed basis, each member will cover the location closest to their QTH -- usually less than one mile away. Only the EC and AEC's operate net control from the EOC. We don't want amateur operators driving around in hazardous conditions.”
Seems like a common sense approach. I live less than a mile from my fire station. You won’t believe how appreciate my local firemen were.
Wish there were some HAMs near to the agency which I serve and work at, which is UAMS. Credentialing, background check, specific training for hospital environment etc. could just not be performed during an emergency, ARES would have to be turned back at present. We would welcome any HAM stepping forward and offering their support to our patients at UAMS. If there is an interest from ARES, I would be the contact person for HAMs@UAMS, which currently has 10 HAMs on the roster throughout our institution. Thank you for your consideration.
Allow me to ask some question which I did not glean from your after action report:
- did you at the Red Cross erect a new HF antenna, given that the ice storm brought all antennas down? Would love to exchange ideas and experience. My HF set-up as described under following link worked fine:
- did you run VHF simplex (for same reason that all antennas were simulated as being down)?
- will there be any movement towards HF/VHF digital nets in our county in the near future?
Best regards and Happy Thanksgiving,
vy 73 de Marcus NX5MK
Apparare Scientior Paratus Communicare
Begin forwarded message:
From: Marcus NX5MK
Subject: Marcus NX5MK: Arkansas Simulated Emergency Test (SET) 2013
Date: 18 November 2013 21:19:48 GMT-6
To: Berry Wayne A. Sr. (STM)
I wanted to take the opportunity and give feedback on my setup for the SET this year, thank you for organizing it!
Please follow link to my blog entry and please feel free to forward.
Would you happen to know if others also documented their setup with photos or else? Would love to learn how others powered their stations and put up new antennas given the scenario.
With best regards,
vy 73 de Marcus NX5MK
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Major objective for our club for this event will be the training in the NIMS ICS, in compliance with the AUXFOG.
All interested individuals, Amateur Radio licensed or not, are invited to join in, have some fun, and gain some experience in the Incident Command System, which can readily be applied to all events of daily life, which may be of any type, scope or complexity. Amateur Radio operators are a great bunch of people and there is fun to be had by all.
Tonight, I became acquainted with ICS Form 202 and 205A and put them to good use for our Field Day event.
Please send your request for further information by commenting to this blog, I will handle your contact details confidentially.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Alpha Antenna loop Jr., 10W SSB, altitude 195m, USNG 15SWU523520
Copied G0SBW weak but readable to unreadable. I believe Thomas copied my call sign in its entirety. Heard several additional stations calling CQ RaDAR, but call signs unreadable except for VA3KOT who was strong and clear.
I then listened a lot for the other stations checking in and did not call CQ RaDAR too often, as I heard stations (but did not have clear copy on them) and did not wish to interfere. Oh, I did hear a female voice and guess it was Lucy?! But did not hear that female voice giving her call sign, copy was unreadable.
Then the time was up, 1700Z, and I tried to change to the 20m QRP frequency and ran into serious problems trying to tune up. Most significant problem was probably that I tried to tune with the help of my RigExpert AA54, with the batteries being low on power. I was just unable to get a SWR reading of under 10:1 with the AA54 connected directly (not tuning by noise floor via rig). Scanning the entire HAM HF band did not do the trick either. I then called Steven N0TES of AlphaAantennas, who was so kind to give me immediate and detailed assistance. He ran me through the trouble shooting with changing coax etc. until he advised that I should try to tune via noise floor first. Doing that (listening to where the noise was strongest while turning the loops tuning knob) I turned it until I heard the strongest background noise on several bands, then just using my rigs internal tuner, not anymore trying to use the AA54 to fine tune, I got an SWR of under 1.8:1 on several bands.
By the time we had this worked out, it was 1810Z and lots of stations keyed up on the QRP frequencies, calling for the Minnesota QSO party. I tried for a few minutes to make another contact, but cutting through the QRO stations was to no avail. Also had to take off since family duties were awaiting me, I had my 2 hours plus of hamming outdoors for today... Tonight I will again key up as NCS for AHDNN.
Summary: had contact with G0SBW on 15m. Tuning with RigExpert AA54 with weak batteries did not allow me to properly tune for the 20m sched. With help from Steven N0TES, I worked out how I will tune up my (or should I say THEIR?!) loop in the future (listen for noise floor, then use internal tuner). Thank you Steven for your immediate and patient help while trouble shooting!
73 de Marcus NX5MK
Friday, January 31, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
It was a breeze to put it together immediately and I had a listen with it indoors, but really need to get out of the house for a real test. Just a shame that it's just below 32F and that it was already dark when I got home... not quite my cup of tea when it's like that. Will have to wait until the weekend for the monthly RaDAR meet up on Saturday morning!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The portable crank tower was delivered today and I am deeply disappointed as I paid $500 for an article which is clearly defective, structural integrity is clearly breached. It was advertised as "IN NICE USED CONDITION", which it obviously is not, two of the 4 stability arms are bent/ broken and thus dangerous.
I initiated eBay complaint. Seller answered in under 12 hours, stating that damage must have occurred in transport. They stated that they will submit claim under the FedEx transport insurance.
I will keep you posted.