delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 36 NUMBER 12

Ohio Section News

Scott Yonaly, N8SY Ohio Section Manager MORE ABOUT D-STAR, DMR & FUSION Scott, I wanted to let you know that I read and enjoy your newsletter every week. This week you talked about the digital voice modes, and while you hinted at a convergence in these you really didn’t talk about what is happening today in the world of these modes converging. Perhaps you are not aware of the work being done by all of the hard-working folks from the “Digital” world, and what they call 4K Transcoding. This group has brought together DSTAR and DMR and working to someday include C4FM Fusion in the mix, and perhaps P-25 as well. This is not just vaporware or a wish but they actually have it working effectively today, right this minute on a network that you can connect to using either a DSTAR or DMR radio to communicate, and I challenge anyone in being able to tell if the person talking is using DSTAR or DMR to get their message out. To join in on the DSTAR side of things all you need to do is connect your DSTAR Repeater or hot spot to any of the reflectors in the “Constellation” XRF002A, XRF310A, XRF555A and use it like you would any other reflector. From the DMR Side you need to use the DMR Master as XLX313, key up the Talk Group 4001 to connect, and back to Talk Group 9 to talk and communicate, using any DMR Hotspot. This and many other topics concerning open source digital voice communications are discussed on this system every Thursday Evening at 10PM Eastern Time. Recently several of the real “brains” of the group gave a presentation on this at Pacificon and that presentation is open to the public. It can be found here at: Just wanted to pass along this really neat advances in  Technology in Amateur Radio. Thanks again for everything you do!!! 73 de AB4WS, Jack Prindle Ky. District 7 ARES DEC It’s been another very busy week visiting with all of you at your various club meetings and functions. I do have to tell you, this week has really been a banner week for giving out a number of “Special Recognition Awards” to some very deserving Amateurs in the Ohio Section. Five of those very deserving Amateurs are: Michael Carter, W8BSI; Gary Clark, II, KC8TND; John Probst  KA8RVI; George Riedel, N1EZZ and Mory Fuhrmann N8KKW – for all of their hard work and dedication during the recent hurricanes. They were the “Boots on the Ground” from the Ohio Section, and we’re very proud of each and every one of them. I also presented Randy Fisher, KL7RF with a “Special Recognition” for all of his hard work in Coshocton County with Black Swan, and many other programs and duties that he is involved with there. ongratulations to ALL! Now, let’s switch bands… I was talking with a friend of mine the other night when he asked me if I had done something to the audio on my HF radio. He told me that it sounded like I was  overdriving it when he heard me on the air. I told him that I hadn’t done anything that I was aware of, and that’s when he asked me if I monitored my signal. Now, like most of us, I said no, I don’t have an additional receiver that I listen to. That’s when he hit me with something that I didn’t know that you could do, and I just have to share this great information with all of you that he gave me. Did you know that you CAN monitor your HF signal from a distance? You can, and it works really great! No, I’m not talking about installing another receiver somewhere, but yet I am. Have I gotten you confused yet? Well, here’s the lowdown on how you can monitor your HF signal from another receiver site, and never leave your shack. It’s called SDR. What’s SDR? SDR stands for Software Defined Radio. Today's technology allows us to build radio receivers that sample radio signals and process them on a PC or an embedded system. Software Defined Radio (SDR) refers to the technologies that make these exciting things possible. There is a website that has been created to popularize this SDR technology From there you can find many SDR receivers that are being sharing on-line. So, with that  information, you can now listen to your own radio signals without even having to buy any SDR hardware! All you need is a web browser, and we all have that for sure! All that you do is connect to this website, select that receiver that you want, and the frequency that you want to listen to, and you’re off to the races!! Now you can LISTEN to your own signal whenever you want, or you can listen in on any conversations that are going on around the ham bands. Oh, let me also say that you can also listen in on way more than just the ham bands too. For those folks who also use DMR, it’s a little like the PARROT feature, only it’s not recorded and played back, with SDR you get to hear your signal real time, and from various receivers around the globe! The receivers on the website are numerous, and most have the ability to allow for multiple independent connections. This allows several users on the same site to listen in on what they want, and not be interrupted. The software uses a waterfall just like most of the new digital HF modes use. You just shift the tuning bar over to anything that is appearing on the waterfall and you are locked on to that signal! I think the best thing about all of this is the fact that it’s all FREE… You don’t need to buy, build or mess with anything. If you have a computer that can connect to the internet and a sound card, and most everyone one does now days, then you’ve got it all. No muss, fuss or messing around. Yes, I did actually also connect using my cellphone as well. Wow… This is amazing! You can go portable, or just use it to listen in whenever and wherever you want! Now, back to my audio problem, it was simple to fix. There’s a switch on the bottom of my desk mic that turns on or off the High Emphasis, it got turned on somehow. So, the fix was to just switch it off… problem solved! I’m sure all of you have heard me say that I’m always available for you, whether you’re an ARRL member or not. It’s true, and you can feel free to write or call me anytime. If you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to sit and chat awhile over a cup of coffee or something cold to drink, feel free to call or write me (419) 512-4445 or That’s going to do it for this month. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading all about what’s happening within the Ohio Section Cabinet this month, and that’s why we call it a “Journal”. I am looking forward to seeing all of you at the many hamfests, club meetings that I attend, or even on the air!

Section training Coordinator

Jim Yoder, W8ERW This month I am changing direction a bit in order to talk about our JOTA experience in Seneca County. ARES member and Scout Leader Dan Rinaman AC8NP had asked us to help with the local Scouts as they participated in JOTA. We set up in the county EOC with the ultimate goal of qualifying the scouts for their Radio badge. EMA director Dan Stahl KC8PBU joined us along with Assistant Director Mike Klaiss KC8BUJ. Jeff Potteiger WB8REI, Jim Hersberger W8ERN, Gary Magers KD8TLD, Mike Mastro KC8QDL, Gregg Flechtner WJ8Y and I all worked to put together a great presentation for a nice group of local scouts. We started Saturday morning with KC8PBU giving an overview of the EOC operation and the many ways in which the EOC can be activated when the need arises. Dan explained how good communications is the most essential part of managing an emergency or disaster. We led the scouts on a tour of the EOC facility including the communications room and the roll Amateur Radio Operators play during a disaster situation. Next, we demonstrated a remote HF Radio setup utilizing an AREDN MESH network, video links and the MESH Chat application. The scouts made JOTA contacts using the iCOM 718 installed in the EOC and operated the setup remotely from an iPad. We used the COMMCAT application and Skype to control the HF radio while the Scouts observed and operated both the radio and remote-control arrangement. Both locations were covered by live video over the MESH network. MESHChat was also used to communicate between the radio room and the remote location in another location at the EOC. Next we demonstrated CW over a 2 meter setup and had the Scouts copying CW to demonstrate how Morse Code can be very effective in providing communications when  other means are less than perfect. The Scouts were impressed with how well CW works and enjoyed our discussion on the history and application of CW as a viable method of communicating even in today’s modern digital world. We broke for lunch which was generously provided by Mike Mastro KC8QDL who owns and operates along with his wife, our Tiffin Buffalo Wild Wings. This was an especially nice treat for  the Scouts and at the conclusion; Mike also presented each of the Scouts with a gift card for Buffalo Wild Wings. Thank you, Mike, and BW3 for a wonderful lunch and some great encouragement for the Scouts to become involved with Amateur Radio. Mike is an active member of ARES who always supports us with his knowledge and encouragement. Finally, the Scouts participated in a table top exercise led by EMA director KC8PBU. Dan was able to give them real examples of how the EOC is brought into action when a disaster requires an effective and well-organized response. As usual, our training statistics continue to grow. We now have  600 Ohio Hams who have completed their NIMS training. Ohio ARES members have taken and submitted close to 5, 500 classes to the training database. Again, this is very impressive and it grows almost daily. NIMS is scalable to any size and form of disaster and provides the structure and responsibilities for each crucial element of a well-organized response. The process is flexible and is organized to allow for change as the needs evolve and develop in response to the scope of a disaster situation. The NIMS curriculum has been designed and refined with input from representatives from all the appropriate stakeholders including First Responders, business and industry, support organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army and of course Radio Amateurs. NIMS training is essential for anyone who might become involved and is now required by most organizations that we as Amateurs might be called upon to support. The knowledge is invaluable to everyone who might play a role in disaster response efforts and it will give you the confidence you need to be a productive part of both response and recovery efforts. We never know when a disaster will strike and along with keeping our equipment ready, training such as NIMS is critical to our ability to respond appropriately and safely. For many of you, especially those directly involved with being First Responders, training is ongoing and is a continuous effort. The training database includes many additional courses taken by those who are also active ARES participants. These courses are welcome and can be submitted for inclusion in your training records. Often, they also qualify for the required core NIMS training classes. Training documents should be provided to your local ARES Emergency Coordinator and forwarded to me via email. When I receive them, they are entered into the database and the certificate copies are stored for future reference. The ideal format is as .pdf files including your Call and course identification such as, W8ERW-IS-00100.b.pdf. This allows for quick and efficient retrieval when this becomes necessary to document your training. For ARES leadership and individuals wishing to verify training, I can provide training reports for your specific interests. Please let me know if you would like or have need of this information. I would be happy to assist you.

Section Traffic Manager

Dave Maynard, WA3EZN Are you one? Are you one of those who do not know how a directed net works? A directed net like the OSSBN has a net control station that is in charge of the net. He or she calls for check-ins in a specific order. Therefore, all stations should do like we were told as children; you do not speak until spoken to. And by that, I mean you check in with your call sign when the net control station asks for check-in. That goes for the evening net where check-in is by area. If you miss the time to check in during the call for your area check in when the net control says, “any other stations inside the state.” And now on the more serious side of traffic handling here is a list of things that I hear on the OSSBN that are just wrong. We all need to make improvements and become more efficient. Please roger my traffic…just say “number” Please copy number…. just say “number” Today’s date…just give the date Going to… not an NTS pro-word don’t use it Going to your station….just give them the call Break for text…. just say “break” Break for signature…just say “break” End number………just say “end” Roger number…..just say “roger” Roger your traffic... just say “roger” Common text…. Is not used anymore it is “BOOK” Common parts…. is not an NTS pro-word just say “BOOK of” On the phone nets the pro-word that the receiving operator uses to signify that he/she has copied the radiogram 100% correctly is “Roger”. QSL is used on CW nets and NOT on phone nets. The proper way to end a radiogram is “end” unless it is the last radiogram in a book. Then it is “end book.” In between radiogram in a book you should use “break” to signify the end of that particular radiogram in the book. Wait for the receiving station to say “roger” before continuing. It is redundant, and not efficient to say, “I roger your number 2364, routine”. Just only say, “Roger.” Ok, why all the fuss? Why are we pushing these rules? There is a very simple answer. If we all follow these rules it simplifies the net and makes the net move faster. It also helps the other stations on the net and the net control station by saying what they expect to hear. Like I have often heard, you the KISS system, Keep It Simply Simple. And not to return replies to received messages. I would like to remind our traffic handlers about handling instruction HXC. If you deliver a radiogram to the addressee with this handling instruction you are to send the originating station a delivery report. This can best be done by using ARRL routine messages forty seven and sixty seven. In ARRL sixty seven you are to report the message number and the reason for non delivery. It is also very helpful when reporting non delivery to include the phone number if it was not a good number. This allows the sending station to know that the correct number was received by the delivering station I also want to remind those sending traffic reports or responding to HXC request that brevity is the best policy. Your message should only contain the necessary words to convey you meaning. ARL SIXTY SEVEN states: “YOUR MESSAGE ______ UNDELIVERABLE BECAUSE OF ________. PLEASE ADVICE” Therefore your message TEXT should look like this: ARL SIXTY SEVEN 123 NO OUTLET When reading the message text to a recipient it would be read: Your message 123 undeliverable because of no outlet Please advise. Here are examples of poor HXC messages. Your message 123 to John Henry was undeliverable because no one would take the message and I tried four times, sorry In ARRL forty seven you are to report the message number, who it was to and the date and time of delivery. An HXC message text should be as simple as this text. ARL FORTY SEVEN states: Reference your message number ____ to ____ delivered on ____ at ____ UTC. Therefore a good message would be: ARL FORTY SEVEN 123 KE8XXX OCTOBER 31 1713 73 TIS THE SEASON FOR LISTS Well here we are in November already. The October SET has been competed and we can settle back and wait for that inevitable white stuff. If you not going anywhere on New Years here is something fun to try. The ARRL Straight Key Night is coming up on January 1, 2018. Why not dust off that old straight key and give it a try. Who knows you may like it and have some fun. Straight Key night starts at 0000Z and ends at 2359Z (UTC). More details can be found at keynight . Wishing you all the best for the holidays. Now it’s time for a nap!!

Section Educational Outreach

Anthony Luscre, K8ZT Ham à la mode I am often asked by fellow hams just what Mode of Amateur Radio is the best for them to demonstrate to get the interest of students. Most of them had assumed that voice (SSB) would be the best because it was easily understandable. Unfortunately, the idea of talking into a device with another person anywhere in the world is much too commonplace nowadays. Some have suggested Morse Code (CW) as it is unique to Amateur Radio today. Unfortunately, the students cannot immediately understand what is being communicated so this presents a barrier. Fortunately the uniqueness and idea of a “secret code” do have some appeal, especially for younger students (see my Morse Code page, especially Clothespin Key). But there is also the other problem that CW often reinforces the public's idea that Amateur Radio is antiquated and not relevant today. Fortunately, I have found two forms of ham communication that do get attention and interest of students. The first is actually not mode specific; it is contesting (but only if presented in proper context). I will devote a future article on how you can best use the idea of competitive radio to interest students. The second form, the one we will focus on in this article, is a very new mode- FT8. Now some of you are probably asking, “what is FT8”? FT8 is the newest “sound card” mode from Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor K1JT. Some of you may be familiar with a similar mode JT65; both allow contacts with very low signal strengths. Also I just did a presentation to our local radio club, so I will share the link to that below (plus a link from another presentation by Larry, K8UT). By the way are you aware that many of the Ohio Section Cabinet are  willing to do presentations at your club meetings? [[Scott do we have a link for Section Speaker Buro?]] So why does FT8 hold promise for interesting students? I think the fact that it is not only a “sound” heard on the radio but also a visual image on the computer screen appeals to a population used to video with their audio. FT8 has many positives as a demonstration mode: ● Video to accompany the audio ● Requires no special understanding of a code (CW) ● Shows multiple stations at the same time ● Not only is station call-sign shown, but with helper apps like JT-Alert & AlarmeJT, station country/location, distance, azimuth, etc. are displayed ● Automated spotting allows both visual and textual display of station activities around the world including stations hearing us For more information on FT8 visit the digital section of my website-  Until next month I wish you success demonstrating Amateur Radio to a student and/or non-ham.


(By: Gregory Drezdzon, WD9FTZ) Have you ever wondered how far it was from point A to B without a GPS? In case you were not aware, Google Maps allows a user to approximate a straight-line distance, in statute miles, using the “measure distance” feature in their maps. First, you go to Google Maps and select the point the user defines as a start point. You can use the “location” tab above the “+/-” tab on the lower right of the screen. [Note: this might be a couple of clicks until you see the location pennant.] Once you have defined the location you want to measure from, you RIGHT mouse button click on that location, and a screen will appear noting options and select “measure distance.” Next, you look for your destination point and click on that location. Presto – Google Maps will show you the distance using a distance measuring line, similar to a tape measure, and you have the straight line, as the crow flies, distance. To clear your measuring line, right mouse button click again on the map to clear the measurement, and you are ready to start an other measurement if needed. Google Maps’ “measure distance” also allows a user to approximate the distance to another amateur station, to a repeater and more.
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH