delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 36 NUMBER 10
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© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH


DELARA - When it hits the fan

Our club station offers a lot of opportunity to club members!  As a paid- up member of DELARA, -YOU- have a world-class station from which to operate!  Live in a condo?  Antenna restricted neighborhood?  Just getting started with a less than optimal station at home?  This place is designed for YOU!  Please don’t hold back. If you would like to operate and aren’t sure of the rigs, contact Donn, Dale, Stan, Joe, pretty much any of the regulars and we’ll be happy to let you in on all the stuff you’ll need to know.  But the station fills another role, one which might even involve saving lives or protecting our county.  As the anchor station for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) this station can fill a most important role when it ‘hits the fan’. One of the roles of a “County Control Station” is to act as overall net control for ARES and emergency nets within the county. The station is also charged with handling in and outbound radio traffic to other counties, the state EOC, or other needed locations. As such, the station needs to be able to operate HF voice and data, and have excellent antennas.  We meet those standards! One desk (west wall) is dedicated to ARES. It houses a pair of batter- operated FT-8800 dual-band transceivers. They are used fairly regularly to anchor public service events such as the Ironman.  They are also there to be net control points for several nets that might serve in an emergency: Red Cross shelters, operational nets, and county-level administrative traffic. They also might be used to send digital information to the state EOC or neighboring counties. There is a second VHF position at the south wall, permitting a second operator to function. During a full-blown emergency the three HF positions could be pressed into service.  One station might well be dedicated to the Ohio ARES Emergency Net, talking directly with the “Sarge”, W8SGT, or relaying voice message traffic. The second HF station might function on 60 meters, cross-talking with FEMA stations if necessary.  The Kenwood TS-120 (south wall) is pre-configured for digital operation. During normal times, this is a great way to work a little PSK-31 or another digital mode. During emergencies, this station would be passing specific message forms - Red Cross shelter reports, IS-213 messages, perhaps even damage assessment.  It would be a key player. In a power outage, the ARES radios would continue to function. We would need to bring a portable generator from the barn up to the front of the building, where we could easily pass an extension chord through the pipe into the radio room, in order to power the HF radios and computers. Another potential emergency application might come with Red Cross activation- we are envisioned to be a backup state control station should their primary station on E. Broad St. fail or get knocked out of service. Much the same application would be required here as mentioned above. This is a GREAT facility!  We invite you to sit in and familiarize in case that day would come.
DELARA Club Station Agreement Use of the club station is limited to DELARA members who are current on their dues. If in doubt, ask!  The station manager’s names and phone numbers are posted on the station door. There is a lock box on the outside of the building to get a key to unlock the outside door and a keypad lock for the station door.  The keypad code will be changed periodically. Please be aware that a camera records people coming into or out of the station.  This is for security and is not designed to monitor your operating. Please attend an orientation session, or ask for a demonstration, before operating at the station. Codes for the doors are not to be shared with friends, family members or other non-DELARA members. Please announce your intention to use the station via the club’s email reflector so that others October plan around your intention. Operation of the stations must be within the bounds of your license. Please be extremely careful with drinks or food; food should be kept in the kitchen.  You are responsible for cleaning up your own mess. Please be aware that the Red Cross owns the building has much property in the building and respect for their property is expected. Most of all:  PLEASE USE THE STATION!! IT’S THERE FOR ALL CLUB MEMBERS!

Station update:

One of the greatest things about our club station is that it’s ‘owned’ by everyone!  Recently, Larry K8HTT noticed some projects, and went to work: I went to the station last week and picked up the old coax and brought it home to add connectors.  As you have already discovered the shield is a real pain to clean and solder.  I could not get proper solder joints on the PL259 connectors and used up a few connectors trying.  After giving up “till another day” I went to good old youtube.  After a bit of research and a proper amount of time killing I found a video about corrosion removal on copper wire.  The process looked as though it might work on copper shield.  After a couple of tries it actually gave me about 75% clean braid.  Another attempt to put on connectors was met with success and the cable is now “spliced”, water proofed, cleaned and buried. Radials.----  Nothing done, but I do have 300 feet of #14 insulated, stranded,THHN we can add to the pile.  I pulled  enough off of a new spool for a small loop here at home and have no need for the rest.  And it’s pretty cheap. Another important note: the phone is now working in the station. Call the local Red Cross number:  740-362-2021 then dial the station extension: 104.  That will ring into the ham room.  The voice mail for 104 works, and can be picked up from the phone (blue light will be lit).