delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 2

Ohio Section News

Scott Yonaly, N8SY Ohio Section Manager Ohio DMR Net Report January 31 DMR Net District 1 – 2 District 5 – 6 District 9 – 9 District 2 – 3 District 6 – 15 District 10 – 13 District 3 – 10 District 7 – 15 District 4 – 9 District 8 – 6 Outside of Ohio – 15 NCS: K8MDA QNI: 103;  Time: 53 minutes It seems that District 6, 7 & Outside of Ohio – have all tide for the Gold Star for the night with 15 check-ins each. Congrats to ALL! There were 6 net announcements for the net given after all the check-ins were established. Interested in being a net control for this net? Contact Duane, K8MDA at: It’s really easy to do and if you’re checking in to the net on a regular basis anyway, you’re already there! Please, we need volunteers from all over Ohio to do this net. It is important, and I will guarantee this, it’s really FUN!! The reason for conducting this net every week and having you actually check “IN” is to make sure that all of our connections to the now ever-growing and changing list of repeaters throughout the state are working as we want them to. Sometimes things  don’t always work as we expect them to, and testing this system, and ourselves, each week gives us the ability to better  understand what can happen during any emergency situation. Come join in on the fun every Wednesday evening at 8:30pm local on the DMR - 3139 talk group! I want to mention this now, something that has been happening on many of the Talk Groups that I monitor. It’s the fact that we (all of us) need to remember that this isn’t analog. The  repeater(s) need time to reset. Yes, REPEATERS. Keep in mind that we now have over 75 repeaters in the state, and when you are on the Ohio Talk Group you are accessing all of them at the same time. All of us are so used to just hitting the PTT, or as a friend of mine says..”Mash to Mumble” as soon as someone releases the mic button to get that word in quickly. You can’t do that with digital. It needs a little time for everything to reset. This is some of the reason why when you go to check-in on a net that you may not be heard, you are not allowing the  system to be reset. The repeater and/or CBridge needs about two seconds to reset itself. Having an OpenSpot has given me a new perspective on this. I monitor the Ohio Net using both a repeater and my OpenSpot. It’s amazing to watch and see just how long it takes to reset the system. You can do the same if you watch through one of the dashboards (ie.. Hoseline or K4USD) and a repeater. I have found that if you give the system about 2 seconds or so to reset, you’ll be able to access the machines on a pretty reliable basis. We live in an “instant” world, and we all feel that the internet is lightning fast. It isn’t always so, even though your cable company spends millions of dollars trying to make you believe that. There’s so many interconnects and so forth that it isn’t quite as fast as we are with the mic button. So, the next time that you attempt to hit that PTT.. count 1 Mississippi – 2 Mississippi and then hit the “Mash to Mumble” button. I also have noticed that some of you still don’t have a proper DMR/MARC I.D. programmed into your radios yet. If you don’t have this right, you might never get checked in to a net that isn’t local. You see you have to have a real DMR/MARC I.D. to go through the internet connections all over the country. Without it, all you will be able to do reliably is to talk locally. Now, something a little different for all of you DMR Users. I was asked recently if I could publish some statistics about just how many In-State versus Out-of-State users we have on DMR. So, after some exhaustive research, I did find some data that we could use to track this statistic from time to time. To start this evaluation, we do need to understand what it is that we want, or can track accurately. Now, since there’s really a huge amount of Talk Groups, including those private ones that we aren’t even aware of, we do have to settle on what is common to all of us. So, I chose the Ohio Talk Group (3139). Now, the hardest part of this task was to find someone, or some place where I could obtain data for more than just a few hours of time. To have good and accurate metrics you really need to use as many sources for your data as you can. Unfortunately, I could only find one source where the data was stored for longer periods of time than just a few minutes, and that was Brandmeister. They actually keep pretty good records on all of us, and our usage on the system. I was surprised to find out just how much data is actually being tracked by them. It’s amazing to say the least. For those of you who don’t know, they track not only your usage, but they keep audio files on every transmission from every Talk Group for a period of about a month or so! This means that if you missed the Ohio DMR Net one Wednesday night, you can go onto their website and actually listen to the net! I use this sometimes when I’m at a meeting and just couldn’t check in. It works really slick and it’s free! Oh, and I want to mention this as well, since this is accessed from your computer, you don’t even need to be a ham! Anyone can listen in! Here’s the link to the Ohio Talk Group Audio archives:  You can listen in on any Talk Group, just change the 3139 to whatever Talk Group you want to listen to. You can also listen LIVE to any Talk Group, here’s the link to the on-line scanner: Anyway, back to the story, the metrics for this come from Brandmeister only. In order to have a really accurate set of metrics, you have to have lots and lots of data points to prove your analysis. If there are other sources for this type of data, please pass that information along to me. It will make this more accurate and it will be interesting and FUN to see just what Brandmeister might not be hearing. I used the DMR/MARCS I.D. in screening out who lives outside of Ohio, and who lives inside. I know that we have a few Snow Birds amongst us, and that could change the statistics a little, but I feel pretty confident that it would be less than a half a percent or so, since we do have a rather large amount data. I was able to find data going back to the first week of September. Yes, we have around 4 months’ worth of data to start this with, and that’s really good. I put all of this raw data into a spreadsheet so that I could easily sort out just who’s using the system more. Here’s a Pie Chart showing the results of the usage. Yes, about 62% of the usage is from folks inside the state. What’s surprising is that we have 38% from outside of Ohio using the repeaters. I feel that speaks volumes for OUR repeater systems! Some states have, or have just recently changed from a closed access repeater system. Having a closed system isn’t what Amateur Radio is all about. Remember, we are experimenters, and being able to freely exchange information between all of us is what has advanced Amateur Radio throughout the years. By having a great bunch of repeater owners, and them keeping their repeaters open and operating for EVERYONE, I feel has advanced the Ohio Section to be one of the leading Sections in the country for DMR! Now, something else that came out of all of this data that I’m not going to publish (I don’t want to embarrass anyone) is who’s on the system the most! Yes, I have that information as well! I will confess, I am one of the heavy users, so I can tell you from my own on-the-air experiences, that the graph does pretty much represents a good snapshot of just how much the repeaters are getting used by both groups. Here’s another impressive figure for ya’. The data shows that the repeaters were accessed, on the (3139) Ohio Talk Group, a grand total of 41,728 times in that time frame. That really says a lot, since this is from just 1 Talk Group alone. Remember, DMR has (2) time slots and hundreds of Talk Groups that can be accessed. I feel you could just about quadruple that 41,000 figure when you add in this additional information! There is an enormous amount of traffic going through both time slots at any given time on a repeater. We all need to be thanking those repeater owners, and the folks who own the C-Bridges, for keeping things going as good as they do. Like I said, I am one of the heavy users. I was surprised to learn that I was tracked at having accessed the Ohio Talk Group some 608 times! Now, that’s just the Ohio Talk Group. I’m also on Talk Group-310 and Talk Group-311 a lot as well! I guess that means I do a lot of talking.. OK.. I heard that!!!!! Hi.. hi.. So, what do you think? Is this information something that you’d like me to keep track of and report on? Let me know. It was fun learning all these things and being able to share them with you. I will to add this… If you know a DMR repeater or C-Bridge owner, go up to them and give them a big hug! They deserve it for sure. You can find a ton of information about DMR and the most popular DMR Nets and Code Plugs on the website: 

Section Traffic Manager

Dave Maynard, WA3EZN The new net manager for Burning River Traffic Net (BRTN) is Keith Cook, KD8GXL. He reports that the net has been in operation for over 40 years and has become a tradition in local ham radio. A thank you goes out to David Gulyas W8DJG for his service as net manager of BRTN for the last 6 years. David is also one of the Ohio Digital Relay Station who brings traffic to Ohio from the Digital network. Keith also points out the Don Zickefoose WB8SIQ has been a faithful BRTN liaison station for many years, thank you also Don. The Ohio Single Side Band Net will be meeting at the Mansfield Mid*Winter hamfest for its semi-annual meeting. The meeting will be at 11 am in the John Hart building. The Hamfest will be on Sunday February 18 at the Richland County Fairgrounds, 750 North Home Road, Mansfield Ohio. While advanced admission tickets sales are not needed the price of admission will be $5.00 even at the gates which will open for admission at 7AM. Until then you can meet with us on the air at 3972.5 at 10:30 am, 4:15 pm and 6:45 pm. Mansfield Hamfest at 750 North Home Road. The 6:45 net has been experiencing difficult propagation conditions. On those nights that a net can be held conditions have sometime been weird. WB8SIQ ran the net one night form Vermillion and had good copy with all stations that checked in. The following day he commented that no Columbus or Cincinnati stations had checked in. To his surprise stations from Columbus south were on frequency but could not here net control. Another night Tony KC8PZ ran the net and had only three stations check in. Propagation was again the culprit. On several nights, the net has needed relay from stations in Iowa, North Carolina and Alabama etc. in order to get stations checked in and to pass traffic. Because of the way in which the relatively long wavelengths of radio signals interact with the ionized layers of the ionosphere miles above the earth's surface, the propagation of radio waves changes drastically from daytime to nighttime. This change in radio propagation occurs at sunset due to radical shifts in the ionospheric layers, which persist throughout the night. This appears to be a seasonal problem that starts with the time change each year. After the sun goes down the band goes long and only local members can hear net control and check in without being relayed. I believe that the local members are making contact via ground wave which does not extend far enough for stations that are farther away to make contact. In Ground Wave propagation, the radio wave travels along the surface of the earth. These waves are sometimes called surface waves. These waves are not confined to the surface of the earth but are guided along the earth’s surface as they follow the curvature of the earth. As shown above the energy of the radio waves decreases as they travel over the surface of the earth due to conductivity and permittivity of the earth’s surface. Attenuation of these waves increases with distance and the increase of frequency. This is probably why you can almost hear the stations in the net but cannot hear well enough to participate in the net. In the case of ground or surface wave propagation, the signal wave glides over the surface of the earth. While processing along the surface of earth, the ground wave induces current in the ground and bends around the corner of the objects on earth. Due to it, the energy of ground wave is gradually absorbed by the earth and the power of ground wave decreases with the increase in distance from the transmitting station. This phenomenon of loss of power of a ground wave is called attenuation. For ground wave propagation, the maximum coverage range depends on the transmitting power and the frequency of signal wave. Since the loss of power in a ground wave increases rapidly with increase in frequency of signal as well as the distance of receiver from the transmitting antenna hence the ground wave propagation is suitable for transmitting low frequency signal waves for short distances. As ground wave radio signal propagation is ideal for relatively short distance propagation on these frequencies during the daytime. Sky-wave ionospheric propagation is not possible during the day because of the attenuation of the signals on these frequencies caused by the D region in the ionosphere. In view of this, lower frequency radio communications stations need to rely on the ground-wave propagation to achieve their coverage. As you probably know already, the atmosphere is made up of several layers, determined primarily by the chemical composition and the physical characteristics of each layer and marked by varying elevations. The uppermost layer of the atmosphere is called the ionosphere, made up of a shell of electrons and electrically charged particles. This shell can either allow radio signals to pass through it into space, or it can bend some of those radio waves back toward the surface of the earth allowing communication over great distances. Radio waves which are bent back to earth usually make multiple hops between the earth and the atmosphere, depending on frequency and strength. How much bending or refracting of a radio signal occurs depends on the frequency of the signal and on the structure of the ionosphere at any given time.   Changes in density within the ionosphere (defined as layers) allow some signals to bend while others pass through into space. These layers change daily as well as seasonally. The reason for the changes in the ionosphere is the effects of the sun. As night falls the ionosphere changes allowing signals to travel much farther. This is the reason that stations from Alabama, Iowa and North Carolina are stronger and more readily copied then other stations on the net.. Over time scientists have learned a great deal about what to expect under a given set of conditions, in part due to experimentation and observation by radio amateurs. While no model of propagation will guarantee signal reception on either end of the intended path, radio enthusiasts can predict with a good deal of accuracy when one is likely to hear signals in specific portions of the radio spectrum. This ability to predict what can and cannot be heard is both a blessing and a curse. You can check propagation forecasts in several monthly radio publications to get an idea of what you are likely to hear at any given time. You can also check online resources to see what others are experiencing. That’s the upside. The downside of propagation predictions comes when one swears by them—the fact is, propagation is simply too unpredictable to say with absolute certainty something will or will not work. Seasonal predictions are the most accurate by far, in that changes in the earth’s rotation and the subsequent changes in temperature affect propagation in predictable ways. Spring and fall are good times for certain radio activities, while summer and winter are better for others. However, just because something is “out of season” doesn’t mean it can’t happen; it just means it’s more unlikely to happen. The good news is that there are always bands which are open virtually any time of the day if one knows where to look.

Section Training

Jim Yoder, W8ERW My gas meter is spinning like a gyroscope. It is 4 degrees outside on this Saturday evening of January 6th. The diesel engine in my truck sounds like it has a belly full of rocks when it starts. OK, it’s winter time and we are surely seeing a fine example of cold temperatures unlike we have seen in quite a few years. I don’t remember seeing the river frozen over like it is for many years now. I’ll stop complaining as I know all of you are feeling the same and like me are encouraged as the days are already becoming longer. A reprieve is on the way next week I hear and we may see 48 degrees Wednesday. Let’s hope it lasts. We saw our ARES training NIMS completion numbers increase during December and we now have awarded a second ARES Vest to number 625. W4MLZ Robert Jensen of Fairfield County is the lucky winner. This is an increase of 25 in just a bit over a month at the end of the year. Overall, we have 845 members in the database, 815 active members, 626 NIMS complete, 712 courses completed during 2017 and a total of 5,763 courses completed and logged into the database. As I write, these numbers are increasing. Our Ohio Section ARES is leading the way in NIMS completion. We’ve been working on it longer and doing more to enable the numbers that I am proud to report to you each month. Not only are Ohio Hams taking the training, we also lead the way in documenting our training and reporting it. How do we do that? First Ohio Hams are a great bunch of people. The largest Hamfest anywhere is right here in Ohio. That is no accident. It represents the dedication of a lot of people actively working to make sure that it happens. Ohio is the largest ARRL Section both in terms of geography and participation. That too is no accident. We could possibly be broken up into two or more sections, but we aren’t because we have a great reputation for delivering results. NIMS training is just one more way we in Ohio shine. Our Section Manager Scott, N8SY is also encouraging NIMS training by offering the incentive of periodically awarding an ARES Safety Vest as we attain even higher numbers. Scott also has a very nice certificate now to be given to those who successfully complete all four of the required courses. When you complete your training and submit your certificates, Scott will send you a great looking certificate to recognize your effort. When you complete your training and I have entered your information including filing of your certificates, I send Scott a report that is then uploaded to the web page. You can confirm your status by checking the web site under the Ohio Responds Information link on the left towards the bottom. We do our best to post the updates as quickly as possible. When you do the work and complete your training, we want to insure the recognition is posted in a timely and accurate manner. I hate to repeat the instructions every month. However, as we make new Hams and ARES participation increases, we also gain new readers to the Ohio Section Journal and visits to the web site. So here is how it’s done. When you complete one of the FEMA NIMS courses, ICS-100, 200, 700 & 800, FEMA will send you a .pdf copy of your certificate via email. Please forward those to me via email, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. For EC’s especially, I can generate a report listing the training for your county. Additional reports can be provided as well. Just let me know what you need and I will do my best to get you the information.
© DELARA News, the official monthly newsletter of the Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware, OH