delara newsDelaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH VOL 37 NUMBER 5
Ben Schwab, W8AXEDelaware County Emergency Coordinator
How many of you travel out of state?
Now how many take a radio with you on that trip? But how many of you pre program it for where ever you are going? I have made it a practice to NOT pre program my radio for my trips. Traveling is a huge part of my job and I end up out of town a few times a month. I know I always have at least a duel band radio with me, And after one time of not having it pre programed correctly and not having my users manual on me, I realized I had been caught with my pants down and I don’t think thats a feeling any of us like. See I had only programed this radio with a code plug, I had no idea how to manually enter a channel to program in a repeater. Effectively making my radio a very expensive paperweight. what was my solution you ask? I stopped pre programing my radio!The advancements in ham radios are incredible, but they have spoiled us to a point that we can no longer use them without a computer and a programing cable. See every radio has a way to manually enter your frequency, off set, and tone. On a side note if you have found a radio the has no way to do this, then I’m sorry but you have found the wrong radio for emergency communications. The best way to learn how to do this with your radio on the fly is to practice it. Find a few local repeaters in the area you have gone to, radio reference is a great source of information, play with the settings and find the different options on your radio. Learn what you need to do to be able to program it on the fly. After doing this a few times you can amaze all of your friends with how quickly you can program your radio without a computer! So I have a challenge for all of you who like to go on trips. Take a radio with you but DO NOT program your radio before you go, sounds crazy right? But what if I told you that this will actually make you better with that magic box with an antenna that you hold in your hand. Not wile driving of course, always have your passenger do that or see it for a rest stop. But as always practice makes perfect and this is an fun easy way to practice.
Stan Broadway, N8BHL
Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator
NVIS – fun, cold, limited bands, but…fun!
Thank you all who participated in NVIS day this year! I believe everyone had a good time, and learned more about their antennas for emergencies. Some of the reports are straggling in, but there is some good information there! In random order: Shelby County: The group set up at the fairgrounds, with an AS-2259 type antenna and a “cloudwarmer” low height dipole. Many contacts on 40 were long-distance (that’s the way 40 stayed lost of the day.) Knox County: As usual the weather was great at the start, sunny and 56 degrees. As the day progressed the wind started blowing and the temperature dropped. We set up at the Centerburg Conservation Club. We had 2 antennas a dipole and an inverted V. We made 20 contracts with 19 counties with the dipole then changed to the V. We started back though the list and contacted 7 of the counties again. Then the band went away. We had 8 people show up. One of the new guys got his general license 2 months ago and he had a ball running the radio. This year was better that last year in that we made more contacts.Tuscarawas County: We had 10 participants including the county EMA Director at Dover, Ohio Deis Hill Park. The group scored two dozen contacts. Preble County: I live in rural Preble County, About four miles outside on Eaton. It is normally RF quiet here. My 80 meter noise floor is around S-3. I am using a g5rv dipole at 30 ft.I started late on Saturday. I am a second shift worker. I'll try some portable antenna's next year. Thanks and 73. de Jeff, KA8SBICuyahoga County: Cuyahoga County ARES participation in Ohio NVIS day was a great success. The last few years, we have set up multiple antennas but only one rig. We run the antennas to a single antenna switch so that we can quickly switch between each one. Each station contacted is asked to give a signal report on each of the antennas. We compile the results to ascertain the best performing antenna in the group. This plan works very well, and we intend to use the same plan moving forward. Here is a description of the four antennas we used this year.
Reminder: Statewide tornado drill September 5
Antenna A:) K8MD set up an 80m full wave loop approximately ~17' off the ground. Nearly a perfect square with 67' sides, it was fed at one of the corners with 300 ohm ladder line. The ladder line was fed with a cg-3000 remote autotuner at the base of that support. The tuner was fed with 50 ohm coax. It took one person approximately 65 min to setup alone.Antenna B: ) K8SHB erected a 53' telescoping mast with four dipole legs. 2 legs cut for 40m and 2 legs cut for 160m. Unfortunately the antenna had a very high SWR at 80m, wh ere we spent most of our time. It was brought down to try some adjustments. When it was put back up the mast snapped at the top. We were not able to make a single contact with this antenna. The mast was very high and heavy and it took four people to lift it into position. Two lifting the mast and holding it steady while two others set and adjusted guy lines.Antenna C:) WA8LIV brought a SOTA beams linked dipole. This is a telescoping mast with the feed point at approximately 20'. The dipole legs come down nearly to the ground. It was configured for 80m most of the day. Initially it had a very high SWR with all the links connected it was centered around 3500 kc. The ends were folded back up to center the low SWR point closer to 3800 kc and then it was working well. WA8LIV was able to setup this antenna in approximately 20-25 min by himself.Antenna D:) KB8VXE built a four legged turnstile dipole. Two legs cut for 80m and two legs cut for 60m. The center feed point was approximately 20' off the ground. All four dipole legs acted as guys and came down to within 12" of the ground. One person can setup this antenna in approximately 30 min, two people can get it up in about 20 min.The site we used was approximately a 7 acre park in Middleburg Heights. It's surrounded by suburban homes, a few retail businesses, and high tension wires.nnMiddleburg Heights Fire department offered use of their mobile command vehicle for the day. We established the HF station inside the vehicle. Which was very welcome due to the temperature and weather conditions!Antenna A was the clear winning antenna of the day. What was most astonishing to us, is how much better the full wave loop received. Stations that we could not copy on the dipoles were perfectly clear on the full wave loop. The noise was significantly lower, while transmitting stations were just as strong, if not stronger. The full wave loop was most often ranked as the best transmitter by other stations. A few stations ranked the dipoles better. Two stations in particular could not be received by the dipoles. While they ranked the dipole with a better signal report, we had to switch to the loop just to copy those transmitted signal reports. I'm not sure they count as a contact. Antenna C and D performed relatively similar. Often tying the signal reports. The 80m full wave loop also tuned up on 40m, 60m, and 160m. We made contacts on all of those bands as well and received strong signal reports.While the Loop performed better, it is also more difficult to set up then a single center supported dipole. The dipoles go up faster and with less effort. For portable operations we plan to stick with the a single center supported dipole due to it's simple setup. While I have a few ideas how to refine the setup of the full wave loop to make it more simple. Requiring four supports is always going to make it a more complex setup then a single supported dipole. I would only recommend using the loop for a portable operation, where the operating time is anticipated longer. Such as 24 hours or more.Everyone that attended had lots of fun and learned a few things. We are looking forward to next year.(Bob Mueller K8MD)Lorain County: Attached are some photos from today's "frost fest", also known as NVIS day.This is the group from Lorain County in District 10.Eric Jessen, N8AUCOHDEN: there were 32 contacts and those who played did a great job! That’s a really good contact rate! The digital net was hopping! The Sarge: I had a bunch of fun operating the Sarge! It was rather obvious 40 stunk for local stuff (raise your hand if you’re surprised…) so I stayed on 80 almost the whole period. I signed on the air and immediately had a pileup! It was that busy for the first hour and a half, then calmed down just a bit, but overall we maintained a steady pace for the whole day. We talked to 56 stations, with a handful giving us updated reports throughout the day. That was a great way to track band conditions. We were down on manpower- Richard and Terry were working on some much-needed HF antenna repairs. 80 sort of went away on us around 2 PM, so we tried 40 unsuccessfully and turned off the rig to help with the antenna work. It was great talking to so many of you! We had stations from all four corners of the state, lots of activity east (Coshocton and surroundings) and west (Preble, greater Dayton area). It was a little slack in Cincinnati (they had activities) but Butler was loud and clear. So the test and purpose of NVIS day for the Sarge was a great success- we were able to prove communications abilities around the state. As the summer “blooms” keep your enthusiasm high! We can plan an important part in public service events for our communities- it’s a GREAT service to our neighbors and a really good way to keep amateur radio in front of our local agencies! Operate your nets professionally- not a time for chatter or making you’re answer up with the mike keyed. People all over are listening! Same goes for your weather nets! We need to “put our money where our mouth is” when it comes to producing enough people, and working as professionals in all that we do! Thanks for continuing to turn in your NIMS certificates! We’re keeping ASEC Jim Yoder busy- and he loves it! Remember we’ve changed our membership levels to match the new ARRL levels- we’re changing the names, but you’ll see the criteria pretty much stay as we’ve been working over the past couple of years: Level 1- “rookies” new members or those without training. This level will NOT be on your activation lists, although we sincerely value their time in doing rides, runs and other events. Level 2- NIMS trained (100. 200, 700, 800) and more. This is our “working level” of folks who can be activated to respond in emergencies. Level 3- this is a new level, designed to complement those with higher training. Requirements include 300-400, the ARRL courses—although ~there are none right now~ and other such courses as COML, COMT, etc. You do NOT have to be an EC to hold this level. Remember also that we intend to use DMR “Ohio Talk Group” 3139 to announce ARES activations and such. So if you scan DMR, make sure that group’s active. Our primary is HF (3902) then DMR then local/District nets on your repeaters. Upon activation of the Sarge we intend to have all those, plus OHDEN, in service. Most of all- please accept my sincere thanks and gratitude for all you do individually!! Your efforts are what keep us successful!