If you miss Hamquest, You will regret it

Attention Attention read all about it. July 29th Wilson County Fairgrounds Lebanon,TN Be there or hear dead air. Even if you don’t know how to turn on a radio but you have an interest in communication, please come out and talk with someone.

Official Hamquest Website

What is Hamquest you ask?  Well we definitely will not be searching for the perfect pig.. This is an amateur radio swap meet. There will be mobiles, handheld’s, coax, antennas, connectors, wire and everything in between. If you have the cash or the right trade you can outfit your car or home to communicate with other radio enthusiast without internet or cell phone fees. All of this gear in one location, no searching the internet for hours and days wishing you could test and use the radio before you buy. This is a one stop shop.

The Wilson County Radio League will be operating the talk-in and test station in the back corner of the venue. Stop in and say hi. We are a different kind of club. Our goal is to better ourselves and to serve the community by continually maintaining, practicing and improving our communication and technical abilities. We are primarily focused on amateur radio, but we embrace all types of auxiliary communication.”  

The all types of auxiliary communication include MURS, GMRS, FRS, and more. Our club is planning to have multiple type of radio gear to showcase, including a GMRS Repeater and handheld radios.  We will see you there.gmrs btech

Foxhunt Radio frequency Challenge

EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE

Forwarding reports from
Filbert – K4MCD
VIA Tom K1KY

EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE

Long Message follows, prepare to copy:

A foxhunt transmitter has been placed somewhere in the Middle Tennessee area that is currently transmitting on the input of the 145.170 Repeater, Tone 114.8.

This active foxhunt signal is a test of amateur radio personnel notification systems. Amateur radio personnel and stations are encouraged to use all communications mediums, to include social media, to notify and report progress.

This exercise is an actual transmitting foxhunt, per request from many local amateur radio personnel.

The foxhunt transmitter will remain on the air until further notice in order for participants to have time to test out their equipment, develop new equipment and techniques, and such.

Reports say the foxhunt signal is very weak into the repeater. Reports say the foxhunt signal transmits on a fairly regular schedule, though it is not strong enough to trigger the repeater each time.

Protocol for volunteers for this foxhunt transmitter exercise in seven parts is:

One: Locate the transmitter and follow the instructions posted on the unit. Please do not turn it off or disturb the location of the unit, leave it as you found it once the instructions are read and followed.

Two: Work with friends and other amateur radio personnel and use any resources that you have available to find this “rogue” transmitter. “Teams” are allowed.

Three: Extra Credit: Decode the CW message that is being transmitted and send an e-mail to the person that notified you of this event for data collection purposes as well as your Hunt status.

Four: Track your activities during this exercise on an ICS-214 form and submit an electronic copy to the person who notified you of this event.

Five: Report your ongoing activities via radio, text, e-mail, and such, to the person that notified you of this event.

Six: Report and record the time intervals of the transmissions.

Seven: Please do not disclose the exact location of the unit when found via radio so that others can enjoy the challenge of the hunt as well.

Experienced Net Controllers are encouraged to activate the system and do what they do so well.

Tom K1KY wishes “Happy Hunting”

Dan KM4WSX adds – similar procedures for a lost child or adult would be used, so exercise due diligence.

Dan KM4WSX sends

EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE OUT.

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Dekalb/ Cannon ARC Field Day

You are invited to join the DeKalb Cannon Amateur Ham Radio Club field day event on June 24th 2017 @ Jim Cummings state roadside park, 2675 McMinnville Highway Woodbury TN. 37190.
Since 1933, ham radio operators across North America have established temporary ham radio stations in public locations during Field Day to showcase the science and skill of Amateur Radio. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend. For over 100 years, Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — has allowed people from all walks of life to experiment with electronics and communications techniques, as well as provide a free public service to their communities during a disaster, all without needing a cell phone or the Internet. Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in Field Day in 2015. “It’s easy for anyone to pick up a computer or smartphone, connect to the Internet and communicate, with no knowledge of how the devices function or connect to each other,” said Sean Kutzko of the American Radio Relay League, the national association for Amateur Radio. “But if there’s an interruption of service or you’re out of range of a cell tower, you have no way to communicate. Ham radio functions completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure, can interface with tablets or smartphones, and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes. That’s the beauty of Amateur Radio during a communications outage.” “Hams can literally throw a wire in a tree for an antenna, connect it to a battery-powered transmitter and communicate halfway around the world,” Kutzko added. “Hams do this by using a layer of Earth’s atmosphere as a sort of mirror for radio waves. In today’s electronic do-it-yourself (DIY) environment, ham radio remains one of the best ways for people to learn about electronics, physics, meteorology, and numerous other scientific disciplines, and is a huge asset to any community during disasters if the standard communication infrastructure goes down.” Anyone may become a licensed Amateur Radio operator.

FUNDRAISER FOR LEBANON POLICE DISPATCHER FAMILY

Samantha and Joey Hudson lost their son in a motor vehicle collision on I440 in Nashville on May 15th,  2017. Samantha is a Dispatcher for Lebanon Police department in Tennessee Samantha was also injured in the crash and unable to work.  Please send donations to:

Samantha Hudson c/o Lebanon Police department 406 TENNESSEE BLVD Lebanon, TN 37138

 

H.A.M RADIO SUCKS

20170509_184705A recent meeting of the minds at our monthly radio league get together started out unlike any other meeting. The president of the club walked in to the meeting carrying a glass punch bowl. This punch bowl was just like the ones you’ve all seen in the movies where some misguided youth pours a fifth of PGA in while the teachers are distracted at prom.

But on this particular night he had something up his sleeve, something that quite possibly had never been done before at any club meeting.

As we called the league meeting to order using the standard parliamentary procedure.. The introduction was “H.A.M RADIO SUCKS!” as the secretary hammered away his meeting notes on a 1970’s model typewriter. Ears’s perked and attention drew to the punch bowl and a huge stack of brightly colored cue cards sitting next to it.

Yes, the meeting was going to be different from all the other meetings that are typically filled with talk of  band openings and who purchased the latest and greatest  radio.

You see, in recent years the FCC has issued a record number of amateur radio licenses, we have well over 700,000 licensed amateurs in the U.S alone, but the repeaters are just sitting out on their respective hill tops’ wishing they could pickup a tone.

As the FCC certifies more and more radio operators, local club membership continues to slip downward. And even if a club has a few members join here and there the participation rate with those clubs is dismal at best.

Why you ask? Well the punch bowl was about to tell us…

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The cue cards and markers were handed out to everyone in attendance that night and we were asked to write down everything we hated about our amateur radio hobby with one request ” Tonight, we’re not criticizing any negativity” . At first we had laughs and giggles and then some people jokingly started to refuse and said  ” I enjoy the hobby”  or “What’s wrong with ham radio”.

Eventually everyone settled down and started to realize we had to participate to figure out what was up his sleeve. The gripes started to fill the bowl. As each dislike and gripe was written the gripe/dislike was announced to the group. Here are a few.. ” Not enough young people.”/ ” People think I’m Weird”/ ” My radio is not a chick magnet” / “People associate me with other crazy operators”/ “Too expensive”/ “Too many Rules”/ “I hate having my personal info out there”/”Everyone in the hobby is old”/ ” I hate it when people use ham radio as an acronym H.A.M.”/ “Too many cliques”.  It went on and on.

As you can see in the picture, just about everyone had plenty of filled out cards in the bowl. Even the folks that loved everything about the hobby filled out some cards with dislike they had “heard of” before from other folks.

The point soon became crystal clear. We had a room full of radio operators that love this hobby and we managed to fill a punch bowl full of reasons this hobby is awful. We eventually went back through and found solutions and rebuttals  (too many to list here) that each one of our members could articulate to the massive amount of licensed operators and general public out there that are not participating in this fun hobby, so that maybe they to could enjoy the hobby and learn to embrace the honesty that not everyone is perfect. By reviewing the negatives we can better appreciate and spread the positives of our loved hobby.

God Bless and “Key that Mic”

WCRL- John McKinney- PIO

Curious about Radio Operation?

BECOMING A HAM

The WCRL is dedicated to helping further amateur radio as a hobby and as a service. We encourage everyone interested in the hobby to contact their local amateur radio club. Most clubs are happy to assist newcomers and often have a combined experience of several decades in the hobby. If the WCRL happens to be your local club, then  it’s a WIN WIN!

With that said, here are some resources that we have compiled to help those who may be interested in the hobby.

This is an article that pretty well goes over the basics of “What is ham radio?”

Why should I become a ham?

Hams are just people. Every single one of us is different and I would argue that no two of us use amateur radio quite the same. Some of us just have a knack for tinkering and building. Many hams are passionate about Emergency services and use the hobby to serve their community as a volunteer. Some of us just like the idea of being able to communicate no matter what, independently of anyone else. With all the variety in our hobby, there is definitely something for everyone in ham radio.

How do I become a ham?

All amateur radio operators must be licensed by the FCC. There is no age limit any American citizen who is not a representative of a foreign government may obtain a license.

Most hams start with the Technician level license which will give you all the operating privileges you need to get started in the hobby, though many of us do chose to upgrade later. In order to get a Tech license you must pass a 35 question multiple choice exam with questions on FCC laws, basic operating procedures and basic electronics theory. Anyone who studies can pass this test, second graders have done it before.  The test costs $15 and your license will be good for 10 years.

Studying

There are many different ways to go about studying for your exam. There are often times local classes, and books such as The ARRL Handbook   can be purchased. However you can also learn everything you need to know online for free. I studied this down to earth questions and answers online guide known as the No Nonsense Technician Class then went on to take flashcards and practice tests at HamExam  No matter how you decide to study, I encourage you to take a free online practice test before you begin to see where you are and get a feel for the test.

Finding a testing session

Tests are no longer administered by the FCC, but by volunteer examiners (VE’s). Most amateur radio clubs have their own VE team and hold periodic VE sessions. To look for a VE session near you visit The ARRL

Getting started

Now you have your callsign, whats next? The best way to start is by meeting some other local hams. It doesn’t really matter how. I encourage you to join your local amateur radio club, but this may not be possible for everyone. Regardless of how you do it, meeting some other hams is a great way to start. I could go into the specifics of buying radios, repeater usage and so fourth, but that is what the local club is for. Clubs are a wealth of information, so use it!

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Cancelled -Cannon County Public Safety Day

Due to the serious threat of inclement weather on Saturday, the event leadership team has decided to cancel the 2nd Annual Cannon County Public Safety Day. We have been reviewing the weekend weather forecasts all day. It appears that the threat of severe thunderstorms for Saturday is a real possibility with a near 100% chance of rain and damaging winds.

In the interest of public safety, it is best that we cancel the event and reschedule at a later date. We apologize for any inconvenience.

NATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY TELECOMMUNICATORS WEEK

April 9th – 15th is National Telecommunicators week.

Wilson Radio League wants to give our heartfelt thanks to all the dispatchers behind the scenes that are the forgotten first line of defense for our first responders and citizens.

Dispatchers and other emergency telecommunicators have to keep calm and clearly communicate to the units on the ground and talk with distraught callers all while balancing radio communication. It’s a daunting job and we appreciate them.  Please watch this video and thank someone behind the scenes.

The below is a story highlighting what a dispatcher goes through daily across the country.

Team Work

Stephanie Compton, Communications Supervisor, Colorado State Patrol

At approximately 1300 on June 7, 2016 we received a phone call from a very distressed young man who, along with two friends, were tubing on the Arkansas River in Pueblo County when their tube went flat. C/O Baca began working with them after they had maneuvered themselves onto a fallen tree and were hanging on as they floated down the Arkansas River.

C/O Baca began speaking with him, Alex, as she began making radio notifications to the Parks Officers on duty. C/O Baca soon realized that the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Department Dispatcher was also on the line. She and C/O Baca were able to seamlessly ensure all officers, deputies, firefighters and EMT’s were kept apprised of the location of Alex and his friends. As the incident dragged on Alex’s girlfriend began to panic. C/O Baca convinced Alex to give the phone to Kiley, calmed her down and convinced her everything was being done to find them.

C/O Baca built a rapport with Alex, Kiley and her younger brother during the two hour ordeal. She showed them kindness and concern by coaching them to hang on. She displayed professionalism and competence to those in the field by asking pertinent questions and relaying the information back in a clear, concise manner. C/O Baca also developed a relationship with the Pueblo County Dispatcher as the two of them worked back and forth to keep the three teens calm while also ensuring the deputies and parks officers were informed of changing circumstances.

On this day C/O Baca and the dispatcher from PCSO potentially saved three teenagers from drowning by working together as a team to ensure all necessary notifications were made, needed agencies were on scene and more importantly they kept the teenagers calm and aware that everything was being done to rescue them.

"Creating communities through communications"