MARCH SOCIAL MEETING

Another good MARC Social Meeting is in the books although attendance was down slightly with only 20 MARC Members and two Guests. We had a great presentation from David Rice AD8WR with assistance from Bruno Trimboli NJ9S on a DIY RigExpert Antenna Analyzer. They had a seventeen meter dipole strung up in the room and were able to sweep the antenna with the analyzer, very interesting, a project you may want to consider if you don’t own an analyzer or would like an upgrade. The Power Point is available here on the website. President Keith Wishmeier had the Club Members vote on the proposed bylaw changes, the results were all in favor of the changes. Keith pointed out that the changes will not take effect until Jan 2020. He also informed the membership that the board has voted to return to the Elk’s Lodge for the 2019 Christmas Party, the board will be in touch with the Elk’s Club to reserve the date. Keith commented on various other business items. The 50/50 drawing had $24.00 which we split with the winner (Ann KD9ATA). Keith officially closed the meeting and invited everyone to have snacks and socialize. A few of us stuck around till almost 10pm but most left shortly after the meeting ended, too bad, some of the best conversations occur then. Don’t miss next months meeting, the presentation will be on solar data and propagation by Carl K9LA. 73


An Old School Electronics Parts Store in Benton Harbor Michigan

Looking for a good old fashioned Electronics Parts Store, a retail store where you can go in and look around. One still exists, Benton Electronics Supply, Inc. located in Benton Harbor Michigan on Main Street just off of Business 94. This is about a 35 minute drive from South Bend. They are open Monday thru Friday. They have a good selection of connectors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, IC Chips and some Vacuum Tubes. Tools and chemicals, wire, switches and project boxes. They are also a Rohn Tower Dealer. What they don’t have they can probably get for you. Pricing is about like Radio Shack but much better selection.

Hours:

8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Monday thru Friday

Benton Electronics Supply, Inc.

1465 E. Main St.

Benton harbor, MI 49022

269-925-0069 www.bentonelectronic.com

Article by Mike KO9Q


Message to MARC Members from James Wades WB8SIW


Name:
 James Wades

Email Address: jameswades@gmail.com

Subject: Assistance with Telegraph Activities

Message: Hello:

As President of the Morse Telegraph Club, an association of retired railroad and commercial telegraphers, former telegraph industry employees and others with an interest in the history of telegraph, I am contacting radio clubs in the Michiana area to seek volunteers with an interest in telecommunications history, who may want to assist with a forthcoming project.
In the coming months, our organization will be constructing telegraph exhibits at the Heston Steam Museum at Heston, Indiana. In addition to building a historically accurate telegraph office at the railroad depot, we will also be recreating a portion of the "War Department" telegraph office from the movie "Lincoln" using the original materials from the movie set. This will be a functional telegraph relay office, which will be activated for special events, such as during Civil War encampments at the museum and so forth. Our goal is to have sufficient volunteers from the surrounding ham radio community to staff these exhibits on occasional weekends or during special events.
Volunteers would be available to explain the history of telegraphy to visitors and, if they desire, demonstrate the use of the instruments. Some knowledge of CW or land-line telegraphy in either American Morse Code or International Morse Code would be helpful, but is not absolutely necessary. Volunteer radio amateurs will be provided with background on telegraph history, talking points, and will be familiarized with the use of the instruments in the office, which will also have some interactive components, which do not necessarily require a knowledge of land-line Morse. In other words; all that is required is some background as a CW operator and an interest in history, railroads or steam engines!   We start construction on the depot telegraph office this week.  It should be completed by the end of April. The relay office will take longer, but should be done by the end of June. The museum runs the narrow gauge railroad and other exhibits summer through autumn, or basically Memorial Day through early October. There are some special events afterward, such as Halloween trains, Christmas trains, and so forth. Ideally, if we could get perhaps a dozen volunteers from throughout Northwest Indiana, Southwest Michigan and perhaps the Chicago area, most volunteers would only need to contribute a day or two per season. It's actually very enjoyable; meeting people, explaining telegraphy to children (and adults), and providing a few nuggets of historical context in the process. 

Those interested can contact me at: jameswades@gmail.com
Thank you!
James Wades (WB8SIW)
International President,
Morse Telegraph Club, Inc.


Message to MARC Members from Gerry, G3MW


Name:
 Gerry Emson

Subject: Morse Code Software for training or practice

Message: Hello

Have just been to your site, and wondered if you have heard of, or use, CWCOM. Simple to use software for sending and receiving morse code over the internet, using the keyboard, mouse, or externally connected, straight key, or paddle keys.

The software was originally written for Windows 95, but still relevant and used today on all versions of Windows, including W10... ( can also be made to work on LINUX and MAC machines - see later on )

It was written by an Australian Radio Ham, VK1EME, John Samin, but he has discontinued servicing his website, and with his knowledge, I have written a blogsite

https://morsepower.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

to help people to download, install, and set up the program.

All instructions are in easy to follow, step by step format, with some pics to help along the way.... there are a couple of links to get the program from download sites on the blog pages.

For LINUX and MAC users,.. there are separate pages with step by step instructions on how to get CWCOM working on those platforms.

The program is used by many Radio Hams, around the world, and some Australian Post Office Telegraphists that used to man the overland Telegram system there.

There is no requirement to "sign in"... log in,.... password... registration....

the only "hardware" you need, is a key and a computer... ( a USB to serial converter or mouse adapter, see blog page for instructions to make, if using a laptop).

Skill levels from beginner to experience .. ALL welcome. ... learners should not be frightened off, just because they hear some "fast" morse... they are just as welcome, as the "old hands" ! ! ! .

There is the opportunity for groups to choose their own channel ( frequency) for group practice sessions, so it would be ideal for Radio Ham Clubs, to extend "out of hours" practice when members are at home.

Similarly, it is an excellent program for those radio hams, who, for whatever reason, have problems with local planning laws, regarding antennas... or for those who live in "sheltered" accommodation, where radio equipment is not allowed.

I am usually on channel 1000 ( default channel) from about 14:00 G.M.T until about 22:00 G.M.T. and able to help new users or learners to get the best out of the program settings... or just to have a ragchew session.

my call, G3MS is not registered on QRZ . Com... but I am ex Royal Navy Wireless Telegraphist from 1960 and use only straight keys at about 20 wpm.. Operating protocol, is the same as CW operation on the ham bands...

You Tube videos of my keys in action..... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBcvP74oF7hQCWNzAMlfxPw/videos

Blogsite telling stories about how I refurbished the keys.... https://nemosphotography.blogspot.com/

Looking forward to a ragchew or practice session with any of your members, soon.

Thank you for reading this.... I hope the information has been helpful to you.

73

Gerry (G3MS) .. QTH Portsmouth England... age 74 .


New to Field Day? START HERE!

Field Day is ham radio's open house. Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio's science, skill and service to our communities and our nation. It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

Download the ARRL “What is Field Day?” PDF Here:

Press here to go to the ARRL Field Day Site Locator:


“Tyro” License Proposal Now Open for Public Comment


03/13/2019

FCC logo BW swirl.png

The same day that the FCC put ARRL’s Technician Enhancement petition on public notice, it also invited comments on another proposal, designated RM-11829, asking the FCC to create a “Tyro” license class that would require a minimal online examination as well as mentoring by an Amateur Radio licensee of Technician class or higher. A “tyro” is a novice or a beginner. The petition was filed in August of 2017 by Gary A. Hampton, AD0WU, of Longmont, Colorado.

Tyro licensees would earn operating privileges 99 channels in a 70-centimeter “TyroSubBand.” Applicants would have to be at least 11 years old. Hampton said in his petition that one goal would be “reliable, nationwide 70-centimeter interoperability” in the exclusive 430 – 440 MHz segment of the band.

“The Tyro license is exceptionally important to FEMA’s CERT program,” Hampton’s petition asserts. “It allows ARES to solve CERT’s communication problems. The TyroSubBand technical specifications easily double the capacity of typical 70-centiimeter repeaters…”

Hampton maintained in his petition that Amateur Radio also “should be used to further scientific research that is published and quickly placed in the public domain.”

Hampton expressed the belief that institution of the Tyro license would spawn growth within Amateur Radio, making entry into the hobby nearly as simple as obtaining a General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) license.

The window for comments on the Tyro license petition will be open for 30 days. 

let the fcc know what you think about this!


FCC Invites Comments on ARRL Technician Enhancement Proposal

03/15/2019

The FCC has invited public comments on ARRL’s 2018 Petition for Rule Making, now designated as RM-11828, which asks the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. Interested parties have 30 days to comment. The Technician enhancement proposals stemmed from the recommendations of the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

“This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service,” ARRL said in its Petition. “It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills.”

Filing Comments

Those interested posting brief comments on the ARRL Technician Enhancement proposal (RM-11828) using the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) should access FCC Electronic Comment Filing System Express. In the “Proceeding(s)” field, enter the number of the PRM, i.e., RM-11828 (using this format), complete all required fields, and enter comments in the box provided. You may review your post before filing. All information you provide, including name and address, will be publicly available once you post your comment(s). For more information, visit “How to Comment on FCC Proceedings.”  

Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide present and future Technicians with:

  • phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz.

  • RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters.

The ARRL petition points out the explosion in popularity of various digital modes over the past 2 decades. Under the ARRL plan, the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at 200 W PEP. The few remaining Novice licensees would gain no new privileges under ARRL’s proposal.

ARRL’s petition points to the need for compelling incentives not only to become a radio amateur in the first place, but then to upgrade and further develop skills. Demographic and technological changes call for a “periodic rebalancing” between those two objectives, ARRL maintained in his proposal. The FCC has not assessed entry-level operating privileges since 2005.

The Entry-Level License Committee offered very specific data- and survey-supported findings about growth in Amateur Radio and its place in the advanced technological demographic, which includes individuals younger than 30. It received significant input from ARRL members via more than 8,000 survey responses. “The Committee’s analysis noted that today, Amateur Radio exists among many more modes of communication than it did half a century ago, or even 20 years ago,” ARRL said in its petition.

Now numbering some 384,500, Technician licensees comprise more than half of the US Amateur Radio population. ARRL stressed in its petition the urgency of making the license more attractive to newcomers, in part to improve upon science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, “that inescapably accompanies a healthy, growing Amateur Radio Service.”

ARRL said its proposal is critical to develop improved operating skills, increasing emergency preparedness participation, improving technical self-training, and boosting overall growth in the Amateur Service, which has remained nearly inert at about 1% per year.

The Entry-Level License Committee determined that the current Technician class question pool already covers far more material than necessary for an entry-level exam to validate expanded privileges. ARRL told the FCC that it would continue to refine examination preparation and training materials aimed at STEM topics, increase outreach and recruitment, work with Amateur Radio clubs, and encourage educational institutions to utilize Amateur Radio in STEM and other experiential learning programs.  

Do you think this is a good thing or not? Let the FCC know what you think now!


Universal Licensing System

In the early days of the Universal Licensing System (ULS), deployed in the Amateur Service on August 16, 1999, the FCC registration and filing systems were not easy to navigate. Now, however, the FCC has taken great strides to make ULS and COmission REgistration System (CORES) easier to use.

The FCC has done a very good job of updating their Web page and there is a specific section for the Amateur Radio Service. The FCC has even devoted a page to common filing tasks which offers instruction on filing electronically via the ULS.

If you wish to conduct business with the FCC, you must first register through FCC CORES. Upon registration, you will be assigned a Federal Registration Number (FRN). This number will be used to uniquely identify you in all transactions with the FCC. Effective December 3, 2001, the use of a Federal Registration Number (FRN) became mandatory.

You must be registered in CORES and be issued an FRN before you can use ULS to renew your license, change your address, obtain a duplicate license, or use any of the other services that the FCC offers. Not sure if you have an FRN? Check your license to determine if it’s been assigned an FRN.

If you are already registered in FCC CORES, and if you have a FRN and know your CORES Password no further action is required. You can go directly to the Online Filing page, where you’ll select "Log In" to file a transaction with FCC using the ULS. You will be required to supply your FCC assigned FRN and your Password to renew or update your license.

If you are NOT registered in FCC CORES and do not have a FRN, you will need to sign up for one.

If not already registered in CORES, go to the FCC Amateur Radio Web site and choose "REGISTER AND RECEIVE YOUR FRN".