Tag Archives: arrl


That is almost too much alphabet soup.
What that means is that every year those of us that do ham radio, like to test our skills with a large scale exercise – most often coordinated at the state level.
Please read more about ARRL/ARES.            Exercise, Exercise, Exercise…
         “Test what you fly, and fly what you test. . . . . . . “


Hmm, mobile email via VHF radio – could be useful. (and fun) /;^)

My goal this year was to operate my VHF Winlink email from the Subaru.
I also needed to activate the MSFC club station WA4NZD for the exercise.
So, I setup the stuff in the passenger seat, and drove to the club station. There had been some power-grid work earlier in the month at the Fox AMC (host site for our Winlink Internet Gateway) and it had only returned to service the day before the Simulated Emergency Test (SET).  I have a 4G/LTE modem available, and could have also operated the mobile station as an internet gateway if needed.
Someday soon, I’ll test the HF mobile capability as well.

The N4WGY-10 gateway was easy to access from WA4NZD, and a few exercise-related messages were sent. I think I heard Bill/KB4NEI check in directly from FAMC as well.  This is a great resource for the community and I’m glad to see even a few dedicated users checking it out weekly, with their own station ‘s readiness review.  Perhaps I can update the W4HMC website with the latest version of the Communications Plan diagram we used as a baseline this year for our SET.  If you are not yet registered with the Madison County ARES group – and want to be a part of this, please check our HMC RACES.org website.

There were several nets activated, and lots of check-ins.
Sounds like a good intro for a future post…

Thanks  /;^)

2014 June VHF QSO Party

This appears to be shaping up with fairly good conditions on 6 meters, but then I am still kinda new on 6. There have been plenty of times before that I didn’t hear much. For sure I am hearing a lot more now than can hear me, but I only have 100 watts, and a home brew Squalo. I have made about 40 contacts on 6 m so far. Maybe I can get a good pic of the antennas later.


Trying to be heard in Colorado.

I use the very helpful DXmap real-time updates from Continue reading

2013 Field Day

I shouldn’t be sittin here messin with computer stuff ..!..
It is about to be Field Day 2013 http://arrl.org/field-day

Listen for us on WA4NZD, from NASA’s MSFC in Huntsville, AL.

Tornadoes, radios and chickens

How the world can change so quickly. This time last week we were waking up in a new darkness, preparing to launch a major recovery effort after the largest tornado outbreak in recorded history. The time to prepare has passed, it was time to deploy our skills as communicators and information coordinators, and provide the community with our support.

Over the last week our Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) has provided such support to dozens of relief organizations under the umbrella of the Volunteer Organizations Active in  Disasters (VOAD). To name just a few: The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, the N.Alabama Medical Reserve Corps, the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) … and other groups distributing supplies and manpower all across our county. This has been accomplished by the individual and collective efforts of hundreds of ham radio operators who can do more than talk on the radio. They can think and act. And they have done so in such a show of power that I am tremendously proud to be in their company. The ARES group here organizes and trains for exactly this sort of thing, and while there are always hitches and complications, we were well prepared in my opinion. There is always a core group that provides leadership and motivation for such an organization, and I am proud to have been a part of that team of Emergency Coordinators.

Madison County ARES EC - K4RGG

Rolf Goedhart - K4RGG at the Anderson Hills Command Post

Rolf Goedhart – K4RGG is our Emergency Coordinator for Madison County, and has served in that capacity since before I came to town 5 years ago. He has also recently completed the naturalization process and is proud to now also be a U.S. Citizen. We all benefit from his wisdom and leadership in our ARES organization. Thank you Rolf.!.

Another of our members I want to call out is Steve Conklin – AI4QR. Conducting a flow of information during extreme events can be challenging and frustrating, but as our Net Control Operator during the tornadoes last Wednesday evening Steve kept his cool, and did an admirable job. He even managed to capture some of the live audio and has made it available for review. This is a large file, best to save it to your local computer before starting the playback. Audio recording from Madison County Emergency Net, Apr 27 2011. Steve has a great overview of what all has been happening, on his blog

Steve also reminds us of a training exercise we did a few years back. As a part of that simulation, we reported a derailed railroad car that had unfortunately released hundreds of chickens. We tasked a Boy Scout group with the challenge of how to collect the chickens, and they formulated a table-top response which would include borrowing a truck/trailer to contain the re-captured chickens. Steve shares this link to a story from the LA Times, regarding tornado chickens in Alabama.

Train like it is the real thing, and when the real thing comes around
– you’re trained and ready for it.
Thanks to everyone . . . we are making progress.    /;^)