Tag Archives: ares

VHF Contest Award

Another surprise in the mailbox.
On the heels of the 2015 January VHF contest, arrives an award certificate for last year. Seems that with only 13 contacts and 5 grids, I was the band winner in the Alabama Section, Single Op, Low Power category for 222 MHz.


222 MHz Award

This is not the first time I have received an award, for a fairly minimal contribution. I also received this award in 2010, for the 2009 June VHF contest – again on 222 MHz. That time I had 3 contacts in that band, 2 grids. This time I only had one 222 contact, W4ZRZ… Thanks Jimmy..

These VHF contests may not seem like much to many, but I look at them as a mini Field Day. I set up my (mostly) portable antennas and listen a lot as I do other things. This year for the January event I have 17 contacts across 4 bands (3 on 222 this time). I appreciate these little contests, as I get to check in with a few folks I don’t hear much from thru the year. There is always someone new to the VHF contest world, or VHF SSB for that matter… Oh, BTW, these 222 contacts have all been with a HT on FM, but using a small 4 element beam.


50 MHz Squalo and 432 MHz Texas Eggbeater

If you haven’t done such a regional contest yet, try one. Sometimes 50 MHz will surprise you – those are exciting contests when the ‘magic band‘ comes to life.
In the Huntsville area, there are plenty of stations to work, even with just a vertical. Do what you can with what you’ve got.
Get some soon, try a VHF contest.!.
Thanks  /;^)


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  /;^)

Ham Radio Day 2013

A little bit earlier this year (Mar.16), and the weather should be great .!.


HR Day at GigaParts in Huntsville AL

This is a fun event, and a great opportunity for folks to learn more about this hobby. Doesn’t matter if you are newly-licensed, un-licensed, or an Old-Timer like me . . . something for everyone. Vendors, product demos, show&tell – I really appreciate GigaParts for hosting such an event. I plan to be there again to demonstrate my Subaru-deployable EmComm station. Last year I had HF and VHF radio, with simple quick antenna setups. This year I’m hoping to demo a portable VHF Winlink2000 email gateway. I’ll offer assistance and tips on how to configure your RMS-Express clients to use this service.
Sounds like a party .!. (here are a couple of pics from last year…)


Subaru Field Station WB5RMG @ GigaParts 2012


Subaru Field Station WB5RMG w/ HF & VHF & APRS & PSK31 /;^)


These might be for sale soon.

I may have too many radios… These two may be for sale soon.
Nothing fancy, certainly not new. Not heavily used or abused;
these are well-suited to become first rigs for new licensees, or as a backup or dedicated mobile/portable equipment to augment existing stations.


Kenwood TS-440S w/AT, PS-30, SP430, 12 VDC cable, mobile bracket . . .


Yaesu FT50-R dual-band HT, AC charger, DC charger, MH34 spkr-mic, belt clip

More detail available of course.
Thanks  /;^)