Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome

Current Announcements:

Time for officer elections. It is time for some of the new members to pick up the mantel and run with it. The club needs to have your participation. If you are interested in putting your mark on the club please feel free to volunteer. Dan has decided not to run for President again and would very much like to pass on those responsibilities to others as he has little time to give the club the time he thinks it deserves. As of now we have Jeremy, KC0NUK, who is willing to be President unless others would like to volunteer. Also Dan will also Run as Vice President if nobody else will just so the office is not vacant. And I believe Jay will once again fill the seat he has proven to be so good at as Club Treasurer. We Never did find a secretary so we still need somebody to fill that roll. Please step up and make a contribution!

Next we have Skywarn days, December 2 @ the national weather service. All hams are invited and ecouraged to operate from that location.

Also, would like to remind folks that winter field day is coming up, though I do not know the date. I would encourage you too look it up if you are interested in participating, my understanding is the guys in hastings are planning to have a git together.

Here is hoping for a successful and healthy 2017. There is a lot going on this year. I hope that we get good attendance and participation. We hope to achieve many difficult things this year and with all of your help we can make that happen.

 

Talking to Stan, N0YXV, We have decided that since we have not been approached by anyone connected with Race for Grace our club will not be participating this year. Apparently there was some turn over in those responsible for the race and we thought it might be better if we focus on ARES and recruiting this year. 

We are still looking for a secretary, if interested let one of the officers know.

  • The Bylaws and the charter documents for the new combined club is posted on the meeting agenda page found here
  • The proposed bylaws governing the joining of the clubs has been approved. GIARS is now a chapter of MARC, Mid-Nebraska Amatuer Radio Club. We will still operate on some things independently, and will also be able to draw on resources that exist across the tri cities. A win win.
  • GIARS ARES Emergency communications plan has been accepted, all club functions will be considered incidents and we will function in that capacity. Please become familiar with ICS documents and take the ICS courses if you have the time.
  •  New ARES Page under construction with links to field operations guides and other Emergency information.
  • An Agenda will be posted and featured every month along with minutes from the last meeting. If you have something you want added to the agenda please post it in comments for discussion or contact an officer. If you have comments please post them  on the website for further discussion. We would like to save our meeting time for fun time as much as possible. Also keep an eye towards the recent comments to keep up with what people are saying.
  • New monthly news email to be sent out to members for members only communications. If you are not on the mailing list and want to be please contact Dan N0DND and he will add you too the list.

Thanks for visiting the GIARS Web site. 

                                              

The club meets every third Thursday of the month at the red cross building in Grand Island starting at 7:00pm for a meet and greet, and then we attend to business at 7:30. The public is welcome to attend. Additionally, every Saturday morning at 8:00am we meet at the State street McDonald’s for coffee and breakfast and a lot of good conversation. A lot has changed with the club, many new members and ideas, new technologies, and we seem to have more activities all the time. We look forward to seeing you at the meetings.

At the march meeting it was voted on and approved that all hams who have taken the test and became new licensees within the first year will have club dues waived for that year. We would love for you to join us no matter the reason you became a ham. there is something to do for all of us and that is what makes it fun. 

We are looking for contributors to the website. If you have the ability and desire to write a story one or two times a month and post it on the site let Dan, n0dnd or Stan, n0yxv know and you will be given access. Stories can be anything interesting about ham radio or a member of the ham community. The format here is magazine like so the site can accommodate a lot of different styles and it is sure to fit in. We are looking for quality not quantity. Participation is a good thing and you will be proud of what you do.

Echolink Enabled Repeater 444.750

As many of you know there has been an Echolink enabled repeater in the area for some time now. Over the Christmas Holiday and all the way thru now there has been a considerable amount of time put in to the underlying mechanics, the computer system. Echolink is standard windows program, which is an easily operated point and click operation, but as with anything windows is not stable long term, in other words it works great until enough time goes by then it doesn’t. So as with everything else in my shack I switched it over to a Linux based program. In the case of Echolink, the program I use is SVXLink. Over this long period, I have learned much about configuring this program and right along with it how to work in Linux, it was one of the best learning experiences I have had with the computer. 

SVXLink is a very powerful piece of software, not only can it do Echolink, it can act as a repeater controller, a cross band link if needed, a weather machine, it will do a lot. Right now, it serves to link the 444.750 machine to the Nebraska Hub. The Nebraska hub has been a growing network of Nebraska linked repeaters. The link is established thru the KD0PGV link, which unfortunately at the time of this writing is down for repairs, but for the better part of a year it has been flawless. Should be back linked soon we hope. In the mean time I wanted to write a piece that gives instructions on how to link with other machines. SVXLink has a little different way of doing things than the standard Echolink software.

I will just give the codes here and what they do:

* SVXLink Status

1# Link Status

# Disconnect

If you have to deactivate the Echolink module you can re-connect by dialing 2#

If the Echolink Module is not loaded it will not recognize your commands.

For any node, enter the node number followed by the # key. Shortcuts to favorite destinations follows. If you have a favorite Echolink node that you want a shortcut added for then let us know and it can be added.

D1# Nebraska Hub – Non Operational 

D2# kr1sto North platte

D3# N0IQ North platte

D4# WB0WLY Omaha area Linked repeaters

D5# Crossroads reflector

D6# Dodropin reflector

D7# Hi-Gate reflector

D8# Handiham reflector

D9# open

D10# kd0an

D11# kc0swg

D12# kd0efc

D13# Michigan – These people are a bit of a bunch of jackasses, so no kerchunking or anything out of the ordinary please. And if anyone connects here and hears something that should not be there please report it to the Sysop.

D14# World reflector

D15# USA

D16# KC0EQA – Hastings, NE – Possibly connected to the Allstar Network

License training oportunities

So I recieved this letter from the Brad, both a member of GIARS and also the Hastings club. They are trying to put together some oportunities for  License training and he is trying to see if there is any interest and if so how much. I wanted to post on our site to give people a heads up and make sure the word gets out. If you are interested in upgrading this may be your chance to do exactly that.

 

“I am trying to gauge the need/support of License Training Sessions in the

area.  If you would like to take a training session email me back and let

me know which exam.  It will either be Tech., General or Extra.

 

We will be doing this on a night every week for between 4 and 8 weeks

depending on what we decide and which test we are training for.  Extra will

take more time because it is a “larger” test.  I am just now thinking about

doing this so I don’t have an exact timeframe yet.  If you have a night

that will not work for you let me know also.  I can’t guarantee that we can

accommodate everyone but we can try.

 

Also if you get this email and are interest in helping with training or

have tips or suggestions let me know.

 

I am also interested in hearing from area hams not in the Hastings Club or

people that are primarily living in a location outside of the ARAN area.  I

would like to know if there is interest from other area clubs on doing

training or working together to provide training.  I can’t say for sure

that WE can provide training outside of Hastings but I want to leave the

door open for cooperation so we can license as many hams in the area as

possible.

 

Brad KD0JCP”

 

Preparing for a Disaster

As many of you know a few were honored to attend a training session put on by the department of homeland security called Auxcom. It was training to to help the ham community and other radio services learn to communicate when disasters happen. The old saying is hams will work when nothing else does, this is true, but there is so much more to it than that and this course helped us to understand the many different services we can provide and how we provide that service. It is also our responsibility to help the emergency service providers understand who we are, what we are capable of, and how we can use those capabilities to help them save lives. Many of have had other training to be more involved and can be an important tool when it comes to saving lives.

We live in a region where we are relatively blessed with tranquility most of the time. We normally do not have major destructive storms like they have in the south, we generally are not a target of terrorism, and we are not a major industrial area. However, any and all of these thing could happen here. We have two major rail lines that pass thru GI, we have a blossoming ethanol industry, and we have seen the destructive power of tornadoes here. It is incumbant on all of us to take these possibilities seriously and we as a club need to get ourselves organized. If participation is low that we need to find a way to get others involved.

So with that, here are a few things we should start doing right away. We need to write and adopt a SOP, one that has been written with the knowledge and input of our emergency personal whom we will be working with, Agreements should be obtained with our sister clubs on use of equipment, and a general training regimen should be instituted.

There is a lot we can do to help. But it does take a little bit of commitment. You will as a ham, have to have credentials. You will have to pass background checks. In today’s day and age, with liability and all that goes with putting yourself out there,  just showing up in an emergency is likely not going to be useful to anyone. Our emergency people cannot let you get involved in the process if you are not trained and credentialed in some way.

As all of this goes forward, we would encourage everyone’s participation. Consider all of this an upgrade on what we have already been doing. Think of it like this, what we are doing now is bringing our organization in line with ICS/NIMS and other Homeland security procedures. Being able to bring our procedures up to date, and our training up to date, and doing it as a club will allow us to operate in a proficient and useful manner with a high degree of professionalism.

We welcome your comments and look forward to talking about and working on it together. See you all on Thursday.

Nebraska QSO Party

Well Sorry I did not get this posted sooner as I have been busy with a lot of different things. There is a Nebraska QSO party this weekend, April 16 and 17th, a great time to practice contesting, make a lot of contacts, and warm up the airwaves. I plan on participating this weekend as I hope to see many of you on the air this weekend. I will try and post some info about it, but some of the functionality of the site is not yet what I want it to be, but if you google the qso party you can find the rules and everything you need to know to participate.

www.QCWA.org/chapter025.htm

 

CNNSP – Central Nebraska Near Space Program

On Saturday May 14th Roger Hammond and other hams from W0CUO and W0WWV ham radio clubs will be launching a high altitude balloon with a payload consisting of a camera to photogragh the trip and an APRS position reporting beacon to keep track of the trip. Photos will be transmitted Via SSTV, and of course some of them will end up here. The launch will occur in Aurora at the  Edgerton Explorit Center. Here is an excerpt from Rogers Blog site about his last launch:

CNNSP-10 (25-Jun-2011)

 
Launch Time:  18:08 UTC
Launch Location:  Grand Island, NE
Max. Altitude:  89,164 feet
Max. Speed:  58 mph
Avg. Speed:  25 mph
Avg. Ascent Rate:  1263 ft/min
Avg. Descent Rate:  1800 ft/min
Flight Duration:  1 hr, 52 min.
Distance (Great Circle):  32 miles


 


This was our first flight in almost four years. I decided to get back in the ARHAB game and launch a balloon as part of Amateur Radio Field Day festivities. These were all new payloads, except for the old trusty CW beacon. The payloads consisted of two APRS trackers, a Canon A560 running the CHDK firmware, and an Aiptek Standard Def. video camera. We launched from south of Grand Island, just off of East Wildwood Drive. We had plenty of help at the launch site. I appreciate the new faces that came out to help.
 
The balloon was released at 13:08 CDT. We had a catastrophic failure of one of the trackers, apparently before it ever left the ground. I believe it was a poor antenna connection, but I need to investigate. My wife, Arlene KC0ZWX, Aaron KD0ENX, and I were the tracking and recovery team. Stan N0YXV joined us for the chase in his vehicle. The ascent rate was a little ‘hot’. I have a tendency to go overboard on additional helium. Instead of the nominal 1000 ft/min we were averaging about 1200. 

Last prediction before launch

This made for a quicker burst which occurred at 89,164 feet, and a little bit shorter track than predicted.

 
seconds before balloon burst

Landing was southwest of York, NE in a cornfield. We spent quite a bit of time finding the landowner to get permission to retrieve our goods. After talking to neighbors and leaving several messages, the landowner called me back and gave me permission. I hiked in with GPS coordinates and retrieved the payloads along with several additional pounds of the farmer’s mud.

Chase and recovery team – Aaron KD0ENX, Rog KC0MWM, and Arlene KC0ZWX