Remaking the Club

As many of you know, the numbers of members who have been active in the club has dwindled down to the bare minimum to where we rarely have enough people to even make decisions and do the stuff required to live up to our commitments. So we have decided to make a few changes.

At this month’s meeting we will bring to order what could be the final decision actually made at the meeting If the vote is to the affirmative. We would like to have our business meeting on the air from now on. We will pick a time and place for the net. This way everyone can participate in the event and we will be able to save our actual meeting time for ham related activities.

When we have a meeting we do whatever comes to mind. Hopefully that will include good food and good times. We will start with a few videos and some pizza 

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

Region 26 Emergency Management Center

A few weeks ago a few of us went to Taylor Nebraska to meet up with the folks at the region 26 Emergency Management Center. we had a great conversation and got to see how they do thing out in the Nebraska Sandhills. While our EOC is quite busy by Nebraska standards, Region 26 has a huge geographical area to manage.

It was a huge learning experience, and was really neat that we were welcomed with open arms. We were asked for advice on comms, repeaters, and we learned a little about what they had available for us to use if we ever had to go up and help them set up some kind of comms to Grand Island or elsewhere.

Here are a few Photos Of the trip.:


It was a lot of Fun, Thanks to the crew of Region 26!

Meeting Minutes January 2017

Sorry guys it has taken this long to post this stuff, But been busy with a project, like an itch it just couldn’t sit on the back burner. So here is the first minutes of the 2017 year. We had a great and productive meeting.

  • Officers were Elected for the 2017 Year, President: Dan Bergman N0DND, Vice President  Jeremy Smith, Kc0nuk, Treasurer Jay Rasmussen WX9R, And Secretary Still open looking for volunteers.
  • The ARES Emergency Response Plan was voted on and approved by the club.
  • The Bylaws for the Mid Nebraska Amateur radio club, hereafter referred to as MARC voted on and approved.
  • In theory we agreed to see if we could obtain the old City hall building and Dan agreed to write the proposal which Brian agreed to Present to Wood River, to be used as a comm center and training facility.
  •  Jeremy talked about a field trip to the region 26 Emergency management Center
  • It was discussed and agreed that due to an increase in costs, and having to now give a share of our dues to MARC that we would raise our dues to 25.00 A month.
  • We discussed training and ARES, Our first goal would be to get everyone VE tested so we can have plenty of volunteers to train and test new recruits

January 2017 Club Agenda

Welcome to 2017 everyone. We have a lot of exciting things in store for 2017. We will be much more focused on training this year with an eye toward ARES and CERT as both organizations work to focus on the mission and being able to get the job done when call upon. I know the CERT guys are already on the minds of our city emergency manager, we have been told we are likely to see some deployments. In concert with that goal, and the goals of the Dept of Homeland Security, and the federal government, in order for us to remain a needed service in this nation it is important for us to train, and follow and practice the procedures that will be required during times of need, whether it is a disaster or simply working out at the parade. Our volunteers are needed, but in order to fill that need we have to be focused, determined, and well trained. There is no substitute for training.

I know it can be hard for some to get away, there are so many priorities in life as we are all aware. I hope that being a member of ARES, GIARS, and soon the Mid Nebraska Amateur Radio Club, becomes at least a small priority in your busy lives. It is not only needed by your ham community, but you are needed by the community at large, it could save your life or that of someone in your family. And besides all that mumbo jumbo, it will just plain ol fun.

This months Agenda:

  • Election of new officers, please note November monthly minutes
  • Training schedule for the year
  • Discussion of new technologies we will be using
  • Discussion of ICS, ICS Forms, and club incidents
  • Adopting the Emergency response plan in General
  • Adopting the New club Bylaws in General.
  • Creating the ARES sub committee/ Who wants to be ARES
  • News Letter good/bad/ugly?
  • Wood River location.
  • Bylaws for Mid Nebraska Amatuer Radio Club seen Here
  • Charter Seen Here

November 2016 Minutes

Recording of the November 2017 Meeting

  • Mike Mathews advocated for the combines club bylaws and the advantages of the 501 3(c) and how we could bring other repeaters into the system.
  • Nebraska QSO Party April 22nd and 23rd 150th anniversary operating from historical locations sites important to Nebraska History like Brian’s Birthplace
  • 21 paid members most of which never show up.
  • Reading of the treasurers report motion accepted
  • Nominating of officers,
    • President- Daniel Bergman N0DND
    • Vice President – Jeremy Smith KC0NUK
    • Treasurer – Jay Rasmussen wx9r
    • Secretary – Open
  • Talked about Asking Brad to have his ham Training classes here in GI
  • Press Release?
  • When do you want to go look at centennial towers
  • Antennas at EOC, possibly need HF Radio.
  • Talk to Jon about antennas and HF Radio. Setting up on radio for digital and one for phone.
  • Talked about making a goal of having our own club house
  • Wondered why whoever is responsible for D-Star is not wanting to maintain system, does not currently operate correctly, Some issue with gateway. Maybe talk to jon?
  • Training on knowing your radio
  • Meeting Adjourned

GIARS ARES Emergency Communications Plan-Draft

We finally have a draft plan of a formal Emergency Communications plan. There are a few things left to tweak like an organizational chart and our working with CERT. But it is a workable draft and so it is at this location for your review.

Grand Island Amateur Radio Society ARES Emergency Communications Plan

Some of the important fact are:

  • Responsibilities of the DEC, EC, and Assistants
  • Training and credentialing requirements
  • Response responsibilities
  • Addition of trained Ready response Teams
  • Repeater and net Use
  • Volunteer acceptance

There will probably be some editing as time goes on and I receive comments. this plan will be submitted to the Emergency Management office on 12/13/2017

This is just a first step, there are many more to go.

The Goal is to have at least one, hopefully more, Ready response teams trained and ready to go by the end of 2017. This isn’t much time to pass, plan and recruit and ultimately train so it will probably require a little more intense participation. In this Spirit, We have recruited Joe Hayes, KB9TBX to coordinate training and credentialing. He is already experience at training, he is a VE, a firearms instructor for the state and who knows what else! He is also very good with comms. We have a few other guys very good at this as well. So we are going to put these guys to work.

Let me know what you think?

Attention Members, For Your Review

As many of you know there have been a few changes in the works. We have been working to combine the clubs under one flag, giving us the benefit of size, numbers, and non-profit status. Mike Mathews, President of the Hastings club, has put in a lot of work toward these ends. I have here a few documents for your review. Please comment now or forever hold your peace. These documents are stored in a dropbox account, if you want to make notes feel free to do so. We will make sure it gets back to those who need to know. Otherwise just comment on the post.

Articles of Incorporation

Bylaws of Midwest Amateur Radio Club 

Also, and maybe more importantly, We will be reaching out to all club members in the coming days to chat about some of the changes we have been doing and/or thinking about. We also want to update our Database on members, whether or not they want to participate in ARES activities and whether or not they want to have equipment on the list that can be volunteered. In the coming days there will be another post about ARES operating procedure, our interfacing with the EOC emergency operations. There will be many training opportunities and activities. 

Fund Raising and Future Goals

At our Saturday morning breakfast this week the topic of fund raising came up. While we are working on becoming a 501c3 organization which should help with donations, it has become necessary to increase our funds somehow. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways, one would be to raise membership dues, but another way would be to hold a couple of fund raisers during the year.

Why has this become necessary? Our equipment  has become aged, and some of it needs repair. Some components need to be upgraded, for instance the comet antennas we are using have proven not to be very reliable. Even if we build our own equipment we still need materials. We are going to start training and even some of that is going to require some funds.

Also, if we can grow the club and get more participation it would be a pretty cool deal if we could provide ourselves a club house where we can set up our station, and actually spend some time playing with the big boys. Is it a dream? well maybe but if we all set a little time asside to participate it is something we can achieve.

At this time we are looking for ideas! Even if you don’t have an idea a comment or two to know where we stand as a club would be great. So let me know what you think and lets start moving our club in a direction where we all want to be there and where we all are having fun with it, that is after all why we are wll here. so, sound off guys.?

Keeping Communications Alive in the New Century