ARRL ARES Communicator's Comments - 2018-04-29

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Emergency Communications' started by W.T. Jones, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    Luzerne County ARES® Sunday Night Bulletin
    "We don't rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training."
    Archilochus - Greek Poet and Soldier

    "Success is not Final. Failure is not Fatal. The only thing that matters is the courage to carry on."
    Winston Churchill
    If you are not aware of what the ARRL Board is doing then it is time for you to get informed!


    • Current Versions of Fldigi programs
    • Luzerne County ARES® Information...
    • Luzerne County ARES®Net Control Schedule
    • !Luzerne County LCARES Announcements...
    • Click Here for the Luzerne County ARES®Activities Schedule
    • Click Here for Net Schedules of Interest - updated on 4/8/2018
    • 2018 LCARES Members Operational Status - Net Stats - Bulletin Responses (updated 4/14/18)...
    • Weekly Images
    • An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
      • !In a Hurry?....
      • WX Station at Barger...
      • !LCARES 2018 Communications Exercise...
      • Staying Connected: Coax Connectors in Amateur Radio...
    • EPA-ARRL Web site...
    • Ham Radio Links
    • Closing
    Bulletin Date: April 29, 2018
    Bulletin Number: 196

    This Bulletin is for all Amateur Radio Operators in Luzerne County and any interested Amateur Radio Station anywhere.

    Note: A copy of this Bulletin is stored on the web site in .wav file format. This file can be replayed by Fldigi and Flamp to get the complete Bulletin.

    Current Versions of Fldigi programs
    Current Versions of Fldigi Suite
    Fldigi Flmsg Flamp
    4.0.16 4.0.6 2.2.03
    Current as of: April 1, 2018. *Indicates an update in the past week.
    Latest versions available at

    Luzerne County ARES® Information...
    - Important: The Sunday Night Bulletin is required reading for all LCARES Members. If you are busy look for the things with the ! in front of them.

    Luzerne County ARES®Net Control Schedule
    The Rotation Schedule for the LCARES Voice net has been posted on the Last update: April 24, 2018

    Please be sure to review the NCS schedule before the upcoming nets.

    !Luzerne County LCARES Announcements...
    (These will be read by the Alternate NCS during the regular weekly session of the LCARES Voice Net.)

    * - indicates that announcement should not be read on the LCARES Net.

    1. N3SRO has requested NCS time during the LCARES Voice Net. His schedule permits May 8th, 15th, and 22nd. Due to his travel schedule he has been assigned those dates as NCS. If his schedule changes and he cannot take any of those dates then the listed ANCS will be the NCS for the net. WN3LIF will be the ANCS.
    2. Recently the TM@EOC have conflicted with training mandated by County Management. There is absolutely nothing that can be done about this issue by EMA management. The EMA Director and Deputy Director are not happy with the situation but it is out of their control. If training is in progress at the EOC on Tuesday Mornings then the TM@EOC will be canceled by default. The EC will make every effort to alert the usual TM@EOC group before hand to prevent a wasted trip.
    3. *The TM@EOC on May 1st will be a breakfast meeting at The Grill in Luzerne. Time will be the usual 10:00AM.
    4. The LCARES Net Control Schedule has been updated. The following stations are net controls and are reminded to check the schedule since it has changed. AB3ZI, KC3FKW, N3SRO, WN3LIF, K3DBG, N3RN, and WB3FKP. The EC thanks all of you for helping with the net.
    Click Here for the Luzerne County ARES®Activities Schedule
    Click Here for Net Schedules of Interest - updated on 4/8/2018
    2018 LCARES Members Operational Status - Net Stats - Bulletin Responses (updated 4/14/18)...

    Note: Credit is given for responding but to win, place, or show the answer has to be correct.
    Sunday Night Bulletin for April 22, 2018 Responses
    1st Response
    2nd Response
    3rd Response
    Total Bulletin Responses for Last Week - 9

    Weekly Images
    WB3FKP finally got a picture of one! Click here for a video of the bear!

    An ARRL ARES®Communicator's Comments
    !In a Hurry?....
    - I thought I'd leave this in here a few weeks. Remember, if you are rushed for time look for the items with the !. Those are the items that really need to be read. Everything else is just fluff. Read the important things and the other stuff when you can.

    WX Station at Barger...
    - In case you are wondering - Barger is the location of the N3FCK 146.46 repeater. That Davis WX Station that we have been kicking around the EOC since 2015 finally has a home and is operational thanks to the efforts of N3VTH. Here is the link:
    Save it and check it when you are wondering just how cold it is at the top of the mountain.

    I hope everyone realizes how much of a debt we owe to N3FCK and N3VTH for all their efforts to help us. We are really blessed by having such good friends. If you talk to either Chris or Ron be sure to thank them for all their help. And if in the off chance to you talk to W3NA be sure that you say thank you to him. He really is the "man behind the curtain!"

    !LCARES 2018 Communications Exercise...
    - It is still early so the reports are not in from the Comm Ex but as far as the EC is concerned it was a success. No doubt about it. Of course, there are "lessons learned" to be reviewed and absorbed. The fact is everything was done that was needed and the 3 "bases" at Ricketts Glen did better than admirable work. The scenario was difficult especially with the 10 meter element involved but nonetheless it was a success.

    The EC wants to thank the Operators at each of the Ricketts Glen bases and the EOC for their cool heads and good work. They worked the problems and found good solutions to the problems. Their versatility and spirit of the game attitude was readily evident.

    Here is the link to the pictures and as soon as K3TOW furnishes his they will be added.

    Staying Connected: Coax Connectors in Amateur Radio...
    - Courtesy of N1ZZZ who should be back with us in the near future...

    Nearly all amateur radios have connectors between the radio and the antenna. Sometimes we use a coax cable between the radio and antenna, and sometimes we connect the antenna directly to the radio. A variety of standardized connectors have been introduced over the years to make this connection solid and interchangeable. Most of the time the female connector is mounted on the radio and the male is on the coax or radio-mounted antenna, however recently this tradition has been challenged. Let’s look at several kinds of common coax connectors.

    Most modern hand-held radios, and some new QRP rigs, use the SMA connector. These have very small forms and are effective at HF to UHF frequencies. Most of the Japanese radio manufacturers will have the male on the rubber duck antenna and the female on the radio. Chinese and US manufacturers tend to reverse this. The trouble with SMA connectors is that they are so small as to be fragile. Avoid using direct adapters for this reason. A lot of mechanical strain on a SMA connector will cause it to fail. SMA connectors often are converted to another kind of connector when using a coax cable and an external antenna. The best way transition between a the SMA connector on the radio and the main coax this is using a small flexible jumper with the appropriate connectors. This minimizes mechanical stress on the SMA connector and are readily available.

    The most common connector on mobile and base radios, as well as coax, is the “UHF” or PL-259/SO-239 connector. Despite the name, they are best suited for HF, although they are often used for VHF and UHF frequencies as well. Nearly all mobile or base radios have female UHF connectors on the back which can easily be connected to standard 50-ohm coax. These connectors are reasonably sound, both electrically and mechanically, and are easy to solder, twist, or crimp onto coax cables. These connectors are not waterproof, so a cable apt to see extended outdoor use should be wrapped well in vulcanized tape. At higher frequencies (above 30 MHz), these connectors also have noticeable loss and are inferior to the more modern connectors.

    (EC Note: The nomenclature of VHF and UHF have changed over the years. In World War II the term VHF referred to frequencies in the 27Mhz to 40Mhz range. Tanks (as in armored vehicles with guns) had VHF radios that operated in that range and were considered to be VHF. UHF was most of the frequencies above that and most of that range had yet to be explored except for the use of centrimetric radar. That development, contrary to many popular beliefs, was accomplished by the British. Radar before the British invention of the cavity magnetron was in the 300 MHz range which is close to one meter and considered UHF back then. See where this is going? The PL-259 UHF connector was a pre-World War II invention hence the name. The PL stands for PLug. Its connector, the SO-239, is the SOcket. The numbers? They are just part numbers. The Amphenol web site has the story of why it was developed. Back to N1ZZZ.)

    The king of connectors is the “N-connector.” These are very solid, waterproof, and useable from HF to SHF. The gender convention of the UHF connector holds true with N-connectors as well. High frequency and high-grade equipment often comes with N-connectors due to their durability and very low loss at RF frequencies. These connectors tend to be more expensive and more difficult to solder onto coax, (See WB3FKQ for how to do it right.) but when done right, are the best outdoor connector. Despite claims of being waterproof, I would still wrap an N-connector in vulcanized tape as an extra precaution. (K3NDB has, what I think, is a better solution and that is adhesive shrink wrap.)

    Legacy connectors include the BNC, and its cousin, TNC connectors. These two connectors are similar, but the BNC uses a 90-degree twist bayonet fitting, while the TNC uses a threaded connector. BNC’s are often found on scanners, QRP rigs, and older hand helds. They are medium sized being between the SMA and UHF connectors. They are more durable than SMA, but less durable than UHF connectors. TNC connectors are often found on SHF frequency equipment where size prohibits the use of N-connectors. TNC’s are not often found on amateur gear which is unfortunate since they are very good connectors.

    The last common kind of connector is the F-connector. These are found on TV systems and is typically used on 75-ohm coax. This kind of connector is generally poor for transmitting and should be avoided.

    Even if a connector is properly installed, moisture, corrosion, or even improper tightening can lead to poor performance. Using the proper connector correctly goes a long way in getting the most from your radio system.

    EPA-ARRL Web site...
    - If you have not done it yet then what are you waiting for? Get to the EPA-ARRL web site and either submit your email address or like it on Facebook. It is the place to get the information and news about the EPA Section.

    Ham Radio Links
    N3LLR's Ham Radio Forum
    ARRL Eastern PA Section Web Site
    Luzerne County ARES®
    Harris County Texas ARES® - A great training resource
    Lake County (OH) RACES Personal Go-Kit for Emergency Operations - KE7LHR
    MecklenBurg County ARES® and RACES
    K0BG - The Website for Mobile Amateur Radio Operators (Perhaps the best web site on mobile operations I have found!)
    Origins of Ham Speak - Fact, Legends, and Myths??? - Compiled by AC6V from the Internet and other unreliable sources
    The Petite Prepper
    The VOA Radiogram
    Luzerne County ARES Facebook Page <-- New
    Thank you for copying our weekly digital information Bulletin to all Amateur Radio Operators.

    Send reception reports and comments to

    Have a good week everyone!


    ARRL EPA Section Emergency Coordinator
    ARRL EPA District 3 District Emergency Coordinator
    ARRL ARES® Emergency Coordinator
    Luzerne County ARES®
    ARES and "Amateur Radio Emergency Services" are registered service marks owned by the American Radio Relay League, The National Association of Amateur Radio. Use of these service marks is by permission only. Total prep time for this bulletin - 5 hours.
  2. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    WOW! Now that is the bear facts...

    Great place for a weather station. Is it connected to the repeater?
  3. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    The WX station is not connected.

    We have a Thunder Eagle WX Receiver connected to it that listens for SAME msgs from the NOAA station.
    wedgar likes this.
  4. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    That would be handy being able to bring up any weather watches or warnings from the repeater.
  5. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    We're having a hum on the audio problem but the repeater geniuses think that rf is getting into the line from the Thundereagle.

    It works very well including the Amber Alerts.
  6. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    The amber alerts are a good thing for repeaters. Just extra eyes and ears while on the road.
  7. W.T. Jones

    W.T. Jones Moderator Staff Member Silver Member Golden GPS Recipient AtlDiv EPA Leader AtlDiv ARES Member

    Anything that gets a youngster back in the protection of those that love and care for them is a good thing.
    wedgar likes this.
  8. wedgar

    wedgar Administrator Staff Member Gold Member

    Amen, brother!

Share This Page