Sep 15

Enhanced Voter System and Phone Patch

The 147.375 repeater has been enhanced to work as a dual output system with an expanded receive area.

The input frequency is 147.975 with an analog PL tone of 123Hz. The outputs are on 145.450 and 147.375. A receive PL tone of 123Hz is strongly recommended as these repeaters also use P25 digital mode.

Phone patch operation is also supported both from and to the repeater.

To use the phone patch from a radio, use the following procedure:

  1. Key up and identify normally
  2. Send the DTMF Tone *6, followed by the 10-digit number you wish to call.
  3. Wait for the called party to answer.
  4. Explain that you are on an amateur radio phone patch and are unable to hear them when you are speaking.
  5. When your phone conversation is completed, key up and send the DTMF Tone #.

To use the phone patch from a land line telephone (note: Cellular phones may not work):

  1. Call 423-375-0375. You will immediately hear the receive audio from the repeater.
  2. To key up, press *99, and begin speaking.
  3. To unkey after speaking, press #.
  4. Once the QSO is completed, press # to make sure the repeater is unkeyed, then hang up.

Sep 14

147.180 Repeater Status

As some people may have noticed, the WD4DES 147.180 repeater has been having issues over the past few months. Repairs are continuing, and we hope to have this critical site back at full operating capability soon. The transmit exciter is running barefoot at 13 watts with separate receive and transmit antennas at the moment.

At this point, the main antenna has been replaced, duplexers have been fully tested and realigned. The PA deck is still undergoing repairs and there is currently no ETA on when it will be back in service.

Steve and Steuart have narrowed down the high SWR issue that damaged the PA deck to either a faulty hardline terminator or a bad jumper cable, and will continue testing during the next few weeks. Any tower climbers who are willing to donate their time should contact Steve for scheduling.

May 20

CARC Announces Field Day 2018 Plans

May 20

Bradley County ARES Assists in Chattanooga Ironman 70.3

Bradley County ARES members provided vital communication support for the Chattanooga Ironman 70.3 on Sunday May 20, 2018.  Derek Wooley KD5UBL and Jolinda Wooley KN4CQE arrived at the Chattanooga Market Street Bridge at 5:00 AM in preparation for the event.  It was necessary to paddle upstream to Girls Preparatory School (GPS) to get to the SWIM Start.  The PRO athletes started first around 6:55 AM.  There were over 2,500 athletes that started the race.

Both KD5UBL and KN4CQE were equipped with APRS radios so that net control could track the position of the last swimmer in the water.

Several athletes had to be pulled from the water for health reasons and some had to be pulled for not meeting the time requirement.  In the end all swimmers that entered the water were accounted for.

Chad Regester KM4ALU also assisted with communication support on the bike course of the race.

May 20

ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician Licensees

ARLB007 ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician
QST de W1AW 
ARRL Bulletin 7  ARLB007
From ARRL Headquarters 
Newington CT  March 1, 2018
To all radio amateurs
ARLB007 ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician
ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician
licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15
meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10
meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals,
which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of
Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various
initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.
“This action will enhance the available license operating privileges
in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the
Amateur Service,” ARRL said in its Petition. “It will attract more
newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of
licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an
improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical
self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and
development of communications skills.”
Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide Technician licensees, present
and future, with phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to
7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz, plus RTTY and digital
privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10
meters. The ARRL petition points out the explosion in popularity of
various digital modes over the past 2 decades. Under the ARRL plan,
the maximum HF power level for Technician operators would remain at
200 W PEP. The few remaining Novice licensees would gain no new
privileges under the League’s proposal.
ARRL’s petition points to the need for compelling incentives not
only to become a radio amateur in the first place, but then to
upgrade and further develop skills. Demographic and technological
changes call for a “periodic rebalancing” between those two
objectives, the League maintains.
“There has not been such a rebalancing in many years,” ARRL said in
its petition. “It is time to do that now.” The FCC has not assessed
entry-level operating privileges since 2005.
The Entry-Level License Committee offered very specific data and
survey-supported findings about growth in Amateur Radio and its
place in the advanced technological demographic that includes
individuals younger than 30. It received significant input from ARRL
members via more than 8,000 survey responses.
“The Committee’s analysis noted that today, Amateur Radio exists
among many more modes of communication than it did half a century
ago, or even 20 years ago,” ARRL said in its petition.
Now numbering some 378,000, Technician licensees comprise more than
half of the US Amateur Radio population. ARRL said that after 17
years of experience with the current Technician license as the
gateway to Amateur Radio, it’s urgent to make it more attractive to
newcomers, in part to improve upon science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) education “that inescapably accompanies a
healthy, growing Amateur Radio Service,” ARRL asserted.
ARRL said its proposal is critical to developing improved operating
skills, increasing emergency communication participation, improving
technical self-training, and boosting overall growth in the Amateur
Service, which has remained nearly inert at about 1% per year.
The Entry-Level License Committee determined that the current
Technician class question pool already covers far more material than
necessary for an entry-level exam to validate expanded privileges.
ARRL told the FCC that it would continue to refine examination
preparation and training materials aimed at STEM topics, increase
outreach and recruitment, work with Amateur Radio clubs, and
encourage educational institutions to utilize Amateur Radio in STEM
and other experiential learning programs.
“ARRL requests that the Commission become a partner in this effort
to promote Amateur Radio as a public benefit by making the very
nominal changes proposed herein in the Technician class license
operating privileges,” the petition concluded.

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