Last Call for CARC T-Shirts!

In the last Cherry Juice, there was a front-page article with a link to order your VERY OWN Cherryland Amateur Radio Club T-Shirt.

To date, only a few of you have signed up!

Here is the link, one more time:

http://goo.gl/forms/UtTxKRmzmK

 Joe N8CN and Audrey model a previous shirt – This year the logo will be smaller, and will be located over your heart, assuming your heart is located on the left side of your chest.

Complete this order form or send the following information to:

Joe Novak, W8TVT (jjnovakw8tvt@gmail.com):

Name:
Callsign:
Size:
Email:

The T-shirts will be a 50/50 blend, gray shirt with a 3.5” club logo in red, on the left side of the shirt.

Sorry, at this time an image is not available, but the logo (in red only) will be similar to the logo above.

The costs are:

sizes S thru XL:     $12
2XL: $14
3XL: $15
4XL: $16
5XL: $17

You may email the above form to Joe Novak W8TVT jjnovakw8tvt@gmail.com or complete the form online.

TBARG – Skywarn – Storm Damage Photos

Skywarn is a volunteer spotter program sponsored by the National Weather Service.  Spotters provide important information during a storm as well and the impact of storms on the local community. TBARG is a local ham radio service providing emergency communication services.  During the severe storm this August 2nd, TBARG activated the Skywarn Net and 18 ham radio operators provided critical information during and after the storm.  As we look back at what worked and what needed improvement, one idea was to get information to the NWS and emergency responders as quickly as possible.  In addition to verbal reports over the radio, volunteers could also provide photos/videos during and after the storm from cell phones.  Photos can be emailed to TBARG which would then immediately uploaded a single folder that could be shared with the NWS and emergency responders.  The current TBARG email is: gtarpsc86@gmail.com – not so easy to remember.  Instead, TBARG will now be using the simpler:

GTSkywarn@gmail.com

This is a simple abbreviation of Grand Traverse Skywarn using the popular Gmail service.  If you have storm damage pics, you are welcome to email them to this address.

Click here for photos taken by Mike Vandermay immediately following the storm.

Glen K8SGZ

Digital Voice Workshop – September 26 – 10am-3pm

Digital Voice Workshop: A Digital Voice Mode Primer!

  • D-star
  • MotoTrbo
  • System Fusion

A review of the three modes, and discussion of what might be the “best fit” for your use!

$10 registration fee required which benefits the Salvation Army.
 Lunch and Snacks will be Provided by the Salvation Army.

For information, email: CherrylandARC@gmail.com

Sign up online at: http://bit.ly/carcdigital

Saturday, September 26, 10am-3pm

Salvation Army
1239 Barlow Street,
Traverse City MI 49686

Speakers: 

D-Star: Chuck Scott N8DNX and Chuck Brew N8NXP
 System Fusion: Mike Flynn KC8GW
MotoTrbo: Joe Erlewein N8CN

Digital Workshop

Need a New Hand Held Ham Radio? $30

Yes – $30.  Cherryland ARC has planned to keep a steady supply of Baofeng UV-5R VHF/UHF Ham radios available for purchase at our monthly meetings and events.  This is a great beginner/backup radio pre-programmed for repeaters from Grand Rapids to Mackinaw Bridge (120 channels).  We purchase them from Amazon, program and charge them, and sell them at cost.  If you are interested in Ham Radio (the club can help you to get your Technician license) or a “been-there-done-that” Ham operator, this is a great deal.  The radio package includes:

  • Our Version of a Quick Start Guide and Suggested Accessories
  • Printed List of 120 Local Repeaters Programmed into the Radio
  • Printed List of the Radios Menu Options
  • NOAA Weather Stations Included

But wait, there’s more.  For $17 you can get a 3800 mAh battery.  This doubles the battery power, lengthens the radio, and gives it a great solid feel.

You can just buy them at the meetings or send an email to cherrylandarc@gmail.com to reserve one for you.

Glen K8SGZ

W8TCM Digital Repeater on the air!

The 148.860 W8TCM repeater was upgraded from an aged Motorola MSR2000 system with an ACC RC-85 controller to a brand-new Yaesu SystemFusion Analog+Digital repeater system. Along with the upgrade were several clean-ups to the installation, including moving the UHF repeater out of an inadequate housing to being located in a rack with the other repeater and duplexer units.

W8TCM repeaters - 4/25/2015

W8TCM repeaters – 4/25/2015

There are some changes you should make note of to the way the 146.86 W8TCM repeater operates.

Here is an overview:

  • both analog and digital (C4FM) signals are repeated.
  • you will hear digital noise unless you use Tone Decode on your radios.
  • CW-only. no voice IDs.
  • No courtesy tone.
  • Shorter post-transmission “hang time”.
  • PL 114.8 required (PL tone 100 no longer works).
  • No way to bypass PL tone requirement.

Mike Flynn KC8GW did a presentation at the CARC General Meeting on the Yaesu SystemFusion digital system. Click here to view the presentation.  You will learn all about the cool digital features that are now available on 146.86 .. as well as 147.040 in Benzonia. 


 

Here is a more in-depth review of the above:

  1. Supports automatic analog/digital mode selection
    1. stations sending digital signals will be repeated in digital format.
    2. stations sending analog signals will be repeated in analog format.
  2. If you use an analog radio, you will eventually hear “digital noise” when digital systems communicate, and it will probably sound like loud static and annoy you. 
    1. To rectify this, please set your radio’s tone decoder to 114.8 HZ. This way, your radio will only un-mute the channel when there is an analog signal you can listen to. Digital signals repeated will not be transmitted with the correct tone, and radios set to tone decode 114.8HZ will not annoy you by making you listen to the digital noise.
  3. CW-Only ID
    1. The Yaesu SystemFusion repeater does allow use of an external controller. However, utilizing one disables the digital functions of the repeater, which are the motivating reasons to upgrade the system. 
    2. The built-in (limited analog function) controller does not support synthesized voice and is only capable of identifying as “DE CALLSIGN” in morse code. This means announcements of nets, events, and reminders in synthesized voice format are now discontinued. There is no way to disable the factory defined prefix of “DE” in morse code that precedes each identification – Yaesu suggests that US hams come to terms with welcoming the “DE” preamble in repeater identification standards, which is currently not an FCC requirement, nor a necessary preamble.
  4. No Courtesy Tone
    1. The Yaesu SystemFusion repeater does allow use of an external controller. However, utilizing one disables the digital functions of the repeater, which are the motivating reasons to upgrade the system. 
    2. The built-in (limited analog function) controller does not support a courtesy tone.
  5. Shorter “Hang-Time”
    1. The Yaesu SystemFusion repeater does allow use of an external controller. However, utilizing one disables the digital functions of the repeater, which are the motivating reasons to upgrade the system. 
    2. The built-in (limited analog function) controller does not support a changeable “hang time” period – the amount of time that the repeater stays “on the air” after you end your transmission. There is only one setting – the factory default, and Yaesu suggests that you learn to like it.
  6. Only PL tone 114.8 will work to use the repeater.
    1. The Yaesu SystemFusion repeater does allow use of an external controller. However, utilizing one disables the digital functions of the repeater, which are the motivating reasons to upgrade the system. 
    2. The built-in (limited analog function) controller will only accept one PL tone (114.8HZ) for access. The previous controller was able to use either 114.8HZ and 100HZ  – this is now no longer allowed. You must use PL tone 114.8 in order to use the repeater.
  7. No PL-Tone bypass
    1. The Yaesu SystemFusion repeater does allow use of an external controller. However, utilizing one disables the digital functions of the repeater, which are the motivating reasons to upgrade the system.
    2. On our previous controller, one could bypass the PL tone requirement for a period of time by entering touch-tone code “1 1″ and then no tone would be needed to use the repeater. This was sometimes useful during nets, emergency exercises, and other conditions. Since the built-in (limited analog function) controller is not capable of responding to DTMF codes (touch tones) in any way, there is no way to allow this function.

 

Other than the above changes, the repeater should actually perform better than the previous system – the receiver (as published specs show) is more sensitive and selective than the MSR2000, and the RF format feature set and audio quality are vastly improved compared to the MSR2000 and ACC RC-85.

We encourage you to try out the new system – it sure sounds great! Sure, there will be some changes to get used to, but the addition of the digital capabilities more than make up for the features that are lost. Also, Yaesu is busily working on new firmware for the DR-1X repeater system that should restore some of the “missing” features we’d come to use over the years.

Please don’t hesitate to call, email, or talk on the repeater to us to report your impressions/thoughts/questions/concerns/signal-reports on the new system. We would really like to know how YOU think it is working.

Cherryland ARC Lecture Series

Missed the monthly Cherryland ARC meeting?  Catch the monthly lectures:

  • County Hunters – May 2015 Lecture – click here.
  • Mike Flynn KC8GW – April 2015 Lecture on Yaesu SystemFusion – click here.
  • Mike Leger W8PQ – March 2015 Lecture on Antenna Modeling – click here.
  • Chris Parrish KD8MTT – February 2015 Lecture on J Pole Antennas – click here.