July 18, 2014

FCC gives "N5RCA" to Rusk County Club

It became official today! When the FCC updated its database this afternoon, N5RCA was officially given to the Rusk County Amateur Radio Club as the club's call sign.

The call sign was the first in a series of choices submitted to the FCC in late June after the club received a sequential call from the agency.

The new call sign may be used by the club and is overseen by the station's trustee and club president, Keith Ballow.

July 17, 2014

Moving traffic across the airwaves

Jo Ann Keith, KA5AZK, is serious when it comes to traffic.

"I really love this stuff," she told the members of the RCARC during the club meeting in June. Jo Ann, with the help of  her husband, John, told the club about the national message handling system and how amateurs can send messages from one end of the country to another.

"It might seem obsolete," admitted Jo Ann, "but there is still a need," she said. Jo Ann noted that during the two largest Gulf Coast hurricanes in recent years, hams were the only ones able to get health and welfare messages out of the region.

Jo Ann said that during an emergency, not knowing how to effectively pass messages or participate in a traffic net, "can make a hectic situation even worse." She noted that it is much better to learn how to do it before it becomes necessary

Jo Ann, who lives in the Gilmer area, manages the 7290 Traffic Net which meets twice a day Monday through Friday (10am and 1pm) and once on Saturday mornings (10am).

She gave every member a complete packet of information complete with an ARRL Radiogram form, tip sheets and full instructions on how to originate, send and receive traffic. More information is avialable at www.7290trafficnet.org.

July 11, 2014

Field Day 2014 is in the log!

Field Day was finally here and the bands were hopping! Several local amateurs and visitors dropped by the Rusk County EOC to check out all the Field Day operations.

Craig Roquemore and his son Chris worked together to log the 100th station during the special event. The club used the call sign K5R during Field Day.

The club operated as a 2F station, with two transmitters on the air at the same time. Members put up two inverted "V" antennas as well as an end-fed long wire and 2m vertical antenna.

The club used N1MM logger and several mesh nodes to link logging computers together. the EOC has a nice "smart board" which allowed the group to monitor the log and current statistics live on the wall during the event. Thanks to Bob Tomlinson for the use of his FT-1000 which provided a great voice signal on HF.

Full photo album of RCARC's Field Day Station.

July 09, 2014

Going digital is easier than you think!

by KN5G - Enjoying a little JT65 on 6 Meters this morning. Once you have your computer and rig interfaced for digital modes they all work pretty easily just by switching software. JT65, BPSK, RTTY, they all use the same interface between the computer and transceiver.

I understand from talking to the HRD folks at HAM-COM, that the latest version of Ham Radio Deluxe being released right about now will support the JT65 mode along with all the others that it already supports.

The new versions of HRD cost around $100, but it is a super program if you are considering interfacing your computer to your HF rig. The older FREE version of HRD is still out there if you want to give that a try before dropping $100 on the new version.

The screen-shots here are from the WSJT-X program, which is a free download.

July 02, 2014

Rusk County's New and Upgraded Hams!

Congratulations to a group of new and upgraded hams in Rusk County! Bob Tomlinson upgraded to Extra, Micheal Searcy upgraded to General and Peyton Chenault (a brand new ham!) got a Technician license. All three hams took their tests during the RCARC's first ever test session in Henderson. A generous group of Volunteer Examiners from Cherokee County made the session possible. New testing sessions are already being planned and will be announced here on the website.

Craig Roquemore and David Chenault also recently upgraded to Extra at the recent HamCom hamfest in Plano.