November 26, 2014

UPDATE: Christmas Party Planned

The club will hold its annual Christmas party at Hushpuppies in Henderson at 7 pm, December 23rd. (The time was changed to 7 pm at the request of the restaurant to accommodate another party.) All club members, friends and family are invited to attend. This final "meeting" of the year is always a lot of fun. Please use the form below to let us know as soon as possible if you plan to come, so we can reserve enough space!

November 11, 2014

Tip: Make LoTW uploads little easier

By W5CWT, Dave - I use Ham Radio Deluxe v5 because I'm cheap and it is free. But recently, after a major hacking attack on the ARRL, my automated LoTW uploads stopped working. Maybe it is because I'm using an outdate WinXP machine or maybe it is some other reason, but I wanted to automate my uploads as much as possible. So, here is a tip that made manual uploading a little bit easier.

I created a shortcut link to the tqsl.exe program and placed it on my desktop. Then I right-clicked it and chose "Properties" to edit the "Target" line. After the final double quote marks I added the parameters needed to sign and upload a log file automatically. Here is a copy of my command line:

"C:\Program Files\TrustedQSL\tqsl.exe" /d /u /a "new" /x /l "Home" /p "PASSWORD"

My location, as set in the tqsl program, is "Home". Replace this with your specific location name. This must be a perfect, case-sensitive match. Also, replace the PASSWORD portion with your own certificate password. Since the password is stored on your computer in plain text, using this method COULD expose your password to others if they have access to your computer. Therefore, do this at your own risk. If you wish to manually enter your password each time, simply leave out the /p "PASSWORD" portion of the command. (However, I prefer to let the computer do it since I've yet to find someone snooping around my desktop looking for my LoTW password and thereby gain total CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE WORLD!!! HAHAHAhahaaa!...Sorry, got carried away there.)

Finally, click "Apply" at the bottom of the property window and you're done.

Once you've made a few new contacts, export a log (in .ADI format) to the desktop from your favorite program such as HRD. Then, simply drag and drop the log file onto the shortcut icon. The cursor should turn to an hourglass and then back to an arrow. The file should now be uploaded.

You can check your LoTW activity (under the Account tab on the LoTW webpage) to make sure the file got there. It may take several minutes for it to show up, so be patient. To watch the whole process actually happen, disable "batch mode" by temporarily removing the "-x" portion of the command and then dragging a new log file onto the icon. Once it is uploaded, you can delete the exported log file.

November 08, 2014

Hams and Syrup: A Great Combination!

A Syrup Festival visitor
draws the winning ticket!
Rusk County hams participate in this year's Henderson Syrup Festival by operating a special event station. The station, K5S ("S" for "Syrup") was set up in front of the Rusk County Courthouse and gave some of the more than 25,000 visitors a chance to see amateur radio in action!

The club also used the festival as an opportunity to give away a brand new Acer laptop in a special drawing at the end of the day. Matt Stephens of Winnsboro, LA won the laptop. Congratulations to Matt!

Congrats to Michael Searcy, WX5WMS!

The latest member of the Rusk County Amateur Radio Club to pass his Amateur Extra Exam is Michael Searcy, WX5WMS. Michael up-graded from General Class on Friday, November 7, 2014. This was the second exam session the newly formed, Rusk County Volunteer Examiner Team has conducted for local HAM operators.

The Rusk County Volunteer Examiner Team is prepared to provide Amateur Radio License testing to club members and non-members in the Henderson, Rusk County area.

Federal Communications Commission regulations require that at least three licensed Amateur Radio Operators, be present to administer a test for Amateur Radio licenses, and license up-grades.

The Rusk County testing team administers test under the W5YI VEC organization, based in Arlington, Texas.

Congratulations Michael !

November 04, 2014

Bill, WB5DDX, earns his Extra!

Bill, WB5DDX, earns
his Extra ticket!
Some folks are just determined to move up. And so is Bill Warf, WB5DDX. He's been held an Advanced Class amateur radio license for years. Recently, he decided it was time to upgrade.

This past Sunday, all of his studying paid off. During the Rusk County Amateur Radio Club's first self-conducted testing session, Bill sat for his exam and passed! The relief and excitement was clearly evident on his face when he got the news! Bill has been part of the RCARC for about a year. 

Congratulations and best wishes to Bill on a job well done! 

November 03, 2014

Playing with a USB, SDR Receiver...

Dudley and Girly rag chewing on the repeater.

This video clip is of the HDSDR application using one of the little SDR USB receivers. Pretty amazing technology for a USB device that cost around $20. Takes a bit of time to get all the software installed and configured on the computer, but it's pretty neat once you get it up and running.

Here is a website you can check out for more information on these little receivers.
And here is the site for the HDSDR software.

Always something new to learn and fool with in the Amateur Radio hobby!