2018 has been a busy year for STARC. Our club members have been busy helping out with our two annual community service events – Run for Jim and the Switchback Ride for the Lake. We appreciate our members dedication to furthering the hobby of Amateur Radio and public service assistance around Franklin County.
Since March, STARC has been holding out monthly meetings at our new location, the St. Albans Elks Lodge. The Elks Lodge is in a great location, with easy access from I-89 as well as St. Albans City. This new location also gives us the ability to do more outdoors activities and demonstrations, as well as hold our meetings at an earlier time. Our new meeting start time is 7:00pm. Meetings are still held on the last Thursday of the month.
We're now in the final planning stages of our annual hamfest and are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Now that summer is in full swing, we hope that each of you are able to get your stations in tip-top shape before our next long winter settles in.
Thank you for your continued membership and support of STARC!
Jason Garneau / K1LOL STARC President
Spring and Summer 2018 – Meeting Highlights
STARC would like to thank everyone who attended our monthly meetings over the past several months. We have covered several topics in amateur radio, including:
Working satellites – Jamie Dennis (KB1MCU)
Building antennas for working amateur radio satellites
Working the 60m band
Upcoming topics and meetings will include discussions on DMR and other digital voice modes, field trip to the N1STA tower site, and trivia night. Details will be posted to the STARC website, Facebook, and will also be sent out in our monthly reminders.
If you have any suggestions on future meeting topics, or would like to present something, please let us know!
STARC is proud to announce our annual Hamfest is just over a month away. This year's Hamfest will be held at our new larger location, the St. Albans Elks Lodge, allowing for more indoor and outdoor vendors, parking, and outside activities.
Our admission price remains unchanged, at $5.00, which gives you access to the entire event, as well as covers the ability to tailgate and sell any items.
We will be holding an Amateur Radio Exam session beginning at 9:00am, with testing available for technician, general, and extra exams. The fee for the exam is $15.00, set by the ARRL.
STARC plans to have more door prizes than ever this year. The drawing will take place at 10:30am. You must be present to win items.
Other activities are currently being finalized – please check our website for the most up-to-date information, at: http://www.starc.org
STARC would like to thank the following AROs for helping with the radio communications for the 2018 Bike for the Lake event:
– Bob WI2B
– Phil WG2W (Monty Bay Marina)
– John N1LXI (Rover)
– Nick KB1RWB (Alburgh Welcome Center/St. Anne's Shrine)
– Michael N1FBZ (Net Control).
Andrew from Earl's Cyclery was the 'Rover' driver with N1LXI, being dispatched to help out fixing cycles with mechanical issues as they occurred on the road course.
We had perfect weather for the whole event which began at Knight's Point State Park. The cyclists peddle either 30 mile, 60 mile, 80 mile, or 100 mile courses. The governor of VT was even one of the cyclist too!
Additionally, STARC would like to thank all operators who helped assist with this year's Run for Jim event:
– Arn N1ARN (Net Control)
– Nick KB1RWB
– Allen W1EAM
– Jamie KB1MCU
– Adrienne KA1RXD
– Homer N1WXB
– Michael N1FBZ (Rover)
Everyone participating in the event finished the run/walk safely. The weather was perfect for this event, as well!
Digital Mode Update – FT8 DXpedition Mode
The following message comes to us from Paul Gayet – AA1SU – ARRL Vermont Section Manager:
I wanted to make you aware of an FT8 mode that I discovered last night. It is called DXpedition mode. It is to allow DXepeditions to make 100's of contacts an hour and take some stress off of the operator. There is a DXpedition using it from now June 27 to July 6. There are also doing CW, SSB, & RTTY of course. It is KH1/KH7Z Baker Island.
From their home page, I recommend clicking on “Operating Plan.” Here you will find the frequencies that they will be using for all the modes from 160 thru 6 Meters. You will actually have to enter their frequencies into the FT8 Set Up (Settings/Frequencies Tab). You will also have to click that you are a Hound. See the instructions for this.
I also recommend clicking on DX Spots from their home page. Here you will find 4 cluster choices that you should open in a new tab.
I was on their 20 meter frequency last night for a while, and I was not decoding them. So I looked at who was calling them, and there was nobody from the Grid Square FN calling them at all. From this, I knew that there was no propagation to New England, so I headed off to bed.
Here is some advice I got today from the team:
There are still a few folks who are not using the newest version of FT8 or have not checked the â€œHoundâ€ box on the Advanced tab of WSJT-X File/Settings. However, I think a reason some folks are either sending the wrong message or are on the wrong sequence (Even, should be Odd) is that they are not following this basic instruction from the Baker website to begin their calling as a Hound:
â€¢7 Call KH1/KH7Z only after you decode one of our CQ messages. Simply double-click on our callsign in the â€œBand Activityâ€ window and the software will create the correct message with which to call us and start transmitting. You will need to periodically press â€œEnable TXâ€ from time to time to keep transmitting in the pileup. The DXpedition station will send a CQ message from time to time so that you should not have to wait long to select the callsign.
I think some folks just hit their â€œEnable Txâ€ button to start transmitting and do not wait to â€œdouble-click on our callsignâ€ as instructed.
Finally, be sure you set your initial transmit frequency ABOVE 1000 Hz. The Fox will move you below 1000 Hz as soon as he pulls you into one of the QSO streams.
STARC Weekly Net
STARC's 2m Weekly Net takes place on Thursday evenings, at 7:00pm EST. All licensed amateur radio operators are welcome to attend!
Please note – If issues are experienced with the 2m repeater during Weekly Net, the Net may move to the 70cm repeater. Make sure to listen there if the 2m repeater appears “quiet” during the normal net time.
Reminder: 2018 Membership Dues
Please remember to renew your STARC membership – which is based on the calendar year. All membership funds go toward repeater maintenance, club insurance, and other miscellaneous items required to keep STARC functioning every year.
We have simplified the STARC online membership form. Once filled out, simply print out the form and mail it to STARC, along with payment by check.
STARC - Last night's weather satellite presentation from Bob W1ICW
Weather Satellite Presentation Materials STARC would like to thank Bob W1ICW for performing his amazing presentation on weather satellites last evening! Attached are both the slide deck and reference links Bob referred to at the end of the presentation. Thanks again, Bob!
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of fellow Amateur Radio brother Larry K1PLS. He passed away back in April of this year. He was very active in VHF/UHF/Microwave ARO communications and will be missed by the VT ARO community.