STARC (St. Albans Amateur Radio Club) Quarterly Update – Summer 2018

STARC Quarterly Update – Summer 2018

2018  Spring and Summer Recap
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)
  • AO-91 launch
  • 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 Hamfest 2018
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018
Time: 8:00am – 12:00pm
Location:   St Albans Elks Lodge – 44 Gricebrook Road – St. Albans, VT

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:

If you have any questions, please contact:
    Arn Benjamin –  802-309-0666
    Michael Gladu –


Serving the Community with Amateur Radio

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:  

Hello STARC,
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.

This is their web site:  

The FT8 instructions for this mode are very detailed.   Here is the link to that:  
Follow them very carefully.   You should already be familiar with FT8 operating before attempting this.

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 “Hound” 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:  

•7 Call KH1/KH7Z only after you decode one of our CQ messages. Simply double-click on our callsign in the “Band Activity” window and the software will create the correct message with which to call us and start transmitting. You will need to periodically press “Enable TX” 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 “Enable Tx” button to start transmitting and do not wait to “double-click on our callsign” 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.

Direct Link:


If you prefer to join or renew your membership in person, please stop by an upcoming club meeting.  Checks or exact cash is preferred.  The price for 2018  club dues is the same as last year:

Active / Single membership: $15.00
Family Membership:             $20.00
Supporting Membership:        $15.00

Thank you for helping to support STARC!

The STARC upcoming meeting schedule  is as follows:


July meeting: Thursday, July  26th  at 7:00pm  

August meeting: Thursday, August 30th at 7:00pm  


All meetings  take place at our new location:  
St. Albans Elks Lodge
44 Gricebrook Road, St. Albans, VT 05478


Upcoming Amateur Radio Activities in the Region
Additional Contest listings can be found at:

Copyright © 2018 Saint Albans Amateur Radio Club (STARC), All rights reserved.

Originally posted by Mike Gladu – STARC Technical Advisor on 2018-07-02

Author: STARC Admin

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