The Fort Wayne Radio Club is an organization of amateur (ham) radio operators in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Use the menu above to learn more or scroll down for the latest news!

Upcoming Events

Sat., Apr 27th, 2019, 8:00am
Tue., Apr 30th, 2019, 7:00pm
FWRC Board of Directors
Sun., May 5th, 2019, 1:30pm
Fri., May 10th, 2019, 7:00pm
FWRC General Meeting
Sun., Jun 2nd, 2019, 1:30pm
field_day fox_hunt rig_clinic tailgate_hamfest VHF_QSO_party

FWRC participates in the annual ARRL Field Day event every June.

FWRC conducts a monthly fox (hidden transmitter) hunt from March through November.

FWRC members bring test eqiupment to one meeting per year for the club's annual "rig clinic."

Every August, FWRC hosts a free tailgate hamfest.

FWRC members participate in the ARRL VHF QSO Party from an upper level of a parking structure.

To tone or not to tone: That is the question

CTCSS tone frequency tableAlthough not too many hams seem to have been aware of it, for several years now repeater councils of many Midwestern states (including the Indiana Repeater Council) have been on a course to require that ALL coordinated repeater systems on all VHF and UHF bands require a CTCSS tone be present on the input to the repeater in order for the repeater to un-squelch and retransmit the received audio.

CTCSS, stands for continuous tone-coded squelch system, often called "tone" or "PL" (i.e. “Private Line,” a Motorola trademark); it is a sub-audible frequency between 67.0 Hz and 254.1 Hz that is added to the audio of the signal that is transmitted to the input of a repeater. In other words, the handheld, base station or mobile rig that is intended to operate through the repeater must have a CTCSS tone encoder installed in it. (Virtually all post-1980 built amateur FM transceivers have the capability built-in.) Detection of the sub-audible tone then satisfies the condition necessary to un-squelch the repeater receiver and cause the detected audio to be retransmitted. Often, the repeater also will transmit the same tone on its output, so that individual receivers, so equipped for CTCSS, will only un-squelch for the local repeater and not be bothered by occasional DX repeaters, spurious signals, noise and so forth.

This move is significant to anyone that operates a repeater system, since coordination is essentially mandatory. Although the FCC does not explicitly require that a repeater be coordinated, it does however always stand behind the coordinated machine if any kind of complaint is received. By virtue of this, if you do not have the blessing of the recognized coordinating body in your state, it is only a matter of time before you're off the air! This implies that anyone with a current coordinated repeater pair could lose that status and another party could potentially “hijack” the frequency! We would hope that this could never happen, but it pays to be prepared.

Read more: To tone or not to tone: That is the question

February fox leaves no tracks

foxhunt cartoonSunday, February 9 marked the date of the first foxhunt of the 2014 season. And this foxhunt was delayed a week from the original start date of the 2nd because of the on-going inclement weather that Ft. Wayne has been experiencing this winter. Wind, cold, snow, more snow, enough already!!

With an additional three inches of overnight snow on the ground, seven intrepid hunters made their way over to the Off-track Betting Parlor parking lot. The seven consisted of the team of Carole and Al Burke, WB9's RUS & SSE, the team of Linda and Steve Nardin, W9's LAN & SAN plus their grandson Alex, and the team of Dave Spence, K9NDU and Bob Dean, KC9UHU. Missing from the ranks were regular foxhunters Jim & Kim Machamer, KB9's DOS & DOT whose vehicle was inundated in a snow bank and was thus out of action, and Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & WB9YYI who were in fact luxuriating on deck chairs on a Cruise ship in the Caribbean. (It being Annie's birthday, Jim gave her the choice of slogging thru the snow on a foxhunt, or a cruise. So guess what she chose.....go figure).

Charles Ward, KC9MUT and Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP served the role of the fox. They were located at a city park in Grabill. (Did you know that Grabill has two parks?). The high power fox consisted of a mobile rig pumping about 130 watts into a yagi aimed at a water tower to kinda confuse the signal direction of arrival when close-in to the fox location. The fox itself was a micro-fox running about 100 miliwatts of microprocessor derived CW. It was buried beneath the snow in a valley formed between two huge piles of snow which required help from Sherpas to climb. I mean, those snow hummocks were huge.

Now you may ask, "Well, didn't Charles and Fred's footprints in the snow lead one directly to the microfox?"......and the answer is.... No, evil Charles included a leaf blower in his bag of fox-hiding tools and used it to obliterate footprints leading to and around the fox hid location. Remarkably devious wouldn't you say?

Anyway, the fox starting transmitting on the input to the 146.76 repeater promptly at 13:30 and was heard by everyone (except Carole and Al....we didn't have a DF antenna mounted on our vehicle...we tagged along behind Linda and Steve). The first bearings were to the east, and a shudder ran through everyone...."Oh no, not New Haven". But then it became apparent that the fox was well north of New Haven based upon a bearing Jim & Kim Machamer took from their home QTH antenna in Blackhawk.

Read more: February fox leaves no tracks

146.910 MHZ repeater antenna replaced

IPFW antenna replacement
Mike Powell of Tower Erection and Maintenance, Inc. replaces the antenna for the FWRC 146.91 MHz EchoLink repeater on the campus of IPFW. (WB9SSE photo)

The 20-foot long Cellwave PD-220 antenna atop the tower on Kettler Hall at IPFW was replaced on Wednesday, 22 January. The antenna does its thing launching and absorbing photons for the Fort Wayne Radio Club's 146.910/.310 MHz EchoLink repeater. The existing antenna had been defective for over a year thus limiting the performance of the EchoLink machine.

It was COLD up there on the roof of Kettler Hall when Mike Powell and his crew of two from Tower Erection and Maintenance, Inc. started work around 10 a.m. They finished at 2:30 p.m. The task had been scheduled on numerous dates starting from right after Christmas until it was finally accomplished on the 22nd. It had to be rescheduled numerous times because of the less than moderate weather we have been experiencing here in Ft. Wayne for the last month or so. The temperature Wednesday morning was around 10 degrees F, but the wind was fairly low and there was no precipitation (at least not until 2 p.m. when we started getting some flurries).

Despite the best laid plans of mice and men (specifically Jim Pliett, K9OMA, and myself), ole Murphy struck. We had planned that the tower climbing task would consist of climbing the tower, removing the existing antenna from the tower leg, lowering it to the ground, removing the PL-259 to type N jumper cable from the base of old antenna, reinstalling it on the replacement antenna, hauling the replacement antenna back up the tower, reinstalling it on the tower leg, reconnecting the jumper to the transmission line at the top of the tower, and then climbing back down the tower. The intent being to minimize the time expended by Tower Erection Maintenance, Inc. since they charge at an hourly rate. Easy-peasy, ehh?

Read more: 146.910 MHZ repeater antenna replaced

Fort Wayne Radio Club auction results for 2014

Bidders at FWRC auction

Bidders at the January, 2014 FWRC auction. Photo by KU8T. See more photos.

This year the annual Fort Wayne Radio Club auction was held on Friday, January 17, 2013. There were 31 attendees who signed for an identifying number for the auction. The seven folks who came to watch and not participate in the auction activity did not need to take an identifying number.

The best news is that the club gained 8 new/renewing members during the auction. This resulted in an income of $130 for the club and $12 for ACARTS. One of those members used a one year free membership for taking a class sponsored by FWRC and passing the ham license test.

A father-son pair came to observe the auction, and left their contact information. They were seeking possible equipment (and ham radio information) for the son.

The auction benefit to the Fort Wayne Radio Club was a miserly $56.25 compared to past years. One of the participants (Dave Van Doorn, W9WEL) owes the club $20, and when that income is received the auction will have provided $76.25. The sum includes donations of $6.00 total from participants Tammy Preble, Scott Badders, and Jack Shutt.


Read more: Fort Wayne Radio Club auction results for 2014

Club roster updated

The club roster on this website has been updated to list all members who have paid their dues for 2014. If you're not on it, the club secretary does not have record of your dues payment. Check it out.

FWRC regains IRS recognition

Members of the Fort Wayne Radio Club may recall that the club applied for reinstatement of the club's federal tax-exempt status in November of 2012. The Internal Revenue Service has just notified us that the club tax-exempt status has been reinstated and is retroactive to the date the club had no longer been considered tax-exempt by the IRS.

The club is incorporated in the State of Indiana as a not-for-profit organization. Indiana honors the federal tax exempt status provided by the IRS. Thus, the club does not, will not, and never did owe income tax to either the federal or state governments. (This only applies to the income tax. The club still must pay sales tax for purchases when sales tax is due).

The tax-exempt status is derived from the club registering with the IRS as a social club under Section 501 (c) – 7 of the IRS code. The club must file regular reports with the IRS to maintain this tax exempt status.

This registration does not make dues payments or donations to the club deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. Donations to the club by businesses might be deductible for the business under certain circumstances.

More Articles...

  1. Dec. meeting minutes available
  2. Christmas party photos available
  3. November meeting minutes available
  4. 2013 Hamfest photos available
  5. FWRC 2014 incentive HT drawing results