2020 Indiana QSO Party Recap

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“Wow! What a Saturday! When we put our minds to it, our club can rise to the occasion!” That’s how Ken Rogner, N8KR reacted to the Fort Wayne Radio Club’s participation in the 2020 Indiana QSO Party (INQP), May 2.

Ken wrote that he knew of at least 32 Allen County stations on the air for the event. He logged 28 of them himself.

The list of participating Allen County stations included at least the following (in arbitrary order): W9TE, N9HRA, W9HT, KC8ZH, K9BLI, KD9GDY, KJ9R, K9LA, WB9MYQ, KD9HAV, KD9INP, WD7G, W9GT, K9FMX, K9FW, WA9BBN, KS9KCC, W9SAN, KD9NRT, W9LW, N9RIS, KU8T, KC9WOM, AE9YL, KC9TGK, KD9ITZ, KB9OS, K3HZP, KA9GKE, K9LI, KD9JLL, and AC9EZ.

Ken reminded all participating FWRC members to submit their logs to the event organizers and to assure that they identify the Fort Wayne Radio Club as their club affiliation. The log submission deadline is June 1, according to INQP rules, but Ken encouraged members to submit their logs without delay.

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Antenna Basics white paper provides helpful information

FWRC member Al Burke, WB9SSE, discovered a white paper on antenna fundamentals produced by broadcast equipment manufacturer Rhode & Schwarz. The white paper provides basic insight into the world of antennas and Al thinks it is written at just the right level for new hams.

Al said the paper provides just a little theory, and explains much potentially confusing terminology.

He recommends that you check it out, using the link below to the PDF version.

Antenna Basics

FWRC plans group QSO Party entry

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By Ken Rogner, N8KR

The Fort Wayne Radio Club (FWRC) encourages members to enter the club competition of the Indiana QSO Party (INQP), Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

The club competition relies on aggregate scores submitted by individual club members. That means all we need to do is get on the air from our home stations, make some contacts on HF (SSB, CW or both), indicate our FWRC affiliation on our logs and then submit them.

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FWRC cancels April fox hunt

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foxhunt cartoon

Unfortunately, the FWRC fox (hidden transmitter) hunt for April is cancelled. We are looking into ways that we can run a fox hunt in May, without the need to get out of our vehicles. Stay active and on the air, we’ll all get through this emergency in due time, and be back to full activities. Remember that amateur radio is the original social distancing!

Echolink, full power return to 146.91

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Thanks to FWRC members Larry Temenoff, KB9OS; Paul Prestia, KA3OPZ; and Tom Rupp, KU8T, Echolink services have returned to our 146.91 MHz repeater and it’s operating again at full power.

The repeater is on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus and uses an internet connection provided by the university for Echolink services. To protect the Echolink computer from cyber attack, the university required that we install a router between the university’s network and our computer. Larry donated a router and Paul configured and installed it.

Tom repaired and reinstalled the repeater’s power amplifier, which now puts out 80 watts.

ARES cancels severe weather seminar

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The Allen County Amateur Radio Emergency Service regrets to announce that it has cancelled the Allen County Severe Weather Seminar, originally scheduled for March 28, at the main branch of the Allen County Public Library.

ARES took the action after hearing an explanation this afternoon by Allen County health commissioner, Deborah McMahan, M.D. In a nutshell, she said it is important for people to avoid all unnecessary personal contact, to help keep hospitals and other parts of the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed or worse, closing. By canceling events and staying home, we probably won’t prevent eventual transmission of COVID-19 countywide, but we might be able to stagger transmission, so we don’t have everyone (including healthcare workers) ill at the same time.

It is in support of that tactic – staggered disease transmission – that ARES canceled the seminar.

ARES doesn’t know at this time whether it will be able to reschedule, because it depends on too many factors. These include when officials like McMahan stop recommending social distancing, speaker availability and venue availability. It is conceivable that if ARES reschedules, it won’t happen until a year from now.

While you’re practicing social distancing by staying home, ARES has some online resources to recommend.

The MetEd (Meteorology Education) website has an excellent, online, two-module course on storm spotting. It’s great for anyone who has never been to a storm spotter class, and it’s also a good refresher for those who have.

Everything on the MetEd website is free, including more advanced classes, such as:

  • Anticipating Hazardous Weather and Community Risk, 2nd Edition, a single module that provides background information about weather, natural hazards, and preparedness. Additional topics include risk communication, human behavior, and effective warning partnerships.
  • Weather Radar Fundamentals, a single module, presents the fundamental principles of Doppler weather radar operation and how to interpret common weather phenomena using radar imagery.
  • Summer Severe Weather, a seven-module course that covers the basic principles of warm-season convective (rising air) weather with the aim of improving the prediction of significant and severe convection.

Another good resource is Thunderstorms – An Introduction, offered on the website of Spotter Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the National Weather Service receive timely severe weather reports. You must join the organization to take the course, but there’ no fee to join and there are other benefits.

Finally, check out JetStream – An Online School for Weather, hosted by the National Weather Service itself.