On-Air Field Day planning

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In preparation for ARRL Field Day, the FWRC will hold several on the air planning meetings. These are open to anyone who wants to participate in the event on June 24 and 25 at Ginsberg Hall at PFW northeast campus.

The club plans on-air meetings on the 146.91 MHz repeater (or Echolink node 519521) at 7 p.m. ET on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, June 14
  • Monday June 19
  • Wednesday, June 21

If you plan to join the club on Field Day, please let a club officer know, even if you can’t attend any of the above meetings.

Non-hams are invited to come out for Field Day, learn about the event, and even get on the air with licensed hams at the controls. The on-air meetings can be heard with a scanner by tuning 46.91 MHz FM.

The 2023 Field Day site will be near Ginsburg Hall, on the grounds of the Purdue Fort Wayne north campus (outlined in red on the graphic below). All stations will be outdoors (tentatively marked a star (club trailer) and diamonds (tents)), but we will have access to restrooms in Ginsburg Hall and can take shelter there in the event of severe weather.

The typical Field Day schedule is as follows:

  • Setup starts around 8-9 a.m. Saturday with stations complete and tested.
  • Operators meeting at 1:30 p.m. to review category, etc.
  • Field Day operation begins at 2 p.m.
  • Food usually planned for 5:30 p.m.
  • Operations continues through the night.
  • Field Day operation ends at 2 p.m. Sunday, tear down begins.
  • Ready to leave by 4 p.m. (typically).

ARRL seeks member input on possible dues increase

The ARRL recently contacted all affiliated clubs, including the Fort Wayne Radio Club to request that the clubs encourage members to participate in a survey regarding ARRL dues.

The ARRL plans to launch the survey on May 1. It will include short questions about raising ARRL dues and modifying the way some membership benefits are bundled. The survey will also include an opportunity for members to share their feedback.

To complete the survey, go to www.arrl.org/take-s-survey on or after May 1. The survey is for ARRL members only. To participate, members must log into the ARRL website. Members who are not logged in may select the Login button on the top of the web page. The website will then ask for a user name and password. Any member who has not logged in since April 2022 should use these login Instructions.

Help FWRC win another Indiana QSO Party award

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The 2023 Indiana QSO Party, takes place May 6-7. It’s a 12-hour on-the-air contest during which stations try to make as many contacts as possible, including as many Indiana counties as possible. Only SSB (voice) and CW (Morse code) contacts are allowed. No digital, no VHF and no WARC bands. Stations must keep a log (usually via a computer logging program) and may submit their logs to see where they place.

Fort Wayne Radio Club members have often participated as individuals and submitted our logs with the club identified as our affiliated club. This allows the governing body, the Hoosier DX and Contest Club, to issue an award plaque for the top club in the state. We have won at least five times, with three of them as new record high scores!

Another cool thing is that the New England QSO Party, the “7 Land” QSO Party, and the Delaware QSO Party are on the same day, so the bands are really a target rich environment! They help us and we help them.

April 14 FWRC meeting dedicated to Morse code

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Interested in CW (Morse code)? The April 14 Fort Wayne Radio Club meeting is where you want to be! The program will include a discussion of the origins of the code (before the Civil War) and how it has developed since.

We will also talk about how Morse code is used today and how to learn or improve your code abilities. Even if you aren’t really interested in Morse code, this will be an interesting program.

We meet at Good Shepherd Church, 4700 Vance Avenue. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.

Net to activate for statewide tornado drill March 14

Skywarn Logo

The National Weather Service (NWS) plans to conduct a statewide tornado drill in Indiana Tuesday, March 14, at 10:15 a.m. ET.

Beginning at about 10 a.m. that day, the Allen County Skywarn® net plans to implement standby mode, during which a net control station will explain what will happen when the statewide drill begins.

When NWS begins the drill by activating a NOAA Weather Radio alert, the net plans to switch to directed net mode, as it would during a real tornado warning. At that time, the net control station will accept simulated severe weather reports, using time-event-location (TEL) format.

To make a simulated report a station should first transmit their call sign phonetically, followed by the type of report. For example, “Whiskey Nine Alpha Bravo Charlie, funnel cloud.”

When acknowledged by the net control station, the reporting station should then give a report in time-event-location (TEL) format, as suggested by the National Weather Service Northern Indiana office. For example, “Test message. At 10:15 a.m., A simulated funnel cloud was approximately one mile north of the intersection of Dupont Road and Lima Road in northeastern Fort Wayne. W9ABC.”

As usual, the net will occur on 146.88 MHz. If for any reason that repeater is unavailable, the net will operate on 146.94 MHz.

NWS announces spring 2023 Skywarn training

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Skywarn spotter training in Fort Wayne, 2016.

The National Weather Service Northern Indiana weather forecast office has announced in-person and virtual training for volunteer storm spotters in March 2023. The sessions train volunteers to participate in the agency’s Skywarn storm spotter program. They help the NWS issue appropriate severe weather warnings by providing essential information not available via technology such as radar and weather satellites.

The Northern Indiana office plans in-person training in:

  • Dowagiac, Michigan, March 6, 6 p.m. ET
  • Wabash, Indiana, March 15, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Paulding, Ohio, March 20, 6 p.m. ET
  • Albion, Indiana, March 28, 6:30 p.m. ET

In addition, the office will provide the same information through online webinars:

  • March 1, 6 p.m. ET
  • March 10, 11 a.m. ET
  • March 25, 1 p.m. ET

Registration for all of the above in-person and virtual sessions is available now on the NWS website.

If you’ve had the training before, you’ll want to know that the NWS recommends that spotters take the class at least once every three years. I take it annually to see the latest changes in the program and to refresh my memory.

Among other benefits, the training helps spotters know the difference between scary looking but benign weather phenomena and truly dangerous weather that the NWS needs to know about immediately.