N9MTF DMR Repeater Activity Increases

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Brad Peterson, N9MTF, has made the Brandmeister nationwide talkgroup (3100) static on his DMR repeater, at least temporarily. It’s a very active talkgroup, so having it “always on” versus “on-demand” will make it easier for local DMR users to know if they’re within receiving range of the repeater.

The repeater’s antenna is on the roof the Parkview Hospital Randallia, 2200 Randallia Drive, in northeastern Fort Wayne. Its frequency is 442.63750 MHz, with a typical, +5 MHz offset and it uses color code 1.

Talkgroup 3100 is static on timeslot 1, which means that even when that talkgroup is in use, timeslot 2 remains available for QSOs on local talkgroup 2 and Indiana statewide talkgroup 3118, among others (DMR repeaters can support up to two, simultaneous QSOs on separate timeslots).

A few weeks ago, Brad replaced an antenna connector, which markedly improved the repeater’s receiving capability.

Although the repeater is not owned or operated by FWRC, this information is provided because it might be of interest to local hams. Direct questions about the repeater to Brad, whose email address can be found on www.qrz.com.

CTCSS requirement removed from 146.76 MHz repeater

The 76 repeater is back on the air and the input PL tone has been removed. We still do not know what the noise was on the input over the weekend, so we are hopeful that it has gone away. If it returns, we will reinstate the tone and do some fox hunting for the noise!

Special thanks to Paul, Al, Jim and Bruce for their help in trying to fix the problem!

Earlier this week, due to some unexplained broadband noise on its input, FWRC implemented a 141.3 Hz CTCSS requirement to access the repeater.

SKYWARN Recognition Day begins Friday evening

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An annual event to recognize SKYWARN storm spotters around the U.S. begins at 7 p.m. ET Friday, Dec. 4. SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) is traditionally at 24-hour on-the-air amateur radio special event, because hams were the first SKYWARN storm spotters. In past years, volunteer hams activated special event stations at NWS forecast offices, using club call signs assigned to those offices (e.g. WX9IWX for the Northern Indiana office). Other hams attempted to contact as many different NWS offices as possible.

This year, however, will have a slightly different look.

First, few weather office club call signs will be activated because the National Weather Service is prohibiting volunteer access to the offices.

Second, in lieu of trying to contact as many weather offices as possible, NWS is encouraging amateur radio participants to register for and exchange SRD numbers with each other.

Third, because a growing number of SKYWARN storm spotters use social media instead of ham radio to report severe weather, this year’s SRD will have a greater social media emphasis.

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Mail-in raffle underway to promote FWRC membership renewal

FWRC will raffle a weather station (left), Astron linear power supply (top right) and Astron switching power supply (lower right) as incentives for membership renewals and new memberships.

The Fort Wayne Radio Club normally promotes the renewal of club membership during the Fort Wayne Hamfest in November. Typically, it received about 70 percent of each year’s membership dues during that event. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, required the cancellation of the 2020 Hamfest, so FWRC needed an alternate method of promoting membership renewal.

The club therefore mailed membership forms (see link below) with a cover letter to every person who is a member in 2020. The mailing included a stamped, self-addressed, return envelope with which members may mail their membership forms and dues to the club post office box.

The membership form is also available for download from this website, by following the link below.

The form requests each member’s email address and phone number, to keep our member database current. It also provides opportunity to update members’ postal addresses, call signs and license classes.

The club is raffling three items this year (vs. the single item in previous years) as incentive join or renew:

  1. La Crosse Technology S81120 wireless weather station with sensors for wind speed, wind direction, temperature and humidity.
  2. Astron VS-50M linear power supply, 13.8 vdc (adjustable), rated at 50 amps intermittent and 37 amps continuous duty.
  3. Astron SS-25 switching power supply, 13.8 vdc, rated at 25 amps intermittent and 20 amps continuous.

Everyone who submits a membership form with dues for 2021 gets one chance at one of the three items identified above. Members may also purchase additional chances at any or all three items for $1.00 per chance. For example, a member who wants 10 additional chances at the La Crosse Technology weather station would write a check for $10.00 plus membership dues. That’s pretty inexpensive, considering the cost of purchasing one of these weather stations on your own.

Mailed membership forms and dues must arrive in the club post office box by Dec. 12 to qualify for the raffle. Members may also deliver their forms and dues in person to any FWRC officer or director. To be eligible for the raffle, members who so choose may do so as late as Dec. 15, as long as the entries arrive before the drawings, which will occur during the Dec. 15 club meeting at the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library. Members not be present to win.

Current members whose address is incorrect in club records, and anyone who is not a 2020 member will not receive a form by mail, but may download it from this website, using the link below.

FWRC membership form 2021

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November 17 (Tuesday) meeting to feature Red Cross speaker

Woman giving blood
American Red Cross photo.

FWRC president Carole Burke, WB9RUS invites you to join us for the November meeting of the Fort Wayne Radio Club, Tuesday, November 17, at 7 p.m. at the Allen County Public Library, downtown branch, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne.

“The downtown library branch facilities are excellent,” Carole wrote. We will use meeting Rooms 1 and 2, which will provide over 2,500 square feet to conduct our meeting in a coronavirus-compliant manner. Parking underneath the library building is available, and it’s free if you hold an Allen County Library card, otherwise they charge $1.00 per hour.

Carole said the program will feature Zachary Bernath, an information officer for the American Red Cross. He will describe the very sophisticated system and processes the Red Cross uses to collect whole blood and blood products for distribution to hospitals all around the country. Mr. Bernath will be prepared to entertain any questions from the audience regarding the Red Cross’ mission, and to discuss the importance of being a blood donor.

Hope to see you there.

FWRC holds first indoor meeting of pandemic

The October Fort Wayne Radio Club regular meeting was held on Thursday 15 October, 2020. And, it was held indoors!  Yes, indoors at the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in downtown Ft. Wayne to the delight of those who attended. We had a regular business meeting which included determining club officers and Board members for the 2021 club year.  Minutes from the meeting will be published shortly.

We have also obtained use of the ACPL venue for the months of November and December, and hope to be able to continue using it in 2021 for the foreseeable future until we can find another meeting location, perhaps back at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church should they decide to open their doors to outside groups again.

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FWRC to meet at downtown library on new dates

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Allen County Public Library main branch

FWRC secretary Al Burke, WB9SSE, announced that the club has booked the main, downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, for general meetings Thursday, October 15; Tuesday, November 17; and Tuesday, December 15. Note that these dates are different that those originally planned for these meetings and on different nights that the club’s traditional Friday meetings, because the space was not available on the normal dates.

The club booked Rooms A and B, which have a combined, normal seating capacity of 126 and will therefore accommodate at least 30 people with required social distancing. Members who enter the building from the Library Plaza entrance will bear to the left to find the meeting room. Those who park under the building will arise at the west entrance and will walk toward the Library Plaza entrance and turn right.

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