June fox hangs with alumns

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foxhunt cartoon

By Meghan Warrix, KD9ODP and Adam Warrix, KD9NRT

Although the weather has improved, the current situation with COVID-19 has led to a postponement of foxhunting. This all changed on a beautiful June 7th. The sun was out and a single cloud wasn’t seen in the sky. You couldn’t ask for better weather. Four teams, observing social distancing, assembled in the parking lot waiting for the 1:30 PM start time.

Adam, KD9NRT, and his wife Meghan, KD9ODP, served as the fox. The microfox was hidden under the skirting of a light post at the Purdue – Fort Wayne Alumni Center. At exactly 1:30 PM, Meghan started transmitting. The theme for the day was 100 lesser known facts. One group would win but everyone would win through knowledge. The groups set off in search of the microfox.

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Hams exempt from new Indiana handheld device law

Licensed amateur radio operators may continue to operate handheld radios in the Amateur Radio Service, despite an Indiana law that took effect July 1, 2020.

The new law, IC 9-21-8-59, prohibits a person from holding or using a “telecommunications device” while operating a moving motor vehicle.

Fortunately, however, a separate part of the Indiana code, IC 9-13-2-177.3, states that the definition of a “telecommunications device,” as it applies to the above referenced IC 9-21-8-59, does not include “amateur radio equipment that is being operated by a person licensed as an amateur radio operator by the Federal Communications Commission under 47 CFR Part 97.”

The provisions of IC 9-13-2-177.3, therefore, exempt the use of amateur radio equipment from the new handheld device ban (IC 9-21-8-59), as long as the equipment is operated by a licensed amateur radio operator.

It also, by the way, exempts citizens band equipment and other communications systems, if those systems are “installed in a commercial motor vehicle weighing more than ten thousand (10,000) pounds.”

Interestingly, IC 9-13-2-177.3 provides no explicit exemption for two-radios in police cars or other emergency vehicles that are not commercial motor vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.

Fox (hidden transmitter) hunts resume

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Attention all Fox Hunters! Please plan on joining the Fort Wayne Radio Club Sunday, June 7 at 1:30 p.m. EDT for our return to the thrill of the hunt!

As usual, we will start out in the parking lot of 24/30 Surplus (formerly K-Mart), 820 N Coliseum Blvd, This a half mile north of the “cloverleaf” intersection of Coliseum Blvd and E. Washington Blvd, near the geographic center of Allen County.

The foxes for this event will be Adam and Meghan Warrix, KD9NRT & KD9ODP, who won the last hunt on their first time out. The high power fox will begin transmitting at 1:30 p.m. It will transmit for one minute every five minutes. The fox, as usual, will transmit on 146.430 MHz FM. We will use the 146.76 MHz repeater for an intercom, in case anyone needs assistance. Home stations are invited to join in and send their bearings!

Hunters are requested to bring a ‘picnic’ lunch or drink for a gathering at the end of the hunt, with proper social distancing, to spin tall tales about the hunt and anything else of interest.

“Fox” masks are optional! (you need not wear a mask while in your car)!

We hope to see you there!

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