March Fox Rings a Bell

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The Foxhunt Chronicles

fox cartoonThe second foxhunt of the 2013 FWRC’s foxhunt season occurred on Sunday, the 3rd of March on a sunny but cold March afternoon. In  general good foxhunting weather albeit a little nippy.

The March hunters included the team of Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & KA9YYI plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS & SSE, the team of Charles Ward & Fred Gengnagle, KC9MUT & KC9EZP, the team of Linda & Steve Nardin, W9’s LAN & SAN plus their grandson Alex, and the team of Kim & Jim Machamer, KB9’s DOS & DOT,…. In all a total of eleven rabid hunters just chomping at the bit to find their elusive prey.

And serving as the prey for this contest were Bob Dean, KC9UHU & Dave Spence, KB9VTK who were holed-up at a baseball diamond at Harlan Community Park. They had erected a yagi driven by about 50 watts of rf for the high power fox signal, and hid a microcontroller controlled “microfox” within a brass bell located on the baseball diamond property as the actual fox. The microfox was programmed to automatically produce about 50 milliwatts of cw on the fox output frequency for one minute every five minutes. For this hunt the fox frequency was set to 146.31 MHz which is the input frequency for the FWRC’s 146.91/.31 repeater, and thus allowed area hams to listen in on the progress of the hunt via the 146.91/.31 machine.

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March Board Meeting on Air

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Due to the approach of inclement weather, the BOD of the Fort Wayne Radio Club has decided to hold the Board Of Directors meeting for March on the air (OTA). (The church will most likely not be open tomorrow night anyway)

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 5th, at 7:00 pm on the 146.76 repeater in Fort Wayne. All members are invited to listen in, and there will be a time for comments from club members.

Summary of 2013 SKYWARN Spotter Training

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About 35 people attended SKYWARN spotter training Feb. 26 at the Allen County Public Library. Here are some highlights:

Photo of spotters attending training sessionWarning Coordination Meteorologist Michael Lewis reminded spotters of the importance of their reports. He pointed out that studies have shown that members of the general public pay more attention to weather warnings when they include eyewitness reports. In other words, if a tornado warning says a spotter has seen a tornado on the ground, it’ll get a lot more response from the public than a possible tornado indicated by radar.

Reporting Methods

Lewis covered the preferred and less preferred reporting methods.

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SKYWARN Training Handouts

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Due to budget constraints, paper handouts are/were not available during the Allen County SKYWARN spotter training Feb. 26. Below are links to the handouts, so you can view and/or print them for yourself. They are in PDF format, so you’ll need Adobe Reader.

Reporting criteria (new for 2013)

Graphical depiction of how to maintain Severe Weather Awareness

Hail Chart

Beaufort Wind Chart (and Spotter Reporting Format)

Thunderstorm Type Chart and Associated Threats

QR Codes and Shortened Webpage Addresses

Owlie Skywarn Booklet (1.6 MB pdf) from NOAA’s National Weather Service

Fox Found in Little-Known Park

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The Foxhunt Chronicles

fox cartoonThe 2013 Foxhunt season commenced on a darkly overcast Sunday, the 10th of February, amidst a cold, breezy and slightly, here and there, snow covered landscape. Aside from the mild frostbite potential, and the outlook for a bone chilling rain, not a bad day for a foxhunt.

The February hunters included the team of Annie and Jim Pliett, KA9YYI and K9OMA, plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS &SSE, the team of Bob Dean & Dave Spence, KC9UHU & KB9VTK, and the team of Charles Ward & Fred Gengnagle, KC9MUT & KC9EZP. Stalwart foxhunters Kim & Jim Machamer, KB9’s DOS & DOT, and Steve & Linda Nardin, W9’s SAN & LAN were not able to participate in this first hunt of the year due to Kim having a case of the Eww-Fung-Gu while Linda is recuperating from a broken hoof which she got from tripping in the garage. Steve didn’t attend because he was nervous about the doctor-vet who was eyeing Linda’s foot and the pistol he carries in his belt.

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Special Event Station N9L to Honor American Legion

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Club logoARRL Indiana Section Public Information Officer Joe March, KJ9M reported that special event station N9L will commemorate the 94th Birthday of the American Legion. The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC) plans to operate in Indianapolis Friday, March 15 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT and Saturday, March 16, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT.

N9L will operate SSB on or near 14.270 MHz, FM on 146.46 MHz and on IRLP Node 4816. A special certificate is available to stations that contact N9L. More information is available on QRZ.com.

The American Legion is nation’s largest veterans organization and it is headquartered in Indianapolis.

February Meeting to Feature Fox Hunt Technology

Please plan on joining us this Friday night for the February general meeting of the Fort Wayne Radio Club. Although we originally planned on having an EM COMM theme for the night, with two other meetings devoted to that activity, we changed the meeting’s focus to the latest in Fox Hunting technology. We will meet in the “Pit” which is the small meeting room adjacent to the Raasch Hall in Good Shepherd Church.

We will have discussion on two modern direct mapping techniques. Also, there will be discussion of the technical features of the “Micro Fox”. Also, we may have some details on Geo Caching as well.

Join us on Friday night for one of the fun aspects of Amateur Radio! The meeting starts at 7:00 pm. The Good Shepherd United Methodist Church is at the corner of Vance Avenue and Reed Road in Fort Wayne, just south of Snider High School.

NWS Radar Offline for Upgrades Feb. 11-24

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The nearest National Weather Service (NWS) radar to Fort Wayne, located at the Northern Indiana NWS office near North Webster, will be off line for two weeks, beginning Feb. 11, 2013. Technicians will upgrade the radar to use new, dual-polarization (dual-pol) technology. According to the NWS website, the new technology and data will primarily help forecasters identify the type of precipitation that is falling as well as improve rainfall estimates.

While the Northern Indiana NWS radar is being upgraded, people in the areas normally served by that radar (including Fort Wayne) will need to view data from other radar sites, including those in Grand Rapids, Mich., Detroit, Cleveland, Wilmington, Ohio, Indianapolis, Central Illinois, and Chicago.

Read more about dual-pol radar and its benefits.