Our 146.64 Yaesu DR-1X repeater is currently on vacation in California at Yaesu USA receiving updates to its firmware. More on this below in “DSTAR coming to our 444.100 repeater in the very near future!”
PLEASE NOTE: First Thursdays of each month are reserved for BARC meetings, so there will not be a net on first Thursdays unless the meeting is cancelled in advance (such as July – no meeting in July)
☻ How about writing for our website or newsletter?
We have a new post on the front page of http://burkearc.com asking folks to sign up for Burke Amateur Radio Club newsletters and informational emails – If you received this email, you’re already signed up! On that link, we are advertising that newsletters/emails will have:
- news & happenings
- members’ views and opinions (How about sending me your views/opinions?)
- information of interest to all radio amateurs
- breaking news in the world of amateur radio
- review of a piece of equipment you might be interested in?
- an introduction to a new operating mode?
- info on upcoming hamfests and other interesting happenings?
I beseech anyone receiving this email to offer up your views, opinions or any item of interest to amateur radio or possibly anything else!
If you need a bit of inspiration, you can see what other folks are doing.
☻ DSTAR coming to our 444.100 repeater in the very near future!
Information: There are four repeaters in Waynesboro . . . 146.64, 145.23, 444.1, 442.8. Two are at K4BR’s QTH and two are at KB8TEP’s QTH. K4BR and KB8TEP each personally own one of the repeaters at his QTH and the club owns the other repeater at each QTH.
With that in mind, I sent my repeater back to Yaesu at my expense to have updated firmware 1.10 installed in my repeater. Just on a side note, the shipping was $91+!! Yaesu is giving this repeater a thorough going over and installing the firmware at no charge, so there is no charge to the club whatsoever!
Installing firmware version 1.10 is required to be able to add a tiny Northwest Digital Radio Club UDRC-II to my DR-1X repeater. The connection between the UDRC-II and the DR-1X repeater is a cable that comes with the UDRC-II. The DR-1X’s new version 1.10 firmware allows the repeater to instantly recognize the UDRC-II controller. Other than the new firmware, no changes to the repeater are required and simply unplugging the UDRC-II automatically returns the DR-1X to its original operation just like it came from the factory!
If you’re interested in a bit more information: The UDRC-II board is actually a “hat,” e.g. it plugs in to a 40-pin connector on top of a $35 Raspberrry Pi “mini-computer.” The “Pi” as it’s known runs the software that first determines whether incoming signals, either over the air or through the Internet, are analog, Yaesu C4FM or Icom DSTAR. If the signal is digital, either C4FM or DSTAR, the Pi connects the UDRC-II to the DR-1X repeater causes the DR-1X to repeat the appropriate digital signal both over the air and, in the case of DSTAR, it also simultaneously transmits the signal through the DSTAR international system by way of the Internet.
- If you have an analog radio, you will only be able to transmit and listen to analog signals.
- If you have a FTM-100DR C4FM Yaesu radio like I do, you will be operate in a analog and C4FM due to Yaesu’s new Automatic Mode Select (AMS) function that instantly detects the received signal mode. The AMS function enables stress-free operation and eliminates the need to manually switch between analog and C4FM modes. It is the only Yaesu radio with AMS. C4FM is totally incompatible with analog and DSTAR radios except all C4FM and DSTAR radios will operate in analog mode also.
- If you have a DSTAR transceiver, you may only talk to other DSTAR radios unless you cause the radio to transmit/receive in analog mode with one exception… see #4.
- Probably the easiest way to get on DSTAR is with a “USB stick.” With a stick, an amateur radio operator can connect to the international D-Star gateway network and receive/transmit with a PC or Mac device just like a D-Star radio user. I just received my Northwest Digital Radio Club’s ThumbDV™ today. There are other “sticks,” too: DVdongle, Internet Labs DV3K Digital Voice Dongle, Dv4mini, and a ThumbDV
Direct connection of the UDRC™-II to the Yaesu DR1-X Repeater is available with an included HD-15 bable and, after plugging the Raspberry Pi into an Internet router, adds complete and total D-STAR Capability to our Fusion Repeater. In fact, “word on the street” is that we’ll have a better DSTAR repeater than if we had bought a brand new Icom repeater!
Alternatively, a Mini DIN-6 Cable is available in lieu of the HD-15 cable. The Mini DIN-6 Cable can be used to connect to the Data Port of a standard HF/ VHF/UHF Radio to turn the radio into a functioning DSTAR transceiver.
Because this is being added to my DR-1X repeater, I paid for the UDRC-II and the Raspberry Pi making the total cost to BARC $0.00.
☻ JUST IN! Announcing D-STAR Live! in Lawrenceville GA
Thank you for this information, Kent Hufford, KQ4KK!
D-STAR Live will present some of the experts in D-STAR for a panel discussion on various aspects of the D-STAR ecosystem. We will be accepting questions from the audience, both in-person and from the Internet
A few of the areas that we plan to have discussions about are:
- Setting up a brand-new radio
- Updating / Programming your radio
- Kenwood TH-D74 D-STAR Radio
- New features of ID-51Plus2 and ID-4100
- Icom G3 Software
- D-STAR Comparison
- D-STAR Devices
- Questions from the You!
When: 11 March 2017 1200-1600 EST (UTC-5) 0900-1300 PST
FYI US DST starts the evening after the event
Where: Live Online and
Live in person at Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville GA
Ed Woodrick WA4YIH (DSTARInfo.com)
John Davis WB4QDX (Georgia D-STAR)
Ray Novak N9JA (Icom America)
Robin Cutshaw AA4RE (Internet Labs)
These are the EXPERTS. They produce the stuff, manage it, sell it, write it..
The event is FREE, we would appreciate it if you register at www.DSTARInfo.com.
For those attending in person, Icom has provided an ID-5100A as a door prize! You must be present to win.
We’ll post more information and the links to access the presentation at
☻ An Invitation To Participate From Our Friends at the Amateur Radio Club of Augusta
Thank you, Ray Gannaway, KJ4HZ, ARCA president
You may be aware that our area of the country is scheduled for a total eclipse Monday August 21st 2017. This is a once in a lifetime event. The Amateur Radio Club of Augusta voted at our February meeting to establish a Special Event Station for the event. Stations from all over the country (world, too?) will try to contact us and get a special certificate in the mail.
We have tentative approval to set up at the USC-Aiken campus for the event. The campus is in the total eclipse path while Augusta is not. See https://rpsec.usca.edu/Events/Eclipse/SolarEclipse2017.html
BARC can participate, too . . .
We would like to extend an offer to make this a joint venture for interested clubs in the CSRA Area.
If you would be interested in participating in the this event on the afternoon of August 21, 2017 plus possibly being our club’s point of contact and attending planning meetings, please contact me (John MacDonald) by replying to this email.
Please be aware that the eclipse is during normal working hours: 1:12 pm to 4:06 pm
Please email your name, callsign and phone number to me on or before March 13, 2017 at 8 pm.
Amateur Radio Club of Augusta Eclipse Committee Chairperson
Jennifer Ruby -KI7TEH
I hope you will join us in operating during this once in a lifetime event
Ray Gannaway – KJ4HZ
Amateur Radio Club of Augusta
☻ New ARES® East Central Georgia District Emergency Coordinator and Website
District Emergency Coordinator: John MacDonald, K4BR
East Central Georgia Amateur Radio Emergency Service® District Website: https://csraares.com/
https://csraares.com will be updated frequently.
☻ March meeting – This Thursday evening
Every amateur in the CSRA is invited to Burke Amateur Radio Club’s (BARC) March pre-meeting informal dinner and club meeting on Thursday, March 2, 2017.
The Burke Amateur Radio Club meets at the City of Waynesboro City Hall’s “Council Room,” 628 Myrick St., Waynesboro, GA 30830 on the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm. We will meet for supper at 5:45 before the meeting at Camino Real Mexican Restaurant on 6th Street, Waynesboro GA – Camino Real Restaurant is directly across 6th Street from the Burke County Courthouse and just 2 blocks away from City Hall (see the map below). Please check the BARC meeting’s page for up-to-date meeting info.
Our March meeting’s program will be the
NWS Basic Storm Spotter Training Class
The program will be presented by Leonard Vaughn of the Columbia, SC National Weather Service.
Each participant will receive a certificate recognizing them as an “Official Storm Spotter” plus club members who participate in the class will be recognized on our club’s website.
☻ Possible New Entry Level License
☻ D-Star coming to a CHEAP HandHeld near you….very soon
DSTAR is coming soon to our 444.100 repeater, but is it the right time to buy an expensive Icom handheld or mobile radio?
☻ REMINDER – Monthly test of the Georgia Hospital Amateur Radio Net – March 5, 2017 – starting at 2:30 P.M.
from Bret Smith, W4HBS
This Sunday will be the monthly test of the Georgia Hospital Net and as usual we will begin with a DSTAR net at 2:30 p.m. on reflector 030B, hosted by Steve Jonas, K4SDJ in Savannah. Steve will also call the HF voice net on 3.975 MHz LSB (primary), 7.287.5 MHz LSB, or finally, 7.185.0 MHz LSB. (Please note the new order of frequencies)
The digital portion of the net this month, will be via Winlink Express. Please be prepared to send an IC-213 via Winmor, Packet or Telnet to W4HBS. NOTE: Include in the ICS-213 the operators name, first and last, and if you are “on-site” using the hospitals equipment or are “off-site”. All traffic received will receive a special response. The Winlink Hospital Net will run concurrent with the DSTAR Net (2:30 pm – 3:00 pm). (Please take time to update the ICS Forms on your computer by going to Winlink.org.)
We are continuing to see (and hear) several new facilities throughout the new year as statewide ARES groups continue to work with hospitals, clinics and other facilities in their areas to get their equipment operational and on the air. We want to thank you for your dedication and commitment to Public Health emergency communications.
If you have any suggestions for improving on our goal of supporting the hospitals throughout the State please feel free to contact me.
Bret Smith, W4HBS
Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator,
Dept. of Human Resources/Public Health
Georgia Amateur Radio Emergency Service
☻ Upcoming Southeastern Division QSO Parties
Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss these . I am excited to learn that Florida QSO Party will be
celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year!
Georgia QSO Party, April 8 – 9th, 2017.
Florida QSO Party, April 29 – 30th, 2017.
20th Anniversary Special Event Award 2017 FQP Spelling Bee!
In honor of our 20th year we will have a record 20 1x1s stations, 2 per
letter, to spell FLORIDA SUN.
Contact at least 10 of these official 1×1 stations whose suffixes spell
“FLORIDA SUN” to earn this award.
The callsigns and hosts will be announced on the FQP website soon.
All 20 stations will be on both modes full-time and should be very
accessible. QSL via KK3Q direct/bureau.
Prizes: Beautiful color Certificates for top participants
Plaques for top finishing entrants.
Alabama QSO Party, June 3 – 4th, 2017.
☻ ARLB006 Amateur Radio Parity Act Speeds to U.S. House Passage, Heads to U.S. Senate
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT January 26, 2017
To all radio amateurs
Just 10 days after being introduced, the 2017 Amateur Radio Parity Act legislation, H.R. 555, passed the
U.S. House of Representatives this week on unanimous consent under a suspension of House rules.
The bill’s language is identical to that of the 2015 measure, H.R. 1301, which won House approval late last summer after attracting 126 co-sponsors, but failed to clear the U.S. Senate last fall as the 114th Congress wound dow
n. The new bill, again sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), was introduced on January 13 with initial co-sponsorship by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Rep. Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
H.R. 555 can be found on the web at
“The grassroots effort of Amateur Radio operators across this nation in support of the Amateur Radio
Parity Act has been remarkable, nothing like we have ever seen before,” ARRL President Rick Roderick,
K5UR, said. “To all hams, keep going! Now is the time to charge forward with that same momentum to
the Senate. We can do it!”
The bill arrives in the U.S. Senate with ample time in which to garner its approval through an education
campaign. “We’re very encouraged by the speed with which this bill made it through the House. It’s amazing that this happened,” said ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who has been at the forefront
of the legislative initiative. “With the help of ARRL members, we believe we can get this done,” Lisenco
continued. “We came within a hair’s breadth last time, with 110,000 e-mails to members of both houses
of Congress, as well as letters and telephone calls. Member participation in this final push is critical.”
H.R. 555 calls on the FCC to establish rules prohibiting the application of deed restrictions that preclude
Amateur Radio communications on their face or as applied. Deed restrictions would have to impose the
minimum practicable restriction on Amateur Radio communications to accomplish the lawful purposes
of homeowners association seeking to enforce the restriction.
☻ ARLB006 Amateur Radio Parity Act Speeds to U.S. House Passage, Heads to U.S. Senate
From ARRL Headquarters
Newly designated FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (see below) praised the House action on H.R. 555 and other telecommunications-related legislation that cleared the chamber on Monday.
“I want to commend the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a number of important, bipartisan telecom bills yesterday,” Pai said on January 24.
“These bills will help bring greater efficiency to the Commission, provide consumers with greater protections, improve rural call completion, help Amateur Radio operators, and take several steps to promote public safety,” he continued, adding, “I look forward to working with Congress on these and other important issues as Chairman of the FCC.”
President Donald Trump named the 44-year-old telecommunications attorney, — who has served on the Commission since 2012 and is its senior member — to succeed chairman Tom Wheeler, who stepped down on Inauguration Day, January 20. Pai is the FCC’s 34th chairman.
Pai chaired his first open meeting of the Commission on Tuesday, January 31.