Should you consider a digital radio?

From the mid-1930’s until World War II, amateur radio’s #1 mode of voice operation was AM. 

After the war, single-side band voice mode became popular for a number of reasons including 3 kc of bandwidth versus 6 kc of bandwidth in an AM signal and, because of the narrower bandwidth, more power could be “concentrated” on the narrower SSB conversation meaning a longer range to the signal. 

It’s apparent that the same thing that happened to AM radios is happening now to not only SSB, but also VHF & UHF analog FM radios.  Digital modes are quickly taking over from the analog SSB & FM modes.

SSB is in competition with numerous digital modes on the 160M to 10M HF + VHF, UHF and more bands.   Fortunately, we have devices like the Tigertronics SignaLink™ USB Digital Communications Interface that will help us use digital modes on HF and, to a certain extent, VHF & UHF.  The SignaLink™ will give your radios these modes:

  • RTTY
  • SSTV
  • CW
  • PSK31
  • WSPR
  • WINMOR
  • Winlink
  • FLDIGI
  • MT-63
  • AMTOR
    and more.

The SignaLink™ as yet will not give your fairly-soon-to-be-antique analog FM radio access to proprietary digital modes such as C4FM (Yaesu only), D-Star (Icom, Kenwood and FlexRadio Systems only), DMR (available from several vendors), etc.

Digital modes are coming on quickly so don’t forget about a digitally enabled radio when you make your next radio purchase.

When choosing a new radio, please remember that DSTAR is mode of choice in Burke County and all of the rest of Georgia.

Your analog radios will continue to work as we move into 2020, but analog radios are not able to communicate with digital radios.  BARC plans to move more and more toward digital modes.

BARC has four (4) Yaesu C4FM/analog repeaters, but when our 444.1 and our 145.23 receive a D-STAR signal, they automatically switch to D-STAR.  D-STAR is the king of digital modes in Georgia, especially Georgia ARES®, which is why two of our four repeaters are D-STAR capable.

from John MacDonald, K4BR

Always use Anderson Powerpoles

Connecting your radio, etc. to 13.8V DC

The standardized power connector for all ARES® is the Anderson Powerpole.  Most importantly, if we all use Powerpole connectors, we’ll be able to share equipment and batteries at home and in the field.

The Powerpole connector is the standard DC power connector for amateur radio for all types of radios and peripheral equipment.  Because it’s more reliable mechanically and electrically than other power connectors, Anderson Powerpoles are the official connector of the ARRL, ARES® and BARC.

The usual Powerpole connectors for amateur radio are 15A, 30A and 45A with 30A being the most popular size.

Amateur radio has adopted this style for putting Powerpole connectors together:

  • Red positive and black negative
  • When you look at them from the contact side as shown below, black is left, red is on the right and  the metal tongues are on top.

Our DSTAR repeater

We have had a “non-Icom” D-STAR repeater on 444.1 MHz in Waynesboro since 2018… D-STAR repeaters do not use sub-audible access tones so, once you register your callsign with https://kr4aik.dstargateway.org/Dstar.do, you’ll be ready to use our D-STAR repeater + others!
Waynesboro’s UHF DSTAR repeater: 444.100 MHz (+5.000 MHz transmit offset)
Coverage:  approximately 80% of the CSRA
Tx/Rx modes: DSTAR
Antennas: 4-bay folded dipole approximately 470 ft.(above sea level)
Heliax/hardline: Commscope 7/8″ Heliax
 
Please feel free to change the repeater to whatever reflector you like, but, when you’re “finished,” please change the reflector back to REF 030B.

Quorum changed from 33-1/3% to 15%

Motion to change by-laws made/seconded/approved at the November 1 Club Meeting for a final vote at the December, 2018 Christmas Dinner/meeting.


History:  It has always been a problem voting on club business due to the “33-1/2% quorum by-law” in our By-laws.  For example, we could not elect officers for the 2018-19 fiscal year at the October meeting due to not having a 33-1/3% quorum of the membership total.  Other amateur radio clubs in the area have a 15% “qourum rule.”

At the November 1 club meeting, a motion was made by John MacDonald-K4BR that the BARC “33-1/3% quorum rule” be changed to a “15% quorum rule.”  The motion was seconded by full club member Diane  Magin,KN4ADD, and passed unanimously by all club members of record for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The proposed amendment to the By-laws was announced on the front page of the club’s website at https://burkearc.com from November 2, 2018 to December 14, 2018…

December 13 meeting – With more than a 33-1/3% quorum present at the December 13, 2018 club meeting, a final vote on the motion to change the quorum at general meetings from 33-1/3% to 15% of the total membership was given final approval at the December 13 club meeting by unanimous vote of all voting-eligible members present.  The second sentence of  Article V. of the by-laws is therefore changed from “At meetings, a minimum of at least one-third (33-1/3%) of all members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business” to At meetings, a minimum of at least 15% of all members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Georgia Section Nets List

(September 1, 2016)  Here is a list of HF nets that you may check-in to.

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia ARES Statewide SSB Net  –  3975 KHz  –  2200 UTC  –  Sunday[/box]

[box style=”orange” icon=”keyboard-o”]Georgia ARES Statewide Digital Net (PSK63)  –  3583 KHz  –  2100 UTC  –  Sunday[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Single Sideband Net  –  3975 KHz  – 6 PM EST  –  Daily[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Traffic and Emergency Net (G-TEN)  –  3982.5 KHz  –  7:15 PM EST  –  Daily[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Traffic Net  –  3987.5 KHz  –  1 PM EST  – M-Sa[/box]

[box style=”blue” icon=”microphone”]Georgia Cracker Net  –  3995 KHz  –  7 AM EST on M-Sa and 8 AM EST on Sun[/box]

[box style=”green” icon=”pencil-square”]Georgia State Net (CW) – 3549 KHz – 7 PM EST and 10 PM EST – Daily[/box]

[box style=”green” icon=”pencil-square”]Georgia Training Net (CW)  –  3549 KHz  –  9 PM EST  –  Daily[/box]

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