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Archive for June, 2014

Repeater Improvements!

We have made significant progress on the Cedar Creek ARC repeater!

  • The embedded IRLP/Echolink computer at the transmitter site is now working   This results in much cleaner audio than the Echolink 2 meter link from N5CSU to the receive site that we have been using for the past year.  Major kudos to George, W5BRG, for figuring this out!   Please note that users connecting  via IRLP or Echolink no longer hear the repeater voice or CW ID, nor do they hear the courtesy tone. So, if you hear someone connect and they don’t put out a call or a CQ, go ahead and give them a call.
  • Van Zandt has been added to the county alert list on the repeater’s WX-250 WeatherRadio.  So, any NWS severe weather watches or warnings for Henderson, Kaufman or Van Zandt Counties will automatically be rebroadcast on our repeater. You’ll also hear the weekly NWS tests Wednesday morning and evening.

 

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Congratulations to Paul Gatewood, N5FY, of Murchison for being awarded certificate #1 in the Cedar Creek ARC Grid Square program! Paul worked EM12, EM22 and EM21 in a three way QSO on 146.52 MHz on June 9th after the Athens ARC net.   Bill, KE5WUT, and Rich, N5CSU, were on freq also but could not work the EM21 station located between Princeton and Jacksonville.

Paul N5FY

 

Certificate #2 will go to Dale, NG5R, of Malakoff.  He completed his 3 grid squares just before the July meeting; the certificate will be presented at the August meeting.

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CCARC Certificate Program Announced

The Cedar Creek Amateur Radio Club and Henderson County ARES are pleased to announce a new certificate program for our area. The certificate will be awarded to any amateur who makes QSOs with hams in all three Maidenhead Grid Squares in our area.

The underlying purpose for this certificate is to encourage all local hams to upgrade their home station so that they can work other hams in neighboring counties via simplex.

During severe weather or emergency conditions, VHF and UHF range can be severely hampered.  A handie-talkie might work fine on a clear day, but in a thunderstorm, a better antenna and higher powered radio will assure that your signal will get through to net control.

Working other stations direct, without using the range enhancement of a repeater, will truly demonstrate the capability of your home station.

Since there are two grid squares in our immediate area (EM12 and EM22), it’s pretty easy to work hams in these grids. The third grid will be a little tougher; grids EM11 and EM21 to our south are probably the best bet. However, during a band opening, all sorts of grids can be heard!

New to grid squares? Check this article from ARRL.  Here’s a link to see all the grids in TX, and a tool to find a grid from a callsign or address, and to zoom in on a grid square map. Here’s a great map from SOTA; you can display the grid on by clicking on the Position tab, check Locator and click the Display box.

Intrigued? The program started June 1. Here are the rules:

  1. You do not need to be a CCARC member to participate.
  2. From your home station, work a ham via VHF or UHF FM simplex in each of three grid squares in our immediate area (EM12 and EM22) plus one other grid square of your choice.  One of the three QSOs must be with an CCARC member.
  3. QSOs before June 1, 2014 do not count.
  4. To level the playing field,  your transmitter should be 75 watts or less.
  5. Submit QSO info (Call, Name, Grid, Date & Time) via email to info@k5ccl.org
  6. Certificates will be numbered and dated and emailed for local printing.
  7. All certificate holder calls and name, number of grids, and certificate number will be posted on the CCARC website.
  8. Work additional grid squares to get to the top of the rankings!

While most of our QSOs will probably take place on the national simplex frequency 146.52 MHz, if you are arranging to QSY to simplex for a contact, try 147.52 MHz, the Henderson County simplex channel. And make sure you have this frequency programmed into all your radios!

So, let’s have some fun and see who can get a certificate first!

Questions? Email n5csu@arrl.net

Here’s what the certificate looks like (click on it for larger view):

 

CCARC cert-sample

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