We are all aware we have to show respect to radio as it pertains to radio frequency burns and tower safety, but how much do we consider how Amateur Radio impacts our driving? In recent months we have heard a lot about Missouri and their distracted driving laws. Illinois has also been in the news with the Amateur Radio Parity Act being proposed by Illinois Representative Kinzinger. The ARRL has been actively following these items in both the state and federal arenas, but what should we be doing? My 2nd suggestion to you is to follow the politics in your state and know what has impact on you, whether it is radio-related or not.
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Tornadoes, floods and earthquakes; oh my! These are just a few of the potential issues that we have to consider while living in the St. Louis region. My question for myself is: Am I prepared? I know that I want to assist in any way that I can during a disaster in the area, but am I ready to do that? Not really. Although, I think that I am closer than some. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive look at how to be prepared, and I expect that many can poke holes in my personal view on being prepared, but here it goes.
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I cannot answer that for you nearly as well as I can answer it for myself, and share that information with you. This is what I know. I know that of our membership last year we had 39% with an Extra Class License. This, of course, means that 61% of our membership can work on and study for their upgrade to the next license. This includes me. I am currently a Technician working toward my General. I represent 25% of the club in this respect. According to last year's numbers there were 61 other amateur radio communicators just like me. I would like to challenge those 61 people to start studying for their upgrade. The Internet offers several options for your preference in study. You can also go with the old school way of purchasing books from either the ARRL or Gordon West resources.
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Were you part of the pile-up of eyeball QSO’s that occurred at grid square EM48xq? Did you see the activity that was occurring in Madison County, IL? Have you started playing with the new toys that you purchased at the Gateway Center in Collinsville? If you were not one of the nearly one thousand people at Winterfest, then you have missed out on a great hamfest for 2016. Now you will have to wait until January of 2017 to join in on the excitement.
After several months of being off the air, the Club's 224.520 repeater is back on the air. This week Club members WØFY, Joe Fleagle and K4LSU, Craig Klimczak took care of getting things repaired on behalf of the Club.
The Club has reached another milestone in its efforts to better engage our members. As of July 15,2015 the Club's St. Louis & Suburban Radio Club Facebook page has reached 100 page likes. Activity on the page was boosted by interest in Field Day and increasing numbers of updates and posts being made by our members. Keep posting and let's continue to grow our Facebook page as a means of communicating Club events and activities.
Once a week Facebook sends out an email with page access statistics. Below is the previous weeks page statistics when we were only 99 likes strong.
DE K4LSU, Craig
Week of Jul 6 - Jul 12
The Facebook Team
For many of us, we remember our childhood days and especially remember being a scout. Those memories would not have been possible if there had not been a group of committed adults that volunteered their time to make those memories for us. This July the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America is hosting a summer camp that is focused on STEM activities to bring out the inner geek in all of us. If you don't already know STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the BSA wants to encourage scouts to take greater interest in these fields of study.
On July 29th, members of the club will host a Radio Merit Badge skill center during the STEM Summer Camp. During the day, the scouts will attend classes and workshops on radio and radio propagation. They will learn about the science of radio, see how radio equipment is designed and built and will have the opportunity to make their first contact on two-way radio. There will demonstrations of many types of radio technology including digital and satellite communications. By the end of the day, our goal is to get as many scouts as possible qualified for their Radio Merit Badge and on their way to achieving higher honors such as Nova and Super Nova Awards.
During this week, we will be operating under the special event call-sign, K2BSA/0. So be on the lookout for that call and be prepared to get scouts on the air and interested in radio communications.
DE K4LSU, Craig
If you happened to be listening to the 146.850 repeater this weekend you may have noticed that the repeater was being worked on by members of the club. This past weekend, Chris Barber, WX5CW, installed a computer and interface that directly connects the Club's 146.850 to IRLP and EchoLink. Previously, the repeated connected to IRPL and EchoLink through a RF link to a radio at Mark Biernacki's house. While this system provided many years of access to IRLP and EchoLink, it suffered from timing delays and repeater squelch tail lockout. Now that the IRLP and EchoLink node is directly connected to the repeater, carrier squelch detection is performed on the input of the repeated thus eliminating the lockout caused by a long repeater squelch tail. This should improve both the usability and the reliability of IRLP and EchoLink. And, as a final added benefit members can now send a #504 DTMF prefix followed by the EchoLink node number to reach EchoLink stations directly through the repeater. Please join me in thanking WX5CW, Chris, for all the hard work and effort that he put in to make this a reality.
DE K4LSU, Craig