Tower Scanner Anderson Repeater Club, Inc. Tornado

 Madison County - Anderson, Indiana

Repeater Club, Inc. 

January, 2014    

The January meeting of the Club will be on Tuesday, January 7, 7:00 PM in the EOC Training Room. One of our main activities will be to elect officers for 2014. There were no nominations made at the November meeting, so we’ll be nominating and electing officers at this meeting. Come out to defend yourself!

We are accepting dues for 2014. We have received contributions from: KC9AOM, W9BLF, WB9BSU, WA9CWE, K9DYR, W9EEL, K9IND, KC9JWO, KC9LGP, K9NM, KC9PWR, KB9SCC, WA9STB, K9TZJ, KB9VE, KB9WI, N9XXT, N9ZAF, WB9ZJR. That’s about half of our usual membership, so if you can bring your dues to the meeting or send it to the Club PO box it would be appreciated. Dues are still $20.00 for the year. The mailing address is:

Anderson Repeater Club, Inc.
PO Box 615
Anderson, IN 46015

We are also hoping for new members in 2014. In 2013 we were honored with 2 new members and a couple who had been away for a while. We all hope that the activities of our Club and members are an attraction to other County hams who have interests similar to ours. We also continue to honor two “Life Members”, WB9BSU and K9IND.

When you enter the EOC and the Training Room you will see that we have new carpet installed. Tom had a bit of money available in the EOC maintenance fund and got a good deal to replace the 20 year old worn out carpet. So the bathroom now has new linoleum and the Training Room, hallway and stairs/entry upgraded. We’re also using this opportunity to remove some of the “stuff” that doesn’t contribute to the operation of the EOC. Just like home, things come in but never seem to go out. Thanks to the Comm. Div. members who helped out after the December meeting and to Tim, W9TCR, for helping with the bathroom fixtures and upgrade.

As reported in an early December Sunday night test the .82 repeater is now on the lower antenna full time. As a result in changes in ownership and management of the bank building where the repeater is located (Now the First Merchants Building) it was required to remove the tower and our primary antenna from the roof. Our tower mounted antenna was 225 feet above the ground and our low antenna mounted on the sign is 175 feet. So our distance to the horizon decreases from 18.8 miles to 17.0 miles. We gain about 0.3 dB from reduced loss in feedline (about 120 feet down to about 25 feet) and the antenna switching relay is removed. Our tests to a typical mobile seems to indicate that we haven’t lost any significant coverage. Handheld coverage from inside a building might be compromised a bit, but overall we’re in good shape. The final test will be when we have severe weather and mobiles are reporting from Golf or Romeo observation points. We hope that all will still be satisfactory. The horizon distances listed above are NOT an indication of the usable range of the repeater, but does give an indication of the possible decrease in range (maybe 10%) that could be encountered.

Another exciting amateur radio related activity is that the Madison County Amateur Radio Club members are taking on the project to take one of the old EMA trucks and turn it into an Amateur Radio Communications vehicle (MCU-2). John, KC9PDG and Mike, KC9DJU are leading this activity. This will be a great add to our communications capability in the county and also a good demonstration of ham communications to the public. If you have time to help out with this project contact John or Mike. They are also looking for volunteers with different construction skills to get the truck fitted out. The outside is already great, so the inside operating area is the focus of the project initially.

Paul, KC9BKZ, continues to keep the Club web site looking good. We’ll be deleting a lot of the old stuff at the first of the year, but it’s all archived so if you ever go looking for something that you have seen on the site contact Paul if you can’t find it. He can get it for you.

The Volunteer Examiner (VE) Testing sessions (we had 13) that our VE’s (7 total) have been conducting each month have been a success again in 2013. Our Volunteer Examiner Coordinator, Paul, KC9BKZ, reports that we have had:

Applicants - 30
New licenses – 14
Upgrades – 18

We have walk-ins at each of our 3rd. Wednesday testing sessions and we had a number of others successfully complete the test after the MCARC Technician Class conducted by Dale, KV9W. Thanks to the VE’s who faithfully show up at each session (3 are required to conduct an examination). This is our contribution to the continuation of our hobby in the area. We will be able to keep our allocated frequencies and privileges only if our numbers support it. Let’s help get new blood into our hobby. Each of you can help by talking up the benefits of amateur radio with your friends. We need more active amateurs in our county particularly young ones!

We have updated our Indiana Repeater Council Repeater coordinations for all three repeaters. The Council directory and the upcoming ARRL Repeater Directory should report accurate information on our systems. You may read or hear about the Council requiring PL on all repeaters in Indiana starting this year. It was discussed and approved at Council meetings last year and we talked about it at one of our meetings. Anyway, you will notice that repeaters that have traditionally be carrier access will be adding PL to their systems. This is an effort to reduce the interference between systems and bring Indiana up-to-date with our neighboring states that have been requiring PL for some time. Our repeaters are already full-time PL, so it won’t affect our operations. As a clarification “PL” stands for Private Line which is a Motorola trademark for a sub-audible tone system. CTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System) is the generic name for it and is usually used in place of PL.

See you on Tuesday,

Steve, WA9CWE
Secretary, ARC

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