Field Day 2014 Recap

WVRA-Field-Day-2014-1Despite a bit of adversity, the WVRA’s Field Day adventure was a success. This year’s event, held at Kennedy Park in Weston, had quite a few notable achievements, including:

  • All logging computers were networked using the hamnet-broadband mesh network
  • A educational activity on mesh networking technology
  • Media attention by WAOW TV 9, and WXCO 1230 am radio
  • Countless visitors that strolled into the site to check things out
  • VE exam Session that netted three new technicians and one new extra licensee
  • Two CW operators that managed to give us more than double the number of CW contacts verses voice contacts

As for adversity, we also experienced a late night thunderstorm that produced a rogue wind gust that flipped our tent, drenching equipment and operators as they secured stations and took cover.

We the club continued undaunted, and had two stations back on the air Sunday morning for a few more hours on operation before Field Day was finished for another year.

Thank you to everyone that helped with the setup and teardown, VE exam session, operations, and guest reception. We wouldn’t have been able to do this event if it weren’t for all the help everyone provided.

Here’s a gallery of images from this year’s Field Day Event


WAOW – Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau is on the air with its first mesh node

Mesh-parabolic-antenna-resavoir-parkBroadband-Hamnet is a relatively new operating mode that uses off the shelf wireless network routers, along with a proprietary firmware, to build out an amateur radio high speed data network. This network, using 802.11.b/g technology can run just about any service or application that uses Internet Protocol (IP).

Mesh-omni-antenna-at-state-patrol

The left-most antenna is the 16db 2.4 GHz omni

Recently WVRA club members, Mark N9MEA, Michael KB9VBR, and Travis W9HDG, installed the city’s first permament mesh network node. This node, located at the State Patrol HQ in Wausau consists of a Linksys WRT54GL router and a 16Dbm omnidirectional antenna mounted at about 30 feet in the air. The WI9WEM node gives us an opportunity to test mesh network performance from various locations and a starting point in building a full scale city-wide mesh network.

Continue reading to learn more about Broadband-hamnet, mesh networking and how to get started.

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2014 MS Walk Recap

MS-Walk-SignsThank you to everyone that helped out with this year’s MS-Walk. The day was a little chilly and breezy, but at least the sun was shining. For the most part, this year’s event was uneventful- we followed a mostly flat route along the streets near the Patriot Center in Rothschild. Special thanks goes out to: Mike, KB9DED; Brent, K9MIX; Al, KB9ZOF; Jack, N9LIA; Tom, N9TTA; and Michael, KB9VBR. A very special thank you also goes to Dan, KB9RXA for all his hard work in organizing this year’s event.

Click to see more images from this year’s event

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WVRA to provide communications for Badger State Games

Badger-State-Games-Nordic-SkiOn February 1st, 2014 the WVRA will again be providing health and welfare communications for the Nordic Skiing part of the Badger State Games. WE are in need of additional volunteers. The more we get, the better it is to provide support.

We will meet at 8:00am at the Nine Mile Forest Chalet to receive assignments and additional informaiton. The first race starts at 9:00am, and we should be finish about 3:00pm or earlier.

To volunteer and for further information, contact Dan KB9RXA  or by calling 715-848-2658. You will probably get my answering machine. Just leave a message, with your name and phone number. I will get back to you. Or you can come out to the Nine Mile Recreation area, off of county Hwy N in Rib Mountain.

Here’s more information on how to dress properly for cold weather events.

 

WVRA Ham of the Year and Excellence in Amateur Radio Awards

It’s time, once again, for the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association members to nominate individuals for the annual Ham of the Year (HOTY) and lifetime Excellence in Amateur Radio (EAR) awards. The HOTY award is open to all WVRA members and may be granted on an annual basis. The EAR is a lifetime acheivement award, open to any eligible amateur radio operator.

The nomination period runs from December 3rd, 2013 – January 7th, 2013. Nomination forms and instruction sheets are available on the WVRA Awards Info Page.

After the nomination process, the awards committee will vett the nominations and prepare a ballot. Club members will vote on the candidates and the winners will be announced at the annual club banquet in March.

Excellence in Amateur Radio Winners

WVRA-EAR-Plaque2002 – Reno Goetsch W9NA
2003 – Lewis Sheerar, K9JPS
2004 – Herb Bloedel W9GAA
2006 – Michael Wild KB9DED
2007 – Rich Maier KC9NW
2008 – Len Kreyer N9QIP
2009 – Gerald Graebel W9GLG
2010 – Dennis Shawl W9PBB
2011 – Robert Slane W9BVX

Ham of the Year Winners

WVRA-HOTY-Plaque2005 – Dennis Shawl W9PBB
2006 – Mark Rasmussen N9MEA
2007 – Matt Baumann N9NMH
2008 – Gerald Graebel W9GLG
2009 – Travis Augustine W9HDG
2010 – Dan Sharpee KB9RXA
2011 – Kim Baumann KC9LFH
2012 – Roger Branton K9RGB

 

 

WVRA December 2013 Meeting

The December, 2013 meeting of the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association is on Tuesday, December 3rd at 7:00pm. Location is the Cafeteria at the Marshfield Clinic Wausau Center, 2727 Plaza Dr. Talk in on the 147.135 MHz repeater.

MCHS-Audio-Exhibits

Find out how an Arduino processor was used to build these interactive audio displays

Items for this meeting include: Mosinee Holiday Parade participation on Saturday December 7th.

Speaker will be Marshall Schultz. He is a student at the EGL Academy charter school in Wausau and will be talking about the Arduino processor. He’ll talk about how he used Arduinos to built custom interactive audio exhibits for the Marathon County Historical Society. If you’ve ever heard about the Arduino and wondered what kind of applications you could do with it, you’ll want to attend this meeting.

Post expires at 6:00am on Wednesday December 4th, 2013

Log Periodic Antennas for Sale

dennis-tower-dissembly-log-periodicFrom the estate of Dennis, W9PBB are two Tennadyne Log Periodic Antennas for sale. Tennadyne T-10, (in the picture seen being removed) is a HF antenna with 13-33 MHz coverage. 24 foot boom and longest element is 38 feet.

The other log periodic is a Tennadyne T-28 (seen on the tower) is a VHF/UHF antenna with 50 MHz to 1.3 GHz coverage. 12 foot boom and longest element is 10 feet.

Tennadyne still supports these antennas and accessories are available from the manufacturer. Please see their website for full specs.

Antennas are 10 years old, and are in excellent condition with no bends, kinks, or corrosion. Antennas have been removed from the tower and are available for local pickup only in the Wausau, WI area. The T-10 has been disassembled and the T-28 is still assembled.

Please make inquiries to Michael, KB9VBR (kb9vbr@wvraclub.org).

 

Active WVRA Instructors needed

Instructor students

With Dennis’s passing last October we have not only lost a good friend but a very active member of the WVRA’s instructor team.  Last fall’s classes we very difficult without him both due to the heavy heart that his not being there caused, as well as the lack of manpower.  The students suffered due to that.  Pretty much the entire first day of the class the students listened to me only.  There was no variety, no one to help answer asked questions when my explanations and where not working which I felt very bad about because while I knew the answer to their question, I may not have had the best way to explain the answer.  Our students deserve better than that, a better welcome into our hobby.

Anyone is welcome to become an instructor.  There are 10 sections in each license class and anyone who wishes to become an instructor is welcome to only teach that which they are interested in, or most comfortable with.  All I ask for is help.  Lets rebuild our instructor team.  If you don’t like using the power points for your section that’s fine, I am willing to accommodate just about anything.  I can bring a VCR, speakers, whatever you feel you will need to teach your section.  If you want to modify the power points that’s fine as well, I really am flexible and believe that multiple teaching styles that address various learning styles of our students will be a benefit to everyone.

Again please, I ask you to consider joining or rejoining the instructor team.  I am good with just about any changes so long as we get an active team again.

73 and thank you,

Travis W9HDG