After many years of bad weather, schedule conflicts, and numerous other interruptions, Ashe County Emergency management now has a fully functional HF/VHF/UHF station at the Emergency Operations Center. Although, the weather was less than desirable, Steve Adams, KK4IDH, Marc Scott, KK4OII, Hunter Scott, and Marty Norris W4MLN braved the elements on the morning of Monday, December 22, 2014 and installed the Hustler 5BTV for HF and a new Diamond X-50 for VHF and UHF. The X-50 replaced a wind whipped crippled Hustler G7 that had been in service for more than twenty years. We would like to thank Patty Gambill, Ashe County Emergency Management Coordinator, and Barry Woodie and his staff in the maintenance department for making this installation a reality.
When KK4FZI heard that a ham down in Wilkes needed help with installing a wire antenna, he immediately mustered the ACARC troops. Taking advantage of a gorgeous mid-December day, W4MLN and NE4W met at the home of Sam, W4WKC. Although the available trees had some drawbacks (two of the trees considered were actually in a neighbor’s field and guarded by a donkey of questionable demeanor), they finally succeeded in getting the G5RV into the air before darkness fell.
The antenna launchers that the club built during a recent meeting were invaluable – it was no problem getting the line up and over a tall oak. And, since we were using a lead fishing weight, there was no danger of making the donkey mad by using an arrow or other pointy projectile!
All in all, it was a valuable project for the club to participate in. We gained some experience using the pneumatic launchers in less than optimal areas, and, more importantly, we succeeded in getting a ham onto the HF bands. Win-win.
The Computer Automation Technologies WX-250 SAME Weather Alert Receiver has been installed along side the CAT-1000 Controller on the club’s 147.30 repeater just in time for National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. The receiver will alert users when watches or warnings are issued by the National Weather Service. This unit is tuned to WNG588, 162.500 that transmits from Mount Jefferson. During the duration of the event, users will hear the automated voice periodically announce which alert is in effect.
Once again this year the Ashe County Amateur Radio Club will support the Brutal with communication services. Adam Lawler, WK4P, is the club liason to the BRB organization and also serves as the base station control point.
Many other club members are volunteering as both mobile and stationary operators to help ensure the Brutal is as safe as possible.
We had great participation for Field Day this year! I’d like to thank the club members who contributed their time and energy to ensure that the event was enjoyable for all. Special thanks need to go out to Marty (W4MLN), Steve (KK4IDH) [who together with yours truly comprised the overnight super-crew…W4MLN was the facility manager and what a great facility!], the GOTA coaches Duane (KF4ZS), Wanda (N4UGS), and Jane (KK4FZH), and the food & refreshment team Lesley (N3TIA) and Julia Greene. Once again this year Todd (W4TRP) came though with the secret weapon and it was much-admired.
Many folks brought vital equipment together for the event, including David (KK4ING), Tim (N4SSK), Eric (KB4ER), and Richard (WA4ZBY). The set-up and tear-down volunteers, as usual, made the whole event possible. If I have neglected to thank someone, please know that it is not intentional!
Lots of contacts were made and some obstacles had to be overcome- chiefly the TenTec that died at 1 AM. It’s currently in the morgue but maybe some of our specialists can revive it.
Band conditions seemed poor for the most part on Saturday but were better on Sunday. It was gratifying to see some radio operators that I’ve not noticed working in prior years. One thing I’d like to see next year would be a digital-only station (not GOTA). This station would be only be used for digital contacts and Winlink messages.
I’m looking forward to June 2014.
Field Day is almost upon us. We’ll be set up at Westwood elementary school on US 221 again this year. Hours of operation will be 2pm on Saturday continuously until 2pm on Sunday.
Don’t forget that we have a VE test session scheduled for 10am on Saturday. You can get your first ham license, or upgrade one you already have. Contact Jess, AK4NC, either by email at email@example.com or phone at 336-877-6213.
See everyone this weekend!