Wormhole April 2016 Newsletter

April 2016

Hello Worms

Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater and I will be monitoring the simplex call frequency, 146.52. If we stay outside there are only two tables so if you have a folding chair handy you might throw it in the car.



Our past articles have been about fixed regulated voltages. The voltages stay at a fixed value with a variation in load. Now that you are getting good at regulators, how about a variable regulated power source?

The LM-317 device works well and is simple to construct. These can handle up to 1.5 amps. It can regulate up to 35 volts.

You start with a 35 volt DC power source. However 15 volt is more practical. Most devices to be run or tested are 12 volts or lower. The LM-317 will vary the voltage from 1.2 volts up to your supply voltage value.

The LM-317 is adjusted with a variable resister (R4) if desired. If there is no need to change voltage a fixed resister can be used. Either resistors are of low wattage. The variable resistor is about 5K ohms. (See schematic below)

The output is + in reference to ground.

Many integrated circuits can not tolerate much variation in voltage. The LM-317 will maintain a constant voltage where ever you set it.

The circuit is simple and can be made in a short time.

The input source voltage is at lead #3. A 2200mf capacitor (C1) is filtering the input voltage. (See figure below)

Lead #2 is the positive output voltage. There are some protection devices at the output. D2, D3, C6 and C13. This lead is also connected to the heat sink, if you choose to use one.

Lead #1 Is the control lead. R3 and C14 are to stabilize the control voltage.

If you want to get fancy, you can add a volt meter (M-1) to the circuit.

The result will give a variable, ripple free voltage source for little cost.



* Email Security Likely to Get Boost*

INFOPACKTS by John Lister on March, 23 2016

Some of the biggest tech firms have joined together to call for new standards that could make emails more secure. The proposals have gone to the Internet Engineering Task Force, which develops voluntary but widely used technical standards for the Internet.

These days around 30 percent of Internet traffic from North American users is encrypted, meaning that if somebody intercepts it on route, they’ll struggle to be able to read it. That figure is expected to jump to 60 percent this year, though that’s largely a quirk caused by a change in policy by Netflix. In any case, it’s now common for sensitive data such as medical or financial information and private messages to be encrypted going to and from websites.

Most Email Still Unsecured

However, most email uses a technology called SMTP remains unencrypted, meaning that anyone who is able to intercept it can read it without problems just as if they’d opened a letter or read a postcard before it was delivered. Many companies that offer web-based email encrypt messages, but that doesn’t protect content sent from standalone email applications.

There is an existing encryption standard with the unwieldy name of SMTP STARTTLS, but it has a major technical flaw. This flaw makes it possible for hackers to effectively trick email software into sending a message unencrypted, without the sender realizing what happened. Because of this shortcoming, this method isn’t widely used.

New System Works Like Secure Web Pages

Now, many of the major email providers including Comcast, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo have proposed a new solution called SMTP STS. It’s a somewhat complex technical solution, but the key principle is that before an email is sent, there’s a check with the destination server to make sure it is indeed the intended recipient and that it can handle and decrypt the intended message.

This brings two major benefits. The first is that the encryption process will now work in a similar way to secure web pages, with a complete check in advance to make sure the message will get through safely and securely.

The second is that the technology is set up so that if a message can’t get through securely, the sender will get a delivery failure message that highlights the potential security risk.


INFOPACKETS by John Lister on March, 29 2016

Microsoft has finished work on a special edition of Windows 10 for Chinese users. It appears to be designed to keep the country’s authoritarian government happy. The edition is known as Windows 10 Zhuangongban, which translates as Specially Provided Edition, and will be aimed mainly at government agencies and government-owned businesses.

The new software is described in an article on Chinese website Caixin, though its unclear how free the site was to cover the news without either direct censorship or self-censorship.

Based on an automated Google translation, the software has been designed to be “safe and controlled” in line with government requirements. Microsoft’s Chinese chief said the edition “may remove some of the special edition for consumer applications and features to enhance the product’s ease of management and security, to meet the special needs of the Chinese government.” (Source: caixin.com)

The precise details aren’t being revealed, but it appears safe to assume that the enhanced management and security tools are not for the benefit of the individual users, but rather for the Chinese government.

It also appears some standard applications bundled with Windows won’t be included in the software. However, a Microsoft official said users will be able to install any compatible Windows application as normal.

Last December, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi said it would never cede control of Windows itself: “We will maintain ownership of the core Windows 10 technology while working, as we’ve always done, to allow customers and partners to build components that plug into our platform.” (Source: pcworld.com)

All of this is a big change considering that the Chinese government just two years ago decided to ban the installation of Windows 8, citing security concerns. It seemed to be an odd move, given that many Chinese users were still running Windows XP, even after it stopped getting security updates.

Many government computers in China currently run a special Linux-based system called NeoKylin, a sort-of Windows XP clone which was created in the country and funded by the state


By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

In the last ten years, there’s been an explosion in social media. I’ve found some to be really great. Others, I haven’t found to be to my liking. Here are my opinions on a few of the most popular social media websites:

* Twitter (twitter.com). I like Twitter. I have more than 3,000 followers on Twitter, and it’s not only helped me sell more books, I’ve found out about a lot of great projects, and I’ve met and corresponded with a lot of great hams there. It’s a lot of fun. If you have a Twitter account, follow me there. I’m @kb6nu.

* Facebook (facebook.com). I have a Facebook account and I even have a page for my study guides. I don’t like using Facebook, though, and avoid it when I can.

* Reddit (reddit.com/r/amateurradio). Reddit hosts a very active amateur radio forum. What I like about Reddit is that these guys, unlike say the forums on eHam.Net or QRZ.Com are really interested in doing stuff, not just complaining or arguing. A lot of the hams on Reddit, and it’s associated IRC channel (talk about retro!), #redditnet, have used my study guides, and apparently, I’m quite popular there.

* Blab (blab.im). Blab is an interesting concept. It’s kind of like an interactive podcast. You can record the blab sessions and then post them to YouTube or your own website. When I suggested having a regular Blab session to talk about ham radio topics to my blog readers, they weren’t very enthusiastic about it. Even so, I think that I’m just going to do it. Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut, and my gut says this could be fun and eventually popular. Blab is integrated with Twitter, so if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll find out when I’m blabbing.

The biggest problem with participating on these social networks, of course, is that it takes a lot of time, time that could be used for building stuff or getting on the air. Even so, I would say that, overall, using them has certainly increased my enjoyment of amateur radio and has connected me to people that I probably would not have connected with otherwise.

What do you think? What social media accounts do you have? Which do you prefer? What have they done for you?


When he’s not blabbing or tweeting, KB6NU likes to work CW, build stuff, and teach ham radio classes. He’s also a prolific blogger (www.kb6nu.com) and the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides (www.kb6nu.com/study-guides). If you have any comments, questions, compliments, or complaints, email him at cwgeek@kb6nu.com.


The next meeting is 1100 Saturday morning, April 2 in Walsingham Park. The park is between 102 Ave and Walsingham. If you enter the park from Walsingham the volunteer building where we meet is just inside the gate on the East side. Find the exact location by going to Google maps and entering 27.8797N and 82.8053W. Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater system.  For those coming to the meeting who cannot hit the repeater we will be monitoring 146.520 simplex, the national calling frequency. We will keep an eye peeled for you. We will take advantage of the cooking facilities with an after-the-meeting Social and wormdog luncheon.


Check in on the club net Thursdays at 1930.  442.625 + with a 146.2 tone or the 2M side at 146.850 – also with a tone of 146.2.  We are always looking for volunteers to be the net control operator.  Anyone interested, talk to one your club officers.



1730 147.030 + Receiver sites and tone info http://www.qsl.net/wd4scd/

St Pete Yacht Club ARC St Petersburg

1830 147.060+ no tone St Pete ARC daily net St Petersburg

1900 144.210 USB CARS, vertical polarization Clearwater

1900 147.135 +146.2 Zephyrhills ARC Zephyrhills

2000 147.165+ 136.5 Brandon ARS from Brandon

2000 50.135 Pinellas ARK Pinellas County

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net, NI4CE system

2030 145.450 Pinellas ARK Pinellas County


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1900 50.200 USB 6M net Brandon ARS

1900 28.450 WCF section net Clearwater

1900 NI4CE system WCF Section VHF ARES NI4CE system

1930 145.170 & 442.4 both pl 156.7 Pinellas ACS net Clearwater

1930 147.060 no tone Buy-Sell net on SPARC also on www.buysellnet.net

1930 444.900 +141.3 Sheriff’s Tactical ARC Tampa

2000 NI4CE system WCF Skywarn net NI4CE system

2000 147.105+ 146.2 Tampa ARC net from Tampa

2000 28.365 USB simplex Brandon ARS

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 28.465 USB 10/10 net from Orlando


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1845 147.060 no tone Buy Sell Net from St Petersburg

1930 52.020 simplex Suncoast 6’ers from St Petersburg

1930 NI4CE system WCF Section Digital Info Ne NI4CE system

2000 147.105 146.2 Greater Tampa CERT net from Tampa

2000 146.97- 146.2 Clearwater ARS from Clearwater

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 NI4CE system Tampa Bay Traders Net non-affiliated


1800 146.52 simplex Hillsborough ARES/RACES North Tampa

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1900 444.750 +146.2 Fusion net from Tampa

1930 146.850- & 442.625+ both pl 146.2 Wormhole from St Petersburg

1915 224.660- no tone St Pete ARC from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

2000 147.360+ pl 127.3 METRO ARC Friday Net from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system


0830 3.911 (7.281 Alt.)+/- QRM WCF Section HF Net from Pinellas County

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system


1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1930 NI4CE system WCF Section Net NI4CE system

2000 147.550 simplex 550 Simplex Net Pinellas County

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 144.210 USB Clearwater ARS vertical orientation


Anyone having something for sale or who might be looking for an item let me know.  I will not print phone numbers or email addresses unless specifically told to since this newsletter might end up on the web.  The exception is when I get the information off the web.  If you are a member of the Wormhole then you have all the information you need on a club roster and if you are not a member  .. why not?  OK, if you are not a member you can contact me at the email address at the end of this newsletter, I will give you the information to contact the person involved.

FOR SALE, 13 element, 14.5 ft 220 beam. Wormhole property, $20, contact Bill AG4QX or any other officer. Free to any Wormhole member or other club. Pickup at Bill’s house.


Last full weekend January Winter Field Day, http://www.spar-hams.org/index.php

Late January Gasparilla celebration

March/April MS Walks

March/April Mass Casualty Exercises

Late April Southeastern VHF Society Conference, http://www.svhfs.org

Late April Walk For Babies (was March of Dimes)

Late April Florida QSO Party

Mid May MS 150 bike ride

Early-May Annual Armed Forces Crossband Test

Late May Wormfest

Early June Museum Ships on the Air

Fourth weekend in June Field Day http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/

July 3/4 Midnight Run in Largo

August International Lighthouse/Lightship Week

October, 3rd weekend JOTA, Scout Jamboree-on-the-AIR

Early December ALS bike ride in Walsingham Park

December, first full weekend Ride & Run With The Stars in Fort DeSoto Park

December, Second full weekend Tampa Bay Hamfest



April 9 TARCFest, TARC Clubhouse, 22nd St at the river, $4 entry plus $3 to tailgate, inside tables $15 in advance, talkin on 147.105 +146.2, more info at http://hamclub.org/

May 28 WormFest 2016, Pinellas Park,  FREE,  Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St N Southeast corner of US 19 and 49th Street, 33782.  Park opens at sunrise, hamfest from 0800 till…  Talkin on 442.625 + or 146.850 – both with a tone of 146.2.  For a map and directions see http://www.TheWormholeSociety.org .

August 20 TARCFest, TARC Clubhouse, 22nd St at the river, $4 entry plus $3 to tailgate, inside tables $15 in advance, talkin on 147.105 +146.2, more info at http://hamclub.org/

November 14 SPARCFest, Pinellas Park,  SPARCFest, FREE,  Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St N, Southeast corner of US 19 and 49th Street, Talk-in on 147.060+ no tone. VE testing at 0900. For more information go to http://www.sparc-club.org/sparcfest.html

December 9 & 10 Plant City, the 2015 Tampa Bay Hamfest is the West Central Florida Section Convention, Friday and Saturday, at the Ag Building in the Strawberry Festival grounds, for information contact Bill Williams AG4QX, chairman@fgcarc.org or go to http://www.tampabayhamfest.org or you can just ask me, Jim or Dee 😉


February 10, 11, 12 Orlando Hamcation, Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 West Colonial Drive, Tickets $13 in advance, $15 at door. Talkin 146.4760 – no PL or D-Star 146.850 -, all the information at www.hamcation.com or call 407-841-0874


Bill AG4QX is President and editor of this newsletter, Vice-President is Mike K4ZPE,  Treasurer is Jim KD4MZL, Bruce WD9FMI is the Secretary, Dee N4GD is the Repeater Trustee and Neil W4NHL and Mike K4ZPE are our club webmasters.


442.625 +  PL 146.2

146.850 –  PL 146.2

The Wormhole repeaters are both now dual mode. FM analog as always and now Yaesu Fusion, a C4FM/FM digital mode. The 442.625 machine may have a limited range as the repeater trustee experiments with the repeater and the new mode in a more accessible location.

The Wormhole website is at: http://www.TheWormholeSociety.org.

West Central Florida Section website:  http://www.arrlwcf.org/.

The ARRL website is at: http://www.arrl.org/

This newsletter is written for The Glorious Society of the Wormhole, an ARRL affiliated amateur radio club located in central Pinellas county Florida.

Anyone wishing to be added or removed from The Glorious Society of the Wormhole mailings please write to me at the address below and thy will be done.


Bill Williams


ag4qx AT arrl DOT net

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