Wormhole March 2016 Newsletter

March 2016

Hello Worms

I saw many of you in Orlando. I had a good time and my biggest spending was for food. Not that I wouldn’t be happy with one of the new big box radios on my bench, just way beyond the budget. The biggest thrill was the guy who put up the vertical that hit the 6K volt power line and smoked his brand new top of the line Flex radio and accessories. Sad and funny that he had commented previously that with all the wind some of these antennas people have up will probably blow over … you think .. I guess not.

Several Worms attended the West Central Florida Section 2nd Annual Technical Conference last Saturday. We had a pretty good turnout and some very good presentations. The Worms provided the coffee and fixin’s, about 100 cups of coffee for the day. Thanks.

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.


Dante D’Orazio The VERGE

Soon, when you buy a new PC, it won’t support Windows 7 or 8. + Microsoft has announced a change to its support policy that lays out its plans for future updates to its older operating systems, and the new rules mean that future PC owners with next-generation Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors will need to use Windows 10.

It’s not usual for old PCs to fall short of the minimum requirements of a brand new operating system, but in this case, the opposite is happening. Microsoft and its partners will not be putting in the significant work necessary to make new hardware work with older versions of Windows. The old operating systems, at best, will merely lack the latest updates. At worst, they might not function properly.

Policy starts with Intel’s current processors, Skylake. “Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” Microsoft notes in a blog post published on Friday. “Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming ‘Kaby Lake’ silicon, Qualcomm’s upcoming ‘8996’ silicon, and AMD’s upcoming ‘Bristol Ridge’ silicon.”

This new policy doesn’t mean that Windows 7 and 8.1 are no longer supported in general. The two operating systems will continue to get updates through January 14th, 2020 and January 10th, 2023, respectively. But that’s only if you’re using hardware that was contemporaneous with those operating systems.

For current PC owners, the detail to note is that Intel’s current, sixth generation processors, known as Skylake, are the first that won’t support either of the older versions of Windows. (Intel and Microsoft say that the platform and Windows 10 were designed for each other.) Microsoft is phasing in the policy now.

Microsoft offers 18-month grace period for enterprise customers. For the company’s all-important enterprise customers, who often lag behind on hardware and software updates in order to guarantee stability, Microsoft says it will be maintaining a list of approved Skylake systems that are guaranteed to have Windows 7 and 8.1 support through July 17th, 2017. That gives companies an 18-month grace period to buy modern hardware for employees before committing and implementing upgrades to Windows 10.

After the grace period, only “the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices.” Companies and consumers, of course, can still buy older PC hardware that doesn’t utilize Intel’s Skylake platform or other modern CPUs — the last generation of supported Intel processors are known as Broadwell, and those chips are still widely available.

The policy change not only makes Microsoft’s hardware partners happy — they no longer are on the hook to develop as many costly software updates for past versions of Windows — but it also helps Microsoft push adoption of Windows 10. The company sees the operating system as the “final” version of Windows; it’s now a service, not a product, and this change better reflects that. There’s only one current version of Windows, and while Microsoft will fulfill its legacy hardware obligations, it won’t be expending resources to help users steer clear of its latest and greatest.



By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

Wayne Green was a crackpot…but he was a great one.

For those of you who aren’t as old as I am, Wayne Green, W2NSD, was not only the publisher of 73 Magazine, but also the founder of Byte and other PC magazines in the early days of personal computing. In 73, he would write these long, rambling editorials. Often, he would take the ARRL to task, criticizing what he thought to be some lunk-headed policy or another.

Just as often, he’d be encouraging hams to take up some new technology. He was, for example, one of the guys driving hams to set up repeater systems.

He would often exhort hams to get started in their own technology-related business. I remember one column where he urged hams to get involved in the home-security business. And, of course, when personal computers became popular, he wrote that hams should think about getting into that business. His reasoning was that our knowledge of electronics would stand us in good stead in those businesses.

Today, I think that he would be telling us to get more involved in with technologies like the Internet of Things, WiFi, or whatever other wireless technology is coming down the pike. “Wireless” is the key word here. These networking technologies are based on good, old radio, and who better to push these technologies forward than guys like us who understand radio.

This point was brought home to me last week as I was interviewing an executive of a wireless company for an article that I’m writing. He said to me that many of the companies he works with are taking a software-centric view to their wireless products. They simply use the reference designs provided by the wireless chip makers and expect those designs to work flawlessly in their products.

While they often do, he gave me an example where simply using the reference design was a colossal failure. In one case, he said, the company mounted the board inside a metal enclosure. Since the antenna was part of the printed-circuit board, the enclosure acted like a shield, and of course, the device had little or no range.

He went on to say that he thought that there was a real shortage of experienced RF guys in the wireless industry. Does that sound like an opportunity to you? It does to me. So, I’m going to make like Wayne Green here and exhort all you guys to get out there and take advantage of it.

This is not only a business opportunity, but a way for amateur radio operators to fulfill a couple of the “purposes” of amateur radio, as set forth in Part 97.1 of the amateur radio regulations. Part 97.1(b) says that one of the purposes of the Amateur Radio Service is “Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.” According to Part 97.1(d), another purpose of the Amateur Radio Service is “Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.”

Let’s do it!
When he’s not ruminating on the latest wireless technologies, KB6NU likes to make use of some vintage wireless technologies by working CW on the HF bands. 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 a comment or a question, email him at cwgeek@kb6nu.com.



By Mary Jo Foley ZDNet

In October 2015, Microsoft officials outlined a schedule for stepping up the company’s push to get Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to move to Windows 10.

On February 1, Microsoft started making good on the promised push.

“As we shared in late October on the Windows Blog, we are committed to making it easy for our Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers to upgrade to Windows 10. We updated the upgrade experience today to help our customers, who previously reserved their upgrade, schedule a time for their upgrade to take place,” said a company spokesperson.

What does that cryptic statement (delivered at 5 pm ET, right in the middle of the Google earnings call, by the way) actually mean?

It means today’s the day Windows 10 moves to “recommended” status.

In October, Microsoft execs said the “reservation” phase of upgrading to Windows 10 had ended. That phase of the upgrade push involved users proactively “reserving” their free copies of Windows 10 for download.The next phase of the push was to mark Windows 10 as an “Optional” update in Windows Update for all Windows 7 and 8 customers. After that, Microsoft officials said in early 2016 they’d re-categorize Windows 10 as a “Recommended” update.

Windows 10 has been available to the public for six months this week. By the numbers, it’s been a hit, with 200 million active users as of the first of the year. Here’s my midterm report.

Officials did concede that users with automatic updates enabled might see the Windows 10 upgrade automatically initiate on their devices. But they said that users would not be fully moved to Windows 10 unless they proactively chose to do so. And if anyone does move — intentionally or inadvertently — to Windows 10 and are unhappy with it, they have 31 days to roll back to their previous Windows versions.

Microsoft is not changing its policy of downloading part of the Windows 10 code proactively to users’ machines to make upgrading faster. The company is continuing to do that, in spite of complaints by many. However, unless users make the final decision to hit upgrade, Windows 10 will not completely install and replace their existing Windows versions.

The “recommended” push will be a phased one, the spokesperson said, for Windows 7 and 8.1 consumers who have Automatic Updates turned on. For users who have chosen the “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” setting turned on, the automatic update process will kick off. (See the screen shot above, courtesy of ZDNet’s Ed Bott, to see if you’re in that group.)

In case it’s not clear, anyone who has disabled automatic upgrades using Group Policy settings or the registry edit outlined here will not have Windows 10 automatically pushed to them.

One more time, for the record: Windows 10 is not a required update for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. It is now recommended. Users who do not want it can just say no.


INFOPACKETS by John Lister on March, 1 2016 at 07:03AM EST

Google has confirmed that one of its self-driving cars was partially responsible for a minor crash with a bus. It’s the first time the company has taken a share of the blame for a prang.

The cars operate through a range of technologies including sensors, cameras, lasers, GPS and map data. The theory is that these allow them to track the activity of other vehicles on the road and more reliably avoid crashes than cars which are subject to human driver error.

California allows companies such as Google which meet set criteria to operate self-driving or “autonomous” vehicles on public roads for testing purposes, though only on streets with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less. One of the key rules of the licensing is that the test cars must always have a human driver on board with the ability to immediately take control in the event of an emergency.

Google issues monthly reports on any incidents involving its cars. While they’ve been involved in several minor accidents, to date these have always been the result of human error by the drivers of other vehicles, such as changing lanes without warning or not paying attention when making a turn. It appears that in every case the other vehicle drove into the Google car.

The only “at fault” incident came when a test driver was using the car for a personal journey and had turned the automatic controls off. The closest the self-driving cars have come to a traffic violation so far was when a police officer pulled over one vehicle for driving too slowly, though no ticket was issued.

Now Google says one of its cars has driven into the side of a bus that was travelling in the same direction. Thankfully it was a very minor collision as the car was travelling at just 2 miles per hour while the bus was moving at 15mph.

Both vehicles were in the same marked lane, though it was wide enough to allow two vehicles side by side in most places. The Google car had been driving close to the curb, allowing room towards the inside of the lane. However, it slowed down when it came up to sandbags by a storm drain (meaning there was no longer two vehicle widths of space) and waited for a gap in traffic to move further inside. (Source: ca.gov)

It seems everyone and everything involved made an assumption. The car’s system calculated that a bus coming up from behind would slow down to let it pull out; the human driver of the car made the same assumption and thus didn’t override the controls. However, the bus driver assumed the car would stay put until a clearer space opened up in the traffic.

Google says that “This type of misunderstanding happens between human drivers on the road every day… In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility.” (Source: engadget.com)

The company says some good has come of the incident. As a result of the data gathered in this and other test drives, the automatic driving system has been tweaked to take into account that drivers of large vehicles (which are more awkward to slow or stop) are less likely to yield to traffic trying to move into its lane, or into a particular area of a lane.


The next meeting is 1100 Saturday morning, March 5 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

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



March 5 Punta Gorda, Punta Gorda Boat Club, 802 West Retta Esplanade, Talk-In 147.255 PL136.5, Contact David Hanson , KB0EVM
Phone: 941-766-9258 or email at sharouq@comcast.net , more info at http://www.prra.club/hamfest.html

March 5 Zephyrhills, Zephyrhills Lions Den, 5827 Dean Dairy Road, Talk-In 147.135+ PL 146.2, Contact Gary Mentro , N3OS, Phone: 813-713-9994 or email at n3os@arrl.net

March 12 North Port, North Port Florida City Hall Green at 4970 City Hall Blvd, Talk-In 147.120 PL 136.5, no info found on website, contact Tom Nicholson , W1ALZ, 941-888-2980 or email him at URL4603RD@comcast.net

March 12 Palm Harbor, Clearwater-Tarpon Springs RV Campground, 37601 US Highway 19 North, talk-in 147.120 PL 100, Joel Bryant , WM4P, Phone: 727-455-3534, email wm4p@arrl.netmore info at http://w4afcuparc.wix.com/uparc

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 12 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 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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