Wormhole Newsletter May 2016

May 2016

Hello Worms


The Worms are all shocked and saddened by the sudden and unexpected loss of Bruce Roggenkamp WD9FMI due to a heart attack. Bruce was a friend to all. His smile was contagious. In addition to his non-amateur radio volunteering he was the secretary of the Wormhole and an assistant EC. He is missed.



 

The big story for May is the Wormfest on May 28th.

The weekend before volunteers for the MS150 bike ride are still needed. The dates are May 21 and 22.

Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater and I will be monitoring the simplex call frequency, 146.52. The weather forecast is for a beautiful day so we should meet outside and there are only two tables so if you have a folding chair handy you might throw it in the car.

*PLAN DRIVES BY GOOGLE*

Lulu Chang, Yahoo Tech, Digital Trends March 16, 2016

Don’t just navigate traffic — beat traffic. Thanks to Waze’s newly introduced Planned Drives feature, you’ll be able to take the guesswork out of your road trips, and enter a date and time for your destination to determine when you should actually hit the road. So if nothing angers you more than sitting in gridlock, you’re going to want to check out the Waze app as soon as possible.

This nifty new tool, currently available only to iOS users, is the latest in Waze’s ongoing mission to make driving less of a hassle, especially in congested or convoluted roadways. Since its founding in 2007, the app has become the go-to choice for commuters, and Google bought the Israel-based company back in 2013 for over $1 billion. But this latest feature takes things to the next level — because drivers can now schedule their trips in advance, you’ll be privy to a ton of useful information, including “expected traffic conditions based on smart algorithms, aggregated traffic history, and predictive analysis.”

Better still, Waze will pull in all your calendar or Facebook events and schedule them for you, so you can be assured that you’ll not only remember all your engagements, but arrive on time for them as well.

And if you’re curious as to why the app is telling you to leave 30 minutes in advance for what should be a 10-minute trip, Waze has answers for you — another new feature allows drivers to see the catalyst for a traffic jam, whether it’s construction, an accident, or something else entirely.

So take the stress out of planning a trip — long or short — and let Waze do all the heavy lifting on your behalf. As the navigation company notes, you can just set and forget all your events and locations, and rest assured that you’ll “receive a reminder closer to your event with an updated departure time based upon real-time road conditions.” Driving has never looked this easy.

 

* NEW BROADBAND ‘LABELS’*

INFOPACKETS by John Lister on April, 5 2016

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unveiled a standardized way for broadband providers to give details on pricing and other contract terms. The “consumer broadband labels” resemble, and are based on, the nutritional information labels seen on packaged food.

The labels were developed with the input of both broadband providers and consumer groups. Although providers won’t legally be required to use the labels, it is very much in their interests to do so.

Companies which do use the labels will, assuming they have been honest and accurate with the information, automatically be considered to have met existing rules that require them to provide clear pricing. (Source: fcc.gov)

Monthly & One-Off Costs Listed

The idea of the labels is partly so that customers know what to expect from a particular provider if they sign up to a deal and partly to allow easier and fairer comparison between different providers – at least for those fortunate enough to live in areas which have broadband competition.

The first section of the label covers the monthly cost of service, including any data caps, along with details of what happens if the user exceeds a data cap.

The second section of the label lists any costs from the supplier that apply regardless of the particular plan. This includes two possible monthly fees (administrative and regulatory) and three possible one-off charges, including: activation, deposit and early termination of contract.

Label Details ‘Typical’ Internet Speeds

The third section of the label covers the “typical” upload and download speeds customer should expect for each plan. The label also details network latency, which implies typical response time to make a remote connection, and packet loss – which is a percentage of data that doesn’t get through at all. In both cases, network latency and packet loss are important factors for services such as video calls and online gaming.

There’s no guarantee customers will actually get these speeds. However, having these figures on hand may make it easier to complain, ask for a rebate, or request a penalty-free cancellation if the actual performance falls far short of the listed figures.

The final section of the label says whether or not the company carries out two types of “network management” (sometimes called “throttling”), which means slowing down Internet access. The first is “application specific,” meaning that a particular type of Internet activity such as using file sharing services, is slowed down. The second is “subscriber triggered” meaning, for example, that the provider slows down a customer’s access if they use a large amount of data in a short period. 

*WHY YOU SHOULD GET YOUR EXTRA LICENSE*

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

The Amateur Extra Class license is the highest class of license in the United States, and perhaps the world. Many hams—even hams that live outside the U.S.—aspire to pass the test and be awarded one.

There wasn’t always an Amateur Extra Class license. The Extra class license, as we know it today, was created as part of the 1951 license restructuring, that also created the Novice and Technician Class licenses. (In 1951, the Novice license was the “beginner’s license.” To get a Technician Class license, you had to pass the written test that General Class operators had to pass.)

Although it gave an operator no additional privileges, to get an Extra Class license, one had to:

* Pass a 20 wpm code test (Generals had to pass only a 13 wpm code test).
* Pass a longer and more difficult written examination than the General Class exam.
* Have at least two years of experience as a licensed radio amateur.

Today, without the code test and the experience requirement, many hams upgrade to Extra Class as soon as they can. Some even pass the Technician Class, General Class, and the Amateur Extra Class exams in a single test session.

So, what’s the attraction? Why should you upgrade to Extra?

One of the reasons that you should upgrade to Extra is that you get use of the entire 80 m, 40 m, 20 m, and 15 m bands. Portions of those bands, such as 3.6 – 3.7 MHz in the 75m band and 14.150 – 14.175 Mhz in the 20m phone band, are reserved exclusively for Extra Class licensees. Extra Class operators also have exclusive privileges in the CW portions of the 80 m, 40 m, 20 m, and 15 m bands. These are the frequencies where the DX stations hang out.

Another reason to get your Extra Class license is that only Extra Class licensees can administer General Class and Extra Class license exams. General Class operators can become Volunteer Examiners (VEs), but they are only allowed to administer Technician Class exams.

Another reason you might want to get an Extra Class license is to get a fancy vanity callsign. Only Extra Class operators can apply for 1×2 or 2×1 callsigns, such as W8RP or KT8K. A short, snappy callsign can help you work more DX or improve your contest scores.

Whatever your reason, studying for the Extra Class exam will open your eyes to many aspects of the hobby that you may not be familiar with. And, as you work your way through the material, you’ll learn things that make you a better amateur radio operator and enable you to enjoy the hobby more. It’s not easy, but in the end, an Extra Class license will help you have more fun with amateur radio.
—————————————————-
Dan, KB6NU is the author of the “No Nonsense” line of amateur radio license study guides, a prolific blogger (www.kb6nu.com

), and an active CW operator in the Extra Class portion of the HF bands. If you have any comments, questions, compliments, or complaints, email him at cwgeek@kb6nu.com.

*I’M EXTRA IGNORANT*

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

On Sunday, I received the following e-mail from a reader:

“Just wanted to let you know I passed the General exam using your study guide.  It was very helpful.  I am now generally ignorant whereas before I was only technically ignorant.  Ha!”

My reply to him was: “Well, if you’re generally  ignorant, I guess that makes me EXTRA ignorant!”

This isn’t just a joke–being ignorant is part of the hobby. Amateur radio operators will always be ignorant about something or other. Even if you could master every facet of the hobby at some point in time, your mastery would be short-lived as the technology continued to advance.

Over the course of my amateur radio career, we’ve gone from equipment that primarily used vacuum tubes, to solid-state gear that first used discrete transistors and then integrated circuits, to software-defined radios. I could have, at some point, simply given up on the new technology and still enjoyed amateur radio. Some guys do that, and that’s OK. It is only a hobby after all.

I’m not one of those guys, though, and if you’re not one of those guys, then you have to resign yourself to being ignorant. But, that’s a good thing, as long as you realize that you’re ignorant. Realizing that you’re ignorant will spur you on to learn new things and accept new challenges.

Recently, I realized that I’m mostly ignorant about satellite operation. I know some of the basics from having read articles and writing about the topic in my study guides, but I have never made a contact using a satellite. I think that might be one of my next challenges. With the advent of CubeSat, there are many new satellites up in the air and many more opportunities to have interesting contacts.

So, what are you ignorant about? By that I mean, of course, what’s going to be your next challenge in amateur radio?
==================================
When he’s not challenging himself with new things, Dan falls back on something he knows pretty well–operating CW. You’ll find him mainly on the 80m, 40m, and 30m bands. Dan is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides, and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com, and you can contact him by e-mailing cwgeek@kb6nu.com.

*CLUB MEETING*

The next meeting is 1100 Saturday morning, May 7 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.

*CLUB NETS*

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.

*LOCAL NETS*

MONDAY

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

TUESDAY

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

WEDNESDAY

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

THURSDAY

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

FRIDAY

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

SATURDAY

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

SUNDAY

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

*FOR SALE / WANTED*

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.

 

*ANNUAL EVENTS TO REMEMBER*

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

*HAMFESTS*

2016

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 😉

2016

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

*YOUR WORMHOLE OFFICERS*

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.

*YOUR WORMHOLE REPEATERS*

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.

73,

Bill Williams

AG4QX

ag4qx AT arrl DOT net

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