Wormhole Newsletter September 2016

Hello Worms

It looks like the meeting will be ok this Saturday so the plan is to forge ahead. There is a 60% chance of rain but unless the creek rises too high I will be there at the regular time. Things could be worse, look at Hawaii with two hurricanes, Madeline and Lester, approaching with landfall only three days apart.

This information is from Alan KO4CR. HEART, the Honeywell club now has EchoLink running on their repeater, 443.050 +103.5. For those not familiar with EchoLink it is a system used to connect the repeater to the Internet using touchtones. This allows you to contact and be contacted by other stations all over the world. Everyone is encouraged to give EchoLink a try. Go to the website at http://www.echolink.org/ and look around. The software is there with directions after you register to prove you are a licensed ham. I am sure Alan will be happy to help you with any problems, right Alan?

Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater and I will be monitoring the simplex call frequency, 146.52. There is a 30% chance of rain, nothing new there, but hopefully we will gather outside and there are only two tables so if you have a folding chair handy you might throw it in the car.

*RST REPORTS*

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I’m big on Twitter. It connects me to a lot of interesting amateur radio operators, and I find a lot of food for thought there. Yesterday, I saw the following Tweet: Charlie – M0PZT @M0PZT Blog updated: RST and Speed Matters http://www.m0pzt.com/blog/rst-and-speed-matters/#hamradio

Being a CW geek, of course I was interested. Charlie’s point is that if you get a bad report, you probably should send more slowly. I certainly have no argument with that. What I do take a little bit of an issue with is that Charlie says, “A Readability 4 report should really make it known that information needs to be brief, but repeated – Certainly no ANT/RIG/WX waffle!”

According to most sources, Readability 4 means, “Readable with practically no difficulty.” When I receive an R4 report, I might slow down a little, but it doesn’t mean to me that I have to cut the contact short or repeat information over and over. I replied on Twitter that if the operator at the receiving station is having so much trouble copying, then the report should probably be 319 or even 219.

Of course, RST reports are open to interpretation. With that in mind, I thought I’d explain a little more fully how I decide what Readability report to give:

R5: Perfectly readable. To me, this means that copying a signal is no work at all, and that it sounds like it’s coming out of a code practice oscillator. I can put my feet up on the desk or putter around the shack while I’m ragchewing with the other operator.

R4: Readable with practically no difficulty. “Practically no difficulty” is the key phrase here. There may be some QRN or QSB on this signal, and I have to pay some attention while copying. An R4 is still solid copy, though, and ragchewing is definitely possible.

R3: Readable with considerable difficulty. A signal that rates an R3 needs my full attention. I have to work at copying the signal, and even then, might miss characters here and there. Even though I don’t copy every single character, I’m able to fill in the gaps. An R3 signal might not be good enough for a ragchew, and repeating information is probably a good idea.

R2: Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable. A signal that rates an R2 is usually so weak that it’s below the noise level or drops below the noise level occasionally. At this level, the contact will definitely be brief and any important information, such as the callsign needs to be repeated.

R1: Unreadable. Generally, I would never give out this report, as I would never attempt making contact if a signal was truly unreadable.

Although my explanations above reflect the fact that I’m primarily a CW operator, I think they also apply to phone or even digital contacts. For example, an R5 for a phone contact would mean that the sounds like it could be coming from just down the street or coming through the local repeater.

What do you think? How do you decide what Readability report to give?

Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides, and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com. You can contact him by e-mailing cwgeek@kb6nu.com. If you want an honest Readability report, look for him most evenings on 40m CW.

* CHOOSING A FEEDLINE *

By Ralph WE0EJA Bilala Company

Our high tech expensive radios can do many things. However, take the feedline away and it is next to useless. With so much depending on a piece of wire, it is good to know what the difference is in the many feedlines available.

One of the lowest loss feedlines is “Ladder Line” or “Twin Lead”. Depending on the type, there is no measurable loss below 15 Mhz or 30 Mhz (See the graph below). At the same time it would be not advisable to use it over 150 to 200 Mhz.

One of the inconveniences of Ladder Line is the higher impedance. You can get 75 ohm twin lead, however, these usually start at 300 ohms. 450 and 600 ohm lines are common. This will require matching to the antenna and radio. It will take a different type of tuner to use this with our radios.

Also, it will not tolerate being close to any surface, even wood. The twin lead needs to be stood off. There is hardware for this purpose.

Most of us use coax. There is quite a selection. As a rule, the smaller the diameter, the more the loss. RG-174 is only .1 inches in diameter. It has a loss of 5.5 db per every 100 feet at 30 Mhz. This type of coax is normally used for tight internal wiring.

A popular coax is RG-58. It is .195 inches in diameter. The impedance is 53.5 ohms. The loss at 30 Mhz is about 2 db per 100 feet. It is flexible, easy to handle and not as expensive as the bigger styles.

Jumping to a 9913 coax, the loss drops to .75 db per 100 feet at 30 Mhz. This coax comes double shielded, one of the reasons for the lower loss. It is .405 inches in diameter.

There are graphs that will give you an idea about several coax cables. There are “Hardlines” also. Bigger diameters, harder to work with and more costly, but low loss.

Keep in mind, the human ear is on a db scale. If you loose or gain one db of audio, you will hear the difference. Our radios on the average, ratio 6 db per 1 “S” unit. From this you can estimate how much loss you will notice in respect to the length of the feedline.

When shopping for coax, the seller normally will post the loss in db per length and frequency. If you are using it for HF, your losses will be almost unnoticeable. As you increase your frequency to VHF and UHF, it is important to use a lower loss coax

Editior: Here area links to several coaxial cable charts, there are lots more on the web. http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/cable/coaxperf.html ; http://www.w4rp.com/ref/coax.html . You can also use the calculator here to find the loss for an exact length of cable http://www.qsl.net/co8tw/Coax_Calculator.htm Bill

* AUDI TO HAVE IN CAR TRAFFIC LIGHT INFO*

Los Angeles Times by Russ Mitchell August 16, 2016

You’re stuck at a red light. It’s taking forever. How much time until the light turns green? Ten seconds? Twenty seconds? A minute and a half? Would you be more patient if you knew exactly how long it will take?

Audi is betting yes. The German luxury carmaker said Monday that several cars in its 2017 lineup will be available with a cloud-computer-connected countdown timer for red lights, displayed on the instrument panel and heads-up display. The service is scheduled to roll out city by city, starting this year in Las Vegas; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and possibly others.

The Los Angeles area will have to wait at least a year or two — because the region is so huge, with so many governments involved, according to the countdown system’s technology supplier, Traffic Technology Services.

 

Government agencies already collect information from traffic signals and road sensors to help manage traffic flow. Now, participating agencies will contract with companies to sift that software and predict when lights will change from red to green. Audi will pass along that information to drivers who subscribe to its broadband data plans.

How do drivers benefit? Audi believes they will feel less stressed in heavy traffic if they know how long they’ll have to wait for a green light. “If you’ve got 45 seconds, you can take care of the kid in the back seat,” said Anuparm Malhotra, general manager of connectivity for Audi. “It’s a more relaxed form of driving.”

City air, theoretically, could benefit, too. Vehicles equipped with start-stop engines, like hybrids, could be programmed to shut themselves down while they wait for the green light, saving fuel and wear and tear. That won’t be immediately available on the Audis, but it could be in the future.

Such systems might also be used to time a string of green lights and recommend a speed to help the driver make them all, or integrate with mapping systems to give advance warning of traffic tie-ups and suggest alternative routes. The countdown clock is more than a gimmick. It’s an early indicator of dramatic changes in automobile transport as more connected cars hit the highways.

“Traffic engineers will do their jobs better. Vehicles and drivers will make better decisions,” said Kevin Balke, research engineer at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

For decades, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been working with academics, transportation officials and vehicle manufacturers to use data to make highways safer, using available technologies. Those bad weather road reports you can get by tuning into 1610 on your AM radio? That’s part of what’s known as Intelligent Transportation Systems.

With technology at the point where it’s cheap enough and pervasive enough for cars to begin communicating with each other and with traffic management systems, new applications are beginning to flood in, Balke said.

Some examples: When a cluster of vehicles hits their brakes hard around a curve, vehicles traveling behind and out of sight could be warned. Same for cars skidding on a suddenly icy road. The countdown clock could be improved to warn drivers trying to make it through a yellow light that they don’t have a chance. The potential applications are countless.

“It’s a huge benefit for the infrastructure and vehicles to talk to each other,” Balke said. Other car companies are likely to follow Audi’s lead, according to Traffic Technology Services.

This is not the first foray into red light countdown timers for drivers. The EnLighten app for iPhones, Android devices and connected BMW vehicles has the same function, though users have given it mixed reviews. Audi emphasized that the feature it announced Monday is not a smartphone app but is integrated into the automaker’s communication system.

Drivers in the Los Angeles area may be ripe for such technology. There are 4,584 red-light intersections in the city, managed through a network called the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control system, one of the world’s most extensive. “Los Angeles is the biggest of our deployment areas,” said Kiel Ova, the chief marketing officer at the Beaverton, Ore., company.

But the region has a complex network that makes streamlining it a challenge. “There are 114 agencies in the L.A. area and we have to work with each one,” he said. “Las Vegas has a single agency.”

*OPERA USERS WARNED TO CHANGE STORED PASSWORDS*

 

Mark Hachman Senior Editor, PCWorld, Aug 29, 2016 6:31 AM

Opera warned Friday that users who stored passwords and other data via its cloud services may have had that data compromised during a server breach.

Opera said that it detected unauthorized access to the Opera sync system last week via an attack. Though the attack was “quickly blocked,” Opera said that it believed that “some of our sync users’ passwords and account information, such as login names, may have been compromised.”

As a precaution, Opera reset all of the account passwords for the sync system, and have asked users to reset their passwords for third-party sites as well. The company said that it sent emails to all Opera sync users to report the incident. “We take your data security very seriously, and want to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this might have caused,” the company said.

According to Net Applications, Opera falls within the “Other” category of browsers, with less than 2 percent market share. Sync users were a tiny fraction of that: The total active number of users of Opera Sync in the last month is 1.7 million, less than 0.5% of the total Opera user base of 350 million people, Opera said.

Storing data via the cloud is increasingly becoming more common. Windows 10’s own Edge browser now syncs bookmarks and passwords, and Google Chrome does as well. Provided that you have an account with Opera, the Opera sync function allows you to store quite a bit of data: favorite sites, open tabs, typed browsing history, and passwords. Opera hashed and salted its authentication “master” passwords, but merely encrypted the synced passwords, the company said.

If you’re an Opera user, and you’re worried about what might have been stored on Opera’s servers, you’ll need to first reset your password, then log in. Next, you’ll want to visit Opera’s sync page. There, Opera will show you what—if any—data was stored there.

Why this matters: This summer, Opera accepted an acquisition offer from a consortium of Chinese companies, including Beijing Kunlun Tech and Qihoo 360 Software. That’s going to make some parties nervous already, even before the breach. Opera’s an excellent browser, especially after the company has added features like an integrated VPN and native ad blocking. But the breach isn’t going to do much to raise its niche status.

 

*FCC OFFICES TO CLOSE INCLUDING TAMPA*

This article from Elizabeth K4EJM

RADIOWORLD by Randy J. Stine on 08.26.2016

The Federal Communication Commission is confirming to Radio World that it will begin closing field offices in January 2017. Offices in Anchorage, Alaska, Buffalo, N.Y., Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Mo., Norfolk, Va., Philadelphia, San Diego, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Seattle, and Tampa, Fla., will be closed as part of the agency’s modernization plan.

The FCC announced in July 2015 it was closing the offices and trimming up to 44 positions to better reflect technological advances and in the face of budget reductions. The modernization plan creates rapid response teams to handle special enforcement issues. The FCC says the so-called Tiger Teams, based out of Columbia, Md., and Denver, will be dispatched within 24 hours of an interference crisis.

The restructuring plan has the National Association of Broadcasters and the Society of Broadcast Engineers worried that the cuts in the field will limit the FCC’s ability to mitigate interference complaints and leave potential holes in the enforcement fence.

Before the plan could be implemented the FCC had to reach an agreement over the projected job losses with the union representing FCC Enforcement Bureau field employees. The National Treasury Employees Union has been a vocal critic of the overhaul plan, openly questioning the commission’s ability to safeguard radio spectrum going forward. An FCC spokesperson confirmed on Thursday that the displaced FCC agents will have the opportunity to apply for vacancies in the remaining field offices if a vacancy exists.

FCC field offices will remain open in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbia, Md., Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.

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*CLUB MEETING*

The next meeting is 1100 Saturday morning, September 3 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.
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*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.

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*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

1930 146.6385 -127.3 Lakeland ARC from Lakeland

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

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*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.

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*HAMFESTS*

2016

September 16-18 The ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference, Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront Hotel, 333 1st Street South, , contact Maty Weinbert at the ARRL, maty@arrl.org, 860-594-0229, for more information goto http://www.tapr.org

September 24 Pasco Co Hamfest, Gunn Highway Flea Market, intersection of SR54 & Gunn Highway, $3 entrance, $3 tailgating, go to website at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/sarcmail/info?yguid=243291920 or contact Don Nystron KA2KDP at 727-868-0176

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

Novemver 19 Upper Pinellas ARC Hamfest, Palm Harbor, Palm Harbor United Methodist Church, 1551 Belcher Road, Talk-In: 147.120 PL 100, no info on website, call Andy Miller , KJ4FEC, 727-488-4297

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 😉

2017

February 10-12 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

February 26 | West Central Florida Section Technical Conference (3rd Annual TECHCON), Sarasota, Sarasota Red Cross, 2001 Cantu Court. Looking for presentations and displays. For info see http://www.arrlwcf.org/ or contact Darrell Davis KT4WX at kt4wx@arrl.net

May 27 WormFest 2017, 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 .

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 Annual Armed Forces Crossband Test

Mid May MS 150 bike ride

Mid-May Florida Hurricane Exercise

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

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*YOUR WORMHOLE OFFICERS*

Bill AG4QX is President and editor of this newsletter, Vice-President is Mike K4ZPE,  Treasurer is Jim KD4MZL, Paul KA4IOX is the Secretary, Dee N4GD is the Repeater Trustee and Neil W4NHL and Mike K4ZPE are our club webmasters.
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*YOUR WORMHOLE REPEATERS*

442.625 +  PL 146.2

146.850 –  PL 146.2

The Wormhole repeaters are both now dual mode Yaesu DR-1X. FM analog as always and now Yaesu Fusion, a C4FM/FM digital mode. The repeater crew updated the software on May 3, 2016.

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 around the Seminole section of 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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