EARS April 1, 2024 Newsletter

Below is the newsletter for April 1, 2024. I could use some help with the newsletter so we can keep sending one out weekly. If you can help, please let me know.

Steven Christy, N5ZQ

Ham Corner – Nets

What is a net?

Many hams may be familiar with nets but new hams and even some veterans may not be familiar. I will do my best to explain nets, what they are, how they are useful and how they work. This article is not intended to all inclusive but I will do my best to make it informative.

The first question is “What is a net?” Essentially a net is a network of amateurs that meet on a specific frequency (or repeater) at a scheduled time. Nets can serve many different purposes: information, ragchew, NTS traffic, public service, weather spotting, emergency communication and more.

While some nets are informal, many nets are formal with a net control station (NCS). In formal nets with an NCS, all traffic goes through the NCS and they get it directed appropriately. This is especially important in public service, weather spotting and emergency communications. It helps to ensure very orderly operations.

I am going to specifically discuss information and ragchew nets this week. EARS has each of these types of nets weekly: the Monday night information net and the Saturday morning breakfast net. Both are formal, controlled nets. They each operate similarly but serve completely different purposes.

The Monday night information net has a purpose to inform local amateurs about EARS events and other local information. The NCS starts off taking check-ins with traffic or announcements. Hams check in by giving their callsign, then their callsign phonetically, their name, their location and finally whether or not they have traffic for the net. If they do not have traffic, they can state “no traffic”. Once the NCS finishes with check-ins with traffic, they will read back the callsigns of those that checked in. Once that round is complete, the NCS will take check-ins with or without traffic. The NCS directs the net or “show” so please listen and the flow is pretty easy to follow.

The Saturday morning breakfast net is a ragchew net. The net started during COVID when the group that meets for breakfast on Saturday mornings were unable to meet. It has continued even through breakfast is happening again. For this net, the NCS takes a round of check-ins and then goes to each check-in one at a time. Each ham has a chance to say whatever is on their mind. It can be amateur radio related, or not. Once they are done, they turn the net back over to the NCS and they go to the next person on the list. When the NCS gets to the bottom of the list, they usually ask if there are any additional check-ins. After giving those hams a chance to talk, there is usually a “73 round” to finish the net. This round operates the same way. Ragchew nets are just a way to chat with other hams and say whatever is on their minds.

Hopefully this is a good primer on nets. Next week, I will elaborate some on some of the other types of nets.

Another source that has a good primer on nets is this article on the OnAllBands blog: https://www.onallbands.com/ham-radio-101-caught-up-in-the-net/.

Steven, N5ZQ

Ham Corner – AREDN Part 3 – Node Status Part 2

Returning to the Node status screen, let us look at all of the items that are visible on this screen.

Having looked at the first two buttons on the screen we need to look at the other items below the button line.

Mesh Address is the network facing address of the node.
Mesh Gateway not shown here, this is a mesh gateway

The following items will also be dealt with on the Setup screen.

Gateway Node again not shown, this is the GW node.
SSID of the 2Ghz radio. This device has two radios a 2Ghz radio and a 5Ghz radio
Channel is that of the 2Ghz radio it is -2, one of two frequencies BELOW the part 15 band.
Channel Width is set to 10Mhz.
Frequency Range is 2392 to 2402 Mhz

This next section also has additional parts on the Setup screen

LAN address is the LAN facing addresses in this case it has 13 addresses starting at
LAN AP SSID kp4djt-AREDN    This is the Access Point SSID it is entered on the Setup page.

This section is determined by the presence of a connection to the WAN port, it is only seen on devices that have a WAN port such as in this case the hAP-ac-lite.

WAN address, this is the IP address assigned by a public router (your home router).
Default Gateway, again obtained from any non-AREDN router connected to the WAN port if available.

The next column starts with Signal|noise|SNR it is showing a weak link, Signal is: -84 dB, Noise is: -90 dB. SNR: 6 dB. This is a very weak signal.

To the right is the [Charts] Button this allows a graphic view of the signal:

As you can see the signal is quite low, I will show another one where the link is quite strong.

At the moment of the capture the SNR was -1dB. The other items below it are:

Sound [on] [off] (in off state). This is used to align and antenna. The following items are part of it.
Pitch, to set the pitch of the sound generated by the  test
Volumn sets the volumn of sound generated.

This is a test tool you can use to align antennas, you can connect a cell phone wifi to a device that is on a Part 15 channel, connect to the antenna radio that is being aligned and adjust the antenna for highest pitch. If the pitch goes too high you can adjust it down with the Pitch control, same for volumn.

This tool makes aligning antennas very easy.

Notice on this screen from a dedicated link we have a SNR of 41 dB. Also notice that there is a small box showing the signal quality. That is obtained when the “Selected Device” seen above Realtime Signal to Noise is selected.

firmware version: 20240323-b1c85fa  Installed firmware revision

model: MikroTik RouterBOARD 952Ui-5ac2nD (hAP ac lite)  Model type

These are always good to check prior to doing a firmware update

system time:   Sun Mar 24 2024 18:52:44 CDT   System time, more below
uptime:           1:01                                                 Time since last reboot

System time is very important for certain applications that may be installed on the node. Meshchat is one of them, if the system time is off it will not synchronise with other Meshchat sites on the mesh.

Load average: 0.61, 0.66, 0.71   Shows load over 1,5 and 15 minute averages
available space:  flash= 9528 KB        Shows available flash memory
memory= 8692 KB   shows available dynamic memory.

host entries:  64 nodes /165 total devices  This is the total number of connected nodes on our mesh and there are a total of 165 connected devices, both nodes and hosted devices (computers, cameras, WinLink, and other servers and devices.)

Returning to the buttons above [WiFi Scan] allows the user to view any other devices on the RF channels the router is on:

It sees two, a very low signal of -84 dB, and it also sees it’s own transmitter.

Returning back to the Node Status screen we have the [Setup] button. This is where the fun begins, this screen is where you will set or change parameters on the node. We will pick this screen up in Part 4.

Remember that you can go to https://docs.arednmesh.org/en/latest/ and read all about the node setup in great depth.

Chuck, KP4DJT

Field Day 2024

Field Day 2024 is June 22-23 from 1pm CDT Saturday to 1pm CDT Sunday. It will be held at the Edmond Masonic Lodge which is located at 1026 North Blvd, Edmond, OK 73034. This is a new location for us this year so we will have some things to figure out but it is a large space with a kitchen that should be great for Field Day operations and also the dinner.

The number of simultaneous transmitters has not yet been determined but we set up 3 last year along with a 6m station (which does not change the classification) and there was plenty of time where not all transmitters were on the air. We will likely set up the same number of stations again this year.

We will again be running on battery power with the on-demand propane generator. A member has graciously offered to let us use this equipment again. It worked really well last year. We ran the generator during the afternoon and evening and turned it off and ran off battery most of the night. We also ran off of just battery power during the dinner which eliminated the generator noise. It was fantastic!

Now we get to the part where I ask for volunteers. Field Day does not happen by itself and I cannot do it all alone. We need to determine what class we want to run, figure out what radios we will use, what antennas we need and where/how to set them up. Logging is computerized so we need to get the computers updated and tested. On the morning of June 22nd, we have to set up antennas, computers and all of the radios. It is traditional to have a dinner on Saturday evening which also needs to be planned.

My plan is to have someone in charge of antennas, someone in charge of radios and someone in charge of computers. Each of those people will need others to help them get everything organized prior to Field Day and then set up on Saturday morning.

We also need a team to plan the Field Day dinner. If you like food, please consider helping out with this portion of the event.

As you have probably figured out, we need you! Below you will find a Field Day 2024 volunteer form. If you are able to help in any way, please complete the form on the Field Day 2024 page and indicate how you can help.

Steven, N5ZQ

Ham Holiday – July 26-27, 2024!

Preregistration for Ham Holiday 2024 is now open!!!!

Ham Holiday 2024 will be on Friday, 26 July and Saturday, 27 July at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC). Preregistration tickets are available on the Ham Holiday website at hamholiday.com/tix.

More information on prizes, forums, special drawing, and other Ham Holiday 2024 activities will be announced over the next few months. Please visit hamholiday.com regularly for all of the updated info!

Tickets Available Now – Click To Get Yours Today

Membership Renewal

With heartfelt thanks, we appreciate everyone who has renewed their membership! Your ongoing commitment is the backbone of our vibrant community, enabling us to continue offering valuable experiences and opportunities in amateur radio.

Your support is crucial. It fuels our educational programs, community events, and the very essence of our shared passion for amateur radio. Thanks to you, we’re set for another exciting year filled with learning, camaraderie, and the joy of our hobby.

As we step into this new membership year, we’re energized by what we can achieve together. Your continued involvement is key to our collective success and the enrichment of our amateur radio journey.

Once again, thank you for your dedication and support. We’re thrilled to have you with us for another year of adventure in amateur radio!

Chris, KD5OOJ,

EARS Volunteers

I am sure all of you are aware that EARS is an entirely volunteer organization. That means we alway need volunteers. There are many tasks to get done and the more we share the load, the more this club will be able to do!

Below is a summary of just some of the events and activities in which the club participates:

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
LibertyFest Parade
Cowboy Christmas Parade
Cycle 66 Bike Race
Monthly Siren Test
Weekly Information Net – 52 Net Control Volunteers
Monthly VE Test Session
Bi-Monthly Club Dinner – 5 Dinners
Christmas Dinner
Technician License Class – Spring and Fall
Field Day – Also One of the Club Dinners
Severe Weather Spotting

This list does not include all of the administrative and management function of the club. The website needs frequent updates, this newsletter needs to be written, etc.

What does all this mean? It means We Need You! If you are able to help in any way, please let us know. Even if you are unsure how to help or where you might best fit, please let us know and we will work with you to find the best fit.

If you are willing to help, please contact us at k5eok@k5eok.org. That will send a message to both myself, Steven, N5ZQ, and Clay, WA6LBU and we will be in touch!

April Siren Test

The next Edmond Siren Test is Saturday, April 6th. If you are a regular who is unable to help that day or if you would like to be added to the list to help, please send an email to Clay, WA6LBU, at sirens@k5eok.org.


The LibertyFest events are coming up starting on June 14th and culminating with the fireworks celebration on July 4th. EARS has been helping with these events for many years and this year is no exception. LibertyFest is an entirely volunteer organization and EARS plays a large role especially with the parade and fireworks.

Below are the LibertyFest events in which help is needed:

  • Rodeo Day 1 – Friday, June 28, 4:00pm to 11:00pm
  • Car Show and Park Fest – Saturday, June 29, 6:30am to 2:30pm
    • We need 5 golf cart drivers in addition to other volunteers for this event
  • Rodeo Day 2 – Saturday, June 29, 4:00pm to 11:00pm
  • Parade – Thursday, July 4, 6:00am to 12:00pm
  • Fireworks – Thursday, July 4, 5:00pm to 11:00pm

As you can see, we need quite a number of volunteers to help LibertyFest happen. If you are able to help, please visit the LibertyFest page and fill out the form. It is not too early to volunteer!

All of the information on LibertyFest can be found on the LibertyFest website.

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Please read the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon info below from Gayland and consider volunteering if you are available.

Registration is open for volunteering for the communications unit that supports the Oklahoma City Marathon.  Last year we had more than 70 amateur radio operators supporting the nearly 19,000 runners over a two-day period.  Amateurs helped with logistical tasks, such as providing information on locations of the head and rear of the races, supported delivery of ice and water to the various water stops, provided communications at each of the medical stations, gave real-time information to relay team members readying to make their exchanges, and in general provided another set of eyes and ears for the Marathon operations leaders as well as the public safety responders.

The Marathon events we support will be on Saturday April 27th and Sunday April 28th.  We’ll need folks on Saturday to support the 5K race, Senior Marathon and Kids Marathon; and then a full contingent of communicators to support the full/half marathons on Sunday.

Register to volunteer for either or both days by going to the Marathon website at https://okcmarathon.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=76852&job_name=Auxiliary%20Communications .  When you’re asked for a password or code, enter 20HAM24 ; this takes you directly to our communications section of the volunteer registration.  If you have a preferred location to work or preferred hams to partner with, there’s a place for you to enter that as well.

For planning purposes, this year’s pre-event meeting will be on Monday evening, April 22nd, at the Oklahoma City Fire Training Center (more details to come).

Please feel free to share this far and wide among your fellow hams; this event requires as many people as we can provide.  And yes, we’ll be making recruiting visits to the various clubs shortly.

Thank you for your participation in last year’s event and we’ll hope to see you this year too!

WX5MOR / Gayland
2024 Auxiliary Communications Unit Leader
gkitch@cityofmoore.com  cell 405-834-6304

2024 Green Country Hamfest – April 12th& 13th in Claremore, Oklahoma

Pre-Reregistration is OPEN!

2024 Green Country Hamfest – April 12th& 13th in Claremore, Oklahoma.
Only 30 minutes from Tulsa!
Claremore Expo, 400 Veterans Parkway, Claremore, OK, 74017
MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/X9kEa
Talk-in on: 147.09+
Free Parking!!! – Low Cost ON-SITE RV Parking!

Terrific Prizes! Fantastic Forums – Learn something new! See
Flea Market – Great Bargains!
Free Test Table – Check It Before You Buy It!
On-site VE Testing Get or upgrade your license!

Advance admission is $8.00.
Preregistered Tables are $15.00 each.
Commercial booths are $50.00 each.

Tickets are $10.00 at the door.
Tables are $20.00 at the door.
Order early and save!
Online Preregistration Closes
March 31, 2024

Several Commercial Tables remaining
and Flea Market Tables remaining
Children 12 and under are Free!

Friday open to public at 4 PM to 9 PM
Saturday open to public 8 AM to 3 PM

Setup Friday 12:00PM.
Setup at 7:00AM Saturday until 8:00AM.

More info at http://www.greencountryhamfest.org

VARA FM Station Up and Running

The W5DRO VARA FM station is operational.

You may recall that it was operational for some time before however went down. It was found that our lovely friends as Microsoft thought it would be nice to do a update that required user input after restarting. This user input was required before restarting any services such as remote access software requiring me to visit the site and the laying of hands on the computer hooking up KVM to the computer.

The Gateway is centrally located in Oklahoma City & Sponsored by Oklahoma’s News 4, KFOR-DT.

Please connect and send a thank you email to: w5dro@kfor.com

It’s been working about 3 weeks now and over the past three weeks the following here are some stats for the gateway.
This report includes data beginning 02/29/2024 to 3/21/2024:

The following FCC Call Signs have connected:

  • AA5KD
  • AG5DV
  • KJ5DJX
  • N5AZQ
  • W5DRO
  • WD5G

Total Winlink traffic passed:
W5DRO 145.040 MHz
   Using keyboard protocol
      Connections: 38
   Using Winlink B2 protocol
      Connections: 77
      Messages to CMS: 16
      Messages from CMS: 15
      Bytes to CMS: 11545
      Bytes from CMS: 12709

Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test – May 11, 2024

The Department of Defense will host this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD)
Crossband Test, scheduled for May 11, 2024. This annual event is open to all
licensed amateur radio operators and will not impact any public or private
communications. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken
part in this event, which is an interoperability exercise between hobbyist and
government radio stations.
– The AFD Crossband Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications
between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service
(ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111.
– Military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and will
announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All times are ZULU (Z), and all
frequencies are Upper Side Band (USB) unless otherwise noted.
– The following stations will be making two-way radiotelephone contacts with
stations in the ARS between the time periods listed on the frequencies listed in
Kilohertz below:
4011.0 kHz USB / 5,346.5 kHz USB / 6,968.5 kHz USB/ 13,963.5 kHz USB/
18,254.0 kHz USB = AAN / U.S. NORTHERN COMMAND, CO (USB + RTTY) [1300Z – 2100Z]
6,970.5 kHz USB/ 14,550.5 kHz USB/
= AAZ / FT HUACHUCA, AZ [1500Z – 2359Z]
7,645.0 kHz USB/ 14,579.0 kHz USB/ 18,211.0 kHz USB = AFM4NPD / NAVAL SUPPORT
4,575.0 kHz USB/ 7,540.0 kHz USB/ 13,993.0 kHz USB = AGA0WJ/ NAS WHIDBEY
5,403.5 kHz USB/ 7,431.5 kHz USB/ 13,528.5 kHz USB/ 18,272.5 kHz USB = AGA2SY
/ HANCOCK FIELD, NY [1200Z – 2000Z]
4,540.0 kHz USB/ 7,473.5 kHz USB/ 15,807.0 kHz USB/ 19,955.0 kHz USB/
20,740.0 kHz USB / 27,736.0 kHz USB = AGA5SC / SCOTT AFB, IL [1600Z – 2300Z]
5,186.0 kHz USB/ 7,938.0 kHz USB /14,832.0 kHz USB/ 27,736.0 kHz USB = AGA5TR
/ TRAVIS AFB, CA [1700Z – 2359Z]
7,329.0 kHz USB /14,411.0 kHz USB/ 20,873.0 kHz USB/ 27,877.0 kHz USB =
7,533.5 kHz USB /14,441.5 kHz USB /18,293.0 kHz USB

CA (USB + CW) 1500Z – 0000Z 7362.5 kHz USB 14,375 kHz USB 21,886 kHz USB 27,860
kHz USB = NEPM / USS IOWA BB 61 LOS ANGELES, CA (USB + RTTY +CW) [1400Z – 2300Z]
7,469.0 kHz USB /14,667.0 kHz USB/ 18,444.0 kHz USB//21,856.0 kHz USB /
[11May 0001Z-0400Z]
[11May 1400Z-12May 0300Z ] 4,010.0 kHz USB/ 5,371.5 kHz USB/ 7,455.4 kHz USB/
14,476.0 kHz USB / 18,060.0 kHz USB
7,3530.0 kHz USB/ 14,461.0 kHz USB
= NSS / US NAVAL ACADEMY ANNAPOLIS, MD (USB + CW) [11May 1300Z – 12May 0200Z]
4,038.5 kHz USB/ 5,330.5 kHz USB/ 7,533.5 kHz USB/ 9,447.0 kHz USB/ 14,487.0
4,027.0 kHz USB/ 7,360.0 kHz USB/ 14,438.5 kHz USB/  3,325.0 kHz USB 6,913.0
9,988.5 kHz USB/ 13,974.0 kHz USB
4018.0 kHz USB/ 5,357.0 kHz USB/ 7,305.0 kHz USB/ 14,383.5 kHz USB/ 20,997.0
kHz USB//

For additional information & QSL card input , go to
https://www.usarmymars.org/events BT

Space Weather

Space (Solar) Weather is important is impacts our radio communication. While the greatest impact is usually on HF frequencies, it can also impact VHF, UHF and even higher frequencies. The video below comes from a YouTube page that is updated about every 2 weeks with new space weather reports. I encourage you to watch her channel for updates when you can as it is very educational.

Web Links

Here are a few links to other websites that may be of interest.

Upcoming Events

  • EARS Information Net – Every Monday at 8pm
  • Technician Class – Starts Tuesday, January 30th at 6:30pm to 8:30pm and runs for 9 weeks
  • EARS Licensing Testing – Saturday, April 6th at 8am – Sign Up on License Testing page
  • Edmond Siren Test – Saturday, April 6th at 11:30am
  • April Board Meeting – Tuesday, April 9th at 7pm at Edmond Fire Station 5, 5300 E Covell
  • Green Country Hamfest – April 12th and 13th
  • April EARS Dinner – Thursday, April 18th at 6:30pm
  • Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon – April 27th and 28th
  • All Ham Dinner – May 9th at 6pm at Golden Palace Buffet at 1224 South Air Depot Boulevard
  • Field Day – June 22nd – June 23rd at Edmond Masonic Lodge at 1026 North Blvd, Edmond
  • LibertyFest Rodeo Day 1 – Friday, June 28 – Volunteer on the LibertyFest Page
  • LibertyFest Car Show and Park Fest – Saturday, June 29 – Volunteer on the LibertyFest Page
  • LibertyFest Rodeo Day 2 – Saturday, June 29 – Volunteer on the LibertyFest Page
  • LibertyFest Parade – Thursday, July 4 – Volunteer on the LibertyFest Page
  • LibertyFest Fireworks – Thursday, July 4 – Volunteer on the LibertyFest Page
  • Ham Holiday – July 26th and 27th

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