EARS April 29, 2024 Newsletter

Below is the newsletter for April 29, 2024. Unfortunately I was unable to put together a newsletter last week due to other commitments. I could use some help with the newsletter so we can keep sending one out weekly.

I am trying to include original articles and I would like to thank Chuck, KP4DJT, for contributing the AREDN articles. If you can write an article or even if you have a suggestion for an article, please let me know!

Steven Christy, N5ZQ

Ham Corner – AREDN Part 6 – Administration and Advanced Configuration Pages

In this section we will look at the two remaining tabs or pages. These pages are accessed via the [Setup] page. Here is a view of the Administration page:

Starting at the top you see two entries [Help] and [Reboot]. Help will bring up help pages for this screen. And Reboot will immediately cause the machine to reboot. Taking from the help page we see a good description of what the page does:

This section allows you to update node firmware, manage add-on packages and authorised ssh keys, or create Support Data files.

The Firmware Update section shows the current firmware version as well as the hardware type. There are three options for updating node firmware.

1.If you have a firmware image on your computer which you previously downloaded from the AREDN® website, click the Browse button to select the firmware file to upload from your computer to your node. Click Upload and the new firmware will be uploaded and installed.

2.If the node has Internet access (either from its WAN port or across the mesh) you can use the Download Firmware option. Click Refresh to fetch the list of available images, then select the image to download. Click Download and wait for the firmware to be downloaded and installed.

3.If you have previously copied a new firmware image directly to your node, you can apply that new file by clicking Apply Local Firmware. This button will only be active if the node detects the new firmware file in the location and with the name shown next to the button.

If you want to upgrade your node’s firmware while keeping the existing configuration settings, click the Keep Settings checkbox.

Package Management allows you to install and remove software packages on the node. Upload 

Package allows you to install a package file that you previously downloaded to your computer from the AREDN® website. If your node has access to the Internet, Download Package allows you to retrieve a package over the Internet from the AREDN® website. Click Refresh to populate the list of packages available for download, but do not do this unless necessary. The package information database is stored on the node and will use about 100KB of storage space, so only use this function if it is absolutely necessary.

The Remove Package list shows all packages on the node. Selecting a package and clicking Remove will remove the package. You will only be able to remove packages that you have installed. All installed packages are shown but the set that comes pre-installed is necessary for proper operation of the node and cannot be deleted.

Authorized SSH Keys are useful for both developers and anyone managing a set of nodes. It allows connecting to a node via ssh without having to enter the password. For developers, it also allows you to easily scp an updated file to the node without having to reinstall the firmware.

To generate an ssh key on a Linux system, issue the command “ssh-keygen -t rsa” and press enter at all the prompts to accept the defaults. This creates a file called ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub, which is the file you upload to install the key on the node. If you want to remove a key you can select it and click the Remove button. The AREDN® documentation online describes this process for MS Windows computer users.

Support Data allows the user to download support files which the node generates, usually a developer will ask for these files in the event there is an issue that they cannot reproduce on their test machines. Clicking on Download Support Data will allow the downloading of log files and other files the node will generate, which the developers may find interesting to review in their work to get file done. 

Moving on to the next section: Advanced Configuration, here is the help page guidance:

Advanced Configuration

WARNING: Changing advanced settings can be harmful to the stability, security, and performance of the node and potentially the entire mesh network. You should only continue if you are sure of what you are doing.

The Setting column describes each setting. For additional information see the AREDN® online documentation.

This is the first section, it deals with Link Quality Settings, allowing the operator to set start/stop points and other options dealing with the links. There is more in depth information on the arednmesh.org site.

The next section is WAN Settings.

This page is used when the node has access to the public network. You may enable access to the public network or disable it.

You may allow your local devices on your local LAN (public side) to access the local node, but the connection will go no further due to part 97 issues.

You may also allow SSH (from the public side, blocked on the AREDN® side due to encryption.)

Same goes for Telnet but it is not blocked and is the way the nodes are administered from the command line when needed. Remember, all data flowing over the RF part of the AREDN network must meet part 97 rules.

This is the Power Options screen. There are two and in some cases both will not be available.

PoE Passthrough allows those nodes which have more than 1 Ethernet port which support PoE to enable it from the main port to the secondary port, for example to dasy chain two radios on a tower. 

USB Power Passthrough allows those devices with USB ports to have the port powered up, comes in handy to power small devices associated with the network device. 

Tunnel options gives the node operator control over the tunnels in/out of the node. 

Tunnel Maxclients, is pretty clear, same for Tunnel Maxservers.

Tunnel Weight is a new addition, it allows the node to have a tunnel to a given location and at the same time an RF path. We prefer the RF path because we do radio and we use the tunnels as a fall back when needed, so by adding weighting to the path you can force the traffic to go RF unless the RF path fails or becomes overloaded.

WAN-Only Tunnel keeps a tunnel from trying to route over RF vice public network. 

Watchdog, used to reboot a node if it becomes non-responsive

The entries are pretty much self descriptive.

Memory Settings gives node operator more control over memory usage.

Low Memory Threshold is used to limit how much will be held for the Mesh Status page, a large mesh will take up many pages of memory. This limits how much is captured. 

Low Memory Max Routes also reduces the max number of routes to save memory. 

Supernode Settings:

Allows the node to map any supernodes found on the network for routing off of the local mesh to other mesh locations (must also be on the supernode network)

Network Tools 

Pretty much self descriptive. OLSR or Optimised Link State Routing Protocol is the protocol that allows the nodes to self route. 

IPERF Enable is used to test route speed.

Remote Logging

This field allows you to enter the URL for a remote syslog server. If this URL is provided, then your node will send log messages to the remote server using the specified IP address, port, and protocol.

Map Paths

These fields contain the external URLs for map tiles and leafletjs css and javascript files used for interactive maps.


These fields contain the URLs used by the node for downloading firmware and package files during upgrades. By default they point to the AREDN® downloads server available across the Internet. You can change these paths to point to a local mesh package server in order to upgrade nodes that do not have Internet access. If you plan to create a local software repository for your mesh network, review Creating a Local Package Server in the How-To Guide section.

The Dangerous Upgrade setting allows you to disable the normal firmware compatibility safety checks that typically prevent you from loading the wrong firmware image on your node. The default setting is OFF which means that the safety checks remain enabled, and this setting should not be changed unless you have a specific reason to disable the firmware compatibility checks. One example for using this setting would be if you mistakenly installed an incorrect firmware image and would like to correct that mistake by installing the correct firmware image (e.g., you installed the Mikrotik LHG version when you meant to install the LHG XL version).

AERDN Alert Settings

Alert Message Refresh

The AREDN® development team may post messages which Internet-connected nodes can automatically download. You can execute the aam.refresh action if you want your node to retrieve any new messages without having to wait for the next auto-refresh window. Click the Execute button to trigger an immediate message retrieval. This will retrieve all alerts eligible for display on your node, whether they come from the AREDN® server over the Internet or from a local message source on your mesh network.

Alert Message Local URL

This field allows you to enter the URL for a local alert message repository. If you configure such a local repository then your nodes without Internet access can also receive alert messages pertinent to your local mesh. Enter the URL without a trailing backslash.

A local message repository can be configured on a mesh-connected web server which allows nodes to query the URL you entered. No Internet access is required for this feature to work. You can consult with your local server administrator in order to obtain the correct URL for the local message repository. You can find more information about AREDN® Alert Messages in the Getting Started guide under the Node Status section.

Note parts of this text were copied from the AREDN® Documents, which has a very full and complete description of all of the different parts of the screens on the node.

This ends the material on the node screens.

We will go a bit into propagation, antenna types and other bits and pieces of a node site starting with the most basic, and moving up to complex node stacks.

Chuck, KP4DJT

Field Day 2024

Please note that we will hold a Field Day meeting on Tuesday, May 14th at 6pm prior to the May board meeting. All are welcome to attend!

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. I currently have computer help but I do not have any help yet for radios or antennas.

We also need a team to plan the Field Day dinner. I believe I have enough people to plan the dinner but I am sure help will be needed to get everything set up that evening.

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 continues!!!

Ham Holiday 2024 will be on Friday, July 26th and Saturday, July 27th at the Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC).

The Ham Holiday 2024 website for preregistration is:  https://hamholiday.com/tix/

The preregistration prize is a Buddipole “Buddistick Pro” portable antenna and the grand prize for Ham Holiday 2024 is a Yaesu FT-710 AESS HF/50 MHz SDR Transceiver with matching speaker.

The special drawing prize is a Yaesu FT-710 FIELD HF/50 MHz SDR Transceiver package.  The package includes a DX Commander vertical antenna, TekPower TP30SW power supply, coax, a Vibroplex SRacer key, along with other accessories. Only 300 special drawing tickets will be sold.  Special drawing tickets are $20/ticket.

There will also be a Royal Order Of The Wouff Hong ceremony on Friday evening. Stay tuned for further details on vendors, programs, seminars, and hourly prizes.


Tickets Available Now – Click To Get Yours Today

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!

May Siren Test

The next Edmond Siren Test is Saturday, May 4th. 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.

May VE Test Session

The next EARS VE Test Session is Saturday, May 4th at 8am. If you or someone you know is planning to attend, please visit the License Testing page and complete the sign-up form. This allows the VE team to prepare to accommodate all of the testers.

If you have any questions, please contact Ralph Turner, N5AMR at Raltur47@gmail.com or you can contact him by phone at 573-999-4748.


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.

MFJ Ceasing Production

Dear Fellow hams and Friends,

It is with a sad heart as I write this letter.

As many of you have heard by now, MFJ is ceasing its on-site production in Starkville, Mississippi on May 17, 2024.  This is also the same for our sister companies:  Ameritron, Hygain, Cushcraft, Mirage and Vectronics.

Times have changed since I started this business 52 years ago.  Our product line grew and grew and prospered.  Covid changed everything in businesses including ours.  It was the hardest hit that we have ever had and we never fully recovered.

I turned 80 this year.  I had never really considered retirement but life is so short and my time with my family is so precious.

I want to thank all of our employees who have helped build this company with me over the years.  We have many employees who have made MFJ their career for 10, 20, 30, 40 and more years.

We are going to continue to sell MFJ products past May 17, 2024.  We have a lot of stock on hand.  We will continue to offer repair service work for out-of-warranty and in-warranty units for the foreseeable future.

Finally, a special thanks to all of our customers and our dealers who have made MFJ a worldwide name and a profitable business for so many years.  You all are so much appreciated.

Sincerely Yours, 73s

Martin F. Jue, K5flu

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
  • EARS Licensing Testing – Saturday, May 4th at 8am – Sign Up on License Testing page
  • Edmond Siren Test – Saturday, May 4th at 11:30am
  • All Ham Dinner – May 9th at 6pm at Golden Palace Buffet at 1224 South Air Depot Boulevard
  • Field Day Meeting Prior to May Board Meeting – Tuesday, May 14th at 6pm at Edmond Fire Station 5, 5300 E Covell
  • May Board Meeting – Tuesday, May 14th at 7pm at Edmond Fire Station 5, 5300 E Covell
  • 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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