May 2015 Minutes

Meeting called to order at: 7:39 PM

Number of members in attendance: 21

Committee reports: Charles is doing experiments with the repeaters- he’s taken both repeaters, East and West (pointed north), and both are on at the same time on the same frequency. One is running on a different PL, this helps us gets better coverage, PLs are 114.9W, 100E. If you want to run IRLP on 2M, you may be able to use the West (Charles needs to double check it and will let everyone know).

Volunteering Opportunities:

– 5/16: ConnJam and the Tree Festival Read More →

April 2015 Minutes

President Sam NV1P, called the meeting to order at 19:40  Local time, in the GNARC/ Norwalk Comm Center.

Nine seconds into the meeting,  a motion was made to accept the minutes of the previous meeting, and it was seconded most enthusiastically.

Sam Introduced one of our members,
Joel Hallas, W1ZR …  Technical Editor for QST Magazine (Ret.), and writer of the monthly QST column “The Doctor is in”.
Joel made a very interesting and informative presentation covering “Stealthy Antennas.”
His presentation was supported by slides, and ran 71 minutes. Read More →

Local Skywarn classes

Many have asked about local Skywarn training classes. The NY office has just posted the schedule.

There is a class in Bridgeport. See the following link for details and if you need to register.

March 2015 Minutes

March 11th GNARC Meeting

Meeting called to order at 7:34.

Attendance: 27 people.

New Business:

Do you have a spare rotor or spare coax to lend the Westport ham club? They’re trying to get a station set up and would dearly appreciate it! Contact Tim (W1GIG) if you do. The club might lend one to them, so check with Tim first before deciding to lend yours. Read More →

DMR repeater usage tips

Many of us are new to DMR, and it takes some getting used to. Here are a few tips that may help you during your DMR QSO’s.

When announcing your presence:

Because many DMR users are either scanning or using receive groups, you should always say what talkgroup you are on. Otherwise even though they heard you, they will not know how to call you back. If you are announcing on a very wide area, give your city and state. Examples:

  • “This is WB2JVB listening Southern New England”
  • “This is WB2JVB, Wilton, Connecticut listening on North America”

When calling a station, also indicate what talkgroup you are on:

  • “N1PLH, N1PLH this is WB2JVB on Statewide”
  • “N1ZD, N1ZD this is WB2JVB on Norwalk Local”

The beep you here is NOT A COURTESY TONE!

When the party you are talking with unkeys the microphone, you will normally hear a beep. This is NOT a courtesy tone, indicating you are good to go! It is the channel free indicator. In commercial services this is useful, as it is normally a dispatcher and a mobile talking, and they can call right back with no waiting. On ham radio we MUST LEAVE A GAP so others can break in. Since it takes a few seconds for a breaking party to key up and get a good tone, it is critical that you leave gaps. Count “One one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand”. That give you a rough idea how long to wait.

Move off a busy talkgroup if it is just two people talking

As DMR grows, the talkgroups will get more traffic. If you are just yakking with another local ham, consider moving to either “local” or one of the “tac” channels if using the CT ARES repeaters. Of course “local” only works if you are on the same repeater. It is important to remember that even on Southern New England, you are keying up repeaters in potentially 4 states!

Do not rag-chew like you are on the HF bands

There have been a few guys, who are more used to HF,  that are getting close to repeater time outs! Remember that VHF/UHF stuff is a more quick back and forth style of QSO. We have to do this to let others break in. This applies to analog repeaters as well.

Please ID as you would on analog

Even though the displays of many radios will show the calling station, assuming you have programmed it in, there is no exception to the ID rules. Please ID at least once when making the initial contact and of course every 10 minutes as always. This helps others listening, who might be driving and can’t look at the radio, to know who is talking. And always ID at the end of the QSO. It is no different than HF or analog. Same rules!

Volunteers Needed – Tree Festival

Please consider signing up for this event. This will be our third year. Basically we assist with parking, using our radios to communicate. This is a large event. Everything is free and you get to partake of the activities at the event and get some free food too!

Click the link to sign up. You do not have to create an account, just click the checkbox and submit. Enter your details. Thats it!

Skywarn Training Classes

Many have asked about Skywarn training. The following classes are scheduled. Some of these say there is no registration required, but I would encourage you to track down someone to confirm date and time. See for your local office. In Norwalk, our local office is

Listed below are the Basic Spotter Training Sessions that have been scheduled so far for the spring of 2015. Nothing has been scheduled yet for the southern counties covered by NWS New York, (Upton). When they are they will be announced.

Litchfield County Monday  April 13th 6:30PM Warren Fire Dept 2nd floor 11 Sackett Hill Road Cornwall Bridge Pre-registration required but the registration link has not been set up yet at the NWS Albany webpage

Tolland County Thursday May 7th 7:00 PM Andover Firehouse  11 School Road Andover Pre-registration required contact

Windham County Tuesday May 12th 7:00PM Ashford Town Hall Room 104 lower level  5 Town Hall Road Ashford  No Registration required

Hartford County Monday June 8th 7:00 PM Granby Senior Center 15 North Granby Road Granby (Behind Town Hall)  No registration  required