Category Archive: News

The default category if the posting party is too lazy to select another for the story. Trump says this is Fake News!

Ice Storm Survival


When severe weather hits Iowa and Nebraska you will find some of the best prepared are our local ham operators. From electric generators, to solar cells hams stay warm, connected, and well nourished.   Joe N0XAT also points out that there are many ways to make do with an adhoc source of heat. Joe and a handful of other local amateur operators participate in the weekly Prepper’s and Survivalism Information Net here on SWIARC’s 146.82 repeater, 9PM CST Tuesday. Learn how to make do with what you’ve got on had as well as what to acquire in order better prepare for disaster.


When the power’s out how do you stay warm?


This heater can operate on a fuel such as Kerosene


Vent-less Nat Gas Heater (attach to residential gas line)

Remember, these are not vented heating systems.  Read and understand the risks with the use of ventless heating.

Your home may have a central gas furnace, however, in the absence of electricity it will not operate. You have the option to attach an electric generator so that your home gas furnace will operate.

Tuesday Night Net – 9:00PM

The net started by Nick K0NHV, Managed by George KD0NME, now has a new member of the Net Control Team.  KE0KIM – Mark in Omaha will co-host with George this Tuesday (January 17) and fly solo on the following week.

Anyone is welcome to join and participate.  Additionally, if you are interested in a try at Net Control you can simply ask George KD0NME during the next net or anytime by calling for him on the 146.82 repeater.

Visit the Net Information Page (link)

Are you a Webmaster?

The current page is on MediaWiki, however, a complete independent web site would be welcome and a volunteer webmaster to boot!

George KD0NME points out that you may be a Prepper and not even realize it! When discussing the facts with a fellow amateur operator and skeptic George wisely pointed out that there are many things we do to “prepare” for adverse situations such as an economic downturn or a house fire. Even buying a smoke detector is a way of being prepared.

Are you a “Prepper” too?

Scanning .52

This is a Bombardier Lear 75 DWE only said 'Learjet'

This is a Bombardier Lear 75
DWE only said ‘Learjet’

Sunday night 01/08, two hours before the 9PM net on 146.94, you could have heard Mark KC0DWE aboard a Learjet at 39,000 feet traveling from somewhere North towards Florida. He mentioned coming out of the Dakotas, across a corner of MN, and then down diagonally across Spencer Iowa to Fort Dodge and Des Moines.
You had to ‘have been there already’ to get in on it because the whole thing lasted only a dozen or two minutes, DWE crystal clear on 146.52 and most everyone else undiscernable (except Nick KC0YKO who called several times unsuccessfully).
DWE was S2 to S4 most of the time, full quieting, and responded to stations KE0KER, K0FTB, KE0LCQ, and KD0VYD among others. Every time he got done talking there was a pileup, unheard here in Co/Bluffs, but Mark would say ‘I heard FTB’ and then get the full call and have a short QSO. He finally quit nearing Des Moines, saying he was hearing a 2 way on the ground and didn’t want to interfere. He also said the flight was of a medical nature.

DWE flyover notes from logbook Callsigns, cities, etc.

DWE flyover notes from logbook
Callsigns, cities, etc.



Meteor Scatter



by Joel KQ0J
I have recently enjoyed some 6 meter meteor scatter contacts on a budget
using the new version of WSJT-X software with the new MSK144 mode. I am
just using a homebrew 6M square loop – omnidirectional antenna. I am just
using A 100w RIG, running 50-70W output on the 15 second bursts that the
software transmits with.

A good calling frequency is 50.280. People also use 285, 287, 290 when
arranging contacts. WSJT-X V1.7 allows a station to state ” CQ 285 W2FRD”
when calling CQ on 280 and when you click your mouse on that decode, the
SW will QSY automatically for you to 285 when you click on that station!

During the recent Geminids meteor shower on Dec 13-15, I made 2 confirmed
meteor scatter contacts and a handful of partial contacts. I am sure I could
do better on the next shower. Seems most ops are on during the early morning
till about 9 AM. I was only on for an hour or two during the last shower but
it was enough time to see how well this software works.

There is a website where you can online chat with other currently active
stations, set up QSOs and see who is listening or transmitting on what
frequency and mode.

Download the Beta WSJT-X software V 1.7 at:

Descriptive text from:

New Mode for meteor scatter:
1. MSK144 is intended for meteor scatter at 50 MHz and higher. It
uses a low-density parity check code (LDPC) designed by Steve Franke,
K9AN. The mode is a direct descendant of the now-defunct mode JTMSK,
with a number of improvements for better performance on weak and short
meteor pings. The effective character transmission rate is about 250
cps, compared with 147 cps for FSK441. Like JT4, JT9, JT65, and
QRA64, MSK144 uses strong forward error correction. Message decoding
is all or nothing: partial decodes do not occur, and you will see
little or no garbage on your screen.

Standard MSK144 message frames are 72 ms long, compared with about 120
ms for an equivalent FSK441 message. The MSK144 waveform allows
coherent demodulation, allowing up to 3 dB better sensitivity. After
QSO partners have exchanged callsigns, MSK144 can use even shorter
messages, only 20 ms long. As in all the fast modes in WSJT-X, the 72
ms (or 20 ms) messages are repeated without gaps for the duration of a
transmission cycle. For most purposes we recommend a T/R cycle
duration of 15 s, but 5 s and 10 s sequences are also supported.

Short (“Sh”) messages in MSK144 are intended primarily for 144 MHz and
higher frequencies, where most pings are very short. These messages
do not contain full callsigns; instead, they contain a hash of the two
callsigns along with a report, acknowledgement, or 73. Short messages
are fully decodable only by the station to whom they are addressed, as
part of an ongoing QSO, because only then will the received hash match
that calculated using the known strings for “My Call” and “DX Call”.
If you are monitoring someone else’s QSO, you will not be able to
decode its Sh messages.

An MSK144 signal occupies the full bandwidth of a typical SSB
transmitter, so transmissions are always centered at an offset of
1500Hz. For best results, selectable or adjustable Rx and Tx filters
should be set to provide the flattest possible response over at least
300 – 2700 Hz. The maximum permissible frequency offset between you
and your QSO partner is 200 Hz, and less is better.

Gretna, NE

Nov pgm on Readiness

Gas Mask for emergencies George NME shows surplus mask

Gas Mask for emergencies
George NME shows surplus mask


The new Disaster Prep Net (.82 at 9PM on Tuesdays) has elicited a lot of interest. George KD0NME
is one of those who has actually thought about it and done some preparation. Staying home and
having a gasoline generator is great fun, especially when Field Day comes around, but George was
showing his ‘Go’ kit for our November program assisted by his XYL JoDee KD0RNC.
He had quite a few items, mostly cheap to buy and useful for a variety of purposes, and only the
last item, a Sony ICF-7600 GR, related directly to radio. George and JoDee used to sell butane
stoves at Flea Markets and that was the first item he showed. Among other items, he said many
were available at lower prices if you bought a dozen for 20 bucks rahter than one at a time.
Here is a list of the items I was able to copy down:
1 Cook stove, 1 burner, butane
2 Fresnel lens, large, explodes crickets
3 Tooth brush & floss kit
4 small mirror (plastic)
5 Fresnel lens, wallet size, kills bugs slower
6 Mylar blanket, 3 x 5 packet
7 single edge Razor blades
8 small pad of paper
9 couple of short pencils
10 crank light (visible in pic)
11 mosquito net 2′ x 2′
12 Leatherman tool
13 knife & fork, folding type
14 P38 G.I. can opener
15 ‘550’ cord (parachute line)
16 dish towels (3)
17 2 qt canteen, surplus
18 K-bar knife (not the cheap ones)
19 55g leaf bags
20 pocket knife
21 ‘Life Straw’ (individual water filter)
22 hatchet/hammer combo
23 Multi-tool, hammer/plier/knife
24 gas mask (his was surplus from Poland)
25 ferro-cerium lighter
26 the Sony radio, fancy, copies SSB
The ferro-cerium (sp?) lighter uses regular Ronson lighter fuel but has an ‘O’ ring and does not
leak. The ferro part allows you to ‘strike’ a spark to ignite it. Buy a dozen for forty bucks
on Amazon. Sell the rest. That applies to a lot of these things, a very few bucks each if you
buy a dozen or 20.
George’s delivery was full of humor, especially regarding the 2 Fresnel lenses and how they work
on bugs. The entire set would fit in a backpack or tool box for when you need to ‘bug-out.’
Note: Gas masks all use a standard thread for the filter element. Well. One of two standards.

QRP Success by KD0NME

Yaesu 817 all band all mode with Amp on top tuner on bottom

Yaesu 817 all band all mode
with Amp on top
tuner on bottom

Message 1
Here are the three components, presently attached to each other. Very compact.
I have a pair of gel cell 12V 9Ah batteries ordered for power.
Current antenna is the MFJ Big Ear adjustable dipole.
Message 2
There is an accessory 8pin outlet in the rear of the Tx but it is also used to
control the antenna tuner.
Is there a “Y” cord to allow two things to access that one outlet? It looks like
it might have a pin that goes to ground while transmitting, just what I need but
it is occupied already with a LGD Z817H auto tuner control cable.

I’m a bit reticent to get inside the Tx and wire into the back of the “mic”
outlet. That is some very compact stuff.
Message 3
Maybe I don’t need no amp, just talked to Ottawa Canada
and New Brunswick Canada on 20M

MFJ Big Ear on pole center block w/2 whips extend out to 21 ft max

MFJ Big Ear on pole
center block w/2 whips
extend out to 21 ft max

And then there are those who think there’s not enough time for QRP
in this world. Russ K0LUW is apparently one of those. He sent a
pic of his station – see below:
See center of pic That's the biggest one made by Heathkit - K0LUWs

See center of pic
That’s the biggest one
made by Heathkit – K0LUWs

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