NF4RC

Radio station of the North  Florida Amateur Radio Club 

Page updated: Sept 17    loca2120 

Archival
Information
NF4RC License
Founding Constitution of the Club

CURRENT Constitution of the Club

Minutes / Important Documents of the Club


HURRICANE IRMA DOCUMENTS

ICS 205 RADIO COMM

(The ICS-205A was sent out by email.)  

2017 Alachua County  Simulated Emergency Test
(still "draft")

EXERCISE PLAN (read this first)

ICS211CHECKIN
0900 ICS201 BRIEFING
0900 ICS201 Situation
0900 ICS201 Sketches
0900 ICS202 OBJECTIVES
0900 ICS203 ORGANIZATION
0900 ICS204 ASSIGNMENT
0900 ICS205 RADIO FREQ
0900 ICS205A RADIO COMM

0900 ICS206 MEDICAL

1030 ICS201 BRIEFING
1030 ICS201 Situation
1030 ICS201 Sketches


1200 Demob Plan
1200 ICS221 CheckOut
1200 ICS212 VEH INSP


COMM UN 4 GEAR

TECH CLASS
NOV 4th 5th Weekend
Have interested  people call 352 331 6639 or email ggibby@anest.ufl.edu


LONG RANGE tentative meeting plans

BY THE NUMBERS
"A dose of reality
often helps!"


August 2017 -- Packet "net" practice -- 7/27 Success =  26% -- growing!

July 2017 Training Competency Exercise:  6/26 Success = 23%

June 2017 Traffic Totals
ARES Thur Net:  9
KX4Z (WINLINK) est. 250


BLANK ICS FORMS

ics201 brieffing
ics202 incident objectives
ics203 incident organization
ics 204 assignment
ics 205 radio comms
ics 205A RadioAssignments
ics 206 medical
ics208 safety plan
ics 211 checkin
ics 212 vehicle inspection
Ics 214 activity log
ics215 operationalplanning
ics 221 demob checkoff








FACTSHEETS
prepared for a meeting July 11th with Jim Moorhouse of Alachua Sheriff's Office

Overview / Table of Contents

ARES Stns/Coverage

Antenna Efficiency

CascadiaRising2016 After Action Report

EMP-Congressional Report

EMP Defenses USA

CyberWarfare

Digital Versus Voice

EOC HF-Antenna Performance

EOC HF Antena Rec.

EOC VHF Antenna Performance

EOC VHF Antenna Rec.

HF & VHF Fact Sheet

HF Comparison: EOC vs Private

HF Propagation

DHS SHARES

WINLINK INTRO

WINLINK Digital Gateways




EVALUATING NEW POSSIBLE TRAINING / SERVICE LOCATIONS
Elevator Talk: WhoWeAre

Site Evaluation Form

2017 AfterAction Hurricane Test Report

Project Tracker -- Current Activities/Status



COMM PLANS

DRAFT Alachua County ARES Communications Plan  (updated 4/17/2017)

Marion County ARES Comm Plan
(note important freqs & phone #'s beginning page 11)

Brevard County Emergency Comm Plan

South Brevard Comm Plan


2017 Full Scale Hurricane Exercise 

AFTER ACTION REPORT (download for free)
(includes updates)

Full Scale Exercise Developtment: 2017 Hurricane Test Development

2017HurricaneTest:  Participant Workbook 


2016 Accomplishments

2017
Accomplish
ments

Timeline (slow to load)





EQUIPMENT MANUALS

Yaesu System 600 Manual

EOC System 600 HF WINLINK Primer


Simplex Repeater Manual

Kenwood TS 430 HF Transceiver User Manual




Building a "marketing" package to find new sites & agencies.

RSGB youth video

Cronkite emcomm video

Fox News Report

NEWS & EVENTS

Alachua County Shelter Radio Situations - Sept 2017

(documented by Hurricane Irma Volunteers)

(THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO VOLUNTEERED!!!)

UNRESOLVED ISSUES IDENTIFIED IN MAY 2017 HURRICANE FULL SCALE EXERCISE

#6 EOC inadequate antennas, both HF and VHF -- and UHF also!!
#7 Simplex repeater needs more sensitive receiver
#9New transceivers for EOC to allow more frequencies to be monitored -- not installed, no extra antennas available
#11No satisfactory HF amateur or SHARES antennas at EOC -- ARES practiced slingshot temporary antennas in trees south of the building as replacement
#12Partial:  unclear if the ARES member has better HF antenna tuning assets/capabilities at this point.
#15Easton Newberry antennas not installed; worse, there is no transmission cable passthrough out of building.   There are no antennas at the Senior Center.  
#26Winlink Peer to Peer Training -- not yet accomplished!

Note that hard work has actually RESOLVED 23 issues!!!  The ones in the table above are the identified issues from May 2017 that remain.   #11 was documented in July of 2016.   


 FREE-FOR-ALL TABLETOP DRILL FINDS SLEW OF ISSUES FOR THE OCTOBER S.E.T.

Oh my.....bunches of stuff DID NOT WORK properly at the beginning of our TableTop Drill --- although we did a pretty good job all the fancy ICS Paperwork.  

Primarily, 2 problems:
1.  The WINLINK HF station " bridge" wouldn't auto-forward emails
2.   With so many transmitters so close and  so many users making long multi-station linkages.....wow!  Can you spell PACKET STORM????    We lerned to be a lot morec careful how we loaded the channel.

Finally got the HF station to manually forward MESH microwave-delivered emails --- several hours later with help from a west coastWINLINK guru found the errors that caused the problem --- and now forwarding is quick and automatic.  

LOADS of one member teaching another as skills rose throughout the group!   And Steinhatchee companies seem EXCITED to hear of our coming plans!

Tower location
Table 1
Table 2






 

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED WITH THE HURRICANE SHELTER COMMMUNICATIONS!!!

NEXT ARES MEETING WILL HAVE AFTER ACTION DISCUSSION --- EVERYONE IS INVITED!!  

Building Waterproof Shelter Go-Box VHF Radios

How-To & News Article about Alachua GOBOX Construction

(Three go-boxes put together RAPIDLY by ARES Volunteers)  


SHANDS HOSPITAL DIGITAL STATION PLANNING

Scott Coker, a local ham and part of the ShandsCair flight team, gave me a tour of where we may be able to emplace a digital station to assist Shands in emergency comms.....but let me say that they already have an IMPRESSIVE amount of 800-MHz, etc comms all over the state -- our value-added is modest but longer-range.   Our ability to both control & communicate with our systems DIGITALLY (exactly as he does) is key to this endeavor.  

Shands VHF amageur antennas

One of TWO vhf ham antennas is encircled.   They aren't high, but I did successfully connect to Ocala KG4NXO-10 and NEWB with near full scale or better.  TOWER WORK is planned -- and I discussed putting in a microwave system for us (of course!!) 

Shands Radio Access

An incredible amoutn of digitally controlled repeater systems and 800-MHz etc access systems.   The shelf where we can start is encircled --- but a new rack may be next for us.   


PRE HURRICANE LEARNING OPPORTUNITY!

First "LabNLunch"

Refurbish a complete EMP-Proof SSB/DIGITAL STATION (Destined for the EOC whenever they get working HF antennas)

Vacuum Tube Transceiver

Heathkit HP-23 Power Supply Manual
Heathkit SB-102 Manual

Meeting at Gordon's house, 15216 NW 41st Avenue (Gate Code #0352) at 10 AM, lunch at noon, done by 3.   352 331 6639


MORE DIGITAL SUCCESS STORIES

Sunday evening Susan Halbert KG4VWI made her first QSO over packet from her own home station, using 145.770 to GARC2 to KX4Z way out in Jonesville.   Hooray for Susan, who reports she can also hear NK3F-7 on 145.770!!!

Ian, VA3QT in Ontario has also now succeeded at PACKET communications thanks to our web page and some email advice from us.   Hooray!!  He is now following our web page and suggesting his ARES group consider our simple soundcardinterface design.

Bill, KD5EUW also succeeded at digital comms after some email/forum questions/answers back and forth!   Hooray Bill!

W4DFU-8 GARC2 is now upgraded with High Endurance microSD chip and the newer RAMdisk configurations to try and push our "mean time between failure" up another order of magnitude.  Other stations with this upgrade now include:   NF4RC-7,  KX4Z-7/10, NK3F-7/10 and KM4YGH-7/10.


A $58 20-meter antenna...a new General & an 8-year-old make for GREAT FAMILY TIMES!!
PAR ANTENNA

PAR 20meter End fed antenna -- now manufactured & sold by LNRPresicion.  

by Jim Bledsoe, KI4KEA

"Ham radio has been an interest of mine since my late cousin Harry sent me my first rig.  It is a Drake series transmitter and receiver that we used to listen to stations around the world. 

 

Life goes on and the radio remained but was not used much through work, college, marriage and family.

 

Until recently, when I progressed from technician to general.  With one end-fed antenna running from a 100 Watt Yeasu 857D, the world changed.  Heartbeats increased as a simple wire brought in the first real pile up I have ever heard.  It was British Columbia!

 

After a few days of listening intently, I had the courage to throw my signal at a man in northern Italy.  The next call was Slovenia.  Two days ago, I lost Tokyo with the sunset.

 

The world opens when you can use HF frequencies. In the last few weeks, my eight-year old daughter and I have been searching maps looking for cities, towns and countries around the world. It has become an even greater educational tool.

 

If you have a technician license, you should consider upgrading.  There is an entire world of communications you are missing.

 

Jim

73s

SATURDAY 8/19:   Jay Garlitz, Susan Halbert, Ed Gray and Gordon Gibby met at the Dental Tower and soon Jay has us ON THE ROOF again examining where we can put microwave and vhf antennas to turn W4DFU into a powerhouse Emergency Comms resource for the University & County.

DentalSouthTowerHF

South tower on Dental roof, HF beam.  Possible site for 24dBi parabolic aiming atTom's Antenna/ St.Francis/ Clay Electric

Spare Brackets South Tower

Spare brackets (on white blocks) could take a metal pole mast & hold parabolic.  

Dental North Tower

VHF tower at the North end of the Dental building -- possible site for  MESH onidirectional antenna to serve the University and beyond.  

From the roof, you can easily see direct line of sight to the Seagle Building South Windows.....and I have a colleague who lives on the next to highest floor.....

Major Congrats to Vann for Success at Packet Unconnected Comms

KX4Z Gordon
W4LTE Shawn
AC4QS Vann
Cindy KM4YGG
Art KM4YGH
Jeff W4UFL
John KM4JTE

were all able to receive and send keyboard comms using the tricks with EasyTerm that Vann discovered and taught!

Perhaps we'll have an SSTV practice also?  

Power Over Ethernet  Injector -- made inexpensively from a commerciallly available product -- cut off their connector and you find a RED (+) and BLACK(-) wire -- Put 20-24 vdc on these wires and the big black female connector has POE!  Allows you to build a Microwave Go-Box that can run from 12V (battery or vehicle) and still power NanoStation or Bullet.

$7 POE Injector (you actually get TWO)

SWR meter & POE injector

VHF/UHF Forward/Reflected
Power Meter

$44 VHF/UHF SWR/PWR meter Amazon
Works on 2 meters & 70 cm -- and works from Handi-Talkies to 200 watts!   RANGE swith on left;   Forward ("Power") & Reflected (labeled "SWR") on Right.   Note:  their instructions to compute SWR make no sense to me.   Instead, I suggest you simply take the ratio (percentage) and use the chart below.  

In order to use the RS-40 VHF/UHF SWR meter, you may wish to have a chart like this, which tells you the SWR that corrresponds to a given percentage reflected power of forward power.  18% reflected --> SWR 2.5:1

SWR reflected percent power graph

portable power supply

Developing portable MESH deployment go-box:   24V DC POE injector from 12VDC battery:   dc-to-dc converter.  

Connect red and black wires to 12 V gel cell, RJ45 connectors inject 24V for Ubiquiti mesh node.  

$20  12 to 24V four-wire converter


FIRST GNV WEB PAGE EVER DELIVERED BY MICROWAVE HAM RADIO FROM RASPBERRY SERVER

FIRST WEB SCREEN

Tom Cox, Gordon Gibby and Ed Gray tested Ed's  Raspberry Web Server over 2.397 GHz ham radio -- and it is FAST!!!   This is the first known screen (other than the AREDN internal web servers) delivered.

Additionally, we learned how to "hack into" (log in as root) the Ubiquiti devices, which are basically a Linux computer (just like the Raspberries)  -- but we were careful not to foul them up.   Concerning to us was the relative lack of security, however.   We may adjust this.  


Ed Web Setup
Aug 15 2017 -- Ed's initial Raspberry Pi web server to go on the MESH network (Raspberry is near the front left corner of the table)

(And assuming we ge this going, hams can use it freely for anything, not just emergency communications, just like other repeaters in Gainesville. Just no music, no Internet, advertizing, --- the standard FCC regulations apply!)  VOIP works like a charm!  Have your first Voice QSO on the 2.4 GHz band!!

Mesh Transceiver
Aug 15 2017 -- A little hard to see in the glare of the sunlight, but in this photo Ed has a NanoStation mounted vertically in the top of this window.   Since then, he's switched to a  AirRouter 2.4 GHz of slightly newer vintage.  







AUGUST MEETING TAUGHT SSTV & MESH

Karl's SSTV talk was extremely well received!!!!  
Loads of people were busy receiving and sending SSTV photos even while he was wrapping it up!   The MESH stuff easily connected and moved web and voice traffic from one side to the other, but the packet connections weren't working at that time (since fixed).    The Ga. ARES group won BIG MONEY by the ability to send a PHOTO to an Em. Mgr to demonstrate an unknown blocked road!!  So impressed them that they released $$$$ for the hams to install digital systems!

THANKS, KARL & GORDON!!!!
Teaching is WORK & we appreciate it!!





NORTH FLORIDA's SECOND HF HYBRID WINLINK GATEWAY GOES LIVE -- Ray, WD4SEN



Ray WD4SEN

Middleburg, Florida, part of the Clay County ARES group (their "Digital" A-EC) --- running a Kenwood TS-570s, Pactor and Winmor (signalink) -- on 80/40/30 in this sunspot-deprived set of years....   Ray is a retired cardiothoracic nurse and just an all-round darn great guy.   He and I worked six hours to fish out the last "bugs" from his setup....even had to solder together a 1:1 current balun at one point --- he runs FOUR vhf packet winlink gateways and will now begin working to get them funnelled into his HF FORWARDING station.

Wish *I* had a cool 50-foot tower!!!Ray's Antennas


FIVE ARES MEMBERS UPGRADED LICENSES on Sat Aug 5 --- FOUR NEW EXTRAs and 1 NEW GENERAL -- CONGRATS!! (and thanks to the VEs!) 


GAINESVILLE MICROWAVE CONTACT
First ever (known) multi-mile outside ham radio 2.397 GHz QSO -- KX4Z-004 / NK3F-001  from roof of Dental Tower to Tom Cox's pine-tree antenna!  

Microwave Contact

Many thanks to Jay Garlitz for getting us on that roof and snapping this photo!!   Oh, and yes, this was cleared with the appropriate UF folks, who enjoyed chatting with us!

2017 S.E.T. written info

SET Article

Moving the MESH antenna at Tom's:

Top Of Toms Tree

We got the rope almost to the top of his tallest tree, and put the 15dbi antenna on the SOUTHEAST side (the far side, from this vantage point) of the tree....so high we had difficulty even getting it into any picture.   All you can see is the ROPE going up the NW side.... We left other ropes up in his tree.   (Compare to the photo below to see how much higher we got the rope, and on the NE side of the tree.)    This was HOT SWEATY WORK.

Update 8/1 Late:  The 24dBi parabolic antenna has now been assembled, and the 2nd UBIQUITI BULLET has been loaded with HAM SOFTWARE so that a prelim test from a parking deck roof can be tried.

Update 8/2:  turns out the obstructdion is a line of building/housing that obscures link from the parking deck....unsuccessful.


New HF WINLINK Gateway

coming on-line in the Jax Area -- WD4SEN.   Having considerable "early issues" but will eventually be another HF outlet for this area -- 80 m and 40m  likely good access.  







LINK PLOTS FOR MESH
KM4YGH to Beatty
KM4YGH to Dental
Tom to Beatty
Tom To Dental

and to give you some 2 meter insight, here's a plot from NEWB to the Steinhatchee lookout tower-- watch the Fresnel zone!
Newberry to Steinhatchee on 2 meters


7/21/2017:  First omnidirectional ham microwave mesh antenna up in Gainesville --- WIFI channel "-2"  5MHz bandwidth.   2,397 MHz center frequency; that ham band is 2,390-2,450 MHz.   Using 5 MHz bandwidth keep us comforably inside the lower band edge!  
1st mesh antenna

I don't know if you can see it or not, but 3/4 of the way up the tallest tree is where Tom C. got that rope with a mighty heave afer my slingshot "malfunctioned" and there's a 5 foot white collinear 2.4 GHz 15dBi antenna on the right hand side of the trunk about 45-55 feet up.  


Yet another favorable email from the EOC on our antenna suggestions.   Here's hoping implementation will occur soon.   Lots of people have worked hard on this! .
Full text of EOC antenna rec

JULY COMPETENCE CHECK FINISHED
Six successful members completed the task in 100 hours, indicating 6/26 = 23% of ARES members succeeded.

Testing ARES hams' ability to send a digital text message by either YAPP or WINLINK (or both!) within a 100-hour trial period.
SUCCESS     YAPP        WINLINK
1. AC4QS    yes!          yes!*     
2. KX4Z     yes!          yes!
3. W4LTE    (no)          yes!**
4. KC1TN    (no)          yes!
5. KI4QBZ   (text)!        (no)
6. KM4JTE   (no)          yes!

* = did it using keyboard access!!
** = Send it a SECOND TIME, this time over HF, via Mexico based server way way away!
Text:  didn't even know this would work!  Rosemary PASTED the file onto the transmit pane of EasyTerm and hit Enter --- and IT WORKED PERFECTLY!!  
Congrats to Rosemary on Saturday!!


EOC Antennna 
(After Action Improvement Plan) Results:

John Moorhouse of EOC / Ryan Lee /  Jeff Bielling committed to getting EOC HF/VHF antennas in better shape,  on their timetable.   Decisions on which type antenna, etc. being formulated.  This is much-appreciated progress after a year of effort on our part.  




Steps Now Underway to Get CallSign for the EOC Station/Club so we will have a permanent WINLINK address / Callsign


(Revised, improved)
EASYTERM TUTORIAL

Windom SWR

This is the SWR plot (measured every MHz or so) from an actual Windom (86feet/44feet) fed with 450 ohm window line to a 4:1 balun.  A single wire antenna, designed to work over the entire 3-30 MHz range.  This is one of the possibilities recommended to the EOC for Ham / SHARES high frequency antenna.  This antenna includes a 10 MHz trap in the 86 foot end.   Typical auto-tuners can tolerate up to SWR 10:1, and this antenna was able to be used on all ham bands with an auto tuner.  

 

Permission received to use the Jonesboro Lookout Tower for the October S.E.T.  Hurrah!


SEVEN HOURS of HF Training accomplished at EOC on Saturday 6/10/2017.....FOUR ad-hoc emergency antennas put up.   Multiband performance with auto-tuners.   TWO stations in operation, an ICOM-728 with auto-frequency control, and the EOC Yaesu.   

Figured out a key power output problem with EOC Yaesu System 600 --- got output power higher.   Contacted multiple WINLINK servers, also make PSK contacts.   One 20 meter WINLINK connection using the EOC vertical.   Lots and lots of hard, sweaty work by committed volunteers --- and we got to meet some nice Sheriff's Deputies, to boot!

Brief Presentation to Boy Scouts group.     Strong work by several fishing-line hurlers!!!   You know who you are!!
 

BALUNS & HOW TO MAKE THEM

HOW-TO document for making baluns


Soundmodem/audio configuration how-to


GAINESVILLE STATIONS HAVE NOW MOVED TO  145.070



Three bridging stations now connect our 
145.070 network of stations to other groups:

Frequency Triad

 
ALL PORTS WILL USE COMMON SCHEME:
Port 6 - 145.030
Port 7 = 145.070
Port 8= 145.770

 

UPCOMING MEETINGS REMINDERS

Monthly ARES Meetings: 2nd Wednesday 7 PM

  • Monthly GARS Meetings: 3rd Tuesday  6:30

NF4RC

Contact Information
Trustee
Gordon Gibby MD
ggibby@anest.ufl.edu

go box

"How-To" on building a Go-Box
(I have plenty of wood forms if you need one already cut and screwed together.)



Forest Grove Station

Forest Grove NF4RC-7 FireTower station


Beatty Tower Dual Frequency Station

Beatty Tower dual-frequency station

Beatty Towers Antennas W4DFU-8

Our two digital antennas at base of Beatty Towers antenna installation.  W4DFU-7/8/9

Art on Beatty Towers

Art on top of Beatty Towers (164' up!)

Circuit Board Interface

Alachua County Optimistic Coverage

Optimistic Alachua County ARES Digital Coverage (to 20' high antenna)


Reference Information

Experimental Google Alachua County Map
Black 145.030
Yellow 145.070
Green 145.770 (SEDAN)

AlachuaCountyNodeMap
Marion County Packet Map
BPQ Packet Node Map
BPQ Chat Node Map
HF FORWARDING TEST
CARRIED OUT 4/5
Test Results (PDF)

Marion County ARES

BREVARD COUNTY ARES

2017 EOC Antenna Recommendations

Alachua County InterClub Facebook

Alachua County InterClub Web

Educational Articles

How to wire your station for digital
Primer on FLDIGI
WINLINK Primer
Homebrew 2 meter SLIMJIM Antenna Construction
Raspberry Pi Packet Server
Example linbpq config file
Raspberry Pi USB Lockup Fix
$10TNC Introduction
Creating Private Residential Packet Backbone
QST: EMP Protection
Katrina: Communications Failures
Useful Emergency Equipment
How to Use WINLINK without WINDOWS at ALL
Soundmodem/audio configuration how-to
Baluns & RFI-Ham Educational Treatise
MESH & other info about BPQ
Advanced BPQ node commands from John Wiseman #1
More Updated Advanced Node commands from John Wiseman #2
RaspberryDeliverySheet (pdf)
EasyTerm Tutorial
SSTV Applications
Power over Ethernet in the Field
Changes to reduce Raspberry server WRITES
ConfiguringHFForwardingRMSGateway


LINKS TO DIGITAL RESOURCES

Sarasota Emergency Radio Club
WINLINK
Terrestrial Packet Radio Network
TAPR (Tucson)
SATERN digital net primer
youtube: checking into DAREN



HF BEACON FREQUENCIES
Eglin AFB ionosonde
Texas Army Mars HF Ionosphere Data
Map of BEST FREQUENCIES RIGHT NOW
Ports Blocked by COX CABLE
HSEEP Exercise Creation Manual
State of Florida Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

FREQUENCY INTERCONNECTIONS

Note:   bpq nodes "learn" from "node broadcasts" and can intelligently route!
To see what routes exist to reach a station, using "classic packet" keyboard access, type   N <callsign>
To allow the node to make the co
nnection by itself,   type C <scallsign>

updated 4/4/2017
mnemonics to help the port numbers make sense
MikeBeatty Twr
CONNECTS
145.030 to
145.770
Tom
CONNECTS
145.770 to
145.070
RosemaryJimArt & CindyGordon
Forest
Grove
Fire
tower
145.030 (Port 6)
"OCALA"
"6 is twice 3"
Most
Ocala
Stations
WM3B-7
WLLSTN
W4DFU-8
GARC2
KX4Z-7
JNVILL
KX4Z-10
GNVWLK
145.070 (Port 7)
"GAINESVILLE"
"7 = .070"
NK3F-7,
TOMGNV
NK3F-10
TOMWLK
KI4QBZ-7
AMHAM
KI4KEA-7
KM4YGH-7
ARTGNV
KM4YGH-10
ARTWLK
KX4Z-7
JNVILL
KX4Z-10
GNVWLK
NF4RC-7
NEWB
145.770 (Port 8)
SEDAN
".770 is almost .8"
W4DFU-8
GARC2
NK3F-7
TOMGNV
NK3F-10
TOMWLK
(deleted)