At the November CMSARA meeting on November 15 2016, R.A. “Smitty” Smith (W4UDH) gave a wonderful talk about propagation. He spoke about reasons, techniques and tips for communicating in the amateur bands using propagation to full advantage. He also discussed technical resources available for amateurs related to propagation. Smitty has been a ham for many many years, and has earned multiple ARRL awards, including the WAC (Worked All Continents), WAS (Worked All States) and WAZ (Worked All Zones). Smitty is also a member of the illustrious ARRL VHF/UHF Century Club, having worked more that 100+ countries.
As an added bonus at the meeting; Reece Morris, the Grandson of CMSARA member Eugene Wallace (N5CMA), gave a interesting presentation about his Great-grandfather (also a radio amateur). He spoke about how he was taught about becoming a ham, and how he was inspired to design and build his own antenna system! Reece is ready for his first amateur license, and an inspiration to other young people desiring to enter the hobby. Thank you Reece!
At the July meeting, CMSARA hosted our neighbor to the north, Glen Popiel KW5GP by Skype. Glen is the author of the recently published book High Speed Multimedia for Amateur Radio: Build a High Speed Amateur Radio Microwave Network (ARRL). Glen gave CMSARA members a jump-start for their MESH Tech Team, led by Rusty Yates KG5FSA. His book is available from the ARRL or from Amazon.
Few hams in the U.S. know more about high-speed multimedia modes than KW5GP: he wrote the book on it! His engaging style and witty sense of humor kept the crowd highly engaged throughout his talk. Glen shared his slides used in his presentation below. Unfortunately, due to a change in computer systems, the planned recording of KW5GP’s talk failed. However, he will be appearing in late August on the Amateur Radio Roundtable (w5kub.com) show, co-hosted by Tom Medlin (W5KUB) and CMSARA VP-Programming Frank Howell (K4FMH) using the same talk. We will add the Youtube link to that video when it’s online.(more…)
As a response to a member request, we changed the intended program topic on RF propagation for May! Examples and an open discussion of “shack setup” was the topic.
Participating CMSARA Officers and Board Members presented the informal program. Using one or more pictures of their shack, each one gave a brief explanation of what’s in their shack. President Flanagan, Past-President Mike McKay, VP-Special Events Dana Pierce, Board member Mike Dancey and VP-Programming Frank Howell participated. An open-forum Q&A discussion of the decisions and choices made on shack development was interspersed during the discussion. The thirty-plus members and visitors in attendance said that this was a very informative program. Serving the membership, this program change was made to assist new members to ham radio who attend CMSARA!
Another great program was given to CMSARA in April! Past-President Mike McKay N5DU talked about APRS. A long time enthusiast for the Automated Packet Reporting System, Mike has served as a key expert on APRS, advising several clubs in the area on the deployment and operation of APRS digipeaters, iGates and trackers. He gave critical information about how Yaesu has enhanced the APRS implementation in their new line of Fusion transceivers and HTs. A modest debate about how well or poorly Icom’s DSTAR digital APRS has been implemented. All in good amateur radio fun, of course.
Mike’s program slides are available here. Video of the talk will be posted on the popular CMSARA Youtube Channel as soon as production has been completed.
Over 40 amateur radio enthusiasts crowded the ad hoc meeting place for the March meeting of CMSARA. Due to the Tuesday election, the Association moved it’s meeting to a conference room at the City of Brandon Municipal Building to welcome one of the most influential amateurs in the U.S. Gordon West WB8NOA brought his best “game” via Skype to educate those in attendance on the “care and feeding” of ARES teams. For an hour, Gordo demonstrated key procedures and issues facing ARES teams in California and around the U.S. using actual radio QSOs from emergency situations. Moreover, he shared with the crowd his suggestions for improving emergency radio teams as they grow and mature.
Gordo complimented CMSARA’s motto of “We Do Stuff” as exemplary, saying that it’s important to keep engagement among ARES teams to keep their abilities sharp. By “doing stuff,” ARES teams have fun, the key to continual engagement. (more…)
The former Editor of the AMSAT Journal, Russ Tillman K5NRK, and his long-time partner, Eddie Pettis N5JGK presented “Amateur Radio Satellites: An Introduction and Demo of AO-85” to a packed house at the February meeting of CMSARA. A tour de force of experience, Russ and Eddie taught attendees about the origins of how amateurs got satellites included on NASA missions, how NASA benefited by adopting ham radio technology, and how easy it is to get started working the “birds”. A demonstration in the parking lot was conducted with Eddie Pettis narrating the activities. At least one new ham committed to getting into the world of satellites during the program. Others may indeed follow! Our Vicksburg ARC neightbors were given a standing ovation at the end of the presentation.(more…)
January’s Association meeting featured emergency communications in Central Mississippi. Those in attendance heard about substantial statewide programs offered in each of the Magnolia State’s 82 counties by the MSU Extension Service. Tom Ball (MSU Extension Service) overviewed his program’s direct collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, MEMA, and other first-responding agencies. The ARRL ARES District Coordinator for West Mississippi, Robert Hayes KC5IMN, gave an overview of the progress and struggles he has experienced since his appointment a year ago. He mentioned the Rankin County ARES team as a “shining light” in both his District as well as the State at-large. Finally, Brian Grantham of the Rankin County EOC represented the schedule speaker, EOC Director Bob Wedgeworth. He gave a succinct description of what his organization does in the facility shared with the MSU Extension Service, the location where CMSARA holds it’s monthly and special meetings. The Rankin County EOC is particularly supportive of it’s collaboration with the ARES team supported by CMSARA.(more…)
At least eight members of the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association worked the 2015 MS-150 Bike Ride for Multiple Sclerosis fund-raising. A two-day, multiple course event, CMSARA members handled Net Control, rest stop stations, and other communications duties to support the bike riders and coordinators for the event. Including Mike McKay N5DU, Bill White, K5BLL, Rusty Yates KG5FSA, Don Porter AF5QD, Robert Errington KF5IZ, Bob Bullock K5RWB, Mike Flanagan WM5A, Dana Pierce KF5WDL, and Brian Castleberry AG5BC, CMSARA has worked with the Jackson ARC to provide amateur radio communications and logistical support services free-of-charge to the MS-150 operational staff.
Scenes from the event taken by Bob Bullock K5RWB, Public Information Officer for CMSARA, are shown below…
The Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association (cmsara.org) is proud to announce that the founder of software-defined radio (SDR), Gerald F. Youngblood K5SDR, will be speaking in Brandon MS on November 30, 2015. Youngblood is a native of Mississippi and founded the leading manufacturer of computer-based radio transceivers for both amateur and commercial sectors in 2003. His company, FlexRadio Systems, is located in Austin Texas where he serves as President & CEO of the privately-held corporation. Gerald holds the B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Mississippi State University. His speech is entitled, “SDR – Changing Ham Radio Forever” with audience questions and media interviews afterwards. The presentation will be held at the Rankin County Extension Service Office / Emergency Operations Center located at 601 Marquette Road, Brandon, MS beginning at 7 pm. The public is invited and there is no charge. For more information, please contact CMSARA at 601-345-1654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The donations of audio-visual equipment to CMSARA have continued! New member John Struemph K1JHS recently donated two vintage commercial television video cameras and control units to the Association. “We greatly appreciate the support of great hams like John,” said President McKay N5DU. Frank Howell K4FMH added, “The standard definition quality of broadcast television back in the 1980s era was cutting edge at the time. John’s donation was used to barter for a current High-Definition video camera by Canon.” Special Events Coordinator Mike Flanagan WM5A said, “This was the missing piece in our ability to record high quality video from our monthly speakers and our special events activities. It could not have come at a better time!”.
John K1JHS is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Jackson Amateur Radio Club and an ardent DXer. John said, “This equipment has been in storage for a few years so I was very happy to answer the call when I found out that CMSARA was in need of adding video equipment to the other donations it has received from the membership.“(more…)