Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association

Telephone: 601-345-1654 ○ E-mail: CentralMSARA@gmail.com

Next Association Meeting

Next association meeting is Tuesday, April 10th at 7:00pm. The program will be Back to Basics - Using an Antenna Analyzer presented by Frank Howell, K4FMH. Regular license testing will be available at this meeting.

N5DU Does APRS for CMSARA Attendees

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Mike N5DU

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.

March Program: Gordo’s Got Game on ARES!

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Gordo WB8NOA

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…)

Working Amateur Radio Satellites

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…)

Emergency Communications Operations in CMSARA

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…)

CMSARA Members Support MS-150 Bike Race

#wedostuffAt 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…

Founder of FlexRadio Systems to Speak to CMSARA in November

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Gerald Youngblood K5SDR

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 centralmsara@gmail.com.

More Donations…

John Struemph K1JHS

John Struemph K1JHS at 2015 Field Day

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…)

Association Launches Social Media Presence

Continuing the Board initiative on “branding” the CMSARA, the Association has launched a presence on social media. And, with a new member taking the lead!

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Rusty KG5FSA

Rusty Yates KG5FSA recently joined CMSARA and volunteered to help out any way he could. Rusty is an IT professional at UMMC in Jackson. When he learned from Frank K4FMH, the webmaster, that the Association wanted to extend its marketing “brand” into social media, he volunteered to take the lead on it. Quickly, we now have a significant presence. “It is really great when the Association allows new members to get involved quickly with the talents they bring to the table. It was just a couple of months ago that the Board pondered continuing our “brand” by expanding our social media presence! It’s even better when a new ham and member volunteers to stand and deliver on those needs,” said President Mike McKay N5DU.

“When Frank K4FMH told me about the interest in expanding into social media, I told him I would be willing to take it on. But I said I didn’t want to barge in on someone else’s turf. He quickly assured me that no toes would be stepped on as CMSARA needed all the dance partners it could get! Everyone has been really friendly and interested in trying new ideas,” Rusty KG5FSA added.

(more…)

Got an Oscilloscope? Here’s Why You Should

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Tom AE5I talking about oscilloscopes

Tom AE5I gave a talk at the September meeting of CMSARA about oscilloscopes. What most hams lack is a global view of the family of oscilloscope instruments rather than a limited experience of one type. Tom Brown’s passion in laboratory bench equipment is the oscilloscope. It showed! He not only knows the technical elements of the history of oscilloscope development but the “players” who were instrumental in each step.

Time Domain Reflector Signal Display

Time Domain Reflector Signal Display

The types of oscilloscopes he covered included: Analog, Digital, Real-Time Sampling, Storage (Analog), and Digitizing. To most hams, these various types of devices are…well, just confusing unless you’ve used ‘scopes before. In an uncomplicated way, AE5I conveyed how and why these various designs came to be. He also filled-in the gaps with the specific engineers who developed key types of innovation leading to the evolution of oscilloscope design. How spectrum analyzers are variants of ‘scopes was an intriguing aspect of last month’s talk.

This talk was the global overview preparation for next month’s Special Madison Event on Tuesday, October 12, 2015, at a site to be announced on this website by Mike Flanagan WM5A, Special Events Coordinator for CMSARA. Tom AE5I will have a number of his own oscilloscope instruments on-site and live at this October talk. Attendees will be able to see the screen and controls very clearly from the audience through the new Elmo display device donated to the Association. This will be a great informative program. Stay tuned!

AE5I’s slides from Part 1 of his oscilloscope talk in PDF format are available here.

ARRL “Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity” Statement Separates Fact from Fiction

(Webmaster Note: taken from ARRL.org)

The ARRL has taken steps to address objections and concerns recently raised by representatives of community associations about the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R. 1301 and S. 1685. A statement released on August 28, “Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity,” makes it clear that the bill would not create new federal policy with respect to outdoor amateur antennas. As it points out, the FCC already recognizes a strong federal interest in effective Amateur Radio communication from residences and has adopted a limited preemption of state and local regulation of Amateur Radio antennas. The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 would extend the limited preemption to private land-use restrictions. (more…)

© 2014-2017 Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association

Contact CMSARA at:


P.O. Box 892

Telephone.: 601-345-1654

Brandon, MS 39043-0892

Email: CentralMSARA@gmail.com