Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 1st 2018

Making A Big Splash

Left to right after Glenn is Robert N4LVG, Jay KN4PIH, and wife Sharron KN4PII new Techs, and John KN4PIJ, new General

Our Surprise Speaker, And It Was A Pleasant One At That

Pinch hitting for Chet who could not make the meeting due to nasty fall, Mike did an excellent job covering the use baluns, toroid composition,both ferrite and powder iron types, and long wire antennas. This kind of presentation makes you want to go out in the back yard and experiment and that is just what he did to prepare. Discovery, and even rediscovery is what makes this hobby so interesting.

Note: I just chatted with Chet who is recovering from a fractured hip. The good news is that the doctors believe it is a hairline fracture and he should recover in a month or so, without the need for surgery.


AA4HT Robert Van Winkle Amateur Extra YES NO
AB1DX Oliver Richards Amateur Extra YES NO
K1TZD Gregory Burton Amateur Extra NO NO
K4JZ William Aten Amateur Extra LIFE YES POL-933
KA9AHB Francesco Roncone General YES NO
KB4FHP Joseph Lunsford Technician NO NO
KC2RMZ Brian Volz Technician NO NO
KF4Q William Busbin Amateur Extra YES YES
KF4TPW Lydia Morgan Amateur Extra NO NO
KG2G Bert Onachila Amateur Extra NO NO
KI4EFL Donald Jeerings General NO NO
KI4ZMV William Johnson Amateur Extra YES NO POL-840
KJ4UW George Mann Amateur Extra YES NO POL-410
KK4BMI David LaFave General LIFE YES
KK4VCN Eleanor Marshall Technician NO NO OSC-074
KM4BAO Robert Doherty General YES NO POL-829
KM4STT Aimee Holzer Amateur Extra NO NO
KM4STU Leon Holzer General NO NO
KM4UYX Kenneth Kozla General NO NO
KN4BOE Thomas Conner General YES NO
KN4FBD John McCullough General YES NO
KN4FRA Susan Pugh Technician NO NO
KT2T Michael Oliver Amateur Extra LIFE YES POL-322A
N2TE R. Marchese Amateur Extra YES NO
N6MRS Michael Shreve General YES NO
N7HUQ Steven Schultz General NO NO POL-274
W4XDS James Stewart Amateur Extra YES YES
W4ZSC Albert Sheppard Amateur Extra YES NO POL-843
W8DUK Richard Grubb Amateur Extra YES NO POL-782
WB4OMG Harmon Morgan Amateur Extra NO NO
WB6ZEQ Herman Smith General NO NO
WX4AMS Andrew Stevens General YES YES POL-838


N4XMT Paul Whelpley Technician

N4LVG Robert Young Extra

WB8QQR Norm Nissen Advanced

NP4PS Juan Polo T

N9XMT Matthew Helm General

Gordon Hect

George Quinones

Daisy Lahvillieh

Monday, October 1, 2018

Getting Started With Allstar

Hello, this is Lucy, CH1MP, with some information about the Allstar System. After reading this you will learn how Chimp Pan Easy it is to use. So let’s get started.

Lucy CH1MP posing before a vintage telephone switchboard.

Anything new can be overwhelming. I am by no means an expert, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t play in the Allstar sandbox. Think of Allstar in terms of a telephone network. In fact, it was modeled after a PBX, or Private Branch Exchange. Large corporations have their own internal phone systems, or PBXs which can also interface with the outside world. Think of the Allstar network as your very own HBX or Ham Branch Exchange.

LARC repeater’s Allstar capability means it can connect to thousands of other hams. It uses the old switchboard telephone model, but with software and the Internet substituting for patch cords and copper wires. The only hardware you will need to take full advantage of the system is a radio capable of sending DTMF tones. DTMF tones are the sounds that your phone makes when you dial a number. Most ham radios have this capability. For example, to send the DTMF tones for the number 1234 using a Baofeng, press and hold the transmit button while pressing in sequence the keys 1, 2, 3 and 4.

You will need to learn a few control codes: *1, *2, and *3. You will also need to select a Node number from the list of available Nodes. This website will help. It lists hundreds of Nodes. Our repeater is one of them. It isNode number 49715.

Control codes are combined with Node numbers in the following way:

*1 followed by a Node number. This will disconnect you from the Node number you entered.

*2 followed by a Node number. This will only allow you to listen to traffic on the Node number entered.

*3 followed by a Node number. This code puts you in transceiver mode, or two way communication. This is probably the one you want to use.

Here is a snapshot of part of what you will see when you click on the link above. This is the place to get Node numbers, Maps showing the location of a Node, and Bubble charts, which tell you who is connected to who.

By clicking on Map for a given Node number, you can pinpoint the location of that Node.
Here is an example. The Node for Tampa was selected. In this case only two Nodes are connected.

Finally, there is the Bubble chart. The following is a very simple one. It shows three Nodes connected to a fourth.

Here is a tip to help you pick a Node. Join the crowd. Pick a Node that is designated as a Hub. Do this by sending *3 followed by the Node number of the hub you select. You will be added to the group. As a group member you are now connected to anyone who is also connected to the hub. When you transmit, everyone hears you, and you can hear everyone else. Think of this as a party-line. Don’t be surprised if you get an answer back from someone in Denver, when you put your call sign out. This is possible if the Denver station is connected to the same hub you are connected to.

So now for some practical stuff.

How do I let everyone know I am connecting to an Allstar link and it is not my grandson messing with my HT?
        Good procedure is to announce your intentions before you send any DTMF codes. Say “This is ‘your call sign’ connecting to Allstar.”

Can I cause any damage by punching in something incorrectly?
        Not likely. The system is robust.

If I connect to a Node, do I have to disconnect after I am done with a session?
        You don’t have to, but if you open a pathway to Dusseldorf Germany, and don’t  disconnect it, some of your fellow hams might be caught off guard if Hans responds to their request for a signal report in a heavy German accent.

Can someone else disconnect a link I established but forgot or purposely left open?
        Yes. Anyone can disconnect our repeater from any Node using *1 followed by the Node number sequence.

How can I tell which Node or Nodes the LARC repeater is connected to?
         This is where the bubble chart comes in handy. It will show any connections to the LARC repeater.

Can you recommend a hub?
         You might try Node 2577. This hub is located in Central Florida.

Yes, there is more to learn, but the best way to learn any new skill is to get some hands on experience. You now have enough information to get started, so go bananas! You'd be a chimp not to.