News

President’s Corner

January 2018

     Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season, in spite of the Dallas Cowboys.

     This coming Saturday we’ll have Radio Play Day at the Carrollton Public Library, Josey Ranch. I’ll be presenting “HT Boot Camp.” We’ve done this in the past and not only new hams but experienced hams new to VHF/UHF repeaters, and those looking to fill in some knowledge gaps came. We’ll cover how to work with repeaters, on-air protocols and procedures, how to set up your radio, what all the terms mean, and how to program radios. It’s a great refresher.

     I’ll be at the Dallas RACES Council meeting at 10, so while Play Day starts at 10, we’ll kick off the “HT Boot Camp” a little after noon. You can bring lunch or there is a snack bar selling sandwiches, drinks and, well, snacks located in the Library.

     Interest in AREDN (Amateur Radio Emergency Digital Network) continues to grow. Dale, KB5NFT, is helping more and more hams get their AREDN nodes on the air. If you haven’t set up a node, please consider doing do. The more nodes the better the mesh and the more resiliency options we have.

     Our DMR repeater can get pretty busy. That’s why we’ve moved some of the really busy talk groups to “PTT.” That means you can still use them, but you’ll need to turn your radio to that group and then kerchunk the repeater. It will time out after a while if you (or other local stations) aren’t transmitting. Contact Dave, N5GDL, for DMR assistance.

     We’re finally in the throes of replacing the repeater controllers to enable better timekeeping. And right as we started to change the hardware, the manufacturer decided to put out a buggy firmware release. It’s set the whole program back. Oh, well. Even non-Windows systems have update problems.

     Speaking of updates, if you have a system running on an Intel, AMD or ARM processor please keep your operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, etc.) up to date. There are two really bad security flaws found in the current processors. One of them can be fixed with an operating system update. The other? Everyone is scrambling but fixes aren’t out yet.

     Club meeting is Thursday night at 7pm, as usual, at the other Carrollton Public Library, corner of Hebron and Josey. We’ll be happy to help you upgrade your license at 6 pm (nudge nudge.)

     Spring is coming (yes, yes, I know about the frozen weeks we’ve had and that are to arrive). That means hamfests, such as the Cowtown this month. Preparations for ARRL Field Day will start soon, and we might be able to squeeze in a Winter Field Day.

     Stay tuned to the KB5A.org website for details, and for all the best information. I’ll see you at the meeting, and at Play Day!

     73,

     Kevin, N5KRG