Led by Curt, W1FSM, and Dee, N1ZD, some major progress was made in the radio room today! The right side is primarily HF and the left side is VHF/UHF. The desks have been positioned, and placement of various items like the antenna patch panel have been decided. We await a 240v outlet to power the amp. There are power supplies installed at each table for the radios.

Power will be distributed via a Rigrunner powerpole panel at the center of each table. Some rigs have build in power supplies. There is a 8 foot long power strip bolted to each table that allows easy access to 120V as needed.

Next steps will involve setting out radios and  hooking them up. Building coax jumpers and the antenna patch panel. Deciding if more monitors/computers will be needed for DX spotting, etc other than the main computer shown in the pictures.

If you want to help, please contact Curt, he is coordinating the room build out and more help is needed! We want you to make this room your room!

VHF/UHF

VHF/UHF

HF Table

HF Table

HF Table

HF Table

Meeting was called to order at 7:34pm by Vice President Charles Lelievre, in the new GNARC communications center. There were 20 members in attendance.

New Business:

Shawn Murphy, from Darien, recently passed his Amateur Radio Tech license exam.
Shawn is a firefighter, with a combined experience of 20 years both as a volunteer and paid fireman.

Paul Lourd, who is active in ARES, has been appointed as the new Region 1 DEC (District Emergency Coordinator).

Old Business: 
Last month Rachel, KB1VWJ, was tentatively appointed as GNARC Secretary.
Charles, N1LLL, made a motion to confirm her appointment.
The motion was immediately seconded, and approved.

Treasurer’s Report:
Jim Francoeur reported that the clubs finances are in “Good Shape.”

General Discussion:

The club has a new three band antenna: 6M, 2M, & 70 CM, which will be mounted above the tri-band beam, on the newly installed roof top tower.

The club now has a Voicemail telephone number listed under “Auxiliary Communications” in the city directory. The voice mailbox is checked once per day.
The club telephone number is 203-854-3259.

Holiday Party:
Toy Alladin announced that the Annual Holiday Party will be held at the Laurel Club, on Friday, December 12 2014 from 6:30 to 10:30 PM.
More details to be announced as they become available.

Vice President N1LLL’s repeated his call for volunteers to work in setting up the new comm room.

Toy Alladin conducted a 50/50 drawing and Hugo Catta, AA1XV was the lucky winner of a set of assorted drill bits.

Meeting adjourned at 8:12 PM.

ARES

ares_logoThe Amateur Radio Emergency Service ® (ARES ® ) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service and when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization is eligible to apply for membership in ARES. Training may be required or desired to participate fully in ARES.  You can read the official ARRL material on ARES here.

ARES is organized regionally. The regions match the regions used by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.  In Southwest CT, we are in region 1. There are five “district emergency coordinators”, or DECs that report into the SEC. You can learn much more about ARES in Connecticut here: www.ctares.org.

ARES members can participate in public service events to provide communications support that enhances the safety of the operation. Events like charity bike rides and runs are classic examples where amateur radio provides the organizers with communications that cover a wide area. These events help ARES members practice their skills in deploying their equipment and operating on a “controlled net” to practice effective communications skills.

At this time, we are looking to create relationships with local agencies and organizations to provide assistance during large events and during emergencies. It is important to realize that ARES members don’t “self deploy” during disasters, but are part of an overall emergency preparedness team.

Local Nets
There is a periodic region 1 CERT/ARES net. When called, this net occurs on Tuesday at 8:00 PM. All amateurs are welcome, and encouraged to check into the net.  Frequencies for the CERT/ARES net are 146.475 (+ 1 MHz Split) with a PL of 100.0 Hz. At this time GNARC officers are looking into a way to link one of our repeaters into the statewide net that occurs on Sundays.

You can also learn more about CERT, which is a fast growing emergency preparedness organization across the country,  see http://www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams. You can also contact local CERT leaders in Wilton, Stamford, Fairfield, Westport and other Region 1 towns.  More towns are turning to CERT to help in emergencies, and the addition of amateur radio to the CERT is important to operations.

For more information, please contact Paul Lourd, WB2JVB,  DEC Connecticut Region 1.

GNARC member Steve Dick, K1RF, will present “Software Defined Radio (SDR) for Amateur Radio – An Overview”. This talk will cover what is SDR, how it works, basic types, some examples of current equipment from low end to high end, how SDR has evolved, and how to access SDR radios on the internet for free! Some short videos of SDR SSB and CW operation will be included. The talk will be followed by a demonstration of an actual SDR receiver. Steve is an amateur extra and an electrical engineer who has built and used several SDRs and has closely followed the amateur radio SDR market.

All are welcome!

This presentation will be at the Westport Astronomical Society / Rolnick Observatory on December 4th, 2014 at 7:30pm.

182 Bayberry Lane

Westport, CT

The New Canaan 440 repeater (W1FSM) is conducting a test of the DMR digital radio system for the next 30 days. At the conclusion of this test a review will be done to determine if we should consider reverting back to analog FM or to expand the coverage of the DMR system by replacing the broken antenna (from hurricane Sandy) and getting a more permanent digital installation there.

If you have any questions or comments please direct them to Curt, W1FSM.  If you listen to the repeater with a conventional radio, you will hear digital white noise. If you wish to learn more about DMR, click here http://www.dmr-marc.net/

Testing and evaluating new technologies for the ham community is what we do, and this system is quite new and we will see how it shakes out!

Meeting began at 7:01 PM. There were 12 members in attendance. The meeting began in the new GNARC communications center and then continued at the Fairfield Maker space for a 3D printer lecture.

Paul WB2JVB attended the monthly Norwalk emergency managers meeting. GNARC’s participation at the Oyster Festival was very well received at this meeting. We provided video links of the area to the fire department, allowing real time surveying of the amusement rides. This may be useful in emergencies, providing assistance to emergency managers in situations where “eyes on the ground” would be helpful. A representative from City Hall spoke to Paul about the club possibly helping to evaluate a Motorola radio system for City Hall, and the club may be asked to help with City projects in the future.

Rachel KB1VWJ was tentatively voted in as intermediate secretary in Marty’s absence. There will be an official vote for her position next meeting.

Public Information Officer Report – Emergency Response Team meeting was attended; back-up power at Belden Library was installed to be of use in the event of natural disasters and emergencies. Our next project at the library will be putting up an inverted V on the roof to pair with the radio we’ve installed there.

A vote to approve a club expenditure on providing a backup controller to the repeater passed 12-0.

A reminder that the Westcon Ham Fest will be taking place on Sunday, September 21st, in Newtown, starting at 8:30 AM. Another ham fest reminder is that the Limarc ham fest will be taking place in Hicksville, NY, on October 26th.

Vice President N1LLL’s report: The new COMM center is really coming along. Thanks to all who’ve painted, cleaned and installed radio equipment over the past few weeks. The antenna on the roof is the next major project – anyone interested in helping out should contact Charles. Since most people are available on Saturdays, antenna raisings will be moved to that day so that more people have the chance to help out.

Many thanks to local CERTs for providing assistance at the CT Rides United on Sunday September 7th.

FARA (Fairfield Amateur Radio Association) may be using the Fairfield police department as their meeting space from now on, as the fire department in Fairfield is demolishing their current building in January to replace it with a new one.

Meeting adjourned at 7:31.

The tower is being installed at the new communications center. Tower sections 1 and 2 are installed. The first section is through bolted to a steel I-beam in the building in four places. We will be looking for some volunteers to help with installation of the third (and final for now) section and the beam.

As part of a demonstration project, to show the technical capabilities of the GNARC members, several hams have worked to setup a video link from the 2014 Norwalk Oyster Festival back to emergency managers at Fire HQ.  This will allow real time viewing of the amusement ride area of the park. In the future GNARC will be able to deploy this technology rapidly to assist emergency managers in getting “eyes on” views during critical events.

The radio link originates at a light pole in Vets park (very near our field day site). It is then received at the top of the hospital and relayed to fire HQ. This is done with an IP camera over the normal 5.x Gig wifi standard using high gain dishes.

Some photos are attached.

Live view of the area shown on a PC at Fire HQ

Live view of the area shown on a PC at Fire HQ

This is one of the dishes relaying the signal from the bullet IP camera

This is one of the dishes relaying the signal from the bullet IP camera

View from the ground of the setup.

View from the ground of the setup.

It is at a good height to be able to "see" the hospital.

It is at a good height to be able to “see” the hospital.