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

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.


The GNARC “stuff for sale” team had a good trip to the 2014 Antique Wireless Association World Convention in Rochester, NY.  The group consisted of Sam, Rachel, Steve, Roberta, Tim, Jim, and Don.

The convention program presented a wonderful range of events starting with a personally escorted tour of the AWA Museum Complex on Tuesday and ending with the “paper collectibles”, vacuum tube, and equipment auction on Saturday.

Outstanding progress has been made at the museum, featuring thoughtfully assembled equipment exhibits in beautifully appointed surroundings.  The various presentations in the next few days covered an appropriate variety of amateur and antique radio interests.  The Thursday/Friday flea market gave the seven person “sales crew” a good opportunity to market our goodies.  The equipment contest was supported with many entries; Sam and Don won ribbons with their exhibits.  On Friday, there was a fine dinner and a very interesting talk about Voice of America.

After a well-run auction with a large crowd in attendance,  the team had an uneventful trip home.

Click here for the photos!

On Thursday, August 7th, over 50 members & friends of the Greater Norwalk Amateur Radio Club took the time to enjoy themselves at a picnic hosted by one of their members, Paul Lourd WB2JVB, at his house in Wilton. The picnic was held in lieu of the regular monthly meeting.

Two VIP’s graced the party with their presence, namely ARRL CT Section Manager Betsey Doane K1EIC, & CT State Representative Gail Lavielle R-143.

Charles, N1LLL, had his “go kit” HF radio hooked up to Paul’s Buddipole dipole on 17 meters and some DX was heard.

All in attendance enjoyed great conversation, & were treated to fantastic food, magnificently prepared by Chef Mark KB1JGL, assisted by Toy K1WYQ. The entertainment included many being captivated by a remote controlled “Quadcopter”.  And no party (or meeting) would be complete without Toy holding a raffle as only he can!!

The sale of the items below is being handled by Andrew, the deceased ham’s son-in-law.

He will be available to show the equipment from 8/20 through Labor Day weekend.

He can be reached at (262) 365-4305.

Equipment and asking prices are as follows.

Kenwood 950S Digital Transceiver   $850 Read More →

GNARC members were invited to see the new communications center and have pizza. Volunteers were organized for upcoming cleaning, painting, radio room build out and tower construction! Lots of work to do, but the end result will be a great club space. Some photos are attached.