News And Events Archives

Tech News    The May (2024) tech meeting was Tuesday the 14th., and was held at the St. Martin Community Center from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., local CDT.  Some of the Tech time was spent discussing logistics and actions needed to launch the Statewide effort.

Statewide MS POTA event, was held on Saturday, May 18, 2024. 1300 UTC to 2259 UTC (8 am – 5:59 pm CDT local time).

Mississippi QSO Party  Plus POTA, took place April 6, 2024.  Several local operators met at the Jackson County Animal shelter/ soccer fields just off highway 90 in Gautier for the event. From reports late in the day, the number of contacts was low.  We believe the biggest catch of the day was the sun rays!

Speaking of Hamfest, our friends in neighboring Mobile, County, AL hamfest is set for April 27th.   The Mobile Hamfest flyer is attached here for your convenience.  https://jcmsara.org/area-hamfest-flyers/

Up Next… The April (2024) Tech meeting scheduled for Tuesday 04/09/2024 is will be held at the normal meeting venue, the St, Martin Community Center   We encourage everyone to come learn new skills or share those skills you have already mastered..  The April club business meeting will be April 30, 2024 at the community center.  Coffee social is 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. and the formal business segment will be 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., local DST.

Also in February

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our Club member Jewel Kastrantas, KF5NYR, who became a Silent Key last Sunday.  Jewel was spouse to Gus, our 1st Past President, WG5GK.

Click the link below the picture for more information.

https://www.riemannfamily.com/obituaries/jewel-kastrantas

 

Previously  The February Tech Talk meeting is canceled due to overlap with Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday event.  The March Tech Talk meeting is on schedule to meet March 12th.  However, the meeting will be at an alternate location.  The St. Martin Community Center is undergoing maintenance and/or refurbishment.  The alternate Tech Talk meeting venue will be post soon.

January 2024

My goodness, it’s 2024.  Happy new year!  It’s time to awake from our holiday nap and be ready to participate in numerous Amateur Radio events just around the corner.

Events in our future are:

The WFD (Winter Field Day) event, both planning meeting, and  the actual WFD activity will be at Alan’s (N5OYL) property. The address is 7600 Jim Ramsay Road, Vancleave, MS 39565.  Alan’s driveway (approximately 800 feet long) is on the north side of the road from Still Branch Rd., and the GPS coordinates are: 30.54541N, 88.7362W.  If you haven’t participated previously, come see what the Radio Frequency (RF) Roar is all about.  Oh, Did we say come see the Saturday night Bonfire?  There be plentiful stories about the stations and events caught and the ones that got away.

Winter Field Day is the weekend of January 26th – 28th for year 2024. Campers may arrive and setup camp in the afternoon of 01/26/2024.  The contest begins at approximately noon on January 27th and concludes at noon on 01/28/2024.

If you are a Amateur Radio operator come see what fun some of us have with field day events.  If not a Amateur Radio operator come see communications without the monthly – never ending “Talk, Text and Data fees”!  See above for location information.

JCARA – Jackson County Amateur Radio Association.

JCARA begins a two meeting per month schedule, beginning in September 2023.

The last Tuesday night of September (09/26/2023) is the second of the two meetings per month scheduled.  The business meeting will convene at 7 pm, and is at the St. Martin Community Center, 15008 LeMoyne Blvd. where we normally have club business meetings.  If possible please attend this important meeting.

Recently… it was one of those deep south mild winter days.

Eight JCARA club members held our first ever POTA and [ Π ] ( Pi ) day on 3.14.2024 (national Π day) which was the perfect reason to make it a pie and POTA event. Gus WG5GK, Jim W5SMN, Jerry WF5W, Mike KG5KSA, Johnny AI5ME, Joe W5DDX, Jerry N5MES and Brian W5DUI attended and made it happen. In addition to the sweet treats twenty six (26) FT8 and nineteen (19) phone SSB contacts were made.  And they had some lemon chess, apple, peach, blueberry, an assortment of fried pies and some pecan mini pies – plus coffee and OJ. It was a beautiful day to hang out with friends and enjoy some ham radio and Pi day pies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling all JCARA club members, non-members, and other interested groups and individuals. 

The JCARA Hamfest 2023 is coming September 16th.  See the Flyer

This is one of our current annual income sources.  We need and appreciate your involvement by helping us or simply attending.

Time:  One day event: Saturday, September 16, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. (Vendor doors open at 7:00 AM for setup)

VE License Testing:  VE Testing starts at 9:30 AM SHARP! Candidates need to bring their FRN number and $15.00 cash for each test taken.

Where:  Same location as previous years, the St. Martin Library/Community Center complex on Lemoyne Blvd.   See more directions / location information in this link.  Directions.

What: Ole fashion swap fest, Numerous forums and demonstrations, Food, and Ham Operator comradery. Oh did we mention prizes?  Yes we’ll have some great prizes too!

Look for a Hamfest Flyer and more information in the link above this post and duplicated here for your convenience.  See the Flyer

If you can help, contact one of the board members A.S.A.P.  (See the link on the top menu of this page for a list of OFFICERS and contact information)

If you are a Ham Operator/non-club member, or other non-radio entity, but have an interest in radio technology we look forward to seeing you there!

News Flash…       Its time to Tower Up, so later you can Power Up!

The club was recently obtained a used Rohn 25 tower that was auctioned at the hamfest.  The tower is approximately 56’ with 4 middle sections, 1 top section and an approximately 7’ or 8’ bottom section.  The residential used tower has some patina but is structurally sound.  The tower will be auctioned at the hamfest.

 

– VE testing is tentatively scheduled for August 29, 2023 at the St. Martin Library.

The test session will be given in the study room at the St. Martin Library for 5:00 to 6:45 pm (Library Closes) for VE testing.  We have told the candidates to be on site by 5:30.  We have two candidates scheduled for testing, but I have only recently heard from one.  See you at the library!  If you want to test, in addition to those noted above, contract Charles Hardt, eMail at N2PKW@arrl.net or his cell 228 233 4140 to be added to the test session.

 

– The next Club meeting is scheduled for September 12, 2023 beginning at 6 p.m. at the existing venue location.

Yes, that’s right!  Beginning this month (September 2023) JCARA will hold two (2) monthly meetings. The first meeting will be a technical oriented meeting with several formats.  The existing business meeting will be exactly where and when they currently convene, that is the last Tuesday of each month.

 

Silent Key

We regret to inform you that Jack Warner, KE5X of D’iberville, Harrison County became a silent key on 08/18/2023.

Services for Jack will be at Center Pointe Church, Highway 57 in Ocean Springs Tuesday August 22, with visitation at 5 pm and the service at 6 pm..  Jack leaves a wonderful wife, Sandee, two children, numerous grand, and great grand children.

Jack served in the US Air Force, and after retirement – until a few months ago was an active building/renovation contractor.  At one time Jack was the repeater trustee/administrator for multiple coast repeaters.

 

 

– ARRL Field Day – June 24th – June 25th 2023

 

Field Day 2023 Scenes From the Event

JCARA participated in a cooperative – club wide Field Day event this year.  While official scoring has not been reported, all participants agree that the experience was fun and beneficial to the club’s “actual events response” readiness.

This link provides some of the sights and scenes from the event, a PDF. JCARA 2023 Field Day slideshow  (When the page opens press Ctrl + L to start the slide show, press ESC key to end.)

Field Day 2023 Planning.

WXXV-TV25 interview with Gus Kastrantas (WG5GK), JCARA President and Charles (Charlie) Hardt (N2PKW), JCARA Spokesperson regarding ARRL Field Day 2023.

To view the story, Click or tap the link below.

Amateur Radio Field Day – WXXV News 25

Each June, ham radio operators hold a field day, or open house, to invite the public to come see how ham radios work. This year, field day is Saturday. To tell us more about it are Jackson County Amateur Radio Association President Guy Kastrantas and Spokesman Charlie Hardt. Amateur Radio Field day takes place Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5…

www.wxxv25.com

https://www.wxxv25.com/amateur-radio-field-day-5/

 

Click or tap for Full Page view    ARRL-2023-Field-DayFlyer

JCARA will conduct a cooperative – club wide Field Day event this year.  Any other interested, non-club, operators are welcome to participate.  The event is set to be held at the Estuary Education Center, on the campus of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC).  The venue has adequate facilities to accommodate simulated emergency operations conditions and includes Antenna deployment location, room for multiple radio operations, cool down area to preempt individuals suffering heat exhaustion, handicap (ARA) restrooms, and ample parking.

The hosting location information is:  MGCCC Campus, 2300 US highway 90, Gautier, MS 39553

The Campus GPS Coordinates     30.394521, -88.647288  The specific Field Day site is on Estuarine Street (north side of the campus)  GPS Coordinates: 30.39910, -88.64520 according to Google Maps.

The 145.110 repeater will serve as the talk-in frequency as may be needed.

The “make the contact” operations and logging event begins at 1300 local time the 24th to 1300 local time the 25th.  Antenna deployment planning is scheduled for the afternoon/evening of the 23th beginning at approximately 1500 local time.  In accordance with the ARRL rules, the advanced antenna setup drives the starting time on Saturday.

We highly encourage all members who are healthy-able bodied individuals to participate.  Whether your area of service expertise is setup/breakdown, radio operations, food service, or other service (support) function, your participation is needed.

For the club this event is the second largest event to our fall Hamfest and will offer the greatest public exposure to what we do as Amateur Radio Operators.

For more information or interest in committing to help execute the event, please contact:

Charles; Charles.hardt@mgccc.edu or Joe; bigjoeyt@yahoo.com

And please visit the ARRL website http://www.arrl.org for more about Field Day.

 

 

Field Day 2023 slide show.  PDF  JCARA 2023 Field Day slideshow   (When the page opens press Ctrl + L to start the slide show, press ESC key to end.)

 

In Sympathy:  Tina Johnston, KC5ZLV, wife of Lee Johnston, K5CUB, became a silent Key March 27, 2023.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Lee.

Congratulations to John Ward of Gautier on your successful license upgrade to Extra.  Way to go John!  Now you can leverage all the spectrum allocated to Amateur Operators.  

And as previously mentioned, congratulations Mark McClellan of Ocean Springs.  One of the area’s newest Ham Radio operators, KJ5AUR.  We enjoyed getting to know you in person at the club monthly business meeting last Tuesday.

 

– WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY CELEBRATION!

Spring has sprung.  Pollen, Radio Waves and Baseball are in the air.  The Jackson County Amateur Radio Association, JCARA in conjunction with the Deep South Amateur Radio Club, DSARC proudly invite you to celebrate, World Amateur Radio Day* with us at the MGM Stadium, in Biloxi, MS, for an exciting night of Shuckers Baseball.

Save the date April 14, 2023, MGM Park, Biloxi Mississippi.  There is a ticket purchase link on the flyer.

See The Downloadable PDF Flyer!

*(officially April 18th.of each year)

– WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY CELEBRATION – After the event !

Spring has sprung.  Pollen, Radio Waves and Baseball are in the air.  The Jackson County Amateur Radio Association, JCARA in conjunction with the Deep South Amateur Radio Club, DSARC, as well as clubs from the rest of 6 coastal county’s, and clubs from Southern Alabama were invited to celebrate, World Amateur Radio Day* at the MGM Stadium, in Biloxi, MS, for an exciting night of Shuckers Baseball. 

The game was well attended.  The evening was filled with Hot Dogs, Cold Drinks,Fireworks, and lots of Comradery – oh and the Shuckers won  a with a final score of 7 to 1. 

*(officially April 18th.of each year)

 

– JCARA participation in the Mississippi QSO Party was April 1, 2023 at Gulf Islands National Park in Ocean Springs.

The JCARA fielded seven (7) operating station and made numerous contacts despite a rain (actually a thunderstorm) shortened day.  In addition to the contacts the participants had several public inquires about the radio activity from the park ‘s “civilian” visitors.  More information results and pictures will be published soon.

 

Prior 2023 Information….

 

The 2023 Winter Field Day event is scheduled for January 28-29, 2023.  This year the Club’s participation in the event will take place on the property of Alan, N5OYL in Vancleave.  The address is 7600 Jim Ramsay Rd.  The cross street is Still Branch Rd., and the GPS coordinates are: 30.54541N, 88.7362W.

A planning meeting, on the site, was held Saturday, January 7th at 0900.  The club WFD should have more than enough space and trees to hang antennas.

The first club business meeting will be Tuesday January 31, 2023 at the same time and location as in previous years and will convene at the St. Martin Community center, Lemoyne Blvd., St. Martin.  The 2023 Club member dues are payable on or before the January 31, 2023 club meeting.  We hope to see you there, however you have the option to mail your dues to the P.O. Box 234, Gautier, MS. 39553.

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Club VE Testing Event cancelled for February due to Mardi Gras Conflict

The third Tuesday of the month for February 2023 falls on Fat Tuesday. The facility where testing is conducted is closed Monday and Tuesday of next week.  So the scheduled VE testing for next week is canceled.  If you are aware of anyone ready for testing, we can test them anytime on a prearranged date and time.  They do not have to wait for the third Tuesday of the month.  According to Charlie Hardt, “We know we have a number of people out there studying for their upgrades and one gentlemen that I know of studying for his Tech.”  If there are others, please have them get in touch with Charlie Hardt via eMail at N2PKW@arrl.net,or his cell 228 233-4140 to develop a special test session.

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In the Books.

The JCARA 2022 Hamfest/Swap Meet is in the books. We sincerely thank the participating club members effort to create a smooth operation and enjoyable experience for our visiting fellow Hams and other guest.

And a special thank you to the visiting Ham Radio Community from; Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

The event was an encouraging success.  Entry door tickets were up double or more from 2021.  Table sales was in the 80 – 90% range.  And the face to face QSO’s are priceless.

Top Prizes.

Yaesu FTM 400 XDR                                               Yaesu FTM 300D

        

                    Yaesu FT 65

 

Other sights and scene from the Fest 2022…..

       

       

   

Chilling at Joe’s – after a busy weekend.

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The JCARA 2022 December Meeting and Christmas party

The Meeting/Party was held Tuesday December 13, 2022, at the Country Gentlemen Restaurant in Gautier.  It was a packed-out crowd.  Approximately 33 members, family or friends attended. Good food and outstanding fellowship was had by all.

A brief meeting was convened, after prayer and pledge to the flag was completed, several amateurs were presented with Certificates of Appreciation, and Congratulations for support and service to the club activities in 2022.  Other awards were given to recognize and thank members for their “extra effort” service to the club and the community.

A roll call of our family of amateurs who have health issues, and a list of Silent Keys, or their (passed away) spouses, was read.  The reading was followed by a moment of silence.  Afterward the meeting was adjourned.

A 50/50 door prize drawing afforded two attendees cash that was sufficient to cover the dutch treat dinner!    See several pictures of the meeting attendants below.

     

 

 

   

 

 

  

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JCARA DIY / React Initiatives Activity – August 2022

WF5W’s VHF J-Pole Antenna.  Jerry, WF5W has just completed construction and installation of his latest DIY project, a VHF J-Pole.    Congratulations, you will be solid in the repeater and simplex if needed in emergencies.

 

Joe, W5DDX, Thaddeus, KI5KUD, and Bert Rodriguez has repaired NN5AF’s Carolina Windom HF Dipole to approximately 90% of total required repairs.  The remaining task is to install the new feedline when it arrives.  We all know about Supply Chain constraints these days.  NN5AF is worthy of our help because of his military service to our nation, his past service to the Ham Radio community, and his unwavering duty as primary caregiver to his late wife.

 

Mega thanks to Joe W5DDX and Bert Rodriguez for help to Jim, W5SMN.  Joe and Bert not only performed the deployment of Jim’s, DIY HF Dipole antenna, but also replaced Jim’s truck engine starter.     Do you recognize any of W5SMN antenna farm crop that has sprung up around his chimney?

 

Is there anything better that a fresh starter to get you going on the morning drive?

 

And Many thanks to Thaddeus, KI5KUD for VHF Antenna Diagnostics help to Kenyon, WO5LFY.

Folks, this is a large part of what Ham Radio is all about.  Neighbors helping neighbors!  We strongly encourage you to inquire about upcoming DIY and React (Reactivation) initiatives then sign on to help. 

Conversely, if you could use some ham radio related assistance, don’t be too proud to ask for help!

 

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One Marine’s First-Time SOTA Activation Expedition!

Jerry, N5MES, was active on HF and VHF from 1987 to about 1999, albeit mostly mobile.  But Family structure/circumstances changed so that ham radio couldn’t be a priority.  Now that Jerry’s youngest is off to college, that old hankering for the magic of RF has returned.

Jerry says “Summits On the Air (SOTA) is a newer facet of ham radio” and of course it drew him in.  Additionally, Jerry loves hiking and camping too.  He goes on to say “Problem is, there ain’t no summits on the (MS) gulf coast.  And, to make matters worse, I always find the hard way to do something.”

Looking at SOTA maps online, Jerry filtered the list to show only those summits that had never been activated before.  There were several around Huntsville, AL and the Huntsville Hamfest was only a few months away!  The summits close to the Hamfest were in Madison County, AL, and none of them had roads or trails close to the top. The county tax collector website has a function where you can click on a map and the property owner, and their address comes up.  Jerry wrote a letter to four different addresses and sent them off via the U.S. mail.

While waiting for replies, about four weeks before the Hamfest, Jerry’s IC-706MKIIG quit transmitting. He could not find an obvious fault visually or with his multimeter and was unable to return it to working status.  Jerry was resigned to failure, when to his surprise, an email arrived from one of the property owners the Tuesday before the Hamfest. She granted permission to access her property and she put Jerry in touch with a friend of hers who is an official of the Land Trust of North Alabama. The official had been to the summit before, and he warned Jerry about snakes, ticks, rocks, and heat.  The official also told Jerry the best place to park and gave Jerry some mapping sites to go to. Jerry says, “I cannot describe what a blessing they both have been.”

Jerry described his predicament to a fellow club member, who was gracious enough to lend a KX2 and 40-10-meter Pack Tenna EFHW [End Fed Half Wave antenna] for the adventure.  Jerry left early Friday morning and arrived at Drake Cemetery close to noon.  Jerry said “I made sure I had water and snacks, put on some boots and long pants and a long sleeved-shirt, and doused my lower half in DEET tick repellent. Rather than taking a direct line to the summit, I took a northeast trek on a path that I thought would be less steep. Even though the landowner said all the properties I would be crossing would be family relations to her, it still unnerved me when I came upon a tree stand after about 200 yards. I’m sure I’m on a game camera or three.  I passed a different tree-stand on the way back to the truck, because I took a more direct route.” 

 

At the summit, Jerry threw an arborists line probably 20 feet up in a tree and hoisted the EFHW aloft. After checking the SWR on 20 meters, nervously, he threw out a CQ Summits On The Air with 12 watts. “It was the first time my call had been on HF in 20 years.” Almost immediately NS7P came back from Oregon. Then KI5GNH/M mobile in Texas! The third was F4WBN in France! “Wow! I then made a summit-to-summit contact with AC1Z operating from W0D/NW-023 in South Dakota.” 

The summit had cell phone service and Jerry had been messaging with Gus, WG5GK, and had spotted himself on the SOTA spotting page.  Jerry and Gus could not hear each other, so after eight contacts on 20 meters, Jerry QSY’ed (see Q code definitions at Ham Radio Q-Codes) down to 40 and made contacts with Gus and Joe, W5DDX, to complete the activation. Jerry still had to climb down the mountain and drive about 20 minutes to the campsite to set up the tent for the weekend.  “I did not want to be wandering around in strange woodlands when even remotely close to nightfall, so after just 30 minutes of operating, I packed up the gear and headed for the truck.  

Jerry said “The tent adventure will be another story for a later time.  The next day I met up with the other Jerry, WF5W, and we had a great time at the Hamfest ogling the new stuff and the old stuff and going to presentations of a geeky nature.  I plan on making the Huntsville Hamfest an annual tradition, so call me up around June or July and we’ll make plans together. I’m off to order some QSL cards…”

Have you been able to identify the Summit?  It is Drake Mountain.

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Activities & Events….in 2022

  1. Ham Camping Trip/POTA – November 3-6 at Shepard Park, Gautier, MS.  All are welcome to attend. For more information contact Jim, W5SMN.
  2. JCARA Hamfest 2022.  The date was November 11-12,  at the Saint Martin Community Center on Lemoyne Blvd.  Near the I-10, Ocean Springs exit 50.  To purchase tables for your “gently used amateur radio equipment, please communicate with Jerry, M5MES, club Treasurer at JCARA.Treasurer@gmail.com.

 

Ham Camping Trip/POTA – November 3rd-6th at Shepard Park, Gautier, MS.  All are welcome to attend. For more information contact Jim, W5SMN.

 

Jackson County ARA gets the VIP tour of MFJ Enterprises

September 15, 2022

Several JCARA members were fortunate to be able to travel to the Star Fleet MFJ Enterprise, the Mothership of most all things known to be ham radio station operations essential and supportive.

Seriously though, to get our heads out of the clouds, in 2022 MFJ Enterprises is celebrating their 50th year anniversary.  MFJ was founded in 1972 by Martin F. Jue (thus MFJ) in a hotel room in Starkville, MS.  Their first product was a high selective filter that would enable a receiver to separate one Morse code signal from others.  The success of this product grew to the numerous other products we enjoy today.  Now, 50 years later MFJ products continue to be produced in Starkville.

MFJ Enterprises’ campus consists of four builds in Starkville.

  • The main building contains the majority of MFJ products manufactured/assembled onsite, shipping/receiving, and the administration offices.
  • The MFJ Ameritron building assembles and repairs Ameritron amplifiers.
  • The MFJ Hy-Gain/Cushcraft building fabricates and assembles antennas.
  • The Metal-shop building produces the cases for MFJ products. Also contained in the building are the silk-screening and the printshop facilities.

Our club toured the four MFJ buildings.  We talked with the employees and most of the people we met have been with the company 15 years or longer.  There are no assembly lines to produce MFJ products.  Instead, we saw teams of 3 or 4 individuals working together, sharing tasks to produce the devices/equipment-the products we may use every time we operate.

Amazing, in a day and time when so many businesses have come and gone, MFJ started with a single product 50 years ago.  Today we’re still enjoying and benefiting from the many products they have produced through the years.  MFJ is a shining example and testament that quality and quantity can co-exist.

By the way MFJ supports their products with their one-year unconditional warranty.

MFJ offers a one-year unconditional warranty called the “NO MATTER WHAT” warranty. MFJ will replace or repair a customer’s MFJ unit (at MFJ’s option) for one complete year.

To celebrate MFJ’s continued success the Jackson County ARA presented Dr. Jue and employees with a 50th anniversary celebration cake.

   

Thank you, Dr. Martin and the fine people of MFJ for the products we, the Amateur Radio community rely on today.  We added some pictures of our MFJ tour.

Mock up Antenna Tuner from Tim Allen’s TV show “Last Man Standing.”

 

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W5WA Net update           09-09-2022

JCARA is pleased to announce that The Great Southern DX Association’s weekly DX Net is now operating via the W5WA, 145.11 repeater in analog mode.  The access (PL) code is 123.0, and the net schedule is at 8:00 pm local time DST on Friday evenings (and at 7:00 pm local time [CST] [on Friday evenings] during the winter).  Danny, NF4J is net control.

The Net’s purpose is to share information on the matters of DX-ing, band/Wx conditions, contesting, equipment test or performance, and any other relevant topic.  All licensed radio amateurs are welcome to participate.  Join in and let everyone know what DX and contests you have been working or ask any questions you may have in these areas.

For more information about the GSDXA visit their website at https://www.k5gdx.org/

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SET Report by Laurence Galle [K9EYZ], ARRL Emergency Coordinator, Jackson County, MS

Dateline August 6, 2022

Amateur Radio Operators, both ARES and non-ARES members and several out of county operators participated in the Jackson County 2022 Simulated Emergency Test (SET).  All exceeded our expectations.  Here is how and why…

The Jackson County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (JCARES) members established a command and tactical station at the Gulf Park Estates/St. Andrews Volunteer Fire Department.  Inclement weather during setup and operations initiation presented some challenges, however the weather provided conditions that operators could face in a real-world emergency.  The test scenario was a catastrophic regional disaster resulting in a total loss of internet services, loss of commercial electrical power, no cellular service, and in some locations loss of public service radio systems.

The command center included a continuous tactical net on the W5WA repeater, and digital messaging service over the W5WA BBS.  The communications services were maintained for four hours throughout the county and included liaisons with the Mississippi Section Phone Net/Magnolia Section Net and the Mississippi Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Service Net (MS-NBEMS) that was established and maintained for twelve hours.

Fourteen Jackson County amateur operators participated in the event, providing a total of 53.7 man-hours to public service.  The group passed a total of 38 messages during the test net; four messages were emergency messages, two were priority messages, six were routine messages, and 26 were ICS-213 messages [ICS-213 are messages requires hard copy delivery].  Six messages originated in Jackson County and were relayed to state agencies via liaison with section nets.

ARES members are commended for the enthusiasm and work ethic the group demonstrated during this year’s SET.  Despite the weather impact mentioned earlier hampering the first two hours of the planned event, ARES members maintained active communications and ultimately relayed all messages while maintaining safety of all members.  Participation in local and section digital nets was particularly heavy, and the W5WA BBS was found to be especially critical to the passing of ICS-213 traffic throughout the county. JCARES demonstrated its readiness and ability to provide messaging throughout the county and state.  By all ARRL measures the JCARES 2022 SET was a notable success.

Site Administrator’s note:  If you participated in the ARES SET and would like to comment, please contact us at JCARA.CLUB@gMail.com, and please copy Laurence at K9EYZ@icloud.com

Several photos of the JCARES SET 2022, are shown below

 

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A few sights and sounds from JCARA / ARRL Field Day June 2022

 

   

 

Video compliments of WLOX TV

Click or tap the link below to view video.

Amateur Radio Operators tune in to vital network

 

 

 

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JCARA’s First DIY Project is in the books or On The Air.

On the last Saturday of May, the 28th, several crafty operators met to build portable HF antennas beginning with the 9:1 Balun.  The goal is a functional End Fed random length wire antenna that could be deployed for ARRL Field Day or actual storm/emergency response radio communications.

Attendees included

N2PKW

W5DDX

W5SMN

KG5KSA

WG5GK

N5OYL

KI5OAK

W5NRP

WF5W

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We recognize and extend our special thanks to the following for facilitating the project.

  • Precision Manufacturing, Machining Instructor Jamie Wilkerson
  • N2PKW
  • W5DDX
  • The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jackson County Campus Administration

 

Scroll down to enjoy the picture record of the DIY event

The Basic Design and Construction.

Building a 9 to 1 balun / for a random length wire antenna.

Many Parts and Pieces

Christmas will arrive in the blink of the eye, so Santa’s Little Antenna Workshop is getting busy!

Workmanship like a machine!

 

 

 

 

 

            

CAUTION, Soldering Construction for the next 2 hours.  Traffic is down to one lane!

Happy are the workers.  Beats the alternative of watching the Weather Channel at home on the satellite.

 

See the Antenna simulated field operations test results below.

 

The results are noteworthy.  1.2:1 VSWR on 20 meters, something over 2:1 on other bands, but 1:1 with the tuner.  Voice contact with Costa Rica yielded a 57-signal report.  Additional tests resulted in contact with Japan on 20 meters, FT8.  Way to go Jim.

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*** Attention Members / Meeting Attendees ***

The Jackson County Amateur Radio Association club meeting will NOT be held at the St. Martin Community Center in June.  This is due to the run-off election scheduled for this Tuesday at the community center.

We are instead hosting an informal club meeting on the internet using ZOOM.

We are sending out invitations before noon on Friday to all club members to attend the meeting.  If you have not received an invitation or would like to attend our meeting on Tuesday please request an invitation by email at …

You will receive an invite before the meeting on Tuesday.

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JCARA ARRL Field Day June 2022

JCARA will conduct a cooperative – club wide Field Day event this year.  Other interested, non-club, operators are welcome to participate.  The event is set to be held at the Estuary Education Center, on the campus of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC).  The venue has adequate facilities to accommodate simulated emergency operations conditions and includes Antenna deployment location, room for multiple radio operations, cool-down area to preempt individuals suffering heat exhaustion, handicap (ARA) restrooms, and ample parking.

The hosting location information is:  MGCCC Campus, 2300 US highway 90, Gautier, MS 39553

GPS Coordinates     30.394521, -88.647288  / 30°23’40.3″N,  88°38’50.2″W

See the site map…. Field Day Location

The 145.110 repeater is the talk-in frequency as needed.

The “make the contact” operations and logging event begins at 1300 local time the 25th to 1300 local time the 26th.  Antenna deployment is scheduled for the afternoon/evening of the 24th beginning at approximately 1500 local time.  In accordance with the ARRL rules, the advanced antenna setup drives the starting time on Saturday.

We highly encourage all members who are healthy-able bodied individuals to participate.  Whether your area of service expertise is setup/breakdown, radio operations, food service, or other service (support) function, your participation is needed.

For the club this event is the second largest event to our fall Hamfest and will offer the greatest public exposure to what we do as Amateur Radio Operators.

For more information or interest in committing to help execute the event, please contact:

Charles; n2pkw@arrl,net or Joe; bigjoeyt@yahoo.com

Please visit the ARRL website http://www.arrl.org for more about Field Day.

 

Information from the ARRL

According to the ARRL website, “Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.”

We encourage operators to review the rules at the ARRL Field Day Rules link http://www.arrl.org/field-day-rules

The JCARA Field Day Flyer.  JCARA Field Day Flyer

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(DIY event announcement, April-May of 2022) JCARA will hold its first DIY group build

The Club’s DIY first group build will begin Saturday May 28th. at the Jackson County Campus of MGCCC, 2300 Hwy 90, Gautier, MS 39553 (GPS 30.392007, -88.6509357).  The class start time 9:00 a.m.  The event will take place in the Career Technical Education Building, Room 26A, Building 5 on the Campus map link below.  The cost is free to Club Members.

The build will give a very brief and basic understanding of the balun as well as the pros and cons.  This will be followed by actually building the balun and wire antenna.

This is a Members only event and participants need to sign up in advance in order to ensure everyone has a project/materials kit.  Participants can sign up by eMail to: JCARA.President@gMail.com, JCARA.VicePresident@gMail.com, JCARA.PastPresident@gMail.com, or JCARA.CLUB@gMail.com

See the Campus guide map:  MGCCC Jackson County Campus

 

Local ARES-RACES Net Controllers announced for 2022

JCARA and the Jackson County ARRL EC has named ARES-RACES net Controllers for 2022.

The regularly scheduled and alternate Net Controllers are:

First Thursday                   Gus (WG5GK)

Second Thursday              Joe (W5DDX)

Third Thursday                 Robert (KM4EWZ)

Forth Thursday                 Jerry (N5MES)

Fifth Thursday and Alternates                 Laurence (K9EYZ)/Jeff (KI5JJP)/Charlie (N2PKW)

All licensed Amateur Radio operators are invited and encouraged to participate.  The ARES-RACES net currently meets each Thursday at 7 p.m. local time, on the W5WA (145.110 Analog) repeater.  The tone is 123.0. 

 

 

Good Bye Nick

It is with sad hearts that we say so long and 73 to our friend and neighbor, K5BQJ, RA (Nick) Conner.  Nick became a silent key on Monday April 4, 2022.  Nick is pictured here [center wearing blue cap] with several local operators.

N5OS Repeater

 

Unsure of the exact photo date, however it was published on this website in February 2018.

This photo also appears on the website’s repeater list.

 

 

 

 

The caption with the photo reads in part.

 

N5OS Repeater Site – Pascagoula, MS
“The Triple T Maneuver”
Testing, Tuning, Tweaking
L to R: Rod Roberts, KC5LCW, Nick Conner, K5BQJ, Donnie Versiga &
Kurt Oberhofer, K5KDO, Camera Operator, Not Shown

Nick was a active JCARA club member, including past custodian for the 145.110 [call sign W5WA] repeater.  Nick handled a considerable amount of communications traffic during and after both hurricanes Camille and Katrina.

 

On the Air

JCARA’s participation in the Mississippi QSO Party was April 2nd, 2022.  Brian, W5DUI, Gus WG5GK, Jim, W5SMN, Justin, W5NRP (not pictured) were the primary operators making and logging the contacts.  The location near Ocean Springs, MS was excellent (except for the gnats), adequate shady space for antenna setups and protection from the direct sunlight.    More information about how the event was conducted is available at https://www.arrlmiss.org/ms_qso_party_page.html

Results may be available for discussion in the April club meeting. 

To view the club flyer link for more details follow this link.   Jackson-County-MS-QSO-Party-2022.pdf

 

News You Can Use

   Effective Tuesday March 15, 2022 until further notice, JCARA will conduct monthly testing [VE test sessions] for new Ham Radio license, and license upgrades.  The test will be held at the Jackson County Campus of MGCCC, Classroom 26A of the Career Technical Education Building, every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6 pm.

  Please contact Charlie Hardt, N2PKW at 228-233-4140 or eMail: n2pkw@arrl.net to enroll.  You must contact Charlie in advance.  Sorry, walk-ins cannot be accommodated at the test sessions.  If you are not available for Tuesday night testing, contact Charlie to schedule an alternate day.

 

JCARA 2021 Ham of the Year Recognition & Awards

In the March 2022 Club meeting the 2021 Amateur Of The Year award was presented.  For 2021 we had two recipients. Joseph Tucker Sr, W5DDX [left photo], serving this year as the club Vice President; and John Ryan KJ4NJT [right photo], the 2021 Vice President was recognized.  The award presentation was made by Charles Hardt, N2PKW, Past President 2021.  Thank you to Joe and John for going above the call !

 

Happening Now

 

 

Justin, W5NRP (formerly KI5KTQ) accepts club

Advancement Loaner Program HF Equipment at the February meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

Congratulations to Robert, KM4EWZ, named the Jackson County Assistant Emergency Coordinator in the February ARES/RACES meeting.  “Its official” according to Laurence, K9EYZ Jackson County MS ARRL EC.

 

 

 

   What’s Next

     Some Nets are moving.

     1. JCARES 2m voice net [W5WA Repeater] will move from Wednesdays to Thursday at 7:00PM beginning March 3, 2022

     2. JCARES will hold a simplex voice net immediately following the regular [repeater] voice net on March 10, 2022.  The simplex net call frequency will be 145.110 MHz (the repeater output frequency / no tones required)

     3. JCARES will hold a Winlink net on 3/17/2022 (more details to be distributed later)

     4. MS ARES NBEMS net will move from Mondays to Wednesdays at 7:30PM beginning March 2, 2022.

     5. The MS NBEMS net is on 3581KHz, 1000Hz on waterfall, in Thor22.

 

   Special Report – Hunting the Repeater Noise Squirrel.  The hounds are on the repeater QRM/QRN trail

     An interim (status) report of conditions and activities related to the repeater’s random noise, by Laurence Galle, K9EYZ, with video and background research by Jerry, N5MES.

     Prior to and again after the 145.110 repeater upgrade, we have experienced periodic static or crackling like noise on the repeater signal.  [Editor’s Comment: Fortunately, JCARA has a group of dedicated hunters, like hounds on the trail of a noisy squirrel.  The repeater team will leave no tree (the tower) and no branch (our antenna) unexamined and tested until the noisy critter is found and dispatched into the RF QRM abyss.]

     “One of the major problems of isolating the noise is the intermittent nature of the noise.  We’ve only been able to get up to the repeater site twice as the static was happening, and all we were able to test was the SWR via an antenna analyzer and an SWR bridge.  Each time, the antenna tested fine.

     My thought for confirming that the static is due arcing during transmit is as follows:

1.)  I have ordered a 50ohm splitter/ power divider.  It will let us connect two radios to one antenna, or two antennas to one radio.  I’m going to install it so that it divides the receive signal of our repeater (after filtering by the duplexer) between two radios: 1) the repeater, and 2) my Alinco DR-135 (without a microphone).

2.)  The repeater will continue to function as it normally would, albeit with about half the receive sensitivity that would normally have.  The Alinco will have the audio piped into a digital voice recorder with external power supply that will record audio 24/7.

3.)  When we hear static on the repeater during a particular transmission, then we can ask that person to immediately change his radio to transmit to the repeater WITHOUT the 123.0 Hz tone (without any tone at all).  The repeater and the Alinco will copy this signal, but the repeater will NOT transmit without the tone.  But the voice recorder will record the copied signal, whether the repeater is transmitting or not.

4.)  If done quickly enough, we can have recordings of the same stations from times when the repeater is transmitting and times when the repeater is only receiving that are within a very short time span.  If the static only occurs when the repeater is transmitting, then the article that Jerry, N5MES, sent me (link below) is correct.”

Laurence

W5WA Hardline filmed by smartphone: https://youtube.com/shorts/4GLbp-KzO4M?feature=share

W5WA Hardline through the telescope (the good part begins at 7:45): https://youtu.be/4H6fezy5ZOk

For additional background information on this subject, you may wish to view the following research by Jerry, N5MES  http://www.repeater-builder.com/antenna/crackling.html 

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