Amateur Radio Volunteers Support Michigan’s “One Helluva Ride” Bicycle Tour

From the ARRL News Desk: http://www.arrl.org/news/view/amateur-radio-volunteers-support-michigans-one-helluva-ride-bicycle-tour

07/12/2017
Some two dozen Amateur Radio volunteers supported communication for the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society’s (AABTS) 41st running of the One Helluva Ride (OHR) bicycle tour on July 8 in Michigan. The race derives its moniker from the fact that the longer route options pass through the town of Hell. The annual loop tour, which starts and finishes at the Chelsea Fairgrounds, offers rides from 15 miles to 100 miles. This was the 27th year that the Arrow Communication Association (ARROW) — an ARRL Special Service Club — has overseen the communication infrastructure and supplied SAG support (for those “sagging behind”).

“There are many places on the route where cell phone coverage is marginal, making Amateur Radio an excellent choice,” said George Byrkit, K9TRV. “Small beams are deployed at the food stops to provide more reliable communication with net control.” Byrkit served as the morning net control station, while Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, handled the afternoon shift.

ARROW had support from the Chelsea Amateur Radio Club (CARC) and the Livingston County Amateur Radio Klub (LARK). The operation employed two of the Chelsea club’s 2-meter repeaters, which were linked to broaden the coverage.

The hams provide SAG vehicles as well as volunteers to ride along in AABTS vehicles. Among other non-communication tasks, they provide spare tire tubes, foot pumps, food and water, and transportation for those experiencing mechanical failure or exhaustion. Hams also are placed at each of the three food stops.

This year, 100 riders registered for the 15-mile fun ride for youngsters with parents. Some 1,500 riders took the longer routes. No serious injuries were reported.

In addition to Byrkit, volunteers included ARROW President Dinesh Cyanam, AB3DC; George Byrkit, K9TRV; Dan Romanchik, KB6NU; Dave New, N8SBE; Mark Goodwin, W8FSA; Ulysses Balis, N4IYL; Faye Ogasawara, KE8DDB; Jameson Eisele, KD8PIJ; Steve Bemis, W8AYN; Don Winsor, AC8TO; Bob Lyons, KI8AB; Eric Lyons, KC8GBR; Jim Lommel, WD8RWI; Quentin Guzek, KD8IPF; Sam Spiteri, K8NOS; Steve Andre, WB8WSF; Jay Nugent, WB8TKL; Mary Anne Nugent, W8VWY; Joe Glandorf, AC8ES; Willie Peloquin, N8WP; Bruce Freeburger, KD8MFR; Rick Pugh, WR8W; Jim Jagow, KD8TBT; Steve Rogacki, AC8GO; Glen Bowe, KT8KTU; Ralph Katz, AA8RK, and Lawrence Davies, K4ETD.

“These hams drove over 2,400 miles, providing SAG support,” Byrkit said. “Ninety-five percent of the SAG drivers are ham radio operators. The other cars have hams placed in them so that communication with them is possible over the entire route. Ham radio has the benefit of being able to find out who is nearest to someone needing help, unlike cell phones. At least 8 of the vehicles were pinging their locations via APRS.”

July 2017 General Meeting: Summits On The Air

Date/Time: Wednesday, July 12th at 6:45 pm. 

Location: Rm #2424
Space Research Building
University of Michigan
2455 Hayward St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Please note the change in location.

The doors automatically close at 7:00 pm. So please plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early. If you are locked out please give a call on the 146.96 (-ve) repeater frequency.

Maps and Parking info: https://w8rp.org/news/change-in-general-meeting-location-for-march-2017/

The General Membership Meeting will be held this Wednesday, July 12th in Room 2424 at the University of Michigan’s Space Research Building.

This month’s presentation topic is “Summits On The Air Program (SOTA)”. We will watch a video presentation by Michael, G0POT about the program and Dinesh, AB3DC will talk about his recent experience activating two 14,000 ft summits in Colorado.

More information about SOTA: http://www.sota.org.uk

2017 ARROW Field Day the Best Ever

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FD 2017Field Day 2017, was without a doubt one of ARROW’s best Field Days ever. The fun got started Friday evening, when more than 25 people showed up to set up the antenna masts.

My Field Day got started at 8am Saturday morning at Mark’s Midtown Coney Island. (I feel a little bad about not getting out to the Field Day site on Friday evening to put up the antenna masts, but only a little.) A bunch of us gather there to fuel up for the event. This year, ten of us ate at Mark’s.

Around 9 am, we headed over to the Field Day site, the field just north of the Ann Arbor Airport and south of Ellsworth Road.

The antenna masts for the CW station and the two SSB stations were already up, so about the only thing that I and my team, including Rick, KA8BMA, and Prem, AC8QV, needed to do was to set up the GOTA station. As we have for probably at least the last five years, we used my 20m/40m fan dipole, mounted in an inverted vee configuration, using my set of surplus fiberglass masts. This setup has worked very well over the past five years, in many different locations, and this year was no exception.

The antenna went up quickly, and this year, once it was up, we didn’t have to lower it for any reason. I guess that we’re finally getting the hang of it. I had purchased a new folding table and brought along some folding chairs, and that was all set up in no time as well. That left us some time to help set up the food tent and do some other miscellaneous chores. This was all aided by the simply perfect weather that we had that morning (and throughout the rest of Field Day).

About 10:30 am, I retrieved the radio that we were going to use in the GOTA tent—an IC-7300!—and got that set up. As soon as the generators were fired up, shortly before 11:00am, we were ready to get on the air.

As I did last year, I had a blast making pre-Field Day contacts with other stations who were also testing their rigs. This little activity is actually an important one. It helped me learn how to operate the IC-7300—an important thing for the GOTA coach to know—and it gave me an idea of the propagation conditions. I was happy to note that propagation seemed really good, at least on 40m.

Speaking about the GOTA station, we ended up with 72 contacts made by 11 different operators. Our start operator this year was Aaron, who tallied about 25 contacts. The rest were all stars in my book, though, including my wife, Silvia; her sister, Lucy; Michelle, KE8GZF; Garry, W8GMD; and Ian, age 12, who made four or five contacts before he had to leave (see below).

Ian, age 12, and yours truly at the GOTA station. Photo: Dave New, N8SBE.

At 1800Z, all of our stations were up and running. We ran 3A again this year, including one CW station and two SSB stations.

The “hyoooj” improvement that we made in our operation this year was the food. I don’t know how they did it, but our club officers convinced Tom, W8TAM, and Julie, K8VOX (of MSPOTA fame) to turn and burn on dinner rather than 20m phone. (Later that evening, Tom actually did get a chance to work some 20m phone.)

We had a real feast. On the menu was pulled pork, jerk chicken, baked beans, potato salad, and other assorted delicacies. Someone baked some cookies, and someone else bought a cheesecake. Everything was incredibly good.

After dinner, I convinced Michelle, KE8GZF, to take another turn at the GOTA station, but after making a couple more contacts, both she and I had had enough. We called it quits, and I went home before returning very early on Sunday morning.

I went home, which is only 15 minutes away from the Field Day site, and got about four hours of sleep. I got back to the site about 3:45 am. Arun, W8ARU was turning and burning on the CW station, so I caught a few more ZZZZs while waiting for him to turn the station over to me. I got on about 5 am.

I was surprised that the band was still so active, and even though Arun complained about not being able to find stations that we hadn’t worked already, I was able to find some. And, when I set up on a frequency and started calling CQ, I found plenty of activity. At one point, I got the rate up to over 90 Qs per hour—for a short time anyway.

I don’t know how many contacts that I made, but I think that I acquitted myself pretty well before handing the controls over to Tim, KT8K sometime between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. I got back on a little later, relieving Tim for a while, and even then was able to find stations to work. I think that because the band conditions were so good, that there were more stations on and we could hear more of them, so that we just continued to find stations that weren’t dupes.

Sunrise, Sunday morning. Note the rainbow just to the right of the airport control tower. Photo: Dave New, N8SBE.

After breakfast, we set up the GOTA station again. The first operator of the morning was Aaron, KD8QQA. Aaron turned into the GOTA star for 2017. Over the course of the next hour or so, he made 20 contacts, qualifying for the GOTA bonus points! Aaron would make a few more contacts for us later in the day, when I twisted his arm a little to help us get over 2,000 contacts.

The rest of the day was devoted to racking up points. Sometime around 10:00 am, we surpassed our 2016 QSO total of 1,650. About 1:30 pm, only a half hour before the end of the event, we’d made it to about 1,950. At that point, I went around to all of the stations to urge them on. We hit 2,000 right about 1:50 pm, and our final total was 2,024! What a great effort.

The last two GOTA contacts were made by Ruth Tabeling, W8AWT’s mother. We got her into the operator’s chair about 1:50 pm, and we managed to make two Qs before shutting down. She was operator #11.

Teardown went pretty fast as usual, and by 3:30 pm, I was all packed up and ready to go. Another Field Day was in the books.

Even before I left the site, I was thinking about next year. For example, even though my 20m/40m fan dipole has worked so well over the years, we might want to try non-resonant doublet with an antenna tuner to allow us to work more bands.

I also think that we want to try to have two CW stations, as we have in the past. The club wants me to teach a CW class, and I think that I’ll make it a goal that all of the students will be able to operate a CW station at next year’s Field Day.

Dan, KB6NU

ARRL Field Day 2017: June 24 – 25

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FD 2017

 

The University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club and the ARROW Radio Club invite you to attend the National Amateur Radio Field Day this weekend at the Ann Arbor Airport.

When: June 24, 2 p.m. to June 25, 2 p.m. (24 hours)
Where: Ann Arbor Airport Soccer Field, 801 Airport Dr, Ann Arbor, MI (W. Ellsworth and Airport Blvd.; Across from Costco)

The public is welcome and admission is free!!!

This annual 24-hour national open-house event gives the public an overview of amateur radio and also helps amateur radio operators prepare for emergencies and develop radio communication skills. You will get a chance to meet experts, ask questions, learn how radio operators help local governments in times of need, and even operate the station, under supervision.

Free and open to all ages, amateur radio or ham radio is a hobby where licensed operators use radios to communicate with people all over the world and even with astronauts in space. Please do drop by and experience the amazing world of ham radio and don’t forget to bring along your kids as Amateur Radio might be a stepping stone for them to get involved in STEM-related activities and careers.

More information about Field Day can be found here: http://www.arrl.org/field-day

Dayton Hamvention 2017 Bus Trip

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dayton2004groupshot

2017 Tickets Now On Sale!!! Hurry… Only 2 seats left…

Update for bus riders: The bus now departs at 5 AM instead of 4 AM as Hamvention is starting an hour later at 9 AM.

Please consider joining us for the one-day excursion to the Dayton Hamvention on Saturday, May 20th at 4:00 AM 5:00 AM. We will arrive in Dayton around 8:00 AM 9:00 AM, depart for Ann Arbor at 5:30 PM, and be home by 8:30 PM or 9:00 PM.

Who could ask for more? Breakfast. Door prizes. You have the dealers and forums inside and the monster flea market outside.

Please join us! Tickets are $55 (Before April 1) and $65 (From April 1). Please note that this does not include the Hamvention ticket.

For more info and to buy the tickets online please visit: https://w8rp.org/activities/dayton-bus-trip/

May 2017 General Meeting at UM Space Research Building

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Date/Time: Wednesday, May 10th at 6:45 pm 

Location: Rm #2424
Space Research Building
University of Michigan
2455 Hayward St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Please note the change in location and also that the doors automatically close at 7:00 pm. So please plan to arrive early 10-15 minutes early. If you are locked out please give a call on the 146.96 (-ve) repeater frequency.

Maps and Parking info: https://w8rp.org/news/change-in-general-meeting-location-for-march-2017/

The next General Membership Meeting will be held this Wednesday, May 10th in Room 2424 at the University of Michigan’s Space Research Building.

This month we will be discussing the 2017 ARROW/UM Joint Field Day Plans. ARRL Field Day is the most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June (June 24 – 25, 2017) more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations. We will be operating from the Ann Arbor airport soccer field at the corner of W. Ellsworth and Airport Blvd. in Ann Arbor.

April 2017 General Meeting at UM Space Research Building

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Date/Time: Wednesday, April 12th at 7:00 pm. 

Location: Rm #2424
Space Research Building
University of Michigan
2455 Hayward St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Please note the change in location and also that the doors automatically close at 7:00 pm. So please plan to arrive early 5-10 minutes early. If you are locked out please give a call on the 146.96 (-ve) repeater frequency.

Maps and Parking info: https://w8rp.org/news/change-in-general-meeting-location-for-march-2017/

The next General Membership Meeting will be held this Wednesday, April 12th in Room 2424 at the University of Michigan’s Space Research Building.

This month’s presentation topic is “Michigan State Parks On The Air Program (MSPOTA)”, by Thomas Martin, W8TAM and Julie Martin, K8VOX. Thom and Julie will be talking about the MI state parks that they have activated so far, their experiences and some rules and tips for us to active more parks as part of this 3-year activation program.

More information about MSPOTA: http://www.mspota.org

Volunteers Needed: Ann Arbor Marathon on 03/26/17

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The Ann Arbor marathon is rapidly approaching on March 26, 2017 and at this point we only have nine (9) volunteers and need, at least, ten (10) more. We had about 16 last year and that was OK but this year, we have some participants who can only spend a few hours working. The marathon starts at 7:30 AM on S. Main St. near the intersection of S. Main and Keech St. and ends on S. Main between William St. and Liberty. There will be a shelter in the finish area for net control and we will meet there at 7:00 AM where we will hand out route maps and assign stations. You can find route maps at: http://epicraces.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/usatf_marathon_map.pdf

Last year the last runner crossed the finish line about 6+ hours later or about 2:40 PM so I would guess that this year we should be done by about 3:00 PM. People posted to spots near the beginning should be able to leave as soon as the last runner passes or, if we don’t get enough volunteers, I would ask that you move to a spot further down the route. We need someone to volunteer to be net control and also a portable, battery operated station with antenna. If you can do either one of these, please let me know.

There will be some fine tuning as to when you need to be at the net control shelter as we firm up the volunteer count and those people assigned to posts farther down the route will be able to report in at a later time.

Remember, last year Epic Races made a $200.00 donation to ARROW and will make a contribution again this year. So join us and help out your Club.

73,
Jim Lommel WD8RWI
ARROW PSO

Change in General Meeting Location for March 2017

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Hello ARROW colleagues,

I want to get the word out that we will have a new location for the March 8 ARROW General Meeting. Instead of a classroom at Washtenaw Community College, we will be using a classroom at the University of Michigan.

The new location is:
Rm #2424
Space Research Building
University of Michigan
2455 Hayward St
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Parking behind the building is free after 5 pm (UM lot NC-28).

It is easy to get to; go west on Hubbard from Huron Parkway (Hubbard is the first traffic light on Huron Parkway south of Plymouth Road; turn right on Hubbard if you are coming from the north, or turn left if you are approaching from the south). You will soon come to a stop sign. Go straight at the stop sign; the road name will change to Hayward. Space Research is the first building on the right, after you pass a couple of parking lots on the right. The driveway for Space Research parking comes up just before you get to the building; turn in and park behind the building. We have the room starting at 6:30. The building automatic door locks kick-on at precisely 7pm, although we will station somebody to let people in. And will be listening on the ARROW repeater.

Don
AC8TO
ARROW Secretary

February 2017 General Meeting

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Date/Time: Wednesday, February 08th at 7:30pm

Location: Washtenaw Community College
4800 E Huron River Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Room BE-171 or BE-172

The next General Membership Meeting will be held this Wednesday, February 08th in room BE-172 (or BE-171, whichever is available) on the WCC campus. Doors open at 7pm for eyeball QSOs, with the business meeting starting at 7:30pm followed by the presentation.

This month’s presentation topic is “Amateur Radio Enabled Weather station with Inexpensive Components” by Don Winsor, AC8TO. Don will present on his experiences integrating a Raspberry Pi single board computer, a Baofeng UV-5R transceiver, and an assortment of weather sensors to create a fairly low cost weather sensing system that can report its data remotely using amateur radio.