Saturday, April 29, 2017

CCC on the air weekend returns

The fourth annual Civilian Conservation Corps On-The-Air weekend will be held the second full weekend in August, 2017. 

The event will start Saturday at14:00z (10:00am EDT) and run until Sunday 21:00z (5:00 pm EDT). 

The Civilian Conservation Corps came into being in the spring of 1933. Its goal was twofold: to provide needed economic relief to families suffering from the effects of the Great Depression and to protect and develop the natural resources of the United States. 

As radio played a big part in how the camps communicated with each other, we want to honor the contribution that "The Boys" of the corps made to our country by putting the sites of the CCC camps back on the air. 

We would encourage you to activate the actual location of one of the camps however, if it is no longer accessible or you cannot get permission to set up on the site, you may operate from one of the project sites the camp worked on. 

Many state and local parks have buildings that were constructed by the "CCC Boys" and would make a suitable place to not only honor them but also promote amateur radio at the same time. 

For more information, visit or contact KG8JK

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

W5RLW Tailgate Saturday

Due to the weather forecast, the W5RLW tailgate has been moved forward to May 6.

Weather permitting!
Marathon Sunday!

W5RLW Tailgate Saturday April 29

WHEN: 8:30AM to 11AM

WHERE:  332 West 33rd Street. Edmond, Okla 73013 about three short blocks West of South Broadway Ave, in west Edmond,
located just under the ninety (90') foot tall Edmond Water Tower.  Enter on the west end and drive around to the rear parking lot.

COST: Free tailgate, no parking fee.  Free coffee, donuts, and bottled water while they last.
You may bring a small table to display your wares...Only one requirement / request. PLEASE do not leave any articles behind to be thrown away.

TALK-IN - FREQUENCY 146.790- (minus offset ) PL tone -100 hrtz.
Contact Info:

Our friend Mike, aka Coaxman Dealer, will be there with all kinds of coax, window line, and connectors.  E-mail Mike, KM5QX, now if you need something custom made and he can bring it Saturday.
Mike's e-mail is

The photos below are of Mike in his workshop and a photo of several spools of coax, window line, etc.

His copper clad steel wire is excellent for making antennas.  it's impossible to see from very far away.  If you go visit his workshop he can show you the proper method for soldering connectors, etc.  As a ham with years of experience he has a lot of great suggestions and he will try to save you some money and from making mistakes.  :-)  If you have never met Mike, come by and say hello!
Mike's info from QRZ:

I am owner / operator of Clear Signal Products, LLC. We sell a complete line of "Wireman" coaxial cables, antenna wire, ladder line, baluns, plus many related amateur radio accessories. Baluns are our speciality as we have developed and manufacture a variety of 4:1 current baluns used  exclusively for off-center-fed dipoles and horizontal loops. We also manufacture 1:1 current baluns for unbalanced feed lines.
Our company is privately owned. We travel mostly to division 5 states at major Ham Fests in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Missouri. The Coaxman logo/mark is a registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  
Visit us online: and our email site is:  My wife Cheryl, KD5DUK, and I travel together at major Ham meets and enjoy the associations with fellow Hams during the year. Our customer list is maintained for communication and service with and for our customers only, and is neither shared, sold, nor published. Your account details are between you and The Coaxman, period.
I've resided in Mustang, Ok for the past 35 years. Mustang is a small community within the South West corner of the Oklahoma City metro complex..
Thanks to Edmond Amateur Radio Society for this information.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ham Holiday 2017 New Venue Is Official!!

The Tower Hotel In NW Oklahoma City is the new venue for Ham Holiday 2017.

Go to for information on the 'Tower'.  Located on the Northwest Expressway and just east of I-44/Hefner Parkway, the 'Tower' is easily accessed from the NW Expressway coming from the east or west.

The exhibit hall is 10,000 sq ft; we'll be using around 8,500 this year....and the A/C works.  The seminar rooms are collocated with the exhibit hall.

Parking for +1,000 cars; dedicated entrance to the convention area lobby; large pre-event area; easy access from unloading area to the exhibit hall.

We'll be posting photos on the Ham Holiday website with more visual detail of the new venue.

We are inviting several 'food trucks' from the OKC area to be at HH on Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM.
There are several eateries within walking and short driving distance of the 'Tower'.

Thanks to Thomas Webb, WA9AFM/5 for this information

Saturday, April 8, 2017

ARES-Oklahoma WEB Developer #HelpWanted

ARES-Oklahoma is looking for some WEB Development help.

We have a bit of updating and changes that need to be made to The page is migrating from ASP to PHP and we also need to keep in mind for the future that more and more functionality needs to also be mobile.

Our current webmaster has done a fantastic job, however family and employment are demanding more of his time... so we're needing some help. If you have experience with ASP (current) and PHP (future) and are willing to volunteer your time and talent please contact our ARES-OK Webmaster Roland KC5UNL or N7XYO.

Thanks to Mark Conklin, N7XYO Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Amateur Radio Emergency Service for this information

Saturday, April 1, 2017

OCAPA announces 80-meter repeater

Thomas Webb WA9CFM/5, announced today that April 1, 2017 marks the first transmissions from OCAPA’s brand new 80 meter repeater project in Oklahoma City. The intended use of this recently completed project, shown here, can finally be released to the general public.
While the stated cause has always been that this is one of the required 2% local art expenditures for federal highway funds, the true nature of the project can now be disclosed.  ODOT Director of Operations, Paul Green said, “this whole project started with a rather severe reinforcing bar (rebar) accident. We signed the delivery slip for about 80,000 pounds of steel, before the truck driver unloaded his truck. One of those tornadoes snuck up on us, and blew the rebar into a terrible pile. It sounded like a train, just like Mike Morgan said it would.” ODOT left the pile lay, until the OCAPA Special Projects team came up with the master plan.
Webb said “the pile of rebar was stacked perfectly to make a Lazy L dipole. It appears the twin verticals increase the Q factor of the array”. Since we’ve been in a solar minimum for years, their first thought was to build the world’s first 80 M repeater. As you can see in this photo, a custom 80 meter duplexer had to be built to allow repeater operation. After a few quick calls to Wacom, they calculated that the can needed to be 50 stories tall.
Gordon Jones, W5OU, of the Honor Roll Ranch, just a hoot and a hollar south of Norman, said “this will be a great help to those that need something like this. However, with just my 80 M walkie talkie I’ve been able to obtain WAS (Worked All Stations).”
Famed QRP operators Kenn Goodson KA5KXW, and Ed Hatch AG5DV, made a confirmed QSO each other using a homebrew TX/RX setup of Kenn’s design. Their initial contact was made using transmitters that they thought were in the milliwatt range. It wasn’t until later that they realized their watt meter was rounding up from 502 nanowatts.
Once the news had traveled regarding the Goodson/Hatch success, Peter Khor, AG5DB, hurriedly downloaded an 80 M transmitter app for his Android phone. Peter will be attempting the first SSTV contact using the repeater, sending an astronomy selfie photo from here, back to JU5PITER, located on the moon Io.
When helping to obtain the needed permits, Phil Sinnett KD5UGO said, “Well, if that thing can keep my chicken wings warm from 22 miles away, I guess it probably could help with the climate change process. Let me do some calculations.”
The good people of OG&E have offered to provide their excess power from the wind farms popping up across the state. While the input power of the repeater is classified, the output power runs right up against the legal limit of 1,500 watts. Or is that megawatts?
A recently added Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) lighting system will indicate the operating status of the device. While there are numerous conditions transmitted by the colored system, the most important one is the color RED. ODOT chairman Mike Patterson states “the color red is used to signify RF transmission emissions that exceeds normal operating conditions.”. While it happens frequently, ODOT is hopeful that only out-of-state vehicles will be near, and under, the structure when this color is displayed. Patterson continued “Driving at full speed through the area should minimize the effects of the radiation upon the passing motorists. We hope.”
Nationally known DX’er, Normanite Victor McDaniel K5VL, has already commissioned a new version of the Golden Thumb award trophy. This trophy has been scaled up to match the fundamental wavelength of the 80 M repeater. The normal suspects have already filed for building permits with the City of Norman to construct a room large enough to hold this new trophy. When asked, Harold Black W5IFN, stated “This room addition has been in the works for some time, and I don’t have any expectations that I would be guilty of timing out the new repeater. For example, once when I was in the Navy, we had to add a larger engine room into a destroyer. The press initially thought that this addition would let this WWII destroyer carry more fuel for an upcoming future project. It was simply a coincidence that the minute the addition was complete…” and then the mighty 147.060 MHz repeater went silent. Denny WA6DKD, was seen exiting the Slaughterville public works complex, with a signed building permit in his hands, and would only respond “No Comment” to any question asked.
The Boathouse District Association has been an integral part of the cooling projects for the repeater transmitter. Mayor Mick Cornett says, “We’re so proud that MAPS project 385 will be able to provide multiple uses for the Boathouse district”.  Damming up the river has provided the required thermal dissipation to allow intermittent operation. Cornett also said, “The Riversport Adventures project is really an offshoot of this collaboration. So much energy was generated from the cooling system for the 80 M repeater that the entire complex is powered from this waste heat, and we can now handle a 100% transmitter duty cycle.”
At press time, the Gulf Coast Hurricane net was trying to negotiate the use of the W5MEL/80 repeater to provide an Inland relay for the upcoming hurricane season. The famed net was hoping that this could put an end to their QRM issues.
So, the next time you think the bands are going south, turn on the HF gear, grab an FM modulator, dial up CTCSS tone 141.3, tune the dial to 3.935 MHz, and wait for the repeater id beeping; .-   .–.   .-.   ..   .-..    .-..   —   —   .-.. …   !
Thanks to Q.R. Zedd, A5A, for this report  
Editor's Note:

Icom America has announced a new HF transceiver.  
Southwest Oklahoma hams report a backlog 
They will continue to use Remote Hams on their Android devices in the mean time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Will you be at Green Country? #GCHF


Oklahoma's Largest & Most Attended Hamfest!!!
2017 Green Country Hamfest - April 7 & 8 in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Only 30 minutes from Tulsa! 32,000 sqft. Climate Controlled Facility, Claremore Expo, 400 Veterans Pkwy, Claremore, 74017 MAP:
Talk-in on: 147.09+ 88.5 pl
Free Parking!!! - Low Cost ON-SITE RV Parking!


Terrific Prizes! Terrific Prizes! Terrific Prizes!
Door Prizes Drawing Every Hour! 
Fantastic Forums - Friday Evening & Saturday - Learn something new! 
Flea Market - Great Bargains! 300 Tables
Free Test Table - Check It Before You Buy It!
Large selection of Vendors
On-site VE Testing Get or upgrade your license!
Admission is $10.00 per person at door
(One ticket covers both Days)
Children 12 and under are Free!
Hours: Fri. 4pm-9pm - Sat. 8am-3pm
Flea Market Tables are $15.00 at the door

More info & Prize List at:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Who is up for #SelfPlaceSelfie participation?

Do you know where your "safe place" is while you are at work, at home, or traveling?   In early April we will be launching a 4-day #safeplaceselfie campaign over social media to encourage everyone across the country to take the #1 preparedness action when extreme weather threatens.  Below are images we encourage our WRN Ambassadors to promote over the next month as we draw closer to April.  Participate using your organization social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) or even your personal accounts.  Below are some talking points that provide more details on how you and your organization can contribute. It is fun. It is free. And it will go a long way to building a Weather-Ready Nation!

#SafePlaceSelfie is a grass roots campaign as part of NOAA's Weather-Ready Nation to get individuals, businesses, and all organizations ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme weather events.  
Knowing your "safe place" when extreme weather threatens is the #1 preparedness action anyone can take.  To this end, a social media campaign will be launched the week of April 3, culminating in a TweetChat on Thursday, April 6.  
This action can be fun, is free, and doesn't require a lot of time commitment, but can open the door to greater preparedness actions (creating a family emergency plan, emergency kit, etc.)
Encourage other accounts on social media by tagging them and asking "Where is your safe place?"
Focus is broad across the spectrum of hazards, and not just tornadoes.  Hazards to consider: lightning, severe (tornadoes, high winds), extreme heat/cold, flooding, rip currents, wildfires, hurricanes, tsunamis...
And your safe place may be very different for the various hazards.  For instance, a car may be a safe place from lightning, but is a dangerous place during flash flooding.  
Get creative!  Is there a beach nearby or are locals planning vacations to warmer climates?  Help spread rip current awareness by focusing on where your safe place would be (hint: between the lifeguard flags).

Thank you.

And if you aren't already...
Follow us on Twitter @WRNAmbassadors

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Green Country Hamfest 2017 dates announced #GCHF

The annual Green Country Hamfest 2017 will be Friday April 7 and Saturday April 8 in Claremore, Oklahoma

At, early registration and additional information is available.  Early registration ends March 31.  A number of prizes are listed to be given away also.  

Social media users should monitor  #GCHF 

Thanks to Mark, N7XYO for this information.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Net Reports and Help Wanted

The position of Section Traffic Manager is still open...

In the mean time Eddy Manley K5EMS is helping with compiling net reports.

Eddy is asking for your help... hold your reports and send to totals just once at the end of month and 
email the report to  Eddy Manley K5EMS  

To apply for the position of Section Traffic Manager: contact Section Manager, Kevin O'Dell N0IRW 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Representative Frank Lucas visits the Elk City #hamfest

Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK) right, spoke
to the ARRL Forum at the Elk City
Hamfest recently.
A special "non-ham" guest was on hand for the Elk City hamfest March 4 when Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas came to visit the scores of interested attendees there.

Lucas spoke to the issue of restrictive covenants homeowners face when buying housing that prohibits amateur radio ... and other antennas.

Additionally, those listening heard how to write, email, call, and visit their elected officials at the Federal, State, and local levels. Lucas, a non-ham, mentioned his appreciation of the work that hams have done and continue to do in service to their communities.  

He did note, however, that the public perception of ham radio is a user with old tube type equipment using "AM radio" signals.  He learned the various methods "hams" use to communicate including digital radio techniques and satellites.

Kevin O'Dell, N0IRW, right engages in a dialogue
with Frank Lucas (R-OK) spoke to  the ARRL
Section Leadership prior to the League Forum
at the Elk City Hamfest.
Other items discussed were tower light requirements being proposed, the "generator bill", work on "fixing" the text and drive bill, the needs for clubs to have their public information officers work with one another to get the word about local offerings, and the section APRS and VOIP nets.

Overall, the effort was informative and well received, according to Kevin O'Dell, N0IRW, ARRL Section Manager.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

ARES opportunity April 1

The Citizen Emergency Response Teams (CERT) teams in the Tulsa area will be conducting an exercise on April 1 in Jenks.  They have a need for up to 6 licensed amateur radio operators.  

The exercise will include resources from Jenks, Skiatook, Bixby, and Broken Arrow.  This is a superb opportunity for our ARES members in the area to get some on-air practice.  

For more information or to volunteer please contact: Paul Bisdorf or Tom Devlin     

Thanks to  Paul, WB5ANX for this update. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Are you participating in APRS?

What’s the Automatic Packet Reporting System?

APRS is a computer-assisted (digital) mode of amateur radio communication.

Accuracy is one advantage of this digital mode.
Without the correct software (which is easy and, in most cases free, to get) the information is unintelligible to the casual listener.

What is an APRS net?

The OKAPRS net occurs from 1300 to 1400 CT on the second Saturday afternoon of every month.  The purpose of the net is to test APRS stations and operating practices.  In the most basic form, amateurs check-in to the net by sending a brief APRS message to the net controller.  More seasoned operators are welcome to join the OKAPRS group on ANSRVR and exchange items of interest to area hams.

Participants with TNCs or Soundcard-based TNC emulation software (UZ7HO and the like) can use their PCs and radios.  Others can check in with PCs / tablets with Internet access.  There are also APRS apps for popular smartphones.

A particular advantage of APRS compared to other digital modes is that communications are usually backed up in the APRS-IS system of servers.  Websites such as and can help you easily mine those records to assemble a log of a particular net.

How can I participate?

We’d love to have you join us any way you can.

STEP 0: Get familiar with the system by exploring the web links for and

STEP 1: For your first check-in, use the web tools mentioned above!
STEP 2: Next time, consider checking in from your iPhone or portable device.  You’ll need an Internet connection of course.
STEP 3: After a few months, you’ve caught the bug.  Try APRSIS32 software on a PC with Internet.
STEP 4: You’ve added a rig interface and a VHF radio to APRSIS32.  You’re truly “on the air”.

APRS stations that include a radio are the most resilient and useful in a time of emergency.

This guide is a living document.  Let me know if you have questions, comments or concerns…

Who is the Net Controller?

The Net Controller is typically KD5NJR.  He’d mostly likely be operating from his desktop portable APRS station (not handheld) with the callsign KD5NJR-6.  He’d use other rigs for backup and monitoring purposes; so don’t be alarmed to see a -7 or -8 out there too.  To double check, look for an APRS bulletin referring to the net coming from the NCO station.  Or look for a pre-net message.  That’ll probably be sent from the NCO.  See what station it is coming from.  You can also look for an APRS object referring to the net control operator.  He might identify himself !  See more about objects and messages later on.

Part 1 :

Instructions for the Net Control Station
For ease of operations, the NCO probably wants to use a minimum of a laptop computer setup with Internet connectivity to the APRS network.  A radio connection is strongly encouraged.

For best results, the NCO should be able to easily hit an APRS digipeater on low power to make your battery last the duration of the net.  

I’d also suggest having a TX/RX digipeater (ex: AE5ME) within a couple hops of your QTH.
Having Internet connectivity at your QTH will allow you to see the APRS activity via the IGATES on your web browser ( or similar) as a backup.  In particular, you’ll see the users with just APRS software.  This is a good thing if your nearby IGATE is not set to transmit and is configured “RF in to Internet “only.

Ask your IGATE’s trustee to upgrade from UIVIEW to APRSIS32 and enable “INET->RF”
Since the “audience” may be using a small screen like on a HT or flip phone, (see photos later on) you’ll want to keep transmissions short.  The focus of the net (with the exception of the portion on the ANSRVR chat group) should be around brief equipment tests.  They’ll check in.  You’ll acknowledge them.  Call for more checkins.  Repeat.  Close the net.

Pre-Net activities


Bulletins are recurring reminders.  
Think “Net SAT @ 1300”

Objects are things like repeaters, Field Day sites, Bike Race water stops, etc.

The OKAPRS NCO could be an object.  Make it so!

QST Net Begins Shortly
Send a few messages similar to the above to QST or ALL or CQ.
I’m not sure what best practice here is.  QST and ALL seem to work on my FT-1 Radio.
I’d send messages sparingly.

Net activities

Net Preamble
something easy: “Reply to check into OKAPRS net.”

Joining the ‘chat group’ on ANSRVR

send a message(s) to ANSRVR:
CQ OKAPRS QST de kd5njr, taking checkins for net.
CQ OKAPRS QST de kd5njr, taking checkins for net.
CQ OKAPRS QST de kd5njr, closing net.  73.
Also add to the log folks that chat in the ANSRVR group.

Running the net

Several times during the hour solicit check-ins using messages. Add them to your log.
kd5njr taking checkins for net.
kf5tvg tnx for checkin.  Ur in log.
Short and sweet!  Take notes so you can form a log.

Closing the Net

Send a message closing the net.
kd5njr, closing net.  73.
Do the same over on the OKAPRS group.

Part 2 :

Instructions for participating in the net…
A brief explanation of APRS:

I have been using RF with a path of wide1-1, wide2-2 so that I can hit an igate.
To rely LESS on the IGATES, I have not been checking ‘BEST’ but instead choosing RF when possible.
(show screen shot)

May I suggest you communicate to others that you’re a computer using the -10 SSID ?
For smartphones, Bob WB4APR seems to suggest -5.
For my ’72 I’m using -7 and -9 for my FT-1.
Scott’s “net control” setup:
(seen at the TRO meeting , November 2016) :
He was at the Broken Arrow Christmas Parade.

Via the Web

the two most popular web sites for viewing the APRS-IS database are and .
( is newer and perhaps a little more pretty.) certainly gets the job done.  It’s got a little simpler layout.
--Eventually I’ll have links and photos for both websites. is unique in its facility to SEND APRS messages.
Note: Your message’s recipient, if using ONLY a radio for his APRS setup, will have to be in range of a 2-WAY (bi-directional or TX/RX IGATE for best results) Otherwise, you maybe not receive back ACK of your messages.

Viewing Objects

Let’s say we think Scott is the net controller.

What interesting is going on around him ?
Is he sending any bulletins or objects ?
Since Scott is at the parade, he isn’t sending a NET TODAY bulletin.
The APRS NET bulletin is coming from Jeff.  It matches the LAT/LON of his AE5ME-10 station.

Viewing Bulletins


Reading Messages
Edit this hyperlink below  to reflect the callsign and SSID of the net controller.

Cut ‘n paste into your favorite web browser and you should see the recent activity to/from that particular station.
You’ll need to periodically ‘refresh’ your browser.
You’re “receiving the net “ !!!

Sending Messages
Edit this hyperlink to reflect the callsign and SSID of the net controller. &tocall=KD5NJR-6
Cut ‘n paste into your favorite web browser and you should see the recent activity to/from that particular station.

Check-in into the net!

Write them back (check in) with something like this:

NOTE: similar functionality is available on  See later on in this document.

You can try it out, but it’s pretty disorganized.  

Sorted by time.
And not really by topic.

Via a Smartphone App

I’ve found that works pretty well on the iPad.

But there is an app as well.  The app doesn’t really help you send messages or view them, but it can turn your phone into an APRS tracker.

Apple iPhone users may investigate iBCNU or another program in the App Store.

But that screen is awfully small to be tapping stuff on the map and otherwise navigating around.

Viewing Objects
Viewing Bulletins
Reading Messages
Sending Messages

Via an APRS-enabled HT

While not the low-cost option, this method uses a lower overall number of “parts” and uses the Internet to lesser extent than other methods.  After all, it’s amateur radio.

Kenwood TH-D72

(maybe you can get a steal of a deal on a used TH-D7 you can sure send messages with that one too)

Yaesu FT-1 series

(watch for sales)

Viewing Objects
[F]+[0] is your friend.
Viewing Bulletins
Reading Messages

You can see that brevity is important.

Sending Messages
I need some more practice on the FT1.  I think I keep looking for the hyphen when entering the callsign / SSID.

If you don’t mind the initial set up of subscribing to the group and typing the extra CQ OKAPRS (or finding an old message to edit that already has it ) ANSRVR is a more graceful way communicate in bulk.  It’s preferable to QST or ALL as those methods will activate a lot of radios depending on your path.

Participation via APRSIS32

This is probably the best way to fly.
APRSIS32 is still under development / support and has an active user community.
APRSIS32 can be configured to use the Internet and/or a radio setup.
(Some consideration should be paid to how you set the RF vs. IP tickboxes on the message composition screen.)
For initial setup help, refer to G4ILO’s YouTube video.
When it comes to setting your path, see this :

When possible, I try to use APRSIS32 to participate in the net.
(My backup plan is the use the TH-D72 to send messages because I’m pretty fast in those menus.)

Viewing Bulletins

I didn’t take a picture, but see link below.
I’d think the VIEW option would be appropriate.

Sending Messages

Use the white TX box underneath the gray receive box.
Remember to experiment with the BEST or RF tickbox.
Don’t forget to press SEND.

You’ll want to be talking to ANSRVR

  1. Address your messages to ANSRVR
  2. Join the group.  In the first message make the body J OKAPRS
  3. Send a message to the group.  CQ OKAPRS test test test
  4. Each additional message much start with CQ OKAPRS or ANSRVR doesn’t know how to route.
  5. Unjoin when the net concludes with U OKAPRS

Participation via SMSGTE gateway

one can even use APRS with a simple “burner phone.”
But to configure the system, you must make some initial tests over RF.

Viewing Bulletins
TBD – I don’t think that feature is implemented in SMSGTE
Reading Messages

It could be unwieldy to use SMSGTE this way.
You’d get a flood of messages potentially.

Thanks to Scott Haley, KD5NJR for this information.

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