|Meetings:||Third Tuesday of each month, 7:30 P.M., Red Cross, 4333 Arlington Blvd. (US 50), Arlington,VA. Nonmembers are invited to attend.|
|Net:||Tuesday (except meeting nights) at 7:30 P.M., 144.87/145.47 MHz FM|
|Information:||Jack Reed, WA4FXX, email@example.com (e-mail), (703) 685-7933 (phone).|
The April 16 meeting will be held in the upper classroom at the Arlington Chapter of the American Red Croos, 4333 Arlington Boulevard (as will the May meeting). The April meeting will be a good time to bring those technical questions you've been losing sleep over and put them to the Old Timers and tech-savvy newbies. Also bring your wallet: you'll want to order an ARRL FD2002 pin and/or T-shirt. These must be ordered by the Club, and supplies are limited. Pins are $5 each, T-shirts are $12.95 each. I will move that the AARC pay shipping and handling for the T-shirts.
Jim, K9AUC, has a short video to show. After that, time and interest permitting, we can fire up W4WVP's packet gear for familiarization.
So, don't miss this one! We'll see you at W4WVP Tuesday at 1930L!
-- Mike, NW3V
At the March meeting, it was decided that at FD2002 we should set up fewer positions than we did last year, but operate them more. It was decided that Members (or visitors) should sign up (i.e., make a commitment) to operate two-hour shifts. In deciding how many positions to set up, we should note that we will be operating Class nE, for some value of n, and therefore will be ineligible to operate a GET ON THE AIR (GOTA) station. We will likewise be unable to earn bonus points for "non-traditional mode" positions, although that doesn't mean we can't operate them. We are likewise ineligible to have a dedicated VHF/UHF position that doesn't count against class.
For planning purposes, let's assume we'll have two HF phone positions, one HF CW position, one HF digital position (RTTY, maybe CLOVER, AX.25, and/or PACTOR), one 6m phone position, and one 2m position, which can alternate between phone (NBFM/SSB) and packet. We could also have a non-traditional mode station, such as SSTV or APRS (curious that's not considered digital!), but we couldn't count the position for class, nor the contacts for credit, and we wouldn't be concerned about signing up to man that position around the clock. All this is, of course, negotiable. But for planning purposes, the sign-up sheet would look like this:
|Shift||HF Ph 1||HF Ph 2||HF CW||HF Dig||6m Ph||2m Ph/Dig|
Not listed, but important and fun, is set-up, roughly 1600-1800Z Saturday; do plan on coming for that! Sign-up will be first-come, first-served. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call NW3V at 703-241-5618. Sign up for as many shifts as you are willing to commit to. The status of sign-ups will be reviewed at the April meeting, and you can sign up then for open shifts. Please do consider signing up for a mode you normally don't operate, such as CW or digital. Do plan to have fun!
President Jack WA4FXX called the meeting to order at 1935L at the Arlington Chapterhouse of the American Red Cross. Also attending were Alan KO4ALA, Jim K9AUC, Walt KT4EL, Harold KD5GVJ, Richard WB3HYZ, Mike KA8OPJ, Dennis W4PWF, Paul KG4PXF, and Mike NW3V.
The minutes of the February meeting, as published on the webpage, and the Treasurer's report, as delivered in absentia by Tom N4BYF, were approved.
W4PWF reported from FAR that Auto-Call will soon begin publication in alternate months. Many subscribers and other readers (e.g., visitors to N3SSI, prospective hams, new arrivals to the area) wanted to keep the print edition. [See also FAR's website at www.amateurradio-far.org.]
W4PWF also mentioned ARRL's filings on refarming the novice bands, spread spectrum, mission designators, special event stations, and some other petitions.
WA4FXX was contacted by Sedge Moss of the Arlington Historical Society, concerning an exhibit at the Walter Reed Library, including old radios. We'll provide about 100 copies of our brochure, and a phone number if they need replenishing. Send a clean/blank QSL card to Jack for the exhibit case.
A goal for FD02 will be having more operators, each operating more bands. NW3V will again graciously act as chair; suggestions to (email@example.com) are welcome.
WA4FXX attended a meeting of the Red Cross regional Emergency Communications Team, at which they discussed training, budgeting, and other activities. The team will operate within Mitchell Garrett's Logistics Subcommittee ("stuff, places, transportation, communications"). Mitchell would like AARC to have an expanded role in disaster communications, including maintenance, cell phones, etc. There are two main organizational options, either belonging to the Disaster Human Resources Team (national) or having local-only affiliation (Arlington and adjacent Chapters). Access to the extranet for emergency management databases may be arranged. We'll consider further Red Cross training and certifications. Jack asked KA8OPJ to compare the list at www.datteam.org with the courses he took through a comparable Red Cross-affiliated amateur radio club in Ohio. The use of Incident Command System is widening. We'll try to get manuals/VHS tapes from NCAC.
The business meeting adjourned at 2040L, and was followed by a demonstration of SSTV by NW3V.
Respectfully submitted, Mike KA8OPJ, Secretary
Mike KA8OPJ, Secretary
[NW3V handed this out at the March 19 meeting.]
I recently revisited the world of Amateur Radio SSTV after an absence of
almost two years. As before, I used a Yaesu FT-757GXII transceiver interfaced
to a Tigertronics
modem on a 486 PC running DOS and JVFAX 7.1 software.
As before, I did not manage to configure JVFAX to preview TGA or JPEG images,
or display real-time SSTV images, in color, apparently because JVFAX 7.1 does
not have a suitable driver for the on-motherboard video chip of my Compaq ProLinea PC.
However, JVFAX can save SSTV images in TrueVision Targa (.tga) format, which can be
displayed in color using another image viewer. On the 486, I use the
free demo version
of Image Alchemy
v. 1.7.7 to do this. Image Alchemy can also convert the saved .tga files
to .jpg or .gif for publication on the web.
(See, e.g., this image,
or this one,
from the June 2000 and March 2002 issues of
The Arlington Beacon,
converted using Image Magic).
One change I noticed is the current (hence apparently growing) popularity of a mode called MP115, which JVFAX 7.1 does not accommodate out of the box. (JVFAX 7.1 has a mode editor for fax, but not SSTV, modes.) I did a little research to find out what PC115 is.
According to Roland Zermely (PY4ZBZ), MP115 is one of 13 new luminance-chrominance (Y-C) modes introduced in version 1.06 of Makoto Mori's (JH3HHT's) popular MMSSTV software for Win32 PCs with soundcards. Roland has a web page tabulating parameters for PC115 and many other modes, and another web page comparing MP115 to Martin 1, a RGB SSTV mode popular in Europe. MP115 wins.
In my few hours on 14.230 MHz this weekend, I heard and viewed mostly US stations (but also some European and South American stations), and most images were transmitted using Scottie 1 or PC115 modes. During one period, I copied Scottie 1 images sent by Marvin, WD4RBF, who was using JVFAX, and by other stations "using Scottie 1 for Marvin," hinting that they would rather use a different mode (PC115?) but were using Scottie 1 because RBF couldn't copy the preferred mode with JVFAX.
The popularity of software such as MMSSTV indicates the increasing usage of now-ubiquitous soundcards for SSTV, instead of specialized SSTV hardware. It also indicates the increasing usage of Windows, rather than DOS, platforms. In my brief adventures, I did not notice any live-from-camera transmissions. All images were sent from files. Of course, a modern, well-equipped Windows PC could easily send an image captured by an attached USB camera, or transferred from a digital camera.
In doing research on new modes, I also noticed that there are a number of
web sites that automatically post SSTV images received (typically on 14.230
MHz) on the web in near real time. An Austrian gateway site,
, is currently (as I write this) showing images from European stations (G4ZPL,
EA5GLI, ...). Dave Jones, KB4BZ, has a
with links to live SSTV-to-web gateways and lots of other SSTV-related web
Slow-Scan Television Image Received at W4WVP During NW3V's Demonstration
I was inspired by Mike's demo of SSTV the other night and thought I'd try to receive a few things myself. I downloaded a copy of MMSTV, tuned to 14.230, ran a patchcord to the soundcard of my comptuer, and just let it go. Attached is a sample. Most things came through as Scottie1, although there were a few other modes, all of which were autodetected. Pretty cool.
...I'm going to have to get myself an interface for sending so that I can start to partake in these activities once I'm upgraded. On Tuesday night, Dennis was describing the interface from Rigblaster. There is also something called a Rascal that is apparently cheaper and does the same thing: http://www.packetradio.com/psk31.html
The February 7, 2002, edition of The Volunteer Word, the email letter of the Arlington Chapter of the American Red Cross stated, in part, that all Chapter Disaster Services volunteers should save the dates of Saturday, April 20 (Red Cross Metro-Chapter Drill) and Wednesday, May 8 (Pentagon Chemical Drill).
Greetings Affiliated Clubs,
The ARRL web site has a page set aside just for the Virginia Section. Be sure to check it out often!
And, a special thanks for the many clubs that have submitted reports recently. Not having to harrass folks to update information makes my job much easier. If you have a change in your clubs information, you can easily update it by having a club officer go to:
and just follow the directions. Its that easy!! And while you are there, check out all the great info related to clubs on the club section of the web site.
If your club is doing anything special, please let me and Pat Wilson, W4PW, know (firstname.lastname@example.org). We want the world to know just how great the VA Section is and what we are doing!!
Thanks and 73,
This is just a sampler. For other ARRL bulletins, visit http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/, listen to
W1AW, or check a packet bulletin board system.
The Arlington Amateur Radio Club
4333 Arlington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22203