News Archives

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Recent activities & events….

  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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