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Post Winter Hamfest Season Begins

The time has come for me to post information about Hamvention 2014 and the presence of many WMPORN friends and family.

Once again we will be located at booths FW2530 - FW2534. You will note that the numbers for the spots are clearly marked on at least half a dozen different locations in the fleamarket, and you will need to count from there to figure it out. Of course this year there will be a major change as I no longer have the little red wagon (AKA my Mercury Villager Van) as I found it necessary to replace it with a white one. The little red wagon was actually three different vehicles, two of them being identical models.

We welcome everyone to stop by the booth. Many of the group will be in and out, but we always have plenty of chairs and something to drink. Due to circumstances beyond our control however you will need to make other arrangements for use of the restrooms. If you have something to sell, feel free to bring it along. The only thing we ask is that you donate a portion of the proceeds to help defray our costs.

We also plan to have a repeater available for use during the open hours of the flea market. The repeater output is on 927.9875 with the input on 902.9875 using a CTCS of 131.8. We also sometimes use the output of the repeater on simplex for some local communication. We also sometimes use 442.175 (the output of the K8SN repeater in the Grand Rapids area) as simplex with a tone of 103.5 to accomodate communicaiton among ourselves while enganed in the Hamvention experience.

Please notice that if I am able I will be posting updates to the website with some pictures to the Dayton 2014 blog.

In the event that we have snow, a "we're at the motel" NET may be established on either the repeater or one of the simplex frequencies listed abov, by the LAZES coordinator. Please see your hotel clerk for "check in" information.

With that said, we must once again issue this disclaimer. WMPORN is not responsible for injuries caused by ROFLing, loss of vocal ability due to excessive talking (rare at ham radio events due to refined practice except for those Morse code guys), lack of sleep, sore muscles, hunger, or offended olfactory senses or irritation caused by uncooperative people. WMPORN is also not responsible for frostbite, sunburn, or chafing due to wet clothing (whatever may apply).

As always, we come to the more serious part where we hope that everyone has as much fun as we will have. Stay safe and of course stop by to see us.


You can read a little bit about a WMPORN Dayton trip by clicking here.

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WMPORN REPEATER STATUS 04/18/14

This winter has been a little bit hard on everyone of the group. With much higher than normal snowfall over the 2013-2014 winter it became a little tough for some of us aging geeks to access some of the remote sites to perform maintenance and repairs on equipment.

The N8JPR repeater transmitting on 223.920 MHz found it's receiver off frequency, however it did get a new antenna that has increased the useability and range. The frequency issue has been corrected and the autopatch placed back into operation.

The DSTAR repeater suffers from some other issues that have not yet been uncovered as some remodeling is planned for this spring. Currently the UHF module does not seem to have the coverage that it once did. It hears quite well, however the transmit is down considerably. The amplifier remains operating at 60 Watts, however the antenna system is shared on a combiner with several other transmitters. The VHF module does not hear so well. The transmit runs at about 70 Watts and is easily heard in Kalamazoo and Holland, however it is difficult to get into it from there. This problem has not been tracked down yet. It is far more difficult to find problems of this nature on a DSTAR system. The 1.2GHz modules continue to be strong performers and are at their best until the leaves come out.

The mighty 442.175 K8SN repeater was taken off the air by a mouse. There are several repeaters and various equipment in that room, but for some reason the mice like THAT particular repeater. This year mice made a nest inside the controller. The repeater started acting very strange so it was disabled for a few hours until someone could look at it. Unfortunately there was plenty of damage to the FF-800 controller since apparently the mice have a nest inside their condo and every other place is a bathroom.

The other repeaters are working as expected. THere are still a few issues with the Morley repeater however it continues to improve and makes a nice extension to the North.

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WX8GRR Internet Gateway Information

With the upgrade of the gateway software to G2 (gateway 2) many things have changed. As always, one must be registered with one of the gateways in order to use the gateway features such as call routing over the internet. Getting yourself registered however has changed drastically. What was a cryptic nightmare for the gateway operators has not become a cryptic nightmare for the users!! Yipee, now it's your problem!! Ok, well that is not quite true, the software is not all that impressive and leaves much to be desired, but it does make life a little easier.

To register for DStar gateway use please first visit the G2 Registration Information webpage and read it completely. Let me say that once more, READ IT completely. If I do not know who you are I will do a callbook lookup to see where you live (your license information is up to date, right?). If you are not in a reasonable coverage area of the repeater you will get an email from me asking some questions. Why? Just because WMPORN is not a paid membership group (though we do accept donations) does not mean that we intend to destroy local clubs by helping people use features of expensive equipment without paying the club dues that pay for that equipment. On the other hand, we want everyone to be able to enjoy amateur radio and will help where we can. And, thanks to G2 the local club can still ban you from using those features through their repeater.

Looking for something that was located on this page? As news becomes old or past tense I frequently move those paragraphs to the BLOG section that can be selected using the green links to the left. The blog contains the latest things removed from this page and are simply pasted at the top of the blog page starting with the second paragraph. Keeping this information around is good for historical purposes as well as allowing people to catch up and maybe even move ahead faster with their DStar project.

We have another DStar repeater in town that was purchased through grant money given to the local emergency services group. The repeater in the downtown Grand Rapids area and is currently UHF only. The repeater is operating on a full coordination on 444.250 + with the callsign KD8HLF

Hats and patches for shirts and jackets are here! While I have not had the time to take pictures of these items a reasonable idea of what they are can be found by using the apparel link to the left. This is not a profit making situation for us, just a way for people to show support. The hats are 5 panel Khaki with the 2008 WMPORN logo embroidered on them. The hats are $16 each. The patches are circular approximately 3 &quote; in diameter indicated as #5 on the apparel page and cost $11.00. These are very well made and will last a very long time. Unfortunately it is too late at this time to get the callsigns placed on the back of the hat without doing another order. We are also looking into some other items using silkscreen methods to offer an alternative.

For callsign and routing information please see the WMPORN routing information page. Please remember to check back here frequently as this routing information will be changing once we install the gateway.

What we need now is some help with funding. Though we were able to obtain the D-Star repeater at a reasonable price, we have also had to purchase D-Star radios to use with the repeater. This has been no cheap adventure for the repeater owners. If you would like to help accelerate this project donations are being accepted. But wait, we really don't want your money. It seems that too often donations are mishandled these days and to avoid such issues we would prefer that donations come in a form the actual needed items. You can look this link to see some of the items that we could use some help purchasing.

Several of the WMPORN people meet every Thursday evening. More information is available here.





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