Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ohio Section Digital Radio Survey Results .. Plus more..

Digital Radios..

A few months back a survey was conducted on the Ohio Section website to find out just which mode
seems to be the most popular right now. Popular being who's using what digital mode the most.

The survey showed the following:

D-Star - 11%
Fusion - 28%
DMR - 61%

Now I realize that this survey is not very scientific, but I feel that it does show that DMR seems to be the up and coming new digital mode that's worth looking at. There were over 250 responses to this survey and 30 of them were from digital repeater owners.

What I have discovered through this poll is that buy/owning a digital radio is a lot like buying a car. Some only like Ford's and others like Chevy's.. Is one better than the other? That really depends on who's doing the buying and what the needs of the person are! So with that in mind, please don't misinterpret this survey as being conclusive. It isn't. It's just a fun way of finding out who's using what right now.

I use DMR. I purchased a Tytera MD-380 radio and it uses what is called a "codeplug" to plug into all the repeaters. This is where the settings for each repeater are located. This codeplug is created by someone and can be "cloned" to any amount of other like radios. It's not proprietary so exchanging it between friends is ok. Firmware updates are also free for you as well.

Now because I travel all over the state I was finding that there are a lot of DMR repeaters around that if I only had them programmed in I could use them as I travel.. So, I went to a friend of mine with this problem and he resolved it for me by creating a codeplug with all of the DMR repeaters in Ohio programmed into it. Thanks Andy.. This codeplug can be used to program any of the very popular Tytera MD-380's or MD-390 digital UHF radios.

For those of you who are looking for a great use for DMR, there are several nets around the country that you can freely join in on.

We also have a statewide net in Ohio that meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 8:30pm local.

There's also a statewide net in Kentucky that meets every Thursday at 8pm local and in Indiana that meets at 8pm local Tuesday's on the Indiana statewide talkgroup.

Want a copy of the codeplug that I use?  Send me an email and I'll send it over to you.. n8sy@n8sy.com    

Please note.. This codeplug is for the Tytera MD-380 / MD-390 only.

For the most recent updates and information, please go to:  http://arrl-ohio.org/digital.html   

>>  NOTE: <<

I also want to let you all know that you must have a registration number to plug into the codeplug prior to uploading this codeplug to your radio..

If you don't have a registration number, you can obtain one through this link..

*Remember to add your DMR ID to this plug before you add this codeplug to your radio.*

Special Note:

TYT/Tytera did release new firmware. This is *NEWER* firmware than what came out in June. They also released an updated CPS to program code plugs to your radio.

It is important that you update with the correct firmware for your radio. The vendor has been using a different vocoder, so the software OS number may be different on certain radios. Below is a link to the Canadian DMR group that seems to be TYT's preferred delivery method for new software updates. They document how to read firmware on radio for the correct download. 


The Ohio Section ARES Statewide Conference is being held on Saturday - September 24th at the
Marion Technical College (shared with Ohio State Marion Campus)  1467 Mt Vernon Ave in Marion..  

We would like to see anyone that is interested in Ohio’s ARES programs to come to this event.. We are asking for everyone to register so we have some idea of just how many folks will be attending..

The registration form is located

Let’s get a great turnout for this!!


Hey Gang..  Have you gotten registered for the NEWEST “Handbook Giveaway” drawing on the website yet? It’s there, and there’s really not much time left to get entered for this month.. Time is clicking away very fast and you have until Wednesday night - August 31st to enter..

To enter the drawing all you need to do is fill in a couple of boxes on the form.. (your name and email). That’s you need to do to be entered into a drawing to win a 2016 ARRL softcover Handbook. There’s nothing else required (Oh.. You do need to be a resident of Ohio to win..)   The winner will be mailed the Handbook at my cost. This is being offered just to see how many folks are really checking in on the website. Got the idea? Best of luck to you!!

Go to:  http://arrl-ohio.org/handbook.html  to get registered.


Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) Stations Encouraged to Register and File Post-Event Reports

Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) officials are asking JOTA 2016 participants not only to register for this year’s event, but to follow up with a post-JOTA report. As an incentive, all stations filing reports will automatically be entered to win an Icom ID-51A hand-held transceiver. The 59th annual JOTA takes place October 14-16.

“Last year we had 400 stations register but only 200 stations file a report,” said JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND. “We’re going to improve that this year. Icom America and Ray Novak, N9JA, have stepped up to help us with a considerable incentive.”

Wilson pointed out that only BSA stations will be eligible to win. “These prizes are for the station. It’s up to you to determine who gets it or how you share it,” he said. “Of course, everyone who files a report will receive the 2016 Jamboree on the Air Certificate.”

More than 1 million Scouts in 150+ countries — at nearly 18,000 stations — are expected to take part in JOTA 2016, engaging with other Scouts to talk about Amateur Radio and their Scouting experiences. “JOTA is about conversations across town and around the world, rather than about contacts,” Wilson said.

The JOTA reporting system will open right after JOTA weekend; reports are due on November 1, with the prize drawing held that week. “Designate someone on your team to collect the information needed for your report,” Wilson recommended, pointing to a list of “best practices” to ensure a report that “truly captures your event.”

JOTA Guidelines for Amateur Radio Operators are available online. Among other advice, the operating guide points out that US Scouts may speak directly with Scouts in other countries as long as a third-party agreement exists between that country and the US. A Scout station spotting cluster also will be available this year, to show who’s on the air and where. Dave Edwards, KD2E, and Andy O’Brien, K3UK, have developed a Scout scheduling page for teams to post their frequencies.

JOTA stations have been asked to avoid other operating activities taking place over the October 14-16 weekend, including the Worked All Germany contest-free zones. Four state QSO parties also take place over JOTA weekend — Illinois, Iowa, New York, and South Dakota.

Wilson also asked for the cooperation of contesters. “As you participate in these or other contests that weekend, please keep in mind that Scouts will be on the air at the same time,” Wilson advised competitors. “For most, this will be their first experience with Amateur Radio. Please be courteous and where possible provide some contest free space around their ongoing QSOs near the Scouting frequencies. After all, they are the next generation of ham operators — or not.”

Want more information about JOTA or our Scouting Programs in Ohio? 
Contact Scott Hixon at:  kc8itn@arrl.net

Are you getting those emails from me? If not, all you have to do is to “Opt-In” to receive them. Heck, just send me an email at:  n8sy@n8sy.com
I’ll get you added to the mailing list. There’s a link to do this on the Ohio Section website, it’s on the bottom left corner.. For your convenience, here’s a direct link to it:  http://arrl-ohio.org/forwarder/forwarding.html

I urge all of you to make sure that everyone, regardless of whether they are a League member or not, get signed up for one of these options. You can always  “Opt-Out”  at any time if you feel this is not what you were expecting.

Upcoming Hamfests in Ohio..

* 09/11/2016 | Findlay Hamfest
   Location: Findlay, OH
   Sponsor: Findlay Radio Club

* 09/17/2016 | OH-KY-IN Hamfest
   Location: Cincinnati, OH
   Sponsor: OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society
   Website: http://www.ohkyin.org

* 09/25/2016 | Cleveland Hamfest and Computer Show
   Location: Berea, OH
   Sponsor: Hamfest Association of Cleveland
   Website: http://www.hac.org

>> Pennsylvania Hamfest.. <<
The Uniontown Amateur Radio Club will conduct the 67th Annual GABFEST
on the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend -- Saturday, September 3, 2016!
The gates open 8:00 AM with vendors welcome at any time prior to 8:00 AM!

The GABFEST will be held at the Radio Club Grounds located on Old Pittsburgh Road
just off RT 51 and US RT 119 in Uniontown, PA

Talk in will be provided on 147.045 + (PL 131.8).
Just call for W3PIE Gabfest Talk-In.
This talk-in is provided for directions and Gabfest information.
No check in is needed if you know how to get here!

As always, free admission with free parking available!
The World renowned W3PIE Breakfast & Lunch and other refreshments will be available!
Free Swap-N-Shop Set-up with registration!

For more information contact:
Contact Tony Alviar 724-430-1277 (M-F 8-4) email to:  talviar@fcema.org


Got questions, concerns or would just like to sit and chat awhile?

Give me a call at (419) 512-4445 or email me at:  n8sy@n8sy.com    

Want to sit and have a cup of coffee? I’m available.. Heck, I’ll even buy the coffee!!