Upcoming Events

Mon Jul 06 @ 6:05AM - 07:15AM
PT Net - Jim, KI4HQO, ncs
Mon Jul 06 @ 8:00PM - 08:30PM
10 Meter Sideband Net (N1LN ncs)
Tue Jul 07 @ 6:05AM - 07:15AM
PT Net - Rhett, KE4HIH, ncs
Wed Jul 08 @ 6:05AM - 07:15AM
PT Net - Rhett, KE4HIH, ncs
Thu Jul 09 @ 6:05AM - 07:15AM
PT Net - Bob, W4RWC, ncs
Thu Jul 09 @ 8:00PM - 09:00PM
Welcome to the Durham FM Association

The Durham FM Association is a group of friendly amateur radio operators interested in all aspects of amateur radio service. Members in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and surrounding areas of North Carolina enjoy operating through VHF and UHF repeaters sponsored and maintained by the club.

Currently the club operates FM voice repeaters on 145.450-, 147.225+, 224.260-, 444.100+ and 444.450+ MHz(the plus and minus indicating standard offsets on the respective bands).

For July only we are meeting on the 14th (2nd Tuesday!!) at the Bennett Pointe Grill on 4625 Hillsborough Road, Durham. [click for maps] (Bullock's, our normal meeting, place is closed for two weeks in July)  For more info on each meeting, check the Calendar entry.

July 14 Program: A building block for the next generation of ham FM radios Print E-mail
Written by KU4GC   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 16:02

Steve Jackson, KZ1X,  will present a program entitled "A building block for the next generation of ham FM radios".

He writes: "A small US based company better known for supplying ham radio HF amplifier kits has recently introduced a 2 meter, 222, and 440 MHz FM transceiver module.  It is intended to be a building block for many people who construct their own ham equipment.  This new module is simple and inexpensive enough, however, that many hams who would not have previously considered building their own gear may change their minds."

Steve has been very active in the ham community for many years and in on the board of OCRA.  This is not Steve's first DFMA program.  He presented an excellent talk on antenna modeling several years ago.

Remember that our meeting is at Bennett Pointe Grill!

July Meeting at Bennett Pointe Grill - 2nd Tuesday Print E-mail
Written by KU4GC   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 15:52

Remember that due to Bullock's annual two week July shutdown, we are meeting at Bennett Pointe Grill.  (See the "Welcome" entry on the main page or the calendar entry or for more info and directions.)  Also, we will be meeting on the 2nd Tuesday, July 14.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 July 2015 15:54
Pre-Field Day Potluck Dinner Print E-mail
Written by W4SAR   
Sunday, 21 June 2015 15:56

Planned dinner time is 6:30pm Friday.

Wilson is reminding all to let him know if you are bringing spouses, etc.
Bringing chairs may be a good idea!

Let Dave know what you are bringing (w4sar01 at gmail dot com).
Below is the list to date.

Dan, KK4DMS - coleslaw
Dave, W4SAR - barbecue beans
Karen, KD4YJZ - deviled eggs
Dan KR4UB and Jean - 3 bean salad
Bob, W4RWC - corn and tomato scramble
Keith, KM4JZB- mac and cheese
Chuck, KM4JZC and Mary-pickles, corn on the cob and potatoes
(bringing 6 gallon steamer)
Woody, K3VSA - fruit salad
Mark and wife, KR3AM - key lime pie
Loren KV4ZR - some more pies
M.K., W4MKR & Dee KU4GC - pound cake
Bruce N1LN & Laurie N1YXU - potato salad
Bill N8BR and Patti - potato casserole
Pete K4PHS - more coleslaw
Doug, KA5ETS - okra
Tucker and Dad KK4UNZ - pasta salad
Tim KW4GP and Jimmy KF4KHM - Baked Beans
Howie WA4PSC and Betsy - Kale
Patrick, KM4IWG - dinner rolls
Steve, W3AHL - roasted vegetable casserole, chocolate chip cookies
Rhett KE4HIH & Joanna KE4QOZ - special coleslaw
Joe K4SAR - hummus and pita chips
Adriano, KV7D - soft drinks, ice

Don't forget that Skip WB4P is bringing sandwich platters around 11am Friday;

See you all there!

Dave W4SAR

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 June 2015 21:22
Field Day Safety Guidelines Print E-mail
Written by W4SAR   
Saturday, 13 June 2015 22:38

Safety Guidelines for Field Day

We will be operating in the open in a rural setting. We will be dealing not only with outdoor concerns, but also dealing with electricity, RF energy, very heavy batteries, and pointy pieces of metal. So to keep it safe, please mind the following guidelines:

  • Be prepared for any kind of weather, our Field Days have had anything from muggy, oppressively hot days to chilly nights. Bring adequate clothing for the conditions.

  • Watch out for each other, and be alert for the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If someone is feeling nauseated, feels faint, seems slow to respond or is not responding appropriately to questions , or feels chills when it is hot, that can be heat exhaustion. Get them into a cool place and have them rest and drink fluids under observation until they recover, and urinate at least twice.  If they FLUSH RED AND STOP SWEATING, that is a red flag for heat stroke, cool them down immediately by any means externally - ice packs, cold water- and call 911, this is a dangerous condition.

  • Shelter is very important, a large tent or an elevated tarp will protect you and your equipment from direct sun and rain.

  • Stay hydrated! Dee, KU4GC will have a cooler stocked full of water and soft drinks, indulge yourself!

  • Be aware that the brush lines may have Poison Ivy, watch where you step. Ticks and mosquitoes are a couple of the unlikeable examples of wildlife you will run into. Use a good quality insect repellant containing DEET to keep them off. Be sure to wipe any DEET off the insides of your hands as it dissolves some plastics, and you might etch your fingerprints into your microphone.

  • When raising antennas, first off, be sure you have adequate help. If you are stacking metal, helmets and gloves should be worn. If shooting pilot lines with a bow and arrow, have a spotter to keep the target area clear of personnel.

  • All guy lines and feed lines should be clearly marked with fluorescent flagging tape or surveyor’s flags.  At night, guy lines at risk should be marked with “glow sticks”.

  • When moving batteries, don’t be shy about asking for help.

  • All battery terminals should be shielded to avoid short circuits.

  • All wiring harnesses must be fused. All stations will be securely connected to grounding rods.

  • Band Captains are urged to keep both a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit at their operating position.

  • In the event of an approaching electrical storm, shut down the station and disconnect the feedlines. If lightning, high winds, hail or other hazards are approaching, most likely the best option is to take shelter in a solid structure or your vehicle.

  • Report any injuries immediately.

Field Day Preparations Print E-mail
Written by W3AHL   
Saturday, 13 June 2015 22:27

Field Day Preparations

1. Be Prepared (Always!) -- Field Day is a good test of how prepared you are to set up portable stations in unfamiliar locations, operate as a team for extended periods of time and bring what you need to be self-sufficient.  Now is a good time to review check lists for what a 24 & 72-hour "go kit" should contain.  See Item 6 in the "ARES Overview_071313.pdf" document at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/NCOCRA/files/Emergency%20Communication/Training/ for some suggested items to consider.

2. Hydration -- Most of us will not hydrate adequately during FD.  Start increasing your fluid intake the day before setup, drink plenty of liquids frequently, eat fruit to maintain electrolyte balance and avoid alcohol.   The simple way to tell if you are adequately hydrated is monitoring urine output.  If you do not "go" at least every four hours, you need more fluids.  One good online reference is: http://greatist.com/fitness/hydration-during-exercise

3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) -- PPE includes shoes, pants & gloves that protect you when walking through brush while putting up antennas, a broad-brimmed hat to keep the sun off of your head and face, an SPF 40+ sunscreen applied before you start and reapplied frequently, insect repellant containing DEET applied around ankles, waist, arms and neck for tick, chigger and mosquito protection, etc.

4. Tick Removal -- This seems to be an active tick year, or maybe they just are attracted to me....  Tick related illnesses can be severe, but are easily prevented by checking your body for ticks twice a day and learning how to properly remove them.  One good reference is: http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/how-to-remove-a-tick-overview

I prefer using the "Ticked Off" removal tool instead of tweezers, available in the camping or first aid section of many stores in the area.  See: http://www.tickedoff.com/ (Buy several!)  They are like a small plastic spoon with a sharp V-notch in the end.

5. Team Work -- The best part of FD is working as a TEAM.  That means staying focused on the task at hand, listening to the team leader for instructions and not "rag-chewing" with other team members during critical tasks that involve risk (which may cause the group to lose "situational awareness").   If you are unsure how to do something, ASK!!  Field Day is all about sharing and learning.

Wear a name tag with your call sign.  It helps everyone get acquainted and allow a team leader to identify who he is talking to more easily.  When your hands are pulling ropes, it's hard to point and yell hey you!

6. Safety --  Dave, W4SAR has some excellent Field Day safety guidelines that he will post.  Read them -- several times!!  If you feel something is not safe, SPEAK UP, get it resolved, bring the issue to one of the band captains or club officers' attention.

Steve Ahlbom, W3AHL

Orange County ARES EC


Last Updated on Saturday, 13 June 2015 22:43

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