EARS Newsletter

Welcome to the EARS, (Emerald Amateur Radio Society), newsletter.  This newsletter is a collaborative on-line effort.  Each area is updated by by the listed individual in real-time.  All updates should be completed no later than a day or so prior to our meetings, which occur on the third Tuesday of each month. See our calendar for more information on meetings and club events.

Given this is an on-line newsletter, updates can come at any time!  Just check back in and look for the last updated date in each section.  We hope you enjoy this newsletter.  If you have suggestions please send them to newsletter@emerald-ars.us.

President’s Notes

by Jeff, NT7B.

Welcome to the Newsletter

I’m sure the club has produced a newsletter at some time in the past, but it’s been long enough that it seems like an all-new venture for me. I hope to contribute something interesting to read in another issue, but for now I’m content with putting out a huge “Thank You!” to NK7Z for assembling the web page and the members contributing content for all to enjoy. We’re fortunate to have club members with so much knowledge and experience with so many of the different niches within the Amateur Radio Service.

Meeting Agenda for June 21, 2002

EARS Meeting Agenda, June 21, 2022

 Call to Order and President’s Opening Comments.

 Roll Call / Introductions.

 Program: To be announced. Bob’s Tower Project presentation has been postponed.


 Minutes of May meeting.

 Reports: Treasurer, Volunteer Examiners, EARS Net.

Membership Readings.

 Old Business:

  • Getting the shack EmComm ready: Where are we with computers and setting up HF packet? We have a VHF packet / WinLink setup with the old laptop and Kenwood, but does anyone remember how to run it?
  • Repeater Update
  • Memorandum of Understanding with the city
  • Cascadia Rising 2022

 New Business:

  • Programs for future meetings
  • Website
  • Sea-Pac reports

 Good of the Order, Brags, Etc.

Last Updated on June 23, 2022 by Web Manager

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Vice President’s Notes

By Doc, W7DOK.

Fall is Here

Greetings fellow Hams;

We are into the fall season and Halloween and soon Thanksgiving. We are thankful for the efforts of the dedicated hams who volunteer in so many ways to serve our Club, community,  and support the hobby. From cleaning up the Club Shack and getting it ready to use, to pricing no longer used items in the shack for quick sale, to seeing that our meetings have refreshments, to making sure there are items on our table at the meeting to sell or trade. To helping assure our monthly meetings have interesting presenters and speakers. We have a wonderful cadre of VE examiners to provide testing to candidates from, literally, across the state,  and we are blessed with Elmers who are willing to give a fellow Amateur a hand when needed, to maintaining our repeater site and assuring it is in peak operating condition, to being eager to participate in our Service project with our Military Veterans, to being ready to provide emergency communications to support the community if and when needed. The range of club activities is ever widening, and we can always use a helping hand as we grow. We urge members to seek out what interests them and pitch in for the benefit of fellow hams and the community. And remember to not only turn on that radio but push the PTT button and communicate with others. So keep on communicating and participating! Silence is not golden. Light up our repeater, our meetings and our club with your suggestions and participation! EARS spelled another way is YOU!

 Thanks for your participation in EARS!

73, Doc W7DOK

Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by Web Manager

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Meeting Notes

By Ken, KG7QPL.

Looking for an Opportunity to Connect?

EARS has several regular meetings and other chances for you to join in and get connected!

      • Monthly Club Meetings:  3rd Tuesday of each month, 7 PM, Springfield Justice Center
        • For a summary of our past meetings and links to some of the presentations, see our Past Meetings page.
      • Weekly Nets:  Weekly on Thursdays at 7 PM at 146.74 MHz (EARS repeater)
      • Monthly VE sessions:  see the VE section of the newsletter for details
      • Monthly no-host Breakfast: 1st Saturday of each month, 10 am, Brail’s Restaurant in Eugene

Check out the Calendar page for any changes to the meeting times or locations.

EARS Net Reports (146.74 MHz):

      • 8/4/2022, 1900: Net control: KG7QPL; Check-ins (3): KJ7CNJ, NK7Z, AI7AD; Traffic: none.
      • 8/11/2022, 1900: Net control: KG7QPL; Check-ins (6): AD7Z mobile, KJ7CNJ, W7DOK, NK7Z, AI7AD, K7KRA; Traffic: Reminder: next Club meeting 8/23/22 @ 7 pm with David Kidd, ARRL Oregon Section Manager presenting; EARS Board Meeting 8/12/22 to work on draft MOU with City; Question from W7DOK RE ICOMM 7300 error message.
      • 8/18/2022, 1900: Net Control: KG7QPL; Check-ins (7): KJ7CNJ, KJ7MQA, KJ7MCN, AD7Z mobile, NK7Z mobile, WX7HS, W7CN; Traffic: Reminders for VE session, mini swap meet, and David Kidd presentation.
      • 8/25/2022, 1900: Net Control: KG7QPL; Check-ins (3): NT7B, W7DOK, AI7AD; Traffic: None.
      • 9/1/2022, 1900: Net Control: w7DOK; Check-ins (4): NK7Z, AD7Z mobile, KC7RJK, W7CN; Traffic: None.
      • 9/8/2022, 1900: Net Control: KG7QPL; Check-ins (7): KJ7CNJ, W7DOK, NK7Z, AD7Z, KC7RJK, AI7AD, K7OWW; Traffic: None.
      • 9/15/2022, 1900: Net Control: KG7QPL; Check-ins (9): NT7B mobile, KJ7CNJ, KJ7CWV, AD7Z, NK7Z, KC7RJK, AI7BQ, W7DOK, W7CN; Traffic: presenter at 9/20/22 meeting will be Dr. John Lebow regarding Camp Alma service project.

September 2022 EARS Breakfast:

We had another great breakfast this month and a great time was had by all!  We hope to see you at the next breakfast on October 1!

Want to Join the EARS Club?

Click here to learn how to subscribe to our email list or to obtain a membership application.

Last Updated on September 19, 2022 by Club Secretary

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Volunteer Examiners Reports

By Bob, AD7Z, and Peter, N7IY.

Latest Exam Results:

Our July test session is now in the books. This month we tested three candidates and a total of five tests were given.  Our candidates were from Eugene, Corvallis, and Albany.

Two candidates came to take their Technician class exams and the third the Extra class exam.  All candidates passed the exam they came for. Both the Technician class attempts being successful, they opted to take the General exam as well. Unfortunately, they need to study a little more for that next upgrade. The good news… when they return to upgrade they won’t be paying the FCC fee again!

We were well supported by our Volunteer Examiners and a great THANK YOU to all of them. Those of you who may be interested, here is a short list of some of our more active examiners and the number of exam sessions they have contributed to over the past few years:

Peter, N7IY – 216 Sessions; Bob, AD7Z – 144 sessions; Dave, NK7Z – 95 sessions; Howard, WX7HS – 78 sessions; Michael, W7CN – 69 sessions.

There are others but these are our most active members and examiners. If you are a General class, Advanced, or Extra class license holder you can receive accreditation from the ARRL  by passing an open book exam. The service of providing examinations for aspiring Hams is very rewarding and well worth the effort. Nothing feels as good as seeing someone grinning as they are told they PASSED the test.

If you want to get your VE accreditation you can find out all about it here:https://www.arrl.org/become-an-arrl-ve , it is well worth it.

The NEXT test session is on Saturday, August 27th, 2022, 1pm (1300 hours), at the Justice Center, Springfied, OR.

That’s it for this month. I hope you will join us at a meeting or exam. Be well.

73, Bob AD7Z

Last Updated on August 17, 2022 by Bob, AD7Z

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By Howard, WX7HS.

WSJT-X and FT8:  Timing is Everything

There is an old saying that many things in life are all about timing.  When using WSJT-X and its digital modes such as FT8 and  FT4, timing is critical.  What is meant by timing is that the computer you are using for WSJT-X must be synchronized with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Computers typically use “Network Time Protocol” (NTP), a networking protocol, for clock synchronization between computer systems over packet-switched, variable latency data networks. In operation since before 1985, NTP is one of the oldest Internet protocols in current use. NTP is intended to synchronize all participating computers to within a few milliseconds of UTC.  

When using digital modes such as FT8, your signal is sending packets of information to a receiving station and the station you are having a QSO with is in turn sending information packets to your personal computer (PC).  In order for each station to communicate with each other, each PC must be time-synchronized 2 seconds (plus or minus) of UTC.

So why is this issue being brought up since PCs are supposed to keep track of time?  This issue is highlighted because PCs are notoriously bad at keeping the correct UTC and will not meet WSJT-X time synchronization requirements.  Fortunately, there are several software solutions that will automatically update a PC’s UTC.  Most of these solutions require an active connection to the internet which allows the program to obtain the current UTC from a NTP server.

The most popular UTC time synchronization software programs for Windows operating systems include Meinberg and TimeSync and are “freeware.”  Meinberg is available at meinbergglobal.com and TimeSync can be downloaded at http://timesynctool.com.  Both of these programs run in the background and will automatically update the PC’s UTC.  For PCs running MacOS, TimeTools offer a freeware program downloadable at timetoolsltd.com/NTP/NTP-Client/.  Installation instructions are available on each website.

As previously mentioned, these programs require an active internet connection.  However, the software program JTSync allows the ability to synchronize a PC’s UTC without an internet connection by using decoded WSJT-X QSO time stamps. This software is especially useful when operating remotely without an internet connection during Summits on the Air (SOTA) and Parks on the Air (POTA) activities. JTSync is available at http://dxshell.com/JTSync.html.  This application only runs on Windows OS.

Next month’s edition will discuss various QSO logging programs that are known to seamlessly integrate with WSJT-X and with on-line logging systems including ClubLog, Logbook of the World-LOTW, and QRZ.

Good DX de Howard WX7HS

Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by Howard, WX7HS

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DX & Contesting

By Dave, NK7Z.

Propagation, part IV


This month I will cover some of the prompt events that can have effects on propagation.  A prompt event is an event on the sun, which can have an affect on Earth, in a relatively short time.  Each of these items will be covered in this edition of Propagation.

Types of prompt events

There are a number of events that can be considered prompt, among them are, relativistic particles, X-rays, extreme UV, fast solar wind, flare of class, C, M, or X, and supersonic particles.  Below we will take each of these and cover that item in more detail.

Relativistic Particles

The sun emits a stream of matter at all times.  This is called the Solar Wind.  The sun is approxmattly eight light minutes away from earth.  The solar wind contains particles that travel at almost the speed of light, so they can arrive at the earth in 20 minutes or less.  Most of the solar wind is redirected by the magnetic field of the earth, so most of the solar wind does not penetrate the atmosphere.

What is a CME

The corona of the sun is the outer part of the solar atmosphere.  The structure of this part of the sun is controlled by magnetic fields.  Normally the solar magnetic field will not hold the material strongly to the sun, hence the solar wind…  However over a sunspot the magnetic field can be closed.  This captures the corona, and pressure can build.  At some point the pressure exceeds the holding power of the closed magnetic field, and the magnetic field above a sunspot explosively releases the trapped corona.  This is called a CME, or coronal mass ejection.  Depending on how moch pressure was built prior to release, the corona, (actual particles of teh sun), 

X-Rays, and extreme UV

During the day, the Sun’s X-ray and UV light increase the ionization of the ionosphere, creating the D and enhancing the E layers.  The F layer splits into two layers, while the D layer is normally not dense enough to reflect the radio waves.  The E layer does refract radio still.  Very low frequency signals make it through the D layer, and then bounce off the E layer back down towards the earth.  The refracted signal then goes back down through the D layer to the ground.   All of this weakens the signal, however when a solar flare occurs, the D layer becomes ionized, allowing signals to bounce off it, and back down…

During a solar flare X-ray energy increases the ionization of all the layers.  Thus the D layer now becomes strong enough to reflect the radio waves at a lower altitude, thus the radio signal travelw less distance (bouncing off D instead of E or F), this increases the signal strength of what you hear on the ground for signals that normally don’t penetrate the D layer.  Fast solar wind is less dense than slow solar wind.  Due to the increased speed it arrives sooner than slow solar wind.

Fast Solar Wind

Fast solar wind travels at speeds greater than 750 km/sec, and has a temperature higher than slower solar winds, which travel at 300-500 km/sec.   Fast solar wind normally originates from coronal holes, as opposed to slow solar wind, which normally originates from the suns equatorial belot, or “Streamer Belt”.

Flares of class, C, M, or X

Solar flares can last less than an hour, and in most cases it takes only eight minutes for the effects to reach the Ionosphere.   In most cases the ionosphere is disturbed by flare events, and the results can be unpredictable. 

Graphic Credits:

All graphics were created by either NASA, NASA visualization studio, or Wikipedia.  All graphics are used with permission, or via Creative Commons licensing.

Last Updated on September 25, 2022 by Web Manager

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Thank you!

…for taking the time to read our newsletter.  For more information on EARS, click this link.  We hope you have enjoyed your stay with us, and please check this page often, it is updated in real-time, and articles, can come and go at a moments notice…

Last Updated on July 11, 2022 by Dave, NK7Z

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