Watches, Warnings & Advisories for Sunflower Co.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

K5JAW Operating Notes

It has been quite a while since I posted any Operating Notes, mostly because there's not been a whole lot of activity at Station K5JAW! 

I've sort of put HF operations to the side, save occasional participation in the Mississippi Section Phone Net on 3862 kHz in the evenings.  Why no HF activity?  I really don't have a reason.  Like other aspects of amateur radio, I guess we all go through phases or seasons in the hobby.

Most of my activity has been on local 2-meter FM a few nights a week with nets and local chatter.  A couple of us have tried to renew an interest in packet.  Along with KC5WQ, I have a packet station on the air when I'm not on voice.  But, with just two stations, there's not a whole lot going on.  If it doesn't take hold, there's no real loss.  We both had the equipment lying around, and figured we might as well put it to use.  We'd like to explore the use of packet for stored messages, while we're looking at Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS) for "live" use.  The good thing about NBEMS is there's really no absolute requirement to have hardware interfaces, unlike packet's need for a TNC.  However, NBEMS doesn't accommodate store-and-forward or store-and-retrieve messages.

Finally, K5JAW is now hosting a NOAA Weather Radio monitoring system in cooperation with the NWS Jackson, MS office, to monitor their transmitter KIH-50 at Inverness, Mississippi.  A small receiver at K5JAW receives and decodes the data packets that accompany weather statements, watches and warnings.  The decoded data is then relayed to NWS Jackson via the internet, where it is displayed on a situational awareness board for forecasters to know if a transmitter is down, or if the data is not being properly relayed through the system.  There were a few minor kinks in getting the system set up, but with the help of great technical personnel at NWS Jackson, we seem to have a functional monitor in place.  It occupies very little space, and needed only power and a single port on my local area network.  It's just another aspect of a long-standing relationship between the amateur radio community and the National Weather Service.

Until next time, 73...

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