May 7, 2013
New York amateur is 1300th TALARC member: Early in April the club reached a new membership high. John, KC2TFE, of Little Falls, N.Y., is member No. 1,300. Not that he wins anything for this distinction, but he can sure claim bragging rights to the milestone mark on The American Legion Amateur Radio Club's membership roster. Congratulations to you, John, and welcome aboard!!
We're slowly getting better, but still realizing shortcomings here and there with our monthly HF and IRLP nets, which are conducted on the second Saturday of each month. Right now TALARC is focused on increasing IRLP activity, and improving HF network coordination, scheduling and frequency assignments. Let's look first at IRLP.
IRLP, the Internet Radio Linking Project, is a means to participate in worldwide communications regardless of an operator's level of licensing or equipment restrictions. Through IRLP it is possible to communicate with another amateur station across the country - even around the world - on your 5-watt handy talky by linking to a repeater station in your area that is linked to IRLP. TALARC Board member Bill Sloan, NZ9S, has done a yeoman's job of taking the significant aspects of IRLP and rolling them into a clean, concise explanation of and instructions for IRLP use. Bill will take you step by step and get you connected, specifically, to the TALARC Net. Bill's article is at http://www.legion.org/hamradio/irlp.
Addressing matters on the HF net are a little more involved. While the number of HF check-ins has increased recently, the net is yet hampered by conditions atmospheric and man-made. The 20-meter band at/near 14.310 has been fair for our needs, but far from ideal. HF contact with Craig, W3CRR Net Manager, has been greatly improved with assistance from Everett, WA3DVO, in Maryland, and Bill, KI0CW, in South Dakota. But we are still hearing from many of you, noting an inability to be heard or to hear Net Control.
To address this we need additional assistant net controls, folks like Everett and Bill, with big rigs that can hear and be heard and relay communications to Net Control. Our monthly net could benefit greatly with assistance from the New England area, the Desert Southwest, the deep South and the Central States regions. If you have the time and the inclination to assist in these areas, contact Net Manager Craig, W3CRR, at email@example.com.
The TALARC Board is also looking at options to the 20-meter net schedule that include a possible move to 40-meters and days/times other than Saturday afternoons.
Limited Operating Schedule for HQ
We have heard from several TALARC members with a suggestion to establish a K9TAL station operation schedule. Doing so will allow those who aren't able to make the weekend nets or Special Event Operations to have contact with Legion Headquarters and trade QSL cards with K9TAL. The board likes the idea and is considering twice-a-month operations on Wednesdays, midday. For more insight on this idea, check out the TALARC Forum piece by Lee, WA2VFK, at http://www.legion.org/forums/ham-radio.
TALARC Facebook Page
Here's another suggestion from TALARC members: establishing a Facebook page for the club. We're not sure just how much interest there is among the membership. If you're a social-media kind of person and believe that Facebook can benefit the Legion's radio club, let us know by taking the subject up on the TALARC Forum page at the address in the previous item.
Emergency Communications Exercises
I got word earlier this month from the gang at American Legion Post 275 at Prince Georges County, Md., that the post's amateur radio team, N3TAL, recently participated in an ARES emergency preparedness drill where team members staffed the operations center. Check out their photos and summary of their work at http://www.legion.org/hamradio/photos.
TALARC Website Member Art
If you have a website or would like to show you are a member of TALARC on your QRZ.com page, just send us an email requesting TALARC member art. There are several styles to choose from and we will email them to you on request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 Cross Band Communications Test
The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are co-sponsoring the annual military/amateur radio communications tests in celebration of the 63rd anniversary of Armed Forces Day (AFD). Although the actual Armed Forces Day is celebrated on Saturday, May 18, the AFD Military/Amateur Crossband Communications Test will be conducted on May 11 to prevent conflict with the Dayton Hamvention (May 17-19 ), which is the same weekend as the celebrated Armed Forces Day.
The celebration features traditional military-to-amateur crossband communications SSB voice and Morse Code tests. These tests are great for TALARC members since they give us an opportunity to demonstrate our technical skills and receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station. QSL cards will be provided to those stations making contact with the military stations.
A special certificate will be provided to all stations who copy a special Armed Forces Day message from the Secretary of Defense in digital modes. For full details, go to: http://usamars.us/crossband_2013.htm.