Pet Net Moves to 7:30 p.m.

The Pet Net for ham radio pet lovers
The Pet Net
Day: Every Thursday
Time: 1930 (7:30 p.m.) Mountain time
Hosted: RMRL repeater 145.340 (tone 103.5)
IRLP: 9618
Echolink: 29618
AllStar: 27408

The Pet Net has moved to a new time of 7:30 (19:30) on Thursday evenings. (We used to start at 7:00). We have a lot of fun and interesting discussions about all aspects of pet parenthood.  We want YOU to join us!

Find us on the 145.340 (a negative offset and a tone of 103.5), IRLP node #3350. OR you can connect to us via IRLP (thank you, Friends Ham Radio Network) IRLP: 9618; Echolink: 29618; AllStar: 27408.

The topic for the week is usually posted in advance on our Facebook page. Be sure to visit us and post your suggestions for future topics, or share a link to an interesting article or product.

The Pet Net
Day: Every Thursday
Time: 1930 (7:30 p.m.) Mountain time

 

Pssst

On Friday evening tune in to the same frequency at the same time for the YL Family Net.  A fun, relaxing family-friendly net where third party check-ins are welcomed and encouraged and we just have fun talking to everyone: women, men, teens, and kids. Fun conversation-starter topics.  The third Friday of the month is trivia night! (We don’t keep score, just have fun.)

Preparedness Apps for Android and iPhone

By Steve Cosentino, KD0WMO

The topic for the Preparedness Net on 1/20/2018 was about apps that you use as part of your preparedness strategy. The RMRL expressed interest in publishing the list that we compiled, so here it is. Most apps are available for both platforms: iPhone and Android. Most are free unless otherwise noted.

Weather:

Quite a number of people mentioned their favorite weather app, and among those mentioned were:

  • Weather Underground (local to your neighborhood, free on both platforms.)

Weather Radar:

  • MyRadar Weather Radar (free and paid versions, both platforms.)
  • Dark Sky – Hyperlocal Weather (Android) $2.99.
  • Dark Sky Weather (iOS) $3.99.
  • AccuWeather (free and paid versions, both platforms.)
  • NOAA Weather Radar & Alerts (Android, although iOS offers several NOAA Weather Radar apps.)

Maps:

  • Google Maps – free on both platforms.
  • US Topo Maps Pro (Android $11.99) ATLOGIS Geoinformatics also offers US Topo Maps free on the Android platform. (They do not appear to offer any iOS apps, although there are plenty of topographical map apps to select from on the iOS platform.)
  • Offline Maps & Navigation (although this is the specific name of a free Android app, there are plenty of offerings in this category: Google Maps and others have offline options.)
  • My GPS Coordinates –  free on both platforms.
  • Google Sky Map (Android only, free, however, both platforms have a plethora of star gazing apps available, ranging in price from free on up to aviation-class maps that cost over $100.)

Ham Radio:

  • QRZdroid, now known as QRZ for Android is available on Amazon for free at this link: https://www.amazon.com/QRZ-for-Android/dp/B00805DDZ6 (We couldn’t find the QRZ android app on Google Play, but found an app called HAM Radio World Prefixes.)
  • QRZ Callsign Search is available for the iOS Platform (free.)
  • RepeaterBook (a free Repeater Directory) is available on both platforms.
  • Ham Radio Dipole Calculator by Haydn Brook, Free on Android. There are antenna calculators for the iOS platform ranging from $.99 to $2.99.
  • Ham Clock – both platforms have a free app called Ham Clock, although they are from different developers, they both provide local and UTC time, a handy tool for all hams. Free on Android, $.99 on iOS.

Police Scanners:

  • Scanner Radio (logo is orange circle with HT scanner, available on the Android platform, offering a free and paid version.)
  • Broadcastify (free and paid versions on both platforms.)
  • Scanner 911 (free app on Android platform, although there are a plethora of scanning apps, both free and paid, available on both platforms.)

Medical:

  • Red Cross – The American Red Cross offers a multitude of apps, ranging from Blood Donor to Earthquake, Hurricane, Flood, and Tornado preparation apps for both platforms, all free.
  • WebMD – WebMD offers a variety of apps for both platforms including general health information and specialization apps.

Miscellaneous Apps:

  • Wild Edibles* – Android $4.99, iOS $5.99.
  • SAS Survival Guide. Lite version free, iOS and Android full version $5.99.
  • Zello – walkie talkie app available free for both platforms

*Other apps of this type are free.

The Preparedness Net is hosted by Steve Cosentino every Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. local time on the Colorado Connection repeater system, a unique statewide two meter linked FM radio system with additional coverage into adjacent states.  The Colorado Connection, consisting of 15-repeaters, is a 501(c)3, relying on donations and volunteers to keep the system operational.

Meet your new Chief Technical Officer

Mike Kionka at the RMRL Christmas dinner
Mike Kionka at the 2017 Christmas dinner

At our December meeting, Mike Kionka, KI0GO, was named the Chief Technical Officer, a new position in the Rocky Mountain Radio League club.

Mike’s interest in radio communications was piqued as a teen when he started out playing with scanners and CB radio.

He went on to get his ham license in 1995 with the call sign KB0UCA. Mike then upgraded to Advanced around 1997 and got the call sign KI0GO. Although he upgraded to Extra around 1999 (after they eliminated the 20 wpm Morse code requirement), he kept the KI0GO callsign.

Mike graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2001 with a degree in electrical engineering. When he’s not helping out the RMRL, Mike works as a professional electronics engineer on radio and microwave communications systems.

In the summer he keeps busy with motorcycle road racing (http://mra-racing.org) on his Kawasaki Ninja 250. In the winter, he enjoys snowmobiling.

Mike has done a phenomenal job for the club, going to great lengths to get to and repair our repeaters and in bringing up our new DMR equipment. The next time you hear him on the air, be sure to join us in saying, “Thank you, Mike!”

Just for fun: Morse Code text message tone

Morse Code ring tone
Download a new ringtone

From Becky, KD0AOE. I rely on text messages for important communications and wanted a unique tone that would be sure to grab my attention. I ended up making my own ringtone for text messages. It says simply “New Message” in Morse code.

You are welcome to download it for your phone, in either the iPhone .m4r ringtone format or a .wav file that can be used on your Android phone.  Right click on the link and select “Save link as …” to save it to your computer.

I’ll leave you to Google how to load the files to your smartphones.  I used this Morse Code Translator site to create the file.

Do you have anything to share?  A smartphone program that relates to ham radio perhaps?  E-mail me at .

RMRL 2017-2018 Holiday Schedule

There will be no Rocky Mountain Radio League Nets on the following days:

 

2017

Monday, December 25th, Christmas Day

 

2018

Monday, January 1st, New Years Day

Monday, May 28th, Memorial Day

Monday, September 3rd, Labor Day

Monday, December 24th, Christmas Eve

Monday, December 31st, New Year’s Eve

Change in frequency – Pet Net and YL Family Net

Please note that effective immediately, the Pet Net and the YL Family Net are moving to the 145.340. The Pet Net is on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and the YL Family Net is on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  (All times are Mountain.)

Why the change? The 145.340 has IRLP and we will be connecting up with the Friends Ham Radio Network, IRLP 9618, Echolink 29618 and AllStar node 27408.

The Pet Net is everything pets.  Cats, dogs, snakes, or goats, we don’t care. If you have a pet, had a pet, are thinking of getting a pet, have a friend who has a pet, and just want to share all the goofy and wonderful things that pets bring to our lives, then join us.

The YL Family Net is like a pot luck for your friends and family.  Not just for YLs, it’s for everyone: men and children welcome.  Third party check-ins are welcomed and encouraged.  A relaxed atmosphere in which to discuss such topics as How do you spend your spare time? Categories: 15 minutes or less, a couple hours or less, or all afternoon and/or evening.  Also share things like a favorite life hack or how you like to save or spend money.  If you had unlimited time and money, where would you vacation?  A variety of topics discussed in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Come and join in the fun!

New website photographs

The Rocky Mountain Radio League is very fortunate to count Kevin Scofield, KD0VHD, as a member and generous contributor.  An award-winning photographer, Kevin had already granted permission to use his amazing panoramic photograph of Denver looking east. It is the first photo that you see when you enter the site.  He recently granted permission to use another one of his photos in our header, it’s the third rotating image, a sunburst at Squaw Mountain.  The constraints of the header dimensions required some distortion, so please enjoy this view of that image in it’s original dimensions.

We’ve added the copyright notice to protect Kevin’s work, but you should contact him directly to purchase a copy without the copyright notice.

Thank you, Kevin!

Sunburst at Squaw Mountain. Thank you to Kevin, KD0VHD, for allowing us to use this beautiful work on our website.

Win a prize in our Summer Membership Drive!

lots of winners during our summer membership drive
Be a winner during our Summer Membership Drive!

Be prepared to be a winner!

For three months beginning June 11th and running through September 5th, the RMRL is holding a membership drive – with prizes awarded to the members who refer the most new members to the Rocky Mountain Radio League.

The rules are simple:

  1. Eligibility.  All winners must be members in good standing (dues current.)
    1. Members of the Board of Directors are not eligible for any prizes. (K1DUN, KD0AOE, WT0C, and WN0EHE.)
    2. All others currently holding positions with the RMRL, such as the technical staff, ARE eligible.
  2. Renewals do not count, the person must be a new member.  A renewal is defined as someone whose membership has not expired or whose membership will expire during the period of this Summer Membership Drive.  In order to count as a new member, the membership had to have expired on or before 5/31/2017.
  3. To be counted as a “new member,” the person (individual, family, or youth) has to both fill out the membership form AND pay their dues.
  4. The new member must name you as the referrer in their application.  The online form asks “Did someone refer you to the RMRL? Let us know who we can thank!” with a place for the Callsign and name of the referrer.  The PDF form has a box that reads “Referred by:” also with a place for the Callsign and name of the referrer.
  5. Prize tiebreaker: The member who has checked into the Monday night RMRL net the most during the period of the membership drive will be awarded the prize in the case of a tie.

All members who refer 5 or more people will be awarded one (1) free one-year membership.  They can use it for themselves or designate a person of their choosing.  Since they, or the person they designate, already has a current membership, the free membership will be applied to the following year.  For every 5 members, a free one-year membership will be awarded.  Bring in 10 members, receive two (2) free one-year memberships and so on.

MD-380 awarded to the person with the most new memberships
Wow! A brand new MD-380 could be yours! Bring in 6 or more members to be eligible.

The members who refer a minimum of 6 or more members will be eligible to win a free radio!  A brand new, in-the-box, TYT MD-380.  That is a DMR digital radio, 400-480UHF; an extremely popular choice for those wanting to explore the world of digital ham radio.  The member who has the most referrals after meeting the minimum wins, the tiebreaker is how many times the referrer checked into the RMRL Monday night net during the period of the Summer Membership Drive.

Everyone is a winner!  Not everyone will win a prize, but we’re all winners when our club gains new members.  It makes the RMRL stronger and that’s good for all of us! Be a part of a club that is constantly evaluating new technologies, keeping their existing repeaters in good repair and working order, and welcomes every licensed ham.  Be a part of one of the friendliest clubs on the Front Range!

Join us!

Note: The radio has been generously donated. No club funds have been allocated for this radio.

The Pet Net officially changes its name

The Pet Net for ham radio pet lovers
Join in the fun on the Pet Net every Thursday evening at 1930 hours (7:30 p.m. Denver time) .

It’s official – the Denver Area Pet Net is now … The Pet Net! Whether you have a dog, cat, snake, pig, or goat, have fun connecting with other pet parents. Facebook page. On the 145.340-.  Thanks to the connectivity provided by N0STY and the FriendsHamRadio.net, the net is now available far beyond the Greater Denver Metro Area.

 

How to sound like a pro when operating on a repeater

 

repeater guidelines
How to sound like a pro when operating on a repeater

This guide was written in an effort to help Elmer newly-licensed hams (and those who may or may not have a CB background) on common conventions used when operating on repeaters. None of us are perfect and even long-time hams slip up now and then, but we hope that this guide will help you sound like a pro when operating on repeaters.

The guide provides positive guidelines, and lays out common nomenclature used by convention on repeaters. There are no hard and fast rules. Your ham license won’t be revoked, no one is going to laugh and point, but you are more likely to get a positive response when you sound like you know the lingo and use it appropriately.

See the companion document: Participating in a Net.