MSUARC Winter Update

Since revitalizing our social media presence, the MSUARC Facebook page has grown to over 100 Likes. Our new @W8MSU Twitter feed launched this week. Followership there is more slow to grow and depends on what you post. We had 35 faithful at last check.

W8EO and I participated in the first ever Michigan College Net this past Saturday. Jameson Eisele, president of the University of Michigan ARC was net control.  W8MSU was linked to the MICHIGAN Echolink reflector, courtesy of former MSUARC President, Mike Wolthuis KB8ZGL. Club advisor, Gregg Mulder WB8LZG is working to get the W8MSU Echolink functionality permanently repaired with a brand new CAT5 connection. If all goes as planned, we should be up and running again after the weekend. Keep an eye out for Node 289654 on your apps.

MSUARC’s club station, W8SH took first place in the Great Lakes Division in the most recent ARRL Sweepstakes. We also had a strong showing in the February ARRL School Club Roundup. Check the navigation menu for this weeks Radiosport contest calendar.

And make a note of this year’s Michigan QSO Party, scheduled for April 19-20. Come join the W8SH team and help us rack up the points.

It’s that time of year. I woke up this morning to some great band conditions on 10, 15 and 20 meters. We had to catch the train to Chicago, so I didn’t have time to do much more then answer a few CQs. I’m running an IC7000  barefoot through a G5RV hanging from the trees in my Shaw Estates backyard.  Last night I was able to pull N5ZGT out of the mud on 20 from New Mexico. The NM ARRL Division Director was testing out his new beam.

One thing that is constantly changing is the plethora of amateur radio smart phone applications. recently posted the latest list of their faves. I use the Echolink app on both my iPhone and on the Galaxy Note.

This year marks the League’s Centennial. ARRL will be celebrating it’s 100th birthday July 17-19 with it’s biggest gathering ever at the Connecticut Convention Center. This is ham radio’s equivalent of a “Rose Bowl Moment”, so I’m working hard to make the trip.

Are you heading to the Dayton Hamvention? This year’s annual pilgrimage dates are May 16-18.

The Raspberry Pi mini-computer has become the hottest new platform for amateur radio experimentation in a long time. There are a ton of ways to integrate it into your operations. The 2nd generation CPU is now widely available, complete with enclosures and peripherals. Whether you want to create your own stand-alone echolink node, build a repeater controller, track your APRS movements, or add a DVAP and a smartphone WiFi access point to create your own portable DSTAR hotspot, there are a ton of hams out there who are developing things and are happy to share.

Speaking of portable DVAPing, I took my Pi/DVAP unit with me to Indianapolis this week. I’m using the G4KLX image from the WesternDStar guys and an Edimax nano usb wifi adapter. The Pi is rock solid in the car. The only thing that kept me from 100% connectivity were the occasional holes the Verizon network. Thanks to W2GLD for elmering me through setup and testing.