September 2019

September 2019

DEC Bulletin

The first topic I would like to briefly touch on is Spectrum Efficiency. Spectrum pressures are going to grow especially in metropolitan areas where spectrum space is at capacity. As a result, there are waiting lists for repeater owners to get their repeaters on the air. At some point the FCC will probably have to put limits on repeater owners and limit the amount of bandwidth their repeaters can use. This is already happening in the Public Safety community. At the present time they are still around 12.5 KHz. They are required to get their bandwidth down to 6.25 KHz to accommodate additional users.

D-Star offers improved spectrum utilization. It took the lead in the amateur radio community and reduced its bandwidth to 6.25 KHz. By better utilizing the spectrum we get more functionality from the system. With 6.25 KHz bandwidth and 10 KHz channel spacing we can sandwich a D-Star repeater between two analog repeaters. If a repeater owner would replace an analog repeater with a D-Star repeater we could put three D-Star repeaters on the air in that same space.

Analog repeaters are not going to go away just yet. People are looking for ways to integrate newer digital technology and blend it with existing digital technologies such as APRS, IRLP, WL2K, RTTY and other modes.

The second item is…in the September 2007 issue of QST the ARRL CEO K1ZZ’s editorial on pg 9 said in part:

“…the traditional role of the Amateur Radio Communicator no longer matches what the Emergency Management Officials is looking for. Replacing their missing telephone is no longer enough…”

If there was ever a reason to give you cause is that the standard analog FM capabilities, we have today served us well. But if somebody can pick up a Smartphone and do something, we must ask ourselves a question. How is amateur radio better than what somebody can buy off the shelf? In many ways our competition for the future is going to be in people who can run out and buy an FRS/GMRS radio and provide the same voice only communication that we are currently able to provide in amateur radio. So if amateur radio is going to stay vital and participate in emergency communications we are going to have to be willing to step up to the plate, and be able to start providing capabilities that are above and beyond what somebody else is going to provide using standard FM radio. If we don’t start embracing other technologies in amateur radio, we’re going to end up at the bottom of the pile with all the others. Amateur radio should be setting the standards for all the other EMCOMM followers.


RS-MS1A ANDROID APP NET on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 PM

What is it: The Android App is an application you can download from the Google Play store to your Android devise (phone or tablet). For iOS users download RS-MS1l app from iTunes store onto your iOS devise (phone or tablet). The iOS app will ONLY work with the ID-4100 radio. The app allows us to do instant messaging, send photographs, and even has a map included so we can see exactly where each other is physically located.

Where is it: Reflector 055D.

What will be needed: An ICOM ID-31A, ID-51A PLUS, ID-51A PLUS2, ID-4100, ID-5100 or an IC-7100 radio. Some of the stations also use the DVAP or DV MEGA, and Raspberry Pi. The radio is connected to the app via the OPC-2350LU data cable. If the ID-4100 or the ID-5100 has the Bluetooth module installed, then the data cable is not needed. Connect the device via the Bluetooth.

What time: 7:30 PM MDT.

BBHN in the Park

There will be a Broadband Hamnet (BBHN) meeting held in Nations Tobin, Skyline Optimist Youth, Sue Young and Veterans Parks simultaneously via the Broadband MESH equipment on Saturday, September 28, from 10 to 11:30 AM.  We will use the video from the cameras and a conference call with the telephones as well as live chat with D-RATS for the meeting.  All are welcome to attend.  After the meeting we will all meet in Sue Young Park for a Hot Wash.  Come early and claim your tree. After the BBHN meeting there will be an ARES Orientation for those who are interested in becoming an ARES member.

Pico-balloon Launch

On September 28 (weather permitting) the West Texas Digital ARC (W5ELP) will launch a pico-balloon from Sue Young Park in NE El Paso. The balloon is a 36-inch Mylar party balloon and the payload are a 12.9-gram Skytracker. The payload has a GPS and an APRS transmitter (W5ELP-11) on board. It transmits its position every 2 minutes on 144.39 MHz APRS frequency and 10 seconds later 144.34 MHz APRS. The flight can be followed on The payload is solar powered so will only transmit during daylight hours.

Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged regarding the content of this article. Send and email to the address shown below.

Lew Maxwell, KB5HPT 
Amateur Radio Emergency Servise 
DEC, District 6, WTX Section