m2mThis year the Market-To-Market Relay will be held on Saturday October 8th.   The organizers know what a great job we do of looking after the runners and are looking forward to working with the area hams again.    The M2M Relay Starts in Omaha at Blue Cross Blue Shield in AkSarBen and finishes in Lincoln at the Haymarket District 78 miles later.   Teams of 7 members run 3 stages per person. Each stage is 3 to 5 miles long. The course follows trails, paved streets and gravel back roads of Nebraska.

Our job is to keep track of when the runners arrive at each stage and when the last runner has departed and relay that information to Net Control.   If minor medical assistance is needed we can summon the medical personnel who be available at every other exchange point. Omaha area hams cover the first half and the Lincoln area hams pick up when the race crosses the river at exchange point 9.   Both Net Controls will be in contact with the event organizers to relay how well the race is going and of any issues that have been relayed via the hams.     Mobiles and handhelds are usuable, depending on your location.

The exchange points get a bit busy with waves of runners coming and going, so it is best if there are at least two hams at each exchange point especially the later exchanges when the runners have spread out. WE also need to arrive before the runners and all the vans and usually we are there before the site setup crew and the exchange volunteers.   Also, two hams allow for a backup if there is equipment failure or if a last minute personal issue means you can't attend.   That means  18 (or more) volunteers. So we need you.

Below is the schedule of the times that hams will be needed. There is no need to arrive before your schedule arrival time.  This time is actually about 15 minutes prior to the arrival of the exchange setup crew and volunteers.  There is no need to be 15 minutes early, as your arrival time is 15 minutes early.  The setup crew and exchange volunteers are scheduled to be there about 15 minutes prior to the runners arriving.   Your departure time is also about 15 to 30 minutes after the last runner should depart your area.   This will let you “beat the traffic” of the tem vans, and be on site if the runners are running a bit ahead of schedule.

Exchange

Location

Time  Arrive  

Time Depart 

EXCHG 1 (Start)

Blue Cross

4:15

10:30

EXCHG 2

Al Veys Park

4:30

10:45

EXCHG 3

Twin Creek Cinema

5:00

11:30

EXCHG 4

Halleck Park

5:30

11:45

EXCHG 5

Papio South HS

6:00

12:15

EXCHG 6

Nebraska Christian College

6:30

13:00

EXCHG 7

Springfield Fairgrounds

7:00

13:30

EXCHG 8

MoPac Trail Parking Lot

8:00

14:10

EXCHG 9

Platte River Bridge Parking Lot

8:30

14:30

Please complete the following form if you would like to volunteer

Market to Market Relay 2016

Winter Field DayThere really is a Winter Field Day, and this year, it takes place over the January 28 - 29th weekend, sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA). The annual event’s stated purpose is to encourage emergency operating preparedness in the winter, but it’s also a great opportunity to operate in the great outdoors. The WFDA describes itself as a dedicated group of Amateur Radio operators who believe that getting ready for emergency communication in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that take place at ARRL Field Day each June, all while taking some additional unique operational concerns into account. The WFDA points out that disasters are unpredictable, and its goal is to help enhance operators’ skills and prepare for all environmental conditions typically found in the US and Canada throughout the entire year.

NPOTA 100th Birthday CrewEarly in the morning of December 31, 2016, NPOTA regulars, KA0VNY, N0TRK, K0CTU & KE0BHP met at Nebraska Crossing and grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonalds. KB0FBI and K0KUP joined the caravan to Homestead National Monument for the final day of National Parks on the Air. The group arrived at the site right at 9:00 am bringing with them chili - provided by KA0VNY and cinnamon rolls from N0TRK and set up 3 stations: one on 40 meters, one on 17 meters and one on 20 meters.

The bands were not in the greatest shape, but the trio of stations managed a steady stream of contacts. Over the course of the day WE0BEP, K0NEB and NU0C joined the group and helped with the operation and logging.

At about 4:00pm, CST they began the final phase of the year long operation. While most of the equipment was packed into the various cars, K0CTU and N0TRK just didn't want to stop. They moved their operations into the car so that their host for the day, Ranger Doris, could close up the buildings at 5:00pm CST - also known as 23:00 UTC.  Only an hour left in the event.

Since the team had been given the secret to exiting the park even after the gates had been locked (and confirming with park staff weeks before that it was OK) K0CTU and N0TRK began operations on 20 meters from their car.

The stations that they worked were strong, but not numerous. So, with the setting of the sun, the pair changed from their trusty 20 meter MFJ Ham Stick to their reliable 40 meter MFJ Ham Stick. For their efforts the propagation gods granted them with an NPOTA pile up. They worked in the dark and cold of the evening, grabbing as many call signs as quickly as they could with a quick "you are 59 from Mike November 46, QRZ". But at 23:59 with the logging of NA4MM from Montgomery Alabama, it was over.

The total for the day on all bands was 575. Numbers are still being tabulated, but at this point we know K0USA managed at total of 25 site activations and has confirmation of working 164 unique National Parks units.

Over all, National Parks on the Air has generated 1,104,684 QSOs out of 21,057 activations around the country.   Nearly 1500 unique callsigns took part in the activations, and nearly 17,000 hams have uploaded logs to Logbook of the World. The final deadline for all logs, both the NPS Site Activators and the Chasers is January 31st. So we have to wait until February for the final results.

Now, the group has to work on getting those QSL cards out! But the rumor is that they will be back at Homestead as K0USA/NE150 and of course for the Darkness over the Prairie event during the total eclipse in August.

AREDN Logo

The Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN™) is a high speed data network built with Amateur Radio Operators and Emergency Communications Infrastructure in mind.

  • Its is a self-configuring and self-healing network. Where possible, AREDN™ can establish connections with as many other AREDN™ compatible devices (nodes) as possible and form a redundant mesh like network.
  • AREDN™ nodes will automatically find the “most reliable” nodes (greatest chance of success on packet delivery) to attempt delivery of the packets sent across the network. Knowing the exact path to get to the destination is not necessary, only to know what the destination is.
  • AREDN™ uses commercial off-the-shelf hardware originally intended to be used for unlicensed WIFI and re-purposes it to fits the needs of Amateur Radio Operators. Using such common gear allows users to benefit from affordable pricing and easy availability of reliable communications gear.
  • By itself AREDN™ is only a networking technology – it provides the basis to move traffic around. It can be thought of as similar to a radio or a repeater, where the infrastructure is an AREDN™ node and the content that flows across it is one that the local users decide.
  • Networks built on top of AREDN™ are IP based, very similar to but not dependent upon, the Internet and operating under the rules for Amateur Radio operators. Well-used publicly documented protocols (IPv4) are utilized to provide the greatest flexibility to local implementers of these high speed networks
  • Services such as VoIP phone systems, email, instant messaging, web cameras, file sharing, etc are all possible

Locally a group of hams has been playing around with AREDN and its predessor BroadBand Ham Net (BBHN)  and call themselves the BOAR (Broadband Over Amateur Radio) Net.   They will be showing off their network and some of the  services they have available on their network at the April 14th meeting of the Ak-Sar-Ben Amateur Radio Club.