SPARC article submission and Published Boston Amateur Radio Club BY Steven Provost

2020 QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo –Steven Provost

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 7th-9th, there was a huge Ham Expo with numerous attendees. This was held by many sponsors at a virtual online convention center. There were background scenes of the Arizona desert, and live Avatars walking around entering different rooms, talking to each other.When you entered the virtual convention center and turned left, you’d bein the auditorium where many presentations were held for the three days.Here is a small sample of some of the ongoing discussions that were held:Keynote: COVID-19: Amateur Radio’s Impact On Problem Solving To Create A Global Response To The Pandemic – Dr. Scott Wright, K0MDHow to Solder – Steve Johnston, WD8DAS VP6R 160 Meters: Mutiny on the Bands! – Glenn Johnson, W0GJGPS Today – John Ackermann, N8URARKnet Wireless Emergency Intranet – Marcel Stieber, AI6MSThe History of Heath Company, the G.I. Bill, and Economics of Restoration – Paul Topolski, W1SEXRFinder BT1 HT Radio The Slot Antenna: Undiscovered Country for Most Hams – John Portune, W6NBCFrom Rotators to Baluns, What’s New At DX Engineering – Tim Duffy K3LRGet Active! Get On The Air! – Don Keith, N4KC If you turned right, in the Exhibit hall there were different companies present their equipment.Exhibitors List:100 Watt and a wireABR IndustriesAlexloop Electronics EireleARRL- the national association for Amateur RadioArt for ShacksBegali keys-i2rtf- ItalyBioenno powerConnect systems Inc.Dipoles USA.com

Dx EngineeringExpert linearsFasttrack to your ham radio LicenseFlexradioGigaPartsGigaParts- Authorized Icom DealerGigaParts- Authorized M&P I attended two interesting discussions in the Auditorium setting:1: Grounding antenna techniques for safety.2: Beginner’s discussion on getting on the air.I also attended a YouTube/Zoom channel gathering space/lounge. It was basically people who had YouTube channels and were Ham Radio operators. One of the groups was Ham Radio 2.0 I stepped in to thank them for those who are new to the Amateur Radio world. All in all, I had a great time, too bad this particular event only runs once a year. But next year, make sure you save the dates:March 13-14 2021 the QSO Today Ham Expo.

Train Watching With My AnytoneUV By steven Provost

I bought my Anytone DMR radio from Bridgecomm Systems a few months ago and have been trying to find a way to use it not only as an Amateur radio but also a general scanner. To listen to Commuter Rail and railroad freight companies, the first thing I tried to do was enter the frequencies into the programming software. When I typed them in I put the railroad frequency (example 160.800MHz) into both of the transmit and receive side of the programming software. When I first tried this, I didn’t receive any signals from any of the frequencies I had programmed into the software. I asked some people who I thought might be able to help me, and watched a few YouTube videos. This research indicated that I needed to have an analog setting, with low power, at 25K bandwidth, and both CTSS tones, decode and encode turned off. Next, I deleted the old frequencies from the channel list in the software and started with the frequencies of the Association of American Railroads.First I typed in the Channel Name has AAR # <number>, then type in the frequency. This should be a frequency in the160MHz band because that’s where all of the railroad communications take place in the US. I punched the frequency into the receiving side of the software, and left the transmit side set at a default of 440.000MHz because we wouldn’t be transmitting.To make sure of that, I set a check mark for the “Transmit Prohibit” setting of the software. Next I set the channel up as an analog signal with low power. The bandwidth was set for 25K. With all that done, I made sure to save my work by hitting ALT-O. I then went to the settings on the Anytone 878uv radio and went to the menu button. Once on the main menu, I scrolled down to the radio’s scan function. I hit the select button on the scan menu to turn on the scan, and let the radio run through the channels for some time to make sure I had entered the frequencies correctly. If everything was done correctly I expected to hear some railroad talk on any one of the 100 frequencies the American Association of Railroads use. Success!Now with everything setup in my Anytone DMR radio I can listen to Train Crews, and their internal communications. I can hear conductors, trainmen, engineers, firefighters, passenger train crew members, Chief of On-Board Services, stewards, dining car attendants, kitchen staff, attendants and more! I can go to any place in the United States and listen to the trains, one of my other favorite hobbies. If you enjoy trains as much as I do, you can follow the steps above and set up your radio to help you enjoy the railroad hobby. I hope to see you track side someday. A Police scanner or a two-way radio with the needed frequencies set up is one of the important tools to have with you when you are track side!A word of caution – never stand too close to the tracks. Stand back about 10 feet or more from the tracks for your safety. Lastly take only pictures, and leave only your footprints in the sand. Railroad frequencies used in the United States to program into your radio can be found here: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=7747.If you have any questions, please give me a call at 857-990-8549, or email me at stevenprovost570@gmail.com