2016 OCRA Christmas Dinner – December 12th

The OCRA Christmas Dinner Monday, December 12th will be $18.50 per person Paid at the door.  $18.00 if enough pre-register. If there is any change in price I will post after my next meeting with Kelly.

The location is the exchange club building in Hillsborough on Exchange Club Rd. The hall will be open at 6:00 pm with an expected serving time of 7:00pm. Going south in Hillsborough – to Sun Trust Bank (turn right). If going north – to Exxon Ctr turn left.  After turning on Orange Grove Rd, at the immediate right is Exchange Club Rd – turn right and in about 100 yards is the Exchange Club on the left.  If you have ever gone to the Sat morning gathering at Bojangles, the turn is the first stop light past Bojangles heading into Hillsborough. The other way in is to turn down the street that runs beside the Weaver Street  Grocery  parking lot (opposite side of the lot from the building) and proceed past the trestle to the Exchange Club on the right. Talk-in frequencies  145.450 & 147.225

Anyone needing more detailed directions may call me at 919-304-0796 or 919-455-3330

73 everyone,


This is a list of the items to date selected by the last number of votes:


Salmon Broiled / Baked
Baked Ham
Roast Beef
Chicken Tenders


Vegetarian Pinto Beans
New Potatoes
Cornwallis Yams
String Beans
Vegetarian Lasagna


House Salad

Iced Tea – Sweet and Unsweet


Apple Cobbler
Chocolate Chess Pie
Caramel  Iced Pound Cake
Peanut Butter Pie

Additions or substitutions are possible but I need early notice to let Kelly know. I also need to know if anyone needs any special dietary conditions or has food allergies.

Monday Night 10 Meter SSB Net (Nov 21, 2016

From Bruce, N1LN… Tonight we had 15 check-ins.


  1. KM4NOU – Joel: Joel’s son and family are in for the holidays and brought a few dogs.  Not much radio activity but did sit in as the Net Control for a Sunday morning net.
  2. KA2DEW – Tad: His horizontal loop had an issue but the recent hurricane took it down so it was time to fix / replace everything.  The back yard looks very different now with all the trees gone.   The new antenna is an Alpha-Delta fan dipole with the 40/75 section being trapped.  Enjoyed the JARS Hamfest and bought a few things including a long boom 70cm antenna for only $40.00.
  3. WA2ROC – Dick: Running the Collins KWM-2 tonight.  Just finished a QSO with some VA friends on 160 AM.  The 80 meter loop survived the recent wind and rain.  The 160 mtr rig is a Johnson Viking II and a Hallicrafters SX-101.  Not much else to report tonight.
  4. W4BOH – Wilson: Also enjoyed the JARSfest this year.  Lots of good stuff for sale.  Good to hear everyone tonight and all the signals are stronger than usual.  Had an issue with the BOH mobile so the first attempt at the trip ended early and everyone went home for a replacement vehicle.  Time for a new water pump.  Work continues on the portable dipole.
  5. KR4UB – Dan: Not much going on in the radio world this week.  Enjoyed The Egg and I and also the JARSfest.  His big purchase was about a $20.00 purchase of cable ties.  Got the wood stove going tonight.
  6. KA5ETS – Doug: Have not been on much lately – was doing some 6 meter experimenting with Tad last night.  Conclusion – needs more elevation for his antenna.  Been working lots and also taking a few courses so not much free time.  Hope to have some time this weekend to get on the air some.
  7. KZ1X – Steve: The only ham activity to report is a bit of a story – W8VR in Detroit had a QSO with Steve’s uncle when he (W8VR) was in his teens.  He is now in his 80s.  Steve will soon be having a QSO with him using the same rig that W8VR originally used.  The rigs were mostly homebrew with receivers of the same vintage.
  8. KJ4UZU – Clint: This afternoon he was able to work the Central African Republic for a new country if it gets confirmed.   Had a good time at JARS.  Bob, W4RWC, made the trip up from Florida for the fest.  Bought another TS-2000 because it kind of followed him home.  Hope it will work well – it is in good shape.  Worked Australia this morning on JT65.
  9. KU4GC – Dee: Did get Central African Republic confirmed from an earlier QSO for a new one.  Went to JARSfest and he and MK enjoyed themselves.   Missed seeing some of the local gang.  Helped get new tires on Lenore’s van due to a sidewall leak.  This morning a complete new set of tires were put on.  Still stuck at 80 Qs on 80 with a goal to increase the totals.
  10. K0OUX – Vic: Not much new to report – no snow at the cabin.  His friends reported 4” of snow in Connecticut.  Enjoyed seeing many of the gang at JARS and was able to sell several things.
  11. KF4PAB – Lenore: Nice to see many of the gang at JARS this weekend.  Bought a new rig for the base installation for UHF and VHF.  Not yet installed but it will soon be on the air.  Enjoyed eating at a Smithfield BBQ restaurant.
  12. KM4MBG – Jack: Nice large net tonight.  Sorry to have missed Wilson but did see many from the BOH mobile party.  Gearing up for Thanksgiving on Thursday and will enjoy the cooking and also the eating.  Trying to squeeze five work days into 4.
  13. NC4CX – Butch: Not yet done with the leaves – expect to be working on them for another month.  Did get TL8 in Central Africa today on 20 SSB.  Was able to get through in the third or fourth call.  That was just about all the ham radio but now up to 201 countries.
  14. K2MZ – Duke: Good evening to all!  Have a combination of guilt and jealous due to no activity.  Been working on getting his airplanes in flying condition.
  15. N1LN – Bruce: Net Control.  Enjoyed ARRL SS this weekend.  Also getting ready for CQWW-CW the weekend after Thanksgiving.


Posted by: “Bruce Meier” <bemeier@bellsouth.net>

ARES Net – Saturday November 26, 2016

Check-ins: 13 – WB4P(net control), KU4GC(backup net control), W4ORD, W3AHL, KR3AM, KI4RAN, KW4KZ, KM4BMG, KI4MXP, W1KES, KR4UB, NA4VY, KE4NBB.

Duration: 15 minutes

Next Week’s Net Control: KW4KZ (12/10-KR3AM, 12/17-KM4MBG, 12/24-W3AHL, 12/31-KU4GC)


OCRA Christmas Party – On 12/12/16 at the Exchange Club in Hillsborough at 19:00. Lad, W4ORD will post the details on the NCOCRA Yahoo Group soon. If you haven’t signed up already, let him know you will be attending. (W4ORD)

Training: Winlink Radio E-mail System Overview

E-mail has become the primary messaging method for most people, companies and agencies. When Internet service is unavailable in an area due to severe weather or equipment failures, Amateur Radio can provide backup e-mail communication for critical messages using the digital Winlink Radio E-mail Systems.

Winlink is a worldwide system capable of transferring messages anywhere in the world where Winlink-equipped radio stations exist. It was originally developed to support the maritime community. The messages can consist of simple text or can contain binary file attachments such as pictures, spreadsheets, documents, PDF files, etc. Since the radio data transfer rate is much slower than typical Internet connections, file sizes need to be limited, with an enforced maximum size of 120KB.

The Winlink system actually consists of several parallel systems. In addition to the one used by Amateur Radio operators, there are separate systems with different frequency allocations for MARS and SHARES.

The Winlink system has three levels:

1. Client Systems — Radio, computer with Winlink software (Winlink Express or Paclink) , TNC (or sound card) and you, the end-user.

2. Radio Message Server (RMS) – Radio gateways between the client (end-user) and the Winlink system backbone. On the air 24X7, scanning multiple frequency for client requests to connect to the system to send or receive messages.

3. Common Message Servers (CMS) – Winlink’s Internet backbone with 5 CMS locations that are redundant and fault-tolerant. They are located on 3 continents. One CMS is sufficient for normal system operation. Central storage of incoming messages, which can be forwarded to an RMS and Client via RF or delivered to Internet e-mail addresses immediately.

Winlink uses four connection modes:

1. HF Pactor 1, 2, 3 and 4 – Fast and reliable but requires an expensive modem ($1500+).

2. HF WINMOR – “Poor man’s Pactor”. Not as good as Pactor, but operates with inexpensive sound card device ($100). Speed between Pactor 2 and 3.

3. VHF/UHF Packet
9600 baud – Fast, reliable, range limited and requires $400 modem (Kantronics or SCS Tracker).
1200 baud – Slower, but can use inexpensive Byonics TinyTrak-4 modem.

4. Telnet – Non-radio connection through the Internet. Good for training and use if radio is down or network is busy.

Orange County ARES has equipment capable of Pactor 3 and 1200 baud packet modes. Several OC ARES volunteers have personal equipment for packet, Pactor and Winmor operation also. NC AUXCOMM has several stations capable of Pactor 4 operation to support statewide messaging for NCEM.

Pactor is the most popular mode and operates at four speed levels ranging from about 100 bps (bits per second) for Pactor 1 to 5500 bps for Pactor 4, with 2000 bps being more typical for the Pactor 3 controllers. With automatic data compression/decompression, the effective throughput can be considerably higher however.

While Winlink typically uses the Internet to deliver radio messages received by the RMS gateways from Client stations to the CMS nodes, the system is very flexible and can function in several configurations that do not require any Internet service.

Winlink’s interoperability features connect different types of systems:

1. Bridge different radio capabilities (VHF/UHF/HF)

2. Bridge protocols: Pactor, Winmor, Packet, Robust Packet

3. Seamless integration with Internet e-mail

What Winlink Offers for EmComm:

1. Standard e-mail format with many features
2. Binary file attachments — pictures, pdf, spreadsheets
3. Automatic message compression/decompression
4. 100% accuracy using ARQ (Automatic Repeat Request) protocol
5. Encryption capabilities available to Agencies on non-ham channels
6. Time independence — ability to collect messages while unattended
7. Good operation at most power levels
8. Not limited by station-to-station propagation
9. Message logging, and ICS report generation
10. Wide adoption by EmComm related agencies

Winlink software is available at no cost, although a $35 donation to the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation (develops and supports the system) is suggested. Most modern ham radios can be used for HF/VHF/UHF messaging by adding a TNC or audio device.

For more information contact W3AHL or see:


http://www.philsherrod.com/Winlink/Winlink_PowerPoint.pdf (the source of some of the info in this brief overview).

There are several Yahoo Groups that provide support for Winlink users (request to join to view info):




Steve Ahlbom, W3AHL
Orange County ARES/AUXCOMM Emergency Coordinator