VHF/UHF Digital Voice Modes Presentation

Here are the slides presented at the meeting this morning.

There was more interest in the VHF/UHF Voice Digital Modes than the HF Digital Modes so I’m doing them out of order.

I’ll talk through the HF Digital modes most likely for the April meeting, but they’re attached here for those who are interested.


***Update:  Here are some practical notes for a user trying to use his or her new D-Star, Fusion or DMR radio:

First of all, D-Star, Fusion and DMR can all work as stand-alone repeaters (with or without internet connectivity).

To utilize their internet connected capabilities:


D-Star (ICOM)

You must first register your call sign. To register your call sign:


http://www.dstarusers.org/repeaters.php (to find your nearest D-Star repeater)


Yaesu Fusion

No registration required. To start using Yaesu Fusion (which is connected to others using WIRES-X), just tune your radio to the nearest Fusion repeater (Node) (with WIRES-X) and connect to a room.

To find active Nodes and Rooms:




You must first register and get a “subscriber ID”. First determine the network your nearest DMR repeater is on, then:

DMR-MARC: https://www.dmr-marc.net/ “Register ID” tab, then “User Registration” button

Brandmeister: https://brandmeister.network/?page=register and fill in the form


Hope this helps.

East Texas VHF/UHF Repeater List

*Updated 18 Feb 2018.  In the interest of posting accurate *and* complete information, I’m still waiting on a clarifying email response on an active Yaesu System Fusion repeater (with WIRES-X). I’ll update the list when I get that information confirmed. ALSO, just a heads-up:  Plans are in the making for another 70cm Fusion repeater (no WIRES-X) in Lakeport, a 220Mhz analog repeater in Longview, a DMR repeater in Kilgore and a 6 meter repeater in Kilgore. I’ll update the list when I can verify they’ve gone live.  And of course, send me an email via “my call sign” AT arrl DOT net if you have any corrections or additions and I’ll keep it updated.


Morse Code anyone?

Terry (KG5WO), Lloyd (WO5W) and I were talking about how many passing references we hear about people wanting to learn morse code. So we decided to try to do something about it. In order to do something about it, we need to determine who, when, and where. If you’re interested, send me an email (“my callsign” AT arrl DOT net) and I’ll start to compile a list of names.

Let me caution you about the term “interested.” There’s a difference between “interested” and “wanting it.” Being “interested” is not enough to learn morse code. It’s going to take a commitment on your part. If you’re willing to commit, we’re willing to commit. Commit to what? Well, learning morse code is not a short-term effort. What’s long-term, you ask? Initially, I’ll put together a lesson plan that will require 12, one-hour meetings. Whether we meet twice per week or once per week, week night or weekends is to be determined. Where we meet is to be determined. Once we have a list of names (who are willing to pledge a commitment), we’ll try to figure out what works for everyone. If we meet only once per week, there will be home work for sure. If we meet twice per week, there may still be some homework.

Cost to enroll?  It’ll be FREE.  However, you’ll have to provide your own pen/pencils and paper to write on.

If we do this, the graduating class members will be able to copy 5 words per minute morse code. And who knows? Since that’ll be quite a significant mile-stone in your journey to experience the wonders of ham radio, you might get a nicely engraved plaque suitable for hanging in your ham shack!

We’ll bring this up at the next LETARC club meeting.


Jerry Ritchie Presents: Smith Charts

From Jerry Ritchie of station WA5OKO:

The HP-8753C Vector Network Analyzer cost $30,000 when it was new. Its weight is about 50 pounds and takes up a lot of space on my work bench.  It was one of my first instruments that provided Smith Charts.  20 years later, they about the size of a pack of cigarettes  and cost about $400 and have a range of 1 MHz to 3 GHz.  The MiniVNA Tiny’s size makes my MFJ-259B look like a boat anchor.

I compare the VNA instrument to the original cell phone. When cell phones first came out, I couldn’t imagine why I would ever need one.  Most amateurs look at Smith Charts like they are something from outer space, but they will eventually talk about that SWR meter they used in the old days to test antennas.

I hope this article will make the transition a little easier.

Jerry, WA5OKO

Smith Charts, by Jerry Ritchie WA5OKO