February Training Notes & Updates

We had another excellent training session on Saturday, February 27th, at South Seattle College.

Thank you to Jon, KL7GT, for an informative presentation on how to respond to media inquiries and the role of the Public Information Officer (PIO). Thanks to Bill, N6NBN, for a thorough overview of APRS and ways to use it in daily life and emergency events. A link to his presentation can be found here: APRS, An Introduction, Presentation to Seattle ACS, Feb. 27th 2016.

Carl, N7KUW, gave us a Tech Tip on software defined radio (SDR) dongles that can turn any computer into a receiver. From Carl:

The QST article for the receiver dongle was in the January 2016 edition, page 30. It is titled “All-Mode 1 KHz to 1.7 GHz SDR Receiver”. The main focus of the article is how to build a low-frequency converter for the dongle, to enable it to receive below 30 MHz. However the dongle will work just fine all by itself from 30MHz up. You don’t need to build the converter unless you also want to receive HF.

The article suggests you do a couple of internet searches. First for the dongle itself, search for “R820T USB dongle DVB-T+DAB+FM”.  I just did a quick search and it pulls up a couple of Amazon links where you can buy the dongle, including: http://www.amazon.com/DVB-T-RTL2832U-RTL-SDR-Receiver-Compatible/dp/B00PDM76ZW.  It looks like the current price is about $13.95

The software is SDR# (SDRSharp), available at www.sdrsharp.com

In addition, there is a world of necessary information at www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-quick-start-guide/ – follow the step by step setup procedures at this link.

Between the QST article, and the information at the links you can find what you need to get up and running.


We also have some big events coming up in the next few months. CommAcademy is showing up at South Seattle College again on April 9th and 10th. Registration is now open through the website. This is always a worthwhile event for emergency communicators, and many ACS members will be presenting again this year.

April 30th will see the next Fifth Saturday Drill. We will take this drill as a dry run for our participation in the Cascadia Rising event in June. And Cascadia Rising, June 7th – 9th, will require a lot of resources during normal business hours. More information will be sent on this event in the next week or so. Following the regional Cascadia Rising activity, Seattle ACS will be supporting the Emergency Communications Hubs for their exercise on June 11th.

Field Day is the weekend of June 25th and will also be at South Seattle COllege. Doug, KD7DK, is heading up that event. If you are interested in participating contact Doug Kingston.

There will be a lot of opportunities to practice your radio skills this summer so keep a look out for more information.