Comm-Center Report as of January 16th, 2009

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 14:46:51 -0500 (EST)
From: Jay Nugent 
To: ARROW-Red Cross 
Subject: [ARROW-RedCross] COMM-CENTER update as of 090116

   The following are the most recent updates to the Comm-Center since my
last report back on September 4th, 2008.  Since then a number of changes
and improvements have occured.

   o Aquired brand new (in the box) Kenwood TM-271 60 watt 2-meter rig
       - The donor was Henry Johnson
       - Configured several of the area Repeaters and Simplex freqs
       - In operation on the J-Pole antenna
       - Needs Power-Poles added to the power cable

   o Cleaned much of the permanant marker markings off the White Board

   o Aquired a good set of angle cutters, needle nose pliars, hammer,
     jewelers screwdriver set, etc. from George K8GEO.  Thanks George!

   o Performed updates (including the kernel) to the Kubuntu Linux box.
       - New GRUB config failed to detect the boot partition.  But it was
         easy to fix.

   o Aquired a flat-panel display from George K9TRV.  Thanks George!
       - The display has some artifacts that should clear up when I locate
         the more appropriate driver.  Better resolution should also be
         attained with the proper driver.

   o Corey provided us with additional RAM for the XP box.  It has now
     been upgraded from 256 megs to 512 megs and has made a HUGH
     improvement in performance.  Thanks Corey!

   o Attended Nov 21st ARC Staff Meeting

   o N8CBW & WB8TKL attended ECRV training in South Bend.
     This is a mobile communications center with satellite internet and
     telephone, WiFi support, network routers, a dozen laptops, HT's, HF
     rigs, tri-band beam, pneumatic mast, etc.  A very impressive vehicle!

   o Possible Grant monies.
     Provided Corey with a WISH LIST of "needed" equipment and "wanted"
     equipment for the Comm-Center.  Over $7000 worth of gear was written
     into a $60k grant request.  Sadly, we did not win the grant.

   o Aquired an electric hand drill, drill bits (wood & metal), measuring
     tape, extension cord, and a BUNCH of pens & pencils, etc. from George
     K8GEO.  Thanks George!

   o Posted various ARROW contest awards.
     Michelle will pick up more frames from the Dollar store so these can
     be properly displayed.

   o Aquired a HyGain multi-band trap vertical from Jim Lommel WD8RWI
     Plans are to place this vertical atop the Chapter and string out
     several ground radials across the roof.   Thanks Jim!!!

   o Extended the RS-232 serial cable for the JNOS/Packet station so that
     it no longer blocks the storage locker doors.

   o Jay and Michelle re-spliced 2 of the 3 Motorola control head cables
     for the 110 Watt 47.42 mobile units.  These will be installed in
     the DAT, FAST, Green van, and the H3 vehicles, replacing
     the 60 Watt units.

   o Swung one leg of the 75-meter dipole across the parking lot to a lamp
     post.  The antenna now tunes better, though still shows a match of
     5:1.  This lets the HF rig push out a whopping 10 watts which was
     enough to be heard by stations all stations across the state on the
     Michigan ARPSC net on 3932 LSB.  We have checked into this net on 4
     different occasions now with reasonably good results.

   o Packed away the G5RV dipole that was near the doorway of the
     Comm-Center.  Also packed away the 3-element 2-meter beam and the
     3-band Marconi dipole.  These should all be tested sometime to
     determine if they should be put back into use (perhaps a better
     antenna than what we are curretly running).

   o Re-arranged materials on the website.
     Added links to the agendas for September/October/November

   o Main ARROW webpage ( now has a direct link to
     "Ham Radio at the Red Cross" (

   o George K8GEO (a.k.a. "Mr. Tool") has supplied a brand new set of 20
     assorted screwdrivers and screw bits.  Thanks George!!!

   o Removed the older v2.2.2 "OutPost" email client from the XP box.
     Replaced it with a fresh install of OutPost version 2.3.0 which works
     MUCH better.  It is now configured to pass email to/from the JNOS box
     via the local LAN.  We can now move forward and install this package
     on other PC's (Corey's & Command Center) so that Packet email can be
     sent and received easily.

     Get last 500-foot spool of coax via Steve WB8WSF
     Get cable greese
     Pull in 5 coax runs.
     Aquire Polyphaser lightning protectors (install on panel in box)
     Aquire water tight bulkhead bushings
     Leave key in Comm-Center
     Aquire connectors that fit the new coax runs

     Re-tune 75-meter dipole

     Test 1000 watt UPS (4 x 12v batts)

     Add "Snow Plan" to docs binder
     Add TM-271 manual to docs binder
     Add HF rig docs to binder

     Aquire a good Washtenaw County map

     Fix/Replace faulty handset on Nortel telephone

     Move the JNOS box off the desk and onto the floor

     Mount a shelf under the bulletin board (?Mikey?) and mount the
     Kenwood TM-271 underneath it.

   Thanks for all your support!!!
      --- Jay Nugent  WB8TKL
          ARROW/RedCross Liasion & Station Manager

Train how you will Operate, and you will Operate how you were Trained.
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