October 2019 Club Meeting - DMR

Friday, October 18, 2019

7:00pm MST

Ascension Lutheran Church 1220 West Magee Road, Tucson, AZ

Handy Man Corner

Presented By Tom, W8TK

A new home for The Pig

DMR - Digital Mobile Radio

Presented by

Bob Molczan, KA7VPR

Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) has been available for use by Radio Amateurs for several years, although out of reach for many due to the high cost of equipment only available from the commercial radio market.  Within the last 3 years an influx of affordable DMR radios for the Amateur market has made DMR available to everyone at costs remarkably less that current market analog/digital equipment from leading HAM radio manufacturers.

DMR is a very efficient Digital Voice mode with High Quality Audio and Superior RF Signal propagation characteristics.  DMR repeaters are linked world wide, and the availability of two DMR networks, Motorola and Brandmeister offer options to both the Experimenter and the Casual operator.  DMR Repeater and Hot Spot building is available and adds to the fun and effectiveness of DMR.

However, DMR has been given a "Bad Reputation" as being "Hard or Impossible" to program when it comes to developing a profile or "Code Plug" for one's radio.  For this reason many have either given up on or shied away from DMR to seek ease of operation from other digital voice modes.  This misconception of DMR's "lack of user friendliness" makes it difficult for Multi-Mode repeater groups like OVARC to justify keeping the DMR mode active on our area repeaters.

My presentation will attempt to dispel all of the misconceptions about programming DMR radios, and provide a clear explanation of how to write a "Code Plug". Details pertaining to DMR terminology and different "Customer Programming Software" (CPS) will be provided, along with samples of code plugs and much more.

I personally have been using DMR for over 5 years now, and own both commercial and amateur DMR radio gear from companies like Motorola, Vertex, CSI, and Anytone.  Although I do not claim to be an expert on DMR, I believe that I can remove many of the obstacles that keep you from making DMR your "Go To" mode for Digital Voice communications.  Please join me at the next OVARC General Session club meeting in October.

September 2019 Club Meeting - OVARC Repeaters

Friday, September 20, 2019

7:00pm MST

Ascension Lutheran Church 1220 West Magee Road, Tucson, AZ

Handy Man Corner

Presented By Tom, W8TK


OVARC Repeater System - Now and into the future

Presented by

Gary, KT7AZ

IMG 0048

The OVARC Repeater system has grown over the years and now expands to the far reaches of Metro-Tucson. It seems like yesterday, but it has already been 3 years since the Marana Repeater went on the air.

Enhancing our system to handle several new operating modes has been the more recent challenge. Having a repeater capable of handling D-Star, DMR, Fusion and Analog-FM and minimizing inter-mode conflicts, is a real challenge. At the same time we can’t forget about responsibilities to public safety.

Linking repeaters is another growing challenge. Which ones get linked? How easy is it to unlink? What happens to the links during an emergency, power failure or internet interruptions? These are all issues that confront us routinely.

During the September meeting we will cover the complexities of our repeater system; where it is now and where it will go. Please come and listen to where time and technology will push us into the future.

Gary – KT7AZ is our Repeater Committee Chairman that will lead this presentation. Gary is an Extra Class licensee and has been licensed since 1984. He is a recently retired Detective as well as the IT Manager from The Oro Valley Police Department. With a 350 foot loop, an off center-fed dipole and a Mosley Yagi, Gary operates nearly all bands on CW and SSB but is particularly interested in the digital modes – PSK, FT8 etc.

gary tube

August 2019 Club Meeting - WSPR

Friday, August 16, 2019

7:00pm MST

Ascension Lutheran Church 1220 West Magee Road, Tucson, AZ


Handy Man Corner

Presented By Tom, W8TK

How to choose a feedline



Presented by

Curt Laumann, K7ZOO

K7ZOO SOTA at Death Valley

Curt Laumann, K7ZOO, will present both theory and practical applications of the WSPR mode. This interesting weak-signal mode allows one to observe, document and study propagation on many different bands. A live demonstration of WSPR will be present, so attendees will be able to view real-time propagation data from Oro Valley. Curt will show a time-lapse representation of 20-meter propagation across the continental US. He will also discuss a real-world application of WSPR to improve the performance of HF antennas at the National Weather Service in Tucson, Arizona.


Curt was first licensed in 1974 in Minnesota. He currently holds an Extra Class license, and is active in many facets of the hobby.

Curt has worked as a physicist, design engineer, and process engineer (Six Sigma Blackbelt). For a few decades Curt pursued flying: he is a licensed private pilot in airplanes, a commercial pilot in gliders, and held a glider instructor certification. Over the last decade he returned to amateur radio as his primary focus.

Curt volunteers to manage the University of Arizona’s amateur radio station. He led numerous activities this calendar year: antenna building (yagi’s, vertical’s), antenna azimuthal gain performance measurements, 7th QSO Party, Field Day, and a foxhunt.

Curt recently volunteered to evaluate and improve the emergency HF radio station at the Tucson National Weather Service. The WSPR mode was the key enabler to quantifying antenna performance on multiple bands.

Morse code is a keen interest -- Curt has taught two sessions of morse code through CWOps. Also of interest are portable, competitive operations, for example both NPOTA and SOTA:

a) NPOTA 76 activations, placing 46th nationwide

National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) was a thrill in 2016, motivating me to visit virtually every national park & monument in Arizona and New Mexico, and a handful of parks in the adjoining states. I placed 46th in the national list of NPOTA Activators. One especially memorable park was Chaco Culture, in central New Mexico, where amateur radio was included as part of an astronomy weekend.

a) SOTA 64 activations, the vast majority of which are “first” activations

I focus on visiting physically challenging, previously unactivated summits around Arizona and New Mexico. One of the most interesting SOTA locations is shown below, the sand dunes on the north end of Death Valley National Park.