timely, and structured written communications are the heart and soul of modern
The State of Oregon Office of Emergency Management has chosen the Winlink Global Radio Email Network as the software and network to handle all official emergency communications when routine methods are unavailable or overloaded.
The client software, Winlink Express, is an intuitive dual-personality package. The message creation side looks and feels much like many email programs, with Contact management, Template Forms for all the State mandated standard formats, Spell Check, Image management, etc. The message transport side has the ability to send and receive messages by VHF/UHF Packet, HF WINMOR and PACTOR, and tcp/ip TELNET if Internet service is available, and the recipient can be another radio operator or any standard internet email address in the world. The program has excellent tools for predicting targets for connection built-in, as well as extensive HELP files.
Classes and training in use are available from the State ARES ASEC for Training. Consult your County EC for details.
The software is available from a convenient link on the Homepage of the Winlink Web site: . A necessary auxiliary application used to perform the Propagation calculations, ITSHFBC, is available . Both programs should be installed in the installer default locations.
The software is updated frequently and automatically each time it is opened, so frequent use of the software is strongly encouraged. The program also reminds the user if an update is recommended for the list of RMS Gateway stations, and that list is downloaded for you.
July 23, 2003 - Steve Morris K7LXC gave a seminar entitled "The Ten Most Common Tower Building Mistakes" at the Coos County Hamfest last Saturday. Steve works for Champion Radio Products in Woodinville, Washington. Notes from his seminar can be viewed by clicking here.
In addition to the information given on the above website, Steve also answered many questions and gave tips on other things related to tower construction and maintenance. One of the things Steve touched on was how to seal coax connectors the professional way. Steve recommends the following proceedure:
Wrap the connection from bottom to top with high quality vinyl electrical tape such as Scotch 33. He specifically warned against using inferior electrical tape. Stretch the tape as you wrap except for the last turn. On the last turn allow the tape to relax. This prevents the tape from forming a "flap" later on when the last wrap of tape relaxes and begins to peel off. Also, cut the tape cleanly using scissors. Don't break the tape by either stretching it until it snaps or by tearing it. Cutting it cleanly with scissors will prevent the tape from peeling off later.
After wrapping with electrical tape, wrap it a second time using a gummy sealant such as coax-seal. Form the coax seal around the taped joint.
Finally, after wrapping with coax-seal, wrap the joint from bottom to top using the electrical tape. By wrapping from bottom to top you create a "shingle" effect which prevents water running down the cable from penetrating openings in the tape.
Some wondered why the first wrap of tape, since the coax-seal will adequately seal the connection from weather. The reason for the first tape wrap is to make it easier to take the whole thing apart. Coax-seal will stick to the connections and cable and is extremely difficult to remove. By wrapping with tape first, you make it easy to remove the coax seal and prevent it from permanently sticking to the cable and connectors.
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