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MARYLAND

As a Worked All States net, we are continuing to share several fun facts about those “states” we are attempting to work, as we strive toward completion of the Unbelievable Operating Achievement Award, or any of the other awards and/or endorsements.

This week, we focus on the “Old Line State”. Maryland was the 7 th state in the USA; it became a state on April 28,1788.

Official seal of Maryland

The state motto is Fatti maschii, parole femine, which is Italian for “Manly deeds, womanly words”. Maryland is the only state with a motto in Italian.

The state bird is the Baltimore Oriole. The state flower is the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). The state reptile is the diamondback terrapin. The state crustacean is the blue crab.

Image result for Baltimore Oriole
State Bird – Baltimore Oriole

Maryland has many places important to the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the American Civil War. One of these places is Fort McHenry, which defended against the British Empire during the War of 1812. Another place is the Antietam National Battlefield, where the Battle of Antietam took place in 1862 during the American Civil War.

Founded by English Catholic settlers who wanted a place where they could freely practice Catholicism, Maryland was the seventh state to join the US. Maryland is known as the “Old Line State,” named after the Maryland Line, a regiment that fought in the American Revolution. Maryland surrounds most of the Chesapeake Bay, and the state is known for its Crabs and Crab Cakes.

Image result for Blue Crab
State Crustacean

Maryland is sometimes called “America in Miniature”. It has a wide topography that ranges from gently rolling hills to pine groves, to sandy dunes, and marshlands near the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland is home to lakes, rivers, and the Atlantic ocean. 400 types of birds, 90 species of mammals, 93 species of reptiles and amphibians, and hundreds of freshwater and marine fish inhabit the borders of Maryland.

Have fun tracking down MD during the upcoming season, and should you work someone from that state, you are now armed with some fun facts about the Old Line State.

Kevin N1KL

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WELCOME New Subscribers

Image result for welcome images
Welcome and Thanks for Registering

Let’s extend a hearty “WELCOME” to our latest GERATOL Net Website Subscribers:

Jim – N8JG Jim hails from Michigan, and will be in demand for his “Initial Call” sign on the net.

Chuck – AA0RI Chuck represents the great state of Arizona, and is an avid CW operator !!

Larry – WA2CNV Larry brings New York on to the net, and with that 2×3 call sign, will help those working on Endorsement # 17 !!

Welcome aboard guys, we hope you can join us this Fall on 3.668 at 0100Z starting October 1st Zulu time !!

Regards, Kevin N1KL Website Administrator

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MASSACHUSETTS

As a Worked All States net, we are continuing to share several fun facts about those “states” we are attempting to work, as we strive toward completion of the Unbelievable Operating Achievement Award, or any of the other awards and/or endorsements.

This week, we focus on the sixth state to ratify the constitution, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MA ratified the constitution on February 6th, 1788.

Image result for massachusetts state flag
Massachusetts State Flag

Massachusetts, along with Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, are called “Commonwealths”. Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good.

One interesting fact about the state of Massachusetts, is that Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820, when it voted to secede from Massachusetts to become a separate state. On March 15, 1820. Smart move on their part !! I can say that, I live in MA.

Other interesting and fun facts about MA include:
Both volleyball and basketball were invented in Western, MA. In fact, today the Basketball Hall of Fame resides in the city of Springfield, and the Volleyball Hall of Fame is in Holyoke, both in Western MA.

Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame
International Volleyball Hall of Fame Logo Vector
Volleyball Hall of Fame

Other fun facts:
The Chocolate Chip Cookie didn’t exist prior to 1938, when it was invented by the owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.

There’s a Native American lake named Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. It means “you fish on your side, I fish on my side, and no one fishes in the middle”. It’s located in Webster, MA and we just call it, Webster Lake.

Paul Revere actually shouted “The Regulars are coming out”, not “The British are coming”, since Massachusetts colonists still considered themselves British citizens at the time.

A 216-year old business in Dalton, Massachusetts called Crane & Co. produces almost all of the paper used for U.S. currency, as well as banknotes for many foreign countries.

Boston built the first subway system in the United States in 1897. It probably ran better then as well. I’ve had the misfortune of taking the “T” before and after sporting events in Boston. They are still looking for “Charlie on the MTA” !!

Hope you enjoyed the fun facts about Massachusetts. Can anyone guess which state will be the next we discuss ?

Kevin N1KL

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BASIC AWARD & ENDORSEMENT TOOLS

Tools for tracking progress toward BASIC Award, as well as forms to submit your application

A reminder to those chasing the BASIC AWARD, or the Unbelievable Operating Achievement Award, as well as all the GERATOL Endorsements, there are several tools available on the website for tracking your state totals and endorsements, as well as blank copies of the Award Application form.

One of the tools available is the Excel spreadsheet, which allows you to enter a state as you work it, by putting in the word “YES” in the Worked Column, along with the station call sign worked, in the “CALL” section. The spreadsheet then automatically calculates your totals. This can serve as a “quick check” for those working on their basic. Below is an example of the spreadsheet, before any contacts are entered:

Once you begin making contacts, simply put a YES in the state worked, along with the call sign of the station you worked: See below example:

By putting the word YES in worked column, and adding the station worked, the spreadsheet will automatically calculate the number of states you worked, and how many you still need to work. As the example shows, two states were worked and op needs 48 more.

Of course, once you have worked, logged and obtained QSL cards toward your basic, you must submit the application form and proof of QSL to our awards manager, Dave – KJ8V. Below is an example of the form:

Form may be downloaded off our website

Tools for tracking your GERATOL Endorsements

(Just a reminder, to use GNEC, you MUST first download WinEQF logging software, and log your GERATOL QSO’s with WinEQF.)

As a reminder to those returning to the net, and the GERATOL Website, but especially for new folks joining the net, the GERATOL website was not designed to track your individual endorsements and awards.   The site does however, provide links to files in the menu bar, which allow you to download and begin using for your individual tracking purposes. 

For example, using GNEC with the logging files from WinEqf affords a very useful tool for tracking the progress of your individual endorsements.  Below is a typical screen shot of how progress is tracked using Frosty’s GNEC program in conjunction with WinEqf for endorsement status. 

The green color button denotes you are greater than three requirements from being completed.  Yellow only two requirements short and the orange color reflects you only need one more requirement to complete the award and maroon reflects completion.   Here are some examples of the various buttons:

GREEN BUTTON Example: Endorsement #24 requires one to work all 50 with “K” 2×2 Call signs. In this case the op has 14 left to work

Example of progress toward Endorsement # 24

YELLOW BUTTON example: Endorsement #2 requires one to work all fifty states with “N” 1×2 Call signs. In this example, the op needs two more to complete the endorsement. (See below example)

Two more needed to complete Endorsement # 2

ORANGE BUTTON example:  Endorsement #15, you must work all fifty states with “W” 2×1 calls.

In this example, the op needs only to work the state of HI with a “W” 2×1 call.

Only 1 more needed to complete Endorsement # 15

Another neat feature of GNEC, is the ability for you to print your progress reports for each of the endorsements you are tracking.  As the example above points out, simply hit the PRINT button, after running your status check, and voila.  A nice printed summary of where you stand, which states you need. 

Yet another great tool made available by W0FP, is the GLIST program.   As with GNEC, the GLIST is available on our website, by simply downloading the latest version.   There are detailed instructions on the site, where the files are located, on how to set these tools up. 

Example of a GLIST report, using N1KL Call Sign

As you can see it reflects the GERATOL number, call sign, name, D #, along with other pertinent information endorsement seekers may be looking to obtain.  You not only can sort it by GERATOL number, but by “D” number, Call sign, etc.   See below example:   

GLIST SORT PANEL

Just a reminder, the use of GNEC begins with downloading and using the logging software, WinEqf.   That software is also available on the website for you to download and begin using.  The key is to get your logging software as up to date as possible.  This will insure maximizing the uses of GNEC and GLIST

To do this, if you have not been using WinEqf to log your GERATOL contacts, you may need to import those from whatever logging software you are currently using, or input them manually into WinEqf.  Either way, it’s well worth the effort, for tracking progress against your GERATOL endorsements.

All the files in question, WinEqf, GNEC and GLIST, Basic Tracking Spreadsheet, may be found on our website by opening the website, looking at the main menu bar at the top of the site, and clicking on where it says “Files”   See below:

Click on FILES to get all the goodies referenced

Once you have clicked on the “FILES” section, shown above. The dropdown menu then shown will list three items, including:  Additional Aids and Forms for the GERATOL Net

Click on Additional Aids and Forms for the GERATOL Net and you will see the following shown below:

Begin by downloading the Win-EQF software.  Set up the software as directed, and begin logging your GERATOL QSO’s.   You can then download GNEC, following the instructions put out by Frosty, W0FP and begin updating GNEC, once you have contacts logged into WinEQF.

Below is a typical WinEqf log page, once properly set up and in use:

Also, remember you need to “marry” your WinEqf logging software to GNEC.  Simply follow the instructions set out by Frosty, W0FP when attempting to do this. Those are found under the instructions, when you download GNEC

Regarding other awards, such as Vet Salute, Director’s Award, 50/50, etc.  There are instructions on the site under the AWARD portion of the menu bar, for how to track and submit your QSO’s for those awards.   Have fun, and good hunting.   Kevin – N1KL

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SOLAR CYCLE 25

Frank Donovan, W3LPL, notes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has published its official updated prediction of Solar Cycle 25 in new, interactive Solar Cycle Progression graphs. The updated prediction is based on the results of NOAA’s Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel.

“SWPC forecasts a solar maximum between 105 and 125, with the peak occurring between November 2024 and March 2026,” Donovan said. “There is broad consensus that solar minimum is ongoing this year — or may have already occurred — and that Cycle 25 will have no major change in the level of solar activity compared to Cycle 24.”

As Donovan explained, for many years the SWPC’s solar cycle predictions have used the Royal Observatory of Belgium’s International Sunspot Number. SWPC’s official solar cycle prediction now uses the SWPC sunspot number. The International Sunspot Number is typically about one-third lower than the SWPC sunspot number.

View of the W3LPL antenna farm

“While this is SWPC’s official Cycle 25 prediction, it’s important to note there is still divergence among various forecasting methods and members of the space weather forecasting community,” Donovan said. “Most forecasts and forecasters agree that the Cycle 25 is likely to be within ±20% of Cycle 24 and is likely to occur between 2024 and 2027.”

Source: QRZNOW.COM

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New TQSL Updates

For those of you who utilize LoTW, the ARRL has announced that several improvements have been made to TQSL, which should improve the overall accuracy of LoTW database. As a casual CW contester, I have noticed a large increase in DX stations now using and uploading to LoTW. If you are chasing DXCC or other awards, it’s a great way to log QSO’s against what you may need, during a contest, and then receive confirmations rather quickly.

New TQSL Updates Announced

04/16/2020

The recently released TQSL version 2.5.2 application for uploading logs to Logbook of The World (LoTW) tightens requirements for data consistency, with the goal of improving the integrity of the LoTW database. Starting with TQSL version 2.5.2, discrepancies in submitted logs now are flagged, especially when it comes to the Amateur Data Interchange Format (ADIF) files frequently uploaded to LoTW. This has prompted questions and concerns, however, when the system fails to accept a user’s uploaded contact or log.

ADIF exists precisely to help ensure the accuracy of “data interchange” among amateur radio applications — different logging programs, for example. TQSL uses ADIF file data for cross-checks that help to keep inaccurate or incomplete information from contaminating the LoTW database, and that’s where some user issues have arisen. For example, the OPERATOR field, which should be a call sign, sometimes shows up as a name. Occasionally, operators have reversed their ITU and CQ zones. Another issue is in the MY_STATE field, which should show a US Postal Service two-letter state abbreviation. Anything else is a problem.

“The value of the checks added to TQSL is that it lets operators know when the data they’re handling in their computer-based logs is correct,” said TQSL Developer Rick Murphy, K1MU. “Just as most hams would not knowingly send out a QSL card with the wrong details, it’s important to make sure that when a ham submits a log to LoTW that the content of that log accurately captures the details. It also prevents operators from uploading logs that contain incorrect information.”

Some help is on the way. Murphy soon will release TQSL version 2.5.3, which, among other things, skips over the OPERATOR field check. “We have found that some of the checking performed for TQSL 2.5.2 was incomplete in some cases — for example, allowing incorrect zone information to pass, and overly strict in other cases — for example, the STATION_OWNER tag,” Murphy said. “We’ve taken feedback from users and made great strides in improving the way logs are checked to ensure that checking is more complete while not raising false alarms.”

The problem is not always with the user. The initial implementation of cross-checks in TQSL 2.5.2 revealed that not all logging applications conform to the ADIF standard, which is maintained and voted on by the 22-member ADIF group, which includes ARRL. TQSL 2.5.2 has offered support for operations from several locations, as well as the ability to detect uploads that contain incorrect location data, and the field used for checking location has been in the ADIF standard since 2004.

Some commenters have suggested that ARRL has not defined the ADIF fields appropriately, but this represents a misunderstanding of how the ADIF standard is developed and maintained. Logging applications are obliged to follow the standard, if they generate files that claim to be ADIF compatible.

“Operators have a right to insist that the logging applications they use conform to the standards agreed upon by the ADIF collective,” said Greg Widin, K0GW, the chair of the ARRL LoTW Committee. “Those who find that their logger is out of conformance should demand an update, or, if the logger is unsupported or the developer is unwilling to update, should investigate switching to an application that is a cooperative member of the universe of amateur radio logging applications.”

Source: ARRL News

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CONNECTICUT

As previously posted, over the next few months, we will be featuring information about our 50 States.

As a Worked All States net, it may be interesting to refresh our memories about the states we hear and/or work on the net. This week we will focus on the state of Connecticut, the fifth state to ratify the constitution.

Connecticut State Flag (Latin motto translated means: He who transplanted still sustains)

As with all our states, Connecticut has several nicknames. The official nickname is: “The Constitution State.” Connecticut is referred to as the “Constitution State” due to the fact that it has the first written constitution as recognized by many historians. It is also referred to as the “Nutmeg State”, because Connecticut’s early inhabitants had the reputation of being so ingenious and shrewd that they were able to make and sell wooden nutmegs.

Connecticut’s first European settlers were Dutchmen who established a small, short-lived settlement called Fort Hoop in Hartford at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut Rivers.

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford

The Connecticut State Capitol is located north of Capitol Avenue and south of Bushnell Park in Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. The building houses the Connecticut General Assembly; the upper house, the State Senate, and lower house, the House of Representatives, as well as the office of the Governor. How many of you GERATOLers, have worked the Capitol of CT ???

Fun facts about the state of Connecticut:

1. Noah Webster, the author of the first dictionary, lived in West Hartford

2. The first automobile law was passed in Connecticut (and the speed limit was only 12 miles per hour).

3. Connecticut is home to the first hamburger, Polaroid camera, color television, and helicopter.

4. It’s illegal to walk on your hands in Hartford.

5. In order for a pickle to be considered a pickle in Connecticut, it must bounce.

6. Besides being known as the Consitution state, Connecticut is also known as the nutmeg state.

7. Our official state song is “Yankee Doodle.”

8. The Hartford Courant is the oldest continually published newspaper in America.

9. Connecticut never ratified the 18th amendment (prohibition).

10. The smallest natural waterfall in America, Mill Pond Falls, is located in Newington, Connecticut

These are just a few of the interesting facts about Connecticut. Have fun working CT as you pursue your W.A.S. or any of the GERATOL Awards and endorsements, that require you contact the Constitution State. You may wish to mention some of the fun facts to the folks you contact from CT.

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NEW HAM PODCAST !

01/14/2020

ARRL’s new On the Air podcast for those just getting started on their amateur radio journey, will debut this Thursday, January 16, with a new podcast posted each month. The podcast is a companion to the new bimonthly On the Air magazine, which is already on its way to member subscribers. On the Air magazine editor Becky Schoenfeld, W1BXY, will be the host of the new podcast. Both the podcast and the magazine are aimed at offering new and beginner-to-intermediate-level radio amateurs a fresh approach to exploring radio communication.

Listeners can find the On the Air podcast at Blubrry, Apple iTunes (or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (search for On the Air), and Stitcher (or through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices). Episodes will be archived on the ARRL website.

Each On the Air podcast will take a deeper dive into the articles and issues raised in the magazine, including advice and insight on topics covering the range of amateur radio interests and activities: radio technology, operating, equipment, project building, and emergency communication.

Supplementing On the Air will be a new Facebook page for those who share a love of radio communication and are looking to learn and explore more about their interests.

The biweekly Eclectic Tech podcast for experienced radio amateurs will launch on February 13. Hosted by QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, Eclectic Tech will highlight topics involving amateur and non-amateur technology, offer brief interviews with individuals involved in projects of interest to amateurs, and include practical information of immediate benefit to today’s hams. Eclectic Tech will be available via iTunes and Stitcher.

The ARRL Mags apps including QST and On the Air are now live on Apple iTunes and Google Play. The digital edition of On the Air magazine is now live and linked from the On the Air page on the ARRL website

Source: ARRL News

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GEORGIA

As previously posted, over the next few months, we will be featuring information about our 50 States.

As a Worked All States net, it may be interesting to refresh our memories about the states we hear and/or work on the net. This week we will focus on the state of Georgia, the fourth state to ratify the constitution.

GEORGIA

Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on Feb. 12, 1733. It was the thirteenth of the 13 original colonies. Georgia became a state on Jan. 2, 1788. Georgia has had 5 capitals:

  • Savannah (1777-1785)
  • Augusta (1786-1789)
  • Louisville (1789-1807)
  • Milledgeville (1807-1867)
  • Atlanta (1868-present
Georgia State Seal
Georgia State Seal
  • State Flower – Cherokee Rose
  • Crop – Peanuts
  • State Song – “Georgia On My Mind”
  • Nicknames – Peach State, Empire State of the South
  • Tree – Live Oak
  • State HAM – AI4IL
  • Georgia is home to the oldest state park in the nation
  • Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River
  • Georgia was the 4th state to join the Union in 1776 and the 5th to join the Confederacy in 1861
  • Wesleyan College in Macon was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women

Coca-Cola was invented in May 1886 by Dr. John S. Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia. The name “Coca-Cola” was suggested by Dr. Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson. He penned the name Coca-Cola in the flowing script that is famous today. Coca-Cola was first sold at a soda fountain in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta by Willis Venable.

Known as the sweetest onion in the world, the Vidalia onion can only be grown in the fields around Vidalia and Glennville, GA

These are just a few of the interesting facts about Georgia. Have fun working GA as you pursue your W.A.S. or any of the GERATOL Awards and endorsements, that require you contact the Peach State.

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GERATOL ELECTION NEWS

From: Larry Phillips – W0FP

We had one nomination for each office.

A motion was made to elect the nominees to office as there were no additional nominations made from the floor.

So our newly elected officers are:

Chairman         W0FP    2026

Vice Chairman  KE9TC  2437

Secretary         AA0ZP  1932

Treasurer          KJ8W    2594


ThanksFrosty

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