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The Noise Blankers Radio Group

Our Mission:

Do radio stuff.
Have fun doing it.
Tell others how much fun it is.

Do radio stuff. Have fun doing it.
Tell others how much fun it is.


Entries in arkansas (3)

Thursday
Dec192013

Wreaths, Radios and Road Cones

The Noise Blankers decided it was high time to do some more public service. So, for the second year in-a-row, we volunteered to coordinate parking at the Fayetteville, Arkansas, Wreaths Across America event on December 14, 2013.

It was much colder than last year with snow still on the ground, but who are we to complain? It's humbling to participate in a ceremony where more than 7,000 wreaths are placed on gravesites in the Fayetteville National Cemetery. Thanks to support from Walmart, every grave in the cemetery gets a wreath.

Our job was to greet incoming vehicles and direct them to park at Baum Stadium and ride a shuttle bus back to the cemetery. We also coordinated parking for news media and disabled participants and controlled vehicle traffic moving through the cemetery. This resulted in a few confused looks, some mildly annoyed responses, and two traffic cones being run over.

 We really stepped up our game this year by ordering custom vests with the words "RADIO COMMUNICATIONS" on the back. We know they were effective because one gentleman asked if we were doing a live radio broadcast of the event. And in a nod to our outstanding forthought and planning, the vests were a last-minute addition. Because, as we always say, "SAFETY THIRD." Just kidding, kids.

Last year, simplex communications proved to be difficult at times because a new apartment complex had been constructed next to the cemetery. The buildings like to block RF in certain spots. In addition, the Baum Stadium parking lot was on the other side of a small hill, sometimes leaving Jeff K3DEI in static. Our trick was to use K5KVN's Kenwood D700 crossband repeat functionality, transmitting 2m in and 70cm out. This worked perfectly and properly covered the cemetery and parking lot down the hill with RF.

And to top it off - because we are complete overachievers - this was the first test of new Beofeng HTs for WBØRUR, K5PO and K5KVN. The Beofengs worked great and continuosly for the 5-hour event. Thanks to Gary WB0RUR, Andy K5PO, Kevin K5KVN and Jeff K3DEI for doing this public service event.

Wednesday
Jan092013

Email List and Newsletter for northwest Arkansas Hams

Our friends at the ARKAN club have set up an email distribution list for amateur radio operators in and around northwest Arkansas, from Ft. Smith to Joplin to Harrison. In addition, they are expanding their newsletter to cover ham radio events from all over the area, not just their club. Send them your news, event info, hamfest announcements, etc.

We think it's a great idea and an opportunity to "regionalize" (is that a word??) ham radio efforts in the area, regardless of club affiliation.

To sign up for their email list and the newsletter, or to send them your news for inclusion in the newsletter, send an email to NWARKHAMS@Gmail.com or visit their website for more info.

Monday
Dec312012

2012: Year In Review

2012 was a big year for The Noise Blankers. What in the past had been an annual gathering of the group for field day, became a full-fledged calendar of ham radio events. Planning for next year is already underway and will include another island activation, field day, Wreaths Across America, tower projects and possibly a summit on the air.

  • March 2012: Gary WBØRUR raises his tower. Tower envy spreads throughout northwest Arkansas.
  • June 23-24, 2012: Field Day, category 2E using generator power from Andy's shack, callsign K5PO. Read all about it.
  • August 2012: Decided we should give ourselves a name, to help brand our activities. Rejected names: The Kerchunkers, The Dirty Harmonics, Loose Wires, Couple Sections Short, Zombie SKs, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo's CW Operators
  • September 2012: We made t-shirts! Lookie
  • September 30, 2012: Produced the 1st activation of Horseshoe Island, callsign K5H
  • November 2012: Advocated for the redesigning the Arkansas amateur radio license plate, in an effort to make them less expensive and get some publicity for the hobby.
  • December 2012: Started a conversation on how to fix the LOTW logjam.
  • December 15, 2012: Provided radio communications for the Wreaths Across America event at Fayetteville National Cemetery (Arkansas) and put N5W on the air to commemorate the ceremonies. Between parking cars and coordinating shuttle buses, we made a video.

Happy New Year to you! Here's to a great 2013.