145.49 Repeater On Low Power – UPDATE

Technical DifficultiesUpdated on 9/2/17: The output power on the 145.49 MHz. N0NWS repeater has been boosted by about 6.6 dB. Ideally, we would like to see it go up by another 8.5 dB. However, this boost is enough to allow the Branson repeater at 147.105 MHz. as well as the other repeaters in the network to remain linked in reliably. This 6.6 dB boost should also make it a lot easier to hear the 145.49 MHz. repeater in outlying areas. Thank you for your patience.

Original story:
The 145.49 MHz. N0NWS repeater is currently transmitting on low power following the failure of its final power amplifier stage on Tuesday evening. While the repeater is in this mode, you may find it difficult to hear the output especially in areas that are shaded from the Fordland tower. Additionally, some of our outlying affiliate repeaters such as the Branson 147.105 MHz repeater, the Joplin 145.35 MHz. repeater and the Laurie/Lake of the Ozarks 146.955 MHz. repeater may have difficulty receiving link audio. In fact, the Branson repeater is currently not able to link in during this low power operation.

Mike, N0NQW, the trustee of the 145.49 repeater is aware of the problem, and he will restore the Fordland repeater to full power as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if you are unable to use the system due to this amp failure, you are encouraged to log in via our EchoLink node at N0NWS-R or 291849.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

New Logo

Those of you who visited our tables and saw our banner at the Joplin Hamfest last weekend got a sneak preview of the new logo for the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn Repeater Network. Starting today, we are rolling out this new design across all of our online portals including this website at www.n0nws.com, our social media pages, and our e-mail blasts.

We believe this new design is easier to read on all devices including smartphones and that the wording on it better-represents our position as a very wide-area coverage linked repeater network which is dedicated to helping the National Weather Service to protect lives and property throughout the Springfield, Missouri County Warning Area.

Temperature Change During the Eclipse


The following video illustrates the temperature change observed and recorded in Saint Clair, Missouri during the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. Two thermometers were used to simultaneously measure the temperature in direct sunlight and in the shade.The video uses a line graph to plot the change in temperature over time which is listed in UTC.

At our exact location in St. Clair, Missouri, the solar eclipse started at 11:48 a.m. Central (1648 UTC) on Monday, August 21, 2017. Totality started at exactly 1:15:44 p.m. Central (18:15:44 UTC), and it lasted exactly 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

The temperature in direct sunlight seemed to react the fastest to the eclipse dropping more than 10 degrees in 40 minutes between 12:20 and 1 pm Central Time.
Meanwhile, in that same span of time, the temperature in the shade dropped about 2.5 degrees.

While the temperature dropped one degree in one minute after totality started, interestingly, it didn’t bottom out until after totality ended and the sun began returning. In fact, it took more than 15 minutes after totality ended for the temperature to start rising again!

As the eclipse coverage became less and less, the temperature seemed to rise about as fast as it fell.

Here are the final temperature changes that we recorded during the August 21st, 2017 total solar eclipse in Saint Clair, Missouri:

Direct Sunlight: Temperature dropped 19.1 degrees in 1 hour and 16 minutes going from 107.8 degrees down to 88.7 degrees. It later rose 22.2 degrees 1 hour and 7 minutes after totality ended rising from 88.7 degrees to 110.9 degrees.

Shade: The temperature fell 8.3 degrees in 1 hour and 16 minutes going from 95.2 degrees down to 86.9 degrees. It later rebounded by exactly 8.3 degrees in 1 hour and 7 minutes after totality ended rising from 86.9 degrees right back to 95.2 degrees.

Temperature readings were taken by Caleb, KE0FOE and George KJ6TQ. Video editing and production was by George KJ6TQ, and narration was by Caleb, KE0FOE.

Thank you for watching the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn YouTube Channel. Please subscribe to it.

Joplin Hamfest This Weekend

Joplin Hamfest* Update: We have received a notice from MTC Radio that they will not be attending the Joplin Hamfest this year.

Arguably the best and certainly the biggest hamfest in Southwest Missouri takes place next weekend in Joplin. The Joplin Hamfest, sponsored by the Joplin Amateur Radio Club, will draw in hundreds (or even thousands) of people from all over Missouri and surrounding states. Commercial vendors such as Icom America, *MTC Radio, WB0W, and many more will join dozens of private sellers this year. Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn will have a couple of tables this year at the Joplin Hamfest. We will be near the front close to the A.R.R.L. Please stop by and say hello. There will be some used equipment for sale at our tables. Please note that all proceeds from the sale of this equipment will go directly toward supporting our linked repeater network. We will also have a donation jar at our tables, and all contributions are appreciated.

This year’s Joplin Hamfest starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 26th and ends around 3 p.m. Entry tickets cost $10 at the door. Advanced online ticket purchases are $8 per person and can be made until Friday, August 25th.

Marvin, NA0OO, tells us that the Joplin Amateur Radio Club is considering going back to a two-day Friday and Saturday format for future hamfests. Club officials have created an online survey, and they would like for you to let them know your thoughts on this idea. You can click here to cast your vote. You do not need to be a member of the Joplin Amateur Radio Club to vote.

The Joplin Hamfest will take place at the Joplin Convention & Trade Center in Joplin, Missouri. Take I-44 to Exit 8 which is Rangeline Road. Go north for about 500 feet, and turn right onto Hammons Blvd. Pass Olive Garden and Sam’s Club, and the location will be straight ahead – you can’t miss it. You can use the interactive Google Map below to help. For more information, visit the Joplin Hamfest website at: www.joplinhamfest.org

Solar Eclipse Experiment

2017 Solar Eclipse ExperimentNot surprisingly, a total solar eclipse that occurs during midday does indeed affect the weather. If you are a Twitter user, please follow Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn on Twitter @SWMOwx (if you don’t already). We will try to broadcast live video from the center of the path of totality on Monday if mobile data service allows. It is possible that the mobile data networks will be overloaded during this event, so, if we are unable to send out live video updates, you can watch them after the fact on our forthcoming YouTube Channel. Click here to subscribe to it.

The National Weather Service plans several weather balloon launches before, during, and after the passage of the moon’s shadow to measure the effects of the midday darkness at various levels of our atmosphere. We plan to chart the changes in temperature on the ground at our location both in direct sunlight and in the shade as the eclipse progresses. We will also note any changes in the wind and in the behavior of any nearby animals such as birds and bats as well as bugs such as crickets and katydids.

Whether you watch our Twitter Live video streams or watch the archive on YouTube, you’ll get to see what we observe during this event. Thank you for watching.

And if you have any notes, photos, and/or videos you would like to share with us, please send them to: webmaster@n0nws.com

Eclipse Cloud Cover Forecast

2017 Solar Eclipse Cloud Cover ForecastIt has been a long time since something scientific has received as much fanfare from the mainstream media as this Monday’s upcoming total solar eclipse. It’s like this is Woodstock for science geeks, and we have front row seats! A huge share of our country’s population will get to witness solar eclipse totality for the first time in their lives, and now the biggest question is: will the weather cooperate? Ideally the best weather would be crystal clear skies from horizon to horizon. Unfortunately, there is nary a summer afternoon here in the Show Me State without at least a few set decorations in the sky. Of course a different perspective could be gained underneath thick cloud cover when even the small traces of daylight remaining during the two-and-a-half-minute-long darkness would undoubtedly be filtered making the midday virtually become like midnight instead of twilight. No matter what the weather, anyone in the path of totality is in for quite a treat on Monday afternoon.

Now, if you are wondering where the chances are higher for the clearest skies on Monday, please join us for the Skywarn Youth Net on Sunday evening starting at 7:30 p.m. Central on most of the Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn Repeater Network repeaters and EchoLink Node N0NWS-R. Scott, KE6ITF, a credentialed meteorologist who specializes in agricultural forecasting in Oklahoma, will join us on the air with a special Eclipse Cloud Cover Forecast.

You can also visit the website of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield, Missouri for their latest forecast updates for Monday by clicking here: http://www.weather.gov/sgf/

If you’re free on Monday and want to find where the exact path of totality will pass, you can use this neat Google Map application which plots the entire eclipse from coast to coast.

REMEMBER: Damage to your eyes from improperly looking at the sun is cumulative and lasting. Make sure to wear proper protective eyewear if you plan to look directly at the sun. Going outside and looking around at shadows and even up at the sky does not require protection. However, looking directly at the sun does!

We hope this is a fun and educational time for you and yours. We will get to do it all again in 2024!

Exciting Buffalo Repeater Update

It has been a few months since we updated the status of the Buffalo Repeater at 147.180 MHz. You may remember that a little over a year ago we began asking for donations to help pay the expenses to relocate the repeater from its present home atop a water tower which is slated for demolition. With thanks to the many generous hams who pitched in, $5,000 was raised in a little more than 6 months. This funding was needed to replace the existing equipment including the coax hardline and the antenna as well as to pay for a professional tower climber.

KRBK Fox 5As we continued to wait for word from the city as to when the new water tower would be built, a very exciting new door was opened earlier this year. We are thrilled to announce that television station KRBK Fox 5 has graciously opened their doors to Southwest Missouri Regional Skywarn by offering us tower space atop their 475-foot-tall transmission tower in northeastern Polk County near the unincorporated community of Polk, Missouri!

What does this mean, and how will this affect repeater coverage?

A true measurement of the usability of any antenna site is something known as Height Above Average Terrain (H.A.A.T). H.A.A.T. is an industry standard measurement when it comes to determining coverage of VHF and UHF signals. We touched on this briefly last February when discussing the new Macomb, Missouri repeater at 146.745 MHz. which will be linked in soon.

Height Above Average Terrain is calculated by determining the exact height above sea level at ground level of a tower site compared with the height above sea level of surrounding terrain extending away from the antenna site in all directions. You then add the height above ground of the antenna into the mix, and you get your H.A.A.T. Antenna sites located at the bottom of a valley can sometimes have a negative Height Above Average Terrain value. Sites located atop precipitous mountaintops can have a H.A.A.T. value of several thousand feet. The higher the H.A.A.T, the further a VHF or UHF signal’s ground wave will travel.

The Height Above Average Terrain of the current Buffalo repeater’s antenna atop the condemned water tower is 190 feet. With our new home atop the KRBK-DT Polk, Missouri tower, our new H.A.A.T. will be 371 feet! This will essentially double our Height Above Average Terrain and help us to fill coverage gaps toward the northern and northwestern portions of the Springfield, Missouri County Warning Area.

When will the repeater move to this new site?

Buffalo, Missouri Repeater's New AntennaGround has already been broken on this project, but a lot of work is still needed. Early last June our brand new antenna (pictured to the left side-mounted onto the KRBK television tower in Polk, MO) and coaxial hardline were installed by a professional tower climber. Due to space limitations inside KRBK’s transmitter building, we are required to construct our own small building in which to house the repeater equipment. Unfortunately, when we calculated the budget for this project last year, we did not know that we would need to build a small building for our equipment. That is because the opportunity to operate from the KRBK tower did not exist at the time.

Thanks to the folks at Meek’s in Springfield, MO we were able to purchase the lumber needed for this structure at cost. We also thank the folks at Rite-Way Concrete Products in Springfield, MO for donating the concrete footings needed. However, despite these generous donations by these companies, we are still over budget.

While we are working on constructing this small building to house the repeater at the new site, we do not have an exact timeline as to when we can get it completed.

To help defray the unanticipated costs of having to construct our own repeater shack, we are turning to you, the amateur radio community, for help. We are hoping to raise an additional $1,000 to help close this gap in our budget. You can donate online via PayPal by clicking here. Or you can make a check or money order payable to: 49 Repeater Group.

Then mail it to:

49 Repeater Group
P.O. Box 246
Willard, MO 65781-0246

We thank everyone who has contributed in the past, and we thank all of you in advance who are able to help us pay for this new and exciting opportunity to take the Buffalo Repeater at 147.180 MHz. to an exciting new level. This will bring Skywarn coverage into new areas and improve coverage in existing areas that the current repeater serves.

Thank you for your support!