D.A.R.E.N. News 2017

                      DAREN of WV News December 10, 2017(.D27)
                      (304) 679-3470 wa8llm@yahoo.com
                        www.wc8ec.com or www.wc8ec.org

DAREN News, are articles and information about the Digital Amateur Radio "Emergency" Network of WV, which operates on 145.69 MHz.  Anyone having any information about DAREN, or Amateur Radio in general, and would like to share it with others, may send it to WA8LLM @ PKBGWV on 145.69 MHz, or to my E-Mail: wa8llm@yahoo.com.  A State Wide DAREN NET is operated every Saturday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and lately, before and after those hours.  The DAREN Net Announcement, showing the MAIN NCS, ALTERNATE NCS, NODEs accessible to both, and the previous week's check-ins, are posted by Thursday on most of the Main county DAREN PBBS'.  The DAREN News can also be found on the www.wc8ec.com and www.wc8ec.org websites.

Well, most of my DAREN records are about caught up.  I now have back-up copies and back-up copies of the back-up copies of everything that I've been working on.  While working on the records I was able to correct several mistakes that were made in the last 25 or so years.  I'm still missing a few check-in nets, but I know how many check-ins everyone has.  It's strange looking back over all the nets that have been held, and all of the call signs.  I don't know how many of the operators that helped build and keep the DAREN system on the air, that are now Silent Keys.  As I was going over the lists, I would think of those who have passed on.  It's hard to believe how much work was involved and how many Amateurs made the DAREN system a success.  I don't know how many other Amateurs provided the service as the Net Control Station for the State Wide DAREN Net from different areas of West Virginia, but if I could figure it out by reading the old DAREN News.  The check-ins to the State Wide DAREN Net have dropped off a lot over the last couple years.  At one time there was as many 60 to 80 check-ins each week.  I can even remember having over 100 check-ins a few times.  I'd like to see the Amateurs getting back on Packet Radio, but I doubt if that happens.  With the cost of the Packet TNC (Terminal Node Controller), it's not very cheap to install remote Hilltop/Mountaintop NODE/Digipeaters anymore, which is the heart of the system.  Without the remote stations, the Packet operators who still have Packet stations have a hard time connecting into the DAREN system.  And, with the Internet system, which passes data hundreds of times faster than Packet, it's hard to get anyone interested in Packet Radio.  At one time Packet was great because you could operate it portable.  But, with all the small hand-held Internet devices and cellphones, even having a TNC that operates on a very small 9 Volt battery, a Handheld Radio, and a Laptop Computer isn't that portable.  If you know of anyone who still has a TNC, talk to them and try to get them back on Packet.  As a terminal station, it's not necessary to have a TNC, since there are several computer Soundcard programs available.  If you do it right, all you need is a computer, a handheld radio, and a very cheap radio/computer interface, which is nothing more than a couple transformers.  A lot of the new handheld radios on the market have VOX (Voice Operated Transmit), and can be keyed by the Soundcard audio coming out of the computer.

There were 37 check-ins to the State Wide DAREN Net this week.  While I was working on the records I found that Keith Dobbins, N8KLD, who has been participating in the State Wide DAREN Net since May 3, 2008, had completed 200 check-ins on December 2nd, and will be receiving his certificate.  I only need one more check-in to make 1300.  I want to thank all of the operators who still participate in the net and practice connecting through the DAREN system.  The time may come when we will have to use Packet Radio as our main communications.

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