The BRATS Bring Yaesu C4FM Digital to Baltimore!

440 Standalone Yaesu
The BRATS successfully deployed our first Yaesu DR-1X digital for our 443.350 standalone repeater. The DR-1X supports traditional FM voice, as well as Yaesu’s new digital C4FM mode. The 443.350 repeater will operate in “full auto” mode, transmitting digital out when a user transmits it, and analog out otherwise.

Additionally, we upgraded the battery for both the standalone machine, and our linked repeater receive equipment, providing several more hours of backup.

Thank you very much to K0RYX and KB3SKN for their time and efforts in helping bring digital voice to Baltimore!
440 Standalone and Linked rx

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WB3DZO Linked Repeater Network Ready for the Storm

As Hurricane Joaquin bears down on the US East Coast, the WB3DZO linked repeater network stands ready, with continual improvements from the BRATS. The receiver replacement is well under way – and the new ones can hear an HT in a basement from 12 miles away – with the new transmitters and amplifiers set to arrive soon. Most of our sites are already on emergency power, but we’ve also made improvements to our battery backup systems.

Remember, if heavy weather does occur, 147.030 is the official NOAA SkyWarn repeater for the Baltimore Area!

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BRATS “Digital ATV” Proof of Concept

The BRATS have setup a webcam of the Baltimore city skyline as a demonstration of new approaches to digital ATV. Using a $35 Raspberry Pi, a $20 camera module, and an $80 dish into the BRATS’ data network, we can stream high-def video across the region. This is currently updated every 10 minutes during the day, twice an hour overnight. We’re working on optimizing a live streaming video. Be sure to attend the next BRATS meeting to see how you can be a part of the future of ham radio in Baltimore!

WB3DZO City Skyline Webcam

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BRATS Approved for Yaesu Fusion!!!

The BRATS have been approved for the Yaesu Fusion DR-1X program. While we don’t intend to change our main linked repeater to digital at this time, we will begin the process of rolling out C4FM on our standalone and portable units.

Please note a major benefit of the DR-1X is the ability for analog and digital users to share the same repeater. Obviously analog users won’t hear digital users, but the repeater will still function as normal for analog users forever.

Stay tuned for more exciting news, and be sure to read more at

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It is with a sad heart that I must pass the following information. Frank Stone, AC3P, died peacefully Tuesday afternoon, with his wife, children, and sister at his bedside. He will be missed by all, in the Radio, Astronomy, and Family community in which he lived.

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BRATS host successful “open house” repeater work party

The BRATS hosted a successful repeater work day/BBQ, making significant progress on cabling for the replacement receivers. A special thanks to Mark W3MSR and Mike KC3BFE for all the soldering, and Ed N3GXH for assembling connectors.

Stay tuned in to WB3DZO as we deploy our new receivers and tell us how we sound!

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BRATS Supports the 2015 MS150

The BRATS were proud to welcome back Bill KA3IDB to the MS150 Chesapeake Challenge this year. In addition to helping with radio communications, Bill shared stories about the very first Chesapeake Challenge over 30 years ago when he was one of the volunteers that outnumbered the riders.

Altogether, the BRATS drove nearly 5,000 miles this weekend, providing communications support on over 150 miles of roads, directly assisted nearly a dozen riders, and stepped up and provided medical volunteers when the scheduled group was delayed. In short, the BRATS as always helped wherever necessary make the event run smoother and keep the riders safe.

These efforts were made possible thanks to the Easton Amateur Radio Society’s continued support of the event through allowing our use of their repeater for the weekend for which we are as always grateful.

The BRATS wish to thank all of the hams who volunteered, including Ken K3RKU for helping coordinate with the EARS, N3GXH for working with the MS Society, and our drivers and radio volunteers K3DON, KA3IDB, WA3SWA, N3FJD, KB3NYW, W3DQT, KB3SKN, K5KNK, K2GZL, K9FXY, KC3CAC.

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Aero Field Day

Everyone is invited to participate with the Aero Amateur Radio Club, W3PGA, for Field Day the weekend of June 27 &28. The location is at the Essex Skypark, 1401 Diffendall Rd, Essex, MD 21221. We will be setup in the last hanger next to the large parking lot at the end of the road.

We will begin setup around noon or 1pm on Friday the 26th. Our aim is to get as much setup on Friday and complete setup on Saturday morning. This year we are planning to operate class 5A. There should be four HF phone/cw rigs, one PSK31 rig, and one 6 meter station. The antennas will be multi-band vertical, windom, G5RV, full size 2 element 20 meter beam.

Staff will be on location continuously from Friday afternoon thru Sunday afternoon teardown. Luxury overnight accommodations are available ranging from pitching a tent on the grass to sleeping in your vehicle. The location is handicapped accessible. Due to the location’s proximity to the water, you may wish to bring insect repellant.

Any attendees will need to provide their own food / water. There is water available on location for washing, but it is not recommended for drinking due to a high mineral content (well water).

Computer logging will be used using the N3FJP software (

The AEROARC website is at and our Facebook page is at

If you would like any additional information, send an email to Bob, WA3SWA at @

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May 11 meeting location

The May 11, 2015 meeting of the BRATS will be held at 7 PM at the Owings Mills Green Turtle. For directions, click here

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I regret to Inform you of the Passing of Dr. Frank “Doc” Barranco. Many BRATS knew Frank from the Baltimore County Fire Department, Navy-Marine Corps MARS, and Amateur Radio public service.
Doc Barranco was also a long time member of the Baltimore Amateur Radio Club. Many remember him sitting behind the table at the MARS booth at the hamfest.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26 from 2 until 4 and 6 until 8 at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 AM on Friday, March 27 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, 200 Ware Av, Towson, MD followed by interment at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Stella Maris, 4500 Dulaney Valley Rd, Timouium 21093 or to the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company, 1609 Bellona Av, Lutherville, MD 21093.

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