W8DF/R 220 repeater seemed a little busy during December as it had 106 connections through Echolink.  I have little doubt that a number of these were stations just fishing.  I accounted for sixteen connections from less than sunny and warm Sacramento, CA during my visit with my daughters family.  Not included in the connection count is any testing/experimenting I did.

    One interesting experience occurred on Dec 11.  Early that morning, it sounded as if the repeater had interference or a squelch problem.  A quick look showed the problem to be an Echolink connection.  There were six stations connected to W8DF/R. The system log showed three of these had already disconnected.  A little detective work showed the station in Spearfish, SD was not
the problem, nor was the station in Guam.  The station, a link, in Japan seemed to be the origin of the problem as the link receiver squelch was running open.  I have noted this can cause touch-tone falsing in an Echolink computer and generate random connections. I connected to the Japan station several times for the next few days and the problem seemed to continue.  Trying to figure out how
to let the guy know he had a problem, I finally e-mailed the Echolink guru for advice.  They replied they would "look into it." Sure enough, later that same day the problem was resolved.

    Echolink has some neat features available to sysops, among them is STATION SHORTCUTS, similar to speed-dial.  The KB7YQY sysop added 22 as a shortcut to connect his repeater to W8DF. Seemed like a good idea, so the shortcut C44 was added on W8DF. The simple entry of C44 will connect to the KB7YQY 440 MHz

    Echolink seems to be working quite well on the 220 MHz repeater.  Among other activity, it has increased the number of club members checking into the regular Monday evening net.



    An article in the news mentioned the perceived dangers of exploding lithium batteries on aircraft.  A few years ago most computer makers stopped installing lithium cells for the memory supply voltage.  A local amateur had a cell blow up in his computer. Luckily, it did no damage to anything. Perhaps we should learn a little about these cells.

    Did you know that there are two types of batteries using Lithium?  There is not only a Lithium battery, but there is  Lithium-ion battery. The practical difference is that the Lithium battery should never be recharged and the Lithium-ion battery can be recharged thousands of times. Far more than the NiCad with which we are all familiar.  The Lithium battery uses pure lithium which is quite unstable and Lithium-ion battery uses lithium compounds resulting in a far stabler unit.

    The Lithium-ion battery will hold its charge for several months if it has at least a partial charge when stored. It's still best to store it fully charged and to use it periodically and then recharge before storing it again. What is the best way to store Lithium Ion batteries?

    The Lithium-ion has a much higher energy density than most other rechargeables and they operate at a higher voltage, typically 3.7 volts. This of course means that they aren't capable of directly replacing some other batteries as the 1.2 volt NiCad or NiMH cell for cell but could be used to replace
multiple NiCad or NiMH cells. Since NiCad and NiMH batteries lose from one to five percent of their charge each day, the slow loss of the Lithium Ion cell is an other advantage for the cell.  Smaller or lighter, higher voltage and holding their charge longer is a plus.


19 Jan    Burton, MI
ARAY Swap   8 AM to Noon at Bently Middle School, 1180 NORTH Selsay Rd.  Admission $5 at the door;  talk-in on 147.1 (100 Hz) repeater. ATV Demo, VE Sessions.

20 Jan    Hazel Park, MI
Hazel Park Hamfest 8 A to Noon, Hazel Park High School, 21400 Hughes St. (Off 9 Mile Rd.) Admission $5 at the door; talk-in on 146.64 (100 Hz) repeater.

2 Feb     Negaunee, MI
Negaunee Hamfest 9 AM to 2 PM at Negaunee Township Hall 42, Highway M 35 Admission $4 at the door; talk-in on 147.27 (100 Hz) repeater.

Paul, WD8JOM

While working at a pizza parlor
I observed a man
ordering a small pizza to go.
He appeared to be alone
and the cook asked him
if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6.
He thought about it for some
time before responding.
"Just cut it into 4 pieces;
I don't think I'm hungry enough
to eat 6 pieces."
Yep, They Walk Among Us!

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