Monthly Archives: July 2015

ARRL.net Email Setup with Gmail

Open your Gmail webpage and click on the settings gear on the far right side of the page, and click “Settings”. Once the settings page is open, click on “Accounts and Import.”

Email1I recently decided to take advantage of the ARRL’s email system and setup my email address with them. The format is <callsign>@arrl.net. Setting it up in a Gmail system is kind of a PITA. Searching around the internet for a solution did not yield any effective results.

The following is a tutorial on how to properly setup your ARRL.net email with your Gmail account so you can both send and receive email where it reflects your @arrl.net email.

You must enable the option to “Opt-in to have a <username>@arrl.net email alias” on your ARRL profile under the “Edit Account” tab. The ARRL says the process takes six hours to fully enable, so enable it before bed, and you should be good in the morning.

Towards the middle of the page, click on the “Add another email address you own.” Enter in your Name and ARRL email address. Leave the “Treat as an alias” option checked and click “Next Step”

Email2This is where the confusion typically happens. You are adding this forward only account to your account, and Gmail wants to know what the outbound server is. The following are your settings for the outbound server.

 

  • SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.com for standard Gmail users OR smtp.googlemail.com for Google Apps for Business accounts. They essentially are the same server, but Google differentiates the two between standard and paid accounts. Standard port 587 is fine.
  • Username: <your-gmail-username>@gmail.com, i.e. billybob@gmail.com.
  • Password: Your Gmail Password
  • Secured connection using TLS (recommended) should be clicked by default. This is the one you want, because clicking the SSL could cause issues.

Click “Add Account”

Email3

When you click “Save Changes” a confirmation email will be send with a link and a number. You can then click the link to verify that you own the newly connected email. Once you click the link, you will then be able to both send and receive email from your ARRL.net email address.

When the setup process is completely setup and you have verified that you own the email address, you should see something that resembles this in the “Accounts and Import” tab of your Gmail settings.

Email4

Mesh Node

Sometime around about eight months ago, I began to hear a new term in the Amateur Radio world – Mesh Node. I had never heard of this before. A little study and education from fellow HARC club members taught me what I needed to know and that I now needed one.

The radio clubs of Southlake, Colleyville, and Grapevine, Texas have all been investing in this new system. It is basically a long range WiFi system that runs at higher power, on generally WiFi channel 1, which is in the 13 cm amateur radio bands. This allows for legal higher power output, in turn further range.

The nodes run on a modified version of OpenWRT on Ubiquity and Linksys equipment. I have a Ubiquity M2HP node connected to a 15 dB gain antenna mounted on the roof of the house.

In addition to the custom OpenWRT OS, it also has OSLR added in, not only is it powerful, it is also smart. OSLR allows for the node to autoconfig itself to join other nodes. If a node goes down, other nodes recognize it and automatically reconfigure to keep the connection alive. It is a great representation of what mesh networking is supposed to be.

Mesh nodes are still a new thing in amateur radio, but it is being quickly adopted in the DFW Metroplex for redundant emergency communications. One of the nodes in Southlake is running a full-fledged Asterisk server for VoIP phones to connect the EOC’s in the area, just in case normal internet/cellphones/landline phones collapse in a disaster.

The technical details of Mesh can be found here at the Broadband-Hamnet site.

Since it is still a new technology in the amateur radio world, coverage is spotty, but rapidly growing. Nodes are being installed every month in DFW, so there are quite a few installed including ones at:

  • Hospitals
  • EOC’s
  • Individual QTH’s like mine

The Hurst Amateur Radio Club has a mesh node that is ready to deploy. We are waiting on a couple of additional parts to arrive, but once they do, ours will be installed. This should connect mine to Hurst EOC, and in turn JPS Hospital and then up to Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville areas north. Once those are online, the hope is that the Tarrant County system will connect to the Denton County system. City of Denton is almost completely saturated with coverage. The goal is to form a large ham network that can stand tall and resilient in the time of need.

I am not a “Prepper” by any means (even though everyone should be), but it is still good to be prepared for emergencies. Hopefully mine will eventually link the Cities of Bedford and Hurst as a link in the chain, but only time will tell if that has. I have heard the mesh word spoken of at the Bedford ARC before, so we’ll see what happens.

Until Next Time.

Simplifying

I have been an Amateur Radio operator for 16 years now. I was a Technician for a couple of years, and a General for 10, before upgrading to Amateur Extra. Even though I was qualified to play on HF, I never did. I never had the equipment or the place to set it up. When I finally got on the [HF] air, I was anxious to send my QSO’s to every online log system I could find.

Since I originally decided to do that, I was sending all my contacts to QRZ, HamQTH, HRDLog, Clublog, LoTW, and eQSL. From time to time, I would make a little mistake and trying to clean up the fat finger of the keyboard was like pulling teeth. A couple of the sites were nearly impossible, and one is completely impossible.

I would love to completely purge my LoTW logs and start fresh. If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know. I would be incredibly grateful.

My logging software of choice, Log4OM, includes the dang seconds in the log, where most of the online logs could care less about seconds. I have approximately three times the actual contacts logged in LoTW than I really have, all because of the seconds being added to the signed ADIF.

I have closed out my QRZ, HamQTH, and Clublog log accounts. This is not the Department of Redundancy Department. I had to make it easier on myself and only submit to HRDLog and LoTW. eQSL pulls from HRDLog I think, so it will still be active. I am keeping that one mainly because the owner of eQSL lives right here in my own city. Surprise surprise.

The log page of this site shows the centralized log for viewing.

Until next time.