Please see the following from Barry K3EUI about the Saturday Morning Digital Training Net (previously the five counties digital training net or FCDTN).  Also Barry will have a "Winlink for Rookies" class sponsored and promoted by our section manager.

A few have asked me “what happened to the evening FCDTN net” on the 2m repeater?

Due to conflicts with other organizational nets on weekday evenings, it seemed to me that the FCDTN had no chance of success if we tried to meet at 7 or 8 pm on Monday or Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday were county ARES meetings, and no one wants a Friday evening net. That left weekend.

So, the FCDTN net has changed in name and the time.

The goal is no longer to link the five counties around Phila with digital mode capability (Bucks, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Phila). We are finding that the multiple VARA FM digipeaters on 145.670 MHz are already doing that nicely now.

Maybe we should even disband this IO group since it seems to serve no purpose.

I now think of the replacement net as the 

    Saturday Morning Digital Training Net

And it meets by Zoom at 9 am every (or most) Saturday mornings, after the NY NBEMS on 80m ends around 9 am. Since it is a Zoom net, folks can check in from anywhere with an internet connection.

The new goal is to teach each other about sound card digital modes, regardless of whether there is an EMCOMM implication.  We spent some time in November and December looking at using the Nano VNA as a test instrument (checking antennas) and we are now looking at VAR AC app to use the mode VARA.

So far we have been getting around 10-15 checkins (Zoom) on Saturday and no QRM.

Folks from NY, NJ, CT, MA, DE and PA are all in this together.

Last weekend we had one from MO and one from Iowa.

We have a few rookies, and a few seasoned ops.

We have a variety of radios HF SSB and sound cards.

We are often using 80m for digi mode testing (around 3583 to 3585 kHz, VFO) since the NVIS propagation is good for a few hundred miles at 9 am.

We also have the analog FM 2m repeater to test any sound card digi mode: 147.270 PL 77 for those in Philly region (with the owner’s blessing).

In March/April or perhaps April/May we are going to begin a class on Saturday morning at 9 am to 10 am with the title “Winlink for Rookies”. It will be sponsored and promoted by the EPA section of ARRL. It will be limited to the first 20 participants from the EPA zone.  It will begin on Zoom with an introduction to Winlink and VARA.

I hope this time and purpose makes sense.