RADIO AMATEUR NEWS & VIEWS, JULY, 2008

RADIO AMATEUR

NEWS & VIEWS

JULY 2008

IN THIS ISSUE...
Program Your Radio Norris Scout Camp Our Last RANV Meeting
Girls On the Run Coming Up Field Day Results




HOW TO COMPUTER PROGRAM YOUR RADIO
The July 8th RANV Meeting

This month's extravaganza is programming and backing up your HT or mobile radio with a computer and an inexpensive cable. Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood radios will be covered and at least two of each manufacturer's radios will be demonstrated. Not all radios from the listed manufactures can be covered in detail as there are different software packages for various models. With the difficultly in programming most radios and the multitude of repeaters and frequencies out there, computer programming is the way to go.

There will also be discussion about grabbing and merging the data from the ARRL TravelPlus for Repeaters CD with the various programs that the radios use for their programming. This valuable tool allows the user to take the repeater data right off the CD and have it directly programmed into the radio This is a valuable and speedy tool for anyone planning a trip and wanting to have all the repeaters in their radio.

Festivities get underway at 6 PM for dinner at Zack's on Williston Road. The meeting will start at 7 PM at the O'Brien Civic Center, 116 Patchen Road, South Burlington. Hope to see you there!


NORRIS SCOUT CAMP

Last chance to have a great time with a few scouts introducing them to Radio at Camp Norris.

At this time, two weeks are taken, week 1 (K1JCM) and week 3 (KD1BL). We could really use some additional folks to help out. This is pretty straight forward, all the documentation is provided, simply follow the power points, speak like you know it and it will be done. While DX contacts would be nice, VHF will work well. We have pulleys in the trees, need to completed the station set-up this coming week.

From those who have the option to work from home or remote, the Johnson or Morrisville Library has wireless access that is free and can be used with a visit to their front desk.

Let me know if you can help, this a great opportunity to introduce radio to the next generation while enjoying the great outdoors.


OUR LAST RANV MEETING

by Carl AB1DD, Sec'y

The June meeting got underway about 7:07 PM with 21 members and guests present. There were a few announcements, the most important being the upcoming Field Day at the end of the month. President Brian. N1BQ welcomed all, followed by introductions.

Jim, KE1AZ was selected to bring snacks for the July meeting. We moved into the main part of the meeting right away so the presenter could get away early.

The topic was a presentation on the Vermont Guard's Unified Command Suite, which is a truck filled with all sorts of radios and electronic equipment. Eric KB1OGU, representing the Vermont National Guard, gave a short presentation on the mission of the group. They are a first responder, primarily responsible for communications. They can interface almost any radio and use it as a repeater. They also have the ability to communicate almost anywhere from "DC to Light". This includes satellite phones and the internet.

After his presentation, we had the opportunity to tour the van. Space was at a premium, so a few people went in at a time. Inside the van was impressive. It was filled with wall to wall radios and other equipment. Eric was able to explain most of what went on inside, but there was some places that were classified. If he were to talk about these, he would have to shoot us.

We just made it back inside when the sky opened up and it rained heavily with some serious lightning hits nearby. Back inside, we got snacks, and had some discussion on field day.

The meeting ended just before 9.


GIRLS ON THE RUN

by Brian N1BQ

This is the second year that RANV has supplied communications assistance to Tom Heidinger of Brattleboro who coordinates the "Girls on the Run" 5 kilometer event at the University of Vermont. The day before the event a warm front came in bearing blistering temperatures. We arrived Sunday morning at Gutterson Field House well aware that the beautiful weather could hold big trouble. The only real ray of sunshine was the slight breeze that remained with us the whole day.

Bob KB1FRW, Dave N1ZUL, Joe K2KBT, Marsha KB1GMD, Thomas KB1KVY, and Brian N1BQ worked the event. Bob and Thomas were bike mobile, I was Net Control, and Marsha, Dave and Joe manned checkpoints. We were a bit short handed so in addition to 2 meters, I had to use a cell phone to keep in touch with the UVM Ambulance.

There were approximately 1500 participants of all ages, abilities, and genders, but mostly 5th grade age girls. We started right off with a broken ankle only a few minutes into the run. When the dust cleared, we had seen a half dozen turned ankles, of varying degrees of severity, a dozen or so overheated kids who responded to sitting in the shade and rehydrating. Then there a half dozen approaching heat exhaustion that the paramedics cared for plus three who were on the verge of heat stroke who found themselves parked unceremoniously on the ice in the hockey arena to literally chill out all the while under the watchful eye of a paramedic. All three responded to the rehydration and chilling and hospitalization wasn't required.

The work we did was simple and straight forward but absolutely essential. Next year I know that I will need at least three more people to do it right. The Girls On the Run people were very glad to have us there and happy with our services.


COMING UP!

With Field Day behind us, that's the first of the big RANV events this summer. Dont forget to plan for the August 2nd picnic in St. Albans.

There are a few other ham radio activities of note this summer. Next weekend, July 12-13th is the IARU HF Championship. This is a shortened summertime DX contest, running from 8 AM Saturday to 8 AM Sunday.

On the very next weekend after that, July 19-20th is the CQ Worldwide VHF Contest. This runs from 2 PM Saturday until 5 PM Sunday and only 6 and 2 meters are used. Find yourself a high spot and be competitive on the two bands!

August is Hamfest Time! That's when the St. Albans ARC holds their hamfest. This year's event is a two day show running from 11 AM Friday, August 15th until 5 PM Saturday August 16th at the Franklin County Field Days in Swanton. And the New England Division Convention returns to Boxborough, Massachusetts on August 23-24th. Don't miss it!


FIELD DAY RESULTS

by Mitch W1SJ

It was with a good deal of nervousness that I approached Field Day 2008. The entire "north end" of the site (the CW and GOTA stations) was completely revamped with different antennas and radios. The operating procedure was markedly changed as well. We spent a lot of time planning out every detail, but there are always those jitters which come with trying to realize what big thing was overlooked.

Fortunately, very little was overlooked, and with the combination of antennas and great high band propagation, we nailed it. Records were broken all over the place, including total points, total CW QSO's, 40 and 20 meter CW QSO's, GOTA QSO's and VHF QSO's. Where we had trouble being heard on the GOTA station before, this year we had no trouble reaching the GOTA maximum of 500 QSO's in short order.

Propagation was totally unexpected. We laughed when we put a monster 15 meter yagi up, figuring that we would get an opening of about an hour at most. It turns out that 15 meters was open right at the start on Saturday afternoon up until the evening and then opened up again on Sunday morning. Needless to say, it was a big player for us. At the same time, 6 meters opened up with a big Sporadic E opening on Sunday morning right up through the end of the contest. I suspect that 10 meters was also wide open, and we had an antenna ready to go for it, but we had more than enough QSO's to work elsewhere. But at the same time, 80 meters, which we figured to be a big player, was a bust. Monster high noise levels kept all but the strongest signals out of the log. On phone, 40 meters didn't fare much better, although CW had some good runs there. To offset this, 20 meters was open all night long! It was like we advanced 3 years in the sunspot cycle.

The strange and interesting antenna sharing experiment we tried between CW and GOTA was a success! Both stations had a choice of 4 very competitive antennas, but they had to share them and couldn't be on the same band at the same time. The band swapping procedure mostly went off without a hitch.

On CW, ED N1UR operated the first 10 hours and took us to school on many CW QSO's can be logged in an hour. There is a reason why he wins contests often! Paul AA1SU, Tom W1EAT and Doug AB1T rounded out the CW corps. Over on phone, Mitch ran the station half the time, assisted by Paul AA1SU and Fred N1ZUK who did the morning coffee wake up show - mostly on 20 meters this year! We also introduced new phone operators Chris K1CCP and Brian N1BQ who made their RANV phone debut as they were slowly dipped into the cauldron known as 20 meters.

GOTA this year was absolutely precious. Christine KB1PQN, a Technician with some experience had some big runs early on, especially on 15 meters. Listening on the monitoring radio, the combination of her accent and pileup made it sound like a big DXpedition! Nancy NK1A was visiting Burlington and asked to join up with us. She had never made a contact before, but that didn't seem too evident as she rattled off 100 QSO's. Jeff N1YD who made but a handful of QSO's years ago at Field Day came back and blasted out 100 plus QSO's this year, in addition to serving as a coach. Nina N1COB who hasn't touched a radio in years, ran into Carl AB1DD last week and he installed her on the GOTA station where she also racked up QSO's and coached. Other GOTA operators included John KB1OME and Alan KB1PNF, plus several kids who tried their hand.

The VHF station is usually a sleepy backwater where nothing much happens. Not this year! Six meters opened up big time on Sunday. Bob KB1FRW and Brian N1BQ seemed to be doing most of the operating at this time. It was quite a sight to see the entire tent modulating from the loudness of Brian's voice. He was Q5 copy down the road - without a radio!

Field Day 2008 was an unqualified success. We set out want we planned to do, we made some technical changes which worked well and we got lots of people on the air. We made a record number of points, and we can only wait to see how that holds up against the competition.


FIELD DAY BOX SCORE

80 CW 45 80 SSB 175
40 CW 503 40 SSB 165
20 CW 653 20 SSB 1461
15 CW 351 15 SSB 640
GOTA CW0 GOTA Ph500
VHF CW 1 VHF Ph 284
Sat CW 0 Sat Ph 1
Tot CW 1553 Tot Ph 3226



  2008 2007 2006
Total QSO’s 4779 3968 4643
Total Bonuses 2090 1850 2050
Total Points 14754 12328 13858



FIELD DAY HALL OF FAME

AA1SU Paul – Phone/CW op; equipment; Bonuses; Set up; Tear down.
AB1DD Carl – GOTA Organizer; Equipment; Set up; Tear down.
AB1T Doug – CW op.
AK1H Phil – Field cutting.
K1CCP Chris – Phone op; Set up.
K1JCM John – Set up, Tear down.
KB1FRW Bob – VHF op; Equipment; Traffic; Set up; Tear down.
KB1KPO Jerry – VHF op; Set up; tear dn.
KB1KVY Thomas – Set up; tear down.
KB1LIE Jon – Tear down.
KB1LIF Barb – VHF op.
KB1MDC Alan – Setup.
KB1OME John – GOTA op; Tear down.
KB1OOX Phil – GOTA coach; Set up.
KB1PNF Alan –GOTA op; Tear down.
KB1PQN Christine – GOTA op.
KE1AZ Jim – GOTA Coach; Tear down.
N1BQ Brian – Phone op; VHF op; Set up; Tear down.
N1COB Nina – GOTA op; GOTA coach.
N1UR Ed – CW op; Big yagi wrangler; Set up; Tear down.
N1YD Jeff – GOTA op; GOTA coach;Set up; Tear down.
N1ZUK Fred – Phone op.
NK1A Nancy – GOTA op; Food.
W1MOT Tom – Set up. 
W1EAT Tom – CW op.
W1EBR Gene – Setup.
W1SJ Mitch – Chairman; Phone op; equipment; Set up; Tear down; Results. 
W4YFJ Bob – Bulletins; Set up.
WY0N Jim – GOTA Coach.





Back to the top
Other RANV Newsletters
Back to RANV Home