|Border Patrol||Secretary's Report||The Prez Sez|
|Steering Wheel Venue Change||Burlington MS Walk||Member Profile: Vince KB1RRF|
|World Radio Team Championship|
This month we have someone coming from the US Border Patrol. Come learn about Border Patrol Communications & Video Surveillance. After the presentation there will be snacks and a chance to chat. If you'd like to join us for pizza prior to the meeting, we'll meet at Zachary's on Williston Road around 6:00-ish.
Their talk did not have a title, but it could have been called "Soldering in the 21st Century." Mike N1FBZ and Vinnie KB1RRF brought out temperature controlled soldering irons, flux, solder wick, steel wool, magnifying glasses, and a Pana Vise to show how amateurs can do the really fine soldering required for surface mount components.
To back up a bit: Ordinary components have wire leads that fit into holes on the circuit board. Surface mount components do not use holes. Instead they are placed directly on the circuit board plating, and are held in place only by the solder joints. Surface mount components have teeny tiny leads that can only be soldered using proper tools and a nice touch.
They played two short videos that explained the theory of what makes solder work, how flux helps, and what can go wrong. The videos then demonstrated the successful soldering of several types of surface mount components, and even an 0.06 inch "chip cap" that was much smaller than a grain of rice.
Just to prove that it all works as advertised, Mike then soldered some similar components on the spot, while Vinnie showed what was being done using a nice video camera and projector. Everyone attending was given an opportunity to try it.
For anyone who is starting out, their advice is:
Kathi will bring the snacks for next month's meeting.
Here it is May, for the first time this year, hope you all had a good spring, I know I did, but at least right now it appears to be over: 32 degrees and 6 inches of snow. I know it will pass soon, but for the moment it feels like winter and the only ray of hope is that in a couple days IÕll be at Near-Fest VII and the weather prognosticators, after casting their bones in the sand, have said that it will be 70 to 80 degrees and sunny. It remains to be seen.
Speaking of Near-Fest VII, when you read this it will be over, hopefully you enjoyed yourself if you went and if you didn't, sorry we missed you, as it has always been a great time to check in with people you might talk to on the air but rarely see. Remember to put the next one this fall on your calendar and try to be there or be square.
We covered the MS Walk on the 24th and it went quite smoothly. It left me thinking the usefulness of these activities and after we assisted an elderly couple get a ride when they became overly tired. I remembered the other people that had been helped over the years of doing these events; the 70-something year old who fell off his parade ride on to the tarmac, hard; the multiple people that collapse during the marathons and the lost biker we chased into Saint Albans one time hoping he hadn't disappeared off the road.
This made the activity seem pretty worthwhile without considering that all the people walking are trying to help their family, friends and co-workers with their battle with Multiple Sclerosis, what better way is there to spend a day! Sign up for a morning or even a day, some activities aren't quite so noble, but provide excellent training nonetheless. You never know, some day you may save a life with what you have learned.
What did I learn at this outing? Well, lock your radio on frequency and make sure you know what all the participants' job functions are before the event starts; it will prevent errors in the heat of the moment.
A few more lessons well learned, hard to do one of these without something coming up.
I'm off to finish packing for the trip to Deerfield, I hope you all find yourselves well and good DX.
We now meet at the Ground Round on Williston Road. The meeting is on the 3rd Tuesday, at 6:30, and is open to all. It's purpose is to plan meetings and discuss club issues and upcoming events that might need to be presented to the membership. Anyone having ideas or who wants to see what happens "behind the scenes" is welcome. The food is good also.
The Burlington Multiple Sclerosis has come and gone. It was a delightful morning on April 24th around 8:00 when Chuck KB1RQX, Alden K1HA and his wife Dorothy, John K1JCM, Robert W1RFM, Thomas KB1KVY and John N1LXI met up at the Champlain Elementary School on Pine Street in Burlington to serve this event.
We started off by erecting a 2-meter Ringo Ranger 2 antenna on 20 feet of mast on the lawn in front of the school to cover the not very demanding job of covering the course on 146.58 simplex, then we moved off to attack the bagels and cream cheese and find the coordinators of the walk. Thomas KB1KVY, got to be the director's shadow and had the dubious honor of trying to keep track of her, hopefully he got some pointers from his brother, Robert, who has been the shadow for the last 5 or 6 years if my memory serves me well.
John N1LXI found the location of his favorite rest stop (the one with the fudge!) and was off. Chuck KB1RQX covered the other rest stop with some very small communication issues due to the large buildings in the way. He was able to find a sweet spot and it worked well.
John K1JCM and Robert W1RFM geared up to be the bike-mobiles; K1JCM was lead bike for the long course and W1RFM was trail bike for the short course. Alden K1HA and his sidekick, Dorothy, was to be trail for the long course in a car. A bit into the walk it was discovered that two important direction signs were missing, one at the corner of Pearl Street and Church Street and one at the corner of Church and Main. We relayed this to the route director and learned there was no way to fix it, so K1JCM directed walkers at the north end of Church Sreet and Dorothy helped out at the Church and Main corner. This cut down on lost walkers, but the lead bike was now not leading anymore.
Alden K1HA got directed away to give an elderly couple a ride from Perkins Pier (W1RFM stayed with them until they were picked up). This took away the trail mobile for a while, leaving the long part of the course not covered very well for a short period until Alden could come back and John, K1JCM could back-track the course for a way. Bu, we only lost a few to shopping on Church Street, so all was well.
We all met back at the school for some subs and drink, took down the mast, rolled up the coax, and left. A great job to all who helped, see you next year!!
In high school Vince was interested in CB radio. During breaks when working evenings, he enjoyed chatting with truckers during breaks. After high school he met Bob DeVarney W1ICE at Vermont Technical College. Bob introduced him to amateur radio. He showed him where to get information and practice exams for his license and encouraged him to become a ham. Vince earned his Technician license in February, 2009.
Vince has always been fascinated by all aspects of radio and radio communication. For him it was a natural progression firs to CB radio, then to amateur radio. In May, 2009, he helped with the Vermont City Marathon, his first public service event. June, 2009, found him at his first Field Day event. He enjoyed it immensely and made over 300 contacts on the GOTA station. He made about 170 in a four-hour evening shift (when propagation was good) then the rest during the final hour and a half.
Currently, Vince has a Yaesu VX-6R 144/430 MHz hand-held and Kenwood TS-830S base station. The TS-830S is a hybrid transceiver from the 1980's which contains digital circuitry as well as vacuum tubes. He uses a Butternut 6-band vertical antenna with the Kenwood.
Vince's primary interest in amateur radio is experimenting and tinkering. He is a student at Vermont Technical College, studying Computer Engineering, and has an internship at MicroStrain where he works designing circuits for wireless sensors. There are many projects Vince is looking forward to, especially those involving satellite communications and EME techniques. He has an old Motorola AM Receiver he plans to restore. He hopes to earn his General ticket this summer and will continue to help out with community service events whenever possible.
The World Radiosport Team Championship, in which about 50 teams from all over the world compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze, is known as the "Olympics of Amateur Radio." The 2010 event will be held in Moscow, Russia, July 8-12. Teams will be set up in tents in fields near Moscow with generators supplying the power. There will be special new rules to allow both operators to make contacts in a modified form of Single OP - 2 Radio with interlocked radios - meaning only one signal at a time is permitted on the air. The event is being held by Soyuz Radioljubiteley Rossii - the Russian National Amateur Radio Society.
WRTC came into being under the auspices of the Goodwill Games in Seattle, WA, in 1990. The Games were focused not only on outstanding athletic performances but also on areas of cultural exchange, arts, and other unique subjects - one of these being amateur radio. Radio Amateurs worldwide gathered in an Olympic-style event.
The next WRTC event was in San Francisco in 1996. This time the WRTC was a pure Radio Amateur event and assumed more clearly defined proportions of the Olympics, including the four-year cycle. The WRTC began to emerge as a worldwide radio contest and, in particular, a warm-hearted gathering of radio-contesters.
WRTC went international in 2000 when it was held in Bled, Slovenia. The four-year cycle was broken at Helsinki, Finland, in 2002 thanks to the declining sunspot cycle, but it did make a nice 50-year celebration of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
The most recent WRTC was in 2006 at Florianopolis, Brazil. Since this was at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, and propagations were so poor, the WRTC provided a linear amplifier and a beam for the 40-meter band, and rules were modified to give the second operator a more active role.
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