|Conversions of VHF/UHF Amps||Prez Sez|
A bit of a swap this month. Insead of in October, Mike N1JEZ will be discussing high wattage UHF and VHF conversions of solid state amplifiers at our September meeting.
Following the presentation, we'll thunder off to the snack bar!
I had a great vacation in the Canadian Maritime Provinces this past July; what a nice place to visit! We visited Acadia National Park in Maine for a couple of days then after a long drive through New Brunswick we crossed this fantastically long bridge onto Prince Edward Island with its acres and acres of potatoes and other crops like barley and wheat; did I mention the potatoes? This island produces 30 percent of Canada's potato crop and is about one quarter the size of Vermont. Next we took the ferry to the top of the southern island of Nova Scotia and drove to the northern island called Cape Breton and stayed four or five days on the east side of the island in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. After that, down to the south side of the Bay of Fundy then across the Gulf of Maine to St. John, NB for a night in a nice Bed & Breakfast, then back to Maine for a couple more days and home.
So what does this have to do with ham radio you may ask? Not much because I couldn't operate below 50 MHz due to bureaucratic foot dragging by the Canadian Department of Industry (nice fellow that answered the phone there said I could operate but not legally).
I brought a couple HTs along that came in handy where the cell coverage was missing (most of the trip) but even when I was on a 700 ft. high hill on the edge of the ocean I couldn't raise a single ham though I could hear them loud and clear on some Sunday night net they were having. Other than that no radio contacts were made, the closest I came was an email to the Halifax Radio Club that was hosting the national Radio Amateurs of Canada (Canadian ARRL) meeting in early August asking if they could mention the problem of US Amateurs without 5 wpm code not being able operate on HF in Canada. Got an answer back from the Vice President of Regulatory affairs for the RAC saying they have been asking this same question for years and would ask again. Hope it gets fixed soon.
I probably drove for 1500 miles in Canada, I got to see quite a number of WiFi antennas and when I asked what they were for when I was at the very tippy top of Cape Breton in a town called Meat Cove (this place was hard pressed to be called a town) the answer was that they now had high speed internet! They can get high speed internet to remote villages but they canŐt keep their regulations up to date.
I also saw a huge wire antenna array on the way to PEI that turns out to be Radio Canada International's Sackville, NB site used for shortwave broadcasting. Boy was it big maybe a third of a mile long with many elements. Here is a website with a bunch of pictures: www.j-hawkins.com/rci1.shtml.
I also got to visit the engine room of the ferry going from PEI to NS, it was quite a treat and not done for the general public.
Anyhow that is over and there hasn't been a lot happening radio wise other than the picnic at Kill Kare which I thought was a great success despite the high south wind that blew all day and made it very difficult to cook on the charcoal grill, we had to form a human windscreen to get the heat to the hamburgers and hotdogs.
Yours truly demonstrated the pneumatic antenna launcher effectiveness by helping to install two antennas in the nice trees at Kill Kare. One for W1V special event station, equipment provided by W1SJ, and one for N1YD, Jeff and his self powered receiver, an interesting device that receives signals and demodulates them without use of any other power source, Jeff also was quite helpful in explaining how it worked to anyone who was interested, I for one found it fascinating. The W1V station made about 130 contacts and I don't think I saw it sit idle very much with Paul AA1SU and Brian N1BQ manning the operating station much of the time. We vacated the grounds around 4:30 and didn't leave any arrows in the trees this time! The Park gave us free admission due to Carl's hard work there this summer - thanks Carl.
I Almost forgot, I built a Softrock Lite2 40 meter kit today and yesterday but it is not on the air yet while I figure out how to mount it, but it sure was a lot of fun and reminded me of how much fun it is to work on such things, I found the documentation to be spectacular once I got the right ones though it was a little odd using the computer to display them while I built it. If anyone has questions let me know, this is a great starter kit and is very reasonably priced.
It's about that time again. The ARRL has set October 2-3 as the official annual SET dates for this year. However, as the period for having a state's SET ranges from October to December, Vermont's is more likely to be in early November. The scenario is not yet fleshed out, so keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming details.
If you have any suggestions, please email
Vermont Emergency Management, Vermont Homeland Security, RACES, and others have been busily planning a statewide catastrophic exercise which will be held over 3 days between the 24th and 27th of this month. The plan calls for all sorts of nasty events to raise havoc in numerous places, and involves ham radio operators, through RACES, to provide communications support. Those who are involved with RACES, the Red Cross, CERT, or other soon-to-be-called-upon organizations might have an interesting and fun event in the works.
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