RADIO AMATEUR NEWS & VIEWS, JULY 2011

RADIO AMATEUR

NEWS & VIEWS

JULY 2011

IN THIS ISSUE...
Mystery Radio Annual Picnic Field Day Fireworks
Secretary's Report Prez Sez W1ICW Profile
Rhubarb Bars

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NEXT MEETING: July 12, 2011 - MYSTERY RADIO

The July meeting will be a presentation by a mystery guest on a mystery radio subject. Be assured it will be interesting, it’s just that the editors have no details. We can tell you the snacks will be superlative!


ANNUAL PICNIC

The RANV picnic will be on Sunday, August 7th at Kill Kare State Park in St. Albans Bay. This is early and you might not get the August newsletter in time, so mark you calendars. We start at 11:00, and run all afternoon until 5:00, so there is plenty of time to work in the picnic with other activities.

RANV will supply park admission, soft drinks and charcoal. You bring the rest. Be sure to bring family and friends, food to eat, appropriate sporting goods and clothing and any radio stuff you would like to play with. Leave pets at home since the park doesn’t allow them, and it is too hot to leave a pet in the car.

Directions: Take I-89 North to Exit 19, St. Albans. Go past the light and down the access highway 1 mile to Route 7. Make a right and head 0.5 miles into downtown St. Albans. Look for Taylor Park (big green) on your right and then look for Lake Street and make a left. Go 3 miles on Lake Street until you see The Bayside Pavilion at your left and a Shell station at your right. Make a right turn and head north. You will pass St. Albans Town Park. Keep going!

You will only go 0.7 miles from the turn and will cross a small bridge. Right after this bridge, turn left on to Hathaway Point Road. Unfortunately, the Park sign if often missing, so pay attention. Go 3 miles to the Park entrance.

Let's have a great turnout and a great day at the picnic!


FIELD DAY FIREWORKS

Mitch W1SJ

Wow! It’s fitting I write this on July 4TH to describe the RF fireworks we had during Field Day. I knew we had something special going on when 10-Meters was wide open both days, 15-Meters was open until midnight, and 20-Meters was open ’round the clock. After some 5400 QSO’s and 16000 points had been tallied, it was confirmed as one of the best openings I’ve ever seen during the summer classic. Consider these club records we set:

If there was a weak spot, it was in the GOTA and Youth bonuses. We’ll have to work on that next year. Otherwise, we were handed tremendous propagation and we got it done!

We did extremely well, but there is no telling who took the top spot. There have been many big scores posted, especially from the south. We’ll have to wait until November to find out how everyone did. Stay tuned to next month’s News & Views and the RANV web for full details on Field Day.


SECRETARY'S REPORT - JUNE MEETING

JEFF N1YD

It started out looking like we would have a low calorie fat free meeting. Jim was going to bring snacks, but he could not attend. Paul AA1SU came to the rescue. Kathi will bring snacks next time.

BUSINESS -

PRESENTATION -

Gene Risi W1EBR, gave a talk on software defined radio. Software can take the place of many conventional radio components, often with better performance and lower cost. For example, every GPS receiver is essentially a software defined radio. They receive signals from 32 GPS satellites which all transmit on the same frequency, and which all have -160 db signal strength.

A “pan adapter” wide-band receiver can cost less than $60. Gene has put together several kits for club members. The top of the line QS1R handles seven HF bands. Excellent free software is available to run the radios.

The key idea is that the radio works with a computer sound card. The radio converts the RF into amplitude and phase information, which it outputs as two channels of sound known as I and Q (In phase, and Quadrature phase). SDR radios have a remarkable bandwidth. Programs like Winrad show a waterfall display up to 80KHz wide. This makes it easy to find the active areas of the band. The software can handle any mode, so anything from sideband to digital modes is supported. Many SDR radios are accessible over the web. You can hear them and control them remotely. To try them out, visit sdr-radio.com and websdr.org.


THE PREZ SEZ

Bob KB1FRW, President

CQ, CQ, CQ, Whiskey One November Victor Tango CQ Field Day—darn that’s hard to stop, after the fun we had this year. It was quite a time, with few glitches, almost completely great weather (there was a humdinger of a thunder and lightening storm that went through Saturday), most of the equipment worked as advertised, and the only downtime came when the storm went through.

We did have some trouble with the new Honda EU2000i generator—it wouldn’t hold the complete load between the CW and GOTA tents and had to be disconnected. Fortunately we had two standby generators that worked just fine and the show went on, we will be testing the Honda in the next few weeks, and just learned that it has a 3-year warranty which is still applicable.

The UHF/VHF station had an interesting time of it, 6-Meters stayed open almost the whole 24 hours! Barb, KB1LIF, and Jerry, KB1KPO, held down the fort most of the time with some help from Zack, K1ZK, and yours truly, KB1FRW. I got on about 0800 on Sunday and worked 6-Meters for about 4 hours, the contacts weren’t easy as the band would open a little, you would work 2 or 3 stations and then it was back to CQ, CQ. I could hardly maintain a 60-rate but it was a blast. I’m not sure of the final tally but I remember around 460+ in the log when I stopped around noon on Sunday, none too shabby!

GOTA was a bit low on operators but still managed to put many contacts in the log, Carl, AB1DD, contacted 25+ hams inviting them to come to operate and I believe only 2 or 3 came. The ones that operated did well and were able to rack up a sizeable score.

Kathi, K1WAL, and Spence, KB1PDW, came up with some fine eating for Saturday evening and set us up for Sunday breakfast and lunch, probably the most important component of the event. An army marches on its stomach. Thank you.

I never got to the phone tent except to pour gas in the generator but from what I heard from Mitch, W1SJ, the final score is as good as it gets, so they most likely weren’t sleeping in there.

Unfortunately this year the end of Field Day has dragged on, the return of two of the launchers, the WCAX generators, and the trailer has been extended due to many reasons, hopefully next year some of these problems will be resolved.

All and all it was a great time and very successful, I saw a lot of smiles, visiting seemed to be at an all time high and the setup (except for the broken dipole) and tear-down was quite smooth and efficient. Congratulations to all who participated—it was spectacular!

Here I am at 11:00pm on the 4th of July and I have to work tomorrow so it is off to bed. Don’t forget to mark the August 7TH picnic in your calendar as you may not get a newsletter in time to remind you. See you all at the next meeting.


MEMBER PROFILE:
Bob DeVarney W1ICW

by Kathi K1WAL

As a child, Bob had an older brother who had a passing interest in amateur radio. Their parents were very encouraging and got him several Heath kits to work on. Eventually the interest passed and the kits laid unfinished for several years. Around age 12 or 13, Bob discovered them and took over.

Bob had a neighbor who wanted to become a ham, and took him along to a BARC radio class in 1979. Bob earned his Novice ticket with the callsign KA1FBJ and was on the air! Bob’s parents were, again, very supportive and eventually let him set up a tower purchased from Dick Parker, KT1J (the KT1J call is now held by Henry Ingwersen in Addison, himself a mentor to many, including Robin, N1WWW).

DeVarney’s early equipment was a lot of tube gear, a lovely Knight R100 Receiver, and his Heath-kits DX-60 and GR-64. As time went on, he moved away and sold much of his equipment, but the tower at his parents’ house remained. When his parents passed away the house went to Bob. After restoring and repairing most of the house, he started to collect new radio equipment and became very active in DXing.

In 1983 Bob earned his Technician ticket, then his General six months later. In 1990 he earned his Extra ticket and his Commercial Radio license. He changed his callsign from KA1FBJ to WE1U. He also became an ARRL and W5YI Volunteer Examiner around this time. In 1987-88 Dick KT1J, now a bored Extra, got Bob interested in satellite communications. Satellite operating became his one passion in amateur radio for nearly 15 years. More recently, Bob got bored with the current “fleet” of ham radio satellites and decided to try Earth-Moon-Earth (“Moon Bounce”). He’s made some rather impressive EME contacts in the ensuing year, and even got to meet an EME contact from Germany at a recent RANV meeting!

Dick and his wife, Ellen, were special friends to Bob. After Dick passed away Ellen married a mutual friend named Tex. As a wedding gift to Tex, Ellen decided to earn her Technician ticket. Bob was honored to be part of the VE team when she took (and passed) her test. Years later, after Tex had died, Bob called Ellen to see if it would be agreeable with her that he take Tex’s callsign. Ellen was delighted! With his former callsign of WE1U, he had had problems with foreign DXers wanting to add more letters. Bob now has Tex’s callsign of W1ICW, an honor which he holds dear.

In about 1986, Bob and his friend Mike Gladu, N1FBZ, became acquainted with another local ham, Dan Lowe, N1FYL. The three would get together on Friday evenings for a meal at The Hoagie Hut, and then work on projects at Dan’s house in Colchester. Eventually many others have joined the group for what, over 25 years, has become known as Nerd Night—a gathering still going strong to this day.

Some of his most memorable contacts took place at the shack of another big influence in his life, Hamilton Fay, WE1Q. Mike N1FBZ and Bob would go to Ham’s house Wednesday evenings for tea and dessert with Ham and his wife, and then adjourn to Ham’s well-stocked vintage hamshack to work some serious DX on 20-Meters. Fay had been a design engineer for some of the great manufacturers of ham radio over the years, including Collins, Johnson, and SBE. He helped design a rig called the Johnson Viking Avenger, of which only about 22 were ever made; Bob and Mike helped him restore the Avenger to operating condition and put it on the air.

DeVarney well remembers working DX legend Father Moran, 9N1MM, among others. He also has several very unusual Shortwave listening QSL cards, including a QSL from The Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which he heard and QSLed during the 1979-1981 Iranian Hostage Crisis.

Bob’s current shack consists of a Kenwood TS-2000X as his main HF and satellite rig, an Elecraft K2 and Elecraft 2-meter transverter he uses primarily for EME work, and a bewildering variety of receivers including an SDR-IQ, Icom PCR-1000, several Watkins-Johnson receivers, an AOR AR7000, and an HP3586C that collectively cover everything from 50 Hz to 2 GHz. His latest acquisition is a great old National HRO-60 dating from about 1961. Several homebuilt amplifiers and two towers (one for the HF tribander and satellite antennas, one smaller mast for the EME array) round-out the system.

Not only is Bob an Extra class ham, he is an Extra class cook! While he collects and occasionally follows recipes, he mostly cooks by the seat of his pants, experimenting with spices and in-gredients as he goes. He has made BBQ sauces and rubs and has sold them at several stores. Other interests which keep him occupied are Geocaching, competitive shooting, fishing, gardening, wood- and metal-working, model rockets, his Masonic Lodge activities, and of course his family.


RHUBARB BARS

(courtesy of Bob W1ICW)

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter or margarine

Filling:
2 cups sugar (or 1 cup white, 1 cup brown)
1/3 cup flour
2 eggs
3 cups finely chopped rhubarb

Procedure:
Mix the crust ingredients like a pie crust and pat into a 9"x13"cake pan. Mix the filling ingredients well, spoon into crust and bake 350º for 45 minutes.



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