JUNE 2013

All About CW Field Day 2013 VHF QSO Party
Secretary's Report Museum Ships Weekend Vermont City Marathon
Essex Memorial Parade

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Next Meeting: June 11

This month we will be talking about CW, or - Morse Code! We will have several club members share their CW experiences. Jim KE1AZ will start us out with an overview and some history, Mitch W1SJ will suggest ways to learn code, and other CW operators will tell us about contesting and explain what some of the shortcuts, prosigns, and abbreviations that are commonly used. If you don't know code then come and learn more about it! If you already know and use it come and share your stories and anecdotes. If your code is rusty then come and have a refresher! And be sure to check out the CW Station at Field Day!


Mitch W1SJ

By the time your read this, Field Day will be less than 2 weeks away - Friday-Sunday, June 21-23. Plan your work and family schedule now so that you can join us for this event.

At the next RANV meeting, on Tuesday, June 11th, we will briefly discuss some of the details about Field Day. Monday, June 17th is the pre-Field Day planning meeting 7-9 PM at my QTH. This is where we make sure we got all the details and stuff in place fo r the event.

Friday, June 21st is setup day where we set up all the antennas and infrastructure. The Field Day operating period starts 2 PM on Saturday and lasts 24 hours.

Please fill out the Field Day survey so we can determine who will be around at what times. Find this at Please set up your schedule and let us know quickly so plans can move forward. While we have most of the operators are set for the main stations, we need many operators and coaches for the GOTA and VHF stations.

Two items which we have to deal with each year (and this year is no exception) are food and transportation. We need to find someone to head up food preparation, food purchase, storage and preparation on site. It is a detailed job and one which is absolut ely crucial. Or, failing having a chef, we would instead need someone to plan menus and runs to take-out restaurants.

All the "stuff" you see at Field Day - numbering in the hundreds of items - has to be trucked in. Our other crucial job is finding the people who will be able to do the trucking on Friday morning and Sunday afternoon. A smooth operation starts with smoot delivery!

So please consider participating at Field Day 2013. But please do pre-register via the survey site. Things get very crazy at Field Day and a new person can quickly get overwhelmed without some prior direction. Ask anyone who attends - it's ham radio's greatest learning experience!


Mitch W1SJ

The ARRL VHF QSO Party, the premier VHF/UHF operating event, will take place Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9th. Things get underway at 2PM Saturday afternoon. June is often the peak of Sporadic E season and lots of stations can be worked IF the band opens. But you won't know that unless you get on. Look for activity at 50.125 MHz and up on 6 meters. If there are no large openings, 2 meter activity can be found around 144.200 MHz. You might find FM activity on 146.55 MHz, although this has dropped off in recent years.

I'll be up on Mt. Equinox, the good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise (a lot of that lately!). I generally will point the yagi north at the top of the hour, so that is a good time to call. If you have an outside antenna, or a high powered mobile, the res a good chance I'll hear you, so give it a try. Otherwise, consider driving to a high spot to really explore what you can hear on VHF. Mt. Philo and Mt. Mansfield are two popular hilltops to try in our area.

If you are on VHF, please make a point to get on during Field Day weekend, two weeks later. Our VHF station screams CQ for many hours with little local activity. If everyone turned on their VHF and UHF radios for a bit, there would be a lot more contacts to be made. We hope to see you on the air for both the VHF QSO Party and Field Day


Kathi K1WAL, Sec'y

May Meeting


Presentation: Japan

The meeting was a departure from our usual technical discussions. Mitch W1SJ gave a travelogue of his trip to Japan with his lovely wife Debbie W1DEB. He started off with the Top Ten Reasons NOT to go to Japan which included: no water fountains, metric system only, the food is creatures you never knew you could eat, and #1 - they drive on the wrong side of the road.

The trip was from March 22 through April 4. The goals were to use mass transit only, visit the Tokyo Anime Fair, visit during the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Season, go to a season opener of a Japanese baseball game, check out the trains, and visit rural mountainous areas as well as cities. Mitch and Debbie planned the trip themselves since no travel agent would be able to cover all their criteria. They spent over 2 months learning the geography, train routes, places to go, and places to stay.

He showed a slide of the Tokyo Subway map and Rail map which made any train map in the US look like child's play! On the rail map they learned the green circle route. Japan is about the size of California, but has lots more people! They arrived at the Narita Airport (about 35 miles from Tokyo) and had their first of many train rides on the Narita Express to their hotel. They adapted to many of the Japanese customs: no eating or drinking while walking or standing; no public smoking; no cell phones on trains except for texting; no loud talking in public; no shoes indoors - must wear the correct slippers; knives (and swords) are illegal, even little bitty ones. Mitch didn't mention their policy on nail clippers. Money was the Yen only but they found some good exchanges including a 7-11 ATM that took foreign debit cards.

The first day they went to Odaiba (which Mitch said is like Coney Island) for the Tokyo International Anime Fair. Mitch? Anime? Who knew?

They saw the best cherry trees at Ueno Park in Central Tokyo. As there are no water fountains in Japan there are lots of vending machines. Surprisingly, many signs were in English. Little bottles of water, soda, and nectar still cost the equivalent of a buck or more. They got a rail pass on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) for the long haul into the mountains. Mitch mentioned that a lot of the scenery he saw from the window (and while walking around) he recognized from Anime which uses actual places in great detail in its animation. Visiting Hiroshima was rather sobering. In Osaka they saw the Icom World Headquarters. Unfortunately tours were only for prearranged groups, but they were able to visit the showroom which had equipment from the 1960s to present. In the 1970s display Mitch started recognizing stuff he had had before, and stuff he still has.

They visited Kyoto which is Old Japan - very old fashioned and traditional. They got to see a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome where the Yomiuri Giants (the Japanese version of the Yankees) played the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. They caught another Anime event, the Chiba Anime Content Expo which was put on by the producers and studios.

Mitch had lots of great pictures of the cherry blossoms, buildings, scenery (including comparison of the "real thing" and the Anime version), trains (including an inverted monorail!), strange people in costume at the Anime shows, weird food, and more.

Interspered throughout the presentation were numerous Only-In-Japan tidbits such as the Super Station Master Tama-the-Cat, women only train cars, Japanese toilets with heated seats (but be careful which button you push or you may get sprayed in unexpected places), rules on pointing and calling (don't do it), a Dog Cafe, wearing face masks, and a statue of Hachiko, the lengendary Japanese dog.

It sounded like a fascinating trip! They made all their goals and came home in one piece. More power to those who can plan and successfully pull off such travels!



RANV successfully completed another Museum Ship weekend, aboard the SS Ticonderoga.

It all started out with the fastest gun in the east, Bob KB1FRW shooting tennis balls randomly in the air to launch the antennas over the trees at the Shelburne Museum on Friday. Antennas were installed in short order and operations began on Saturday at 7AM with station set-up.

Conditions were poor on the higher frequencies, however, we were able to make over 200 contacts around the world including 10+ ships. We will have a more complete accounting by the RANV meeting on the 11th.

Operators included Carl AB1DD, Brad KD1BL, Steve KB1IVE, Howie K2MME, Spence KB1PDW, Kathi K1WAL, Scott KB1ZBU, Doug K6PRT, Tim KB1THX, Bob KB1FRW, Bob KB1WXM, Bob W1FP, and Bob W4YFJ, (that is enough Bob's).

We shut down a little early on Sunday due to band conditions and thunderstorms. The following ships were worked: USS WISCONSIN, USS NORTH CAROLINA, USS INDIANAPOLIS (Memorial) USS JOSEPH P KENNEDY JR, SS EDMOND FITZGERALD (Memorial) SS CARL D BRADLEY, LST 393, USS NAUTILUS, USS COBIA. Our contact at the museum has already blocked out next year for us to go at it again!


Mitch W1SJ

The 25th running of the Vermont City Marathon came together despite terrorism scares and cold, rainy weather. This was a big year for change as the ham radio mission was redefined, focusing more on logistics and less on medical issues. The entire Net Control Station moved from the trailer at the finish at Waterfront Park to an Emergency Operations Center in a hotel room across the street. One of the supposedly minor activities of the ham radio net is tracking the first and last runners and we found out th at this is important information for the various runner services. This year Ham Radio traffic dealt with roads which were not closed (Beltline), missing supplies, pickup of dropped runners, as well as the aforementioned runner position information. The ne t also handled some medical traffic as well. The level of medical and dropout traffic was very low due to the cool (45 degrees) temperatures throughout the day. It was a great day for runners, but not so good for the volunteers who had to brave wet and co ld. Ultimately, the amount of traffic on the net was just about right - not too much, not too little.

An interesting situation came up with when one of the race officials lost her cell phone to a dead battery. Fortunately, she had a ham shadow and we managed to save the day for her. We lived up to our slogan, "When all else fails - Ham Radio."

As we move towards the future, ham radio is called upon to be involved in more and more interoperability. Besides our two ham radio repeaters, the Net Control Station monitored non-ham frequencies including the race officials (UHF repeater), medical (VHF repeater), Fire Department (UHF Simplex) and the Bus Company (VHF Simplex). An array of antennas mounted on the balcony of the hotel plus 3 radios and 3 HT's allowed monitoring (and communicating) on any and all of the frequencies.

As mentioned, Net Control was located in the Emergency Operations Center, which included representatives of Burlington Police, Burlington Fire, Vermont State Police, Federal Agencies and other representatives of the Vermont City Marathon. Fortunately, they had little to do all day while we were busy handling traffic and providing them updates. We'd scored good points with the professional agencies with our "professional" work and approach.

We fielded 35 operators on the ham radio net, which included RANV members K1WAL, KB1FRW, KB1IVE, KB1OAH, KB1PDW, KB1RQX, KB1THX, KB1VJD, KB1VNA, KB1WXM, KB1YGP, KB1ZEB, KK1L, N1LXI, N1WCK, N6PRT, NW1V, W1DEB, W1SJ, W4YFJ.


Mitch W1SJ

The Essex Memorial Parade was delayed a week due to bad weather. And boy, was it was bad - it rained hard all morning on the original date. But the new date, on the morning of June 1st was hot and sunny - great day for a parade!

We were poised to have the largest ham radio response ever, but that was not to be. By moving out one week, we lost half our staff. Fortunately, we put together a smaller but workable team, including a few new faces. The parade went off without a hitch an d a fun day was had by all. Thanks to KB1RQX, KB1WIZ, KB1WJA, KB1ZEB, N1LXI, N6PRT, W1OKH, W1SJ.

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