JULY 2014

Before We Went Wirelesss We Survived Another Field Day Secretary's Minutes
SOTA On Mt. Philo Third Voyage of the Ticonderoga

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Before We Went Wireless

This month we are privileged to have Ivor Hughes tell us about his award winning book Before We Went Wireless: David Edward Hughes FRS, His Life, Inventions and Discoveries. If you noticed the last names are the same itís because they are related!

Hughes (the elder) was a Victorian experimenter and inventor who made major contributions to modern communication. In fact, Hughes was the first ever to transmit and receive electromagnetic signals in 1879 - years before Hertz's discovery of electromagnetic waves!

This will be a fascinating evening as we learn more about the life and accomplishments of this brilliant man! And for those who don't know, FRS stands for "Friend of the Royal Society".


Kathi K1WAL

Once again we had a wonderful Field Day experience! The weather, although a little warm during the day, was obliging for once and we had NO thunderstorms and not even a drop of rain! Soon the bug bites, sunburn, poison ivy, bumps and bruises will be forgotten and we'll be ready to do it again next year.

We had several outstanding new operators at the GOTA station including Chris KC1CCX's children Anthony and Mariah. Young Morghan Bourgeois, daughter of Tim KB1THX made a repeat performance with another HF contact as well as some new friends! The first time grownup operators blasted out dozens upon dozens of QSOs when the bands finally cooperated on Saturday evening and Sunday.

Jeff N1YD had a great demo using SDR to track airplane flights. He had everyone running outside the tent looking for contrails.

The final tallies and full report will be in next month's issue of the News & Views.

After making some contacts on GOTA Anthony, the son of Chris KC1CCX, turned his attention to another important aspect of Field Day - Food! He turned out to be a pretty good cook! Many thanks to Paul AA1SU and Home Depot for providing the grill for our use over the weekend.


Kathi K1WAL

Business and Announcements:

Our meeting began with a brief recap of the Museum Ships Weekend. Bob W4YFJ passed out certificates from to those who operated on the SS Ticonderoga.

Carl AB1DD gave a summary of the recent FCC rulings regarding VE testing:

  1. It was approved that remote testing would be allowed in areas that are isolated and, well remote.
  2. If a General or higher class license expires then the licensee needs only to take the Element 2 Tech exam to get it back.
  3. The proposal of using a minimum of 2 examiners at a test session instead of 3 was turned down even though the FCC was the one who suggested it.
  4. There will be a new test pool for the Element 2 Tech exam beginning July 2014.

We discussed Field Day preparations and duties and got a head count of who would be doing what when.

Paul AA1SU graciously agreed to provide snacks for the July meeting.


Bob KB1FRW and Bob KB1WXM gave a talk about the care and feeding on antenna analyzers; what they can, and cannot do for the average (or not so average) ham.

Bob KB1FRW gave an overview of what they are and how they work as well as some sage advice about how to use them. Why would you want to use one? To avoid running the antenna you just built (you can cut an element shorter but not longer) To check the antenna to make sure the its working properly To troubleshoot

The other Bob KB1WXM went into brief details about reactance and vector addition for imaginary numbers. After waking up the audience he demonstrated the RigExpert analyzer.

Mitch W1SJ, the antichrist of analyzers, added that if you must use an antenna analyzer do not use them in strong RF fields and to always know what your goal is. Mitch also added that SWR is memory loss and you can fake it out with a drug called a tuner.


Kathi K1WAL

Larry KB1ZEB, Bob KB1WXM, and Bob W4YFJ spent an enjoyable Saturday morning on Mt. Philo working stations for the Summits On The Air (SOTA). Larry worked FM, Bob W4YFJ worked CW, and Bob KB1WXM worked PSK and SSB. The weather was perfect and they even provided entertainment and some radio discussion for passersby.

SOTA is a worldwide program for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners that encourage portable operation in hilly or mountainous areas. SOTA has been designed to make participation possible for everyone. There are awards for activators (those who ascend to the summits) and chasers (who either operate from home, a local hilltop or are activators on other summits).

SOTA started on March 2, 2002 to encourage radio amateurs who enjoy hiking and the great outdoors to take their radios with them and operate from mountain tops. SOTA uses all bands and all modes which make it a great program for new hams as well as the more seasoned. It is for portable operation only, which means no operating from a vehicle. The ascents to the top should be "human powered".

The SOTA Reference number for Mt. Philo is W1/GM-149.

Scott W1ZU worked from Mt. Philo last April (see his article in the May issue of News & Views) and so far ranks number 13 in our region (W1 USA) with 9 unique summits to his credit. Larry, Bob, and Bob are just getting started and are looking forward to working more summits.

For more information about the SOTA program see the website at


Kathi K1WAL

On June 7-8 Station W1T operated from the Steamship Ticonderoga for the Museum Ships Weekend. The results were 479 contacts, 10 ships, and about 9 countries.

The International Museum Ships Weekend is an annual event is sponsored by the Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station. Over 90 ships of all types including battleships, destroyers, steamships, submarines and passenger ships participate from all over the world!

This year the weather was near perfect with no rain or thunderstorms. However, solar activity made propagation a nightmare but the operators worked through the noise and interference and made the most of the openings when they occurred.

A memorable contact was with the Battleship New Jersey. Bob KB1FRW was looking for their station NJ2BB with no success. As he made other contacts he asked those stations if they knew what band and frequency NJ2BB was operating at. No one knew, but somehow word got out that W1T was looking for NJ2BB. Bob was surprised when calling CQ NJ2BB came to him saying he heard W1T was looking for them!

A big thank you goes to Carl AB1DD and Bob W4YFJ for organizing and running this event and to those who operated: Howie K2MME, Bob KB1WXM, Bob KB1FRW, Steve KB1IVE, Doug N6PRT, David KC1APK, Brad KD1BL, Carolyn KA1YBB, Kathi K1WAL, and Larry KB1ZEB.

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