RADIO AMATEUR NEWS & VIEWS, NOVEMBER 2015

RADIO AMATEUR

NEWS & VIEWS

NOVEMBER 2015

IN THIS ISSUE...
Show & Tell Elections AA1SU/B On Air
Donated Equipment Sale Secretary's Minutes All Good Hams Do SS Repeater News

Download Newsletter in PDF Format




SHOW AND TELL
The November 10th RANV Meeting

Show and tell your shack, everyone who wants to brings a few shots of their shack and/or antenna setup in a standard format like Jpeg and we will provide a projector, computer and screen to display the photos. This isn't about who's setup is bigger and better, it is to get to know who is working with what. I even intend to talk about the mess I have. General discussion from the floor is welcome.

ELECTIONS

Officer Elections will be Held this November. Ballots will be included in the newsletter. The nominees are:

A big Thank You to Jim KE1AZ for the wonderful job he did as VP/Treasurer for the last couple of years.

AA1SU/B IS ON THE AIR

Paul AA1SU

On the evening of Friday, October 23, I put a 10 Meter propagation beacon at my house. I am running 5 watts to a Solarcon A99 vertical strapped to the chimney on top of the house. The frequency is 28.243 MHz. I asked for this frequency because there was a former beacon at this frequency in Essex Junction. It is listed as QRT May 2012. I figured it was a good place to start. The 10 Meter Beacon coordinator is Bill Hays WJ5O. I emailed him and told him that I was considering putting up a beacon, and could I have this frequency. He encouraged me to do so, and said the frequency was mine.

Within half a day of turning it on, I got an email signal report from a ham in Germany. The next day - Arizona, then the UK. The email reports have tapered off, but I show up most days on the Reverse Beacon Network. For a radio, I have a few choices. I have two 10 Meter rigs. One is a Realistic HTX-100 and the other is a Uniden HR2510. I also have an Icom IC-753 PRO3. I started off with the HTX-100 set to 5 watts at 15 WPM. A few days ago, I switched to the Icom at 10 WPM. I plan to experiment with the HR2510 in the near future, as well. I imagine that the Icom is using more electricity than the HTX did. The HTX- 100 has a backwave. Backwave is a condition in which the signal is heard a reduced level, even when the key is up. This occurs when the oscillator signal feeds through a keyed amplifier. This usually indicates a design flaw. However, I researched this on the web, and learned that a backwave canít be heard more than a mile or so from the QTH and not to worry about it. The HTX is also off frequency just a tad. These skimmers are so accurate that they were reporting me at 28242.8 KHz. The Icom frequency is dead on. To key the Realistic, I use a N0XAS PicoKeyer, built by WB2MIC/SK. The Icom has a programmable built-in keyer with a repeat feature.

Worldwide, Ten Meter Beacons can be found from 28.115 to 28.322 MHz. The allocation the United States is 28.200 to 28.300 MHz. Beacons are used to study propagation in the atmosphere and help indicate the Maximum Usable Frequency (MUF) for the HF bands. If a ham can hear a QRP CW beacon, he can expect that he should be able to work that part of the world with a 100 watts SSB. For this reason, they are very useful. Many beacon operators not only receive signal reports, but also the logs of hams that were worked in his general area because he heard the beacon. To learn more about 10 Meter Beacons, visit: www.qsl.net/wj5o and explore the many useful links that he has listed there, including the current list of 10 Meter Worldwide Propagation Beacons.

So when you get a chance, please listen for my beacon at 28.243 MHz and send me a signal report if applicable. My email address is in the beacon text. It includes the new prosign for the @ symbol: AC .--.-.! I also encourage you to listen for Beacons on the 10 Meter Band from time to time and send the operator a signal report by email or QSL Card. They really appreciate it.

DONATED EQUIPMENT FOR SALE

Bob KB1FRW

Howie Ferber K2MME and Bob Chamberlain have donated equipment to the club with the wish it is redistributed at a reasonable cost to club members first and others second. The list is as follows, I will try to get pictures on the Yahoo site about the same time the newsletter comes out and will be happy to send them others on request. No Prices? What is with that? I am not sure of the condition of everything but it was reported to me that everything worked, the better pieces will be closer to market value and we can negotiate the prices. You can contact me at mcamp@gmavt.net. If there are multiple people interested in something it will end up being a bidding process

The list:

1. Arrow 2 M - beam appears as new, cost $50 new.
2. Big loop - a lot of good quality wire, coax, support line and a Balun??
3. CUSHCRAFT 215wb. Big 2 meter beam, one missing element, one broken element and a missing element bracket.
4. Dipole - old dipole 40-80m? said to work.
5. Franken beam - a Mosley Junior TA-33-JR sort of. Owner said it had been converted to full legal limit.
6. Also have parts to another Mosley Junior to most likely build a complete Mosley Junior.
7. Gap Challenger - not exactly sure if this is a Challenger or a Titan DX, seems all there needs some TLC.
8. Handbooks etc - ARRL handbooks 2000 and 1975
9. Heath SB610 - 160-6m 15w-1kw station monitor, needs an IF out.
10. Hint and kinks - Various dates.
11. DX-394 - 150 kHz - 30 MHz going $100-150 on Ebay.
12. Knight R100A - 80-10m working?
13. Knight speaker - see above.
14. LEADER oscilloscope LBO301 - Working, 7 MHz.
15. MFJ 949E - manual tuner 300W, 1.8 - 30mhz tuner. Looks good.
16. MFJ962C - manual tuner 1.5KW, 1.8 - 30mhz tuner. Also looks good
17. Mirage 2M 160W amp- 10w in 160w out 2 meter.
18. Old 2M radio - KYOKUTO might have a tone board.
19. Rotator A - unknown.
20. Rotator B - unknown.


SECRETARY'S MINUTES

Kathi K1WAL

The meeting began introductions. Nominations for club officers were made for the Big Vote at the November meeting. Paul AA1SU will bring snack to the November meeting. Bob KB1FRW still has lots of equipment from elderly hams that need a home. He described what is available.

Kudos goes out to Beverly KI6ISG for bringing snacks at the last minute. Even the healthy stuff was tasty! Our condolences got out to Paul AA1SU for the loss of Prunella, his cat of 20 years. Pets are a big part of our families and we miss them deeply when they're gone.

Presentation:
How To Fix Older (Boat Anchor) Radio Bob KB1WXM demonstrated how to approach repairing an old Heathkit SB-102 tube transceiver. He began by listing the tools and equipment needed to attempt to task. Then he went on to describe the techniques to attack various problems in audio and RF circuits. He also gave an overview on how to logically follow a signal through the circuit diagram, looking for defective components causing distortion or lack of proper functioning.

The Question and Answer portion was lively, including a brief discussion of how a vacuum tube works. Slides of this presentation are available on the RANV Reflector on Yahoo groups.

After the Boat Anchor presentation Bob showed slides from his visit to the Battleship North Carolina. The North Carolina also had boat anchors, but of a different design. These weigh over 25,000 lbs each!

ALL GOOD HAMS DO SWEEPSTAKES

Mitch W1SJ

The weekend of November 21 -22 is the ARRL Sweepstakes Phone. This will be the 82nd running of the "SS", an event, along with Baseball's All-Star game, which dates back to 1933! The SS is the granddaddy of serious contests with a contest exchange which strikes fear in the hearts of weak operators!

The SS exchange is set up to look like a piece of formal traffic. The message number is your contact serial number, the precedence is the contest category (A-low power, B-high power, U-Assisted, Q-QRP, M-Multiop, S-School), the sender is your call sign, the check is the last two digits of the year you were first licensed and finally, you end up with your ARRL section. So, late into the contest, I would give an exchange like this: "W6XXX 1729 Uniform W1SJ Check 69 VT". Those who have listened to me operate will agree that I talk at 56 kilobaud. So the reply is usually something like, "Whoa, what did you say, 69 Uniform, what??" Your skills in LISTENING and RECORDING the info will be put to the test. And guess what - when you submit your log, the info is checked for accuracy!

But don't let any of this scare you. This contest is a lot of fun, while being challenging. Just systematically work your way up and down the band, but keep a sign with the exchange in front of your, or have it recorded in memory. The SS starts at 4PM Saturday, November 21st. This is a crossover time between 15 and 20 meters on the East Coast, so it can be challenging at that time. However, by 6-7 PM, 80 meters kicks in, providing excellent and easy short skip contacts, if you have a decent antenna. During the day on Sunday, look for openings on 10 and 15 meters midday, and don't be afraid to try some CQ's! Remember, Vermont is a rare section in the SS. The contest runs until 10 PM on Sunday night and you can operate up to 24 hours out of the total 30 hour period.

Back in 1971, a friend talked me into operating SS with him. I was skeptical - "why bother with hello/goodbye QSO's", I asked. Well, like the finest cut of potent heroin, after several hours of contesting, I was hopelessly hooked! To me, the SS is a religious rite and takes priority over all else. Hopefully, you will have perhaps a healthier attitude about it. But I'll tell you this - operate seriously for 10 hours or more in this contest, and your operating skills will increase many times. Don't believe it? Give it a try!

REPEATER NEWS

Mitch W1SJ

I spent a lovely day at the repeater site up on the mountain this past week. While everyone was enjoying a warm 60 degree day, it was cooler and windy on the summit, but the bright sunlight made it feel nice. The egress to the site is legendary. Once you get to the top of the ski area, it is a 1 mile long slog up a steep, muddy trail, punctuated with miniature lakes. I went up in a track vehicle, which broke track during the day. What fun!

The purpose of the trip was to change out the UHF transmitter. This unit has been in continuous service up there for nearly 20 years. It was always squirrelly during winter months. It required several seconds of warm-up time before it started transmitting. Last January, an adjustment was made to correct this. And then when the temperature warmed up, the transmitter started kicking out crud, wiping out the UHF receiver and causing noise on the repeater. So, the UHF transmitter was turned off. Unfortunately, this also shut down access to IRLP and Echolink.

The UHF repeater is now back on. You can hear it on 445.025 MHz. The UHF repeater is not suitable for mobile use - you will likely be quite choppy into it as you drive around. The UHF antenna is lower and UHF just doesn't cover as well.

IRLP and Echolink are back on and are available from 8AM until 11 PM. This allows us to be able to connect to other repeaters and systems on those networks all over the world. To use those networks, please first read up on how the systems work. Always identify before sending any tones, and please consider the time zone of the area you are calling into. When using Echolink, always precede any node number with "A" on our system.



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