Low Band Antennas Ham Breakfast Vermont QSO Party
HAM-CON Ham Class Membership List
Editor's Notes Pop Quiz

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The January 10th RANV Meeting

Notice that 10 and 15 meters is dead almost all the time? Have you tried to get on 20 meters in the evening and find that it too, is pretty much dead. Welcome to the sunspot lull. This is a period of years when the focus will be on the low bands: 40, 80 and 160 meters. These bands can be more challenging because the antennas need to be larger to be efficient.

Our January meeting will focus on how low band propagation works and how to make the most of this propagation with reasonably sized antennas. Antennas for these bands dont have to be overly complex, but some thought needs to be place to erect them in such a way that they work as reliably as possible. We'll present you with some simple antenna designs to get you going on the low bands.


It's time once again for Vermont's Annual Ham Breakfast, which will be held Saturday, January 28th, 9AM - 12 Noon at JP's Deli, 39 River Road, Essex. Many of you have been there in the past, and you know what to expect. For those who have never been there, it is simply a large group of hams who get together for breakfast and meeting and talking with other hams. JPs has a variety of breakfast and other food items, and most will agree they serve up good stuff. Most of the dining finishes up at 10, at which time we launch into a semi-organized group discussion of ham radio topics du jour. It was at a breakfast many years ago we first learned about pneumatic ball launchers to put dipoles over trees! Do your best to join us Saturday morning January 28th for eats and greets!


Mitch W1SJ

The New Year brings resolutions, cold weather and plans to operate the Vermont QSO Party! The 59th running of the Vermont QSO Party will be on February 4-5 UTC. That is a start time of 7PM Friday, February 3rd and an end time of 7PM Sunday, February 5th. The goal is simple: get on the air, call CQ and work as many people as you can. Despite the fact that I put around 8000 QSO's in the logs each year, there are still some folks who haven't worked Vermont and think it is rare! Despite the reputation and myth that we are rare DX, well keep serving up Vermont in our annual bash.

The rules are simple. Operate for as long as you want on any bands or modes, using any power level (legal, of course) that you want. There are scoring perks for using low power and operating on CW or digital, but unless you are competing, choose whatever modes make you happy. While operating, you are searching for new states, provinces, DX countries, and those rare and elusive Vermont counties. And if the action gets slow, there is always the Minnesota and British Columbia QSO Parties and the Black Sea Contest on Saturday to keep your attention.

There are two ways to participate. If you have a station at home, just get on the air. Or, if you have a limited station, or none at all, get yourself invited to someone who does. Ill be opening up my shack to put the W1NVT host station on the air and Im looking for operators to fill both days. Experience is not necessary Ill teach you everything. You will have a fun time learning to operate while enjoying a mini ham radio gathering.

So start the New Year right - get on for the Vermont QSO Party. Who knows, you might earn that colorful Vermont QSO Party Certificate! Details are at


Mitch W1SJ

Winter is one of the busiest times for on-air activities. Here is a rundown of what you could be having fun with.

North American QSO Party (Sat, Jan. 21) is a 10-hour short contest running from 1PM until 1AM. With the maximum power only 150 watts, no one gets to run an amp, making things a bit more even. The exchange is simple - your call sign, your name and your state. Try to get on for this one - it is always fun. There is a CW version of this Jan. 14.

VHF Sweepstakes (Jan. 21-22) runs against the NAQP above, but provides activity on the VHF and UHF bands. Get those 6 and 2 meter stations going.

CQWW 160 Meter Contest (Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 25-26) is an all night affair on the Top Band of 160 meters. CW is in January and Phone in February (on same weekend as HAM-CON).

Vermont QSO Party (Feb. 4-5) is where we all get to be stars of the show. Read the article in this issue, check the web site and get on the air and call CQ!

ARRL DX Contest (CW Feb. 18-19, Phone Mar. 4-5) is where you need to go to find those new DX countries to work.

If you have a low power station or limited antenna, get on LATE in the contest. By that time the big guns are running out of people to work and will work hard to dig you out of the noise!


Mitch W1SJ

The ARRL Vermont State Convention, which is known as HAM-CON, will be held Saturday, February 25 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center. Doors open at 8AM for general admission. Vendors can gain early access at 6AM. General admission is $8, while early vendor admission is $15. If you buy tickets early, these prices can drop to $6 and $12. Tables are free, as available, but you can reserve tables for a fee.

There will be a whole host of forums and activities throughout the morning. I am working on the program now. If you would like to present or know of someone who would like to present, please let me know! Well also have the W1V Special Event Station running, as well as our VE session which has no fee (you must study to get this deal).

We need a good deal of volunteers to run the show. Many of our volunteers have been doing this for many years, meaning that they miss a lot of the activities. So, we are looking for new volunteers this year so that some of the old guard can enjoy the show.

Details will be forthcoming on what jobs are available.

Be sure talk up HAM-CON to all of your friends, both ham and non-ham. HAM-CON is considered to be the best small Convention around you get a lot for a small event. But as a small event, we must try harder to get people in the door. Be sure you and your pals can attend! Details on HAM-CON are at:


Mitch W1SJ

I'm looking to schedule a Technician and General class in late March or early April. The problem is that the Vermont class has been very tiny over the last few years. By having a flexible date, I hope find as many students as possible. If you are interested in a class, or know someone interested, contact me ( with desired dates and contact information.


The 2017 RANV Membership list can be found in this issue. This list shows the current membership as of the end of December. Please forward any corrections to W1SJ. This information is provided as a service to RANV members to help contact each other. This list is not included in complimentary copies of News & Views nor is it included in the on-line edition.

Of the 96 current members of RANV (1 more than last year), 41% are Extra Class - one of the highest percentages of Extra Class hams in any club. There are almost as many Generals. There are only 16 Technicians.

Essex Junction is home to 14 club members, followed by South Burlington (10), Williston (9) and Jericho (8).

The most popular name? No, it is still not BOB! There are 9 Johns (or Jons), 7 Bobs (or Robs or Roberts), 7 Daves, 5 Brians (or Bryans).



Please join me in thanking Adam Lamore and his family for a successful year compiling, printing, folding, sealing, addressing, and mailing almost 100 newsletters each month! THANK YOU ADAM!!!!

Beginning with this issue, I will be taking over these duties, and we need your help! Do you work HF, digital modes, satellite, or microwave? Have an interesting restoration or homebrew project? Participate a favorite net? Done any antenna experiments?

This is your club newsletter. Feel free to submit articles! Articles can be short, long, technical, anecdotal, etc. Share your experiences and stories!

POP QUIZ - Answers below

General Question: G5B01
What dB change represents a two-times increase or decrease
in power?
A. Approximately 2 dB
B. Approximately 3 dB
C. Approximately 6 dB
D. Approximately 12 dB

Extra Question: E3A05
Tropospheric propagation of microwave signals often occurs along what weather related structure?
A. Gray-line
B. Lightning discharges
C. Warm and cold fronts
D. Sprites and jets

1b 2c

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