The approaching holiday season and year’s end are traditionally a time for reflection and giving thanks for our many blessings. This Veteran’s Day, lets take a moment to express thanks to our veterans – the young ones who are in harm’s way today defending our freedoms, and those who have gone before, sometimes giving all. Amateurs have a proud history of contributions during our nation’s conflicts. This Veteran’s Day I’ll cover a fascinating but little known part of that history – radios built by American and Allied prisoners of war. For a moment, imagine yourself as a WWII POW. You’re injured, on short rations, and living in primitive conditions. How will you find parts for even a basic receiver? And, of course, the design will be yours (no references or tube manuals). Since consequences of discovery by your captors will… Read more »
Our Treasurer Don, WA2SWX, has found a painless way to help the club: Amazon Smile. When setup, Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to OVH. There are two steps: 1) Add the OVH as your charity on your amazon account ; 2) When buying, buy on smile.amazon.com instead of www.amazon.com. Adding OVH as your Amazon Charity Click to add OVH as Amazon Smile Charity Getting your Amazon purchase to count and make a contribution There are several ways to get your purchase to count. The first is to simply get into amazon with the following URL http://smile.amazon.com One you succeed, you can make a bookmark and use that. If you go to www.amazon.com, your purchase will not count. You can tell that you are in Smile because your Amazon page shows it as shown below. … Read more »
On Saturday Oct 20, OVH members assisted with JOTA at Camp Snyder in Haymarket. On site members were Al, KB4BHB, Wayne, N7QLK, Megan Phillips (no call yet), Don, WA2SWX, Ron, N4RDZ (visiting from Seattle), Theresa, KG4TVM, Bruce, KN4GDX and John , KG4NXT. We also had club members contact our JOTA site and talk to our scouts on the air including David, KG4GIY, Charlie , W4YGI (using our repeater’s internet link from Lake Anna) , Ogre, N4OGR, and Jan, KE4TMW. At our next regular meeting, Rob, W4SFK , will present a JOTA report in more detail. If JOTA participant was missed, please contact John , KG4NXT, and a correction will be made.
Cooler temperatures of fall will soon be here and, along with them, the beginning of the holiday season. I’m sure your family, like mine, has some holiday traditions which have been passed down over the years. We carry them on, not necessarily for practical reasons, but as a means of bonding and connecting with past generations. The amateur radio family has its own set of traditions. Some, like QSO procedures, we use regularly regardless of operating mode. Others, like Morse code, seem at risk of fading away into the sunset. Many years ago, a Morse code test was part of every amateur radio license exam. General and higher license exams were administered at FCC district offices. I can still remember that crisp fall day many years ago, crammed into a room full of applicants with my 13 year old hands shaking a little as I waited for the code test to begin…. Read more »
On Sunday Sept 30, 2018, the OVH did communications support for the Prince William Half Marathon for the third time. This time the marathon had 1400 runners and also had 500 additional runners for a 5 k race. The 5 K race was a race within a race. They start after the Marathon runners had left and only did a portion of the course. The OVH was well represented by 18 members. Only one member did not show and that was because of illness. This represents almost 20% of the club. The event ran smoothly and was chaired by Wayne, N7QLK. The three net controls kept a white board of race progress. This included the current locations of 1st male runner, 1st female runner and the last runner. This helped the marathon managers run the event. Also, one runner… Read more »
In keeping with September being national emergency preparedness month, along comes one of the largest hurricanes in recent memory. At this point, it looks like the impact on our area will be limited to a few inches of rain and some gusty winds. However, for those south of us who are in the path of Hurricane Florence, the impact will likely be devastating. Ham radio will play an important role, both in support of local responders and in handling message traffic out of area. Info about HF traffic net times and freqs will appear on ARRL and ARES web pages. As always, two things to keep in mind when supporting any emergency. First, make sure that you and your family are safe. Second, do not self deploy. Begin by contacting your local Emergency Coordinator (EC), state what resources you have available, and he or she will let you know how… Read more »
If you’ve joined us in supporting Tri It Now and larger events, you’ve probably realized that the medium power setting on your HT (typically around 2 Watts)isn’t quite enough to provide reliable comms over the entire course. This is especially true if you’re using the short ducky antenna which came with it. How to improve coverage? Going with a larger antenna and/or adding a “tiger tail” counterpoise is one solution. Bill, K5AE has an excellent video on the topic at tiger tail tail video Or, you can up the power to 5 watts. This usually means buying a larger battery for your HT if you want a useful amount of talk time. If you’ve tried that option, here’s hoping you’ve had better luck than I did. Most of my my Li and NiMH choices seldom lived up to their advertised… Read more »
Ham radio divides the world into Maidenhead grids defined by latitude and Longitude. For example, Manassas is in grid square FM18. If you look up your own callsign in QRZ, you can find your grid square in the detail tab. ARRL is running a contest to see who can contact and confirm the most grid squares. This is done by confirming contacts via Logbook of the world. If you have confirmed contacts in LOTW this year, you will be ranked. OVH Member Jeff Fladling, KM4FTK, has been actively working this contest and now is ranked 10th in Virginia ! He has 776 unique grids confirmed and 3338 QSOS. Congratulations Jeff !!! The easiest way to accumulate grid squares is the new FT8 mode. If any one wants assistance in installing FT8 or logbook of the world, please contact… Read more »