Author Archives: Jeff Fuller

VP’s Corner

      1 Comment on VP’s Corner

As we celebrate Armed Forces Day this month, lets take a moment to recognize some of the contributions made by our fellow hams in uniform. This column, I’d like to recognize Edwin H. “Howard” Armstrong, W2XMN, whose contributions helped to forge the foundation for much of today’s radio communications technology. Armstrong grew up in suburban New York at the turn of the century and was fascinated by wireless technology. By age 14 he had filled his bedroom with wireless gear and erected a 125 foot antenna on his parents property (no HOAs in those days)[1] He was soon accepted at Columbia University where he received his electrical engineering degree in 1913.   America entered WWI shortly after his graduation and Armstrong joined the Army. Sent to France as a Signal Corps officer, he was tasked with improving short wave (<… Read more »

(Adapted from xkcd.com)

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

Soon spring will be here, birds will be singing, and a young ham’s fancy turns to … antennas. Yes, as part of spring cleaning, now is a good time to check your RF plumbing or maybe think about expanding your antenna farm (cover your ears Pinkie …) A popular ham radio saying: “If your antenna stayed up last winter, it wasn’t big enough. After that last storm, I’ve determined that mine was big enough … Want to brush up on your antenna theory? Learn something new about gain, polarization, or baluns? Then our latest additions to the OVH lending library (right)are for you. W1CRO donated several copies of each to the club. Thanks Art! I’ll bring them to the meetings where they’ll be available for check out. How about something a little more hands on – like a simple mobile or… Read more »

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

This has been quite a mind expanding week as I listened to John describe his favorite new digital mode, JS8. It runs on a laptop computer and manages to copy at subterranean signal to noise ratios. Wow, how does that work? And how did we get here? The journey leading to seemingly magical modes like JS8 began shortly after World War I as growing demands for commercial and government communications rapidly exceeded the capacity of manual telegraph circuits. A small group of clever inventors proposed a solution known as a “printing telegraph” or teleprinter. Its electromechanical keyboard and printer combination used a 5 bit Baudot code to represent 64 possible alphanumeric characters. Their invention was a resounding success and their company, the Teletype Corporation, went on to become a major supplier of telecommunications equipment during the 20th century. Both landline… Read more »

http://www.thesignman.com/clubs/ovhcart.html

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

It seems our recruiting efforts have been paying off with several new members joining the club recently. When you see them at a meeting or club function, please take a minute to introduce yourself and welcome them to OVH. Club recognition has definitely helped our recruiting. So, as spring approaches with Hamfest and other activities, this would be a good time to order your club nametag if you don’t already have one.       Nametags can be ordered from the above link. It will be some time before our next custom polo order. However, I do have some generic polos (club logo but no name or callsign) available for purchase. I’m expecting a customization quote from a local vendor in time for our next meeting. This year’s Virginia QSO Party, sponsored by the Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club, will take place on 16 and 17… Read more »

Happy New Year

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

As we enter the new year, I’m reminded  of a quote my faculty adviser kept posted on his wall: “We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunity.” Opportunities abound at OVH for programs, projects, and people. Based on your inputs, here are some ideas for programs and projects. I’ve added a couple of threads (links) to tug on for each so you can explore them further online. (1) Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) http://www.arrl.org/direction-finding http://www.homingin.com/ (2) Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) http://www.arrl.org/aprs-mode (3) Digital Modes http://wb8nut.com/digital/ (4) Morse Code http://www.arrl.org/learning-morse-code Jeff, K9VEG, has established a weekly CW net for those interested in polishing their skills. See the OVH reflector for details. (5) 6 and 10 meter FM and Digital Anyone interested in exploring the acres of unused RF spectrum there for mobile,portable, and emergency use? Interested in giving a presentation or chairing… Read more »

Canteen Radio

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

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 »

Pumpkin

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

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 »

boy scout stamp

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

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 »

1 2 3