Author Archives: Jeff Fuller

MOLLE vest fully equipped

VP’s Corner

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To those of you who, although new to both our hobby and the club, have already volunteered for ARES, TriItNow, and several other public service events, a hearty Welcome Aboard! By now you’re no doubt familiar with the yellow mesh ARES vests. They’re great for making you nice and visible to race participants and traffic while you’re out there with your HT. But .. where are the pockets? Where will you put your gear should you deploy in support of a real emergency? Here’s one solution. It’s a rugged vest with MOLLE loops from Canadian company Duty Apparel. Their compatible MOLLE pouches are ideal for your HT, water, and other gear from your ARES go kit (right). The rear panel needed for ARES ID (top right) is easily added either from an old vest or custom made (see Andy’s). *****… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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Congratulations to the OVH team for another successful Field Day. In true ham spirit, you braved thunderstorms and torrential rains along with high winds which sent your tent tumbling. And, as if that weren’t enough, you added a fox hunt to the activities and managed to fit in a briefing for a couple of ARRL VIPs. Well done! Of course Field Day is more than just a chance to enjoy some outdoor contesting. It’s good training for our role in supporting disaster communications. Some of us still get kidding from friends and family when we tell them about this role. After all, everybody has a cell phone now, so nobody needs ham radio. But just how resilient is all that modern hardware? Well … here’s some fodder from recent events for your response. Among the fires which erupted across the… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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I’ll begin this month’s column with a thank you to Hamfest Chair Don, WA2SWX, and his team of volunteers. They worked tirelessly to fill the vendor hall, provide a top notch series of drawing prizes, and schedule some interesting presentations like the wireless weather station by OVH member W4KRL(http://www.w4krl.com). Those who helped carry those big wooden tables during setup and cleanup can testify that there was also quite a bit of physical labor involved. Unfortunately this year there was one obstacle we couldn’t clear – the weather. Pouring rain most of the day really put a damper on attendance and resulting revenue. We’ll hope for better luck next year. Recruiting is up with several new members joining the club over the last two months. Some, like myself, started hamming as youngsters and are returning years later to enjoy the hobby… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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VP’s Corner Jeff Fuller WB6UIE June is just around the corner, and with it one of amateur radio’s signature events – Field Day. For OVH members, it’s a tasty BBQ, family get together, and a chance to have some fun outdoor hamming.  And, of course, a chance to hone our emergency communication skills. Emergency power plays an important role in our preparedness. For multi operator fixed stations, that power usually comes from a gasoline generator. Mobiles can work as long as the engine can keep the battery charged. What about a scenario where you need to forward deploy with emergency services? Vehicles can get close, but fallen trees and other obstacles mean you’ll need to carry your gear on a pack frame a mile or more to reach a good comms location. You could go with the ham’s traditional choice for this scenario –… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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Jeff Fuller  WB6UIE   Spring is here at last (hopefully) and with it an opportunity to explore new trails, new modes and new frequencies. Like many of us, I’ve been stuck in my comfort zone on two meters for ARES and public service events. What about a backup in case one or more of our friendly repeaters goes off the air? Six meters may be a good choice for that backup. It falls into an interesting part of the spectrum known as LVHF (low VHF) whose characteristics straddle those of of both HF and VHF. Its ability to diffract around obstacles gives it somewhat greater range than two meters. And under sporadic E conditions, paths of 1000 miles or more are common. How to get on six meters? If you have a modern HF rig, chances are it already has… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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Jeff Fuller  WB6UIE 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 some new concepts? Then our latest additions to the OVH lending library (right)are for you. W1CRO recently donated several 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… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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Jeff Fuller WB6UIE 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 polo and nametag if you don’t already have them. Nametags can be ordered from the above link.  It will be some time before our next custom polo order. However, I have several generic polos (club logo but no name or callsign) available for purchase. E-mail me with your size and I’ll check stock. This year’s Virginia QSO Party, sponsored by the Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club, will take place on 17 and… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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VP’s Corner Jeff Fuller WB6UIE The holiday season is a time for gathering with family and friends, celebrating our many blessings, and of course exchanging gifts. As I think back over the years, I’m thankful for the many gifts I’ve received from amateur radio – a chance to expand my technical skills, volunteer opportunities within the local community, and of the course the many friends I’ve made. I was first licensed back in the prehistoric era of the 1960s. Back then all telephones had wires and a rotary dial, there was no Internet, and computers were mainframes that needed punched cards for input. I remember running into quite a few young hams about my age as I made my first QSOs. Without today’s social media sites like Facebook, how did we keep in touch? We had “scheds” where we would… Read more »