VP’s Corner

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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 »

OVH at NOVA STEM day

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Ole’ Virginia Hams supported the NOVA STEM Day event at the Manassas Northern Virginia Community College, running one of 35 information booths.  Many ‘thanks’ go out to John (KG4NXT), Theresa (KG4TVM), Cat (KM4PBD), and Don (WA2SWX) who answered the multitude of questions from parents and kids regarding amateur radio.  There were displays and demonstrations of digital radio, home-brew products (e.g., Raspberry Pi fox transmitter, crystal radio, WSPR, etc.), and other radio set-ups.  NOVA loaned us a 50 inch  Screen which we used to display FT8 activity in real time and also to display a world map of  stations hearing us from NOVA using the PSK reporter application. NOVA also provided us WI-FI which was need for the psk reporter application.   Three people were interested enough in our presentation that they asked for information on how to become a ham.   We… Read more »

Sunshine Corner

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Happy birthday to the following club members: Harry KC9TXL, Harry KN4IJY, Brian KK4CBS, Gil KM4OZH, Paul N4PD, Joe KI4OHR, Steve KJ4YHA, Lillian KK4MXY, David KI4AZX, Paul W4ZB, and David KD4DEE Condolences to Al KB4BHB, two of his sisters passed away on April 9th. Please send Steve N4OGR an email or give him a call and say Hi as he recovers from his surgery. We had a great time with the Virginia QSO Party in March, just a reminder please turn in your logs and put the OVH down as your club. The deadline to submit your log is April 15th. We saw many club members at the Vienna Hamfest while we were at our club table. Hamfest meetings are well under way!  Only 2 months to go, this is our club’s biggest event of the year.  We need your help… Read more »

(Adapted from xkcd.com)

VP’s Corner

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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 »

New Field Day Loggers

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The old XP loggers are gone ! We now have windows 10 laptops with solid state drives and the latest N3FJP field day software. This is being done at no cost to the club. Jim O’Rourke, KM4SXM, donated the first laptop. John, KG4NXT, donated the second one. Don, WA2SWX, donated 3 laptops. Our club has a comprehensive license on the N3FJP software so that was updated at no cost.

Sunshine Corner

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Very happy birthday wishes to Fred N3KVV, Scott KM4FTD, Gary K4MRL and Jeff N1SN Congratulations and best wishes to Steve N4OGR and Jan KE4TMW as he recovers from his heart transplant.  Please keep them both in your thoughts as Steve continues to recover. Condolences to the families of Dave W4HRR and Jimmy WA2QEJ.  Both gentlemen passed away at the beginning of February. VIRGINIA QSO Party is Saturday March 16th and Sunday, March 17th.  Please remember to turn in your log for this event and list the OVH as your club.   Hope to hear you on the air! Vienna Hamfest is the last weekend in March; hope to see many OVH members there.   We will have a club table set up, please stop by and say Hello! Hamfest meetings are well under way, contact Don WA2SWX and let him know how you will be… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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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 »

Byron on tippy toes but with safety harness on and attached

New Antenna for 146.97 repeater

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Our repeater committee decided to replace the 2 meter repeater antenna to fix the noise problems that have occured when there is a lot of precipitation.  Ken, KE2N, had run a separate transmit antenna and the results appear to validate the theory that the antenna was the problem. When the new antenna arrived, it was decided to do an immediate installation because of national weather service warnings of a storm the next day.   With only a few hours notice,  Ken had a team of 4 club members :  Byron, AK4XR,  Gil, KM4OZH, John,  KG4NXT,  and Ken himself.    The team arrived and installed the antenna without notable problems.   Byron ,who learned safe tower climbing in Iraq,   climbed the tower and installed the antenna with the rest of the team as support. Ken inspected the old antenna and reported “The old… Read more »