Sunshine Corner

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Happy birthday to the following club members:   Doc W1IMX, Robert KK4MXU, Ray KM4EKR, Scott KB8NUM, Bob KC4TNC and Phil AC4PL Wedding Bells were ringing at the beginning of September for Art W1CRO, congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple! Congratulations to the Club for helping at the Prince William County Half Marathon on Sunday, September 29th.  Wayne N7QLK chaired this event and pulled together over 20 club members to be out on the course.    I was at mile 1 and 12, I did receive many thank you’s from participants for being on the course.   The runners/walkers do appreciate us being there.    Great job everybody! Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) is coming up on Saturday, October 19th.   We will be working with the scouts for this event.  Rob W4FSK  presented a program at the September meeting on this.   We will… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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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. Learning to communicate using Morse code or CW is one such tradition in the amateur radio community. I’m happy to see several of our new hams accepting the challenge. Here are some interesting Morse factoids to encourage you in your studies. Q. Why do hams call it CW? A. CW stands for Continuous Wave, meaning a sine wave produced by an electronic oscillator. The first radio signals from spark transmitters were damped waves occupying lots of spectrum. Q. Was the original Morse code the… Read more »

handicapped runner

Prince William Half Marathon a big success

On September 29, The Ole Virginia Hams provided communications support for the 4th annual half marathon which also included a 10 mile and 5K race. Over 1500 runners participated, which gave the community a very visible example of our community service. During the race, we kept track of the male and female race leaders and also kept track of the Tail End Charlies. There were instances of a runner exhausted or down, and we responded and called for transport or medical help, which did arrive. Wayne, N7QLK , was the chair for the fourth time and did an excellent job. We had 22 club members participate. This is over 25 percent of our total club members, some of whom do not live in the area. The members participating and their posts were: Net Control: Wayne, N7QLK;  Chick, KC1PIA;  Erik K4SOK… Read more »

burned and exploded network stuff

Lightning strikes Jay Moore’s house

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As a ham, we know lightning is our enemy. These big powerful bursts of static electricity can carry a lot of voltage, almost as much current, and is the absolute enemy for our antennas, our electrical supply, and the equipment connected to both. In most cases, many of us will never see a direct lightning strike; and I’m glad to say I’m still technically part of that club. But on the evening of September 2nd; I found out just how destructive an indirect lightning strike can be. Thunder had been booming for quite a while and it was getting further and further away when it happened; a super bright flash, a loud boom, and a house that shook like an earthquake (actually, it shook more than the earthquake.) The power immediately went out and everyone wondered what happened. I went… Read more »

Sunshine Corner

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Happy birthday to the following club members: Gus N4MLE, Al KB4BHB, Maury W4HYB, Ron N4RDZ, and Mark WA4KFZ. Here we are at the end of summer!   Hard to believe but I have been out of the loop for the past 2 months due to a very heavy work load at the paying job I have. So I am behind in catching up with everyone. Hoping that Jim KM4SXM is feeling much better after his adventures the last few months, I am hearing he is back to work.  Best wishes on continued recovery. Summer storms were not very nice to club members this summer.  George K4GVT and Jay KM4JOJ both had lightning strikes at their homes and lost equipment. Thank you Ken KE2N for your work on getting DStar up and running. Hamfest & Field Day – we survived both events… Read more »

VP’s Corner

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As we begin National Preparedness Month, Hurricane Dorian devastates much of the Bahamas and begins its sweep up the east coast of the U.S. Fortunately, it looks like northern Virginia will escape most of its wrath. We may not be as lucky next time. Now is a good time to check your emergency supplies. Do you have enough food and water for you and your family to last several days? You can find information about recommended emergency kit contents at https://www.ready.gov In addition to the damage caused by their high winds and wind driven water, hurricanes often spawn tornadoes and systems of violent thunderstorms extending many miles inland from the eye. The resulting power outages can last for days. Do you have backup power for your radios and essential items? If you plan to rely on batteries, please be sure… Read more »

Gil, KM4OZH, taking down beam and tower

OVH Minutemen

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In late August, Butch, W4HJL, got a call asking that a beam and tower of a deceased member be taken down – IN ONE DAY.  The beam and tower had belonged to Milt, N4SN,  a long time member of OVH.   His estate was selling the house and was going to closing. The OVH got the beam and tower down in one day.   The crew consisted of Gil, KM4OZH, Al, KB4BHB, John, KG4NXT, and Bob, W4HJF.    Gil did the tower work and the rest were ground crew.   Gil had never operated a Gin pole before but did a superb job.   A Gin pole is a pole the clamps to the tower with a pulley on top to lift off the beam and tower segments one at  a time. There was a problem with the Gin pole.   We had lifted the… Read more »

Amateur radio in Antarctica during the winter of 1956.

VP’s Corner

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With the event filled months behind us, we slide into the slower days of summer and a sweltering heat wave. HF propagation is at its worst in many years. If the low sunspot blues have you down, check out six meters. There have been a number of afternoon sporadic E openings as far as the midwest and southern Florida. Time for a virtual cool down as we explore the exceptional contributions of a young ham named Art to several polar expeditions and to the field of HF radio communications. Born in 1909, Art took an early interest in emerging wireless technology. Licensed at the age of 14, he assembled his own station in the attic of his family’s midwestern home. Art first gained the attention of polar explorers during the McMillan expedition to Greenland in 1925. Knowledge of propagation was… Read more »