Author Archives: John Heartney

tower near the ground with Al KB4HB, Bob W4HJF, George K4GVT and Gil KM4OZH supervising

Antenna Party for Butch, W4HJL

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On October 20, 2020,  the OVH had an antenna party for Butch, W4HJL.   Butch has a crank down tower at his house.   On the agenda:  1) replace the rotor because control box no longer displayed direction; 2) some of the beam elements were not in same plane as the rest – straighten them; 3) add a 6 meter beam to the antenna.    The crew consisted of Gil, KM4OZH;  George, K4GVT;   George’s brother in law, Tom Schweinfurth, Dick, WN7S; Al, KB4BHB;  Bob, W4HJF and John, KG4NXT.    Butch, W4HJL, cooked us all a fine lunch.    The replacement rotor did not have mounting holes in the right place so the decision was to field repair the old rotor and grease it up.   The field repair was handled most ably by Gil.  There was a lot of banter.   At one point, … Read more »

Ken KN4DD sets up a 2 meter contact for a scout

Scouts On The Air

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On Saturday, October 17, OVH ran Jamboree-on-the-Air (or JOTA) at Camp Snyder in Haymarket, VA.  One of our members , ROB (W4FSK) was our liaison with the scout camp and was also in charge of the camp that day.  We had a troop of boys, a second one of girls and a third troop of Muslim boys. Rob estimates the OVH volunteers worked with about 50 scouts and their leaders, just at Camp Snyder. The scouts that made contacts were given signed contact cards that they can then use for partial credit for several merit badges. John (KG4NXT) brought his IC-7610 so we could have a digital station and both Al, (KB4BHB) and “The Other Ken” (KN4DD) brought their 2 meter mobile stations. The digital station ran FT8 and worked European, Caribbean and US stations. Looking at PSKReporter, the digital… Read more »

Al KB4BHB, John KG4NXT, Don WA2SWX

Junk in the Trunk

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On Saturday October 10, The Culpeper Amateur Radio Association (CARA) held their Junk in the Trunk. This was basically a tailgate only hamfest. The following OVH members are seen there: Don, WA2SWX;   Al, KB4BHB;   Theresa, KG4TVM;   John, KG4NXT;  Woody, N4MQ; Ron, K3FR &    Bill, AF4LL  was also there (Bill is a read-in member). The price of admission was more than reasonable – $5 per car, including cars with stuff to sell. We found the prices to be lower than we expected and there was good stuff to buy. Just as importantly, people were taking Covid-19 precautions by wearing masks. If you do not see pictures below – click the title above

Couple smiling at Ron K3FR

OVH assists Serve Our Willing Warriors (SOWW) bike ride

The Serve Our Willing Warriors bike ride used ham radio for its communications.   The ham radio part was organized by Andy, KJ4MPT and included both OVH and Woodbridge Wireless members.  This was actually a 3 in 1 bike ride — there were courses for 58 miles,  30 miles and 13 miles.  The OVH members helping included Andy, KM4MPT;  John, KG4NXT;  Ron, K3FR;  Byron, AK4XR; Jay, NQ4T;  David, KG4GIY; Greg, KM4CCG; Ray, KM4EKR; and Sandy, KM4JUS. The rest stops were manned by  fire department EMTs from several jurisdictions while the water and snacks were provided by a Fairfax church. Ron, K3FR described his experience as follows: “I was on the course as the ham radio operator at checkpoint ROMEO-11 (St Louis Rd and Foxcroft Rd) in southern Loudoun County, so all of my shots are of metric century riders.  This was… Read more »

haywagon operating - Gil KM4OZH

OVH does distributed Field Day

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Due to the damn pandemic, we did not have our usual field day at Nokesville Park. However, many club member did participate in field day activities. Known OVH field day operators include Al, KB4BHB; Wayne, N7QLK; George, K4GVT; Butch, W4HJL; Jay, NQ4T; Tony, KM4KLB; Ron, K3FR; John, KG4NXT; Jeff, K9VEG; Wayne, N4HCR; David KK4ZUU, Kevin, KX4KU; Mark, WA4KFX;, Bill, N4SV; Ron, N4RDZ; and Jim, KM4SXM. If you were missed, let John, KG4NXT know and we will add you to the list. Wayne, N4HCR, wrote an article on field day that was published on the forbes website.  This is the link to it:    https://www.forbes.com/sites/waynerash/2020/06/30/thousands-of-radio-operators-band-together-to-practice-for-the-worst/ There was a lot of digital operating this year. Three of us did FT8 with auto logging: Wayne, N7QLK; John, KG4NXT and Bill, N4SV. Mark, WA4KFZ worked both Wayne and John and sent us pictures of… Read more »

Link

Contest University

Normally,  Contest University cost $85 and is presented at Hamvention in Dayton.   Since Hamvention was cancelled,  the organizers had a virtual Contest University on Zoom and have made the presentations available on the web.   The material is not limited to contesting and includes a great survey of recent rig transmit and receive capabilities entitled  “Contest & DX Performance A Complex Subject Today:  Great RX Performance – TX Limitations”.   There is a module on digital contesting that includes a “how to” on a number of Elecraft, Icom and Yaesu rigs called  “Everything You Need to Know About USB and Serial Interfaces”.   In all, there are 9 presentations that are available here: Contest University links

The above links are to the slide decks of the presentations.  They have also published a 10 hour YouTube presentation of all the proceedings Contest University on YouTube

With  a bit of patience, you can click to the individual presentations.

Gil, KM4OZH, operating mobile

OVH Virginia QSO Party Stories

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This is a collection of stories and photos of OVH members during the QSO party.   We do not have all of the stories.  If you would like your story to be added, please e-mail it to KG4NXT@ARRL.NET. First , our two oldest members operated together. Al, KB4BHB, and Chick, KC1PIA, operated from Al’s house using a 100 watt 2m amp and HF random wire. These guys were both born in 1933 and did a fine job. Next,  John, KG4NXT, and Theresa operated from a state park cabin at Lake Anna.  John  managed to forget a jumper with pl-259 connectors on both ends. He did have a coax with one pl-259.   He managed a field expedient for the other end – see photo below.   John operated Digital on JS8 mode and submitted a digital log – no digital logs were submitted… Read more »

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