Local Hams Help with Manassas Christmas Tree Lighting

On Dec 1, several local hams helped with the City of Manassas Christmas Tree lighting. They are members of CERT – Community Emergency Reaction Team. The tree lighting involved Santa arriving on a VRE train, and then Santa got on a hay wagon and went to the grounds of the Manassas Museum. At the museum, Santa then talked to the crowd and the tree was lit, complete with artificial snow. After the lighting of the tree, Santa went to the ice skating rink and visited with the children. While Santa was listening to the children’s Christmas lists, there were also free hayrides for everyone. The CERT team was there for safety and first aid and they were a direct report to a police officer. This year that was Lt. Barahona.  … Read more >>

OVH Holiday Party December 10

Enjoy a pot luck holiday dinner with OVH members and their family. Bring your family or people interested in the club. The party is again at the Yorkshire Restaurant, 7537 Centreville Rd, Manassas, VA 20111. The club will provide the main dishes of ham and turkey and drinks. Please bring a covered dish or dessert. The marines will be there to collect toys for tots. Please bring a new unwrapped toy for the tots.


The ARRL September VHF contest was from Sept 8 to 11 this year. Our Gil, KM4OZH participated in the Limited Rover class; which mean he was mobile and that he had 4 bands to work with – 50 MHz,  144 MHz,  220 MHz and 440 MHz. Gil spends a lot of time getting his car ready for the contest and he is always refining things. This year, Gil and his adult ham son, Jordan, created an automatic antenna switching system based on an Arduino. When Gil changed bands on his radio, the correct antenna was automatically selected. Here is a photo of the breadboarded antenna switching system  before being installed in the car. Gil always plans his route, including sleep time. He is on the road for two days. Gil … Read more >>

FT8 at 35,000 feet

wa2swx does FT8 from an airplane

Don, WA2SWX, did some FT8 while flying to Ecuador. He connected via the internet to his home station in Centreville. Here is his description: “FT-8 at 35,000 feet somewhere over Mexico or Central America. The nerd’s version of the mile high club.” Here is the screen shot: This is legal under part 97 US Station: o FCC Rules: Part 97.109 Station control …“Any station may be remotely controlled.” o FCC Rules Part 97.213 Telecommand of an amateur station: …has some simple requirements, including a 3 minute time-out on the transmitter in the event of malfunction. 4 US Station, with Operator outside of US: Operator must be “licensed” by a US License, bilateral, reciprocal, IARP agreement or CEPT T/R 61-01. The call sign used must always indicate the location of the … Read more >>

13 Colonies Certificates begin to arrive

The 13 Colonies event runs in early July and consists of contacting special event stations in each of the original 13 colonies. Contacting all 13 constitutes a “SWEEP”. There are three bonus stations: Liberty bell in Philadelphia; England and France. Many OVH members participated including AL, KB4BHB; Duane, KK4BZ; Jay, NQ4T; Bill, N4SV and John, KG4NXT. Click the small image to get a much bigger view of the certificate.

K3FR will activate rare grids

Ron, K3FR explains as follows: A week from now I will be off on the first leg of my three week journey to the west coast and back. Here are the slides I talked about at the FARA club meeting last week. I will be hitting 25 states, 80 plus grids, while visiting family in Michigan, Washington and Oregon. I’ll be stopping at a lot of sightseeing spots and points of interest. I’ll be carrying two cameras and my Icom IC-7100. I intend to activate 6 meters and 2 meters from the rarer grids beginning on my third day. Hope some of you get to connect with me. 73, Ron, K3FR __________________________ Click on the picture to get a link to download powerpoint slides of his journey Ron’s slides of … Read more >>

OVH Trailer Repairs

When we hauled the trailer to the OVH Tailgate Party, we noticed that there was a HOLE punched into the top front of the trailer. It was high up, beyond our reach. We do not know how it happened, but there it was. How do you fix a hole in the aluminum skin of the trailer? Answer: you call on our OVH machine shop owner, Gil, KM4OVH. Gil assessed the situation and had Ken, KN4DD, tow the trailer to his home which has an attached machine shop. Gil fashioned a very nice, shiny patch at the front top of the trailer. Click on the picture to get a larger version of the picture. While the trailer was at his place, Gil also fixed the back two stabilizer’s problems, one of … Read more >>

July 4th Firecracker 5k run

Firecracker 5k Event - lined up to start

Early on July 4th, the OVH supported the Firecracker 5k run at the Freedom Center on the George Mason campus. Unlike the Mini-Tris that the OVH supports, this event had the runners on the streets outside of the campus. Therefore, the organizers wanted eyes on that part of the course with our instant radio support. Andy, KJ4MPT was Shadow and Net Control. Theresa, KG4TVM; Ken, KN4DD; Al, KB4BHB and John, KG4NXT manned posts along the race course. The police completely blocked off University Blvd which was a big help. This contrasts with the Mini-Tris, where some traffic is allowed. The race ended without safety incidents. Please click on the article to scroll through the photos.