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.    

OVH VE Session

Grading table with John, KG4NXT; Jay, NQ4T; David, KY4MM

The OVH sponsored a successful VE session on May 27th with a total of 6 candidates and everyone passed! We minted 2 brand new Techs, upgraded 2 folks to General Class and 2 other folks to Extra Class. In a first for us, we tested a legally blind ham Dominic, KD4MEZ.  Bruce, KN4GDX read him the questions aloud. In order to help, the ARRL had sent us 2 versions of the Extra Class exam that did not have diagrams. It would be hard to read a diagram. The VEs who attended were:  Al, KB4BHB; John, KG4NXT; Mark, WA4KFZ; Jay, NQ4T; Bruce, KN4GDX; Sean, KO4TZO; David, KY4MM; Ken, KN4DD and Andy, KK4ADQ. Special thanks for Ken for getting us a free room at his Lord of Life church in Clifton. Please … Read more >>

First POTA Activation

James, KQ4CAX's first POTA activation

James, KQ4CAX activated Conway Robinson State Forest in Gainesville, VA for POTA (Parks on the Air) on May 21st.  James used FT8 on 20 meters using an end fed half wave antenna. He was accompanied by Don, WA2SWX and John, KG4NXT who also successfully activated the park. The solar flux was 170, which is good  but the K index was 4, which is not favorable.  

OVH promotes our Tailgate at Thawfest

On Saturday April 22, Don, WA2SWX; Theresa, KG4TVM and John, KG4NXT traveled to Stanardsville, VA for the first ever Thawfest. We had an OVH table and handed out Tailgate flyers and had some equipment for sale from Don and Jim, WI4EE. The hamfest was well attended and the table rows were so close that John got to the OVH table by crawling under the table behind us. Theresa took a stack of flyers and handed them to the table vendors and the tailgaters. All of us handed out flyers to those going by or stopping at our table. It was a very pleasant crowd. Don found the the table on our right was manned by a lifelong ham who was an Orthodox priest. Also, the Thawfest people allowed us to … Read more >>