Category Archives: Club News

VP-2020-08-An amateur radio operator, Yvette Cendes, KB3HTS, at station W8EDU, 2005-Wikipedia

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

As 5G and other new commercial wireless systems deploy, competition for scarce radio spectrum will become intense. As stewards of a good chunk of that spectrum, it will be up to hams to justify our allocations. Some are saying that new technology will make our traditional emergency communications role obsolete. So, what else do we bring to the table? How about our long and proud history as a springboard for youngsters who went on to landmark careers as engineers, Nobel Laureates and astronauts? Here are some examples. Edwin H. “Howard” Armstrong, W2XMN 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). He was soon… Read more »

Bouncing Signals off the International Space Station

What if I told you that even without any astronauts actively working a radio and making contacts, there was still a reason to point your antenna at the sky when the ISS passes over and throw some RF at it? Well, it’s true, and it’s nowhere near as difficult to accomplish as you might think; in fact the last two nights in a row I’ve successfully sent a radio signal up to the ISS and gotten one in return. How? I’ll tell you! There are a number of objects in orbit that we as amateur operators can actually transmit to. There are a number of low-powered satellites of various modes you can talk through, but the ISS is the most well known of LEO (low earth orbit) objects for obvious reasons; just about everyone knows what it is! While being… Read more »

USCGC Eagle (WIX-327), formerly the Horst Wessel and also known as the Barque Eagle, is a 295-foot barque used as a training cutter for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. - Wikipedia

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day as we celebrated our nation’s birthday. August marks another important birthday – that of the U.S. Coast Guard, tasked with protecting our shores from smugglers and terrorists. As we honor that anniversary, here’s a sea story about one of that service’s epic battles. It began 100 years ago this year with the passage of the 18th Amendment.     Popularly known as Prohibition, the new law forbade the import or manufacture of alcoholic beverages in the U.S. Predictable results followed its opening kickoff. British and Canadian distilleries ramped up to full production and the smuggling race was on. Seagoing smugglers loaded up motherships for rendezvous with small speedboats just outside U.S. territorial waters. The Coast Guard’s task was a daunting one. A limited number of cutters had to cover thousands of… Read more »

My son James cooking while I setup (NLY, but he’s studying that Technician Manual again…)

KK4ZUU’S Excellent Field Day Adventure

My son and I set up a portable operation at Loft Mountain Campground for ARRL Field Day 2020 [FM08PF]. We operated solar/battery powered on 6M/40M SSB S&P, and on VHF/UHF FM Phone. We operated Sat from 6pm to 1030pm EST (shutdown to observe quiet hours), and on Sunday from about 11am to 3pm EST. We logged 64 QSO’s, all voice. The weather was beautiful, especially in the evening when temperatures were 55-60 degrees F overnight with a light 5-10mph breeze. If only we could have brought some of that evening weather back in a jar! The closest storm was north of us in Luray, VA (~30m north). The campground did not have online reservations, we went very early Friday to get a site (first come, first served) and by 1130am the campground was Full for Friday/Saturday. My Tundra pickup truck… Read more »

haywagon operating - Gil KM4OZH

OVH does distributed Field Day

      No Comments on OVH does distributed Field Day

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.

A local wireless telegraphist operator operating an AWA 3BZ teleradio at Segi Coastwatchers station, British Solomon Islands

VP’s Corner

      No Comments on VP’s Corner

June brings sweltering heat to northern Virginia and a chance for hams to adapt to a new version of Field Day. This month’s ham radio history takes us to the steaming heat of the WWII Solomon Islands and the story of a young ham who used every bit of his Field Day skills to keep his gear up and running while reporting on enemy forces and dodging Japanese patrols.               Sydney, Australia native Paul Mason became  interested in amateur radio during his school days, becoming proficient at Morse and building his own transmitter in 1936 [1]. Thanks to his work as a plantation manager before the war, Paul had good knowledge of the Solomons and their inhabitants. His background made Mason a perfect candidate for a program set up by Australian Naval Intelligence in… Read more »

1 2 3 20