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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
On Sunday, September 29, the OVH will again be running communications for the 4th Annual Prince William Half Marathon. Last year, the race had 1400 runners and an additional 500 runners for an included 5K race. The OVH had 18 members participating. The event can be done either with a 2 meter handheld or with a mobile. Loaners are available. Please save the date and volunteer to Wayne Phillips , N7QLK at (571) 237-0520 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the 4th of July week, many club members participated in the 13 colonies special event. The object was to work some or all of the 13 colonies special event stations. Our own David Morris, KK4ZUU, was one of the Virginia operators with call K2B. There were bonus stations for the Liberty Bell (WM3PEN) and England ( GB13COL) click the image for a bigger picture.
June was quite a busy month for the club. In a span of two weeks we managed to cover the Warrior Bike charity event, Hamfest, Field Day, and a MiniTri – flawlessly. Well done Team OVH! In addition to celebrating our nation’s independence, this July marks another important anniversary – the 50th anniversary of man’s first landing on the moon. As a youngster I can remember being awestruck by those first TV pictures from the moon. It wasn’t until a few years later while pursuing a technical degree that I began to appreciate just how daunting a task the communications link design for the Apollo missions was. Among the challenges: – A path loss of over 200db ruled out the VHF communications used on earlier missions. A special S-Band (2GHz)radio and deployable parabolic antenna had to be developed to link… Read more »