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.
Hello Everyone, The last few days in this, the first full week of June certainly has been different. The Canadian wildfires combined with an unusually low jet stream for this time of year has given us days of very bad air quality. In fact, the Washington, DC area reached the worst air quality in the world on Thursday, June 8th. We even had our first ever “Code Purple” day. And yet, in this bad luck, I think I see some good luck. We have just completed a successful Tailgate Party. If that bad air from those wildfires had reached us days earlier, I don’t think we would have had a successful Tailgate Party. The turnout would have been much lower, if any at all. So, I choose to be thankful … Read more >>
With the weekend behind us, it is time to take a look back at our Tailgate Party 2023.While we await the official numbers from our Treasurer & Tailgate Chairman Don, WA2SWX, I call it an unqualified success. It was our second ever Tailgate Party and I can say we have earned more than two and a half times our seed money. I have long held that “Good luck happens when preparation meets opportunity”. We were certainly well prepared. Led by Don in his fourth outing as Tailgate / Hamfest Chairman, it was as close to a turnkey operation as he could make it. Your OVH Tailgate Committee met three times in 2023 to bring this together. With the Coronavirus days receding in the rearview mirror, our most pressing concern was … Read more >>
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 >>
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.
Hello Everyone, I would like to jump right in this time. After a 2 year transition, the FCC implemented its new RF Exposure program. Ron, K3FR, reminded us at our last meeting on April 18th, that the rules phase-in would begin on May 3rd. As of this writing, that phase-in occurred about one week ago. Ron informed us that on pages 64 thru 66 in the May 2023 issue of QST magazine, there is an excellent article detailing this event. He also reminded us that on page 65, the ARRL provided a link to an ARRL RF Exposure calculator tool that is free. http://arrl.org/rf-exposure-calculator The article also states there is a simple method that many hams would like, but cautioned it might be too conservative for other hams, and the … Read more >>
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 >>
Greetings to all. April 3rd, 2023 was the 50th Anniversary of the cell phone. Inventor Martin Cooper of Motorola used the first portable handset … to make the first cell phone call … to his rival at Bell Labs. Way to rub it in, Marty. From 1973 until now, there has been an incredible proliferation of these devices. It seems like everyone has one and many have more than one. Yet, when I ask my students, most of whom are middle aged, “How many radio circuits are in an average smartphone?” their guesses are all over the map. There are five, if you don’t know: The phone itself is the first one; wi-fi; Bluetooth; GPS and near-field communication (NFC – although you may know it as “Google Pay” or “Samsung … Read more >>