THE AIRWAVES CALENDAR
Old man winter has arrived with a cold wind from the north. I hope your antennas didn't come down or get re-oriented. Just another one of those reminders about good antenna guying and having an antenna that is big enough to work but not too big to blow over. By the time you get this Thanksgiving will have become leftover sandwiches or soup. I hope that you have been able to keep warm and well.
Christmas season is jumping on us quickly according to the store ads. This next meeting could give you some ideas on what the next rig you might want to find under that Christmas tree. Everyone is to be bringing his or her latest purchased or constructed toy to show and tell about. Here at the home QTH I have been working on what is called the reflock board, which uses the precision one-second pulse from a GPS receiver to phase, lock up a 10 MHz tunable oscillator. So far it hasn't worked as promoted but is very close. The oscillator is stable on its own when the tuning voltage is stable. There is a computer chip on the reflock board with programmable software that compares the one pulse per second to the 10 MHz. The chip then corrects the voltage going to the oscillator in the correct direction and magnitude to bring the oscillator back to a correct 10 MHz. Another version of this board software is available to bring an oscillator (crystal or stable source) on frequency when referenced to a 10 MHz source. This version is met to provide a precise 90 some MHz oscillator on frequency so that your microwave rig will have a correct local oscillator and you will be on frequency when talking to others with the same sort of set up. The need for this kind of precision is coming about from software driven radios that can see several decades below the noise level in very narrow bandwidths to extract signals. Folks in the Oregon, Washington area are using this method to communicate by bouncing signals off "clear air phenomenon" several thousand feet in the atmosphere. The beyond the line of sight stuff Microwavers are supposed to not be able to do. HI. HI. Locally Chuck, WA6EXV located on Inyokern road has communicated to LA beach areas and San Diego using the mountains to bounce off of on 10 GHz. Very small signal levels involved but they are there. Knowing what frequency one is on is part of the capability. Just another way technology is changing our hobby.
See you at the meeting.
Board of Officers Meeting Minutes
The November 10, 2004 board meeting was called to order at 1905 hrs. Those present: Pres. Bill Burns (WA6QYR), 1st Vice Pres. Paula Herr (N6VGW), Treas. Pam Evans (KC6UUS), Secy. Tom Ingram (WB6EPD) and Airwaves Editor Mike Herr (WA6ARA). Need to ask for Board of Officers nominations from the floor during the general meeting. Elections will be at the December meeting. There will be a hospital drill on the 18th of November. The Sierra Amateur Radio Club received a contribution from the Kiwanis Walk-a-Thon. A donation for the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund will be addressed at the general meeting. Need to mention Christmas goodies for the December meeting. Need to mention the Installation Dinner at the Texas Cattle Company in January. A discussion was held on door prizes for the Installation Dinner as we had last year.
The meeting was adjourned at 1916 hrs.
Minutes of the General Meeting
The November 2004 meeting was called to order by the President, Bill Burns (WA6QYR) at 1930 hrs at the Heritage Inn. The Sign-in sheet was started around
The attendance for the meeting was 20.
Treasurer's Report As of November 29, 2004: Draft Account $ 717.00 Share Account $ 5,503.63 BALANCE: $ 6,220.63Submitted by Pam Evans, KC6UUS
December Meeting Program
The December Meeting will be a combination Show and Tell, BPL update and Holiday get together. For the Show and Tell bring whatever you have new for the last year. Show of that new rig or project. Tell a little bit about it, what it is, how it works. We're looking for homebuilt, recent purchases, just about anything! On the BPL there will be a short update as to the recent happenings by the FCC and some of the steps the ARRL might be taking. And last, there will be plenty of goodies and hot apple cider to toast the upcoming holiday season. And, don't forget the infamous SARC elections for BOO! Hope to see you there.
Just when you thought it was safe...
Additional candidates may be nominated at the December meeting. Elections will take place at the December meeting.
Annual SARC Installation Dinner
SARC will hold the annual installation dinner on January 12, 2005 at the Texas Cattle Company Restaurant. This is always a great event with everyone having a good time. We hope to continue the tradition of plenty of give-always and at least one major door prize. The start time is 6pm, hope to see you all there!
Indian Wells Valley Emergency Net Update
Check ins November 01 13 November 08 13 November 15 15 November 29 13The net has three basic purposes to exist. One of the primary ones is to help train and practice our communication ability for emergency operations using net procedures. The best way to do this is to be Net Control operator. It is easy to do and the experience is worth it. Please contact me to volunteer for a month or just for a week. The time to learn is now, not in the middle of an emergency.
...Mike Herr WA6ARA
Statewide Hospital Drill November 18th
One word! Short! They started the drill at 1pm and advised us not to show till 1:30. We got set up by 1:45 sent one message to Bishop, the Northern Sierra Hospital up there. Then they closed down at about 2:10. I like to have a drill that gets a little frantic. Didn't happen this time. Hopefully the next drill will last a little longer.
Several months ago the hospital asked us to install a permanent station in their facility. Because it is difficult to keep track of equipment over the years we advised them not to put in a permanent station. As you can probably gather, things change, room uses change, people change and next thing you know the gear gets pushed and moved around and soon disappears into the Netherlands. After our cut cable incident I decided that since they will be paying for the station, that we can take a chance on putting in a permanent station. I talked to the hospital management a couple of weeks ago and they said it wasn't too late to request the money.
After the drill I briefed them on the WINLINK station that the hospital included if they can get the $5000 for the station. WINLINK is a digital HF system that allows HF stations to place email messages on to the Internet at a remote Internet HF gateway. This system doesn't have the multiple days wait for an answer like Packet radio NTS system does. If the recipient of the message checks his email often, answers can be received shortly after a message is sent.
The funds are to be provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
The station includes vhf/uhf, packet and the WINLINK HF, Pactor II TNC
and computer. I asked them to start gathering the email addresses of
the group they regularly talk to on the phone so they will be handy
should they ever need them. I may be calling for volunteers to help
with installing the station and the antenna.
Elecraft KX1 Product Report
While at Pacificon this year, I happened by the Elecraft booth. What is Elecraft? Elecraft is a relative new, professional, Amateur Radio Kit company. The principles behind Elecraft (which stands for Ele as in "elegant" and craft as in building) are Eric (WA6HHQ) and Wayne (N6KR). Wayne was the brains behind many of the NorCal Club kit radios and has been a long time designer and builder. He and Eric started up Elecraft to bring back the Heathkit days as much as possible. At the present time they have several HF transceivers and VHF transverters. These are not the typical QRP bag 'o parts kits but excellent, world-class rigs.
While looking at the rigs, I struck up a conversation with Wayne about the KX1. Truth be known I had been looking at the KX1 for some time and needed the nudge to put me over the top. Wayne gave me his low pressure, energetic sales talk and after listening to the rig and additional nudging from my wife Paula (N6VGW), I walked out with a new KX1 kit and every accessory that goes along.
The KX1 is a small, compact rig built for the hiker. About the size of a QSL card (3 X 5) and about an inch thick, it is fully self contained, including the radio, automatic antenna tuner, power supply and paddle. Yes, it is CW only but then we all know SSB is just a passing fad. The rig covers 40, 30 and 20 meters, plus short-wave listening from 5MHz to 16.5 MHz. It is a superhet with a variable crystal filter, great for fully open when working cross mod to a SSB station or tight to 200hz for a weak CW station. The VFO is direct Digital Synthesis or DDS. This gives it exceptional frequency stability as well as is agile. A memory keyer is included. Frequency read out is via a three-digit LED display that scrolls the frequency across it.
This little package is loaded with extra features. One nice one is the optional CW frequency readout. By simply setting it in the menu, not only is the frequency read out in CW, all knob adjustments and setting are as well. This is great for operating late at night in the dark and in a sleeping bag! The other obvious use is for the blind ham, it's ready to go! My favorite feature is the automatic antenna tuner. Optimized for the 40 / 30 / 20 meter bands, just a push of a button, the tuner relays start clicking away and the antenna is tuned. The built in SWR meter confirms the selection. Listening to SWL? Then you can manually tune the tuner as well.
The kit and instructions are on par with Heathkit of old. The kit took about a week to build and worked the first time. Three surface mounted components are already soldered in. The only problem I had was when I went to install the 30 meter module, the old soldering iron in my big fat hands slide up against the body of one of the band switching latching relays. Bummer! A quick email and the relay was on it's way. Those of you looking for more detailed info on the radio's actually performance, dynamic range, etc, check out the April 2004 QST review, also found at www.arrl.org/members-only/prodrev/prd/pr0404.pdf also available at www.elecraft.com.
Looking for News, Ads or Comments!
I'm always looking for local news for and about the IWV amateur radio community. Also, if you have something for sale or are looking for something else, drop me a line and I'll put it in the Airwaves. Ok, let's say you have some news for the Airwaves. How do you get it in. Well, the best way is if you can send it to me electronically, ie email. The text can be in Word or Works, but the most universal is as text body of the email, no HTML, PLEASE! However, if you don't have email, I can take paper copy. You can send it to me at 613 Rebel Road, Ridgecrest.
NOTE: Email, while fast and easy, it is not 100% reliable. If I get
Airwaves input via Email, I will send a note back as a receipt. If
you don't get a receipt back, then likely I didn't get it.
The SARC membership year is near the end. Please renew your membership
with the enclosed form. Remember that the SARC newsletter is now
available via email, in TWO formats, Adobe Acrobat PDF and in plain
text. The PDF version is complete, and in color, but you will need
Acrobat Reader to view it. Most have it and it is available free
to both PC and Mac users. The plain text version can be read by
just about anything! ...but you lose the graphics. If you want the
newsletter via Email make sure you check the proper box on the
membership form, add your email address and the version you want.
If you have already renewed and want to convert to email, or have
changed your email address, drop the secretary, Tom Ingram, WB6EPD,
(375-7950) a note, as he is keeping the email address lists.
Please fill out this form.
[available as a text file or
SARC POB 1442 Ridgecrest, CA 93556-1442or give it to the Treasurer at a meeting.
[sorry, no online submissions at this time]
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