NYU Amateur Radio Club News,  September 2011

Greetings to all alumni and club members.  It's been over a year since the last newsletter, so we thought it was about time.  Our club-building efforts slowed to a crawl and we did not add any new members until very recently.  It seems that most of us went into hibernation during the unusually severe winter in the northeast!  But now with the heat, earthquakes, and hurricanes upon us, who can sleep?

We have added two members in the past year, for a total membership of 61 now.  Welcome to:

  • Andy Siegel, N2CN, '83 GSAS
    Hi,  Colin Phoon sent me your way, after I saw his post-sweepstakes soapbox article on arrl.org.  I am N2CN, and I got my MS (Computer Science) from GSAS in 1983.  Please sign me up for the NYU club.  I was involved with W2AEE (Columbia U ARC) in high school, and I ran K1AD (Brown U ARC, now pretty much defunct), so college clubs are near and dear to me.  I'm looking at what you're doing with the NYU club as a possible model for reviving the Brown Club --   my son is an (inactive) ham, KB1PIY, attending Brown, so I have an "in" both as a parent and an alum.  My father-in-law is K5QXY, making us a three-generation ham family.
        I mostly (and sporadically) operate CW on HF, though I am not a speed demon.  I am a member of the Stamford ARA (W1EE), and have a lot of fun doing Field Day with them.  I've written my own Field Day contesting software that I think is pretty unique, and used it in the last two Field Days; I'm thinking of adapting it to Sweepstakes.  I work in the IT department at Blue Sky Studios in Greenwich.   Thanks and 73,  Andy, N2CN

  • Anastasios Mirisis, K2TAS,  '13 W
    I have emailed a few times in regards to becoming a member, but I wanted to email today to ask if I could reactivate W2DSC in the NY QSO party. I could possibly set up a demonstration on campus, and I think it would be very beneficial for the club and the hobby itself.
       I am in the College of Arts and Science class of 2013.   I will keep you updated on our progress here. I plan on setting up a demonstration at Washington Square with a few friends and possibly a Boy Scout troop to help. I have a mobile HF station I plan on running with a simple vertical antenna assembly, as well as a 2m/70cm HT that I will run to a ground plane antenna. If you could spread the news to see if maybe anyone in the club is interested in attending and operating along with us that would be great.
       Hopefully, this could possibly jumpstart the hobby back at the Square and possibly set us up an active station there. I think that might be the only thing NYU is missing.   Thanks,   Anastasios

Please support Anastasios' efforts and look for W2DSC in the NY QSO Party, the weekend of October 15-16.  Any on-site support from the local members would also be greatly appreciated.  Contact K2TAS at  k2tasqsl @ gmail.com  

Ron AE5NO  '63E '63A sends along the following:
Special Event Station K5B Ė Plano Balloon Festival.    September 16-18, 2011 Ė Plano, Texas Celebrating the 31st annual Plano Balloon Festival, members of the Plano Amateur Radio Klub (PARK) and area amateur radio operators will be QRV as K5B during the festival.  Frequencies plus or minus QRM: 7.255, 14.255, 21.355 and on the club repeater, WD5ERD on 147.180 + PL 107.2  and via Echolink at K5PRK. QSL with SASE to K5PRK.   More information  will be available on our website at www.k5prk.net/,      

Ron has also been quite busy over the past year,  on Aug 19, 2010 he wrote:    I finally got an HF antenna up on March 27th and made my first 20 meter contact as AE5NO.  That was almost 55 years from the time I first got on the air as K2KMA in 1955.  Wow, my age is showing. 

I discovered PSK31 too. My on air time is split about 50/50 between PSK31 and SSB. 

 I need just two states for WAS; Oklahoma and South Dakota.  According to the FCC and Wikipedia, there are more buffalo in South Dakota than amateurs, so it could be a while before I snag that last state.  I earned my first WAS in 1958, during my freshman year at the Heights.  I have that certificate hanging on the wall of the shack.  

I have a dipole up in the attic (HOA restrictions, you know) It works well on 20 and I have managed to work 55 countries so far.  Itís not a beam and there are times when I wish I could just turn the house about 30 degrees. 

 The rain gutter antenna did not work out; too much corrosion in the copper joints for it to work right.  Instead I made a homebrew helical vertical.  It was designed for 80 meters, but actually works better on 40; so much for antenna theory.  I lashed it to a maple tree in the backyard.  The antenna goes right up through the middle of the foliage.  I painted the whole thing with camo spray paint.  You canít tell it is there even when you know it is. 

 I am experimenting with a Buddipole too.  I finally got one up in the attic but the heat almost did me in.  It has been over 100 degrees in this area for the last 18 consecutive days.  You can imagine what it was like in the attic even early in the morning.  I should have it in the air, this weekend.   

 My latest project is refurbishing a Heathkit SB-200 Linear.  I need a little extra punch in those pile ups.  It was DOA; came from the estate of a SK.  It was also filthy inside.  The widow kept in it the garage for an untold number of years.  Fortunately, there are plenty of folks with experience in rebuilding this particular rig. Parts are readily available too. I am told they work well with the modern transceivers.    

I discovered that I love contests, so I try to get in as many as I can.  I was active during the recent IARU HF Contest.  I made about 40 contacts in less than 24 hours.  I have never worked so much DX in so short a time period.  It was intense.

   Oct 26, 2010  - Further updates from Texas:   I completed my WAS for this QTH and received WAS # 54863 on Oct 20, 2010.  By comparison, my original WAS for K2KMA was #8585 Feb 7th, 1958 before Hawaii and Alaska were admitted as states. I have both hanging side by side. 

Gerry K1NY and Bob WB2NVR activated W2DSC in the School Club Roundup in Oct 2010.

Colin AE3A activated W2NYU in the November 2010 CW Sweepstakes from his home in the ENY section. He wrote:  This year's CW SS competed with the ING NYC Marathon, so I was on for all of 5 hours for the SS, establishing 33 QSO's in 20 sections for a claimed score of 1320.  I'll submit a soapbox comment shortly and will be happy to help with the QSL card design. Thanks for the opportunity and 73's all around - Colin AE3A

Bob WB2NVR activated W2DSC in the CW SS.   I was only able to spend about 2 hours Saturday in the ARRl CW SS because of an emergency service call to NYCT. Anyway, it was fun, but I was having trouble copying at 25 - 30 WPM.  Must be getting old!  Anyway, it was fun, and at least we're in the log for 45 Q's.  Did manage to get a new one - NP2X in the US Virgin Islands - we only had a mixed Q in the log from the original DXCC submission.  Other than that, nothing unusual

Ron AE5NO activated W2NYU in the Phone SS.   I got a claimed score of 21700 points, 175 contacts and 62 sections. I operated for approx 17 hours total with a couple of breaks.  I used a combination of 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters. I got some rare sections, Alaska, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Rhode Island and both Dakotas but I missed on some close by states like Arkansas and Mississippi. 

I used my multi band dipole in the attic that works well on 20 and up and a 5BTV vertical camouflaged as a tree that I used for 40 and 80.  20 was a nightmare with wall to wall QRM but I did ok there.  I used mostly the search and destroy strategy.  Since I donít have a kilowatt and I am not from a rare section, calling CQ doesnít even attract flies.

 I got some interesting queries about New York University signing North Texas Section; mostly they concerned my knowledge of geography.  ďIs that NNY?Ē  ďNTX, are you sure?Ē, and other variations on that theme.

 Apparently West Texas was a problem for a lot of east coast contesters.  One ham asked if I would drive over to WTX so he could be sure someone was operating there. That would be about 5 hours away. 

 A number of my contacts in the low power, single op category (Class A) had very high QSO numbers in the 1000 range that made me wonder if they were playing by the rules. One station I contacted in the last few minutes had 1200 contacts.  That is about 50 Qís per hour or one every 1.2 minutes.  I guess that is possible although I wonder how a single op station with a max of 150 watts can maintain that rate over 24 hours.  He must have a hell of an antenna system.   

 I wasnít very efficient this time but I learned a lot of things that I can do to improve my contest performance for next year, plus I had a great time.   

 I canít pull those all nighters anymore but not bad for a first effort in 53 years.  When it was all over my wife was surprised that I did not just fall asleep.  I guess I was on the adrenalin high.

Bob WB2NVR activated W2DSC in the Phone SS.   Was able to make 145 Q's for 19,430 points in the SSB SS over the weekend.   Both CW and SSB logs have been submitted and accepted, so we should be on the list.

Ron AE5NO writes again on Dec 20, 2010.  Hi guys.  Iíve been busy here.  In addition to the Sweepstakes contest last October, I also participated in the Winter Canada Contest last weekend.  In that contest, I used my own call, AE5NO and made good use of the same stealthy vertical antenna I used in the Sweepstakes contest.    

 There is a photo attached.  Even though the tree has lost most of its leaves, you have to look really hard to see the antenna.  When the tree is leafed out, the vertical is invisible.  I have 8 radials out about 32 feet long each.  With the tree  in the corner of the yard,.  Running radials behind the tree means making a sharp left turn and then running parallel with the fence.  The actual antenna is a Hustler 5BTY, which I bought for $50 from another ham. I use it mainly on 40 and 80.  The radials are the key.  The more the merrier. 

My latest project is restoring a Heathkit SB-200 linear, which I got from the widow of a SK.  The amp was DOA, having languished in the widowís garage for ten or more years.  It was totally filthy inside.  I am in the process of replacing the power supply components.  I should have it on the air in a couple months.  Keeping my fingers crossed.     73 from Texas,    Ron, AE5NO

   And Again on Feb 23, 2011.  Dan, Whatís happening?  Havenít seen a newsletter in a while.  Do you need some help putting one together?     News from me:  I am moving back to Houston this spring.  I donít know exactly when.  Sometime in April or May is the best guess.  Job and family are the motivations. 

 I wrote a little article and it got accepted for publication by ARRL.  It should appear on the ARRL web page sometime in late spring or summer.  Itís called. ďThe TestĒ and is a story about a 15 year old kid going to the FCC on Washington Street to take the General Class exam back in the fifties.

 I finally got power on the SB 200 that I am restoring.  With the new power supply board and a couple other mods suggested by some hams who have done this before.  I put it on the variac and brought it up to full voltage gently.  Just a smoke test to see how she would react to power for the first time in 20 or so years.  Itís alive!!!!! The tubes lit up, the fan purred softly, no pop, pop, fizz, fizz noises from the system.  No blown breakers in the house either.  Plate voltage about 2500 VDC.  A thing of beauty!   My wife clearly did not understand the excitement of the moment.  I tried to explain that it was like a kid working on his first 54 Chevy day after day until he finally got to turn the key and started the first time!   All I got was, ďThatís nice dear.Ē

Just a few more mods to install, now that I know it is working.  Hopefully have it ready for the ARRL DX Contest in a couple of weeks.   73,   Ron AE5NO

Bill K2EK, Bob WB2NVR, and Gerry K1NY have been logging some great DX contacts on behalf of W2DSC.  Unfortunately Bob and Gerry suffered the wrath of Hurricane Irene with flooding recently in New York and may be off for a while.

We apologize for the lateness of this bulletin,  Your editor has had a very busy year.  We finally sold the house in New Jersey after several false starts, and are now residing in Florida, minus antennas of course.

The Fall and Winter contest season will be upon us soon.  If anyone wishes to activate W2DSC or W2NYU in a contest, just let us know.   Have a great time, and keep in touch.  Thanks and 73.

 Dan Ostroy  K2UL,  '71E