2, Issue 1
|A Winter Meeting Place
Thursdays at Dunkin Donuts on Rt. 22
those who like meeting more frequently like we do in the summer at
Wassamki Springs, we've continued the tradition by getting together at
the Dunkin Donuts on Rt. 22 (73 County Road, in Westbrook) from 7PM-9PM
on the "off" Thursdays.
KA1QW describes the Thursday night get together as an
"informal meeting," where we can build comraderie and talk about
whatever comes to mind... Sometimes that involves ham radio and
sometimes it doesn't.
Thursday we actually did talk radio, though. Dave, KB1FGF, brought in
an AES catalog and was researching which new HF antenna to buy. This
led to a debate about just what antenna designs are the best, and by
the end of the discussion, we agreed that the only way to know for sure
is to put the darn thing up in the air and try it. It it works, its a
good design. Charlie, W1CPS talked about discovering an old Heathkit at
a local antique shop, but unfortunately, when he looked at it more
closely, he determined it was beyond hope. He's still be interested in
picking something up to restore in the near future. Frank, KA1QW talked
about practically everything else, including operating JT65, but the
most interesting was when he described the process of manufacturing
tantalum capacitors and writing a software program to improve the
previous weeks, we discussed the possibility of "spontaneous" field
operations, where we could set up in a local park or public space and
have fun making contacts, while showing off ham radio in the process.
Rory, KB1PLY brought up the possibility of operating mobile from a rail
bike. Most of us had no idea what he was taking about - a few even said
he lost his mind, but thanks to the help of a YouTube video, we, at
least now now, what a rail bike is. Click here to see the video.
So, if you don't have anything else to do on
a Thursday during the
winter, stop by Dunkin Donuts and join us for a coffee, some laughs,
and an altogether great way to pass the time.
Getting Started with
A useful resource for operating digital modes
of the of the most useful websites I've come across, especially for
identifying and locating various digital activity, is HamSpots.net. The
website, designed and maintained by Laurie Cowcher of Chirnside Park,
Victoria, in Australia, is a valuable resource for monitoring digital
clubs, scheduling QSO's, and tracking down activity on new or rarely
used digital modes.
So, here's how to use it... Say, you're all set up for Feld Hell and
you're having trouble finding someone to have a QSO with, or you
remembered hearing something about a net, but you're not sure when it
is. Hamspots.net lists club activity for a number of digital modes
clubs. From the homepage, just click "Digital Clubs" and then select
"FH, Feld Hell Club." What follows is a list of all the recent activity
by Feld Hell Club members. Another way to track down activity by mode
is to click "Digital Modes" at the top of the screen and select either
"All Modes" or a specific mode on the drop down bar.
We'll choose "RTTY" for an example. What we find is "Local Spots and
Skeds" in the left-hand column, which is where users can post messages
and schedule QSO's. On the right is the "Cluster Spots," listed with
the most recent on top, and organized by colors. Each color tells you
which band the call sign was spotted on. Details include call sign,
location, and what time it was last spotted.
The website has other uses as well. It allows you to search a
particular call sign to check where they're operating, or what his or
her favorite modes might be. You can also check your own call sign to
see where you're being heard. This is a great way to check propagation,
or to determine which antenna to use. It does have its down sides,
though. I can't tell you how many times I've called CQ on RTTY and not
heard anyone answer, only to find that I was spotted by 200 stations!
Of course, many of those stations may be setup to automatically spot,
so maybe half the world was asleep...
Another useful feature is the ability to determine whether or not a
particular operator is signed up for either LoTW or eQSL, which comes
in handy when you're trying to track down a few elusive ones for that
next award. If you click the "LoTW & eQSL" tab at the top of
the page, it shows links to LoTW and eQSL "cluster spots," and allows
for a search of either the LoTW or eQSL lists of active
In all, Hamspots.net
is an excellent resource, and I reccommend it to anyone who's active on
the digital modes.
items for sale, including Mosley Classic 36b Tri band yagi, Ten Tec
Model 544 transceiver, Astatic Model D104, Bencher paddle, and more.
All in great working condition. Call for details and pricing: Ernie
Bourgon, KI1B at 207 563-2398.
- February 4, 2012 - Location: Augusta, ME. Type: ARRL Hamfest.
Sponsor: Augusta Amateur Radio Association. Contact: Bill Crowley,
K1NIT, 207-623-9075 or [email protected]
or click here
for more info.
Vermont State Convention
February 25, 2012 - Location: South Burlington, VT. Type ARRL
Convention. Sponsor: Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont. Click
for more info.
have any items for trade, contact one of our members to have it listed
here. Send an email to: [email protected]
with a brief
description and contact information.
you offer any ham radio related services, for example, if you repair
meters or radios, build your own transmitters, make QSL cards to order,
or rebuild microphones, you may list these services here.
there are any items you may be looking for, use this space to get the
word out. Just send an email to [email protected]
, or mention it at
an upcoming meeting.
Don't forget the ARRL School Club Roundup -
week of February 13-17th. For more information, click
advertisements are listed for FREE. Advertising shall pertain to
products and services which are related to amateur radio. No
advertisement may use more than 40 words. Please send a description of
items for sale, wants, or services to Thom Watson at [email protected],
or bring it to an upcoming meeting of the Wireless Society of Southern
Maine. All ads will be printed one time, unless renewed.