Have you heard? (ex-President's Message)
By Ron Adcock/KK4YCW
July 14, 2017
During the last six months or so I have touched on several topics in this column. I thought it might be of some interest this month to follow up on some of those past topics.
First I would like to comment on the recent Camp Villages workshop presented by the Villages Amateur Radio Club and lead by Larry Russo, K3TFU. There were a few things that made this year better than previous years: (1) Larry recruited enough volunteers to assure an Elmer with every young person; (2) during the June “Elmer Hour” those volunteers not familiar with the AM radio kits had a chance to build one or a least to watch it being done; (3) there were enough kits pre-built that if one of the kits the kids built didn’t work they could still go home with a working radio; (4) thanks to President Earle Hancock, KM4ISN, and Secretary Tony Hackenberg, N8SK, all of the participants could see how ham radio works and get on the air themselves; (5) Bob Schwer, K3ZGA, brought CW keys and an oscillator so the kids could learn to tap out their names or initials in Morse code, and receive a certificate saying they had done so. It seemed to me that everyone, young and older, went home smiling. And who knows, maybe some seeds were planted that will result in future hams. Now if we could find a way to plant those seeds with local school youth perhaps our club could add a few young members.
In May I suggested that some of us might be interested in seeing and hearing about some of the equipment hams used in days gone by. The ARRL magazine, QST, has a column that features older equipment. And, as you may know by now, our own John Ellis, NP2B, had an article published in the August 2017 issue of QST about a Heathkit® oscilloscope. I found that really interesting and well written. I built, and still have, a Heathkit oscilloscope, but don’t really know just how to use it in ham radio. (How many of our members have one too?) I’ll bet that John, and/or others, could put on an interesting program on the use of such equipment today. (How about it John?)
Last month, I suggested that a major TVARC deficiency was the lack of a club station. I went on to describe some ways such a station might be a possibility. I have had comments from several of our members about that column. Some agreed that we could use a station while others thought it was a terrible idea. And both sides made good points. A few of us without HF transceivers of our own, and/or the ability to erect needed antennas, indicated our desire to have a club station. Others pointed out that there were members that were already making HF contacts, even with our limitations. They also pointed out that when there were opportunities to get on the air (Field Day, Radio Rodeo and Radio on the Square) not very many members took advantage of those opportunities.
John, NP2B, continues to work on the club station issue. There are a lot of questions to be answered and information to be gathered.
That’s it for this month.
Note: Heathkit® & it’s logo are registered trademarks of the Heath Company and Heathkit Educational Systems (for more information, see the Heathkit Company’s website @ http://www.heathkit.com/ and the virtual Heathkit museum’s website @ http://www.heathkit-museum.com/).
Ham Researcher to Investigate Effects of Solar Eclipse
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
July 18, 2017
August 21 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many in the U.S. to see a total eclipse. It's also an opportunity for a team of Virginia Tech researchers to study the effects of the eclipse on changes in the upper atmosphere that have an impact on HF propagation and the global positioning system (GPS). Backed by research funding from NASA and the National Science foundation, the team is headed by Dr. Greg Earle, W4GDE.
The Virginia Tech team plans to gather data from a variety of sources, including radar systems, transceivers, satellites, ham radio, and GPS receivers, in order to analyze the effects of the solar eclipse on the conductive region of the atmosphere.
“Whether military radar, or consumer GPS signals, the eclipse is going to have effects on the medium that we would like to understand better, so that we can either mitigate them or use them to our advantage,” said Earle.
Here are a couple of links to news stories on the research team and the experiments:
In conjunction with the eclipse, the HamSCI and the ARRL are sponsoring the Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP). According to an article in the August 2017 issue of QST, the goal of the SEQP is to "flood the airwaves with contacts, all measured by the automated receiver networks of the Reverse Beacon Network, PSKReporter, and WSPRNet." Once all the logs are in, researchers will analyze the data to see what effect the eclipse had on radio propagation.
A YouTube video of a presentation at Dayton on the SEQP can be found at https://youtu.be/3EviY2Cuxpo?list=PLihPo8xWmo8-xDYAtpP9BWX9QnhUoT7k4 .
The SEQP will run from 1400Z - 2200Z on Monday, August 21. This is well before the eclipse is due to begin on the West Coast. The reason it starts before the eclipse is to establish a baseline for radio propagation conditions.
SEQP organizers urge you to make as many contacts as you can on as many bands as you can operate. Like nearly every contest, contacts are not allowed on 60m, 30m, 17m, and 12m. CW, RTTY, and PSK31 are the preferred modes because automated receivers can record those contacts, but phone and other digital modes count, too.
An interesting twist to this contest is that, like Field Day, you can earn a number of bonus points, including:
Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com, and is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides and the CW Geek's Guide to Having Fun With Morse Code.” You can reach him by emailing email@example.com.
Copyright by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU. Re-printed here with his permission to use this material in club newsletters/websites.
-- Our Next Meeting --
August 17, 2017 Eisenhower Rec Center
6:00 PM Social/Swap Tables
6:45 PM Business Meeting
7:30 PM Program - "JT65 & FT8 Digital Modes"
- by Dennis McKinney (N0SMX)
"Cookie Monster" for this meeting - Bruce Cusanelli (WA1UTQ)
TVARC club meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at the Eisenhower Recreation Center (except for the month of December), at 3560 Buena Vista Blvd., in The Villages, Florida. Anyone interested in Amateur Radio is invited to attend.
You need not be licensed to attend or join. You do NOT need a Villages ID.
Events & Activities (Upcoming/Ongoing) ...
TVARC WAS Standings will start on August 1, 2017 & will be calling for your submissions. For information, click HERE and HERE. To view standings, click HERE (not yet available).
TVARC DXCC Standings is calling for your submissions.
For information, click HERE. To view standings, click HERE.
Technician Licensing Class will be held on Sept. 9, 16 & 23, 2017 (8:30-11:50 am) at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information click here or contact Ron Adcock (KK4YCW; club's Educational Coordinator for Technician Class). Click HERE to sign-up for this class.
Licensing Exams will be held on Oct. 7, 2017 (8:30-11:50 am), at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information, contact Rich Erlichman (ND4G; ARRL Volunteer Examiner Liaison).
General Licensing Class will be held on Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13 & 20, 2017 (6-8:50 pm), at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information click here or contact Cal Fuhrman (WA3CTZ; club's Educational Coordinator for General/Extra Classes). Click HERE to sign-up for this class.
Licensing Exams will be held on Nov. 27, 2017, starting at 6 pm, at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. For more information, contact Rich Erlichman (ND4G; ARRL Volunteer Examiner Liaison).
NEED Chairperson for "Radio on the Square"
Our club needs a member to volunteer to be the chair of the "Radio on the Square" event (Nov. 25, 2017). Contact Earle Hancock (TVARC's President; KM4ISN) if you would like to volunteer for this position.
NEED Emergency Communications Team Lead
Our club needs a member to volunteer for this leadership opportunity position. Contact Tony Hackenberg (TVARC's Secretary; N8SK) if you would like to volunteer for this position.
Events & Activities (Past) ...
"TVARC Field Day 2017' was held on June 24 - 25, 2017, at the Sheriff's Annex Bldg. in The Villages, FL. Event Chair George Briggs (K2DM) thanks his crew (over 20 club members) who helped with all phases (setup, operation, take down) & made this event a resounding success (participants had "FUN!"). Be sure to attend July's club meeting for K2DM's "wrap-up" report. To view photos click HERE.
"Camp Villages - Amateur Radio 2017" was held on June 22, 2017, at the Colony Cottage Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. The children enjoyed building their AM radio kits and getting a taste of ham radio on the stations setup at this event. Event Chair Larry Russo (K3TFU) thanks the numerous club volunteers who helped put big smiles on the kids' faces. To view photos click HERE.
"Hurricane Expo 2017" was held on May 5, 2017, at the Rohan Recreation Center, in The Villages, FL. This emergency preparedness event is sponsored by The Villages Safety Dept. Our club participated by staffing 2 information tables. Event Chair Tony Hackenberg (N8SK) thanks the following members, who as ambassadors for our club & ham radio to the public, helped make this event a huge success: Sam Brown (KB8SB), Dennis Chick (KM4ISO), John Ellis (NP2B), Rich Erlichman (ND4G), Melanie Hackenberg, Tony Hackenberg (N8SK), Bob Hagan (WW8USA) & John McCollough (KB4KP). To view photos click HERE.
• TVARC Ragchew
– Net meets 7 PM Monday
– 443.225 MHz (+5) PL 103.5 & Echolink at K4VRC-R
• QCWA Ragchew
– Net meets 10 AM Friday
– 443.150 MHz (+5) PL 103.5 & Echolink at K4LFK-R
– Net meets 8:30 PM Sunday
– 147.030 (+600) PL 123.0
• Sumter EMCOMM NET
– Net meets 8:30 PM Monday
– 146.925 (-600) PL 123.0
Emergency Communications Team
The ECT has been established to maintain information on members who are willing to be called upon during an emergency for communications assistance within The Villages. No training, no paperwork. Just give us your contact information and pertinent equipment. We have 43 volunteers and growing. . .
To sign up Click HERE
To Read about this Program, Click HERE.
TVARC QSL Cards are now available
For ordering information select WHO WE ARE above, then select Logo Items & TVARC QSLs. Or, just click HERE.
TVARC Reflector - Communicate with TVARC
Membership in TVARC is required to join this club reflector. For general information or to join this reflector, click HERE. Contact George Briggs (K2DM), the Reflector's moderator, for more details.