WB8TKL Addresses TAPR Conference

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At this fall’s TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC), held here in the Detroit area, our own Jay Nugent, WB8TKL, talked about packet radio. His talk was titled “The Homogenous AMPRnet Data Network.”

 

 

Jason, KC5HWB, of Ham Radio 2.0, has taken over the video taping of the TAPR DCCs. Click here to see all of the videos he recorded this year.

SK Estate Sale

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A ham friend of Rick, K8BMA passed recently, and his family has asked us to assist them in selling  his equipment. In return, they have graciously agreed to donate 1/3 of the proceeds to our scholarship fund. Below are photos of the equipment. Not pictured are a three-element Steppir yagi (which needs some work) and a Flex 5000 transceiver (it wasn’t in the main shack, and I forgot to take a picture of it).

I have set up a Google Docs spreadsheet listing the equipment and some asking prices. I’ve tried to be realistic about the prices, but please consider them as starting points, not end points. Also keep in mind that a third of what you pay will be going to our scholarship fund. Email me separately for the link to the spreadsheet.

If you have any questions, or would like to see the equipment, please get in touch with me, and I’ll try to answer questions and arrange for you to see the gear.

73, Dan KB6NU

UMARC/ARROW rack up more than 2,000 Qs on Field Day 2019

We ran four HF stations this year, including two CW and two SSB stations. Also shown in this photo are the GOTA station, the public information table, and the food tent. Photo: Larry Works, KD8MDM.

Dave, N8SBE, our Field Day 2019 head honcho reports:

The U-M Amateur Radio Club and ARROW joined again for Field Day 2019, operating class 4A (four transmitters, no commercial power) and one GOTA (Get On The Air) station. We operated again from the park just north of the Ann Arbor Airport.

The radios included three Elecraft K3s, a Yaesu FTdx5000mp for one SSB station, and the UofM club’s Kenwood TS-590 for the GOTA station.  We used contest filters on all the radios, which all did well in the intense multi-multi setup with minimal co-interference.

Our antennas were held up with 40-ft. masts built up from 10, 4-ft. sections of those surplus fiberglass poles used for camouflage netting in the Gulf wars.  These are handy and lightweight, but require 8 people to put up a mast — four on the guy ropes, one on a ladder to raise and hold up the mast while the sixth guy stuffs mast sections up from under, and the last two to stand about 90 degrees apart and determine when the whole thing looks fairly vertical before tying down the guys.  We use two sets of four guys, one set at the top of the mast, and the other half-way down.  We had two CW dipoles, one a multi-band 80, 20, 15, and 10m (note the absence of 40m), the other a single-band 40m, placed end-to-end to minimize pickup.  Two more antennas for the SSB stations, one an Alpha-Delta CC multi-band, the other a 40m “super-loop”, again placed end-to-end.  It takes six masts total to put up the four dipoles, since we separate the SSB and CW dipoles on either side of the parking area where all the shelters are set up.

When we ‘pulled the plug’ on Sunday at 2pm ET, we had more than 2000 contacts. We worked to obtain as many bonus points as possible, but did leave some on the table, including the visit from an elected official, visit from a served agency, and the satellite contact. We usually manage everything except the satellite contact, although some years in the past, we snagged that one, too.

While totalling up all the points will take some time, I think we did pretty well again this year. Thanks to everyone who helped to make this a fun event.

Here are some photos from Arun, W8ARU:

Don, AC8TO, coaching someone at the GOTA station.

Dinesh, AB3DC, and Arun, W8ARU, enjoying the fine weather.

Stuart, W8SRC, cranking out some Qs, with Don, AC8TO looking on. This was Stuart’s 10th Field Day!

Here are some more photos from Larry, KD8MZM:

WS8U’s generator provided most of the power for this year’s FD.

We tried setting up a Beverage antenna, but results were mixed.

Charles, W8HAX, operates one of the SSB stations.

Dan, KB6NU, operates one of the CW stations.

UMARC/ARROW ARRL Field Day 2019 (June 22 – 23)

The University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club and the ARROW Radio Club invite the public to attend the National Amateur Radio Field Day at the Ann Arbor Airport.

When: June 22, 2 p.m. to June 23, 2 p.m. (24 hours)
Where: Ann Arbor Airport Soccer Field, 801 Airport Dr, Ann Arbor, MI (W. Ellsworth and Airport Blvd.; Across from Costco)

This annual 24-hour national open-house event gives the public an overview of amateur radio and also helps amateur radio operators prepare for emergencies and develop radio communication skills. You will get a chance to meet experts, ask questions, learn how radio operators help local governments in times of need, and even operate the station, under supervision.

Free and open to all ages, amateur radio or ham radio is a hobby where licensed operators use radios to communicate with people all over the world and even with astronauts in space. Please do drop by and experience the amazing world of ham radio and don’t forget to bring along your kids as Amateur Radio might be a stepping stone for them to get involved in STEM-related activities and careers.

More information about Field Day can be found here: http://www.arrl.org/field-day

#ARRLFD #ARRLFD2019

ARROW works the MI QSO Party at the Red Cross

We participated in the MI QSO Party this past Saturday from the Red Cross Station and we ran the station for the full 12 hours of the contest period and we made 328 QSOs and scored 47234 points.

A special thanks to Thom W8TAM for the IC-7300 station and for manning the station for the full 12 hour period and for also donating a Windows machine and a monitor for the Red Cross station. Also, thanks to the following operators: Garry W8GMD, Julie K8VOX, Mark W8FSA and Dan KB6NU and to Jay WB8TKL and Jon KD8MKE and his wife for visiting us.

Dan KB6NU (left), Dinesh AB3DC (right), Thom W8TAM (bottom) piling up the points in the 2019 MI QSO Party
Photos: Thom, W8TAM and Dinesh AB3DC

Thanks to Dave N8SBE (35728 points) and Russ KB8U (55880 points) for submitting their logs on behalf of the ARROW. We are currently leading the Combined Club category with a score of 138,842. If you have not submitted your logs please remember to give credit to ARROW or if you forgot to give credit please resubmit you log and select ARROW COMMUNICATIONS ASSN as the Club.

Also, while at the Red Cross Station, Thom and I also did a lot of clean up work. We have more to do and we plan to discuss this at the next Board and General meetings.  

W8MP goes remote

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Mark, W8MP, making a point during his presentation.

On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, Mark, W8MP (above), gave a great presentation on Remote Ham Radio. Remote Ham Radio is a pay-for-play service that allows you to access some truly great “super stations” around the country. For example, here’s a video showing the antenna system at one of the stations in Eastport, ME, which Remote Ham Radio claims is the closest that you can get to Europe here in the U.S.:

 

There are stations on the East Coast and West Coast, as well as in the heartland, Puerto Rico, and Haiti.

Using these stations isn’t cheap. Remote Ham Radio offers two plans:

  • RemoteDX costs $99/year, plus $0.09/minute to $0.49/minute. This plan gives you access to ten stations with output power up to 500 W and rotatable beam antennas and wires on the low bands.
  • PremiumDX costs $999/year, plus $0.09/minute to $0.99/minute. This plan gives you access to 21 stations, legal limit output power and large antenna stacks and phased arrays (e.g. four-squares).

Because you operate these stations via a web browser, Mark was able to give us a demonstration of how these stations work. He connected to one of the Eastport, ME stations, took a look at the DX spotting window, and selected a station operating 80m CW from Gibraltar. He clicked on the station, and it automatically tuned to that frequency and mode and set up the four-square array to direct the signal to Gibraltar. After two or three calls, the station came back to him.

After that, the presentation took a crazy turn. Tom, W8TAM, spotted someone doing a Parks on the Air activation in Georgia. We then proceeded to work him from the Eastport, ME station and the KP4 station.

The evening ended with a debate on whether or not this service is worth the money. Those in favor argued that you’d probably spend as much on your own amateur radio station as you would for this service. Others were more skeptical. Since we were having this discussion as we were heading out the door, we left it all up in the air (pun intended).

On March 13, 2019, Bruce Blain, K1BG, will talk (remotely via Skype) on entry-level licensing over the years and the ARRL’s proposal to give more privileges to Techs.