Serving Radio Amateurs in Michigan's Washtenaw & Wayne Counties

Author: KB6NU Page 1 of 7

Dan, KB6NU, is the chair of the ARROW Education Committee, a past ARROW president, and station manager for WA2HOM, the club station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. He blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com.

ARROW Exhibits at Ann Arbor Maker Fair

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, I was joined by Joe AC8ES, Ed KC1DYK, James AE8JF, and Ralph AA8RK at the Ann Arbor Creativity and Making Expo (AACME). Formerly called the Ann Arbor Mini-Maker Faire, this is the first post-pandemic instance of this event.

From L to R: interested attendee, Ed KC1DYK, Joe AC8ES, Dan KB6NU, James AE8JF, another interested attendee. Photo: Ralph AA8RK.

While the number of exhibitors and attendees was down from 2019, I think everyone had a great time. In addition to ARROW, exhibitors included:

  • Skyline High Robotics Team
  • Maker Works
  • All Hands Active Makerspace
  • Retro Computing SIG

and several others. There was even a woman there doing some creative upholstering.

We had a couple of interesting things to show people:

  • Joe, AC8ES, brought his parabolic, double biquad WiFi antenna project.
  • Ed, KC1DYK, brought a nanoVNA and the coil and variable capacitor that he built from a soda can.
  • I brought my assortment of keys and code practice oscillators to demonstrate Morse Code and got many of the attendees to send me their names in code.

Joe, AC8ES, demonstrating his parabolic, double biquad WiFi antenna. Photo: Lisa Giannati Photography.

I also brought my KX-3, and we set up the 40m/20m inverted-vee antenna out in the courtyard.

Ed, KC1DYK, tossing a line up into a tree so that we could raise the inverted-vee antenna. Photo: Joe AC8ES

Unfortunately, band conditions weren’t all that great, so we didn’t make a lot of contacts. Also, being so close to the building probably didn’t help.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was meeting one particularly smart high school student. She came up to our table, just as we began packing up. As it turned out, she had either just completed, or was working on an antenna similar to Joe’s. We gave her the spiel on ham radio, and I think we convinced her to get her Tech license. I’m also going to try to get her to come to Field Day.

Thanks to all who attended and all who helped out with the event.


Five new AREDN nodes on WoTo

Five AREDN nodes have been added to the WoTo site. We also now have an interconnection to the internet so that the 146.92 repeater can join the Fusion network. Let’s see how many ARROW members can access the network. C’mon, guys!!! Get your nodes up in the air!!!!

While onsite, Jay, WB8TKL, also tightened the squelch on the 146.96 repeater, since at times in the winter it goes open, and the repeater times out. Jay also returned the 220 MHz antenna to the rooftop, since it had been moved when the roof was resealed last month.

Here’s a photo of one of the AREDN antennas:

Jay, WB8TKL, Explains AREDN Mesh Networking

For a year or more now, several ARROW members have been experimenting with mesh networking, specifically Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN). In this talk, which was presented ARROW’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, Jay, WB8TKL explains some of the basics and how we’re trying to set up a network here in Ann Arbor.

For more information, or to jump right in, you can join the ARROW Mesh Network mailing list.

Field Day 2022: Back at the Airport

If you weren’t at Field Day this year, you missed a good time. The weather cooperated, the ionosphere cooperated, and everyone who was there had a good time. Below, are some photos from the event. For more photos, go to the ARROW Field Day 2022 Photo Gallery.

The weather was pretty nice for Field Day. Temperatures were moderate, and there was plenty of blue sky.

We set up four stations: 2 CW stations, a phone station, and the GOTA station. Here, Arun, W8ARU, is pulling the night shift at one of the CW stations.

Pictured here is Joe, AC8ES, at the phone station.

Matthew, KE8UEE (in the blue shirt, lower right), was our GOTA station star this year, racking up 100 contacts.

Max, the son of Charles, W8HAX, also worked the GOTA station and scored some points for us.

This guy also paid a visit to the GOTA station. We couldn’t get him to make any contacts, though.

Jay, WB8TKL, did another fine job with the public information tent this year. He also brought out the portable tower that you can see in the rear of this photo.

We also got a visit from our new Section Manager, Les, W8MSP. Here, he poses with Ralph, AA8RK, and Governor Whitmer’s proclamation declaring last week to be Amateur Radio Week in Michigan.

Mark, W8MP, took a motley crew up in his plane, and Dinesh, AB3DC, took this shot of our FD setup.

From L to R, the flight crew consisted of Dinesh AB3DC, Dan KB6NU (rear seat), Matthew KE8UEE, and Mark W8MP. In addition to getting an aerial photo, Matthew made his first aeronautical mobile contact!

AMP Team Hunt Park Meeting, Monday, June 20, 2022

The ARROW Mobile and Portable (AMP) Team met for the second time in 2022 on Monday, June 20 in Hunt Park. 15 ARROW members showed up and really had a great time. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the ARROW Monday Night Net. With most of the net’s check-ins at the park, it was almost like we were holding the net in stereo.

The next AMPTeam meeting will be on Monday, August 15, at a location to be determined. If you would like to suggest a park for this meeting, contact Jay, WB8TKL.

Here are some photos from the outing:

Matthew, KE8UEE, our newest and youngest member heating up the air waves.

Jay, WB8TKL’s “go kit” includes both HF and VHF/UHF capabilities.

Ryan, K8RHH, having a blast with his mag loop antenna.

Dinesh, AB3DC (is that Delta Charlie or Dog Cat?), operates an FT-891A with a Buddistick antenna. He may be the only who worked any DX on Monday.

Mo, KE8BZH, working hard to make contacts.

Dan, KB6NU, crouched over his KX-3. He wasn’t having much luck early on, but managed to eke out 3 CW QSOs later in the evening.

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