Februarys meeting program will be a presentation on a computer platform known as Raspberry Pi. This is Essentially a “build as you go” system gaining in popularity with those wanting to stream their favorite TV
shows from the internet as it allows the user to get it for free. However, there are many more uses for the Raspberry Pi format. A
“Picoscope” a camera being but one example. There are a great many other capabilities. A visit to the following link may be helpful or attend our meeting Thursday February 1 and see what KD5PDB Mr. Paul Breneman has to show us.
Congratulations to all the members of the AB8DD team who won the Multi Op-Multi-Radio-High Power-In a Park again this year with 14,360 points. Also to Dick N8OZB who operated in several parks in the Single Op Single Radio-High Power-In a Park, operating Indian Lake with 74 points and Kiser Lake with 61 points.
If you have never operated the contest or any other OSPOTA is a good place to start.
The program for the December meeting will be presented by Wayne Brunotte and will be about soldering. Wayne carries a Mil Spec certification for soldering and will be demonstrating some of his techniques for us.
To anyone it may interest…
This weekend is the largest Amateur Radio competition in the world. Over 35,000 participants take to the airwaves October 28-29 starting 0000 UTC Saturday and Ends 2359 UTC Sunday. The goal is to make as many SSB contacts with as many different DXCC entities and CQ Zones as possible.
What does this mean to YOU?
This is the best weekend each year for you to establish SSB contacts throughout the world with many DX stations that may not normally be active! If you are set-up with ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTW) most if not all of the contacts you make will be uploaded into LoTW ensuring you get credit for contacts made.
**YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A PART OF THE CONTEST OR A CONTESTER TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPORTUNITY TO MAKE SOME REALLY GOOD DX CONTACTS!!
What is the minimum information you do need to know?
CONTEST EXCHANGE: Your Call sign, Readability and Strength (RS) (e.g. 5/9) report plus CQ Zone number of the station location e.g., “AB8DD 59 04”, (we are in CQ Zone #4).
That is it!
How do you start?
- Starting Saturday morning October 28 at 0001 UTC go to http://www.dxsummit.fi/#/**see example below
- Look at the list of DX station Call Signs and their locations, the list updates every few seconds with the newest “spots” at the top of the list.
- Choose one of the “DX” Call Signs or Locations you are interested in making a contact with.
- If the “spotter” is a USA call sign it is likely you too can hear the DX Station.
- If you tune to the listed frequency and hear the DX station listen for the DX station to make several contacts before you transmit to ensure the DX station is transmitting and receiving on the same frequency and not using “split” operation, my experience with this contest is the DX stations will NOT be using split. **If they are using split do not attempt to make a contact unless you are proficient with split operation!! Not knowing how to use split can cause interference with proficient users, this contest is not the time to learn!
- If the DX station is listening and transmitting on the same frequency, listen to also make sure he is not calling for stations to respond with a particular number in their call, sometimes a DX station will ask for only stations with a particular number in their call to respond in order to reduce the number of stations calling him (AKA the Pile-up), BE Patient they will get to your number! I.E. AB8DD = Number eight (8).
- Don’t give-up! Keep calling, even with QRP Power DX stations will eventually hear you! In all my years calling if you are persistent YOU CAN MAKE THE CONTACT no matter what equipment you are using!
How do you get formal confirmation of contact?
- The easiest way is for you to have an ARRL membership and sign-up for Logbook Of The World (LoTW).
- Have a logging program or sign-up with QRZ and make your log entries in your free logbook.
- QRZ and LoTW are now linked, once you have an established LoTW account and QRZ account you logbook is easily uploaded from QRZ to LoTW!
- LoTW keeps track of any and all (ARRL) awards you qualify for!
What if you want to participate in the contest as a competitor?
I personally will be participating in the contest for the sole purpose of making 15 meter contacts to hopefully complete my 15 meter DXCC (need 23 more) if anyone is interested in stopping by and making some contacts feel free to call me and make arrangements, 15 meters will be most active midafternoon on Saturday and Sunday, all other times will be spent on whatever frequency is propagating at that particular time!
Also, next week Thursday 11/3 is the Club Meeting, make an effort to contact at least ONE station and share with the group your experience and the rare contact(s)s you were able to establish or could hear!
A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to everyone who participated in assisting with set-up, operations and Sunday take down!
Preliminary Count: 449 Total contacts!
6 Meter = 12
15 Meter = 29
20 Meter = 199 (9 CW)
40 Meter = 148 (14 CW)
80 Meter = 61
I did some data crunching of our 450 contacts on the results sheet Wayne compiled. Below are some points that may be of interest. We contacted:
· Forty Five of the fifty States missing only Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, N Dakota and Wyoming. Idaho was listed on the log but the call belonged to Nevada. Maybe we contacted 46, maybe only 45.
· The Virgin Islands.
· Puerto Rico, (listed as the Puerto Rico Field Day Group).
· Four of Canada’s Provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Alberta & British Columbia).
· One Canadian ship at sea
· One Connecticut contact was W1AW
· One contact from Missouri was the Boeing Employees Amateur Radio Society of St Louis.
· One from the State of Washington was on Camino Island.
Thanks to all who participated.
The Digital operation and CW ID have been addressed. Beep & CW ID volumes are now more in line. Digital is working as well. Still being a bit stubborn on the tone issue. Tried to turn tone on JUST in the transmitter last night but that shut the whole system down completely.
Bit of news about the W8FTV repeater controller. Thanks to Tom’s (W8WTD) assistance & experience with his 8 Arcom controllers, it was discovered we had newer software than the controller liked and the controller had a newer hardware version than Arcom thought. The controller didn’t like what the computer based programming was trying to tell it and the computer refused to work with the controller’s hardware because it didn’t like what it saw. Everybody kept telling us the computer programming method is “THE WAY TO GO” but it kept failing. Tom rigged up an amplifier & connected it to the controller so it would tell us what version it was built with by listening for its default “power on” version announcement and that defined the paths needed to solve the problems. Solution was still a long way off but at least he knew what needed done. After a series of upgrades & version up loads and down loads it started to work.
Anyway For right now there are a few issues we want all of you to know: ·
On the analog side it is NOT right now transmitting tone so all who have their analog hardware set to tone squelch…. You’ll have to turn that off to hear the repeater! We anticipate fixing this yet today.
· We apologize, the digital side was off the air overnight. It’s back on the air but… Because of the tone issue above, Analog users will hear the digital (like it or not) until we get the above tone issue resolved.
· The CW ID is almost frighteningly loud and the voice volumes may be a bit low. With the volume set to hear the users well the CW ID (at least on my radio) is ear splitting! We’ll be making adjustments to these matters quickly as possible.
Looking back, had we NOT opted to program it “the simple easy way” (using computers) and instead just keyed in codes one at a time, we’d have been on the air months ago! Hopefully learning the hard way helps make the lesson better learned and retained!
I hope to have a “pocket list” of new user codes available at the next meeting!
W8WTD, N8GJK, N8JYF, N8HDR.