THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 17-07 12th May 2017
In this Issue:
- Sota, Parks n Peaks experiences
- 2metre Net Thursday 18th. May
- Amateur Radio and the Maker Community
- Broke & fixed
1. Sota, Parks n Peaks experiences
From Bob VK2AOR:
This Saturday we will be reviewing our Sota antenna and modifications after a disastrous attempt to activate Tuggerah National Park. I copied what I thought was Rod VK2LAX Sota antenna and because of its small sized cables I missed correctly copying Rods Sotabeam dipole. I mistakenly thought it was a vertical wire and the top acted as capacity hat. The antenna performed terribly and I made 3 contacts, using the FT-817 and the HSWR display was flashing furiously and low power output. I took my 6m squid pole and Rod forgot to bring his 9m squid pole. We tried his Sotabeam dipole with the same results. We decided it was a bad day and packed up before dark arrived and it was good to get away from the Mosquitoes.
After arriving home I was wondering why it did not work and why did Rod’s not work either? Was it the squid pole height that was different? After pouring through ARRL , RSGB hand books and antenna books looking for the answer I decided I should look on the Sota site and nothing too much about antennas. I did however discover a site called Sotabeam which sells light weight antennas and associated bits and pieces. I looked at the antenna I thought closely resembled Rod’s antenna and behold lots of information about the lightweight antennas for mountain goats.
Here I discovered Rod’s antenna was infact a 20/40 metre dipole which required a 1:1 balun. Now this confused me a little and I am still looking for the answer as I could not remember seeing a balun on the dipole at the feed point. The only thing there was a very small block which I assumed was a joining piece for the wires. I hope to catch up with Rod over the weekend and have a closer look, if it is a balun ,then it is very small. I will look close next time when presented with a similar predicament. The single feed wire to the feed point happened to be coax, RG-174 to be exact with a BNC connector on the end to mate with the FT-817. I picked up some RG-174 coax and modified my dismal attempt to copy the soda beam antenna and have now modified it to what I hope will work as Rods did a few weeks ago in Popran National Park where Rod recorded 36 contacts.
I also discovered the radio was setup to output 1 watt and have now discovered the correct settings as the manual has a rather confusing description of how to adjust the output power. I have taken the internal battery out of the radio as when it is installed the radio detects that it is fitted and automatically adjusts the output power to 2.5 watts. I connected a 5 watt dummy load on an old CB type SWR bridge and was able to whistle up close to 6 watts on LSB. We will work on it on Saturday and if time permits go to another park to play.
For more info on parksnpeaks.org
2. 2metre Net Thursday 18th of May
From Bob VK2AOR:
I have a family commitment and will not be available for the net. I announced this dilemma early in the net and again just before closing the net and Mark VK2FMUS asked who would run the net. My response was no one has offered to operate as net control so those that attend at the time willl just chat. Mark correctly asked Why has some not been appointed ? I explained that it is a volunteer position and he has offered to be the net control net week. Mark asked a few questions about running the net and I explained that you don’t have to be an expert to be net controller as I don’t know everything yet. I also jot down the callsigns and keep some simple notes on what is being talked about. But the main thing is to have fun, I found it a bit daunting when I started running nets but just relax and have fun. So to all the members please take a little time and call in to the 2M nat next week and say hello . You don’t have to stay all night so let let him know that it is a hello and goodbye contact. We need to support our Foundation license members and help them gain some skills. Thank you Mark VK2FMUS have a great net next Thursday night from 8pm 18th May.
3. Amateur Radio and the Maker Community
The HamRadio360 Workbench #22 podcast episode released on April 25, 2017 focused on two communities we love, the maker and ham radio communities
The host, George (KJ6VU), points out during the introduction that this podcast will be exploring “What does being a ham get you as a maker”? George and co-host Jeremy (KF7IJZ) discuss the advantages these two communities bring to each other with Kenneth Finnegan (W6KWF) and Mark Smith (KR6ZY) during the nearly two-hour workbench discussion.
This episode peaked our interest. FaradayRF is situated between these two communities and is bridging the gap. Our goal is to help interest people who do not find traditional amateur radio relevant or compelling enough to pursue it.
At FaradayRF we believe that the future of amateur radio will be built on experimentation. Equally evident, the fundamental difference between both communities regarding wireless communication is how they use it. Makers generally use radios as a means of achieving a larger goal whereas radio amateurs generally use radios as a means of communicating.
Today’s young generation has also grown up with digital networks being ubiquitous. Cell phones and WiFi access has certainly influenced how they view radio fitting into society. Overall, sending data over large distances is nothing new regardless of whether it travels through wires or radio waves.
Access to cheap electronics including unlicensed radio modules have lowered the barrier of entry for hobbyists utilizing radios in projects. This raises the question if amateur radio can remain relevant by continuing to embrace the act of “making contacts” as its main goal. We think something needs to be done to change this mindset.
Read the full blog post at
FaradayRF was founded by Bryce Salmi KB1LQC and Brent Salmi KB1LQD
Source: Southgate AR News
BROKE & FIXED
Nothing to report.
This section lists important announcements and possibly items from previous CCARC NEWS editions that are still current and may need your input:
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For what’s coming up in the next few months at the CCARC, please check the club calendar, accessible from the header on any page on the website.
Dave VK2DLS … News & Publicity Officer …