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ISSUE No 12-35 7th. October 2012

In this Issue:

  1.  D-Star for dummies link.
  2.  Oceania DX SSB contest.
  3. Thankyou Mr Fixit!
  4. Useful electronic components calculator.

1. D-Star for dummies link.

As several of the club members took up the special offer price of the ID-31A, many of us (yes I bought one as well) will be sat at home looking at the rig and thinking – OK another HTT but how do I make all these special “digital bits” work? Well I took a look on the web and found the site below which sounds just what I was looking for – a simple mans introduction to D-Star so I thought I’d pass on the information:

https://sites.google.com/site/codsnet/dsdummy There’s a manual in PDF form that you can download that is very useful. Creative Commons license applies – you can’t sell this file.


2. Oceania DX contest.

This contest is still going on and worth a look on the HF bands. It started at 6pm local Saturday, runs for 24 hours and finishes at 7pm Sunday (you DID remember to put your clocks forward an hour at 2am this morning didn’t you?).

Several members operated the club station, VK2AFY and while we are far from a contest station and conditions could have been better, the busy bands meant we all enjoyed ourselves and the club call was on-the-air as one of the strongest signals out of NSW or even Australia as we had several pile-ups of stations calling us for over an hour. We all had difficulties understanding some of the stations because of the acoustics of the room and we are SOOO looking forward to the carpet being installed in the next few weeks as this will stop the audio “ringing” that occurs at present.

One thing is for sure the CCARC club station VK2AFY puts out a big signal, even with our limited contest experience we were always giving out a serial number higher than we were receiving, meaning for the 3.5 hours and 104 contacts and 19716 points that we made, we were ahead of those other stations.  With more experience and the acoustics problem resolved we probably could have done quite a bit better. Ours was the first “real” log submitted to the Oceania DX website:

If you want to get on and give out a few points before the contest ends full details are available on the OCDX rules are at: http://www.oceaniadxcontest.com/index.html  and a brief overview is also on the WIA website: http://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2012/20120917-1/index.php 


3. Thank you Mr Fixit.

In a logical “investigate and resolve” action, Jim VK2LC was able to find a hairline crack in a track on the PC board of my 20m QRP SSB transceiver kit build and the unit is now receiving signals well and I can move onto the transmit stages to get them working. This kit from CRkits in China is a modified version of the 40m transciever that Jim built two weeks ago. These are generally non-complex kits with only one surface mount device (SMD) but when problems occur it’s great to call on the help of the projects group to resolve such problems. Thanks to Col VK2ZCO, for bringing along his de-soldering tool which helped clean up a couple of suspect joints and replace a trimmer capacitor that had physically broken (working on a double sided solder through board without a de-soldering tool is difficult), to Jim for all the hard work and good eyesight aided by some special magnifying spectacles and to the rest of the group attending (Sam VK2ZZ, Graham VK2FDWC and Jason (Visitor)) for their interest, suggestions and moral support.

Other construction projects are being started, with remote SWR heads, Baluns, frequency counters all being relatively straight forward actions and if you’re interested in any of these or indeed one of the QRP transceiver kits why not come along on a Friday night at 7:30pm at the club rooms and we’ll get you started. Later in the year we hope to have a “show and tell” on all the various circuits built by members of the club. Sam VK2ZZ is projects and development coordinator, please contact him with your questions if you can’t get along to a Friday evening meeting and I’m sure we can find other ways to help (perhaps on a Saturday at the club rooms).


4. Useful electronic components calculator.

Following on with the construction theme, I came across a very useful component identifying program for windows PCs the other day (for those not running windows, this program also runs under WINE on Linux and possibly ODIN on OS/2, also I’m sure someone will have a web site that does something similar if you search). If you have a pile of components and want to know what the marking mean, especially when some idiot has used the 4 band rather than the old 3 band resistor marking scheme or you have a capacitor with a number such as 103 on it rather than an actual value – this is the program for you. It covers resistors, capacitors, inductors and more. It even calculates effective values when you put components in parallel or serial. Yes I know we can all calculate these thing with equations and the like but by the time you’ve remembered what the formula should be, this program has already given you the answer. The program is free however feel free to contribute a dollar or two to the author for future developments.

The programs web page is here:



CCARC online links

Upcoming events of interest to the CCARC

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.

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