CCARC NEWS 13-01
CCARC NEWS 13-01
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 13-01 5th. January 2013
In this Issue:
- Steve XOX joins the CCHLG.
- Possible world first transmission on 6th. Jan. from the Central Coast.
- VHF-UHF Field Day only a week away.
- Wyong Mini Contest University seats filling fast.
- Item for sale.
- Broke and fixed.
1. Steve XOX joins the CCHLG.
On Thursday I went around to Steve VK2XOX’s QTH and we set up new antenna. A 40m horizontal loop. This is an antenna that I have been very impressed by especially considering its simplicity and cheapness to build. It consists of four support poles some garden wire and some co-ax. That is all! In comparison to my previous wire antennas the noise level is lower and received and transmitted signals stronger. In Steve’s case as supports we used bamboo poles that he had cut down himself from the side of the road (rather than the telescopic squid poles I have used) and this added some interesting logistics in getting the four poles up and ensuring the wire connecting the top of them ended up in a taught horizontal state. The full technical design of this antenna is in an article in the upcoming Smoke Signals magazine. Here are a few of the pictures of Thursday’s action however.
Initial tests (mid afternoon) unfortunately did not give the same improved performance over Steve’s OCF wire antenna that I had seen at my QTH. Could this be due to the closeness of the two antennas? the fact it runs over a metal framed roof? or some other factor?. Steve will continue to compare the two antennas and another action is planned to relocate the bamboo poles so that the antenna no longer sits above the metal framed roof.
What is CCHLG? It’s the Central Coast Horizontal Loop group. I being the founding “member”, Steve now being a member, by the time this goes to press Col VK2ZCO may have his 80m version installed and several other members of the project group were supplied with one component (the garden wire) a while ago, so perhaps there’ll be a few more “members” of the CCHLG very soon?
2. Possible world first transmission on 6th. Jan. from the Central Coast.
As we all know, Amateur Radio is a hobby that doesn’t stand still technically. New technologies are developed and tested and often move into the commercial field as well. SSB was one such technology that effectively took over from AM for voice communications and some are saying that the next step will be digital voice transmission, which has several advantages over SSB, not the least of which is that it needs half the bandwidth of SSB, meaning we can squeeze twice as many QSOs into the same band space. While less of a problem in Australia this factor would show some real benefits in other areas such as the US and Europe. Digital Voice has up until now been mainly D-Star on VHF & UHF repeaters but now testing is starting on the HF bands. Several ICOM transceivers have the ability to send and receive digital voice on the HF bands but now there is a non-proprietry, Open Source alternative that can be added to almost any HF transceiver. If you already use your PC to operate digital data modes or RTTY on your transceiver, so that you have an interface between rig and PC, all you need to do is download the free program (for Windows or Linux and a MAC version is just about to be released) from FreeDV.org , install it, plug in a PC headset and you are ready to send and receive digital voice on the HF bands.
So what is this special event on 6th. January 2013? Well, for the first time ever, as far as I have been able to find out, a national Amateur Radio broadcast is going to be relayed using this new transmission mode of Digital Voice on the HF bands. All being well (if Murphy is not around) I will relay the complete 1 Hr. VK2WI broadcast (including the first half from VK1WIA) using FreeDV on the Digital Voice 40m calling frequency of 7190 KHZ LSB-DV. As with every new mode parameters need to be set up, so the idea is that this long transmission will give people time to get used to setting up their PCs and rigs to receive digital voice transmissions (transmission set up is simple).
If you want to try to receive this broadcast from the Central Coast or FreeDV in general, and you alredy have your PC and rig linked, all you’ll need to do is install the free software (a PC headset is not needed for receive only if you wish to transmit) – full details of how to set up the software and hardware is also on the freedv.org website.
3. VHF-UHF Field Day only a week away.
Next Saturday sees the club station, VK2EH/P entering the Summer 2013 VHF-UHF Field Day contest from a local location. This will be an 8 hour entry, rather than a full 24 hour one and run for fun and experience (and to get the club’s call on the air). Set-up will start at 10am to be ready to start operations at 12 noon.
If you are interested to take part in supporting this club effort or simply want to come along to see what it’s all about, drop an email to contests @ ccarc.org.au so that I can let you know the location once it is confirmed as we are checking out alternatives at present.
4. Wyong Mini Contest University seats filling fast.
Any club member that wishes to attend the Mini Contest University at Wyong, the day before the Field Day (i.e. on the 23rd. of February), needs to register like everyone else as places are limited and they are filling fast. You also need to register soon to be included in the prize draw for a book about DX and contesting. There is no charge to attend the MCU, so if you want to learn more about HF contesting and DX operating, here’s your opportunity (but only if you are fast enough to get a seat).
Full details of the MCU and an initial program is on the Field Day website here: http://www.fieldday.org.au/contest_university/
5. Item for sale.
From time to time (when requested), we can include items for sale from club members in the CCARC NEWS. This time Tom VK2KTC has a satellite antenna for sale:
I need to sell a NEW just out of the box Cushcraft 22XB Oscar Antenna. As you can see it is just a bit too big for my situation. Similar new antennas sell for $419 plus $219 for a polarisation switch. Willing to part with this beast for $250 or near offer. This can also be used with 2 feeds to enable use as both horizontal and vertical beams when mounted on a fibreglass boom
- Important 22XB Specs
- 22 Elements
- 144-148MHz Gain 14db
- Front to back Ratio 25db
- Rated at 600W
- Boom Length 5.9M
- Weight 5kg
- Switchable Left or Right Circular Polarisation.
Thanks Tom VK2KTC Ph: 0402 308 568
5. Broke and fixed.
A short update on current issues in the CCARC technical infrastructure.
This week, we have a “fixed”;
- I am glad to report that as of Wednesday evening, we have our Internet connection operational once more in the club rooms at Kariong. Both cabled and WiFi access through to the Internet is now working. An up to date network diagram has been created and supplied to those who need to have a copy.
Anyone reading this on the website who is not yet a member of the CCARC, please consider joining by emailing ccarc @ ccarc.org.au for full details. We currently have no joining fee and the annual membership fee is A$30.00.
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