CCARC NEWS 13-07
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 13-07 16th. February 2013
In this Issue:
- Wyong Field Day coming.
- Cheap SDR – now for Android mobile phones and tablets.
- Worst Internet access flaw ever found in 8.1 million home routers worldwide.
- Ed’s Bargain buys.
- Broke & fixed.
1. Wyong Field Day coming.
Well, I really shouldn’t need to remind you that next weekend sees the 2013 CCARC Field Day at Wyong. Amateur radio’s big day out with more radio amateurs gathering here than anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere!
Please don’t forget that activities start on Saturday this year with the Mini Contest University from 10am to 4pm, aiming to give an introduction to the contesting facet of this great hobby of ours. From 18:30 onwards, we meet for a meal at Panarotti’s at Westfield Tuggerah and then the main “meat” of the weekend kicks off at 6:30am on Sunday when the Flea market part of the field day opens up followed by the Traders exhibitors at 9am and seminars at 9:30am.
Here are the various programs (also available at www.fieldday.org.au )
Saturday – Mini Contest University:
10:00 – 10:15 – Check-in.
10:15 – 11:00 – Keynote speaker Trent Sampson VK4TS (Wireless Institute of Australia – Director for Awards and Contests) – “What not to do on a contest”.
11:00 – 11:45 – “Ham Radio Contesting” an Introduction to contesting presenter Ed Durrant VK2JI (using the presentation from Craig VK2KDP).
11:45 – 12:30 – “A Contesters view of the Sport” presenter Patrick Novak VK2PN
12:30 – 14:15 – Lunch break – Local Wyong Pub “Networking”
14:15 – 15:00 – RTTY contesting presentation based on material from the Dayton Contest University written by Ed Muns, W0YK Presenter Ed VK2JI.
15:00 – 15:45 – Informal panel discussion with a small group of DXPeditioners and contesters – your chance to ask questions around how and why things are done in contesting?
15:45 – Prize draw (only for those who register before the end of January) – Shortwave DX handbook “Your gateway to worldwide DXing” by Enrico Strumpf-Siering DL2VFR.
18:30 – 21:00 – Evening get-together / meal at Panarotti’s family restaurant outside the Westfield Shopping Centre, 50 Wyong Road, Tuggerah.
Sunday – Traders & Exhibitors:
- Andrews Communications
- AV Comm
- CRO-TEK Instruments
- Jaycar Electronics
- NBS Antennas and Masts
- Oatley Electronics
- Radio Supply Pty Ltd
- RF Solutions
- TET Emtron
- 630m (472KHz) Transmission and reception demonstration
- ARNSW Radio Homebrew and Experimenters club
- Barossa Computers and Electronics
- Historical Radio Society of Australia
- Kurrajong Radio museum
- VK2 QSL Bureau and Westlakes Radio Club
- WICEN (NSW)
Sunday – Seminars:
9:15 to 10:00 How Safe is Amateur Radio – Brian Clark
10:00 to 10:45 Historic Group Repairing Valve Radios – Ray Robinson
11:00 to 11:45 VHF WEAK SIGNAL GROUP – Roger Harrison
13:00 to 13:45 Codan SDR Radio – Peter James from Lara Electronics
“See you at Wyong!” Ed VK2JI.
2. Cheap SDR – now for Android mobile phones and tablets.
Since the release of the “Fun-Cube” in the UK a couple of years ago, SDR radio capabilities have become accessible as a USB “dongle”to be plugged into your personal computer. The Fun-Cube was aimed mainly at satellite reception initially but covers an extremely wide frequency range especially in the later models. It wasn’t long until some hackers realised that the TV Tuner USB Dongles also had an SDR chip in them and all of a sudden we also had the possibility of getting some of the Fun-Cube capabilities (not the same wide frequency coverage) through a dongle at a tenth of the price. This has normally been for Linux or Windows computers however the latest code has now provided this facility to Android mobile devices as well (phones & tablets). Also several different models of the TV tuner dongle are now supported. The same RTL2832U SDR chip but teamed up with different support chips giving different frequency ranges. All covering the TV frequencies of course but some starting at 52MHz, others at 22MHz, all going up into the gigahertz range (with some gaps). These dongles can be obtained locally in Australia or direct from china where the cost (including shipping) ranges from A$17 to A$30 depending upon model and supplier. The Android SDR software is free, so if you have an Android device running Android 4.0 or higher that has a USB port, why not try this all mode wide frequency range receiver solution out?
For more information please refer to the article here: http://www.hamradioscience.com/android-meets-the-rtl2832u/ The “SDR Touch” software can be downloaded for free from here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=37680134&postcount=51 and a video showing the code in operation is available on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KBygxaLthZ8 For the USB TV Tuner dongle simply search eBAY for RTL2832U. The “safest” ones to chose are the ones with the E4000 chipset however I went for a different one to give me coverage down to 22MHz – here is the one I ordered and hope to receive sometime in March (It’s Chinese Spring festival / New Year at the moment so shipping is delayed. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-RTL2832U-FC0013-USB-DVB-T-Digital-TV-Dongle-for-WIN7-LINUX-SDR-SPC-0232?item=160900816977&cmd=ViewItem&_trksid=p5197.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D4%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D5574184419935814336
3. Worst Internet access flaw ever found in 8.1 million home routers worldwide.
Major security hole found in WiFi routers – a bug in common code affecting over 8.1 million home Internet routers is related to the the UPnP (auto network configuration) service. If you have this enabled in your router I strongly recommend that you disable the service as it allows the “bad guys” to get in and disable your firewall allowing access to devices on your network (wifi or wired) for viruses. The problem is that this feature that is supposed to only be accessible on the Internal “LAN” network is accessible on many, many routers from the Internet (WAN) side of the device. to check if you are affected – go to www.grc.com/shieldsup , click on either of the [proceed] buttons and then the [GRC’s UPnP instant exposure test] button to run the UPnP bug tester – if you come back with the fact that you are still vulnerable after turning off UPnP in your router, I recommend you install a different make of router ASAP – for most people turning off UPnP will fix the issue – note UPnP is required by XBox-360 games consoles, so turning it off will remove internet access from these devices.
Here are the possible screens you will get:
BAD STATUS – Please make sure you turn off UPnP in your router and try again.
I am glad to report, that I have checked the router at Kariong and we DO NOT have this vulnerability.
4. Ed’s bargain buys.
Are you looking for some REALLY low loss 50 ohm co-ax? (0.35 db/100m @ 10MHz, 0.62 db/100m @ 30MHz, 1.6db/100m @ 144MHz, 2.5db/100m @ 432MHz, 5db/100m @ 1296MHz & 7db/100m @ 2400MHz). I found this seller just south of Sydney who has several lengths of brand new LCF78-50J 7/8″ Low Loss Flexible 50 Ohm Foam Dielectric Cellflex Coaxial cable in lengths from 2m to 18m. He is selling it at $3 / metre (this stuff is normally $10/metre when you can get it) – unfortunately I was unable to convince him to come up to Wyong, so you either need to pay high shipping costs or take a drive down to the Campbelltown area to collect the cable. Here’s the items on eBAY:
“A Word to the wise” before buying any cable, make sure that you have connectors that it will fit – this co-ax has a large diameter and as such many PL259 or N-Type connectors will not fit it. Special connectors can be expensive.
And here’s a useful Coax comparison chart:
5. Broke and fixed.
With all the activity around Field day preparation the repair of the APCO25 module in the VK2RAG 439.950MHz repeater has been delayed. Please continue to use the repeater in its Analogue mode.
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.