CCARC NEWS 13-09
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 13-09 10th. March 2013
In this Issue:
- Setting up a new radio shack.
- Raspberry Pi and WSPR.
- Amateur Radio featured in leading US sitcom show.
- Club sales section on website now live.
- ILLW update.
- Broke & fixed.
1. Setting up a new radio shack.
Now that we have Christmas and the Field day behind us, the regular monthly lectures are happening again each third Friday and the first for the year next Friday – 15th. March at 19:30 at the club rooms is:
Setting up a new radio shack from Bruce VK2ZAD.
On the face of it we have all set up our radio shack at some point, but did it involve digging out the area under your house to create the room and then running all utilities into it? I know mine didn’t – Bruce’s did!
Some of us have a combined study office and radio shack, Bruce did as well until he decided it was time to dedicate a room solely to radio and to have a proper workshop. Trouble was he didn’t have another room ….
Ok, I’ve been sworn not to spoil the lecture by giving any more details, so you’ll have to come along on Friday night to see this lecture. If you miss it, you will regret it.
Here’s one before:
See you all on Friday evening!
2. Raspberry Pi and WSPR.
A few editions ago I included a piece on the cheap educational computer “Raspberry Pi” serving as an IRLP interface for a repeater, well now software has been produced to allow it to send and receive the WSPR protocol. WSPR (pronounced “whisper”) stands for “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter.”. The program was initially written by Joe Taylor, K1JT, but is now open source and is developed by a small team. The program is designed for sending and receiving low-power transmissions to test propagation paths on the MF and HF bands. WSPR implements a protocol designed for probing potential propagation paths with low-power transmissions. Normal transmissions carry a station’s callsign, Maidenhead grid locator, and transmitter power in dBm. The program can decode signals with S/N as low as -28 dB in a 2500 Hz bandwidth. Stations with internet access can automatically upload their reception reports to a central database called WSPRnet, which includes a mapping facility.
Here is the Raspberry Pi receiving WSPR signals on 30m:
3. Amateur Radio featured in leading US sitcom show.
Last Man Standing with Tim Allen as KA0XTT is now well into its second series of shows and there have been “snatches” of pictures of radio gear. The upcoming series 2 edition 17 now features a QSO between (Tim Allen’s character) Mike’s daughter Mandy (played by Molly Ephraim), where she gets her cell phone taken away as punishment. Mandy discovers Mike’s home shack in the basement and uses ham radio to make friends faraway. This edition of the show will be transmitted on the US ABC network on Friday the 15th. of March. It is scheduled to be shown on Fox 8 in Australia on Sunday 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day) at 8pm. “Free-to-air” Channel 10 are also running the show but they don’t indicate which series/edition they are up to in their TV program.
4. Club sales section on website now live.
As announced in last weeks CCARC NEWS – we now have a page set up for Club Members to sell their radio equipment. The page is accessed from the “sales” heading at the top of the home page which will take you here.
Adverts should be sent to news-editor @ ccarc.org.au and will be run for one month or until you inform me that you have sold the item and I will then remove the entry from the list.
This will be a trial and if the page is not used, it will be removed. So you know what they say “Use It or Lose It”. ONLY CLUB MEMBERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ADVERTISE.
5. ILLW update.
Up until publication date of this edition, I have had only one offer of an operator but no organisation helpers for the ILLW. At this rate it is unlikely that the CCARC will enter ILLW this year. If you are willing to help with the organisation and/or operate at Nobbys Head Light (Newcastle) on August 17th. and 18th. please let me know before the end of the month. If I don’t have 8-10 committed helpers by then, I will not organise the event this year and will cancel our registration.
6. Broke & fixed.
The P25 is now back on line, the controller board had become faulty now replaced and it is also on the -50V supply so if we have power outage it will stay on the air.
Other updates to website
– This page is only the newsletter, it is just one part of the CCARC website – why not checkout the rest of the website. There have been updates. The club members sales page is new but there are also updates to the Contests & DX page and don’t forget there’s a forum that all club members can use – you just need to register on the website first, so that you can log in and update the forum – what a great place to put short descriptions of solutions you have found but if it starts to become article length, Leonie is always happy for input for Smoke Signals, our quarterly club magazine.
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.