CCARC NEWS 13-32
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 13-32 21st. September 2013
In this Issue:
- CCARC-SOCIAL – VK2AFY “does” SOTA
- WIA PR4AmateurRadio Expo – Good idea or waste of time?
- Video Tour of commercial radio station.
- Results of Saturday Projects meeting trial.
- Broke & fixed.
1. CCARC-SOCIAL – VK2AFY “does” SOTA.
Put this is your diaries – online and paper.
Saturday October 12th. from 9am to 1pm CCARC members, their families and friends are invited to meet at Katandra Reserve on Mount Elliot. Mount Elliot is our local Summits on the Air (SOTA) peak and has been “activated” a couple of times already by members. More importantly it has a beautiful park with facilities (toilets) barbeques and seating. So we can combine a nice social picnic and play radio at the same time! What could be better?
Those wishing to operate the VK2AFY/P station to keep in the spirit of SOTA will need to do a little exercise, walking down and back up one of the beautiful tracks from the park as motorised arrival to a SOTA peak is not allowed and as the car park is in Katandra reserve the accepted option is to walk out of the “activation area” and back in carrying any equipment that is intended to be used. Those who attended my lecture on SOTA last Saturday at the club rooms will understand all of this. If you didn’t manage to get to my lecture, don’t worry – we can explain everything on the day.
Whether interested in the radio side of things or not, please come along and enjoy a CCARC social outing.
I’m letting you know ahead of time, so that you can arrange transport with other members if you have no car yourself. The nearest public transport is Lisarow railway station and I would not recommend walking all the way from there!
The plan is to wrap up at about 1pm so that those wishing to attend the WICEN meeting have time to return to the club rooms, however those who are not involved with WICEN are of course welcome to stay on through the afternoon and enjoy this beautiful location, that not so many people know about yet. (Don’t forget your camera to grab some of the wonderful views from the lookout).
2.WIA PR4AmateurRadio Expo- Good idea or waste of time?
As I’m sure you have heard the WIA have announced their intent to hold this event in April next year (11-13th) but they have been rather “guarded” on supplying details so far. At the moment IMHO the jury is out. This could just be an action to try to liven up the National Field Day which was a total failure this year. The CCARC ran 50% of all of the stations taking part in it. I had half expected the national Field Day to be dropped completely in 2014. It was a great success on 2010, the Centenary year of the WIA but has lost interest very quickly in following years (in part as it was moved from October to April, for some reason I could never understand – perhaps a conflict with some VK3 event in October?).
Lets see what the details about the PR event are, at the moment it’s rather an unknown but I suspect it will be difficult to drum up the required support unless it is actually something different to what has been done for the national field days in previous years. This years WIA NFD failed because of lack of advertising. I actually put out more about it than the WIA did!!
3. Video tour of commercial radio station.
From Dave VK2DLS,
I found this video of commercial transmitter site. Not amateur but a good look around the site, originated from VK3CRG.
A look around the transmitter site of ATV Channel Ten Melbourne, Australia. ATV-10 is a commercial television station transmitter with an ERP of 200 KW Analogue Channel 10 & 20KW Digital on Channel 11. The ATV-10 site also is home to Melbourne’s DAB+ Digital Radio Services as well as most of Melbourne’s commercial FM radio stations (all running 55kw ERP). The transmitter site is located atop Mount Dandenong on the Eastern outskirts of Melbourne.
4. Results of Saturday Projects meeting trial.
Following comments from some club members who said they would like to attend the projects & development meetings but could not get to the club rooms on an evening as they could not drive at night or had other commitments, it was decided to trail having the Projects meeting on Saturday mornings. We have done this now for the last six weeks and the results are in. NO additional club members have come to the meetings and in fact the move to a Saturday morning has made it difficult for some existing projects team members to attend. Because of this outcome the Projects & Development meetings are moving back to Friday evenings.
The first Friday-again meeting took place last night and was an “Antenna Analysis using a spectrum analyser” night:
This report from Jim VK2LC:
Last night at the club I was quite interested in the results of scanning the clubs antennas with the return loss bridge. It showed well defined resonances for all the bands, the tri-band beam was easy to see the peaks in resonances same with the off center fed dipole and also the 2 metre beam.
Col brought up his home made beams and they also gave the expected responses indicating they work correctly.
But it wasn’t till I tried my vertical antenna that interesting thing showed up. I have a counterpoise cut for 40 metres and the antenna has nice peak in the band, but using the same counterpoise on 20 metres as I would normally do (acting as a random length of wire), showed a terrible peak and and rather vague resonance. However as I rolled the counterpoise wire up close to expected length, both the sharpness of resonance and the actual resonance changed dramatically.
So my thoughts were, if we use vertical antennas, we should tune the counterpoise. One approach could be to use standard tape measures rolled out, so that we could mark on them the optimum lengths per band.
My magnetic loop antenna works extremely well for such as small antenna, but putting it on test, it shows a single narrow peak of only about 5khz wide, with a well defined peak. I’m assuming that a broad vague peak is not a great antenna, and if we are trying to make efficient QRP antennas then every drop of RF needs to go out being radiated not heating up the coax.
5. Broke & fixed.
Thankfully all CCARC infrastructure is currently operational.
This section lists important announcements and possibly items from previous CCARC NEWS editions that are still current and may need your input:
New for-sale item on the Sales page – check it out here
Help needed for WICEN event on 27th. & 28th. September.
WICEN Central Coast have been asked at short notice to provide safety and management communications for a one-day horse trial event in the St. Albans area. Similar routes to the very successful Shazada event that was held just a few weeks ago, will be used but this event will only be happening from very early on Sunday morning through to Sunday afternoon. This means the WICEN team will need both operators and helpers to set up all of the equipment on Saturday, man radio checkpoints and pack it all up on Sunday afternoon. If you can help please contact Col VK2ZCO via email under colhodg at comcen.com.au as soon as possible. Overnight accommodation (Bunk Beds)and some catering is being provided by the horse trial organisers, but please plan to be self-sufficient as regards bedding (sleeping bag suggested) and food.
Oceania DX contest and JOTA.
Doug VK2MDC is looking for operators both for the Oceania DX contest on the 5th. and 6th. of October (at the club rooms) and the Scout’s Jamboree on the Air on the 19th. and 20th. of October (at East Gosford scout hall). Please contact Doug if you can help with either of these events.
CCARC.ORG.AU not FIELDDAY.ORG.AU for Field day information:
The old fieldday.og.au website is no more. Details about the 2014 Wyong field day will become available on the clubs standard website ccarc.org.au ONCE THE DETAILS ARE ADDED. The information (apart from static info, like maps) can only be added once the Field Day team leaders of each section gather and input the information, so the site will be as up-to-date as the information supplied and this will depend also upon how quickly external parties can commit.
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.
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.