CCARC NEWS 13-43
THE PERIODIC NEWSLETTER OF THE CENTRAL COAST AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
ISSUE No 13-43 5th. December 2013
***** STOP PRESS UPDATE ******
In this Issue:
- Busy Saturday at the CCARC.
- Only three weeks to Christmas – last minute presents for the ham in your life.
- Blue lights are better than coffee.
- Broke & fixed.
1. Busy Saturday at the CCARC.
The reason for this edition of CCARC NEWS coming out on a Thursday is to give everyone a reminder about the activities on Saturday.
Activity number 1 – Field Day ticket creation – if you have been asked to help with this, or if you are able to help with the stacking and stapling of the tickets, please make sure you get to the club rooms in time to start work at 10am.
Activity number 2 – Wyong Field Day planning meeting 11:00 to 12:00 – this meeting will give all an update of where we are with preparations and what is still to be done. Very important – please check that you know whether any additional materials will be needed for the task you are managing at the field day and have costs ready if something extra needs to be bought.
Activity number 3 – BBQ & visit from Peter Lowe of Rotarians in Amateur Radio (ROAR). Peter is looking for help in June next year to run the special call sign that ROAR have arranged to coincide with the global Rotarians convention which will take place in Sydney. – refer to the “reminders” section below for more information.
Activity number 4 – CCARC December business meeting from 13:00. All officers please send in your reports electronically to Leonie VK2LCP today (Thursday) even if you intend attending the meeting, if you haven’t already done so.
2. Only three weeks to Christmas – last minute presents for the ham in your life.
While it is unreasonable to expect our partners to buy some expensive radio equipment from the well known radio dealers here’s a list of suggested radio related presents you may want to drop hints about to avoid just getting socks and shirts;
1. A wall calendar -ideally a Radio orientated one but even if it’s not from CQ magazine or similar, a calendar with large dated boxes to allow you to write down those skeds and club activities is always useful. This should be under $20.
2. Pens – not the expensive silver Parker refill pen type but a good quality, does not blotch, easy to hold in the hand, plastic pen (or two). These certainly will get well used in the radio shack. If you have a local Office Works store, they usually have a good range and generally quality is related to price. So the more expensive ones are the better ones. Expect to pay about $5.
3. USB memory key (sometimes called a “thumb drive”) – with so many more radio related activities needing a computer, having another USB key is never a bad thing. They come in all shapes and sizes. I find those from SanDisk to be reliable. An 8GB memory key can be bought via the Internet for under $10 including postage. There’s a whole variety of capacities and looks to chose from, from Australian suppliers on eBAY here.
4. Smart phone “apps” for Amateur Radio. If you have either an iPhone or an Android phone (ideally Android v4 or later), there are several Amateur Radio related apps in the respective “stores”. Many aspects of the hobby are covered including satellite tracking, Summits on the Air, propagation, DX Clusters, APRS and Echolink. There’s even software for the Andriod phone that makes it into an RTTY, FSK31 or even Slow Scan TV device to connect to your rig (interface required) – search on “Wolphi” for these special apps. Some apps are free while others cost just a few dollars. For iPhones, check the iTunes store here, or for Android phones the Google play store is here. Perhaps the best option is to buy a gift card and let the recipient chose which app he or she wants. Sorry, I know of no Amateur radio related apps for Blackberry or Windows Mobile phones (that doesn’t mean there aren’t any though – check the respective web stores).
3. Blue lights are better than coffee.
In an article that could affect your choice of radios, the Daily Mail reports that blue lights increase your alertness. Maybe you should use a radio with a blue backlight on the display?
Could blue lights replace a daily cup of coffee? Scientists claim they could be more effective at keeping you alert than caffeine
- Blue light is harmless to tissue but can trigger biological effects in the body
- In a study, people exposed to blue light performed better at distraction tests
- The same test, proved too much for caffeine users who performed poorly
- It builds on research that has found blue light can improve cognitive abilities
Thanks to Norm W1ITT and Mike WWØYRR and the ARRL contest update for alerting all to this interesting article.
4. Broke & fixed.
Nothing to report this week, everything running smoothly.
This section lists important announcements and possibly items from previous CCARC NEWS editions that are still current and may need your input:
Combined CCARC and WICEN Christmas Lunch
14TH December at the club house 12.00
Need to book in with Karen for numbers to be catered.
email: Karen Boskos VK2AKB
Informal visit from ROAR regional manager to CCARC December 7th.
December 7th. at the club rooms will be a busy day with Ticket making and planning for the Field Day in the morning and the December business meeting in the afternoon. Bob VK2PEP has kindly agreed to put on a BBQ at lunch time and a special guest – Peter Lowe VK3KCD, who is the A/NZ + Oceania regional manager of Rotarians of Amateur Radio (ROAR), will be joining us for lunch and telling us about the upcoming major event in Sydney that ROAR are involved in. The World conference of the Rotarians happens June 2014 in Sydney. An estimated attendance of 17,000 to 20,000 Rotarians, their families and friends are expected to pour into Sydney Olympic Park from June 1 – 4 for what is predicted to be one of the largest indoor conventions in Sydney’s history! ROAR will be taking the opportunity to get some of them interested in our great hobby of Amateur Radio. Peter will also have a special call sign for the event and is looking for club and private stations to put the call on the air to publicise the conference and the good work that Rotary do. This will be a very informal meet-up to which all members are very welcome.
Club member donation boxes
Over the last few weeks there have been more items added to our “freebies” boxes at the back of the lecture room. we now are up to three boxes with content. While we often see new items picked out within the first weeks that they are donated, there are still several items there, that I would prefer not to throw out. For those who attended Brian VK2GCE’s lecture on the 23rd. of November, you will know how important it is to screen your home construction work in metal boxes. There are a few such fabricated boxes available in freebies boxes. There were a few other surprises in there as well, so why not take a look through the next time you are up at the club rooms? Be quick though as I will be filtering out and throwing away the items that I don’t think are going to be taken and remember “one man’s trash is another mans treasure!”
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.