The 2013 RARC annual meeting with installation of officers and directors was held Friday, November 8 at the Chesterfield County Airport. Harry Dannals, W2HD, president emeritus of both the ARRL and Quarter Century Wireless Association was the speaker. More on the meeting plans is in the announcement posting below.
Left to right Treasurer Richard Arnold, WA4FEH; Secretary Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ; Vice President, David Robinson, KJ4LHP; President, Joe Palsa, K3WRY; outgoing President Win Grant, WA4SSG, at the microphone.
The officers and directors elected at the October meeting were installed. They are President, Joe Palsa, K3WRY; Vice President, David Robinson, KJ4LHP; Treasurer Richard Arnold, WA4FEH; Secretary Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ; Director, Allan Johnson, WA3J; Director,Austin Thomas, N4CVA, the youngest director to date; Win Grant, WA4SSG, who, as past president, automatically serves as a director. Marshall Ervine, N4XBP continues as Registered Agent. The final director is appointed by the president each year. Tom Flippen, KD4CMK, was appointed for 2014.
Harry Dannals, W2HD, guest speaker and Austin Thomas, N4CVA, the youngest director to date
The photos are from Win Grant. Since he is in some of them, the photographer was some anonymous ham whose identity may be revealed eventually.
The 2013 RARC Annual Banquet will be held on Friday, November 8. The board of directors decided to try something a little different this year.
First, we have a new venue with plenty of room for everyone. We set out to find a site with sufficient room, and RARC vice president Pete Fundinger, AA4PF, has found just such a place. The banquet will be at the King’s Korner restaurant at the Chesterfield County Airport. We will have a private room with a buffet set up just for us.
Second, rather than paying for whatever you order, the board of directors voted to charge a flat $15 for each person with everyone responsible for paying for any drinks you order from the bar. But we need everyone to make a reservation and pay the $15 per person cost in advance of the banquet. That is well before November 8.
Reservation forms are available on this website by clicking here (or see Forms on the right) and at the September and October Club meetings. The reservation form was also mailed or e-mailed to all members with the September newsletter. You can mail your reservation to the address on the form.
Most importantly, we have past ARRL president, Harry Dannals, W2HD, lined up to be our guest speaker. Harry has an amateur radio biography that few can claim. He was president of the ARRL from 1972-82. He was named President Emeritus of ARRL in 1984. In 2010, Harry was named President Emeritus of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, an association he also served as president from 1989-94. In 2002, Harry was inducted into the CQ Magazine Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. And these are just a few of Harry’s radio affiliations and accomplishments. Harry lives in Charlottesville where he is still active in ham radio. Harry will be joined by Bob Patterson, K4DU, the president of the Albemarle Amateur Radio Club.
Excerpted from the “From the Prez” article by RARC president Win Grant, WA4SSG, in the September 2013 RARC newsletter. See News Letters on the right to read the entire article.
Thanks to Armand Hamel, WA1UQO, for heading up the September 2013 program where members built a Powerpole polarity tester.
We still have parts available for anyone who wants to build one but did not get the chance.
Instructions can be found at
Most hams learn their electronics in clumps. For those taking the more advanced FCC license exams, the lack of a linear view of electronics can make answering the exam questions tougher. For those with all the licenses they ever want or need, this is a chance to put the clumps together for a linear knowledge of electronics.
It has not been taught in several years owning to the lack of an instructor. Starting on September 3, 2013 it will be taught by Tray Murphy, N4PAT. Tray has all the FCC Amateur Service licenses a ham can get plus a commercial FCC license. Using whatever it takes – lectures, demonstrations, projected slides, hands-on, etc – Tray will take the students from the DC (direct current) in a battery to RF (radio frequency) pouring out of the antenna. It is not everything there is to learn about electronics but it is most of what is useful for a ham and his or her radios.
The course was developed several years ago for the RARC Radio School by Bruce MacAlister, W4BRU and Ron Chase, KD4XA. Ray Roberts, W4MYI (SK), Mel Ford, W4AHC, and Mike Owns, K4RKO helped with the demonstrations and class content.
The RARC Radio School starts the fall classes with registration Tuesday, September 3 at 7pm. Two instructors had to skip the fall semester owing to schedule conflicts. (All the instructors are unpaid volunteers.) As a result, the school will teach Technician and General license preparation classes, but not Extra, on 10 Tuesday nights.
Although Extra will not be taught, those wishing to study it can take the Electronics for Hams on Thursday nights, a class that has not been taught for several years. It teaches electronics from battery to radio frequencies and contains all the theory and formulas in the Extra test plus some. In the past it has been popular with both those with Extra licenses and those studying for it. That class together with studying the other material in the Extra text and taking the practice tests on QRZ should help master the exam.
See the schedules on this website.
It’s a kite! No, it’s guiding an antenna into vertical position. It’s preparation for the 2013 Field Day done in partnership with RATS (Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society).
There were plenty of operators and the bands were kind allowing lots of contacts. This row of operators shows some of the action. The club didn’t bother to set up a GOTA (get on the air) station but later someone arrived with the equipment and set it up. A good thing too since, according to Richard Arnold, WA4FEH, club treasurer, a ham who had no HF gear at home used it to make contacts when a GOTA-eligible visitor didn’t need to use it.
Allan Johnson, WA3J, and his hardy band of volunteer examiners (VEs) provided convenient on-the-spot exams for those wanting to become a ham or to upgrade.
On proud display was the club’s new banner that – along with the new 1916 club logo – was designed by industrial designer and former club secretary Rob Thomas, KC4NYK.
Those wanting to see all the photos taken by Armand Hamel, WA1UQO, can do so at Field Day Pictures.
Not able to attend the 2013 National Scout Jamboree?
Here’s how to engage with K2BSA and Jamboree participants as well as Jamboree visitors via amateur radio.
July 15 – July 24, 2013
QSL card for the K2BSA National Scout Jamboree 2013
On the Air Frequencies:
SSB in MHz: 28.390, 24.960, 21.360, 18.140, 14.290, 7.190, 3.940
PSK-31 in MHz: 28.120, 24.920, 21.080, 18.100, 14.070, 10.142, 7.080, 3.580
EchoLink: K2BSA-R Demonstration Station (node 4566), WV8BSA-R VHF Repeater (node 6544), W6BSA-R UHF Repeater (node 9877), Conference *JOTA-365* (node 480809)
D-Star: WV8BSA and Reflector 033A
CW: There will be limited operation on CW as time permits
My friend Wray, AB4SF, and I recently made our fourth consecutive annual pilgrimage to hamfest mecca, the 2013 Dayton Hamvention. As I have come to expect, there were some minor irritations associated with the HARA Arena. This year there was no air conditioning in the buildings where the commercial vendors and forums were located. It was not a big deal because the weather was pretty pleasant. And unlike two years ago, the bathrooms worked just fine the entire weekend.
I had the perception that attendance was a little down from previous years, but the official numbers just came out at 24,542, so my perception was obviously wrong. The past few years, attendance has been around 20,000, which is down from a peak in 2000 of over 28,000.
A number of Richmond area hams were in attendance: WA3J, Allan; WV4Y, Marcus; WD3O, Dave; N4CVA, Austin; N4MW, Dave; N4ZRW, Cissy and others I’m sure I missed. One of these days I’m going to convince Marcus to do a program on the Hilberling PT 8000A HF transceiver which he distributes in the US. I never got to speak to Dave and Cissy. Dave always had a camera in hand and was going 100 mph.
Though major vendors often use Dayton to launch new products, such did not appear to be the case this year. In fact, many of the products announced last year were still not available for sale. For example, the Icom 7100, an HF-UHF all mode (including D Star) radio was available to touch, but not to buy as it has not received FCC approval. Likewise, the Flex 6000 series SDR radio which had some of the biggest crowds at the booth last year, had a much smaller presence this year apparently because they still have yet to ship a 6000 series radio. Yaesu’s new digital HT, the FT-1DR, which was announced last year, is FCC approved, but still not available for purchase, though orders are being taken. An interesting product from Northwest Digital Radio that was announced last year, a multi-mode digital UHF radio, is also yet to be available for sale. And finally, I spoke to the designer of the RF Concepts (Alpha Amps) Dreamtuner 4040 to pose “one question: When?” His response: “One answer: don’t know.” Last year they had a prototype. This year there was a working model that is in testing. The holdup seems to be tweaking the software that runs this impressive box, something that ham manufacturers never had to consider a few years ago. I’m guessing it will be the end of 2013 before these ship. Knowing Alpha, it will be worth the wait.
D Star was again a major presence at Dayton with no less than four special D Star events. The one I always enjoy the most is held offsite at the Drury Inn on Miller Lane on Friday night. Icom offers up a nice prize, usually a D Star HT. Other vendors, such as RT Systems, also contribute prizes. HRO contributes the food and drink. The Georgia D Star Group organizes this event. They pack a lot of information into two hours. If I could only attend one D Star event, I think this would be it. A big thank you to this group who also maintain the excellent D Star website www.dstarinfo.com. Ed, WA4YIH and John, WB4QDX, have done a lot to make D Star accessible with this excellent website and a wealth of training they have offered over the years. There was also a forum at the HARA Arena with such D Star luminaries as Robin Cutshaw, AA4RC, who also gave a preview of a new product in the DVAP/DV Dongle line. For D Star gateway administrators, Robin announced a new release soon of D Plus, the behind the scenes software that most people don’t know makes possible the linking of repeaters and reflectors on most D Star repeaters.
Here’s a shot of Robin wearing his new “Google Glass.” Somewhere on the internet is likely to be some video he captured at Dayton.
I had heard in advance that AES would not attend Dayton this year, and that was correct. I never got an explanation for why this major distributor was not present. But HRO was there in force.
The famous Luso motorized tower was on display again this year. I think they brought the “little” one, only 90 feet. It is an engineering marvel to see, and the construction is just magnificent. Don’t be deterred by the fact that the installed price may exceed the cost of your house.
We’ve all seen some pretty wild vehicles at hamfests, something I call “antennamobiles.” This one is apparently legendary at Dayton.
WB4APR, Bob Bruninga, “Mr. APRS,” had his solar powered Prius, complete with a trailer of solar panels there. Bob had this on display at Frostfest a few years ago.
I had a nice chat with ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. Kay is one of the hardest working people at Dayton. She stands in the ARRL area (too big to call a booth) for three days talking to everyone who wants to talk to her. I told her that RARC would be celebrating a big anniversary in 2016, and we would sure like to have a top ARRL official help us celebrate that event. I was encouraged by her response that we could probably get someone to attend. It just so happens that Kay now lives in Blacksburg. I also expressed my frustration to her about a certain repeater coordination organization and the long standing errors in their database which have yet to correctly include our Club’s repeaters. The frustration is magnified by the fact that the ARRL will only accept information for their Repeater Directory from the coordination groups and not from repeater owners. She had a very good answer. It seems that repeater owners had been bypassing the coordination organizations and sending information in to ARRL directly on the notion that if the repeater appeared in ARRL’s Repeater Directory, the frequency “belonged” to every repeater which was listed in the directory. So the ARRL policy is designed to “encourage” repeater owners to coordinate their frequencies. That’s appropriate, and something I had not considered. But I’m still frustrated by our inability to have our repeaters accurately recorded by the group to whom we have paid our dues and reported our information for years.
Dayton also attracts a number of DX hams and amateur radio associations from other countries. The folks from the Qatar Amateur Radio Society have had an impressive presence the past few years. In their booth this year was Saif, A71AM.
As we chatted, I told him his call was familiar, at which point he pulled out an Ipad and said, “Let’s see if you are in the log.” He found our July 2012 QSO on 20 meters, and proceeded to fill out a very nice QSL card which he handed me. That was neat.
Win – WA4SSG
Oldies but goodies
The Virginia Special Olympics summer games needs thirty two (32) hams on the field with officials plus a few more serving as net control. It is Friday, June 7 and Saturday June 8. Then there is set up Thursday night, June 6. You sign up for as much of any of the days as you want. So it may take 60 to 70 hams to cover it all for two days. You need an HT, a good hat, a water bottle, and a willingness to have some fun.
The hams are organized by Matthew Kimball, K4MTK. See http://k4mtk.com.
Here is how it works. We hams are assigned to a fixed location and/or to an official that we shadow. You could be running (literally) to incidents with the medical team, sitting pool-side during aquatic competitions, or following a staff member or official as he or she moves around the field. As the ham in a location you will be responding to information polls such as “have awards ceremonies started for tennis yet?” You will be asked to send an APB (all points bulletin) to find a specific individual. Your official may ask you to report that her sport is 30 minutes behind schedule. Although officials use cell phones for direct person-to-person communications, most information needs to be received by all the officials. Ham radio is how that gets done.
You will be shocked at just how hard handicapped athletes work and how much they can accomplish. It is wonderful to watch. And therefore you will pledge to increase your exercise regimen.
You will have more QSOs is a day than most hams get in a month.
You will feel like you are really accomplishing something important, because you are.
It is difficult to see how they could run these games from the several locations without hams.
Go to the K4MTK.com website and sign up.
(Image form http://www.specialolympicsva.org/View/Page/Summer_Games)