Richmond Amateur Radio Club

Event calendar added

Visit our new event calendar. It covers RARC events and nets for the RVA clubs and organizations. Click the link on the right under RARC or the news & events link at the top. Click here to see the live RARC calendar.

Calendar example – dead – click above for the live calendar

MRA 145.43 repeater moves mid-December

MRAlogo2Public information on the new MRA repeater site

Board of the Metropolitan Repeater Association
1 December 2016

In mid-December a shiny new Sinclair SD224 four bay folded dipole antenna goes up on the tower at the new site. The site features a backup power generator, complete climate control, and broadband Internet access. The MRA has purchased a remotely controlled APC power switch, Ethernet router, and Ethernet switch to control the repeater. The antenna is 700+ feet up the tower (AGL), and ~900 feet ASL. The new site is located in the central Richmond area, and continued wide area coverage is expected. The tower climb to install the antenna occurs in mid-December. The antenna pattern has 6 dBi gain omni directional. The antenna will have clear line of sight to the west, to the north, and around to due south, with some “tower shielding” in the southwest quadrant. The sight has been spectrum analyzed for noise on the input frequency. Long term observation has shown no impulse or spurious noise, so we expect the KG4MRA repeater will be “better than ever.”

RARC at RVA Maker Fest results in ham radio video

A clip from the YouTube video showing an RARC meeting

A clip from the YouTube video showing an RARC meeting

As a master’s degree student at the VCU Brand Center, Caitlin Blumer needed a video project. The Richmond Amateur Radio Club (RARC) exhibit at the RVA Maker Fest in September caught her eye. There to greet her was Dan Bryant, W4DOB. Dan reconnected with her after the maker festival. She was taken with DX and contesting. Could she get some stories from hams that did that? Dan arranged it. Her master’s project is done and on YouTube as Ham Radio Contesting + DXing Subculture Documentary. In it CVCC, DDXG and RARC club members tell stories of their experiences and the friendships that have come of it.

New officers and directors installed at annual banquet

At the one-hundredth anniversary banquet on November 11th, elected officers and directors were installed.

rarcinstal2016-002On the left former president Win Grant, WA4SSG, installs the elected officers and directors present. Next to Win is outgoing president David Robinson, KJ4LHP. In the center is new president Jim Bates, K8OI. Moving to the right is Maylon Pearman, KG4RPQ, secretary, Richard Arnold, WA4FEH, treasurer, Marshall Ervine, N4XBP, registered agent and George Golding, W3PPY, vice president. Missing are directors Allan Johnson, WA3J, and Ken Leidner, WV0L.

K8OI

President Jim Bates, K8OI, with the instrument of punishment, the Wouff-Hong, and the instrument of discipline, the gavel, on the table.

Jim told the members and guests his plans for the club’s 101st year. The ICOM 7100 transceiver the club purchased in late 2015 for the ISS contact will become the base for a remotely controlled HF and VHF-UHF station open to members, especially those without the ability to have good antennas at their QTH. He also plans for the Technical Committee to develop an equipment loaner program so club members without ‘scopes, antenna analyzers, etc will have a source of gear and expertise to build and maintain their home stations.

RARC at the RVA MakerFest 2016

rarcatrvamakerfest2016collage8000. Actually, well about 7,800 counted and an estimated 5% who got in other entrances and were not counted for the RVA MakerFest 2016 at the science museum. We at the Richmond Amateur Radio Club table certainly had plenty of visitors. We had more with real interest than we’d had in the past two years.

Registration for Radio School classes is over

Radio school iconThe fall classes have started and registration is over.  The next classes are March to May.  Check this site in early January for the exact dates of the spring 2017 schedule.

This fall we have 8 for Technician, 5 for General, 9 for Extra, 5 for Antenna Modeling, and 2 for DStar.

NA1SS QSL card received

We sent ARISS our 100th anniversary QSL card for the 6 July contact. And a SASE, of course. We got their QSL card back.
ISS-QSL-card-6July2016Below is a panoramic view of the ISS contact on July 6.

IMG_0008

International Space Station Contact done 6 July

KD5TVA-Jeff-WilliamsAt 1:29 UTC (10:29am EDT), 14 students and 6 instructors asked questions of astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, aboard the ISS (International Space Station).   it was part of the “Space Station Camp,” a joint project of the Science Museum of Virginia and six RVA amateur radio clubs with the RARC taking the lead.

VK5ZAI-headSince our RARC station on a hanger at the airport was not stable by the end of May, we elected to used a phone-patch (“telebridge” in ARISS jargon).  It was from Tony Huchison, VK5ZAI, in southwestern Australia.  Tony’s station is mostly home-brew and highly modified. His website is very interesting at http://www.electric-web.org/.

VK5ZAI-station-locationDave Taylor, W8AAS, was our mentor.  He helped us when we got into the weeds and attended the contact.