Kendall Amateur Radio Society

  KB5TX

KARSNEWS

Copyright 2018 all rights reserved

Rocks a flying

With yagis up now, I found time on March 18th to check out the 6 meter meteor calling frequency (50.260).  I immediately started hearing strong bursts of raspy MSK144 signal.  I started up the WSJT-X software and then logged in to the Ping Jockey web site to see what was happening (https://www.pingjockey.net/cgi-bin/pingtalk).  As it seemed pretty busy, I announced on PJ that I would be calling CQ.  Almost immediately, K8LEE came back.  The QSO exchange was rapid since the meteors were hot and heavy.  During the final "73" exchange, I saw an uncommon 4-1/2 second burst from Wayne in Indiana.  Here's the record of that burst on the 15-s long waterfall trace. Wow.

After that, I conducted QSO's with KE5RV (Arkansas), K2DRH (Illinois), and W5TN (Texas).  The next morning, I added WB4JWM (Georgia), and W8BYA (Indiana).  So, Gerry K2HIG, you have the same 6m yagi that i do.  Get on and chase some rocks!

March 24th update:  Another good morning for meteors.  I called CQ and was called by two stations, one after the other, WB4JWM again (Georgia) and K0TPP (Missouri).  Several times, I saw bursts from 2 or 3 stations within the same 15-second frame.  At 1427Z, I worked AK5QR (Alabama), and then was cold-called by XE2YWH.  My first new country on meteor scatter.  Jose is 535 miles south of here in Zacatecas, Mexico.  Here's the "Roger" and "73" transmissions at 1430Z and 1431Z:

And, finally, I asked W5LDA to give it a shot via the PingJockey web site.  We connected within 3 or 4 sequences.  Big signal from Oklahoma City!

March 31 update 

I turned on the 6m station this morning and immediately decoded a meteor CQ from XE2JS in Chihuahua (449 miles).  After calling him for several minutes, someone broke in on SSB.  It was XE2OR in Coahuila, 151 miles away, with a 59+ ground wave signal.  After that QSO, I returned to calling XE2JS, and we finally connected.  He is my second Mexico QSO on meteor scatter.  A few minutes later, I worked N0LL in Kansas (693 miles).  I switched over to 2 meters to see what I could see.  On 2m, I'm only running 60W barefoot until I get the PTT cable made up for the linear..  The first decodes I received were from XE2AT in Aguascalientes, Mexico (689 miles).  I pointed the beam south and, after 10 minutes or so, I worked him, my first 2m meteor QSO (of recent times), and my first 2m DX entity at the same time!

FT8 Digital Mode

I spoke with Gerry K2HIG at Saturday ham breakfast a week ago.  He expressed an interest in trying FT8 but asked if we could do a demo at a club meeting,  I said yes, and that will be the program for a future meeting.  I will bring in a radio, interface devices, laptop computer, and an improvised dipole antenna and we will give it a shot.  If you've never operated digital and are curious how it goes, please come to that meeting (it will be announced).

On a separate note, I have worked quite a bit of DX on FT8.  To me, it seems a lot easier than fighting the CW and SSB pileups you hear when a rare one comes on.  It's hard to compete with the super stations with multiple towers, stacked beams on every band, and full legal limit amplifiers.  There is a distinct advantage when the DX station can pull your weak signal out of the noise and get a perfect copy in the presence of lots of other stations.  Software has now replaced the human ear.  Yeah, it almost sounds like cheating, but you can't look at it that way.  Technology keeps improving the hobby.  I bet very few of you run vacuum tube radios anymore, nor are most of your solid state rigs without modern Digital Signal Processing.  Think of it this way:  instead of aspiring to be like the muscle stations and overpower everyone on frequency, you don't need to any more.  IMHO, this opens up the door for many, many more hams to make more contacts rapidly without the mega-buck expense.

Nevertheless, as the popularity of FT8 grows, we are starting to see DX pileups.  The problem is, you can have dozens of signals spread across the 2 kHz wide FT8 channel and the software decodes and displays all of them every 15 seconds.  A DX station sees all the stations calling him but the software only lets you respond to one station at a time.  Until now.  The ARRL reported that a beta version of a new FT-8 contest mode software was tested recently.  A DX station (the Fox) can now conduct multiple QSOs simultaneously.  Fox can select the number of responses (Hound stations) he wants to deal with.  He can also call region-selective CQs.  When Fox responds, his transmission consists of multiple simultaneous signals sent to selected Hound stations, each on their own frequency.  Sounds crazy.  And it's not simple.  Users are encouraged to study the operating guide and not try to wing it (http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/FT8_DXpedition_Mode.pdf ).  Contest mode will never be used in established FT8 channels, rather a specific frequency to be announced beforehand. On 20m, the FT8 channel is 14.074-14.076 MHz.   During the recent beta test of contest mode, they used 14.105 MHz.  The test results were positive.  Expect to see this used by real DXpeditions.  But get some some conventional FT8 time in before you try it.

Next Meeting

Thursday, April 5th, at the new Kendall EMS building.  Our inaugural meet there was last month, and the meeting room is quite spacious.  Be sure you come next time.  We will be kicking off planning for Field Day, hear about changes to the club web site and a presentation of some thoughts on participation and involvement in the club by Steve Lazar.  This month, I promise we will have coffee available on the food bar.

73's and good DX,

Dave Moore, N7RF

President

The New Meeting Location

Yea, its really there at Main and 1376  (1175 N. Main Street).  Heres the Google satellite shot when construction was underway:

The training/meeting room is at the far right (as you face the building), and parking lot for that end is accessed off of Main Street.

NOTES

Upcoming Conventions / Meetings

05Apr18:  KARS regular meeting 7pm - New Location (see above map)

07Apr18:  Texas State Parks on the Air event Saturday and Sunday.

myARRLvoice News

For more than 100 years, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) was the organization we’ve trusted to openly serve its membership and advocate for amateur radio in the United States. Over the past two years, that has changed… by a range of troubling policy and governance actions taken by the League’s leadership.

The purpose of myARRLvoice is to inform fellow ARRL members and to encourage them to convey their feelings to the ARRL Board and management.

Please explore myARRLvoice.org and learn what you need to know to be an informed ARRL member and voter.  

If there is something missing please let us know.  

We listen.

73 from the myARRLvoice Team!

ARES Activity

The ARRL publishes a monthly ARES - E news email.  All should consider subscribing to this free report with all of the latest on ARRL ARES activities across the nation and in our section here in S.Texas.  It has been reported elsewhere that ARRL is going to announce some changes in the ARES program.  We’ll publish them as they become available

The Latest news on the Repeater Building   3-27-18

During the past three weeks I have spent a lot of time in Boerne at the Tower Road site trying to wrap this long project up before the end of March.

 In February Greg Stone helped me install the wall insulation and we got the new plywood floor installed. Weather conditions kept me from getting anything else done that month.

But this month I have spent many hours at the site getting things done. The new plywood sheathing was measured, cut and installed on the walls.  The electrical outlets and switches got installed. Thanks to Ron Wood for coming out to pick up the old building materials and trash that was tore out of the building. That helped a lot for me to be able to access the tower and hard-line and get around the West side of the building.

 The new plywood floor was then primed thanks to Gerry Numan for the primer.    The next day I applied the first coat of floor paint, and on the third day the 2nd coat was applied.

In the next few days I primed and painted the baseboard at home so it would be ready to install. I had pre-coped one end and then just had to cut to length and install once I was back onsite.  Then the door threshold was cut and installed followed by the door seal being adjusted to seal around the door.

After I replaced some more outside screws on the building, I then loaded up all the equipment I have had at the site these past 5 months and brought it all back home. I still have some small items to take care of but they are not urgent and we should be able to start moving the .64 machine and other hardware over to the site very soon.

The renovation of this building started back in October last year when I stripped out the paneling to get a good idea of how bad a shape the building was in.  It was in pretty bad shape from not being maintained for the past 30 years.  Water leaking into a building has a tendency to rot things. I came up with an estimate, however I also did find some more hidden issues as I went along. Material prices were up and down but mostly up because of the hurricane rebuilds in South Texas. 

I had presented an estimate to the board of $550.00 for materials that I would have to purchase. This was passed with a motion not to exceed $600.00.   I just totaled all my receipts for the materials and they added up to $600.69!  I also donated a lot of building materials and hardware to this project myself.

 This price does not include the new air conditioner for the building. When we discussed this at the club meeting in January, the club had made a motion early last year to replace the A/C unit and battery for the generator so we decided that that expense was already covered although it had not gotten replaced.  The county decided to abandon the site before this was replaced, so a motion was passed at the last meeting that the A/C was not included in the materials.

I also purchased 2 cable entry bulkheads and all the boots and donuts to bring the Heliax into the building correctly and keep the water out. I also purchased  2 copper  grounding buss bars and grounding kits for 4 Heliax cables. I am donating all of these items to the club since I came to the $600 limit and I wanted this rebuild completed in a professional setup for the clubs repeater site.

So all this was accomplished in the last 5 months. I was driving 25 miles one way to and from the site, I would have to load up and unload every time and I kept somewhat of a log of the hours I spent on site, which was approximately 110 hours. So I’m happy to come to the end of the project.  Also had an additional 35 hours of help at different times from the following volunteers:

Stephen Schwarz KA5WJY ,  Greg Stone  AB5I,  Ron Wood  KF5SIJ,                       Steve Lazar  W5SCL,  Rodney Vorndam  K9ROD,   Gerry Nunan K2HIG.

Thanks to each of you for your time and help.   I appreciate it greatly and I’m sure the club does too.

73’s  Marsh   WA5U

Radio Sphere 50 MHz and Above

American Meteor Society

Meteor Shower Calendar

Meteor activity picks up a bit during April as the Lyrids become active during the month. They are active from the 14th through the 30th, with a pronounced maximum on the 22nd. Sporadic rates during April are steady as seen from both hemispheres with southern observers enjoying twice the activity that can be seen from the mid-northern hemisphere.

During this period the moon will reach it’s full phase on Saturday March 31. At that time it will be located opposite the sun and will remain above the horizon all night long. As the week progresses the waning gibbous moon will rise later in the evening but will still hamper the more active morning hours making meteor observing difficult at best. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is 2 as seen from mid-northern latitude (45N) and 4 from the southern tropics (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 5 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 8 from the southern tropics (25S). The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity. Rates are reduced during this period due to interfering moonlight. Note that the hourly rates listed below are estimates as viewed from dark sky sites away from urban light sources. Observers viewing from urban areas will see less activity as only the brighter meteors will be visible from such locations.

The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning March 31/April 1. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases (available at science stores and planetariums) will provide maps with grid lines of the celestial coordinates so that you may find out exactly where these positions are located in the sky. A planisphere or computer planetarium program is also useful in showing the sky at any time of night on any date of the year. Activity from each radiant is best seen when it is positioned highest in the sky, either due north or south along the meridian, depending on your latitude. It must be remembered that meteor activity is rarely seen at the radiant position. Rather they shoot outwards from the radiant so it is best to center your field of view so that the radiant lies near the edge and not the center. Viewing there will allow you to easily trace the path of each meteor back to the radiant (if it is a shower member) or in another direction if it is a sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located far below the horizon. The positions below are listed in a west to east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The positions listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in the night while those listed further down the list rise later in the night.

These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week.

Details of each source will continue next week when lunar interference will be much less.

SHOWER

DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY

CELESTIAL POSITION

ENTRY VELOCITY

CULMINATION

HOURLY RATE

CLASS

 

 

RA (RA in Deg.) DEC

Km/Sec

Local Daylight Saving Time

North-South

 

Anthelion (ANT)

13:36 (204) -10

30

02:00

2 – 2

II

Zeta Cygnids (ZCY)

Apr 06

20:04 (302) +40

40

09:00

<1 -< 1

IV

 

More Radio News

Following is a list of sites with more information about things Radio:

 

News Reports - myARRLvoice.org

Solar Resources - WM7D.net

Solar Weather - spaceweatherwoman.com

Contest Schedule - contestcalendar.com

Daily Radio News - hamradiodaily.com

Voice of Ham Radio Daily - ke5ggy.blogspot.com

Conus HF Band Conditions - bandconditions.com

Ham Radio Blog - kb6nu.com

Ham Radio TV News - hamradionow.tv

DX Calendar - hamradioweb.org

More sites will be listed as they turn up with interesting news.  If you know of such radio related sites, please send them to us to add to the list.

The ARRL International Grid Chase runs during all of 2018.

SB DX @ ARL $ARLD014

ARLD014 DX news

 

ZCZC AE14

QST de W1AW 

DX Bulletin 14  ARLD014

From ARRL Headquarters 

Newington CT  March 29, 2018

To all radio amateurs  

 

SB DX ARL ARLD014

ARLD014 DX news

 

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by

The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral

from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.  Thanks

to all.

 

MALAWI, 7Q.  Members of the EIDX Group are QRV as 7Q7EI from the

shores of Lake Malawi until April 2.  Activity is on 160 to 10

meters using CW, SSB and RTTY with four stations active.  QSL via

M0OXO.

 

GHANA, 9G.  Richard, 9G5AR is now licensed and QRV from Accra.  He

is generally active on 20 meters using SSB during his weekdays and

weekends.  QSL via N4GNR.

 

CAPE VERDE, D4.  Mike, CT1IUA plans to be QRV as D41A from Santa

Maria, Sal Island, IOTA AF-086, from April 1 to 9.  Activity will be

holiday style on 40 to 10 meters using mainly CW with some SSB.  QSL

to home call.

 

NORTHERN IRELAND, GI.  Special event station GB106TBC will be QRV

from April 2 to 9 to commemorate the sinking of the RMS Titanic on

April 15, 1912.  QSL direct to MI0MOD.

 

THAILAND, HS.  Members of the Digital Thailand DX Association are

QRV as HS8JCV/p from Lipe Island, IOTA AS-126, until April 2.

Activity is on the HF bands.  QSL via HS8JCV.

 

ARGENTINA, LU.  Special event station AZ36H is QRV until April 2 to

recognize the 36th anniversary of the Falkland Islands War.  QSL via

operators' instructions.

 

BULGARIA, LZ.  Members of the Bulgarian Radio Club Blagovestnik are

QRV as LZ362ME during April to honor the memory of Bulgarian Saints.

QSL via bureau.

 

NETHERLANDS, PA.  Special event station PF2018SLO is QRV from Sloten

during April during the context of the 11th Cities Marathon.

Activity is on the HF bands.  QSL via PA0MBD.

 

EUROPEAN RUSSIA, UA.  Special event stations UE12APR, R12APR, R108M

and UE57G will be QRV from April 1 to 15 to mark Cosmonauts Day to

commemorate the first flights in space.  QSL via operators'

instructions.

 

CANADA, VE.  Special call VD1BOOM is QRV on Saturdays and Sundays

during April to mark the 40th anniversary of a mysterious explosion

called the Bell Island Boom that happened April 2, 1978 on Bell

Island, IOTA NA-198, one of Newfoundland's coastal islands.

Activity is on 20 meters.  QSL direct to VO1IDX.

 

TURKS AND CAICOS, VP5.  Bernie, KD5QHV plans to be QRV as VP5/KD5QHV

until April 2.  Activity is on 40, 20, 17 and 15 meters using CW and

SSB.  QSL to home call.

 

LAOS, XW.  Champ, E21EIC is QRV as XW1IC until March 31.  Activity

is on 40 to 6 meters.  QSL to home call.

 

KOSOVO, Z6.  Gab, HB9TSW is QRV as Z68GB until April 19.  Activity

is on 80 to 17 meters using CW.  QSL to home call.

 

GIBRALTAR, ZB.   Special Event Station ZB2RAF will be QRV from April

1 to July 29 to honor the first Centenary of the Royal Air Force.

QSL via G8FC.

 

NEW ZEALAND, ZL.  Special event station ZM50GW will be QRV during

April to commemorate the loss 50 years ago of the ferry TEV Wahine.

QSL via bureau.

 

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO.  The Russian World Wide MultiMode

Contest, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint,

Feld Hell Sprint, UK/EI DX CW Contest and the RSGB 80-Meter RoLo SSB

contest are all on tap for this weekend.

 

The IQRP Quarterly Marathon and RSGB 80-Meter Club CW Championship

are scheduled for April 2.

 

The ARS Spartan CW Sprint is scheduled for April 3.

 

The UKEICC 80-Meter SSB Contest, Phone Fray and CWops Mini-CWT CW

Test are scheduled for April 4.

 

The ARRL International Grid Chase runs during all of 2018.

 

Please see March 2018 QST, page 85, April QST, page 84, and the ARRL

and WA7BNM Contest Web Sites for details.

NNNN

March Meeting Minutes

Please review prior to the April meeting

 

KARS Meeting Minutes – March 1st 2018

 

Opening:   23 Members were presented to make a quorum; President David Moore, N7RF opened the meeting at 7:05 pm.  The Preamble of the Club’s Mission Statement was read by the President.

Members and Guests stated their names and call signs.  There were 21 members and 2 guests present.

Guests were Michael Marinesi KG5IWQ & Brad Peace KG5YOX

Minutes:   The minutes were read by the Secretary, Rod Vorndam, K9ROD

A motion to approve the minutes was made by Ken Nichols and second by Al Walters.  Minutes approved by the membership.

Treasurer’s Report:   Report was read by Ron Wood, KF5SIJ.  Please see the attached copy.

Committee Reports:

        Newsletter:  Star Center, KI5SC newsletter chairman asked that anyone who does not receive a newsletter, please send him your email so that it can be added to the list.

        License Testing: VE’s reported no testing was done this month.

        Web Page:  Al Walters, K5NOF has been trying to update the Club’s web page this last month. He has made arrangements with Network Solutions to host the web page.  There will be new content and a new look to the web page in the near future. Be sure to check www.KB5TX.org regularly for updates.  Al asks that anyone with content and pictures submit the information to him via email. Marsh Pronneke, WA5OBO suggested that we have a “Swap Shop” page for members to post for sale items.  Al stated that this was in the works, and a member need only send him the information and he would add it to the web site.

        Repeater:  Marsh Pronneke, WA5OBO has been doing an excellent job on renovating the building that will house the 146.640 repeater in the new location. Proper bulkheads were installed and the incoming coax will be terminated just inside the building and grounded properly, and connected to a lightning suppressor to prevent damage by a near-by lightning strike.  Marsh is ready to put up the interior walls and paint the floor. Anyone have about a 4 foot length of copper pipe to donate, please contact Marsh.  David, N7RF donated several hardline coax grounding units to the cause.  Steve Lazar, W5SCL has been working on an APRS digipeater to place at the new site.  This will give us a better picture of the coverage area of the site. There are still plans to put up a DMR Repeater, a WinLink System, and connect the Fusion Repeater to the internet either by microwave or a WiresX device. Steve is bata testing everything at his house before moving it to the repeater site.

        Membership:  Anyone needing an application for membership, please see the Secretary, Rod Vorndam, K9ROD for an application.

Unfinished Business: Russ Locke, K5FJR who spoke at the last meeting provided a report of activities the club or a club member could get involved in.  There are several things going on in April, but Russ suggested if you want to try something out the October MS-Ride to the River is a good place to start.  About 1500 bikes ride from New Braunfels to San Antonio.  This event is always looking for volunteers.  If interested contact Russ for more information.  There is also the Fiesta Wildflower Event April 22nd that starts at the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio and the BPMS 150 in Houston April 28th & 29th.  It was mentioned that the Club participated in the HEB110 a few years ago.  For more information on that, please check their web site.

New Business:  Field Day is just around the corner, June 23rd & 24th. More planning to come, but more operators are needed.  If you would like to help, please consider operating during this event. Last year we worked 5F and placed 13th nation wide!

Ken Nichols mentioned that Bass ProShop has small parts boxes on sale at a very good deal – 5 for $10.

A raffle was held by Ron, KF5SIJ. $39 was raised.  Ron won the raffle and donated the money back to the club.

Presentation:    6 Meters – “The Magic Band” was presented by Rod Vorndam, K9ROD. The topic covered Rod’s experience as a new ham on the 6 meter band.  He pointed out how much fun a new ham could have with very little cost that was very similar to hunting DX on HF. Rod emphasized the importance of propagation and provided a link to his propagation web page - http://www.k9rod.net/Propagation.html

Meeting was adjourned at 8:52 pm

Club Repeaters

 

KARS provides and maintains the following repeaters with the call sign KB5TX

VHF:  145.19 (-) pl tone 88.5

VHF:  146.64 (-) pl tone 88.5

 

Doug Becker, W5VEO, provides and maintains two UHF repeaters for our use

UHF:  444.900 (+) pl tone 123.  [Temporarily off the air]

UHF:  444.750 (+) pl tone 162.2

 

Mail Address

KARS

PO Box 1732

Boerne, TX 78006

 

Website

info@kb5tx.org

 

Officers and Directors

 

President:  B. David Moore, N7RF

V. President:  Steve Lazar, W5SCL

Secretary:  Rodney Vorndam, K9ROD

Treasurer:  Ron Wood, KF5SIJ

Director:  Al Walters, K5NOF

Director:  Marsh Pronneke, WA5UBO

Director:  Starr Center, KI5SC

 

 

 

KARSNEWS Editor:  Starr Center, KI5SC  email:  starr@arrl.net