WA4TFZ 146.760Mhz & 444.000Mhz Repeaters Down for maintenance

Repeater rack photo
stock photo of 146.760 repeater from prior trip

Bill Pond N0WP and Dave Damon K4DND have temporarily removed the entire 146.760 repeater (other than antenna/tower) from the mountain top for maintenance. The repeater will be down for a week or two. Dave's 146.730Mhz repeater, which has similar coverage area, can be used instead; this repeater will be disconnected from the IRLP East Coast reflector during maintenance. The 444.000 repeater will also be down during this time as it is in the same rack which was removed from the mountain.

Remote Operations During the Great ShakeOut

On Thursday, 17 October 2013, I conducted two remote operations. Lots of folks have asked about the technology and configuration, so here’s how it happened.

My Shack Setup With Rig, Interface, and Webcam
My home shack includes a Windows 7 computer, an Icom IC-706MkIIG HF/VHF/UHF transceiver, and a ZLP DigiMaster Pro3 soundcard/rig control interface. For what I did on Thursday full rig control isn’t necessary. You need the ability for your computer to put audio into and take it out of your rig, and the ability for your computer to control the push-to-talk (PTT). Most any soundcard interface and PTT control that you would normally use for digital mode operation should work for remote operation. I also had a Webcam connected to my computer and pointed at my rig and interface so I could see the displays and blinky lights, but that is not absolutely necessary.

Apple Harvest Boy Scout Camporee - Saturday 2013-10-12

Apple harvest camporee logo

Ham volunteers needed for the Scout Camporee. This is located in Pleasant Grove Park in Fluvanna County. This park is a work in progress and may not appear on maps, gps, or online services. It appears to be located off 53 between the Fluvanna County High School and the Fluvanna County Library. Apple Harvest Boy Scout Camporee Facebook Page. There is also the Apple Harvest Trail 5k Run, not to be confused with the other 5k run in Belmont area that morning, which will affect vehicle access to the site in the morning.

Latitude/Longitude coordinates: geo:37.874722,-78.290278
Google maps

Ed Murphy writes:

The Camporee will be on October 11-13, 2013 at the Pleasant Grove Park in Fluvanna County (see directions below). The Scouts will be camping on Friday and Saturday evenings, and we are expecting 600-800 Scouts. We are planning a day of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math activities for the Scouts all day on Saturday, October 12.

We would like to arrange for a demonstration of amateur radio from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 12. Scout patrols will show up at the demonstration site throughout the day, usually one patrol of 4-8 boys at a time. If possible, we would like each group to offer some kind
of competition for the Scouts to help us select the winning patrol at the end of the Camporee. The Camporee will run rain or shine. Please let me know if you need power and/or shelter.

Charlottesville Maker Faire Sat 2012-10-12

Maker Faire Poster
AARC has been invited to set up a table at Charlottesville's first Maker Faire, an event for people who like to build things. Saturday 2012-10-12 from 10am to 4pm at Monticello High School, 1400 Independence Way, Charlottesville, VA 22902, geo: 37.998545,-78.48949 (Firefox plugin for geo URLs) (Google Maps).

KQ9P is organizing our participation. W4MBW and AK4OL will also be there.


Also happening that same day:
- The scout camporee, at which AARC has been invited to set up a station from 9:30AM to 4PM. Contact K4DU.
- Safety day at Sears/Fashion Square mall. 10AM-4PM. CERT and the 911 EOC will be participating. And the Albemarle county fire department will be offering Fire Extinguisher training.
- AARC every other week breakfast. 7AM-10AM. This happens earlier in the day than the other events.
- Clark 5k fun run. AARC is not participating in this event but CERT members, especially traffic team members, have been asked to help. 7AM-9:30AM. Note that this is close to the Maker Faire and may affect traffic. This race is north of I-64 and the Maker Faire is south. But you might want to avoid avon street route to Monticello High School and take route 20 instead.
- There is another 5k race that will apparently obstruct vehicle access to the camporee from 7AM-9:30AM. This is the apple harvest trail run and is organized by the scouts. http://www.bsa-sjac.org/trailrun
- The Virginia Wine and Garlic Festival 10AM-5PM at Rebec vineyards in Amherst. This runs both
Saturday and Sunday.
- Crozet Arts and Crafts Festical, Saturday and Sunday.
- The only saturday in October with no UVA home game traffic.

Monthly Meeting Postponed and moved. 2013-10-15 7:30PM - Our Lady of Peace

Collins transmitter and receiver restored by KX4PThe monthly meeting of the AARC has been postponed and moved. Our normal meeting location is unavailable due to the government shutdown and our backup location is in use that day. So we expect the meeting to be held a week later than usual.

From the beacon:

John Green KX4P will be giving the program at the October 8 AARC meeting. The topic will be
"Restoration of some Old Collins Radio Classics." The program includes photos of his restoring a 75A1 receiver and a 32V3 transmitter. These are genuine "boat anchors!" Included in the program are some movie clips made by Matt (formerly KD4COA) and Jim (K4BAV) Wilson of the station operating CW and AM Phone. As an added incentive of interest, you can see the same units being displayed in "K2TQN's Mobile Museum" in the current October QST, page 99. The program should be of interest to old timers, collectors, those interested in restoring old treasures, and every one interested in our great amateur radio heritage.

October Issue of The Beacon is now available

The October Issue of The Beacon -- the club newsletter has been posted. Take the link in the column to the left marked "Beacon Newsletter."

Paper Maps

Image of various maps described in text
Need a printed map which is bigger than your printer can handle or which works without power or batteries? Paper maps are getting harder to find. Here is what is available in Charlottesville.

Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge 2013 recap

Image of cyclists at BGCCC 2013
Cyclists Arriving at Broadus Wood Elementary School Rest Stop. These are some of the first riders on the 100mile ride arriving at rest stop about 73miles into the ride. Not shown: N4UVA and AK4OL.

New: Alinco DX-SR9T SDR Friendly Standalone Transceivers

Image of Alinco DX-SR9T
Radio: new Alinco DX-SR9T HF Transceiver with I/Q input/output. Photo Credit: Alinco.

The just recently released Alinco DX-SR9T is apparently starting to show up in retail channels. $800 HF rig with I/Q. 160m-10m. 100W SSB/CW. 2013 model. Requires external sound card but has I/Q inputs/outputs. BTW, The Alinco DX-R8T/E Receiver looks very similar but is receive only and has I/Q outputs and the DX-SR8T is a similar HF transceiver without the SDR I/Q feature.
DX-SR9T Brochure

Field Day of the Past. Friday-Sunday.

Picture of Intertype Machine
Intertype Machine (equivalent to Linotype).
Photo: AK4OL CC-BY-3.0-US.
Watch Video

It isn't ARRL field day. It isn't even a ham radio event. But it will interest many hams interested in old technology. It is an annual event with Steam Engines, Tractors, Humongous Diesel Engine, Saw mills, Machine Shops, Blacksmith Shop, Wood Shop, Rock crushers, steam shovels, Print shop including Intertype machine (similar to linotype), Wooden Spoon factory, Weaving Looms, spinning wheels, and sewing machines, Tools, corn shellers, cotton gin, sorgam mill, Petting Zoo, Panning for Gold, Old Fire Engines. When they tore down the original town of short pump to make way for the strip malls, they relocated the Garage, General Store, and Post office to the fairgrounds. The scale of this event is huge; they have the land all year round and thus can have a bigger show than one would ordinarily see.


Silent Key: Publisher Wayne Green W2NSD

Photo of Wayne Green W2NSD/1
Wayne Green from his Last 73 Editorial Column.

Wayne Green died September 13, 2013. He was editor of CQ magzine for 5 years and then publisher of a number of Ham Radio and Computing magazines, as well as some other publications considerably less grounded in reality, including: 73, Byte Magazine, Kilobaud Microcomputing, 80 Micro, CD Review, Cold Fusion, RUN, InCider, and Pico. He was a constant thorn in the side of the ARRL but remained a member. He argued that the 20wpm morse code requirement drove extra class hams insane; he held an Advanced class (13wpm) at the time of his death and believed in cold fusion schemse but not the moon landings.

AARC Digital Net Schedule Update

One of the take-aways from the survey concerning the Digital Net is that we may be doing it a bit too often to be sustainable. So, starting with this week, the AARC Digital Net will meet on the first and third Mondays of each month, starting at 8:15pm on the 146.730 repeater (thanks, Dave K4DND!). That means the next session will be on Monday, 7 October 2013.

We have a separate email list for the Digital Net and topics pertaining to digital operations. If you would like to be added to the list, please email me at mcpherson[at]acm[dot]org.

Watch the Club Web site to see if anything else pops up in the open Monday evening time slot. If you would like to organize something, send your idea out to the email list!

73, Mike KQ9P

Know Your GPS

Garmin Nuvi 255W GPS
Garmin Nuvi 255W GPS
Photo: AK4OL, CC-BY-3.0-US

Do you know how to get coordinates in and out of your GPS? As staggering as this is, given that latitude and longitude are the fundamental units a GPS works with, many older car GPS units don't let you enter or retrieve these coordinates. And even when they do, some users don't know how to use these features. A GPS is an important tool at a public service event or emergency response.

At a recent public service event, we had a rest stop at a location that baffles many GPS, google earth, google maps, etc. First, the White Hall Community Center is not known to these systems. Worse, many GPS units have trouble finding the intersection of two roads; even though they have a mode for this, in the map data itself the streets don't always register as intersecting. Garmin GPS doesn't find Wyant's Store across the street and google earth/maps have this store in a completely wrong location (though unlike the GPS, they can locate the intersection by road numbers). So, this is just one example of when you need to use coordinates.

Makerspace preview at McIntire Plaza Fall Festival and Open House

Sketchup 3D model Image of future makerspace
Preliminary sketchup model of future makerspace.
Photo: Michael Asaro and Google

The local maker group organizer is taking possession of the rental property to be used for his woodworking business and the future local makerspace (Community Shop) on Nov 1. The shopping center which houses this happens to be having an open house from 2PM to 6PM this saturday 2013-09-14 and the Maker Group will have a table set out.

Sat 2013-09-14 Breakfast: Panera bread

Image of Hot Air Baloon over Panera Bread
Hot Air Balloon over Panera
During AARC Breakfast Gathering
Click to enlarge
Photo Credit: Mark Whitis AK4OL
License: CC-BY-3.0US

Mike Gilmore K8RVR writes:

Coffee and Danish sound good to you?

This is a reminder for those not going to the VA Beach Hamfest, this Saturday is our bi-weekly breakfast gathering. If your participating in the VE session at the NRAO, stop by on your way. We'll be starting around 7:00 AM. We'll be talking about the upcoming Fox Hunt on the 28th, Sprites in Space, and anything YOU want to talk about. Bring whatever project you are working on to show off.

This week, we will again be at the Panera Bread at Barracks Rd.

We look forward to seeing you there...

Also Saturday:
AARC VE Session
VA Beach Hamfest
McIntire Plaza, around c'ville coffee, 2PM-4PM, has a open house event and the local Maker group
which is opening a community shop soon will have a table there.
On Sunday:
Boys And Girls Club Cycling Challenge (AARC Public Service Event).

Saturday.2013-09-14: Virginia Beach Hamfest/ARRL Roanoke Divisin Convention.

We have a VE session and breakfast on saturday and a public service event on sunday, but saturday is also the VA Beach Hamfest, also known as the ARRL Roanoke Division Convention, SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 9AM-4PM.


AARC Digital Net Survey (Results!)

The results are in!

Question 1

KickSat Sprite Satellite Ground Station Project Gets Off the Ground (sorry about that...)

There is a lot of action on the Club's KickSat Sprite ground station project. In the late spring of this year, Bill K4IB, proposed that we establish one of the network of ground stations to support the launch of Cornell graduate student Zac Manchester's constellation of femtosatellites, named “Sprites” by Zac and colleagues. The Sprites, now scheduled for deployment in January 2014, will travel into near earth orbit in association with a SpaceX replenishment mission to the International Space Station. A group of Club members has formed around this project. (For more detailed KickSat Sprite information see the KickStarter and GitHub sites.)

Propagation Maps (Updated)

Combined map with BGCCC 2013, Gran Fondo Virginia 2013, Miller School Road Race 2013, MS150 Tour de Vine (multiple years), Jefferson cup (multiple years) race/ride routes, local repeaters, 7.5minute quadrangle grid, and line of sight (LOS) propagation overlay for 146.760, 146.925, and 146.895 repeaters. Created by AK4OL.
Propagation map with bike routes

(sticky) Sunday 2013-09-08 Public Service Event: Gran Fondo Virginia Bike Ride

Gran Fondo Virginia Logo
Image from web site

Volunteers Needed! Contact Joe Flamini W4BXG.

We have sketchy last minute info that our help is needed for an unnamed bike race on sunday:

On another note, Kenneth Kang just e-mailed me informing me of another (new) bike race that he needs comms for. This one is next week (!), on Sunday the 8th. The race benefits an environmental non-profit. Race begins & ends at Walnut Creek Park; races are from 9:30 to 5:30. Looks like four people would do it.

From the sketchy details provided, this appears to be the first ever Gran Fondo Virginia Bike Ride. Not to be confused with a couple other "Gran Fondo" events that take place in Virginia. And the non-profit mentioned would be Better World Betty. Walnut Creek Park is off Old Lynchburg Road near North Garden, VA a bit north of Plank Road and a bit south of Red Hill Road.

Note that the ride actually starts at 9:30AM; hams should try to be be there earlier. Registration is from 7:30 to 9:15 AM.

Additional details I have been able to uncover are below the fold, including route maps and propagation forecasts.

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