The results are in!
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.)
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.
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.
The following 7.5minute quadrangles cover the routes for the BGCCC, Gran Fondo Virginia, and Miller School Bike Race: Swift Run Gap, Stanardsville, Browns Cove, Free Union, Earlysville, Waynesboro East, Crozet, Greenfield, Covesville, Alberene, Schuyler, Esmont, and Howardsville. Charlottesville West, Charlottesville East, and Simeon would also be desirable as they cover the area immediately around Charlottesville, including some of our repeater locations.
Miller School Road Race 2013 only needed Crozet and Covesville.
BGCCC 2013 needs: Swift Run Gap, Stanardsville, Browns Cove, Free Union, Earlysville, Waynesbora East, Crozet, and Greenfield
Gran Fondo Virginia 2013 needs: Waynesboro East: Crozet, Greenfield, Covesville, Alberene, Schuyler, Esmont, and Howardsville
Repeater locations include: crozet, covesville, Alberene, Simeon, and Charlotteville East.
Volunteers Needed! Contact Joe Flamini W4BXG.
Joe Flamini W4BXG wrote:
The Boys & Girls Club Race is in two weeks (Sunday, 15 September), and we need a few conscripts. I'm actually gonna be a part of this one, so I need six more souls. Only two of the posts are all day; the other five are only partials.Here are the seven posts:
Old Trail Swim Club (HQ)-- 7:00 on (All day)
White Hall Community Center-- 7:00 on (All day)
Greenwood Community Center-- 8:00-12 Noon
Broadus Wood School-- 11:00- 4:00
1 SAG-- 8:00-11:00
1 SAG-- 11:00-4:00
They'll provide rides for SAGs; I've got club event radios as before.
I'll send the map in an e-mail immediately following this one.
This will be after our usual every other saturday breakfast. You don't have to come to breakfast but, like last time, we will have the fox there and turn it on at the beginning of breakfast so you can verify your radio is properly set up and hear what it sounds like and even test your antenna close in and at a distance. Then Mike KQ9P will depart early from breakfast and deploy the fox.
Fox hunting is a term for hidden transmitter hunting. One person hides the "fox" and the other people try to find it using radio direction finding techniques.
The fox was built by Paul McKee AK4OH.
AARC is holding a VE (Volunteer Examiner) session where people can sit to take their amateur radio license exams in the vicinity of Charlottesville, VA. Walk-ins allowed. There is a modest fee to take the exam. These sessions are held about once every 3 months.
Location: NRAO HQ, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA. google maps link.
Photo Credit: NOAA Photo Library
Bill Pond N0WP writes on Saturday 2013-08-31:
It appears the Marshall Manor repeater site may have experienced some storm related damage today. Mike McPherson notified me around 5:15 PM today that he heard some beeps, then nothing on the 146.760. We did some attempts to reset it, etc. Both the 146.760 and 444.000 appear to respond to commands, key up as expected, however there is no audio output at all. No audio from repeater generated audio, or repeated audio. Carrier hang time seems correct, but zero audio. In the interim, I've disabled both transmitters. I'll play with it a bit more tomorrow, but I think there's a good possibility we'll have to install the spare controller to get it back on the air.
I'll update this as I learn more. At a minimum, I'd expect we'll have to run the Monday night net on 146.895 this week.
If you have been paying attention to the new club calendar you know that it is labor day weekend and that in addition to our every other week breakfast bunch gathering (separate story) it is also time for the Shelby, NC hamfest and that traffic in town will be a mess due to a UVA home game.
Saturday August 31 & Sunday September 1, 2013
Cleveland County Fairgrounds
1751 E. Marion Street, Shelby, NC 28152
Gates open at 7:00 AM each day (August 31 & September 1)
Inside Dealer Buildings will be open 8:00 AM-5:00 PM on Saturday
Inside Dealer Buildings will be open 8:00 AM-1:00 PM on Sunday
Talk-In: 146.880 (-), No Tone - W4NYR Repeater
Looks like we are back at Panera this saturday. Mike KQ9P writes:
This Saturday is our regular Ham Radio Breakfast Group! Let's make it Panera in the Barracks Road Shopping Center this time. I will be there by about 7:15am. Things usually wind down around 10am. Drop by any time.
Things that I am pretty sure we will talk about are scheduling the next foxhunt and an update on our KickSat satellite ground station project. Anything is fair game, though.
Your computer and sound card can be used in lieu of some pieces of test equipment, particularly audio equipment. A couple times in as many weeks, I have needed to generate tones to send over the radio.
Most of the tools described here run on Linux; most are also available on Mac OS X, Windows, FreeBSD, etc.
Thanks for all the responses. The results are in!
(click to enlarge)
I just received an order of SMA to BNC adapters from www.rfsupplier.com. They are cheaper than most other resellers with an adaptor price of $1.60 or $1.80 and $3 shipping for multiple adaptors. More info below the fold for those who are stuck with SMA connectors on their radios, including pictures with various radios and antennas.
Don't forget to reprogram your radios. See separate headline.
Part 2: This is the last part of the journey to the repeater shack. This is the Safari part of the journey. It does not include the drive to the winery or the drive through the winery which includes some rough and steep but traveled roads. This video starts just as we resume travel after closing the last gate. The site is located on "marshal manor" south-southeast of charlottesville which is actually the back side of the Carter Mountain Ridge but it is not on the portion where the commercial antenna farm and apple orchards are and what locals think of when you say Carter Mountain and is reached by a different route. "Marshal Manor" is actually a subdivision on the west side of the ridge (we are approaching from the west side) though in this video we will basically be travelling north along the ridge. We waited weeks after a rainy spell for this road to be considered passable even with a 4x4 truck with high clearance.
We should be scheduling a new fox hunt soon. But not enough was written about the last fox hunt. Here is a picture of the Fox Hunt transmitter used in our May 2013 fox hunt. A fox hunt is a nickname for a ham radio hidden transmitter hunt.
Great southeast shakeout earthquake drill is coming up on Oct 17:
Article backdated to anniversary date. Actually written 2013-09-01
The configuration on the WA4TFZ 146.760Mhz repeater has been changed today so that, while you still need to send 151.4Hz CTCSS, the repeater does not send CTCSS. Some CTCSS does appear to leak through from the transmitting station but your radio is likely to not reliably stay unsquelched during reception if your radio is set to require CTCSS inbound. For chirp and many radios, this means the radio needs to be set to "TONE" instead of "Tone Sqeulch" or "TSQL" or something similar. My radio was squelching about half the time. Also, you won't hear the courtesy beep as there is no CTCSS from the transmitter to leak through.
This change was made as a temporary (weeks, months) measure since it is believed that 151.4 from the transmitter side was feeding through into the receive side and causing the repeater to rebroadcast large amounts of noise.
K4JEC writes: Just a gentle reminder that time is running out to make your reservation for the club’s annual picnic and silent auction – new location offering new scenery. Please help us out by sending your reservation to Don N4UVA. He needs to know who much food and drink will be required to satisfy all the hearty appetites.
In lieu of the normal monthly meeting, we will be having our annual picnic and silent auction.
The location this year will be the Elks Lodge Shelter. I assume this will be the picnic shelter adjacent to the Elk's lodge on 389 Elk Drive where we have held our annual dinner banquet, NOT the lodge on 2nd Street downtown. Also note that it will not be held at Darden Towe park, as it has been in years past, though the primary route to darden towe park seems to be the one that takes you past the Elk's lodge.