Field Day 2013

[2012 Field Day image described in text below]
Picture from last year's Field Day (2012).

For immediate Release

For Additional Information contact:
Albemarle Amateur Radio Club

“Who ya’ gonna call? Charlottesville/Albemarle area Radio Hams!”

Charlottesville, VA 2013-06-17 – Despite the Internet, cell phones, email and modern communications, every year whole regions find themselves in the dark. Tornadoes, fires, storms, ice and even the occasional cutting of fiber optic cables leave people without the means to communicate. In these cases, the one consistent service that has never failed has been Amateur Radio. These radio operators, often called “hams” provide backup communications for everything from the American Red Cross to FEMA and even for the International Space Station. Your Town’s “hams” will join with thousands of other Amateur Radio operators showing their emergency capabilities this weekend.

Field Day & Ham License Test - June 22

The general public is invited to attend Field Day. The AARC will again be operating Field Day from the Earlysville Volunteer Fire Department at 283 Reas Ford Rd, Earlysville, VA. We will begin our on the air operations at 2:00 PM Saturday June 22, and will be on the air continuously until 2:00 PM Sunday, June 23.

The Amateur Radio License Test (VE Session) will be 9:00a on Saturday at the Earlysville Fire Dept.

Club members may wish to sign up for a time slot .

Foxes in Space! – Coming Soon to your Local Sky -- Want to Hunt for Them?

By Bill Arnold – K4IB, June 8, 2013; Edited for web by AK4OL.

KickSprite sm

Would you like to participate in a first of its kind, Foxhunt in Space? The Foxes are miniature spacecraft, dubbed “Sprites” that will be launched into low earth orbit in mid-November 2013 for a limited engagement. Want to find them? . . . .With a few fairly inexpensive parts and rudimentary assembly skills, interested members of AARC can take part in a pioneering experiment in space. Does this grab your attention? If so, read on.

Zac Manchester (KD2BHC) an Aerospace Engineering Graduate Student at Cornell, and his group, chaired by his mentor, Mason Peck, PhD, are preparing to launch several small "KickSat" satellites later this year, piggybacked aboard a SpaceX craft, the prime mission of which is to replenish the International Space Station (see CQ April 2013, pp 74-5). Each KickSat will deploy about 100 solar powered "Sprite Satellites" into low Earth orbit During a recent telephone conversation I had with Zac, he asked us (AARC) to consider joining a growing number of Clubs and Academic Departments who will monitor RF signals transmitted by the satellites.

DETAILS: Each Sprite is a circuit board about the size of two postage stamps, with a mass of 5 grams (that of a U.S. nickel). The board is populated with solar cells, a gyroscope, a magnetometer, a UHF radio transmitter, a micro-controller, a dipole antenna and other components. Individual Sprites will transmit a unique series of characters, usually a few letters, "Like your initials," according to Zac. Currently, three Sprite prototypes are orbiting earth in a Materials Science Experiment Pallet that was mounted on the outside of the ISS in 2011 during the final mission of the Space Shuttle.

Monday Night DIGITAL Net (no special equipment required)

Image of fldigi calling Albemarle Digital Net.

As of last monday, there is a digital net on the 146.730 repeater on monday nights at 8:15PM local time, shortly after the info net (which is voice and on a separate frequency). Probably using MT63-2000 modulation which works well over FM and at least passably with accoustic coupling between computer and radio (no interface needed), although a interface such as a signalink USB would be better. A number of software packages support this, including fldigi (Linux, Free-BSD, OS X, Windows XP, NT, W2K, Vista and Win7). There are also MT63 apps for android and iphone. Include the supplemental programs which are sometimes packaged separately from fldigi as some of these are used to support Narrow Band Emergency Messaging System (. NBEMS) transmission of emergency message forms.

May Sales Tax Holiday: Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment

Sales tax holiday logo
During the last week of May (May 25 - May 31), Virginia retailers may not charge sales tax on designated hurricane/emergency preparedness items:

Up to $1000 each: generators, solar panels, wind turbines, and inverters

Up to $60 each: two way radios (this would appear to include ham, FRS/GMRS, and CB), portable self powered radios, weather radios, batteries (including AAA,AA,C,D,9V,lantern, and cell phone but excluding car or boat), flashlights, lanterns, and glow sticks,, coolers and ice packs, fire extinguishers, smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors, cell phone chargers, first aid kits, ground anchor systems, empty fuel tanks (including gasoline, diesel and propane), water tanks/containers, duct tape, rope, ratchet straps, bungee cords, can openers, tarps, plastic sheeting, storm shutters, and bottled water.

(More below the fold)

Foxhunt Antenna Build Session

Closeup of tape measure yagi antenna feed point
Friday 2013-04-12 6:30PM

The Solutions Group
Citizens Commonwealth Building
300 Preston Ave, Suite 401
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Multiple designs available. If you already have some or all of the parts, bring them. However, a couple of us have picked up extra parts.

More details may follow, late tonight (thursday).

Details on my experimental variant:

Technician Class set for April 22

Please help us spread the word on the upcoming Technician licensing course? It is to start April 22 at CARS Rescue Squad Building, and runs through June 10. ( Eight Mondays.) The VE exam is June 15. Candidates need to register with Bill Phillips via email at: billp1048[at]earthlink[dot]net

April 9 Club Meeting Set

The April 9 AARC Club meeting will be held at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, at 7:30 pm. The board will meet at 7 pm.
Alan K9MBQ recently constructed and is using a coax inverted "L" for 160 & 80M. It
is based on a Mar 2012 QST article by Scott - K4VWK - from Farmville who has
agreed to join us for the presentation with Alan. The presentation is attached and can be downloaded.

The April Issue of The Beacon is now available

The April Issue of The Beacon is now available. Look to the left column and find the heading "Beacon."

First Amateur Licensing Test Session Set for March 23

The first Amateur licensing test session has been set for 9 am on March 23 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, Va. Walk-ins accepted for testing for any class license.

2013 Calendar Now Available

The AARC 2013 Club Calendar is now available for viewing or download. Go to the link on the left and click on "Club Calendar."

March 12, Statewide Tornado Drill and CERT Classes Begin

Four things happen on Tue March 12:
9:45AM - Virginia Statewide Tornado Drill. Flyer from Charlottesville CERT.
Virginia EMS
6:30PM - spring CERT basic training class starts
7:00PM - AARC board meeting
7:30PM - AARC monthly meeting

Visit Last Meeting Via Pictures

New pictures have been posted on the Photo Gallery from the February Club Meeting. Check them out.

AARC Facebook Page Created

AARC Now has a presence on Facebook.

The February Issue of The Beacon has been posted

The latest news is now available via The Beacon -- our club newsletter. Check out the February Issue. Look to the left column and click on "Beacon." The new issue is at the top of the list.

Club Annual Meeting Set For January 8

The Annual Meeting of the Albemarle Amateur Radio Club will be held at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA on January 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Annual Reports will be presented by the Officers and Directors and the Nominating Committee for 2013. The club will elect a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, as well as three directors. Those elected will be installed immediately upon their election to lead the club during it's 50th Year. This is an important meeting and one you won't want to miss.

2012 Annual Awards Dinner Set for December 11

The 2012 Annual Awards Dinner will be held at the Elks Club (Across from Towe Park) on December 11 at 6:30 pm. Tickets will be $20 per person. The fare will feature Prime Rib and Crab Cakes. Deadline for reservations is December 7 and they should be made with Vice President Carter Elliott WD4AYS. Send him an email at: celliott14[at]aol[dot]com

AARC Public Service 2012

Now that the 2012 AARC Public Service Event schedule has been completed, it is a good time to summarize our efforts for the year.

In 2012, we worked 10 events, down 2 triathlons from 2011. Services were provided for 2 extreme mountain runs, 2 mountain bike races, 2 road bike races, 2 days of the MS-150 Bike Tour, 1 triathlon, and the Boys and Girls Club Cycling Challenge. A total of 40 different hams were logged in these events, with approximately 21 hours on average for each of these participants. Of course that is just the average, a few worked many of the events, and many worked just a single event, but whatever the level of participation, it was greatly appreciated by me as the AARC Director for Public Service, the event organizers, as well as all the bikers, runners and triathletes who competed or participated in the 10 events.

Monthly Meeting is set for Tuesday, November 13

The November meeting of the AARC will be held on Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30 pm in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville. A Nominating Commitee will be announced to recruit a slate of officers and directors for 2012. The meeting will feature a program on Fox Hunting (Transmitter Hunting) followed by a discussion of the club's interest in staging a club hunt in the future. Fox Hunting can be a fun activity, as well as good training in the use of radio direction finding equipment for tracking down noise, interference, illegal use of the ham bands and search and rescue. The board will meet at 7 pm.

AARC Volunteer Examiners

Harry W2HD, does a great job encouraging and recruiting AARC members to become ARRL Accredited Volunteer Examiners. I recently heard him nudging (well maybe nudging isn't the right description) another to join the ranks. The fact is that the AARC has a great group of VE's who have collectively participated in a large number of VE sessions over the years. I just updated my list of VE's and this time included those listed as active by the ARRL, who have been former members of AARC but have moved on to other locations and other radio clubs.

For the entire list of 33 VE's, 23 of whom are current AARC members, see the attached pdf. Let me join W2HD in encouraging you to become an ARRL Volunteer Examiner and add your name and callsign to the list.

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