Last year I operated as K6JSS during the Indiana QSO Party. K6JSS is the club call sign for the QRP Amateur Radio Club International. Many ARCI members used the club call during their respective state QSO parties to hand out contacts with the club station for the 2012 Worked All States contest. Much to my surprise, on Saturday, April 13th, I received a certificate in the mail from the Hooosier DX and Contest Club. My meager efforts were enough to come in First Place QRP Operator for Johnson County Indiana. QRP ARCI sponsored the 1st Place plaque for the Best QRP effort of a non-Indiana station. The Non-Indiana QRP award went to N4JF, Jerry Fiore Sr. of Birmingham Alabama, and the top Indiana QRP effort was posted by W9ILF, Ivin Flint of Eminence Indiana.
Congratulations to both QRP operators for their efforts, and I hope to see you on the air again this year in the Indiana QSO Party.
We bought a Roku 3 video streaming device this week, it arrived yesterday and I got it installed in about 15 minutes. The Roku 3 works with any HD TV set that has HDMI inputs. We run a 42 inch Vizio and it works great. The Roku uses your home WiFi to stream video from the internet to your TV set. The feeds are setup like channels and you can pick and select your favorites. My new favorite thing to watch on TV now is the AmateurLogic TV show. They create a new episode on or about the 15th of every month, and it runs for about an hour.
But wait…there is more. The Roku 3 will stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Blockbuster, and hundreds of other premium channels in beautiful high definition 1080p to your HDTV set. Also, this new model comes with an Angry Birds in Space game and uses the included controller like a Wii style gaming controller. Loads of fun!
There are over 700 streaming channels on the internet that your Roku device can stream to your TV set, old cowboy films, outdoor cooking programs, tons and tons of movies and old TV shows, fishing, hunting, and all kinds of stuff.
I use DSL for internet access in my house, and it is a whopping 10 megabits down, slower than 60% of the internet in he US but it does GREAT with this Roku device. The Model 3 has a dual core processor, and more memory, so it is very speedy. Anyway, I thought I’d mention this device because it is great to watch the AmateurLogic TV show in 1080p on my HDTV set.
Tuna Tin Rig (May 01)
I’ve been a member of the ARRL since about 1988. I think I lapsed out for about five or six years in there somewhere due to my involvement with Scouting, raising my kids, and getting side tracked from all hobbies due to life needing to be lived. In that time I had collected hundreds of issues of QST magazine, and being a good ham, I simply hoarded them in the back bedroom, contained in nice heavy duty magazine holders. Recently I had been given orders to get rid of them by SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed), and I am still working on that.
Some time ago, the ARRL began making QST available on their website, and after looking at it a few times I was certain that I would never trade in my printed copy for this electronic version. Well, things change. I think I am about to end the delivery of my printed QST and just started reading it online. As an ARRL member I have wonderful access to past issues, and can even print articles I need to have for library reading, and marking up. So I suggest if you have not investigated it, give the online digital QST a try. One thing I really like about it, is the ability to blow it up on the screen. This allows me to read it at my computer without having to find my glasses. Very nice!
73 de KB9BVN
Well I have come to the conclusion that my eyesight is not good enough to build a project like the Ten Tec 1340 QRP rig. Which is unfortunate. I find that even with a magnifying glass I can work for about an hour before my eyes get too tired to see much in that size. I have been diabetic for a little more than a decade and it’s apparently taking a toll. So, my great friend and Flying Pig brother, Dan N8IE, has volunteered to finish my build of the little rig and I look forward to getting it back one day and putting it on the air. In the meantime I have sold off my Elecraft K1 4 bander and will settle in with my remaining collection for the winter. I have a K2, a Norcal 40A, and a YouKits 3 bander portable rig to play with on the attic dipole…although, I am looking seriously at a LDG S9 vertical for 10m-40m to install outside. Any opinions on that? 73 de KB9BVN
Bear Cub Alex works a station in New York from WD9BSA
Radio station WD9BSA had a Grand Opening on October 20th, coinciding with the 55th Annual Jamboree on the Air. The station is now operational from Camp Belzer in Indianapolis and we had several dozen scouts and scouters drop in to work the stations on the air. We were also visited by ARRL Section Manager Lou Everrett WA5LOU during the event as well as local hams stopping by to lend a hand and share some stories with the boys. The station currently has three HF rigs, a 900 Mhz rig, and gear on 2m and 70cm. Antennas include a DXCC fan dipole, G5RV up in the trees, and several commercial and homebrew antennas for UHF/VHF operations. We hope to work you on the air someday, stay tuned for a newly updated operating schedule soon. It is our intent to also offer classrooms for license study and the Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge. We are in the process of forming a Laurel VEC team to administer free exams to the scouts and scouters that are ready to become licensed Amateur Radio Operators. Best 73 de KB9BVN
I’m happy to report that Randy KA7BSA and I will be attending the Tuesday night meeting of Boy Scout Troop 615 in the town of Whiteland Indiana. We will be showing them mobile and portable radio setups, including HF, VHF, and UHF. I am going to take my K1 and PAC 12 antenna to demonstrate how fast and easy a guy can start having QSOs on a camping trip. Randy is going to show them all about the FT 817 and mobile HF phone work. While we are there we will also be discussing Jamboree On The Air and the newly installed amateur radio station at Camp Belzer in Indianapolis. WD9BSA goes on the air October 20th for JOTA and its Grand Opening.
Also helping with our amateur radio demonstration will be the hams from the Midstate Amateur Radio Club out of Franklin Indiana. MARC has done a great job training our local new hams by offering free Technician classes several times during the year, they’ve been able to get more than 20 newly licensed amateurs on the air this year! We will be using the 2m repeater on 146.835 that night and club members will be standing by to talk with the boys, on the air.
73 de KB9BVN
The 2012 Jamboree on the Air is just around the corner. October 20-21 will be the weekend this year. Typically you can find JOTA on the third weekend of October every year.
This year I have been involved with a local group of hams to get a full time permanent amateur radio station installed at Camp Belzer here in the Hoosier Heartland. Camp Belzer is one of the ten oldest Boy Scout camps in the US. The local Boy Scout Council has decided this is a good idea and we now have space for the station in the brand new activity building. WD9BSA will have a Grand Opening on October 20th during JOTA.
It was the winter of 1910-11 that F.O. Belzer and C.C. Osborne met with a group of Irvington boys to organize Scout Troop 9, sponsored by the Irvington United Methodist Church. Under his leadership it became one of the leading troops in the city of Indianapolis.
He was president of a Scoutmaster association and helped to organize early Scout camps at Flat Rock, Mt. Nebo and Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indiana. It was near the latter that Camp Chank-tun-un-gi was formed in 1918. (Later renamed Camp Belzer in his honor.)
In 1914 efforts to form a Central Indiana Boy Scout Council had been successful and the first charter was granted in June 1915. F.O. “Chief” Belzer applied for a temporary leave of from the Indianapolis Schools in 1915 to take over the job of Scout Executive. Mr. Bezler was appointed first Scout Executive and continued in that capacity until September 1940, when he retired from active Scout work.
He still maintained a keen interest in the Scout program and on numerous occasions had taken part in activities at Camp Chank-Tun-Un-Gi, his favorite camping site.
This is a wonderful hobby, I know that, and you know that, but let me tell you about something that happened this week. It all started about 12 years ago, at Dayton of all places. I was there for my very first Four Days in May QRP event and that was when I met Mike Malone KD5KXF. We were both a lot younger and just kind of bumped into each other at the old stinky Ramada Inn where FDIM was being held in 2000. I met a ton of QRPers while I was there and just had the time of my life. Anyway Mike and I became friends that week and over the years we’ve had casual QSO’s and deep conversations in email, traded parts and pieces, and just kind of crossed paths every now and then without ever really trying to do so. Well this week Mike sent me a surprise in the mail, it was his old HB-1A portable QRP rig. I had been looking at these on various web pages, and just never got the nerve to buy one outright. I was curious, no doubt about it. Having owned a couple of KX-1′s and a PFR-3 over the years, I was kind of curious as to how this little rig from China would compare. A bunch of reviews have been written about it, and it seems like hams either love it, or like it, or like it and say they hate it…heheheh…I have to admit it, I was very skeptical about how good this rig could possibly be.
Mike sent it to me without a manual, but within about 15 minutes I had everything figured out except for how to adjust the keyer speed. I connected it to a 12vdc SLA battery, and my attic dipole and we were off to the races. 40m was sounding pretty good so I tuned up to 7118 and tossed out a single CQ and was answered by KN2CZZ up in Syracuse NY. I was making about 2 watts of output with this configuration and I got a 579 on the signal report.
It was a very easy to use radio, the only thing I don’t like is that it does not have any place for a internal antenna tuner, no TUNE mode for the output, and you can’t really vary the power out by any means other than changing the input voltage. This is going to end up in my tent, my car, and my backyard.
I am heading out of town for a few days, and will resume building my TT1340 when I return, in the meantime, here’s to the end of summer and the coming fall weather. Get on the air, the bands sound pretty good, they could be a whole lot worse.
Thanks and 73 to Mike KD5KXF
The VFO is the heart of any transceiver, it allows to you to change frequency and not be bound to just a single frequency or two as we see in “rock” bound rigs. With the use of a varactor, we can modify the frequency a few kilohertz by varying the voltage on the varactor, which is more fun than a single frequency rock based rig. For real fun though, we incorporate the VFO, variable frequency oscillator, allowing the user to tune a wider hunk of bandwidth, say 70-100 kilohertz or more.
Hams have been working on the perfect VFO since the beginning of radio. A perfect VFO never changes frequency unless you want it to. That means vibration, temperature, power supply fluctuations,. or nothing else will disturb the VFO frequency. The perfect VFO is not readily available to most of us. The perfect VFO, if it does indeed exist, would indeed be a wonderful thing, and I would imagine it would be worth its weight in gold. Hans Summers G0UPL has written a lot of articles on VFO construction, and you can read them on his most excellent website.
The TT1340 doesn’t have a perfect VFO, but it does have a pretty good one, and it will meet or exceed my hopes and dreams for this little rig once I get it finished. Tonight I got some time to build again, and I worked my way through most of the VFO Phase, referred to as Phase Two in the Ten Tec manual.
So this evening, I installed all the resistors, all the transistors, a couple of the caps and the diodes that are part of the VFO. Where I stopped after about 90 minutes was at the spot where I am to add the rest of the caps, and wind the first toroid. Once that is done I can then test the VFO and verify the frequency range. I am shooting for 80 Khz, but a little more or a little less won’t hurt. I stopped here because of a couple reasons, my eyes are not what they used to be, and I think I want to look at the VFO caps and MAYBE replace a few of the ceramics with NPO or Mica caps as suggested by N5ESE on his website. (see the list of operator webs on the right hand side of this page). Besides, the Colts are just now kicking off and I need to watch that. Tomorrow night I plan on finishing up the VFO and running the tests. Stay tuned!
73 de KB9BVN
Well for those of you that are still following along, I have been ultra busy at work, and helping with the W9I Ernie Pyle Special Event station operations, and I just have not had time to get to my bench and work on the TT1340. Plus my son N9AWM and his wife just had a baby girl and she is the cutest thing ever, and my seventh perfect little grandchild.
So I have been distracted. I have to work with the Boy Scouts this weekend so I won’t get any time to solder until maybe next week sometime. Stay tuned if you can!
73 de KB9BVN