Sunday, March 31, 2013

Great Kickoff Meeting for SEKARC !!

The first meeting of the Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club was a success! Along with several hams from Pittsburg, we also had David KDØFBH from Iola and Larry NØMST from Joplin. David brought us information on the American Legion Amateur Radio Club which I will be posting about next week on this site. It was great information about another way to practice amateur radio. Larry brought a couple of his excellent SSB VHF antennas that he creates.

The coffee was great and we spent too much time talking to really eat much, but the manager came by and welcomed us, passed out coupons and mentioned the 65 cent coffee if you BYOC. I must have heard incorrectly on the 35 cents offer I originally posted but 65 is still a reasonable price! If we grow much larger we will have to expand out of the corner!

There were a total of 11 hams and 2 XYL's for a total of 13 people, not bad for the first meeting on a holiday weekend! We had 2 door prizes and the proud winners of the SEKARC custom coffee mugs, which went to Tom N2UHC and Bill WBØLXZ. We hope to have at least one door prize for every breakfast meeting so make plans to attend every month! Now Bill and Tom will be ready for the BYOC coffee special next month.
If you have ideas for prizes or would like to donate a prize just send us an email with your thoughts! Gag gifts and homebrews are fully acceptable as gifts for this group so let me know if you have ideas!

We discussed the formality of the group vs structured, due paying hassles and formal meeting agenda's. We opted for the casual, informal FREE version of the SEKARC and we will continue the current format at Hardee's and on the last Saturday of each month so make your plans each month. We will be having activities beyond the Saturday morning get together, such as Field Day, foxhunts, Special Event stations ( PSU Homecoming was one possibility for that one ).

The Builders group will continue on the 1st and 3rd Thursday evenings and if you would like more information please email us at sekarc.net@gmail.com and we will put you in contact with the host Joe, WØMQY. Tom N2UHC, one of the builders group brought in one of his projects, a QRP CW transceiver which you can see being held by Justin KDØCUR in the photo above. WBØLXZ also brought in a circuit board and schematics for a QRP 80 meter transmitter that he is considering as a group build project for those interested. It will transmit with a 3.6864MHz crystal, 4 transistors, and a couple dozen little tiny small other parts + one 23-turn toroidal coil that must be wound. The toroid is part of the pi-network used as a low-pass filter. When you next see it, it should all be on one circuit board less than 3 inches square. To use it as a transmitter, you need a 12v source, a key, and a fair 80m antenna.

Larry NØMST, one of the local VHF big dogs, brought in his fantastic bigwheel cloverleaf VHF horizontal SSB antennas, and a smaller square version for mobile applications.
I have one of those on my shopping list this spring and I hope to be able to expand my SSB VHF reach with one of those beauties! Both of these antennas were built to last and work well. I've learned a few things from Larry even before today and one is them is, the higher the frequency the more important GOOD coax is. In fact he recommends nothing less than LMR 400 for VHF/UHF setups. And last I heard, he had made contacts in something like 46 of the lower 48 states on SSB VHF so he is doing something right and of course he will tell you that height is a huge factor in your ability for long distance VHF work of any mode.

Well our first meeting was a huge success and I hope you all remember to keep us on your calendar for the last Saturday of every month but we will be having other activities in between those days so keep tuned in to the website here for new events and information. Thank you to all that were there today, I think I can speak for all of us when I say it was a great time to meet people and develop some friendships and fellowship that goes well beyond the radio waves. Joe WØMQY placed a request for one of the custom shirts like I was wearing from the CafePress/SEKARC shop. Here is a link to the shop and if you would like a custom item created please shoot us an email and I will mock something up for you.
I have a few generic club items posted and I can add any name or call to just about anything. I do not apply a markup so there is no profit for me in this, just want to spread the word on SEKARC and the art of radio!

Also in attendance were my XYL Loren KDØRTX, who is excited about learning and using CW and building kits, Steve WDØDTS and Wayne ACØOG, it's very helpful to have so many experts in electrical in the group. Wayne is an active member in the Builders Group and Steve is an experienced ham, just kind of cranking things up again. We missed some of the regulars on the Wed night nets, but some were traveling for the Easter holiday and the rain may have kept others in. We hope for a bigger and even better turn out next month. And remember, after the April meeting we are going to move to the park and setup some field work and make some contacts, some QRP and some not so QRP!!

 73's and BTU, this is Kilo Delta Zero Sierra Echo Golf.



 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

SEKARC First Meeting, Saturday 9 am

Almost time !! I hope all of you are planning to at least pop in for a quick visit Saturday morning. Breakfast and coffee smells, and radio talk will be in the air that morning.  We will be introducing everyone and discussing our plans for future meetings  and activities. From Field Day to Saturday afternoon park QRP's and possibly even special event stations for local events like Little Balkins Days and PSU Homecoming. We could have guest speakers and visitors and I am looking at getting the SATERN truck to come down and introduce some of you to what SATERN does for those that are not familiar with what they do. The topics for meetings and activities are endless so let's make some plans and hopefully introduce some new faces and potential hams. We are hoping to get an announcement published in the Morning Sun on Saturday as well.

We have door prizes for a couple of lucky winners so maybe it will be you?  If you know of anyone that is interested in becoming an amateur radio operator, please invite them or even bring them along. Friends from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma are also welcome to join us. We will be there roughly from 9 am to around 11, so wonder by anytime.

We will continue this meeting format until the group gets too large or our activities become too involved for the Hardee's location but that will be a good problem to have. Joe WØMQY from the Builders Group will be there to explain that group and hopefully bring some examples for us. If there is anything you want to bring along to show the group or maybe need some help with you are welcome to do so. In fact I have a few questions for veteran hams on the relationship between 2m and 440.

Anyway, please make it a point to stop by and say hello at least. Then mark your calendar now for the April meeting of the SEKARC on April 27th. Please bring your portable stations as we will be all going to the park afterwards to set up and make some contacts in the "field". And of course, no need to bring your gear as you are all welcome to tag along and learn right along with me!

See you Saturday !!

 73's and BTU, this is Kilo Delta Zero Sierra Echo Golf.



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Net Update 3/27/2013

Another good net was held last night on 146.94. We lost a couple of check ins due to holiday travel but we had a nice meeting. Joe WØMQY talked about the OzarkCon event coming up and told us to stay away because he is one of the guest speakers at the event. Ok, he was joking and actually encouraged all to attend! Frank NØIGZ mentioned that he was glad to be able to get out and up and begin some work and planning on his antenna tower work he has on tap!

The first club meeting was discussed as well, as this Saturday March 30th at 9 am. Hopefully all on the net will be able to attend so we can put a face to the radio voice. Be sure and mark your calendar for the weekly net and other events like OzarkCon! Click on the image to the right to go to the OzarkCon web page!

Great turnout again tonight !

KDØSEG - Jeff ( net control )
WBØLXZ - Bill - Pittsburg, KS
WØMQY - Joe - Pittsburg, KS
NØIGZ - Frank - Columbus, KS
N2UHC - Tom - St. Paul, KS
KIØPP - David - Joplin, MO


 73's and BTU, this is Kilo Delta Zero Sierra Echo Golf.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Southwest MO Linked Repeaters !

See below, new information regarding our Southwest Missouri neighbors and their linked repeater system! A special thanks to James Adkins, KB0NHX for this information. I am sure we all frequently travel to and communicate with this area so I thought the group here might find this information useful.

James writes...

Last month, the Granby 145.390 repeater, PL 91.5 Hz, went on-line. As some of you have already found out, it is linked to the 147.015+, PL 162.2 Hz in Springfield 100% of the time via RF. These repeaters are two integral parts of the Southwest Missouri Linked Repeater System (SMLRS-MAP posted below).

The system is open for any amateur to use, and also includes the 442.150+ repeater, PL 162.2 Hz in Crane and we will soon be adding the 145.450- repeater, PL 91.5 Hz in Nevada in a couple of weeks. ALL repeaters are in hardened shelters and have UPS and Generator emergency backup power which can run the sites for greater than 2 weeks without re-fueling.

After the tornado struck Joplin, and there was no reliable means of communications with Springfield, several groups of amateurs teamed up to pool resources and knowledge to place the system on the air. The Nixa Amateur Radio Club along with the Southwest Amateur Radio Group in Neosho, the Mulebarn amateur radio club, and agencies such as Greene County EMA and Vernon County EMA, and the City of Crane all helped make this system a reality. Having so many groups and organizations involved for a common goal has strengthened ties among the groups and helped build a robust system that could not have been built by any one person or group.

Events such as the MS-150 and the Tour de Bass bicycle rides are already slated to use the system in 2013, and some ARES groups are already discussing the use of the system for severe weather spotting throughout Region D in Southwest Missouri.

If you want to access on-line training documents, view computer generated coverage plots of mobile radio coverage, see pictures of the repeaters, learn all the technical details, or anything else about the SMLRS system visit the website www.smlrs.info.

Please feel free to pass along this e-mail and all the information included to other amateurs and groups in the area that would benefit or enjoy using the system.

73,
--
James Adkins, KB0NHX



Saturday, March 23, 2013

First Meeting of SEKARC !!

Less than a week away now. The first official meeting of the Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club is next Saturday March 30th at 9am. Please join us for a kick off meeting, enjoy some coffee, some breakfast and good company. We will be discussing plans for future meetings and activity and there will also be DOOR PRIZES !! KDØRTX and I am donating 2 prizes, so be sure and be there!

Depending on weather, we may even go over to the park after the meeting for some qrp field work contacts. Bring your field rigs with you if you can and we will give it a shot! Also remember that if you bring your own coffee cup, you can get coffee for only .35 cents! Everyone is welcome, licensed ham or not so tell your friends if you think they might be interested! I have sent a press release to the Morning Sun, but no reply at this point so we'll see if they help us get the word out!

Also if you have ideas or suggestion for this website please be sure and let me know. If anyone of you would like to be contributors just send me your information and ideas and we will give it a go!
We have in the works, information on the Builders Group page so stay tuned to the site for that new information. I have attended the last 2 Builders Group nights and have learned a lot about soldering, radios and electronics as the guys there are very knowledgeable, very patient and great to be around!

Keep checking this page for updates and information and like always......  73's and BTU, this is Kilo Delta Zero Sierra Echo Golf.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wed Night SEKARC Net !! *updated*

*Updated with check in list below !!

It's that time of the week again. Everyone is welcome to check in to the SEKARC Wednesday night net on the Pittsburg repeater,  frequency 146.94. All check ins are welcome and encouraged. We will be discussing the kick off meeting for the club on March 30, 9am at Hardee's of Pittsburg. So please join us every week !

Even if you can't stay, just pop in to give us your call so we know you are out there. We would love to keep growing the net so all hams, both long timers and newbies will have a place to meet like minded people and we hope to provide a learning experience for all.

One new item, we will talk about plans to have a "Park Day" after the meeting in April. After the breakfast meeting, those that are able will head to the park, set up some remote operations and make some contacts!! It will be good practice for field day and maybe we can make that a regular activity for the club. Plus is will give a chance for those interested in becoming a ham to come out and see what it's all about!

We hope to talk with you tonight, so 73's for now !

Great  turnout tonight !

KDØSEG - Jeff ( net control )
WBØLXZ - Bill - Pittsburg, KS
KDØSSD - Leon - Pittsburg, KS
WØMQY - Joe - Pittsburg, KS
WDØDTS - Steve - Pittsburg, KS
NØIGZ - Frank - Columbus, KS
N2UHC - Tom - St. Paul, KS
NØMST - Larry - Joplin, MO
KIØPP - David - Joplin, MO
KDØFRL - Casey - Seneca, MO


          


Monday, March 18, 2013

The World of Amateur Radio in 16mm

It is amazing how little the basics have changed. Other than technology improvements the basic Ham radio operation basics remain the same. Activities like field day, disaster services, community service and event communications are just a few of the activities still being performed. This is an interesting old 16mm film produced by professionals like Dick Van Dyke and is well worth a watch!

If you noticed the call sign for the host, he is still active as you can see on his W6AQ QRZ page ! Watch this and enjoy the look back, and think about how some things do not change at all. I just noticed the Associate Producer was Bill Pasternak WA6ITF, a name familiar to a lot of Hams! And I might add, if you can visit the link above at QRZ for W6AQ, there is a lot of history on his page. Including info on what famous person had call sign KB2GSD?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What Are Software Defined Radios?

I thought this topic may be of interest to many of you and certainly one that we will discuss on the 30th. What are software defined radios also referred to as SDR? Here is a link and a clip from the article. I am learning still and I am sure this does not cover the topic nearly as well as it should, but perhaps it might spark some interest?


Photo and Link from http://casimiro.hubpages.com/

Software-Defined Radio, henceforth abbreviated SDR, is a fairly new development for radio receivers that started in the late 1980s. Its greatest strengths are flexibility and design simplification as compared to conventional ham radio receivers. SDR utilizes Digital Signal Processing (DSP) techniques to achieve signal clarity, which is difficult and expensive to do with conventional receivers. 

SDRs receive the frequencies of an entire radio band segment at one time. Non-SDR receivers have tuned circuits that can only "look" at narrow slices of frequencies at a time, typically 2.8 KHz or less, but sometimes up to 8 KHz for AM reception. Compare that to software-defined receivers that are capable of taking in the entire high-frequency band from 1 MHz through 30 MHz. Because the signal is digital and has such a wide bandwidth, it allows the whole band to be displayed graphically, in real-time, on a computer monitor. This representation looks very much like what we saw using the Digipan software in the previous article. That is, a waterfall of signals, except in that case we were looking at only a narrow slice of a radio band provided by a conventional receiver set to its widest receiving bandwidth (or passband).

Here is a screenshot from the high dollar Flex Radio, these are amazing !

 

 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Net Notes 3/13/2013

Tonight's Net was a good one. Net control announced the forming of this club and it's website followed by the update on the first meeting. The first meeting of this club will be on March 30th, 9a.m. at Hardee's in Pittsburg.

Frank, NØIGZ was the first to check in after being the last one last week, good to have you Frank! Leon KDØSSD was next and he mentioned he was working on installing a 160 meter loop antenna and making plans on how to arrange it on his property. Next up was WØMQY, Joe gave some information about the "Builders Group" he was involved in and invited everyone to join in the fun of smelling solder smoke and burning your fingers! I think once we all learn a little more, we should have a Builders Group tab on this web page and maybe have one of their long time members do some posting on small projects!

Next to check in was my wife Loren, KDØRTX thanked Joe for his help with her CW key wiring and thanked him for inviting us. We both had a great time and it was nice to get to meet Bill and Tom in that group as well. The last check in was Steve, WDØDTS and he had some signal issues and we could not make out part of his check in but his friend Leon said they were hoping to work on some external antenna improvements at Steve's QTH as the HT was not quite hitting the repeater.

While the turnout was smaller, I feel a nice group is beginning to develop and I look forward to that development over the next several years. I might also mention that Frank also provided some info on a local QSO party of sorts on SSB mostly, on 432.10 MHz also at this time. And it was obvious to this new ham that many of us could learn a lot about VHF/UHF SSB and the horizontally polarized antennas! Hopefully on the 30th we discuss just that very thing.

Thanks to everyone that participated and please pass the word about the Net and about the new Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club!


73's and BTU.... this is Kilo Delta Zero Sierra Echo Golf.


CALL SIGN NAME LOCATION
N0IGZ Frank Columbus KS
KD0SSD Leon Pittsburg KS
W0MQY Joe Pittsburg KS
KD0RTX Loren Pittsburg KS
KD0SEG Jeff Pittsburg KS
WD0DTS Steve Pittsburg KS

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First SEKARC Meeting Confirmed !!

Plans have been finalized for a kick off meeting of the Southeast Kansas Amateur Radio Club. We will have our first group meeting/breakfast at Hardee's in Pittsburg on March 30 at 9 a.m. Initially these will be scheduled on the last Saturday of each month but we can discuss and reach an agreement on what is going forward at that time. This will be open to everyone, licensed operators and those interested in becoming one. Bring a friend and forward this link on to everyone who might be interested!


 
We will discuss ideas for activities, build a contact list, meet everyone face to face and hopefully we should all learn something! Hardees has offered to provide coupons for food AND they also said that if you BYOC/bring your own cup, then coffee is just .35 cents !! Can't beat that now can we?

You may also submit your name and email address on the sign up form link above so we can keep you updated and informed of any changes or news that may develop. It is also on the Calendar tab above, there you will see area amateur radio nets, meetings and other events in the area.

Hardee's Info



View Larger Map


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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Green Country Hamfest

This is KDØSEG, Jeff here. Today my wife Loren KDØRTX and I, made the journey to the Green Country Hamfest in Claremore, OK. The trip was very good, not too long of a drive and I got to pick out my birthday present, a Yaesu MD-100 desk mic that I have had my eye on for a while. On the trip down, I even was able to check in to the daily SATERN net on 14.265 at 9am. For more information on SATERN and if you'd like to join, visit there site HERE. The net control was impressed with my signal since I was mobile. Gotta love my FT-857D / ATAS antenna package.

It was easy to find thanks to Garmin ! Nice sized building and at 9am they had a good crowd as you would expect. Pretty much elbow to elbow through all of the rows. Some nice vendors and a lot of flea market type tables so pretty much like the normal hamfest. My favorite vendor Associated Radio was hopping with Dan behind the tables doing a great job. We purchased my mic, an antenna switcher and some power poles for my Camper Shack project this spring.

We left for lunch and sat at Sonic and listened to the hamfests Special Event Station make a few contacts on 20 meters. We went back until about 2 pm to make sure we didn't miss our prizes, but we were safe and won nothing. I don't think we won any of the grand prizes ( and they had some nice prizes ). The drive back was nice and our dog Nellie sure was happy to see us. I put the radio back into the shack, fired it up with the new mic and made a couple of HF contacts one was AD5WB ITOA #43 North America ( Galveston Island ). Then I switched over to PSK and contacted CT4RC in Portugal for my 15th DX country!!

So overall it was a good day, good travels, great company and good times. I highly recommend this hamfest for all of us next year. Maybe even plan some carpool/caravans! I hope you all had a fine Saturday in Southeast Kansas.

73's and BTU.... this is Kilo Delta Zero Sierra Echo Golf.




Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Net Notes 03/06/2013

Our second weekly Net was again a success! We gained a check in from the kick off week for a total of 8 check ins. We ran down our  basic rig set ups and ham radio experience and there was a good exchange. It was mentioned that we should be able to confirm our first face to face meeting time/date/location by the end of the week. Most likely it will be a Thursday evening in April.

One topic was the Claremore OK Hamfest this weekend and several of us mentioned that we are planning to attend. (See the link under HAMFEST tab above) I hope to see you all there, and once we have a meeting it will be easier to recognize you all! If you checked in, please pass the info on to a friend and please check in each week. 



CALL NAME LOCATION
WB0LXZ Bill Pittsburg KS
WD0DTS Steve Pittsburg KS
KD0SSD Leon Pittsburg KS
W0MQY Joe Pittsburg KS
KD0FRL Casey Seneca MO
KD0RTX Loren Pittsburg KS
KD0SEG Jeff Pittsburg KS
N0IGZ Frank Columbus KS

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Sign Up Form !!

SEKARC Calling CQ CQ CQ !!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Today I have added to the website a Sign Up form so you can request updates and stay informed when we send group emails out for news and events. Please sign up if you have not already. The form is on the links toolbar above.

You do not need to be a licensed operator, only the interest in possibly becoming one. If you ever would like to be removed from the list, please use the comment section to inform us so we can update the list.

Look forward to information coming later this week on our first  official meeting in April! We are hunting a location and looking to confirm the date by Friday of this week.

Thank you for your interest !
73's !

And for your convenience, I have included it below as well !

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Welcome to SEKARC

Welcome everyone to the new SEKARC.NET !

My hope is that this develops into a good resource for club members and others as well. Here we will list activities, local reference info like local repeater info, License testing dates and all club activities as well as informative articles that would be helpful to us all!

If you are interested in being a contributor and/or if you have ideas for what you would like to see here please let me know.

If you are or were a member of the Pittsburg Repeater Organization, we'd love to hear from you and welcome you to the discussion!! Please contact me through my email jwchancey@gmail.com.

Thanks and lets build something great !

Friday, March 1, 2013