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 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.


1 comment:

  1. You know you can get a cleaner RF signal on the antenna you are holding by simply getting some Silver Plating liquid and applying it to the lobes of the antenna. Yes I have done this and it works to a substantial difference. It is known that the RF signal floats on the surface of the wire and not internal.


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