Thursday, December 29, 2016

Busy Holiday for SEKARC

The Coffee QSO at Root Coffeehouse is going great! Nice place to meet with great Signet coffee and treats. We have had two so far and this week we had special visitors to the group. The new Crawford County Emergency Management Director and the outgoing Eldon Bedene met with us to get to know us and discuss possible projects and assistance that SEKARC can provide going forward.

Then last night at Barto's we had our first annual Christmas dinner. We had at least 26 people in attendance and it was a really nice evening. I've got to say what a great group you are to work with and know. The food and friendship was really fun and I think we all look forward to the next holiday dinner and I also think that 2017 will be a very good year for the SEKARC!

Photos below and we were treated to a tune...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Coffee QSO New Location - Root Coffeehouse

As of December 21st 2016, the SEKARC  will be moving it's Wednesday Coffee QSO to Root Coffeehouse! Spellbound had to close up shop so we found a new local joint to host us! We meet every Wednesday at 9am so if you have not made it to one, we would love to see you!

They have a large number of coffee options and also a great breakfast treat selection! Here is a message from their Facebook page. "Root. ro͞ot/noun - Definition: the part of a plant that attaches to the ground or to a support, conveying nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers.

Root Coffeehouse was born from our roots. It’s a homestead for our family company connecting us to our ground, our support: the southeast Kansas community. A coffee shop has been a dream of ours for years and it's finally taken root. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Amateur Logic Christmas Special

It's time for the Amateur Logic Christmas special. These guys are pretty funny and run a pretty good show. If you have never seen an episode, they cover a lot of ham radio topics and mix in a lot of humor.

Merry Christmas 2016

Sunday, December 4, 2016

SEKARC Holiday Dinner RSVP


SEKARC will be having it's first annual Holiday Dinner. It will be held at Barto's Idle Hour Wednesday December 28th 2016 at 6 PM.. The radio nets will not be held that evening. Everyone is invited and XYL's and anyone you would like to bring are also welcome to come!

It will be a buy your own meal and drinks (best chicken in town some say) but you do not have to eat or stay long but we would love to see you! Please RSVP on the form below and let us know if you are coming to the dinner and how many including you, will be attending !! They have a nice big room in the back but we do need a count!

We will also be having a secret Santa gift exchange so feel free to bring a small gift and you will be in the running to receive one via ticket drawing!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Stuff You Should Know Podcast

This is an interesting podcasts about Ham Radio by some non hams. Mostly correct but still fun to listen to. Click play on the link below ot the image above. I am fairly new to the hobby so I did learn something.

Run some PSK or JT and listen while you ham it up !!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Introduction To Magnetic Core Memory


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Saturday - Breakfast and Museum

The October meeting for SEKARC will be this Saturday October 29th. We will first meet at 9am for breakfast at Hardee's. We will enjoy some breakfast, coffee and conversation!

Then at 10am we will head over to the Crawford County Historical Museum, just North of 20th and the US69 bypass.

They have lots of space and lots of trees for holding up antennas! Everyone is welcome to stop by and setup your radio gear!

Also, why you are there be sure and tour the museum and see the great historical items they have. There is a lot of history in that building!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mosquito Food

By SEKARC Contributor David Keith NØWKZ

Recently while conducting the fine business of a special event CW radio station, the realities of fishing came crashing back into my existence from memories long hidden file. Fishing? Yes!

During this event, a number of the other operators involved communicated back and forth for a time using a group email address. This was sort of neat as it raised my own awareness of the other operators and their struggles and successes. One of them related a tale of woe that I know only all too well; the woes of apartment dwelling operators. By my own estimation, my Morse Code/CW career is only about three years long. In that time, I have fought tooth and nail against the ear splitting forces of electromagnetic despair that apartment dwelling operators have to endure. A plasma one floor below is turned on and suddenly a guy across the pond disappears from my headset. Water heaters, washing machines, throngs of unshielded wall warts dancing on the edge of hash, and even AC units from the building next door. Chargers, flat screens, power supplies; the list of sources is endless. All of it; a symphony of spectrum wash dancing wildly across the S Meter. To be sure, many of my operations are with my friend and Elmer W0IIT just a few doors down, and sending from the pages of a random book through my code practice oscillator into a recorder, and copy practice from the WebSDR or W1AW. Countless days have passed where my main operating has been with myself. I have often sat dreaming with envy of those ops with towers and clear viewed signal paths before them. I myself have to get out.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Museum Field Day - SEKARC and CCHM

The SEKARC held it's September meeting in the field on the grounds of the Crawford County Historical Museum. It was a great success! There were many places to setup our gear and the host was very interested and helpful! Thanks again to the Museum for welcoming us and from the great day we had there, no doubt that we will be back again!

Jack WDØCFH made a contact on QRP CW. Conditions on the bands were not too great and there was an RTTY contest going on that covered up most of the popular low power digital frequencies. You would think they would stay away from known operating mode frequencies. But it was still fun, Jeff KAØEGE was running WSPR and is logged as hearing several stations from all over the United States, Canada, Germany and England and his transmission was even heard by a station in Iceland.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Crawford County Historical Museum - Amateur Radio Day

Here are the plans for the September SEKARC meeting on Saturday the 24th of September. We will first meet at Hardee's on South Broadway in Pittsburg for breakfast at 9am. Grab a coffee to go because we will then head over to the Crawford County Historical Museum to set up our field radios! (SEE MAP BELOW)

Joe met with officials the at the museum and they loved the idea and ask that since they open at 10am on Saturday they would like us to arrive about that time. This makes it easier as we do not have to drag food and drinks around! So if you cannot make it for breakfast then plan on coming by the museum about 10am or later!

How long we stay kind of depends on the weather and the visitors. They are calling for a chance of rain later in the day on Saturday and of course that WILL change. According to Joe WØMQY, the officials at the museum were very excited about our visit and plan to do several media hits including the paper, the museum facebook page and possibly tv news! Also I highly suggest while you are there, going inside and seeing what they have there. There are some great historical pieces, places, faces and more. A great collection of local history. Be sure to go in and SIGN THE GUESTBOOK !! If you have any questions or suggestions please let us know, either through the group email system or comment here directly!

Some operating info...
 * they ask that we set up at or after 10am
 * there is SOME AC power on the grounds, but going all battery might be preferable
 * there are lots of trees for temporary antenna use
 * lets be sure and leave it like we found it
 * any change of plans will be sent via SEKARC email group

 If you are not familiar with this location, I have included a link below with directions and a map!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Frequency..... new series on the CW Network

Yes funny fact that it is on the "CW" Network. If you have seen the original movie this is similar to that. The trailer looks pretty good, check it out! Sure it's not possible....... or is it ?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 24th Meeting Plans

September 24th the SEKARC will be getting together for it's September monthly meeting. We do not have a program or presentation planned so we are leaning towards going to a park and set up some radio gear and get on the air!! I am looking for some input as far as the location. We usually go to Lincoln Park and setup close to Kiddieland but maybe we switch things up and try a new place? Please email the group or comment here on your ideas on location!

Might be a good time also to show off and get feedback on your mobile radio installs! We usually don't have anything structured at these but it is a way for some to see new operating modes, portable and remote antenna ideas and battery power setups!

I will start an email thread where we can discuss things like location and refreshments if anyone is interested in bringing some donuts? I can make the usual breakfast casserole for the groups as well. Right now the weather is calling for 80 and sunny..... but yeah we all know how accurate those 10 day forecasts can be. We will have a rain out back up announced next week if we need it.

Monday, August 29, 2016

JARC Hamfest 2016 was GREAT !

Once again the Joplin Amateur Radio Club pulled off a great hamfest. Sure there were some facility issies but overall it was another great hamfest! Our SEKARC table was right across the isle from Bob Heil K9EID so we had lot's of people in the area!

Here are some photos I took. If you took some and want me to add to the post then send them to me and I will post them here!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

2016 JARC Hamfest Saturday !!

We hope to see you all there on Saturday! This is always a great event, with lot's interesting vendors and local hams buying, selling and having fun!

Here is a link to the post from last years JARC Hamfest !

And here is a link to the flyer for the event JARC Hamfest Flyer !

Monday, August 8, 2016

Great Breakfast Meeting

If you missed it, we had a great time. Good Coffee, good food and good friends. Look for plans coming up on the September meeting. Perhaps it will be cool enough to go to the park after the meeting? If anyone has ideas for a presentation, topic or special guests please send them our way!

The next meeting will be taken up by the Joplin ARC HamFest!! But we still have our weekly coffee at Spellbound on Wednesdays at 9am!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July Breakfast Meeting

SEKARC will be like old times this month, Our meeting Saturday July 30th will be 9am at Hardee's for breakfast! We will have lot's of radio talk (and some other topics mixed in) so bring something to talk about or your latest purchase or project!

We will also be discussing plans for the upcoming Joplin ARC Hamfest in August and potential plans for the fall. If you have never made it to a meeting but would like to meet the group, learn how to get your license we would love to meet you.

Great breakfast, great coffee and good times with fellow hams and soon to be hams! Too hot for the park, too busy for a formal meeting presentation so come on by and stay for 5 minutes or 2 hours!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


The purpose of the net is practice for CW operators and to make us proficient if we ever have to use net controlled traffic. It is a SLOW SPEED net and is designed for the new CW operator and those of us who need the practice or are just learning.

Please try and keep your speed below 8 wpm.  Our operating frequency will be between 7.057 and 7.058 MHz .  I will try to use 7.057.5 but if it is busy QSY up or down between the above.  Let's have a good time and use the equipment that works for you.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Field Day 2016 Photos

Here are some photos from the 2016 Field Day at Big Brutus... you can click on the first one and start a slide show with larger images!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Field Day Balloon Antenna

Be sure to watch the video below.....

Balloon Antenna Success
by Tyler Costantini KBØPQP

The balloon antenna worked very good what was surprising was the broad tuning range. The antenna was a 1/4 wave at 160m but we never measured the length we just used the antenna analyzer. It was first fed with a random wire tuner at the base that didn't provide a very good match. Next we just used a BNC to banana adaptor and put the wire right in the end of the 50ohm coax which lead to my MFJ 989c tuner that setup worked great. We could tune 160-20 no problem any part of the band and it seemed to radiate well. We put a 2mH choke between the radial and ground to act as a DC ground to remove static. I couldn't notice any change in the behavior of the antenna with the choke in place so I guess my math worked. It's 50+ turns in a FT-240 type 43 toroid.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Amateur Radio Field Day 2016

It is that time of the year again.... time to make your plans for Field Day 2016. The dates are June 25th and 26th. The last 3 years have been great from lots of heat and coyotes, to great thunderstorm watching and of course LOTS of radio contacts!

I will be operating a FT-817 using PSK and JT modes on 10 through 40 meters and I know of a few others are planning to setup and we will be finalizing our plans over the next few weeks as the event will be here quick!

We will have lots of gear setup and please bring your own and get on the air all weekend of even a few hours! I requested our camping site reservation today. We will be out there setting up early on Saturday June 25. We will have a big screen room for shade and bug relief and lot's of room for other operators.

One thing I would like to see us do better is when someone comes out to setup for a few hours, let's work together to give them time on the bands and frequencies they want to operate on while the full timers stand by. I think we can work together to give everyone a chance to make some contacts and have fun as well!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

No Space for a 160m Antenna? Possible Solution!


A couple of weeks ago, I started looking for 160 meter antennas.  I have a 50 x 150 lot, and there is only one tree.  It's difficult to get a decent HF antenna in the air.  I have an end-fed inverted V, for some bands, but 160 and 80 were out of the question.  I finally settled on a Helically Wound Vertical design wound on three pieces of PVC electrical conduit telescoped into a 24.5ft vertical.  It seemed a little more rigid  than ordinary PVC pipe.

I wound  249.5 ft of 14ga stranded THHN electrical wire with both .5" and .75" pitch turns on the three pipes to spread out the windings on the entire mast, following the directions on the Internet.  The pipes were wound separately, inside the house, using hot-melt glue to secure the windings, and wire-nutted together when assembled outside.  I used a wood post with a hinge at the bottom, so that it could be easily walked up and have support at the bottom, and the 6ft point.  It DID need guyed with polyester rope, as it leaned WAY too much with the 30mph wind today.

The top hat worked per the plans.   As-is, the resonant frequency was above the 160m band, according to the antenna analyzer.  I used a loading coil that I saw in a different set of plans, 12 close-wound turns of 12ga wire on a piece of 4" PVC.   3 taps on the loading coil cover most of 160.  Nothing but  the lower portion of 160 on tap 12.  I had already looked to see if other bands might tune on that tap.  With a thunderstorm approaching, I didn't sit outside and scan other bands to see if the 10 and 8 turn taps might give me another band.

The antenna was tested before the band went bad with constant lightning crashes in the early afternoon .  I had a nice QSO with n0igz with a report of a good signal on 1960kHz.  Evening tests seemed to have similar reception as several other local hams were getting.  In the data below, from the antenna analyzer, these are the SWR's showed for various frequencies on the listed taps.  The lowest SWR is the resonant frequency for each tap of the loading coil.  The auto tuner in my Yaesu 991 seemed to tune OK  at  any frequency with an SWR less than 3, as expected.  The reported SWR with the auto-tuner was 1.3 on 1960kHz

Tap 12
1828   3.01
1860   2.15
1888   3.0

Tap 10
1870   3.06
1904   2.18
1932   2.91

Tap 8
1908   3.05
1952   1.78
1996   2.93
2000   3.19