AMATEUR RADIO FIELD DAY – GET OUT AND OPERATE: Field Day Is Just Around The Corner – Plan Now …http://t.co/crdHOFKEno
Ham radio: the original social network
Andy Stewart and his friends could be considered revolutionary. “The jokes that I hear are that ham radio was the original social network,” he said.
Purdue’s ham radio club turns 100.
During open house, members can spend their time however they want. Most of the time, members learn more about ham radio, make new contacts from around the world and fix radios. One time, a few members even made a credit card scanner just for fun.
Volunteers vital to Weather Service during severe storms
With the forecast calling for possible severe weather Thursday, the National Weather Service expects to call on its team of weather spotters. They include Roane County ham radio operator Phil Newman. For 16 years, Newman has communicated to fellow operators around the region and the world….
Here are some upcoming amateur radio events here in Ann Arbor, MI:
- VE Testing. ARROW, the club here in Ann Arbor, conducts an amateur radio license test session ever second Saturday of the month at the Washtenaw County Red Cross, 4624 Packard Rd., Ann Arbor (map).
Preregistration is recommended but walkins are welcome. Contact Mark Goodwin – W8FSA (734-944-0730) firstname.lastname@example.org, Beverley Stoner – K8ZJU (734-424-9446), or Ralph Katz – AA8RK (734-663-1288) email@example.com, for more information, and to register for the test.
- University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club’s 100th Anniversary Special Event Station. The University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary by operating a special event station on Sunday, April 14 on the Diag on central campus. Setup is going to start around 1300Z. We’re hoping to start operating around 1400Z and continue until around 2200Z. If you’re in or near Ann Arbor, please come down and operate with us. If not, listen for us on the bands.
- One-Day Tech Class, Saturday, April 27. I’ll be conducting the next one-day Tech Class on Saturday, April 27, at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Go to wa2hom.org for more details.
The University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. To celebrate, they’re planning to operate a special event station from the Diag, an open space in the heart of the campus.
The problem they’re having are all the rules for such an event. For example, the event can’t be too noisy, even though it’s outside.
The biggest problem they’re having though is trying to come up with an antenna setup that the powers that be will approve. They can’t, for example, drive any stakes into the ground. Supposedly, that will damage the lawns. That rules out the 40m/20m inverted-V setup supported by the surplus fiberglass masts that we often use for these kind of temporary operations.
There’s also a rule that whatever structure is erected be no higher than eight feet tall. That also rules out the use of the fiberglass mast.
There are some trees near where they want to set up the station, but the grounds department have concerns about ropes in trees. That kind of rules out dipoles.
This morning, it occurred to me that we probably could use BuddiPoles and/or BuddiSticks. We could easily keep them under eight feet, and if operated vertically, they could be decent antennas. Using an insulated wire for the counterpoise should be safe enough.
I’d like to hear what you think, though. What kind of antennas have you used for this type of operation? Do they meet the restrictions these guys must meet?
When I stepped down as our club’s president a couple of years ago, I also gave up responsibility for the club website. At that time, it was decided to move the website from the web hosting company I was using to a server connected to the network at a local community college, where one of our members taught part-time. The rationale was that since there would be no web hosting fees, the club would save money.
Unfortunately, this has proven to be a case of being “penny wise, but pound foolish.” About every six months, the site seems to go down for a week or so. The first time this happened, there was a problem was with the community college’s network, and because this use of the network wasn’t a high priority for the college’s IT staff, the site was down for quite a while.
The most recent outage was due to memory failure. The failure was first reported a week ago, and as I’m writing this, the site has yet to be fully restored. The timing of this was unfortunate, as our monthly meeting was held on Wednesday, March 13, and since the website was down, there was really no way for anyone to get details.
My intent here is not to disparage the volunteers running the website. Having done it myself for a couple of years, I know it’s a thankless job, and I thank them for their service. Even so, I think website hosting is one of those things best not left volunteers, especially when suitable web hosting services can be had for less than $100/year.
The website is, after all, your club’s biggest PR piece, and if it’s not working, or if the information is out of date, or if the design is lousy, you’re not making a very good good case for your club. Seriously, would you consider patronizing a business whose website was out of date or that you couldn’t access at all?
Several members got their hackles up over this last outage, and it’s looking like we’ll be moving the site back to a web hosting service again. Not only that, several members, including me, have offered to help out in some way with the website. So, over all, I think this latest outage has proven to be a good thing. If we do it right, we might even have several people submitting content.
I’ll update this post in about six months and keep you apprised of our progress. Of course, you could just go to the website and see for yourself.
Coincidentally, a fellow posted a link to HamRadioWebsites.Net in a message to the AmateurRadioLeadership Yahoo Group. This looks like a relatively new service that helps clubs set up websites and produces e-mail newsletters for clubs.
While I think this is an interesting idea, I have several questions about taking this approach:
- Can a service like this really be effective if those that are creating the website and newsletter are not part of the club? After all, someone still has to come up with the club-related content.
- If there aren’t some members engaged enough to do these kinds of things (we call them “club service” in Rotary), are they going to be engaged enough to do anything at all?
What do you think? Will HamRadioWebsites.Net be successful? How does your club handle its website and newsletter needs?
The annual meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors was held January 18-19, 2013 in New Orleans, and the minutes of the meeting were recently published. You can download and read the entire minutes yourself, but here are a few items that I found particular interesting:
- #16. Mr. Kramer presented the report of the Chief Operating Officer. Finding appropriate ways to support the growth and activities of ARRL-affiliated clubs was an issue highlighted during discussion of the report. As chairman of the Programs and Services Committee, Mr. Norris advised the Board that the committee has established a subcommittee to address the issue.
- #21. Mr. Carlson, as chairman, presented the report of the EMC Committee and entertained questions. There was a discussion of how to stimulate electric utilities to resolve cases of power line interference to amateur stations.
- #25. The board adopted seven legislative objectives for the 113th Congress. To read them all, download the minutes, but in addition to the usual items such as, keeping and defending our frequencies, #6 aims at ensuring that two-way radio communications be exempt from distracted driver laws, and #7 supports legislation authorizing the FCC to appoint an electrical engineer to their staffs to provide technical expertise.
- #28. The ARRL has created “the ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award, to be administered consistent with the Community Organization Award program of BSA.”
- #32 The board will appoint an ad hoc committee to look into the recent Logbook of the World problems and provide some recommendations at the July 2013 meeting.
- #37. Lucy Ann Lance, a local broadcaster here in Ann Arbor, MI was awarded the “Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award, developed to honor professional journalists whose outstanding work best reflects the enjoyment, importance and public service value of the Amateur Radio Service.”
As I was club president here in Ann Arbor for several years, and for several years served as the Michigan Section Affiliated Club Coordinator, I’m especially interested in #16. I’ve e-mailed my director and vice-director to get their takes on it, and I would encourage all of you to do likewise for any of the items that are of interest to you.
Central Middle School radio club students work on projects
The future of amateur radio in Midland was in room 127 of Central Middle School on Wednesday afternoon.Bill Albe brought kits to build the FET crystal radios he designed, along with tools sure to excite middle schoolers — drills, solder, means to measure electrical resistance across their bodies — plus ample adult supervision.
I’m trying to find out more about this project so that I can do something similar at the Hands-On Museum….Dan
Back to the Future — amateur radio enthusiasts bring transmitter back to life
The wait – four weeks short term and 40 years and counting long term – was well worth it when the 75-year-old transmitter built by amateur radio pioneer Marshall Ensor was reactivated Saturday evening at Ensor Park and Museum south of Olathe.
Ham radio alive and well in Boulder County
This is a nice profile of the Boulder Amateur Radio Club (BARC). BARC Juniors is a program of the club, which encourages kids to get involved in amateur radio. Great club, great program.
For several years now, I’ve been sending out a (mostly) monthly column to amateur radio newsletter editors all around the U.S.A. I also send out a few to Canada and a couple of other English-speaking countries. Sometimes, it’s a version of something I’ve posted here on my blog. Sometimes, it’s original material.
Quite often, especially if the newsletter is published electronically, the editor will send me a copy. I like getting these newsletters because it keeps me informed about what’s going on in amateur radio around the country. Below, are links to three newsletters in which my column appear.
Ozark QRP Banner. This publication of the Four States QRP Group includes articles on home-made keys, a a dipole made with paper clips, and a portable QRP station using the NC40A transceiver from Wilderness Radio.
The Kennehoochee Amateur Radio Club (KARC) Hooch. The big news from the November 2012 issue of the Hoochis that they made more than 2,800 contacts from K4D, their special-event station. Their chairman, Joe, WD4FTB, writes, “Everything was great except the last day there was a big storm and we broke 2 antennas. But to sum it all up I loved it and I think everyone should try it once, no experience necessary.”
Muskegon Area Amateur Radio Council Flashovers. The New Ham Corner in the November 2012 issue of Flashovers is a short piece on how to determine if a piece of coax is any good. This issue also includes an article on their hamfest (it was a “rousing success”) and QSLing DX stations, specifically TT8TT.
There are currently more than 300 clubs getting my column each month. If you are a club newsletter editor, I would love to add you to the list.