This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.8   Leave a comment

This has been a busy week for amateur radio.  First, I set up a Yaesu FT-857D in the Malibu for a few days.  I set it up and parked it by the Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) club station, and left my keys with those folks so that we could operate during the School Club Roundup contest.  I personally made several contacts (including Hawaii and a special event station in British Columbia) and a few others from the club did as well.

I also made my first contact on the TARA repeater (442.125 MHz), so that was exciting.  I think it is completely configured and in place at this point.

Over the weekend, I repaired my Morse Code key, as it has lost one of the contact screws.  Unbelievably, I found the screw on the floor of my shed amidst the mess, while looking for something else.

I also mounted my Yaesu FT-857D and Yaesu FT-7800 in the Crown Victoria.  I’ve been meaning to do that for ages, but finally got around to it.  I think it’s working out well.  I gave it a good road test and drove to Socorro, making a few contacts along the way.

In terms of operating, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net several times.  This morning, I worked Russia, Louisiana and Minnesota on 20 meters from Socorro.

I attempted to check into the Caravan Club Net, but my Alinco DR-605 kept powering down every time I transmitted.  I’ll have to look into this next weekend.

I also updated my log books from the last two weeks of QSOs.  I added quite a few VHF contacts, and a handful of 20 meter HF contacts to the books.

Due to a scheduling conflict, I did not teach the amateur radio license course this week.

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This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.7   Leave a comment

This week has been exciting.

On Friday, the Second Vice President of the ARRL, the NM Section Manager, and representatives of Rocky Mountain Ham Radio attended the Tech Amateur Radio Association club meeting to present to us a UHF repeater.  Rocky Mountain Ham Radio donated the repeater to us, and we had it up and running by the end of the meeting, in a temporary configuration.  Final arrangements will be announced as we finish building this system.  More information can be found here:

Thank you!

I checked into a number of 2 meter nets over the past week.  I made my usual rounds to the Caravan Club Net, the Rusty Raider’s Net, and the Albuquerque SCAT Net.  I also tuned around 10 meters and called CQ, but made no contacts.

This week is School Club Roundup.  We don’t have a good antenna at New Mexico Tech, but I think we are going to try magnet mounting and Hustler resonator on the metal roof.  I brought down resonators for 20 meters, 40 meters and 80 meters, as well as a mast.

This week’s amateur radio licensure course went through waves, antennas, and propagation.  I think the students were understanding what I was saying, as they asked high-level, intelligent questions.

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This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.6   Leave a comment

I couldn’t figure out why I had not received my latest QST.  I was going through some paperwork on my desk, only to find that I had not renewed my membership to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which explains why the February QST had not arrived.  I renewed my membership this week.

In terms of operating activities, I checked into several local 2 meters nets, including the Caravan Club, Albuquerque SCAT Net, and Rusty Raider’s Net, multiple times from multiple radios.

I have also been tracing the coax that runs through my backyard and removing broken pieces from past antenna projects.  I really want to make sure I have the correct coax connected to the correct radio.

The paperwork has been submitted for the Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA), and we are waiting to hear our club status and how much funding we will receive.  I am also looking into what is required to have us put up a dipole antenna for the School Club Roundup contest next week.

The amateur radio licensing course is going well.  This week, we started building a 40 meter QRP radio.  I will let you know how that goes as we build it.  Last night, we put all of the capacitors in place, an all of my students are comfortable soldiering.

This week, I have quite a few radio-related projects planned, so I will let you know how they go in 2017.7.

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This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.5   Leave a comment

This week has been about preparing for my Amateur Radio class.  I have been looking over my lecture notes and importing test questions into Canvas (the academic software package we use at New Mexico Tech) in preparation.

Outside of the classwork, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net and Rusty Raider’s Net several times over the past week, as well as the Caravan Club once.  Sunday evening, I also listened in to the Amateur Radio Newsline broadcast.

I did have a little trouble with the Caravan Club Net, as my radio kept powering down.  I increased the voltage output and the problem went away.  I will probably need to check all of my antenna connections and see if I can figure out why I have so many antenna problems.

I also figured out how to unlock the Kenwood 707 that has been in my truck.  I accidentally locked the radio on 145.520 MHz.  I was able to unlock it and program the 145.330 MHz Albuquerque repeater into a memory channel.

The Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) went to the Winter Tailgate, selling some equipment and buying some other stuff as well.  The dust hasn’t settled yet, but the club members seem happy with their weekend.

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This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.4   Leave a comment

This week has been mostly about squaring away paperwork, though I still have a long ways to go on that.   I spent a good part of Saturday night going through my paper logs and creating a spread sheet of contacts made each year.  As expected, 20 meters has been my dominant band, and with the exception of one really productive year on 40 meters, it has been my “go to” band since I earned my General class license.

In terms of operating, I have checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net and the Rusty Raider’s Net a few times, as well as the Caravan Club on Sunday night.  It has become a tradiation to hit as many of these as I can.  I also listened on 28.400 MHz quite a few times along my commute to Magdalena, but I have made no contacts.

I have been prepping for my Amateur Radio Licensure course that I will teach this semester.  I have only three students, and I think I will need to have a conversation about how to change the listing of the course, as it is listed under “Lifestyle Activities” and is really hard to find in the course registration website.

Today was also the start of the New Mexico Tech club fair.  The club fair is where we get to show and tell about amateur radio, and recruit students into our club.  We needed a few more signatures to be an official club when I left this morning, so I will have to check up with Skyler and James to see if they were able to get it running. We have another day to meet the signature goal, however.  More importantly, they ran a station to work satellite contacts.  I don’t think they made any, but it was neat to see anyway.

This week will be about mounting my radios in the Crown Vic and then to begin work again on my very poor HF antenna at the house.  I will also start working on my pile of QSL cards that need to be sent.

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This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.3   Leave a comment

This week, I have been quite active on 2 meters, checking into the Caravan Club Net, the Rusty Raider’s Net and the Albuquerque SCAT Net often.

On Monday, I commuted to Socorro, NM.  Along the route, I operated from Bernalillo, Valencia and Socorro counties on the 20 meter county hunter’s net.  In Socorro, the electrical noise was awful, and I ended up terminating the run early.

We listened to Amateur Radio Newsline on Sunday night as well.

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Amateur Radio This Week: 2017.2   Leave a comment

This week in amateur radio, I checked into several local VHF nets here in New Mexico.  On Sunday night, I checked into the Caravan Club Net, and then today, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net and then the Rusty Raider’s Net.

I also spent some time listening on 10 meters, as two stations were ragchewing, and I could copy them.  They were, however, the only stations I could hear on the band.

I also read the January, 2017, issue of QST.  I always get mixed feelings when I read the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) issue.  On one hand, I am always inspired by all the neat projects, and I want to work on all of them…but on the other hand, most of them are well above my skill level.  Case in point- I have a vertical antenna in my yard that doesn’t work very well, and I haven’t fixed it.

I did order a transmission hump mount for the Crown Victoria.  I’ll see how that works out.  I need a better system than wedging radios between the seat and the transmission tunnel, and this is worth a shot.

I also received a QSL envelope from the ARRL QSL Bureau.  Mostly, it contained QSL cards from the W1AW/# event in 2014, but there were a few Japanese and Canadian cards in there as well.

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