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Saturday, March 29, 2008

In the absence of Joe and George, Gary Wilson (N2GW) kicked off the NJQRP Meeting on March 29, 2008. Jim Disco (K2SZ) was recruited as scribe.


Frank Wroblewski, W2XYZ; Samuel Suffill, W2SHS; Howard Suffill, W2HTS; Bob Molinaro, (not yet); Jim Dicso, K2SZ; Nick Battaglia, K2JMK; Gary Wilson, K2GW; Ron McConnell, W2IOL; Tom Bagdas, NU2I; Lenny Wintfield, W2BVH; Eric Rivas, KC2HMV; Brian Boccaroli, N2MPM; Denis Albisser, AB2PD; Richard Bitzer, WB2ZKW; Alan Miner, WA4CZG; Joe Jesson, KB9LZB.

Meeting notes:

The ad hoc door prizes were a highlight:

Ron (W2IOL) brought a couple of battery chargers and Richard (WB2ZKW) , who is downsizing his shack, provided a couple of vintage treasures ...a Collins 51J4 Receiver and Heathkit HW101 both with Manuals, Power Supplies and spare parts. Lenny (W2BVH) is happy with his "new" HW101 and Eric (KC2HMV) will discover the wonders of the Collins equipment (which he's too young to have experienced first hand).

Denis (AP2PD) shared his experiences on a visit to the largest Radio Telescope in the world which is able to rotate. It's in Greenbank, WV, an "RF quiet" location. Denis shared humorous anecdotes about how the authorities maintain the quiet and told us how surprised he was by the open welcome environment for visitors.

Joe (KB9LZB) passed around the new Texas Instruments low-power wireless development system. He explained that at a half-day seminar, each attendee was given a wireless design reference kit and that, if you want to develop a 2.4 GHz solution, several protocol stacks, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, SimpliciTI are available for download. You can sign-up for a seminar at TI's web site or if you don't want to travel you can simply buy the eZ430-RF2500 wireless development kit for $49.00 which gets you the processor and two programmable transceivers... one is a remote sensor where you can demo wireless temperature sensors in a star or zigbee mesh network.  Very nice for developing wireless applications!

Gary (K2GW) provided a very interesting and informative presentation on Radio Direction Finding (RDF). He explained the use of a variety of tools, some of which he used in his early days as a navigator (ask him how a sextant is used). He shared techniques used in ¿fox hunting¿ and the value of RDF in detecting power line noise... and showed a RDF antenna made from a tape measure.

Projects underway:

Tom (NU2I) is waiting for his NUE-PSK kit and is brewing beer in the meantime. (There are a few of us with unopened beer kits that may benefit from his expertise.).

Alan (WA4CZG) is half way thru building his modem kit.

Brian (N2MPM) described his humorous beginning to building a KX1 by starting with the paddle assembly (step 1-break off a tab on the bracket, step 2-insert phono plug in bracket... 6 hours later and stuck on step 2, he's on-line with Elecraft.

Howard (W2HTS) and Eric (KC2HMV) have kits in progress.

Lenny (W2BVH) is still looking for a Bird wattmeter with 6 meter slug to verify performance of his homebrew 6 meter (120w) brick. (A couple of possible sources and alternatives were discussed).

Jim (K2SZ) is moving his K9AY antenna outside of the transmit verticals to avoid coupling. He's almost finished with a "Noise Canceller" (Doug Demaw design) for improving receiver performance in a noisy environment.

Other topics of interest:

Welcome back to Nick (K2JMK) who has renewed his license after a 40 year hiatus.

Brian (N2MPM) described some APRS activities and new use of packet.

Ron (W2IOL) commented on Bluetooth use with his hearing aid.

Lenny (W2BVH) talked about his excellent results with WSJT and about an interesting location to learn more about this topic; the "Random Hour" on 50.260 MHz on Saturday morning.

Jim (K2SZ) had to withdraw the offer for field day at his house on Long Beach Island next month. He offered a "raincheck" for a future date.

Bob (Jim's brother-in-law and non-ham) found that many topics discussed paralleled his work in the airline industry.

See you all at the next meeting! (See the NJQRP Event Calendar for the full set of meeting dates.)

Last updated: May 7, 2008