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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Minutes by Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ at N2ARC.


Gary Wilson, K2GW
Lenny Wintfeld, W2BVH
Jim Dicso, K2SZ
Pushpendra Khaira, AB2XF
Ted Groke, W2TAG
Mario Dianora, N2AK
Chris Voinier (no call yet)
Luis Anaya, N2ZXE
Al Miner, WA2CZG
John Acacia, KB3OXW
Ron McConnell, W2IOL
Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ

Meeting notes:

K2SZ: Jim struck "paydirt" in a private sale -- he purchased over 2,000 vacuum tubes (most of which check out perfectly on his tester) for only $150! Let him know if there's anything you're looking for....

N2AK: Mario and Ted (W2TAG) participated in the SJRA Field Day, making HUGE numbers of contacts on 80 meters using 100 watts and a " Moxon " antenna that's about 100' long, with the two "elements" about 40' apart. He reports that the takeoff angle of 35 degrees or so seems to be perfect for Field Day when the antenna is oriented towards the west. He's experimenting with a design for a 40 meter version that will look like a "yagi with the ends bent in." According to EZNEC , it should be theoretically "8 or 9 dbi" - his was "at least 2 dB better than his dipole." His "next trick" will be to make both ends the same size, feeding it in the middle with open wire line and using some sort of switching mechanism so that it can be "pointed" either east or west.

W2TAG: Ted's Triex tower pulley assembly failed so he sought replacement bearings. Thinking they would be "no more than a few bucks," he searched the Internet for a source and finally came up with several at more than $50 each plus shipping! Ouch! He passed one around to show...

WA2CZG: Al purchased Brian Riley's Arduino kit and married it to the AMQRP DDS-60 to make a very nice project -- a signal generator (photo on the way from Push). He also bought one of Tony Parks' KB9YIG Software Defined Radio kits, the si570, (more info on the Yahoo! Softrock Group ). He's adding an option that will let you program the frequency of the SDR from the PC, rather than through the tiny DIP switches on the device.

W2IOL: Ron finally got around to purchasing a TenTec Argonaut 516 ($895) once he learned that TenTec was planning to discontinue it! He says he always wanted one! It should be arriving at his QTH "soon." He brought a couple of free or nearly free goodies to dispose of: among them, an ADSL modem, and an unbuilt 40 meter Rock-Mite kit. [Editor's note: if I had taken it, it would have ended up on my pile of unbuilt kits! Also, it pays to sit next to Ron at meetings! He always brings goodies! (N2GJ)]

W2BVH: Len shared his amazement that "sporadic-E on 6 meters is still going strong this summer." He has worked Idaho and Washington state to the west, and Portugal to the east with his 100 watt rig and 5+1 element yagi. Both the antenna and the power amp are his own homebrew designs!

KB3OXW: John made a few more contacts on 40 meters, and restored a couple of antique radios. He's currently searching for a 25 mfd 50 volt capacitor. Any help?

N2ZXE: Luis completed the DC40A from Doug Hendricks' (KI6DS) QRP Kits . This is a really inexpensive transceiver ($40 currently) and he had no trouble getting it to work.

AB2XE: Push is putting his inverted vee/dipole back up (it keeps falling down) and was seeking advice on support rope. Jim K2SZ recommended a type of "green 1/8" rope used by the military" which he described as being made of a material similar to Kevlar. Push also demonstrated a number of free software programs that can be used in conjunction with software defined radios like the SDR40 he has purchased but not yet built. He noted that one of the popular programs, PowerSDR , is now able to decode DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) . He noted that a lot of info is available on the Yahoo! Softrock group .

[Editor's note: Push mentioned soundcards and I found his post on our NJQRP group:

"here is the link
this is cheap and good:
Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! 24 (24 bit / 96kHz)
if possible, get delta 44 or 66 PCI card,
avoid usb cards but with laptop SB audigy 2 USB may be the only choice
please feel free to add your choice here
push ab2xf"]

He also briefly demonstrated a nifty, free flight simulator program called FlightGear . Related to this, Gary K2GW mentioned that there is a very nice add-in to Microsoft's Flight Simulator called "Virtual Coast Guard" that is quite interesting.

K2GW: Gary brought two surplus Astron power supplies from the N2ARC inventory to sell, in order to purchase a couple of large batteries for backup in the newly-configured station (under construction) and for the go-kit we are outfitting at the Red Cross. Ron bought one, and Luis bought the other. Thanks!

Chris: New to the group, Chris comes from Lawrenceville, NJ, and works at the RF lab at Fort Monmouth. His co-worker, Robert Johansen WB2SRF of Staten Island, recommended that he get to know more about ham radio and that our club meets nearby and might be fun to attend a meeting. The group offered ideas on several clubs in the area, as well as opportunities for tech and general class license courses being offered. We also mentioned that there are a number of stations owned by clubs that are available to club members to use.

Everyone is eager to hear how George N2APB and Joe N2CX are doing. We miss you guys!

Additions/corrections welcome!
Respectfully submitted, 73,
Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ

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

Last updated: August 26, 2008