Saturday, November 18
Hi, All! Here are my notes from yesterday's meeting:
Bryan Williams AA3WM
Dave Otttenberg WA2DJN
Marc Franco N2UO (and his wife, Patty)
Mike Korejwo KB3HMR
Allan Owen WA3OWT
Alan Miner WA1CZG
Richard Bitzer WB2EKW
Kurt Weirich K2URT
Gerry Jurrens N2GJ
There was a light turnout but very nice group! Everyone had an
opportunity to introduce themselves and to describe their current
projects and ham activity in the prior month.
We introduced our special guest, Kurt Weirich, K2URT, the newly
appointed leader of the Disaster Services group for the American Red
Cross at the Princeton Chapter. He talked about the mission of
his team, some of the history of his involvement with the construction
of the N2ARC ham station and tower, and thanked the hams for their
assistance in time of need. Kurt fielded a number of questions
about the controversial background check program recently instituted by
the ARC nationwide. He likened what the Red Cross is doing to
what the Boy Scouts of America have done for years with adult leaders.
Bryan shared a number of updates, including an Atlanticon heads up
(3/30-3/31/07, same place and yes, there will be a cool kit, of
course); he provided information on the various kits currently in
production and other projects in the works.
Marc gave a fascinating talk on a new project he's working on with
AMSAT: a software defined amplifier. This design is slated
to provide output power for Eagle, a new satellite project in the
works. He brought the prototype with him and showed how some very
expensive commercial design software he uses provides a way to
prototype in software to predict the behaviour of various components in
a circuit. Amazingly, the predicted and actual values for things
like output power and linearity were right on the money! I don't
understand all (or much) of what this does, but I heard Marc say this
device is much like a Class C amplifier -- I remember studying about
that many years ago for my Extra exam!
Gerry gave a demo of the new Elecraft automatic antenna tuner "T1
Miniature 20W Autotuner" connected to his Yaesu FT-817 QRP radio.
This unique design offers a very simple and elegant way to match the
radio to the antenna. He checked into the New Jersey Morning Net
(he's the manager) at 10AM and the group observed that despite the fact
the dipole on the tower is cut for the top of 75 meters, Gerry was able
to be heard with 599 signals as far north as Waldwick, NJ. Later,
the net moved to its new frequency (after 12/15/06) of 3544 with
similar excellent results. Elecraft offers an optional cable that
connects the accessory jack on the '817 to the T1, On any band change,
the adapter's microcontroller sends band data to the T1, which quickly
recalls the appropriate network settings. This allows virtually
instantaneous band changes without having to manually retune the unit.
Speaking of 12/15, Gerry brought and distributed full-color copies of
the revised Amateur Radio Band Plan, effective 12/15, and provided a
summary of the changes to Part 97 described recently in the Federal
The next meeting of NJQRP is on Dec. 16, 2006.
The meeting adjourned around 11:30AM.
Corrections and amplifications welcome!
Respectfully submitted, 73,
Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ
November 20, 2006