NJ-QRP Meeting: 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 Register.

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

Last Modified: November 20, 2006