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NJQRP Club Meeting Recap:  April 20, 2013

We had a great time at our April meeting this past Saturday!  There was some very good technical discussion of projects, and many brought things to demo, show and trade a worthwhile event for all 13 who attended.

The photos below tell half the story, and the discussion topics and corresponding project/component links tell the rest of the story so let's get it to it!

George N2APB and Frank N3PUU demonstrated the latest "Precision Arduino Clock" project that has been going on in the bi-weekly CWTD (Chat With The Designers) program on Teamspeak.  They recently added the XBee RF link to the project and were able to show the base Arduino Clock sending time data every second to a remote XBee node across the room.  Details at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/43021514/CWTD/Apr9.html.

Frank N3PUU went on the describe how he's incorporate a small, inexpensive Si4707 Weather Band Receiver Breakout board from Sparkfun (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11129) onto one of his Arduino UNO controllers.  It's an integrated 162 MHz receiver for NOAA weather advisories.  This device has a SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) processor to allow the device to listen only for a certain kind of warning or statement.  (You hear these SAME messages on the radio, or see them scroll across your TV screen during weather advisory times.)  Frank is using the Arduino to parse and display the digital messages coming from this integrated receiver chip.  Amazing!

N3PUU also showed us the Arduino Mega board.  This is a more powerful version of the popular UNO board (faster, more I/O), and it is currently available for about $20 (_________)

Ray K2ULR, showed off his "Funduino Nano", also an Arduino controller, which he got for only $12.75.  This is an amazing price and to our knowledge this little controller is fully compatible with the Arduino specs.  http://www.apexelectrix.com/development-boards-c-1/funduino-nano-328-board-p-7.html?zenid=6eb8d8e4b50f7cfccb2786bd387a13fa 

K2ULR also showed off his End-Fed HF Matchbox Antenna from earchi.org (http://www.earchi.org/92011endfedfiles/Endfed20.pdf).  He loves using it.

Jim W2SZ brought his usual box o' goodies (caps, resistors, relays) for easy acquisition by members. 

N2APB brought some additional older accessories for sharing from the basement archive of good friend and club member Nancy NJ8B.

Ray K2ULR had mentioned having some success using the DWOLLA electronic payment engine from Amazon as an alternative to using PayPal ... http://amazongenius.com/could-amazon-payments-and-checkout-become-the-new-paypal/

Jim N2CAU described an interesting story of experimenting in getting his relay-extended ladderline dipole to work.  The original article was from QST for September 2008:  An All Band HF Dipole Antenna by Jim Weit, KI8BV (http://mactenna.com/pdf/article.pdf)

Frank N2PUU found a great lead on some Crystalfonz 4-line x 20 char LCDs for just $5.  This can be a very good LCD for our Precision Arduino Clock and Ham Station Mesh Network base controller ... (hint, hint) ... eBay item # 181120520012 ... or direct, if you can handle the long link:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/181120520012?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_sacat%3D0%26_nkw%3D181120520012%26_rdc%3D1

Carl W2PTZ mentioned an upcoming special event on June 1-2 being conducted from the ARRL's W1AW station, commemorating the 100th anniversary of ARRL and the US Power Squadron (USPS) ... http://www.aresracescentrecountypa.com/?p=426

Joe N2CX  &  George N2APB

PS:  We had new member with is this time:  Bob WA3LOK, who described his current renovation project: Heathkit Apache Transmitter!

 

Some shots during the meeting ...

 


Arduino Clock Base Station (on right),
sending data wirelessly over to the remote XBee node and PC terminal (on the left)

Closeup of Frank's N3PUU Arduino connect to the Si4707 Weather Band Receiver breakout board

N3PUU showing his find of little "Really Bare Bones" Arduino boards (3 shown here)

Frank's N3PUU Remote XBee Temperature Measurement Node
sending over 2.4 GHz RF link to hios Arduino base station (not pictured).

N3PUU with his Arduino base controller (on left, with PC terminal), sending data wirelessly to the remote XBee node on the right

Howie K3HW inspecting the  goods!

Jim N3CAU and Bryan AA3WM

Joe N2CX, Ted W2TAG and Carl W2PIZ

Denis AD2DA

Howie K3HW showing off a very cool Ameco AC-1 transmitter that he is renovating

Jim K2SZ and Jack WB3OWB

Joe N2CX discussing his recent "find" of a cool component tester: _______

George N2APB holding up his Precision Arduino Clock project, as chronicled in the Chat With The Designer bi-weekly radio program that he hosts on Teamspeak along with Joe N2CX

Carl W2PTZ, new member Bob WA3LOK, and Ray K2ULR

Ray K2ULR showed off the new paddle for the Elecraft KX3

Photo of N3PUU's Weather Band Receiver "development station"!

YouTube video of the N3PUU Weather Band Receiver + Arduino Controller
 

What a way to end the meeting!!

 

Last updated: April 26, 2013