Antenna Restrictions and Making Antennas Fit

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Nancy lives in a community for people aged 55 and older. The home-owner’s association banned her from putting up any kind of antenna. John Amodeo, producer of the hit TV show “Last Man Standing” (starring Tim Allen, himself a ham radio operator) and I traveled to Florida to see what we could do to make a 39 ft long antenna, fit in a 23 ft long attic!

Amateur Radio lightweight Satellite Tracker

From (name and callsign unknown)

This is the start of my learning process to construct a lightweight cost effective antenna PTZ rotor setup. Currently my learning consists of a mini Arduino board, some large RC servos and Ham Radio Deluxe.

Other related info,

The perfect controller to this project is the K3NG Arduino based Controller. http://blog.radioartisan.com/yaesu-rotator-computer-serial-interface/
Here, the full list of the features: https://github.com/k3ng/k3ng_rotator_controller/wiki/110-Features  73 de Pu4vlt

Solar Storm Forecast 08-25-2015

The Sun has quickly kicked things into high gear this week with a massive active region that has fired 7 big flares and 3 partly Earth-directed solar storms in just a few days. We continue to wait for signs of the storms to hit Earth and are keeping a close eye for more flares. Catch up on some amazing aurora from the huge storm recently and see how the Sun will affect you this week.

Techie Night August 25, 2015

Fox Hunt Techniques

Please join us at the East Plains United Church at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, August 25th for Techie Night. 

Our meeting will be held in classrooms 10/11.  

 

Meeting

Tonight’s meeting will be about fox hunting techniques and common gear used in the amateur radio fox hunt.  Please bring any fox hunting gear you have made or acquired, to show and discuss with the group.

 

As always, please feel free to bring along any nifty new (or old) technology you think would be interesting to discuss with the group.

 

73!

Look forward to seeing everyone able to make it out this evening!

Jason – VA3VNA

Techie Night, August 18, 2015

Please join us at the East Plains United Church at 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 18th for Techie Night.  Our meeting will be held in classrooms 10/11.  A Google Map showing the Church’s location can be found here: https://goo.gl/22UJTI

Tonight’s meeting will be a demonstration and discussion of remote radio receivers and transceivers available on the internet.  There is a variety of radios available online which we can remotely control.  These radios are located all over the world and have a variety of features, band capabilities and modes.  As well as entertainment, these remote radios have a lot of other applications which are very useful to us as amateur radio operators.  We will explore web based, computer based, and mobile based applications which allow control of these radios.

As always, please feel free to bring along any nifty new (or old) technology you think would be interesting to discuss with the group. 

We had a few contributions to Big Box of Parts last week.  For those who are not aware, the Big Box of Parts (BBoP) is a community junk box which we have started for Techie Night.  BBoP will be at each Techie Night, so if you are looking for a part to finish a project or as inspiration to start a new project, have a look in the BBoP.

It has been incredibly hot and humid over the past few days and if it is still unbearably hot, we may want to consider moving the meeting over to the air conditioned Tim Horton’s across the street.  We’ll meet in the parking lot and make a judgement call from there 🙂

 Stay cool!

73!

Look forward to seeing everyone able to make it out this evening!

Jason – VA3VNA

Quadrifilar Helical Antennas

From Chuck (VE3IUO)

I got this from my friend Bob Cutter, KI0G Colorado / SPI, Texas. He is mounting his on his boat trailer.

With the declining HF conditions and the launch of some new satellites I decided to build a UHF/VHF omnidirectional system.

IMG_8416

 

The photos are the UHF unit and the 2M will fit under it.

IMG_8420

It is #6 copper and I found these splice blocks that make connection of the coax and loops fairly easy. Here is the construction article I used:

http://uuki.kapsi.fi/qha.html

RF Ground Explained

Here is a video explaining RF ground,  by Michael Martens (KB9VBR).

Today we talk about the RF ground, what it is and when it’s necessary. The purpose of the RF ground is to act as a reflector. It doesn’t radiate RF energy, but instead interacts with the antenna’s radiating elements by mirroring and reflecting that energy, creating a predictable RF radiation pattern. So the RF ground is important, right. Then why doesn’t every antenna require one? Well they do, but just not in a way that might seem obvious. Continue watching for more. . .

Techie Night August 11, 2015

Please join us at the East Plains United Church at 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 11th for a social evening of open discussion, show and tell and the introduction of the BBoP.  The meeting will be held in classrooms 10/11.  A Google Map showing the Church’s location can be found here: https://goo.gl/22UJTI

Tonight’s meeting will be an open forum to show off and discuss your latest gadgets and projects.  Please bring along any project(s) you have been working on or any new exciting gadgets you have acquired this summer and share your experiences with the group.

I thought it might be interesting and beneficial to try starting a Big Box of Parts program for Techie Night.  This activity is very popular amongst a number of the online electronics experimenter communities.  The activity, usually called ‘Big Box of Parts’ (BBoP) is a box of shared parts which is circulated amongst community members who give and take freely (and fairly) from the box.  This idea is thought to have started out in the DIY Audio community online, but I think it most likely has its roots in amateur radio.  A lot of us already do this informally on a one-to-one basis, freely sharing parts we have in our junkboxes with each other.  I was thinking we could do something like this for Techie Night and make the ‘Box’ available at each of our meetings.  This could really turn out to be a lot of fun!  It might even come to the rescue one day…for that project you’ve been working on… which has been missing that impossible to find part!  It might even provide that spark of imagination and inspiration for your next project.  I think the most useful aspect of this activity is it can assist us all in learning about and using parts which we may not have had the opportunity to work with before.  I also think this is an activity which provides an opportunity to Elmer and share tips and tricks.  The only difference between the online community version and ours would be that we wount be shipping the box around member to member…it would be available at each Techie Night meeting and available upon request outside of Techie Night’s.

Usually a set of gentleman’s guidelines are kept in mind to keep things fair:

– Take parts out you can really can use

– Replace them with parts you may have extras of, can’t use or wont use (please try to give back an equal amount of stuff if you can … if not, not a problem, try to give back something when you can)

– In the spirit of education and sharing, if you are able to, please send Paul Stuart a picture and a description of what you got out of the box and how you were able to put it to use (i.e. education, project, prototype, repair, experiment, etc.).  It would be great to build an area on the website in the Techie Night Section about the Box of Parts, displaying some of the picture and stories of how members have benefited by this activity.

– If you come across something interesting and you have an extra, or a part you know you probably wont use, but think someone might, please consider donating it to the Box

– Please don’t add items which are not relevant to electronics or amateur radio

I’ll seed the box with some items and if you feel you have some parts to contribute or swap, please bring them along to help get this started.  Hopefully this takes off and is something we can all benefit from.

73!

Look forward to seeing everyone able to make it out this evening!

Jason – VA3VNA

Solar Storm Forecast 08-06-2015

The Sun is showing signs of waking up just a little this week as two active regions in Earth view are growing rapidly. No big flares are in the forecast yet this week, but we are watching closely. A good chance for aurora comes on August 6-8 when the effects from a high speed stream and possibly a glancing blow from a wispy solar storm bumps us up into storm conditions for a few days. Likely aurora will be visible at high latitudes and may reach further down into Canada, the northern USA and the north UK (also NZ and Tasmania). Expect GPS and amateur radio issues in these areas during the storm. Learn details of the coming activity, watch some gorgeous eruptions on the backside of the Sun, and see what else our Sun has in store this week.