April 11, 2021
We are slowly making provisions to return to in-person meetings! Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, has received approval from Carrollton Fire Rescue (CFR) to use the 2nd floor meeting room at CFR headquarters (Gravely Center) for our monthly meetings once Carrollton allows in-person meetings at city facilities such as the library. For the foreseeable future the libraries close at 8:00 PM on the “late” days which is too early for MARS meetings to end, so we are incredibly grateful to CFR for the use of their room.
I understand that some of our members have concerns about meeting in-person. Luckily, most of us have received our COVID-19 immunizations and the overall infection rate in Texas continues to remain low. We will monitor the situation and hopefully we can again have face-to-face meetings sometime this summer.
As reported previously in many places, Dayton Hamvention 2021 in-person was cancelled. Hamvention plans to return in May 2022. There will be a QSO party held on the same weekend—May 20, 21 and 22. There will be new free Zoom sessions covering ham radio subjects. The organizers are still working on the QSO party and the sessions so keep checking http://contestuniversity.com. There are already over 4 hours of free videos posted, part of the “Propagation Summit 2021” held earlier this year. See this link for details: https://www.contestuniversity.com/videos/.
When I worked in the Computer Graphics division of Tektronix years ago, I knew that they made great test equipment. Years later I realized how close I was to some legendary—and very expensive—gear. Spectrum analyzers were especially “cool” and expensive. Well, here’s a cool gadget that every Ham should put on their wish list: a Spectrum Analyzer with a color screen for under $100! Check out these links:
Everyone fire up a radio, go through your rig’s menus, read your owner’s manuals, spin the dial, and monitor a band. You might just learn something!
73 de David K5GIL
At the April 8 meeting, Tom Schiller, K6BT, gave an excellent presentation about how antennas behave in the real world. Tom is founder and owner of Next Generation Antennas and provides a variety of services to the Amateur Radio community including the measurement of take-off angles use high tech equipment and even a drone. Please go here to download a PDF of his presentation.
All About Antennae
Kit Building—A Dying Breed?
A K2 Comes to Life Part III
David Duke, KM5YQ, continues his series about his Elecraft K2 build.
The third phase of the K2 build is to install the remaining band pass filter, low pass filter and the transmitter components. Another decent size group of resistors and a large group of capacitors were the first big steps. Somewhat tedious, but these are the steps where it is important to take your time, and several breaks. After this, the build went much quicker as I had already pre-wound the remaining toroids. [more]
Extra License Study Group Formed
Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, has formed a study group to prepare for the Amateur Extra license exam. Using HamStudy, https://hamstudy.org/, the group will meet by Zoom each Saturday at 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM CT.
If you have your General ticket and want to get those precious Extra privileges, shoot Andy an email with your name, call sign, and your club name (if applicable), email@example.com. Beat the FCC license fee—get your Extra soon! Good luck to the new candidates!
Scheduling note: No meeting on April 17 due to TSPOTA.
Next Regular Meeting
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Fred Varian, WD5ERD, will present an “Introduction to Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio,” aka D-STAR.
We will meet by teleconference using your computer, tablet or phone. Watch your email in-box for instructions about how to join the meeting.
Play Day on Hold
Play Day is postponed indefinitely until we can get together.
TSPOTA for 2021
MARS will not have an official presence during Texas State Parks on the Air, but Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, and Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, plan to set up their Mobile Command Center at the Johnson Branch Unit, Ray Roberts Lake State Park.
MARS Seeks Nominations
President David Gilpin, K5GIL, has named Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, Ron Reeves, NN5R, and Ken Wendel, W5RPS, to the 2021 Nominating Committee to look for candidates to serve as officers for 2021–2022. Up for election in June are President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and one Director.
If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, please send an email to nominations@KB5A.org.
Support the Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society
Tom Thumb’s Good Neighbor Program
Use your Tom Thumb Reward Card to benefit MARS. Here’s how:
1. Download and print the registration form here: https://www.tomthumb.com/content/dam/store/good-neighbor/GOOD_NEIGHBOR_CHARITY_TT.pdf
2. Fill out the form with your Reward Card number, the MARS charity number 14223, your name and phone number.
3. Sign, date and take the form to your store’s courtesy booth.
Kroger Community Rewards Program
MARS is registered with the Kroger Community Rewards Program. To set up your card, log in to your Kroger account,
http://www.kroger.com. Search for Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society, Inc. – or – RD792 and click Enroll. New users will need to create an account which requires some basic information, a valid email address and a Rewards card.
Celebrate World Amateur Radio Day 2021 on Sunday April 18. Visit http://www.arrl.org/news/celebrate-world-amateur-radio-day-2021-on-april-18 for all the details.