Updated June 9, 2021
President’s QRM — Random noise from the President’s Shack
• The MARS Board of Directors meeting is in-person this month! This is the first in-person BOD meeting we have had since March 2020. While we aren’t quite ready to have in-person meetings yet, this is a step towards normalcy.
• ARRL 2021 Field Day is June 26 and 27. The ARRL has extended the Field Day waivers from 2020 which allows operators to work from home (Class D = home power, Class E = emergency power.) and they’ve added two nice new waivers: Class D stations can work any other classes and receive points. Class D and E are limited to 150W PEP transmitter output. There will still be a club aggregate score calculated, just like last year. These waivers will make ARRL FD 2021 a lot of fun to work from your home shack!
• Our friends at Main Trading Company had a very successful Spring tailgate sale recently! Richard says he took in a lot of trades so check out mtcradio.com to see what he has to offer.
• We are in the middle of our North Texas severe weather period (it’s thundering as I write this.) Keep your home rig backup battery charged and remember to charge your HT in case you need it as a backup. Having a weather radio is a good idea. Even if you don’t get a text from Carrollton/Farmers Branch/Addison ARES/RACES, when severe weather is in the area it’s a good idea to monitor the main MARS repeater 145.210 in case we need to bring up a storm net quickly. Remain Storm Ready!
• I’m really looking forward to being able to go to a hamfest swap meet and look at “stuff” again! Maybe this fall....
• Fire up a radio and LISTEN, you never know what you might hear and learn. Try tossing out a CQ once in a while or try a digital mode.
That’s it for now. Let’s plan to have some FUN with Amateur Radio!
73 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
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:
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.
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
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]