Updated March 10, 2022
In-State on 20 Meters
I’ve been operating some State QSO Parties recently. During the South Carolina event, I made contact with W9DC on Hilton Head Island who was running the frequency. After my contact, I heard AA4R repeatedly calling in response to W9DC’s QRZ but W9DC clearly couldn’t hear him. On my end, both stations had strong 59 signals. AA4R was operating in Laurens County SC so he was good for me as a multiplier, and it would be cool to have a QSL card from him on the wall. However, with W9DC running a pileup on the frequency, all I could do was listen to AA4R trying unsuccessfully to call W9DC.
There must be an unwritten QSO Party rule prohibiting in-state contacts on 20m. I had the same problem during the Texas QSO Party last year. I ran 20m all afternoon making contacts throughout the US but couldn’t hear anyone in Texas. I don’t know if anyone in Texas heard me but if they did, I couldn’t hear them. My signal and/or theirs was probably bouncing right over Texas headed for other states. I needed to have a lousier 20m antenna more suitable for making in-state contacts. We joked about needing to lower the antenna to 3 feet or string the wire between some rocks on the ground.
The Oklahoma QSO Party is coming up on March 12. I think I’m going to use some cinder blocks for the supports on my new rotatable 20m dipole.
—73 Ron Reeves, NN5R
Dave Lichtenwalter, N2DL, SK
MARS was saddened to learn that Dave Lichtenwalter, N2DL, passsed away on February 10. His son Jordan, KE5BRT, said the family will have a private memorial at his home.
Jordan has asked if you have memories, stories or photographs you would like to share, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave has been a member for many years and volunteered often for club activities. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Jordan and his family.
Linux for Hams
At the February 10, 2022 meeting, Dale Finley, KB5NFT, gave an overview of Linux-based hardware and software for hams. His presentation is available here.
Random QRM from the President’s Shack
While the weather outside is “frightful” here are some suggestions to occupy your time while improving your Amateur Radio skills.
One of the best tools in learning how to do things these days is to search YouTube to discover if someone has posted a video about the information you seek. I’ve been very successful in finding plumbing, appliance, and automotive repair videos on YouTube. There are some good Amateur Radio related YouTube channels around. Here is a list of some of my favorites:
• Ham Radio 2.0 (this is Jason, based in Grapevine TX)
• Mr Carlson’s Lab (Ham and general electronics repair)
A lot of us have “cut the cord” and have smart TVs or streaming devices. For those of you with a Roku device, you can add the AmateurLogic channel. This is the same content as their YouTube channel, but it’s right there on your Roku, and you can watch it on your big TV.
Another thing to try: Amateur podcasts. Many of us have Amazon Prime subscriptions. If you do, search for the Amazon podcast “Foundations of Amateur Radio”—free with Amazon Prime.
These are just a few fun ways to learn more about Amateur Radio. May you have low noise and great DX!
—73 David Gilpin, K5GIL
MRC Building New Comms
—Kevin Grantham, N5KRG
The Dallas County Medical Reserve Corps asked me to help create a transportable radio system for use by volunteers and others at incident and event sites. The initial procurement was funded by a FEMA grant in October 2020. In March, 2021, the MRC and I began work on proposals.
Working with the stakeholders and examining the use cases, I proposed a Part 90 public safety band UHF system. The reasons are: