Updated March 11, 2023
MARS Hams view the “Magic”
At the February 9 meeting, we screened a video by Jim Wilson, K5ND, all about 6 meters. In addition to being a 6m addict, Jim is an active VHF contester, author and blogger.
He explained the essential band plan for 50 MHz, the best antennas and the various modes you can work on the band. Did you know you could bounce off of an aurora?
Jim recommended these sites for good information: Central States VHF Society, the UK Six Metre Group, as well as his eBook, Capture the Magic of Six Meters. Due to time constraints, we viewed a shortened version of his video. You can view and download the complete video here: Capture the Magic of Six Meters.
Photo: Cleve Massey, W5CEM, works 6m meteor scatter during Field Day 2010.
QRM from the President’s Shack
How to Save a Ham Radio Club
In a recent video, Matt Kaskavitch, K0LWC, offered several suggestions about how to improve and grow your ham radio club in video. The video generated a lot of discussion on QRZ.com. The comments were mostly positive, but there were some naysayers as is usual with QRZ.
This got me thinking about how we can revitalize our own Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society. In case you haven’t noticed, MARS is aging. Membership is pretty static and enthusiasm for various activities is lacking. So, what can we do?
In the discussion, Allen McBroom, AG5ND, offered a list of ideas (slightly edited) that we might consider:
1. Ask every member to help with some task/job/project. If they don’t get involved, they go away from lack of purpose.
2. Make it part of your culture that all radio in all modes in all flavors is good radio—no CW snobs; no FT8 bashing—all radio is good radio.
3. Don’t let “grumpy hams” sit in club offices. Many clubs decay due to unpleasant personalities and “grumpy hams” aren’t pleasant to be around.
4. Have small social events. Have breakfast at some restaurant once a month, and just eat, have coffee, and talk about stuff.
5. Avoid political discussions. Have the club elders and officers agree among themselves that they won’t participate in that, even if they agree with the topic.
6. ID the youngest member or the greenest ham, find out what they are interested in, and ask them to spend 15-20 minutes explaining it at a club meeting. We had a 15-year-old Extra explain slow scan TV to us one night, and he talked over my head part of the time. Good talk, and it increased my humble ratio significantly.
Chillin’ with Winter Field Day
The temperature was 40° F and falling, but MARS hams weren’t deterred and set up shop at Carrollton’s Duck Duck Goose Pond (yes that’s its real name) for a short Winter Field Day on January 29. Tom Yenny, K5LOL, Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, and Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, braved the chill to work some stations using the Club call KB5A.
Kevin and Andy brought their Mobile Command Center (MCC) to keep their toes toasty. They strung out an end-fed wire from the MCC roof while Tom set up his nifty vertical dipole.
Thanks to Tom’s DX, QSOs with Slovenia and Denmark were included in the log. The final tally is not yet complete but check out the gallery below.
Hunting the Fox
Chip Coker, KD4C, President of the Richardson Wireless Klub, presented an excellent program on foxhunting at our January 12 meeting. Foxhunting is simply trying to find a hidden transmitter using portable equipment such as an HT with a directional antenna and it’s an activity that many hams enjoy.
The Richardson Wireless Klub has regularly scheduled fox hunts. For more information Chip suggested you visit the K5RWK website https://www.k5rwk.org/foxhunt/ as well as these links:
An easy-to-build tape measure antenna— http://theleggios.net/wb2hol/projects/rdf/tape_bm.htm.
The complete story behind finding a stuck transmitter interfering with the Denton County (DCARA) repeater— https://www.k5rwk.org/2022/04/30/foxhunting-for-real/.
Meanwhile, check out the video of Chip’s presentation.