Field Day is just a few days away!

Good day, everybody!

Just a gentle reminder that Field Day is just a few days away.  It is hard to believe that it is nearly upon us; this has been planned for months!  Most everything is in place to make this year’s 2016 Field Day a successful event!

Field Day is for all of us associated with South Mountain Radio Amateurs (also friends, spouses and children who are interested too), and It’s design is to give hams from all over North America the opportunity to do radio,  make contacts with other hams nationwide, experiment with current and new technology, and explore the older “time proven” technologies.

Our antenna farm should be impressive, with;

  • ZL (zed-l) Special – a two element beam for 20 meters
  • Balloon borne vertical for 80 meters (and other bands)
  • Three band Inverted Vee (80/40/20M)
  • 10 – 40 meter vertical
  • 10 – 80 M  Dipole/Inverted Vee
  • 2M & 6M beams for VHF SSB station

Have you ever been curious about certain aspects of Amateur radio?  Why not come out and visit.  Here is a quick list of what some of our stations will be doing this year.

  • CW Station…Scott Walker, N3SW will run 100W Rig Elecraft K2/100 80 – 10M Dipole/Inv V – Power batteries or generator
  • Digital Station….Dick Goodman, WA3USG Rig Yaesu Ft897 – 80/40/20M Inverted Vee – Power solar/batteries during day, generator at night
  • QRP/QRO John Jaminet, W3HMS will run this.  Elecraft KX3 with/without 100W amp – ZL special for 20M, Balloon vertical for others
  • GOTA station ….anyone who wants to bring their own rig  Antenna provided will be 10 – 40M vertical
  • VHF….Gary Hammaker, KB3EJZ,  will run 6M & 2M SSB

VE testing will be offered at 11 AM, we already have several who have promised to come and test.  Food and refreshments will be available.

We will begin setting up at the Emergency Services Training Academy, 180 Army Heritage Dr., Carlisle (just north of Sheetz and Target off Trindle Road) on Saturday, June 25th, at 8 AM.  More details will be given at the next regular meeting on June 21st. I look forward to seeing all of you.

73 to all

Don Evans, SMRA president KB3VAX

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Middle School Club at Harrisburg Academy Seeks 3-4 Volunteers

Harrisburg Academy Amateur Radio Club, N3HAC

Trustee Sean Barnes, N3JQ teaches Physics and Math at Harrisburg Academy

Sean, N3JQ, is a member of SMRA.

Recent Middle School Amateur Radio Club was added in early April 2016.

We have three more meetings in 2016 before school lets out:

  1. Monday, May 2 – 12:30 to 1:15 pm
  2. Wednesday, May 11 – 12:30 to 1:15 pm
  3. Wednesday, June 1 – 12:30 to 1:15 pm

Volunteers (3 or 4) are needed to help divide this group of ~15 students onto HF, 2-m, and Echolink stations, as well as to offer any presentations or show/tell some equipment.

Volunteers could arrive around 12-12:15 to prepare for the meeting.

School is located at 10 Erford Rd, Wormleysburg, PA, 17043

Enter at the main entrance closest to the American Flag on the pole outside.

Location is ~over near Holy Spirit.  School is directly across the street from Perkins.

Email Sean Barnes at SeanBarnesPolo@aol.com, or call his cell phone: 717-579-6543 if you can help.

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Thanks For The Contact! (QRPTTF 2016)

“QRPTTF” stands for “QRP To The Field”. It is a yearly event coordinated through the QRP-L Internet mailing list. The purpose is to encourage as many low-power operators as possible to take their rigs out into the field and operate on the same day nationwide. This year it tied in nicely with the ARRL National Parks On The Air year-long event. I decided to hike to a spot on the Appalachian Trail (NPOTA TR01) which is also a peak in the Summits On The Air (SOTA) program. That way I was a “triple threat” – QRPTTF, NPOTA and SOTA. Operating from that one location I could hand out points in all three events.

I parked my car along Rt. 850 west of Marysville and hiked north on the AT about three miles to the Cove Mountain SOTA. The actual summit is just off the south side of the trail, so I had to do a little bushwhacking to find it. Its not a clear spot, just a pile of boulders at the highest point of the ridge. GPS makes finding it pretty easy.

I started out using my Yaesu HT to announce my presence on some local repeaters, then working about a dozen local stations on 2-meters simplex using 5 watts and a telescopic whip antenna. Next I threw a string up into a tree and put up a three-band vertical ground plane antenna. I started calling CQ near 14.060 on 20 meters and soon had 17 stations in the log, including AZ, NM, Spain and the Czech Republic. I switched to 40 meters later in the afternoon and worked 13 stations before calling it quits and hiking back down the mountain.

Thanks to those of you who helped me out by spotting me on the DX sites and working me on 2 meters and other bands. Its fun to have a bit of a pileup calling you! I’ve uploaded my log file to LoTW and SOTA, so those of you chasing NPOTAs and Summits should have the credits. 73

-Scott N3SW-

 

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A new episode of ARRL The Doctor is In podcast is available now:

You Have An Appointment with the Doctor!

A new episode of ARRL The Doctor is In podcast is available now:
Does CW Really Get Through When Nothing Else Can?

QST’s popular “The Doctor is In” column is now an audio podcast and you can start listening today!

Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is a lively discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet or smartphone – whenever and wherever you like!

Every two weeks your host, QST Editor in Chief Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will discuss a broad range of technical topics. You can also e-mail your questions to doctor@arrl.org and they may answer them in a future podcast.

Enjoy “ARRL The Doctor is In” on Apple iTunes, or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for ARRL The Doctor is In). You can also listen online through Stitcher (free registration required) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle or Android devices. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, download our beginner guide at www.arrl.org/doctor. Look for the section labeled “Find the Doctor!”

You’ll find the podcast archive at www.arrl.org/doctor.

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Soldering Tips for Beginners

Tech Tips: Soldering Tips for Beginners

1. Use a good soldering iron, preferably a cordless one, or a temperature-controlled soldering station
2. Use the correct type of vise or third hand
3. Use the thinnest solder appropriate for your project
4. 60/40 solder is recommended for beginners
5. Use the right-size tip for your project
6. Allow the soldering iron to reach the right temperature
7. Hold the soldering iron by the right end – the cool end
8. Apply the iron to the joint first and then the solder to the lead and allow it to spread, and watch out for dripping solder
9. Don’t put too much solder on – “the bigger the blob, the better the job” is not true here
10. Tin your wires by placing a small amount of solder to the iron and then wiping it off first, then solder the connection
11. Clean the tip often with iron wool, a wet sponge and tip cleaner
12. Don’t apply pressure on the soldering iron
13. Don’t move the joint while its cooling and don’t blow on it to cool it off
14. Practice on scrap before starting your project
15. Remember, practice makes perfect!

 

Top 10 Soldering Safety Tips from Jameco Customers
1. Don’t burn yourself
2. Don’t burn anything else
3. When you do burn yourself – because you will – be sure to have first aid supplies near by:
• First Aid Kit
• Bandages
• Cold Packs
• Aloe Vera
• Fire Extinguishers
4. Wear pants to protect your legs, safety glasses and don’t wear polyester clothing
5. Work in a clean area free of oils, grease and anything that is flammable
6. Don’t eat greasy foods while you solder
7. Solder slowly and stay focused
8. Always return the soldering iron to the stand after each use and grab the cool end when you use it
9. Remember: It takes a long time for the soldering iron to cool off
10. Always unplug the soldering iron when you’re done

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Humor

20130510-210223

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New Hams Question and Answers Session; Thursday March 3rd

New Hams Questions and Answers Session on 3 Mar 2016

SMRA (South Mountain Radio Amateurs) is pleased to announce an evening session devoted entirely to the interest and needs of amateur radio operators in getting on the air. This is open to all hams and those interested in becoming hams irrespective of license class,  time licensed, age, etc,

We will convene at 1830 on Thursday 3 Mar 16 in the large Conference Room of the Cumberland County EOC just across from the Prison which is to the east of Carlisle. We plan to end at 2030.

There is no fee and no sign up. Just be prompt as we will start on time!! There will be no Power Points and no handouts. We will address questions and topics posed by attenders and ourselves plus the follow- on questions that will naturally ensue. You will profit by what you have recorded in memory and/or notes….and we suggest both!!

Please pass this EMAIL far and wide among your ham colleagues and clubs for there are no geographic limits, only 40 seats.

The presenters will be Don Evans, KB3VAX, Club President, Bob Raker, W0BR, and John Jaminet, W3HMS.

For the Presenters, 73, John, W3HMS,  19 Feb 2016

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Why does SMRA have a Mission Statement?

Several years ago, the South Mountain Radio Amateurs Executive Board decided we needed a mission statement.  The club was growing in numbers, There were several nets, projects teams and meetings happening several times weekly, and interest in the club and hobby was growing.

As discussion began, questions were asked, “Why are we a club”;  “Why do we exist”; “Where do we want to be (as a club) 10 or more years from now?”  The answers came quickly after the questions were asked.  For the love of the hobby, the “magic” of radio and the fellowship  we enjoy when playing radio with other hams.

Please read the following “Mission Statement”, and consider what you can do to promote the hobby or volunteer for one of the many committees or become an Elmer to a new inexperienced amateur.

This is your club, this is our club and together we will make this club even better!

SMRA Mission Statement

  • To be a resource for advancing operational and technical skills, competency, and amateur radio licensing
  • To mentor new members and enhance fellowship among radio amateurs
  • To provide amateur radio communications resources and emergency communication services for the community
  • To honor The Amateur’s Code
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New Hams Questions and Answers Session on 3 Mar 2016

SMRA (South Mountain Radio Amateurs) is pleased to announce an evening session devoted entirely to the interest and needs of new amateur radio operators in getting on the air.

We will convene at 1830 on Thursday 3 Mar 16 in the large Conference Room of the Cumberland County EOC just across from the Prison which is to the east of Carlisle. We plan to end at 2030.

There is a fee, but not in money. Each “ ticket”, of which we have 40 (really seats) will cost 1 or 2 short questions which we will use to focus our coverage on the points of interest among the attenders.

The attenders should be licensed hams or working on getting a license.

We also want to have the maximum in dialogue among the presenters and the attenders as learning is the sole objective. To the question, “why do we do this”, the answer is simply “for the love of the hobby”!!!

To facilitate learning, we want to see plenty of pens and note taking among all who attend.

Please send your name, call letters if held, and questions which will be acknowledged. The acknowledgement EMAIL will be your ticket. Please send no later than 17 Feb 16 to w3HMS@aol.com.

Please pass this EMAIL far and wide among your ham colleagues and clubs for there are no geographic limits, only 40 seats.  The 1st forty responders with questions get the tickets; all others will be so advised.

The presenters will be Don Evans, KB3VAX, Club President; Bob Raker, W0BR, and John Jaminet, W3HMS.

From the Presenters, 73, John, W3HMS, 22 Jan 16

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Thanks to everyone who participated in SMRA’s “Snow Net”

Thanks to all who participated in SMRA’s Snow Net!  We had nearly 30 unique call signs who called in during the three nets we had.  I was surprised with the variety of rigs used by the amateurs and ECHO link call-ins too.  Also a special thanks to W3SMF for his work in running an efficient and organized net.  Keep up the great work everybody, and remember, “the hardest part of planning for an emergency is explaining why you didn’t.”

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