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President's Notes

President's Notes (17)

This category is a container to hold articles written by the President of SLSRC.

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 00:00

Radio Merit Badge

For many of us, we remember our childhood days and especially remember being a scout.  Those memories would not have been possible if there had not been a group of committed adults that volunteered their time to make those memories for us.  This July the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America  is hosting a summer camp that is focused on STEM activities to bring out the inner geek in all of us.  If you don't already know STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the BSA wants to encourage scouts to take greater interest in these fields of study.

On July 29th, members of the club will host a Radio Merit Badge skill center during the STEM Summer Camp.  During the day, the scouts will attend classes and workshops on radio and radio propagation.  They will learn about the science of radio, see how radio equipment is designed and built and will have the opportunity to make their first contact on two-way radio.  There will demonstrations of many types of radio technology including digital and satellite communications.  By the end of the day, our goal is to get as many scouts as possible qualified for their Radio Merit Badge and on their way to achieving higher honors such as Nova and Super Nova Awards.

During this week, we will be operating under the special event call-sign, K2BSA/0.  So be on the lookout for that call and be prepared to get scouts on the air and interested in radio communications.

73,

DE K4LSU, Craig

Monday, 06 July 2015 00:00

IRLP and EchoLink Systems Updated

If you happened to be listening to the 146.850 repeater this weekend you may have noticed that the repeater was being worked on by members of the club.  This past weekend, Chris Barber, WX5CW, installed a computer and interface that directly connects the Club's 146.850 to IRLP and EchoLink.  Previously, the repeated connected to IRPL and EchoLink through a RF link to a radio at Mark Biernacki's house.  While this system provided many years of access to IRLP and EchoLink, it suffered from timing delays and repeater squelch tail lockout.  Now that the IRLP and EchoLink node is directly connected to the repeater, carrier squelch detection is performed on the input of the repeated thus eliminating the lockout caused by a long repeater squelch tail.  This should improve both the usability and the reliability of IRLP and EchoLink.  And, as a final added benefit members can now send a #504 DTMF prefix followed by the EchoLink node number to reach EchoLink stations directly through the repeater.  Please join me in thanking WX5CW, Chris, for all the hard work and effort that he put in to make this a reality.

73,

DE K4LSU, Craig 

Thursday, 02 July 2015 00:00

Field Day Success

WOW!  That is all I can say about Field Day.  WOW!  If you missed it you missed one of the most exciting and fun Field Days in recent history.  It all started off with GREAT Weather!  Can you believe it was 66° at 7:00 am with clear skies.  You could not ask for better weather all day and through the night.  No need for a special cooling station and no need to run find tarps to cover equipment due to rain.   

We got the weekend started off going over last minute plans and directions during breakfast at Denny's.  From Denny's we departed in different directions heading out to take care of individual responsibilities.  Mike Martin and Amberly headed over to pick up the tower trailer, while others headed to the park to start unloading and setting up equipment.  

One of the most significant upgrades to this year's event was the addition of network logging and computer rig interfaces.  This addition greatly simplified station operation as the band and mode was automatically entered into the log with information directly from the radio.  The addition of a local area network also meant that the logs were automatically combined into a single log.  This made duplicate checking much more accurate and often pre-populated section and class information when additional station contacts were made on different bands and modes.  As with any technology, the network would sometimes lock up requiring a re-connection to the database.  Once you learned how to do this it was quick and easy.

Like last year, the club operated again as a 2-Alpha class.  Some members worried whether two stations would be enough for a club our size.  What most folks don't realize is that the GOTA and the VHF stations don't count against your base class.  In the end we had plenty of operating stations available for the members who wanted to operate.  Hopefully, we will see an increase in the number of members wanting to operate next year and we will keep those radios humming during the entire 24 hour period. 

Over the weekend, we had almost 100 people sign-in falling short by one person with 99 folks signing in.  According to the sign-in sheets we had 63 members and 36 guest sign-in.  We had a couple of other visitors stop by to check on us from the Olivette Police Department.  They were working and did not sign in.  We even had a member of the press Christian Cudnik from Ham Nation and the "100 Watts and a Wire podcasts."  All in all, I would say that is a pretty good turn out for our Field Day.

At the present time, George Waddell our IT Committee Chair, reports that we made 692 contacts on Field Day. The breakdown of these contacts are as follows:

Total CW QSOs: 389 X 2 =  Total CW QSO points: 778
Total Phone QSOs: 303 X 1 =  Total Phone QSO points: 303
Total QSO points: 1081
 
Plus we get a power multiplier (< 150W) of two.
 
Claimed Score: 2162
 
 Total Contacts by Band and Mode:
 
 Band       CW   Power     Dig   Power   Phone   Power   Total       %
 ----       --   -----   -----   -----   -----   -----   -----     ---
   80        0     150       0     150      54     150      54       8
   40      253     150       0     150      30     150     283      41
   20        0     150       0     150     121     150     121      17
   15        8     150       0     150      59     150      67      10
   12        0     150       0     150       1     150       1       0
   10      128     150       0     150      14     150     142      21
    6        0     150       0     150      24     150      24       3
 GOTA        0     150       0     150       0     150       0       0
            --   -----   -----   -----   -----   -----   -----     ---
 Total     389               0             303             692     100

As I look forward to next year, I think this year is going to be hard to beat.  The weather was the best that I have seen in 10+ years and the equipment worked as planning.  Who knows, next year might surprise us even more.

73,

DE K4LSU, Craig

 

 

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