Field Day Scores

Remember Field Day 2020? (With so many things happening, I had forgotten about it, too.)
 
The December 2020 issue of QST has the Field Day scores. Turn to Page 74, and in the upper-right corner is our aggregate Field Day score. Eleven hams or groups submitted under the “Club/Group Name” of K6MMM, resulting in an aggregate score of 9967. Congratulations!
 
BTW, although we submitted with the club name K6MMM, it appears that the ARRL translated K6MMM into that call sign’s club name, which is, “Monkey Lover’s Radio Consortium.”
 
Kerry
K3RRY

Planning For BayCon 2021

Planning for BayCon 2021, the BayNet Annual Radio Conference is in high gear. This year’s event will take place on Saturday February 6th, 2021 and is open to everyone ! We are working on how to make this event virtual. Big thanks to the BayNet team for all the help getting this sorted out – Jon W6TRK, Rod VA3ON and Vince VE6LK.
We have a few slots available for guest speakers. If you have a topic you think would be of interest, please respond and we will sort out the details.
You can see a list of speakers so far at bay-net.orgSo far topics include… test equipment, microwave radio, remote station operation, next generation packet radio TCP/IP networking over the air, etc.
Mark you calendars now.

73, George

Gary Watson, K6PDL


AMSAT 2020 Space Symposium video now online 

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

The 38th AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting was held online on October 17, 2020. I’m kinda bummed about this because I just joined AMSAT, but somehow, I managed to miss this event. Fortunately, the symposium was recorded and is now online, and I’ve been enjoying watching the video   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHDgrI_w8hY

 

The video includes updates on AMSAT projects and presentations on amateur satellite technology. For details on presenter names and presentation titles, visit the AMSAT website. AMSAT members can access the Symposium Proceedings on the AMSAT website as well. (The proceedings for all the AMSAT Symposiums are available there as well, but you do have to be an AMSAT member.)

Here’s a list of the different presentations on the video and the times at which they start:

0:00:00 Welcome

0:02:07 AMSAT GOLF-TEE System Overview and Development Status

0:43:02 GOLF IHU Coordination

1:19:10 GOLF Downlink Coordination

1:50:15 FUNcube Next

2:13:50 LunART – Luna Amateur Radio Transponder

2:45:35 CatSat HF Experiment Overview

3:13:30 Neutron-1 CubeSat

3:39:58 Progress and Development of Open Source Electric Propulsion for Nanosats and Picosats

4:15:00 AMSAT Education

5:14:00 ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) / AREx (Amateur Radio Exploration)

6:14:00 AMSAT Engineering

7:21:16 AMSAT Annual General Meeting

So far, I’ve only watched the GOLF-TEE System Overview and the AMSAT Education presentation. They were both interesting and I’m looking forward to watching the others.

I really hadn’t been keeping up with AMSAT lately, so the the presentation on the GOLF project was definitely news to me. GOLF is an ambitious project aimed at sending up high Earth orbit (HEO) satellites. GOLF is short for “Greater Orbits Larger (user communication) Footprints.” This is really pretty exciting stuff.

Watching these presentations really gives one an appreciation for the work that goes into the design of these satellites and the technical skills and dedication of the hams working on these projects. These guys are not getting paid to do any of this work, and as Eric Skoog, K1TVV, the GOLF System Engineer said in his presentation, “Space is hard.”

Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, is the author of the KB6NU amateur radio blog (KB6NU.Com), the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides (KB6NU.Com/study-guides/), and often appears on the ICQPodcast (icqpodcast.com). When he’s not trying to work the satellites, he teaches online ham radio classes and operates CW on the HF bands.

 


AMSAT 2020 Space Symposium video now online 

https://launch.amsat.org/The_AMSAT_Journal

John Sisler, KJ6ZL, The primary person for Satellite contacts during SLVARC/SCCARC Field Day events. This designation ‘just happened’ over time, and has become a yearly thing for what now may be more than ten years running.

“It all began with a simple setup, and hand-operated antenna tracking (In fact we put the antennas up by simply cradling them on a tripod of three poles standing together, like they did with rifles during the civil war.). Someone would read the results of list of calculated satellite positions, and move the antennas manually, while I sat at the radio and tried to make contacts. Since then automation has joined the party and now everything is automated, even the tuning of the radio. The station has improved year after year, and now has become a simple setup to repeat.

Though maybe for next year we could try adding…

So you see, this is how the game of satellite contacts goes. It’s great fun, and sometimes can be very similar to ‘weak signal’ contacts, and sometimes similar to DX pileups. There are some things going one that make it much easier than in the past, and some things that are making it harder. In general I love it, and hope everyone else would join me in playing this game.

For this presentation I plan to discuss the current state of satellite operation, what I am aware of that is coming for the future, and how we can all get on the air. It will be an interactive discussion, and I welcome all questions.”

John Sisler is a BSME, with recent Master of Energy from the University of Auckland. He has years of experience in mechanical design of electronic products, and has recently been concentrating on geology and geothermal energy power production.Edit

The August 21 Club meeting will feature Nate Preston (KM6THA) will present a virtual tour of the new repeater equipment and building upgrades (improved ventilation).  
Richard (K8SQB) will also give a brief presentation on the International L

 

K6BJ 2-Meter Repeater Aux Input Panel Temperature and Power Monitoring

Introduction

The recent upgrade to the K6BJ 2-meter repeater includes a new Arcom RC210 repeater controller. The controller has a number of capabilities not currently in use. This document covers the addition of an auxiliary input panel to allow easy connection to the controller’s multiple digital outputs and analog and digital inputs, and the connection of sensors and circuitry to allow monitoring of temperatures and power voltages. Also covered are the controller programming additions needed to make use of the new sensors, and possible future capability enhancements.

Arcom RC210 Connection

The Arcom RC210 Repeater Controller includes on its rear panel one DB-25 connector intended for the connection of peripheral equipment. This connector provides 8 analog inputs, 5 digital or alarm inputs, and 7 digital outputs. (See Arcom Version 3.5 Hardware Manual). To make these connections available for convenient use, we now add a shielded DB-25 cable to bring signals to screw terminals on a 3½ inch panel to be installed at the rear of the repeater rack.  See Fig. 1.

Temperature and Power Voltage Sensing

Circuitry for the connection of temperature sensors and for monitoring power voltages is contained in a small metal enclosure affixed to the auxiliary input panel adjacent to the screw terminal blocks. 

AC Voltage Sensing

AC power from the power grid or the repeater shack’s AC generator is monitored at the AC power receptacle at the base of the repeater equipment rack. A small transformer mounted to the rack panel steps down the voltage and provides ground isolation. Voltage from the transformer’s secondary is rectified, filtered, and scaled to produce a signal between 0 and +5VDC which is proportional to the AC power voltage. This connects to the controller’s AD3 Analog Channel 3 input. Scaling constants in the controller software allow it to report the power as AC volts.

Battery Voltage Sensing

Battery voltage is sensed at the fuse block in the repeater rack. Resistors scale the voltage to the 0-to-5-VDC input range of the controller’s A-to-D converter at AD4. Scaling constants in the controller software allow it to report actual battery voltage.

Temperature Sensing

Temperature is measured using an LM35, an inexpensive IC with an output voltage directly proportional to temperature, varying 10mV/°C. One sensor is in the equipment rack near the Yaesu DR-1X radio, and one sensor is outside affixed to the north wall of the repeater shack. Sensors are powered from the controller’s stabilized A-to-D reference voltage. Sensor current is limited to about 80 µA to prevent errors due to self-heating. Sensor connection is via twisted-pair CAT-5 cable. Small bypass capacitors shunt any RF voltage induced on the cable runs. 

Inexpensive LM35 sensors have an accuracy of ±1°C. Their output is scaled to read degrees Fahrenheit with calibration constants programmed into the RC210. 

Controller Programming

Status Query 

The following query commands are supported:

  1. AC Power Voltage
    DTMF command code: [TBD]
    Repeater response: “AC power xxx volts AC”
  2. Battery Voltage
    DTMF command code: [TBD]
    Repeater response: “Battery xx.x volts DC”
  3. Outside Temperature
    DTMF command code: [TBD]
    Repeater response: “Outside temperature xx degrees” [requires custom DVR track]
  4. Rack Temperature
    DTMF command code: [TBD]
    Repeater response: “Inside temperature xx degrees” [requires custom DVR track]

Alarm Conditions

AC Power Loss:

If the AC power drops below 102 VAC as measured by the RC210 Repeater Controller, the following actions occur:

  • The repeater transmits once, “AC power out. AC power xxx volts AC.”
  • Repeater courtesy tone changes to [TBD]
  • Repeater ID switches to CW only at 20 wpm. ID ceases when the repeater is unused.
  • After every 10th transmission, the repeater appends the tail message, “AC power out.”

When AC power is restored to at least 108 VAC, these actions occur:

  • The repeater transmits once, “AC power on. AC power xxx volts AC.”
  • Courtesy tone and repeater ID is restored to normal operation.
  • Tail messages cease.

Low Battery Voltage:

If the battery voltage drops below 12.8 VDC, the following actions occur:

  • The repeater transmits once, “Battery xx.x volts DC.”
  • The repeater courtesy tone changes to [TBD]
  • Repeater ID switches to CW only at 20 wpm. ID ceases when the repeater is unused.
  • After every 10th transmission the repeater appends the tail message, “Battery xx.x volts DC.”

If the battery voltage drops below 12.4 VDC:

  • The repeater transmits once, “Battery low. Battery xx.x volts DC.” This repeats as a tail message after every 10th transmission.

When battery voltage recovers above 13.0 VDC, these actions occur:

  • The repeater transmits once, “Battery xx.x volts DC.”
  • Courtesy tone and repeater ID are restored to normal operation.
  • Tail messages cease.

High Temperature:

If inside temperature exceeds 100°F, the following action occurs:

  • After every 10th transmission the repeater appends the tail message, “Outside temperature xx degrees. Inside temperature xx degrees”

Tail messages cease when inside temperature falls below 96°F.

Future Enhancements

In addition to the items planned above, we could consider adding a number of additional enhancements to the system.  

Some low cost enhancements include:

  • Repeater shack door sensor
    Allow a status inquiry to determine whether the door to the repeater shack is open. Possibly transmit a message when the door opens or closes.
  • AGM battery monitor
    Monitor the voltage of the AGM battery bank currently used for the UHF repeater.
  • Exhaust fan status
    If we decide to install a thermostatically controlled exhaust fan, the controller could report whether the fan was on or off.
  • User changeable periodic announcements.

At the (sometimes considerable) cost of additional hardware, the controller could support:

  • Davis Instruments Weather Station
    The RC210 software includes turnkey support for the Davis Vantage Vue and Vantage Pro Weather Stations. Prices start around $190. (You never know when someone will need to know the barometric pressure at Upper Delaveaga Park.)

UHF Backbone
Connect the repeater to a backbone UHF repeater. This would allow full equality with KJ6FFP/W in Watsonville and (maybe) W6JWS in Bonny Doon.


W6WLS Rebuild Go Fund Me

Greetings, All, The CZU Fire destroyed the W6WLS repeater and other equipment located on Empire Grade Road.  Here is a GoFundMe site to help restore it: Rebuild the Empire Grade Tower Site, organized by Matthew Kaufman

Please help in any amount that you can.

Becky KI6TBK


K6MMM Field Day 2020

  • Adaptation A pair of end feed antennas, HF station Photo: K8SQB

SCCARC K6MMM Field Day 2020 MOVIE

Greetings, All,My friend, Ms. Dorothee Ledbetter, just completed the edited video of this year’s Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club and San Lorenzo Valley Amateur Radio Club Field Day 2020 at Lago Lomita Vineyard.  I think she did a marvelous job, and hope you all enjoy the video.

Becky, KI6TKB

24-minute version (24.38, upl. 7/30/20)
https://youtu.be/rOWcwiVng08Edit

 


Welcome to the new K6BJ Reflector!

 

We are moving from our almost 20 year old service to a more current and standard reflector service.

There are a lot more features and benefits to groups.io.

Please let other Hams know all they have to do is subscribe!

As we learn more, we will be promoting some of the more fun features of Group.io.

Click on the link below to subscribe.

Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club k6bj@groups.io

Mailing List for the Santa Cruz County Amateur Radio Club.
Please limit discussion to ham radio topics.

Group Information


2019 Holiday Luncheon