Geo Magnetic Storms
Among the events most disruptive to HF communications are geomagnetic storms.which are caused by major bursts of radiation and particles from the sun. When these bursts arrive at the earth they disturb our magnetic field which results in increased noise and changes to the composition of the ionosphere.
The folowing graph was published in the Pacificon QRP Forum Oct 17 1998. The comprehensive article is credited to Paul Harden NA5N
Browsing Short Skip
If you are ever confined to barracks for more than a few days life can become rather dull. My recipe is to look back at past issues of Short Skip, so well archived by our indispensable producer Ron K6EXT. What you
will find amply shows the vitality and diversity of our Club and I found it exhilarating. Here’s an idea -spend some time browsing, select one item that you really enjoyed then let Ron know the title and issue. Ron may have room for it to be re-issued. I was curious to determine when the first CAKE notes showed up and found this in the March 2002 issue. We have been meeting bi-weekly from then .
73 Ron W6WO
For the new members of our club, Short Skip was the printed newsletter for the SCCARC. On our website K6BJ.ORG under “archive” you will find PDF copies of the printed Short Skip newsletter from 1999 to 2015.
Growing the Ranks vs. Growing the Enjoyment
By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU
Because I teach amateur radio classes and publish a series of popular amateur radio license study guides (www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/), I often get kudos for “growing the ranks.” In fact, Gordon West, WB6NOA, told me this just last week, when he stopped by the booth I was in at the Dayton Hamvention. I’m paraphrasing a little, but after telling me that he’s heard good things about my study guides, he said something like, “You’re doing good work in helping get more people into ham radio.”
People say that as if this is—or should be—the ultimate goal of teaching a license class. While this may be one of the goals, if that’s your primary goal, I think that you’re barking up the wrong tree.
In a way, creating more hams is selfish. If there are more licensed amateur radio operators, they say, then amateur radio will have more political clout with the FCC and with Congress, making it easier to pass legislation like the Amateur Radio Parity Act. While this may certainly help the new ham down the line, its main thrust is to reduce restrictions on those who are currently hams.
My goal in teaching amateur radio classes isn’t to create more hams. Instead, my goal is to help more people have fun with ham radio. The first step in helping people have fun with ham radio is, of course, helping them get their license. I do that by publishing my study guides and teaching ham classes.
The next step, and I’m only really getting started on this right now, is to help people learn what they need to know to become better ham radio operators. That’s why I got a little excited when I saw the article, “Making a Good hobby Better Through Post-Licensing Enrichment” by Tim Busch, N0CKR in the latest issue of Radio Waves, the ARRL’s email newsletter for amateur radio instructors.
In the article, Tim describes several activities that his club encourages, including a “new ham net” and the Field Day GOTA station, but he also details a program of “mini classes” that will teach specific skills related to ham radio. These include:
• Programming Radios and Getting on the Air
• Soldering 101
• Multimeter 101
• Build and Use a Roll-Up J-Pole Antenna
• Build and Use a Satellite Antenna
• Operating Digital Modes: IRLP, AllStar, D-Star, EchoLink, etc.
• Remote Operation
• Software-Defined Radios
• Transitioning from VHF/UHF to HF Operating
• Chasing Awards
• Learn CW
Tim writes, “Each class is intended to be no more than two hours at a sitting, so they can be held before a monthly club meeting. The variety of subject matter allows many club members to get involved in leading a topic. Materials kits are prepared in advance, so students walk away with practical items they can use at home.”
I think this is a great set of classes, and I plan to try some of these in the fall. A couple of other topics that occur to me are:
• Power Supplies 101
• Mobile Operation 101
• ARRL 101
• RFI/TVI 101
Helping new hams—and old hams—have more fun with amateur radio is a lot more satisfying to me than just “growing the ranks.” It would be nice to say that we have a million licensed radio amateurs in the U.S., but I think it would be a lot more valuable to the hobby to say that a larger percentage of licensed hams were active and enjoying ham radio. I know that, for me, increasing the number of active, engaged hams would be more personally satisfying than simply creating a lot of new licensees.
When he’s not working on helping new hams, Dan operates CW on the HF bands and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com. If you have a good idea for a new ham “mini class,” e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAKE session May 13 2017
On an impeccable May day morning it was delightful to be meeting with such exhilarating friends as Ward AE6TY, Don K6GHA,Reed N1WC and John N5HPB. Ward is valiantly exploring a mountain of mathematics underlying filter behavior- why ? because it deserves climbing for the sheer satisfaction of doing so!
Have you noticed there is a renaissance of QRP activity going on? The incredible digital mode software coming from Prof Joe Taylor (K1JT) at Princeton U means we can literally span the world with a few mW on a balloon and of course QRP CW is very much alive and well. John showed us his back packing go-bag and an array of kit-built and home-brew items. Three things matter most in the QRP arena -weight, power consumption and antenna efficiency. Apparently the famous NORCal QRPclub is active again in the valley and their site has all their publications.
John continues to amaze us with his craftsmanship to produce artistic and functional 3D printed objects .I would like to apply a title to him as “CrafTist”. Unfortunately Ron’s latest QRP rig committed suicide!
On the other end of the size/weight scale we pondered over a rotary inductance with a built-in turns counter. It probably weighed close to 2 pounds. It was made by a firm in CT called Veeder and was inscribed with patent dates of 1895 and 1911. John mentioned that you need to have a TIFF viewer to see patents. This was an era dominated by high power and LF and the coil was wound on a glass cylinder with grooves for the winding. Ron will make some measurements of its inductance and report back.
Don now has his head in a cloud of big data, thinking what it might be like to have real-time access to many aspects of Ham Radio activity going on around the world. Pretty ambitious Don but go for it!
Ron mentioned a study he is conducting to quantify the effectiveness of HF antenna baluns.
Just found that the National Museum of American History site has some interesting detail on the Veeder Corp and their counting products.
73 to all and hope to see you at our bi-weekly CAKE sessions in the future
Radio Crystal History
I came into ham radio when Bomar, were cheap, for Motorola Dispatcher 2 m radios, at about $5 ea, and
the gold standard, guaranteed to work and be dead on freq was International crystal at probably triple that, out of Oklahoma..
Well here is a great history of that technology industry as a very interesting and detailed narrative.
Probably a link worth posting in your club newsletter.
Ham Equipment Available
A local Santa Cruz ham will be moving and ‘clearing out’ a lot of gear from his collection. (see attached PDF for images)
From what I have seen it has been kept and stored well, from a non-smoking environment.
I have no prices, but if you are interested in any of the following items, please send me an email and I forward on your request to get connected.
73, de Don K6GHA
1) Kenwood TS-870 HF Radio, http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/46
– Kenwood SM-230 Station Monitor http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9187
– Kenwood TL-922A -1.5KW linear http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/439
2) Kenwood SP-31 http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4284
3) Yaseu YS-500 SWR Meter http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5579
4) Kenwood MC-60 Desk Mic http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1112
5) ICOM IC-R71 http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/496
6) 2 – AEA PK-232 Packet – http://www.timewave.com/support/PK-232/PK232PSK.html
7) In addition, he has:
– Cushcraft R7 all band vertical http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/518
– 20m Yagi
– & FM mag mounts
– Dipoles and Discone
– 2m FT-212H, and ICOMs
9) Additional Items:
– Rolling Hard Cases (5-6)
– Antenna Tuners,