Archive for June, 2006

Scout Radio!

June 29, 2006

I found an email list that is dedicated to supporting Scouts and radio. Very cool!

Traffic Nets within the Virginia Section

June 29, 2006

Here is a list of the known traffic nets within the Virginia Section

1:00 p.m. – Virginia Traffic Net (VTN) 7260 kHz daily
1:45 p.m. – Fourth Region Net Cycle 2 Early (4RN) 7243 kHz daily
2:30 p.m. – Eastern Area Net Cycle 2 (EAN) 7243 kHz M-F
2:30 p.m. – Eastern Area Net Cycle 2 (EAN) 7050 kHz S-Sn (30 wpm)
3:30 p.m. – Fourth Region Net Cycle 2 Late (4RN) 7243 kHz daily
4:00 p.m. – Virginia Fone Net (VFN) 3947 kHz daily
5:30 p.m. – Eastern Area Net Cycle 3 (EAN) 7050/3670 kHz daily (30 wpm)
6:00 p.m. – Virginia Sideband Net (VSBN) 3947 kHz daily
6:30 p.m. – Old Dominion Emergency Net (ODEN) 3947 kHz 1st & 3rd Monday
6:30 p.m. – Old Dominion Emergency Net (ODEN) 7243 kHz (2nd Wednesday April-September)
7:00 p.m. – Virginia Digital Net (VDN) Tuesdays, 3680 KHz (Chip64 and MFSK16)
7:00 p.m. – Virginia Net Early (VN) 3680 kHz daily except Tuesday
7:15 p.m. – Shenandoah Valley Emergency Net (SVEN) 146.820 MHz daily
7:30 p.m. – District 10 ARES/club/traffic net) 147.195 MHz (Thursday)
7:30 p.m. – District 13 ARES Net (D-13 ARES) 146.745 MHz (107.2-T) Tuesday
7:30 p.m. – Montgomery/Pulaski Counties ARES/RACES Net 147.180 MHz tone 103.5 Thursday
7:30 p.m. – Northern Virginia Traffic Net (NVTN) 147.300 MHz daily
7:30 p.m. – Portsmouth ARES Net (PARES) 146.850 MHz Friday
7:45 p.m. – Fourth Region Net Cycle 4 Early (4RN) 3567 kHz daily (25 wpm)
8:00 p.m. – Central Virginia Emergency Net (CVEN), 147.120, Every Sunday (Culpeper Rptr)
8:00 p.m. – Clark County ARES Net, Every Sunday, 146.820(-), no tone
8:00 p.m. – New River Valley ARC Net 147.180 MHz tone 103.5 Sunday
8:00 p.m. – Northern Piedmont Emergency Net 146.760 MHz Thursday
8:00 p.m. – Roanoke Valley ARC Net (RVARC) 146.985 MHz Wednesday
8:00 p.m. – Southeastern Virginia Traffic Net (SVTN) 146.850 MHz Sunday Thru Thursday
8:00 p.m. – Twin County (Carroll & Grayson) ARES Net 147.090 MHz 2nd & 4th Tuesday
8:30 p.m. – Eastern Area Net Cycle 4 (EAN) 3670 kHz daily (30 wpm)
8:30 p.m. – Lake County Amateur Radio Service Net, Every Monday (see Southside District)
8:45 p.m. – Old Dominion Emergency Net (ODEN) 3947 kHz last Wednesday
8:45 p.m. – Old Dominion Emergency Net (ODEN) 1900 kHz (2nd Wednesday October-March)
8:45 p.m. – Old Dominion Emergency Net (ODEN) 145.25 MHz (3rd Wednesday)
9:00 p.m. – District 14 ARES Net 3.910 (2nd & 4th Thursday)
9:00 p.m. – Fredericksburg Area ARES Net 147.015 MHz Thursday
9:00 p.m. – Hampton Roads Public Service Net 146.97 MHz Mon – Sat
9:00 p.m. – Virginia Tech ARA Net (VTARA) 146.715 MHz Tuesday
9:30 p.m. – Fourth Region Net Cycle 4 Late (4RN) 3567 kHz daily (25 wpm)
10:00 p.m. – Virginia Net Late (VN) 3680 kHz daily
10:15 p.m. – Virginia Late Net (VLN) 3947 kHz daily

All times listed are local (Eastern).

A 200-watt limitation applies to all Virginia CW Nets since they operate inside the
Novice/Tech Plus segment on 80 meters.

Ten Uses of a Digital Multimeter in Ham Radio

June 28, 2006

The handheld digital multimeter (DMM) is a basic tool for ham radio applications. Here is a list of 10 things you can do with a DMM.

1. Check the power supply voltage on the new power supply you just purchased.
2. See if your HT battery pack is fully charged.
3. Measure the current that your transceiver draws to estimate how long your emergency power system will last during a blackout.
4. Sort the bag of resistors you purchased at the swapfest.
5. Check a fuse to see if it is blown.
6. Troubleshoot your broken rig by checking the bias voltages against the service manual.
7. Figure out if the AA batteries the kids left for you are dead.
8. Verify that your coax is not shorted between the shield and center conductor.
9. Check the level of the power line voltage in the ham shack.
10. Check for good DC continuity between the ends of the TNC cable you just soldered.

From Bob Witte, K0NR of Monument – named the 2006 Colorado Section Amateur Radio Operator of the Year.

Military Radio Clubs

June 28, 2006

I’m running across a few military amateur radio clubs:

K4AF – The Pentagon –
K2KGY – West Point-
W2USA – Fort Lewis, WA –

It also looks like there are other stations out there:

K2USA – Fort Monmouth, NJ
K1KBO – Fort Huachuca, AZ
K5USA – Fort Sill, OK
K4WAR – Fort Gordon, GA
K5WAC – Fort Bliss, TX
W5USA – Fort Sam Houston, TX

99 Hobbies talks to KB3JUV/AAT3OT

June 27, 2006

Are you familiar with the website of Dave Bushong, KZ1O, called 99 Hobbies? Dave explores the different aspects of the amateur radio hobby by interviewing fellow hams about their passions.

His latest interview is with….. Justin Kates, KB3JUV…. check it out here.

73 Scott AD7MI
US Army

From: “Justin Kates”
Subject: [usaars] Hello from KB3JUV/AAT3OT
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2006 14:19:04 -0000

Hello Everyone,

I’ve been pretty interested in some of the stuff coming across this reflector including some of the Iraq radio deployments.

Scott AD7MI asked if I would introduce myself and what I do in this interesting hobby. One of my main positions is the Section Emergency Coordinator for the state of Delaware ARES. For those of you that know the ARRL staff structure you will know that the job is to coordinate all of the amateur radio assets during an emergency. I just started it this year and I’m probably the youngest SEC in ARRL history (17 when I started).

I’m also a big Army MARS member. I was introduced into the program by John Scoggin AAT3BF and I’ve always been interested in the stuff that he has been doing. In the state, we provide a lot of support to the Delaware National Guard and Delaware Emergency Management Agency. For those of you interested in still supporting the Army (or any of your other services) after you get out, MARS is a great program to support. Also, in MARS, I’m the state Training Officer.

Some of the things that you will see I’m largely involved with is the Winlink 2000 program. Myself and a working group in the state have been working to develop a statewide system on both amateur and MARS frequencies. Winlink has a lot of really great capabilities that I’ve been impressed by all along. I’ve built portable Winlink radio kits to show that you can have e-mail just about anywhere.

You can find out more about me at my website and my Blog at I’m interested in hearing about what you guys do in the hobby as well as your previous or current support for the Armed Services.


Justin Kates

Field Day Wrap Up

June 26, 2006

I had a good time. Putting together the Amateur Radio Station In a Box (ARSIB) was a good learning experience. I now have a functional, portable system that I can take anywhere to operate. The actual operation and contacts during field day was very enjoyable. Other than the lighthouse activations and the W4M special event station for Memorial Day, I don’t do a lot of phone. So all the phone contacts were good experience. No big DX and no new states (still missing Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming for WAS).

I wish I had tried setting up my homebrew vertical dipole to see how it did against my end fed inverted vee.

I’d also like to get one of the Heil Traveler headphone/boom mike devices that has a PTT switch. I think it would make operating easier having a boom mike than constantly picking up and setting down a hand mike. I’d also like to try to integrate some type of control software between the radio, the laptop, and the logging program. I’m going to give FT-817 Commander a try. I know there are similar applications for my IC-706MKIIG,

I need to take advantage of some of the easy way to get more points….:
– Message Origination to Section Manager: 100 bonus points for origination of a National Traffic System (NTS) style formal message to the ARRL Section Manager or Section Emergency Coordinator.
– Satellite QSO: 100 bonus points for successfully completing at least one QSO via an amateur radio satellite during the Field Day period.
– W1AW Bulletin: 100 bonus points for copying the special Field Day bulletin transmitted by W1AW.

For next year I would like to try and operate away from the house. Maybe combine it with a summer vacation trip.

Sunday Morning Field Day

June 25, 2006

I got up around 5am and started the generator up. Decided to try 80M. I’ve been impressed by the FT-817. I have the basic radio with no additional filters or audio upgrades/enhancements…. and it does a great job. 80M was buzzing with activity, but you could tell most of the ops had stayed up all night and were ready for some relief. Lots of contacts on 80M, there was even a 22A station. I’m trying to picture what a 22A station would look like…. probably like the V Corps Main Command Post during the ground war in Iraq….. antennas everywhere! Glows at night just from the RF.

Time for some coffee and breakfast and then back to the ham shack.

<i>CQ Field Day CQ Field Day</i> & ARSIB

June 25, 2006

Although I’ve been a ham since 2001, I’ll consider this my first Field Day. Instead of participating in the local RACES field site or one of the local clubs, I decided I’d operate from home using emergency power. I spent the majority of the day completing my amateur-radio-station-in-a-box (ARSIB) project. The ARSIB is centered around an FT-817ND and is housed in a large dry box, the type normally used by outdoors folks and hunters. I built a shelf unit that slides into the box. Components are stacked vertically and secured to their own shelf. At the bottom I have an Alinco powers supply, very compact. Above the power supply is the FT-817ND. Above that is a 100W Tokyo HyPower amplifier for the FT-817ND (normally a 5W rig). Above the amp is an LDG Z-11PRO, great tuner. The tuner is also connected to the FT-817 ACC outlet for seamless tuning during band changes. Above the tuner is an SWR/power meter. The power cables run up the side of the box and feed into a small RigRunner that is mounted on the inside lid of the box. I spent just about all day putting everything together, to include two trips to ACE Hardware.

Once the ARSIB was complete, I set the box up in my ham shack a powered it with my portable generator running outside. I was now a “1E” station for field day (running from home on emergency power). I worked on the air tonight for about three hours and probably had about a dozen or so contacts. Mainly SSB, but I also tried out PSK-31. I need to mount my Rig Blaster NOMIC to the inside lid as well to help with the PSK-31 option. I also got to work some bands I rarely work like 15M. Lots of folks out there working field day…. good stuff!

The ARSIB is now my radio for portable operations. No more ripping my IC-706 out of the ham shack every time I want to activate a lighthouse. I can now use the ARSIB<.

KB3JUV Online

June 21, 2006

Check out this website:

Justin (KB3JUV) is doing some great stuff!

12V 3700mAH NiMH “Vapex” race pack

June 21, 2006

I use 12V 3700mAH NiMH “Vapex” race pack from . They are terminated in a Futabs connector. I splice in an extra lead so it can connect to charger (or 20W solar panel) and rig simulaneously. I connect a Futaba connector to the FT817 power lead so I can just plug it in. I also have a Futaba connector on a fly lead connected to my PSU so it’s a simple case of just plugging in there if I want (save mucking around with the pole terminals that have a load of other gubbings connected to them.

These packs aren’t as cheap as an SLA at about £20, but they are half the weight for same capacity and can be charged far far quicker. The shape is “longer and slimmer” than the SLAs and is far easier to slip into the pocket in clothing or backpack or whatever. Mine fits neatly in my small Explorer hard case, along with rig, tuner, balun, mic, cables, Palm Mini Paddle and so on. Can’t do that with an SLA! They can also be recharged when not completely drained with no loss of capacity. Empty to full is in an hour or less using a nice variable current charger also from Component Shop. The charger uses a temperature sensor to detect full charge of the battery.

Pete M3KXZ G-QRP 11767
Brighton UK