October Meeting – “HF Propagation” by K9LA

Join us at the October 5, 2017 regular meeting of the Atlanta Radio Club.

Our program is “HF Propagation” by K9LA Carl Luetzelschwab. Carl will discuss why HF is fun, the Sun’s role in HF propagation, basic propagation at HF, and simple antennas for HF.

Don’t forget – we meet at Cowtippers Restaurant on Piedmont Road just North of Monroe Drive foursome good food and discussion before the program. We arrive there about 5:55PM and leave around 7:15 for the meeting at the Red Cross on Monroe Drive.

 

See you there!

September 2017 Second Sunday Tech Topic

Join KW4MO Alan on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM for our next Second Sunday Tech Meetup:

We’re building a Function Generator and learning some oscilloscope basics. You can signup on our meetup event: http://meetu.ps/3cVfqy

And don’t forget we have free Amateur Radio testing at the same PDK location from 12 noon until 2:00 PM. Studying for your first license or an upgrade? This is the place to test – did we mention the testing is FREE?!?

September 2017 Member Meeting

Join us on Thursday, September 7, 2017 for our regular monthly meeting. The program this month is:

“HF Anywhere with Flex Radio and Smart SDR 2.0”   Jim Reed, N4BFR gives us an overview of the new Flex Radio functionality, and if all goes well, we’ll make live QSO’s from the meeting via his shack in Chamblee.

The meeting begins about 7:30 PM at the Atlanta Red Cross center located at 1955 Monroe Drive in Atlanta.

Also join us at 6:00 PM for a bite to eat at Cowtippers Restaurant located at 1600 Piedmont Road in Atlanta.

See you there!

August Friday Lunches return to Mellow Mushroom in August

As the title notes we are returning to the Mellow Mushroom restaurant in Brookhaven for our weekly Friday lunch meeting during August. Although the ‘official’ time listed in our Yahoo reflector calendar reminder lists the start time of 12:30 it’s OK to arrive at 12 noon to find good seating.

The location is Brookhaven Station Shopping Center, 4058 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30319.

Web Address: http://mellowmushroom.com/store/brookhaven

See you there!

August 3rd Meeting – Curacao and Elections

Our program for August is presented by Mike ND4V Weathers and he will tell us about a DXpedition to Curacao earlier this year.

After the program we will hold our annual election for the next Executive Committee whose term will range from August 2017 – August 2018. There is one slate announced to the Election Committee and members have a chance to announce additional slates prior to the final vote. Please attend so you can have a voice in your club’s operations!

Meeting at the Atlanta Red Cross begins about 7:30 P.M. in the board room, 1955 Monroe Dr. in Atlanta.  You can join us for a bite to eat before the meeting at Cowtippers, 1600 Piedmont Rd. in Atlanta which is near the Red Cross meeting site. It’s best to be there by 6:00 P.M. to beat the rush.

See you all there!

Tri-PTC Sprint Tri-Athlon Amateurs Needed

CALLING ALL HAMS – FIRST CALL

We need your help to provide race support on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 0645-1000 for the 2017 Tri-PTC Sprint Triathlon.

This is the first and original triathlon which, after a brief change to Lake McIntosh, is back on the original course starting/finishing at PTC City Hall / Lake Peachtree.  We first supported this race back in 2002 and have provided support every year since.  This is the “short course” race 1/3 mile swim, 13 mile bike, 5K – not to be confused with the spring race PIT “long course”.

The link with all the race info is:

http://tri-ptc.com/race-information/

Here’s what we need:

BIKE

Bike 1 Hilltop Dr & Hip Pocket Rd (N)

Bike 2 Cedar Dr & Hip Pocket Rd (S)

Bike 3 McIntosh Tr & Skiff Trace

Bike 4 McIntosh Tr & Shadowwood

Bike 5 Robinson Rd & Camp Creek Tr.

Bike 6 Robinson Rd & Crestwood Dr

Bike 7 Robinson Rd & Braelinn Rd

Bike 8 Colonnade Dr & Columns Ln (S)

Bike Rover (motorcycle mobile) – AC4MG, Matt Gonter (XL)

Bike Sag Truck (need mag mount) – W4MEZ, Joe Mezzatesta (L)

OPERATIONS

Race Director Shadow – KI4HHI, Mary Catherine (M)

PD/FD Liaison –

Net Control 1 – KI4ASK, Joe (L)

Net Control 2 –

Transition / Swim –

As you can see, we need a lot of help!

The race starts at 0700, Saturday morning, August 19, 2017. We are generally done by 1000.  We’ll run this the same way we have in year’s past.  I’ll send more detailed instructions as we get closer to race day.

Our mission is to support the event organizers by providing timely communication from different locations on the race course. We help ensure the safety of ALL participants.

You do not have to be a member of ARES or even a club member to help. All you need is a Technician (or higher) license and a desire to get involved.

All Ham operators need to be on-station by 0645. At that time, we will have a check in. We will use the 442.500 Peachtree City repeater linked to 145.210 and 146.535 simplex. This should give us more than adequate coverage.

If you can help, please let me know. I also need to know what size of shirt you want (S, M, L, or XL).  If you have a preferred duty station, let me know.

Please consider donating a few hours of your time to support this fun event.

Thanks and 73,

Joe Domaleski

KI4ASK

(cell) 678-464-9016

July 2017 Second Sunday Reminder

WSPR on Raspberry Pi & QRP Filter

Project Description

There are a several options for this session:

  1. Build a QRP Filter (Low Pass Filter, specifically, one of these)

  2. Setup a Raspberry Pi for WSPR transmission, using the QRP Filter to enhance the TX.

WARNING: This project has the potential to damage your Pi. Though we’ll take great precautions to prevent that, I recommend using one of your older Pis or one you’re okay with potentially frying. The project involves connecting the clock pin directly to an antenna, which has the potential for feedback current above what it can handle. We’ll use a Schottky Diode on that pin to try avoiding that.

  1. As usual, you are welcome to just come hang out and get to know some fellow hams.

Cost

To recoup the cost of the components, we ask for a $5 donation if you build a QRP Filter. You can just bring cash to the event or pay via PayPal.

What to Bring

Project 1 – Filter Only (20m or 30m): No need to bring anything, I’ll have a couple of soldering irons and solder as well as the kit. You’re welcome to bring your own iron, solder, and if you do, something to set down under your work area (cardboard or silicon mat). That does tend to speed the build up a bit.

Project 2 – Bring a Raspberry Pi, preferably older or that you’re okay with potentially damaging (see warning above). Also, you’ll need to be able to SSH into it, so it needs to be a WiFi capable Pi or one that has an Ethernet port. (edit) Or have a display and keyboard for direct commands. Also, don’t forget your SD Card to run the OS. I’ll have an image with WsprryPi already loaded, as well as the WiFi password.

NOTE: TXing on 30m requires a General license or above, however, the WSPR range on 20m is within the range for Technician level.

If you don’t have a Pi, you can purchase one locally at MicroCenter or online from many different retailers, including Amazon.

Hope to see you there!

P.S. We’ll also be conducting a FREE license testing session from 12 PM until 2 PM, just before the tech session, same room. So if you’ve been meaning to get that test out of the way, this is also a good opportunity for that as well.

To sign up and get directions go to the MeetUp site by clicking here: https://www.meetup.com/Atlanta-Radio-Club/events/240890571/

2:00 PM at PDK – see you there!

May Program – ‘Orbiting’ Balloons

Our May meeting, on Thursday May 4, features Alan Adamson, W7QO, the guy who holds the record for the:

  • Longest duration balloon flight (over 200 days)
  • Longest distance  balloon flight (over 500000 km – which is to the moon and about half way back)
  • Most number of circumnavigations – just about to finish 13 and start 14, and still counting
  • Lightest trackable payload
  • Most number of days of consecutive received reports by a non-satellite system

The Topics

  • What started all this Balloon stuff (for me)
  • Overview of the pieces required to join the fun
  • Early flight learnings
  • Current long duration flights
  • How to get involved/started
  • What to expect
  • Records to be attained

The Speaker

– Alan has more than 30 years of Design, Development, Management, and Delivery of High-Tech communication and security products.

– Designed a variety of microcontroller, ARM based solutions including a frequency agile, fully programmable, RF radio/GPS tracking platform, a 3 axis camera stabilization system, a multi-axis, multi-motor, flight controller, and various small projects targeted at the internet of things environment

– Successful management of an RF consulting business, with focus on rooftop management of RF spectrum, communications technologies, public exposure and RF safety training issues.

– Held engineering and product management positions with BellSouth, BellSouth.com, Hayes Communications, and Symantec.

– 30+ year Holder of an Extra Class Amateur Radio license.

His professional career included working and retiring from BellSouth (before it was AT&T).  As a result of his communications background, about 13 years ago he left the world of working for someone else, and started a couple of consulting businesses.

A Different Approach for RF Balloon Flights

Alan chose a different approach by developing his own hardware and software technologies.  He was tired of the lack of flexibility surrounding the AVR, and specifically the Arduino platform.  At this time the ARM was just starting to take shape and the technology curve vs. cost was dropping dramatically.  He switched to the ARM platform then and has never looked back.

He’s designed and developed the following

– an Arduino feature/function/pin compatible STM32F1 and STM32F3 version of what Arduino calls the pro-mini

– a 3 axis gimbal controller for camera stabilization, built on either the STM32F105 or the STM32F405 processor.

– Working for a large West Coast company, he designed and developed the hardware and firmware for a balloon tracking system based upon a satellite modem

– a Silabs Si4463 radio module that can mate to either the Arduino Pro Mini or his ProMini32

The latter is what was used to prove and develop the radio module that he uses on his balloon controller.

W7QO – Atlanta HamFest Speaker – June 3rd, 11:00 AM

 
We are pleased that Alan will also share his balloon experience at the 11:00 AM forum at our June 3rd HamFest in Jim Miller Park. Alan plans to launch a balloon in the afternoon at the HamFest! You can see the record breaking balloon telemetry and follow along its flight using the tracker at this website.