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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!

July Member Meeting – QRP by AA4BW (Update)

About our program:

Our speaker this month, Steve Hudson, AA4BW, will be talking to us about the fun of operating QRP.

QRP is generally defined as an output of five watts or less, and Steve will be sharing some of his experiences gained from operating for many years a 5 watts or less – often a lot less! In fact, Steve typically runs just a couple of watts out, but even with such a miniscule amount of power going to the antenna he has had thousands of enjoyable contacts (including many extended ragchews) with stations all over the world.

Steve’s program will take a brief look at the technical side of things to see just exactly what it means, in terms of dB, to give it a try with low power. But mostly he will talk about the operating side of things with a focus on just how much fun going QRP can be. He will discuss the on-the-air techniques and equipment used by QRP operators, and he will have a number of QRP rigs on hand for you to see. He will also share a look at his recent experience operating QRP from the Republic of Palau (as T88BW) and from the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia (as V63BW), both in the western Pacific. In addition, he will talk about his experiences with QRPp, or “milliwatting,” with output levels that measure well below the 1-watt mark on the wattmeter!

First licensed as WN4JXO in 1968, Steve has been an active ham ever since. He holds an Amateur Extra Class license. He particularly enjoys CW, and he also enjoys homebrewing (particularly QRP rigs). Lately, he’s been having fun carrying small QRP rigs and portable antennas with him as he hikes and fly fishes in northern Georgia.

A journalist by profession, Steve is founder and CEO of Chattahoochee Media Group, a publisher of outdoor books, and also teaches journalism at Georgia State University. He is the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles and more than 20 books. Currently he’s putting the finishing touches on a new book, “QRP 101,” a practical and hands-on guide to discovering the fun of QRP operation. It should be published this summer.

Steve and his wife Ann live in Alpharetta. He has three grown children, two grandkids, a cat named Zoe, and a miniature Schnauzer named Ellie.

Archived Meeting Titles List is Now Available

We just uploaded A PDF listing of the titles and brief descriptions of ARC programs from 2008 – 2016. You will not a few missing entries. If you have information about the missing info please contact N4EWT so we can add that! Here is a direct link to the Public Archive

You can also surf to the Public Archive with a click on the “Resources” button above in the upper right corner of your display on our Home Page.

 

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.

February/March Atlanta Ham

The February/March edition of the Atlanta Ham has arrived and is available for your immediate enjoyment! Thanks again to David Harden, KJ4CMY, for his continued contribution of articles. Also thanks to Jim Stafford, W4QO, for allowing us to include his “Antenna Observations” article from the recent NFARL newsletter.

Download the newsletter by clicking here now!

April Member Meeting

This month we have our very own W2NP Chandler Friedman, who is the founder and owner of World Gone Silent, and the Emergency Coordinator for Atlanta ARES. On Thursday, April 6 he’ll be talking about the role that ham radio operators played in the running of last month’s Publix Marathon.

We look forward to seeing members and visitors as we learn about the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the role they have in assisting our public service partners in Atlanta and Fulton County.

See you at 7:30, The Atlanta Red Cross Center on Monroe Drive in Atlanta. Stop by Cowtippers Restaurant on Piedmont at 6 o’clock to join the pre-meeting meeting – Great Food and Greater Company!