Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Field Day Around the Corner

I realized I haven't posted a pic of the new IC-7000 since I added it to the shack. Sorry about that. Here you go.


I know I've said it before but I'm really digging the SignaLink and 7000 paired together. Unfortunately there's been a lot going on and I haven't been able to spend much time on the air lately. I'll have to make up for it this weekend.

Ok, so on to the preps for this weekend. Earlier this year, the family of Donald C. Clifford, K8JZK (SK), donated their father's radio equipment to ARES to give the Jr ARES members a kickstart. As a way of saying "Thank you!" to the Clifford family, the TS-520S they donated will be our Get On The Air station. We thought it was fitting to use it to help introduce people to the world of amateur radio.

The radio has been off the air for about 7 years so we're treating it gently. I've currently got it running off a variac to bring it back to life slowly and hopefully avoid blowing any capacitors or other components. She's been going fine all day and I've got her up to 60V. We'll let her cook overnight and then bump up to 80V first thing in the morning. I figure that by this time tomorrow she'll be up to full power. Here she is. Beauty, ain't she?


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Field Day Preps & Other Stuff

We've finally gotten our Field Day location set in stone for 2009 and it's looking to make for a wonderful event. My church has graciously allowed us to use their Marshside campus. It's 24 beautifully wooded acres with plenty of camping area and gorgeous trees.

At the next ARES meeting we're hoping to have a couple of new antenna projects to work on for Field Day. So far the high vote getters are a 3/4" hardline antenna for 40M and a Moxon antenna at 20M or higher (due to size). I'm really excited about what Field Day has in store for us this year.

My General upgrade course continues to progress. This past weekend we covered the exciting topic of Rules & Regulations along with a little math refresher and some formulas. This week we'll be diving into simple circuits, resistors, inductors, and capacitors. I've got a couple of breadboards so hopefully seeing the circuits for real will help solidify the concepts.

We had a walk-in visitor for the last class and she seems to be very interested in amateur radio. Hopefully she'll be back on Saturday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

HF Update

I have to say that I've been having a ball since getting the new 7000 and ditching the RigBlaster. I'm knocking out DX contacts on PSK31 left and right. In just about a month spending only an hour or so at a time and operating sporadically throughout the week I've already racked up about 25 DXCC contacts. I highly recommend this setup.

This past weekend marked the first day of the General upgrade course I'm teaching for one of our local clubs. We had one couple traveling but I believe everybody else on the roster made it. We even had some that weren't on the list show up. Nobody fell asleep, walked out, or threw anything at me so I consider it a good class. :-) Next week probably won't be too exciting. Rules & regulations with a math review. Yuck. Oh well, I'll do my best to make it interesting. At the least I have some tips to share that will hopefully help them remember things like the band plan come test time.

Tomorrow I should know more about our Field Day location. Who would've thought we'd have such a hard time finding someplace to operate? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my church will allow us to use our property. We have 22 acres of beautiful, wooded property that doesn't see much use. The trees are tall and spread out where we'd be operating and I think we could really get some great contacts with our antennas so high. The staff meets tomorrow so hopefully I'll know something by lunch.

Some of us did helped with the Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure. It's a 100K/100M bike ride. It took us through some parts of the local area I'd certainly never been through. It was an interesting experience but we definitely have some communications issues we need to work out with the ADA staff if we do this again next year.

I guess that's about it for now so I'll say 73. See you on the bands!