Tag Archives: us army amateur radio society

Electric Radio – Celebrating a Bygone Era


I recently put in an order to AES for a few items I really didn’t need. Fortunately AES ships to APO addresses… while HRO does not. When stateside I prefer to order from HRO, having had great overall past experience with them. Quick delivery, no fuss, no muss. If I have a problem, I can call the store directly. I’ve also used HRO to give gifts (Father’s Day, Christmas, Birthday) to my dad, KD6EUG, and that has worked very smoothly. When I’m back visiting the folks in Sunnyvale, CA – I always try to stop by the HRO store there. It is near Fry’s Electronics – not far from Moffett Field. HRO also helped field the US Army Amateur Radio Society and the Baghdad Amateur Radio Society a complete radio setup, to include IC-7000, power supply, CW key, etc. HRO’s good people. However… they don’t ship to APO addresses, so I ordered from AES. Now AES will allow you to use a stateside billing address, but will send your order to the APO address. But here is the kicker – AES sends an invoice to your billing address… so the XYL gets it and finds out you have been ordering a bunch of stuff you don’t really need instead of saving money for our upcoming trip to Europe. But I digress. One of the items I ordered was the August 2007 issue of the periodical Electric Radio. What a wonderful little magazine! I’ve talked about other radio magazines in the past and lately I’ve taken a real shine to World Radio.

Electric Radio is a real jewel. Inside the front cover, the magazine states it’s intent upfront: Electric Radio is all about restoration, maintenance, and continued use of vintage radio equipment. So what does this have to do with me? I don’t restore or use vintage equipment. I wouldn’t know the difference between Collins, Drake, National, or anything other type of old, dusty metal cabineted stuff. Despite this, the magazine is still a joy to read. Page 2 talks about Electric Radio’s “Honor Your Elmer Contest” – how great of an idea is that?! Page 39 has an amazing article about the life of George Mouridian, W1GAC, SK. The magazine itself is the size of a church pamphlet with a nice sturdy color cover. The pictures inside are black and white – but what better captures the essence of classic radio than black and white photos. The gear is wonderful to see… massive tubes, huge dials, looks like some of the rigs could have easily of come from Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. I probably won’t subscribe and you may not either – but I do recommend you pick up at least one copy to have a look for yourself.

Monday ham radio

I made the trip over to Ft. Story this morning to activate the Old & New Cape Henry Lighthouses (USA 122 and USA 121). I wanted to accomplish a couple things:
(1) activate the lighthouses. I’ve activated them in the past with limited success and wanted to give ARLHS members a chance to earn the USAARS Lighthouse award.
(2) test out my mobile setup using my different antennas.
(3) attempt to use a logging program on my Palm Pilot.

I ended up having five contacts – all on 40M even though the noise level was pretty high. I called CQ on 20M for quite some time but didn’t get any takers. I think I had two or three ARLHS folks qualify for the USAARS award. For the antennas, I started off with a trio of Hustler coils. The antenna went up quick on the 54″ mast and I had already tuned them to be a good match for the ARLHS calling freqs. I then switched to the Hamstick-like Workman antennas, first for 40M then 20M. No real difference in results. I’m going to stick with the Workman Hamsticks when I’m actually mobile and use the Hustler coils when operating from a fixed site. Using the Palm Pilot for logging is not easy. Adding headphones with a boom mike might help. Using the Palm Pilot takes two hands so it requires setting down the handmike, inconvenient for fast paced operation.

Back at the home QTH I rolled up on 20M CW and got an answer to a CQ from DL4SEW, Stefan in Stuttgart. There was a lot of fading but I was able to get most of what he sent. This was my first QSO with Germany and my second with Europe.

Back in the mobile and heading to Fort Monroe, I answered a CQ on 20M from YU1XA in Serbia. He gave me a 59 plus and was surprised I was mobile. It is just pretty cool talking to Serbia while driving down the road.

Amateur Radio activity shut down in Iraq

Amateur Radio activity shut down in Iraq (Mar 13, 2007) — Iraq
Amateur Radio Society (IARS) President Diya Sayah, YI1DZ, has informed
ARRL that all Amateur Radio activity in Iraq has been suspended until
the security situation there improves. He says the suspension affects
both Iraqi citizens as well as any foreigners — including military
personnel and contractors — who have been on the air from Iraq. The
request to halt all ham radio activity and the issuance of licenses in
Iraq originated with a letter from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense to
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as part of a new security plan,
Sayah said. He received subsequent confirmation via the Ministry of
Higher Education and Scientific Research to shut down ham radio
activity, although he allows for a possible misunderstanding on the
part of government officials as to the nature and purpose of Amateur
Radio.

No hamming….

I haven’t been on the HF bands for a while. No CW, no DX Packet Cluster, nada. I’d like to get some quality time with the CW paddle.

The weather station is down – not sure what’s wrong.

My 2M packet station is partially working. The TNC is hooked up to yet another old computer that I moved out to the garage. But the wireless network connection out to the garage is hit and miss…. so I’m going to try to set up a bridge to extend the network out there.

I have been prepping the W4V Veterans Day Special Event cards and certificates. I plan to finish up the cards and should be able to print the certificates out tomorrow. All should be in the mail on Thursday.

Beer update: The total fermentation time was two weeks. I bottled the first batch on Saturday. I varied the amount and type of sugar. In 1/4 of the bottles I put 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 regular sugar. In another 1/4 of the bottles I put all brown sugar. The rest of the bottles got the regular sugar. We’ll see what kind of difference the sugar makes. This Saturday I’ll put 4 of the beers in the fridge for conditioning….. then 4 more the next week, etc. I have another batch to start fermenting… probably this weekend.

Went to the eye doctor today and was diagnosed with keratoconus in my left eye. At first I thought that meant that my eye would bulge, possibly pop out and/or bleed… but it’s actually not too bad. Keratoconus, or KC for short, is a thinning disorder of the cornea that causes distortion and reduced vision. The biggest short term impact is that I have to get hard contact lenses. I do need to start taking better care of my eyes.

Already the 19th of November!

I’ve been falling behind on my updates…

(1) W4V – Veterans’ Day Special Event Station. I got a late start on Saturday… took a while to pack the truck. Setup at Fort Story took longer than expected – my biggest challenge was tying down the center mast after I’d gotten it vertical. It’s really a two person job and hard to do alone. But once I got the antenna up, the rest was easy. A beautiful day as well, low 70s and clear skies. The QSOs rolled in, as long as I was calling “CQ” I was getting QSOs. Sunday was a different story. The forecast called for rain, but I thought I could weather it out. I arrived at Fort Story but the winds became too extreme – no chance of getting the center pole up. I threw in the towel for a portable operation and headed home to operate. Not the same satisfaction running a special event from home, but I still enjoyed the QSOs. Even got Wyoming… which completes my Worked All States Award!


(2) Kenwood TS-930S…. my “new to me rig”. I picked this up from a local ham at a bargain. What a radio!

This piece of electronics perfection is over 20 years old, but it performs like a dream. The receiver is amazing. Also getting great reception reports on both SSB and CW. This rig is now the centerpiece of my shack.

(3) I didn’t work the Sweepstakes this weekend, but did have a QSO with a special event station celebrating Oklahoma statehood. However, I did work a sweepstakes station on 15M who was operating from the Santa Clara Valley.

(4) Also a few CW QSOs – I’ve hooked up my Logikey CMOS4 Keyer. Amazing little device, lots of features – but does a great job as a basic keyer.

Upcoming Special Event Stations

Nov 9-Nov 12, 1600Z-2000Z, Arlington Heights, IL. Armored Force Amateur Radio Net, KA9NLX. Veteran’s Day SE honoring all veterans. 14.325 7.283 7.035 3.985. Certificate. John Paskevicz, 1423 North Ridge Ave, Arlington Heights, IL 60004. AFAR members will operate from different parts of the country on all amateur HF frequencies and 2 meters.

Nov 10-Nov 13, 1300Z-2100Z, Hampton, VA. US Army Amateur Radio Society, W4V. Veteran’s Day observance from Fort Monroe, VA. 14.248 7.248. Certificate. US Amry Radio Society, 224 Beauregard Heights, Hampton, VA 23669. www.usaars.com

Nov 11, 1200Z-2359Z, Nutley, NJ. Robert D. Grant United Labor Amateur Radio Association, N2UL. CQ Veterans Day, Labor remember our heroes. 28.420 12.260. Certificate. RDGULARA, c/o WA2VJA, 112 Prospect St, Nutley, NJ 07110-0716. rdgulara.org

Nov 11, 1300Z-1900Z, Brownsville, TX. Charro Amateur Radio Club, W5CRC. Return of the Snow Bird to South Texas. 28.335 21.335 14.335. QSL. Bob Austin, K5VC, 107 W Park Dr, Brownsville, TX 78520. www.qsl.net/w5crc

Nov 11, 1430Z-2039Z, Grand Rapids, MI. Michigan Amateur Radio Alliance, W8USA. Veteran’s Day. 14.250 7.250 14.070 7.040. QSL. W8USA, PO Box 670, Comstock Park, MI 49321. www.w8usa.org

Nov 11, 1500Z-2230Z, Baton Rouge, LA. Baton Rouge Amateur Radio Club, W5KID. Veteran’s Day. CW 28.060 21.060 14.060 10.106 7.040 SSB 14.250 to 24.320. QSL. W5KID, c/o USS Kidd Museum, 305 South River Rd, Baton Rough, LA 70802. www.lsu.edu/brarc/USS_Kidd.htm

Nov 11, 1500Z-2200Z, Waterloo, IA. Five Sullivan Brothers Amateur Radio Club, W0FSB. Veterans’ Day and the 64th Anniversary of the loss of the Five Sullivans. 50.140 21.240 14.240 7.240. Certificate and QSL. Five Sullivan Brothers Amateur Radio Club, 4015 Independence Ave, Waterloo, IA 50703.

Nov 13, 2100Z-0000Z, Fort Wayne, IN. Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day, KC9HAJ. Military Appreciation Monday/DAV — Golden Corral. 21.240 14.260 7.240. Certificate. Emery McClendon, 6116 Graymoor Ln, Fort Wayne, IN 46835. www.armad.net

A few updates from the shack….

Scouts: received my Radio Merit Badge pamphlet in the mail today. Between the pamphlet and web resources, I want to put together a course package for the merit badge. One of the gentlemen I work with has a son who is interested in pursuing the Radio Merit Badge… so I need to get crackin’.

Army MARS: put in an application for Army MARS. The VA state rep told me it will be a couple weeks before I get my MARS callsign and initial training information.

US Army Amateur Radio Society: picked up a few more members. need to make contact with the Iraqi folks to check on the status of the pending YI9 applications.

DX: made contact with one of the newest DXCC entity… Montenegro! The YU6AO Montenegro DXpedition team now has a Web page at http://www.yu6ao.info/ and a log search at http://www.yu6ao.info/log.html … I’m in the log!

eBay: purchased an ASTATIC D-104 microphone. Should be a fun project adapting it for use with my IC-706MKIIG.

Local ham swap: made a deal to purchase a SB-220 Heathkit HF Linear Amplifier! This should give me a little more motivation to improve my antenna situation. Also need to acquire an antenna tuner.

Lighthouse QSL cards: finished my QSL cards for the Bodie Island Lighthouse (USA-062) and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse (USA-212) activations. Some of the Currituck Beach contacts are getting a North Carolina lighthouse key chain/compass/thermometer. Tried to get those to fellow ARLHS members.

W4M Special Event Station QSL cards/certificates: everyone who had sent me a SASE has been sent a QSL card (and certificate if they provided a large envelope).

SkyWarn Net: checked into the Chesapeake Amateur Radio Service (CARS) SkyWarn Net. They had made recent improvements to their repeater and have greatly expanded the coverage.

Lazy Sunday

Knocked out some more QSL cards and certificates for the W4M special event station. It’s fun going through all the QSL cards. Two QSL cards stood out from this morning, one from Washington State near Fort Lewis and the other from Sierra Vista, AZ… near Fort Huachuca. Each QSL response has the W4M folded QSL card, the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse (USA 567) QSL card, the W4M US Army Amateur Radio Society special event certificates, and sometimes a picture or two from the actual event.

The US Army Amateur Radio Society is picking up more members. We’ve been able to identify more hams downrange as well as hams getting ready to go – trying to get them their reciprocal licenses as soon as possible. Also identified some folks in Korea, to include a POC to help with licensing. I need to start looking at Germany as well… I’m sure there has to be quite a few Army hams in Germany.

…. and I even had a 40M CW QSO today! Had about a 40 minute ragchew with AA4TB who is down in Summervile, SC (near Charleston). Tommy put up with my horrible CW skills and kept it slow. I need to find the time to do some serious work on my CW. I wish I could find somebody I could establish a regular CW sked with… like two or three times a week. I think this would really help me improve. Plus – on air practice is a lot better than working one of those CW computer programs.

I have grand plans for a new antenna. The Radio Works is a local company and produces quality antennas. I have two Radio Works G5RVs – one of which I bought from a local ham. The antenna was originally purchased back in the 1980s, but unused. I used the antenna for the W4M special event station – still looked like new and worked like a champ. My current antenna is a B&W end fed inverted vee. Although it has omnidirectional properties, it has a N/S orientation. My plan is to put a Radio Works Carolina Windom 160 Special with a E/W orientation. I intend to use it as a flattop, 133′ in length. I have nice pine trees in the front and back yards, I think I can get the Window up about 50′ or more. Just waiting for my CSV17 Pneumatic Antenna Launcher!