May 2019 Newsletter

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June 2019
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This Months News

Presidents Corner May 2019

Jeff Darby - KE0CAZ

Well we are now in May of the year 2019. It is the time of year when Ham enthusiasts west of Dayton head to the east to the mecca of all Hamfests. We have a small group in our club that will venture to the Hamfest looking for the best deals to be had. I wish them well on thier trip. Hopefully one day I to will able to join in tis pilgrimage to the land of great ham deals. I would also say that if you ever get the chance and have the time all hams should make this trip at least once.

In June the Sante Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club will also be volunteering at the Ensor Museum as guides. If you have not signed up for the month of June please do so if you have time. You can contact Marty Peters for the dates that we need additional volunteers.

Also were are less than 60 days from Field Day 2019. This year it will be held again at the Ensor Museum in Olathe. We hope to have at least 3 stations set up as well as the GOTA station. If you plan on attending this year please make sure you contact someone on the Field Day committee. We can always use volunteers for set up and tear down. If you have not worked a station on Field Day you really need to try it. If you are one of the folks with a new general class license that has yet to hit the airwaves this is a great event to get some quality airtime. If you are still a Technician class, come on out, there are enough hams at field day that can get you on the air as well. If you know someone that is not a ham and that is interested you can always tell them to attend. We will have a GOTA station (Get on the Air) available for this specific purpose.

I hope to see many of you at Field Day 2019.



May 2019 Meeting Notes

Marty Peters

snoppy typing

MEETING TO ORDER:

The President, Jeff Darby KE0CAZ, called the meeting to order at 7:30 AM. Introductions of attendees were made by name and call-sign. A total of 17 club members and 2 guests were present.

SECRETARY-TREASURER REPORT: 

The Secretary-Treasurer Report was given by Marty Peters KE0PEZ.  He reported the checking account balance. The amounts of club revenue and disbursements since the April meeting were $32.45 and $207.50, respectively. The major disbursement during April was $200 paid to renew the club liability insurance policy. A refund check for $32.45 was received from Risk Strategies for the items that were removed from the club equipment policy. Dues payments are always welcome; give them to Jeff, Larry, or Marty at breakfast or send them to our post office box (SFTARC, P.O. Box 3144, Olathe, KS. 66063).

 Ensor volunteers [Marty Peters - KE0PEZ]

The Ensor Park & Museum opened for visitors on May 4. Chief tour guide Larry Woodworth W0HXS was joined by volunteers Steve Duffy W0STD and Marty Peters KE0PEZ of the JCRAC. While we were out in the peg barn viewing the lathes, drill press, and other artifacts from Olathe High School, we got quite a surprise looking at an old case hand-crafted by Marshall Ensor and used for assigning student duties. It contained sliding panels of name plates of students who were in the woodworking classes and the electronics club way back in the 50s and 60s. Marty randomly slid out a panel to demonstrate the case, and...what, the???....there was a name tag inscribed "Martin Peters."

The Museum will be open from 1-5 PM each Saturday and Sunday afternoon in May, June, September, and October. The JCRAC is providing volunteer docents in May. Our club will provide the docents in June and September. The sign-up sheet was passed around, and it is now nearly full. If you are interested in finding out more about the museum or if you would like to volunteer, please contact one of the club officers.

 Club Newsletter [Greg Wolfe – KI0KK] 

Newsletter inputs are due by 7PM Wednesday, May 8th. Greg urged club members to take the opportunity to contribute descriptions of their projects for the benefit of readers.

 Club 501c7 process [Marty Peters - KE0PEZ]

The IRS is now considering our application to reinstate our tax-exempt status. We received a letter from them stating that they will be contacting us if they have any questions about the application. Once we regain the tax-exempt status, it will be easy to retain the status by annually filing Form N-990 online.

 Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve POTA (Parks On The Air) event

The POTA event at the Tallgrass Prairie went very well. Club members had a great chance to operate with the new IC-7300. Six operators made 64 SSB contacts, mostly on 40 meters. There were 3 CW contacts. The Tallgrass staff was very pleased with the event and treated the operators with great hospiality. 

Council Grove event

To commemorate the opening of the Santa Fe Trail, hams along the Trail will operate on June 8. Our club will set up a station on private property in Council Grove. If interested in traveling to Council Grove to participate, please contact Larry Hall This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Indiana QSO Party

Marc Snell let us know about a chance to contact hams in Indiana on Saturday, May 4. Del reported that several members of our club operated from the Edgerton antenna farm and made 20 contacts.

Field-day planning

Marty confirmed with Larry Woodworth that SFTARC has permission to set up equipment and antennas at the Ensor Park & Museum for 2019 Field Day. The City of Olathe will be asked to park the city vehicle off to the side where it will not block our club equipment trailer. We will be testing antennas in advance of the event.

OTHER BUSINESS:

Larry spoke about an ARRL proposal for upgrading tech privileges.

The World Scout Jamboree will be held July 22- Aug 2.

The annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test will be held on May 11.

A group of 8 hams from our club will leave Wednesday morning to travel to Dayton. They will tour the Air Force Museum on Thursday.

Del moved that we approve up to $60 to buy a case for the Heil headset. The motion was seconded and passed by a unanimous voice vote.

The 440 repeater (Kenwood TKR-850) owned by Rob Maberry was damaged by lightning on April 12. Marty is gathering details of the incident and will file an insurance claim.

An audio system is being constructed to link multiple headsets. The cost of components needed to complete the system is estimated to be no more than $60. There was a motion to approve up to $100 to buy components. Motion was seconded and passed by a unanimous voice vote.

The Mo-Kan Council would like to set up an Elmer table at the Warrensburg Hamfest, to be held July 20, 2019, at the Johnson Co [MO] Fairgrounds. If you would like to volunteer at the Elmer Table, please contact a club officer.

WW1USA will operate on July 6, 2019, at the WWI Memorial. Our club will set up our club trailer. The Raytown club is planning to bring a 10 kw generator.

There was a report given about Carol Perry's lecture at the Ararat Shrine Hamfest. She spoke about her experiences with STEM. She taught over 1,000 students over her career, and she told stories of her former students who had gone on to excel in careers in science and technology.

Del reported that the Edgerton property is gradually filling with antennas. There is a spot for an R-9 vertical.

Rich Briton is stepping down from his position in the SATERN organization. It was moved and seconded to recognize his contributions to emergency communications by nominating him for Kansas Amateur of the Year. Motion passed by voice vote. Joe Krout, George McCarville, Jim Andera, and Jeff Darby will prepare the nomination.

Greg will contact Rod Callan to find out the venue of the 2019 annual meeting of the Kansas Section of the ARRL.

ADJOURN:

After a motion, a second, and a unanimous vote, the meeting was adjourned.



SFTARC Tallgrass Operation - POTA Style

Jim Andera - K0NK

 

There may have been a few less SFTARC members than normal at Perkins for the Saturday breakfast on April 13.

On that morning, six Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club (SFTARC) operators were on their way to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, Kansas. This placed our team in the Flint Hills, a series of rolling hills used primarily as pasture, about 100 miles SW of Olathe.

For four and a half hours we wrestled with poor propagation conditions to activate the Tallgrass for Parks-on-the-Air (POTA).  Our three HF stations were set up inside a three-story limestone barn located on a section of the 10,000-plus acre Tallgrass preserve that is operated by the National Park Service.


A brisk NE wind and temperatures in the mid-40s to mid-50s kept the operators inside the barn.  Being unheated, the barn was still cool but provided at least some relief from the wind.  Two 100W stations operated on 40m and 20m SSB while a 10W station worked 30m CW with a straight key.  Two vertical antennas and a dipole let the team reach out across North America using Icom rigs: IC-7200, IC-7300 and IC-703 on the three bands respectively.  The club's new IC-7300 performed very well for us.  A park rule that prohibits driving any stakes into the ground somewhat complicated the supporting of antennas; however, hams are generally clever when it comes to improvising antenna supports and we were able to work around the restriction.  Using the SFTARC’s call sign of KS0KS and using N3FJP’s logging software, 64 contacts were logged. During each QSO the operators noted that they were operating from K-3673, the POTA-assigned designator for the Tallgrass.

Our POTA event was coordinated with the NPS rangers well over a month before the actual date of operation.  A press release provided by the club to the park service resulted in the public being aware of the POTA operation through the park’s release to the local media as well as being published on the NPS website.  Throughout the planning of the event, the NPS was most cooperative—even enthusiastic.  That enthusiasm continued on the day of the operation.  Our presence benefits the NPS not only by calling awareness to the Tallgrass Preserve but also by serving as an “exhibit” that visitors can interact with.  Another positive point is that the park gets to count our time as volunteer hours, which is of benefit to the park’s bookkeeping.

 Being the Tallgrass was already on the POTA list of registered parks, it simplified the “paperwork” a bit in planning the event.  Prior to the operation, Joe, KR0UT, registered the SFTARC with the POTA organization and posted operating times and target operating frequencies on the POTA site.  Operators included Jim, AC0OW; Tom, WA2IVD; Joe, KR0UT; Bob, KC0TZX, Del, K0DDS; and Jim, K0NK. 


A few of the park visitors that day were hams, but most visitors were generally unfamiliar with ham radio--yet many of them seemed fascinated by our operation.  SFTARC members came equipped with the standard ARRL fliers designed to introduce non-hams to ham radio.  Other useful tools when explaining ham radio to visitors were some sketches that illustrated the concepts of VHF propagation, HF propagation and Morse code communications.  A reporter from the local newspaper also showed up and interviewed us for an article in the local county newspapers.  


This was our fourth year of operating from the Tallgrass; previous operations had been associated with the NPS’ Junior Ranger Day event where we operated as a Special Event Station.  However, this year the Tallgrass did not participate in the Junior Ranger event so we became a POTA station.  Numerous operators we contacted thanked us for activating the Tallgrass Preserve and adding POTA K-3673 to their logbook.   A couple of days after the event we received a very nice thank-you email from one of the park rangers.  It is safe to say that we are already looking forward to next year’s operation. 



Field Day - Audio Interface Unit Project

G Wolfe - KI0KK

 

WW1USA
Audio Interface Unit in Action - WW1USA

 

The Santa Fe Trail Amateur Radio Club is undertaking a construction project to improve the Field Day and Special Event operating experience. This article will provide information on the our project without repeating the full source article. A link to the original article is provided at the end of this article.

Events such as WW1USA Special Event Station and Field Day can be a fun and yet challenging for operators, loggers and guests. The noisy surroundings and need to concentrate on the chaotic signals on the band requires the use of a headset by the operator. This leaves the logger or the guest with limited ability to hear the contacts. Communications between the operator and logger is also difficult. To solve this problem John Raydo K0IZ designed and published plans in a June 2008 QST article titled "An Audio Interface Unit for Field Day and Contesting".  

The K0IZ Audio Interface Unit enhances headset operation by providing the following:

  • Operator headphone interface to the radio
  • Logger headphone access to the contact audio
  • Intercom communications between the operator and logger
  • A speaker for visitors to hear the contacts
  • Provides individual level control for the operator and logger
  • Supports three types of microphones; dynamic, electret and aviation
  • Foot switch interface
Front View
K0IZ Contesting Audio Box

Rear View

 

A number of the components have been donated by Jeff Darby, Howard Cripe and Jim Andera. Joe Krout provide the circuit board that started the project and the the QST article. Howard has volunteered to 3D print the project, should be interesting to see the finished enclosure. The remaining parts will be ordered online and hopefully will be here in time to complete the project for the 2019 Field Day. This could be an interesting project for new hams or those interested in building projects to observe or participate in the assembly.

Source: QST June 2008

Author: John Raydo, K0IZ

Title: An Audio Interface Unit for Field Day and Contesting

Click the link above to view a copy of the full article.

The ARRL, QST, provided written permission to use article content (May 7, 2019).

 



New FT4 Mode

G Wolfe - KI0KK

FT4 Screen
WJTJ-X developers have schedule the release of a new digital contest friendly FT4 Protocol on April 29. The goal was a mode that could compete with RTTY contesting in terms of contact rates, while preserving many of the benefits of FT8. Additional details may be found in the April 25 ARRL Letter.

http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter?issue=2019-04-25#toc01






 

Club Contact Information


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Calendar of Events

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