Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

                                                                 Happy 2020!


May the new year bring new ham radio adventures, new personal records and continued friendships!

 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Radio Present

Remember as youngsters when we wanted, and Santa delivered, a red wagon!  This year I didn't ask for any radio equipment, but I did get a red wagon.  I could have used this collapsible, red wagon to haul microwave gear from the car to a transmitting location such as Eagle Roost at Pere Marquette State Park.   This present qualifies as a ham radio accessory.  It will also prove to be useful at hamfest flea markets! So, red wagons, collapsible or otherwise are timeless presents!


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas





       
                                                             Merry Christmas

Saturday, November 16, 2019

SLAMS/BARS November Meeting

The SLAMS and BARS groups have once again scheduled their November meetings together. The reason is simple - November meeting is where we decide the meeting schedule for next year. We have met at the Chandler Hill winery for a brunch today, Saturday November 16th, 2019.

However, there was some activity before the meeting today. Harry WA0CNS and Herbert AF4JF went to the "Maker Space" close to Herbert's home in St. Peters to look at the machinery and tools available at the maker space (Herbert is a member of the IFMS group).


Bridgeport Mill and Tormach CNC Mill

The IFMS offers membership for a monthly fee. IFMS Members can use all the machinery available (after being properly trained). Milling machines are crucial for building microwave technology, so Herbert and Harry paid most of their attention to the two mills on pictures above (and some more to metal and wood working lathes, carving lasers and 3D printers).

From the IFMS, Harry and Herbert went to a hilltop in Klondike Park, about 10 miles West on Missouri Hwy 94 (just out of the city of Defiance):




There is a nice hilltop marked as "Overlook" on the maps above. It's open to nearly all directions. Following picture shows Harry WA0CNS looking at his GPS for location and bearings:


This hilltop is nice and flat, with public restroom nearby .. too bad that we can't drive all the way to the top. We will have to carry our microwave equipment on our backs. There is a beam gate at the bottom of the hill, because this location is a county park. At least it isn't too crowded - the road from the parking lot is a little steep.



We intend to use this location for our VHF and microwave operation somehow. Not sure what contest, but we will figure something out. Probably carry a solar panel with spare batteries up the hill from  our cars.

Our next stop was the Chandler Hill winery near Defiance. Following picture shows Harry WA0CNS in front of the winery building (and Herbert's car):


This is a nice place. Very busy in the afternoons and too crowded on Sundays (which is why we choose to have early lunch here on Saturday). Some more SLAMS/BARS members joined us at this location. The waitress let us select a table, so we picked one at a beautiful (and warm) fire place:




This was not the first time at this location, the BARS ate lunch here two years ago, in December 2017. It was as good today as it was last time, plenty of food, friendly waitress and cozy place to meet. We have discussed several ham radio and optical communications related topics and Herbert received several comments on the meeting schedules. We left after two hours when the music band started tuning their instruments for the winery afternoon event.

Ron KO0Z will write some more details about this meeting and publish them on our other blog site of the BARS group. Please click on this link to read more.

Last picture shows how beautiful the location of this place is:



73 Herbert
AF4JF


Thursday, November 7, 2019

New 122GHz Station

Do you want to become QRV on 122GHz? You can buy a kit that uses a chip that does most of the work (click here).


It seems to be doable and not too expensive!

73 Herbert
AF4JF

Sunday, October 20, 2019

SLAMS Breakfast on Sunday, October 10, 2019

We have met at Denny's to have breakfast and some talk once again. There was one major topic discussed at today's meeting - optical communications. Several approached were discussed. Harry WA0CNS demonstrated his test setup in the parking lot:




Sam W0PCE told the group about his setup to test receivers. Herbert AF4JF told the group that SLAMS actually pursued the idea of optical communications ten years ago, see the laser setup here and here. Mike N0OBI demonstrated his infrared detector ... optical communications definitely seem to be the topic of our future meetings.

Info for the members of the THE_SLAMS reflector on Yahoo Groups: due to major changes of the service from Yahoo, our group will soon switch to other system Watch your email for instructions!

73 Herbert
AF4JF

Monday, September 23, 2019

Round Two, 2019 ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest; Our I-70 uW Odyssey

Once again, rainy weather threatened to dampen our plans for the second weekend of the 2019 ARRL 10 GHz and up contest.  By daybreak on Saturday, September 21, Herbert AF4JF, Harry WA0CNS and Ron KO0Z decided to "risk the elements" and to go for broke.

By 9:30 am, KO0Z was QRV from Eagle Roost scenic lookout at Pere Marquette State Park, EM48rx near Grafton, IL and Herbert AF4JF and Harry WA0CNS were QRV from western St. Louis county EM48sr.  This scenic overlook offers of a 120 degree, unobstructed, panorama which covers western St. Louis county, MO, half of Calhoun county, IL, all of St. Charles county, MO and most of the adjoining western, Missouri counties.

Our contest strategy involves one station to be stationary in a high location and the other ops to employ a "shoot and scoot" by ten miles from the last location.  Hence, the I-70 uW Odyssey as part of this blog's title.

We made contacts from every spot.  Eagle Roost is an excellent location.  Rainscatter played a significant role in the contest by extending our range.  From Eagles Roost, my unobstructed view extended to 265 degrees.  However, Harry and Herbert were able to go to sites 270 degrees and still work me due to passing T-storms and rainscatter!

We are including a few photos from our odyssey here, but for a more detailed description and photos please visit the BARS Blog site:   http://bi-state-amateur-radio-society.blogspot.com/  Herbert has an excellent narrative on the site:  http://bi-state-amateur-radio-society.blogspot.com/2019/09/arrl-10ghz-and-up-part-2-by-herbert.html

73, Ron KO0Z, Herbert AF4JF and Harry WA0CNS

                               
                       KO0Z QRV on 3 cm at Eagles Roost, EM48rx, Pere Marquette State Park, IL


     
                                                               KO0Z's 3 cm rig


                   


         The T-storm to my west threatened rain, but it did provide good rainscatter propagation.


                            Harry WA0CNS & Herbert AF4JF at one of the I-70 sites.


RadarScope screenshot of some of Saturday's T-storms.  The park is north of St. Charles, MO and west of Godfrey, IL



The WB9PNU 3 cm beacon as heard at Eagles Roost on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019