We held our first Extra License Class the weekend of May 13-15, 2016. This was a 3-day class due to the larger amount of material that the Extra License Exam draws from.
We had 15 students and every student passed the Exam at the end and received their Amateur Extra class license upgrade!
Congratulations to all the new Extras!
Bob Bell, KC1FAE
Bernie Biron, K1BFB
Dale Chayes, KB1ZKD
John D’Errico, N1ERF
Bob Fiero, K1WKG
Jamey Finchum, KC1ENX
Greg Fuller, KC1FFQ
Ron Gonzalez, K1LCS
Joe Gordon, KB1RLC
Niece Hayes, KA1ULN
Charlie Pentedemos, KC1EIQ
Brian Quick, W1XMM
Don Risley, KC1CRK
Brian Smigielski, AB1ZO
Bill Warrington, W1TWO
A special thank you to our great instructor and VE team – Wayne Wagner, AG1A, Aron Insinga, W1AKI, Anthony Rizzolo, KC1DXL, Dave Michaels, N1RF, Skip Youngberg, K1NKR, Wayne Grant, KB1HYL, and Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC. Also an extra special thanks to Merle Insinga, W1MSI, for managing all the logistics and meals on Friday and Saturday!!
The 13 Colonies Special Event is coming soon. It is the largest on-air special event in the world and it will take place from July 1 (9 AM EST) to July 6th (Midnight EST). The idea of the event is to work each state which grew from the original 13 Colonies. If you work one or more of the 13, you will receive a certificate like the one above. There will also be two bonus stations WM3PEN at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA and GB13COL in the United Kingdom. If you work all 13 Colonies plus these, it will be noted on your certificate.
I am the Thirteen Colonies State Manager for New Hampshire and we have assembled a team of operators from our club to work the event. Fred, AB1OC and Anita, AB1QB will provide training for the New Hampshire operator team and will make their station available for use during the event.
Our first day in Dayton was spent at Contest University – this was our 5th year in attendance but each year we learn more from the contesting experts. This year, we attended two presentations from Frank Donovan, W3LPL on operating techniques for the declining solar cycle and on 80m and 160m antennas. We also heard a talk from Val NV9L from Ham Nation on Log Analysis tools and another session on SO2R (Single Operator 2 Radio) Operating.
Friday was the first day of the Hamvention and we spent most of the day visiting all the vendor exhibits. We visited the Icom booth, where we looked at the new Icom 7851. It has an incredible display as well as one of the best receivers on the market.
We also saw the new KX2 Transceiver at the Elecraft booth. It is even smaller than the KX3 and is perfect for SOTA and other portable operations. I would expect to hear some NPOTA activations using this radio.
Friday evening was the Top Band dinner where we learned all about “Top Band Disease” from Larry “Tree” Tyree N6TR. Hams with this disease are nocturnal, love the bottom of the sunspot cycle. They are constantly improving their 160m antennas – when you upgrade your receive antenna, then there are people who can’t hear you, so then you need to improve your transmit antenna – and the cycle continues… The DX Alarm Clock is perfect for those with Top Band Disease!
After the dinner, we were treated to a concert from the Spurious Emissions Band (N0AX, KX9X, K4RO, W4PA), with hits like “On The Cover of the NCJ” and “Sittin on the Edge of the Band”. They were so funny! You can watch their performances on YouTube http://bit.ly/DaytonSpurs2016.
On Saturday, Fred, AB1OC and I presented our Station Building talk to around 250 people as part of the Dayton Contest Forum. It was a great honor to be selected to speak there by Doug Grant K1DG, who has organized the Contest Forum for many years.
We also continued to tour the vendor booths, visiting Club Member Bill Barber, NE1B, at the DMR-MARC booth.
After that, we stopped by Gordon West’s Ham Instructor booth where we spoke to him about the success of the Club’s License classes. Here is a picture of Gordon, WB6NOA and Fred sharing the secrets of how the Hilbert Transform and the Flux Capacitor make Single Sideband and Time Travel Possible.
We also visited the AMSAT booth, where we met Burns Fisher, W2BFJ, who now lives in Brookline, NH and is moving to Hollis. They had a cube sat on display – you can see how small it is below. It’s amazing that AMSAT builds and arranges to launch them into orbit so that we can make QSOs through them!
Fred could not resist a visit to Begali Keys where we purchased a neat travel key. It should be great for operating mobile and for Field Day.
On Sunday, we headed back to New Hampshire, sad that the weekend had come to an end but full of great memories from the trip.
We will be operating at the Hollis-Brookline High School in Hollis, NH this year. We’ve been working on antenna plans and a layout for the site. We expect to be 7A or 8A this year. We are also going to try operating using a combination of Digital and SSB Phone from the SSB Stations.
We will have two towers with Tri-band Yagis for 20m, 15m and 10m and Inverted-V antennas for 80m/75m. We will be using triplexers and bandpass filters to allow the Tri-band Yagis to be shared across three transceivers as we did last year.
One tower will be used for CW operations as well as supporting the club’s 4 Element, 6m Yagi. The 6m Yagi will be rotatable. Jeff, WA1HCO and Tom, AB1NS have some cool plans for the 6m station this year which include Meteor Scatter and Es Contacts if we can catch openings on 6m. The CW tower will also have a 40m Inverted-V Antenna.
The other tower will be used to support the SSB/Digital stations on 75m, 20m, 15m, and 10m as well as an 11 Element Yagi for 70cm (more on this below).
We are planning some new antenna and station projects for our 2016 Field Day operation. We are going to build a 3 Element, 40m V-Beam Array using three 50 ft guyed masts. This antenna should perform comparably to a 40m short 2 Element Yagi at 70 ft.
Digital ATV Demonstration on 70cm
We are also planning a Digital Fast Scan ATV link between our Field Day site and the Nashoba Valley Club’s site. This will allow us to send and receive Live Digital Video between the two sites on the 70cm band.
Wayne, KB1HYL will be operating the GOTA Station again this year. We are going to put the GOTA station on 20m using a Ground Plane Vertical Antenna built from Buddipole Kit.
Our Field Day Planning team is planning a great presentation on Field Day 2016 at our next Club Meeting on June 7th and our Tech Night on June 14th will be all about the Technical Side of Field Day – Building Antennas, Setting Towers and Stations, Loggers, Digital Modes and much more. Don’t miss these!