The Solar Cycle and HF Radio Communications

Remember this? We might see a similar solar maximum by 2025!

Members have been asking to take a closer look at the presentation made at the last meeting by Ken Larson-KJ6RZ on the solar cycle and its impact on HF radio communications. You can view his presentation by clicking here or you can find it anytime by clicking “Links” and then selecting the “Technical Articles” drop-down.

A High Altitude Balloon Project

by Stephen Terry- KM6ZXQ

Just before Christmas of 2018, my son told me he wanted a drone for Christmas so that he could send a camera into space and take pictures of Earth.  After explaining to him that perhaps there are more suitable vehicles to achieve this task and admiring how simple getting a camera to space was in his mind, I wondered myself if we could do it.  I mean, how hard could it be?  I knew then that it wouldn’t be as simple as it was to him, and after digging into it I realized it would be a much larger challenge than I anticipated.  This was my welcoming to amateur radio. 

Continue reading “A High Altitude Balloon Project”

RF Bonding and Ground Planes

Every cable connecting the components in an Amateur Radio Station can act as an antenna. Differential and common mode voltages and currents in these cables can result in interference and even an RF shock. Stations with more than a few components can benefit from RF bonding and ground planes.

Simply stated, RF Bonding is the interconnection of all the station component chasses with a low RF impedance bonding strap. If the bonding strap is also connected to a ground plane under the station and both the bonding strap and ground plane connect to a ground rod the possibilities of RF shock and RF interference are virtually eliminated.

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6 Meter Halo Antenna Project

An easy to build, 6m halo antenna.                                                              By Adrian Jarrett-K6KY

The Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club was looking for project ideas for the members.  Early in 2017 the Radio Society of Great Britain published a 2-meter band halo design, which looked easy and fun to build.  This was chosen as one of the club’s projects.  However, the Conejo Valley is surrounded by hills, and so long haul 2m may be a bit problematical.  That, and after having a great time in summer 2017 on 6m sporadic E, first with JT65 in the June ARRL VHF contest, and then with FT8, a 6m halo seemed like a worthy project.  The Continue reading “6 Meter Halo Antenna Project”

Personalities of HF Bands

By Norm Campbell-AB6ET

Each band has its own personality and characteristics.  The sun and ionosphere, as well as other factors, cause the HF bands to be different during the day or at night and also at different times of the year.  Getting on the air is the best way to find out what works and what doesn’t.  Pick a band, get on it, stay with it for a while.  Tune around, move up and down across the band.  Try different times of day.

HF bands are not quiet and solid copy like VHF/UHF FM simplex or repeaters.  It takes a good ear to successfully hear HF signals.  SSB has its own sound.  CW has its own sound.  Mix in QSB, noise, interference, other band conditions, and you have some listening to do to gain skill on HF. Continue reading “Personalities of HF Bands”

Amateur Radio and Mt. Washington: The Highest, Coldest Point in New England

By Ben Kuo, AI6YR

“CQ CQ CQ… CQ Summits on the Air, Summits on the Air… This is Alpha India Six Yankee Romeo, calling Summits on The Air…”

There I was, standing on the peak of the highest point in New England, Mt. Washington, known for some of the worst weather in the world, braving at least a 40 mph wind in forty degree weather and not making any contacts. The peak, the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River, sits at 6,288 feet, and is known for one of the fastest wind speeds ever recorded on the surface of the Earth, 231 miles per hour, recorded in April 12, 1934. The peak is also well known for being on the Appalachian Trail. Continue reading “Amateur Radio and Mt. Washington: The Highest, Coldest Point in New England”

Programming a Baofeng UV-5R

By Andy Ludlum-K6AGL

Many hams have found the low-priced radios from China like the Baofeng UV-5R hard to resist.  Seriously, who doesn’t have room for one more HT if it costs less than $30?

The delight of having a new radio to play with quickly turns to despair when you take a look at what passes as an owner’s manual.  Programming a frequency into one of the memories is not easy, because the procedure is not described in the manual. Continue reading “Programming a Baofeng UV-5R”