Bulletin as of May 24, 2017

JSCARC next meeting

May 25 5:30PM @ Gilruth Inspiration Room

  • Special Talk:  “How not to climb a Tower”  K5RG
  • Vote for new eQSL:  Design candidates: KG5NQP
  •  Surprise Door Prizes

Join the W5RRR Yahoo Group 


NEW Congrats to Terry Moore

  • Just received FCC License, KG5TJT!

NEW Ellington Field UAS Done to conduct video inspection of 80′ tower and yagi

  • 9:00AM at W5RRR shack tomorrow May 25, feel free to attend and watch.

NEW FD Antenna construction, repair, installation, testing this Saturday 5/24

  • 9:00AM-2:00PM at W5RRR shack.  Come join the fun

Updated status of Hex Beam build

Mike Vandewalle, N8MTV, offered a helpful hand to put the finishing touches onto the hexbeam project last nite 5/23.

The missing 15m directive and reflective wire element had finally arrived from KIO Technologies and it was carefully installed on the spiderweb-like antenna after the whole antenna was unmounted from the tower and brought back to ground level.  Mike also installed a series of clamp-on ferrite choke beads on the coax.  Without this ferrite choke, common mode RF currents flow on the outside of the coax making the feedline act like another antenna. The causes unwanted radiated RF power which will distort the front/back performance or front/side performance of the hexagonal beam.   This Saturday will be our antenna raising party, where we will crank it up and test it’s performance in the shack.  6m, 10m, 15m, 17m, 20m all in one spiderweb!


Hex beam @ W5RRR


Hex beam project getting real.

Mother’s Day was spent getting up a used K4KIO hex.

The good news:  it unexpected included a 6m capability.

The bad new:  it didn’t come with 15m wires

Ultimately, it will be a multi-band antenna to include 6m, 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m.

I’ll order the 15m wires this week, but in the meantime its mostly assembled with a few items to work on this week

Mounted on the newly installed TV rotor atop the 50′ crank up mast, perhaps we’ll see this setup active in the next week or so.

Also brought in an old 6 element 2m yagi.  Anyone interested in mounting this below the hex beam?

Stay tuned.

73 W5OC


A confessional

Gary, KE5AMW, is a CW guy.  He’s gotten me interested to sharpen my CW skills that have rusted over the years.

I confess– he’s also inspired me to finally learn how to use a CW mechanical Bug, something I’ve put off for years.  I bought this off of eBay a long time ago, but never learned how to key it.

Yep, I did it!  I’m barely a novice with it now, but I practiced awhile and can do it!  How any of the newer hams have seen one of these creatures?  I’ll bring it into the next club meeting and hook up to a code practice oscillator for anyone wanting to give it test drive.  I’m sure there are some bug experts in the club; maybe we’ll get them to show us how to do it.

Check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IHyPo9wObY


W5RRR Crankup Tower

KG5HOK devised a cleverly simple u-bolt mounting scheme to get our temporary 50′ crackup tower up for operation.

It will live at the empty concrete slab until we can get the plans (and funds) in place to re-erect the 60′ full sized tower.

This weekend, we’ll make an attempt to mount a lightweight rotor and a 10-20m multi-band HexBeam antenna.

Stay tuned for pix of progress.

IC-781 update- Fixed (for a few weeks now)

Updating this Blog subject,…

IC-781 HF transceiver now working fine (fingers crossed) so we’re back to 3x HF radios in the shack.

Insidious R20 fusible resistor kept tricking us into thinking there was a downstream failure embedded in the power line supply.

Turns out that Icom engineers very cleverly designed this inline resistor just below the edge of it’s power handling capacity.

With today’s higher voltages from the wall (120VAC), this 1990s vintage radio simply couldn’t handle the extra stress (note:  line volts used to be 110VAC).

Now using 3W wire wound surge resistor in place of the old 2W version.  Works like a champ.  Time to make QSOs.


-dave W5OC