ARC Shorts – December 2010

Club Repeaters: 147.315 (PL 107.2), 444.6 (107.2) (224.82(PL107.2), 53.13 (PL107.2),  1282.600 (PL 107.2) DSTAR 145.38Mhz, 442.060, 1284.600

NEW REPEATER – 927.6 (-25Mhz, 107.2 PL)


Our next meeting is DECEMBER 17th AT MANGO MIKE’S Restaurant.  This is the annual club dinner.  If you’ve not yet called Jack, K5OTZ and made your reservations, you need to do this NOW.  Jack has asked that everyone bring a wrapped gift for a gift exchange.  As I understand the rules, the gifts will be picked at random and opened one by one.  The next person in line can take the gift someone else has already opened or pick one at random.


The INOVA Alexandria Hospital has agreed to let us use the HEC-1 and 2 conference rooms this month and for the rest of next year.  This is from the Hospital CIO/CFO office!

The City, (Charlie and Mark) have also helped out and offered Fire Dept HQ at 900 First Street as an alternative meeting place and looks like we could move back to the FTC after January.


The November meeting was held on November 12 at the INOVA Alexandria Hospital Health Education Center.   Our program was a DX video provided by our next VP, Ian, N8IK.  The location was MIDWAY ISLAND.  Sounds like a good place to go.

Club Christmas Party

The Club Christmas party will be at 7:00pm on December 17th, at Mango Mike’s at 4580 Duke St in Alexandria. The menu has lots of choices, more later. The cost is $25.00 PLUS a gift valued at not more the $20 for the gift swap.

Jack sent out a flyer and asked that all send him your RSVP ASAP QSL?

Up Coming Events

WASHINGTON’S Birthday Parade and Events

As we prepare for the winter, remember that time flies and keep your gear handy!  In February we will have the Washington’s Birthday events (10K run (2/19/11) and the parade (2/21/11). We need about 10 or 12 operators for both events who can work in a cold environment.

I think we plan to use the trailer as we did two years ago for both events and use D-Star Digital mode for the parade order of march.  Last year’s parade was called off because of the snow.


Maryland Mobileers – this hamfest is often overlooked by hams on this side of the Potomac.  It’s the first hamfest for the local area in the new year, usually the 4th Sunday in January, which puts it on January 23, 2011.  I have found some really hard to find items at this one.  It is in the back of the Odenton Firehouse on Rte 175.  Take I-95 north to 175 east toward Ft Meade.  It will be on the right.

Frostfest  – Traditionally the 1st Saturday in February, which is February 5 for 2011.  Its sponsored by the Richmond Amateur Telecommunications Society.  The location is at the Richmond Raceway Complex (the old VA State Fairgrounds) in Henrico County.  Its about a 90 minute to 2 hour drive south.  The hamfest occupies two large buildings with lots of space for new and used equipment.  If you are into firearms as well, there is also a gun show in a couple of adjacent buildings at the same time.  Needless to say, there are many people who enjoy both hobbies and combining the two at the same facility is a great idea.  I am sure both organizations benefit from slightly reduced cost for a first class facility.   Hopefully, we won’t be snowed out this year.

Winterfest – Traditionally the 4th Sunday of February (February 27, 2011) at the Annandale campus of Northern VA Community College.  The campus easy to find, just off I-495 and Rte 236.  The Vienna Wireless folks put on a nice hamfest.  While not the largest in the area, it does offer a good variety of spare parts and odds and ends, as well used equipment.  Fortunately, the event is mostly indoors, but there a few hearty souls who tailgate in the elements.  The club usually reserves a couple tables (inside) and a lot of equipment was sold at the ARC tables last year.  This is a good opportunity to clean out your excess equipment and bring home a few bucks (towards some new equipment).

President’s Corner

One more reminder that our December meeting is the Club Dinner at Mango Mike’s on Duke Street.  Cost is $25 per person, bring you YL, XYL, OM…  Bring a gift valued at under $20 for the gift exchange.

We’ve had an interesting year.  New meeting place(s), new field day venue, new members and as of this meeting a new set of club officers.

Our new club officers for 2011

President – Marshall – KI4MWP

Vice President / Program Chair – Ian N8IK

Secretary – Tom – KJ4FUU

Treasurer – Ted –W9TCE

Thanks for taking on the club’s leadership

DXing and HFoperation

We’ve had a few articles on these subjects, but I wanted to point out that the sunspots are slowly coming back! Some of our members are starting to make DX contacts on 15 and 10 meters and European DX can be had with 100 watts on a dipole with no problem on 20 meters.  Winter is a good time to get your wire antennas up as the leaves are gone.


Tim, KT4MV and Rick N4ASX have been talking about some club activities this year and the idea that we should schedule 4 Fox Hunts.  The first two will be club events and the last two we will invite other clubs to compete as teams.

This will be a topic at the January meeting.

The 900 MHz project

Tim, KT4MV, and Mike have put our 927.6 MHz repeater up on the air!  It is not a very powerful repeater so range is not the greatest, but most of us are operating on 2.5 watt handhelds.  For those who missed the group buy, check e-bay for GTX-900s.  There is also a 12 watt mobile version of the radio that can be had for about $100.  I expect that programming will be required.

Mobile units will require some low loss coax cable and a 927 MHz antenna.  I tried to use my Diamond Discone which is connected via 70 feet of RG-8X, and the losses were such that the rubber ducky antenna worked as well!

The Alexandria Radio Club also has an allocation for another 33 cm repeater at 919.600 MHz that is currently off the air.  The pair will most likely be returned to TMARC since the current batch of Motorola radios will not do a 12 MHz split required by the old repeater.

23 cm repeater

The Alexandria Radio Club also has an analog repeater on 23 cm, at 1282.600 MHz with an offset of 12 MHz and PL of 107.2 Hz.  In fact, it is one of the two operating in the Washington, DC area.  The coverage is surprisingly good, especially with a mobile radio.  Having said that, you won’t see coverage similar to 2 meters or even 70 cm.   But you will have coverage in some buildings that you did not have with 2 m or 70 cm.

New equipment is fairly limited with only the ICOM ID-1 mobile and Alinco DJ-G7 handheld, but there are a few used options out there.  ICOM, Kenwood and Yaesu had all made mobiles and handhelds in the past, either as stand alone or in combination with another band.   These will periodically show up for sale at a hamfest or on the ham radio sites or even E-Bay.

If you can find a used radio or choose to buy new, give 23 cm a try.  It is one of those best kept secrets on the ham bands.

Social Events

We expect to be meeting at the Alexandria Hospital from now until our June 2011 meeting, so the pre-meeting dinner is now at Atlantis in the Bradlee Shopping Center at  6 PM. This is also a chance to meet our guest speaker as we offer to buy dinner for them prior to the meeting.

Monday Night Half Price Burgers – There is a group that gets together at Shooter McGee’s (Duke and Paxton Streets) on Monday evenings at 6:30 PM. A good burger and soft drink runs about $9.00.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


73 Rick

N4ASX <<…>>