ARC SHORTS ~ October. 2017

ARC-SHORTS Newsletter

October 2017

Club Repeaters:  53.13 (-) , 147.315 (+) , 444.6 (+) , 224.82 (+) , 927.6 (-25Mhz), and 1282.600(+). All repeaters (PL 107.2)  DSTAR 145.38Mhz, 442.060, and 1284.600



Our next meeting is October 13th at 7PM at the Police Dispatch Center at 3600-Wheeler Ave. Just off of Duke St on the south side half a block west of Quaker Lane. Dinner at Atlantis Restaurant at about 5:30 prior to the meeting. At this time, I am working on getting a guest speaker, but nothing firm at this point. We do need to find nominations for next year’s club officers, establish a budget committee and audit committee and prepare for next year. We should also talk about the December party.


Our September program was provided by Howard WD5DBC who gave us a good run down on preparations for the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon. A reminder that they are still very short of operators.

DMR Repeater. We are still awaiting a repeater frequency assignment from T-MARC. Rich will be the first to get the word and will share it on the net.

President’s Corner 

Can’t write much this weekend, as I am working the California QSO Party from the Northern Neck this weekend. See you on the bands!

73 DE
Erik Misavage, KI4BXU

Future Programs 

  • October 13th – City EMS (tent) November 10   –  Elections – Possible programs: Contesting HF/VHF, AMSAT, AMRAD, RF Interference (power company), Logging programs, Dayton follow up, Marine Corps Marathon.
  • December 8th  – Annual Christmas / Holiday Party
  • January 12, 2018 — Installation of new officers – Budget review – Selection of chairpersons for Membership, Field Day and planning for the Washington’s Birthday Parade.
  • February 9, 2018 — Washington’s Birthday follow up. March 9, 2018 –
  • April 13, 2018— Field Day Planning
  • May 11, 2018 – Dayton Hamvention
  • June 8, 2018—
  • July 13, 2018 –
  • August 10, ,2018 –
  • September 14,2018 —
  • October 12, 2018 – Planning for 2019, Nominations, budget etc.
  • November 9, 2018 — Elections
  • December 14,2018 – Annual Holiday Party.

Let me know what you want to hear about. HELP!!!!  If you have an idea for a program, please let Rick know and he will try to find someone to provide the program. If you know someone you would like to have present a program, let me know Rick, N4ASX

Hamfests – 

For those of you not working the Marine Corps Marathon, the Mason Dixon Hamfest takes place on October 22 at the Sportsmans Hall Skating Rink in Upperco, MD. It’s sponsored by the Carroll County Amateur Radio Club.

The 2nd annual American Legion PGCERA SantaFest is on December 9. The location is the American Legion Youth Camp in Cheltenham, MD. It’s sponsored by the Prince Georges County Emergency Radio Association and the American Legion.

Training – 

Our latest class kicked off on October 3 with 15 students.  They have a wide range of backgrounds and interests. If you know somebody who has always wanted to get their ham radio license, they can still get in without missing too much. December 5 will be here before we know it.

Contests – 

  • October 14 and 15 – Arizona QSO Party.  Exchange is serial number and state.
  • October 14 and 15 – Pennsylvania QSO Party. Exchange is serial number and ARRL section. October 21 and 22 – New York QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state.
  • October 21 and 22 – South Dakota QSO Party. Exchange is RST and state. October 22 and 23 – Illinois QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • October 28 and 29 – CQ World Wide DX Contest, SSB. Exchange is RS and CQ zone. We are in CQ zone 5
  • November 4 through 6 – ARRL Sweepstakes – CW. Exchange is other station’s call, serial number, precedence,(power), your call, check (year 1st licensed), section. .
  • November 11 and 12 – Kentucky QSO Party.  Exchange is RST and state.
  • November 12 – North American Sprint – SSB. Exchange is other station’s call, your call, serial number, your name and your state.

Repeaters – 

We have had many questions on the status of our DMR repeater. As of press time, we are still waiting to hear from TMARC. The proposal to expand the 70cm repeater sub-band down to 441 MHz was met with a fair amount of resistance at the TMARC meeting. One of the options was putting our DMR repeater on on of the Shared Non protected or “Builders Channels. It would mean we would end up re-tuning the duplexer and changing codeplugs once the new frequency is found.  We can discuss it at the meeting.

I will send an email to the club reflector and in ARC Shorts with the particulars once we hear from TMARC.  Also, I am sure N8IK will update the “club” codeplug with the new frequency.

Be sure to use the club repeaters and log those contacts with other club members for the year- long club QSO Party.  Each band and mode counts as a separate contact.

The club repeaters are all up and running.  Make 2017 the year you try a new band or mode.

As always, ham it up and get on the air. 73, Rich, KA4GFY


Our club has MORE repeaters then just about any other general interest radio club. Look at the banner at the start. BUT, if you listen to the repeaters they are so quite you wonder if they are working.  Rich, KA4GFY and I (N4ASX) came up with an idea.  Lots of folks played with the ARRL’s National Parks On the Air. This was a yearlong contest so there was no rush. So we think a contest that get’s folks in the work each other and others over a year would be fun.

To make the contest fair, we will have classes for each type of operator: 2 Meter HT only, Dual Band (2/440) only, 2 Meter Mobile/Base only, Dual Band Mobile/Base only, All bands. Points are awarded for working club members who have been (within the last two years) or are club members. You can work club members on each repeater, on simplex on each VHF/UHF band and work them on any mode (D-Star, Packet, PSK-31, CW, SSB, AM, etc.) So, you can work a member many times but only once per band using the same mode. We will go from June 10th 2017 to June 10th 2018. We encourage the use of LOTW, but you can use any logging program or paper. For those who are not members they too can participate but points are awarded for working Alexandria Radio Club members. A club member will get a point for non-members they work on our repeaters.

Hope your keeping your logs up to date. This contest is open to all. 73 Rick N4ASX


Antennas – A few short facts

  • – Small antennas do not work as well as full size antennas. For VHF and UHF not really a problem, for HF — It’s a problem
  • – Directional or gain antennas are not amplifiers, they focus your signal in a given direction by not sending RF in other directions. A 5/8th wave antenna will give you 3db gain but you do this by not radiating at higher and lower angles (assuming this is a 5/8th wave vertical), Nice think about a 5/8th wave 2-meter whip is that it’s quarter wave on 6 meters. A ¼ wave (19” whip) on 2 meters will work as a ¾ wave on 440MHz. But using a beam means you will need to point the antenna at the station you want to
  • As you go higher in VHF and UHF, feedline length and loss becomes a factor not only for transmit but for your received signal. Sure, you can add an amplifier to the transmitter but adding a preamp to the receiver will also raise the noise level.
  • – Lesson learned the hard way, When installing connectors be careful not to overhead the connector and melt the insulator, do make sure that you have both the center conductor and bread connected to the connector. (This is why I use crimp ).
  • – Watch out for corrosion. If your installing cables outside, tape them or apply coax seal. For me it would have saved several hundred dollars in new coax. Also allow for a drip loop, so the water does not run into your
  • – Be aware of structures and grounds that will affect your antennas. Anything within a ¼ wavelength is in the near field of the antenna and will affect its performance. Not bad at 440Mhz but can be an issue at 14 Mhz. If your antenna touch trees that equivalent to a

73 Rick

Social Events 

Monday Night Burgers – There is a group that gets together at 6:15 PM on Mondays at a local burger joint.  Mark up on the 147.315 repeater and join them for the fun.  Mark up on the repeater about 6PM and join the group. The location does change! IF you have a good spot, you might make a suggestion.