Hello KARS members!
Well, it’s been a busy week here. We’ve gained some coverage back with our repeater with the recent antenna switchover. I’ve had a few folks confirm that it is working better, and I’m seeing better performance myself. I spent some time over the weekend working on some repeater coverage maps, I’d take them with a grain of salt, but they at least give an idea of our service area. I think we’ll really see a difference with Tuesday night’s net. Folks who were having problems getting in shouldn’t have those problems anymore!
Speaking of the Tuesday night net, several of us got together on 80m after the net. Charlie (KT5BBQ) suggested 3.878 MHz and we all met up there. It was just an impromptu thing that I thought up, but it proved to be a really good test of how everyone’s station performs on 80m. Having 80m capability is important because if our repeater goes down due to a storm, we’ll have the ability to join up on 80m, because ground wave propagation works well on the lower frequencies for local communications. It also showed me that I needed a bit better grounding at my station! So, this weekend I added another ground rod and that did pull my SWR back down into a more normal range (my longwire antenna is fed against ground, like a Marconi antenna) and Dave (KD5FX) confirmed that my signal was stronger.
This is one of the reasons that nets and net-type activities are good for our club. It gives us a good indication of how our equipment is working, and we wouldn’t know that if we didn’t try it. I know it got me motivated to improve my station. I think we should agree on a frequency to meet up on 80m and 40m at the next business meeting. Once we decide, I’ll post it in a permanent spot on the site.
We had a pretty good hailstorm hit us here, some of the hail ranged in size up to 1/2″ and slightly larger. I did get on the repeater and let Dave know that one was headed his way. I’d just like to remind everyone that if you are in some bad weather, get on the repeater and let people know. Even if you just see some, you might want to listen in for any activity, because someone may have some information that might be useful. I’ve been told that in the past, folks would get on when the weather got bad; I’d like to encourage that activity again.
We’ve been getting some large sunspots pretty frequently lately, but unfortunately they seem to be coupled with coronal holes on the sun that end up blasting us with geomagnetic storms. So, the flux has been much higher than it has been in the past, but with the A index not dropping much below 4, it’s still just about as bad as it was when the flux was at 69 with an A index of 0.
As always, if you know of an activity that I’ve missed, or would like to have included, please email me at radioN5TGL@gmail.com and I will make sure that information gets distributed. Also, if you would rather not be included on this email distribution, please let me know and I’ll remove your name from the list.
The Boy Scout JOTA is going to be held October 16 – 17. Mike Mettler will be our main contact for this event.
Email me if you have any others you want me to list in the newsletter.
Contests: Just CW contests this week, folks.
The Austin summerfest is the last hamfest (in the semi-local area) I’ve got on my calendar for the year. So, if you want to get some gear, this is pretty much going to be your last chance to do it. There’s been some talk about caravaning over there, might be a good subject for a Tuesday night net.
08/06/2010 | Texas State Convention (Austin Summerfest 2010)
Location: Austin, TX
Type: ARRL Convention
Sponsor: Austin ARC and Texas VHF FM Society
08/21/2010 | Cooke County Amateur Radio Club
10/08/2010 | Paris Texas Hamfest
11/13/2010 | NCTECH 2010 Hamfest
Sorry about all of the email updates today. I was getting the meeting minutes posted, and even though I had the updates turned off, it kept sending them out. I’m going to stay more on top of it, so there won’t be a big blast of posts going out, you’ll just get the one when I put it up on the site.
I’ve restructured the right-hand sidebar of the site a little bit. Since anyone who wants to comment on a post is required to log in now, I’ve moved the login up to the top right of the page. I’ve also put the calendar right below that. I also updated the solar conditions widget to one with a bit more information in it.