July 27, 2017 AEA Amateur Radio Club Meeting

AEA Amateur Radio Club meeting was held at 11:30 am on 7/27/17.  

Ten people were in attendance, two of whom joined at this meeting:

  • Teresa Moore AG6OD
  • Don Hall KK6DCX
  • Kirk Crawford KK6KC
  • Tom Essenpreis KB9ENS
  • Ryan Noguchi AI6DO
  • Victor Lin KK6RZO
  • Bob Lanahan KK6WYW
  • NEW MEMBER Susan McCormack K6SUZ
  • NEW MEMBER Wayne Wheeler  W6AHH
  • Joe Barger N6KK

 The meeting started with a report on this year’s Field Day and a discussion of what we should remember for next year.  Then we discussed the budget, including plans for upgrading the A2 shack HF radio and antenna.  Finally, HamCon is coming to Torrance this fall, September 15-17.  Besides interesting talks, there will be an opportunity for an added cost to tour the radio room on the battleship Iowa.  More information on all of these topics is available in the powerpoint presentation, which can be found on the club web site.

The meeting ended with a raffle.  All members including the new members received a free raffle ticket.  Victor won a Pixie transceiver, Don got the heat shrink tubing, Kirk got a helping hands tool, and Susan got the tape measure.

Wayne volunteered to do a presentation on his project to rebuild a 1928 HF radio.  He is on the calendar for the October meeting.

Teresa Moore

July 2017 Meeting Slides

January 2017 Meeting Minutes

Audio of the meeting:

    Members in attendance:

  • Kirk KK6KC
  • Teresa AG6OD
  • Bob KK6WYW

14 members have paid dues for 2017

Holiday reports:

Kirk talked about using APRS during his recent RV trip.  His system involved a little Bluetooth APRS tracker device, a radio, and an old phone running APRSdroid.

Tom did a SOTA hike and got at least 4 contacts.

Bob studied for his General license and takes the exam on Saturday.  He may do a SOTA hike after the exam.

New Business:

Bob needs a computer for the A2 shack.  Kirk will look into getting a redeployed system from the Aerospace loan pool.

Some of the radios in the A2 shack have issues.  One doesn’t tune and another doesn’t receive well but seems to transmit OK using a 10 m horizontal dipole on the penthouse roof.  We may want to put an inverted V dipole on the penthouse.

Antenna survey for the A2 shack will take place Thursday Feb 2 at 1 pm for antenna planning.

    Upcoming Events:

  • 1/28-29 Winter Field Day
  • 1/28  Montana QSO party
  • 1/28 TRW swap meet
  • 2/4 Palm Springs Hamfest
  • 2/4 Vermont QSO party
  • 2/17-18 Yuma Hamfest
  • 6/24-25 Field Day (Kirk will be out of town)

Raffle:
1st prize to Bob who picked the 40 m transceiver kit
2nd prize to Kirk who picked the heat shrink tubing set
3rd prize to Teresa  who got the diagonal cutters

2016 Christmas Party

Audio File of the meeting:

Christmas Party Attendees

Radio Club Christmas Party 2016

13 people in attendance.

Kirk highlighted 2016 accomplishments:

  • Morning net done at 8 am usually by Ching, sometimes by Clark or Teresa; El Segundo repeater was down for a while so we used the Hughes repeater until it got fixed
  • HF net nearly every month, several successes; starting to add digital modes
  • Ham-It-Forward was successful; Tom passed his general exam and Jason, Gerrit, and Anthony got the tech packages; two tech packages are still available. We voted to get another set for next year.
  • Field Day was a success, with 5 people, 25 contacts, 4 hours on the air, 10 hours total; next year we may try SSB on 2 m
  • Octoberfest: Tom and Bob demonstrated PSK and JT65, Anthony Lim won the radio
  • CERT event: many lessons learned, our capability to support the company in the event of disaster was improved

Election of officers:  No one else wanted to volunteer so the slate of officers remains the same, Kirk as President, Don as VP, Joe as treasurer, and Teresa as secretary.

Raffle Winners:

  •  $300 Jess
  • $200 Albert
  • $100 Don Hall
  • $50 Archie
  • $50 Bob
  • $50 Don Taylor
  • $50 Teresa

Meetings for next year:

  •                 January:  Tom, Winlink presentation
  •                 March:  Tom/Bob, SOTA presentation
  •                 April:  Bob, APRS presentation
  •                 May:  Field Day Prep
  •                 July:  Field Day Review
  •                 September:  Bob, 2m tape measure antenna (everyone builds one during the meeting)

August 17: the astronomy club is going to Rexburg, Idaho to watch the eclipse, we could partner with them

Merry Christmas Everyone!

November 17, 2016 Meeting

 

Members in attendance:

  • Kirk  KK6KC
  • Ryan  AI6DO
  • Tom  KB9ENS
  • Teresa AG6OD
  • Don KK6DCX
  • Joe N6KK

A2 shack:  a Hy-Gain model 18AVQII 5-band vertical was found in the A2 shack.  It covers 10, 15, 20, 40, and 80 meters.  It will need a radial kit and a mast and guys, some of which may or may not be in the shack.  If not, we need to purchase them.  Bob is in charge of this project.  At some point in the future we may have a lunchtime antenna raising project.

A3 shack:  needs an HF antenna, which must be purchased by security on our recommendation.  Our starting recommendation is a rooftop tower and beam as the most useful in an emergency situation if we want to reach Colorado or Chantilly.  Club members should research tower/beam options and make recommendations for our next meeting.  May want to go with the STEP-IR antenna.

Christmas Party:  Don gave a report on the Christmas party preparations.  The Proud Bird is undergoing renovations so we will have the Aerospace cafeteria cater the party.  The party will be December 8 in A1/1029 A/B.  RSVP by Dec 4 so we can order the right amount of food.  We use the same rules for the raffle as last year.

Club member reports:  Various members reported on what they have been doing in the hobby.  Ryan just installed a new security system in his house and now has to deal with RFI issues.  Tom has been making a lot of packet contacts and will be taking his Extra exam on Saturday.  Joe just put up a Step-IR vertical at home and now has to install radials.  Kirk was recently in Hawaii and made a lot of JT65 contacts, getting 18 countries as far as Namibia and Sri Lanka.

D8 shack:  80 m vertical antenna was damaged in the windstorms last year.  Joe wondered if we should fix it or take it down.  Given that it is our only 80 m capability at the moment, Kirk suggested that we fix it.

Tom is the W6AGO custodian for Logbook of the World, so let him know if there are any contacts he should log.

Raffle:  Kirk won a flashlight, Don got a multimeter, Ryan got a tape measure, and Teresa got a 4-in-1 screwdriver.  Kirk ordered a secret set of super-special prizes for the January meeting so be sure to come to the January meeting to be eligible to win.

September Club Meeting

Radio club meeting 9-29-16

Link to Slides

Members present:  Ryan, Teresa, Tom, Kirk, Ching

A6 shack:  The D8 shack will eventually go away if Aerospace gets rid of D8, the A2 shack is in need of some work, the A3 shack is owned by Security, and the D1 shack is VHF/UHF only and is on a private lab bench.  A new shack in A6 could provide additional capability as well as a roof-mounted antenna that could be used by the trailer (in the event that the building is still standing but not accessible to personnel.)  So far, all of the proposed rooms (the electrical room and the stairwell) have been rejected by management.  The new proposals include the old networking room and a Tuff Shed on the roof.  Electrical rooms in general may be problematic, which may spell trouble for the D8 and A2 shacks.

For A3, we need a replacement HF antenna as the old one is missing.  The two proposed choices are the Cushcraft R9 or the GAP Eagle DX.  Contact Kirk with your preference.

AEA Octoberfest:  Wed Oct 19 from 11-1.  We’ll have a table, 2 chairs, a canopy, and electricity.  Bob and Tom will be there and others are welcome to join them.  They will have the Buddipole, radio, and computer hooked up and will do a JT65 demo.

CERT Event:  Oct 26 9-11 am.  The whole company will do an evacuation, then hams will report to the trailer.  There will be two remote sites.  If possible, 2 hams will be assigned per site, one will be at the trailer (running off generator power), and one will be a runner.  We’ll use one frequency for the hams to communicate with the trailer and one for the trailer to communicate with the RV.

Kirk’s satellite contact:  Arrow antenna.  50-50 Saudisat 1-C.  Heavens above app.

San Diego Hamfest was Saturday, Ham Con is coming to Torrance next year.

Christmas party:  Don will coordinate again.

Raffle:  Tom won first prize and chose the headlamp; Kirk won second and chose the screw driver set, and Teresa won third and got the tape measure.

 

September HF Net Report

This morning, we had our monthly HF Net.  I can report that it was a success.  We  had successful voice contact between W6AGO (El Segundo), AE0RO (Colorado Springs) and KK4GEG (Chantilly).  The band was busy on 14.275 MHz, so we moved up to 14.287 MHz.  At AGO, COS signal was between S7 and S8.  Chantilly signal was around S6.   It is noted that Chantilly does not have an amplifier and was only putting out 100 watts.

After the main net, W6AGO and Chantilly tried PSK31 digital communications on 14.075 MHz.  Chantilly was able to easily read W6AGO at 50 watts, but W6AGO was NOT able to read anything from Chantilly.   We will work on this new mode for next month.

73,

Kirk Crawford
President AEA Amateur Radio Club (W6AGO)
KK6KC

 

A3 Antenna Report

On Tuesday August 30, 11:30 AM, Kirk Crawford (KK6KC), Thomas Essenpreis (KB9ENS), and Bob Lanahan (KK6YWY) investigated the antenna situation for the A3 Shack.  We disconnected All the antenna cables in the room and then Bob and I (KK6KC) went to the roof while Tom stayed in the shack to test.  We found that the HF Antenna is broken.  It had been obviously cut off.  This most likely happened when the roof was recoated.  The other antennas all seem to be present.  They are all monoband-verticals. See the picture below for a diagram:

A3 Roof Antennas
A3 Roof Antennas

We used a shorted SO239 connector to figure out which antenna is which and analyzed the antennas that we could.

The Antenna Cables that go to the shack are:

  1.  #38 70cm (440MHz)
  2. ATV
  3. #45 23cm (1.2 GHz)
  4. #43 2m (144 MHz) SWR=1.25 @ 144 MHz
  5. #39 1.25m (220 MHz) SWR  = 1.04 @ 219 MHz
  6. #41 HF (Antenna is broken)
  7. 23cm (1.2 GHz)
  8. #42 2m (144 MHz) SWR = 1.04 @ 145 Mhz

We connected antenna 8 to the 2m radio used for the morning nets, and the other 2m to the packet setup.

Conclusions:

We need a new HF antenna on A3 to replace the missing one. I recommend a multi-band vertical type due to the limited space on the penthouse.   Your recommendations are welcome.

The club should also invest in a multi frequency antenna tester that can cover all the antennas we have. The AA-1400 Antenna Analyzer by RigExpert was recommended by Tom. It is capable of measuring from .1-1400 MHz and costs about $1079 (on Amazon).

73,

Kirk Crawford

EDIT:

Some Pictures of the HF Antenna Mounting point:

HF Mount Viewed from below
HF Mount Viewed from below
HF Antenna Mount
HF Antenna Mount

 

August Meeting Minutes

August 25 11:30 AM A3/2009F

Audio from the meeting:

In Attendance:

  • Kirk Crawford KK6KC
  • Tom Esenpreis KB9ENS
  • Ryan Noguchi AI6DO
  • Jason Bayonne
  • Don Hall KK6DCX

See the slides here

Kirk Showed pictures and discussed a recent business trip to Maui where he brought his amateur radio and the club’s buddipole antenna system.

 

We will have a trailer cleanup day on October 6 at 11:30 AM at the EOC trailer in the West Parking area of A6.

 

October 26 from 9AM to 11AM there will be a CERT exercise that needs Amateur Radio volunteers.  It looks like we need 5 people.   We need to select a simplex frequency to use.  147.510 on 2m, but we are thinking of picking one on 70cm to avoid interference with the security radios.

 

We discussed budget items, and it was put forth to get new VHF radios before next year’s field day.

 

We also discussed ways to get more people to come to the meetings, and we may have a raffle at the meetings in the future.

Listen to the audio for the full information.

 

-73,

 

Kirk Crawford

KK6KC

June 2016 Meeting Minutes

AEA Radio Club Meeting 6/30/16

Audio of the meeting:

Slides from the meeting

 

6 people in attendance

  • Kirk Crawford KK6KC
  • Don Hall KK6DCX
  • Phil Martzen KK6PSA
  • Teresa Moore AG6OD
  • Tom Essenpreis KB9ENS
  • Ching Kong KJ6QBI

 

Field Day Report:

Kirk, Don, Phil, Teresa, Emily Conroy, and Korede Oladimeji participated in our club Field Day event, which was held on the top two floors of the parking structure.  We made 25 HF contacts on the 20m and 40 m bands.  No VHF/UHF contacts were made.  We started around 12-1 pm and started shutting down around 4-5 pm.  We made HF contacts in 13 sections, from California to Canada to Oklahoma.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • The fiberglass masts are too floppy for the heavy VHF antennas. Next year replace them with 10’ aluminum masts
  • The 440 VHF antenna should be vertical rather than horizontal
  • Next year replace the three VHF/UHF setups with one multiband setup
  • Next year try 20m, 40m, and 80m dipole antennas as inverted Vs, one over each light pole
  • Need to be able to use the headset microphones and push-to-talk button (did not work)
  • Buy what we need for digital modes and try having a digital setup next year
  • Need to replace the mike stand for the Kenwood
  • Next year have a Field Day “practice” where we set up and try out our systems, especially the VHF/UHF setup, coordinating communications with someone in a shack or on a handheld.
  • Make a list of VHF/UHF simplex frequencies for next year

 

Trailer Cleanup:

A meeting was scheduled for July 6 at 11:30 to work on putting the radios back in the trailer and organize our equipment in the trailer. [OOPS I forgot about this! – KK6KC]

 

Budget:

The budget is due July 15.  Some ideas for budget items were:

  • Labeled plastic bins to organize supplies in the trailer
  • Field day equipment mentioned above
  • Better power strips
  • Line filters/power conditioners
  • Equipment for the A6 shack
  • D8 shack SDR
  • VHF/UHF antenna analyzer
  • Pan adapter for KX3
  • HRD software
  • Whatever we need for the APRS emergency communication plan (Ryan is supposed to spec this out; we can use a Buddipole antenna set for 30 m)

 

The library has radio club books that belong to us that they need us to store during the library remodel.  Kirk will let us know what we’ve got when he finds out and may need additional storage space depending on how many books there are. [EDIT It was only a single book, General Class learning guide from 2007.  Out of date so I had it recycled.]

 

Meeting Ideas

We discussed ideas for future meetings.  These ideas included:

  • Antennas for condominiums
  • DXpedition videos
  • Field Day videos (what do other clubs do?)
  • Digital modes (Teresa’s husband Dustin has been doing a lot of digital stuff lately and could give a presentation.)

If you have other ideas or would be willing to present something to the club, please comment below or email Kirk

May 26, 2016 Meeting Notes

Audio of the meeting:

Members in attendance:

  • Ryan Noguchi AI6DO
  • Kirk Crawford KK6KC
  • Don Hall KK6DCX
  • Teresa Moore AG6OD
  • Joe Barger N6KK

We had some discussion about the upcoming Field Day. We considered what we could do for a 20 or 40 meter wire beam antenna on top of the parking structure and how we would keep the driven element and the reflector parallel to each other. However, given that we expect very few people to be available to do Field Day with the club, we decided to just stick with the antennas we already have: the CrankIR and Buddipole for HF and the verticals attached to the fiberglass masts for UHF/VHF. We will probably run a 20 m station and either 40 or 15, depending on conditions that day.

On the Wednesday before Field Day, we will put up signs advising people to not park in the travel parking on the 4th floor and the North-East section of the 3rd floor. Cones and tape will be put out Thursday afternoon to block off parking spaces, and tables and chairs will be delivered to the 3rd floor Friday afternoon. All equipment will be moved Saturday morning. Kirk will bring 5 gallons of gas for the generator. We won’t invite any external visitors (like city council, press, etc.)

For general emergency use, we discussed having a 30 m APRS system that can send an email out in case of emergency. Ryan will spec out a system and report back. We will also want to be able to communicate with COS/Chantilly on voice, which can be set up over email via APRS.

Kirk brought up the point that during the A6 evacuation a couple months back, the security radios caused a lot of interference on our standard go-to 2 meter simplex frequency (147.51 MHz). He suggested trying a 440 simplex frequency. We would have to test to see how far we can get with 440 simplex. If there is someone with access to a real antenna, we might be able to relay messages.

It was recommended that we purchase the Yamaha CM500 headsets for the rigs in the trailer and for Field Day use.

Kirk reported that he had asked about putting an A6 shack in an electrical room on the second floor of A6. Maintenance people got upset about us using the electrical rooms in general. We will be cleaning to be sure that we are not blocking any electrical panels in any of our shacks in electrical rooms, especially in A2. Kirk is waiting for approval on the A6 shack but will put together a preliminary list including costs for budgeting purposes.

Joe wants to buy a good Software Defined Radio for the D8 shack.

Budgets are due in July so we should allocate/spend money now.