Progress is showing in the spring cleaning effort underway in Bldg 4622.
As we continue trying to renew the interest in this historic club station, restoring some functionality is important; but having a meeting place that is clean enough to visit without gloves and a dustmask is also necessary. I guess it is going on nearly two years now since I first walked into Bldg 4622. After many many visits to shuffle things around, testing equipment, cleaning out desk drawers, putting things in boxes, drawers, lots of sweeping . . . it is starting to look habitable again. To me it seems important to have at least a table clean enough to eat lunch on if we feel like dropping by during a lunch break. I’ve also moved the credenza over by the water fountain and the blackboard, and have the sign-in book there now. Please remember to sign both IN & OUT on every visit.
Don’t have the combination for the gate or the front door ?
Come to our next meeting …..
As WA4NZD comes back to life, it is important to offer operational equipment for our members to enjoy and experiment with. The VHF station has both 144 and 432 MHz multi-mode radios and functional Az/El rotors with satellite capable antennas. There is a 50 MHz beam available, but no radio currently. I’ve activated the old Kantronics TNC (WA4NZD) as a digi on 145.010 MHz (MARC) and it helps provide access to the Winlink email system through a RMS gateway at my house (WB5RMG-10). I found a large VHF/UHF vertical antenna and plan to use that for the digi. I also have in mind to build a linux computer (from my spares) and activate a JNOS or similar BBS package that will support NETROM routing as well. This is a great opportunity for our members to explore and learn more about these digital modes of operation. This is a valuable addition to the ARES/RACES/MARS communications support for our regional Emergency Management & Response efforts – we intend to support our community ‘When All Else Fails‘.
The HF station has been restored to operable status with the recent installation of a full-size 3.6 MHz Inverted Vee antenna. Some work is still needed to upgrade/replace the end supporting ropes and insulators – but this antenna is up high, and this is a very low noise area. Signals are strong. The MFJ antenna tuner makes this antenna useable on multiple bands, and possibly 7 MHz elements can be added to further improve the coverage. The Kenwood radio is a hybrid and has a vacuum tube final, so some minimal training is required before transmitting – but this is otherwise tested and ready-to-go…
There is so much potential here – all we have to do is support the effort with some personal time and attention. We have several opportunities approaching to activate the station for contest or special event operations. VHF Sweepstakes, ARRL Field Day, Final Shuttle Launch, to name a few… I know that at least I’m having a good time messin with this stuff, as I don’t have nearly this much room or capability with my home station – and this has so much potential for lots more. If you have a Gov’t ID and vehicle access to Redstone/MSFC, we need your support and participation in continuing the restoration of this historic Radio Club and Station. Please contact me or leave a comment here indicating your interest. We need both new hams for students, and old-timers like me for teachers.
This is how it works . . . . We have to start somewhere.
This is it, the time is now. Join us ..!..
Thanks and 73 for now /;^)