Tag Archives: 4622

Hex Beam Antenna presentation at our next meeting Oct. 2, 2014

We are delighted to have Rob Conklin, N4WGY, come to talk with us at our next club meeting.  He will share a short slide presentation about his experience in home brewing, mounting and using a K4KIO designed 6 band Hexagonal beam type antenna. After the presentation we’ll have time for Q&A.

Also on our agenda will be the upcoming W1AW/4 week-long operation from Alabama, 15-22 Oct. 2014.

If you have access to the Arsenal, please come join us.

Thursday October 2, 2014, meeting start 4:30 pm
Bldg. 4622, MSFC, Redstone Arsenal, AL
[location on Google maps]

– Gary, WA2JQZ

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Field Day 2014 is here .!.

Has it really been a whole year since Field Day ?
(updated 20140629)
The club has had a lot of activity getting ready for the summer contest season, and this weekend will be a focal point. I wanted to start a new post, and let everyone know that WA4NZD will be active in the “1F” category, as our facility at NASA/MSFC is an informal auxiliary EOC that exercises to support both the Marshall and the Redstone communities. We will run one transmitter, which covers 160m thru 6m. We will also have an active VHF station to cover VO-52 satellite, 50MHz, 144MHz, 432MHz.
Surely you can find us somewhere. Work us everywhere you can.

Oh, and to find us, if you already have access to the base – please drop by to see whats a goin on. https://wa4nzd.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/quick-maps/

We hope to come back and update this post thru the weekend, so check back.

UPDATE: 20140629 – back for more . . .

The log indicates that KA0S was here until 03:45 local, and I was back at 08:15 after leaving at 01:00 CDT. WA2JQZ got here at 09:30, with fresh muffins and coffee. N4CNY just arrived as well, and is going to listen on 6m. Only one contact on 6 this morning, from Texas, and 2 meters has only been a little noisy.

20140628_4227ax

N4MSN, W4VM, KK4RPQ, KK4TJP, N4CNY, WA2JQZ, WB8ELK, N5AYD, WB5RMG

We had a pretty good crowd at times last nite, several distinguished guests.

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CW contact with W3CWC, via VO-52

Field Day dramatically increases the challenges, even for CW via satellite. WB8ELK finally pulls one out on our second VO-52 pass just before it goes LOS over the Pacific Ocean. WB5RMG makes sure it logged. Thanks to W3CWC for that contact, worth 102 points for us (including the satellite bonus) .!.

Another update to come later…
Thanks /;^)

Jan VHF Contest

Wow, we had some serious fun yesterday…
Neil, Marvin and I had a great time with the contest. (More fun today !)
These are not like a DX pileup type contest, but once you work a station,
you try to coordinate and work them on other bands as well…

We run in a “limited multi-op” category, so we sometimes had all three bands
going at the same time. The limited means we only submit contacts on three
bands (50, 144, and 432 MHz), rather than ‘unlimited’ which could also
include 220, 901, 1296, 2406, etc…)

Later in the evening the 6m band came back to life, with contacts to the
north east (best DX was New Hampshire @~1000 miles), and then the midwest
with stations in KS, NE, CO, OK . . .
Marvin and I were there until nearly midnite.!.

When we left there were 52 contacts in the log, with 23 grid multipliers.
The score showing in the log program was 1357 points.

This runs until 10pm CST, and I’ll be back out there shortly.
I need some more to eat, and maybe a nice hot shower first.
I’ll post this on the blog, along with a screen grab from last night of the DXmaps.com 6m map.

Jan VHF map

last night’s 6m activity from DXmaps.com

Thanks  /;^)

Simulated Emergency Test 2012

It is that time of year again .!.
Every year the ARRL‘s Amateur Radio Emergency Service conducts a test (SET) of their operational readiness and preparedness plans for managing a communications emergency. This year our test in Huntsville/Madison County Alabama will be in conducted in association with the HMCEMA. We have contacts within many local and regional agencies that would like to participate with us. Our exercise will be held on Saturday, Oct.6 2012 ; starting sometime after 8am, and concluding somewhere around noon. We don’t disclose many details before the exercise, to keep participants prepared for anything.We will toss in a few surprises along the way to add some excitement. We expect to have a picnic downtown in Big Springs Park after the exercise concludes.

The Marshall Amateur Radio Club WA4NZD will participate in this exercise; and fortunately, we have our monthly meeting this Thursday (Oct.4) and can discuss our preparations to ensure that our station is ready for whatever comes. Stop in Bldg.4622 after work and help us prepare for this year’s SET.

One teaser, to help encourage folks to participate, is this ‘proposed plan‘ of how we might coordinate multiple agencies and individuals over a large area, utilizing multiple frequencies. Of course, the details are somewhat masked, as this is a work in progress, and we want to observe how our multi-talented pool of resources will evolve into meeting our needs for the exercise.

how to coordinate a communications emergency

brain-storming a messaging network

Be thinking about how we structured our support last year after the tornadoes, and throughout that week-long power outage. What worked well, what might have helped. Bring your good ideas, and a desire to help to the annual SET.
We will figure out what works, and what doesn’t.

Thanks  /;^)

An After-Action Report

On June 14th, 2012 – members of the Marshall Amateur Radio Club participated in a severe weather exercise conducted by Marshall Emergency Management. Many of our members have received SKYWARN Spotter training from the National Weather Service, and also participate in similar training activities with their municipal emergency management agencies in their respective communities. These types of exercises provide us with an opportunity to interact with multiple resources and to help facilitate communications directly supporting the immediate response, and follow-on recovery efforts.

For this event, we staged two radio operators at our club radio station in Building 4622, much as we might during an actual tornado watch event. When the Marshall EOC notified their storm spotters via the commercial 800 MHz radio system, we received that notification as well, and established the Marshall Amateur Response Net on our radio system. We check-in club members from their work areas, as well as other participating stations. The goal here was to evaluate how well our personal hand held radios might be able to communicate with each other in the event of a live situation. During this exercise we established communications with 14 other stations, including the Marshall EOC, the Huntsville-Madison County EOC, and the Fox Army Medical Center. The remaining stations were individuals in various buildings about the center and around town in Huntsville. We primarily used a ‘full-duplex’ repeater system located on the Arsenal, but we also exercised a communications path via a ‘simplex’ or a ‘direct point-to-point’ method. In some cases the direct path offered better signals. We have some follow-on recommendations for our group – to be better prepared for next time.

This exercise was a great opportunity to demonstrate our inter-operability and effectiveness in collaboration with the Marshall EOC. We confirmed an ability to sustain completely independent communications channels between our radio station and the EOC. We received a simulated emergency weather report on our ham radio channel, and then relayed that message to the EOC over the commercial radio service. Under extreme/unusual conditions, we must be prepared to support communications that may be very time-sensitive and essential to the safety and well-being of center personnel. We felt that this was a very successful and useful exercise.

The Marshall Amateur Radio Club greatly appreciates this opportunity to contribute to the emergency preparedness environment at the Marshall Center. We are looking forward to future collaboration. We are also looking forward to meeting more folks interested in the personal radio hobby, that might be interested in learning more about ham radio and participating in our club activities.

Thanks  /;^)

Feels like summer

I don’t know where the time goes, but the last post here was back in January. We all have so many more projects than time to make progress . . . This time last year MSFC was closed for nearly a week, as we had been saturated with storm damage after a major tornado outbreak – and most of north Alabama had no electricity. Many of us were helping friends and neighbors clean up. On this anniversary, we re-visit these events in our minds to remember the lives lost, and to pay tribute to the first-responders and the recovery teams that helped our community.

20110430_5405ac2

Anderson Hills Tornado 20110427

This response and recovery effort was enhanced by the participation of hundreds of Amateur Radio operators, that jumped at the chance to fill in where ordinary lines of communications were not available. This is an aspect of ham radio that Continue reading

Now we have 2012

Time to start another year .!.

Sometimes it seems like we didn’t do much as a club, but just look back on this last year in the blog, and you will find NanoSail-D, VHF contests, Field Day, the Final Shuttle Launch Special Event, and points in between. We have come a long way in bringing the MARC back to life, and can be proud of that. We logged over 250 HF contacts during the STS-135 commemorative, and have sent certificates to all stations who sent us a SASE. The eQSL logs for this last year’s events will be uploaded before long, so please be patient.  /;^)

Sure we have a ways to go – but we already have plans in place to replace the HF beam rotor, and get our satellite tracking hardware back into operation. We need to focus our attention and get our Continue reading