Field Day 2020

Riverside County Amateur Radio Association Field Day 2020

This year due to public health guidelines and restrictions the warning label around any Field Day gathering should probably be changed from our normal 

to the more timely

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As such, the Board and membership have made the painful choice to abandon our normal Field Day park gathering and “Class A” operation in favor of promoting Field Day on an individual operator level.

As such, please check the ARRL Field Day rules for what class you will be operating under.

That said – Please check back as the RCARA Board will be discussing some challenges and contests for our members.  We may have to be away from each other but that does not mean we have to be out of reach!

Stay Safe and keep making contacts!

First ‘Meeting on the Air’ success

To the RCARA members,

Holy cow, we did it!  This thing really worked!

Thank you all who made this “Meeting on the Air” a success.  We had a good working check in round and an even better round of discussion about the 2020 Field Day.  The discussion for all the ideas worked out great with members contributing to all sides of Field Day in world where we all have to live in our own isolation bubble. 

I want to say a sincere “Thank You” to the members that pointed out the faults and flaws in some of the ideas brought up – “It’s easy to stay quiet and go with the flow but pointing out the bad idea and why it’s a bad idea is honestly just as important.  Sometimes more so.”

Thank you Rick KK6CTT for turning the “Parking Lot Picnic” into the “Mobile Simplex Breakfast“.  You turned a good intentioned idea into a working Ham Radio exercise that we can still keep as a social event within the club.  Please join us this Saturday (Apr 11, 2020) for breakfast in your driveway!

73!

Alan KM6KPW

Simplex Social Breakfast

Please join us on the third Saturday of the month for a for a social simplex breakfast Net!  Grab your coffee and bagel or other breakfast items, get on your rig and be social!  Our original Net plan is to be a round robin Net with relays from operators that are able to hear a weak signal and pass on the traffic where possible.

This Net will be a once a month Saturday morning Net to hone your Amateur Radio skills in Simplex communications.  The frequency being used will rotate from month to month, please see the frequency plan below. 

Take a break from counting TP squares and join us on the air!

 

When: The third Saturday of the month at 11:00 AM

Where: Your choice

How: 11:00AM to 11:30 AM Simplex – Simplex mode, No offset / No PL tone

Monthly Frequency Plan

Month Band Frequency Coordinator
January 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
February 2 M 147.510 Mhz
March 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
April 2 M 147.510 Mhz Alan KM6KPW
May 70 CM 446.00 Mhz Alan KM6KPW
June 2 M 147.510 Mhz
July 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
August 2 M 147.510 Mhz
September 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
October 2 M 147.510 Mhz
November 70 CM 446.00 Mhz
December 2 M 147.510 Mhz

Additional Net Coordinators are needed!  If you are interested in hosting a net, please notify Alan (KM6KPW) or any other Board member know.

 

Club Officers for the year 2020

Riverside County Amateur Radio Association

Elected Officers for the Year 2020

 

Alan Serl KM6KPW

President

km6kpw @ scrnet.com

Mike Yasmer KM6LOR

Vice-President

coyotegrad @ gmail.com

Jim Wiley AG6EA

Treasurer

jameswiley757 @ gmail.com

Margaret Albanese KC6UDH

Secretary

malbanese @ dslextreme.com

 

Ron Braley KE6RYX

Director of Communications

(951) 369-5149

 

Marlene KK6CTX

Director of Membership

xmadamxx @ aol.com

Appointed Positions for 2020

Pending

Sunshine Chair

Rick Schirmer KK6CTT

Photographer

rngr86 @ juno.com

Alan Serl KM6KPW

Webmaster

km6kpw @ scrnet.com

 

KM6KPW 10 Meter Vertical Stick Dipole Antenna

I needed 10 Meter capability but have power lines just behind my property that keep me from putting up a nice big ground plane.  I’ve been messing around with horizontal dipole antennas for a while and found this assembly from MFJ.  This is a mount that lets you use a pair of stick antennas in a dipole configuration.

I purchased the MFJ-347 mount and a pair of 10 Meter stick antennas.  The assembly is intended to be used in a horizontal dipole configuration but as a group, the RCARA 10 Meter Net has agreed to using vertically polarized antennas.  My existing 10 Meter horizontal dipole had very bad reception already.

Why not put it into a vertical placement and see how it works.  So far I have to say that the response from the tuesday night 10 Meter Net crew is a huge improvement!

A new arm for my antenna mast was assembled using galvanized gas pipe fittings from the corner hardware store.  I will be adding the second arm to this mount to relocate my 2 Meter antenna so the two are six feet apart.  I have another five foot section to go above where I plan to mount a Ubiquiti Mesh network radio but that’s another project.

KM6CFH’s Go-Bag

After our 2019 Field Day I decided that making three trips to my truck to gather my gear was two trips too many. I had to figure out a way to get my power supply (including solar charging system) all of my essential gear into one bag and that would allow me to have both hands free. The following is what I came up with. You will see pre-holed sections because these are pictures of the frame after it was reconfigured.

I started off by taking some measurement of a Rush 24 backpack I purchased from 511 Tactical on Indiana in Riverside. This purchase was made in 2018 and was never intended to become a go-bag, but its durability made it the perfect choice. I came up with a PVC frame that sits in the bag. I used a box of #8 X ½” Phillips-head sheet metal screws to keep the PVC joined instead of glue in case I needed to make any future modifications (which I did for this version). I used plexiglass to make shelves and panels for the accessories and the battery.

 

The next step was to strap a Bioenno LiFePO4 12V, 12Ah battery to the bottom shelf and bolt an Epic PWRgate to the plexiglass on the top panel. I installed a 30A switch which I constructed to work with Anderson Powerpole connectors to turn power off/on.

 

I made the holes for the accessories using a step drill bit. I modified a Powerwerx Panelpole so that I could plug in the solar panels through it (in blue) and kept the black/red for powering the rig. The center is a Powerwerx Panel DVM to monitor battery voltage and the other accessory is a Powerwerx PanelUSB-Plus to power an LED light that I use at night.

The final step was to make all the connections and place the “top” panel on the frame.

I used two heavy duty GRIFFITI Bands to keep the plastic and metal from sliding around on smooth surfaces. The reason I made it this size was not only to have it fit in the bag, but to also provide a base for my Yaesu FT 991A.

 

The next pics are of the power frame and FT991A in the bag. As you can see I have room above for some extra supplies I may need and use a piece of plexiglass I have to keep pressure off of the knobs on the rig.

The only thing I needed to purchase to make the frame was, 8 90-degree socket X socket X socket elbows, 8 tees and a box of #8 ½” screws. I purchased a 28” X 30” of clear acrylic sheet (plexiglass) to create the shelves. These items were purchased from Lowes for under $50.

I already had about 8ft of ½” schedule 40 PVC for the actual frame. All the electronic components and the battery were from other builds and projects I have worked on. Everything I carry in the bag, including the two solar panels strapped on the outside, weighs about 38 pounds which is very manageable and allows me to have two free hands while walking to my destination.

73

Ham License Study Guides

Here are some of the Ham License Study Guides that our club members have found useful:

Get your FRN number

Register with the Federal Communications Commission to obtain your FRN number.  Every Amateur Radio Operator needs to have a FRN at the test time.

eHam.net

The practice exams on eHam.net are up to date pools of questions.  This is great for checking your readiness for a real test.

Ham Test Prep (Android App)

This is a great practice test app.  Webmaster comment – “I used this to study for the General exam on lunches and breaks at work”

 

Testing at Field Day 2019 – One Tech and Two General!

RCARA 10 Meter Net

Please join us on Tuesdays nights at 7:00 PM on 28.420Mhz USB for a 10 meter Round-Table Net.  If the frequency is in use the alternate is 28.410MHZ USB.  Antenna polarization: Vertical.

The purpose of the 10 meter Net is to develop and improve our skills in bands of radio communications that are available but unfamiliar to many club members.

Technician Class license holders have Voice (Phone) privilege on 10 Meters between 28.300 Mhz and 28.500 Mhz meaning all licensed operators can participate.

Because of the sunspot activity is limiting 10 Meter propagation, our RCARA Net coverage area is expected to include Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Anyone interested in taking a turn as Net Coordinator, please contact KM6KPW (Alan).  Feedback (negative and positive) is greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks & 73!

Alan – KM6KPW

 

Tally for the Tuesday Night 10 Meter:

May 26, 2020 June 2, 2020 June 9, 2020 June 16, 2020 June 23, 2020
Regular Check-ins: 4
Guests/Visitors: 0
TOTAL CHECK-INS: 4
Coordinator: Alan KM6KPW Alan KM6KPW Alan KM6KPW Alan KM6KPW Alan KM6KPW

* Subject to audit