Napier ARC Meeting 6.9.17

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 6 September 2017 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Dave ZL2MQ, the meeting started at 7:30 pm. Dave welcomed Peter Mulhare ZL2IK

Present: Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Wally ZL2MO, Paul ZL2HB, Blue ZL3TT, Errol ZL2IT, Mike ZL2VM, Peter ZL2HM, Stan ZL2ST, Michael ZL2MY, Peter ZL2IK and Karl ZL1TJ. Apologies: ZL2US.

Minutes of previous meeting: Read and confirmed to be correct: ZL2HB, ZL3TT.

Arising: The club’s 2m and 6m beacons are now fully operational after fitting the aerials by ZL2MQ, 2VM and 1TJ on 10.8 and heaving the mast back up with assistance of 2HB, 2MY, 3TT, 2IT and 2ALK on Saturday 12.8. Thanks to all.

Correspondence: Inwards: Bank Statements. Outwards: Article (re: beacons) to Break In magazine.

Finance: The club received a refund of $200 from lines company Unison.

General Business: Dave ZL2DW reported that, in spite of 12 people initially registering an interest in the proposed ‘Boot camp’ licensing course, only one has actually paid the prerequisite deposit. The course is now unlikely to proceed. A fairly lengthy discussion followed seeking the reasons for this and potential alternative approaches. Some of the comments made: Paul 2HB: Amateur radio needs to be promoted as a community service in times of disaster. Peter 2IK: Whangarei classes went well in March but a recent repeat saw no takers, perhaps too soon or else wrong time of the year for other reasons. Dave 2MQ: is Break-out sent to school science teachers? Dave 2DW: I have promoted AR to schools for years but nothing has ever come out of that. I suppose if youngsters want to find us they will through the internet. Paul 2HB: newspaper advertising? Peter 2IK:Rotary Club advertising does not work any more. Errol 2IT questioned the $200 cost. Dave 2DW explained the fee which includes membership for Bch 13 and NZART.

The fee may be partially waved in case of hardship. Errol: We need to re-brand ourselves as Radio Experimenters, doing away with the amateur label. It has negative connotations.

Blue reported contacting the Napier City Council regarding road signage. He was told that the NARC does not qualify for this service.

The meeting closed at 8pm.

Followed by Mike ZL2VM explaining his other interest namely radio astronomy. There is a branch of this science that, other than ‘listening to the Stars’ involves listening to electro magnetic phenomena in the Earth’s immediate envelope. Radio waves are generated by such phenomena as electro static build up and lightning but also through external influences such as solar flux and flares. Surprisingly, such electro magnetic waves exist at very low frequencies (VLF) and can be monitored with relatively simple equipment e.g. the sound card of a computer. Radio skills are needed to employ filters to block local interference signals. The topic is huge and Mike suggests the following resources for those interested:

Crab Nebula

https://youtu.be/ZiGuh0yISao

Inspire Project

http://theinspireproject.org/

Live VLF RX’s

http://www.abelian.org/vlf/

SuperSiD

http://solar-center.stanford.edu/

Spectrum Lab

http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/spectra1.html

XiVERO VLF RX

www.xivero.com

Radio-Sky Pipe

http://www.radiosky.com/skypipeishere.html

Live RX

<http://kiwisdr.jks.com:8073/>

SDR RX

http://www.sdrplay.com/rsp2pro/>

Mike’s talk was followed up by Peter ZL2IK who shared his recent experimentation with WSPR, Weak Signal Propagation Reporting, which is in some ways related to the previous topic as it may also involve radio waves at audio frequencies. Peter mentioned Schumann resonances which are global electromagnetic resonances, generated and excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere. This cavity forms a wave guide tuned to 7.8 Hertz. Peter’s WSPR activities are usually around 630m. Another fascinating talk.

Karl ZL1TJ Sec. NARC.