Club Meeting 3.5.2017

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting on Wednesday 3 May 2017 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Dave ZL2MQ, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Revell ZL2SS, Blue ZL3TT, Rob ZL2US, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Wally ZL2MO, Paul ZL2HB, Mike ZL2VM and Karl ZL1TJ. Apologies: ZL2IT.

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

Arising: Wally: Engineer John Foote, being too busy at present, was told not to proceed with the mast project. Mike 2VM: thank you to Wally for all the work he has done for the club recently.

Dave 2MQ: thanks to Mike 2VM for opening the clubrooms for antenna experimentation / testing on Saturday 22.4. Would there be support for a regular monthly technical afternoon meeting?

Mike: Some two years ago the club ran a social / chat meeting on a monthly basis, usually Sunday afternoon. This was initially well supported but eventually came to an end.

After some discussion it was agreed to revive this but with a more technical slant.

Second Sunday of the month, starting time 1:30 pm.

Correspondence: Email from ELG’s Steve Fogerty about the 2m beacon licence having been created, confirmation from RSM still to come. Outward: confirmation of receipt of this.

Other inward: Bank correspondence, statements and cheque book. NZART annual info request.

Finance: No transactions reported.

General Business: Dave 2MQ: Consequent to the most recent Jock White Field day contest investigated building the necessary filters to prevent cross band interference at future contests.

Mr Morris White ZL2AAA offered to build these for the cost of the cores only. The resulting professional looking band pass filters for 40 and 80 metres were presented by Dave.

A great addition to the club’s equipment.  Moved by 1TJ and seconded by 2HB that Dave 2MQ be re-imbursed for the cost of materials. Passed. Karl to send thank you note to Morris ZL2AAA.

Dave 2MQ: the club project (Arduino based swr bridge) is progressing. Estimated specs: 1.8 to 450 MHz, 1Kw power rating, sensitive enough to use as Field Strength meter, ‘pip’ mode audio function.

Initial costing $150. Some pre- soldering of surface mount ic’s to be done by soldering experts.

Kitset to be offered to non club members at a price assuring a reasonable return to the club.

Remits to the forthcoming NZART Rotorua conference: voting ZL2MQ, 2MO, 2VM, 2CD, 1TJ.

Remit 1: In favour 4, abstained 1

Remit 2: In favour 5

Remit 3: In favour 4, abstained 1

As none of the members present intend to attend the conference Karl is to seek a delegate willing to represent Branch 25. Options are Laurie ZL2TC or Debbie ZL2DL.

The meeting closed at 9:50 pm.

Followed by an attempt by 1TJ to connect to and demonstrate SDR Northland Radio, ZM292 using a laptop computer connected to the internet through a cellphone in ‘hotspot’ mode. The screen being projected on the wide screen allowed all to follow proceedings. The concept of using remote receivers in quiet locations is becoming increasingly interesting as suburban noise levels are making reception of weak signals difficult. Wally operated the club station on 40 and 80 m but the signal did not appear to reach the Bay of Islands. Also: the internet connection was not really adequate.

Karl ZL1TJ Sec. NARC.

October 2015 Club meeting

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
Meeting on Wednesday 7 October 2015 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Karl ZL1TJ, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Present: Erroll ZL2IT, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Paul ZL2HB, Mike ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Blue ZL3TT, Wally ZL2MO and Stan ZL2ST.

Apologies: ZL2TC, ZL2CZE, ZL2OC, ZL2DC, ZL2VM.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL3TT, ZL2MY.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW reported the 725 and 4050 antennas on Taraponui were repaired by three senior members (2DW, 2TC and 2VM) refer to Break-Out of the details.

Rob reported the successful re-activation of the IRLP node 6793 (725 repeater). The hardware is now located at the Branch 13 clubrooms, connected by microwave link to his QTH. Much of the work was done by Jan ZL2CZE. The Hawke’s Bay amateur radio fraternity is indebted to Bch13.
The forthcoming combined branches Christmas dinner was discussed and a preference for the Napier RSA restaurant was evident. Karl to check out and book.

Correspondence: Email correspondence regarding Mark ZL3AB’s running of the Lee Jennings activity marathon. Also correspondence from Dave ZL2DW about Ray Barlow ZL2RB becoming the 3rd Branch 13 and Branch 25 exam supervisor.

Finance: Received account for repeater maintenance ($25).

General Business:
A reminder that another effort is needed to complete the exterior repaint of the clubrooms.
A working bee is to be called by Laurie.
Wally ZL2MO confirmed: the rotator for the HF yagi antenna is ready to go

Rob ZL2US reported that this month’s Branch 13 meeting is advanced one week to October 21.
The meeting will be held at ‘Skinny Mulligans’ Waipawa and will be preceded by a meal.
Bookings to Dave ZL2DW, see Rob about carpooling.

Further suggested speakers for the proposed 2016 Bay Hamfest: Dr Gary Bold ZL1AN and Jim Meachen ZL2BHF. Karl to check and write.
The annual quiz and sticky bun event has been postponed to the December meeting.

The meeting closed at 8:10 pm.

A discussion on VHF propagation was initiated by Dave ZL2DW. Erroll ZL2IT discussed recent successes bridging the Tasman on 2m SSB transmitting 50Watts.
The evening was rounded off with the usual chit-chat over a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary Branch 25.

Switch Project Kitset Assembly

May 19, 2015 saw Laurie ZL2TC, Revell ZL2SS, Mike ZL2VM, Karl ZL1TJ, Stan ZL2ST, Peter ZL2CD and Lee ZL2AL at the clubrooms assembling the 4 Part Antenna Switch kitsets. All the various parts were bagged along with the comprehensive instructions to be readied for Post Office shipment in another week.

Many hands make light work counting out the hundreds of screws, nuts, washers and parts.

Many hands make light work counting out the hundreds of screws, nuts, washers and parts.

Job Well Done Team!!!

Left to right: Mike ZL2VM, Pater ZLZ2CD, Laurie ZL2TC, Karl ZL1TJ, Stan ZL2ST, Revell ZL2SS and Lee ZL2AL behind the camera. Job Well Done Team!!!

A club project working together always seems to bring out the best in people and it is a lot of fun and a few laughs combined with a great feeling of satisfaction.

73, Lee ZL2AL

NARC Minutes – May 6, 2015

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting Wednesday 6 May 2015 – Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2VM, ZL2AL, ZL2LF, ZL2US.

Present: Wally ZL2MO, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Blue ZL3TT, Stan ZL2ST, Mike ZL2MY, Ray ZL2RB, Marty ZL2PX and Karl ZL1TJ.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2TC, ZL2ST.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW: The April ECI net was run by Laurie and himself. There was sufficient participation. Dave suggests a permanent notice in Break-Out, Karl to arrange.

Correspondence: The annual NZART Branch circular: Membership list, Call Book update form, Examination supervisor application form and Candidates check form, Remits to be discussed etc..

A letter from NZART regarding the proposed Public liability insurance scheme. Email correspondence with ZL2DW as Branch 13 Secretary regarding QSL card handling. Email correspondence regarding donation to Branch 88, Tauranga Emergency Communications Group (TECG). Email correspondence with Lee regarding the club programme and the club project

Finance: Accounts for payment were presented by Wally for materials used for the ongoing refurbishment of the clubroom’s kitchen and bathroom. Payments were made for the club project.

Another reminder from our Treasurer that (our very minimal!) subs are now DUE!

General business: Dave ZL2DW explained the current QSL card distribution procedure. He also brought up the proposed joint public liability insurance scheme. NZART reports that the annual premium for the 9 participating branches would now be $ 275.14. No firm decision resulted from the following discussion. Lee has indicated that, due to ill health, he is no longer able to fulfill the requirements for Branch Examination Supervisor. Lee is presently in hospital, he expects ongoing treatment and recovery to pre-empt taking an active part in club activities for some time. Laurie to take over the club (antenna switch) project. Laurie also to seek interest from members to take over the Examination supervisor job. Wally reported on the search and costing for a replacement generator. The AREC account would be used for the purchase.

NZART AGM Remits: After establishing who out of those present were entitled to vote, which, due to some being affiliated to Branch 13 and some not being ‘financial’ with NZART, turned out to be a disappointing three, Laurie presented the three remits and recorded the vote. The outcome: Remit 1, one in favour, two against, Remit 2, one in favour, two against, Remit three (the amendment to the Constitution): one in favour, one against, one abstention. Stan moved and Wally seconded that our delegate (Laurie) is authorised to use his discretion to vote as he sees fit on the day.

The meeting closed 9:30pm.

Due to Lee’s incapacitation the scheduled DX-pedition video was replaced by ‘Show and Tell’.

Dave ZL2DW explained with diagrams the building and refining of a 160m half wave dipole across a gully (on his daughters farm). The antenna has an automatic tuner and works well on all bands except 80m. Karl presented his SDR receiver augmented with a 120MHz converter to bring in HF frequencies. Laurie, who does a fair bit of ‘hamming’ in the micro wave regions, presented his homebrew transverter which will turn a 2m transceiver into a 2.4GHz transceiver. Also a homebrew 2.4 GHZ loop yagi antenna, a piece of precision hardware with an estimated gain of 17 to 20 dB.

Best performance so far 300Km to Mt Egmont.

Karl, ZL1TJ Secretary

BAY BUZZ Publicity

The May – June 2015 issue of Bay Buzz did an article on a few local Hawke’s Bay clubs and groups. The Napier Amateur Radio Club was one of the 5 clubs featured. Laurie ZL2TC and Lee ZL2AL were interviewed and the you can see the writeup below. Great publicity for ham radio!

Front Cover

Front Cover

Page 1

Page 1

Laurie Operating ZL2GT, the Club Station

Laurie Operating ZL2GT, the Club Station

Page 4

Page 4

NARC Meeting April 1, 2015

MINUTES OF THE NAPIER AMATEUR RADIO CLUB

Meeting Wednesday 1 April 2015 at the Clubrooms 

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2GAZ, ZL2MO, ZL2LF, ZL2MQ, ZL2OC.

Present: Lee ZL2AL, Mike ZL2VM, Erroll ZL2IT, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Dave ZL2DW, Blue ZL3TT, Rob ZL2US, Rob ZL2AN, Jan ZL2CZE, Stan ZL2ST and Karl ZL1TJ.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2TC, ZL2AL.

Arising: Dave ZL2DW referred to the NZART / AON public liability scheme. Branch 13 has received no further communication.

Correspondence: Notice from the Wanganui Radio Club that their annual sale will be held once again this year on the 2nd of May, starting 10am. Also a letter from the Napier City Council requesting that our entry in the Community info database be checked and updated if necessary.

Finance: Accounts for components for this year’s club project, a 4way remote antenna switch, were presented by Lee. Payment to reimburse expenses was agreed to at last month’s committee meeting.

General business: Laurie: the club’s first ‘Open Door’ social Sunday afternoon was held on March 15 and was attended by eight or nine members. The next (April) one will be on Sunday the 19th. Also, a clubrooms painting working bee will be held on Sunday the 12th starting 9am.

Dave ZL2DW reported that the urgent request for Break-Out copy did result in a March magazine with some really interesting articles. Pleas keep up the flow!

Revell mentioned the first Emergency Check In net held on March the 18th and wondered if any feedback has been received. The net was run by Laurie and Lee, many local hams and two ‘outsiders’ reported in. Generally the concept has been welcomed and the ECI net will continue to be held at 7:30pm on the 3rd Wednesday of the month on 670 and 3.615.

The meeting closed at 7:45pm.

Followed by a look into Civil Defence. Mike ZL2VM, who is not only our Amateur Radio Emergency Corps organiser but also plays an active role in CD, introduced Napier City Council Emergency Management Officer Mr. Marcus Hayes-Jones.

Marcus Hayes- Jones explains the inner workings of our CD setup and plans for the future.

Marcus Hayes-Jones explains the inner workings of our CD setup and plans for the future.

What followed was a detailed explanation of the structure, responsibilities and capabilities of the Council’s emergency response organisation. Though the Council’s budget is limited, communications equipment includes self contained portable VHF radio stations with substantial aerials, a trailer capable of accessing the Internet via satellite and a miniature linking device that allows ordinary smart phones to be used via satellite as well. Both voice and data transmissions are possible. Marcus answered a number of questions and in te process indicated that there is always a need for skilled radio people to make themselves available on a regular basis. He agreed that amateur radio initiatives such as the ECI net could have a place in the system and suggested that information such as station availability, equipment and capabilities could be recorded in the nation wide EMIS (Emergency Management Information System) operated by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management. It was an interesting presentation.

Lee then briefly explained progress made on the antenna switch project, components purchased, instruction manual printed etc. All bar one have been sold! A brief working bee to assemble the kits will be coming up. Stan the treasurer will be smiling.

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC .

“Q” 4 Port Remote Antenna Switch Project

Each year the Napier Amateur Radio Club designs a club project for it’s Hawkes Bay members. Following on from the very successful “Q” VHF/UHF Antenna project in 2014 we are going to release the “Q” Remote 4 port antenna switch kit for 2015.

"Q" 4 Port Antenna Switch concept drawing

“Q” 4 Port Antenna Switch concept drawing

The project is a remote antenna switch allows you to have one run of coaxial cable from the shack to your multiple antenna setup rather than multiple runs of coax. Most hams have a Tribander, a few dipoles and/or loops and maybe a vertical. Running RG213 coax from all of them back into the shack is expensive and can cause RF coupling between unused cables. The modern approach is to switch the antennas remotely with a switch-box at the base of the tower or in the garage and control it from inside the shack. Some photos below:

Controller Box with LEDs and 5 Position switch

Controller Box with LEDs and 5 Position switch

The PCB showing the relays and wiring of the S)-239 sockets. The blue connector block on the lower right side of the board is connected to the 5 Pin DIN socket which controls the relays.

The PCB showing the relays and wiring of the S)-239 sockets. The blue connector block on the lower right side of the board is connected to the 5 Pin DIN socket which controls the relays.

PCB_SO239_side

Looking at the “business: side of the board. The SO-239 sockets fit through the weatherproof case to allow PL259 Coax plugs to screw on.

The “Q” 4 Port Antenna Switch kit set is supplied with a complete set of step by step instructions and the very highest quality components The kit complete with shack switch controller box and weatherproof outside relay enclosure box. Specifications below:

  • High quality European designed PCB
  • Input/output port isolation better than -69dB and loss is onlyl 0.05 dB at 28 Mhz
  • Designed for 1 – 30 Mhz. Higher frequencies may be switched with slightly higher losses.
  • Switch Relays are very high quality American designed Zettler relays with 20A contacts and 400VAC rating which will allow operation at 1.5KW CW/RTTY or 3000PEP power levels.
  • SO-239 socket connectors are teflon insulated with gold centre pin.
  • All hardware supplied including all screws and nuts etc
  • The Shack Control box has 5 different coloured LEDS which easily shows what antenna you are actually using.
  • 5 pin DIN sockets for power connections. CAT5 control cable may be used (not supplied)
  • 12 VDC at 500ma wall wart power supply (not supplied)
  • All parts supplied fully guaranteed for 1 year.
  • Charts showing Isolation and insertion losses are below”
    This shows the port isolation between antenna outpus

    This shows the port isolation between antenna output

    This shows the low insertion loss

    This shows the low insertion loss

Commercial antenna switches range imported into ZL from $240 (cheaper unit) to around $500 (high quality). The “Q” Remote antenna switch target price will be $150 NZD which represents great value.

There will only be a limited number of these kits available from June 1. If interested please contact Lee, ZL2AL, project co-ordinator at  leezl2al@gmail.com to register your interest.

73, Lee ZL2AL,

Napier  Amateur Radio Club

 

 

Sunday Tea & Mellowpuffs

It was mooted that we open up the clubhouse each Sunday afternoon at 2 Pm for those who wanted to come along, have a chat, solve a problem or set the world right. March 15 saw 9 come along. Laurie provided the tea and mellowpuffs (thanks Laurie) and we were still taking flat out 2 hours later. The club’s automatic morse code keyer was set up and Revell ZL2SS played morse for some time getting used to how to use a paddle. Revell has memorized the code and now wants to get his speed up to have an “on air” QSO.

A

Lots of chat and tall tales going on here!

Lee, Laurie and Dave reminisced about school days and “whatever happened to?”  All in all, lots of fun and it will become a regular feature of NARC on Sunday afternoons

73, Lee ZL2AL

80M – 40M Antenna Repairs

The 2015 Jock White Field Day is fast approaching at the end of February and Mike ZL2VM needed the 80/40 Trap antenna at the club to be working properly. It had a very low resonance on 80M and was not all that high in the trees. President Laurie, ZL2TC volunteered to make repairs and Lee ZL2AL volunteered his trusty spud gun. Wally, ZL2MO was also available for the morning and decided to join the party. His help as 2IC of the spud gun patrol was most valuable. We arrived around 9AM thinking it would be over in a few hours. Antennas don’t work that way. After hauling down the antenna we decided to put both ends up much higher in the trees and also change the feedline to a heavier version in anticipation that the our Linear Amp would be fired up and in the system some day.

Resonant and all ready to perform on 80M

Resonant and all ready to perform on 80M

Even better on 40M! President Laurie ZL2TC approves

Even better on 40M! President Laurie ZL2TC approves

Five hours later the antenna was back up much higher in the trees, resonating almost 1:1 at 50 ohms on both bands with a new feedline and connector. It will be interesting to see what Mike and the team using ZL2GT Branch 99 (Home Station) will be able to achieve in the contest. Lee, Stan, John ZL2QM and Wayne ZL2WG will be operating ZL2G Branch 25 from the ZM4T Contest site.

NARC Meeting Dec 3, 2014

Meeting on Wednesday 3 December 2014 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

Chair: Laurie ZL2TC, the meeting started at 7:30 pm.

Apologies: ZL2DW, ZL2DC.

Present: Lee ZL2AL, Dave ZL2MQ, Mike ZL2MY, Willy ZL2AGD, Wally ZL2MO, Bert ZL2OC, Revell ZL2SS, Peter ZL2CD, Stan ZL2ST, Bob ZL2BDL, Rob ZL2US, Jan ZL2CZE and Karl ZL1TJ.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed correct: ZL2MO, ZL2ST.

Arising: Revell, insisting on a firm time frame for the ongoing club room upgrade but had to be content with statements from both Wally and Laurie that members would prefer a more relaxed approach. Revell’s enthusiasm for getting things done is much appreciated all the same.

Correspondence: None.

Finance: Stan reported on financial affairs and reminded the gathering that subs are now due.

General business:

Rob ZL2US  reported the combined branches dinner was enjoyed by all, with some 36 members attending.

Lee and Stan kept up the Contest Group’s reputation by clocking up more than 1500 contacts with 70 countries during the previous weekend’s CQ WW CW contest. Conditions were good, the highlight was a contact with EL2DT in  Monrovia, Liberia.

Wallie sought and was given the ok to source and purchase replacement translucent panelling for the front porch. The timing of further working bees was discussed and agreed on.

The meeting closed at 7:45 pm.

And was then followed by Lee firing up computer and projector and, instead of presenting the promised Logging Software demonstration, had to revert to plan B for technical reasons. This was a video presentation, first showing the efforts made by London RGSB members to commemorate the historic contact between Frank Bell and Cecil Goyder at Mill Hill School, London,

18 October 1924. See http://www.zl4aa.org.nz/frank-bell-trans-world-radio-contact/

The second video about the December 2011- January 2012 HK0NA Dxpedition to a dismal place called Malpelo Island. A fascinating story.

The HK0NA DVD enjoyed by all. Why is it that DXpeditioners choose the most difficult places on the planet to operate from?

The HK0NA DVD enjoyed by all. Why is it that DXpeditioners choose the most difficult places on the planet to operate from?

 

As Lee says, take part in one of these and you make close friends for life. But it has to be said that it was a miracle that no one was hurt and these guys, some in their seventies must have been both fit and brave. Getting the gear up to the top of the mountain must have been horrendous. Anyway… that’s Ham Radio at it’s best.

Thanks Lee for another entertaining presentation.

 

Karl ZL1TJ, Secretary NARC .