Meeting April 3, 2013

Meeting on Wednesday 3 April 2013 at the Clubrooms 123 Latham Street

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

Apologies: ZL2DC, ZL2LF.

Present: Stan ZL2ST, Dave ZL2DW, Mike ZL2MY, Rob ZL2US, Lee ZL2AL, Shane ZL2PG, Dave ZL2MQ, Jan ZL2CZE, Gary ZL2GAZ, Mr. Revell Troy and Karl ZL1TJ.

Minutes previous meeting, confirmed correct: ZL2TC, ZL2ST.

Arising: Nothing significant.

Correspondence:
In: a request from NZART to send a submission to the Ministry for the Environment in response to the discussion paper on Resource Management Reform.
Also a request to make a submission to the Marlborough District Council in support of the NZART submission on proposed plan changes 26 and 61.
An email from Dave ZL2DW regarding SK procedures under way for Des Stephens ZL2HB and Colin McCormick ZL2CDK.
Out: A submission to the MFE on the RMF discussion paper as outlined above. CC to NZART.

Finance: No significant financial transactions reported.

General business:

Dave ZL2DW briefly explained the circumstances of Silent key ZL2CDK. He also mentioned that Des Stephens ZL2HB is off the air being permanently incapacitated.

Laurie ZL2TC and Rob ZL2US presented Lee ZL2AL with a certificate issued by the Old Timers Club commemorating Lee’s 60 years of licensed Amateur Radio operation. The actual operating years may actually be somewhat longer but that must be off the record. A brief report to be published in the next Break Out magazine is appended to these minutes.

Laurie ZL2TC reported briefly on the Branch 13 organised trip to the Southward Car and Technology Museum in Paraparaumu, also visiting the Waikanae Radio Museum.
In spite of mixed feelings about the local caterer fun was had by all nine participants.

Karl ZL1TJ reported on the likely cost of installing a dedicated generator connection and change over switch to the clubroom’s switchboard. Material cost about $180. To be further considered.

The meeting closed at 8:00 pm followed by the programmed equipment review session.

Programme – Equipment Review and Talks

Dave ZL2DW:
Presented the Autek Research WM-1 RF power output meter. An active device requiring 12 volt for operation, it has a remote sensing ‘head’ and can be switched to measure either PEP (peak envelope power) or average power output from a transmitter. The device is accurate and recommended.

Lee ZL2AL:
Somewhat out of alignment with the task at hand Lee came nevertheless up with an interesting idea for the next club project. Having found, on E-Bay; 50 Ohm resistors that can handle, with the help of a heatsink 250 Watts. Lee proposes to build a one Kilowatt dummy load cum Watt meter using four of these and an off the shelf $7 digital voltmeter. A 250 Watt version is an option also.
A quick calculation showed that the cost would not be great and a show of hands proved the popularity of the idea. The club could possibly even make a small profit from the project.
Dave ZL2MQ offered some assistance with the execution if needed. Lee to do a prototype.

Laurie ZL2TC:
If you are contemplating buying a new rig, check out www.eham.net/reviews If the rig you like has nine good reports and one bad one it’s probably OK. Lee suggested though that the bad report may well be the only honest one. Laurie presented his Yaesu FT 897 which could be called a Shack in a box as it incorporates all HF bands, 6m, 2m, 70cm, FM broadcast, and general coverage from 1 to 60 MHz. As with so many multi purpose things there is a trade off and Laurie considers dedicated HF rigs are doing a better job.

However, the FT 897 (and it’s smaller equivalent FT 857) are good on the higher frequencies. The rig has all the bells and whistles of a modern radio, memories to store all settings and frequencies, digital signal processing etc. Laurie has minor gripes with the am tuning system but is reasonably happy overall with the rig and would buy another one.
Mike ZL2MY had some trouble with ceramic filters failing in his FT897 while Lee sold his after six months as he found the menu system not user friendly.

Karl ZL1TJ – Secretary