It’s always something!About two weeks ago, we noticed the reflector of our beam was canted at an unusual angle. As I first saw that, I thought back to Bob’s DELARA News article about bending the RF waves to better make the circumference around the globe! (Click here for the 2012 article: Circle Path Propagation ) But no, I had that familiar feeling that first developed when I noticed the reflector of my own Force12 beam flopping in the wind. This isn’t going to be good. Sure enough, sometime last fall the reflector wobbled its way right off the back of the boom- to spend the winter months covered in snow on the ground. At least it wasn’t too badly bent. So when I noticed this, a call to Dale revealed this was a bit more complex to repair than mine. Instead of simply drilling a hole and bolting the element back on, the Mosley TA-33 Junior ‘featured’ ~insulated~ beam members. They were kept separated from the boom by some type of insulting sleeve. Dale’s own experience was that it seems impossible to tighten the elements onto the boom enough to prevent wobbling, because that risks the insulating material, and alternatively compresses and mis-shapes the boom. So the question then became, how do we fix this? A flurry of email followed, with various among the technical wizards weighing in. Bob, W8ERD, asked the question why would they need the insulation? The voltage at the center is zero, and this is a reflector not a driven element in the first place. Sounds reasonable. Bob at the time of this writing was in the process of conferring with the manufacturer. Stay tuned, as they say.-N8BHL
If you read DELARA News or frequent our club meetings at the Red Cross, you know by now that we have been blessed with a major-league rig. Larry, N9AUG not only has donated his Yaesu FT-950 to the station, but also his FT-5000 which is a world-class contesting rig. Now you don’t even have to drive to the Red Cross to use the radio! George Haffler, WD8KNC, has put hours into developing reliable remote control for this radio so that you can run a cw contest from the pleasant surroundings of your own home…or from an iPad on your patio. George uses Team Viewer to remotely access the radio, and Yaesu has its own really nifty remote control software. With the existing setup No changes have to be made if you want to operate CW using TeamViewer. It actually works pretty well. Simply establish a TeamViewer connection, double click on the FT-DX2000RC Icon and start operating. The FT-DX5000 is fun to operate even remotely. If you are interested let me know and I'll help you get started.Phone operation is almost as simple once it is set up. The difference is you turn off the audio in TeamViewer and instead use a Audio Streamer. Simple to start once it is set up. I"ve made a dozen or so phone contacts in the last couple of weeks with good reports. I'm using a cheap USB headset. If you are interested in phone operation let me know and we will get you up and running.But wait, there’s more!Not only can we operate remotely, but George has developed his very own “skimmer” for use with the radio. A skimmer is a computer program that listens to the entire ham radio band (using a small SDR dongle) and recognizes things like, “CQ”, “CQ test”, “QRL” and other cw signals indicating a station is looking for someone to talk with. The callsign and frequency appear, and with the remote software we can click on that station, changing our radios’ frequency and just work the guy. We’re going to ask George to do a club meeting demonstration to display how cool this all can be! You as a paid-up member have the opportunity to not only visit the ARC and operate the rig of your choice, but if circumstances dictate staying in place, you can still make the radio work for you!
DELARA Club Station Agreement•Use of the club station is limited to DELARA members who are current on their dues.•If in doubt, ask! The station manager’s names and phone numbers are posted on the station door.•There is a lock box on the outside of the building to get a key to unlock the outside door and a keypad lock for the station door. The keypad code will be changed periodically.•Please be aware that a camera records people coming into or out of the station. This is for security and is not designed to monitor your operating.•Please attend an orientation session, or ask for a demonstration, before operating at the station.•Codes for the doors are not to be shared with friends, family members or other non-DELARA members.•Please announce your intention to use the station via the club’s email reflector so that others may plan around your intention.•Operation of the stations must be within the bounds of your license.•Please be extremely careful with drinks or food; food should be kept in the kitchen. You are responsible for cleaning up your own mess.•Please be aware that the Red Cross owns the building has much property in the building and respect for their property is expected.