From the Shack – February 2013

Next Meeting February 1st
Foxhunting presentation and ‘Build a Beam’ Workshop

Meeting number two of the year is another ‘double header’ thanks to the efforts of Jeff/NT1K and Rich/N1KXR. Read on and see what we have in store for you this February. We will be running two concurrent activities Friday night. At the front of the auditorium will be a presentation of foxhunting and at the rear a “Build-a-Beam” workshop.

Local foxhunters Lou/N1LZD and Rob/KA1RBH – with state of the art for 1993 hunters!

“Everyone foxhunting in the area in the early 1990’s can remember the dreading Rob & Lou’s
dedicated foxhunt vehicle. Sporting GPS, Flux gate compass, Doppler DF gear, on board computer and custom programming it was a formidable opponent (but not infallible)

Foxhunting, what’s it all about? Whether you’ve thought about foxhunting, been on a foxhunt in the past or are interested in participating in future hunts this meeting is for you. We’re gathering up historical data, will present a brief ‘how-to’ that should entice you to try foxhunting this spring and we’ll talk about what foxhunting might look like in the future. If you have anything you’d like us to share from the past or suggestions for future hunts we’re all ears for that too. This should be a fun presentation that will remind us the diversity our hobby provides and take our mind off the freezing cold weather for a few hours or so. Remember, spring is just around the corner.

3EL Beam

Build your own 2m Yagi antenna! In the back of the room Jeff and Rich will be holding a ‘Build a Beam’ workshop. Their students will assemble a pre-cut, three element “tape measure” yagi for 2 meters, solder on the coax and give it a try. The little Yagi is good for portable operations, SOTA and of course – foxhunting. More details about the workshop can be found here. There’s still room for a few more students. If you are interested contact Jeff right away so you don’t miss out. After the beams are built everyone can watch as the happy builders give them a test run.

Show & Tell next month
How’s your project coming along?

HCRA’s March meeting wouldn’t be the same without Show & Tell. This is when YOU, the HCRA builder, get an opportunity to show off what you’ve been working on over the last twelve months. It’s fun for the builders and the audience alike. You never know what type of project will show up. Over the years we’ve seen everything from stop light controllers to Van DeGraaff generators, novice transmitters to remote antenna switches, QRP rigs to kilowatt amps. Wonder what you will see this year? The only way I know of is to show up March 1st for the fun!

Jon KA1TDQ's homebrew 30 meter transmitter. WB1DBY photograph

This year Matt/W1MSW and Frandy/N1FJ will be running the show. I’ll bet we see some different twists, don’t you? Curious, look for Matt’s Show & Tell article in February’s Zero Beat (and don’t forget to keep working on your project!)

HCRA Zero Beat Archives

15 additional years added!

Click the image and go back in time to February 1978!

Thanks to John/AC1T and Jeff/NT1K we now have an additional fifteen years of Zero Beats added to the archives. John spent many hours scanning his collection and forwarding them to Jeff for inclusion in the archives. Issues have been added from 1976 to 1990. It’s interesting to see a snapshot of what both HCRA and ham radio was like 25 to 30 years ago. Some things have changed a lot, others… You’ll have to see for yourself – just click here and take a ride in the HCRA TARDIS!
Special request. Please take a look at the archive list. If you have, or know of someone who has other issues please get in contact Jeff so they can be added to the archive. We can accept them as a .pdf or can scan and return to you. We know there are folks out there with additional issues, here’s a chance to get them preserved and easily accessible for everyone’s enjoyment.

Amateur Radio License Classes
Four new hams & two upgrades – fantastic!

Over the last three weeks the HCRA Instructor Team held classes for all three levels of amateur licenses at the HMC Auditorium. We had seven Technician, three General and three Extra class students. The final class and test session was held on January 26th

Let’s extend a hearty ‘welcome aboard’ to the following newly minted Amateur Radio Operators:

Technician Class
Cindy Forbes
Tom Isham
Doug McLean

General Class
Eric LaCombe

Upgrade to General
Ralph Gedney/KB1LEW/AG

Upgrade to Extra
Diane Shippee/KB1KST/AE

Thanks to all the instructors that participated; Frandy/N1FJ, Ed/KB1NWH, Jim/KK1W, Steve/N1SR, Rich/N1KXR and of course John/Kx1x for taking the helm and getting it done. Thanks also to our hosts at HMC for allowing us the use of their fine facility. Of course the real fun is seeing the happy faces of the newly licensed or upgraded hams!

Spots from the cluster:

Silent Auction Results: January’s silent auction was a success. Thanks to the many donations folks went home with bargains and HCRA added approximately $400 to our treasury. We’re still thinking of how we can bring back the ‘old style’ auction and welcome any suggestions.

KX3 Raffle drawing is March 2nd. There are still two HCRA meetings and one MTARA meeting offering opportunities to purchase a ticket. Your absolute last chance will be at the MTARA Hamfest on March 2nd. Visit the HCRA table, say hello, join or renew your membership AND get a ticket – how cool is that? The drawing will be held at the hamfest at noon. Who knows, you could go home with a brand spanking new KX3 worth $1000 and be on the air that afternoon!

Notes from the ARRL Cabinet Meeting of January 5th Dave/AA1YW and I attend the NE Division meeting, here’s a few highlights:
There’ could be a new LF band coming soon on 135.7 to 137.8 kHz according to the FCC. Also the ARRL has filed a petition for a low frequency band on 472 to 479 kHz. Follow the links for more details.
The 1900 to 2000 kHz segment of 160 meters could be made ‘Primary’ for ham operators. We’ve been secondary on this segment because it was formally used by the LORAN radio location system. The last LORAN broadcast from the system was from Caribou, ME, September 21st, 2010.
The ARRL National Convention will be held in Hartford on July 20, 21 and 22 in 2014. Hartford was picked for the 2014 location to offer an opportunity to the participants in WRTC2014 a chance to unwind and meet other US hams.

‘73 and see you at the meeting,


3 responses to “From the Shack – February 2013”

  1. Lou N1LZD Avatar
    Lou N1LZD


    Especially with today’s advances in technology, I would love to Foxhunt again, but unfortunately, other commitments make that unfeasible, at least for now.

    Foxhunting was hands down the most fun we had in amateur radio. It combines the social, technical and competitive aspects of amateur radio into a truly unique way to experience and enjoy the hobby. With practice and the right strategy, the simplest equipment can be very effectively used to consistently locate the fox.

    Countless memories remain of the tricky fox locations, hi-jinks along the way, and the social gatherings at the conclusion. Especially challenging were the “long range” hunts, and Rob and I recently reminisced of the Weather Balloon Foxhunt launched by Bill Brown, WB8ELK. which was now over 20 years ago!

  2. N1LZD Lou Avatar
    N1LZD Lou

    270 degrees Jim

    1. Hey Lou, nice to hear from you! You were the subject of conversation at the last meeting. Want to get back into Foxhunting again? We’re hoping to start something up this spring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.