Oct 18

Medina County ARC
Great Antenna Shootout & Tail Gate Swap Fest

Date: November 13, 2010       Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Hondo Community Center
1014 18th Street
Hondo, TX 78861

Contact: Walter Hock/KK5LO (281) 684-8075

Entry: FREE – ZIP – NADA

Categories: (Commercial & Home Brew)
1. Beginners – Single Element
2. Beginners – Multi Element
3. Old Pro – Single Element
4. Old Pro – Multi Element

• Are you the next Marconi or Tesla?
• Have you designed and built the best 2M antenna ever made?
• Do you want to know how yourfavorite commercial 2M antenna stacks up?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you need to come to the
Great Antenna Shootout & Tail Gate Swap Fest

Make your YL happy and bring your “old” stuff to sell too!
Or buy just one thing you’ve been looking for..

Food & drinks will be sold to raise funds for the Mediina County Amateur Club!

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Mar 21

The Bexar Operators Group (W5BOG) has unveiled it’s location for the 2010 ARRL Field Day event held on the last full weekend in June.

We will be operating from Choke Canyon State Park in the “Calliham Unit” based in a shelter (cabin). In keeping with the original philosophy of what Field Day should be, we will be testing several new antenna designs and operating our rigs using deep cycle batteries charged by several banks of solar panels. If there is enough wind, we will erect our wind turbine to generate power.

Our operating class will be either 1B Batt. or 1A Batt. Nothing will be pre-planned as this is a test of our emergency communications deployment capabilities. The last time we were at this location for a “Field Day” event was in 2007 when we made several hundred contacts using just a basic “Inverted V” antenna. (2009 – Lost Maples State Park, 2008 – Mustang Island) 

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Mar 3

Below are a series of pictures from the Bexar Operators Group 160 meter CQ WW SSB contest. 

We traveled to the Calliham Unit of Choke Canyon State Park, about 15 miles west of the town of Three Rivers, which is about 80 miles south of San Antonio.

After checking in, we went to our screened shelter (cabin) only to find that they all had been completely refurbished since our last visit. All the cabins had large air conditioners and two beds! No more blowing up our queen sized air mattress or lugging our window AC unit in the summer.

 

 

 

As you can see, they allow pets, and our two dogs quickly staked out a bed they wanted. I began the task of setting up the radio gear while my XYL, KD5YTN, Krissy, completed her chores of getting the rest of the camping gear out of the truck and assembled.  

We had a problem and had a tough choice to make. It was a very windy day on Friday, with gusts over 25 mph. We decided to wait and see if the wind would die down, as was predicted for Saturday. So, we erected a 160 meter dipole antenna to work the first half of the contest. I would have preferred a loop, but we had neither the real estate nor the time to plot one out and set it up.
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Feb 25

The Bexar Operators Group will be “Flying Pink” with a 9 foot pink weather balloon with an attached pink (ok, reddish pink) 260 foot vertical wire antenna during the 160 meter contest this weekend to show our support for breast cancer awareness.

We had a choice of balloons to purchase and chose the pink colored ones (boy, do they look small un inflated) and even chose the pink topped helium tank when offered a choice of others.

Pictures of our contest operation at Choke Canyon State Park’s “Calliham Unit” will be posted next week.

If you can hear us on 160 meters (probably around 1.85 – 1.9 mhz after sunset until dawn), please either post us on “DX Summit” or other internet resources or make a QSO with us!

A large, stamped -self addressed envelope, sent to the QRZ address of W5BOG will net stations contacting us a special QSL certificate showing our support for breast cancer awareness.

Bob W2IK – W5BOG

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Feb 21
There may be some of you who’ve never operated on 160 meters. The upcoming CQ WW 160 Meter SSB contest (Feb. 26 – 28th) is a great chance to get your feet wet. Usually operating on 160 meters requires a great deal of real estate to run an antenna. Sure, you can use a smaller antenna with a tuner but you sacrifice signal efficiency for the sake of keeping your rig happy by “load matching”.
 
Will you make contacts? Yes!
 
Will you make a ton of contacts? No!
The only good way is to use a full size antenna. It’s simple physics. I don’t care what mis-information you might have read or been told or what “miracle” antenna companies might claim.
 
The length of a 160 meter dipole is about 260 feet long! That’s a lengthy antenna. You could make a full size loop antenna, like I have at home, which works nice. You could also make a 1/4 wave vertical with 1/4 wave radials at the base. The problem with using a vertical is that it also tends to pickup man-made electrical noise. So, why not take that vertical out of the urban area and into the rural areas of Texas?
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Nov 21
 Results of the Bexar Operators Group “Ladder Line” Testing
 
It was a great day for doing a few tests involving 450 Ohm “ladder line” as several members of the Bexar Operators Group met at the John James Park to compare the findings of the recent ARRL tests on this lead-in vs real life testing.
 
If you read the ARRL article in the November issue of QST, you’d note that the readings and findings they did were “static tests” using measuring equipment and NOT actual operating tests. For our testing we did the same “static tests” they did with basically the same results. After this initial testing, we then did what they failed to do: We used this setup but applied varying amounts of RF power through the water – saturated (near ground level) ladder line while observing the swr readings.
 
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Nov 9
 
450_Ladderline_coilAs explained in the November issue of “QST” (page 66) the ARRL examined the use of ladder-line and did some rudimentary testing of this cable in dry vs wet conditions.
 
They had test gear to measure the SWR and other concerns. At the end of the testing they reported that beyond a simple re-adjustment of the tuner they used not much in the form of variations occurred.
 
Unfortunately, their tests were not complete.
 
This weekend, the Bexar Operators Group will do some “real life” testing of ladder-line and the implications of getting the dry line saturated to prove that the ARRL’s final assumptions are “all wet”! Having done some experimentation 20 years ago using ladder-line as a feed cable, W2IK came up with some very different findings.
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Sep 15
After consulting with some of the more active ham radio operators in Central South Texas, it has been decided to hold a South Texas NVIS antenna test on Sunday, October 11th.
 
In order for this to be an accurate test, we ask that you use an NVIS antenna, that is, an actual half wave full length dipole for 40 meters (no traps or coils) elevated to a height of between 4 feet and 16 feet ONLY.
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Sep 14

Members of the Chaparral Amateur Radio Club (which happens to also be the Guadalupe County ARES group) set up and tested NVIS antennas at the county EOC in Seguin on Sunday, September 13th.   Their goal was to design an antenn that could be raised or lowered from the ground, in order to find that sweet spot where the noise floor was the lowest.  

We’re hoping to get an after action report to be added here in a few days, so please check back for more details about the results of this test.

The following photos were taken during the event by the well known local NVIS antenna consultant and guru, Bob W2IK, who was obviously present but not shown in the photos since he was on the other side of the camera. 

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Aug 6

I watched this video and thought “Wow, KC3VO is like W2IK on steroids”, but after second thought, decided that even though W2IK likes to invent stuff like this that works better than the ordinary store bought stufff, but he wouldn’t be dumb enough run something like this so close to his own body.

At 1kW power, Bob Curry KC3VO (the inventor) says he gets 1 hour of transmit time, and about 15 minutes at the full 2kW power level. The antenna used for the demo was restricted to 500watts.  I checked out KC3VO on www.qrz.com and found that he lives only about 3 miles north of Washington, DC, in Adelphi, Maryland, and has a Honda Goldwing motorcycle set up for HF operations also.  He works as the full time commercial transmitter engineer for a high power UHF TV station, which might explain some of his need doses of high power RF signals in his body. 🙂

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