OSCARC Newsletter for May 2010
The regular monthly meeting was called to order at 1940EDT, May 04, 2010.
Members Present: David VE3RER, Peter VE3EYI (chairman), Bill VA3WTT (treasurer), Alex VA3XLO, Dave VA3ETE, Jean VE3WAD, Tim VE3IXN, John VA3JE, Ward VE3WGK (president), Neil VE3NGS, Jeff VE3PRX (secretary), Jay VE3EMP, Ian VE3IJS, John Hansen (new member)
Regrets: Bill VA3PPP, Peter VE3JR, Hugh VE3JNL. Visitors: nil
A warm welcome to our newest member John Hansen. After attending several meetings as a visitor John decided we weren’t all that scary and officially joined the Club. John is an engineer in the communications industry and has a long time interest in shortwave and old radio stuff. He is working towards his ham licence.
The Minutes of last meeting were presented by Chairman. There were no errors or omissions. Motion to approve by Jean WAD, seconded by David ETE. Carried.
-John JE informed the group that Dave Pilot VE3DPC, a staff member of the Science Center, now holds the licence for VE3OSC. John put forth a motion, seconded by Ward WGK, to make Dave an honourary member of the Club. A vote showed all were in favour and the motion was carried. John will notify Dave.
-John JE showed a photo proposed as a background for our nametags. After general discussion he was given the go ahead to get a couple of prototype badges made.
-There was a discussion of getting a feed for multiple headsets in the shack. A number of ideas were bounced around. Functionally, there needs to be support for a footswitch, RigExpert, at least 2 sets of headphones, mic, and line out for the pa amp. Jay EMP will check his closet for a small mixer. Jeff PRX will see if he can drum anything up.
-Regarding paper handouts from the Shack, Jay EMP says he still has the source files for the originals. Shauna and the OSC graphics design group have put together proposed new layouts. Our feedback has been requested.
-Good news! The 2009 log book has been located and Bill WTT’s blood pressure has returned to normal.
From the floor:
-Ward WGK reported that 150 people came to Toronto CanWarn training. Excellent turnout!
-John JE presented the results of the Club’s participation in the Ontario QSO Party; 225 contacts on many bands and modes in 17 hours. They can be viewed in full at http://oscarc.com/?p=55#comments. Unfortunately we weren’t able to hear any of the Arecibo moonbounce experiment on 2m. Thanks to David RER for filing our results in the proper format with the governing body.
-John JE reported that the new electrical contractor for OSC was looking at our on-going noise problem. They are of the opinion that the RFI is unacceptable and will be recommending options to OSC for a fix. John also mentioned that there is now a new noise source (approx S3) noticeable at due north which was thought to be coming from Don Mills and Eglinton. Peter EYI was unable to hear anything while mobile on 20m in the area. The mystery continues.
-The University of Toronto is planning to put a microsat or two into orbit but details are sketchy. John JE is going to try to find someone involved in the project to come to a meeting to talk about it.
-Tim IXN said that one of the shack speakers might have a damaged cone. He will sort it out and report next meeting.
-The Dayton Hamfest has come and gone. If you missed it check out the comprehensive coverage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oGsCOEya3o&feature=related
-Mariia VE0MCW has been tracked down in Bowmanville and the member’s list has been updated.
-World Radio On-line maintains a list of Ham Clubs. Peter EYI will see about getting OSCARC added. http://www.worldradiomagazine.com/clubs_international.html
-June 26-27 is Field Day and July 1 is Canada Day. There was some discussion of having a solar powered rig and having Dave ETE’s WEFAX setup on display. Let John 3JE know if you are available to operate or help with set up. In any case, plan to drop in to OSC to show your support.
- In an attempt to reactivate the VE3OSC Tuesday night Net we will be meeting informally on the VE3JOP repeater system, 145.310 p/l 103.5 linked with 443.775 p/l 151.4, for the next several Tuesdays at 1930 to assess the interest level and coverage area. Please plan to check in.
-Ward WGK reported that he and Tim IXN had done some repair work on our wire and satellite antennas and had come up with a more permanent fix for the “pool-noodled” coax feed to the G5RV.
Secretary’s Report: nil
Treasurer’s Report: Our bank balance shows no sign of red. Members can contact Bill WTT for details.
Jun/01 = Ward WGK on Canwarn
??? = Ori XW on railway communications generally and radio in the 20s and 30s.
??? = Ian IJS Update on DSTAR and Echolink
??? = John Hansen on EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility)
(We need people willing to do a presentation at any future meeting. It can be long or short. If you don’t think you can fill a slot on your own we can combine two shorter topics. All suggestions and offers to present gratefully received. Contact Peter email@example.com. )
-Jean WAD was not able to connect with ONTARS on Sunday. She did, however, have a visitor from South Korea.
-Bill WTT got a 10 rupee note as souvenir from a couple of visitors from Bangalore.
-Tim IXN has been working a lot of stations in the USA as well as the Eastern Block of Europe.
Floobie Dust and interesting URLs:
-Want to know your Grid Square? Find it here http://www.arrl.org/grid-squares
-Amaze your friends with your ability to point to commercial satellites based on local landmarks http://www.dishpointer.com/
-Popular Communications magazine http://www.popular-communications.com/
-CQ magazine http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/
– CQ VHF magazine http://www.cq-vhf.com/
-Check the Toronto Public Library to find out which locations hold copies of Ham publications, including QST and ARRL Handbooks. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/
-Lots of Ham stuff at www.smeter.net
-March issue of WorldRadio on-line has article about CW Skimmer mentioned by David RER.
http://www.worldradiomagazine.com/wro_issues/2010/WRO_03_2010.pdf (13meg, whole issue)
Break: called at 2053 for recharging and eyeball QSOs
Starting at 2112 Ian IJS’s gave a talk DSTAR (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) . It seems this is based on a proprietary chipset and probably more suited to commercial applications. Ian went through the various advantages and disadvantages of the system. The fact that DSTAR hardware tends to be expensive, not widely supported by manufacturers and uses closed source algorithms may limit its appeal to the Ham community. More information can be had at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-STAR. There followed a discussion of other packet systems, trunking radios, etc.
After Ian’s presentation John Hansen showed off his newly acquired antique Heathkit FET grid dip meter. The GDM or GDO was once a mainstay in the test equipment department serving both as a calibrated signal source and absorption meter. Among its many uses were determining the resonant frequency of tuned circuits and antennas.
Afterwards the chairman thanked the presenters and declared the meeting closed at 2144 EDT
The OSCARC meets at 1930 local on the first Tuesday of the month, unless it is a holiday, in which case the second Tuesday. Check in with Security from the lower parking lot down the hill on the south end of the building. Keep an ear on VE3TWR 145.410/r on the drive in. Visitors are welcome. Our website is www.oscarc.com