RI Hams are warned that effective June 1, 2018, you may no longer use any handheld devices while driving your car. That includes your 2-meter microphone, or handheld radio.
Sadly, the marketplace has not caught up with the need for hands free radio operation. There are some very expensive commercial Bluetooth interfaces available for a few radios. Some newer ham gear includes Bluetooth interface options. Those of you with BaoFeng type connectors can find a Bluetooth interface via eBay. But often the Bluetooth interface does not deal with PTT — you aren’t supposed to be holding a pushbutton in your hand either.
A reminder that some radios do have VOX operation. The BaoFeng includes a headset with lapel mic and can be configured for VOX operation. Just watch those comments when drivers cut you off — don’t want that on air!
This week,February 12-16, 2018, you can help youngsters all over the US by giving them a call on the radio during the School Club Roundup. Information on the School Club Roundup can be found here: http://www.arrl.org/school-club-roundup
NEW >>> NCRC members are providing radio training and stations at Pell School on Dexter St. in Newport on Monday(12) , Tuesday(13) and Wednesday(13). If you can assist with logistics, be a mentor on the HF or 2m radios, or just want to observe the excitement of the students, please stop by between 3 and 5 on Tuesday or Wednesday. Bring ID and use the main entrance after parking across the street from the building. Ask for Mike Cullen. Antenna setup starts around 2:30 each day. Our HTs will be listening to 146.55 (.55) simplex inside the building
We will likely be on 20 m at 14.250-14.280 if you want to talk to a student from your shack. We will use our repeater on 2m and will try 40 m too. See the story in the Feb Modulator for more local details. >>>>
All amateur bands except 60, 30, 17 and 12 meters are permitted.
Repeaters are not to be used. Only recognized simplex frequencies may be used. U. S. A. examples include 144.90-145.00; 146.49, .55, 58; and 147.42, .45, .48, .51, .54 and .57 MHz. The national calling frequency, 146.52 MHz, may not be used. Similar restrictions apply in other countries.
Suggested HF Frequencies:
Phone (MHz): 1.855-1.865; 3.850-3.880; 7.225-7.255; 14.250-14.280; 21.300-21.330; 28.440-28.460
CW (MHz): 1.800-1.810; 3.530-3.540; 7.030-7.040; 14.030-14,.040; 21.130-21.140; 28.130-28.140
Gary Hinson ZL2iFB, has published a wonderfully complete FT8 operating guide. You can get a copy at the link below:
And of course the WSJT-X program, which is what is required for FT8 operation can be found here: https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html
The ARRL’s International Grid Chase is a contest that runs all year long, but it actually resets at the first of every month. So everyone has a chance to participate on an even footing with every new month. February just started, so get on the air and have some fun!
As a reminder, all you need to do is make contacts and upload your log to LotW. There are no special exchanges required, although some folks might choose to activate rare grids that are not near population centers and call CQ accordingly.
You can check your standing at the Leader Board, which is updated about every four hours. The features are still being worked on, and it isn’t clear how things will finally be displayed month-by-month, but it is keeping track of your score.
Digital modes can be quite useful, especially the new FT-8 mode. Our next club meeting on February 12th, will feature a presentation from Mike, K1VI (a repeat of the January Consortium meeting).
W1SYE Winter Field Day is off and running. Things were delayed a bit by black ice and closed bridges, but everything was ready when the event began at 2 PM. There are two stations: A Fone Station that will be on the air for the full 24 hours, and a CW or Digital mode station that will swap in/out depending on activity. We had a satellite station on-air for a single contact (all that is allowed) in the afternoon.
Things are still going on tomorrow through 2 PM.
Willy W1LY used his pneumatic cannon to get two dipole antennas up in the trees for WFD 2018
Conditions were warm for winter (about 50 degrees) but very windy — Even so, it’s going to be cold at night!
Conditions were great — This is a map of the coverage of our 20 meter signals
Great 40 meter coverage into Europe
Satellite Station (used for a single contact) — antenna visible out the side window
Good Signal Levels on 80 meters tonight!