As promised (and on schedule!), here’s The Chawed Rag for October 2021. Thanks to all of you that sent me notes on the September relaunch – I appreciate the thanks and the feedback. I’m still interested in what everyone thinks and what else you would like to see. Also, we always need your content so snap some pics of your latest tinkering or if you have seen something that has really helped you in ham radio, send it this way. – KD4C
Greetings RWK! It’s hard to believe that we’re 3/4 done with 2021. I’m excited by some of the things that we have in work for RWK, but it seems that they’re proceeding more slowly that we had hoped, and that 2021 hasn’t quite picked back up to a normal-paced year. Regardless, we’re hoping for more normality in 2022.
Speaking of 2022, we’re coming up on the annual elections for RWK officers. For those of you that are new, here’s how it works. During the next couple of weeks, the Nominating Committee will be soliciting people that are interested in being an RWK officer (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) for 2022. Myself, Michael and Phil have agreed to serve again in 2022 (if re-elected). Landon N5AET has been Vice President for 2 years and is covered up with school and work and is ready to hand the VP role over to someone new, so we’re actively looking for someone that can fill his shoes. If you’re interested in more information about the VP role, contact Landon, Andrew, or myself. If you’re interested in any of the other officer positions, contact Andrew KE5GDB who will be coordinating the election. The way the election of officers works is that a “slate” of officer candidates will be offered to the membership by the Nominating Committee (which does not contain any current officers). If there are multiple candidates for a position, then elections will be conducted through HCOL. Results will be announced in December and new terms begin in January.
Independent of officers, we are still looking for some additional help for other things the Klub is trying to kick off. See the right column for the specific list and contact me for more information.
Something that might be more fun: I’d like to organize a very informal Parking Lot Swap-Meet sometime in November. The current thinking is that it would be 4 hours on a Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Saint B church. We would charge $5 per parking space (with half going back to the church) and you bring your own table or other display surface (tailgate?). We’ve had some correspondence with the North Texas Microwave Society and they are interested in participating as well. There wouldn’t be a requirement to be a member of either club to participate, but we don’t want it to get too big and attract unwanted attention. I really need someone to volunteer to finish organizing this, coordinating with the other parties, and helping to get the work out. Any volunteers?
I hope we can pull it off – I think it would be fun and all of us have stuff that we need to find new homes for, and it would give us a chance for an eyeball QSO or twelve…
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Thanks for being a RWK Member! – 73 de KD4C
Show & Tell Night 2021
You’re invited to present a recent project or area of interest at the November 8th RWK general meeting on zoom!
If you’re willing to share, please fill out this form.
Presenters will be given 5 to 10 minutes depending on the number of submissions received.
Interested, but not sure what to present? Here are a few possible topics:
- explain how you set up a station (HF, mobile, portable, etc.)
- show off an assembled kit, project, piece of gear, or collection
- share designs for a future project
- tell us about your participation in contests, RACES or volunteer events
- talk about an area of the hobby you love (AM, FSQ, VLF, Scanning, antenna design, fox hunting, etc.)
- share tips or best practices for operating, traffic handling, net control, QSLing
- present a list of amateur radio resources you use (websites, podcasts, Youtube channels. etc.)
Please spread the word to other area hams, and let me know if you have any questions.
73, Landon Elfenbein N5AET@live.com
Solar Propagation – What You Need To Know
By Jon Suehiro NN5T
You see this image on RWK home page – https://www.k5rwk.org/ .
But what does it mean? You also hear about Solar Cycle 25. What do you need to know about the current propagation and solar conditions?
Richardson Christmas Parade
OK, it looks like the Christmas Parade is on for this year. It’s the 49th Annual (not sure if that counts last year)!
We’ve been contacted by the City again so I’m sure we will want to assist as we have in the past. It’s on the West Side this year – Saturday December 4th – but not sure what other changes have been made. We will find out soon and I’m sure we will be back next month to solicit your help with the parade.
Project of the Month – October 2021
A Knight To Remember
By Joe Hodgkins KI5O
With wonderful consideration from Doug KD5OUG and direction from Grant W5XJ, I was fortunate to take into possession an incomplete Knight T-60 Transmitter.
Upon receipt of the contents in an original Knight box, I found the following correspondence provided by Doug with Michael Harllee:
Read full article and see photo gallery ->
Upcoming Contests Through the End of 2021
By Jon Suehiro NN5T
The rest of the year tends to be a busy time if you are into “Radiosport” or contesting. There are several of the better contest events that are coming up in late October, November and early December that you should prepare for. Here is a list of each event from October until the end of the year and Jon’s take on each.
FCC RF Exposure Rule Change
By Chip Coker KD4C
By now, you may have seen or heard that the FCC published a change to their regulations in December 2019 that changes the Rules on RF Exposure evaluations. In short, in the past the Amateur Service had been exempt from having to perform an RF Exposure evaluation on Amateur Radio stations and equipment. The December 2019 Report & Order eliminated that categorical exemption for the Amateur Service and adopted a 2 year period for compliance. That 2 year period is coming due in December of this year.
RF Bits & Bytes
Characteristics of Ham Bands
Shawn KI5PXG passes this find along:
“This is a compendium of the HF bands and tells you some of their characteristics. It’s succinct, but still delivers great rule-of-thumb information about when and how you can use each band, as well as how far you can expect to reach. It’s a wonderful and accessible resource for n00bs but still a good reference for the more experienced ham.”
Antennas are rarely perfect – many of us have had to bend a wire to make it fit within our property line! Someone wise once told me “You can do almost anything to the last third of a dipole, cause there’s not a lot of RF current there to screw anything up”. My experience has mostly confirmed his wisdom. BTW I can neither confirm nor deny that the wise one was L.B. Cebik W4RNL, who I had the pleasure of being a fellow club member with in Tennessee, and may have climbed his tower a time or two. I digress.
Well here’s a very good summary (with modeling to back it up!) on the effects (or lack thereof) of doing all sorts of strange things to wire antennas: https://www.qsl.net/kk4obi/Bow%20Tie%20Dipole.html
Last Month’s Program
If you missed last month’s RWK General Meeting, you can always watch the video available from the RWK website.
Alan Wolke W2AEW, Applications Engineer for Tektronix, gave an interesting overview of the mysterious but very powerful NanoVNA and how this inexpensive device can be of use to all of us in ham radio
Even the most non-technical ham can appreciate how to put this ~$60 device to use in tuning antennas
You can always view the RWK Calendar to see our monthly events.
RWK New Members
We have several new members for the month, including some new hams that our VE Team tested recently. If you hear them on our repeaters, please say hello.
Josh Barfield KG5IKE
John Abbott KF5FWK & Kathleen Abbott KF5UEI
John Andrews KI5RZJ
RWK Membership – 319 Active Members
To check your renewal date and Renew your RWK Membership, go to https://www.hamclubonline.com/ and select Pay Club Dues from the menu.
RWK holds at least one foxhunt every weekend and many weekends there are two foxes available to hunt. A monthly prize drawing is held for klub members that successfully find the fox.
You can always “watch” the hunt in real time by viewing the foxhunt logs:
To read more about foxhunts and learn some hunting tips, see our foxhunt page: https://www.k5rwk.org/foxhunt/
Interested in Helping the Klub?
The Klub needs YOU! We are looking for members that want to help with the following:
- Website content updates
- Ham Activities (Field Day and Public Service events)
- New Ham Coordinator
- Foxhunt Data
Contact KD4C for more information.
The Klub has a few ham assets available for sale to Klub members at a deep discount. Please email email@example.com if interested. Have something to sell? Send a short description, photo, and offer price to us.
Heathkit SB-200 Linear Amplifier – $350
These amps were very popular and many of them are still in use and work very well. This amp is from a SK estate and looks to be pristine, but probably could use some recapping and the other things that a 30 year old amp needs. It’s wired for 220v. Contact me for photos.
Dual-Band 2M/440 Mobile TYT TH-8600 – $90
Almost new, with box, mic and power cable. The bright display is nice in a car. These radios are still for sale and are $135 new, so here’s a chance to score one for 30% less.
Dual-Band 2M/440 Mobile – Yaesu FT-5100 – $90 OBO
Older model Dual-band Yaesu mobile with lots of buttons and minimal menus. Dual RX. Easy to use. High Power (50/35). From SK Estate.
We also are members of Kroger Community Rewards, so if you shop at Kroger, we can get $! Here is information on how to sign up.