Here’s The Chawed Rag for June 2022. We’ve got Field Day 2022 Wrap-up, a really inspirational piece from Brian WB8QZM on how ham radio is helping him to live his best life, Ed Terry W8QH does Belize, 13 Colonies, News and Geographic Data from our VE testing program, more on the Nano-VNA from KG5P, and so much more. Hope you enjoy! – KD4C
I hope you’ve had a fun ham radio month. There has been a lot going on, between Field Day,. the DFW Ham Radio Expo in Lewisville and all the band openings on 10M/6M. I was very happy to see a great turnout for the RWK Field Day this year – 60 members and guests – and I’m still discovering people that missed the sign-in sheet. It’s been far too long since we could all get together at a big Field Day event. You can read my full wrap-up below (and see pictures!).
I wanted to point out another RWK milestone. By all counts and recent history, the RWK now has the most active members that it has ever had!
The chart to the left shows our member count since 2017 (when we started using Ham Club Online to manage our membership). A little behind-the-scenes magic (thanks, Sean), and poof – we have a nice graph that shows how we’ve grown over the last 5 years. You will notice that the last year or so was a struggle – it seems that the quarantine and lack of in-person meetings and activities caused a significant dip in our membership renewals, but thankfully we have been able to make it up with some previous members returning and a lot of new members. I don’t necessarily want RWK to become a huge club, but I do want us to serve the local area, which happens to have a lot of hams! There are over 500 licensed hams in the three Richardson ZIP Codes. So hopefully we are doing a few things right as a club – and we will continue to do more thanks to you!
Thanks for being a RWK Member! – 73 de KD4C (feedback: email@example.com)
Please share any interesting ham-related stuff you’ve seen or have been doing. Doesn’t matter how raw or badly written, we’ll make you look good and help you show off what you’ve been doing – see the right column for details. With over 300 members, if everyone in the klub sent just one contribution to the Chawed Rag each year, we would have plenty of content for each issue.
This Month’s Chawed Rag Features
Field Day 2022 Wrap-up
By Chip Coker KD4C
Field Day 2022 is a wrap! RWK had a great event this year. 60 members and 5 guests came to the Richardson EOC to help set up, raise the tower, operate our three stations, log contacts, eat really good pizza, build dual-band antennas, roll up coax and help put stuff away. Jon is still tallying the final score but we completed somewhere around 450 QSOs over the 8 hours of operating.
Note: Don’t forget to submit your Field Day entry if you operated from home – deadline is July 26th.
My Path Back to Ham Radio
By Brian Murphy WB8QZM
On a typical hot August day in 2020, I found my path back to ham radio. I was used to cycling 20 miles a day but for the last two, had experienced unusual shortness of breath. Upon the advice of my doctor daughter, I went to the Plano Heart Hospital ER. When I walked in the door and explained my symptoms, things started happening fast.
Tests and an X-ray confirmed I had a large blood clot in my lungs. A PE, I was told – something many people don’t survive. I was lucky. However, the doctor said the X-ray also showed a mass on my pancreas.
V31XE – W8QH In Belize
Our own Ed Terry W8QH (nee N5XIE) has a place in Belize where he spends a season or two each year. He’s recently got a second station up and running and sent us a few pictures to show his station and makeshift antennas.
“I got here and built a multi-band vertical. Before I could tune it from 20-10m a strong wind storm tore it apart. So from the parts I changed to an endfed with a 9:1 balun.. total length is roughly 65 feet and 20 feet up. I can run on 10, 12, 17, 15, and 20. My SWR is right at 3:1 on 17m but 1:5 or so on the other bands.. yes it looks crazy but it works.
So I have a simple system. I am on a 2.5kw solar system, with a 120vac inverter. If we have 3 days of clouds we have to kick in a generator. We are our own power company. This time I am running the IC-7300 using its internal tuner. One thing I noticed is it reports a higher SWR than a nano-vna and the MFJ. Interesting, at a 3:1 on the 7300 I have worked Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.” – W8QH
14th Annual 13 Colonies Special Event
The annual 13 Colonies Special Event is returning for the 14th year on July 1-7th. This very popular multi-day event encourages you to work one station in each of the original 13 US colonies, plus a number of special stations. Stations are on the air on multiple bands and modes, so you will be able to snag them all with a little patience.
For a $5 donation, you can get some really nice “wallpaper” for your shack. The artwork is always outstanding and you will be proud to display it.
Full Rules and Info: http://www.13colonies.us/
VE Testing Update
By Michael Masterson WT9V
Just because we are curious (and a little nuts), we have created an interactive map that shows the candidates that we’ve tested to date (and whether they are RWK members).
As expected, we have had candidates from all around the country (which is common for remote tests – some people just want the next available test session no matter where it is). but the vast majority of our candidates are in the DFW metroplex, which is the way we want it – to serve the local community and support local ham radio (and yes suck people into RWK – the Blue Pins are RWK members!).
In addition to our successful Remote Testing VE program, we have resumed in-person VE testing just prior to the RWK General Meetings at the St. Barnabas Church. This allows those that would rather test in person or people that don’t have video cameras (yes, there are still a few) to get licensed or upgrade. We are testing using tablets using the same system that we use for online testing, as paper tests are being phased out. Grading is instant, accurate and paperless, and the successful candidates can have their license in 2 days!
[Editor’s Note: Apologies to Mike Jahrig KG5P for last month’s VNA article – we had some technical difficulties with publishing his graphics so we’ve decided to re-run it this month]
Using Nano VNAs – Band-Pass & Band-Stop Filters
By Mike Jahrig KG5P
Last time we discussed investigating the properties of low pass and high pass filters using the Nano-VNA. Today we will discuss 2 additional common filter types, the band-pass, and band-stop (sometimes called notch) filters.
Below are the filter use instructions from my Yaesu Ftdx-3000 manual.
As you can see, the band-pass filter on the left can be adjusted to move the IF passband up or down in frequency so it will reject interfering signals like QRM or heterodyne below and above the passband settings.
On the right is the notch or bandstop filter. This allows you to put a “notch” in the passband somewhere that nulls out an undesired signal but retain the original passband limits.
You probably have one or both of these filters on your HF rig.
Upcoming Ham Radio Events
These ham radio related events are coming up soon.
14th Annual 13 Colonies Special Event – July 1-7
See above for more info. http://www.13colonies.us/
IARU HF World Championship – Jul 9-10
CW only, SSB only or both in 24 hours. Great contest to work world IARU member society HQ. http://www.arrl.org/iaru-hf-world-championship
CQ Worldwide VHF Contest – Jul 16-17
6m and 2m worldwide. Usually the VHF summer condition peaks around this contest. Good luck in DX. http://www.cqww-vhf.com/
Pic of the Month
What in the world is Bob Hill KG5WRY doing? Modern art installation? Nope. Creative shipping approach? Wrong again. No, it’s a creative solution to make the RWK meetings cooler. Inside the box is a couple of chemical handwarmer packets that fake the thermostat into thinking the building is too warm. Seemed to work too! Who says hams can’t be creative? Thanks Bob!
Ham Radio Bits & Bytes
What really happens when you double your power?
If you’ve talked to me, you probably know that I’m not a huge fan of amplifiers (spend the money on your antenna instead!). Callum M0MCX has an interesting way to visualize what doubling your power really does!
Ham Radio 2.0 Does DFW Ham Expo
For those that missed the DFW Ham Expo in Lewisville earlier this month (sponsored by DCARA), here’s a video summary from Jason KC5HWB. It was a good start and definitely has potential to be a good regional event – we’re looking forward to see what’s in the works for next year.
Last Month’s Program
Last Month we had David Ellison W7UUU presenting on a massive shack fire and the complete rebuilding, with many practical and creative ideas and lessons learned that can be implemented in almost any shack. You’ll never look at cheap power strips the same way again.
If you missed last month’s RWK General Meeting, you can always watch the video available from the RWK website.
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.
Dan Jordan N8PZ
Jason Hunter KI5VOG
Austin Parker KI5VQM
Randy Harrell KI5VUP
Daryl Morgeson AF5QJ
Theresa Purdy KI5ODV
David Reed KI5BMK
Michael McSorley KI5MTV
RWK Membership – 356 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 Hats Are Back!
We have a new supply of the popular RWK Hats. They are available at any Hungry Hams lunch or you can order from the website and we will mail it to you!
The Klub has a few ham assets available for sale to Klub members at a deep discount. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Have something to sell? Send a short description, photo, and offer price to us.
Legal Limit Tuner – MFJ 989C Versa Tuner V – $200
This world-famous 3 KW MFJ-989C VersaTuner V features two massive transmitting capacitors and a roller inductor with a three digit counter. Super heavy duty balun for balanced lines. Built-in Antenna Switch and 300W Dummy Load. Cross-needle meter. From SK Estate.
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/
We always have a good group for our weekly Hungry Hams Lunches every Weds at noon at Sonny Bryan’s BBQ on Campbell at UTD. Why not join us?
Don’t forget about the Hungry Hams Monthly Breakfast every third Saturday at 8am at Southern Recipes Kitchen on Plano Parkway.
Share Your Activities In The Chawed Rag
The RWK is always looking for content to publish in The Chawed Rag. If you have an article, technical subject, project or fun story you would like to contribute, please submit it to the editor at email@example.com.
To submit an article to the Editor for consideration, please put your article into a single Word Document, or if that is not possible, collect all of your article’s components into a folder and create a zip archive of all of it. Then simply email the Word Doc or zip file to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need to Renew Your ARRL Membership?
If you are joining the ARRL for the first time, the RWK is entitled to $15 of your ARRL dues, and if you renew your ARRL membership, the RWK is entitled to $5. You now can just apply directly on the ARRL website (instead of filling on a paper form). When you apply (or renew), there will be a place on the application form for you to designate the Richardson Wireless Klub as your primary club. If you do that, then RWK gets the money that we are entitled to. (this change is effective June 1 2022)
Here’s the link to join/renew your ARRL Membership: https://home.arrl.org/action/Membership/Join-ARRL
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.
Set up AmazonSmile and the Klub will receive a small percentage of your Amazon purchases. We’ve received over $900 to date cause you guys buy lots of stuff!
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.
The Chawed Rag
A monthly publication of the Richardson Wireless Klub, PO Box 830232, Richardson TX 75083. The Club Callsign is K5RWK.
Content from this newsletter may be reused by other Amateur Radio organizations with appropriate credit and source linkage.
Contributions are welcome – please send material to email@example.com
President – Chip Coker KD4C
Vice-President – Bob Perkins W5RLP
Secretary – Phil Cook N5UH
Treasurer – Michael Masterson WT9V
Trustee – Andrew Koenig KE5GDB
Education – Bob Hill KG5WRY
Public Service – Don Klick
Social – David Nathanson K5CU
Quartermaster – Jon Suehiro NN5T
Past President – Mark Beebe W5YF
Meetings of the Board of Directors are held monthly on the first Thursday of the month and are open to any member in good standing of the club. Please contact any club officer if you would like to attend.