The meeting was held in the Kanata Room at Sobey's in Kanata.
The following 12 members and three guests were present:
|Rick Bandla||VE3CVG||V.P. / Webmaster|
|Shelley Jones Penney||VE1NOS/VE3||Guest|
President Tom, VA3NFA, welcomed our guests Shelley, VE1NOS, Jeremy, and Bill, W4TAA. Bill said he would be putting up some antennas for VHF and UHF bands on his farm near Almonte.
Tom reviewed the agenda for the meeting, and asked for reports.
Rick, VE3CVG, reported that the web site is updated with new information, including a list of members with their Maidenhead Grid locations and some pictures from the December 2006 meeting.
Ken, VA3KA, reported on the club finances (good shape) and that we have 21 paid up members at present.
Graham, VE3BYT, noted that the minutes are on the web site for all meetings held in 2006.
Tom observed that when he plugged a power supply into the club's MFJ Antenna Analyser he immediately detected a slight excess of smoke. It turns out that the batteries in the beast were corroded and dribbling gunk - probably not a good sign. Rick will look this over to see if the analyser can be resuscitated.
WCARC beacons -Tom reported on the progress of the beacons development for the 222 and 430 MHz bands. Tom's 432 beacon test transmissions from Kanata have received good reception reports from around the area. The 432 beacon consists of a transverter driven by an HTX-100, with an IDomatic keyer. For 222, Tom has a small transmitter, but needs an amplifier. We are in need of a suitable site for these beacons. Tom noted that the transverter for 432 gets quite warm. For continuous unattended beacon use it would be proper technique to provide adequate cooling, with (RF shielded) holes in the case and even a small 12-volt fan to move air through it.
The club's 903 MHz beacon was heard in South-western Ontario during a recent tropospheric opening. Apparently some big guns on VHF/UHF are looking forward to our family of Ottawa-area VHF and UHF beacons.
Norm, VE3LC, has generously undertaken to build a Big Wheel antenna for the 222 MHz beacon. Graham will build a little Big Wheel for the 432 beacon.
Rick, VE3CVG made a short presentation on suitable operating techniques for working the VHF and UHF contests, covering etiquette, antennas, using CW, and calling methods. The slides for this are on the web site. Ken, VA3KA passed out a sheet on the ARRL VHF Sweepstakes Contest with a list of suggested frequencies for most bands.
Al, VO1NO, described his Beverage Antenna farm in progress and showed his system of switching a number of antennas for achieving eight directions. The antennas are to be about two wavelengths long, about eight feet above ground. A receiving test brought in a regional station in Korea.
Al and Tom are planning some efforts at communication by Laser. Hmmm. Perhaps we need a repeater in the Ottawa area on VLB, the Visible Light Band - with input on Red, output on Green.
Rick, on behalf of himself and
Ken, provided an update on the D-STAR and 902 MHz band repeater projects.
Their requested grant for the D-STAR project has been approved: $16.5K. ICOM has been advised that the project is on the way. Details are on the OARDG web site - link from the WCARC site under Projects. An application for frequency coordinations has been made to the Saint Lawrence Valley Repeater Council. The intention is to install digital repeaters on the 144 and 430 bands (digital voice and data) and on the 1.2 GHz band (digital voice and data, plus high-speed data). A suitable site is needed to permit good coverage of the Capital area and beyond.
The 902 band FM repeater project is progressing, with 5 handheld and 5 mobile radios programmed. A duplexer is on hand. A repeater may become operational this winter. A suitable site is required. Details can be found through the link on the WCARC web site under Projects.
Manfred, VA3WK, gave us an introduction to the new generation of digital proportional radio control equipment that has become available. Some of this gear operates on the 902 MHz and 2.4 GHz bands. Receivers are extremely small and light, and respond only to their own transmitters, permitting a number of operators on a band at once with out fear of frequency conflicts. Manfred showed an indoor flier, about eight inches long, with full controls. Wings and control surfaces are covered with Saran-like plastic. Historical note: Surfacing material for indoor fliers was many years ago made by floating dissolved plastic on a water surface until the solvent evaporated, and then skimming the remaining film off with a wire loop. It was a delicate operation to build one of these planes. Manfred also showed his new 2-cycle engine for a P47 Thunderbolt that will have an 84-inch wingspan. This engine is a respectable by model standards - 35 cc displacement. It will swing a 20-inch propeller, runs on a gasoline-oil fuel mixture and has electronic ignition.
The next meeting will be on February 6, 2007.
Graham Ide VE3BYT