This year’s Field Day operation (June 24-26) will be at the top of Mora Hill located in the San Antonio Open Space Reserve. We will likely be running HF/SSB, HF/CW, HF/Digital, as well as VHF/UHF stations at 5 watts output in the Battery category. There will also be a Get On The Air (GOTA) station for rusty hams. As a COVID precaution, we will not be providing a GOTA coach this year, and will be encouraging social distancing at all our stations.
We will operate for the entire 24-hour period (11am Saturday to 11am Sunday). This means we will need operators throughout the event. Your involvement is welcome during set-up, tear-down, and throughout the 24-hour on-the-air period! You can see a description of our previous 2019 Mora Hill Field Day operation at: http://www.arrl.org/soapbox/view/9899
In preparation for Field Day, we want to get an idea of who is likely to be around to assist with set-up, tear-down, and operating. If you are planning to participate at Mora Hill, please complete the following on-line survey. We want to ensure that everyone who has a desire to operate gets an opportunity: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7HWZMDB
This month’s WVARA meeting will be at 7pm on Wednesday, April 13, via Zoom. Zoom details can be found at the end of this email. (By the way, this will be our last meeting via Zoom. Beginning in May, we will be back at the Red Cross Building. More details to come.)
Our original April speaker, Stan Dye, has asked to be rescheduled to our June meeting. So instead, this month we’ll be learning all about how to get active on 160 meters.
Our April 13 presentation will be all about Top Band — the 160 meters band. We’ll discuss the features that make this band unique, including several myths about this mysterious. We’ll also cover ideas for how the average city dweller can install an effective antenna on this band.
Our speaker is none other than Jim Peterson, K6EI, WVARA’s Vice President. Jim holds the Pacific Division’s all-time top score in the ARRL 160 contest (QRP category) and has been active on this band for over three decades. He has an MSEE focused on electromagnetic and signal processing from Ohio State and spent 38 years at ESL / TRW / Northrop Grumman.
Our April 13 presentation will describe and demonstrate the nanoVNA and some of its basic capabilities and practical uses for amateur radio, along with a couple of the available software packages that can be used to control it from your computer. The nanoVNA is a very useful and educational tool. It is far less expensive than commercial antenna analyzers, but is more versatile and fun to use. You do have to be a bit adventurous, since the nanoVNA started as an open-source community supported project, without much good documentation – but it has an excellent and very active online user community that is very knowledgeable and helpful.
Our speaker, Stan Dye (KC7XE) is an active WVARA member. He was first licensed over 45 years ago as a novice with callsign KA7JPQ. This call seemed to him to take forever to send in morse code, so only a few months later he upgraded to Advanced Class and received call sign KC7XE. A few years later he upgraded to Extra class. In 1984 Stan received a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Brigham Young University, and began his career in Silicon Valley at a small high-tech think-tank named ESL, where he met several other ham radio operators who are (or have been) members of this club. Stan worked his entire career at ESL, which became part of TRW and later Northrop Grumman, doing advanced projects for defense intelligence operations. He became an expert in specialized digital communications signals and systems, designing and building hardware processors, DSP software and digital signal analysis algorithms. Stan received several honors and commendations for his work, including being named a Northrop Grumman Technical Fellow in 2005, and receiving the NGMS President’s Award for Innovation.