All posts by wvara

May 8th Meeting

Our next WVARA meeting will be held in-person on Wednesday, May 8, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.  Social time begins around 6:45pm, with the meeting commencing at 7pm.  If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  
This month’s meeting will be a double-header.  Mark Aaker, K6UFO, will bring us up to speed on how to be more effective at FT8 contesting.  FT8 is the most popular mode for daily operation and DX chasing, and this popularity is now spilling into contesting.  While entering a fast-paced SSB or CW contest can be intimidating, FT8 cycles reduce the frantic pace and are great for the contest newcomer.   And learning to contest in FT8 can gain you DX, improve your daily FT8 skills, and develop skips that will help you in other contests.
After Mark’s presentation, I will review the status of WVARA’s plans for Field Day, which is June 21-23.  We’ll be on Mora Hill and having a blast as usual.

BTW, several of us meet nearbyfor dinner prior to the meeting at 5:30pm at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com . Feel free to join us.

Three things to remember:

• Since the west side entrance to the Red Cross Building is always locked, we recommend entering the Red Cross Building through the main entrance situated on the north side of the building.

• The Red Cross locks the main entrance at 7pm sharp, so please come early in order to get access to the building.  

• Since Meeting Room 3 is about 100 feet from any entrance, any late comers who knock on an outside door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  So please try to arrive early!  If you need help getting in the door, you can call my cellphone:  408-636-6172.

Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

POTA (Parks On The Air) January 10, 2024 Meeting Presentations

Many thanks to Clay and Scott for their excellent presentations about POTA (Parks On The Air) at our January meeting.   There were lots of engaging questions from our enthusiastic crowd.  

Discussions are now afoot for a WVARA POTA activation sometime this spring — maybe from a local state beach.  We’ll keep you posted as plans develop so you can get involved!

Clay Cougar POTA Presentation, What is Parks on the Air (POTA)?

Scott KK6IK POTA Experience, POTA ACTIVATIONS
& LESSONS LEARNED (SOFAR).

March 13 Meeting


Our next WVARA meeting will be held in-person on Wednesday, March 13, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.  Social time begins around 6:45pm, with the meeting commencing at 7pm. 

WVARA 2023 Field day photo

Field Day this year will be June 21-23.  Once again, we plan to operate from Mora Hill in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.  

At our March meeting, we will discuss what worked in 2023 and a few changes that are in-store for 2024.  This meeting will also be a brainstorm session, so be thinking about what you liked the most about our last June’s Field Day and ways our event could be improved to make it more fun, more inviting to visitors, and an even better event.  

If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.   

Several of us meet nearbyfor dinner prior to the meeting at 5:30pm at Disn-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com . Feel free to join us.

Three things to remember:

• Since the west side entrance to the Red Cross Building is always locked, we recommend entering the Red Cross Building through the main entrance situated on the north side of the building.

• The Red Cross locks the main entrance at 7pm sharp, so please come early in order to get access to the building.  

• Since Meeting Room 3 is about 100 feet from any entrance, any late comers who knock on an outside door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  So please try to arrive early!  

Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

February 7 Meeting

Because of Valentine’s Day, WVARA’s February meeting will be held a week early on Wednesday, February 7.  As usual we will be in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   Social time begins around 6:45pm with the meeting beginning at 7pm.  If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  

At this month’s meeting Dr Richard G Ranson, G3ZTB,  will speak on the care and feeding of your nanoVNA.  The advent of devices like the NanoVNA brings new measurement capabilities within the budget of amateur radio enthusiasts.   This talk focuses on a non-mathematical understanding of calibration and the practical aspects of making measurements, tips on how to improve them and getting the most out of your device. The nanoVNA is much more than an antenna analyser and a valuable addition to any shack.

Dr Ranson has been a licensed radio amateur since being a schoolboy. It led him to a BSc and Phd in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Leeds, and over 40 years in the RF and microwave electronics industry in the UK and USA. He has specialised in various types of receiver system, but never lost interest in the technical challenges of HF radio. His current interests are on high dynamic range SDR radios and the Raspberry Pi computing platform.  He is a life fellow of the IEEE and a retired fellow of the IET in the UK.

Please note:
• Since the west side entrance to the Red Cross Building is always locked, we recommend entering the Red Cross Building through the main entrance situated on the north side of the building.
• The Red Cross locks the main entrance at 7pm sharp, so please come early in order to get access to the building.  
• We will be in Meeting Room 3 — about 100 feet from any entrance.  As a result, late comers who knock on an outside door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you need help getting in the door, you can my cellphone:  408-636-6172.
• The meeting will be in-person only and not streamed via Zoom.

By the way, several of us meet nearby for dinner prior to the meeting at 5:30pm at Dish-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com .   Feel free to join us.

73,
Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

January 10 Meeting

Parks-On-The-Air (POTA) is a great opportunity for hams who enjoy the outdoors to activate portable operations from local, state, and national parks.  POTA also promotes the role of amateur radio in emergency awareness and is a great excuse to get on the air from scenic locations.  At this month’s meeting, Clay Couger (N5YJZ) will bring us up to speed on how to get involved with Parks-On-The-Air.  And Scott Nacey (KK6IK) will pass along some lessons learned from his recent POTA activations. 

This month’s WVARA meeting will be held in-person on Wednesday, January 10, in Meeting Room 3 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.   Social time begins around 6:45pm with the meeting beginning at 7pm.  If you haven’t been to the Red Cross in a while, “talk-in” is usually available on the Association’s repeaters. Best choice would be 2m/220.  

Please note:
• Since the west side entrance to the Red Cross Building is always locked, we recommend entering the Red Cross Building through the main entrance situated on the north side of the building.
• The Red Cross locks the main entrance at 7pm sharp, so please come early in order to get access to the building.  
• We will be in Meeting Room 3 — about 100 feet from any entrance.  As a result, late comers who knock on an outside door won’t be heard from our meeting room.  If you need help getting in the door, you can my cellphone:  408-636-6172.
• The meeting will be in-person only and not streamed via Zoom.

By the way, several of us meet nearby for dinner prior to the meeting at 5:30pm at Dish-N-Dash (2551 N. 1st St. San Jose):  https://dishdash.com .   Feel free to join us.

73s,
Jim, K6EI
WVARA Vice President

WVARA Holiday BBQ – Saturday December 16

WVARA Holiday BBQ

There won’t be an evening WVARA meeting in December.  Instead, we are having a Holiday BBQ.  We’ll have hot charcoal and condiments — please bring your own meat to grill, and maybe a desert or side dish to share.

And of course, the WVARA tradition of drawings for Holiday Door Prizes is good to go.   Santa Claus is making arrangements for some great prizes.   So be there or be square! 

– Jim, K6EI

When:  11am – 1pm, Saturday, Dec 16

Where:  Silicon Valley Red Cross Building Patio on the east-facing side of the facility.  We can shift indoors to Room 3 if it rains. The Red Cross building is at 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose.

2023 Field Day Results

The ARRL has posted this year’s Field Day results.  While we all recognize that Field Day is not a contest, the scores still get published each November.  

We were in the 12 Alpha Battery category and finished with 2,878 QSOs completed and a final score of 27,570 — a 30% jump from our score in 2022.  Awesome job!

And in case you were wondering, that score puts us at #2 out of all 4,445 submitted logs from this year’s Field Day, with the only score ahead of us being from the Potomac Valley Radio Club (W3AO) — their final score was 35,633. 

In 2022 we were likewise #2 nationwide, and our score was 35% below that of the Potomac Club.  In contrast, this year our score was only 23% behind the Potomac team.  So I guess you can say we’re gaining on ‘em.     

So start thinking about ideas for Field Day 2024.  We’ll hold our annual brainstorm session in January or early February.

You can see the ARRL’s new Field Day write-up at:

https://contests.arrl.org/ContestResults/2023/Field-Day-2023-FinalQSTResults.pdf