Category Archives: Meeting

June 13th WVARA Meeting – N1MM+ Logger Review + Field Day Strategies

It’s time for the June WVARA meeting! June 13th at 19:00 in Meeting Room 5 at the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2731 N. First Street at Plumeria Drive (southwest corner) in San Jose. Talk in is available on the association repeaters, 2m is a good choice.
I’m sure none of us have forgotten, but just in case, Field Day is June 22nd-24th, and when we’re this close to Field Day, it’s hard not to talk about Field Day.
In this meeting, we’re going to do a deep dive into N1MM+, the logging software we’ll be using at field day this year. Last year, standardizing on it ended up working out really well — but this year we’ve refined some rough edges, learned from a few mistakes, and are using a few new features. Specifically, the waterfall bandmap will likely be of interest to a few people as well as the use of skimmers (which according to the ARRL, believe it or not, is allowed on Field Day.) You don’t have to have to be an expert at N1MM+ to use it by any means, but knowing a few shortcuts probably won’t hurt our score. Additionally, we’ll talk about some strategies and operating tips for the various modes. Perhaps we’ll even have time to make some eyeball-QSOs. I’ll lead the discussion and present some slides, but there’s quite a bit of wisdom elsewhere in the room, so we’re sure to learn something.
Field Day isn’t a contest, but they do keep score and publish/rank the results at the end, so it sure feels like one sometimes. There are some folks in this club that almost never contest, and others, who can’t stop contesting (hi.) No problem, but one of the most important goals of Field Day is to a) get as many of us on the air as possible, and who knows, maybe we’ll even get you hooked and talk you into taking a road trip for a real contest in the not-so-distant future.
A few of us usually meet for dinner somewhere near the Red Cross (I’ve been rotating between a few locations) around 6 pm prior to the meeting. This month, it’s back to Dish’n’Dash just a block down the street: https://www.yelp.com/biz/dish-n-dash-san-jose  I’m thinking of trying somewhere new entirely for our September meeting, so look for that!
See you there!

Bill/W9KKN

December Meeting Wednesday, December 13th

We all spend the year getting on the air in new ways, in new places, with new modulation modes, with new toys, and with new friends. This meeting is centered on this last item: friends. There will be no guest speaker, but there will be food, prizes, and (hopefully) many stories of good times on the air as part of our annual free-form holiday party.
The meeting place is the same as always (San Jose Red Cross). The meeting time is the same as always (7pm), though anyone coming to help setup is invited to join us at 6pm.
There is no planned pre-meeting for food, since, well, this meeting has lots of it there.
See you Wednesday!
Bobby
K0XI

To CQ or not to CQ…that is the question.

This particular question will be answered by our very own Bill Fehring, who will take us through space weather and how it affects terrestrial propagation. In the end, the question we all consider when turning on a rig is “How will the bands be today?” Bill will take us through some online resources that work to predict band performance based not on beacon networks, but on the solar activity of our little corner of the universe. He will help us understand how to interpret the data they present in order to answer that question, what metrics are used, and hopefully allow us some better experiences during this low period of sunspot activity.
As well, this Wednesday evening will be your chance to participate in some home grown democracy while you vote for next year’s WVARA officers.
73,
K0XI

SVECS Quarterly Breakfast – July 22nd

This coming Saturday (22) is the SVECS’s Quarterly Breakfast at the Santa Clara Senior Center at 9 a.m.

Besides the best $5 breakfast in town and a raffle prize of a $125 gift certificate from Ham Radio Outlet, the presentation will be on radio direction finding (RDF) with displays and demonstrations.

http://www.svecs.net/

Check their web page and scroll down to the quarterly breakfast for all of the details.

WVARA Annual BBQ

When:  11am – 2pm, Saturday, Aug 19

Where:  Sunnyvale’s Baylands Park, Pickleweed Place
 (When you get to Baylands Park, turn right after going through the main gate.)

Sunnyvale Baylands Park Map
Sunnyvale Baylands Park Map

There won’t be an evening WVARA meeting in July or August. Instead, we are having our annual WVARA BBQ.  Our location (see map below, the reservation is under “WVARA”) includes multiple tables, grill, an AC outlet, and a covered awning for shade.  There is an entry fee per car at Baylands Park, so you may prefer to carpool.  We’ll have hot charcoal and condiments — please bring your own meat to grill.

Our BBQ coincides with the SSB portion of the North American QSO Party (NAQP) which means this is an ideal opportunity for a really fun portable radio operation.    (NAQP Contest rules are at: http://www.ncjweb.com/NAQP-Rules.pdf).
– Jim, K6EI

Thank you Logan Zintsmaster (KZ6O)

Many thanks to this month’s guest speaker, Logan Zintsmaster (KZ6O), from Santa Clara County ARES/RACES! Logan led us through a discussion of “ARES – RACES – ACS – Emergency Communications in Santa Clara County”, a wonderful overview of how emergency communications are organized in Santa Clara County and how to get involved.