Newsletter Articles

ARISS Program

Submitted by kd2dvc on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 15:31
ARISS Program Logo

So a few weeks ago I had my cousin over to help me with a few projects I couldn’t do myself.  One was restringing my cable for my long wire antenna. 

We got talking about amateur radio and school activities, then I told him about ARISS program.   We reviewed the current program and required documentation plus submitting dates.   Well he took the information to teachers at Oswego School District, and I believe we have a few that want to do live chat with the ISS next fall. 

Thus, I thought I should give everyone an update, and possibly notice that we might be getting a request to support a live chat session.   The current deadline in February 29, and according to my cousin I should be hearing something soon.   

I think this will be a wonderful opportunity for the club to promote Amateur Radio.   Plus if anyone has a child, niece or nephew, or know someone in any of the school districts, now it’s time to share the information.

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Construction Project

Submitted by nx2gw on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 15:28
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Many of you have probably heard me talk about my home-brew antenna masts.  A number of years back I came up with a simple, cheap and apparently durable, unit. This design will give you a mast that is almost 30’ high and will tilt over for attaching antennas while on the ground.  I have built two of these masts, one at my home in Phoenix and one at our camp just west of Oswego.
The mast at home has a 2meter / 70 cm copper pipe J-Pole on top. It also  originally supported the balun for a Carolina Windom. The squirrels, however, decided they liked the taste of the coax feeding the Windom so it has been replaced by Random Length Long Wire for now. The original Windom along with a third line serve as a guy triangle to keep the mast upright.  
The mast at our camp is attached to the building about 8’ off the ground and is free standing for the remainder of its height supporting another copper pipe JPole on top. That setup has withstood 5 years of Lake Ontario storms with little if any damage.
I have attached a drawing Illustrating my design.  The feature that makes it TipOver is the arrangement of 1” pipe fittings.  The 2 elbows attached to the central “T” with close nipples allow the “T” to pivot letting the mast tip over. The lengths of pipe that extend at least 2’ down into the ground from the elbows anchor the bottom of the mast.  The J-Poles are electrically connected to the metal masts and I’m sure provide some  lightning protection.

 

The Carolina Windom is designed to allow its feed line to radiate so the PVC triangle was installed at the Phoenix site to hold it away from the metal mast. The 2 Tee’s on the vertical part are separated by a section of PVC pipe to complete the triangle. The whole triangle assembly is held in place with hose clamps. The details of each installation are left to the builder.

Even though you can tilt the mast over it is pretty heavy, especially with the triangular stand-off arm at the top, so I added a pulley with halyard for hauling wire antennas up and down.

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Happy New Year

Submitted by nx2gw on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 14:06

St Patrick’s day is coming up and along with it is the St Patrick’s Parade in Syracuse on Saturday, March 16th.  RAGS, Radio Amateurs of Greater Syracuse will be providing communications support for the event and they are looking for Hams to participate.  
I know that many of you enjoy public service operations and this is a fun one, much larger in scale than most of those our club supports.  
I remember a number of years ago I worked the 
Parade when it was windy and hovering around 0º It was amazing how tough some of those “Irishmen & Irish Women” were.  
I have signed up for this year and hope that the weather will be a little nicer. There is a link on the Upstate Ham Web Site www.upstateham.com you can use to sign up if you would like to help out.
Shameless Plug:  As you know, a number of our members are Freemasons, me being one of them. My Lodge, will be running Oswego County’s Best 
Fish Dinners every Friday from now through March 29th at the Lodge just South of the Fire Department in  Phoenix.   Maybe I will  see you there. 
 

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Ham-fest Season

Submitted by nx2gw on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:38

On Sunday, January 14th, Sam KD2RZY and myself ventured off to the Southern Tier Metropolis of Marathon NY for the Skyline Amateur Radio Club Ham fest. We had never been to this event so We really didn’t know what expect. I for one was pleasantly surprised. 

 


The door man above looks strangely familiar. 

 

Another familiar face.
Another familiar face.

I was looking for an HF antenna tuner and bought an LDG IT-100 auto-tuner 
from Rick Pierce N2QPQ, for a very good price. The only hitch was it was set up 
for ICOM Radios and wouldn’t work with the radio I had in mind.
A little research on the internet and I was able to come up with enough info to
build a cable to connect the radio, tuner and 12v power. This home-brew 
solution along with a 9 to 1 unun I built a while back, tunes my Random Length 
Wire Antenna, 80 to 10 meters. Sweet! 

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FARC Club Christmas Party

Submitted by admin on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:30
FARC Members

As has become the custom, our Annual Christmas Party was held at RFH’s Hideaway, a couple of miles North of Phoenix. 

The event was well attended and judging by the smile on Dave’s face everyone was having a good time. There were table gifts at each place setting and a number of cool door prizes along with a 50/50 drawing.
We held a short meeting where the new club officers were elected which I believe, excepting the Vice President, are the same as the old officers.

After lunch we were treated to a  presentation on the natural history of Lake Ontario. The speaker was Susan Gateley, a prolific author who has written on wonders of the lake, its plants, animals and geology. 

   Ms Gateley comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience gathered from 30 years living near and cruising on the lake. She brings to that experience a keen eye and the skills of a trained scientist.
She captivated us all with tales of sailing, beautiful photographs and an exciting storm video. Ms Gateley also brought copies of some of her books for sale and signed  autographs for those who made purchases.


Well Done Ms Gateley!!
 

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Public Service

Submitted by admin on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:25
FARC Members

On Saturday December 2nd our Crack FARC team supported the Annual 5K Reindeer Run/Walk around downtown Oswego. As you can see they came prepared for the worst that Mother Nature might offer up. Fortunately for them, there were no climate control failures in any of the support vehicles!! 

The weather was rainy, chilly with a little fog thrown in for good measure. However, the intrepid contestants made the best of it and soldiered on through the meteorological challenges. I do believe that one or two of them may have found it necessary to shorten their route.

The Harbor is pretty much fogged in. All participants & their canine helpers finished safely!! After the event the dedicated FARC Team retired to the Press Box for rest and a well deserved repast.

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Repeater Status

Submitted by admin on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:23
  • 147.150, PL tone 103.5, W2OSC    Currently out of service.
  • 147.390, PL tone 103.5, WN8Z        Temporary home of the Pathfinder Net. 
  • UHF  442.350, Open, K2QQY 

I can’t seem to hit this one from Phoenix however keep in mind that it resides up near Altmar. About 30 miles and a number of hills away.
 

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Happy Holidays

Submitted by nx2gw on Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:19

Greetings fellow Hams. 

Yesterday was our annual Christmas party and everyone appeared to have a great time. We had 34 people in attendance.  RFH’s kitchen staff was in fine form providing great luncheon fare. 

Following lunch we enjoyed a comprehensive presentation on the Wildlife and geology of our end of Lake Ontario presented by scientist, historian and author, Susan Gateley. 

The County of Oswego has finally decided to take down our repeater site on RT 51A so the old 147.150 repeater site is no more. 

Not to worry however, Ken Ellsworth, N2GFG has graciously contributed space at his building on RT 104, about 6 miles South East of Oswego. The site is about 400ft above sea level and the antenna is about 30ft above that. As of now, mid December, the repeater has been moved and set up but is not operational yet.

The repeater we are currently using belongs to Pat Browns, WN8Z and operates on 146.390 with a PL tone of 105.3. This repeater has very good coverage and Pat has said we can use it for the indefinite future.

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NEW HAM

Submitted by nx2gw on Thu, 10/26/2023 - 08:40

If you get a chance, say hello to our newest Ham, Lorin Darling. He was  granted his new Tech license today, 08-08-23. Yes he is related to John Darling,  our recently retired Radio Officer. It only took 3 weeks from submission of the  forms to W5YI until the license was awarded?  

Somebody must have been on vacation!! Congratulations Loren KE2BSW! 

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ARRL FIELD DAY / NOT!

Submitted by nx2gw on Thu, 10/26/2023 - 08:25

The Annual ARRL Field Day 2023 was to have been  here June 24th & 25th but Mother Nature intervened  with thunder & lightning and so it was decided that prudence would dictate that the event would be  called off. 

I was in Maine on vacation, if you can technically  be on vacation when retired, and was planning on  taking in Field Day from Pemaquid Point Lighthouse  as I have in previous years but when I arrived at the  site there was no one there. By the way, it was  raining there also but no thunder and lightning. 

Anyway, after “Field Day / Not”, the club covered  the Harborfest 5K and 10K on July 29th. As with the  Child Advocacy Run in April, RAIN was the order of  the day but the 5K and 10K races went on in spite of it all and most of the runners seemed to be  having a good time. I was stationed on W Seneca  Street and a number of the participants said that it  was nice weather for running anyway. 

There is a new GMRS repeater operating from Rudy  Reyes KD2DPA’s (does that mean he got his license  just before Al, KD2DPB), site in Orwell. I don’t know  much about GMRS but Mike, KD2DVC tells me it is  operating on GMRS frequency, 467.570 for input  and 462.570 for output, or R16 in GMRS lingo and  using PL tone 88.5 I believe. I am not sure what kind  of coverage he is getting.

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