Tag Archives: W9DK

In the Park – A Quiet Field Day 2012

Field Day 2012 was a quick, quiet and quite effective event.

With the W9DK Mancorad Radio Club in a local park.

The spot we had scouted out, AND its backup were both full of people. Unexpected, but hey – isn’t that what Field Day is supposed to be about?

We found a new spot that worked out just fine.

I had brought my Go-Kit primary antenna setup – a Hamstick Dipole which I have very carefully tuned using a Timewave AmtennaSmith TZ-900 to balance between the sides of the dipole.

K9ZW Hamstick Dipole in Action

K9ZW Hamstick Dipole in Action

Getting the antenna in the air is some of my supply of US Army surplus camouflage support poles – usually I use five to seven poles for an effective height of 15 to 21 feet. (Not the lamp post is much further away than it shows in the photograph).

I use a Black & Decker Workmate portable workbench as the antenna mast base, using clamps to lock everything together. When i operate alone I set up directly on the bend, and put my heavy aircraft batteries on the lower shelf to add stability. For Field Day we set up on a park picnic bench 40 feet away.

An extra clamp on one of the mast sections works ok as a rotor of sort. This “Armstrong Rotor” is not precision, but we are swinging a dipole, not a beam.

I did bring a new to me used TenTec Jupiter setup, though never got it out as we used one o fthe club radios – a Kenwood TS-440 that does an excellent job.

Interesting experiment was the huge drop in noise level when we added basic station grounding.

All in all a good time, simple style of operation (we even paper logged our QSOs) and relaxing until I was called away to rescue a family member who was broken down on the Interstate south of town.

A great day in the Park!



Tagged , , ,

Planning a Simple Field Day 2012

Planning for a minimalistic Field Day 2012 with Mancorad W9DK Club.

Sharply focused to what matters, we will operate from Lincoln Park using an HF station, some satellite gear and bringing another QRP rig.

“Bring Your Own Lunch” BYOL makes logistics much easier.

Standard Publicity through mainly electronic means matches the time available.

Operating hours have been set for Noon local to 4 PM, with “run-on” if members want.  The park doesn’t allow overnights without special arrangements and we know the mosquitos will be very bad towards dusk, so common sense prevailed.

Using a mix of member and club gear, much to whittle down the amount of gear moved and to limit set-up/tear-down time.  We’ve giving ourselves 45 minutes each side, but know we’ve done this setup in 15 minutes when pushed.

No rain plans, so if the weather sucks we’ll be doing something else.  Some members talked about operating from the Club Station provided it isn’t lightning in any bad weather.

Catch you on the air Saturday!



Tagged , , ,

Doing a QSL Seminar for Mancorad W9DK

For the upcoming Saturday January 21st I’ve been drafted to do a presentation and lead a discussion on QSLs for our local radio club – Mancorad W9DK

My outline points for the presentation on QSLing are:

•When should you QSL?
•What should be on your QSL card?
•What to do when cards you receive have problems?
•How to ask for aQSL Card?
•How to actually GET that Card?
•Ways to send your QSL cards out.
•The Electronic QSL – eQSL & LoTW options.
•The Famous “Plum Method” of Foreign Stamped SASEs.
•Bureau services like GlobalQSL.
•What are those SWL Cards and do you answer them?
•The use of “Green Stamps,” IRC (International Reply Coupons) and Donations.
•Special Twists, Like the Special Currency System.
•QSLing with DXpeditions.
•What is a Bureau and how do I use them?
•What does all this Cost?
•When to trade Money for Time, or Time for Money, in QSLing?
•Resources for the QSLing Radio Amateur.

I’ll be leading the presentation and discussion, hopefully with one or more of the guests I’ve invited.

Should be fun and if the handouts are well received I’ll see about getting them put up on the club blog and perhaps here.



Tagged , , , , , ,

Splitting off a separate Mancorad W9DK Radio Club Blog

To let me keep “With Varying Frequency” on focus as a personal amateur radio blog, my local club Mancorad has a new Blog format announcement page at:


We’re working to integrate their page Blog with Twitter, Facebook and the website.

Like they say “Now back to our regularly scheduled programing” here.



Tagged , , ,

Mancorad – Meeting & Presentation Saturday Oct 15th at 10 AM

With Ric N9XFD demonstrating his hand-truck portable quick deploy HF Station & Antenna Farm!

Ric N9XFD has operated from scores of untypical sites quickly setting up, scoring a few QSOs and moving out before anyone really knows he was really even there!

See you there!



Tagged , , , ,

Mancorad Club putting a New Repeater Board into the 145.110 Repeater

NHRC-10 Repeater Controller Mounted on Base Plate

Controller on Base Plate

Mancorad W9DK is putting a NHRC-10 Repeater Controller board, which allows about every feature known that a repeater could have to be done easily, into its 145.110 K9MTW repeater.

NHRC-10 Repeater Controller Mounted on Base Plate

Showing Connector Side

The Base Plate for mounting the NHRC-10 is made from 3003H14 Mill Finish Aluminum 0.063 inch sheet stock.

To allow better air circulation a set of standoffs – a Radio Stack commodity 20mm set – are used to hold the board clear of the base plate.

The mounting holes to the repeater have one hole slotted to adjust between the various possible mounting locations on the repeater.

Configuration was picked to keep it out of the way, allow plenty of cooling airflow, and have a good line-of-sight on the LED indicators.

NHRC-10 Repeater Controller Mounted in the Repeater Cabinet

In the Cabinet

Making the needed Cables come next, and then the server Mancorad Vice-President Scott W9JSB has prepared will be slaved to the controller.

NHRC-10 Repeater Controller Mounted in the Repeater Cabinet Up Close

A look Up Close

There is a customized radio card to interface the NHRC-10 with the radio itself, with added switching to allow a fail-safe fall back to the basic repeater configuration by manual switching.

The club hopes to eventually add EchoLink and Amateur Radio Bulletines like “The RAIN Report” (Radio Amateur Information Network) repeater version.

The Controller: http://www.nhrc.net/nhrc-10/
Mancorad W9DK Club: http://www.w9dk.com
The RAIN Report: http://www.therainreport.com/




Tagged , , , , ,