May is here and with it comes out preparation for Field Day in June. At the May meeting we will set down the equipment responsibilities and how we will run this year’s Field Day. As in the previous few years, it will be held at Verdugo Park in Glendale. The park provides easy access, parking, shade, trees for hanging antennas, and a convenient location. I look forward to the fun of shooting up lines over trees with Tom’s air bazooka. One of the features of Field Day is that the bands are loaded with stations wanting to talk to you and all hams, no matter what their license class, can work the extra class parts of the bands. If you are a Tech, this will be a great opportunity to learn how to set up a station and make a QSO. Usually one of our members will bring an interesting project radio or antenna to share. Larry started this several years ago when he made and demonstrated a PAC12 antenna. Soon after many members of the club made their own PAC 12’s.
We had a topic request for “Filters” at our last meeting and I was able to locate several filter related videos. One of the videos is very short and demonstrates an audio filter in a kit. The results are more dramatic than you would expect from a $60 audio filter kit.
Speaking of kits, if you like putting kits together, Ali Express has a lot of really inexpensive (okay, cheap) kits available and most have free shipping. I just ordered a $25 oscilloscope (yes, that is the price) and after it arrives and I assemble it, I will bring it to a meeting. Besides showing waveforms it has a digital readout of voltages and frequency on the screen. There are several versions of the kit. I bought the one with all the surface mount parts pre-installed. I just solder on the through hole parts.
Lately we have had several solar storms hitting the Earth and wiping out most HF communication. Although it is back to normal as I write this, there were several weeks of conditions so bad that when you turned on your radio and did not hear any signals, most hams first thought their equipment was faulty and ran out to check their antennas, cables, and transceivers. To be honest, I did and so did most hams that I talked to. A friend of mind who is a solar scientist told me what really happens during the solar storms. The high energy particles from the sun stream toward the Earth and basically press the layers of the ionosphere lower changing the propagation reflection angles. It is probably more complicated but this is the simplified version. Anyway propagation has been good for the last several days and we have had a “short band” (when you can hear stations within several hundred miles of you).
Well that’s all for now, so 73 and see you at the May breakfast and the May general meeting.