FARS Meeting Programs - 2012 [2011] [2010]

Friday January 20, 2012 - FARS/PAARA Winter Banquet

Radio on the High Seas
Richard Dillman, W6AWO
Maritime Historical Radio Society

Richard speaks about the history of radio on the high seas with a slide show of photos and a stirring and melodramatic narration.

We had $1,200 in prizes for the banquet raffle. The major prizes include a Yaesu FT-857D HF/VHF/UHF (100W HF, DSP, and 60M band), and a Powerwerx KG-UV3D/UHF (Dual band HT 2M/70cm). Click banquet for all the details.

Friday February 24, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Balloons and the California Near Space Project
Ron Meadows, K6RPT, and Don Ferguson, KD6IRE

Ron and Don are active members of the California Near Space Project http://www.californianearspaceproject.com/.

Ron and his son Lee have been outfitting balloons with high tech electronics since 2009. They have put GPS, APRS, cameras and crossband repeaters on balloons filled with hydrogen and helium.

In 2011 they set new records for both altitude and distance, beating US government agency records. The records were confirmed by the use of onboard GPS, and balloons were tracked by their APRS transmissions. They were featured in two stories on ARRL’s web site at http://www.californianearspaceproject.com/arrl_cnsp-10.html and http://www.californianearspaceproject.com/arrl_cnsp-11.html.

The first record was in October 2011, when Ron’s tenth balloon, CNSP-10, reached a record altitude of 136,545 feet. That’s 26 miles up! Two months later, in December, their eleventh balloon, CNSP-11, cruised as high as 115,000 feet as it crossed the United States, then the Atlantic Ocean. It was tracked by a Nova Scotia coastal station to the limit of reception before it’s signal was lost to the noise. Then the faint signal was picked up from the island of St. Miguel in the Azores. Stations around the world tuned to listen to the little balloon from Silicon Valley as it headed toward Europe. The balloon eventually landed in the Mediterranean Sea, a whopping distance of 6,236 miles!

Come and hear the exciting story of these amazing feats of Amateur Radio and ballooning.

Friday March 23, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Rethinking Field Day Outside the Box
Jim Peterson, K6EI

Jim shares some ideas on how clubs can boost Field Day innovation, participation, and outreach — and have more fun in the process.

Friday April 27, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Brewing Projects the Arduino Way
Umesh Ghodke, K6VUG, and Nimit Hongyim, K6XOX

Umesh and Nimit will focus on home brew projects using Arduino microcontrollers, a versatile system with many interesting applications. Their presentations will provide a deeper understanding of the Arduino microcontroller and how it can be used to make exciting and fun home-brew projects. Tonight’s presentations are timely and will prepare you to understand projects featured at the 2012 Maker Faire coming up on May 19-20.

Umesh Ghodke, K6VUG, will show a light weight portable rotator for satellite antenna, consisting of two RC Servo Motors for accurate Azimuth and Elevation positioning of the antenna. An Arduino Pro Mini controls the servos in response to commands from a Satellite Tracking program. A live A/V recording of the this project can be seen at http://www.sbara.org/downloads/Antenna_Positioning_System_with_Arduino/AO27_live_tracking.wmv.

Nimit Hongyim, K6XOX, will show two projects that he built based on Arduino Bootloader: (1) A custom-made APRS Tiny Tracker from Opensource. Nimit will show the schematic and explain how it works; and (2) a Geiger Counter interfaced for APRS packet transmission. Nimit will talk about the kit and show the demo board. Nimit will also talk about using Proteus Software for schematic capture and board layout for PCB design. He will show how Proteus makes PCB design and fabrication simple.

Friday May 25, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Stub Filter Design Beyond the Simple Trap
Steve Stearns, K6OIK

Just in time for Field Day, Steve, K6OIK shows how to design stub filters. Stub filters are easy to build from coax and T connectors and are a great DIY project for Field Day operations. The filters are also well suited for stripline and microstrip implementations at UHF and above. Steve shows a simple way to design filters graphically on a Smith chart that is intuitive and easy to explain without math, by extending graphical principles for match network design.

The resulting filters outperform the classic single stub trap. Steve will show a synthesis procedure for “3-frequency, 2-stub filters.” In this construction, two frequencies are designated as “pass” frequencies and one is designated as a “stop” frequency. The frequencies may be in any order, i.e. the stop frequency can be below, between, or above the pass frequencies. The construction is done graphically on the Smith chart - no math is required. Other combinations are also possible, e.g., two stop frequencies and one pass frequency.

Friday June 15, 2012 - Membership Meeting

A Stub Filter for SSB and CW Operation on the Same Band
Steve Stearns, K6OIK

Continuing his exploration of stub filters for interference rejection, Steve considers a practical stub filter for separating CW and SSB operation on the same band. Such filters may be very helpful for multitransmitter operation when transmitters are crowded close together.

Friday July 27, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Amateur Radio Satellite Beacons
Anthony Young

Anthony Young will talk about his experience with satellite operations and the use of the Amateur Radio beacons on small triple cubesats. The satellites carried Amateur Radio beacons that transmitted telemetry signals on Amateur UHF frequencies. The telemetry signals reported satellite status, which enabled ground receivers to monitor satellite health. The missions provided the opportunity for the greater Amateur Radio community to assist in satellite reporting.

Friday August 24, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Steve Stearns, K6OIK

Steve talks about a new, advanced antenna modeling program, just released in June 2012, that is priced low enough for serious amateur antenna modelers. The price is $162 to $210 depending on where you buy it.

The program is like WIPL-D Lite but improved with a better computational architecture having fast in-core and out-of-core solvers and a professional user interface. The program is called HOBBIES, an acronym for “Higher Order Basis Based Integral Equation Solver.”

The program comes on a CD with the instruction manual published by Wiley, 2012, ISBN 1118140656. A link to the software is on FARS web site in the software section http://www.fars.k6ya.org/others#Software.

Friday September 28, 2012 - Membership Meeting

FARS Annual Homebrew Contest

This is your time to shine. Bring your amateur radio project to this meeting to show and describe to our audience. Everyone has a few minutes to explain and describe her/his project. Then the audience votes on the best ones to award prizes. The following prizes are awarded:

$40First Prize
$30Second Prize
$20Third Prize
$10Fourth Prize

Friday October 26, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Equipment for the Shack & Extreme Receivers
Mikel Lechner, KN6QI & Steve Stearns, K6OIK

Mikel talks about some basic equipment for your radio station, how it works, and how to use it.

Steve talks about receivers that ace out the competition in particular characteristics. Find out which receivers push the envelope of receiver capabilities, but why this isn’t always a good thing.

Friday November 16, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Holiday Shopping Items Every Ham Needs
Staff of Sunnyvale HRO

The Sunnyvale HRO staff share with us some of the most popular products and deals for the holiday season.

Friday December 21, 2012 - Membership Meeting

Digital Amateur Television (DATV): A Primer and Use Cases
Joel Wilhite KD6W

What is digital television and what are the use cases for amateur radio? Joel Wilhite KD6W answers these questions and demonstrates transmission and reception of DATV. This presentation is an expanded version of Joel’s popular presentation at ARRL Pacificon.

Past Programs 2011