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FARS Meeting Programs - 2014 [2013] [2012]


Friday January 17, 2014 - FARS/PAARA Winter Banquet

The History of Building Elecraft
Wayne Burdick

We are teaming up with PAARA again this year to make this a bigger event. This event replaces the regular FARS membership meeting for January.

We have about $1,500 in prizes for the banquet raffle. The prizes are to yet to be determined, except for the top prize which is an Elecraft KX-3. The banquet is by reservation only, so click the banquet link for all the details and sign-up information.


Friday February 28, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Transistor Radios - How They Work and How to Make Them
Ron Quan, KI6AZB

If you are a serious radio builder or merely an electronics tinkerer, you will find Ron Quan’s talk interesting. Ron will cover these topics (following his book’s organization):

  1. How a book on transistor radios was written,
  2. Conventional AM transistor radios,
  3. Low power superhets,
  4. A low power regenerative radio,
  5. Fun with reflex TRF and reflex superhets,
  6. Double reflex superhet … a two transistor superhet that drives a loudspeaker
  7. One transistor superhet.

Friday March 28, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Personal Computers and Operating Systems - Problems and Solutions
Rami Ersheid and Tasneem (Taz) Rafiq

Every Radio Amateur’s ham shack probably has a computer. Computers were used originally for simple roles such as looking up call signs and DX zones from a database or logging contacts or programming the memories of an HT radio. Computers subsequently found a role controlling things such as antenna rotators. In satellite operations, they do tracking calculations continuously and move the antenna to follow the satellite. Today, computers increasingly serve as the front panel displays (graphical user interface or GUI) of many new software-defined radios or SDRs. Most hams will agree that the computer has emerged as a useful tool in the shack.

So what do you do if your computer breaks? In this day of throw-away electronics, should you hang on to that Windows 98 or XP machine a while longer? Can your legacy 32-bit software run on a 64-bit quad-core hyper-threaded machine? If Microsoft really stops supporting Windows XP on April 8, is Windows 8.1 a suitable replacement? Rami Ersheid and Taz Rafiq from QuickFix Computers will answer these questions and more. They will talk about common hardware problems, software and operating system problems, and IT problems - everything from what hardware breaks most often to how to configure Windows 8 to eliminate its most undesired features or how to get rid of Windows 8 entirely, how to protect against malware, how to recognize infections, and what to do about them. This presentation is a “must see” for the modern Radio Amateur.


Friday April 25, 2014 - Membership Meeting

The Evolution of Handheld Radios from Walkie Talkie to Modern HT
Ed Fong, WB6IQN

The evolution has been 50 years — from 3-transistor walkie talkies that went a little farther than you can shout to today’s full featured dual-band HT’s using SDR architecture and costing only $35.

Ed Fong, WB6IQN, will share his 50-year relationship with the “walkie talkie” from the early days of the Allied Knight C100, 100-mW walkie talkie, to the present day inexpensive but yet effective Wouxun and Baofeng radios.

Along the way, he will discuss the famous Motorola HT220 and its architecture, the Tempo S-1 which was the first hand held synthesized radio, and first mini dual band HT’s. The first mini HT’s being the Standard 508C, the ICOM IQ7a, and the Yaesu VX2.

For military history buffs, Ed will show a Motorola SCR536 (the radio that landed on Omaha Beach), a PRC77 (the primary backpack radio used in Vietnam), a GE Pocketmate (the radio that was used in the Watergate Break-in) and many more.


Friday May 23, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Maxwell’s Equations in 45 Minutes
Kristen McIntyre, K6WX

Maxwell’s Equations are mysterious to many, but they are really a beautiful work of mathematical art that is at the heart of radio. The mathematics seems impenetrable without advanced calculus, however, there is another way to look at it: visually.

Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, will take you inside a Gaussian surface, around a curl, and away from a divergence so that you too can see how these four simultaneous differential equations combine to bring the world of radio to life. You will learn the meaning of Maxwell’s Equations in about 45 minutes.


Friday June 20, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Weird Electromagnetic Waves
Steve Stearns, K6OIK

Steve, K6OIK, presents Part 2 of “Novel and Strange Ideas in Antennas and Impedance Matching.” Steve presented Part 1 in February 2013. In Part 2 he describes localized waves. Examples or localized waves are vortex waves, knotted waves, and linked waves. These are electromagnetic waves that follow topologically interesting paths in space. Such waves have properties which some communication engineers hope to exploit for multiple access communication.

Isaac Newton taught that light travels in straight lines. Albert Einstein taught that light consists of discrete particles called photons. Reasoning from Newton and Einstein, we might conclude that photons travel in straight lines. Steve will surprise us by showing this conclusion is wrong. The relationship between photons and electromagnetic waves is more complicated than anyone imagined. Steve describes the electromagnetic properties of vortex waves, including properties that are unknown, counter-intuitive, or just plain weird!


Friday July 25, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Batteries. Make them Work Better and Last Longer
Charlie Morrin, KI6FXY

This program has been rescheduled for August 22, 2014 as we were locked out of our meeting place on July 25.


Friday August 22, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Batteries. Make them Work Better and Last Longer
Charlie Morrin, KI6FXY

Charlie, KI6FXY, talks about the important subject of batteries. Batteries are everywhere in our lives and run all of our portable electronics. We rely on them work reliably, keep us connected, and last for years.

Charlie talks about: battery safety, battery selection for ham applications, battery maintenance, and more. Learn how to make your batteries work better and last longer.

This program was originally scheduled for July 25th. Our meeting room was not available, so an abbreviated meeting was held that evening.


Friday September 26, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Annual Amateur Radio Homebrew Contest

This meeting is about you. Yes you, our members and guests. Our Annual Amateur Radio Homebrew Contest is a opportunity to show off a project that you have worked on in the past year. Each participant has a few minutes to show and explain his project to our audience and has a chance to win one of our four prizes:

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


Friday October 24, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Nuclear Reactors for the Complete Ham Shack, Emergency Power, and Clean Green Power
Dr. Alexander Cannara of Cannara Consulting

Suppose someone told you there is a way of generating heat and electrical power on an industrial scale without the fuel emissions, nuclear materials, and waste we now produce, and do it for the whole world for thousands of years, using a cheap, plentiful source. What would you say? Suppose these power sources:

  1. Can’t explode because they’re unpressurized and produce no flammable materials.
  2. Shut down naturally, without power or people, if something goes wrong.
  3. Are independent of water cooling, so can be built anywhere, using little land.
  4. Get their energy from cheap material abundant on Earth, Moon, and Mars.
  5. Can be made to consume nuclear wastes.
  6. Produce valuable industrial/medical/scientific isotopes now becoming scarce.
  7. Have already been tested and shown to work.
  8. Can be built and operated more cheaply than coal, oil, or gas power.

The technology is the Molten-Salt Reactor (MSR), and the specific variant is Liquid Fluoride-Thorium Reactor (LFTR), developed, designed and operated in the 1960s at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory www.thoriumremix.com/2011. Come and learn what might be the best kept secret for powering your emergency station while combatting global warming in the not so distant future.


Friday November 21, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Holiday Ideas for the Ham Shack
Don Anastasia, AA6W of Ham Radio Outlet

Just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, Don Anastasia, AA6W, of Ham Radio Outlet presents a pre-Holiday extravaganza. Don shows us all the new and wonderful gift items available for the complete ham shack. Bring pencil and paper, so you can make your list for Santa!


Friday December 19, 2014 - Membership Meeting

Electronics from the Ground Up
Ron Quan, KI6AZB

Ron Quan, KI6AZB, has done it again — written another top selling book. You may remember he spoke to FARS in February about his book, “Build Your Own Transistor Radios”, McGraw-Hill, 2013. Now he’s come out with a sequel: “Electronics from the Ground Up”, McGraw-Hill, 2015. The book is massive at 526 pages. It is a book of do-it-yourself experiments through which the reader will discover and learn the inner workings of electronics through innovative experiments. Experiments progress from basic electricity to circuits for RF and communication systems:

  • Batteries, lamps, and flashlights
  • Light emitters and receivers
  • Diodes, rectifiers, and associated circuits
  • Transistors, FETs, and vacuum tubes
  • Amplifiers and feedback
  • Audio signals and circuits
  • Oscillators, AM and FM signals and circuits
  • Video basics, including video signals
  • Video circuits and systems.


Past Programs 2013