Tag Archives: Pixie radio

EclipseMob Radio – Builders Group

This Saturday August 19, see you there!

K1T Special Event Station

I Just worked the K1T special station, on 20 meters, 14.265. @ 12:00 am. This event celebrates 70 years of Electronics kits by HeathKit. Great guy, great QSO, a very fitting Special Event since LARC started up its Builders group.  Go try to work this station.

Dale, AB4DK

Operating ONLY during:  00:00 UTC July 23, 2017 – 23:59:59 August 5, 2017
Make sure you are requesting a QSL card from the correct K1T station!!
https://www.qrz.com/db/K1T#QSL

What did Field Day 2017 mean to KM4YEC?

What did Field Day 2017 mean to me?

I posted that question on Facebook to trigger some responses, and as I thought about it, if I were to answer that question…I could write a book, as to relay what it has meant to me.

Recognizing that just like the whole concept of Amateur Radio, it is an individual thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, then like in some other things, what is the fun in being alone, when there are others doing the same thing or nearly the same thing.

 

 

I feel I must point out something. I never excelled in team sports where there is quarterback, or point guard, that drives the whole team, and expects absolute obedience, for while I consider myself a team player, I tend to ‘experiment’ with the boundaries, I crave to be ‘creative’, so, while understanding the need for those other kinds of Teams, I stay away from Teams that don’t allow questioning the next move. And I absolutely Run away from any Team with a Pistol Pete, as I prefer a Team that moves forward as Team, not one that puts anyone on a pedestal.

I love the story of the SS Robert E. Peary, a Liberty Ship built during WWII that was launched 4 days and 15 1/2 hours after the keel was laid. There was a Team that I could have been on. No one quarterback nor point guard could pull that off, that took a Team of Quarterbacks working with each other, not against each other, nor competing with each other, as each piece of that ship had to be ready to slide into place at exactly the right moment, or a really fast recovery had better be ready to put into place. My kind of competition….me against myself. Where failure isn’t failing, its a learning experience.

So, the question was Field Day? I penned a phrase, of which I am sure it ain’t original, some time back, actually it was on the obligatory trip to Disney World after someone wins the Superbowl, or gets a diagnosis that is about as rare. It went like this’ No Regrets, Bucket List Tour’ and it was stenciled on a sheet of coroplast stuck in the ground in front of my RV at Fort Wilderness. So, yes, Field Day, with No Regrets, and a few Check Offs on the List.

Only being licensed as an Amateur Radio Operator for the first time last October, I have been working hard on my List.

This was my first Field Day. I didn’t personally make one radio contact. But, I consider it a success for me. Working within my limitations, I made a few contributions to the team, but I gained so much more. I observed most of the radio operators and loggers doing their thing.

I was allowed to share some of my creative ideas in a side room, where the club has started a Builders Group ( also called WeCanHams.com ) and I saw more new ideas come back at me than I can work in year. I saw the twinkle in someone else’s eye….who after 5 hours of trying various ways to solder a thru hole component in a PCB, finally was satisfied with the result….

and I am sure that many projects will follow that soldering adventure….I figure that at least 120 years of soldering experience was shared in that effort…THAT IS MY KIND OF TEAM. At one point, it resulted in a run to the kitchen to cut a corner off a pot scrubber….not a Pistol Pete move….but a Team move.

I had been told to make the move from 2 meter HT’s to HF required many hundreds of dollars, and a thousand dollars was tossed out there very often as what I should expect to spend. So, before Field Day, I tested this theory, by building a BitX40 kit for $59, and putting it on the air with a jump start battery for power and some galvanized fence wire for an antenna.

On the second Day of Field Day I took my Tour on the Road, down one the spokes on the HUB, to an affiliated Field Day site at HHART, and I had the extreme pleasure of lighting up someone else’s eyes. When I overheard that someone was thinking about getting that kit….I asked, ‘wanna play with one?’ It was exciting to watch and be a part of the ‘Team’ making that QSO, even though I was sitting in a chair just watching. He was heard saying after that he was ordering two BitX40’s.

 

 

And we should never forget a two transistor Pixie…just for fun…and plenty of learning.

 

 

 

So, what did Field Day mean to me? Making a lot of up close and personal connections in a sport that is usually done at long range. And quite a few more Check Off’s on the List.

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What Do I Do Now?

I recently acquired a new toy donated to me by the presentation giver at our last club meeting. The presentation was on our new builders group that our club is putting together. Thanks to Craig Thibodeaux (KM4YEC) and the help of Dale Knight (AB4DK), our club is learning to build the equipment that we have come to use and love. So during the meeting we had a few giveaways that consist of different electronic devices. It just so happened that my number was drawn out of the hat so to speak. I won a small bag of parts and components that create what is called a Pixie CW Transmitter. After getting it home and searching through the bag of resistors and capacitors I realized there are no instructions. What do I do now?

So with limited resources and no access to internet, I realized I have no knowledge of resistors and how to read the value of each one. A day or so went by and I managed to come up with a basic schematic for my little pixie 4.3. still with no knowledge of how to read the values of the resistors and capacitors it dawned on me that I have a handful of old ARRL handbooks that I acquired through a good friend Ed Bradley (W4VGI). I sat down and looked through them and found exactly what I needed. With my not so steady hand and a little solder I began the assembly process of my first radio build. An hour or so later viola! I had in fact created a full functioning radio. Now all that is left is to test it out. I went and grabbed the dummy load and a power supply as I proceeded to hook it up. Still with the satisfaction of assembly on my face, I flipped on the power and it worked! Or so I thought. I hooked up the key and it transmits just fine however there is no oscillation. Now all that is left for me to do is troubleshoot. So I conclude with this. When left with what to do now, stop and think about who or what might help you through your problem. Thanks to Craig for the chance to build something really cool.

 

KM4JSP

Jeremy Livesay

L.A.R.C. Club Director

63 years a Ham

We received this note from a fellow Ham, check it out.

I have been a 63 years a Ham, members of several clubs, been to many meetings & activities; so what stands out the best ?
When this old ‘buzzard’  learns something new !!

This April’s LARC meeting “Make it yourself”  tops the list. Craig & Dale’s presentation was packed full of the:  ‘What to build’, ‘How to build’ and all that’s left is : ‘When to build’.
Then the answer folks is a resounding ‘NOW’ !!

Craig & Dale’s rejuvenation of Ham Radio’s most important purpose i.e. “make something yourself” was remarkable.
We ‘Can Hams’  builders group puts us back in charge of what equipment is functioning in our own station (fixed or mobile) and that WE can make it  ourselves.

 Well Done LARC , Jim Sipprell  W4OBY