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Easy to hang dipoles!
Well, I finally "upgraded" from the strings with lead weights on the end, tater guns, rods and reels with a lead weight on the end, slingshots, and bows and arrows.

I could only get my 40 meter dipole up 26 feet in the pine tree because thats as far as I could sling the string with the fishing weight on it.  Took me about 15 tries and I almost put my eye out.  Got tangled up twice, broke the string trying to get it loose, and the weights are still up there hanging in the tree.  But them limbs up there 60 or 70 feet up sure are appealing.  I just didn't have a way to get my rope that high.   I bet my dipole would perform a lot better at 70 feet than 26.

SO... I got my drone license so all I have to do is tie a string to the hook on the belly, and fly it over the branch I want the dipole leg to secure to then land the drone.  Once the smaller string is over the limb I can tie the larger rope on the end of the dipole leg to it and pull it over the limb.   Why is it that everyone in the club all of a sudden has a dipole they need hung???????


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POTA on Vancouver Island
POTA activation at Ft Rodd Hill National Historical Site and Fisgard Lighthouse, 22 Jan 2023

The weather was just warm enough to operate outdoors. I used a 20 m dipole at 25 ft and a Yaesu FT-891. The power was a 20 Ah LiFePO4 battery. 71 QSOs in 2 hours. QSOs included MT, UT, WY, SD, CO, OR, OH, ID, AK, MN, NV, KS, CA, AZ, MI, KY, TN, PA, WV  Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C.  Background noise was very low, so I was operating at the limit of the internal S/N of the radio. The staff at the gate to the park were very friendly and a little familiar with ham radio. 
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When it all goes down
Imagine your at work and it is near the end of your shift, over the radio and buildings loudspeaker you hear the following message......
"All second shift standby for an emergency announcement" 
A few seconds go by and another announcement's made. 
"due to civil disrest we are asking all second shift employees to stand by with third shift until further notice at which time we will provide further information" 
Now you know that there had been some peaceful vigils and protests going on in the downtown area, but nothing to crazy, however once you flip on the news channel you find out that a few bad eggs decide to start a riot to the south of downtown. So you call your family and tell them to lock the doors and stay in the house. You know your wife or Fiancé's kids are at a restaurant nearby and you call her and say " Babe get a hold to the kids and tell them to get out of the area".
She responds why? As she has been asleep and didn't know what is going on. 
You respond they are rioting to the south and I know- CLICK all of a sudden your phone shuts off. 
You desperately try to call her back but you get the message " All circuit's are busy try your call again later"  
A few minutes later during a press conference you find out that the city had shut down cell phone service for 8 miles around downtown to help quell the riot's. You and your family live within the 8 mile range. You worry that your message didn't get through and you fear the worst as you watch the live news  reports from your desk computer. 
What do you do next? 
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Volunteers on the Air Operating Event ... W1AW/4
Operators needed to use the W1AW/4 Callsign during VA VOTA Week, March 15 - 21
You can also operate as W1AW/4 during the VA QSO Party, March 18-19
Attention VA club members:
Our Virginia section has been selected by ARRL to operate the W1AW/4 callsign during the Virginia week of the Volunteers on the Air (VOTA) program and our VA QSO Party. VOTA is a year-long event to honor all the volunteers of Amateur Radio from ARRL staff to VEs and QSL Bureau card sorters. Hams contacting a W1AW/4 station or volunteer can earn points towards certificates and ranking at the end of the year. The Virginia VOTA week is being hosted by the Sterling Park ARC.

You can operate Phone, CW and Digital modes on all bands except WARC bands. W1AW/4 operators must use a computer logging program that can export an ADIF file such as N1MM+ or similar and upload the file using an upload utility provided by ARRL. Questions? Contact Evan, KM4SK at sterlingparkradio@gmail.com. For complete information about VOTA operating and FAQs, go to vota.arrl.org

Sign up now to operate W1AW/4 during VAQP and VOTA using the link below. The link takes you to the online Google Sheet Sign-up form. Operate for an hour or as many as you wish.
Evan Mann, KM4SK
Sterling Park ARC

W1AW/4 runs from Wed., March 15th to Tues., March 21st (including the VA QSO Party March 18-19)

W1AW/4 VOTA event begins
0000 UTC March 15, 2023 and ends
2359 UTC March 21. 2023

Use the following link to sign up:

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Basic Hand Soldering: The Proper Tools and Methods
The Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club (SPARC) will hold its in-person club meeting on February 1, 2023 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Eastern Loudoun Sheriff's Station meeting room. Join local amateur radio operators learning about ham radio. This month: “Basic Hand Soldering: The Proper Tools and Methods,” presented by Ron Payne, WA6YOU.

Website: https://www.qsl.net/sterling
Email for information: sterlingparkradio@gmail.com
Contact or support URL: https://www.qsl.net/sterling
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor
Cost: free
Regularity: One-off
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It's Ham Radio
Hello, this is VU3HZW (Saquib Ahmed).  After pondering over the thought of creating a new amateur radio news website, I discovered there isn’t any regular, in fact, proper ham radio website/blog from India or in fact from any South Asian Country!

Here’s the story:
We intend to publish regular amateur radio articles of interest for South Asian Countries.
Extreme Home Brewing – Techniques (Jugaad)
Promoting Amateur Radio Clubs Everywhere
Debunking Myths
I will keep updating this page as we progress!
Saquib – VU3HZW
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VWS Winterfest 2023
Vienna Wireless Society’s 47th WINTERFEST matches Hams, Makers and Electronic Enthusiasts with Vendors on Sunday, March 19th,2023 for a traditional Hamfest
Location: New Venue:  Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Road, Vienna Virginia, 22181
Operating Hours:  Tailgating: Opens at 7am ~ Indoor Market Fair: Opens at 8am ~ WINTERFEST Closes at 2pm
Talk-in:  K4HTA 146.685 MHz repeater (Neg offset, CTCSS 110.9 Hz) 
Attendance Ticket:  $10 attendance tickets may be purchased online.   Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $15.  The price of the ticket includes one raffle ticket
Raffle:  New Amateur Radio equipment will be raffled after the event.  You do not need to be present to win.  Winners will be notified by email.  Each paid attendee receives one free raffle ticket; additional raffle tickets may be purchased for $10 each.  Not planning to attend WINTERFEST?  Purchase raffle tickets online for $10 each, plus a service fee.  Online ticket sales open on February 1, 2023
Vendor Prices: Tailgating: $20 for first parking space; $10 for each additional space. Price includes one admission ticket.  Indoor Market Fair Vendors:  $20 per 8 foot table, and $15 per 6 foot table, plus $10 for each admission ticket (if tables purchased prior to February 1, 2023)
Return to this website for updates.  Questions or comments?  Contact Winterfest2023@viennawireless.net
Disclaimer: Fairfax County Public Schools do not sponsor or endorse this event.  Please note attendance requires following all FCPS policies and notices. See here 
Email for information: Winterfest2023@viennawireless.net
Contact or support URL:
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor,Outdoor
Rain or shine?: Rain or shine
Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door - includes raffle ticket
Ham Community attending?: We will be exhibiting,We will exhibit indoors
Regularity: Regularly / Ongoing
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With absolute respect for the ARRL and a very dear friend and member of Ham Community who happens to be front and center in that image, and without any judgement whatsoever, I ask myself: "what is wrong with this picture?"

Is it just me or are we reinforcing the message that to be an amateur radio operator you have to look like 'me'. I look like I fit in that picture; I just wish I did not look like 95.65% of those in the image. I would hope that in years to come, the diversity and youth bugs bite us, because if they don't...

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Five quick rope questions :)
At Mastrant we pride ourselves on the importance of knowledge. Letting people know the advantages of ropes, for instance over cables, matters to us. So, let's begin the journey with a simple Quiz. And, if you get it right, we'll give you a chance to win a gift certificate. And, even if you don't win, you get to learn a little something. 🤩

Note that we make it really easy for you. Yes, you have to score 100% on the quiz, but guess what, you can retake it as many times as necessary.

Mastrant, The Guying Experts
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Useful video guides
Useful video guides: how to use Mastrant products properly; how to cut Mastrant ropes; how to terminate Mastrant rope, etc.
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For years, different emergency responders have self-deployed. First doctors and nurses did it during the African famines of the seventies. Cajun Navy has done so more recently during many floods in the U.S. I'm wondering what you all think about the notion of self-deployment among hams? Authorities do not want us to self deploy. Ask anyone at Homeland, ARRL/ARES, Red Cross and they will always tell you the same thing, that we are undisciplined and that self-deployment is dangerous. I won't take sides for now, I'll just let the debate take its course.
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Ropes and Accessories
What difference is there between Mastrant Classic ropes (P, Q, S, C, R) and Mastrant-M?

The difference stands in parameters. Ropes from the Classic product line are the basic ropes optimized for a good price to performance ratio, whereas type M has approximately doubled strength and simultaneously half the stretch compared to type Classic. They are also lighter because the rope core is made from high-strength Dyneema® fibers.

When is it better to use Premium rope (M) instead of Classic? 

When one needs the lowest weight and wind resistance (long ropes holding wire antennas, or supporting large beam elements, or expeditions where low weight is crucial). Also when the anchor points on the ground need to be placed close to the tower (less than 50% of the anchor height – depending on the type of tower – the higher stress needs to be calculated individually) and finally, for any big towers with big antennas.

When I am looking at Dyneema ropes for maritime use, the strength eg. with 10 mm Dyneema is well over 10.000 kg, but your Mastrant M rope with a similar diameter has "only" 3850 kg strength, even the core material is the same. Can you explain why?

There may be several reasons for this difference. The first is that in Mastrant-M ropes, HMPE fibers form only the core. The braid (and any intermediate braid) is made of Polyester fibers, which have lower strength (but other necessary properties for which they are used). The reason may also be the methodology of measuring strength. Our declared breaking strength of ropes is strength really measured – each production series. It must be always 3% or higher than in our specification. There on the market is also another approach – the theoretical BS calculated based on the specification of Dyneema fiber and number of fibers (diameter). This theoretical strength is always much higher.

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“The Art of Collecting QSL Cards" with speaker Ron Payne, WA6YOU
The Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club invites you to our monthly meeting with an in-person presentation by Ron Payne, WA6YOU. Located at the  Eastern Loudoun Sheriff's Station, 46620 East Frederick Drive, Sterling, VA

Website: https://www.qsl.net/sterling
Email for information: sterlingparkradio@gmail.com
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor
Regularity: One-off
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40 meter no solder dipole
Several months ago I built a 20 meter dipole.  They're so easy to accidentally cut short.  So I made it with PVC insulators on the end in a way that it didn't have to be tied off and soldered.  Last month I made one for 40 meters the same way.  Saved me from measuring and wrapping the ends, then finding out I cut it too short and have to add in a piece and re-tune it.

Here's the video... 

I hung it up 26 feet into some pine trees in the back yard.
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Coast Watcher Event
I've been reading about coast watchers during WW2 and was wondering about some kind of event that was based on their activities. Most events (contests) seem to be oriented toward making as many QSOs as possible with and exchange of a minimal amount of information. The coast watchers reported on ship and plane movements, enemy positions, extent of enemy operations, etc. Suppose there were an event that was organized with preregistered participants who are given locations from which they were to obtain information (how many trucks in a particular truck stop, how many cars entered and left a park's parking lot since the last check in, etc) that are not the same. From time to time they are to check in with a central station and relay the information. My thoughts would be to do it over a large area such as a county or a state but that's just my preference - the logistics of doing it over a really large are might be prohibitive. Thoughts? 
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New Year Wishes
This is a gallery of our New Year Wishes throughout the years. We found them pretty clever and nice, right?
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Shulman Auction
Schulman Auction was founded in 2006 by David Schulman (WD0ERU), a licensed auctioneer in Missouri and Kansas. He is a Kansas City native and a 2002 graduate of the Missouri Auction School with an extensive history of helping individuals and businesses through some of the most difficult transitions.

In 2013, after a successful live gallery auction featuring only ham radio equipment, David decided to test the waters in the online world with ham radio gear and antique radios. From that point on, and 8 years later, Schulman Auction has grown into one of the only online auctioneers specializing in only this type of equipment along with vintage audio.

Growing up, David had a fascination with vacuum tube-based electronics and thanks to his mentor during those early years, he received his amateur radio license at the age of 14. David is still actively licensed as an Extra class operator today.

David’s expertise in the auction business for the past 19 years, combined with that of 40 plus years in amateur radio, has set the stage for what Schulman Auction has now become. By utilizing an online auction platform, and tried and true auction marketing techniques, Schulman Auction will market your items or collections to a targeted worldwide audience. All of this in a timely and cost-effective manner.
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Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club (SPARC) Monthly Meeting
Join local amateur radio operators learning about ham radio.
Nov. 2nd presentation: “Building a Tape Measure Antenna.”
SPARC holds a monthly meeting on the first Wednesday night of the month.

Meet fellow amateur radio operators, learn about local ham radio activities in the area as well as on-air events and contests. Every meeting features a presentation on some aspect of amateur radio such as antennas, transceivers, and new operating modes. SPARC holds license preparation classes and FCC license examinations throughout the year. The club manages the ARRL 4th call area QSL bureau and holds the Virginia QSO Party contest.

Website: http://www.qsl.net/sterling
Email for information: sterlingparkradio@gmail.com
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor
Cost: Free
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Which high-end HF radio?
Say you have the money to, right now, buy one of the highest-end HF transceivers on the market, which one would you buy, right now? I've compiled a list of the top five radios. The prices, interestingly, range from about four thousand to thirteen thousand dollars; that's quite the spread. So here is my listing and don't forget to vote on the poll. Comments, of course, welcome. I would be especially curious as to why you like or do not like a specific radio.
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Hurricane Ian (2022)
Our thoughts go out to all Floridians, and to all of our Floridian amateur radio operators who are bracing, as I write, for Hurricane Ian. This image from my radarscope is so scary.
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Own old gear?
I wonder how many of us own old gear. I'm talking transceivers, transmitters, receivers, and maybe linear amplifiers. Let's pick a random date: 1990. Who still actively uses gear from pre-1990 and what type of gear?
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Miklor Radio Information Site
Not sure how to best describe this website but it’s very informative on DMR and GMRS. IMHO, it’s worth the click.

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Cross-Potomac BBQ 2022
21 August 2022 at Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg, MD.
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I call the project I've been working on 'CTR2-Mini', short for 'Control the Radio too - Miniature' and you can read a little about it in this months' QST (Sept. 2022). It's a much simpler take-off of a larger system I built last year called 'CTR2'. That project was published in the Sept/Oct 2021 and Jan/Feb 2022 issues of QEX. CTR2 was a pretty complicated system that allowed you to select up to 16 different radios and control them from a small display or a Node-RED flow. Unfortunately the global supply chain issues killed the project as many of the components I used on it are still unavailable.

I redesigned CTR2-Mini to be much simpler, easier to build, and a lot cheaper.

Here's a few photos of the unit.  The first shows the right-hand version. I can supply a left handed enclosure if that works better for you. The second photo is the small Radio I/O interface that connects the Mini to your radio. For size reference those are 1/8" phone jacks and a CAT5 connector on the board. The third photo shows two Minis in a dual enclosure with their Radio I/O units. The last photo shows two Minis operating an FTdx101 in Dual VFO control mode. The Mini on the left is controlling the Main VFO and the one on the right is controlling the the Sub VFO. Only one CAT connection to the radio is required. The Minis can be located anywhere in your shack (I like them just in back of my keyboard) so I can easily change radio settings. The Mini works with many other radios including FlexRadios where you can have one Mini controlling each slice in the radio. Of course the Mini includes a contest keyer too.

You can read more about the Mini in my blog, https://ctr2.lynovation.com  I also have a YouTube channel, https://youtube.com/lynovation where I demonstrate the various features of the system.

I can supply PCBs with the SMT components pre-installed for all the boards in this project. I can also supply assembled acrylic stands as shown in the photos. I have project lists on Mouser that allow you order all the through-hole parts and the Wio Terminal to build the project with just a couple of clicks. I can also supply custom built, complete, tested, ready to use systems if you don't want to build your own.

In addition to the Mini I'm working on a companion antenna switch controller that can control single and dual port antenna switches and an SO2R controller that shares mics, headphones, paddles, function buttons, and a remote PTT switch between two Minis and their radios. The information on those options is also on my blog.

Let me know if you have any questions,

73, Lynn, KU7Q
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