February 26, 2014

Time to renew your club membership!

It's DUES time!
A new year means another chance to learn new skills, meet new friends and hangout on the repeater with some of the best folks in East Texas. But, as always, there are bills to pay and those are covered by your club dues! We couldn't do it without you!

Dues for 2014 are due now, so bring cash or a check to the next meeting. Remember, dues are an affordable $25 for individual hams, $35 for you and your whole family or $10 for a non-voting associate member. Every dollar helps to promote ham radio in Rusk county so dig deep y'all!

Checks can be made payable to the RCARC (or Rusk County Amateur Radio Club).

February 25, 2014

A little propaganda from Cuba

By W5CWT - It's not every day that you find revolutionary propaganda from a communist country in your mailbox. But hey, last Friday must have been a special day.

Anyone who works 20-meter PSK knows Cuban station are a common site on the waterfall. I've worked several of them. Last Friday I received my first QSL card from one of those Cuban stations, CO2WL. It was sent direct in what appears to be a special self-folded envelope designed specifically for QSL card.

The outside of the envelope contains the phrase, "Federation of Radio Amateurs of Cuba" in Spanish. Also according to the envelope, the Cuban government has passed a resolution approving a special postage rate for QSL cards: 5-cents (actually, not a bad idea).

February 24, 2014

Fox hunting in Henderson

Craig (KD5YHE), Keith (KN5G) and David (W5CWT) along with a couple future hams--and eventually Dudley (N5SAY)--went fox hunting Saturday morning. The fox, actually a radio inside a weather-proof container, took shelter near the Meals on Wheel building at Fair Park in Henderson.

The fox was built using Craig's BoaFeng HT and a voice recorder on which David had pre-recorded a voice and CW message. Keith brought a couple of large 2-meter yagi antennas which, while great a early one, proved difficult once the group was within a few hundred feet of transmitter. The signal was simply too strong and it was difficult to determine
which direction the null was -- even with an inline attenuater!

Regardless, the whole group learned a few lessons and had a lot of fun. We will work on plans for a larger, more in-depth fox hunt in the near future.

Click "Read More..." below for more photos!

February 19, 2014

Hamlib and the FreeDV program

By KN5G  Some interesting reading here:Hamlib - Ham Library API. This group has developed a whole suite of dynamic link libraries for various amateur radios. Using the FreeDV application with my Yeasu FT-857, there was not a pick in the FreeDV dropdown that defined the FT-857 and I am using CAT control to key the 857 from my computer.

Quick work around was to click the PTT button on the FreeDV screen and then key the microphone on the FT-857 to put the radio into transmit mode. This worked but was not ideal to say the least. 
With a little help from David, W5CTW I acquired the Hamlib-Yeasu dll file from Hamlib and placed it in the FreeDV Binary folder.

February 06, 2014

FreeDV: A new way to talk on HF

KN5G in QSO with WB9TLH with FreeDV.
by KN5G - This is a screen shot of the FreeDV, or digital voice software application. This software basically lets you hook up an microphone to your computer, the computer and software compresses and digitizes your spoken words and then sends the digital information to your radio transceiver where the data is transmitted over the air to another amateur radio operator running the same software. Once the data is received it is decoded by the FreeDV software and played back by the computer on the receiving end. This is all done in real time by the way.

So what's the point you might ask?