DVRA News

News of DVRA Support and Radio Club Activities

 

DVRA HOSTS JAMBOREE ON THE AIR AT W2ZQ SHACK

Saturday October 21, 2017

The station W2ZQ was buzzing with scouts and their families for JOTA – .  The Jamboree on the Air is designed to expose scouts and others to the amazing technology and hobby of amateur radio.  Contacts where made throughout the states, Canada and DX using our HF rigs.  Scouts and visitors where able to listen in on the QSO’s using our headphone distribution amps until their turn came to be “On The Air”.

Collectively the DVRA introduced over 90 visitors to the technology, fun, and magic of Amateur Radio, which is our primary goal for this event.

Thanks especially to the six club members who helped us that day,  Mario, N2HUN; Martin, W3PR ; Gary, K2GW; Hy, AB2VG; Dom, N3DD; Brenton, KC3JLN; and  four TCNJ Students, Brian, KD2OJA; Dan, KD2OIV; Eli, no call yet; and, KD2OJH.

 

States Contacted during JOTA
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
Countries Contacted During JOTA
  • Canada
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • United States

Wednesday October 11, 2017

The DVRA would like to invite all HAMS and the public to our monthly club meeting. This months program topic is 3D Printing and will be presented by DVRA’s own Mike Rauch K2VPX.

—After several years of procrastination, Mike bought a 3D printer. In this talk, Mike will discuss the technology of 3D printing, why he finally bought a printer, and the process of going from the conception of an idea to a physical object.

The Delaware Valley Radio Association (W2ZQ) holds its monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30PM in Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, West Trenton. See http://www.w2zq.com/?page_id=5 for more information.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Last month’s Delaware Valley Radio Association meeting featured a presentation on “Secrets of QSL Cards” by ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Assistant Section Manager, Tom Mills, AF4NC. Tom discussed the history of QSL cards, showed some unique and unusual ones, and explained how to be successful using them.

Tom was first licensed in 1968 as WA3PNO, and especially enjoys QRP, CW and CW Traffic Handling, receiving many awards for that work. He served 8 years in the Marine Corps, including service in Vietnam, and is a corporate jet pilot. Other hobbies are backpacking and photography.

January 14, 2017 – VE session moved to Pennington Presbyterian Church

Because the Pennington Branch of the Mercer County Library meeting room was unavailable to us on that date, we arranged to move the session to Room 208 of the Pennington Presbyterian Church, 13 South Main St. in the borough. For more information about Technician classes and upcoming exam sessions, contact Don Wright, AA2F, our Training and Exam Director.

January 7, 2017 – DVRA leads the 12th Annual Mercer Area District Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge Day

Hi!

I just want to thank all of the Amateur Radio Operators who helped out this weekend, the College of New Jersey School of Engineering for hosting the event, and the crew at The Battleship New Jersey for talking to the Scouts. Thanks to your efforts, 40 Boy Scouts from the area learned about Radio theory and operation and were exposed to the idea of an engineering career and study at TCNJ. This was our 12th year running the Mercer Area District Radio Merit Badge Day and I know I count on your help for next year.

Participating hams were Gary Wilson, K2GW; John DeGood, NU3E; Al Katz, K2UYH; Mike Moreken, AB2IO; Lance Weight, KC2MTO; Martin Crabtree, W3PR; Victoria Bezek, KDMER; Don Wright, AA2F; Joe Jesson, W2JEJ; Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ; Eric Branchek, KD2MET; Rory Shaffer, NJ3U; Laura Floyd, KC3GWL; and Stephen Gingo, KB2RMS.

Also, thanks to our remote operators, Rich Enwright, KB3NRL on the Battleship New Jersey (NJ2BB) and Dom Di Clementi, N3DD who ensured that the Scouts had remote stations to talk to. Thanks also to The DVRA and the DSRC for the use of their repeaters.

Finally, a big thanks to Dean Steven Schreiner, Professor Al Katz, K2UYH, and Asst Professor Joe Jesson of The College of New Jersey School of Engineering for hosting the event.

Thanks & 73

Gary Wilson, K2GW
K2gw@arrl.net
Event Coordinator

Here is a recording of one of the Scout contacts recorded by N2GJ.

January 14, 2017 – VE session moved to Pennington Presbyterian Church 
Because the Pennington Branch of the  Mercer County Library meeting room will be unavailable to us on that date, we have arranged to move the session to Room 208 of the Pennington Presbyterian Church, 13 South Main St. in the borough.  For more information, contact Don Wright, AA2F, our Training and Exam Director.
November 12, 2016 – New Shed Constructed at the Shack
Because of the generosity of Hy Gold, AB2VG, club members constructed a shed for the weed whackers and other lawn care items on Saturday, November 12, 2016. Frank Palecek, KC2TKD and Gary, K2GW transported the shed components to the site on Thursday, Nov. 10. A number of members participated in the project. Check out the photos in the club photo gallery.
November 12, 2016 – Results of Volunteer Exams today
As per usual, the DVRA offered scheduled amateur radio exams at the Pennington, NJ branch of the Mercer County Library. The session was led by Don Wright, AA2F, who sent this report to the club email reflector: “We had 2 examinees, Glenn Bull Jr. KC3HAZ of Morrisville, PA who upgraded to General and Michael Scaturo of Princeton who passed Technician, General and Extra. Glenn also took an application and intends to join the DVRA. Michael was formerly licensed but let it lapse in 2009.”
October 15, 2016 – JOTA at the Shack
The DVRA hosted Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) at the renovated DVRA Club Shack.  We had a dozen club members stop by to assist with instruction and radio operation.  More than  40 Scouts, leaders, and parents attended and they all seemed to have a good time.
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September 30, 2016 – Station Update
 We  installed a the XMLOG logging program on both A and B stations. This program will do our general station logging and will keep track of awards such as WAS and DXCC. It also has a spots window with a band map that plots the spots. It also has a beam heading indicator map (with grey line) centered on W2ZQ. Just type in the prefix of the country you want to work and the beam heading will be display. Just click on the Icon and the logger will start. It’s pretty easy adding new QSO’s into the log.

Dom, N3DD

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September 29, 2016 – Shack Remodeling Update

Last evening Mark, Dom and Rory continued the shack work by installing the third operating station and pulling coax along with dc power to get the radios running. That will be know as the C station and currently has the Kenwood UHF/VHF radio that is connected to the South Tower Collinear Vertical.

At this point the packet backbone radios are on the C operating desk however that is just temporary until it moves into the cabinet with the repeater. When they where powered up we saw a backlog of packet traffic passed through our node and given the weeks of being off the air the packet ops are pleased to be able to count on the W2ZQ node once again.

We also powered up the Alpha 78 and it passed the smoke test ! Interestingly enough we found that rf drive is supplied thru a RCA phono jack so we suspect drive power is going to be low! Dom is looking into the manuals for the Alpha and hopes to continue the preparations to have the Alpha ready for use.

The club also has two high power rated dummy loads that will be available to use while tuning the amps. This should be a normal course while tuning an amp – no doubt we have all suffered while someone tuned overtop of the dx !

Outstanding projects still include – Grounding, AC power, coax lines, along with some finery for the walls. We will have the A &B op stations equipped with PTT foot switches from the SK estates donations to free your hands when operating.

The Shack looks great and is only getting better! Please take advantage of it, respect it and the other ops.

73 NJ3U Rory

September 24, 2016 – DVRA Hamfest

The DVRA Hamfest was held at the West Windsor Community Park. The DVRA Club Table was a beehive of activity, with the contents of a SK’s shack and surplus from the DVRA Shack on sale.  Meters, transceivers, a repeater, HTs, cable, computers, hardware, tools,  antennas and much more were on sale. Everyone  had a good time meeting with old friends and making new friends.

The DVRA would like to thank all of the buyers and sellers for attending this years Hamfest .  A special thanks goes to Mark KC2MTGM and Pattie for providing delicious muffins and hot coffee. We  thank Rory’s NJ3U wife Allison for storing  a ton of radios and equipment in the family garage so it could be sold at the DVRA Hamfest.   Special praise to all of the DVRA Hams who helped set up, run and take down the Hamfest. We are working to make the 2017  DVRA Hamfest bigger and better.

Scenes from the DVRA Hamfest

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More photos are in the Gallery.

September 15, 2016 – NJ QSO Party Puts DVRA Back on the Map
 Club members new and old took part in this weekends NJ QSO Party. Starting Saturday we had 18 hours to rack up as many contacts as possible using CW or Phone. 10 meters through 80 was fair game and the team rose to the challenge. The team enjoyed the fruits of the recent renovations and received many compliments on the drastic changes that have taken place . We had visitors from our section leadership, VE’s, past club members and YL’s.

A contest wouldn’t be a contest unless Murphy visits – and although we had our challenges with wiring, settings and hardware – all in all the station gear performed excellently. Running phone on 20 and 40 Saturday night up to the close of the contest period at midnight, Dom N3DD and Rory NJ3U ran the Omni with the Kenwood linear and made the “DX Hot Spot” listing as stations far and wide worked our pileup. Mike AC2MW and Lloyd N2KPC worked many QSO’s 20 barefoot as the Ameritron amp wouldn’t cooperate. Still the run rate was high and most of the contacts where made during between 8 and midnight .

Sunday brought a change in equipment configuration as we substituted NJ3U Rorys Yaesu FL2100b to give 800 watts of power to the signal, and both station teams began working with headphones to reduce noise and allow focus to increase the first time call capture.

The N1MM logging program ran flawlessly on the clubs two brand new networked HP computers, registering over 696 contacts along with 76 multipliers for a unverified raw score of over 55,352.

Thanks to everyone that helped get the club to this point in our history. The place looks great and while there are still plenty of things to finish up the overall consensus was 50 over 59!

73 NJ3U Rory

Here is a recording of one of the contest pileups recorded by K2WH.

 

September 15, 2016 – Shack will be Ready for NJ QSO Party

Work is ongoing in preparation for the NJ QSO Party this weekend –
To ready the station and have two HF rigs operational,  Bob – KB2GBQ, Mark – KC2TGM and Rory – NJ3U worked until 2300 painting, sawing and installing .   Next step is the new computers and final shakedown of the rigs.  Four new office chairs plus new desks and equipment risers await the awesome operators of W2ZQ’s Flamethrowing Antenna Array.
Hope to see you at the DVRA Club Shack as it’s looking great for Saturday’s NJ QSO Party – DVRA MEMBERS HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR A SLOT? More Photos in the Gallery.
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See you Saturday – until then 73 NJ3U Rory

September 03, 2016 – Progress Report with Shack Remodeling

Someone told me Mike, AC2MW was a good craftsman, well they were right. He did an excellent job as the pictures below and in the Photo Gallery show. Please note the required foot-ware from now on.

Dom, N3DD

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August 30, 2016 – Progress Report with Shack Remodeling

Old blue monster size racks are decommissioned and the new black rack is installed with repeater, phone and wireless up and running again!

Carpeting is coming up this weekend and then we start on dividers and operating stations. Please come and lend a hand. My photos in the Gallery.

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August 29, 2016 – Progress Report with Shack Remodeling

While Dom – N3DD took a well deserved vacation, work continued on the Shack.  Martin – W3PR, purchased the paint next  Bob – KB2GBQ and  Rory – NJ3U, primed and finished coated the walls and cabinets. They also installed new ceiling tiles. Earl – WA3DX provided Cat -6 cable and Mike – AC2MW priced the flooring.  Gary – K2GW and Hy – AB2VG repaired a broken electric socket and mapped out all of the sockets in the shack. Lots of progress! Thanks to all who helped out.

August 17, 2016 – Progress Report with Shack Remodeling

We made great progress tonight thanks to Rory – NJ3U, Hy – AB2VG,  Steve – KC2VDL, Lloyd – N2KPC, Bob –  KB2GBQ and Mark – KC2TGM !!!
The ceiling is finished, all remaining demolition is done and two coats of primer is on the walls.
What a transformation.  The shack looks and feels larger and the lighting now is great.  And that new paint smell is wonderful.  Rory and I sent some pictures to Bob-KD2EIM  to upload to the website.Photo Gallery.  I’m sure you will agree.
Next steps:
One coat of white Semi-Gloss latex as a finish coat.  We will need maybe 3 or 4 gallons.  We have enough rollers and brushes and tape to mask the ceiling.
Dom, N3DD
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August 13, 2016 – DVRA Shack Remodeling Update 

What idiot scheduled the shack rip out on the hottest day of the year??  I guess that idiot was me!! LOL
Well we made GREAT progress today.  Everything except the work bench and the repeater cabinets are out of the shack and in the POD under lock and key!
We even ripped out the out the ceiling tiles.  I am sure that every rodent in Mercer County has spent time up in the ceiling.  At least six of them didn’t make it out.
Ten bags of trash and a pick up full of wood and Formica went into the dumpster.
Planned for tomorrow (Sunday):
  • Remove work bench and move to POD
  • Reinstall new ceiling tiles
In the morning I will get the tiles and some storage bins for the effort.  I should be at the shack by NOON.
Many thanks to “Saws All/Ghostbuster” Rory, NJ3U, Hy  AB2IO, Gary K2GW, Steve KC2VDL, Bob KB2GBQ   and Lloyd N2KPC for 8 ours of hard work.
Hope to see you tomorrow.
Dom, N3DD

Here is what is being planned:

General Shack Design

  • Two operating positions separated  buy partitions  with some sort of acoustic sound reduction.  Operating tables/desks will be movable to provide for rear access for cabling
  • Meeting Area
  • Minimal solder/repair area for minor repairs
  • Relocation and consolidation of 2 meter repeater equipment

Planned Construction Tasks

  • Removal of all equipment and items to a temporary storage POD.
  • Dismantle and remove existing operating table and work bench
  • Replace all ceiling tiles
  • Paint all walls.  Add acoustic tiles in strategic places isolate sound
  • Install new flooring over existing floor.
  • Consolidate 2m repeater equipment

This is by no means a complete list of things that have to be done but it is a start.

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Feel free to offer any suggestions you may have to improve the station.  Anyone who has expertise in any of the construction tasks will be greatly appreciated.

A pod has been ordered to help store equipment while renovations are underway. When the POD arrives, we will need some help removing the equipment. Stay tuned to the DVRA homepage for updates.

August 10, 2016 – DVRA Annual Summer Picnic

On August 10, 2016, DVRA club members and guests gathered at Rambling Creek Park, Ewing to celebrate the DVRA Annual Picnic. We had great salads, sides, desserts, beverages brought by club members plus barbecued hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken. A good time was had by all. A huge thanks to Lance KC2MTO for coordinating and managing the picnic.  Take a look in the Photo Gallery at the photos of the picnic supplied by Lance.

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July 24-25 – 2016 New Jersey State Triathlon

The Delaware Valley Radio Association (DVRA), once again,  provided radio communication support for the New Jersey State Triathlon.  The event was held in and around Mercer County Park. DVRA Hams were strategically stationed  along the triathlon route to relay information about athletes needing assistance to the Triathlon Emergency Command Center.  There were numerous equipment failures this year due to the heat. There was also a heat related injury that was tended to by Lloyd, N2KPC who is an EMT.  Thanks to all the Hams who worked the event.

Bob / KB2GBQ
Don / AA2f,
Mark / KC2TGM,
Patty,
Lloyd / N2KPC,
Gaye / KB2YOA,
Gary / K2GW,
Jill / W2JIL,
Mike / AB2IO,
Roger / KD2FTD,
Dom / N3DD,
Fatu / KC3BHD
Earl / WA3DX,
Earl’s Mom,
Mike / K2VPX,
Mike/ AC2MW,
Hy / AB2VG,
Steve / KB2RMS
A special thank you goes to Steve, KC2VDL who managed the event and served as Net Control for the races on Saturday and Sunday.  CGI Management was especially appreciative of the DVRA’s  fine support.
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June 25-26, 2016 – DVRA Field Day

With excellent sunny weather and plenty of DVRA club members this year’s ARRL Field Day 2016 was a rousing success by many measures!  The DVRA established its field day operations at the Mercer County Park near the Youth Soccer fields and quickly mobilized a fully functioning emergency communication facility.

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The club set up as class 2A operation that covered a multitude of communication methods, including CW, Voice, and Digital on UHF/VHF and HF bands. This year we erected three mast systems for our antennas which included vertical, trapped wire, collinear and long wire designs.

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In keeping with the theme of Emergency Field Operations our primary power was provided by a eu2000i Honda Generator, DC Batteries and Roll Out Solar Panels.

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The DVRA prides itself in providing community service and education about radio technology. We had over 25 visitors to the event, many of which took the time to browse our Public Information tent and pick up information on ARRL and Amateur Radio. To assist those new to Amateur Radio the DVRA provided a Get On the Air ( GOTA ) station so visitors could to try out amatuer radio using the latest technology.

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DVRA invites and welcomes you to check out photos of our clubs activity at ARRL Feild Day 2016 in the Photo Gallery.

Here is a video of the DVRA Field Day events shot and edited by Allan Schear, KA2IFY:

 

 

June 10, 2016

Here is a summary of our successful antenna repair project. The DVRA would like to thank Rory, NJ3U for planning, coordinating and project managing this very complicated and risky project.

DVRA,

The club answered the call and delivered a safe and successful work day to repair the main HF antenna array, rotator and thrust bearing!

Before a recap of what we did – I must thank our two pro climbers – John KD2AAR and Frank KC2TKD for climbing to the top ( although Frank took two rides in the man basket )  We couldn’t done it without you two and having experienced pros on the job makes it much easier for the balance of the members.
As well Thanks to Bob KB2GBQ and his YL for providing the most delicious sandwich tray – the bread was amazing!
History of why we needed and did this work:
  • Rotator was slipping in the mast to clamp causing off heading positioning.
  • New Controller was needed.
  • One of the cable stays had backed out of the turnbuckle and was no longer supporting one half of the boom and weight of the 40 meter monobander.
  • It’s twin on the other side of the boom was found to be loose as well!
  • The Thrust bearing was in operable – ( else we could have done this without the crane )
  • 10-15,20 Multiband Yagi had elements that had become skewed from wind loading.
  • General Maintenance was needed on element joints and coaxial connections.
So:
The club was concerned about the potential for ice and/or wind loading related damage so a motion was made to authorize club monies for repairs.
A plan was put together and reviewed by interested experts to ensure a safe activity and to complete the work in as little time as possible to reduce cost.
Eddie Shinn Crane service was recommended by Don Train as a local and highly experienced antenna and tower service provider.
A site survey was completed with Eddie Shinn to ensure job scope and site conditions.
Dates where set – in retrospect probably not the best ones – still Friday afternoons gave the most chance for members to take part as many hands where needed to address the many tasks safely and properly.
Mercer Airport was notified so that a Notice to Airman could alert aircraft using the airspace of our activities involving the crane at over 150 feet.
First date we went for was April 1 – and since the crane company needed 24 hours notice for cancellation the project team cancelled given a dark forecast – Well as fate would have it we could have done the work – NOAA lost some respect in my eyes that day !
The next date was May 13 th – that’s right Friday the 13 th !  Not the best day of the month if your superstitious – still it work for the crane company, our climbers and project team.  Someone should have left mother nature know we had ordered sunshine – but alas she delivered heavy rain and wind.  Good for us NOAA got that one right and we where able to cancel 24 hours ahead of time.
Next window of opportunity for the climbers, project team and the crane company was June 10 which if your where there or have reviewed the pictures you saw the trifecta come together for the club,
Safety – Nearly 100 man hours of work completed with NO ACCIDENTS!  That is a testament to proper job awareness, safety equipment, and a coordinated plan.  Well Done DVRA Tower Repair Team!
Weather – Beautiful Sunny Skies , slight breeze, moderate temperatures – Couldn’t have ask for a better day for tower work.
Skill – Two pro climbers, Chris from Shinn Crane a great guy and HAM friendly operators and EACH AND EVERY HAM THAT LENT A HAND!
I can’t THANK each of you enough for taking time out of your busy schedules to support the club – together we accomplished a great service to the club by keeping the HF array in top shape and doing it ourselves shows that we are able to be more than appliance operators !
If you haven’t checked out the club web page – phototab click  http://gallery.w2zq.com/v/Antenna+Repair/ You should as Bob KD2EIM did a great job !  Alan KA2IFY is also producing a great video compilation of the repair to document the days activity.
We have more projects in front of us – so God willing and with your support we will be addressing our UHF/VHF tower needs in the coming months – Watch and Listen for more on that topic.
Until then – Thanks Again and 73 NJ3U Rory

May 21, 2016 – License Exams

At this Saturday’s license exam session two applicants successfully passed the Technician exam. Congratulations to the new HAMs. Don, AA2F was the Session Manager. Don was assisted by administering VEs Bob, KD2EIM and Cal KC2CKI.

May 11, 2016 – HF Digital Methods by Lloyd Price, N2KPC

At the May 12th DVRA Membership Meeting Lloyd Price, N2KPC gave a presentation on HF Digital Modes. Lloyd covered many of the digital HF modes in use today including BPSK31, RTTY, THROBX, Feld Hell, JT65, Oliva and Contesstia. Lloyd showed how to configure them using Multipsk and how to best utilize them.  HAMs that are interested trying these modes can visit the shack where Lloyd has offered to provide hands-on training. All are welcome.

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May 5, 2016 – DVRA Fund Raiser Dinner at Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse

We would like to thank everyone who dined at Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse on May 3rd and May 4th. Lucy’s will donate 10% of your expenditure to the DVRA. A special thank you to Fatu, KC3BHD for all her efforts in arranging the fund raiser dinner.

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May 1, 2016 – DVRA Hams Support March for Babies

Hams from the DVRA provided a radio net and emergency radio support for the March of Dime’s March for Babies Walk at Mercer County Park. Rain did not stop volunteers from coming out and walking to raise money for the March of Dimes.  DVRA volunteers not only provided radio support but also manned refreshment stations along the route.  Thanks to Steve, KC2VDL for coordinating the event and DVRA Hams Jerry, N2GJ; Mark, KC2TGM; Roger, KD2FDT; Bob, KB2GBQ; Ed W3TEC; Roger, KC2OMI and Bob, KD2EIM for supporting the walk. Bob, KC2ODT, a Esst Windsor EMT, provided a communication link with the EMS unit on site using an HT provided by Gerry, N2GJ.

April 13, 2016 – The DV4Mini, What it is and What it Does

Dom DiClementi, N3DD, presented a new and interesting way of using digital voice in a variety of modes using the DV4Mini dongle with your computer.  The DV4Mini is a tiny but powerful USB stick that can change any PC into a hotspot for the modes D-Star, DMR, C4FM System Fusion and P25. It contains a powerful 32-bit micro controller, a complete 70 cm transceiver (12 mW) and modulator/demodulator as well as a USB interface. Using a comprehensive but simple to use software package you can link to reflectors for D-Star, System Fusion, DMR and P25.  Dom showed how to configure the DV4Mini, conducted a live demo of linking to a C4FM room and talked about future plans for the device.

A copy of the presentation slides which includes links to the technical details are in the DVRA Online Library.

March 09, 2016 – Yaesu Fusion – What is It and Who Is Using It?

The March 9, 2016 DVRA  Membership Meeting featured a comprehensive presentation on Yaesu Fusion – What is It and Who Is Using It? by DVRA Member and System Fusion expert, Rory Shaffer, NJ3U. Rory covered the following topics in detail:

  • History of the Fusion technology
  • Local and worldwide Fusion usage
  • Features of Fusion – APRS, Satellite Cluster Display, Timers, Group Monitor, Ranging, Altitude and Ban Scope
  • The features of the HT, Mobile and Repeaters radios currently available
  • Wires X – concepts and deployment  options

A copy of the presentation slides are in the DVRA Online Library.

February 10, 2016 – Operating as a Holiday DXpeditioner in Senegal

The February 10th  DVRA meeting featured a presentation on “Operating as a Holiday DXpeditioner in Senegal”, by  DVRA Members Earl Markey, WA3DX, and Fatu Markey, KC3BHD.

Recently the two went on a family trip to Senegal in West Africa to visit Fatu’s extended family. This trip was a great chance for Earl to gain some DX experience and gain experience in setting up his radios in many different conditions. During the trip, they spent time in Dakar, Marloj Island, Kaolack, and Noto. Earl and Fatu focused on their DX experience in Senegal and the practical concerns of transporting an entire radio station overseas. Some tips for planning and operating a DXpedition include:

  • Plan ahead
  • Apply for your license to operate in the foreign land before you leave
  • Register your equipment with US Customs and Border Protection on CBP Form 4457 before you leave. This will allow you to easily bring your station, laptop, camera, etc.  back into the USA. Check the US Customs and Border Protection site for the latest forms and procedures.
  • Purchase a water-proof, shock resistant case to carry on your station
  • Pack antennas, feedline, tools, rope etc. in your checked bags
  • Consider purchasing Power Supplies that work with 120 volt and 220 volts
  • If feasible, obtain batteries and generators at your destination
  • Operate from a local remote area before your DXpedition to gain experience
  • Band conditions are unpredictable be prepared operate using various modes e.g., SSB, CW, Digital

Here is a video of the presentation:

More photos are in the Gallery.

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February 10, 2016 – Chapin School Students at the Shack for 2016 ARRL School Roundup

Steve Gingo – K2RMS, a teacher at the Chapin School, introduced his students to Amateur Radio by having them participate in the ARRL 2016 School Roundup.  The students got their first experience using a radio by chatting with Bob, KD2EIM on a repeater then they made Simplex contacts with Gary, K2GW on the 2 meter band.  The students and their parent took a trip to the DVRA Shack where they learned about the various modes of operation and got hands-on experience on the HF Bands. Lloyd, N2KPC, Gerry, N2GJ and Steve, K2RMS provided the instruction. Additional photos can be found in the Gallery.

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February 3, 2016 – Technician License Class Started

To assist interested parties in getting their FCC Amateur Radio License, long time Scout Leader and Amateur Radio Instructor Don Wright, AA2F,  started a Technician Class licensing course on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 PM beginning Wednesday February 3, and continuing  until March 16.  Boy/Girl Scouts and adults (such as Red Cross Volunteers) are welcome as well.

While the course is free, the recommended textbook costs $15, and there is a $15 dollar charge to take the FCC licensing exam at the end.

The class will be held  at the American Red Cross Board Room, Building 101, 707 Alexander Road, Princeton Junction, NJ (note possible exceptions * – some sessions may be held in the training room in the back building (DOC training room).  Please bring a notebook to take notes.

All are welcome, including parents, family members and Scout Leaders.  Contact Don directly to register or for more info at  aa2f@arrl.net or  609-737-1723.

January 9, 2015  – BSA Merit Badge Day
The 11th annual BSA Merit Badge Day was held at The College of New Jersey on January 9, 2016. The Hams provided instruction in radio theory; hands on HF, VHF / UHF radio operation; and Radio Direction Finding to 31 Scouts.  Professor Al Katz, K2UYH,  spoke about the many opportunities in the field of engineering and study at TCNJ. The event was planned and lead by Gary Wilson K2GW.  Participating HAMs included: John DeGood NU3E, Lance Weight KC2MTO,  Bob Cardone KD2EIM, Don Wright AA2F, Hy Gold AB2VG, Joe Jesson KC2VGL, Gerry Jurrens N2GJ, Lloyd Price N2KPC, Rory Shaffer NJ3U, Mark Juza KC2TGM, Roger Ding KD2FDT, Stephen Gingo KB2RMS, and Jeff Griesemer WB2WCO. Additional photos by Rory, NJ3u, Gerry, N2GJ, Lance, KC2MTO and Bob, KD2EIM are in the Gallery.

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January 5, 2016 – First DVRA Digital Net Held

Great session last night  on DVRA System Fusion Digital Net.  We had 7 Hams check in from PA and NJ, both members and visitors.

The net is being promoted to drive use of the Fusion Technology and at the same time allows users to debug their new radios .

Look for more via the coming issue of Repeater Talk

73 NJ3U Rory

December 20, 2015 – Beam Antenna Repairs

Rory, NJ3U organized and led a work party to repair the beam antenna and replace the rotor.  John, KD2AAR who climbed the tower found that the top thrust bearing axial alignment bolts and the rotor clamp bolts were seized. The repair of the beam support strut and the replacement of the rotor will have to wait until we can schedule a crane or man-lift. The seized hardware will need to be cut away.

John, KD2AAR was able to repair the broken dipole and realign the Packet circular antenna. Many thanks to John, who volunteered to climb the tower. More photos of the work party are available in the Photo Gallery. Here is a video of the repair compiled by Allan Schear, KA2IFY.

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December 3, 2015 – DVRA Invited to Speak to TCNJ Ham Radio Class

Professor Allen Katz, K2UYH invited the DVRA to speak to his TCNJ Ham Radio class on the benefits of belonging to a radio club. Bob Cardone, KD2EIM met with the students, who all earned their Technician License as part of the class requirements. Bob presented the history of the DVRA, the aims of the club, an overview of the clubs first class radio facilities, outlined the clubs numerous 2015 social and public service events and spoke about how the students could benefit from membership in the DVRA.

November 7, 2015 – DVRA Antenna Work Party

DVRA President Mark, KC2TGM arranged a work party to take down an antenna tower donated by a former club member and Silent Key. Professional tower climber John Frercks, KD2AAR, disassembled the tower with the assistance of DVRA members. A special thanks to John and the DVRA members that donated their time, trucks and equipment to get the job done:

Rory, NJ3U

John, KD2AAR

Bob, KB2GBQ

Mike, AB2IO

Hy, AB2VG

Steve, KC2VDL

Lloyd, N2KPC

Gerry, N2GJ

Steve, W2ZXR and Steve’s son

The tower was transported to the DVRA Shack were it will be erected and the W2ZQ 2M repeater antenna will be mounted on top. Additional photos of the project taken by Gerry Jurrens can be found in the Photo Gallery.

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October 25, 2015 – DVRA Provides a Radio Net for the Perfect 10 Road Race

A warm thanks to all of you who volunteered their time today at the Perfect 10 Miler event in Mercer County Park.  Once again you’ve made amateur radio and the DVRA shine.
Suzanne with CGI extends her thanks and looks forward to working with us again next year;
Lance / KC2MTO
Lloyd / N2KPC
Bob / KB2GBQ
Bob / KD2EIM
Chris / KD2EOZ
Alex / KC2VDM
Mark / KC2TGM
Mike / AB2IO
Roger / KD2FDT
Gerry / N2GJ
73,
Steve / KC2VDL
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October 22, 2015 – DVRA 440 System Fusion Repeater On the Air

The long awaited and much anticipated reactivation , relocation and refurbishment of the DVRA 440 repeater is complete.

Lots of Hard Work went into this happening – Thanks are in order:
  • Don Train of Train Towers and his team of Russ and Ryan did a great job of installing a new antenna.
  • Mark Juza KC2GTM purchased the repeater.
  • The DVRA bought a new 440Mhz Station Master antenna.
  • Bruce Wortmann N3IA and Gary Wilson K2GW helped make the needed introductions and arrangements so that  NJPB is hosting our community service machine.
We are now on the air in Auto Auto which means that you can transmit in either traditional FM or C4FM digital – whatever mode your send it will repeat. Since we are allowing either FM or Digital transmissions YOU need to be careful of THREE things:
  1.  Your Squelch needs to be set for Transmit and Receive pl 131.8 to avoid hearing digital conversations on your traditional FM radio.
  2. Look at your S-Meter for activity before transmitting as a Digital Conversation may be taking place already.
  3.  Be aware that forcing digital on your Fusion radio prevents you from speaking to traditional analog users and vice versa.
As I would like to understand the coverage, please take note of the good , marginal and bad areas and let me know via NJ3U at ARRL. NET
All signs are positive and this should be great for the club and the success of the System Fusion Rollout in the Tri -State area.
I plan a full report via Repeater Talk and at the club meeting w/ plenty of details and pictures .
73 NJ3U   Rory Shaffer
NJPB Tower2Gary at NJPB

October 17, 2015 – JOTA at DVRA Shack

The Hams of the Delaware Valley Radio Association (DVRA) held an open house at their radio shack for Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts from 9 AM to 4 PM. The International Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) allows Scouts to communicate with other Scouts without leaving Mercer County.

JOTA 2015

October 14, 2015 – DVRA Hosts TCNJ Electrical Engineering Students

Prof. Al Katz’s (K2UYH), from The College of New Jersey, and 16 of his Electrical Engineering students visited the DVRA Shack to learn about and operate Amateur Radio equipment. One of the requirements of Prof Katz’s Communications class is that the students obtain their Amateur Radio license.

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September 19, 2015 – DVRA Hamfest

The DVRA Hamfest was held at the West Windsor Community Park. A great time was had by all.  We meet and talked with old friends as well as making new friends while browsing through Ham related equipment, parts and books.

The DVRA would like to thank all of the Buyers and Sellers for making this years Hamfest the best ever. A special thanks goes to Frank KC2TKD for his year long effort to plan and arrange for the Hamfest.  We also want to thank Frank’s family for stepping in at the last minute to vend coffee and snacks when our food vendor backed out at the last moment. Special praise to all of the DVRA Hams who helped set up, run and take down the Hamfest. We are working to make the 2016 DVRA Hamfest bigger and better.

Here is a video of the DVRA Hamfest created by Allan, KA2IFY:

August 26, 2015 and August 30, 2015 – DVRA Fund Raiser Dinners

The Hams from the DVRA and their friends and family enjoyed a great meal and good conversation at two fund raiser dinners at the Texas Roadhouse on Wednesday night August 26th and  Sunday August 30th. Texas Roadhouse is donating 20% of each bill (also includes take-out and gift card sales) to fund the DVRA. Thanks to Fatu KC3BHD and Earl WA3DX for making the arrangements.

August 12, 2015 – DVRA Summer Picnic

It was a great night for a summer picnic! We had a large turnout of members and their YLs. There was great burgers and hot dogs cooked up by Chief Lance. Delicious sides, salads and deserts supplied by the members and guests.  Great conversations and laughs throughout the evening.  A wonderful time was had by all. See you there next year. Thanks to Lance KC2MTO for doing a super job of arranging the affair.

 

July 18-19, 2015 – New Jersey State Triathlon

Thank you again to everyone who volunteered at the New Jersey State Triathlon this weekend: Lance KC2MTO, Gary K2GW, Jill W2JIL, Don AA2F, Mike AB2IO, Mike AC2MW, Bob KD2EIM, Chris KD2EOZ, Roger KD2FDT, Bob KB2GBQ, Gary KC2ULS, Alex KC2VDM, Lisa KC3AHY, Lloyd N2KPC and Gaye KB2YOA.

In spite of the severe weather on Saturday and the oppressive heat and downed pole line on Sunday, all of you helped make this event a success.  Suzanne from CGI Racing sends her thanks to all of you and looks forward to working with us again.

June 27-28, 2015 – Field Day at Mercer County Park

DVRA  Amateur Radio operators once again demonstrated their communications ability during the national emergency preparedness exercise Field Day  held June 27 –28, 2015. The DVRA established a “Field Day” temporary emergency communication center at Mercer County Park. This event was open to the public and many people interested in learning more about Amateur Radio attended. Field Day was a big success in spite of the weather.  We operated under sub-optimal conditions and made quite a few contacts proving that we can still function under adverse weather.  We had a number of new faces show up which is important.  Hopefully we generated some excitement that will give more people incentive to get involved.  Special thanks goes to Rory Shaffer NJ3U for coordinating the event. Congratulations to everyone involved for a job well done.

Here is the list of those who signed the log book:

Gary Wilson – K2GW; Gary Kinney –  KC2ULS; Kenneth Warner – Visitor; Ed Drannbauer – W3TEC; Mike Fedor – AC2MW; Hy Gold – AB2VG; Frank Palecek – KC2TKD; Earl Markey – WA3DX; Fatu Markey – KC3BHD; Leon Grauer – N0TAZ; Mike Moreken – AB2IO; Charles Wolfe Jr.  – KB2SYB; Allan Schear – KA2IFY; Mark Kempisty – AA3K; John Bruestle – WA2GHA; Lloyd Price – N2KPC; Roy Thomas  – KB3LNP; Rory Shaffer – NJ3U; Mark Juza – KC2TGM

Thanks also goes out to Cal Moon KC2CKI for the use of his truck on Saturday morning to haul stuff to the site from the shack.  Also special mention to Don Wright who offered to cook for the event but the cooking plans were scrubbed due to the weather forecast.  Bob Cardone KD2EIM and Chris KD2EOZ also stopped by to take photos for the website. See the Photo Album)

Take a look at the great video of Field Day shot and edited by Allan KA2IFY.

June 21 – Kid’s Day at the DVRA Shack 

ARRL Kid’s Day was hosted by Lisa, KC3AHY, at the DVRA Shack.

June 14, 2015 – 2015 Tour de Cure Ride

Hams from the DVRA provided communication support for the 2015 Tour de Cure Ride bicycle event.  The Hams were stationed at the various rest stops along the 11, 33, 64 and 104 mile routes. Hams were also mobile in the support vehicles that circulated along the race course.  Allison Carey, with the American Diabetes Association, included a warm remembrance of Darryl Foyuth’s AC2AY (SK) dedication to the event at the start of each ride. Thanks to all the Hams who were able to come out and volunteer this year including: Bob KB2GBQ, Mike AB2IO, Nick K2JMR, Roger KC2OMI, Earl WA3DX, Fatu KC3BHD, Roger KD2FDT, Bob K2QPN, Jack WA2RHJ, Mark KC2TGM, Kevin KD2GUY, and Gary K2GW. The event was managed by Steve, KC2VDL.

April 26, 2015 – March of Dimes – March for Babies
DVRA provided radio communications for the March of Dimes – March for Babies event at Mercer County Park. Thanks to Roger, KC2OMI, Lisa, KC3AHY, Mark, KC2TGM, Mike, AB2IO, Bob KB2GBQ and Roger, KD2FDT for volunteering.

April 19, 2015 – Don Wright, AA2F, presented with new ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award
“70 Year Scouter and ARRL’s 2003 Herb S. Brier  Instructor of the Year Don Wright, AA2F (left) is presented with the new ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award by Gary Wilson, K2GW, Southern New Jersey Assistant Section Manager.  The presentation was made at the Mercer Area District Recognition Dinner, Washington Crossing Council, BSA on April 19.

 

The award recognizes Don’s instructing hundreds of Scouts in Radio Merit Badge as well as helping many of them to earn the Amateur Radio License.  For more information on how Radio Scouters can qualify for this new award, see the ARRL website.

April 25, 2015 – BSA Scoutnado Camporee
DVRA Hams provided Emergency Communications training to Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts attending the Scoutnado Camporee at Ockanickon Scout Reservation. Bob, KD2EIM, Dave, N3PHI Gary, K2GW and Don AA2F taught Signaling (Morse Sound, Morse WigWag, Semaphore) and Amateur Radio (NOAA Weather Radio, On-air Contact with HF, Radio Direction Finding).

April 19, 2015 – Don Wright, AA2F Recognized by ARRL and BSA
“70 Year Scouter and ARRL’s 2003 Herb S. Brier  Instructor of the Year Don Wright, AA2F was presented with the new ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award by Gary Wilson, K2GW, Southern New Jersey Assistant Section Manager.  The presentation was made at the Mercer Area District Recognition Dinner, Washington Crossing Council, BSA on April 19.

The award recognizes Don’s instructing hundreds of Scouts in Radio Merit Badge as well as helping many of them to earn the Amateur Radio License.  For more information on how Radio Scouters can qualify for this new award, see the ARRL website.
AA2F Service to Scouting Award

 

March 14, 2015 – New VHF Repeater Installed

A new Yaesu System Fusion repeater was put in service on March 14, 2015. The DR-1X repeater is able to accept either traditional analog or digital C4FM signals. The current configuration is to output all signals in analog.  The frequency for VHF FM is 146.670 using a PL of 131.8. The antenna is located at the DVRA shack near the West Trenton Airport at approximately 50 feet.

The DVRA invites licensed amateurs to take advantage of this resource in a responsible manner always observing good operating practices.

January 10, 2015  – BSA Merit Badge Day
The 10th annual BSA Merit Badge Day was held at the College of New Jersey on January 10, 2015. Hams from the DVRA, DSRC and the RVRC provided instruction in radio theory and hands on radio operation to 51 Scouts. Photos of the event are in the Gallery. Participating in the event were Gary Wilson K2GW, John DeGood NU3E, Lance Weight KC2MTO, Pete Ferro KD2ARB, Bob Cardone KD2EIM, Don Wright AA2F, Hy Gold AB2VG, Joe Jesson KC2VGL, Gerry Jurrens N2GJ, Earl Markey WA3DX, Fatu Markey KC3BHD, Lloyd Price N2KPC, Rory Shaffer NJ3U, Frank Palcek KC2TKD, Mark Juza KC2TGM, Steve Dambeck W2ZXR, Roger Ding KD2FDT, Gary Kinney KC2ULS, Stephen Gingo KB2RMS, Dave Rawlins N3PHI, Harry Brant AA2WN and Jeff Griesemer WB2WCO.