Big Rapids Area Amateur Radio Club

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2019 BRAARC Field Day

Join the club for a mini Field Day at Meceola Central Dispatch on Saturday (6/22) from 1 to 5 pm. Dinner at The Rock Cafe at the conclusion of operations.  Club members will be operating the EOC station and others are welcome to visit and operate too.  If you’d like to bring a portable set-up and operate outside the building, there are opportunities to do so during the event times only.  We have authorization to set-up starting at 1 PM and operations will conclude at 5 PM.  The eyeball QSO dinner at The Rock Café on the campus of Ferris State University is a great way to top off the day.  No reservations necessary and you may pay at the door. ($10.60)  All are welcome.  See the menu here.

Share your Field Day set up on the BRAARC Facebook page.

Happy Hamming

KD8DIB

2 Meter Repeater Update

The BRAARC 2 meter repeater once again has battery back-up capabilities.

2 meter repeater

2 meter repeater

On Tuesday, June 11, 2019 the technical department (KC8BAR & KD8DIB) made the trip up the access road to the repeater site.  Conditions were not the best but were passable.  A new battery shelf was fabricated off site prior to the visit and installed on the cabinet.  The new battery and battery box were delivered and placed on the new shelf.  The original battery charger was extensively cleaned and tested prior to returning to the site.

The team attached the new shelf to the cabinet to keep the battery off of the floor of the radio shack.  This is to prevent any condensation formed from impacting the floor and causing rot-out as was experienced in the old shack.  Everything looked great at the site.  The conditions in the new shack are a world apart from the prior site.  The only issue is the carpenter ants milling around the shack trying to determine where to build their next nest.

After completing the install and testing of the new battery back up system, a quick clean up of the shack took place.  An old mouse nest in a box of light bulbs was removed. Looked like it was brought over from the old shack in that condition.  As the new site is still quite sandy, the shack floor was swept to remove any sand tracked in.

Happy Hamming!

KD8DIB

June – July – August Meeting Location and Dates

The meeting location for June through August 2019 will continue to be the Mecosta-Osceola Central Dispatch Conference Room in Paris, Michigan.  http://mcd911.org/  The July meeting will be the second Thursday due to the 4th of July Holiday,  No meeting on July 4th.

June 6 – Field Day Logging Software http://n3fjp.com/

July 4 – Rescheduled for July 11 due to holiday

July 11 – Ice Cream Social & Fusion Radio  ATTENTION!!  This is the second Thursday of July!!

August 1 – Are you Radio Active?

January-May 2019 Meeting Location Change

ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

The meeting location for January through May 2019 has changed to the Mecosta-Osceola Central Dispatch Conference Room in Paris, Michigan.  http://mcd911.org/

Oh such fun we’ll have in Paris.  This will allows us to focus on some hands on activities and get some time in the ham shack.  We look forward to seeing all of you at the meetings.  The January meeting will include a program on net etiquette.  We hope you’ll join us for the fun.

February – canceled due to severe weather and poor road conditions.

March – tape measure yagi and radio transmitter “fox” hunting. Visit the Library for construction details.

April – ARES and emergency communications.

May – ARRL field day

Happy Hamming!

KD8DIB

440 Repeater Project Update

UPDATE 2/3/2019: The BRAARC Technical department made the climb 110 feet to the 440 repeater site to install a temporary feedline and antenna.  Early reports of repeater performance are not hopeful.  However, the SWR is much improved over the original antenna and feedline.  We look forward to your signal report.

440 Temporary Antenna

440 Temporary Antenna

440 Temporary Antenna SWR

440 Temporary Antenna SWR

FSU Cramer Hall

FSU Cramer Hall

The BRAARC Technical department is busy working on adjusting a set of new duplexers for the 440 Repeater.  Good progress is being made on the Decibel Products, Inc. model 532-4001-004 Transceiver Duplexer salvaged from a commercial repeater.  Club members enjoyed a tech-corner presentation during the January meeting that reviewed the function and construction of duplexers.  As discussed, careful adjustments are necessary to block and pass the appropriate frequencies to allow for proper repeater operation.  Highly specialized equipment is used to adjust these characteristics of the duplexer.  It appears the duplexer is in fair condition and is able to be adjusted after extensive cleaning.

440 low-pass filter

440 low-pass filter

 

440 high-pass filter

440 high-pass filter

The band pass and block adjustments are visualized and measured using a spectrum analyzer with a tracking generator.  The low and high band pass and block adjustments are made in the same fashion.  The manufacturer provides detailed instructions to aid in properly adjusting the duplexer.  The club expects to install the duplexer soon.

Happy Hamming

KD8DIB