Hey, you. Pssst! Please sign up! Our club show-and-tell is coming soon. It won’t be a fun meeting this September 4th if you just wait and watch…plan to participate instead!
The contest calendar offers some great QSO parties for your enjoyment this weekend. The Hawaii QSO Party ends tomorrow evening; the islands are divided into 14 multiplier zones. There are lots of stations and locations to work. The Ohio QSO Party ends at 11 pm Dallas time today, so get moving.
And last but not at all least: the Kansas QSO Party is one of the most elaborate special events I’ve ever seen: it’s their 10th anniversary, and so there are special rules and tons of prizes, including t-shirts, sweaters, and antique radio postage stamps. Some of these prizes are not hard to earn at all, and they encourage “stamp collecting.” They have put 61 1×1 special event stations on the air this weekend, leaving me just a little bit amazed. Check them out and get working! Your time will be up at 3:00 pm tomorrow.
This Saturday’s Lecture and Lab should be a fun one: we’re going to learn about different ways to turn our RTL-SDR USB dongles into antenna analyzers. Bring yourself and your curiosity. Bring $45.00! Bring your RTL-SDR dongle. Bring your favorite ideas about what to do with the RTL-SDR. We’ll have time to talk about them. Besides all those things, you should bring:
A laptop computer. A Raspberry Pi might not have the horsepower, but if you’re stubborn, you can try.
You’ll save time if you download and install the software we’ll be using. We’ll start by doing things the easy way, with the RTLSDR-Scanner. The installation is very easy for Windows, but a little more involved for Mac or Ubuntu. If you have a Windows or Linux laptop, you can also install version 1.2 of Spektrum, which we’ll discuss and experiment with.
Bring your RTL-SDR Dongle! We will not have any for sale. If you’d like to support the club, your could order a dongle or a dongle with small dipoles through smile.amazon.com.
A 12-14V power DC power supply for your noise source. It helps if it has a variety of barrel connectors so that you can be sure of having the right one. It can be very low power; only 0.2 amps are needed.
Bring an antenna to measure. You can even bring more than one. (You can bring a lawn chair to analyze! Have Fun! —KE5ICX) We’re going to have plenty of time to measure antennas, experiment with the scanning software, and share our favorite tips and tricks for the RTL-SDR.
Our next Lecture and Lab is coming up in a week: join us on Saturday the 25th to build an antenna analyzer using your RTL-SDR dongle. You’ll need $45.00, a Windows or Linux laptop computer, a 12V power supply, and your dongle. You might also want to bring a VHF or UHF antenna to analyze! I’ll make a special post with more details in the next couple of days.
I’ve also been reminded that the Plano Balloon Festival, Sept. 21-23, is still looking for volunteers. Most of those who’ve signed up already are folks who have to be there: volunteer coordinators, and the like. More hams are definitely needed for this big and beautiful event.
Charles Anderson (KE5RFS) passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, August 11th, 2018. He had been a member of the Sachse Amateur Radio Association since its formation in 2011, and was the current club president.
Services will be held at 2pm this Thursday, August 16, 2018 at the Charles Smith Funeral Home, 2925 5th Street, Sachse.
The summer’s heat is still strong, but the end is in sight. That means that the DARC is becoming more active! We’re looking for short, 20-25-minute presentations for our Tech Net on the Hill event this October 27th. Please get in touch with us and volunteer! We also need folks who can share something cool in 5 minutes or less: our next meeting is a show and tell night.
Our next Lecture and Lab will be on Saturday, August 25th. We’ll have a few antenna analyzer kits for $45.00…but even if you don’t get a kit, you can still learn how to use the equipment you order on your own.