Don’t forget that the next club meeting is this Tuesday, and we’re looking for folks who can contribute to the show-and-tell. It’s easy to miss a meeting by accident when it’s on the first day of the work week. I’ve done it…don’t let it happen to you.
The Meeting on the Air and RACES Net will be tomorrow night, too; it might not feel like a Sunday, but it really is.
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.