Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club Hamfest

The Hall of Science Amateur Radio Club is holding its 2nd semi-annual
hamfest for 2012 on Sunday, October 14, 2012. Sellers setup starts at 7:30 and
doors open to buyers at 9.00 AM. Don’t forget to try our  Drop’N’Shop feature!
Bring a couple of items down that you’d like to sell and we’ll do our best to
sell them for you.
(so you don’t need to buy a table for one or two items, freeing you up
to enjoy the hamfest).

NEW Free admission for new members joining at the hamfest.
Fully equipped food truck with hot food, coffee and soda.
Door prizes and handouts donated by the ARRL, MFJ , N3FJP, the QSLMan and CQ Communications

Battery Tech, AMSAT, QSL card checking, and  the Section Manager, Mike Lisenco N2YBB will be there.

Location at the New York Hall of Science Museum
Parking Lot. 47-01 111th Street,
Flushing Meadow Corona Park, Queens NY.
Electronic and computer equipment, tailgating. Tune up clinic,
Drop and shop, Food and refreshments will be available, QSL card Checking.
Many handouts and door prizes.

(Separate museum admission $6.00 with
Hamfest ticket or from 10 AM to 11 AM
come in FREE. Can re-enter later. )

Free Parking, ARRL info, Tune up clinic, door
prizes, hand outs, food and refreshments will be available.

VE Session at 10:00 AM
Buyers $5.00 Sellers $10.00 per space plus  admission ticket of $5.00
For additional info call evenings only
Steve Greenbaum WB2KDG 718-898-5599
email:  WB2KDG@arrl.net
www.HOSARC.org

Directions and flyer at
http://www.hosarc.org/kc2rbe/hamfest12.pdf

eBay Shopper’s Guide for Ham Radio Ops

 Now in its 5th year of operation, eHamStore.com is still offering the best of what eBay has to offer when it comes to Ham Radio and Police Scanner gear. Since many of you have probably not considered looking over The eHamStore as a place to bid on or purchase Ham Radio and Police Scanner gear, I wanted to put a quick buyers guide together to help buyers  navigate around the  eBay listings at eHamStore.com and to help potential  buyers realize that eBay offers buyer protection not found on other sites. Please take a few minutes to check out this buyers guide to eBay and take my short poll at the end of the article. Also please feel free to comment on your eBay / Ham Radio shopping experiences.  Thanks!

The Quick eBay Buyers Guide:

  eBay bills itself as an auction site.  The reality is that it’s more of a giant yard sale or never-ending Hamfest.  Go straight to the search bar on the eBay main page, type in anything you might be looking  for, and odds are pretty good that you will find at least one for sale. It’s rare when you don’t come up with at least one of what you are looking for. The downside is that spelling errors in listings can be a bit frustrating from time to time.

There are two types of eBay listings.

  Auctions feature an end time of anywhere from a few days to a week.  Entering a maximum bid is OK but the site only shows the maximum bid you need to win the item. Don’t do this unless you want to pay the top dollar for the item or it’s something you cannot live without. The best way to get the item you want is to become an auction sniper and pounce on the item during the last-minute. Place your final bid during the last few seconds of the auction.

  The other type of listing (the more popular these days) is Buy It Now.  These are basically simple for sale listings where you agree to buy the item for a specific price. There’s no drama, just a quick and smooth transaction. One thing to be aware of is to review shipping costs prior to placing a bid or buying an item.  Shipping costs vary wildly from listing to listing. It’s possible to purchase an item at a higher price and actually save a few dollars when you factor in the potential savings on shipping costs.

  Always remember that you are buying from a seller not eBay. Fortunately, eBay has a feedback system. What that means is that you can quickly review the seller’s trustworthiness.  The seller can leave feedback on you as the buyer as well. Once you submit payment, the type, size and location of the item will determine how fast you receive it.

  Since eBay owns PayPal, all credit card transactions are processed via PayPal. For reasons that are unknown to me, people don’t like opening a PayPal account.  My personal experience over the years has been 100% positive. Perhaps one time buyers see no need to open a PayPal account and think negatively about something they don’t understand. I have found it to be safe, secure and convenient. PayPal also offers extra protection on purchases when PayPal is used as the payment method.

  Using eBay as reference for prices is a huge reason to think eBay. If you want to know what an item is going for and you just want to shop around, what better place to look online than eBay.  Again, you need to have some idea of  what an item is really worth and what you are willing to spend before you start digging around on the site.  Patience is often rewarded with a reasonable price. Read all listings carefully , remember to keep your head and you’ll be fine.

  Like any system, eBay has its imperfections but remember that people all over the world buy and sell millions of items each and every day via eBay / PayPal. As a buyer you may pay a bit for an item but it’s far better to be protected that taking a chance and buying an item from a site like Craig’s List or other Ham Radio sites which offer no buyer protection whatsoever.


SCRC Field Day 2012


This year’s Field Day was another enjoyable event for our Radio club. While only a subset our total membership actually participates, a good time is always had by all who attend.

Our club does not treat Field Day as a competitive event but a time to get together, get the kinks out of our HF gear, log some contacts and enjoy good conversation, food and drink.

Each year we experience a handful of unexpected outcomes. This year we gained new members due to our public relations setup and another as a result of our on-site VE test session.

Although the bands were rather poor on Saturday afternoon and few logistical problems had to be worked out, we managed to eek out a few hundred contacts between our digital, sideband and CW stations.

SCRC Field Day 2012

Two of our teen members came by for the afternoon. They had a lot of fun operating the HF gear and enjoyed experimenting with their own homebrew UHF and VHF antenna systems.

Overall I’d say that each year improves over the prior year’s event. The club is planning to set up a recently acquired 50 foot tower on-site some time this year so our chances of making more contacts during future events should improve quite a bit.

A special thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s event and those who took the time out to stop by and learn a bit about Amateur Radio.

As we all know it’s more than a hobby and Amateur Radio operators worldwide are the first to step up to the plate with their own equipment during man made and natural disasters.

Universal Radio Surprise!

Now I am not one for surprises! I really don’t like them at all. But on Friday I got a call from Tony the used radio manager from Universal Radio and he told me that he had located a mic for me. (see my other Universal article called Buyer Beware!).

Tony was a bit nervous but I quickly put him at ease by letting him know that I was not bent out of shape about the problem and proceeded to throw in a joke or two. Tony told me that things were not going well for him personally and was glad that I put him at ease.

As I listened to his problems, I quickly became glad that I was not in his line of work. It appears that selling used equipment presents all kinds of problems with returns of used equipment.

In summary, Tony explained that he was going to send the mic out. So now I sit and wait, hoping that the mic is in reasonable condition and it actually plugs in this time.

Stay Tuned.

Vibroplex Sending 73 From Its Mobile Alabama QTH

Knoxville, TN – Scott Robbins, W4PA, of Knoxville, TN. representing Cemorse LLC has signed an agreement to purchase the assets of The Vibroplex Company, Inc. from present owner Mitch Mitchell, W4OA. The agreement will become effective as of December 21, 2009.

Scott Robbins, Product Manager at Ten-Ten since 1997 will be parting company with his employer to take over full time management and ownership of Vibroplex.

Vibroplex will be moved from its current home in Mobile Alabama to a new QTH in Knoxville TN. The transition is planned for the last two weeks of 2009. The new location is supposed to be open for business on or about january 5th 2010.  The new QTH is 2906 Tazewell Pike, Suite A2B, Knxville TN 37918.  The toll free number is 800-840-8873.

“It’s a great opportunity to continue the more than 100 years of tradition that the Vibroplex name represents,” Robbins stated. “I’ve known Mitch for quite a few years and it was an important consideration for both of us that Vibroplex continue operation building quality products for amateur radio long into the future. Mitch’s experience owning the company will be valuable as we proceed with a seamless ownership transition over the next few weeks.”

Vibroplex Bug

Fred Lloyd of QRZ posted this:  “Vibroplex is the oldest operating business in the amateur radio industry and has been in continuous service to the hobby since founder Horace Martin invented the “bug” semi-automatic morse code key in 1904. Mr. Mitchell purchased Vibroplex in 1994, and has operated it from Mobile, AL for the past 15 years.”

For more information visit the Vibroplex Website.



24 Things Becoming Extinct In America

According to this blog entry, Amateur Radio is among the “things” becoming extinct in America. Read about the other 23 items and the full article about the extinction of Ham Radio here.

The Dodo Bird

The Dodo Bird

“However, proliferation of the Internet and its popularity among youth has caused the decline of amateur radio. In the past five years alone, the number of people holding active ham radio licenses has dropped by 50,000, even though Morse Code is no longer a requirement.”

What are your comments about this article and the “extinction” of our beloved hobby!

Ham Radio Makes Contact In Space

Ham radio makes contact in space

Canwest News Service

Published: Monday, October 27, 2008

REGINA – Space: The final frontier of man — and ham.

Murray Crandon was one of several ham radio operators around the country who took their hobby to new heights last week, by making contact with the International Space Station as it passed over Canada.

Mr. Crandon, known on the air as “VE5MC,” was at home in Moose Jaw, Sask., when he was able to speak with space tourist Richard Garriott on board the space station.

Crossing America by bicycle

Brian Fleischhauer, an amateur radio and sports enthusiast, quit his job to ride a bicycle across the country with his childhood friend Mark Kelly.

The two friends with a Topsail Beach connection began their 92-day transcontinental bike trek as their first effort to raise funds for their new public charity, Outdoor Hams, Inc.

Fleischhauer, call letters KB3QZG, and Kelly, call letters KJ4EZV, began their trek in Oregon on Aug. 1. If all goes as planned, their journey will take them east through 11 states, and end at Topsail Beach on Oct. 18, for the Autumn with Topsail festival.

The two amateur radio operators and outdoor sports enthusiasts established their non-profit corporation this year. They want to promote the use of amateur radio as an educational resource and encourage its use in outdoor activity among North Carolina youths. At the same time, through creative applications of amateur radio in outdoor activities, they hope to influence adolescents to improve their general health and wellness by developing active lifestyle habits.

Fleischhauer and Kelly have been summer pals on Topsail Beach since they were both about 5 years old. Their parents had cottages three doors away from each other.

Fleischhauer’s parents have since moved to Topsail Beach, and Kelly’s parents maintain the cottage there, but reside in Raleigh.

Fleischhauer, 25, recently graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He quit his job in Washington, D.C with a multinational electronics company to go on the trek.

“When he told us he quit his job, I said, ‘What do you mean you quit your full time job with benefits, and don’t know what you are going to do after the trip?'” said Kristin Fleischhauer, Brian’s mother.

“He said ‘This is a good time in my life to do it,'” said Brian’s father, Grier Fleischhauer.

Kelly, 25, recently graduated magna cum laude from N.C. State University with a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history and has set his sights on law school.

Though neither has attempted this trek before, Kelly successfully hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia in 175 days in 2006. It was then he developed interests in amateur radio and touring the country by bicycle. He passed the interest on to Fleischhauer.

The two planned the Outdoor Hams Inc., Tran-Continental Bike Ride as their inaugural fundraiser, to raise money for grants and scholarships for students in North Carolina who aspire to have careers in fields such as radio technology, radio history, communication science and media law.

“So far we’ve raised $1,800, so we will be able to award at least three $500 scholarships next spring,” Kelly said.

Their goal, Fleischhauer’s parents said, is $2,500.

“They hope to be able to award five $500 scholarships,” Kristin Fleischhauer said.

“One hundred percent of the money they raise will go for the scholarships – they are paying all the administrative fees and trip expenses out of their own pockets,” Grier Fleischhauer said.

Additional money raised through the charity will be used to benefit North Carolina students, teachers and schools and to design, plan, promote and implement outdoor-oriented amateur radio activities to provide adolescents with hands-on experience with radio technology, a chance to be active outdoors, and raise additional money for future grants and scholarships.

They also hope future fundraisers will draw participation from a wide range of outdoor sports enthusiasts and ham operators.

So far the two have averaged 50 miles a day, and are staying in tents in public parks, hostels or recreational vehicle campgrounds along the way.

“The Oregon coastline was amazing …. We have been breezing through towns and have had a lot of tourists and locals asking us a lot of questions about what we’re doing,” Kelly said. “It’s always fun to talk to them about our trip. We are trying to shed some of our gear, and purge some weight, since we will be biking into a headwind and have several miles of hills to do, so every ounce counts.”

They plan to journal and post photos of their progress on http://www.outdoorhams.org, the Web site they designed for the charity.

Information about making donations to the charity is available on the Web site, and donations can be mailed to c/o Mark Kelly, Outdoor Hams, Inc., 709 New Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27608

Contact Topsail area reporter Suzanne Ulbrich at 910-219-8454. Visit http://www.jdnews.com to comment on this report.

Philadelphia Area Hams Nail Rogue Radio Signals

Philadelphia Area Hams Nail Rogue Radio Signals

radiobusters
Reggie Leister, N3KAS (left), and Bob Rex, K3DBD (right) — both members of the Pottstown Area Amateur Radio Club — helped Philadelphia news reporter Lu Ann Cahn find out just why remote car door entry devices wouldn’t work in the parking lot of a local department store.

When residents of a Philadelphia suburb complained to an area television station about how their remote car door entry devices wouldn’t work in the parking lot of a local department store, an investigative reporter for NBC-10 (WCAU) called everyone she could to help her discover why. No one knew anything — until she called on some local ham radio operators.

“Many people lock and unlock a car by remote and don’t even give it a second thought unless it doesn’t work,” said NBC10 reporter Lu Ann Cahn. “The mystery problem repeatedly occurs outside the Kohl’s store in Royersford. When I went into Kohl’s [to ask about this], they told me they had no idea [about this].”

Cahn said that shoppers told her that this has been going on for more than a year, and that some shoppers don’t realize they might have to manually lock their doors: “One woman reported her laptop was stolen from her car after she thought she had locked it.”

Shoppers theorized that it was the local power plant causing the interference, but Cahn said that officials at the plant said it wasn’t them. Others thought that cellular telephone towers might be the culprit, but there are no cell towers in the area. “Police tell us that they can’t figure it out either,” Cahn said.

So after calling numerous places to help her out with this mystery, Cahn happened upon Reggie Leister, N3KAS, and Bob Rex, K3DBD, of the Pottstown Area Amateur Radio Club (PAARC); Rex is Vice President of the club and Leister is the club’s Public Information Officer (PIO). And as hams do, they were quick to volunteer to help out.

Leister and Rex accompanied Cahn to the parking lot in question. Rex built an antenna out of aluminum tubing and hooked it up to a spectrum analyzer. “Somewhere in the vicinity of this parking lot,” Leister said, “there is a big source of radiation, some sort of signal.” When Leister aimed the antenna in the direction of the Kohl’s store, he hit pay dirt. “There are actually two signals there. It looks like [they're] coming from the building,” Rex said when he read the analyzer.

Leister and Rex moved in closer to the building and pinpointed that one signal was coming from one set of doors, while the other signal emitted from another set of doors. Rex, an engineer, said that the thing that bothers him about this is that the signals “are running constantly.” When Cahn approached Kohl’s management with their findings, she was told that “they will look into it.”

“The FCC licenses radio signals and these ham radio operators say the fact that some signal is interfering with remote locks isn’t good,” Cahn said in her report. Rex concurred, saying, “The FCC rules are pretty clear on that. It might be something that’s broken.” Leister and Rex agreed that the store security sensors located at each set of doors might be the culprit.

Three days after Leister and Rex located the source of the interference, remote car door lockers worked again. “Kohl’s will only say that they’re working on it,” Cahn said. “The FCC says it does sound like something malfunctioned and they have had reports of similar incidents in New York City and Tampa, Florida.”

A few days after they found the signals, Leister explained that he and Rex did not think the anti-shoplifting detectors were the problem: “What we are guessing here is that they are probably connected to some kind of device that triggers a security camera to come on if there is a breach. Except instead of just sending out a quick 2-5 second (Part 15) blip, these seem to be on continuously and exceeding the permissible signal levels.”

Cahn was quick to give credit to the local hams who stepped up to the plate and helped crack this mystery: “We here at NBC10 were so curious as to why these remote car locks would just stop working, so we thought we should really try to solve this mystery. I have to give kudos to Reggie Leister and Bob Rex with the Pottstown Area Amateur Radio Club. They were so great and so excited. You don’t know how many people we called — police, Triple A, car dealerships — we called so many people trying to figure this out and nobody knew anything until we talked to these ham radio operators. They were so wonderful and they knew all about radio signals. They created their own gadgets to help us figure this out. We really want to thank them for their help with this.”