Friday, August 19, 2016

WAX Group members
We had a good turn-out of members last night (18 August). Clockwise starting from the left-front:
Tom VE3THR, Eric VA3EEB, Greg VE3YGG, Ian VA3QT, Ryan VA3RRE, Andy VA3TNE, Mike VE3MKX, John VE3FDZ (in blue T-shirt), Al VE3RRD, Jack VE3RDQ, James N6NRD, and Bill VA3OL (in the red shirt). Taking the picture is Ken VE3KDG. James N6NRD still has to write the exam to obtain a Canadian call.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


NorCalQRP lives again! A number of years ago, this group sold several kits and published a newsletter called "QRPp". The original website is still found at http://www.norcalqrp.org/  and you can download the groups old "QRPp" newsletters from http://www.ncqrpp.org/ . As you can see, this interesting newsletter existed from 1993 until it ceased publication in 2003.
Recently, the NorCal club has begun holding monthly meetings again (in San Jose, California), and Doug Hendricks KI6DS has taken on publishing "QRPp, Journal of the NorCal QRP Club". The latest issue for August 2016 (Volume 12 Issue 1), and future issues can be downloaded from the "FILES" section of the NorCalQRP Yahoo Group found at  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/norcalqrp/info . Just join the group to have access to upcoming issues of this great newsletter.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

I just used Ed K3HTK's auto fldigi install script to install fldigi on my Raspberry Pi 3. The script works very well, I have my Pi connected to my KX3 - you can find the script at:  http://indyham.com/news/fldigi-install-script-for-raspberry-pi-latest-version-3-23-12/ . FLDIGI is a free program that offers many digital modes including PSK31, RTTY, Hell, MT63, Olivia and even CW. Versions are available for Windows, Apple OS X and Linux. You can download fldigi from :  https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/files/fldigi/


73, AL - VE3RRD

Thursday, July 14, 2016

QRP is most effective when using a "narrow-band" mode such as CW. Assuming the person receiving you has good CW filtering, 5W of CW has the same copy-ability at the receiving end as 100W or more of SSB voice. In most cases you will see a two S-unit (12 dB) or more improvement with CW as compared to SSB voice. See http://barrie-wax-group.dyndns.org/images/CWvsSSB.jpg and  http://wb9dlc.com/QRP_Works.htm for an explanation of the power density differences between CW and SSB.


The important skills the QRPer must develop aren't just communication/operating skills, but include a better understanding of the many aspects propagation (day, night, summer, winter, sunspots, solar flares, geomagnetic storms), as well as antenna concepts such as take-off angle, vertical vs. horizontal, antenna radiation efficiency, height above ground, dipoles, end-feds, verticals etc. etc. When you are operating QRP portable then you must choose between weight and size verses efficiency for the radio, the battery, the feedline, the antenna and the antenna configuration you plan to use. 
A high-power (QRO) operator just turns up the power and uses a giant yagi on top of his 100 foot tower to blast through, a QRP operator in the field fights for every fraction of an S-unit improvement he can get. It is definitely "skill instead of power".

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


The Amateur QRP Radio group, see their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/qrpradio/ is having their 1st International Amateur QRP Radio Field Weekend starting at 18:00 UTC on Friday 8 July until 18:00 UTC on Sunday 10 July.
Maximum power is 5W.
Goal: Work as many Amateur QRP Radio members as you can, from your shack or operating portable. Keep track of how many Amateur QRP Radio members you contact and tell everyone else about our Amateur QRP Radio Facebook group!

GROUP CALLING FREQUENCIES*
SSB (Single Sideband)
40 metres – 7.185 MHz
20 metres – 14.285 MHz
17 metres – 18.145 MHz
15 metres – 21.285 MHz
10 metres – 28.365 MHz
2 metres – 144.775 MHz
CW (Morse Code)
40 metres – 7.035 MHz
30 metres – 10.115 MHz
20 metres – 14.035 MHz
17 metres – 18.075 MHz
15 metres – 21.035 MHz
10 metres – 28.035 MHz

Amateur QRP Radio is an international group of amateur radio licensees who practice and enjoy QRP low power operations. More information may be found on the Amateur QRP Radio Facebook group. You can apply for an "AQRxxx" number which you can exchange with other group members when you contact them.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

You're kidding!
But I selected the 10A range and it's still not getting hot.


I smell something burning!



Thursday, June 2, 2016

"Headless" Raspberry Pi

This is a snapshot of using VNC Viewer on my iPad Mini to remotely access the Raspberry Pi 3 located at my home. The RPi3 has on-board WiFi and Bluetooth. A VNC server can be configured to run on bootup of the Pi to allow remote access from anywhere. You can instead use Remote Desktop if you wish by installing XRDP remote desktop server on the Pi. Using one of these methods means that you don't really need a monitor, keyboard or mouse plugged into the Raspberry Pi, instead use a Windows laptop, iPad, Android tablet etc. That unused Windows machine can become a "dumb terminal" for accessing the RPi.

The Arduino Uno clone "the Shrimp" with LCD display.

Some of the WAX Group members building their own Shrimp.

The Shrimp uses the same CPU (and programming software) as the Arduino Uno (ATMEGA328P)  but costs much less. See https://www.arduino.cc/ for more info about the Arduino and download the latest version of the Arduino IDE for programming at https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software . Adafruit is another good source for information about the Arduino and what you can do with it: https://learn.adafruit.com/category/learn-arduino .


Sunday, May 29, 2016

The "Fun at the park" event went well, the weather was fine (it wasn't too hot under the trees with a slight breeze). We started out with breakfast at Debbs Place restaurant at 8am and then headed out to Sunnidale Park. Lots of tall trees for antenna supports here.
Conditions weren't the best but we were hearing a number of SSB stations (lots of contest CW) on 40m, 20m and even 17m. Didn't hear anyone in the "1st International Field Radio Event".
All in all, everyone had a good time.

List of those taking part:
Al VE3RRD (in photo Fun in the park1) operating the club TS-480SAT powered from battery and using both a half-size G5RV (10m-40m) and an end fed (10m-80m).
Jack VE3RDQ (also in photo 1) hiding behind Al

Andy VA3TNE (in photo 2) with his KX3 and comfortable operating chair (using an end-fed antenna)
Ken VE3KDG (also in photo 2) oops! where did Ken's head go?

Ian VA3QT (his equipment is in photo 3 and 4) Photo 3 shows Ian's Buddipole on the tripod. Photo 4 shows his "portable" HF data station.

Also there but no picture was William VE3HME who operated HF mobile from his vehicle with a wire antenna up the nearest tree.

John VE3FDZ who was taking the pictures.





Thursday, May 26, 2016

As I write this, members of the WAX Group are at our weekly get-together in Ken VE3KDG's workshop. We meet each Thursday evening around 7pm to work on projects or just talk. Now we are playing with a number of Raspberry Pi 3 computers (in total we bought 12) that were just purchased from https://www.buyapi.ca/ , a mail order store located in Ottawa.
       https://www.buyapi.ca/

We are also experimenting with some Arduino Uno clones called the Arduino Shrimp ( http://start.shrimping.it/ ), plus some Arduino Nano clones that we purchased from Amazon.ca

                 Product Details