Bullitt ARS Annual Picnic

Bullitt ARS picnic

The Bullitt ARS has had an annual picnic in September in lieu of their monthly meeting for many years.  This years event went off with a BIG hitch.  The site normally used was not available and a last minute relocation was called for.  Our friends at the Red Cross office in Shepherdsville came to our aid.

While info went out quickly via Facebook and over the air some didn’t get the word and missed a grand time.  Laddie AI4RQ manned the grill as masterfully as ever.  There was lots of great food and as usual our annual foxhunt.

Let the hunt begin

Last years winner, Cindy KE6AFI, with able assistance from her husband KJ7NT, hid the fox in a very well shielded location.  As the hunters neared the signal seemed to have an odd pattern and nulls.  It was a baffling location and eluded capture for several extra minutes.  The fox was found this year by yours truly, well hidden inside a juice can buried under a bunch of aluminum cans inside a cooler.  The signal was only receivable from about a 30 degree area.  Otherwise it was attenuated to nearly inaudible.  Well played Jim and Cindy, well played.

The many harmonics that were around wanted to hide the fox again so off we went placing it in secluded and well hidden locations…… or so we thought.  The kids were able to spot the fox until it was hidden in the mailbox.  It was the best shielded mailbox in history.  From a mere 5 feet away the signal was still only S3 but when the lid opened it jumped to full scale.

A large part of a club is not just the technical aspect but the social.  The BARS club does this part especially well.  The club produces an excellent field day effort each June and several social type club functions as well as monthly meetings.  The club meets the third Friday of each month at the Pioneer Village City Hall.  Info can be located on the club website at ky4ky.com.

Edison House Louisville KY

BARS is also planning to activate the Edison House in Louisville on January 18, 2014.  This house, a museum now, once housed Thomas Edison for a few years and the club will operate from the room in which Edison slept and ate.  Look for information in QST and other ham radio sources.  You can also find the Bullitt ARS on Facebook.

Thanks to Rick KC4S for the great pictures.

Repeater news

via Fred Jones

Recently, the Kentucky District 9 Linked Repeater System had a welcomed and very useful addition to its established system, bringing a total of 11 VHF repeaters into the system.  After a short hiatus, the 146.895, KC4KZT repeater on Flatwoods Mountain in Pike County returned to the air and became a part of the System.  With the work of Allen Epling, WB4WAU, and Henry Clark II, KC4KZT, the “895” was reworked and brought back up to its normal operation.  The 146.895 is one of the oldest repeaters in Eastern Kentucky, being on the air since 1992, and is an extremely wide-area-coverage machine.  At an elevation of 2800 feet AMSL, and an amazing 1300 feet HAAT, the repeater is capable of filling in the void areas that the District 9 Repeater System needed.  The 146.895 has coverage that extends from I-75 to the west, and I-64 to the north – pretty well covering all of Eastern KY.

One thing to note – the 146.895 uses a “+” offset instead of the normal “-“ offset. Tone access was changed from its old 141.3 to 127.3 to coincide with the rest of the system.

Also, in addition to the 146.895, a UHF repeater on 442.150 was also tied into the system and can be brought online as needed.  The UHF repeater has very good coverage as well, sometimes covering areas that VHF doesn’t.  Both repeaters share a Link-Communications RLC2a controller, which allows for 2 repeaters and a link.  It also has a DVR “signal check” command that will allow a user to enter a couple of touch-tones, speak his/her Callsign, and it will be recorded and played back instantly giving the operator a sense of how well his signal is into either of the repeaters.

The site is equipped with a propane gas-powered generator for Emergency Power that will initially last for 48-72 hours depending on the power consumption.  Propane can be easily added to keep the site running for an indefinite period.  Also, each piece of equipment that make up the repeater has a spare backup such that should any piece fail in an emergency situation, the machine can be back on the air in just a matter of 1 – 2 hours.

Louisville Hamfest

The 2013 Louisville Hamfest can be summed up in just a couple of words….. a smashing success.  The weather was phenomenal and attendance reflected that fact.  The indoor flea market stayed packed most of the morning and the tailgating area overflowed into a second row for the first time in a number of years.

Buyers were plentiful and lots of treasures swapped hands.  The Greater Louisville Hamfest Committee has done a bang up job keeping the metro area hamfest alive and growing.  It has shown consistent growth for the past several years.

The three main radio clubs in the metro area were well represented.  The Bullitt Amateur Radio Society raffled off a Baofeng UV5R during the hamfest as a club fundraiser.  The BARS club produces an occasional Tech in a Weekend class, all at no cost to the participants and maintains the 146.70 repeater, the weather spotting repeater utilized by the National Weather Service.  The ARTS club had a corner booth that generated lots of traffic and club management seemed happy with the turnout.  The Clark County Radio Club had their tables full of stuff as each year.  These guys never fail to amaze me with the neat stuff to pick through and over and find that occasional treasure to take home.

One point….. radio clubs are what keeps amateur radio vibrant and healthy.  They provide sources of information and elmering and a good club will always welcome the newby and answer even the seemingly most simple questions.  If you’re not a member of a local club, make it a point to visit one or two and find one that supports your interests AND get involved.

The forums this year were excellent.  The GLHA was able to secure a presentation from Glenn KE4KY, one of the participants of the Campbell Island DXpedition in November 2012.  There was huge amounts of information exchanged and all seemed to enjoy the forums.

http://www.louisvillehamfest.com/menu/Greater%20Louisville%20Hamfest%202014.jpgA huge thanks to Bob K4RVM and the whole GLHA staff.  Without these dedicated hams this event would not happen.  Hamfests, not only provide a great place to buy, sell or trade equipment but should be the biggest social event of the local amateur radio year.

Your author is looking forward to Hamfest 2014 on September 6 and hope to see you there.  Make your plans now, join the Facebook site and keep informed.

GLH-2013 Prize Winners 

IC-718 HF Transceiver with RT Systems Programming Cable and Drivers: Wildon Priddy, KA4FKU, Louisville, KY

IC-V8000 VHF Mobile with RT Systems Programming Cable & Software: Robert Harrison, Milltown, IN

IC-V80 Handheld with RT Systems Programming Cable & Software: Ron Diemer, W4MAE, Louisville, KY

Gift Certificate from RT Systems: Loren Kerr, AJ4CW, Louisville, KY

Gift Certificate from RT Systems: Bill Adams, KD4NSU, Bardstown, KY

$50 Gift Certificate from ARRL: Fredy Wagoner, KM4NI, Louisville, KY

$25 Gift Certificate from ARRL: Donald Geary, N4ZMC, Louisville, KY

$25 Gift Certificate from ARRL: Dave Hamilton, W4NZY, Louisville, KY

ARRL 2013/2014 Repeater Directory: Lean Rogers, W4JIG, Columbia, KY

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!