Technical Mentoring and Elmering Net – Thursday May 21, 2015

Note: The time stamp at the beginning of each topic was recorded using Windows Media Player and the downloaded Mp3 audio archive of the net for 5/21/15 found here.

The Technical Mentoring and Elmering net on Thursday 5/21/15 was lightly attended compared to most with 6 check-ins, 2 side responders and net control (K6HWN). Thoughts are that some regulars may have gotten a head start on the Memorial Day weekend.

10:15 First up, Shackmaster Dave had an idea about extending Glenn’s (WZ6WZ) 220 beam antenna to Santa Barbara. The background is that Glen has already installed a 220 transceiver and beam antenna pointed right at 224.08. The question is if they (in Lompoc) can hear the 19.79? repeater that they might be able to use a single 2 meter transceiver at low power to communicate to Santa Barbara. Glenn didn’t know offhand if they can hear it or not but will do the research and get back to Dave.

13:45 – Hayden (KK6OYV) had an update about the fractional wave (loop) antenna that he’s building. Apparently there is a Yahoo group found here dedicated to the concept that Hayden’s been following and he has visited John’s (AG6LJ) house and seen how great his fractional loop antenna performs. Hayden mentioned that his primary motivation to build the antenna is that his station has a lot of electrical noise and the noise floor of his rig is rather high and the fractional wave antennas are not affected as much by that as other antennas. Today he finished the frame of the antenna and now has to finish installing the capacitor control unit and wind the copper wire (strapping) around the frame. Shackmaster asked Hayden if he already has a quality vacuum capacitor and Hayden said no, he’s not sure what value of capacitor he will use yet. Richard (K8NDS, the inventor of the fractional wave) said the antenna Hayden’s building will get him on 10-20 meters with a 5-100pf variable capacitor but Hayden’s also heard of others using a 10-350pf capacitor and getting as low as 40 meters. He’ll be consulting with Richard on that and keep us informed. For those who might be interested check out Richard’s QRZ page and the Yahoo group mentioned above.

17:00 – Brian (K6BPM) asked if anyone is familiar with SIP (Single Inline Package) resistors which are resistor “packs” with one common lead and 8-10 other leads enabling the user to use one small package to supply a common resistance to many components in the circuit. Brian purchased some dual value 220/330 ohm SIPs and there is no explanation of how they work and he couldn’t measure what should logically be true with a meter. No one really had an immediate answer so he’s going to bring some with the paperwork down to the SBARC Club shack to show Dave and with his help they should be able to figure this out. Stay tuned to future TM&E nets to learn the answer!

33.04 – I (K6FLD) started a discussion about a new special mode we’ve been experimenting with during the ATV Special Modes net occurring every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM. Basically it involves the ability to send e-mail over radio without having to be connected to the Internet. Go to to learn more about this very useful mode that should be of interest to any amateur radio operator. Imagine an emergency or disaster situation where all power, phone and cellular networks are down, maybe after an earthquake. If you have backup battery or other backup power (as all good hams should) you will still have the ability to get communications out via e-mail to inform family members in other areas of your situation and that you’re okay. The basics are that you download a program called RMS Express and install it on your computer (hopefully the one with battery backup). Download the guide here and go through the setup and start composing and sending e-mail over the radio. All that’s required is an interface between the computer and radio such as a Signalink USB and off you go. As a matter of fact, some folks have been successful without the interface by holding their microphone to their speaker during the operation! I won’t go into all the details of how the Winlink network operates but please look into this very important mode at and listen to the audio archive. Other uses have been for mariners at sea communicating with e-mail via radio, campers, explorers etc. in remote areas without internet access.

53:50 – Cyril (AF6GW) checked in and mentioned that some other capabilities had been experimented with using 2 meter packet to send e-mail over a repeater. He didn’t remember exactly all of the details but you can learn more here.

Tune in to the SBARC Technical Mentoring and Elmering Net next Thursday at 0800 and see what interesting questions will arise or ask some of your own! All club members and visitors are encouraged to check in to the Technical Mentoring and Elmering net each week and join in with questions and /or answers to and contribute the knowledge of new and seasoned amateur radio operators alike.

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