Most Recent Blog Posts

  • Pi Day is Coming!! (March 13-14)

    Learn all about the N3P Special Event Station on our special event page: http://n2re.org/pi-day-special-event


  • February DSRC Meeting Topics

    Our February club meeting will be in person and via Webex.

    February 20 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm EST Topics include:

    • Winter Field Day wrap-up
    • Pi Day Special Event Station planning
    • Trenton Computer Fest and Hamcram

    ALSO: Featured Presentation “A Tour of N2ARC Ham Radio Station” a video tour for those present at the Red Cross and those logging in via Webex.

    Pre-meeting dinner available at the Wegman’s food court on Province Line Road. 6PM or so.

    See the meeting event HERE


  • Using Fldigi for a Traffic Net..

    Last month we had a presentation on conversational digital modes using Fldigi.

    Thanks to Bob, N2LO, here’s a link to his study of the Narrow Bandwidth Emergency Messaging System — nets which use modern digital modes to send traffic, mostly on 80 Meters. The link below distills several postings by Bob and others on our list server:

    http://n2re.org/notes-on-nbems-narrow-bandwidth-emergency-messaging-system

  • Winter Field Day 2024 Wrap-up

    The Setup

    In 2021 Bob Cardone, N2EIM introduced the Sarnoff Radio Club to “Winter Field Day” (presentation .pdf) Since then the club has deployed to a back yard in 2022 (link), and to the Red Cross back lot in 2023 (link).

    For 2024 the club considered several locations. We looked for places with at least a PortaPotty and trees and some height. After a few spots fell through, Cushla KD2TCH asked South Brunswick Township about parks. Woodlot Park, in Kendall Park section of the township fit the bill nicely.

    Woodlot Park map showing the parking areas and the park’s indoor basketball building. [(c)open street map contributors]
    NJ survey photo shows Grove (left) and Pavilion (right) as well as Park building. Blue line is 550 feet long.

    The park is near the highest point in South Brunswick, and close to our 443.4MHz repeater site. We could not use a generator without a permit, but the park had has electricity by the Grove/Playground and in the Pavilion. We used it in both places.

    NOTE: Click on the images below to show photos in higher resolution.

    Laura shows the Grove power outlets a few days before WFD weekend (note the snow!) [n2ctw photo]

    Laura K2WWF and Charlie N2CTW arranged with the Recreation Department to use the site “During Daylight Hours Only” on both Saturday and Sunday. The need to break down our operation at 5 PM Saturday made this year be, essentially, two deployments. Also, thanks to Bob WA2BSP for arranging for getting the power to the Pavilion building turned on. As it turned out, the two deployments were very different!

    Saturday

    After a rainy week washed away all the snow, Saturday weather was wonderful, in the 40-50F range. By 9 AM the crowd began to assemble. Norm K2GGE helped put up ropes for Charlie and Laura to put up HF antennas, and Cushla brought a tent and tables. Later we all enjoyed Cushla’s chili, and birthday cupcakes for Laura.

    Picnic Grove had plenty of tables, and tall trees.
    As the morning progressed, more and more folks showed up, and we spread out on the park’s picnic tables.
    Ben AC2YD and Cushla set up Ben’s custom designed mop vertical antenna. [these three photos from k2wwf]
    Ben AC2YD explains the vertical to John NU3E and Bob WA2BSP [photo by Norm k2gge]

    … On The Air!

    We selected our operating class as 5 Oscar… five possible stations at once, and Oscar for “Outdoors”. We put up dipole antennas for 10 M, 40-20-10, 144-220-440 MHz, and a vertical for 10-40M.

    In addition to setting up outdoors and putting up antennas, we sent and received Winlink messages. We operated on 10, 15, 20 and 40, and 2 Meters and 440 MHz, qualifying us for the Objective of operating at least 6 Bands (we operated on 223.5, but nobody heard us!) Digital PSK-31 worked on 20 Meters, as we learned how to use Fldigi in a contest.

    Fran N2FXO and Jamie N2VVL work the HF Station [photo: Fairfax Hutter]
    Rebecca K3RPM on VHF guiding in a latecomer [photo: k2wwf]
    Norm’s new 25 W VHF FM rig worked well, with contacts on 2 and 440, WB2WCO operating.[Fairfax]
    Laura K2WWF embodies the Winter Field Day spirit [k2gge]
    More discussion of proper antenna design. [k2gge]
    John NU3E sends a Winlink message as Charlie N2CTW learns how it’s done. [k2gge]
    FLDIGI for PSK-31 [k2gge]
    Ben AC2YD uses N1MM+ to make loads of CW contacts. [k2gge]
    Ben’s QRP rig uses an Internet router, and two keys! [k2gge]

    … more photos…

    Cushla’s neighbor visited [Fairfax]
    Jamie listens… [Fairfax]
    Rebecca takes notes [Photo by Jeff wb2wco]
    At the 10 meter station [k2wwf]
    Fran takes notes [Fairfax]
    Ben shows off his CW setup to Jeff WB2WCO [k2wwf]
    Some of us: Laura, Ben, Charlie, Rebecca, Fran, Jeff, Cushla, Jamie and Norm. [Fairfax photographer]

    Sunday

    After we left on Saturday the weather deteriorated. At night it poured rain which continued into Sunday, good thing the park was closed at night! WFD Sunday was wet and muddy. The crowd was smaller: Ben, Laura, Fran and Charlie. We set up at the Pavilion, which at least provided a roof over our heads. Even with the roof, the rain did blow in at times, and the floor was COLD.

    Our plans for the day were reduced because of the weather. Ben operated mostly CW on 20-15-10, with Fran on 20 SSB and Laura and Charlie worked on 40 including PSK-31. It was, indeed, a “learning experience”.

    After the contest ended at 2 PM Laura brought out a pan of Ziti, and we celebrated a successful WFD. The rain had stopped, so getting things back up the hill to the cars was tiring, but not uncomfortable. Ben collated the logs for the winter field day association, and we downloaded our contacts to LotW.

    Ben’s antenna, the Pavilion and puddles. Lots of nice tall trees for antennas too! [n2ctw]
    Fran on SSB [n2ctw]
    Ben and his key, note the single band filter in foreground [n2ctw]
    Fran’s wire-wound dipoles worked well, and were easy to put up in the rain. [n2ctw]
    Laura and Charlie with Ben and Fran in the background [k2wwf]
    Charlie tries to tune the big dipole up in the trees. [k2wwf]

    That’s a Wrap!

    Of the seven objectives we satisfied four:

    • Operate away from Home,
    • Deploy multiple Antennas,
    • Operate on at least six different bands
    • Send and receive at least 1 Winlink email

    We did not try for two Objectives this time: Our plan to set up “satellite” operations was hampered by the weather and the lack of daytime passes of satellites. The park did not allow a generator, or any other “100% emergency power” so we used city AC power (batteries and/or solar power might have worked –maybe next time!) While we might have started at 8 AM Sunday, nobody set up in the pouring rain until 10 AM, so we did not “Operate 6 continuous hours during the event.” Those three objectives await us for next year!!

    Thanks to our ops: AC2YD, N2VVL, K3RPM, N2CTW, KD2TCH, K2GGE, N2FXO, K2WWF, WB2WCO. Thanks to Laura, Fairfax, Norm, and Charlie for photos and everyone who came together to make the event a successful learning experience. And thanks to those who came to observe. We hope to see you for ARRL Field Day this summer.

  • Winter Field Day Preview

    Lots of photos of DSRC Winter Field Day are coming…. But here are a few.

    Laura K2WWF notes that the parking lot at Woodlot Park has a row of electrical outlets!! The township does not allow generators, so we had to use their power this time. Thanks Laura for your organizing skills!

    Ben AC2YD and Cushla KD2TCH set up Ben’s innovative HF Vertical. Notice that in the week since Laura surveyed the park, the snow all vanished! (It was still only in the 40s on Saturday)

    Sunday was wet, and a bit colder. We moved under the Pavilion roof, slightly lower than Saturday’s grove location.

    Laura, Charlie N2CTW, Ben and Fran N2FXO made plenty of contacts and stayed mostly dry in spite of rain and/or mist for the whole day Sunday.

    Stay tuned for the big photo post of the event!

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