Most Recent Blog Posts

  • Tiger Labs Meeting a Success!
    N2VVL, NU3E, KE3TI and WA2EHN

    Thanks to Rob, KE3TI, for arranging to have our club meet at Tiger Labs innovation space in November. It was our first in-person club meeting in… gosh.. a long time. And thanks to Jamie, N2VVL, for arranging the Webex meeting and the special videoconferencing hardware!

    Rebecca K3RPM gives a report via Webex (photo from Chris KD2WAR)

    Jamie announced that the 443.4 MHz repeater amplifier has been upgraded for increased reliability, and showed pictures of the rack-mounted repeater and controller, with the power supply and 100W amplifier.

    The meeting topic was “show and tell” with Rob showing a battery pack for advanced batteries. He explained the many hazards of using these new, high energy batteries, and some precautions he took.

    Don shows the internet synchronized clock

    Don, AK2S, showed a precise clock display he built using multicolor LED displays. He talked about the challenges of time changes with Daylight Savings time.

    Tiger Labs building in Princeton, NJ

    Even though it was a dark and stormy night, we filled the room and paid for the space by passing the hat. Perhaps 10 others were able to attend via Webex, including Rebecca, K3RPM, who reported on our success with the M.O.R.E. project (and the need for more VE-qualified instructors– please consider volunteering!)

    December has no meeting, and we are still determining where we will meet for our annual meeting in January, 2023. We hope to return to the renovated Red Cross Building.

    We also talked about the upcoming Holiday Party and members interested in setting up in the field for Winter Field Day 2023.

  • November DSRC Meeting at Tiger Labs

    November 15, 2022 will be a hybrid meeting. In person will be held at Tiger Labs, an innovation space we are renting for the evening. We will also send out a link for joining the meeting via WebEx.

    252 Nassau St, Princeton NJ (Route 27), behind and above Tiger Noodles. 

    Tiger Labs is on the second floor, accessible from the front of the building

    Park in the University Lot #2, behind the Engineering Building and walk across Nassau St. Or park on the side streets which do not have parking meters (or bring quarters). Do not park in the Ivy Inn lot or under the building. University lot is accessed from Olden Street on the “Nassau Street side” of the Engineering building.

    This section of Nassau St is between Washington Road and Harrison St. Take either exit off of US Route 1.

    Here’s a photo of the sign in P2.

    Maps on this page are “© OpenStreetMap contributors” with additions by the author.

  • Coming Soon: 443.4 MHz Repeater

    Follow this LINK to our new 70cm repeater page. The repeater is ON THE AIR! We are still improving it… more news as it develops.

  • Raising Antennas 2022
    Pat attaches vertical to the mast

    On the weekend of August 20-21, 2022, several members of the DSRC: Pat K2PAT, Don AK2S, Charlie N2CTW, and John KD2AAR, helped newbies Laura K2WWF, and Cushla KD2TCH get on the air with an Antenna Raising Party!

    Assembled the antenna and radials, while learning about the wavelengths of the radio signal we’re receiving/transmitting.
    (Note the actual presence of “Instructions” in photo)

    With lots of background knowledge given by Pat K2PAT and John KD2AAR, both Cushla and Laura were able to gain a more in-depth understanding of antennas as well as VHF and UHF operations.

    The antenna was braced in two places to the house wall to provide sturdy support for the assembly.

    Under the project management of John, Pat helped both Cushla and Laura assemble their antennas and aid in the installation with step by step explanations along the way. Don assisted with programming the radios and Charlie provided invaluable antenna raising assistance as well!

    Then the coax cable was fed into the houses (via the attic vent or through the side of the house) and caulking was done
    to seal the hole.

    The coax was attached to the mast allowing loops for a choke and also a drip line portion at the bottom of the pole so rain/ice can slide off the bottom of the cable instead of directly across the connector assembly.

    Note cable attached to mast with UV resistant cable ties, drip loop and coax choke.

    To prepare the coax cable’s connectors, John stripped the end of the wire. The two lengths of coaxial cable were different. Cushla’s wire had strands of copper core that slipped into the connector base when the copper braiding was peeled back. Then it was crimped in place and covered by a ferrule ring. Laura’s wire was a stiffer solid copper core connected on the antenna side with a welded connector.

    Each antenna was connected to the ground wire which was strung through a small diameter PVC pipe and attached to the side of the house ending near the new ground rod. That copper wire was connected to the ground.

    John, up in the air with Laura’s 2-Meter/440 MHz J-pole

    The next step was test, test, test we could reach the repeater and clearly be heard by others.

    Once we were sure each antenna was connecting properly to the repeater, we could finalize the installation by protecting the vital connections from the elements.

    Connectors received water/wear protection by covering from the wire, ferrule ring, and connector first with inside-out electrical tape, then by a weather-protecting material that “shrink wraps” the wire/ferrule ring”, then a taffy-like substance to provide redundant water protection from the wire and over the whole connection area to the base of the antenna.

    They have already signed up for their first service project -the MS City to Shore bike race as amateur radio operators!

    The antenna was braced in two places to the house wall to provide sturdy support for the assembly. Then the coax cable was fed into the house (via the attic vent or through the side of the house) and caulking was done
    to seal the hole.

    With Cushla’s Diamond X30A antenna and Laura’s J-pole installed, they now are making solo contacts through local (and not so local) repeaters and are both SUPER excited to fully participate in the amateur radio hobby.

    A Personal Note:
    A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone, especially Pat and John who spent many hours “mentoring” us newbies, Charlie for helping get the radio programmed with CHIRP, Don for his leadership and always inspiring us to not give up, as well as the rest of the DSRC for your guidance, patience, and encouragement as we slowly learn about the art of amateur radio.
    Cushla KD2TCH
    Laura K2WWF

    Parts Lists:

    • Diamond X30A (Cushla)
    • ARROW ANTENNA OSJ-146/440 Dual Band 2 Meter / 440 MHz J-Pole Vertical Antenna (Laura)
    • Steel chain link fence top rail to use as a mast
    • Nello Medium Duty Wall Mount Kits
    • DXE-CGB-150 Coax Grounding Bracket with V-Clamp,
    • ALF-AT3G50UBXL Surge Protector, Coaxial, DC Pass, UHF Female
    • ALF-3G50 Arc-Plug, 200 W Replacement (Hams are always prepared with a spare!)
    • plus: Coax cable (RG-8 type),
    • UHF connectors (crimp),
    • protective taffy,
    • protective sleeve,
    • grounding wire, and a copper ground rod vibrated into the soil
    • and ferule rings
    Masked Raisers.

  • Photos from Battleship New Jersey visit
    WWII-era Receiver Room Restoration Project (N2CTW Photo)

    “That was a GREAT day at the Battleship! Weather was PERFECT!” – Rebecca K3RPM
    “What a great time! … The people on board are a “fountain” of information.” – Don AK2S
    “It was great to see the Radio Room again, and see where they operate Museum Ships Weekend!” – Charlie N2CTW.

    Four members of the DSRC visited the Battleship NJ on August 13th, with private tours provided by Rich Enwright, KB3NRL and Pete Greene, N2LVI, a member of both DSRC and The Battleship New Jersey Amateur Radio Station.

    The day began simply. We had planned all sorts of coordination via 2 Meter radios, using simplex or using local repeaters, but instead we all just sat along the dock until everyone showed up. Parking was easy, and AK2S and Charlie N2CTW arrived via the RiverLine — senior price is $0.75 each way! It’s a bit of a walk around the entertainment center to get to the dock, but not bad on such a pleasant day.

    Public portion of radio room features line printers, teletypes and “dumb terminals” (N2CTW Photo)

    We were ushered past the part of FACCON-1/Radio Central that’s on the tour, into the back room where the modern radios are…

    Don and Rebecca operated HF, making a few contacts for NJ2BB. Charlie went on a tour of lower decks with Chief Engineer, Dave Burgess, WA2TVS.

    Rebecca at the microphone (K3RPM Photo)
    Transmitter Room holds several high power transmitters, none active that day. (N2CTW photo)

    K3RPM operated NJ2BB for a 20m contact with POTA station K-1946 activated by the K8ES club at Delaware State Park, Ohio. Rebecca reports that “the Icom IC-736 worked really great after we plugged in the microphone.” And below is the antenna she used.

    Trussed Vertical HF Antenna. Red insulator means it’s ued for transmitting. K3RPM photo
    Don used the HF “Disk-Cage Antenna” on 30 Meters. (N2CTW photo)
    The three visitors! (Rich, via K3RPM)
    Rich gives Don a tour. (N2CTW photo)
    Ask Charlie if he got to fire these guns. (N2CTW photo)

    Next time.. let’s get a bigger crowd!

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December 2022