May 2019 Program – Amateur Radio Satellites

Ever thought about having a QSO via satellite? Mac Cody, AE5PH, will be giving a presentation on how to work the FM satellites, also known as the ‘easy sats’. Mac has been working satellites since July of 2016 and has had almost 2000 QSOs, worked all fifty states, and fourteen countries. This has been done almost entirely on the ‘easy sats’!

Mac will show you how to work FM satellites with inexpensive radio equipment and with either home-brew or commercial antennas. All you will need to have is a Technicians License! If the weather holds and and a satellite is available, Mac will give a live demonstration of working an FM satellite. Otherwise, Mac will present a video of him working satellites during Winter Field Day in 2017.

Join us on May14, 7pm at Spring Creek BBQ in McKinney for this and more!

April 2019 Program – Surviving 2019 Propagation

Make plans now to join us on April 9, 2019 for a presentation by Dick Morgan, K6RAH, on “Surviving 2019 Propagation”, 7pm at Spring Creek BBQ in McKinney.

Topics covered during the presentation will be:

1. Understanding band condition information
2. Using a propagation gadget & beacons
3. Try digital modes now!

Predicting RF signal propagation is much like forecasting the weather…only harder. Astro science is still working to solve big questions such as “why sunspots develop, and what causes the solar cycle?”

Meanwhile, radio operators need to monitor the continuous measurements now available to determine workable operating modes and frequencies.

Dick will explain what radio operators need to know and how to work with a handy propagation gadget. The use of radio signal beacons/reports to measure real-time propagation from a station to other parts of the world will also be covered.

It will become clear that greater knowledge of radio signal propagation, along with certain operating techniques and modes, will be the key to making contacts, even during the low points of the eleven year solar cycles.

Dick Morgan, K6RAH, was first licensed as KN6RAH in 1956 at the age of 14. He earned his General Class license and he actively chased DX during the legendary solar cycle 19 from  Southern California. Marriage, college and later career and children intervened for many years. Ham radio, however, is like malaria, it never really goes away. In 2009, Dick returned to ham radio, passing all three exams and now operates as an extra class ham, this time from Dallas. He is still a proud DX hound, having earned his DXCC – Phone with 100 Watts and a random wire antenna and is now working to earn DXCC – Digital. Dick is a past president of the Richardson Wireless Klub, past board member, and past editor of RWK’s newsletter. Check out his QRZ page when you get a chance, and be sure to ask him about his ‘Phantom of the Attic’ antenna. This setup was featured in the March 2017 issue of CQ Magazine.

March 2019 Program – Parks on the Air and Pi-Star Hotspots

Our March meeting will be a double feature!

The first will be all about the Parks on the Air program (POTA), given by our very own Andy Barnes (W5KZJ). Andy has been very active in the program and will be sharing his experiences and how you can get involved as well.

Our second presentation will be an introduction to Pi-Star Hotspots and MMDVM. David Capello (KG5EIU), will the covering the various types of hotspots (Zumspots, Jumbo-Spots, Pi-Star, etc) as well as hardware and software features. Not really sure where to start with all of this? No problem, David will be covering this and providing a live demo as well.

All of this takes place on March 12, 7pm at Spring Creek BBQ in McKinney.

Members and visitors are welcome, come join us!

QST Article: “Judging Regional Science And Engineering Fairs”

McKinney Amateur Radio Club President, Bill Vining (N5YZ), recently wrote an article on judging regional science and engineering fairs that has been published in the March 2019 issue of the ARRL magazine, QST.

McKinney Amateur Radio Club has participated for the past six years with the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and has awarded a special award for the entry that, “…best promotes the study, knowledge, or participation in the operation of communication equipment and radio technology.” MARC also provides VE vouchers for students who may choose to get licensed, or seek license upgrades.

The print edition of QST should be available now, and of course ARRL members can read the digital edition of QST online at the website http://www.arrl.org/qst. The article starts on page 74. Great article, Bill!