CWCOM – Morse Code on the Internet

The topic of improving Morse Code skills came up on the CAARC net of January 18.

I mentioned an internet system, CWCOM, also known as CW Communicator, as a potential way to practice. It’s not radio, but either is sitting across a table from each other each with our own code practice oscillator. This morning I checked to see if it was still operational, and it is. Gerry, who uses call sign G3MS on this system, is the manager and chief guru of the system. Here is a slightly edited screen shot of a QSO I had with him this afternoon Alberta time over the internet.  I didn’t have my key set up at this time, so I keyboarded. The program also allows using the down button on your keyboard as a straight key. I do have the ability to use a key or a paddle with this system, if I could only make them make predictable sounds!

Gerry mentioned his blogsite which is a complete introduction and instruction manual for the CW Communicator program and system. It is at https://morsepower.blogspot.com/2020/01/home-click-page-1.html . You usually have to scroll down past the contents. He mentions a “Contact Me” address, which is below the contents on the page labelled “Home”.

Gerry’s parting comment was “t ~~okjohn~~lookforward toseeing some new callsign”

You would need to download, install and set up the CW Communicator program.

I have had an on-and-off relationship with this system since 2003.

For whoever is interested.

John VA6SJA

Note: Jan 20, 2021 Corrected the call sign Gerry uses.

Baseline repair trip Jan 2021

 

January vhf contest

Here is a link for the January vhf contest. Lets get on the air and have some fun and put CAARC on the map and in the logs.   http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf

Bill VE6OLD SK

Hello – I received a phone call this morning from Carole Guthrie with the sad news of Bill VE6OLD’s death. Bill Guthrie was a long time member of CAARC and was very active in club activities until ill health slowed him down.  Bill was a fixture at club picnics, serving up SARA dogs with a smile!  He always had lots to sell at any of the flea markets and was on the air all the time when he was still working, driving from one job to another.  Bill was a past president and one of the founding members of SARA. Bill’s voice will live on, on the VE6REP repeater controller. He will definitely be missed!

Because of Covid restrictions, there will be a small family service.  Condolences can be posted on the Wilson’s Funeral Home website on the Tribute wall.  Donations maybe made in Bill’s memory to the Canadian Cancer Society
Obituary posted for Ian “Bill” William Guthrie. See http://www.wilsonsfuneralchapel.ca/obituary/IanBill-Guthrie
73’s
Sandy Jacobs
CAARC President

Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio

Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio

astronaut
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The International Space Station cost more than $100 billion. A ham radio set can be had for a few hundred bucks.

Perhaps that explains, in part, the appeal of having one of humankind’s greatest scientific inventions communicate with Earth via technology that’s more than 100 years old. But perhaps there’s a simpler explanation for why astronauts and  operators have been talking, and talking, for years.

NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was just a few weeks into his six-month mission at the  station when feelings of isolation began to set in.

Wheelock would be separated from loved ones, save for communication via an internet phone, email or social media. At times, the stress and tension of serving as the station’s commander could be intense.

One night, as he looked out a window at the Earth below, he remembered the space station’s ham radio. He figured he’d turn it on—see if anyone was listening.

“Any station, any station, this is the International Space Station,” Wheelock said.

A flood of voices jumbled out of the airwaves.

Astronauts aboard the space station often speak to students via ham radio, which can also

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CAARC 2020 Official Field Day Scores

I finally looked in the December QST for the 2020 ARRL Field Day Results.

Boy, are there a lot of entries to read through this year.

Our Central Alberta ARC showed 7 entries for a total of 2,928 points. These were the participants that I could confirm in the listings (my digital copy had very small print and I don’t think it supports “Find”}:

(December 19, adding information VA6SJA)

Station Class Points

VE6CIA     1D                               644

VA6SJA     1E                               384

VE6WCE    1D                                56

VA6MPM  1B 1 Operator Battery 155

Points accounted for 1,239.

In addition, by some technical glitch, it appears that the VE6BLD entry was not recorded. He sent in his entry and used the club name Central Alberta ARC. That station had 372 voice QSOs which would have added 372 points to our total.

As a matter of interest. there were scores as low as 2 in the 1D category and 46 in the 1E category. So, you should not have felt that your score was too low to submit.

Did you participate under the Club Name of Central Alberta ARC? Would you like to add your statistics here?

If you cannot look up your own score, send your claimed score to me at va6sja@rac.ca and I will try to confirm it.

John VA6SJA

SOTA Activations, Short Video Example

If you have been curious about what a SOTA activation looks like, this video is typical of our beautiful Canadian mountain SOTA activations.
Paul Mower
VA6MPM

 

VE6BLD’s solar pop can heater to warm your shack from the sun.

In 2014 I found a video on you tube of a man in Newfoundland who had built a solar pop can heater. I decided I would build one for my big shop in the back of my large town lot. There is a south facing wall to install it on a foot away from the wall for safety reasons as it can produce 80 -90 degree C!  I had an old double pane window in the shop that was about 3 by 7 feet. So the project began. I also had the aluminum frame from a score clock which had been removed from a school gym which turned out to be the perfect depth to fill with rows of pop cans after being insulated with 2 inch styrofoam. The metal frame also had a perfect indentation on the front to install the double pane window. See the pictures in the link below for how I  built  this pop can heater. I used a small squirrel cage fan on the inlet in the garage and another one on the outlet in the garage. There is a temperature sensor at the top of the outlet pipe connected to an adjustable digital temperature control ($8.00 on ebay). I can set any temperature to turn on the fans and I can also adjust the differential to turn off. As soon as the sun comes up and shines on the heater  it  will quickly come to the set temperature I programed of 32 C. The heater was tested to  produce up to +180 degrees F  (+80 degrees C) before I installed the fans. This is a good reason to have 2 fans so it will not melt the heater if one fan quits! Today Nov 11, 2020 the sun was very low (temperature – 12 degrees all day) but the heater quickly rose to +32 C and the thermostat turned the fans on. The heater produced a steady +18 C temp into the garage all day until there was no more sun shining on it. ! Darn nice free solar heat. 

Click the pictures in the gallery 

 

Click this link to see the picture gallery of this project 

 

 

 

Field Day 2020 Operations at VA6SJA

  • My First ever HF QSOs from my home station under my own call sign
  • My relatively vintage equipment worked!
  • I copied the ARRL Field Day Bulletin a few times and reconciled the copies
  • My first ever Field Day message to my Section Manager
  • But some of my things needed fixing

This is some of my Field Day story. What is yours? Anyone else who participated in Field Day is welcome to post about their efforts to this web site.

This post is a follow-up my post of October 27, “Preparations for Field Day 2020 at VA6SJA.”

Although I have participated in or visited a Field Days operation every year except four since 1994, this is the first time that I have set up and operated my own station for Field Day.

I regularly carry my cellular telephone around with me, alas, my first reaction is not to take photos when something happens. So unfortunately, I have no photos off this period

Since I was operating Class 1E, all radio operations including receiving the Bulletin would have to be under emergency power, from any of my gasoline generator, my truck battery (in my truck), and a small gel cell, as well as my laptop battery. I did however plug my laptop in to my generator power.

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