Archive for September 2013

ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest Sunday Sept 22   Leave a comment

The past weekend was a busy one indeed. I made some time to participate in the microwave contest, dragging my rig out to the bluff overlooking the Bolsa Chica Wetlands and then to El Segundo. The 10 GHz and Up Contest is unique, since it spans over two weekends, the first part is in mid-August and the second part near the end of September. This gives participants a chance to fix broken rigs and continue to add points to their scores.

To be honest, I was not prepared for this contest. I did not have any roving plans, my Prius was not modified to supply my 7 watt 10 GHz rig with power and my mobile radio was not programmed with any of the liaison / coordination frequencies. However, I managed to have some fun testing out my homemade 10 GHz (X-band) rig.

I noticed something during the contest: I was afraid of killing the 12V battery on the Prius, so I left the car on and “ready” during the entire contest. I turned off the air conditioner and the courtesy light. As with normal operation, the gasoline engine will only run when it is needed to charge the system, including the 300V (or whatever voltage it is) traction battery.

Since the rig draws 10 amps in transmit, and transmitting a continuous signal for “beaconing” so that other stations can find me is a routine practice in microwave contesting, I was worried that something might happen to the Prius power system.

However, the car seemed to be fine, and the rig was happy to run under full DC power, producing a clean signal and no “unlock” condition. The engine did start up and ran for less than one or two minutes at a time, and the engine is so quiet, sometimes I did not notice it was on.

Using the Prius as a power system worked out so well that I will eliminate my spare battery idea and mount a power connector on the battery box lid so I can use the DC to power station equipment for the next contest. I have a 100 Ah gel cell battery in a big plastic box that I usually use for radio contesting, so it is independent from the car power system – but I discovered the battery was dead and was not holding a charge when preparing for the Disaster Expo – that is another story. . .

Since I operated from these two locations before, I don’t have too many pictures of these places, but these will give you some idea of what operating a rover station in the 10 GHz contest is like. Well, not really.

My un-official score for about 5 hours of operating time is:

1900 QSO Points + 3341 Distance Points = 5241 Final Score

Best DX is 217 km, when I worked K6NKC and KC6UQH in DM12rr (East San Diego County) from El Segundo, DM03tw

The most fun and challenging contact happened to be my last contact. It was a two-way CW contact with WA6JBD in DM14go (not sure where), from the El Segundo water tower location.

Of the 29 total contacts made, 19 were unique callsigns

Here are some pictures . . .

Advertisements

Pacific Islander Festival Orange County   Leave a comment

kh6wz HB Pacific Islander Festival 9-21-2013 066

The disaster Preparedness Expo at the Huntington Beach Central Library on September 21 coincided with the Pacific Islander Festival Orange County. It was the 6th annual event…. I stopped to take some pictures and bought a t-shirt, but didn’t stay to watch the programs. There was plenty of exotic foods and displays.

The Huntington Beach events website said, “This fantastic event is meant to be spent among “friends”. The hospitality of the California’s island people originating from  Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Aotearoa,  Northern Marianas, Belau, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Fiji, is undeniably alluring and enchanting, as you’ll see when you come to the free Polynesian fest. . . . ”

kh6wz HB Pacific Islander Festival 9-21-2013 065

kh6wz HB Pacific Islander Festival 9-21-2013 067

kh6wz HB Pacific Islander Festival 9-21-2013 069

Looks like I should visit this event next year. Aloha.

Huntington Beach RACES and the Disaster Preparedness Expo September 21, 2013   Leave a comment

Six active Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service – RACES – members were on-hand to meet and greet visitors to the Disaster Preparedness Expo on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Huntington Beach Central Library.

The RACES volunteers explained what the RACES group is and what we do for the City of Huntington Beach. Joe Tom, KB6JOE, brought his portable radio system, shown in some of the pictures. Wayne Yoshida, KH6WZ and Public Information Officer (PIO) for the RACES team, brought an Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) beacon, which transmitted the demonstration station location. A screen capture of the map can be seen below. The Expo location is indicated by the eye icon and the KH6WZ-5 callsign. The APRS message also points to the HB RACES website, www.hbraces.org/.

kh6wz hb races emergency expo 9-21-2013

Screen capture of the APRS beacon information. The Disaster Preparedness Expo location is indicated by the callsign KH6WZ-5 as well as the eye icon.

The Disaster Preparedness Expo is an annual, free event where the City’s emergency services organizations educate the public about emergency preparedness and the possible disasters that can happen to the city of Huntington Beach, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The Expo is also a demonstration and recruiting tool for emergency preparedness volunteer groups in the city.

Additional information about the event can be found on the Huntington Beach Events website.

HB RACES volunteers at the Emergency Expo

Ray Coulon WA6CTS

Mike Fitzgerald KE6WUO

Gary Labb KM6VC

Joe Tom KB6JOE

Jeff Turlis KE6BNS

Wayne Yoshida KH6WZ

Other Groups at the Expo

American Red Cross

FireMed

HB Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

HB Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)

Huntington Beach Fire Department Urban Search & Rescue (USAR)

Huntington Beach Police Department

National Weather Service

Ready OC

Huntington Beach cable TV channel 3  was at the event, and shot plenty of video of the demonstrations and displays. Several of the event volunteers were interviewed and may appear on TV soon.

Here are some pictures of the event. . . .

Fed by Agility Fuel Systems: $107 Million Worth of MCI CNG Commuter Coach Buses   Leave a comment

No, not the long distance phone company. MCI is Motor Coach Industries in Schaumburg, IL USA.

MCI recently won an order for 84 of their CNG buses ($107.4 million) from New Jersey Transit.

Take a look at the beautiful buses made by MCI, powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas fed via Agility Fuel Systems.

More CNG news is posted at NGV Today, go to www.ngvtoday.org to subscribe.

A Whole Bunch of Interesting News Items   Leave a comment

I came across these interesting tid-bits and trivia, and decided to share them here

Toyota Texas Produces 1 Millionth Truck
A million of anything is a lot. This Toyota plant is in the USA and keeping folks working

Batmobile 1989 Runs on CNG
Compressed Natural Gas in a great application!

Utah Speed Limit – 80 MPH
Don’t you wish you were driving over there?

Volvo’s Hamster is Cooler than Kia’s Hamsters
Story about a single hamster driving a giant truck. Volvo’s hamster is real, Kia’s hamsters are fake.

Type 65 Coupe Update: More Cockpit Aluminum Chores   Leave a comment

On Saturday morning, I remembered that I stopped working on the sheet aluminum. So I decided I should get that Cleco-ed in place so I can get the panels ready for prep and paint. Then I can move on to the fuel tank, and then – finally – install the engine.

What to Do with a Couple Hundred Electric Motors   1 comment

I came across this sculpture while doing some research on mechanical sculptures. The video is a bit long, but the creations look like a good way to use a bunch of surplus motors. . .  They make a noise that sounds like falling rain or a racquetball court – or – something.

>>>> Click here to see the works made by the artist called Zimoun