April 10, 2018: Software Defined Radios
The April RARC program will cover Software Defined Radios AKA SDR’s. Software Defined Radios (SDR’s) have revolutionized the HF radio monitoring hobby. Software-defined radios (SDR’s) are radio communication systems where components that have been traditionally implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, modulators/demodulators, detectors, etc.) are instead implemented by means of software on a personal computer or embedded system. In a software defined radio receiver, the signal is first converted to a digital form, and the heavy hauling is done by a computer. While the concept of SDR is not new, the rapidly evolving capabilities of digital electronics render practical many processes which used to be only theoretically possible. An SDR can tune a broad range of frequencies and display a waterfall whose size is only limited by the dimensions of the computer monitor. Learn how to set up and configure SDR’s. Demonstrations will be provided that will cover how to connect an SDR to both a computer and a radio. SDR switches allow an SDR to work in parallel with an amateur radio and will be exhibited as part of the program.
March 13, 2018: Amateur Radio Electronics Primer
Pat Cahill - W0BM
Developing an understanding of electronics is an fundamental element of amateur radio. Increasing your knowledge of electronics will help you to pass the General and Extra license exams, while also aiding you in keeping your ham shack operating in top order. W0BM (Pat Cahill) offered a “How To” overview of many of the more common pieces of test equipment used in amateur radio including multi-meters, frequency counters, signal generators, and antenna analyzers. This will be a “hands-on” program-bring your meters, both analog and digital, and we can check the calibration using a calibrated standard. There will be a couple door prizes….
February 13, 2018: Getting Started with FT-8
RARC’s February 2018 program will address the basics of getting started with FT-8 using WSJT-X software. This amazing new digital mode enables rapid communication around the world with low power and simple antennas. FT8 is an amateur radio weak signal communication protocol developed by Joe Taylor (K1JT) and Steve Franke (K9AN). FT8 uses 8-FSK modulation; a complete QSO transmission typically can be completed in about 1.5 minutes.
FT-8 Operating Guide (Link provided by K4IU)
January 9th, 2018
Pat Cahill - W0BM
CBA III - Computerized Battery Analyzer
The CBA is much more than a simple battery voltage tester or a battery load tester. Unlike a simple load tester the CBA will test virtually any type or size of battery, any chemistry or number of cells, up to 55 volts. For the first time and for a reasonable price, anyone can do scientific tests of their batteries.