VTARA Attends Dayton HamVention 2014, ARRL 100th Birthday Celebration

Members of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association attended the 2014 Dayton HamVention from May 16-18, 2014. Many of the club members served as exhibitors while at the HamVention. In addition, VTARA took part in the 100th Birthday Party for the American Radio Relay Leage and the Annual Collegiate/Young Adult Ham Radio dinner, founded in part by VTARA in 2013.

VTARA Contingent to Attend Dayton Hamvention

The Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association will be sending a contingent of members and friends to the 2014 Dayton Hamvention. The Hamvention, which will take place from May 16 - 18, 2014 in Dayton, Ohio, is one of the largest annual gatherings of amateur radio operators in the world. The Hamvention program is quite diverse, including a trade show, forums and talks, special dinners and gatherings, and an extremely large radio flea market. Since 2014 is the Centennial Anniversary of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), many special events have been planned for this Hamvention, including the release of a Centennial Video and an ARRL birthday party on Sunday morning. The Hamvention will also continue its tradition of a Collegiate and Young Adult Ham Radio Dinner, started by VTARA in 2013.

Members of this year's VTARA contingent will be officially representing many different organizations within amateur radio, including:

*Zach Leffke, KJ4QLP, Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT)
*Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, Radio Scouting
*Kay and Carter Craigie, N3KN and N3AO, American Radio Relay League (ARRL)
*Bob and Sharon McGwier, N4HY and N1SMM, FlexRadio
*David and Gaynell Larsen, KK4WW and KK4WWW, Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service (FAIRS)

Also attending from VTARA:

*Ben Williams, KK4EWT
*Kenny Lewis, K4NNW

For more information on the Dayton Hamvention, please visit http://www.hamvention.org/.

VTARA Members at the 2013 Hamvention: Andrew Kriz KK4APR, Zach Leffke KJ4QLP, Ben Williams KK4EWT, Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF, and Kenny Lewis K4NNW

April 23, 2014 Meeting: Spring 2014 Update on Virginia Tech 10 GHz Moonbounce Efforts

Undergraduate students in the Virginia Tech Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department are working toward communicating with other amateur radio operators by reflecting signals off of the moon (Earth-Moon-Earth/EME/Moonbounce) The students are working with Dr. Denis Sweeney and Kim Homer to convert an abandoned KU-band uplink facility on the Virginia Tech campus for use as an EME station in the 10 GHz amateur band. This presentation was given to the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association on April 23, 2014.

VTARA Visits Computer Museum, N4USA in Floyd, VA

On Friday, May 2, 2014, members of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association went to Floyd, VA to visit the Bugbook Microcomputer Museum and the N4USA amateur radio station. The Bugbook Computer Museum is owned and curated by Dave (KK4WW) and Gaynell (KK4WWW) Larsen. Dave, retired from Virginia Tech, has been collecting computers for over forty years. While at Virginia Tech, he used microcomputers to transform data collection techniques in the chemistry department. He also was part of a team that authored an edited a series of books about computing and electronics known as Bugbooks.

Congratulations to New Hams!!

Hello, VTARA! We had a bumper crop of new hams this evening! Congratulations to the following:

Trevor (Extra!!)
Joshua (Tech)
Michael (Tech)
Matthew (Tech)
Jason (Tech)
Christopher (Tech)
Nicholas (Tech)
Kenneth (Tech)
Ryan (Tech)
Carina (Tech)
Alex (Tech)
John (Tech)
Chase (Tech)
Zach (Tech)
Jane (Tech)
Louis (Tech)
Timothy (Tech)
Angelo (Tech)
Philip (Tech)
Emily (Tech)
That makes 20 new hams!

Special thanks to Ron N4AJT for organizing the class that prepared most of these candidates. Most of these students took the class for 1 Virginia Tech credit. Special thanks also goes to Ben Williams, KK4EWT, who also helped teach the class and did an enormous amount of logistical work for this exam session.

Finally, thanks to all of the 14 VE’s who made it out to tonight’s session:

Congratulations to New and Upgraded Hams!!

Hello, VTARA!

Once again, I am please to congratulate and welcome the people who earned new and upgraded amateur radio licenses this evening:

Johanna, Technician
Andy, Technician
Cam, General (Passed both Tech and General)
Steven, Technician
Ross, Technician
Dwayne, KK4ZEL, General
This is a total of 4 techs and 2 generals. Everyone who came passed at least the exams they prepared for.

Simplex Net 3 April 2014

Thank you to everyone who checked into the simplex net tonight!  We had 11 checkins.
Announcements via KF4WZB:

Net report for March 27th, 2014

Check ins-
W4GDE/P - Dr. Earle - Stroll in the neighborhood; Signal report in the woods.
KK4UDB/P - Adam - at Kroger.

March 26 Meeting: Hams in Space: An Overview of Amateur Radio Satellites and Satellite Operation

March 26, 2014, 7:00 PM, Squires 219
Zach Leffke, KJ4QLP

This week’s VTARA meeting will cover a variety of topics pertaining to Amateur Radio Satellites. Zach Leffke, KJ4QLP, will show how they are launched, how to track them, Doppler shift, polarization considerations, modes of operation, and where to look up information about them. An overview of various ground station configurations, from simple to fairly complex, will be presented. Participants will learn about amateur satellite operation procedures and will have an opportunity see real ground station equipment. Zach will also lead a discussion about a future vision for satellite operations from the K4KDJ shack. Zach also hopes to bring plenty of show-and-tell type of equipment, as well as give us an update on recently launched satellites and a look toward what is coming in the future.

There is a chance we *might* be going outside for some of this meeting, so dress appropriately!

March 5 Meeting: Breaking Through the Pileup: DXing, Contesting, QSLing, and Awards

March 5, 2014, 7:00 PM, Squires 236

Breaking Through the Pileup: DXing, Contesting, QSLing, and Awards
Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF

Have you ever wanted to contact those far aways stations on HF, but you weren’t quite sure how? Do contest exchanges confuse you? How do I collect QSLs from exotic locations around the world? What is LOTW, DXCC, and WAS, anyway? Do I need a big antenna and a lot of power to be heard on the air? The answers to all of these questions and more will be discussed at this week’s VTARA meeting. Using HF radios in a live demonstration, we will also show how to set radio filters and fine-tune your radio settings and response in order to maximize your chances of making the QSO.


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