Monday, 18 February 2019

CTARC Forthcoming Fox-Hunt - Sat 23 Feb '19

THIS SATURDAY, 23 February:

For those wishing to take part in the next fox hunt, we will be meeting at the club house at 14h00B: [2 p.m. local time] on our regular meeting date of 23 February 2019.
This promises to be a fun event!

For those unfamiliar with Fox Hunting, we will hide a small 2-metre band transmitter somewhere and it will transmit one minute on and one minute off continually. Your job is to find it by following the direction of the strongest signal received on your radio.

You will need:

  • Your 2-metre handheld radio tuned to 145.525 MHz.
  • It will be most helpful to have a small directional antenna in order to pinpoint the direction of the fox which is transmitting on 145.525 Mhz.
  • An attenuator of some sort would also be helpful but not absolutely necessary for this hunt. Alternatively you can also try using the body fade technique with just a hand held radio with its rubber antenna. We will show you how to do this on the day.
(For more information on the suggest equipment, please see your January 2019 issue of Ragchew).

We will make this an easy hunt so you will be able to find the fox with minimal equipment. This hunt will be on foot. If the fox is found too quickly on that day then we will hide it in another more difficult location. It is estimated that the hunt will take a maximum of 1 hour to complete. Once we become more experienced at finding the fox, later in the year on our next hunt we will hide the fox further away requiring you possibly drive to get close to the fox then get out of your car and find the fox on foot.

Come and enjoy the fun on the Saturday afternoon and even if you don’t want to take part, come along and encourage the hunters.


Sunday, 17 February 2019

CTARC Forthcoming Committee Meeting - 18 Feb '19

CTARC Committee members are reminded of the forthcoming meeting at 19h00 on Monday 18 February 2019 at the clubhouse.

(If you can't be there, please remember to send in your reports and apologies to Rob or Anne.).

Saturday, 16 February 2019

CTARC Forthcoming March Meeting - 2 March '19

The CTARC's March monthly meeting will be, as is always the case, our Mega Flea Market, which is traditionally held on the first Saturday in March. In this case, that will be Saturday, 2nd of March, 2019.

The venue will, as ever, be our clubhouse, off Laidlaw Lane in Rondebosch.

This is just to give advance notice of the event so that you all have time to:
  • decide what equipment you would like to dispose of,
  • dust off the boxes and vacuum-clean the innards of spiders,
  • start composing creative sales pitches to prospective buyers, and
  • think up equally creative rationales for your XYLs, YLs or Significant Others as to just why the numerous items you will have purchased at the event are essential items for your radio shack and have been acquired for far less than the cost of the compensatory movie tickets and restaurant meals you may well have to budget for in addition to your purchases...
If you haven't attended a CTARC Mega Flea Market, you can read about last year's one [here].

More details will be announced closer to the time.

Monday, 11 February 2019

CTARC National Field Day - 9/10 Feb '19

Members of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre set up a solar- and battery-powered field day radio station outside the clubhouse for the SARL National Field Day Event, which took place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February 2019.

The Field Day's traditional purpose is to give radio amateurs the opportunity to rehearse their emergency preparedness for comms operation in the face of a disaster or weather emergency, where adequate mains power and conventional fixed antennas would potentially be unavailable.

Danny, ZS1BL, Lem ZS1LEM, James (no call sign) and Chris ZS1CDG had a very windy day out in the field. Several different antennas were tried out but the gods of propagation where not on our side. We did make several contacts however and it was a lot of fun.

Thanks to Chris ZS1CDG for the photos below:

Friday, 1 February 2019

CTARC Forthcoming Fox Hunt #2 - 23 Feb '19

Following the recent fox hunt held in December 2018, we have decided to hold another one, on Saturday, 23 February 2019 - not in March as was originally announced here.

This event will replace our usual February monthly meeting. We will meet at the CTARC clubhouse at 14h00 and kick off from there.

We are providing an early heads-up about this so that members can dig out their rusty, trusty two-metre band DF antennas and portable radios from the attic, polish them up and test them in good time.

Even if you don't have a 2m DF antenna but do have a tin can your 2m handie will fit into, bring those along and you will learn how you can use the can and your body as attenuators to get at least approximate bearings on the elusive fox's signal.

Fox hunts are great fun, and we hope as many CTARC members and friends as possible can attend this one!

Further details will be posted here in due course.

Monday, 28 January 2019

CTARC Ragchew - 28 Jan '19

The January/February 2019 edition of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" is now published.

Grateful thanks once again to our editor, Anne, for all her excellent work in putting together this month's edition, and to all those who contributed articles.

Remember please, Anne is always on the look-out for articles to publish in Ragchew!

Download the PDF file [here];

Ragchew is also on our Newsletters Page

Sunday, 27 January 2019

CTARC's Postal Details Have Changed ! - 27 Jan '19

The Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's physical postal address has changed.

Henceforth, all non-electronic communications are to be sent, please, to the following P O Box address:
P O Box 12187
Cape Town 2018
Republic of South Africa

CTARC Photos of January Meeting - 26 Jan '19

Here are photos of the January 2019 meeting at the CTARC clubhouse. Grateful thanks to Chris ZS1CDG and Nick ZS1ZD for providing the photos.

The written report-back is [here].

Before the meeting, a great opportunity to catch up on the skinner

Chairman Rob ZS1SA reports on the recent Committee Meeting,
welcomes new guests and informs us of progress at the
mornings antenna work party.

Rob kicks off the Show and Tell session by showing us his
fine tape-measure VHF DF antenna

Detail of the antenna
Detail of the antenna

Detail of the antenna

Rob also showed us his nifty DF attenuator,
made from a BNC plug and co-ax adaptor

Keverne ZS1ABU assembles his AMSATSA dual-band VHF/UHF
satellite antenna

This antenna is very portable and lightweight, and available from AMSATSA
for a very reasonable sum.

Mike ZS1FP demos his coax stripper tool, which he
kindly donated to the CTARC after his demo.

Mike also showed us his Snap-On coax cutter,

Nick ZS1ZD showed us his cheap Chinese portable receiver,
which is proving very useful for hunting down RFI problems in the shack

Chris ZS1CDG showed us his finely constructed weather station,
consisting of an LED readout, an Arduino-type chip with code
cobbled together from various internet resources, and a WiFi link to
his laptop PC, that download the data from weather websites

Close-up of Chris's unit.

Rob ZS1RDM showed us some military rigs that will be very familiar
to some of us of a certain era...

A close-up of the front fascia of a B25 transceiver

The internal construction is modular, to assist rapid servicing

Configured as a base station, with the transceiver. a 100W linear amp
and an automatic antenna tuning unit.

The B25 was also configured as a manpack.

No doubt about it - green radio are cool!

Mil-spec construction of the innards of a B25

This handset will look familiar to some of us signalmen...

Rob has a growing collection of green radios, which he restores
and considers very useful for demonstrating amateur
radio to potential newcomers to the hobby.

Chris ZS1CDG tries out the military headset

Paul ZS1Z shows us a 60 GHz point-to-point data link unit
that can send a 1 GHz-wide stream of BPSK data
to a similar unit, up to 8 km distant

The cadioptric feedpoint of the business end of the 60 GHz unit

Fred ZS1FZ takes a look at the cast-aluminium chassis of the microwave unit

Outside the clubhouse, David W5TN (visiting from Texas USA}
set up his impressive Elecraft K3, laptop and 40m loop antenna
and started making FT5 contacts straight away.

Lem ZS1LEM and Fred ZS1FZ

Danny ZS1BL, Enzo I2VZL {visiting from Italy}
and Rob ZS1SA

Enzo I2VZL, Dennis ZS1AU and Enzo's XYL

The man with two hats!  Dennis ZS1AU proudly wear's Enzo's club cap AND his
Bouvet Island DxPedition cap. Chris ZS1CDG kindly provided Dennis
with transport home