Monday 27 March 2017

CTARC Forthcoming April Meeting - 22 Apr '17

On Saturday 22 April at 14h00, the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre will hold its monthly meeting for April at the usual clubhouse venue.

At the meeting, Hendrik / ZS1EEE will give a talk on Software Defined Radio. This revolutionary technology, where computer software takes over a major part of the RF signal demodulation processes (formerly only do-able with expensive hardware) is providing a paradigm shift in amateur (as well as commercial and military) radio applications.

Don't miss this one!

[This meeting has now taken place. The report is here.]

Sunday 26 March 2017

CTARC Report-Back on Work Party 2/2 - 26 Mar '17

Here are some photos from the CTARC Antenna Work Party of  Saturday 25 March 2017.

The report-back write-up is [here]

Paul and Danny prep the antenna tower for lowering

Mast is lowered, resting on a ladder at a strategic point

Fritz chats with Hans-Jurgen and Wolfgang, who are assembling
the MFJ multi-band vertical antenna on the clubhouse floor

Lem and Chris measure up and check the troublesome
Firce-12 antenna's dimensions

In the foreground, Paul checks the Cushcraft Tribander's manual

Rob discovered some blackened coax connectors on a feedline that been
subjected to a bit TOO much power...

Lem does some last-minute reassembly on the antenna, now safe in its rack

Pieter shows Skippy what his antenna analyser can do

A choke balun on the base of  the MFJ vertical antenna

Hans-Jurgen works on the multi-band vertical antenna, which has been
set up on stands outside for ease of assembly

Skippy works on the long wire antenna which had suffered
misadventure a while back

Trap elements are gently sanded clean for good contact

Noel takes the opportunity to do some repairs to a clubhouse door

Noel, Hans-Jurgen and Wolfgang

Barry cranks up the telescopic element to get the antenna right up there

The analyser can be connected to a laptop display, which shows
huge detail as you zoom in.

At the end of the afternoon, Barry attempts to abduct Danny in the boot
of his car. After all, who wouldn't want a structural engineer to design
such grandiose antenna projects? Danny fights back desperately.
(Actually, Danny was kindly helping to fix the light in Barry's car boot...)

Back to the Report

CTARC Report-Back on Work Party 1/2 - 26 Mar '17

On 25 March 2017 at 09h00, club members met at the clubhouse for an Antenna Work Party, under the direction of Noel, ZS1FW.

About 17 people attended, Rob /ZS1SA, Noel / ZS1FW, Barry / ZS1FJ, Fritz / ZS1FZ, Danny / ZS1BL, Paul / ZS1S, Pieter / ZS1PGC, Hans-Jurgen / ZS1HJH, Wolfgang / ZR1WLH, Chris / ZS1CDG, Lem / ZS1LEM, Mike / ZS1PE, Elsabe & John / ZS1AGH, Skippy & his buddy, and Nick / ZS1ZD. Thanks to all who contributed to make the work party a successful one.

We took down the main Cushcraft Tribander beam, which had been giving poor SWR readings and was clearly in need of attention. Due diligence was applied to the 10m traps. SWR measurements were made, adjustments made to the elements, measurements re-taken, further adjustments made to tune up the antenna. On raising the beam again that afternoon, we got significant improvements in the SWR readings, especially in 10, 15 and 20 m bands. (SWR of 1.06 : 1 on 15m) We’re very grateful to Pieter / ZS1PGC and Paul / ZS1S, for taking readings with their broadband antenna analysers. Also to Hans-Jurgen / ZS1HJH for bringing his network analyser along too.

Simultaneously, Noel, Chris and Lem tackled the Force 12 antenna which had been under-performing since the Lighthouse Weekend. Its individual elements were diligently re-measured cleaned and re-assembled and re-riveted. We hope to see a similar improvement in that antenna’s performance in due course.

Skippy and Nick tackled the longwire antenna which had become entangled in trees and infrastructure.

Hans Jurgen and Wolfgang started assembling  the MFJ vertical multiband antenna, which has been kindly donated to the club. It will, in due course, provide backup coverage of the HF bands. The feedline for this antenna was also routed into the clubhouse. We will hold a further mini-work party to erect this vertical once it has been fully assembled and tested, Our club will be on the air shortly.
It was really great to see new club members pitching in and helping the old timers with the work. Thanks also to Elsabe and John/ ZS1AGH, who very kindly brought along a scrumptious platter of gingerbread to sustain the workers.

We finished work at around 14h30 after a most productive day.

Chris / ZS1CDG has produced this fine video of the event on YouTube [here].

Photos are [here].

Friday 24 March 2017

CTARC Committee Meeting Cancelled - 17 Apr '17

Please note that the CTARC committee meeting for 19h00 on Monday, 17 April 2017 has been cancelled.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

CTARC Forthcoming Work Party on 25 March '17

Please note that because the CTARC held its Mega Fleamarket on Saturday 4 March 2017, there will be a work party at the CTARC clubhouse on Saturday 25 March. This is in place of the normal (sit-down) monthly meeting / lecture that usually takes place on the fourth Saturday of the month.

Our main antenna mast needs to be lowered and the Force-12 yagi antenna requires some serious maintenance / repair. In addition, we want to raise an HF vertical antenna that was kindly donated to the CTARC.

We'd be most grateful for any assistance from club members who can attend. We meet at 09h00 on Saturday morning 25 March at the CTARC Clubhouse.

Our next monthly meeting will be at 14h00 on Saturday 22 April 2017.

Sunday 12 March 2017

CTARC Ragchew March 2017

The March 2017 edition of the Cape Town Amateur Radio Centre's bi-monthly newsletter "Ragchew" is now published. Grateful thanks once again to Anne for another fine edition!

Download the PDF file [here].

Ragchew is also on our Newsletters page

Monday 6 March 2017

CTARC Committee Meeting - 20 March '17

There will be a meeting for members of the CTARC committee, at 19h00 on Monday, 20 March 2017, at the CTARC Clubhouse.

Please diarise accordingly.

Sunday 5 March 2017

CTARC Report-Back on 4 March '17 Fleamarket 5 of 5

Chris / ZS1CDG shot a great video of the CTARC Fleamarket on Saturday.

Look at it on YouTube [here].

CTARC Report-Back on 4 March '17 Fleamarket 4 of 5

Batch 4 (final)

There's an MFJ Antenna Analyser in that there box...

Andre / ZS1AN has found a precious QRO valve...

Fred / ZS1FZ (centre)

Elsabe, Sandy, Anne and Matt / ZS1MTF

Ian / ZS1SX had an interesting assortment on his table.

Matt / ZS1MJJ and Klaus / ZS1QO

The Speed Boat Mechanic made it across the ocean to visit us!
Welcome, Andrew!

Dave / ZS1DFR won one of the raffles - shown here with appropriate hubris...
Danny / ZS1BL and Matt /ZS1MJJ look on

Dennis / ZS1AU, Mike / ZS1FP, Barry / ZS1FJ, Matt / ZS1MJJ.
In the foreground is Vidi / ZS6AL

End of the day and all goods gone.
Note the clever table on top of the folding ladder
Back to First Batch

CTARC Report-Back on 4 March '17 Fleamarket 3 of 5

Even more photos...

More components in bakkies...

And more...

And even more!

OK, the item on the right is a 12v PSU, but the thingummy on the left....?

Dirkie / ZS1X and Kobus / ZS1K

Avron / ZS1LA

By 14h00 the joint was jumping!  Great attendance.

Pierre / ZU1DX makes an emphatic point

Tom / ZS1TA, famished, barely makes it into the refreshments tent...
Anne stands by, willing to assist with food and drink.
(Actually, Tom was kindly hanging on to the tent when a sudden
gust of wind threatened to pick it up and carry it off)

On to Batch 4 of photos