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Events

Here are recent happenings in the IARC. This is like a "blog" and club members can contribute almost anything.

We're interested in seeing your new equipment, antenna, mobile installation, operating event, contest results or anything else. Give us the overview and images here and, of course, send a write-up to the SquakBox editor!

Field Day 2014

posted Jul 19, 2014, 12:55 PM by Barry Hansen

On June 28-29, 2014, we enjoyed our annual Field Day at Sunny Hills Elementary School.

Tower Take-down

posted Nov 17, 2012, 7:57 PM by Barry Hansen

On November 15, 2012, the Issaquah ARC club held a work party to take down an unused tower and antenna system from an aging local ham. Here is a slideshow of our activity.

Are you interested in buying this very nice tri-band beam or vertical? Or buying a used 60-foot winch-driven tilt-over tower? Please contact Rod WE7X!
Do YOU have unused radios, towers or antennas that you would like to donate to a good cause? Call us, we can help!

Field Day 2012

posted Aug 1, 2012, 4:44 PM by Barry Hansen

W7BI Field Day 2012


Field Day 2012 Plans

posted Jun 14, 2012, 8:07 AM by Barry Hansen

Saturday - Sunday, June 23rd - 24th, 2012
  • 8 am Begin setup
  • 11 am Begin operating Saturday
  • 2 pm End operating Sunday

Class 2A:

  • HF station #1: TS-850, vee beam
  • HF station #2: TS-850, inverted vee
  • VHF station: FT-897, 6m and 2m beams
  • Digital: (not this year)
  • GOTA: (not this year)

Logistics:

  • Food (meals provided)
  • No alcohol on school grounds
  • Bring your own chairs
  • All battery powered stations
  • Power mains for fridge, lights, other
  • Club meeting at 7:15 pm Saturday, all invited
  • Everyone welcome to operate or hang around
  • Everyone help set up and tear down
  • Everyone to recruit visitors, youth U19

Location Map of Sunny Hills:

Field Day Site Map of IARC at Sunny Hills

Barn Layout Map of Sunny Hills:

Barn layout map of IARC - W7BI at Sunny Hills
Bonus Points Plan:
  1. 100% emergency power     (100 pts per xmtr)  
  2. Media publicity     (100 pts)     Resp: John KA7TTY
  3. Public location     (100 pts)    Resp: (done)
  4. Public information table     (100 pts)     Resp: John
  5. Message to Section Manager (100 pts)     Resp: John
  6. Message handling     (100 pts)     Resp: John
  7. Satellite QSO     (100 pts)     Resp: 
  8. Alternate power, non mains, non generator (100 pts)
  9. W1AW bulletin     (100 pts)     Resp: John
  10. Educational activity     (100 pts)     Resp: 
  11. Site visitation by elected official (100 pts)     Resp: Bruce
  12. Site visitation by served agency (100 pts)     Resp: Bruce
  13. GOTA station     (10 – 500 pts)     (not this year)
  14. Web entry     (50 pts)     Resp: Barry
  15. Youth participation U19     (20 – 100 pts)     Resp: Everyone to recruit youth

Jan 2012 VHF Contest

posted Jan 24, 2012, 11:21 AM by Barry Hansen   [ updated Apr 24, 2012, 7:53 PM by Barry Hansen ]

Rod WE7X and Barry WA7KVC went roving around Olympic Peninsula coastline on January 21-22 during the ARRL January 2012 VHF Contest.

Our goal was to activate the remote lowland coastal grids in the state during the VHF contest. This is the dead of winter so other possible destinations that involve actual hilltops or mountainous inland grids were not considered, especially in light of our recent weather. The Seattle area was still digging out from snowfall, ice storms, downed trees, mudslides, widespread power outages and closures. To set the stage, you should realize that Rod’s home had been without power for two days before, and their neighborhood was still dark when we returned. Barry’s house had power restored just before we left.

Our plan to target the “warmer” ocean coast turned out to be mostly successful – at least it didn’t rain all the time during our trip. Sometimes it snowed for awhile instead.

During the 650-mile drive, our constant companions were rain, cold, wind, squalls, snow and fog. But it was fabulously scenic. Thankfully the 4Runner’s broad liftgate provided shelter from the worst elements when we stopped and put up the 2-meter beam at the back of the truck. All we had to do is remember to park pointing into the wind.
Rod WE7X in the freezing rain at Sekiu, WA Barry WA7KVC in (very!) brief sunshine at Ocean Shores Airport

Route
We drove clockwise around the Olympic Peninsula, thinking that we should activate the single most difficult grid square (CN78 at Sekiu) on Sunday morning during the VHF weak-signal net. This turned out to be a Good Idea because it gave us a better chance of reaching the most capable VHF stations. It was difficult to make any contacts but we achieved a few by bouncing signals from Mt Baker.
Driving route map for January VHF Contest rover

Rover Highlights
We scouted the route to North Point (Kloshe Nanitch Lookout), a nice high 3,000’ ridge in the closer part of CN78. The road was totally blocked by recent snow to the extent that its forest path was unfindable.
Kloshe Nanitch Lookout road at North Point, Washington

Instead of North Point, we went to a spot near the Sekiu airport, a distant second choice in altitude and desirability, but it's the best we could do in an area simply chock full of poor choices.
Sekiu Airport in the dead of winter

I love the banter you can use when calling from CN78: "CQ CQ, CQ from Sekiu, CQ to Sekiu, and CQ everywhere else". I think that all active hams should have a chance to visit a place that can help spread so much mind-boggling confusion.

Crossing grid lines is always exciting. Just when you think the bands died or the antenna fell off, you cross a grid line and suddenly become extremely popular again. All grid line crossings were like this, but when we entered CN97 above Issaquah Highlands on the plateau at 1,001-foot elevation, we enjoyed a real pile-up. Rod made 15 contacts in 10 minutes.
Rod WE7X working mobile radio in Issaquah Highlands


A blizzard at night driving from Forks to Port Angeles caused almost white-out conditions. Indeed, there was snow alongside the road on the entire route and snowplows were few and far between.
Curvy winter road signposted 15 mph near Port Angeles Winter travel from Forks to Port Angeles Winter snowplow on road to Kingston, WA Wet winter conditions at Sekiu Airport, WA

It was a new experience to send CW in conditions so cold that it required two-finger gloves.
Barry sends morse code in the cold with two-finger gloves
January is so far off the tourist season in Port Angeles that one of their best Fish-n-Chips restaurants closed early: 7pm Saturday!

A golden sun spurting crepuscular rays across the heavens while it sets behind a cloud bank over the crashing surf is always a huge inspirational thrill, even in near-freezing temperatures.
Winter setting sun at beaches near Forks, WA Winter sunset at beaches near Forks, WA

We pulled into a Super-8 hotel in Port Angeles, and their entry overhang looked quite high. Imagine our surprise when we step out to discover the loops had just cleared it by an inch. If we’d parked a little to the left then it would’ve had a nasty dispute with a light fixture.
Rod WE7X looks up at close call in Super-8 motel

Testing New Gear
A large part of this trip's purpose was to try out a wide variety of new equipment:
  1. New Toyota 4Runner – a very capable truck that makes some unthinkable spots possible and some difficult conditions become easy. It has lots of storage room and good road manners at all speeds in all conditions.
    Biggest problem: while operating at the back end, the rainwater pools in the liftgate and later, when you pull down the hatch, makes itself known. The icy water takes a diabolically unavoidable path down your arm and into your neck and armpit.
    Second biggest problem: In spite of its advanced hill-climbing features, a new 4Runner still won’t let you climb a forest trail up to a 3,000’ ridge on a road that is so buried under snow that it’s unfindable.
     
  2. New trailer hitch T-adapter – this allows two versatile side mounting positions, where we could have two masts while not blocking the rear hatch access.
    Biggest problem: Rod is keeping it for himself. So, just because he provided the entire idea, design, parts, labor, construction, painting, installation and testing, why does he think he can keep this dandy device?
    Trailer hitch T-adapter for radio mast mounts
     
  3. New TM-D710 dual band mobile radio – integrates with Avmap G5 and supports APRS and displays your six-digit grid square with a handy continuous dashboard display.
    Biggest problem: there were no APRS receiving stations around most of the Olympic Peninsula to bridge our position to the Internet.
    Kenwood TM-D710 showing APRS information at Issaquah Highlands CN97
     
  4. M2 seven-element 2-meter beam on a 15’ mast – terrific gain, f/b ratio, low SWR, portability and light weight. This let us bounce a signal from CN78 (Sekiu) off of Mt Baker and work a few stations in Seattle.
    Biggest problem: you just don’t need these features for the other 90% of the contacts around the greater Seattle area.
    Barry WA7KVC with M2 seven-element 2-meter beam on 15' mast at Sekiu, WA
     
  5. New deep-cycle storage battery – its huge 134 amp-hour capacity could probably have powered both VHF radios for the entire weekend.
    Biggest problem: the battery went untested and unused since it I forgot to connect it.
Results
The overall contest activity was very light. The recent ice and snow storms probably reduced the participation from everyone across the Pacific NW. We had no good 6-meter or 2-meter openings during the trip and we only made three Canadian contacts.
 
Band
From CN76 From CN77 From CN78 From CN87 From CN88 From CN97  
Total
 50 MHz 2 4 14 10 14 47
144 MHz 4 4 9 17 4 12 50
432 MHz 6 6
Total 6 8 9 31 14 35 103

This was my first two-person rover contest operation. It was highly enjoyable and a rather successful trip, activating six grids resulting in 103 contacts for an estimated score of 2,398 points.

Barry WA7KVC
Winter sunset with crepuscular rays at beaches near Forks, WA Winter rainbow near Port Angeles, WA

Sept VHF Contest

posted Jan 5, 2012, 7:03 AM by Barry Hansen   [ updated Jan 5, 2012, 7:13 AM ]

The W7BI club station operated from Mount Rainier in the ARRL VHF Contest on September 11th, 2011. Here are some photographs contributed by Rod WE7X. Click on the thumbnail image to see it at regular size.

Early morning sunrise with Suntop Lookout in the distance
Early morning sunrise with Suntop Lookout in the distance

Papa, Momma and wee baby Honda bears (near Suntop Lookout)
Papa, Momma and wee baby Honda bears (near Suntop Lookout)

Lots of antennas for four bands!
Lots of antennas for four bands!

2011-09-11 W7BI VHF  field station setup and ready
W7BI VHF  field station setup and ready on 2011-09-11

SDR Program

posted Oct 6, 2011, 11:04 AM by Barry Hansen   [ updated Nov 3, 2011, 6:29 AM ]

At the October 5th, 2011 meeting our program was a fascinating presentation about Software Defined Radios (SDR) by member Howard W1HMB and guest John W7FU. Click here to read the program material. You can follow its links to much more information.

Many thanks to Howard and John!

Update: Here is the latest High-Performance Software-Defined Radio article from CQ Magazine, Nov 2011, by PNW ham Jeremy McDermond NH6Z. He is the author of the Mac SDR software and is often seen at technical gatherings around the Pacific Northwest area.

Salmon Run 2011

posted Sep 23, 2011, 8:47 AM by Barry Hansen   [ updated Oct 6, 2011, 11:00 AM by Barry Hansen ]

Some of our IARC members participated in the Washington State QSO Party (aka Salmon Run) on Sept 17 - 18.

Barry WA7KVC drove to the Umatilla Natonal Forest and activated the mostly-empty Garfield County.
For his full photo story, see his writeup at www.wa7kvc.com.
Barry's station at Teal Campground in Garfield County Batteries and solar power for Salmon Run Barry's shack in Garfield County for the Salmon Run 2011

Rod WE7X made contacts from the Suntop Lookout station in Pierce County overlooking the northwest flank of Mt Rainier.
For his full story, see the Oct 2011 SquakBox.
Suntop Lookout near Mt Rainier

(Did any other members participate in the Salmon Run? Add your comment below or email it to the webmaster!)

Field Day Results

posted Jul 19, 2011, 10:11 AM by Barry Hansen   [ updated Oct 3, 2011, 7:04 PM ]

On June 25 and 26, the Issaquah ARC set up and operated a Field Day station at Sunny Hills elementary school. Point-wise, it’s interesting to note the digital station made twice as many points as the other voice stations combined! Even so, our total bonus points were greater than all our contact points put together. This is typical of most years, where it takes a huge number of on-the-air contacts to equal all the bonus points.

Total claimed score:

1,848 points (contacts + bonus)

QSO Summary

Band

Digital

Phone

QSOs

160M
80M 11 25 36
40M 46 31 77
20M 54 39 93
15M 17 17
10M 2 2
6M 37 37
2M 5 5
222
432 2 2
Total QSO 130 139 269 Total QSOs
Total points 260 139 399 Total contact points
Total points 798 Contacts times mult

Bonus Point Summary

Bonus: 100% emergency power 200
Bonus: Media publicity 100
Bonus: Public loc 100
Bonus: Public info table 100
Bonus: Message to SM 100
Bonus: Message handling 100
Bonus: Satellite QSO 0
Bonus: Alternate power 100
Bonus: W1AW bulletin 100
Bonus: Educational activity 0
Bonus: Visit by elected official 0
Bonus: Visit by served agency 100
Bonus: GOTA station 0
Bonus: Web submission 50
Bonus: Youth participation 0
1050 Total bonus points
Total Sections 58 Sections
Total States 44 States
 
Soapbox: This was an effort by the Issaquah Amateur Radio Club (WA). We went in to have fun, hang out together, bring in visitors and try new things. Our digital station was a lot of fun on PSK, and our VHF station enjoyed a really good 6m band opening. It’s not often you work Florida from Washington state on 6m! Big thanks go to all our club members who pitched in to help setup, provide food and equipment, and then tear down and clean up.

Field Day 2011

posted Jul 19, 2011, 10:00 AM by Barry Hansen   [ updated Jul 19, 2014, 12:56 PM ]

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