95 results for author: Scott Toth


October GARA Meeting – Battery Management

This month I will be talking about a battery management project I am working on for a set of LiPo batteries to power a portable station. The goal is to monitor the status of each battery in the set and to automatically switch a battery to a solar charger or to the radio as needed. I built a manual system to do this, but now I want to automate it. I hope you find it interesting.Also, winter Field Day is coming up, so if you are interested, please let me know. I will discuss it at the meeting. Several of us participated in last year's event and had a good time, so I hope you will consider helping out this year. 73,David McLin, AC4A Meeting ...

September GARA Meeting – Inexpensive VNAs in Action

A number of club members have recently purchased a vector network analyzer called “NanoVNA” off of eBay and we will be demonstrating how it works and measuring various antennas to show how well they’re tuned. These devices can measure many different electrical parameters including complex impedance, reflected power and SWR to show you the performance of your antenna or antenna system. If you’d like to see how your antenna stacks up, bring it along! This will be a fun and educational demonstration of an inexpensive piece of measurement equipment at work. Update: here is the link to the NanoVNA on eBay if you are interested in purchasing ...

August GARA Meeting

Have you ever wondered what it takes to coordinate a large, international, and dangerous trip to a remote location so that other hams can add that new entity to their QSL lists? The 2015 Navassa Island K1N DXpedition is a great example of how to raise funds, coordinate activities, and run a successful trip. Come and visit GARA at its new meeting location (Sarah's Kabob Shop in Greensboro) and watch a video talk together with us as we learn about this important event and how it happened. Come at 6:30 to eat, and the meeting will begin promptly at 7:15. Meeting Location and Info

GARA Meetings are Moving!

It's been a while since GARA changed meeting locations, but considering the challenges we faced at our old location, the Board decided it was time for a fresh start. A number of GARA members, as well as some Board members, suggested trying Sarah's Kabob Shop taking into consideration the way food is ordered, the available meeting space, the restaurant's location, and other factors. After talking to the owner and getting the meeting times on their schedule, we're happy to announce the new location. Meeting times and format will remain the same. Thanks for helping us to make this a successful transition!

Field Day is Almost Here!

Field Day 2019 is just under a week away.  We hope you can participate this year.  Setup will start Friday afternoon at 1300, June 21, with operations starting 1400, Saturday, June 22 and ending 1400, Sunday, June 23.  We will be running completely off of solar power this year, so if you have any interest in solar setups, batteries, charging and other equipment, this is a perfect opportunity for you to learn a lot! Tell your friends!  There will be a Get On The Air (GOTA) station available for new- and non-hams to try their hand at making HF contacts.  You'll want to bring people along with you to discover all of the fun that amateur radio ...

Blue Ridge Microwave Society

There is a new local ham organization dedicated to microwave work: the Blue Ridge Microwave Society (BRMS).  This group is to promote VHF/UHF and Microwave activity with emphasis on frequencies above 1 Ghz.  This group is new so there's not too much on the site yet, but there are a number of ham currently active on 23 cm, 6 cm, and 10 ghz who would like to promote more activity on the microwave bands.  The BRMS just recently put together a group page located here:   Contact Stan Dillon, K4RCA, with interest or questions.  You can reach him at k4rca@aol.com.

April GARA Meeting: Field Day Planning

It's time to start firm up our plans for Field Day. For this month's presentation, I will cover what has already been done, this year's rules, and what we need to do to get ready. I hope you will be able to participate in this year's Field Day. At last month's meeting, I mentioned a few possibilities for other club activities throughout the year, and I would like your feedback or suggestions so we can start planning. I hope to see you at the meeting. Dave

March GARA Meeting: HF Nets

Our speaker this month will be Donnie Hurst (KG4ZOD). Donnie will talk about HF nets and how to participate in them. Donnie is a member of and frequent contributor to several HF nets and has a lot of information to share. As I noted in our last meeting, Field Day is fast approaching. I am still looking for a volunteer to run the Field Day preparations. Please let me know if you are interested. Finally, I will be presenting a few ideas for other club activities during the year. Field Day is obviously a big one, but there are many other possibilities. Hopefully we can identify two or three more we can do this year in addition to Field Day. I ...

W4GSO UHF Digital Dashboard

Last November (2018), GARA installed its newest repeater: a Yaesu DR-1X modified to run digital modes using an MMDVM modem and running the now-ubiquitous PiStar operating system.  This new setup, recently designated the "Steve Blackford, K4SQI Memorial Digital Repeater" by the GARA board of directors, replaced the aging D-star-only repeater that served Greensboro for ten years.  While the repeater setup, which runs both D-star and Fusion/C4FM, has been working very well, until now there hasn't been a way to see to which reflectors the repeater is linked or tell who has used it recently.  Thankfully that problem has finally been resolved.  The ...

Solar Power for Amateurs

You won't want to miss this month's presentation at the GARA general meeting.  Our own Carl Fenske, KC4WGA will describe his solar-charged battery power supplies. We will be using it during Winter Field Day (WFD), Jan 26 and 27, for some extra points.  This is a great opportunity for you to learn about solar panel basics, what to avoid, and how to put together your own system for operating or other purposes.  We hope to see you there!