Nashoba Valley ARC’s “Lantern Battery Challenge” Begins in October

W1XP lantern battery setupThe Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club is continuing a neat tradition that encourages on-air activity by its members: the second annual NVARC Lantern Battery Challenge. This operating event begins at the end of the October meeting and runs until March 1, 2011. The goal is to contact as many stations as possible using a pack of lantern batteries as the sole power source. An entry fee is charged to cover the cost of the batteries. Complete rules and an entry blank will be available at the September NVARC meeting.

According to NVARC’s Bob Reif, W1XP, the Lantern Battery Challenge “is primarily a QRP event but the actual power is not specified.” There are several classes of entry, including: CW, SSB, digital, and mixed modes. Additionally, participants are restricted to using wire antennas or verticals no more than 50 feet in height. But, says Reif, “there is an unlimited category that you can compete in with your big antenna farm if you desire. The main purpose of this event is to have fun. And everyone that entered last year said they did.”

Participants operate for the event duration from October to March, or until his or her lantern battery is exhausted. They can run as much or little power as they wish, but all sending and receiving must be powered by the battery, comprised of ten lantern battery cells.

Logs will be due at the March meeting. Awards will be given out at the April NVARC meeting. Spreadsheets, computer logs or even paper logs on ARRL log book format are acceptable. A summery sheet is required and the exact form will be provided. QSLs are not required but verification by the judging committee is possible.

The idea is to have the period of operation cover the usually good HF conditions of fall and winter. All contacts must be made on the normal “contest” bands of 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Work any station only once per band, per mode.

Good luck in the “contest!”

Thanks, Nashoba Valley ARC Signal, August 2010, Volume 19, Number 8

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Massachusetts QRP Convention Tickets are now available

Tickets are now on sale for the Massachusetts QRP Convention to be held at the Westford Regency Hotel and Conference Center in Westford, Massachusetts March 12-13, 2010. Conference admission is $25 per person which includes access to the Friday night meet-and-greet and the Saturday conference event. Ten speakers are scheduled to appear including three members of the QRP ARCI Hall of Fame and Joeseph H. Taylor, Jr., Professor in the Department of Physics at Princeton University and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics (1993).

A post conference banquet will be held Saturday evening featuring Steve Galchutt, WG0AT, the “goat hiker” and his adventures climbing Colorado’s various 14,000 foot peaks with his faithful pack-goat companions Rooster and Peanut. Admission to the banquet is $40 per person.

Tickets can be purchased on-line at http://www.masscon.org/ with PayPal or any major credit card.

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Open System Ubuntu OS And Ham Radio: A Great Combo

Ubuntu logoUbuntu Linux enthusiasts are holding the first-ever Installfest on October 13, 2007 from 9:00 am-5:00 p.m. at MIT’s Media Library in Cambridge.

According to the group’s press release, “Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions, present demonstrations and help users install the free, open source Linux operating system.”

“This is of particular interest to hams wanting to try open systems that run well on old hardware,” writes Bill Ricker, N1VUX. Ricker adds that these workshops may rotate around the state. “Drop in on your way home from NEARfest!”

[See http://wiki.ubuntu.com/AmateurRadio/Software for information on Amateur Radio-specific software for linux.]

-Thanks, N1VUX

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QRA Proposes Homebrew Construction Class

Quannapowitt Radio Association logoThe Quannapowitt Radio Assocation is proposing a class for members interested in constructing electronic equipment.

If enough interest is warranted, Mike Rioux, W1USN will put together a home brew class to identify electronic components and simple electronic circuits. The class might also construct a small electronic project suitable for use in the ham shack. Rioux says the type of project and its cost will be determined by the class participants.

W1USN envisions the class meeting once a week or more, depending on the type of project selected. If you are interested in participating, contact W1USN at mike@rioux.org.

–Thanks, QRA News, September 2007

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Revolutionary Antenna Design by KD1FT

Rob Vincent, KD1FT, a University of Rhode Island Physics Department employee is reported to have developed a revolutionary antenna design that dramatically reduces the size of an antenna while improving its efficiency and maintaining a broad bandwidth.

“The Holy Grail of antenna technology is to create a small antenna with high efficiency and wide bandwidth,” explains Vincent. “According to current theory, you have to give up one of the three—size, efficiency, or bandwidth—to achieve the other two.”

One of Vincent’s test sites was situated in salt marshes in Westport, MA. [Full story]

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