This relay board only cost $5.39 from Amazon! Bert found a super inexpensive way to control the turning on and off of his microKEYER II. Nice job, Bert!"The Yaesu 12 volt DC output accessory connector on the back does not have adequate current capacity to power the microKEYER, and there is a caution in the microKEYER manual to not use it to power the microKEYER. I power the microKEYER from a 1.2 amp wall wart. The problem is that the on/off switch for the microKEYER is on the back of the box, hard to reach. I don’t want to leave the microKEYER powered all the time, so I needed a relay to turn on the microKEYER when the Yaesu is powered up. I found the perfect relay on Amazon atI put the circuit board in a small plastic box, powered the board from the Yaesu 12 volt accessory jack and cut the wall wart positive lead to insert the relay contacts. Problem solved. Photo attached."
Monday, December 26, 2016
Posted by W8TN at 10:35 AM
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Below is a scan of the Certificate we received from the DX'pedition this week. Also, we received two DVD's of their DX'pedition. Anyone who wants to view that, just contact W8TN. You can click on the photo below to see a larger image.
As of our most recent contribution to Bouvet, 3YØZ, the WVDXA has donated to 21 DX'pedition's and three times to Clublog for a total of nearly $15,000! Pretty cool for a tiny bunch of mostly retired hams. I'm definitely impressed!
Posted by W8TN at 4:36 PM
Friday, May 13, 2016
As I was not able to attend the meeting (DARN!) Hal, W8HC, has authored the following description of the affair and provided the photos. THANKS, Hal!
Saturday was a wonderful day to be a member of WVDXA especially if you were in attendance at the meeting held at the impressive countryside QTH of Blair, W8KC, and Margaret Wright.
Some 25 WVDXA members and guests were on hand for delicious gourmet food, DX fellowship and informative presentations. I daresay our WVDXA meetings would rival any DX Club’s!
Bob Anthony, W8OM, (aka Papa November) took the ride up I-79 with me to Blair’s historic Jane Lew home which had once belonged to Howard Mason Gore (October 12, 1877 – June 20, 1947). Gore served as 17th Governor of West Virginia from 1925 to 1929 and he previously served as the 8th Secretary of Agriculture from 1924 to 1925, during the administration of President Calvin Coolidge.
We were warmly greeted by our gracious host Blair, and as soon as Bob and I entered the house, the mouth-watering aroma of Margaret’s lasagna baking in the oven immediately caught our attention.
Other members were soon to arrive and we were treated to a pre-dinner “Show and Tell” which included a tour of Blair’s incredible downstairs hamshack. Here we were introduced to his “Children.” Well sort of… there was “Big Dawg,” “The Beast,” “Ole Yellar,” and “The Boss” some of the best looking homebrew amplifiers you would find anywhere! Blair is an artisan when it comes to building amps and he has quite an awesome collection of classic Drake gear too! Sorry about the drooling problem in your shack Blair!
Dinner was served and believe you me, the lasagna tasted every bit as good as it smelled. There were salads and other great side dishes, garlic bread and meatballs… just an incredible spread. Miraculously, everyone still found room for dessert, an array which included some of WV8RC’s spectacular home made pies and other assorted confections brought by the some of the guys. If anyone left the Wright house hungry, it was his own fault!
Once the meal concluded, it was time for the business portion of the WVDXA meeting.
Garry Ritchie, W8OI, was recognized for his recent award of #1 DXCC Honor Roll and proudly attended the meeting sporting his shiny new #1 HR pin.
A treasurer’s report was given with current balance of $295 followed by the “hat being passed” and another $263 being contributed to the “cause.”
The membership then voted to donate $100 to ClubLog as we have done in the past.
With the “business” out of the way it was time for the presentations. Blair started things off with a show-and-tell that featured the K4AVU crimping tool used for easily installing the pesky PL-259 connectors. He also demonstrated how to use DX Engineering’s coax cable stripping tool. Both of these items are “must haves” if you are looking for an “easier” way to install coax connectors.
We were treated to a special WVDXA guest with the attendance of Wal Eckles, W8LRL. Most of you already know that Wal is the “Top Dawg” on Top Band and is the only DXer in the world…. Yes, I said “World”… who has DXCC Honor Roll status ONLY with countries worked on 160-meters. In fact, with deletes, Wal has worked a total of 342 entities on top band! So it was a real privilege to hear Wal’s presentation as he gave us a great biographical account of his amateur/DX/160m career that has placed him at the pinnacle of top band DXing.
Wal shared many photos and QSLs and has compiled quite a documentary that captures not only the W8LRL story but also chronicles some 160m “history” of top band operations that includes his correspondence and consultation with Mr. Top Band himself, Stew Perry, W1BB (SK).
For those of us who have operated 160m or even attained DXCC on top band, we can appreciate the effort, patience and antenna work that would go in to attaining 342 countries on this difficult band!
We were truly honored to have W8LRL in our midst! [Ed. Note: Click on any photo to see a larger image.]
Following the K5P presentation, we adjourned and there were a few of us who made a final pass by the dessert tray before our group photo session.
It was indeed a great meeting with WV’s finest DXers… proud to be a WVDXA member and have such great company.
The photo below is Blair, W8KC, showing us his shack and a couple of his awesome home brewed amps.
|Group Photo - May 2016 WVDXA Meeting|
Posted by W8TN at 12:50 PM
Friday, April 22, 2016
It all came down to this. After decades of trying to confirm QSOs with every DXCC land mass in the world, a ham radio contact with one desolate island on the opposite side of our globe was all that I needed to finally reach the Top of the DXCC Honor Roll. And after four years of planning, in March of this year a team of 12 strong and brave scientists, who were also ham radio operators, took a long, difficult voyage to get there to give me that QSO with the final DXCC entity I needed to “run the table.”
VK0EK team ready to depart Cape Town
|Natives stand guard over tent city|
For them it was a commitment of nearly seven weeks. The international team first flew into Cape Town, South Africa from countries around the globe. Next they sterilized everything they were taking with them because Heard Island is a nature preserve, not to be polluted. They packed all of their radio gear, generators, fuel, food, water and an endless list of other stuff. They then loaded all of that, along with themselves, on a vessel called The Braveheart and voyaged 12 long days to Heard. That voyage was more than 3-thousand miles long and the ship averaged 11 miles per hour through cold and rough seas. Imagine driving in an automobile night and day without stop at 11 miles an hour for 12 days going from the southern California coast to the northeastern tip of Maine (about the same length of trip). When the DXpedition ended another voyage of comparable distance was required departing Heard for Perth, Australia. Then came the work of unpacking the ship before flying home to wherever. And while on the island they struggled in bitterly cold weather erecting a huge field of antennas, a tent city had to be built, six stations had to be set up, then those stations had to be operated 24/7, all the research had to be carried out to discover new forms of life in the extremes and finally there was the “fun” of tearing it all down and packing it back aboard ship.
|One of many antennas amid desolation|
But best of all is the pride I feel in the fine company I share on that cloud. The WVDXA has eight members at #1 DXCC Honor Roll. In alphabetical order the other seven are N8DX, W8HC, W8OM (ex WA8VPN), W3UR, W8UV, W8WEJ, and WA8WV. Three other members - K4OM, W8TN and W8QY - just need one more entity to have them all. And three SK members made the #1 list before they moved on to that great ham shack in the sky - W8AH, W8QHG and W8GG. Not bad for our little club, huh?
Posted by W8OI at 2:32 PM
Friday, January 1, 2016
We are certainly not an "old" club and not one with a huge membership. But, the "DX Flame" burns strongly in all our members. The camaraderie of this tightly-knit group of DX'ers is un-matched! Those in the group who have been DX'ing for as much as 60 years are just as willing to help the newcomers as anyone else.
CONGRATULATIONS, guys! This is the result of an untold number of hours of sweat, tears, and just plain hard work to put together your stations and to dig out those weak signals.
Posted by W8TN at 11:29 AM
Sunday, September 27, 2015
|Group Photo at the WVDXA Fall Chili Lunch|
|N8RR's Elmer Award|
|Frank presents the Elmer Award to N8RR|
During "Show and Tell", Jim, K4JWA, gave a demonstration of his "Air Boss" launcher. Putting antenna wires over tall trees is now a relatively easy matter. Jim has a neat "Go Bag" with a motorcycle battery, a compressor, guage, etc. to charge up the Air Boss. When fired, it launches a large sinker 100-feet or more into the air and that pulls a fishing line out of the reel attached to the tube. Tie a larger line on the end with the sinker and reel it back in. Beats a slingshot for sure!
|K4JWA & the Air Boss|
The absolute highlight of the meeting was when the entire group sang "Happy Birthday" and presented a card signed by everyone along with a Birthday Cake to Jimmy, W8JA's mom, Oleta. She just celebrated her 91st Birthday yesterday! What an amazing woman!
|Oleta's 91st Birthday!|
Since ALL three of the WV ARRL DXCC Card Checkers were in attendance, everyone could get their QSL's checked! Donations for the upcoming FT4JA DX'pedition were collected by Larry, K8YYY. Hal, W8HC, again thanked the club for it's donation to the upcoming VK9WA DX'pedition where he will be one of the operators. And, lots and lots of DX stories, tips and tricks were shared by everyone. Not to forget, we consumed two different kinds of chili, nachos, donuts, two different kinds of AWESOME pie and some OUTRAGEOUS lemon cake, brownies, cookies, beverages, and so on - you get the idea - We Ate WELL!
|W8ZT Enjoys the Chili!|
Attendees included: Clark, W8TN, & Evelyn, Dave, W8IW, Janice, KC8BFF, Rick, W8ZT, Larry, K8YYY, & Beckie, Mary, KD8IPW, Jim, K4JWA, Dave, WA8WV, & Mary, Tim, K8RRT, Joe, WV8WVU, Frank, KA8SYV, & Paula, Bart, WT8V, Garry, W8OI, Jimmy, W8JA, & Oleta, Alan, W8OP, Charlie, N8RR, Rick, WV8RC, & Charlotte, Bob, WA8VPN, and Hal, W8HC.
Posted by W8TN at 11:54 PM
Saturday, September 19, 2015
|W8TN (left) presented WV Outstanding Amateur |
plaque by ARRL Section Manager N8SFO
The award is given annually by the West Virginia State Amateur Radio Council after receiving nominations from clubs and individuals from around the state. I was happy to write Clark's letter of nomination, pointing out the following.
Posted by W8OI at 10:09 AM
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Upon unanimous consent of the membership, 'da Prez made a donation to Clublog in the name of the WVDXA in the amount of $100.00 U.S. (£64.13 British Pounds). This will help support the operation of this great resource that many of us use at least weekly (if not daily!) Below are comments about the current and future expenses of Clublog from their website:
Current ExpeditureThe running costs for Club Log between 1 April 2013 and 1 April 2014 were £10,230 ($16,368)
Most of our costs are for utilities. Club Log is a very intensive application that analyzes a vast database, and it also receives large volumes of visitors. For example, hosting a large expedition typically results in over a million page loads in a few weeks. The servers (main and standby in two different locations) each require a fast internet connection, electricity and cooling 24/7/365. Other expenses include subscriptions to directories and news services, conventions, security certificates, fees paid to our helpdesk supplier (Freshdesk), and disk storage for backups.
Future ExpenditureIn 2015 and beyond, there are several new projects related to Club Log which will need a lot of disk storage and perhaps some RF equipment that we're planning ahead for. Additionally, it is becoming clear that a new server for running reports will be needed, separate from the main service, so that at busy times less juggling of resources is necessary. At the moment, Most Wanted charts are being scheduled to be updated at quiet times between expeditions, for example. This is a trend that will probably continue and it's going to be necessary to expand a little to keep up!
Looking at the donations list over the last year, it appears that Clublog's running costs average $1,364 a month. Adding up the donations in May 2015, they only received $1,079 during that month. But the April receipts totaled $2,277 so they more than made up for the May deficit in the prior month. March was even better with $3,156 being received. That means they received about $2,400 more than their running expenses for that 3-month period. Hopefully the remaining 9 months have supplied enough funds to help with the future expenditure plans. This looks good for the future health of Clublog.
The following email was received in acknowledgement of our donation:
Dear West Virginia DX Association (W8AH), Thanks for your generous donation to Club Log! Each time a user performs an upload or uses the expedition search tools, a donor's name is displayed at random, as mark of appreciation. Your donation ensures Club Log is free of charge and free from advertising. It is thanks to the fantastic kindness of regular users that the running costs are covered. So thanks again, and I hope you continue to enjoy using the site! It's a pleasure to have your involvement, and I am very grateful for your donation. vy 73, Michael G7VJR
Posted by W8TN at 11:26 AM
Friday, April 11, 2014
My good friend, Arnie, N6HC, has give the WVDXA a first person account of the recent FT5ZM DX'pedition to Amsterdam Island. What follows is his account of the "Trip of a Lifetime" (in my opinion) to a place that just can not be any further away from West Virginia!
|N6HC Operating as FT5ZM|
Posted by W8TN at 1:40 PM
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
|FT5ZM Operating Locations|
The photo on the left showing the antennas is of the Antonelli Site. Check out all those beams! How much effort went into transporting those antennas and towers to the site plus erecting them and installing the coax. The second photo on the left is from the Mataf site.
Jerry, WB9Z, one of the FT5ZM Team made the following comment 4 days ago just at the end of their first day on the island:
How hard was it to tote all the towers, antennas, coax, rope, anchors, radios, amplifiers, generators, fuel, food, personal effects, and dozens of other things to the Antonelli site? Then, everything had to be assembled, beams and towers put up, and all the equipment interconnected. I am in awe of what these guys have done in so short a time."The terrain is very rough for walking and putting up antennas. We’re talking up to 2 feet of dead grass on top of lava rock. This is one of the (if not the) roughest Dxpeditions ever been on. The entire team is exhausted after a very long day. All generators are in place, but there is still so much to be done."
Doesn't this make you want to leave the comfort of your shack and run out on one of these major DX'peditions!
Posted by W8TN at 5:51 PM