Category: Meeting Presentations
Remember the Haiti disaster? How about those in the Philippines? We all remember Katrina! The Salvation Army is a worldwide church who has a strong emphasis in disaster relief implemented through emergency communications. Bill Fiest WB8BZH attended the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference held last year in nearby Huntsville, AL. He plays a prominent role in the Army’s emergency network, SATERN. (more…)
Wow! The crowd in CSpire Auditorium in Ridgeland on Tuesday evening, March 31, 2015, was spell-bound by the mastery of antenna and RF transmission line characteristics exhibited by Martin K5FLU. If you don’t recognize that call, it belongs to Martin F. Jue, President of MFJ Enterprises in Starkville MS. He is the pioneer of the “antenna analyzer,” originally called the “SWR analyzer”.
For two hours, Martin showed the fundamental characteristics of resistance (R) and inductance (X) as they play out in amateur radio antennas and transmission lines. Coupling the MFJ-269C analyzer with the ARRL software, TLW, he gave a virtuoso performance educating the crowd of about 50 in attendance in Ridgeland.
CSpire executive John Nordan said, “We are most happy to serve as host for this very interesting meeting.” They played excellent hosts with audio-video support and making the Central Mississippi Amateur Radio Association bring off it’s first public program in Madison County, home to some 150 licensed ham radio operators.
Mike WM5A, Special Events Coordinator for CMSARA, said it best, “A good time was had by all.”
The latest technologies in consumer solar power options was the focus of CMSARA’s February program. A widely known Brandon ham, Steve Powell KF5QXU, told Central Mississippi hams that the current efficiencies in solar panels is about $1 per watt of electric energy although the batteries, frames, solar charge controllers need to be added into that equation for a full cost per watt.
A large crowd attended this informative talk. Many grilled Steve on some of the popular vague notions about solar-based power, such as whether 12VDC is the most effective voltage (yes) and how did the new bendable amorphous panels work? (well!) and what’s needed to keep the batteries from going bad (don’t let them get “low” on current). KF5QXU handled each question quickly with depth, referring some persistent ones to the diagram on his tee shirt. You can’t make up energy. You can just transform it with some less than perfect efficiency! (more…)
At the January 2015 meeting, Madison ham Tom Brown AE5I gave a superb talk on how to read and interpret the famous Robert Sherwood table of receiver ratings. They are the “gold standard” of Rx characteristics but many amateurs are not technically knowledgeable enough to fully comprehend what they mean. Tom AE5I is a long time RF Engineer for area radio stations (WJDX among others) and a partner in an antenna design company (OmegaTech).