Saturday, May 21, 2011

Staycation to Dayton 2011

This year we could not make Dayton but found that a Staycation to Dayton might be just as good.

Here are a few tips to enjoy it.

Set up several internet connections in your house in different rooms.

Wear the proper cloths.  Radio had with callsign or logo is a must.  If you need to make your own go ahead.  An aluminum foil hat with Yaesu or your callsign would pretty much fit in.  For fashion tips watch the people walking by on. W5KUB Here you can also win prizes and watch the interviews with various people.  Yesterday he featured  astronaut-Doug-Wheelock kf5boc, An Indian ham who helped with emergency communications in 2004 and was recognized worldwide.

Get a name tag to wear around you neck you probably have one you saved from something.  This is your chance to wear it again.  What did you save it for anyway?

Get yourself a bag.  You can use a backpack or whatever you take to your favorite hamfest.  Even a plastic or paper bag would do, just write the name of your favorite radio on it with magic marker and you will be good to go.  Go around the house and fill it up with all the brochures you kept from the last couple of years and put them in the bag.  Now you will feel like you have collected some new brochures.  You probably don't remember them very well anyway.

Take some walks around your neighborhood.  This is like waking between the events at the Hamvention.  Try to eat some food like you might at the hamfest.

If you don't have a mini bar in your bedroom just get a cardboard box and fill it with some of your favorite beverages.

Drive around some looking for some place you have never been.  Take some maps or try and follow your GPS directions.

Set up a folding chair in front of your computer so you get the real feeling of going to one of the Forums.  Drink something from a Styrofoam or paper cup.  I found a good one under my car seat...

Take another walk and wait for at least 30 min at a bus stop then walk back home.

Watch W5KUB some more.

Then go to a different room and on a different computer (you do have more than one ....right?)

Try some of the other streams like or

I did get to hear Joe Taylor W1JT the Nobel prize winner and Princeton Professor talk about Weak signal propagation which was very interesting.

Go back to your bedroom and in the morning get your wife to dress up in her maid's outfit and know on the door.....Room Service?

Almost as much fun as really going to Dayton.  If you feel the need you could even tell people you went and talk about what you saw .  You know, like did you see the guy with the Cat in the Hat hat on?  I did it was W0NEB, Joe from Nebraska who has been wearing the hat for over 25 years to Dayton!  He's the Cat in the Hat guy to many , involved in the kit building forum at Dayton and the author of a CQ magazine column.  Heard Col. Doug Wheelock  an Astronaut talk about the different 'ride quality' of landing in the space shuttle (nice and smooth)  vs. the Soviet Soyez (3 loud explosions and a bad car crash).  Or did you hear the  Mrs. D.Bharathi Prasad  VU2RBI talk about how she meet the Queen of England when she was honored for her emergency communications work?  One of the people that W5KUB interviewed said he heard the W5KUB streaming video mentioned on ECARS.  Well I did mention it during my NCS shift only a few hours before so hey....Did you see that EZNEC antenna modeling presentation the contest guys did over at the Crown Hotel?  Now you tell me was I there or what!?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Crystal Test Jig

Crystal Test Jig

Made up a test jig for testing the crystal.  It uses a 1k and 220 ohm resistor at each end and then two caps 10pf and 28pf so you can measure the fs1, fs2, fs3 and fp frequencies of the crystal and put them in the calculator at 

This will give the motional parameters of 
Cs  = crystal series capacitance
Ls =   crystal series inductance
Cp =  crystal parallel capacitance 

This values can then be used to empirically design a filter using the AADE filter design program at 

Using the simple Sig Gen I am not yet confident of the values enough to build a filter but after three attempts I think that I am seeing enough correlation to begin to at least play with the values in the filter design program.

I have reread the basic few paragraphs in SSDRA (Solid State design for the radio amateur) and EMRFD (Experimental Methods in RF design) and am continuing to learn.  

It will be possible to make a good filter out of the crystals that I have obtained but it may not be close enough to the stock Center Freq of the original Drake filter to work with the other filter.  Using a single carrier oscillator between the two filters to give both LSB and USB the filters need to have center frequencies about 3kHz apart.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011