Monday, July 30, 2012

Extra Today, Boot Camp Tomorrow

Natalie KK4KEG has been working hard. During our field day session she passed her Tech. Then, before our last club meeting she walked away with her General. Saturday, in a special VE session, she passed her Extra!

You might say that Natasha is a girl on a mission. She left for Fort Jackson SC Sunday. After boot camp she will go to school to learn Mandarin. Natasha is already somewhat of a polyglot having mastered both Russian and French, in addition to her native English. I am sure the military intends to make good use of her linguistic talent in the not to distant future. We wish her well.

Left to right: Patrick KI4CDY club president, Natasha KK4KEG, and Ernie KG4YNI, former club president. Also present, VE Bill KI4ZMV.

Oh, and the machine shop? This is where Ernie turns out parts, and occasionally, when needed, hams. J

Saturday, July 28, 2012





Parole Officer

LAKELAND - Ruth Hodapp, 66, died July 24, 2012 of multiple sclerosis.

She was born in Red Wing, Minnesota. She worked for Polk County Government as a parole officer.

She is survived by her husband, Herman Hodapp, a son, Herman Hodapp, Jr., her mother, Betty Sutton, grandson, Michael "Dent" Hodapp and step-sister, Virginia Sutton.

A service will be held Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 10:00 am at St. Josephs Church.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Ruth was a former club member WB8VLR.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Field Day Wrap Up from Fred K1DU

Field Day 2012
I just want to take a moment and thank every one for their efforts this field day. I could not believe the amount of people that took part in the event. As I had mentioned at the club meeting field day started as a way to bring out your radios and antennas and test them in the field in case of emergency, and as the ARRL says it is the biggest operating event of the year. Yes it is a contest, but a friendly one to test your skills in setting up your equipment and operating and the points they are a measurement of how well the club did in those category’s. I dare anyone to tell me when Dec. QST arrives with the field day results that you don’t go with club pride to see how well we did, nothing wrong with that, that’s part of field day. You know, its not the only part of field though, its getting together and learning new things,its teaching new hams the hobby, its having young hams make their first contact, its about testing new hams so they can join our ranks, its about learning new modes of operating, its about making new friends, its about getting reacquainted with older friends, its about letting other people and agency’s know who we are and what we are about, its about sitting down and having real fine meal together and last but not least its about getting to know each other a little better which makes our club a nice to be. YES YOU DID ALL OF THE ABOVE! And you should be real proud of it ! I know I am !

Good Job Everyone !!!

Contacts and Points:
Our best year was in 2010 with 649 contacts and 3,268 points and this year we just blew that away. With 1,137 contacts and 4,394 points and that was despite tropical storm Debbie ! Which shows we can function in adverse conditions.

Special Thanks:
Bill Busbin KF4Q for bringing out his trailer and beam and taking it down in the rain and for also helping Ansel make his first hf contact. that was amateur radio at its best!

Rip AA4HT for sending out all those messages on cw for extra points.

George Mann KJ4UW for doing all the public relations and invitations to officials and there were many.

Tom Evans KJ4WFS and Mike Oliver KT2T Tom for setting up a nice looking and running station and contest operating skills as well as Mike and his operating skills. For showing everyone how its done. 600 contacts! WOW! also for helping a lot of new hams make their first contact.

Gary Lee KS4JI for his fine demonstration of PSK-31 .I would like to run that station next year.

Robin Retzloff AF1RE for his fine demonstration of satellites and I hope he will try again next year.

George Gafford KI4NBE for the fine Job he did on the 40 meter phone station.

Rip AA4HT and Bob Foxworth K2EUH for putting in extra long hours on the cw station because we were short handed.

Patrick O Neil KI4CDY a special thanks for heading up the food this year the meals were real good and to Ren Monllor KG4BAS for helping him.

I wish to thank everyone that helped set up and tear down and brought batteries , coax or rope the outpouring of help was enormous, truly a fine club effort and it made my job easy. As I mentioned, you should all be real proud of yourselves!!!

Fred K1DU

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Don Does Etchings

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than by getting that Amateur Radio license. It is the only passport you will need to travel to any country over the airwaves.

First the new Techs.

Left to right, club president Patrick, new Tech Andrew Stevens, Former club president Ernie, and new Tech Darrin Heard

Next we have three new Generals.

Once again left to right, Patrick congratulates Mike Martin KK4JTB and Ernie congratulates Dr. Ron Case. Ron passed both the Tech and General in one sitting. Great job! Not pictured, Natalia KK4KEG, also passed her General. In Natalia's case you might say that makes two Generals in the same family. :-)

After a few timely comments from Patrick, Gary took the floor, as is our custom, with some interesting facts about amateur radio, and a few test questions from one of the Amateur Radio exams.

Seen here, Gary counts off some of the many famous people whose lives were changed by becoming Hams.

Next, Fred shared some field day numbers with those present. We did good! Much better than last year, in no small part due to many helping hams supplying equipment as well as expertise. Look for Fred to give a full report in an upcoming blog.

the main event of the evening,
Don Jeering's presentation on “Making Your Own Circuit boards."

Don started with a brief introduction to the process, and gave some suggestions on producing the art work for the circuit board you want to produce. The success of this process is very dependent on your choice of paper.

Here don shows the paper that worked best for him, Staples Photo Paper.

Before we go any further you should be aware that the artwork has to be reversed, or flopped, as a printer might say. Also, this process works only with toner type printers. It will not work with ink jet printers. Lastly, it is absolutely important that the blank copper clad board be clean. This is accomplished by scrubbing a blank board with an SOS pad.

After printing the artwork with a laser printer it is cut to the size of the board you will use.

Don is shown here cutting the image of the circuit to the size of the circuit board he will make.

Next, the photo copy must be transferred to the board. This is done through the application of heat.

Here Don demonstrates how to “iron and press” the photo copy in order to transfer the laser printers toner to the board.

After ironing and pressing Don soaked the board in plain water to soften the paper. Then, very carefully he pealed the paper away, leaving only the toner image on the board. Because the original was wrong reading or flopped, the image transferred to the board is now right reading.

The next step is etching. Before we can etch we have to mix two chemicals that will become our enchant. The first is ordinary Hydrogen peroxide, the second is hydrochloric acid. Both are readily available. You can find the acid in pool supplies, and the peroxide in the pharmacy section. Always add acid to water, never the other way round. Also, wear eye protection, work in a well ventilated area, and wear gloves. Safety first. OK, with all that in mind you will want to mix the peroxide and acid in the ratio of two parts peroxide to one part acid.

With chemicals mixed we are ready to etch the board. All the copper not covered by the toner image will be dissolved away, leaving a board ready for drilling and mounting parts.

Here Don shows his etchings to some onlookers.

Finally, here is everything you need to make your own circuit boards, with the possible exception of a very tolerant wife.