Amateur Radio From Loudoun County VA

August 2000

The LARG Radio News - DE K4LRG

The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group, P.O. Box 1004, Purcellville, VA 20134

President Ray Houff (K4AJA) (540) 338-7297
Vice-Pres. Dennis Boehler (KF4TJI) (703) 777-9427
Secretary Carol Boehler (KF4TJJ) (703) 777-9427
Treasurer Tom Garasic (NA4MA) (703) 753-0568
Editor John Unger (W4AU) (540) 338-4620
Training Bill Buchholz (K8SYH) (540) 338-6928
The next LARG Club meeting will be on August 19, 2000, in the Conference-Training Room at the Leesburg Police Station on Plaza Street at 8:30 a.m. The facility is located on Plaza Street between East Market Street and Edwards Ferry Road. Talk-In is on 147.480 MHz. You can join other LARG members for breakfast (~7:30) before the meeting at the Bob Evans Restaurant located Leesburg Corner Shopping Center.

July Meeting News.  Denny, KF4TJI, reported that our club now has a paid membership of 51! We need to have at least 50% of our members also be members of the ARRL in order to keep our ARRL affiliated status, so remember to sign up if you already haven't joined the ARRL. Bill, K8SYH, our training committee chairman, announced that he be teaching an 11-week, Technician-level ham license course beginning September 13 at the Leesburg Police Station. Following the meeting, Tom, WB3AKD, organized a fox hunt, which simulated our balloon recovery activities. He even used the same transmitter that will be sent up in our next balloon launch. Tom, NA4MA, and Angie, KG4AVR, were the first to find the cleverly hidden transmitter; it was very realistically hanging from a tree deep in the woods behind Red Rock Overlook Park. It was lots of fun and excellent practice.

Norm, AI2C reported that he has been working with Boy Scouts and is helping them obtain their Radio Merit Badge; if anyone else would like to participate in this rewarding activity, see Norm.

August LARG Meeting Plans. If your ordered a pin for participation in this year's Field Day, Larry, KG4CGR, will have them at the meeting for you to pick up. We will be discussing our participation in the Reston Century 2000 bike ride (see below for more details), and also will have reports from the recent ARES meeting and Red Cross training sessions from those who participated. After the meeting we will hold a simulated balloon launch / fox hunt to further hone our transmitter locating skills.

Club News. Larry, KG4CGR, has passed his General class license exam and has announced that he promptly worked his first DX in Argentina!! Good job, Larry. Another winner, but of a different sort, is Bob, KF4VBM, who took the number 1 door prize at the Berryville Hamfest home with him, an Alinco DX-70T!! Now you really have some incentive to get your code up to snuff, Bob. Charlie, K4LJH, is now the proud owner of not one, not two, but three Johnson Viking transmitters! Charlie has restored a Viking II and two Viking I transmitters in past couple of months so expect to hear a lot of mellow AM tones from Hamilton now. Rumor has it that our President, Ray, K4AJA, will be putting one of those Viking I's on the air from Purcellville in the near future.

Field Day, 2000, is now behind us, and a report from our FD Chairman, Gary, NC4S, confirms the great news that we had surpassed last year' score (barely, but definitely). LARG managed to field a total of 39 members to help out during FD this year; this total includes all those who set up, operated, served food, told jokes, held up towers, kept us awake, and did a myriad of other chores. Everybody pitched in and everybody did a terrific job -- THANKS TO ALL OF YOU! We tallied a total of 1371 CW QSO's and 456 phone QSO's. Our 900 bonus points were a new high and included our first ever satellite contacts - thanks to Tom, WB3AKD. The total score of 7,296 for FD 2000 was exactly 52 points higher than last year. Most of us who operated thought that overall propagation conditions were not as good as past years, so our score is even more impressive. The site, at the future home of the Hamilton Safety Center worked out fine, and all of our antennas seemed to play well. We are already making plans for FD 2001, which will be back at the QTH of NC4S. We are all looking forward to getting closer to the 10,000 point barrier, perhaps as a 5A station. Keep tuned...

Tom, WB3AKD, reports that the Balloon Committee has decided to scrub the launch scheduled for July 29th. Despite our eagerness to send the payload aloft, we felt that we needed more time to insure the best chances for a successfully launch, flight and recovery. We have rescheduled the launch for the third Saturday in October. This will enable us to make upgrades to the payload hardware and software, increase the number of ground stations and allow us to do a couple of flight simulations to hone our skills in the various aspects of this endeavor. In the coming months we will acquire additional balloons, test the data link and use the actual payload to prepare for the October launch. Mark the third Saturday in October now.

On Sunday, August 27, the Reston Century 2000 Bike Club is having a ride across Loudoun County to benefit the Loudoun Chapter of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is responsible for support and would like the L.A.R.G. radio group to provide radio support to the event. They will have a command center set up at the Reston Town Center, and we will need to have a station set up there. The command center needs to talk to the four rest stops located in Ashburn, Arcola, Hamilton, and Hillsboro. They also need someone to shadow the ARC Chairman, Jay Greeley. That makes a bare minimum of 6 operators. We need to be at the command center between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.. The event should be over at approximately 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. We might want to set up some HF antennas and test communications circuits, if possible, before the event. Mark, N3GMW, is coordinating our participation in this event and will be discussing it at the August 19 LARG club meeting.

Calendar of Events:

Every Third Saturday 8:30 a.m. Club Meeting - 8/19/2000 - Leesburg Police Station
Weekday Mornings and Evenings Commuter Net, 147.480 MHz Simplex
Every Sunday 8:00 p.m. Club Radio Net, 147.480 MHz simplex