March 1999 Amateur Radio From Loudoun County VA

The LARG Radio News


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

President Norm Styer - AI2C (540)338-2584
Vice-President Ray Houff - K4AJA (540)338-7297
Secretary Nancy Dluehosh - KE4RTP (703)771-9284
Treasurer Dale Cabaniss -KD4LSL (540)338-3521
Editor John Unger -W4AU (540)338-4620
Training Paul Dluehosh -N4PD (703)771-9284

NOTE: March Meeting Place

The LARG will hold its March 1999 monthly meeting at 8:30 AM on Saturday, March 20, 1999, in the Conference-Training Room at The Leesburg Police Station. The facility is located on Plaza Street between East Market Street and Edwards Ferry Road. Members who wish may meet others for breakfast in the American Diner in the Bellewood Commons Shopping Center at 7:30 AM. The Diner is on East Market Street across from Peeble's and a short walk from our meeting place. Talk-In is on 147.480 MHz Simplex. Our Thanks to Paul, N4PD who is sponsoring this meeting place.

Balloon Committee Report

The LARG Balloon Committee has really taken off (sorry about that…). Tom, WB3AKD, has taken the lead in reorganizing this committee and meetings of the committee took place on February 24 and March 10, and a lot of organizational details were hashed out. The tentative launch date is April 24, with May 1 as an alternate in case of bad weather. Four teams and team leaders were established:

Launch Team: Norm Styer, AI2C

Tracking Team :Tom Carney, WB9RXJ

Recovery Team: Gary Quinn NC4S

Mission Control: Tom Dawson WB3AKD

Any member of the club who would like to support this project is welcome to contact the appropriate team leader and coordinate with them.

The objectives for our first flight, Mission 99-1, are to gain skill in:

1) Handling the balloon, payload, and lifting gas on the ground

2) Building the payload

3) Planning the flight

4)Tracking and Recovery

Our first payload will be very simple as there is a significant risk of not recovering it this first time out. The launch team will select the launch site, gather up the necessary balloon and gas materials, haul everything out to the launch site, check out the payload and track the beacon during the initial phase of the flight. The tracking team will survey and select appropriate tracking sites, develop and assemble appropriate tracking equipment, and, having acquired the payload's signal, take bearing on the beacon and relay them to mission control. The recovery team will track the payload during the final phases of the flight, "home in" on the beacon and recover the payload, parachute and any scraps of the balloon that are left. The "Mission control" team will oversee the flight operations of the other teams, plot the position of the balloon using the bearings provided by the tracking team, and will keep the other teams informed of the progress of the flight. The mission control will function as the net control. Contact one of the Team leaders and join in with the fun!

March Club Meeting Plans

John, W4AU, will talk about the 1999 Virginia QSO Party, which will begin just a few hours after the LARG meeting is over! He will also hand out some logging aids for those of you who plan to take part in the QSO Party. If you can't make the meeting but would still like to get on the air and make a few QSO's for LARG's club entry, we’ve included some of these aids with this Newsletter. Our club had the highest participation, 22 members!, in the entire state last year, and our score put us in second place in the club category. This year we want to do even better and really think that with enough club members helping out we can win the plaque for First Place! For those of you who participated last year, you know the basic rules and how the QSO Party works; for other club members who want to help LARG's club score this year or who just want to get on the air and make a few QSO’s, here’s a quick rundown of the basic rules; for the complete rules, see the SPARC website at:

The idea is to make QSO’s with as many other hams in Virginia counties, other states, or foreign countries during the QSO Party. Work fixed stations once per band/mode. Out-of-State stations work Virginia stations only. (Remember, this means that EVERYONE outside of Virginia wants to talk to YOU!)

Contest times are from 1800 UTC (this is 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon) on March 20 through 0200 UTC (this is 9:00 p.m. Sunday evening) on March 22.

You can operate on frequencies from 160 meters and up, except no WARC band QSO's permitted. Suggested frequencies: CW--1805 KHz and 50 KHz up from band edge on others. PHONE --1845, 3860, 7260, 14260, 21360 and 28360 KHz. Novice/Tech Plus--10 KHz up from the edge of the CW band and 28360 KHz on PHONE. VHF -- 50.125, 147.48 and 223.50 MHZ. UHF--446.00 MHZ. All frequencies plus or minus QRM and nets. No Repeater or cross-mode QSO's. Look for LARG members on 147.480 simplex during the contest. All operators must observe the limits of their operator's license.

You exchange consecutive QSO number and QTH (County for VA stations; state, province or DX country for others) with the other station to make a successful QSO. VA mobile stations log QSO's by county of operation. If you make your own log sheets, they should include date, time, band, mode, the sequential QSO number that you send (starting with 1 for your first QSO), the QSO number that you received, and the county, state, or country for the other station.

The club will take care of scoring and finalizing your log and getting all of our logs submitted together as a club entry, as well as individual entries. All you have to do is to get your log sheet(s) to either John, W4AU, or Norm, AI2C, after the QSO Party is over. Also, if you have any questions whatsoever, please contact John or Norm before the QSO Party.

Club News

Congratulation to Pete, KF4HCW, and Linda on the birth of their son, Leo. If you've been tuning around 75 meters on Sunday afternoon and have heard some strong heterodynes, it just been Don, AI2C, and Charlie, K4LJH, checking into the antique radio AM net. That Viking II sounds great, Don!‹

Calendar of Events:
Every Sunday 8:00PM Club Radio Net, 147.480 MHz simplex
Every Third Saturday 8:30AM Club Meeting This Month, Leesburg Police Station.
Weekday Mornings and Evenings Commuter Net, 147.480 MHz Simplex