May 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: May Meeting Place


The LARG will meet in the Conference-Training Room at the Leesburg Police Station on Plaza Street at 8:30 AM, Saturday, May 15, 1999, Those interested in breakfast may meet at 7:30 AM at the American Dinner. Talk-In is on 147.300 MHz. The Program will include a summary of the Great LARG Balloon Launch 99-1, Field Day Equipment Preparations, and discussion of the Constitution and a CW Speed Test. The launch team for the 99-1 balloon recorded all the excitement of getting the balloon into the stratosphere on video tape, which will be shown at this club meeting; don't miss it!


April LARG Meeting News


We all enjoyed the hospitality and facilities for our April meeting at the Hamilton-Thompson Lodge in Purcellville last month. Thanks to Paul, K4MSG, for making the arrangements possible for us to use the Lodge. We had fun with the QSL card swap for all the QSO's that we had among the various club members in the VA QSO Party, and many of us found hard to pass up items at the mini hamfest, which followed the meeting.


Club News


The first LARG Amateur Radio Balloon Launch, 99-1, is history! The club launched its first balloon from Cumberland, Maryland the morning of April 24 at 10:13 EDST. The beacon was picked up by the launch team (Norm, AI2C, Ray, K4AJA, Bob, KF4VBM, and Paulson) immediately. Within about 10 minutes our mission control / tracking team at Craig's, N4OHE, QTH (Tom, WB3AKD, Jacob, KF4VLQ, Larry, KG4CGR, and John, W4AU) acquired the beacon signal as did Tom, WB9RXJ, Tom, KF4FXT, and Angie, KG4AVR, who were tracking from Gambrill State Park west of Frederick. Soon, Charlie, K4LJH, tracking from Hamilton, and Gary, NC4S, and Patty on recovery team No. 1 and Dennis, KF4TJI, and Carol, KF4TJJ, on recovery team No. 2 heard the beacon, too. Paul, N4PD, and Nancy, KE4RTP, also tracked the flight from near Gaithersburg and helped with the recovery operations. Temp, W4HZV, helped out from North Carolina with relays on our 40-meter communications link. Analysis of signal reports and location azimuths show that the balloon most likely came back to earth about 12:40 EDST, probably somewhere south and east of Gaithersburg. However, at 13:43 EDST the beacon signal suddenly stopped, and, unfortunately, the telemetry package was not located and has not been recovered yet. All in all, a most successful and exciting first flight for LARG! All those who participated had a great time and learned lots of lessons to apply to Balloon Launch 99-2.

At the "debriefing" meeting held May 5, the balloon committee set a tentative launch date of August 14 for Launch 99-2. The instrument package for this flight will include telemetry to send back altitude data, so that we may get a better idea of the flight path and its time history. More details will be presented at the May LARG meeting.


More News´┐Ż


On April 15, Norm, AI2C, hand-delivered all of the LARG logs and score sheets for the VA QSO Party to the SPARC organizers for this event. Our final tallies are impressive: 458,564 points total score for 31 logs submitted by 24 LARG members (separate fixed and mobile logs had to be submitted). We will find out at the Manasses Hamfest on June 6 if our tremendous participation and efforts have won the Virginia Club First Place Plaque.

The Field Day Committee met at Gary's, NC4S, farm and decided to use that site for the LARG Field activities this year. We plan to set up three HF stations and one VHF station, so there will be plenty of rigs available for all who want to operate during this event. Our goal is to have all the rigs on the air for the entire 24-hour Field Day, June 26 and 27. Dennis, KF4TJI, is in charge of lining up equipment for FD this year and will have lists and table to fill out at the May meeting. The Club is planning to have the June LARG meeting, June 19, at the Field Day site so that we make final decision for the layout of the stations and antennas.

Congratulations to Tom, KF4FXT, who is now an Advanced Class amateur radio operator. Way to go Tom!!

Attached to this month's Newsletter is a copy of the LARG Constitution. We wanted everyone to look it over so that we can discuss and changes or additions that we might want to make at the May meeting.

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