Hello everybody and welcome back to the Everything Ham Radio Podcast! In this episode we are going to talk about lightning protectio, we talk about some upcoming events/contests and hamfests over the next two weeks and wrap it up with some news from around the hobby!
Tech Corner – Lightning Protection
Ham radio gear typically is pretty expensive, and being as such, we want to protect it. One of the things that we need to protect it from is lightning! Lightning is one of those things that we dread happening, but in the same thought, it is so beautiful when it does. It is also a VERY powerful force; one that you should not play around with, especially when you have a very large investment in your equipment.
A large investment is a relative term when it comes to us as hams. Every ham has a large investment whether it is $4000+ worth of equipment or just a $30 Beufang HT. Maybe the Beufang HT is all you can afford, so to you it is a large investment, right?
So today we are going to talk about and go rather in depth of how to protect your investment. With that being said, protecting your investment, could take a large investment as well.
Throughout my journey as a ham, have always been told that I should unhook my coax and unplug my equipment when a storm comes through. Not only do I have to unhook I am suppose to through the coax outside of the house.
What a hassle that is when it comes time to hook everything back up! Not only that, but if you are storm spotter and you are operating from your house, you will probably need your radio and antennas hooked up to use them, so how do I unhook something that I may need?
Another thing that I have always been taught is that to ground your station all you need is an 8’ ground rod. After researching for this episode, I found out that what I have been told has been soooo wrong!
The ARRL website has a bunch of links that talk all about lightning protection and is where all my information came from so hear is the link to that website as well as to the articles that I used for the information
- ARRL – Lightning Protection
- Lightning Protection for the Amateur Radio Station — Part 1 QST June 2002, pp. 56-59
- Lightning Protection for the Amateur Radio Station — Part 2 QST July 2002, pp. 48-52
- Lightning Protection for the Amateur Radio Station — Part 3 QST August 2002, pp. 53-55
- The Art and Science of Lightning Protection – by Martin Uman
West Mountain Radio
I would like to welcome my first podcast sponsor, West Mountain Radio! For those of you that don’t know who they are, they make some awesome equipment that I have had the pleasure of using over the past 15 or so years. They make several pieces of equipment that are so well built and are so useful. Things like the RIGBlaster, RIGrunner and the DC-to-Go Boxes. I talked a little bit about the RIGblaster in my last episode and I’ve talked about the RIGrunner several times in previous episode but today I wanted to tell y’all about their DC-to-Go Boxes.
These are neat cases that you can put a battery in to protect your station’s floor from an unfortunate battery accident, however, they are so much more than that as well. These boxes have a Super PWRgate PG40 and a RIGrunner 4007U or 4008 built into them as well.
The PWRgate provides you an uninterruptible power supply in case you lose AC power it will automatically switch to the battery in the box. This is a perfect solution for a repeater backup and/or event like the upcoming Winter Field Day!
The RIGrunner 4008 provides you with 40 amps of D.C. Power plug over 8 slots while the 4007u gives you 40 amps across 7 slots but it has some extra feature like a digital load meter and USB charging port as well as a solid state push button on/off switch and an automatic shutoff for high or low voltages!
Both of these are mounted to the side of the battery box. All you have to do is drop a battery inside and hook up the leads and you are ready to roll!!
Here are the links for the premade versions of the DC-to-Go boxes. It you can also Custom make one to your own choices!
- DC-to-GO Battery Box w/RIGrunner & Super PWRgate (sku#58513-1381), $249.95
- DC-to-GO Battery Box w/RR4007U & Super PWRgate (sku#58513-1577), $269.95
- Custom make your own!
|Novice Rig Roundup||0000Z, Feb 18 to 2400Z, Feb 26|
|ARRL Inter. DX Contest, CW||0000Z, Feb 18 to 2400Z, Feb 19|
|SARL Youth Day Sprint||0800Z-1000Z, Feb 18|
|Russian PSK WW Contest||1200Z, Feb 18 to 1159Z, Feb 19|
|Feld Hell Sprint||1900Z-2059Z, Feb 18|
|Run for the Bacon QRP Contest||0200Z-0400Z, Feb 20|
|SKCC Sprint||0000Z-0200Z, Feb 22|
|RSGB 80m Club Championship, CW||2000Z-2130Z, Feb 23|
|CQ 160-Meter Contest, SSB||2200Z, Feb 24 to 2200Z, Feb 26|
|REF Contest, SSB||0600Z, Feb 25 to 1800Z, Feb 26|
|UBA DX Contest, CW||1300Z, Feb 25 to 1300Z, Feb 26|
|South Carolina QSO Party||1500Z, Feb 25 to 0159Z, Feb 26|
|North American QSO Party, RTTY||1800Z, Feb 25 to 0559Z, Feb 26|
|High Speed Club CW Contest||0900Z-1100Z, Feb 26 and
1500Z-1700Z, Feb 26
|SARL Digital Contest||1300Z-1600Z, Feb 26|
|North Carolina QSO Party||1500Z, Feb 26 to 0059Z, Feb 27|
Information taken from the WA7BNM Contest Calendar
- Arizona Section Convention (Yuma Hamfest) – Yuma, AZ
- Algonquin ARC Ham Radio Flea Market – Marlborough, MA
- Arkansas Section Convention – LCARC Winter-Fest – Hoxie, AR
- Brooksville Hamfest – Brooksville, FL
- Brownsburg Hamfest – Brownsburg, IN
- Cabin Fever Reliever Hamfets – Saint Joseph, MN
- Highlands County Hamfest – Sebring, FL
- Salem Hamfair – Rickreall, OR
- 46th Annual Livonia ARC Swap & Shop – Livonia, MI
- Mansfield Mid Winter Hamfest – Mansfield, OH
- The Swapfest – Brighton, CO
- New Providence Amateur Radio Club Annual Auction – New Providence, NJ
- 2017 New Mexico TechFest – Albuquerque, NM
- 9th Annual Winter RF Fest – Perry, IA
- Central Dakota Amateur Radio Club Hamfest – Bismarck, ND
- Dalton Hamfest – Dalton, GA
- Dugger Ameteur Radio Club Hamfest – Dugger, IN
- HAM-CON – South Burlington, VT
- La Porte County Amateur Radio Hamfest – La Porte, IN
- Orange Hamfest 2017 – Orange, TX
- Utah VHF Society Swap meet – Farmington, UT
- West Central Florida Section Technical Conference (3rd Annual TECHCON) – Sarasota, FL
- White Mountain Amateur Radio Club – Chocorua, NH
- Winter Hamfest – Big Flats, NY
- WinterFest 2017 – Augusta, ME
*Information taken from the ARRL Hamfest Calendar
ARRL Seeks Opinions Concerning Possible New Entry Level License
02/08/2017An Entry Level License Committee was established by the ARRL Board of Directors and appointed in September 2016. As part of its ongoing work, the committee is gathering member input and will make recommendations to the Board for possible rules changes to submit to the FCC.
The result could mean changes to the Technician license, but it could also be an additional, but simpler, license with privileges that would give a newcomer a taste of most facets of ham radio from HF to VHF and UHF.
The committee has created an online member survey. Please complete and submit the survey no later than April 7, 2017. Survey results will be published.
My friend, Dan KB6NU, wrote a blog post a couple weeks ago that goes along with this and thought I would share it with all as well.
ARRL Announces 2017 Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology
02/07/2017ARRL has announced its 2017 Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology schedule. This summer’s sessions will be held in Dayton, Ohio — hosted by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) — and at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. (DARA also helps to sustain the program as a generous contributor.”) The deadline to apply is May 1. Past participants who have completed the introductory (TI-1) course may want to consider signing up for the advanced (TI-2) session on Remote Sensing and Data Gathering. These expenses-paid, intensive professional development opportunities offer educators training and resources to explore wireless technology in the classroom using Amateur Radio.
Topics covered in the TI-1 Introduction to Wireless Technology include basic electronics, radio science, microcontroller programming, and basic robotics. Among other activities, participants will learn how to solder and practice by building a digital clock. They’ll also learn basic circuit concepts and learn how to use basic test equipment.
Educators in the TI-1 class will also learn about Amateur Radio, take part in a hidden transmitter hunt, and see demonstrations of Amateur Radio satellite communication. Students will build and program their own simple robots. An Amateur Radio license is not required to take the TI-1 class.
Applicants to the advanced Teachers Institute (TI-2) on Remote Sensing and Data Gathering must hold an Amateur Radio license and have competed TI-1. The class will concentrate on analog-to-digital conversion and data sampling, and participants will receive telemetry from Amateur Radio satellites and apply it to math and science topics. TI-2 participants will also construct a marine research buoy equipped with environmental sensors, build a microcontroller to sample the data, configure it for Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) transmission, and receive and upload data to a spreadsheet for analysis.
Introductory (TI-1) ARRL Teachers Institute sessions will take place July 17-21 in Dayton, Ohio, and July 24-28 at ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut. One advanced (TI-2) ARRL Teachers Institute class will be held July 10-13 at ARRL Headquarters.
Check out this video for an inside look at the Teachers Institute! More information is available on the ARRL website. An article about the Teachers Institute will appear in the March issue of ARRL’s monthly membership journal QST. Register to receive news about ARRL Education & Technology Program activities and notifications about the summer 2017 Teachers Institutes.
Contributions from individuals and from corporate and institutional supporters make the annual ARRL Teachers Institutes possible.
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Until next time…
73 de Curtis, K5CLM