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Now Online! Digital editions of March 2021 QST, Jan/Feb 2021 OTA, QEX, and NCJ
March QST A Simple DC Power Polarity Checker Save your equipment from reverse polarity disasters. John Burnley, NUØV
One of the most common mistakes I make while building simple radios is incorrectly hooking up my power supplies. Adapter supplies sometimes have the polarity reversed. Some are even ac and not dc. I try to check the polarity with a volt ohm meter (VOM), but if I forget, there can be chaos. My operating over the past 2 decades has been with homebrew QRP radio kits from clubs or vendors. These use the common barrel connectors that have powered amateur radios and accessories for decades. There are technologies like Anderson Powerpole connectors that would alleviate polarity issues, but the cost of the connectors and cables were more than the radios themselves. I needed an easy, inexpensive, and consistent solution.
January/February On the Air Anderson Powerpole Polarity Tester Dino Papas, KLØS
Historically, hams have had to deal with manufacturers using many different radio and accessory power connectors that were not standardized. This made it difficult to quickly power and interface radios and accessory equipment at different locations, whether at your own radio desk, in your vehicle, and especially during emergency and community support activities.
To address this problem, the world of ham radio public service, including ARES®, adopted Anderson Powerpoles as their de facto standard for power and accessory connectors during emergency operations. A Powerpole polarity tester like the one described here can immediately and safely tell you if the mating connector is wired incorrectly with a reversed dc polarity.
January/February QEX Do-It-Yourself NMEA Based GPS Time Display This Maker-Faire style time display project is an extension of the Themis Project. John C. Westmoreland, AJ6BC
This article explains and examines a DIY style of project in detail, with a simple programming example and some low-cost module components that can be used to make a nice high-quality display to show the current local time, or for that matter can be modified to display time in any zone or customized to display what the user/programmer wishes. The tools required to make the display will be explained in enough detail that users, programmers, and readers can customize the display in any form they wish.
January/February NCJ The Story of the J68HZ Dream William J. Schmidt, K9HZ/J68HZ
It is every contester’s dream to own a very capable station in a desirable part of the world that is competitive, maintenance free, and a place that the rest of the non-ham family wants to visit. To that end, my wife and I set out to find that place. Our search started more than 20 years ago with our first trips to the Caribbean. Our family loves the sun and water, so we made arrangements to go to the Caymans, Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Curacao, and St. Vincent. Each island has its own charm and feel. I had the opportunity to operate at many of the contest stations on these islands, and I realized the Caribbean could be the perfect location of another competitive contest station. Our observation was that many of the locations were either good for the family or good for contesting, but few checked both boxes.
What’s the Buzz?
Eclectic Tech –Episode 27 Preview – February 11 Learn about extremely slow CW – otherwise known as QRSS – with Clint Turner, KA7OEI. For years, amateurs have been sending slow Morse at low power levels to test propagation at HF frequencies and below. Find out what the QRSS community is doing today and how you can join in the fun.
Also, when it comes to your station computer, what is an “audio device?” Is it a microphone, a headset, or something else? The answer is “all of the above,” but the details may surprise you.
On the Air –Episode 14 Preview – February 11 This episode is loaded with information about what to look for when shopping for an antenna tuner. Here’s a peek at the kind of info you’ll get:
Antenna Tuner Shopping Tips: Continuous Power or Peak Power?
Antenna tuners carry “Continuous Power” and “Peak Power” ratings. Continuous power ratings are usually lower than PEP (“peak envelope power”) ratings and indicate the power that the tuner can handle for an extended time. PEP indicates the maximum power the tuner can tolerate for a short time.
When to Buy for Continuous Power. If you plan to operate at high continuous power levels, get an antenna tuner that is rated for the same continuous power you think you’ll be using at your station. If you’re using a 100 W transceiver, make sure your tuner is rated for a minimum of 100 W continuous power. You’ll need it if you’re operating digital modes like FT8, because they require your radio to constantly generate output, possibly for an extended time.
When to Buy for Peak Power. “PEP,” or “peak envelope power,” is only maintained for a short time. If you don’t think you’ll ever want to operate at high continuous power levels (for example, if you mainly operate SSB or CW), you can save money by choosing a tuner based strictly on its PEP or SSB power rating.
Featured Publication The ARRL Repeater Directory® 2021 EditionPre-order your copy of the 2021 Repeater Directory®, which includes “crowdsourced” listings contributed by users, repeater owners, and volunteer frequency coordinators. This means more listings, and updated more often. Public service volunteers, include it with your emergency ‘go kit.’ Shipping late February!
Shop ARRL Field Day The 2021 Field Day Collection is now shipping!
ARRL Field Day — the most popular on-the-air operating event in amateur radio — is June 26-27, and now you can gear up early with our official 2021 merchandise. T-shirts, hats, pins, patches, mugs, and more, are a great way to commemorate your participation in this annual event.
ARRL at Home this Weekend
This weekend, February 13-14, was to be the ARRL National Convention at Orlando HamCation®. While members will have to wait until next year for our National Convention, ARRL will be hosting a special At Home Expo this weekend, that will be filled with special offers. Our exclusive sticker sheets will be FREE with any purchase this weekend. These one-of-a-kind kiss cut stickers are easy to peel and stick on almost anything! Limited quantity sticker sheets are available with all orders and membership renewals from Friday-Sunday.
Orlando HamCation® 2021 Special Edition While we can’t be together this year in Orlando, the Orlando HamCation® 2021 Special Edition offers virtual fun with webinars, a QSO party, and prizes!
$10 Membership Reminder
ARRL members, be sure to check your email for this week’s $10 off $14 or more purchase! Your personalized, one-time $10 code is valid in the online store now through February 14. If you’re unable to locate your code, email email@example.com. Redeem Now!
Trending on Social
Check us out on Facebook or Instagram on February 18 – National Battery Day for a throwback QST article on batteries for your ham radio. Comment with your favorite batteries or power sources to win a copy of Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR.
How to Enter: Comment your favorite ham radio power source on either the Facebook or Instagram post using your call sign.
Winner to be chosen at random on February 19.
Get social with 2021 Field Day on Facebook. See what other participants are posting about their experiences and join in on the conversation.
For more information regarding ARRL Field Day, including information packets and rules, please visit arrl.org/field-day.
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Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)
Public Information Officer
Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section
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