Panhandle Amateur Radio Club

Promoting Amateur Radio in the High Plains of Texas Through Education

Recent Club Programs

“Antenna Show and Tell” was the topic for September’s meeting — Dave WA5X brought a variety of home-brew antennas for discussion – antennas are a really good first project and highly recommended.

“Crowbar Protection for Over-Voltage Situations” was presented to the club in February 2019.  Robert KF5UKB kindly provided all the information he used in his presentation and brought an example of a crowbar that he fabricated for use in his own shack to protect his radio and power supply from catastrophic failure and irreversible damage.  Schematics, Components, and Installation were discussed. 





“Ohm’s Law 101,” presented by Dan WA8YYE at the January 2019 meeting, gave an in-depth look with hands-on examples of how to test and calculate the values voltage, watts, amps and resistance in circuits or components.

 Dan brought examples of test meters (analog and digital) and a sample circuit with power disconnect to illustrate use of the meter.  How to set the meter correctly for the component being tested to avoid damage to your components, project or the meter was also discussed.  

No program at December 2018 Potluck

“1/2 Wave Dipole Antennas” and their characteristics and performance was the topic presented in November 2018 by Neal W5PVI.  Neal explained the behaviors of several popular antennas and their transmitting behaviors depending on length, location of the feed line, response with tuners and ground planes and some mathematical formulas associated with VSWR, antenna modeling and building.

Neil W5PVI

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October 2018

September 2018 – no program … Club picnic at John Stiff Park

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

“Time Difference Of Arrival and Direction Finding” was presented by Robert WR9B at the April 2018 meeting.  Various specific details of components and design process were demonstrated through pictures taken throughout the construction phase, as well as testing results (in a less noisy environment than our meeting location).

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Grounding, Bonding and Shielding was our “round-table” topic for March 2018.  Members shared their techniques and practices for station grounding and static discharge avoidance.  Interference, especially with arcing and fast transients present on power lines, was also discussed — along with an informal “review” of the MFJ Power Line Noise Detector and some “show and tell” from Ed K5KBV:

Dan McCabe WA8YYE and Jim Musgrove K5BZH presented “QSL Cards Then and Now” at the February 2018 meeting, complete with some fascinating photos and QSL cards that Jim and Dan have received or collected over the years.

All the members enjoyed the stories that accompanied these historical QSL cards.  The above pictures are just a small sampling of the presentation and slide show, which will be uploaded in the near future.

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Robert WR9B demonstrated “Fast Transients” and their effect on RF at the January 2018 club meeting.  Using a pulse generator, spectrum analyzer, and dual time-based scope, his experiment showed that rise and fall times, even as short as nanoseconds, can interfere with RF.  Many devices being sold today do not conform to FCC standards, and if you are experiencing QRM you will want to remember that even everyday household appliances such as light dimmers, small switching power supplies, or fluorescent lights will produce interference through high speed transients.

December 2017:  Christmas POTLUCK Lunch at the Simms Municipal Building 

November 2017: Digital Modes FAQ Session suggested by Maury W5UGQ — Discussions and questions about DMR (Motorola) and C4FM (Yaesu System Fusion) with a little D-Star (iCom) thrown in.  Thanks to John K5IT, RC K5ORC, Ray W5RAW, Maury W5UGQ for answering our members’ questions and clarifying properties of the different systems and equipment.

October 2017:  John K5IT and Arthur K5PM presented a slide show of their total solar eclipse activities — operating during totality — and taking great pictures of the eclipse with their telescope/solar projector.  Unfortunately their location during totality was somewhat overcast, but they were able to get good “live” views.  They both highly recommend everyone experience a total solar eclipse in person — the next one will be 2024, and totality will be closer to our location.   Make plans now to be in the area of “totality” during this incredible natural event!

September 2017:  Route 66 On the Air arrangements, information K5KBV/KG5NWD

August 2017:  Route 66 On the Air information K5KBV

July 2017: Field Day Recap 

June 2017:  James AB7II gave a really interesting presentation on “Getting Started with Arduino” at the July meeting for all of us “newbies” who might not have played with one or didn’t even know what an Arduino is!  John K5IT brought one to a meeting a year ago to demonstrate the Iambino shield, which is great for code practice with an iambic keyer.  James gave us a good overview of Arduino, programming for your own projects, its uses for prototyping, etc. — we’re looking forward to other demonstrations of what Arduino can do!

Arduino:  “Blink!”

Looking forward to James’ completion of his projects, and starting one of my own!

June 2017:  Robert WR9B brought some very fascinating (and powerful) Red, Green and BLUE laser lights for “show and tell.”  His descriptions and explanations ventured into the realms of electron excitement, visible light spectrum and crystal harmonics.


Thanks to both of these members for sharing their knowledge of these topics!

June 2017:  Lamar Science Day Report was presented by Ben W2CYV, Melinda KG5NWD, Robert WR9B and John K5FS.  We all highly encourage members to participate in the next Science Day in May 2018

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