Next Meeting: June 4th at 7:30pm
Meeting will be held in the clubhouse unless we are still dealing with COVID-19.
HSARC now has an HF station dedicated to digital mode operations
The Hot Springs Amateur Radio Club now has a new Yaesu FT-450D radio that will be used as a dedicated HF station for club members to enjoy operations on digital modes.
This station was made possible by a VERY generous donation from Mr. Robert Phares (KAØROB) of Hot Springs.
Mr. Phares also donated some other items to HSARC, which include a Yaesu FT-2800M 2 meter mobile radio, a Vertex VX150 handheld radio and an Astron RS-20M power supply.
Shawn (WØFW) took the FT-450D and the club laptop home with him to get everything downloaded, updated and fully configured them for digital operations.
This digital station will have software packages from FLDigi, WSJT-X and JS8Call installed on the laptop which will run popular digital modes like FT8, JS8, PSK31, RTTY and many many more.
Pictured above is the club laptop and newly donated FT-450D. Shawn was in the middle of building an interface cable between the radio and soundcard. He is testing the station using the JS8 digital mode. There was some trial and error, but the station is operational. Shawn sourced some used parts from a ham in Martin SD to complete the interface between the radio and PC. Those parts are expected to arrive by March 23rd.
The sunspot activity is of great importance to anyone involved in HF radio communications. Whether two way radio communications, maritime mobile communications, general mobile communications, point to point radio links, amateur radio communications, radio broadcasting or whatever form of radio communications. The level of sunspot activity has an enormous effect on the ionosphere and hence on HF radio propagation conditions. We are currently near the bottom of the 11 year cycle with little to no sunspots. As a result, propagation is very poor most days. Conversations on the radio are increasingly difficult without modest power levels of 500 to 1000 watts. During these times, digital modes work much better than SSB (Phone) and use much less power. This allows ham radio opeators without big amplifiers to still have enjoyable QSO's over the airwaves.
The timing of Mr. Phares donation couldn't have been any better. This digital mode station will offer new communication methods for HSARC members to enjoy for years to come.