Monthly Archives: November 2014

Calvert County ARES Emergency Coordinator

W4OTN Calvert County EC badgeEarlier this month I volunteered to take over the position of ARES Emergency Coordinator (EC) for Calvert County. The previous EC had gotten busy in other areas and decided it was time to step down. I’ve held this position before but in a different location so while the job isn’t completely foreign to me, well, it’s been a while. I’ve been working on a new emergency operations plan (EOP) for ARES that’s more of an all-hazards plan than laying out specifics. Once that is complete I’ll start trying to get people to work on developing training and training topics.

At last night’s ARES meeting I was happy to have fifteen people join me in a review and feedback session on the new EOP. I’m hoping the momentum continues as I plan more training and exercises for the next few months. I’ll try to write about those events here when I get them complete.

ARRL Sweepstakes contest and LoTW

The ARRL Sweepstakes contest (phone) took place last weekend and I spent a few hours on the air making a few contacts. Although I didn’t have much time to spend on the event I did add twenty new contacts to my log. Since I’m working on my WAS from my new home in Maryland (contacts made before I moved up here don’t count since they were made greater than 50 miles away) working the Sweepstakes contest let me add a few more states to my log (I now have twenty-four states confirmed via LoTW). I wish I had had more time to devote to the event but I’m glad I worked the stations that I did.

I downloaded my LoTW QSLs today and found that fourteen twelve stations have already uploaded their contest contacts. That’s really great to already have those states confirmed so quickly. I wish everyone did this.

I’ll update this when the contest results are available.

Breaking the Arrow Antenna's diplexer

The Arrow Antenna for satellites has an optional diplexer that allows easy operation of 2m and 70cm from a single feedline.  I’ve used this configuration for over ten years with no problems.  I’m not sure, exactly, what happened but the diplexer failed.  After ordering a new one I started digging into the hardware to see if I could see anything that was the matter.

Arrow Antenna diplexerLooks like one of the surface mount parts got a little warm.  The picture does not show the hole that had melted through the shrink wrap but the bottom right component definitely got too hot.  The solder is completely gone from one side which was definitely affecting the circuit.  I’ll likely try to repair this even though I have a new one in service right now.