GCARC Fall Hamfest

Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club

Fall Hamfest

[ October 21, 2017 ]

When: October 21, 2017

Time: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: Millennium Academy 10005 Ridge Rd., New Port Richey, FL 34654

Come join Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club make history with our first ever Fall Hamfest.  Now enjoy our Hamfests in the Spring and Fall.

 

SkyWarn Class at Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club

SkyWarn Class

When: November 18, 2017

Time: 1:00pm

Where: GCARC Clubhouse: 6909 Tierra Verde St, Port Richey, FL 34668

Hello All,

skywarn logoWant to become a SkyWarn Spotter or need your SkyWarn credentials renewed. Remember your credentials are only good for three (3) years.

Come join the Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club at our clubhouse as the NWS sponsors a SkyWarn Class on November 18, 2017.  Contact Ralph McCullough WA3YFK at wa3yfq@yahoo.com

 

 

 


 

R.S.V.P. to Ralph McCullough WA3YFQ at wa3yfq@yahoo.com

Field Day 2017

Field Day 2017

What: Field Day 2017

When: June 24th – 25th

Where: 6906 Tierra Verde St, Port Richey, FL 34668

 

Field Day for 2017 was held at the GCARC Clubhouse on Jun 24th – 25th.  We had a nice visit from Darrell Davis KT4WX our WCF Section Manager.  Always great to see and talk with him.  We had a total of 18 members and guest during the event.

Our final results are: 107 Contacts, 850 Bonus Points with a Grand Total of 1150 Points.  Good job everyone.

<<< Thanks for Participating >>>

 

Rap River Run

Rap River Run

When: June 10th, 2017

Where: Sims Park (Downtown New Port Richey) 6400 Circle Blvd. New Port Richey, FL

The Rap River Run was a great success. The Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club wishes to give a big thanks to all that volunteered.  Thanks!

Please arrive no later than 6:00am at Sims Park or your assigned location. The first race begins promptly at 6:30am.

Race Maps:

Assignments:

  • Jason KM4VHB – will be with Race Director name Victoria
  • Norm K4NRM – will be at Burns Point at the turn around
  • Roy KM4OR – will be at Queener and Grand Blvd.
  • Dawn WA4YL – will be at Main and River Rd.
  • Ralph WA3YFQ – will be at Mass and Grand Blvd.
  • Chris AA4CB – will be at Sunset and River Rd.
  • Al  KM4FBE  – will be at Palmetto Rd and Park Dr.
  • Phil K4PJS  – will be at Kenwood and Chapel

Hello Fellow Club Member,

The Rap River Run for 2017 is complete. The GCARC would like to thank all our volunteers for their service.  Everyone did a great job! We are looking forward to next year.

If you have any question about this years race please contact our President, Barry N2NVP at president@gulfcoastarc.org.  These are opportunities where we get to put our Amateur Radio skills to work.  Again, thanks for your support.

<<< Thank You! Volunteers >>>

GCARC Current Business

GCARC Current Business

Up and Coming Events:

Rap River Run – June 10th, 2017 – Maps and Assignments complete

Field Day 2017 – June 24-25th – To be held at GCARC Clubhouse

Fox Hunt – TBA

Business:

Needed Net Control Operators (Tues. Night Net) – Contact Jason KM4VHB at jrreid_24@yahoo.com.

Check out the new ARES website – http://pascoares.us

Second reading and voting on revised GCARC Bylaws – General Meeting June 26th 2017

Committees:

ByLaws Committee: Ralph WA3YFQ, Norm K4NRM, Maureen KB2QNK

Standing Committees:

Communication Trailer/Equipment: Ralph WA3YFQ, Chris KC3CJU, Open

Clubhouse Committee: Open

Membership Committee: Maureen KB2QNK, Open, Open

Volunteer opportunities are needed for several committees.  If you have some time please consider donating your time and expertise. A club such as ours is only as good as our volunteers that donate their precious time.  Help support our club.

Please contact Barry N2NVP at president@gulfcoastarc.org if you wish to be a part of one of these committees or other areas you’d like to participate in.

<<< Volunteer – Support Our Club >>>

GCARC Annual Club Picnic

GCARC Annual Club Picnic

Where: Crews Lake Wilderness Park – 16739 Crews Lake Drive Spring Hill,  FL 34610 –  Pavilion 1

When: June 3rd, 2017 (tentative)

Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (Pavilion 1 available all day)

Cost: $2.00 Parking Fee (disabled free – must have placard or tag)

Hello Fellow Club Members and Friends,

The GCARC Annual Club Picnic was successful.  We had to change the date several times do to important events. We had to come up with creative ways to cook Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. In spite of all our problems a good time was had by all. We had good food, music and most importantly friendship and brotherhood.  I have to say once again the food was fantastic.

If you weren’t able to attend this year then plan for next years Annual Picnic.  Anyone with pictures please send to webmaster@gulfcoastarc.org for inclusion on the website. Pictures will be uploaded soon.

<<< Thanks for your Support >>>

 

 

Selecting Coaxial Cable To Use With That New Radio

Hey, Which Coaxial Cable Should I Use?

Coaxial cables are the most popular form of transmission line for getting our signals to and from our antennas. There are many types of cable to choose from and it can be confusing to chose the best one. In this article, we’ll cover the most common choices of cable to get you started. We’ll focus on the most popular cables, with 50 ohm impedance to match the output impedance of our transceivers.

Here’s the really simple, short story:

Type Diameter Usage
RG-58 type 0.194 in Standard cable for mobile installations
RG-8X type 0.242 in Larger and lower loss than RG-58 but still convenient for shorter cable runs and jumpers,Up to 50 feet in length at 50 MHz or below (Rule of Thumb)

Up to 25 feet in length at 146 MHz (Rule of Thumb)

RG-8U type 0.405 in General purpose coaxial cable, best for long cable runs

 

coaxial cable

Comparison of three commonly used types of coaxial cable.

At one time, RG-58, RG-8X and RG-8U were military standards but now these terms are used rather loosely and refer primarily to the size of the cable. Accordingly, I added “type” to the term to indicate that it is not a precise standard.

All three of these cable types will handle 100W or more at frequencies below 500 MHz, which covers most ham transceivers.  If you are running more than 100W, you should check the power specification of the cable you are using. Times Microwave Systems has a very handy online calculator for coaxial cable specifications, which I used for the calculations in this article.

Signal Loss

All coaxial cables will attenuate the signal as it travels down the cable and the signal loss can be significant. For example, 3 dB of signal loss means that you lost half of the transmit power as it propagates down the line. This loss applies for both transmit and receive… we’ll get less power out to the antenna and we’ll have less signal showing up at the receiver.

The cable loss will be determined mostly by the size of the cable (bigger is better), the dielectric used in the cable (the insulator between the center conductor and the shield) and the frequency of operation. As an example, consider a 100 foot run of cable for use at 146 MHz, which is high enough in frequency and a long enough run such that we’ll see some significant losses. According to the Times Microwave calculator, 100 feet of RG-58 style cable produces a loss of 5.5 dB, which means that only 28% of the power gets through the cable. (The percent power delivered is shown as Cable Run Efficiency in the calculator.) This is not good, so we would rarely (never?) want to use RG-58 for that long of a cable run.

The Times Microwave Systems attenuation & Power Handling Calculator is a convenient online tool for comparing coaxial cable options.

The Times Microwave Systems attenuation & Power Handling Calculator is a convenient online tool for comparing coaxial cable options.

Changing the able to RG-8X drops the loss to 4.5 dB, which is only a minor improvement. (4.5 dB loss corresponds to 36% of the power makes it through.) However, using RG-8U type cable decreases the loss to 2.4 dB (58% of the power makes it through the cable), so clearly the larger cable size has an advantage. Now let’s change the dielectric. LMR-400 is a popular cable that has the same diameter as RG-8U but with a lower loss dielectric (Foam PE). The 146 MHz loss through 100 feet of this cable is 1.5 dB, or 0.9 dB better than ordinary RG-8U. A loss of 1.5 dB means that we still lose 30% of the power.

Now let’s see what happens when we change the frequency of operation. If we use our 100 foot run of LMR-400 on the 20m band (14 MHz), the loss is only 0.5 dB. This means that 90% of our signal power makes it through the cable. You can use the Times Microwave System calculator to try out different combinations of cable length, cable style and operating frequency.

Other Specifications

There are a few other cable specifications that you may be concerned about, depending on application. Cables with solid center conductors are less flexible than those with stranded center conductors. The dielectric material and the outer insulating jacket can also affect the flexibility of the cable. For portable operations, I make it a point to get cable that is rated “flexible” because it is easier to handle and deploy. Direct burial cable has a durable outer insulation that will withstand being buried in the ground. The type of outer shield used in a cable can vary widely, with some cables providing much more shielding and isolation than others.

This is a quick introduction to choosing the right cable for your amateur radio station. I hope it points you in the right direction. Its always a good idea to buy quality cable from a reputable supplier and to read the specifications for that exact cable type.

73, Bob K0NR