GCARC Current Business

GCARC Current Business

Up and Coming Events:

Rap River Run – June 10th, 2017

Field Day 2017 – June 24-25th

Fox Hunt

Business:

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

Look for new ARES website coming soon.

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,

It’s time again for the Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club’s Annual Club Picnic.  It will be held at the beautiful Crews Lake Wilderness Park.  This year we will be located at Pavilion 1. While the picnic is officially from 10 am – 2 pm we have reserved the pavilion for the day.

Unfortunately the Trains will not be running that day.  I know that’s a bummer for those with small children.

GCARC requests each member bring a covered dish to the picnic.  The Club will be providing the Hamburgers and Hot Dogs. We’re looking forward to a large turnout with hopes of everyone having a fantastic time. Please contact Norm K4NRM at k4nrm@yahoo.com or 727-505-0024.

Covered Dish List (click to view)

<<< See You There >>>

 

 

GCARC Picture Update

Hello Fellow Members and Visitors,

We’ve added some new pictures of our recent events. If you were there I know you had fun. If not then you’re missing out on the fun and comradery with your fellow club members.

Check out these Photos and enjoy:

 

  • Hamfest -> Ham Fest 2017
  • Luncheon/Dinner -> Apr Dinner 2017
  • Club Event -> Go Box Night 2017
  • Special Event -> Disaster Expo 2017

<<< Remember our “General Meeting” on April 24, 2017.  See you there. >>>

 

 

 

Monthly Club Dinner (April)

GCARC Club Dinner

For Great Food and Fellowship

Where:  Golden Corral

When:  April 15th 2017 at 6:00 PM

Address:  8928 US 19 N, Port Richey, FL 34668

 

Hello Fellow Club Members,

 

The Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club’s April Dinner
“Dear fellow club members, I want to thank everyone who was able to come to the dinner this past Saturday. I’m very sorry for my abrupt absence, but due to family stuff I needed to go home to South Carolina for a few days. I hope you all had a great time and we can make our next dinner even better. Thank you for being the best part of our club and I hope you all have a wonderful week! 73 and God Bless, Deven Gambrell”
God Bless You All and 73!
Deven Gambrell – KN4ABW

<<< See You At Our Next Dinner >>>

GCARC Go-Box Night

  • A Basic Go Box

Hello fellow club members and friends,

The GoBox event at the clubhouse was very impressive.  A number of members brought in their GoBoxes for show and tell.  I’m sure we all have new ideas for our box.  New things to add and different ways of doing things.

Thanks to all that participated.  Didn’t get to make it this time?  Look for our next one.  Please support all our club events. We are only as strong as our members.

 

<<< Support Club Functions >>>

 

New General Upgrades

General Upgrades

I’m happy and proud to announce at the ‘VE session held on March 1st at the Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club we now have two new General Class Ham Radio Operators. Both are members of GCARC and just completed our General Class Training Program.

First, Deven Gambrell – KN4ABW is now signing as KN4ABW / AG. Deven is also the youngest member of our club at 19. Way to go Deven. 

Second, Walter Hickman – KN4AYG is now signing as KN4AYG / AG. Walter is our newest member of our club. Congratulations Walter way to go! 

Respectfully, 

Michael Christopher W2IW 

President

Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club

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

 

ARRL Membership/Renewals

Arrl_logoWelcome to the only national organization representing Amateur Radio in the US. As an ARRL member you support the ranks of thousands of other ham radio enthusiasts shaping the Amateur Radio service today. If you consider yourself an active ham… you need ARRL now. If you are not presently an active ham… let ARRL help you.

As a member of the ARRL, here are some of the benefits you will enjoy:

  • QST Magazine – your monthly membership journal
  • Online Services –
    • QST online monthly digital edition
    • QST Archive and Periodical Search
    • Product Review Archive
    • Email forwarding
    • E-Newsletters – delivered to your inbox
  • A voice in the affairs of ARRL and ham radio through locally appointed volunteers
  • Publication Specials and on-line course discounts
  • Emergency Communication Services
  • Technical and Regulatory Information Services
  • Operating Awards
  • Ham Radio Equipment Insurance Plan Available
  • Outgoing Foreign QSL Service
  • Plus much more!

Take the next step in being an active participant in the future of ham radio.  Join or Renew your Membership in the ARRL today through the Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club (an ARRL Affiliated Club)!

Club Commission Program

Commission Terms

ARRL Affiliated Clubs receive a commission for every new ARRL membership and renewal they submit to ARRL Headquarters.

  • Clubs retain a portion of the dues for each regular membership submitted to ARRL Headquarters:
    • Clubs retain $15 for each new membership OR lapsed membership (of two years or more). A NEW MEMBER is defined as any individual who has never been a member of ARRL or any individual who has not retained a membership for two or more calendar years prior to the application submission.
    • Clubs retain $2 for each renewal. A RENEWING MEMBER can renew at anytime, even before their current membership term expires.
  • Family, Blind or 21-and-under discounted memberships are not applicable for any discount.
  • May not be combined with any other promotion or special offer.

Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club Logo

<<< Help Us Help The ARRL >>>

(Click Below For ARRL Membership Application)

arrl-membership-applicationA

Yes! check your membership card’s expiration date today.  The club gets money from the ARRL for all new memberships and renewals.  Contact Mike Christopher, W2IW, President GCARC

Tuesday Morning Coffee Break

When: Every Tuesday (Starts April 19th, 2016) at 10 AM

Where: McDonald’s (11542 US Hwy 19 N, Port Richey, FL 34668)

Every Tuesday morning at 10 AM (excluding Holidays) the Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club will hold its informal coffee break at McDonald’s on US Hwy 19 N across from the Flea Market in Port Richey, FL. Hope to see you there.

73,

Michael Christopher, W2IW

President GCARC

<<< Come Join Us For Your Tuesday Morning Coffee Break >>>