Wormhole Newsletter July 2016

Hello Worms

WOW, it’s Wednesday already. I guess I better move the Wormhole Newsletter to the head of the line.

Not a good month for the Worms. First we lost Jim Eberwine and then George’s wife Joanne.

I survived another Field Day but it is getting harder. Setup on Friday and Saturday morning was very hot and humid, very rough time. Sunday teardown was better with the continuous rain keeping me cool but was really tired afterward. I operated some from home Saturday night and some from the EOC on Sunday before going to teardown. Finished teardown about 6:30 P.M. on Sunday and there were only five of us left.

The City of Tampa has a severe weather exercise tomorrow, Thursday. Family obligations tonight and all day Friday. The Wormhole meeting on Saturday, the July 4th midnight run on Sunday night. My dance card seems to be full. I am considering finding a job so I can get some rest.

From Spaceweather.com today. “For the 6th day in a row, the face of the sun is blank–no sunspots.” There is some speculation that the current Cycle 24 will be the lowest solar peak in history. The solar facts are usually about three years behind but it appears that the solar minimum was about a year longer than normal and that we are in the solar maximum now or just past it.

I believe the Atlas 5 launch last Friday had the last guidance system that I worked on.

Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater and I will be monitoring the simplex call frequency, 146.52. There is a 30% chance of rain, nothing new there, but hopefully we will gather outside and there are only two tables so if you have a folding chair handy you might throw it in the car.

 

Joanne Buckley Hartmann

Joanne passed at 8:45 AM on the morning of June 15th. In George’s words “she passed in peaceful surroundings. She had enjoyed life to the fullest and is in a better place now. Thanks to all who supported her and myself thru these trying times.”

 

James Allen EBERWINE age 84, of St. Petersburg, passed away on Thursday, June 2, 2016. He was born in Ashland, OH, on Sept. 1, 1931 to the late Deane Eberwine and the late Nella Isham. He was a veteran of the United States Army and served following the Korean War. James enjoyed operating ham radios and volunteered after hurricanes struck Florida. He is preceded in death by his brothers, Chuck and Galen Eberwine. James is survived by his sister, Joan Fleming; three nieces and two nephews. He will be interred at Bay Pines National Cemetery at a later date.

Jim Eberwine

I worked with Jim for many years at Honeywell. He was a dedicated ham for most of his life. He was one of the founding members of the Wormhole. He would help you with anything. He was already missed when he went completely deaf and dropped out of everything including ham radio. He is missed more now.

 

*DESIGN ADVANCES MAKE PORTABLE OPERATION EASIER, MORE FUN*

By Dan Romanchik, KB6NU

I’ve just returned from the Dayton Hamvention. Dayton was a blast as usual, and if there’s one thing I took away from this year’s event it’s that portable operation is not only becoming more popular, but more sophisticated as well. In fact, it’s a virtuous circle. More sophisticated portable equipment is making portable operation more popular, which is spurring manufacturers to make more sophisticated equipment, which is making portable operation even more popular, and around we go.

This is perhaps most easily seen in the evolution of the Elecraft products. One of their first rigs was the K1, a small rig that was frequently toted out into the field, even though it wasn’t really designed for that purpose. It had a small form factor, but had a conventional front panel layout.

The next evolution was the KX1. This CW-only radio was designed specifically for field work. It originally only covered 40m and 80m, and had a very limited front panel, but its built-in battery pack and KXPD1 paddle made it a great choice for portable operators when it was introduced in 2004.

A big leap forward was made when they introduced the KX3 in 2012. This radio combined a bunch of features never before found in a portable rig. The KX3 features an SDR architecture and covers all modes, including (SSB, CW, Data, FM, AM); used the same full-sized LCD display as the K3; has advanced DSP features; and can be connected to a computer via USB for firmware upgrades and for use with other ham radio software. The KX3 is so full-featured that many operators use it as their main rig with a suitable linear amplifier.

At Dayton 2016, Elecraft took this concept even further and introduced the KX2. It’s about half the size of the KX3, but yet has almost all of the features of the KX3. There  was a tremendous amount of buzz over this radio at Dayton among portable operation aficionados. The base price of the KX2 is $750, and with options, will cost you about $1,000.

Of course, Elecraft isn’t the only company competing in this market. LNR Precision sells a radio called the LD-5, and at Dayton, they introduced the LD-11, which like the KX3 and KX2 features an SDR architecture and covers 160m – 6m. This radio goes for about $800, and has also proven to be popular among portable operators.

Dayton also had a number of exhibitors that supplied products other than radios to aid portable operation. There were several portable antenna manufacturers, including Buddipole and PackTenna , and BiEnno Power was also there, showing off their new lithium-iron batteries,

While radios like the KX2 and LD-11, at relatively low prices, allow operators to easily get out into the field, portable operation would not be as popular as it is without organized activities. Programs like the Summits on the Air (SOTA) and the National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) make portable operation even more fun. These programs do this by providing a structure in which operators can find one another and gain awards for operating. SOTA did not have a booth at Dayton, but NPOTA was a big part of the ARRL section there.

If you aren’t already a portable operator, you should give it a try! You don’t have to invest a bunch of money in a rig to just try it. KX1s have been had for less than $400, and simpler QRP rigs cost a lot less. Getting outside and operating in the fresh air is a lot of fun and could give you a whole new perspective on amateur radio.
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Dan, KB6NU, is the author of the “No Nonsense” amateur radio license study guides, and blogs about amateur radio at KB6NU.Com, and you can contact him by e-mailing cwgeek@kb6nu.com. Listen for him operating his KX1 from the park or beach this summer.

* WORLDS FASTEST COMPUTER USES CHINESE CHIPS*

By James Vincent, June 20, 2016 THE VERGE

A Chinese supercomputer built using domestic chip technology has been declared the world’s fastest. The news highlights China’s recent advances in the creation of such systems, as well the country’s waning reliance on US semiconductor technology.

The Sunway TaihuLight takes the top spot from previous record-holder Tianhe-2 (also located in China), and more than triples the latter’s speed. The new number one is capable of performing some 93 quadrillion calculations per second (otherwise known as petaflops) and is roughly five times more powerful than the speediest US system, which is now ranked third worldwide.

The TaihuLight is comprised of some 41,000 chips, each with 260 processor cores. This makes for a total of 10.65 million cores, compared to the 560,000 cores in America’s top machine. In terms of memory, it’s relatively light on its feet, with just 1.3 petabytes used for the entire machine. (By comparison, the much less powerful 10-petaflop K supercomputer uses 1.4 petabytes of RAM.) This means it’s unusually energy efficient, drawing just 15.3 megawatts of power — less than the 17.8 megawatts used by the 33-petaflop Tianhe-2.

More significantly than its specs, though, is the fact that the TaihuLight is built from Chinese semiconductors. “It’s not based on an existing architecture. They built it themselves,” Jack Dongarra, a professor at the University of Tennessee and creator of the measurement system used to rank the world’s supercomputers, told Bloomberg. “This is a system that has Chinese processors.”

The previous fastest supercomputer, China’s Tianhe-2, was built using US-made Intel processors. There were plans to upgrade the Tianhe-2’s performance last year, but in April 2015 the US government placed an export ban on all high-performance computing chips to China. The Department of Commerce said that exporting such technology was “acting contrary” to American national security or foreign interests, and suggested that an earlier Chinese supercomputer — the Tianhe-1A — had been “used in nuclear explosive activities.”

Supercomputers are thought by both the US and China to be integral for national security and scientific research. Such systems are used for a variety of tasks, including civilian work like climate forecasting and product design. However, they’re also useful for more high-stakes research, including cybersecurity and nuclear weaponry. According to its creators, the TaihuLight will be used in the fields of manufacturing, life science, and earth system modeling.

China’s investment in high-performance chips and supercomputers in recent years has been significant and effective. In 2001, there were no Chinese supercomputers in the world’s top 500 ranking. Now, there are 167 — more than the US, which has 165 entries. The development of TaihuLight was funded under the so-called “863 program,” a government project aimed at ending reliance on foreign technology.

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*CLUB MEETING*

The next meeting is 1100 Saturday morning, July 2 in Walsingham Park. The park is between 102 Ave and Walsingham. If you enter the park from Walsingham the volunteer building where we meet is just inside the gate on the East side. Find the exact location by going to Google maps and entering 27.8797N and 82.8053W. Talk-in is on the Wormhole repeater system.  For those coming to the meeting who cannot hit the repeater we will be monitoring 146.520 simplex, the national calling frequency. We will keep an eye peeled for you. We will take advantage of the cooking facilities with an after-the-meeting Social and wormdog luncheon.

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*CLUB NETS*

Check in on the club net Thursdays at 1930.  442.625 + with a 146.2 tone or the 2M side at 146.850 – also with a tone of 146.2.  We are always looking for volunteers to be the net control operator.  Anyone interested, talk to one your club officers.

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*LOCAL NETS*

MONDAY

1730 147.030 + Receiver sites and tone info http://www.qsl.net/wd4scd/

St Pete Yacht Club ARC St Petersburg

1830 147.060+ no tone St Pete ARC daily net St Petersburg

1900 144.210 USB CARS, vertical polarization Clearwater

1900 147.135 +146.2 Zephyrhills ARC Zephyrhills

2000 147.165+ 136.5 Brandon ARS from Brandon

2000 50.135 Pinellas ARK Pinellas County

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net, NI4CE system

2030 145.450 Pinellas ARK Pinellas County

TUESDAY

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1900 50.200 USB 6M net Brandon ARS

1900 28.450 WCF section net Clearwater

1900 NI4CE system WCF Section VHF ARES NI4CE system

1930 145.170 & 442.4 both pl 156.7 Pinellas ACS net Clearwater

1930 147.060 no tone Buy-Sell net on SPARC also on www.buysellnet.net

1930 444.900 +141.3 Sheriff’s Tactical ARC Tampa

2000 NI4CE system WCF Skywarn net NI4CE system

2000 147.105+ 146.2 Tampa ARC net from Tampa

2000 28.365 USB simplex Brandon ARS

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 28.465 USB 10/10 net from Orlando

WEDNESDAY

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1845 147.060 no tone Buy Sell Net from St Petersburg

1930 52.020 simplex Suncoast 6’ers from St Petersburg

1930 NI4CE system WCF Section Digital Info Ne NI4CE system

2000 147.105 146.2 Greater Tampa CERT net from Tampa

2000 146.97- 146.2 Clearwater ARS from Clearwater

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 NI4CE system Tampa Bay Traders Net non-affiliated

THURSDAY

1800 146.52 simplex Hillsborough ARES/RACES North Tampa

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1900 444.750 +146.2 Fusion net from Tampa

1930 146.850- & 442.625+ both pl 146.2 Wormhole from St Petersburg

1930 146.6385 -127.3 Lakeland ARC from Lakeland

1915 224.660- no tone St Pete ARC from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

FRIDAY

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

2000 147.360+ pl 127.3 METRO ARC Friday Net from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

SATURDAY

0830 3.911 (7.281 Alt.)+/- QRM WCF Section HF Net from Pinellas County

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

SUNDAY

1830 147.060 no tone St Pete ARC daily net from St Petersburg

1930 NI4CE system WCF Section Net NI4CE system

2000 147.550 simplex 550 Simplex Net Pinellas County

2030 NI4CE system EAGLE Net, NTS traffic net NI4CE system

2100 144.210 USB Clearwater ARS vertical orientation

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*FOR SALE / WANTED*

Anyone having something for sale or who might be looking for an item let me know.  I will not print phone numbers or email addresses unless specifically told to since this newsletter might end up on the web.  The exception is when I get the information off the web.  If you are a member of the Wormhole then you have all the information you need on a club roster and if you are not a member  .. why not?  OK, if you are not a member you can contact me at the email address at the end of this newsletter, I will give you the information to contact the person involved.

FOR SALE, all proceeds donated to the St Pete Yacht Club station KJ4SCQ. Local prices good for a few days and then on Craigs List and/or EBay at full price. If interested, contact Dick, AB1NI, at Sea_Brat2002@yahoo.com or call me at 508-543-3694.

Icom IC-706 HF/VHF ALL MODE TRANSCEIVER (not the MKII) asking $400 – 15% for local hams = $340.00 Base station performance and features in a compact mobile rig-sized package. Microphone, cables and bracket included.  Operated ssb only in a non-smoking environment.


Icom AT-130 HF AUTOMATIC ANTENNA TUNER asking $300 – 15% for local hams =$255 Covers 1.6–30 MHz with a 7 m (23 ft) or longer vertical or wire antenna.

Icom PS-125 DC POWER SUPPLY asking $170 – 15% for local hams = $144.00 Compact power supply with high current capability. Output: 13.8 V DC (25 A max.)

MFJ1786 LOOP ANTENNA asking $250 – 15% for local hams = $213 1030MHz, Super Hi-Q small space antenna.

Base station performance and features in a compact mobile rig-sized package.
Microphone, cables and bracket included.  Operated ssb only in a non-smoking
environment.

FOR SALE, 13 element, 14.5 ft 220 beam. Wormhole property, $20, contact Bill AG4QX or any other officer. Free to any Wormhole member or other club. Pickup at Bill’s house.

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*ANNUAL EVENTS TO REMEMBER*

Last full weekend January Winter Field Day, http://www.spar-hams.org/index.php

Late January Gasparilla celebration

March/April MS Walks

March/April Mass Casualty Exercises

Late April Southeastern VHF Society Conference, http://www.svhfs.org

Late April Walk For Babies (was March of Dimes)

Late April Florida QSO Party

Mid-May Annual Armed Forces Crossband Test

Mid May MS 150 bike ride

Mid-May Florida Hurricane Exercise

Late May Wormfest

Early June Museum Ships on the Air

Fourth weekend in June Field Day http://www.arrl.org/contests/announcements/fd/

July 3/4 Midnight Run in Largo

August International Lighthouse/Lightship Week

October, 3rd weekend JOTA, Scout Jamboree-on-the-AIR

Early December ALS bike ride in Walsingham Park

December, first full weekend Ride & Run With The Stars in Fort DeSoto Park

December, Second full weekend Tampa Bay Hamfest


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*HAMFESTS*

2016

July 23 LARCFest, Lakeland, The Revolution Church of Lakeland, 7315 Kathleen Road, Talkin on 146.685 -127.3. No information on their website http://lakelandarc.org. Contact Kevin Rought, N4KWR at 863-393-4336

August 20 TARCFest, TARC Clubhouse, 22nd St at the river, $4 entry plus $3 to tailgate, inside tables $15 in advance, talkin on 147.105 +146.2, more info at http://hamclub.org/

September 16-18 The ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference, Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront Hotel, 333 1st Street South, , contact Maty Weinbert at the ARRL, maty@arrl.org, 860-594-0229, for more information goto http://www.tapr.org

September 26 Pasco Co Hamfest, Gunn Highway Flea Market, intersection of SR54 & Gunn Highway, $3 entrance, $3 tailgating, go to website at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/sarcmail/info?yguid=243291920 or contact Don Nystron KA2KDP at 727-868-0176

November 12 SPARCFest, Pinellas Park,  SPARCFest, FREE,  Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St N, Southeast corner of US 19 and 49th Street, Talk-in on 147.060+ no tone. VE testing at 0900. For more information go to http://www.sparc-club.org/sparcfest.html

December 9 & 10 Plant City, the 2015 Tampa Bay Hamfest is the West Central Florida Section Convention, Friday and Saturday, at the Ag Building in the Strawberry Festival grounds, for information contact Bill Williams AG4QX, chairman@fgcarc.org or go to http://www.tampabayhamfest.org or you can just ask me, Jim or Dee 😉

2017

February 10, 11, 12 Orlando Hamcation, Central Florida Fairgrounds, 4603 West Colonial Drive, Tickets $13 in advance, $15 at door. Talkin 146.4760 – no PL or D-Star 146.850 -, all the information at www.hamcation.com or call 407-841-0874

May 27 WormFest 2017, Pinellas Park,  FREE,  Freedom Lake Park, 9990 46th St N, southeast corner of US 19 and 49th Street, 33782.  Park opens at sunrise, hamfest from 0800 till…  Talkin on 442.625 + or 146.850 – both with a tone of 146.2.  For a map and directions see http://www.TheWormholeSociety.org .



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*YOUR WORMHOLE OFFICERS*

Bill AG4QX is President and editor of this newsletter, Vice-President is Mike K4ZPE,  Treasurer is Jim KD4MZL, Paul KA4IOX is the Secretary, Dee N4GD is the Repeater Trustee and Neil W4NHL and Mike K4ZPE are our club webmasters.

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*YOUR WORMHOLE REPEATERS*

442.625 + PL 146.2

146.850 – PL 146.2

The Wormhole repeaters are both now dual mode Yaesu DR-1X. FM analog as always and now Yaesu Fusion, a C4FM/FM digital mode. The repeater crew updated the software on May 3, 2016.

The Wormhole website is at: http://www.TheWormholeSociety.org.

West Central Florida Section website:  http://www.arrlwcf.org/.

The ARRL website is at: http://www.arrl.org/

This newsletter is written for The Glorious Society of the Wormhole, an ARRL affiliated amateur radio club located around the Seminole section of Pinellas County Florida. Anyone wishing to be added or removed from The Glorious Society of the Wormhole mailings please write to me at the address below and thy will be done.

73,

Bill Williams

AG4QX

ag4qx AT arrl DOT net

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