Category Archive: News

The default category if the posting party is too lazy to select another for the story. Trump says this is Fake News!

Eclipse at York NE

One mile before Ohiowa NE you see this sign (It's 16 mi S of totality)

One mile before Ohiowa NE
you see this sign
(It’s 16 mi S of totality)

Drive on out to York NE, about a hundred miles West of here, and you have a good selection of places to watch the Eclipse (if clouds don’t interfere). Turn left (South) and you get McCool Junction first, then Fairmont which is right on centerline, Geneva, and another mile or two, Ohiowa 8 miles East. That’s where this sign is, 7 miles East off Hwy 81 going South toward Kansas, a mile before Ohiowa. Mike FAN said he was going there.
They’re ready! Signs are out in city parks and individuals have put up hand lettered signs offering parking for twenty bucks. Get on 146.52 when you’re in place. I’ll listen from Fairmont or maybe Geneva.
This is someone's lot on  highway past Fairmont They want $20 to park

This is someone’s lot on
highway past Fairmont
They want $20 to park

The phone number in case you can’t read it, is 402 322 1985
Twenty bucks to park and watch from North side of Fairmont.
That big RV was there Sunday morn.
George NME and JoDee RNC went 250 miles out to Stapleton NE, and said:
Today, 1:11 PM
WOW! We just watched a beautiful total eclipse from a hay field by Stapleton, NE.
The fastest 2 minutes. Ever.
Great flares in motion from the Sun.
High clouds cleared just a few minutes before totality.
(signed,) Geo/JoDee
Post Eclipse from  Stapleton NE (iPad through 4 in Questar)

Post Eclipse from
Stapleton NE
(iPad through 4 in Questar)

Rich ZQG took off at 7AM, encountered a heavy (40mph on the Interstate) rain storm half way to Fairmont NE, and spent (9AM to 3PM) 6 hours at the WW II Fairmont Airfield, sometimes sitting in the car with the air on. Half a dozen people were on .52 including Dennis KC0YKN (Bellevue) and Xxxx ELK from Papillion. The Porta Potties ran out of three (3) rolls of TP, but fortunately they’d put a reserve roll behind you on hte shelf. The sky went dark and you could see Mercury to the left through binocs, but it wasn’t so dark on the ground with fiery sunsets in all directions. Trip back on I-80 was uneventful except a couple places where it slowed to 5-15 mph making the trip half an hour longer. Talked to Bill KB0PAT (retired B-52 pilot) on the return.

Saturday VHF Explosion

Dave N0MUA in Coffeyville Kansas said hello to Norm WA0JYD and Tom K0TIK on 146.94 this morning at 10:30am. Dave was keying up the Aksarben repeater in Omaha, and the Grand Island repeater along with a number of other repeaters he mentioned. Traffic on 146.52 simplex offered up a number of long distance VHF contacts. Read the rest of this entry »

Tropospheric Ducting

Jake (ke0nkc) in South Dakota was one of several distant hams on the SWIARC 82 repeater Saturday night (7/22/17) talking with Albert (ke0lol) and some other locals. They were also making the trip from northern and eastern Iowa to north Nebraska.  Stations 200 miles away were talking on the club repeater, some full quieting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Designs by KC0KJK

Kevin KJK with new Loop Ant

Kevin KJK
with new Loop Ant

Kevin KC0KJK was looking at a couple pieces of RG-6 and thinking, “It’s not very long. What could I do with that?” Then he noticed a surplus conduit right angle box thingy. A quick trip to the hardware store to get a short pipe segment, and a few minutes work taking the insulation and center conductor out of the coax and presto, the makings for a Loop Antenna.
Kevin has already tried it on AM with a single wire pushed through the center of the coax, and has plans for 3 or 4 wires, switch, and variable capacitor. It was very directional with the single wire on AM. (You look for the Null if you want to use it for directionality; broadside if you just want to listen.) Here’s another look at the details:
KJK's Loop up close

KJK’s Loop up close

Field Day in McClelland

SWIARC met in McClelland Iowa for Field Day 2017. We’ve put together a collage from photographs for you to enjoy while we await the official results. Everyone enjoyed the good weather and lunch was served with those much awaited Omaha Steaks. Read the rest of this entry »

Cecil RMB’s Bad Juju

Elmwood Twr 52nd & Lvnwrth Zoom in to rooftop antennas

Elmwood Twr 52nd & Lvnwrth
Zoom in to rooftop antennas

Cecil W0RMB (SK) used to live near 56th & Farnam in Omaha, close enough to be bothered by the multitude of Watts coming from the roof of this building at 52nd. (RMB’s phonetics were ‘Radio’s Messiest Basement’ and indeed, he had a reeeealy good collection of stuff.)
Receiver Intermod can be caused by off frequency signals, and if they’re strong enough (commercial high power transmitters near your station) can even cause problems when your radio has a decent BANDPASS FILTER like Baofengs DO NOT! Solutions to Intermod include:
Get a better bandpass filter
Reduce receiver gain
Use a PL tone

Heartland Hams of Iowa, Field Days 2017

Chris Skinner KD0IVV writes, “Our call club call sign is WØHLH (HeartLandHams) and we had 3 stations set up giving us the station-class of 3A-IA.  As far as the Heartland Hams are concerned, we didn’t feel like we were in competition with anyone except ourselves.  Trying to better previous years totals seemed to be the task at hand.”  See the full story… Read the rest of this entry »

100W Rptr Amp

Greg N0GR holds Bird shows 100W output

Greg N0GR holds Bird
shows 100W output

On Sunday, June 11, The Repeater Committee with the guidance of our illustrious leader Greg N0GR, installed the new 100 watt power amplifier and the PL tone encoder on the 146.82 repeater at Simms Avenue. The amplifier is a Henry model C130AB10R, which delivers 100 watts output with 10 watts of input. The PL tone encoder is a Communications Specialist model TS-64WDS.

The repeater had been delivering 42 watts output prior to this installation. Greg re-programmed the repeater to low power out, which is 10 watts. After confirming the 10 watt output with a Bird wattmeter, the repeater transmitter was connected to the amplifier. The amplifier output was measured at 99 watts in to the duplexer. This represents a power output gain of about 3.8 dB.

The PL tone encoder was also installed, using a continuous tone coded squelch system (CTCSS) (PL) tone of 136.5 Hz (PL code 4Z). This allows the repeater users to enable tone squelching on their receivers if they want to hear just our 146.82 repeater when the bands are up, and not any of the others in the area. If the users choose not to use tone squelching, or if a radio is vintage enough to not have that option, they will still be able to receive the .82 repeater as they always have.

A note on the PL designation for CTCSS operation. PL was coined by Motorola. It stands for Private Line. Motorola assigned an alpha-numeric code to each of the CTCSS frequencies that they use. 136.5 Hz is PL tone 4Z, 100.0 Hz is PL tone 1Z, 141.3 Hz is 4A, etc.


written and published by: WA0ZQG

Don’t Talk

This is what the Sun looks like when you filter out ALL the other frequencies

This is what the Sun looks like
when you filter out
ALL the other frequencies

There will be a spectacle. People act nuts at eclipses. Funny, but it underlines how these things affect us. Primal reflexes I guess. I saw one at Torrey Pines, CA, a few years ago. Those people were really weird. Costumes, bonfires, chants. Nebraskans won’t be quite so entertaining.

It will be interesting to see how Midwesterners handle this. There are those who will go about their normal routine, ignoring the fact that it becomes dark at midday.

Stay away from any lights that come on at dark, i.e. streetlights, advertising.

Take a thermometer, place it in the shade and note how the temperature drops during the event.

While the light level decreases as the partial phase progresses, your eyes will adapt and you’ll not notice it until a couple minutes before totality. Perhaps use an old fashion light meter or one that reads foot-candles, and note the lowering light level. At 50% obscuration your eyes won’t even notice it, but a light meter will.

You will notice an odd coloration change as less direct sunlight reaches you. Normally at low light levels, the colors are reddened (by sunset) but during an eclipse it darkens with no sunset. This has an unsettling effect on your sub conscience. Twilight, even darkness while the Sun is overhead. Your brain doesn’t know how to interpret that combination.

When your sunlight is emanating from just a tiny piece of the Sun, there is a sharpening of shadows, and there are tiny images of the Sun on the ground, beneath things like trees, as the light gets through the countless gaps in the obstructions.

Carry a cardboard, about 2 feet square, with a few holes near the middle, from a pinhole up to about 3/8″, and watch how they make images of the Sun on the ground as the partial phase advances. Maybe take a white sheet or tablecloth to project onto.

A few seconds prior to totality you may see “shadow bands” of light moving across the sheet. Wavy. It is a phenomenal thing, not fully understood. Probably an interference pattern.

There is so much going on. Don’t miss anything. Watch any wildlife. Watch other people.

Don’t spend a lot of effort trying to photograph this event, focus on the overall experience.

George KD0NME


300 Watt Duo Band 84 was made in Council Bluffs

300 Watt Duo Band 84
was made in Council Bluffs

This is the inside back cover of ’73’ magazine from April of 1966, way before Japanese rigs took over the market. WRL, right here in Council Bluffs IA, run by Leo Meyerson W0GFQ, was making the Galaxy V, an equivalent of the much more expensive Collins KWM-2, and also had this dual band HF rig for only $159 or $8 a month if you couldn’t come up with that much cash all at once. (A new Pontiac sedan could be had for $3000.)

Chmn/Board Sheraton owns National NCX-5 HF transceiver

Chmn/Board Sheraton
owns National NCX-5
HF transceiver

Or, if you had the money and wanted a little more status and all five bands, you could buy a NATIONAL NCX-5 for (see the small print at bottom of ad) $685. Pic shows NCX-5, optional VFO for HF split operation, power supply – speaker, and 2kW linear (that’s another $685).
KENWOOD came out with the 520 in early 1970s, the first few with a planar dial around the main tuning knob, but all after a conical section (tapered angle) dial. The 520 was all transistor except for 12BY7 driver and 2 x S-2001 finals (similar to 6146), and had all features included – Noise blanker etc. The later 520-S had 160M, and the still later 520SE only cost $599 versus $629.

Covers on '73' were often interesting/memorable or even collectable

Covers on ’73’ were often
or even collectable

Wayne Green W2NSD was editor of 73 magazine, and famously argumentative with the ARRL. He put out really interesting magazines. Note the cover here – reminiscent of another mag with the slogan ‘ENTERTAINMENT FOR’ their readers. He later ventured into computers with BYTE magazine until it was wrested from him; then KILOBYTExxx KILOBAUD, 80 Microcomputing about Tandy/Radio Shack computer, inCIDER for Apple, and a few more. The 80 Micro mags ran to 4-500 pages; over 600 once.

73 magazine was alternative to QST and more interesting

73 magazine
was alternative to QST
and more interesting


contributed by: WA0ZQG

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