Session Summaries

Seminar Topic Synopses

(As of 14 Jul 2015)

101 Track (Basic)

Awards & The QSL Process
Bob Carter, WR7Q

This seminar covers two somewhat related topics.  The first is awards that can be achieved when operating your radio.  They can be obtained from various organizations, most notably the ARRL but also via CQ, locally or even internationally.  The second topic covers the methods of documenting contacts to obtain those awards.  The actual document is a QSL.  They are obtained through various agencies such as LoTW, OQRS, ARRL, some bureaus, and direct mail.  They can then be submitted through those same agencies for awards.  Costs associated with the process will be identified and you will also be informed about how to keep track of them.

Learning Morse Code
Bob Carter, WR7Q

Morse code has been a bugaboo for many on the path to achieve different license levels.  While no longer a requirement, it can be learned at any age.  Here you will find out how to learn it and why.  Programs, web sites, and various other methods will be discussed.  Learning CW does take a commitment and how long to be effective will be revealed.

Jared Smith, N7SMI

In this seminar you will learn what propagation is and why you should care about it as it will affect the efficiency of contacting other operators.  You will also find out where propagation takes place and how to know when it is available for different frequencies.

HF Mobile Antenna Basics
Larry Benson, N7GY

Areas to be covered here include vertical antenna theory and base vs center loaded short verticals.  Mobile antenna efficiency as well as installation techniques will also be discussed.  A mobile antenna design example will be presented followed by a software program demo.

FM VHF/UHF Digital Radio
Ted McArthur, AC7II; Cordell Smart, KE7IK; Tyler Griffiths, N7UWX

This presentation is an explanation of 3 of the major FM Digital Modes. D-Star (ICOM), DMR (Motorola Mototurbo and many others) and Fusion (Yeasu). This is a comparison of these 3 modes not to rate or pick the best but to explain the differences between them, the costs involved with each, and what the availability of each is locally.

Tips For a More Efficient and Fun Ham Club
Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT

Clubs are essential centers of activity within the amateur radio community.  An efficiently run, enjoyable, and activity focused club is a successful club.  We’ll explore a number of topics and share ideas that can be applied within your own club that center on a number of questions including: How active is your club outside of the meeting room and on the air?  Is all the time it spends talking about business at meetings really necessary?  How many new hams and young people does it attract and retain over the course of a year?  Are its newer members encouraged to play key leadership roles?  How does your club set and adjust its annual priorities to match the interests of its membership?

The “Sounds” of Amateur Radio
Dan Henderson, N1ND

With the advances in technology you never quite know what you might encounter when you tune across the bands. Is that a new modulation technique being heard? Perhaps it is new, non-amateur technology that is a form of noise pollution on the Amateur bands?  This presentation will include sound bites of many sounds you will hear on the Amateur frequencies and give you a chance to determine what is the source of “that funny noise”.


Beyond Track (Advanced)

Digital Modes for HF
Mark Richardson, W7HPW

This presentation will define what the digital modes are, why people use them, and compare them to other HF modes.  Discussion will include the most common types: PSK31, RTTY, and JT65.  In addition, the hardware required will also be identified.

DXLab – Jed Petrovich, AD7KG

DXLab is a suite of eight modules designed specifically to meet the needs of the beginning and advanced DXer. The presentation will focus on capabilities beyond the integrated rig control and logging functions of the suite. These enhanced features assist the DXer in finding, making and retaining HF QSOs.

HF Logging Programs
Jed Petrovich, AD7KG

There are a variety of freeware and commercial logging programs available for logging HF contacts. This presentation will focus on the basics of logging and tips for setting up a computer rig control interface. Several software packages will be highlighted, including programs for converting paper logs, general logging and contesting.

What About DXing
Darryl Hazelgren, K7UT

This seminar will answer the questions: what is DXing and why should I care about it?  Also covered will be some of the best DX practices and alternately what should be avoided.

Solar Power (Grid Tied and Stand Alone Comparisons)
Jim Brown, NA7G

Solar power has been available – at high cost – for years.  Recently, dramatic cost reductions due to competition and manufacturing efficiencies has made solar much more affordable.  Tax incentives help even more.  Find out the costs, and benefits, of a solar installation.  Grid-Tied systems have the advantage of nearly zero maintenance, while Stand-Alone systems provide quiet, affordable remote power without the bother of a constantly-running generator.  We will explore the advantages, limitations, and differences of these two options, as well as discuss the use of a solar system as a backup power source.

Portable Antennas You Can Build
Mike Collett, K7DOU

Whether you are just starting out in ham radio, or are an “old salt”, you can get a lot of satisfaction from building your own antennas while achieving significant cost savings too!  In this presentation, you will be shown eight easy projects that require a minimum of tools and are easy on the pocketbook.  All of these were originally built for portable use in Utah’s mountains and deserts for recreation or in support of various events, such as backpacking in the Uinta mountains, Canyonlands and to Lone Peak, the Friendship Cruise, Wasatch 100, and the Bardsley search in the Uinta mountains.  We’ll include antenna projects for both VHF and HF operation.

MESH Networks
Doug Thompson, W1DUG

MESH is a term used for a group of  multi-node ‘ad-hoc’ wireless area networks.  BROADBAND-HAMNET (HAMNET for short) is a MESH network used by HAM Radio operators on the 900 Mhz, 2.4 Ghz, and 5 Ghz bands. Computer applications which use normal Local Area Networks (LANs) and the internet can also use a HAMNET for ham operations, i.e., digitial file transfers, file sharing between computers, face to face video communications, keyboard chatting (HamChat), etc.  MESH nodes are positioned in a grid, providing multiple paths for data from point A to point Bas well as network redundancy and robustness.  Also, the internet can be used to connect MESH nets to create even wider area communications.


Rocky Mountain Division Hamfest