CAKE Notes March 24 2018

CAKE  Notes March 24  2018

We welcomed Mike AJ4NR for the first time  and were pleased to haven Richard K8SQB back with us. New minds and voices add so much to our discussions.

Gary K6PDL attends regularly as does Glen KG0T. Gary evidently knows a great deal about “drivers” and offered Ron some suggestions on how to proceed to update those associated with his N2PK Vector Network Analyzer. Unusually our session today included several topics concerning test
instruments. Richard showed his newly purchased MetroVNA which is an attractive product about the size of a smart cellphone. It has a most useful frequency range from 0.1 to 256 MHz and gave an impressive demo of a short whip antenna SWR. We are keen to hear more about it in due course.

Ham radio Workbench has been mentioned previously and Mike has recently acquired one of their products, here is a summary of what is included.
George from the Ham Radio Workbench states: “Every ham radio workbench needs an oscilloscope, waveform generator, voltmeter, data logger, logic
analyzer, and spectrum analyzer.  The Analog Discovery 2 includes all these and more in a compact USB connected device.  These features are
essential for designing and debugging audio amplifiers, filters, logic control circuits, power supplies, etc. The compact size makes it easy to take your workbench with you to the repeater site, DXpedition or the Field Day site”. We keenly await hearing more from Mike. In stark contrast we recalled the huge cost of early test gear,computers and memory.

Gary is enthusiastic about his hand-held Digital Mode Radio (not Digital Radio Mondial ) for talking around the world via a network of digital repeaters.. I think this would fit in well as a presentation on the alternatives such as Echolink, DSTAR, IRLP etc…

As is now the custom there was some intense discussion on Raspberry Pi and like products. Glen is our subject matter expert and mentioned a new
version , the  Pi 3B+ It was seen as a fine way to enter the world of uproc programming at low cost. Ron met the inventors of the first 4 bit chip in the mid 70s and remains an interested listener to these discussions today.

There has never been a CAKE meeting without some discussions on antennas. True to form today Glen said he had found an EZNEC model of a small loop
which Ron has been looking for. Richard had several questions including options for HF antennas while traveling, Ron expressed his opinion that a
telescopic fiber pole to support an inverted VEE is a simple and effective option for regional communications. A vertical quarter wave with some above ground “counterpoise” wires of some sort can be quite effective for DX  This could include other features such as a base inductance and a series inductance at about 2/3 from the base. Such an antenna would be only 3dB less efficient than a full half wave radiator. Contact Ron for more info if interested.

Ron mentioned he was disappointed by the way the QEX Editor rejected two recent draft articles. Their policy to provide no further communications
is the antithesis of Hams trying to encourage one another. The Editor of QST may also have reasons for rejecting articles but gives much more help
in understanding the requirements. In short QST issues are likely to include construction details,list of materials etc.

That’s all the news fit to print  73  BCNU in 2 weeks if not before
Ron W6WO
Bonus When are you likely to find the first description of a VNA to
measure common-mode rejection ?