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From the Archives 2020...



Friday Dec. 18th, 2020:


December Zoom Meeting PDF/Slideshow link:


Amateur Radio based Emergency Management

In the world of emergency management, where fast Internet and cellular service are available, how can amateur radio remain credible when offering to bring 0.0012 Mbps and 0.0096 Mbps packet radio and/or Winlink data speeds to the table? That was a great capability three decades ago, but not so much any more. Championing a local data communications technology offering less than a couple Mbps is analogous to entering a golf cart in a NASCAR race. Yes, using 0.0003 Mbps data on HF to communicate outside an affected area is important, but most emergency communications traffic is local and needs to be fast. This presentation focused on how to design a radio-based data network to support emergency management.

(To view Steve's PDF article from the December 2020 issue of QST about "HamWAN", click HERE)

Our Guest Speaker
, Steve Aberle, WA7PTM, a Life Member of the ARRL, gained his Novice license (WN7PTM) in 1970. He has been active in the ARES since 1976 (when it was still the AREC) and in RACES since 1979. Since 1999 his ARRL appointment has been as an Official Emergency Station, and in 2015 he was appointed as an Assistant State RACES Officer (Tribal Liaison) for Washington state. Steve has over three decades of experience in volunteer emergency communications planning, training, responses, mentoring, and as a HSEEP exercise evaluator. He was a law enforcement first responder for seven years, a county emergency communications director for five years, and is a former mountaineering and Search and Rescue leader and instructor. Steve holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science and is a retired data network and security manager and engineer. He has been a technical consultant to both the computer and wired/wireless communications industries performing cyber-security strategic resilience planning and tactical responses, Internet and intranet design and architecture, network security, systems analysis, software engineering, quality assurance, international customer support, and professional training.
November 20 7PM - OVARC Membership Meeting - via Zoom


For optimum antenna operation, you want the transmitter to deliver full power to the antenna via a feed line with little attenuation. That means you have to "match" the system's impedance to the rig's impedance and avoid high SWR. That can be a challenge for any HF antenna, especially one on 80 meters.


The Nano VNA devices allow you to measure the reflection coefficient, return loss, phase, resistance/reactance and impedance which can tell you how to modify your antenna to perform better.


Most hams are accustomed to just measuring SWR and hoping to keep it under 2:1.


Barry showed us how the Nano VNA devices work and showed sample graphs of a variety of antennas that he has at his QTH.


A quick tour of the Smith Chart may be necessary for an understanding of a "conjugate match" and calibration to a 50-ohm standard.


Barry Feierman was first licensed as a 13 year-old Novice (KN3EUI) in 1958, only knowing how to memorize answers to multiple choice FCC questions and to copy schematic drawings from memory. Like many others, he understood almost nothing about how radios and antennas worked.


Over a 60-year career in teaching physics, he gradually learned what most of these words meant.


From 1969-1970 Barry worked at The University of Arizona Astronomy Department doing graduate work. He also spent quite a few nights on Kitt Peak.


He later worked at The Lowell Observatory and the U.S. Naval Observatory in Flagstaff.


The Nano VNA vocabulary is challenging. He attempted to teach the material using just the basic language.


October 16 7PM - OVARC Membership Meeting - via Zoom

Our guest speakers were: David, AK2L and Gary, AE7GP.

They presented the many advantages of the StepIR antenna system and its ability to operate effectively over several bands. They also described the antenna construction showing the quality of the design. The added accessories were also described.


September 18 7PM - OVARC Membership Meeting - via Zoom

Our guest speaker was Carl, KB7AZ.

On January 1, 1998, the FCC rules required that all amateur radio stations evaluate exposure to RF radiation. FCC is in the process of amending this requirement that was scheduled to be implemented in June of this year. The implementation date has been pushed back, but it is a good idea for everyone to conduct a survey of their stations. Carl's presentation showed the most likely rules update, along with an easy-to-follow process for complying with the upcoming requirement. You don't have to send your analysis report in, but you should have one in case the FCC or other governing authority asks to see it. To see Carl's PDF from the meeting, click HERE.

August 21st 7PM - OVARC Membership Meeting -
via Zoom


Our guest speaker was Mark Thompson WB9QZB. 

Mark has been licensed since 1975. He was an early adopter of Digital Data modes starting with RTTY in the 1970s and packet radio in the 1980s.
He has been a board member of TAPR, the national digital organization, and has been a local co-host of the annual ARRL/TAPR DCC (Digital Communications Conference) four times in Chicago. TAPR was founded in the early 1980s and was originally known as Tucson Amateur Packet Radio. He became involved with digital voice in 2006 and has presented dozens of Digital Voice presentations featuring D-STAR & C4FM. 

Mark Thompson
Mobile: +1 847 867 2774
Skype: markjthompson
Zello: wb9qzb.

Check out his website on

July 17th, 7 PM - OVARC Membership Meeting -
via Zoom


VP8PJ DX-pedition to Signy Island, Antarctica


What’s it like to board the Braveheart at Punta Arenas, Chile and sail for 6 days to 60 degrees south? What approvals are needed to land on an Antarctic island, ferry thousands of pounds of equipment to the island, establish a campsite and operate radio for 2 weeks, non-stop? How is equipment taken to the campsite, install tents capable of withstanding Antarctic winds, rain, snow and ice? What radios, amplifiers and antennas were used? Where did they get electrical power, food, and water? How many contacts did they make to how many countries and to how many different call signs?


In our July OVARC member meeting via Zoom, Gene - K5GS explained the answers!


June 27th-28th: ARRL Field Day - Update

From Tom Kravec W8TK, Field Day Chairman, updated 29 June 2020:

This year, Class 1D (home station on commercial power) were allowed to contact another Class 1D station for score credit.  


Several OVARC members petitioned ARRL to publish aggregate club scores this year. Though they do so for other contests, ARRL initially refused, but our campaign succeeded so the club gets credit for every contact made by members at home.


This is good news! Make sure that when you submit your FD summary to ARRL, you put Oro Valley Amateur Radio Club on the line requesting club affiliation. Disregard the instruction that club membership counts only for class A and F stations.




I encouraged OVARC members to get on the air on FD (June 27-28) as sole operators, thus continuing the practice of "social distancing". You would have use your own call, but be sure to include OVARC as your club on the FD summary sheet you submit. I suggested to the Coconino club that the trophy should go to the club with the greatest number of individual operations submitting logs to ARRL.


FIELD DAY 2020 PRELIMINARY RESULTS from W8TK, Field Day Chairman

Preliminary report of OVARC member activity is linked below. Names are in alphabetical  order, sorted by last names. If you participated but you don't find your name and callsign listed, please e-mail me with your name, call, and number of contacts made, at:

OVARC 2020 Field Day - Preliminary QSO Report Link


I count reports from 44 members. Many members had never or seldom been on the air before. That's what Field Day is all about! I have received only positive feedback from members. Perhaps this is the new paradigm for Field Day, and we need to debate whether or not to return to old-school FD in the future should that option become available...


Congratulations to all who participated. Great job!


73 de W8TK

Tom Kravec



June 19th 7PM - OVARC Membership Meeting -
via Zoom



In previous years our June Member Meeting typically had some commentary about Hamvention which occurs every year in May.

Of course, Hamvention did not happen this year. Not only were hams disappointed but vendors were disappointed as they had no audience to show their latest and greatest ham radio gadgets.


In checking with some of the Hamvention organizers, I reached out to a couple of vendors that would have normally attended to see if they would like to have some OVARC “air-time”. As I suspected, they were delighted with the opportunity to tell OVARC about their latest offerings.


So at the June 19th OVARC ZOOM Member Meeting we had a Mini-Vendor Night. We “staged” 4 vendors to give us all a pitch. I agreed to allow them to promote any and all things that they offer pertaining to amateur radio. The following vendors agreed to participate:


- West Mountain Radio

- DX Engineering

- Northwest Digital

- Flex Radio Systems


It was an informative meeting.


-- Steve Wood - W1SR --


May 15th:

OVARC's 2nd Zoom Membership Meeting!

(For more information on our Zoom meetings, please click HERE)​
Norman, VK6GOM, Live from Australia via Zoom


Our feature presenter for our May meeting was Norman VK6GOM. Coming to us via a Zoom connection, Norman is located over 8,000 miles always in Busselton, Western Australia. 


Over the years Norman has looked into one of the many benefits of Amateur Radio, that being our cognition and how our hobby positively impacts our cognitive skills. Norm also told us about ham radio operations in Australia and a bit about the activities in his a local club, the Bunbury Amateur Radio Club. 


It was very informative to learn more about this little-known benefit of Amateur Radio.

April 17th:

OVARC's first ever Zoom Membership Meeting!

(For more information on our Zoom meetings, please click HERE)​
Our "Zoom presenter" this month was Carl Luetzelschwab - K9LA.


Solar Topics and Propagation

Carl reviewed Cycle 24, the current solar minimum period between Cycles 24 and 25 and predictions for Cycle 25. He discussed what to expect propagation-wise during our current solar minimum period and he reviewed the NØNBH Solar-Terrestrial Data on the OVARC web site.

Click HERE to view/download his PowerPoint presentation.


Carl started his radio career as a short wave listener in the late 1950s. He received his Novice license (WN9AVT) in October 1961, and selected K9LA in 1977. Carl is a graduate of Purdue University and was an RF design engineer with Motorola and Magnavox/Hughes/Raytheon until his retirement in 2013. Carl enjoys propagation, DXing (he’s at the Top of the Honor Roll), contesting (he was NCJ Editor from 2002-2007), playing with antennas and fixing/using vintage equipment.


He and his wife Vicky AE9YL enjoy traveling, which has included DXpeditions to Syria (YK9A in 2001), to Market Reef in 2002 (OJ0/AE9YL and OJ0/K9LA) and numerous trips to ZF (Carl is ZF2LA and Vicky is ZF2YL). Carl is currently the ARRL Central Division Vice Director. He has received the Bill Orr W6SAI Technical Writing Award, the YASME Foundation Excellence Award and the Indiana Radio Club Council Technical Excellence Award.

Norm 2.JPG
Carl Luetzelschwab K9LA.JPG
K9LA's Viking Ranger II and Drake 2-B
K9LA_Viking Ranger II and Drake 2-B.JPG
April 18th:

Anniversary of the return on the Apollo 13 Astronauts:


Below is the list of links used for the event.


You can only see one band/mode at a time. Every time you view a schedule, it has automatically been updated with everyone who signed up.


If you want to operate 40 Meter FT-8, Click on:


If you want to operate 20 Meter CW, Click on:


If you want to operate 20 Meter USB, Click on:


If you want to operate 17 Meter FT-8, Click on:





de Frank Karnauskas, N1UW


Other 2020 OVARC Membership Meetings...
Due to concern for the health of our members/guests, and in compliance with CDC, State, and Local Government directives, REGULAR OVARC Membership meetings will not resume until an "all clear" is announced by these agencies. Until then, we hope to schedule more "Zoom" meetings. Check back here often for updates! Thank you for your cooperation.


How to: Horizontal Loop Antennas by
John Payton (N7GHZ)

OVARC Member John Payton (N7GHZ) has created a PDF presentation on Horizontal Loop Antenna Design, as well as additional info and videos.

To download John's PDF, click HERE.

To access the other material including videos, click HERE.


March 2020 Membership Meeting - CANX
Friday March 2oth at 7 PM MST
Ascension Lutheran Church
February 2020 Membership Meeting
Friday February 21st at 7 PM MST
Ascension Lutheran Church
1220 W. Magee Rd, Tucson, AZ 85704

For a MAP with directions, click HERE

6 PM Pre-Meeting Friday February 21, 2020

(Prior to the Regular 7 PM Meeting)

Have you been on FM since man created handheld radios? Are you wondering, "how do I get on Fusion?" Buying a radio is the easy part; how do I get on Fusion once I have it in my hand? What’s the attraction for getting a HotSpot? Do I need one? Can I get on Fusion without one? How do the OVARC repeaters fit into all of this? What about APRS? Should I throw away my FM handheld radio?

If you had questions that are close to these, then you should have come early to the Friday OVARC meeting on February 21st. Mike, K7VTT answered “Fusion Questions”.

Notable Antenna Designer Presented at the February Meeting

At our February 21st meeting, Tom Schiller, N6BT, talked about antennas. Tom is the founder and owner of Next Generation Antennas. He designed the Force-12 antennas and authored a great antenna book titled “Array of Light.” He still holds a few world records, including the 160-meter CQWW QRP CW in 2007, and the 80-meter CQWW QRP CW in 2003. Those records still stand today. Today he lives in Kingman Arizona on several acres of land as he continues developing new antenna designs.

Tom Schiller N6BT.jpg

Tom covered antennas for smaller spaces, taking into consideration the bands desired, operating interests, budget, restrictions, etc. He also included his research on verticals and other antennas that he has done over the past several years. Subjects included take-off angles, efficiency, balanced current, baluns, "radials vs. counterpoise" (including his present Vertical Open Ring system) and his article in the May/June 2019 National Contest Journal (NCJ).

Afterward, Tom was glad to take all questions. Having shipped over 26,000 antennas and a product line of close to 200 models, he has probably tried and built most everything, including aluminum towers, masts, and tower trailers. For DX enthusiasts, he can provide insight from The Team Vertical contest team, and many other DXpeditions.

January 2020 Club Meeting
- Elections 
- Slow Scan TV (SSTV)
- Handyman Corner


Friday, January 17, 2020 

7:00 PM MST

Ascension Lutheran Church

1220 West Magee Road, Tucson, AZ

Click HERE for a Map

Board of Directors Election

Friday January 17th 2020 was the regular OVARC Meeting. It was also our Annual Meeting and the meeting when we hold our elections.


In 2020, five director’s seats were up for election. Those directors are Gary-AE7GP, Fred-W2HZ, Carl-KB7AZ, Ross-K4WBR and Hanna-KG7TPD. 


Gary-AE7GP, Fred-W2HZ and Hanna-KG7TPD have accepted nominations to run again for another 2 year term. (Note: They were all re-elected). 


This leaves two Directors who will retire from the Board: Carl-KB7AZ and Ross-K4WBR. Many thanks to Ross and Carl for their dedication and commitment to OVARC during their term.


The nomination period for the 2020 elections is now closed and there are two nominations to fill the two upcoming vacant seats. Those nominees are Hal-N7BAZ and Logan-KE7AZ. (NOTE: All Board nominees were elected).


Slow Scan TV (SSTV)

Presented by: Carl Foster - KB7AZ


Slow Scan Television (SSTV) is a picture transmission of still pictures via amateur radio. It is inexpensive and used by many amateurs as well as our International Space Station (ISS) crew. 


Our own Carl Foster – KB7AZ presented Slow Scan Television for Amateur Radio. He answered questions about clarity, speed, signal width, etc. in detail.


Carl, KB7AZ, was first licensed in 1970 and has worked as an RF design engineer from 1973 until he retired from Raytheon in 2011. He currently holds an Extra Class license. Carl's amateur radio interests include HF, VHF, DX, RTTY, SSTV, public service, and antenna design. Carl was one of the designers of the first digitally synthesized amateur transceiver, the Astro 200, which was sold from 1977 - 1980. Since then he has worked in aerospace data links including message protocols, telemetry, range tracking, and range safety. He is the current ARRL Arizona Section Technical Coordinator and previously served as an OVARC board member and the club's Secretary.

Carl SSTV.jpg
Handy Man Corner

Presented by: Tom Kravek, W8TK

Is your radio legal?

2019 Meeting Topics


Click on the link below to view information on what topics we've presented at OVARC Monthly Meetings in 2019:

OVARC Monthly Meeting Topics 2019

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