W5RRR has new clothes

On September 22, 2017, the JSCARC members and the JSC Center Operations Rigging Team, successfully replaced our aging 80′ tower and antennas. Incredibly, within 6 hours, the tower and antennas were disassembled onto the ground, and a refurbished tower with new antennas were installed.  This accomplishment is nothing short of a miracle and it’s an example of terrific teamwork (and heavy lifting!)

Read more…

The 40m Wet Noodle

The club has acquired a Cushcraft D40 40m rotatable dipole!

The good news:

  • It’s cheap
  • It’s lightweight (16lbs)
  • It’s received good review from eham users
  • It’s going to be delivered to us by tomorrow (Wed) and will be ready for our 9/22 tower raising party


The bad news:

  • The mounting design is weak (photos from Nov 2000 QST Hints & Kinks authored by K9CC)

    Read more…

Belated W5RRR shack flood status


Our W5RRR shack survived another hurricane with flying colors.

Here’s a photo of the outside a few days after the historical flooding of 40″ that hit the Houston area.

Of sort, it’s a miracle that the JSC area, in general, sustained recoverable water damage across the center and the nearby areas.

However, immediately outside the surrounding 1mile perimeter one could see very uneven distribution of housing that sustained minimal to heavy flood damage.

For the W5RRR shack, water penetrated the front and back door seals and sprinkled a very moist layer of water across our aged carpet.  Unfortunately, this causes mold spores as well as a rich medium for the colonization of mosquitos by the back wall.  Not a new finding since it’s been a problem of the shack and flooding from past experience.  Photos show blowers in place to dry out the carpet.  Pictured are Keith KG5HOK and Chatwin KG5URC who arrived early to monitor the dry out.  Keith has secured an agreement in principle with the Gilruth to replace our treasured carpet with new tiled flooring.  Volunteers are sought to re-house the displaced mosquitos.  And in our backyard, our TH7DX which was being staged for installation onto of the 80′ tower was smartly anchored down on Tanner’s saw horses prior to the hurricane.  Early, we had considered laying the tribander directly on the ground (to mitigate Wizard of Oz wind gust events), but luckily we mounted these above ground.  All is good.

Read more…

Icom IC-781 status

The W5RRR IC-781 was taken out of commission during 2017 Field Day because we observed intermittant noise crackling on the receive and transmit signals.
It got on the bench for troubleshooting.  Based on online owner’s knowledge sharing, areas of known weakness were:

  1. cracked solder joints at the crystal filter in IF
  2. Phased Lock Loop unlock
  3. IF FET 2SK125s

We’ll I screwed something up.  After removing the RF module the whole receiver chain is white noise.

Read more…

Fixing a bad trap on the yagi

In preparation of the TH7 Yagi, Keith, Jerry, and John put finishing touches on the beam by re-measuring and lightning connections while the beam lay on the saw horses.

A final check with the MFJ259 VSWR bridge showed a poor resonance with at 20m.  Even we knew that the resonance with be displaced due to the close grounding effects, the 13 MHz resonance was way out of normal.  John quickly checked the traps for continuity and immediately found an open.  The team used Jerry’s tailgate to conduct a quick disassembly and inspection.  Oddly, the connections looked normal, but one end of the coiled wires had poor connection to the aluminum tube.  John flattened the wire, burnished surfaces, applied some Penetrox compound, and nursed it back into it’s protective shell.  Upon completion, the resonance was definitely better, but still low.  After the storm we’ll inspect the others.

Read more…

W5RRR 80′ Tower takedown and makeover

W5RRR 80′ tower is undergoing a major makeover on August 25th.  Rusted sections of Rohn 45G tower sections will be replaced with newer pieces.  The guying system will undergo an update with new hardware and rescued brackets.  A newly rebuilt Ham IV rotor and a HyGain TH7DX tri-bander (10/15/20m) will be installed, replacing our tired and broken 20m and 15m monobanders.

The club is looking for any and all volunteers will to help out on either this weekend on August 19 for prep work (TH7DX and tower pre-assembly ) and on August 25 for the whole tower/antenna disassembly and reassembly.

Read more…

Warning- Radioactive Bugs found at W5RRR

There’s been a reported sighting of the inevitable… radioactive bugs at W5RRR.

As we all know, our radio station regularly radiates radio waves, arguably indiscriminately through our various antennas at JSC.

We pay little attention to the errant bugs that get exposed to our electromagnetic fields…

Read more…

Field Day 2017

The JSCARC and CLARC joined talents, skill, and sweat equity, to once again continue the annual tradition of holding Field Day at the Gilruth.  There were so many special activities that happened, and without any problems nor issue.   A terrific time and an awesome event for the radio community.

Highlights included:

2017 FD huge success for both JSCARC and CLARC team

Read more…