Moving Pictures?! Blasphemy! It’l never catch on..

Well as previously reported, the 2019 OVEC Winter Field Day Festivities went well, and everyone had a fine time. Thanks to the aerial videos courtesy of KD8FYT and his DJI Spark, and all of the other footage supplied by KF7IJZ, Jeremy (KF7IJZ) was able to put together a very fine montage of our experiences.

Check back later when we should have another longer video put together to show off the event!

WFD2019, No Deaths Reported

N8BD, KD8RAP, K8HUB, KD8GQW, KD8FYT, KF7IJZ (Not necessarily in that order…)

And just like that the 2019 Winter Field Day event has come to a close. Hams all over the country (and perhaps world) have started thawing out from their operating stations, finished eating their sandwiches, and commenced the long trek back to their respective QTH’s and personal bathrooms.

This year the OVEC group decided to hold their event in two cabins out at Cowan Lake State Park, located near Wilmington Ohio, and it was a great success. With sleeping accommodations that were more in line with a 4 star hotel room than what the mind thinks of when you say “cabin”, everyone involved came away from the event feeling spoiled.

Our station included an Icom 7300, multiple OCF and CF dipoles, a dedicated Icom commercial radio with a home built collinear antenna on 440, and plenty of warm bodies to keep everything running between 95% and 98% of the time. Could we have been more strategic and planned out all of the best ways to earn multipliers, placed antennas at optimal heights for correct takeoff angles, and made up an operating roster? Yeah probably. Heck we could have even given everyone yellow vests and assigned important jobs for the event! But honestly, every member who participated in this year’s event had an absolute blast, and that is what we all consider most important for a successful event. Spending time with friends, cooking up good foods that you will regret eating later, losing your voice from belting out terrible 80’s songs, and maybe even squeezing in a little bit of ham radio for good measure. That’s what we all find most important to us during Winter Field Day. read more

Fast Radio Bursts and OVEC

So what is the deal with these fast radio bursts, or “FRBs” from space? It’s been reported that a repeating source of these signals has been discovered and identified by the CHIME observatory located at the University of British Columbia. (BBC Story Here) So what does that mean to the Ohio Valley Experimenters Club?

Well to be perfectly honest, aside from being a pretty neat story, it doesn’t mean a whole lot to us unless they can speak PSK31, CW, RTTY, or DMR (even though that’s “not really ham radio” so I hear..). And although it would be pretty great to have one of our members make contact with the source of these radio signals for the first time, I have a feeling that the people of earth could probably find another more suitable resident smart person to ask the good questions. And lets just be brutally honest here, would we REALLY want our first contact with extra-terrestrials to be made by a ham radio operator? Although imagine the irony if the first contact was between a local ham here on earth, and some random alien-ham doing his/her thing on their planet. What do you think they would discuss? Because I’m fairly certain it would go something like this:

Earth Ham – “The weather here is pretty nice. We had rain yesterday, but it has since cleared up. I was able to pick up my medication from the Walmarts yesterday between rain storms which is good, but the XYL was pretty unhappy that I couldn’t get those gutters cleaned. Back to you Alien Ham”
Alien Ham – “Yeah its been pretty nice here too. But it rained acid for a bit, which hurt. My XYL was also unhappy I couldn’t clean the florp from my florpkens, but I’ll just have to do that another day.. 73 Earth Ham, and keep doing that hammy thing you do…”
read more

January 2019 Club Meeting

Tonight OVEC held it’s first club meeting to kick off 2019, and the hot topic at this month’s meeting was Winter Field Day planning!

Some of the topics covered include:

  • 1 Station to be operated
  • Multiple antennas to be used
  • The club repeater will be monitored
  • Will use N3FJP logger or KC8QCH’s custom made logger
  • KD8GQW will bring “THE SANDWICH”
  • There will be coffee

In other news due to a scheduling conflict and internet issues at our meeting location we were forced to start an hour later than normal, and I also misspelled “Vetoed” in the minutes.

See you all on the air in a few weeks!

Winter Field Day 2019!

It’s that time again folks, for us hams to freeze our modulators off by operating Winter Field Day! This year OVEC has reserved two cabins to be used by club members at Cowan Lake State park, and we are looking forward to the event as always. Good times will be had and one station is to be operated.

Look for us on the bands, we will be operating as KD8LBS. And if you are local or passing through, hit us up on our club repeater AND/OR our DMR talk group for a chat! (Information provided below)

444.9750 MHz +5, Tone 162.2 Hz (W8SDR)

DMR: OVEC Talkgroup 3110683

Not sure what “Winter Field Day” is all about? Check it out here!

High Altitude Balloonacy

Well it looks like OVEC has come up with another crazy idea to give a go, we are going to send some manner of balloon up toward space.

Our illustrious president, NF6H, put together a fine presentation describing the finer points of sending “lighter than air” craft into the earth’s atmosphere at last night’s October 2018 club meeting. With the enthusiastic roars of all those in attendance, it was decided that this project received approval from fellow OVEC members.

Initial planning shows that this balloon will do MANY THINGS, such as recording atmospheric temperatures and pressures, transmit real-time telemetry, take 1080p video and HD picturegraphs of our earth from the edge of space, and possibly even provide a temporary cross-band repeater for those interested in seeing how far one can talk using a 100,000ft high repeater location.

Planning has begun, and initial roles have been taken on by those interested in participating. Please feel free to check out the power point presentation below if you would like to see just how large of a taskt we are planning to accomplish. Failure is not an option…

Balloonacy Powerpoint Presentation

2018 FISTS Straight Key Contest!

The International G3ZQS Memorial Straight Key Contest will be 2300 Hrs UTC August 31 through 2300 Hrs UTC September 2, 2018. Everyone is welcome to participate, but only the logs of those using straight keys for all claimed contacts are eligible for awards.

Operation is limited to 3.5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz amateur bands. No WARCs bands.
Work stations only once per band.

There are three entry classes: QRO, QRP, and Club:

Entry class MUST be shown on logs to be considered for entry in a particular class, or will be assumed QRO. An entry must be ONE class only, no combination of classes is allowed.

CALL: CQ FS (short for fists straight = straight key)

The following information must be exchanged by both stations to count as a valid contest QSO: read more

2018 Summer Field Day

^—-Click “2018 Summer Field Day” For More Information!

Well the time is here yet again, time for Summer Field Day! We will be operating in the same location as the previous two years which will be listed below. If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please send us a message via our contact page or on the club repeater.


Ohio Valley Experimenters Club

4962 Beechwood Rd.
Cincinnati, OH


Talk-in: 445.420, 147.555, And Repeater

Contact: Ohio Valley Experimenters Club


How to Grow A Rohn 25G Tower PART 2

Welcome back! If you are reading this, you are either here intentionally or the Google machine sent you here by mistake. Either way be sure to sit down and strap in because this is going to be an exhilarating experience!

So my fancy book readings told me that due to the magical properties of  concrete, you should build a box out of rebar and pour the concrete around it. Concrete has great strength in compression, but doesn’t have nearly as much strength when tension is applied. To remedy this, we add the magical properties of steel. Steel is STRONG in tension, so by building a box out of the stuff and pouring concrete around it, the steel takes the tension and “the crete” takes the compression. By putting some blocks/bricks/books/bills under the rebar cube, it will ensure that the box sits off the gravel base and no rebar ends extend out past the edges of your concrete cube. This is important so that moisture doesn’t rot away the rebar over the years, thus compromising your tower cube and possibly the tower’s structural integrity itself.

Now if you weren’t already awe-stricken by my hole digging capabilities you will surely be amazed by my cement mixing skills.

Now, you may think to yourself “Self, I am a strapping young man and can do all that mixing with my trusty hoe and wheelbarrow without spending the $36.00 dollars required to rent a mixer for 4 hours”. To that I say you are crazier than a dog in a hubcap factory. That fancy orange mixer handled two bags of “the crete” and would have it mixed to a perfect tower cube makin consistency in under 3 minutes flat. Then you just wheel it over to the hole, turn on the rotatification mechanism, and dump her in like you would a wheelbarrow. Only a crazy person would do 50 some odd bags by hand..

I layed a tarp on the ground in front of the hole in hopes that it would catch any stray cement that tried to escape its cubical demise. This worked great since I dumped 1/4 of my first load on the way to the hole. There is a little bit of a learning curve to using the mixer. Lets all just take a minute to remind ourselves that we are, in fact, amateurs of the mysterious radio arts.

With the hole filled to about level with the wooden frame, I did many magical concrete finishing techniques to make the top of my cube look more appealing to the XYL. And lets just face it, making the tower project appealing to our XYL is really the most important part of this project. Be sure to scribble your call sign, name,  or hand prints into the wet concrete so that others in the future can have the privilege of marveling at your accomplishment. Or they can at least curse you as they try to dig it out in preparation for building that new deck where you planted your tower many moons ago.

After 24hrs it should be safe to remove the frame around the top of your cube. Since the concrete is still considered “green” at this stage, you will want to be careful not to chip the corners off of your finely crafted eyesore. It will take roughly 28 days for “the crete” to cure to about 95% of its maximum hardness. Be sure to water it a few times a day so that the top of the cube stays moist, which will aid in the curing process and prevent the top from cracking. This crucial watering is also required so that your tower will begin growing, as you will see in part 3.

In the final step of pouring your tower base, you must step back and marvel at the fine job you did. Pat yourself on the back and remind yourself that you ARE a very handy individual, and even though you didn’t get the grass mowed this week there is something much bigger growing in your lawn.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for part 3 which revolves around making it taller than 7′ above the ground!