Ham Radio - 'Social Distancing' for over 100 Years!
A message from the N1KSC President (Kevin Z. KK4YEL)
Posted Mar 26, 2020
During this time, the club officers are communicating over collaboration tools, and discussing how the state of the Center and associated lands, current suggestions, and even laws impact club activities and social gatherings.
I’d like to remind you that the club still offers things for us to enjoy our hobby, safely from the comfort of our homes or vehicles. One of those being our repeater, N1KSC, on top of the VAB. We have the weekly Thursday evening net run on our repeater at 7:30 PM. (It’s been great hearing the individuality and talent of our net controls. Thanks to them).
The repeater is available for general use anytime by members and non-members alike. If you are experiencing any challenges or want more information, feel free to contact me. We stand by willing to help in the event that the Brevard County RACES/ARES folks need our help / use of the repeater.
We are also investigating the option for operating the FL QSO party from our homes, as individuals, but collecting up club members individual points and rolling up the total for a club submit. More info to come on that from the Activities Officer. Is it safe to say everyone has some form of computer at home that if we offered a virtual build over a Teams meeting, you could all join in?
Please take care of yourselves and each other. We will get through this. Stay Safe.
New ARRL General Class License Manuals Available
Posted Feb 28, 2020 (Website Editor)
The club's library now has two copies of the updated ARRL General Class License Manual (9th Edition) available for membership checkout/use. In addition, we also have an updated copy of the ARRL General Q&A (6th Edition). These books are valid from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2023. Now is a great time for some of our Tech's to upgrade to the extensive HF privileges that a General Class license ticket offers. Once you do, the entire range of operating modes and the majority of the amateur spectrum below 30 MHz becomes available to you!
And to quote an overworked & tired CPA during the crunch of tax season: "For the love of god, please get your General Class license and not become a CPA!"
KARC Systems & Operations Handbook Available
Posted Feb 12, 2020 (Website Editor)
The baseline release of the "KARC Systems & Operations Handbook" is now available. Copies are provided in the Shack (one on the Ops Console, and one in the library available for checkout). The 200+ page handbook is an attempt to capture the technical details essential to understanding the operations and sustaining aspects of running the club's various systems and assets. The club upon formation was in an exteremely rapid state of growth, both in membership and acquiring assets and operating capabilities. As such, limited technical documentation was captured and cataloged real-time during these formative years while building up the various club's equipment, systems, and capabilities. It is with this handbook that we hope to make good on providing the desired documentation going forward.
2) General Systems Overview
3) Club Shack (Shack): Operating Console
4) Club Shack (Shack): Antennas
5) Club Shack (Shack): Additional Workstations & Radio Gear
6) Club Shack (Shack): Ancillary Systems & Equipment
7) Tower & Tilt-Assembly
8) UHF Repeater
10) KARC & KSC Procedures
Appendixes (Doc Change Log, Sys Officer Roles & Resp., Antenna SWR Graphs, Quantar RSS Parameters)
Note: this is not an "Operating" handbook for the individual radio systems. The details for operating any particular radio equipment can best be found in the manufacturers provided manual which are available for all of the club's assets.
2020 KARC Officers Installed
Yaesu FT-450D Repair
Posted Dec 18, 2019 (Website Editor)
The club's main HF operating transceiver, the Yaesu FT-450D, had been indicating less than full power (e.g. <20w vs 100w) on some of the bands. After some troubleshooting; using a dummy load and comparison FT-450D rig, we concluded the most likely fault was with one of the two output driver transistors. The suspect part was ordered Dec 9th and installed on Dec 18th; a Mitsubushi RD100HHF1 MOSFET Transistor (100W, 30 MHz, 12.5v) . Initial testing post-repair into a dummy load confirms full power on all HF bands, and an on-air contact verified clean SSB modulation. Note: when the suspect transistor was removed it was noticed that there appeared to be little/no thermal compound against the heatsink (see picture). It is possible this explains the root cause of the failure - thermal stress over time. The FT-450D second driver transistor was not replaced since it appears to be operating fine (however, we do have a second replacement transistor now on-hand if required).
KARC Group Picture
Posted Sept 27, 2019 (Website Editor)
A group photo of KARC members was taken on top of OSB II on Friday Sept 27. Multiple shots were taken by a member of the KSC Photography Club, using the iconic VAB as the perfect backdrop. Although attendance was limited due to work constaints and badge access to KSC, it was nice to capture out first offical membership snapshot. A future photo opportunity will be planned off-site for capturing the larger membership. Thanks to all whom could attend!
Hurricane 'Dorian' Safing Restorations
Posted Sept 10, 2019 (Website Editor)
Dorian became a Category 5 hurricane, and did significant damage to the Bahamas. Fortunately Dorian kept well off the east coast of Florida as a Cat 2, and did not seriously impact the Cape. No damage to KARC equipment identified. On Tue Sept 10, club members reinstalled the previously stowed antennas, and also raised the tower back into the operating position.
Hurricane 'Dorian' Safing Preparations
Posted Aug 29, 2019 (Website Editor)
In readiness of hurricane Dorian (projected Cat 4/5), the club performed necessary safing operations on our various antennas at EML. All rooftop mounted antennas (except the Discone) were removed and secured within the EML building. The tower was lowered, and safely stowed & secured. Work was also performed on the addition of an extra securing bracket tie-down support for the top mast. The tri-bander & dual-bander beam elements were removed and also stowed inside the EML building to provide additional protection from potential high wind damage. Thanks to all who helped with their time to get this critical task accomplished for the club.