What happened at the meeting?

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The 6th May BDARS General meeting was well attended considering that several members were attending the WIA conference in Bundaberg and many were presently abroad.

The highlights of the (non-general) business at the event were:-

Your Station Name: A custom etched station nameplate for you!

  • The introduction of a fundraising idea was presented where the club would produce and sell laser engraved illuminated station nameplates for the ham community. The idea was well accepted by the members, and the next stage is a pilot run before organising a wider trial. Orders are open now!
  • If you are interested in complementing your own radio station with a custom made BDARS nameplate with you own personal callsign, please email secretary@bdars.org.au with your callsign requirement. The introductory cost is $50 (excluding P&P, discounts available for members). More info here
Laser Etched LED desk callsign

The Search for Extraterrestrials

Russell VK4DCM gave a short talk on the search for extraterrestrials and the ‘Wow’ signal, also explaining that the distance between the stars means that radio signals take thousands of years to reach us – and why the Hydrogen line 1.42GHz was chosen as the frequency of interest.

Licence Training and Exams

Eddie VK4TJE was pleased to confirm the next exam day for the 25th May.

Remote Flex Radio

Vice President Tristan VK2NTM was interested to ask members about using the club’s Remote Flex Radio and to understand if there should be some development work on the supporting software or systems. Please email Tristan if you have any comments or suggestions.

Easy Satellites

Following the interest from the last Technight where visiting presenter John Brews VK4JBE gave very well received talk about Satellites and SatNOGS, Bob VK4YA updated the attendees on some LoRa experiments a few of our members have been doing including the reception of Satellites on the 70cm band typically using the very low cost ESP32 based HeltecV3 modules.

Bob told of the amazing reception range with one $25 module connected directly to the X50 dual-band white stick on the roof and nothing else! This setup was without any preamplifier or additional filters.

In the club, Paul VK4PLY was the originator of this investigation; he originally found the tinygs satellite tracking website project and repurposed his Meshtastic node to see if it could pick up the LoRa satellites. After some experimentation and later purchasing more Heltec modules for 433MHz instead of 915MHz, he led the way to encourage others in the club including Bob to begin experimenting more with satellite communications.

VK4PLY's satellite reception area after 2 days

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