See Branch 50 NZART at Maker Faire – 20 October

Branch 50 will work with other local branches and NZART to bring amateur radio to the 2019 Maker Faire on 20 October (10am – 4pm). Catch us on Queen’s Wharf.

Club members joining our tables at the Faire next weekend will meet at Bernard’s on Sunday 13 October at 1pm to plan and prepare for the event.

Note that there will be no regular branch meeting in October, due to the Faire.

Phasing two antennas & TX/RX switching – Shed Workshop – 6 October 2019

Bernard ZL2BD gave a talk on how to safely switch between RX and TX antennas on your rig and demonstrated the circuit (which is probably not suitable for break-in keying). This circuit would allow us to use our active antenna  or mag loop antenna on RX and our standard antenna on TX. The MFJ unit above is an alternative approach.

He also demonstrated a simple phasing circuit that works with two RX antennas to reduce noise levels or to peak a signal.  Steering of a two antenna array throughout 360 degree is possible.   Two active antennas can be used, or in fact, any two antennas spaced less than 1/4 wavelength apart can be steered (on RX) to reduce unwanted noise and maximise forward gain.

The following articles relate to the workshop:

Blackwood Cup Competition – 2019

Our regular meeting in September 2019 (at Mike ZL1AXG QTH) was the opportunity for members to bring out their home construction projects to be judged in the annual Blackwood Cup competition. The right to hold the cup has been contested since 1930 (won that year by ZL2BC)!

There were three entries in 2019:

George ZL2AG – Artificial RF Ground Unit.  George explained that Trevor ZL2AKW being on the thirteenth floor of a building needed to remove the noise from nearby audio speakers.  He explained how the unit was constructed, how it operated, etc.  supported with some written papers.

Mike ZL1AXG – Control Console.  Mike talked about easier control of the transceiver by the unit he had constructed. The unit sits between the microphone and transceiver.  The unit has 5 push buttons and 1 switch.  With the press on one button, it can select a CW or Voice Keyer function depending on the mode used. The fourth button replaces the PTT button on the microphone.

Bernard ZL2BD – Station T/R Switch and Phasing Unit for Receive Antennas.  Bernard talked about the first unit including how protection is provided from RF on Transmit going to the Receive Active Antennas.  Bernard then explained how the phasing unit can be used with a mix of two receiving antennas.

The winner for the Blackwood Cup in 2009 was announced as George ZL2AG for his Artificial RF Ground Unit.

Meeting with ZL2 Councillors

Daniel – Central Region NZART Councillor

On Tuesday 10 September, a combined Wellington branches meeting held at Branch 42 HQ welcomed the three councillors (Daniel and Ben in person, and Phil on the end of a cellphone). Members from all six Wellington region branches were present including three from Branch 50 NZART. The meeting primarily focussed on the challenges that NZART faces in terms of retaining and expanding membership (and amateur radio more generally), and how to improve the relationship between NZART and members. Those attending appreciated the willingness of Daniel to travel to Wellington especially to meet with local amateurs, and to openly discuss the challenges.