Technical Program

The organizers of this year's Central States VHF Society Conferences are pleased to introduce this year's technical presentation lineup.

 6- and 2-meter EME Dxpedition to IARU Zone 2

Abstract: Fresh back from an EME DXpedition to IARU Zone 2 in late June 2017, Marshall Williams K5QE will provide an overview of his adventure, its challenges, and its rewards. It will also be an illustration of what it takes to conduct a successful may not be as difficult as you think!

Speaker bio: Marshall Williams K5QE, of Hemphill Texas, has been a serious VHF and above operator since the late 1960s, having spent most of it on 2-meters.  He was one of the early holders of the 73 Magazine WAAS award, as worked 49 states on 2-meters from Oklahoma City by the late 70s.  Marshall was forced to move but, when he finally retired, landed in EM31 and built up a significant contest station with 144, 222, and 432 MHz EME capability.  He has won or has been a top finisher of all the ARRL VHF and CQ WW VHF contests since 2005.  Marshall is one state (Alaska) away from earning 6-meter WAS.

440 the Hard Way

Abstract: Small, portable, efficient and rugged; these were the objectives for a an entirely portable station.  Literally years of experimentation were spent reviewing bands and equipment requirements to finally settle on 70 cm.  Time was spent testing transceivers, amplifiers, preamplifiers, cables and solar power systems.  As the station evolved, a 25 element,17 boom K1FO Yagi and a unique rotatable 26 foot mast were designed and constructed which could be disassembled into short sections for ease of transportation and rapid set-up.  The resultant station is contained in a 1967 Land Rover five door station wagon which is in use weekly as net control for the Southern California 70 cm net.

Speaker bio: John Kountz WO1S, of Laguna Beach California, was licensed in 1994, and soon became engaged in UHF contesting, an activity he continues to this day.  During the ARRL Centennial, he was W1AW/6 on 70-cm FM and SSB.  His T6EE call is the first amateur license granted by the Government of Afghanistan in 2004.  John is a Life Member of both the ARRL and 10-10, a member of the Downey Amateur Radio Club, a Volunteer Examiner, and Chief Radio Officer of the Laguna Beach Emergency Communication Team-RACES.  John shares a HF station at their QTH with his XYL, Arlene, KE6GFI.

A New Frontier: The Atlantic Tropo Duct

Abstract: It has been 60 years since KH6UK and W6NLZ made the first two-meter contact across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii. Shortly after their historic achievement, the U.S. Navy completed a study called Project Tradewinds that documented the existence of elevated tropospheric ducts not only between California and Hawaii but also at tropical latitudes in the Atlantic Ocean. By now thousands of amateur VHF contacts have occurred across 2,500 miles of the Pacific. This path has been worked on 144, 222, 432, 902, 1296, 2304, 3456 and 5760 MHz, but not yet on 10 GHz. Now many radio amateurs are wondering whether the Atlantic can be spanned on VHF via tropospheric ducting as well.

Speaker bio: Wayne Overbeck N6NB, of Tustin California, is a retired professor at California State University, Fullerton, and has been a licensed ham for 60 years. He started operating portable and mountaintopping in VHF contests almost as soon as he got a driver’s license and went on some of the first moonbounce DXexpeditions in the 1970s. Recently he made six trips to Hawaii with equipment for all bands through 10 GHzand set new world DX records in 902, 2304 and 3456 MHz. He is planning similar expeditions to attempt VHF+ tropo contacts across the Atlantic. He won the John Chambers Memorial Award of the Central States VHF Society in 1978 and again in 2015 and was the Radio Amateur of the Year at Dayton in 1980. Wayne holds Ph.D. and J.D. degrees and authored 20 editions of a college textbook on communications law.

Getting More Hams Interested in the World of VHF/UHF/Microwaves

Abstract: The VHF, UHF, and microwave bands offer a multitude of activities, challenges, and learning experiences.  This presentation will focus on practical aspects of attracting more hams to the world of VHF+, covering ways to stimulate their inner competitive traits, love of learning something new, and experimenting on a budget...all through the use of club-sponsored events, digital voice radio, transverters, homebrew components and more.

Speaker bio: Cory Sickles WA3UVV, of Uniontown, Pennsylvaniabecame a ham over 40 years ago.  He is a Volunteer Examiner, has instructed several license classes, and has served as a Public Information Coordinator for a number of ARRL sections.  He has written feature articles and monthly columns for several publications, including The Spectrum Monitor and CQ Magazine.  Recently, Cory was hired by Yaesu as their General Manager.

Getting Started on EME on the Microwave Bands with a Small Station

Abstract: It doesn't take a large station to discover and enjoy moonbounce and microwave operations.  It also doesn't take large antennas.  Learn about how you can find yourself exploring EME on the 23, 13, 9, and 6-cm bands with small antennas.

Speaker bio: Al Katz K2UYH, of West Windsor New Jersey, has been a radio amateur since he was a teenager with an interest in the UHF/microwave frequencies and moonbounce.  He completed the first WAC above 144 MHz in 1976, the second 432 MHz WAS awarded, and the third DXCC awarded on 432 and 1296 MHz. He has also completed WAC on 23, 13 and 9 cm.  He has been editor/publisher of the “432 and Up EME Newsletter” for more than 45 years.  Before that Al edited the VHF column for CQ magazine.  He is a professor of Electrical/Computer Engineering at The College of New Jersey.  He especially prizes the ARRL’s Technical Merit and the CSVHF Society’s John Chambers Awards among others that he has received for his contributions.  Al is a IEEE Fellow and a past Distinguished Microwave Lecturer.

Modern DSP Tools for VHF+ Operations

Abstract: An overview of DSP toolkits such as Scientific Python (scipy), Julian, and GNU Radio will be provided to bridge a gap between the tools used by professionals and academics and the VHF and above community. Rick will provide an overview of general capabilities and examples of applications within amateur radio including VHF and above.

Speaker bio: Rick Naething AE5JI, of Albuquerque New Mexico, received a B.S. in CSE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2004 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in EE from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and 2010 respectively. He joined Sandia National Laboratories in 2010 where he is currently a Principal Member of the Technical Staff. He research interests include remote sensing, signal processing, and algorithm and system design for radar and communication systems. He has several patents in the fields of remote sensing and communication systems.

Scaling the YU7EF Yagis to 222-MHz with Two Case Studies

Abstract: The YU7EF Yagis are state-of-the-art antennas, having high G/T with clean patterns. They are broadband, with slow variation with frequency of impedance, gain, and side lobe magnitude. While YU7EF has done a good job of documenting the design and fabrication of the Yagis, the antennas were designed and intended for use in Europe that does not have the 222-MHz band. With their broadband performance and 50-Ohm design input impedance, the antennas can be easily scaled to 222.1MHz.  This presentation will cover techniques used to scale this yagi design for use on 220-MHz.

Speaker Bio: Jim Duffey KK6MC, of Cedar Crest New Mexico, was first licensed in 1965 as WN0MWN, upgrading a year later to WA0MWN. As a novice he dabbled in VHFwith a Heathkit Twoer and a three element beam from “Understanding Amateur Radio” whose feed system bore a striking resemblance to the present day WA5VJB easy Yagis. The Twoer, with that antenna, was capable of QSOes out to 60 miles! He held the call N7ATB in Utah and received the present KK6MC call in California. Jim’s primary amateur radio interests are VHF/UHF/microwave operating and experimenting, contesting, antennas, and QRP. He is an avid rover in both VHF/UHF contests and state QSO parties. He is one of the founders of the New Mexico VHF Society. He was honored with the 2015 W3IY Rover Recognition from the Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club and in 2007 he was elected to the QRP-ARCI Hall of Fame. KK6MC holds a PhD in solid state physics from the University of Nebraska. He earlier received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from South Dakota State University. After a two year postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Utah Physics Department he went to work at the old Hughes Aircraft plant in Culver City, California, managing a thin film lab and working in the areas of infrared detectors, electro-optical systems, and radiation hardened electronics for space. In 1992 he moved to New Mexico working for Maxwell Laboratories, which was then acquired by SAIC which then split to form Leidos. While there, he continued his work on infrared components and radiation hardened electronics and worked on high power microwave systems and antenna design.

The NN7AZ Story: Extreme 2-meter EME and Beyond

Abstract: It all began over pizza. You wouldn’t expect to find good pizza on the island of Eleuthra in the Bahamas. Eleuthra is long, skinny, lightly inhabited island not really geared to tourism. The length made it a collection of small neighborhoods. In one of these, near where we were staying, was an excellent bar with even more excellent pizza.  It was here that an idea for a novel, remotely operated 2-meter EME station was hatched.  Ned will present on the journey and successful design accomplishment that followed.

Speaker bio: Ned Stearns AA7A, of Scottsdale Arizona, has been active on VHF since getting his Novice in 1963. It has been a long adventure from his early days using a Heathkit Two'er to today where he operates three separate EME stations...a station in Phoenix AZ/DM43, a separate station in Maricopa AZ/DM32 and a portable high performance EME system that has been on several DXpeditions. He has been continuously active for all these years and has achieved numerous operating awards including DXCC on both 6 and 2 meters as well as working nearly 1,000 grid squares on 6 meters and well over 800 on 2 meters. He is also the very first ham to achieve DXCC on 11 bands...160 thru 2 meters. Ned has operate in 25 DXpeditions and has included 6 and/or 2 meter operation in 6 of them. Ned is four-time past President of the Central Arizona DX Association, past Chairman of the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee, a current member of the ARRL DX Advisory Committee and most recently has been re-elected as the Vice Director of the ARRL Southwestern Division. Ned is recently retired from General Dynamics as an RF Systems Engineer and promises to now become really active in Ham Radio.

Speaker bio: Larry Loen WO7R, of Maricopa Arizona, is an DXCC Honor Roll HFer expanding his horizons into VHF and beyond.  He has already completed a 2-meter EME DXpedition to The Bahamas in 2015 and Jamaica in 2016.  With the newly designed NN7AZ 2-meter EME and VHF Contest Superstation, Larry expects to become one of the regulars from his DM32 grid square along with Ned, AA7A, and other members of the team who helped the two build this station.

Using High Power FM stations to Monitor Meteor Activity Utilizing the 19-kHz Pilot Carrier

Abstract: In the past TV video carriers have been used to record meteors but with the elimination of analog TV transmission we lost high power stations, of which there were many, to monitor.  By using the 19 kHz pilot carrier of stereo FM stations, which are high power and number in the many on each frequency, we have a method to monitor and record meteors nearly as well as before.  This involves modifying older FM tuners with a little circuitry.  Ray will present his attempt at a circuit to accomplish this and the results.

Speaker bio: Ray Uberecken AA0L, of Peyton Colorado, is  an original  member of CSVHFS and attended many of its first conferences.  He served as President for one of the conferences held in Colorado Springs.  Ray has been a ham for 62 years holding two calls, W0WYZ and currently AA0L.  Most of his ham radio time these days is spent working with the Deep Space Exploration Society, and helping reactivate a 60-foot dish near Haswell Colorado.  When at the site, the antenna is used for ham activities and all the rest of the time it is gathering radio astronomy data.  The antenna is currently available on 144, 432 and 1296 MHz ham bands and 1420 MHz (neutral hydrogen) reception.  In the near future Ray's team will be pursuing pulsars.  He and his fellow members also investigate SIDS, meteors, solar, Jupiter and other extraterrestrial radio phenomena.  Ray is employed as a radio broadcast engineer.

WSJT-X Mode MSK144 and VHF Contesting 

Abstract: WSJT-X by Joe Taylor, K1JT, was officially released in January 2017 and introduced eight new digital modes with most potentially of interest to the VHF contester. The meteor scatter mode, MSK144, seemed to hold the most promise for quick acceptance by the VHF contest community and the greater VHF amateur population in general. The mode was even predicted to become the meteor scatter mode of choice over its predecessor FSK441.

Speaker bio: Tony Emanuele K8ZR, of Concord Township Ohio, was first licensed as WN8RJF in 1965 upgrading to Amateur Extra in 1976. His first 50 MHz activity occurred during the summer of 1973 with a Hallicrafters HA 6. His interest in VHF/UHF/Microwaves was the result of his desire to build the equipment on the bands he operated. By 2002 he had achieved VUCC on 144 MHz thru 10 GHz using homebrew transverters. More recently he has been active on EME on 144 MHz, 432 MHz, 902 MHz, 1296 MHz, 2304 MHz and 3400 MHz. Since June 2014 he has been the editor of CQ Magazine’s VHF+ column. In January 2017 he was issued K8ZR.