QCWA CHAPTER 70
Minutes of Meeting May 15th, 2001 Green Valley Restaurant
- With 43 in attendance, in the absence of President Gerry King VE3GK, Vice-President Bob Zieman VE3ATN welcomed all and visitors Dennis Cartwright VA3DWC, Ted Duncan VE3GGO and Chapter 70 member Ray Wilson VE9WI from Saint John NB. Bob explained the serving routine at the Green Valley.
Bob VE3ATN advised those members who have not paid their Chapter 70 or International 2001 dues that Keith VE3GFI would be glad to help them. Bob noted that the International life membership at $60 American is a really good buy and should be seriously considered.
- In ill health is Herb Morrison VE3HMF.
- We are the best recruiters for our chapter. Inform your Amateur friends about Chapter 70. Bring them along to a meeting! Remember guests are welcomed at any time.
- The Constitution is available on the web site and also in hard copy from the Secretary.
- Keith Bedal VE3GFI reported that he keeps the web site, http://www.qcwa70.cyberus.ca, up to date and that it contains an item on Doc Plummer VE3MA about the fact that he now is the most senior QCWA number in Canada, as well one on the receipt of a Federal Volunteer Appreciation Award by Jack Tennant VE3AHZ. Also on the web site is information on the QCWA International Convention Cruise.
- QCWA Century Certificates:
Doug VE3XK asked Croft, Vice-President of QCWA International, to make presentations of the new QCWA Century Certificates which we have not been awarding in Chapter 70. The degree number, which must be 100 or more, comprises the persons age plus the number of years they have been a QCWA member. Croft presented Century Certificates to George Roach VE3BNO; Don Dashney VE3RM; Jim Swail VE3KF (absent); Ed Morgan VE3GX; A.F. Wigglesworth VE1US (absent); Ken Scrivens VE3LJ (absent); Gord Grant VE3DY; Fred Green VE3IO; Bill Barrie VE3AAS (absent); Bill Marsh VE3SB (absent) and Charles Poole VE3OJ (absent). Doug indicated that the awarding of Century Certificates would be continued in Chapter 70 and that another group will become eligible next year when the degree number advances by two.
- QCWA Pins and Certificates:
Croft VE3CT awarded QCWA pins to new members Tom Bartello VE3ELM (absent) and to Bob Zieman VE3ATN; 50-year pins and certificates to John Hay VE3HPW and Clay Hiltz VE3TL; 55 year pins and certificates to George Roach VE3BNO, Ken Scrivens VE3LJ (absent), Jim Swail VE3KF (absent) and Don Dashney VE3RM; 60-year pin to Eric Ilott VE3XE (absent); 65-year certificate (he already has his pin) to Barc Dowden VE3TT; a 65 year pin and certificate to Bob Hanna VE3EJR (absent); and a 70-year pin and certificate to George Adamson VE3XS (absent). Croft reported that the QCWA board of directors voted, at the last meeting in Toronto in October, to elect life membership for any member with 75 years or more.
- Motion by Doreen VE3CGO to approve the Minutes of the dinner meeting of Feb. 20th 2001, seconded by Bill VE3FGW. Carried.
- Keith VE3GFI presented the Treasurers report:
Bank Balance on Feb. 20, 2001 $1560.51
Bank Balance on May 15, 2001 $1592.15
Cash on Hand May 15, 2001 40.00
Total Balance as of May 15, 2001 $1632.15
Motion of acceptance was made by Keith VE3GFI and seconded by Croft VE3CT. Carried.
- QCWA HQ news covered by Croft VE3CT concerned the two QSO parties held each year; one in the Spring and one in the Fall. The rules were changed about 5 years ago incorporating many suggestions that had been submitted and have remained unchanged. However a recent suggestion has been adopted that weekends when other major contests were going on should be avoided. Two weekends have been found that are two weeks later than the ones we traditionally had. They are the first weekend in May and the first weekend in October. This has the secondary effect of being able to publish the rules in the Journal before the QSO Party takes place. He again mentioned the 75th award to give automatic life membership to those who have been a member for 75 years.
- At the present time, 5 months before the QCWA Cruise, which is scheduled for Oct 27th to Nov 4th, 109 staterooms have already been booked for 118 people. So it looks as if we are going to have a great convention. Chapter 70 members are encouraged to consider going and Croft passed out sheets outlining the convention itinerary. There will be a radio station on board and we will be able to operate with a Canadian license most of the time from on board the Dutch ship when it is in international water.
- Jack Tennant VE3AHZ has been recognized by Emergency Preparedness Canada in a federal volunteer recognition event that was held on Parliament Hill on April 26th, 2001.
- Doc Plummer VE3MA has the lowest number of QCWA certificate in Canada.
- Gord Grant VE3DY was introduced by Bob Zieman VE3ATN. Gord's talk was on the status of propagation.
The interior of the sun is very hot and very dense. Although still hydrogen and still gaseous it has the density of about 10 times that of lead. The atoms are crushed close together. Because of the temperature, which is 2 million degrees Celsius, the atoms are moving back and forth at a great rate and they collide periodically and produce other atoms and also neutrinos. Neutrinos are produced in two stages. The first series are produced at a rate of 10 to the 38th per second. They will travel through almost anything. It has been suggested they will travel through three light years of lead. In Canada we have a large neutrino detector two kilometers down in a mine in Sudbury. It has been operating for about one year now. It will be about 10 years before we will know very much about the neutrinos themselves. The neutrinos are produced in the center of the sun and it is hoped that as we learn more about them they may be a good indicator for predicting what the sun is going to do.
- Back in 1830 a man named Rudolf Wolfe began counting the spots on the sun and noted that they had an approximate eleven-year cycle and he called the peak at 1850 cycle number one. The current peak is number 23. Sun spot numbers are still being continued although there are better methods of measuring radiation from the sun. In 1947 Arthur Covington began measuring radiation from the sun, primarily at a frequency of 10.7 cm. and came up with a unit called the solar flux. It is an assessment of the output of the sun. Measurements were initially begun with a four-foot parabola at the Albion Road field station. A few years later a nine-foot parabola was set up at Goth Hill, which is a high point of land off Highway 31 just outside of the city. Later a trough type of detector was installed which gave better resolution of the spots. Later an interferometer was set up at Algonquin Park.
- Solar flux graphs resemble sun spot numbers but they represent the level of activity of the sun. The measurement of solar flux is now being carried on at Penticton, BC. Arthur passed away about 2 months ago in Kingston. It looks as though we have hit the peak of cycle 23. We may have a small second peak. HF communication will be good for the next two or three years and then we will have a couple of years of quiet sun when 80 and 160 meters will be good for DX. The K index values range from 0 to 9 and are a rough prediction of what may happen in the next 24 hours. The A value can vary from 0 to 400. When we get a sizable sunburst we may get A values up to 200. The predictions are based on what has happened before. There is a satellite that is looking at a side of the sun that we cannot ordinarily see so that beter prediction can be made for the next few days. At times you may get large sunspots with tremendous magnetic activity, which produce tremendous blackouts.
- Clare VE3NPC was the next speaker.
AMSAT satellite AO-40 is now in orbit and working. In Sept 1991 an agreement was signed with the European Space Agency to put an amateur satellite on Ariane 502, which was scheduled for launch in Oct 1995. It was delayed, and in Dec 1995 it was rescheduled for Sept 1996. At that time a more firm agreement was made and the cost for the launch was to be 1 million dollars. By March 1997 it still had not gone up and launch was delayed until Sept 1997. In the meantime Ariane 501 was launched but failed to reach orbit due to a software problem in the guidance system. They also determined from the short flight of 501 that the vibration was much more severe than had been expected. This meant that Phase 3D would need to be upgraded and they could not do this in time. So in 1997 502 went up and had a near perfect flight. Then Ariane 503, 504, 505 and 506 went up with commercial payloads. Finally in the spring of 2000 the ESPA agreed to put 3D on 507 for launch in July. At 01:07 UTC on the 16th of November they put 3D up into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. This is an elliptical orbit above the equator with near zero inclination. On lift off telemetry was expected from the 70 cm transmitter but for some reason it failed and so it was switched to 2 meters. This was a very strong signal. The orbit into which AO-40 was placed had an apogee of 59,000 kilometers, far higher than any previous amateur satellite. However the perigee is only 315 kilometers. It takes about 19 hours for it to make one revolution around the earth. After initial checkouts they attempted on Dec 11th to fire the rocket motor to increase the inclination a bit. However the burn lasted longer than programmed and shortly after all communication ceased. They thought they had lost it completely. Finally on Christmas day, from Australia, using the 1.2 GHz up link, they activated the 2.4 GHz transmitter and regained control. By April the command team had deternined that the V, U and L band receivers and their high gain antennas all worked. The on board computer and both S band transmitters were OK. The on board camera worked although the sensitivity was down. It was used to take pictures of the earth to determine the exact attitude of the space craft. It appears that the 2m and 70cm transmitters are not operating. Magnetorquing was commenced to adjust its attitude before firing the arc jet motor to try and bring up the perigee. As AO-40 came around the antenna pointing angle improved so on May 5th at 0800 UTC (4 AM EDT) the S band transponder was turned on for a trial period. Operation was very successful although for a few minutes it was wild with everyone trying to correlate their up and down link frequencies. It was amazing that when AO-40 was relatively close to the earth how little up link power was required to get into it. Only 3 or 4 watts were sufficient. This resulted in overloading of the transponder by many operators. As a result the command team turned on Leila which puts a warning signal on the offender and if he does not reduce his powere it puts a notch on his signal and reduces it. It was very effective and everyone soon thought it was great. Mode L operation was also very good although there were few operators had that mode up and running. The next step the command team will be performing is to fire the arc jet motor to raise the perigee. Clare brought 2.4 GHz and 70cm antennas he had made for members to look at. Equipment requirements are a 70cm 10 to 15 watt all mode transmitter for up linking. For the down link a 2.4 GHz to 2m receiver converter into a 2m SSB receiver is required. Alternatively a 2m to 10 meter receive converter can be used after the 2.4 GHz to 2m converter to feed an HF 10 meter receiver.
- Ken Holt VE3VC, on behalf of the audience, thanked Gord and Clare for very interesting presentations.
- Meeting adjourned.
Gerry King (VE3GK) Clare Fowler (VE3NPC)
President 225-3426 WebPage - http://www.qcwa70.cyberus.ca Secretary. 730-1081
1152 Tara Drive 16 Fairbairn St.
Ottawa, Ont., K2C 2H2 VE3QCW on Thursday. 2000 hrs 147.03 (VE3TEL) Ottawa, Ont., K1S 1T3
Thursdays at 0900 hrs - Breakfast Embassy West Motor Hotel - Consulate Cafe