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RF and PLASMA at the Frontier of Space Propulsion

HADARC opened this week’s meeting hearing from ChrisVK2YMW. Chris reflected on the massive Carrington Event in 1859 where a massive CME blew industrial size transformers and caused such an over-load that many systems failed. Chris suggested this was a good way to stop online scammers, but alas waiting for the next CME event may be a while, so perhaps just to keep your software up to date.  

This week HADARC members were treated to some of the most exciting and interesting use of Radio seen in a long time. Mr Alexander Ryan has developed and tested an RF plasma thruster using some of the most cutting edge processes known. Alex discussed the differences between chemical propulsion and electrical propulsion. Using accelerated charged particles in a electrical field, Alex was able to show the efficiency gains he was able to achieve. He mentioned it was 10 times more efficient to use this new technology. In his work, he developed a plasma soup and then used electrons and ions in the soup to be directed using an electrical field. He then described how he used tungsten to generate thermionic emissions and control the plasma. It sounded a lot like radio valves taken to the next level.

Finally, Alex discussed how he designed a helical antenna within a chamber and using a RF fields at 13.56Mhz, could generate a 600 watt thruster. What he had shown was that RF and plasma together could provide highly valuable propulsion for small satellites and payloads in space. Just incredible that radio is being used at the very frontiers of space.

We also found out that Alex’s grandfather was a past president of the WIA.

A special note of thanks to Rod VK2DAY, whom worked with Alex to attend HADARC. Rods work on the QUA Magazine is first class and his contribution to the club is greatly appreciated.

We are inching closer to the end of the year and HADARC will hold is Christmas function on the 10th December at Magpies in Waitara. Please contact Chris VK2YMW for your registration for a fun afternoon of your best radio stories over a relaxed lunch and a few 807’s. There are rumours that a few special things will happen at this event, so please stay posted.

HADARC welcomes Members and guests to attend all its regular meetings. Please see the Web site for details.

73’s - Let’s keep radio-active!

Matt / VK2BAI

HADARC President

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HADARC Blasts off for 2022 final Monthly meeting

We seem to be inching closer to the end of the year and HADARC will hold is Christmas function on the 10th December at Magpies in Waitara. Please contact Chris VK2YMW for your registration for a fun afternoon of your best radio stories over a relaxed lunch and a few 807’s. There are rumours that a few special things will happen at this event, so please stay posted.

Next monthly meeting HADARC, taking place this Tuesday will enter the realm of Aerospace engineering and hear from a real Rocket Scientist. This is the last monthly meeting of the year. At this is truly unique event, we will hear from Alexander Ryan. Alex is CEO of VXB Aerospace and an experienced Aerospace Engineer. He is in the final stages of his PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Physics at the University of Sydney.

Alex designs electric propulsion systems and has previously developed and tested a small RF plasma thruster. His UHF engineering and plasma skills are cutting edge.

Alex will be presenting where Australia stands in the ever-growing Aerospace Industry. We think the meeting will be a ‘blast’ and yes the pun was intended.

Please joint as a guest and ask your friends to attend as well. This is a great way to introduce people to radio with a great talk.

HADARC welcomes Members and guests to attend all its regular meetings.

73’s - Let’s keep radio-active!

Matt / VK2BAI

HADARC President

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The Great November Recalibrate

This week saw HADARC Members participating in the Great November Recalibrate.

At this session we used top-of-the-line test gear to accurately check Voltage, Current and Resistance. We had nice gear including a Fluke 1664FC meter accurate to 10 milli-ohms and also a Yokogawa CA-11E care of Walter VK2WB as a very accurate way to source voltage. We put our meters to the test and found that our Fluke multi-meters were indeed very accurate but others may round up or round down and are less accurate.

We had a lot of fun using a Power supply from a electronics retailer that had a digital voltage display and used 5 separate Multi-meters to see what voltage each meter read. Yes, all five meters showed different voltages, but three of the well regarded branded meters were indeed very close to one another. In all cases the display on the power supply did not match the 5 multi-meters. It was over stated. When was the last time you checked your own power supply voltages? Its certainly worth the check to make sure it’s still a solid 13.8Volts.

Then we moved to resistance testing of leads. We found poor leads had 1.4 ohms resistance and good leads were close to zero ohms. Please go check your leads today ! Maybe its time to do a re-solder and resolve those losses away prior to Christmas.

All in all it was a good night.

Next monthly meeting HADARC will enter the realm of Aerospace engineering and hear from a real Rocket Scientist. This is truly a unique event where we will hear from Alexander Ryan. Alex is CEO of VXB Aerospace and an experienced Aerospace Engineer. He is in the final stages of his PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Physics at the University of Sydney.

Alex designs electric propulsion systems and has previously developed and tested a small RF plasma thruster. His UHF engineering and plasma skills are cutting edge.

Alex will be presenting where Australia stands in the ever-growing Aerospace Industry.

Please joint as a guest and ask your friends to attend as well. This is a great way to introduce people to radio with a great talk.  

HADARC welcomes Members and guests to attend all its regular meetings.

73’s - Let’s keep radio-active!

Matt / VK2BAI

HADARC President

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CQ World Wide & Great November Recalibrate

This week saw HADARC Members participating in the CQ World Wide contest. Peter VK2PX using his event callsign VL2W, took on the contest with enthusiasm. He worked Morocco, Alaska and Point Verde to name a few. Conditions on 20 meters, 15 meters and 10 meters were outstanding and for those who listened or exchanged country numbers, it was a great way to engage in amateur radio.

Have you noticed conditions are improving? Perhaps it’s time to get your antenna just a bit higher or replace that somewhat patchy patch lead.

With thanks to Stephen, VK2KHA and Andrew, VK2TAN HADARC has recently made updates to its Web site. The site now contains many helpful links to amateur radio resources. Resource sections include Antennas, Electronics and even a “Just Interesting” section was added as well. Please have a look at our site and perhaps in your own Club add a section for links to topics that promote Amateur Radio.

Next HADARC meeting is our mid-monthly meeting taking place next Tuesday the 8th November at 8pm. We are calling this meeting the “Great November Recalibrate”. We will have top-of-the-line test gear to accurately check Voltage, Current and Resistance. So bring your analogue or digital multi-meters, wire or other leads and alligator clips and see how lossy cables are or how accurate your test gear is vs precision test gear.

HADARC welcomes Members and guests to attend all its regular meetings.

73’s - Let’s keep radio-active!

Matt / VK2BAI

HADARC President

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HADARC Launches New Web Resources and Reviews the Hy-Gain AV-640 Antenna

Due to a late plane fight we had to defer HADARC’s  Rocket Scientist presentation. Alexander Ryan, CEO of VXB Aerospace will now present at our November meeting, so stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the event.

This week we heard from Stephen, VK2KHA who outlined recent updates to the HADARC Web site. The site now contains many helpful links to amateur radio resources. Sections include Antennas, Electronics and even a “Just Interesting” section was added as well. Please have a look at our site and perhaps in your own Club add a section for links to topics that promote Amateur Radio as well.

Also in the meeting we heard from Chris, VK2YMW outlining his recent overseas trip. He showed us the Radio Room of the USS Iowa warship and an amazing presentation showing its massive size and capability. The main conning tower control room armour is 17.3 inches thick – just incredible.

We heard from Matt, VK2BAI on the setup and design of the Hy-Gain AV-640 antenna. This design optimised RF performance by placing coil at the top of the antenna and has 4 levels of capacitive loading hats.

Finally, Rod VK2DAY auctioned off some great gear and perhaps questionable old gear for bargain prices. This was a great way to wrap up a top evening.  

We were pleased to have another new member join HADARC. Welcome to Kevin, VK2VKB.

Next meeting is our mid-monthly meeting taking place on 8th November. We are calling this meeting the “Great November Recalibrate”. We will have top of the line test gear to accurately check Voltage, Current and Resistance. So bring your multi-meters, wire or other leads and alligator clips and see how lossy cables are or how accurate your gear is vs precision test gear.    

HADARC welcomes Members and guests to attend all its meetings.  

73’s - Let’s keep radio-active.

Matt / VK2BAI

HADARC President

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HADARC Blasts Off!

This week, HADARC members plugged in their soldering irons and made up some 1:1 Baluns. It was impressive to see VK2XWB’s efforts were rewarded after testing his balun to 30Mhz and having an SWR of 1.2:1 – nice work Walter.

Rod VK2DAY has always been influential, but this time he has taken HADARC’s next event to Galactic levels. Yes, Rod has secured an influential Rocket Scientist for the Monthly meeting on 25th October, starting at 8pm at Mount Colah.

Alexander Ryan is CEO of VXB Aerospace and an experienced Aerospace Engineer. He is in the final stages of his PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Physics at the University of Sydney.

Alex designs electric propulsion systems. Has previously developed and tested a small rf plasma thruster. His UHF engineering and simulation of plasma skills are cutting edge.

Alex will be presenting where Australia stands in the ever-growing Aerospace Industry.

Don't miss this unique event where HADARC Members are invited to bring a guest or friends who have an interest in Science, Rockets and Radio! 

Let’s keep radio-active.

Matt / VK2BAI

HADARC President

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Another great night!

HADARC held its Monthly meeting on Tuesday 27th September. And what a great night it was. Carmel VK2CAR presented the largest Low Frequency coil we have ever seen. It is used to detect underwater objects and stands over 3.8 meters tall and over 1.5 meters wide.

We were privileged to hear David Burger VK2CZ explain the different antenna modelling software packages available and how he has used them to optimise his Beams and other antennas. It was impressive to hear about the trade-offs between SWR vs Gain vs Noise, and you can’t have perfection on all three at once. Despite the challenges of a torrential downpour mid presentation, David’s session and expertise was well received.

HADARC was pleased to have a new member join the club and also have a visitor attend with a strong interest in obtaining a Foundation licence. It’s great to see the new WIA foundation manual hot of the press to aid new members.

At next mid-monthly experimenters meeting, bring your soldering iron, solder and pliers. We will be helping club members build balun kits and also having a look at how they perform using a restored BC-221 Frequency Meter.

Have you noticed how good the DX conditions have been on 20 meters? Club member Jack VK2PCH was heard working Italy, England and Bosnia just this week. Local conditions have been noisy so turn on your noise blanker and join one of our nets. HADARC runs weekly nets on 147.250 Monday’s, 3.6085 Wednesday’s and 7.106 Friday’s.

73’s for now - Let’s keep Radio Active !

Matt VK2BAI

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HADARC September meeting

HADARC is excited to announce that for its next monthly meeting, which is next Tuesday night at 8pm, our key note speaker will be David Burger, VK2CZ. David will speaking on “Professional Antenna Modelling” and show us how to use software from his deep experience in designing and building antennas. David is a Senior Life Member of the IEEE and has been a ham for 50 years. This will be a great evening to ask lots of questions and perhaps seek ideas for putting up that new antenna, all ready for summer time use.

For those who purchased and are making the popular Balun kits, please follow the instructions carefully, especially winding the toroid. If you have not had a chance to collect your kit, they will be available at the Club meeting this Tuesday night. Please bring the exact cash to cover what you ordered. If you forgot what is due, please email the President using the HADARC web site inquiry section.

Have you noticed how good the conditions have been on 40 meters? It's a good time to join a net, or just stop by and say hello. Perhaps turn on a radio that has not been used from a while and warm up those tubes and caps. HADARC runs weekly nets on 147.250 Monday’s, 3.6085 Wednesday’s and 7.106 Friday’s.

73’s for now - Let’s keep Radio Active !

Matt VK2BAI

President, HADARC.

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Another great night!

Last week HADARC held a social dinner at Magpies. There were record level attendees and many great radio stories were told. Stuart VK2BMX showed his new HF vertical and Carmel VK2CAR displayed a new loading coil she had developed. We handed out many baluns kits with enthusiasm high to build these kits ready for summer operations. In the case you did not collect your kit, they will be available at next Monthly meeting.  Please bring the exact amount of cash to cover your order.

HADARC is excited to announce that for its next monthly meeting, our key note speaker will be David Burger, VK2CZ. David will speaking on “Professional Antenna Modelling” and show us how to use software from his deep experience in designing and building antennas. David is a Senior Life Member of the IEEE and has been a ham for 50 years. This will be a great evening to ask lots of questions and perhaps seek ideas for putting up that new antenna, all ready for summer time use.

Did you know there was a secretive CSIRO Radio Telescope at Hornsby between 1947 to 1952. They used yagi’s, rhombics and broad side arrays to study solar bursts. Hornsby has a long radio history. So, why not be part of the history and join one of our weekly nets. HADARC weekly nets are on 147.250 Monday’s, 3.6085 Wednesday’s and 7.106 Friday’s.

73’s for now - Let’s keep Radio Active !

Matt VK2BAI

President, HADARC.

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Another great meeting!

At last week’s HADARC Monthly meeting, a presentation was given by Matt VK2BAI outlining the 4 priority areas for the Club. The areas are: Community Focus, Member Engagement, Radio Disciplines and Practical Impact. Together these are called ‘HADARC 100’ and we aim, in time, to have 100 members.

Carmel VK2CAR presented on new sea wave technology that generates sustainable power as well as the new eBit-X SDR transceiver. Tony, VK2BTL presented on his success with his Moonraker vertical HF Antenna system.

Finally, Steve VK2AAV presented on “The Magic of MOSFETS”. Steve went into the theory, showed the spec sheets and then displayed some practical circuits. These devices are everywhere, so as a Club we wanted to know how to best use them. Did you know a MOSFET can be turned on with about 50 nano amps? Now that is small. Based on Steve’s presentation, we are looking at how we can make some practical MOSFET circuits in the coming months.    

Based on the very successful Balun Business evening, we now have 14 Baluns that will be constructed in the coming months. We appreciate the ARNSW support from Al VK2OK to create such enthusiasm.

Have your tried our recent Echolink upgrade to VK2RNS repeater on 147.250? HADARC would appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance.

Next HADARC mid monthly-meeting will be a social at Magpies in Waitara starting at 6:00pm for dinner. We look forward to telling many radio and project stories over dinner. Please come along, meet the members and join a relaxed social evening.

HADARC run nets every week on 147.250 Monday’s, 3.6085 Wednesday’s and 7.106 Friday’s.

73’s  - Let’s keep Radio Active !

Matt VK2BAI

President, HADARC.

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