Radio Astronomy

During the April 2021 TARS meeting we were blessed to have Dr. Francisco Reyes – KK4AAV – University of Florida, Dept. of Astronomy talk on Radio Astronomy touching on the following topics:

  • Brief history of the Univ. of Florida Radio Observatory (UFRO) and the closing of the UFRO.
  • The observations of Jupiter’s decametric emission from UFRO and a station in Chile
  • Antennas and equipment used at UFRO and the station in Chile
  • Pulsar observations at UFRO and Chile and the antennas we used.
  • The Radio JOVE educational, public outreach and citizen science project
  • The Spectrograph User Group (SUG) network, equipment and the observations
  • The small antenna and spectrograph at Rosemary Hill observatory
  • Planning for the observations of the 2024 total solar eclipse in the US.

Introduction to 5G

TARS March 2021 Presentation: More and more spectrum availability to wireless service providers over the years has opened doors to enhanced communication standards and applications.  We will see increased throughput speeds, lower latency, and the ability to provide connection support to larger amounts of devices in small areas with increased bandwidth, flexibility in transmission, edge computing, and massive MIMO.  At the same time, the telecommunication industry’s infrastructure needs to be built out to be able to support the equipment density needed by the wireless service providers to fully achieve the leap from 4G to 5G. 

Crown Castle is one of the leaders in providing that network of communications infrastructure. John Hellmer, Senior RF Engineer from the Crown Castle Nation RF Engineering team, who will leverage over 10 years of RF Engineering testing, design, and optimization experience in the telecommunications industry in leading us through the evolution to 5G.

Overview of JS8 and JS8Call

The presentation given by Paul, KN4TRT on the “JS8 digital mode and JS8Call” is now available online at youtube.

JS8 digital mode & JS8Call operational features

TARS Election Report

A highlight from the November 2020 TARS meeting was the election of club officers for the forthcoming year. To begin the process, we solicited additional nominations/volunteers for office. Hearing no response, I proceeded to present the slate I had for a vote. The slate was as follows:

  • Don, KK4SIH – President
  • Tom, K4TB – Vice President
  • Todd, KN4FCC – Secretary
  • Doug, KD4MOJ – Treasurer
  • Chief, K5USN – Member at large

A vote was then taken.  I asked Net Control to select two members who were paid TARS members.  I then asked each of them to vote on the presented slate.  After both members voted acceptance on the slate, I asked the assembled membership if any of them wanted to vote against the presented slate.  No response was forthcoming.  So, based on a 2-1 vote, I declared the presented slate as accepted by the club and concluded my segment on the election of TARS officers.

I would like to congratulate Don, Tom, Todd, Doug, and Chief on their selections to their respective positions.  Also, on behalf of the club, I would like to thank each of you for stepping forward to serve TARS for the forthcoming year.  Without your support, this club would not be able to continue. 

Chuck AI4KA

General Class starting November 5th, 2020

Roland K3RA is starting a General Class course on Zoom beginning Thursday, November 5, and running for 9 sessions. Due to holiday breaks, the course ends January 21. Sessions will start at 6:30 Easter Standard Time (2330 UTC), and run 3 hours. No charge, of course. These are the classes sponsored by the National Electronics Museum that we have been holding for years. Please publicize this with anyone you know whom you think would be interested. Those wishing to sign up should email Roland at

Easy Points for Field Day

It’s not a contest, I know, I know, but everyone wants to get as many points as they can on Field Day.  Here are some easy points you can rack up without trying hard:

100 points for a formal message to your ARRL Section Manager or Section Emergency Coordinator:  It has to be in the form of a standard ARRL Radiogram and transmitted using the radio (no Internet).  The easy way to do this is send a radiogram using WINLINK to or  (7.3.5)

100 points for copying the W1AW Field Day Bulletin.  The schedule for the broadcast is at: (7.3.9):  

100 points per transmitter if you are running off of emergency power (if you are operating from your home station that means you are running as a E class not a D class) (7.3.1)

50 points for turning in your entry via the web app at: (7.3.14)

And remember to get your power multiplier.  A 100watt station gets a power multiplier of 2 (7.2.4)

It is a good idea to look over the rules at: to see if there are any other rules that might influence how you operate your station.

If you need help/advise during the event, try calling on the 147.030 repeater

So good luck, be safe and have a great time


Tuning Tips for SSB

Tuning Tips for SSB

Stan, K4SBZ

Here are a few random tips for tuning in stations on SSB during Field Day (and during contests). They do not apply to other modes.

Precision. Most stations operate on even multiples of .25 MHz. For example, 14241.000, 14241.25, 14241.50, 14241.75, 14242.00. Some spotting stations will erroneously spot at 14241.1 or 14241.6.  .25 and .75 are problems with the DX Cluster. The only report to one decimal place, therefore, they report as .20, .30 .06 or .08. Follow the spot and then correct to the proper frequency or you will be 10 kHz off. (Sometimes stations do try to squeeze in between the .25 frequencies, especially operators that are accustomed to other modes.)

Tuning Step. If your receiver has a tuning step, set it to .05 (50 kHz). Setting it to .100 will make it impossible to tune the .25 and .75 stations precisely. Setting it to .01 will make tuning slow and is unnecessary.

Tuning Upper/Lower Sidebands. Stations operating above 10 MHz will normally use upper sideband (USB); stations below use lower sideband (LSB). When tuning through a band, it is usually easier to tune in stations as you approach them from their operating frequency in the direction of the sideband. For example, approach a station on 7.214 from the upper side down his operating frequency (7.214.2, 7.214.15, 7.214.10, 7.214.05 and stop at 7.214.0). For USB, start low and tune up. 

Automatic Gain Control (AGC). Most radios now have automatic gain control (AGC). For SSB, setting you AGC to medium or slow will give the best results. Try it on a loud (but not blasting) signal to see what you prefer.

Bandwidth. Remember that an SSB signal is 2.7 kHz (2700 Hz.) wide. If you have a bandwidth control/bandpass filter, setting it to 3.0 or 2.7 would be normal. With a crowded band, setting it at 2.0 or even slightly lower will partially suppress stations that are near the one you want to copy. Setting it too narrow will distort the sound.

Understanding the SSB bandwidth will guide you on where to try to transmit if you are in the running mode (calling CQ). You should pick a frequency that won’t interfere with other stations and where other stations won’t interfere with you. If someone is on 7.214 MHz, you shouldn’t get any closer than 7.122 below or 7.216 above the station. If you could go a full 3.0 kHz away from him, you would be giving even more room for your 2.7 kHZ signal. You need, of course, to check that there is enough room on the other side of you so as not to interfere with or be interfered by another nearby station. Bottom line is that you need a 4-6 kHz wide opening where there are no signals. You should then ask, “Is this frequency in use?” at least twice before operating.

Field Day Questions/Tips From Other Club Members

Question from Don (KK4SIH):

Since I will be operating using my callsign (1D/E) should I upload my contacts (QSOs) to LoTW or QRZ etc so that others can claim the contacts for other purposes or do field day contacts not count for other purposes?

Answer from Stan (K4SBZ)

Many people upload Field Day contacts to LoTW, eQSL and QRZ. Although there is no contest, any contacts that you make at any time (Field Day, DXing, ragchewing, etc.) count for certificates such as WAS, Worked All Counties and the CQ WPX Award. 

If you have a good day, you could make WAS in one day on Field Day.

Don’t forget to upload to to get a quick look at how you and our club are doing for FD.

Answer from Gerry Gross (WA6POZ)

You can upload your contacts to LOTW since you are operating from home your QTH and grid square have not changed. 


Comment from Paul ( KN4TRT) 

Thanks for the nice breakdown discussion in the Field Day Band Forecast.  I just want to point that you missed one of the most important watering holes.  JS8 mode, according to the statistics give at, is consistently one of the top 4 utilized digital modes.   I have included a list of frequency settings for JS8 in the table below, but as a general rule, the JS8 frequencies are 4 kHz above the FT8 frequencies.

160m:   1.842000 MHz

 80m:   3.578000 MHz

 40m:   7.078000 MHz

 20m:  14.078000 MHz

 15m:  21.078000 MHz

 10m:  28.078000 MHz

   6m:  50.318000 MHz

   2m: 144.178000 MHz


Comment from Mike (N4JEL)

This might be of interest to anyone who wants an information overload. It looks like a club presentation. It is a fat file. The thoughts on which station class to use are helpful.


Comment from Austin (KN4YRH)

I would like to have you use these two videos on the site to help introduce ham to others.  This is what I used to get people interested.


Comment from Don (KK4SIH)

Reminder that our “Club or Group Name” is “Tallahassee ARS” when you submit your scores

The main ARRL Field Day site is at:

All of the information that has or will be sent out is located on the club web site at