50 MHz & Up Group

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The 50 MHz and Up Group is an educational and public service amateur radio organization centered in the San Francisco Bay area. The group is interested in developing and utilizing communications on frequencies from 50MHz up through light-waves. The group is open to any related topics that might be of interest to members, such as: technology, design, construction, operation, public service, contesting and antennas. Lean more . . .


For questions about this group or about programs and activities, please contact the new President, Mike Lavelle K6ML:  miclevel (at) comcast [dot] net


Renewal and annual dues are past due.

For those who live within the Bay area, the annual dues for 2015 are $10 per year or $15 for 2 years. This must be sent via mail to the new Treasurer, Jerome Peters AF6UX or bring to the meeting and hand it to him. Make the check payable to: 50MHz and Up Group of N. Calif.
Jerome Peters
19902 Baywood Dr
Cupertino, CA 95014

Those living outside of the Bay area do not pay dues and as Friends, do not vote and do not have access to the Members-Only webpage. Regardless of whether you are a full Member or you are a Friend, we are required to have a current database.

If none of your information has changed since last Feb, then please send Jeffrey Pawlan jpawlan@yahoo.com an email simply stating "nothing changed". If your phone or email or street address has changed, then you will need to fill out a complete new memberform. See the Membership link for instructions.

Meeting Announcement

Our next meeting of the 50MHz and Up Group of N. Calif will be the Rig Tuneup and Group Picnic
Sunday morning, July 19


Ed Levin County Park in Milpitas, in the Sandy Wool group picnic area
Please set up your rig for testing between 9 and 10 am; testing will begin at 1000 sharp. If you don't have a rig to test, come and check out the other members' rigs. The picnic will start around noon, when the testing is done.

Please RSVP to miclevel at comcast.net by Thursday, July 16th, so we know how much food to bring. In your RSVP, please give your Name, Call, number of people eating, number of rigs to test, and any potluck you are bringing.
We will provide burgers, dogs, drinks and buns; you are welcome to bring potluck sides and snacks.
Cost is $15, which helps to cover the group picnic area rental and food. All hams, friends and family are welcome.

Directions and instructions:

From I-680, I-880 or CA-237, take Calaveras Blvd east, up into the hills.
The park is about 2-3 miles east of 680.
Just inside the park, turn left into Downing Rd, towards the Sandy Wool park entrance gate.
Check in at the gate ($6/car if you don't have an annual county park pass).
Continue straight, past the Elm group area and past Sandy Wool Lake (both on your right).
Enter the large parking area on the right for the Sandy Wool Picnic area.
Park on the side away from the road, up against the row of trees.
Set up rigs on the edge of the open lawn area (across sidewalk on other side of trees) for testing.


We will start with tests of 10GHz and 24 GHz rigs. Test range setup starts around 0830.
Rig setup from 9 to 10.
Bring your own battery power, or arrange to mooch off of a friend. There is no AC power on site. Don't use a generator, either (no fire permit).
Testing begins 1000 sharp!
We will test Rx minimum detectable signal and Tx effective radiated power on both 10GHz and 24GHz.
You will be able to compare your rig to other rigs as well as to your rig's expected performance. This is a good tool to check out how well your rig works before next month's 10 Ghz and Up contest. You will also get a chance to check out how others built their rigs and trade ideas.
The picnic will be after the testing has concluded.

Slides from the April 2015 meeting on "An Introduction to Building 10/24 GHz Radios" by David Viera, KI6CLA

His slides are available to dues-paying members on the members-only page.

Older (2013) Group Project Notes: Building 10 and 24 GHz Radios

In 2013, we launched a club project with two goals:

- help microwave newcomers to build their first 10 GHz radio
- help club members to build a dual band (10/24 GHz) radio

Here is a new project description file:
Please click here to view or download the project overview slides from our March 2013 meeting:
- discussion of project goals
- 10 GHz and 10/24 GHz Rover Rig requirements
- 10 GHz components: LO, LNA, PA, Antenna, T/R, power supply
- Rover Platform (mechanical support) requirements
- Block Diagrams for 10, 24 and 10/24 GHz rigs

Please click here to view or download the project workshop slides from our May 2013 meeting:

- 24 GHz test results for surplus PCOM upconverter and downconverter modules
- 10 GHz surplus brick (from Harris DVM10) retuning to 10224 MHz LO
- 10/24 GHz dual band feed construction workshop
- notes on T/R sequencing requirements

Please click here to view or download a block diagram of the unmodified Harris DVM 10 surplus radios:

- several members have used these as a source of 10 GHz LO, filter, LNA and PA modules
- the diagram includes some useful signal gain and level specs for the modules.

Please click here to view or download W5LUA's paper on using the PCOM modules at 24 GHz.

Please click here to view or download AD6FP and AA6IW's MUD 2001 paper on the 10/24 GHz dual band dish feed horn that we are building.

Please click here to view or download the MUD 2012 paper that describes the 3744 to 144 MHz up/down converter that is shown as the first IF in this project's 10/24 GHz radio design.

Please click here to view or download AD6FP's MUD 2001 paper on the 10/24 GHz "flip switch" radio architecture that is the inspiration for our 10/24 radio.

The 2015 Officers and Board Members were elected in the February 2015 meeting

Minutes from the May meeting by Brian Kline

Mike Lavelle called the meeting to order at 7:08 PM.
Dues ($10) for 2015 are past due. New members and members with contact information changes need to send an email to jpawlan@yahoo.com with their current contact information.

Makers Fair will be May 16-17th. The annual VHF Contest will be 6/13 6/14.
Mike proposed we make the June 13th a Microwave Activity Day. W6TE will be on Mt Frasier with 902 MHz through 24 GHz.
Microwave Update 2015 (MUD) is October 15-18, at the Crown Plaza Hotel, San Diego. Papers are due September 1st.
Old Business
No news on who we will send the Microwave Update seed money to. This probably will not be resolved until the 2016 MUD host is chosen at the 2015 MUD conference.
No news on the Mt Allison beacon battery.
New Business
Mike Proposed a 10 GHz rig tune-up session before the next 10 GHz and up contest.
Mike Lavelle suggested the group fund the battery system upgrade for the Mt Allison beacons. Brian Kline indicated that he would provide cost information on a new battery system when the details have been worked out.
New business was followed by the Roundtable on current activity.
After the Roundtable Mike Lavelle gave an introductory presentation on 10 GHz contest operation. In parallel Brian Yee helped people check out their HP 431-432 and HP 435-438 RF power meters.
The meeting ended at 9:00 PM.

Documentation for Harris 10GHz surplus equipment

Please log into the Members Only page to obtain two PDF files.

Improvement of the Stellex/Endwave YIG Synthesizer

by Jeffrey Pawlan, WA6KBL

The Stellex/Endwave mini-YIGs along with their phase locked synthesizer board are able to provide you with a stable and relatively low noise X-band signal source. However, they designed it incorrectly and most of the output power of the YIG is needlessly lost.

I have redesigned the sampling circuits so that you will now obtain +12dBm to +13.5dBm output power. It is an easy and inexpensive modification.

Because John Miles, KE5FX did the original work on using these surplus items and there are many links to his webpage, I have put my article along with nine photographs and figures on his webpage. Please click here to go to this page and then scroll down to nearly the bottom of that webpage.

Current Updated Rosters Available to Members

Members may obtain the rosters in several sort orders by logging into the Members Only webpage. These have been updated but are not completely accurate because we did not receive updated memberforms or emails stating that your information has not changed. Also we need the dues from all local members.

The presentation by Goran AD6IW on high efficiency amplifiers.

He gave at the 2010 EME conference and also at the 50MHz and Up meeting in Sept. Click here to download it

Report on the Ham Radio Social at the International Microwave Symposium on May 25, 2010 in Anaheim

The report and all photos are now located on a separate page. Please click here to view

Two presentations by Brian Yee W6BY are available for download

A slide presentation on an Introduction to Amateur Radio Microwave Operation is available as a PDF. Click here to download it
The second presentation is located on the Events tab page.


Microwave Beacons in operation UPDATED The following beacons are known to be operating as of 02-06-2015:

Mt Vaca CM88WJ 38 24.51, -122 06.50 10368.325 W6ASL +?? dBm ??dBi omni CW ID
Mt Allison CM97BL 37 29.905, -121 52.206 10369.192 AD6FP +17dBm 10 dBi omni CW ID, drifts ~10 kHz
Mt Allison CM97BL 37 29.905, -121 52.206 10369.225 AD6FP +17dBm 10 dBi omni Linear translator output is 11-55 kHz above beacon
Mt Allison CM97BL 37 29.905, -121 52.206 10368.625 AD6FP +17dBm 10 dBi omni Linear translator input 600 kHz below desired output
Mt Allison CM97BL 37 29.905, -121 52.206 24192.01 AD6FP +?? dBm ??dBi omni CW ID
Mt Allison CM97BL 37 29.905, -121 52.206 47061.017 WA6QDP +?? dBm ??dBi omni CW ID
Mt Leeson CM97AE 37 10.034, -121 55.500 10367.990 KF6KVG +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID, locked?
Mt Leeson CM97AE 37 10.034, -121 55.500 24191.975 KF6KVG +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID, locked?
Mt Leeson CM97AE 37 10.034, -121 55.500 47087.99 KF6KVG +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID, locked?
Mt Leeson CM97AE 37 10.034, -121 55.500 79920 KF6KVG +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID, locked? antenna aimed towrds Portola Valley
Heaps Peak DM14KF ?,? 10368.370 ? +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID
Mt Frazier DM04MS ?,? 10368.310 ? +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID
Palos Verdes DM03TS ?,? 10368.300 ? +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID
Santiago DM13FR ?,? 10368.330 ? +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID
San Miguel DM12MQ ?,? 10368.360 ? +?? dBm ??dBi omni FM ID