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Dominion DX Group
P.O. Box 29334
Richmond, VA 23242
March 2, 2006 - What is Ham 101 ? It is an intense overview of many facets of Amateur Radio, designed as an introduction so that you may have a better idea of what's out there for you to experience. Whether you are licensed or not, Ham 101 will give you an abundance of information so you can plan your journey into ham radio.
The next session of Ham 101 is scheduled for Saturday April 15, 2006. The class lasts about 3 hours and is held at the Henrico County Public Safety Training center, located at the corner of Parham and Shrader Rd.
The class is free of charge! Registration via email is requested. Click here to send usan email toregister or for questions. Come and talk with our cadre of experienced operators and learn how to make smart radio purchases and decisions that will maximize a lifetime of enjoyment in the hobby!
March 12, 2005 - The next session of Ham 101 is scheduled for Saturday April 16th. It will begin at 9:00 AM and be held at our usual meeting location at the Henrico County Public Safety Building at the corner of Parham and Shrader Rd. The class is free, but we do ask that you let us know if you'll be there so that we'll have an idea of how many people to expect. Click here to send us an email to register.
What is Ham 101? It is a high level overview of many facets of Amateur Radio and meant as an introduction so that you may have a better idea of what's out there for you to experience.
January 26, 2005 - We have just posted an article about the N4I Special Event Station that happened in November 2004. Thanks to DDXG member Travis Cox (K4RCK) for the write up and pictures!
January 8, 2005 - Straight Key Night 2005 was a busy night! Half of the members of DDXG worked at least one station on Straight Key Night. See Tony's entry on the ARRL Soapbox.
Straight Key Night (SKN) happens every year and goes all day on New Years Day (UTC time). The object of this friendly event is to enjoy some good, old fashioned QSO fun, using straight keys. The emphasis is on rag-chewing rather than fast contest-type exchanges.
In many circles SKN has been expanded to encompass vintage radio equipment as well. Reminiscing about their early days in our hobby, many operators use SKN as the "excuse" to refurbish their old Viking, Heathkit, or Scout. You will hear as many vintage radios on the air during SKN as you will variety of keys. And you will hear signals generated using old-fashioned bugs, a variation of the straight key. SKN is the time amateur radio recalls the past, transporting it to the present.
Because the camp is in a communication vacuum, organizers of the event asked GMA Ranger and DDXG member Andrew Slater to have his club support the event. Andrew was present during the 2003 turmoil and his HT provided the event leaders with timely weather information, allowing them to prepare for a second bout of weather and assess their situation.
The drab skies and drizzle that found DXers on the dock Friday allowed some reprieve as the 41 foot Miss Buzzard Point departed for Tangier. While still a bit cool Friday afternoon, teams quickly erected all three antennas, with the first station on-the-air 45 minutes after the boat arrived.
Using the only vacant cottage at Shirley's Bed & Breakfast, three radio stations were set up in the official "shack." Running phone, CW, and PSK over 860 QSOs were logged on Friday night and Saturday.
With all gear dried out and accounted for, the next task with be database compilation so that QSL ops can start.
Online logs and more pictures will be coming soon!
Updated 3-April-2004 - Pictures from Tangier Island - more to follow when we get back!
March 14, 2004 - The time is drawing close for the first DDXG DXpedition. Not only will this event be suitable for the faint of-heart, but non-ham family members are encouraged to attend as well!
The 41-foot charter boat will depart Reedville at 3:00 p.m.on Friday, April 2, 2004 for Tangier Island NA-083, allowing DDXG families and friends to arrive in time to be settled in and QRV before sunset! Operating on 20 and 40 meters, the club hams hope to make some island hunters very happy, bag several hundred contacts and spend time as families on an island that can be walked in its expanse in 30 minutes.
Members will be staying in the cottages at Shirley's Bay View Inn. See http://www.tangierisland.net/ for information. All 9 cottages have been filled at this point. However, Parke N4KFT has some options available should there be others wishing to attend.
Shirley's Bay View Inn does not accept Credit Cards. Hams should come equipped with checks &/or Federal Reserve Notes. The round-trip boat ride will be approximately $23 per person. The rate at Shirley's will be finalized this week. It will include breakfast. Lunch and evening meal, and other details will be finalized at the March 20 meeting, to be held in Louisa at the KC4AUF/KS4RX home.
February 29, 2004 - The sked has been set for the first DDXG DXpedition. Not only will this event be suitable for the faint of-heart, but non-ham family members are encouraged to attend as well!
The cruise boat Chesapeake Breeze will depart Reedville late morning on Friday, April 2, 2004 for Tangier Island NA-084, allowing DDXG families to arrive in time to be settled in and QRV by mid-afternoon! Operating on 20 & 40 meters, the club hams hope to make some island hunters very happy, bag several hundred contact and spend time with family members on an island that can be walked in its expanse in 30 minutes.
Members will be staying in the rooms and cottages at Shirley's Bay View Inn. See http://www.tangierisland.net/ for information on the facilities. Members should call Shirley right away at 757-891-2396 to reserve a room. Mention you are with the "ham radio" group so we can take advantage of a reduced rate (TBA later). The IOTA effort will run until noon on Sunday, ending in time to catch the afternoon boat back to Reedville.
February 29, 2004 - The ARRL has reported the final scores of the September 2003 VHF/UHF contest. Causing the DDXG to place third in the U.S. in the local club category were members Dave Kiefer N4DWK, Robert Orndorff W4BNO, Andrew Slater K4PUF, and Parke Slater N4KFT. This is the second VHF/UHF contest in as many attempts, where the Dominion DX Group has made its mark.
In addition, the participating DDXG members placed well in the Virginia Section, Roanoke Division and nation. Rank by member in these areas were N4DWK 7/8/99; W4BNO 16/20/243; K4PUF 4/5/62; and N4KFT 2/2/40.
In its first attempt in radio competition as a local radio club, the DDXG made its mark. Placing 3rd in the nation in the small club category was not a small feat.
Individually, the club members performed well, too. With Tony Day KC4AUF and Parke Slater N4KFT placing 3rd and 4th respectively in the Virginia Section, and Tony holding on to 3rd place as the field stiffened at the Division level.
Looking at placement at both the Virginia Section and Roanoke Division levels, the individual results were as follows: Tony Day KC4AUF 3/3, Parke Slater N4KFT 4/8, Dave Kiefer N4DWK 8/13, Ron Farley KG4QIV/MM 13/22, Guy Carlsen K4CNF 15/24, Robert Orndorff W4BNO 16/27, Jim Whitaker KQ4RH 19/31. Ron Farley KG4QIV/MM was the only operating maritime mobile station in the country.
Why is the DDXG's showing so significant? "VHF/UHF contesting is a highly technical arena," says Guy Carlsen, DDXG president. "These contests represent a coordinated effort, with members working from their homes, with points going toward both personal and club scores." Speaking to the level of individual accomplishments, he added, "This was a coordinated effort by experienced DXers whose philosophies of 'listen, learn and participate' before attempting a collective effort, paid off."
In fact, those club members who had but an hour or two made a difference. The DDXG beat out the Delaware VHF Society by a mere 1700 points.
Jerry Williams KJ4IT Upgrades License
November 1, 2003 - DDXG member Jerry Williams KJ4IT upgraded his license to Amateur Extra at the Fredericksburg VE session on November 1, 2003. A charter member of the R.A.T.S. club, Williams joined DDXG in 2003 and brings a rich background in radio communications to the table, both an amateur operator and as professional.
C6A DXpedition on Drawing Board
November 1, 2003 - DDXG members Parke Slater N4KFT, and his son Andrew K4PUF hope to travel to Long Island, Bahamas in early 2004, operating from Salt Pond. The elder Slater flew by private plane to the small island in January 2003 to set up an amateur radio station for missionary work. "This trip will primarily be a missions trip, too," said Parke. "But we'd be remiss if we did not put a station on the air while we're there."
Traveling with his wife, Carol, and daughter Amanda KG4NBF, the family will travel under the banner of Maritime Ministries, Bahamas, Inc. We hope to train a new ham missionary on the island while we're there. MM is opening a training base for missionaries, where the family will stay. The missionaries intend to use both ham radio and marine HF to maintain contact with boats and hams here in the states.
IOTA DXpedition for 2004?
October 26, 2003 - Members Tony Day KC4AUF and Parke Slater N4KFT have been talking conceptually about a spring DXpedition to an IOTA island in the Chesapeake Bay - this time at a Bed & Breakfast! Promising an atmosphere for the whole family, New Point Island and its desolation have been eliminated. Smith Island and Tangier Island are at the top of the list. Be sure to attend the club meeting to be in on the plans as they develop!
DDXG Vanity Call Granted
August 22, 2003 - Tony Day KC4AUF announced that the FCC had approved the Dominion DX Group's requested club call sign, K4VAC.
Limited in choices in the heavily populated "4 call area," Tony's work was not easy, searching for a combination of phonetic punch on SSB, ease of sending via CW and repetitive sending via phone during contests.
"When it was all said and done, it really came down to only one choice," said Day. "K4VAC made sense for a number of reasons." The Dominion DX Group will use its call for certain contests, DXpeditions, and other special events.
Now You're Talking Features DDXG Members
K4PUF - SKN - QST!
Dominion DX Group - 2006