Author Archives: David Cripe

2022 CVARC Techfest Forum Schedule

Forum Room 1Forum Room 2
9:00Paul CowleyLiFePO4 batteries for Amateur RadioLelia GarnerARES
10:00Rod BlocksomeHam Radio and the Search for Amelia EarhardtPaul CowleyIowa Repeater Council
11:00Art ZygielbaumARRL Report
12:00Barry BeulowIntro to KiCADTim SnodgrassIonospheric refraction as a function of frequency and time
1:00Jeff Woods17,000 Miles on the High Seas – A Radio AdventureBill CaldwellEmerging Technology Impacting Amateur Radio
2:00Barry BeulowShow and Tell of Homebrew RadiosJoe Eisenberg3D Printing
3:00Troop 40Radio Scouting
Forum Room 1
9:00Rod BlocksomeCVARC Antenna Ranging Tests
10:00Mark KovalanAntique Radio
11:00Phil LegateBreathing Life Into Your Old Transmitter

2021 CVARC Hamfest Forum Schedule and Information

Saturday 9:00Steve WhiteThe Cedar Valley ARC will be starting an Extra Class licensing class in August. Steve presents a quick overview of what to expect.
George CooleyGeorge presents a fascinating overview of how to activate Summits On the Air.
10:00Tim Snodgrass“Breaking Free of the Solar Cycle” – Tim presents results of groundbreaking research on the true nature of HF propagation.
Dan RoeslerReport from the Cedar Rapids Chapter of the IEEE
11:00Rod BlocksomeOn Sunday, Rod will be holding antenna field tests of your 2M mobile and portable rigs! This class tells you what you need to know to participate.
Eric WatsonHow to make your own custom DMR Codeplug!
12:00John ElyOur local digital radio expert reviews the Yaesu System Fusion and Wires-X
Gregg LindGregg demonstrates the Coherer – an early radio detector. You will have a chance to build your own!
1:00Virginia SmithVirginia presents a fascinating history of the telegraph, and how it became the CW radio we know today.
Paul CowleyReport from the Iowa Repeater Council
2:00Troop 40Mount Vernon Boy Scouts relate their latest adventures in Radio Scouting
Lelia GarnerLelia presents the report from ARES
3:00Paul CowleyNanoVNA – What it is, and why you need one!
Art ZygielbaumReport from ARRL Midwest Division Manager
Sunday 9:00Mark KovalanMark presents a history of early radio
10:00Joe Eisenberg3D Printing in the Hamshack
11:00Bill CaldwellGNU Radio – a loe cost open source SDR development tool
12:00Barry BeulowHomebrew Radio Show and Tell
1:00Dan RoeslerDerecho Response – an Amateur Radio Case Study
2:00David CripeBuilding the Next Generation of Hams

Make It/Take It at the Hamfest!

There will be TWO Maker activities at the Hamfest this year. Tools and assistance will be provided. Kits may be purchased at the event.

The first will be the NEW kit from Four State QRP Group – the End-Fed Half Wave Antenna Experimenter’s Board. This is a generic board with multiple possible user configurations permitting many circuits to be tried. Builders will receive the board and components, which, when connected to a wire, will make a multi-band antenna! Cost of this kit will be $20

Our second build kit is the ‘Humanalight’. This is a kit that was sold by the Ears To Our World Foundation, and is a flashlight circuit capable of running from depleted AA batteries. Cost of this kit will be $10


Following the Hamfest on Saturday August 7, we will be hosting a Banquet at the Central City American Legion, 6 Central City Road, Central City Iowa. This will be a catered, buffet-style event, with a menu of

Two meats – Pork Loin and Chicken Breast

Veggie – Corn

Party Potatoes

Drinks – Water, Tea, Lemonade

Salad – Sweet and Sour Pasta Salad.

The Legion Hall will open at 5:00 with a Social Hour with cash bar. Dinner will be served at 6:00. and our After-Dinner activities will begin at 7:00pm.

ARRL Midwestern Division Director Art Zygielbaum, K0AIZ and Iowa Section manager Lelia Garner WA0UIG will have a brief discussion of strategies for new ham recruitment and retention, followed by a recognition and awards ceremony.

Our Keynote Speaker will be Guy West, N0MMA, presenting “World Adventures in Radio” – an overview of his international radio adventures. It will be a fascinating presentation for all audiences.

We require a head count for the banquet NO LATER THAN JULY 24. Please contact Christopher Caldwell at to make reservations.

2-Meter Mobile/Portable Antenna Range Measurements

The Cedar Valley ARC Hamfest and ARRL Iowa State Convention will feature a new event this
year. We will be conducting field measurements on two types of 2-meter FM stations: Mobile
and Handheld transceivers.
The large area available at our venue makes this endeavor possible. The tests will be conducted
starting at 1:00 PM Sunday Aug. 8th by retired RF engineer Rod Blocksome, K0DAS. Two types of
tests are planned: Azimuth antenna pattern for mobile stations and effective radiated power
(EIRP) for both mobile and handheld radios. The results will later be computed, plotted, and
emailed to the owners as well as published by CVARC. The test frequency will be 146.58
The results will provide insight into the best antennas and mounting configurations for various
radios. All who wish to have their radios measured must attend Rod’s forum (earlier in the day)
on this subject in order to register, record their radio/antenna data, and be briefed on the
measurement process.

Amelia Earhart Listening Tests

Members of the Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club have been providing assistance to the Nauticos Group in their search for Amelia Earhart. Part of this has been to use the signal reports of Navy ships in the vicinity of Earhart’s disappearance, along with known ionospheric conditions of the date, to attempt to predict her location at the time.

One of the activities at the CVARC Hamfest will be listening tests to refine our predictions. The idea is to use paired up Earhart simulated transmissions at known S/N levels from our database. These will take place Saturday beginning at 9:00 in a special listening room set aside for this purpose. We would ask each ham to listen and rate which signal in each pair is stronger.

We will also have equipment of the type used during Earhart’s flight on display. This will include a 1930’s RA-1 Rx, WE13C TX, and the Bendix Loop and loop coupler for a static display.