Chuck Nemec K3PVZ, Silent Key

With deep sadness we announce the recent passing of fellow Baltimore area radio amateur Chuck Nemec K3VPZ. He died from congestive heart failure. Chuck was a CW guy and loved working DX. First licensed in 1962, he accomplished much over his years in the hobby. He will be missed.

Haight Funeral Home & Chapel P.A.

  • Address
    6416 Sykesville Road
    P.O. Box 195
    Sykesville, MD 21784
  • Telephone
    (410) 795-1400

Link to Chuck Nemec’s funeral arrangements, on the Haight Funeral Home web site:

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On-line Technician Class Licensing Course starting Sept 9

I am starting a free Technician Class course on Zoom beginning Thursday, September 9  and running for 7 sessions.   Sessions will start at 6:30, 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 your club and anyone you know whom you think would be interested.  Those wishing to sign up should email me at

Thanks, Rol Anders K3RA

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Joseph Cotton W3TTT, SK 07/31/2021

With deep sadness we announce the passing of fellow radio amateur Joe Cotton W3TTT on July 31, 2021. An avid project builder, amateur radio enthusiast and mentor, he leaves behind many friends. We thank him for service to our club and the amateur radio community at large.

Joseph Cotton Obituary – Pikesville, MD | Sol Levinson & Bros.

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Leon Neufeld N3LN — Silent Key

Leon Neufeld N3LN, of Baltimore, MD, passed away on Friday, April 23rd, 2021 at the age of 75. A long time, early BRATS member and connoisseur of area hamfests. He was active in HF, ATV, and 2-meters FM and was known far and wide as a great ambassador of amateur radio. Helpful to all; he will be missed. Details at Sol Levinson.

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BRATS Monthly Meetings

BRATS Monthly business meetings are the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm.

The BRATS Ragchew meetings (fourth Mondays) have been discontinued.

Microsoft Teams meeting: Join on your computer or mobile app Click here to join the meeting Or call in (audio only)+1 703-660-4565,,186770830#   United States, Arlington Phone Conference ID: 186 770 830# Find a local number | Reset PIN Learn More | Meeting options

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Operating course on Zoom begins Thursday, April 15

The National Electronics Museum is sponsoring its well-received Operating Course again starting April 15, 2021 and running each Thursday for 11 weeks from 6:30 to 9:30 EDST on Zoom.   There is no charge for participation.  The purpose of these classes is to provide information to help licensed radio amateurs to participate in the many on-the-air activities available in the hobby.  The presenters are very experienced in their topics—many are nationally known experts—and they will be available to answer your questions following the presentations.   The exact order of presentations will be determined and published in the next few weeks.   These are independent presentations, and participants are free to participate in any or all of the evenings.   Feel free to pass this announcement along to others, but we request that all prospective attendees register by emailing Tom Christovich at . You will receive confirmation of enrollment and the Zoom link for attendance by reply email.  Here is a tentative list of topics:

All About Operating-an Introduction

Amateur Radio Organizations: Local, National, and International clubs, societies and groups devoted to specific aspects of amateur radio

Ham Radio Operating Award Hunting—from working Lighthouses to the DXCC Challenge



VHF/UHF Weak Signal Work

Remote Station Control Over Internet

CW in the No-code Era

Digital modes

Imaging Operating


Logging Software

HF Propagation

Amateur Satellite Comms

Portable (backpacking) Operation, including Park and Summits

Setting Up an HF Station

Emergency and Public Service Communications (ARES and RACES)

Traffic Handling

Lightning Protection and Grounding

73, Rol Anders, K3RA

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Revitalization of the Baltimore County ARES system

Efforts are underway to revitalize the Baltimore County ARES system. They are seeking hams to get involved with ARES in Baltimore county group.  An interim Emergency Coordinator is needed; also someone to design and host the MDC website. Please contact either Chris Van Winkle or Don Jennings Let’s get this going folks!!

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General Class course on Zoom

I am starting a General Class course on Zoom beginning Thursday, November 5, and running for 9 sessions.  Due to holiday breaks, the course ends Jan 21.   Sessions will start at 6:30, 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 me at

Thanks, Rol, K3RA

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Bob Martin KC3FI – Silent Key

Bob Martin KC3FI Silent Key

With deep sadness, we report the passing of long time avid ATV enthusiast Bob Martin KC3FI, last evening August 22, 2020. Comfortable with both HF and ATV, Bob was a frequent attendee of the nets of a number of area amateur radio clubs.

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ATV Quick Start II

Plenty has changed since 1995 when ATV Quick Start was written. Back then, nearly all Amateur Television (ATV) activity was with NTSC analog signals. Transistorized equipment from Tom W3ORG/PC Electronics was very widely used. Video cameras were typically VCR cast-offs and camera monitors were quite sizable. Ham frequencies starting at the 1240mhz. band allow FM ATV signals where surplus satellite equipment is frequently deployed. See Jim KH6ATV‘s ATV Handbook – An Introduction To Amateur TV for a broad discussion of this intriguing hobby.

We are now in exciting times. Digital broadcast television is now the norm (ATSC standard in the United States and DVB-T in Europe). DVB-T has the advantage of better tolerance of multi-path signals. This is important since ATV works with lower power and other less-than-optimal factors and therefore is the more frequently deployed ATV standard in the United States. Choice among ATVers for DVB-T or ATSC are generally regional decisions. While there is a wealth of surplus analog gear available, DVB-T gear is less prevalent and is generally purchased new.

Another popular mode in ATV is FM television. Surplus satellite television equipment is frequently repurposed here.

Digital ATV Reception:

DVB-T benefits from the European television industry. Inexpensive (e.g. $30) DVB-T set-top boxes are available on eBay. Further, the popular Raspberry Pi credit-card sized computer features an add-on called the DVB TV HAT. This $30 dollar board snaps onto a Raspberry Pi board to provide the hardware for reception of DVB-T signals. In conjunction with TV Head-End software (free for the Raspbian operating system), ATV reception is achieved with new hardware with significant benefits. The digital television signals received are high-definition and are output from the Raspberry Pi via an HDMI cable.

FM ATV Reception:

This is done frequently in the 23 cm. amateur radio band (1240-1300 mhz.) and above. Satellite receiver boxes such as the Scientific Atlanta 9660 are inexpensive on the used market. This particular unit is reportedly designed for the reception of satellite television market of broadcast signals by broadcast stations (for rebroadcast). An LNB (Low Noise Block Downconverter) is used to capture signals from 4-21 ghz., amplify them, then convert them to a more realistic frequency range of typically 940-1750 mhz. The benefit of this action is a more manageable signal enabling less expensive cabling to the set-top-box receiver. When the LNB is skipped, the use of such a repurposed receiver results in a device capable of handling FM ATV signals from the 23 cm. amateur radio band. Note, however, it is then sometimes necessary to use a pre-amplifier and invert the signal; both steps are otherwise provided by an LNB. More traditional FM satellite broadcast set-top-boxes are perhaps more useful in the 2-4 ghz. range.

All of the rest of the rules of ATV remain in place. Among most important is that Amateur Television is a relatively low-power transmission mode. While high frequency (HF) band ham radio signals are generally 100 watts and are sometimes a full kilowatt, ATV home stations rarely produce more than 10 watt signals. Careful thought must be given toward the UHF rules of clear antenna path, the use of an antenna of optimal gain, and strict avoidance of lossy antenna feed-line.

In further consideration of a Raspberry Pi-based ATV receiver, one can simply place the Raspberry Pi (with ATV Hat) in an optimal location such as higher in a building or better yet, closer to a given ATV repeater. Neither expensive hard-line feedline nor supplemental microwave link are required to get the output video to the desired monitor or television. Rather, simply use provided features of the Raspberry Pi to stream the video to the Internet.

ATV Transmitting:

Since there is not yet a legacy of surplus DVB-T equipment, the commercial market is one source of DVB-T transmitters. Where money is no object, some European commercial equipment has become obsolete as a result of upgrade of standards and therefore is on the used market.

KH6ATV has expanded from the analog ATV marketplace into that of digital ATV. As a US supplier, currency exchange and shipping complications are not an issue.

— article continues to be developed. Neil W3ZQI

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