NSS Communications and Electronics Section

Minutes of Section Meeting at NSS Convention

Dailey, WV
June 26, 2000


  • Joe Giddens (treasurer) presided as Duke McMullan was absent. Brian Pease acted as temporary Secretary.
  • John Lyles was elected Chairman, Joe Giddens as Treasurer, and Brian Pease as Secretary.
  • Joe Giddens has all the back issues of Speleonics. He has information on all the people who have paid dues at NSS conventions except for 1996/97. This information is important since the dues cover a specific number of issues without regard to what year they are published.
  • Joe is completing issue #22 now. He wants Frank Reid stories for this issue. This issue may be mailed first class as one way to help update the mailing list. He will try to gather email addresses to create a list for email notification. #22 will also be put on the section Website (www.caves.org/section/commelect) in PDF form open to anyone. Future issues may be posted on the Web with a password like the Vertical Section (see below).
  • Paul Jorgensen (KE7HR) will guest-edit the next issue (#23) (The Constitution says that the Section officers are co-editors of speleonics). He plans to publish a summary of topics from the email list plus other articles. He plans to call for papers. He has the software to create PDF files. We have only 3MB of space on the NSS Server but the PDF files can be hosted elsewhere with links on the Website.
  • Joe is looking for Cheap Printing and bulk mailing.
  • Dick Sanford said that DC Grotto has a Press.
  • Joe talked about competition with CREG (BCRA) for articles. Interestingly, CREG publishes a column of the best from the Speleonics email list so we are (sort of)getting Published for free! They also announce each new issue (with list of contents) on the list.
  • Gary Bush said that the NSS Vertical Section is set up so he can email people. Paid-up Members get the password to download the latest issue. Indexes are available to anyone.
  • The Manual for the PROTEL PC board software owned by the section is missing. Ian Drummond (Who had the software originally) claims to have mailed it to Duke McMullan, but Duke says he doesn't have it. Brian will try to get a copy from PROTEL. We do have the serial number.
  • Ray Cole demonstrated PSK31 digital comms using just a loop, preamp, and laptop with soundcard and PSK31 software (both the original software and Digipan). He transmitted using a CD recording of a transmitted signal. He said that the transmitter can be run in saturated mode without the cosine windowing which gives the narrow xmit bandwidth. You lose a little energy in the key clicks, but one can use the same efficient class-E switching amplifier used in Radiolocation Beacons. It is becoming practical to include 2-way digital comms in radiolocation equipment.
  • Paul Jorgensen gave a talk on a simple bat detector he built from an available design. It uses commonly available 40 kHz ultrasonic sensors (2 in series) with a high gain preamp driving a 4024 CMOS divider chip (divide by 16 or 32). The output thus varies in frequency but not in amplitude.
  • Weeder Technologies (www.weedertech.com) has inexpensive RS-232 interfaced kits such as A/D and counters.
  • Joe Giddens said that he has rented 20-foot range ground penetrating RADAR.
  • Brian Pease said that he talked with Rich Wolfert who helped use a 100 MHz ground penetrating RADAR to make a series of traverses over the commercial Cave of the Winds in Colorado to try to locate new upper level passages to extend the cave tour. He said that conditions were ideal with virtually no overburden (no clay) and dry rock. They were able to clearly see known upper level passages to 40 ft depth and vaguely to 90 ft, but could not see known passages at 100 ft. Rich said they were successful in locating previously unknown upper level passages!
  • John Lyles gave a paper describing a high efficiency miniature low voltage light bulb dimmer with the surface mount electronics mounted (and sealed) on the rear of a tiny potentiometer. It is manufactured by Cave Man Technologies (CMT). John managed to retrofit the dimmer in his Easter Seal (Roosa) headpiece (with difficulty) and reported greatly extended battery life with a 5.1V 1/2 amp halogen bulb and 4 alkaline D-cells, even though the dimmed bulb is inefficient. He also showed a prototype white LED headpiece from CMT with two independent strings of LED's each driven by its own current mode switching regulator. Some yellow LED's are included to improve color balance.
Respectfully Submitted,
Brian Pease, Secretary


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