Monthly Archives: May 2014

The KEØVH Hamshack For MAY 2014

May 22, 2014
By

 

                      Jack Roland

 

The KEØVH Hamshack For MAY 2014

By Jack Roland, CBRE, AMD and CBNT

KLove /Air 1 EMF Colorado Engineering.

 

Greetings all, well at long last the KEØVH-4 Digipeater is up and operating now just west of Akron CO at our KLZV transmitter site.  The owner was kind enough to allow me to put it there (in our KLZV rack) and is feeding a homemade dipole antenna oriented vertically at about 100 feet or so up the tower.  The coverage really is amazing  up in that area, and it has digipeated signals from as far away as souther Oklahoma.  However the programming of the KPC+ TNC needs some adjustment as far as its beacon goes, and I will do that on a subsequent trip.  It doesn’t seem to pass along its locational and status beacons as often as it should, so I will be looking at that as well.  But man, what a great site!

 

 KE0VH-4 01       

 

 

 

 

 

KE0VH-4 02

The KLZV Site just west of Akron showing the vertical dipole position on the tower.

I am really hoping that this Digipeater, in conjunction with KEØVH-5 which will hopefully by next month be placed just east of Sterling will then fill in a long existing hole in coverage by APRS especially along the I-76 corridor to Nebraska.  This will be useful as well by the EOSS (Edge of Space Sciences) group that flies high altitude balloons in NE CO for tracking their ground based mobiles chasing the balloons.  See all about that at www.EOSS.org.

 KE0VH-4 03

The KEØVH-4 Digipeater, a KPC3+ TNC, Icom commercial radio programmed for 144.39, and a converted computer power supply.

 

KE0VH-4 04 The KEØVH Digipeater locational beacon as seen on APRS.fi.

 There is a really great APRS server site that I discovered here recently at http://www.db0anf.de/app/aprs that will tell you all the information being sent to the internet from ANY aprs station.  It is especially useful for tracking digipeaters and IGates and the like for how well it may be operating.  I am tracking the usage and effectiveness of KEØVH-4 at this time via this site, and will be doing so with dash 5 here soon too. The picture below is of the stations heard via KEØVH-4 from a 5 day period prior to May 15 from the db0anf server.

 KE0VH-4 05

 

 

I am especially proud and happy that as of this writing, we have installed our new Nautel VS-2.5 transmitter on Storm Peak at 11,000 feet plus in Steamboat Springs.  Again, as of this writing, we have been operating for 2 days now without any of the foldback anomalies we were getting with the prior Crown FM-2k’s.  We swept the antenna line several times and couldn’t find any problems, changed the bandpass filter, checked the lines, grounds, even the electrical and couldn’t get the transmitter to stop folding back on itself.  This happened with 2 different transmitters and even a power module change, but yet the problem persisted without abating.  We were however able to run a Crown FM500 with no problems whatsoever.  Considering though the TPO of the station is 1792 watts, we had to run on a STA at that power level while we were determining what to do.  And considering that even now in May there is still 8 to 12 feet of snow at the site and we had to use the Argo to get there it isn’t necessarily an easy trip.  So due to the obtaining of the brand new Nautel, we traveled up to the site on May 13th, and our crack engineers back in the tech lab at EMF Headquarters in Rocklin had pre-set up the transmitter, put in a custom (and tested) wiring harness, and other accessories, we headed up on a sunny morning, the first in quite a while.  It literally only took about 25 minutes from unboxing the rig, installing, hooking up the remote control and getting the computer to see the GUI, and we had her ON THE AIR!!!!  What an amazing machine!  Thanks to our Director of Engineering David Shantz and the great guys back in the support broadcast techs area for helping so much on this project.  Now, we just pray that the site will be solid and non-problematic for years to come!

 Nautel

The KLBV Nautel and computer interface IN THE RACK ON THE AIR!

 The Screen shot of the GUI interface seen over our EMF network

AND, congratulations to Nick NOW KEØAJZ!  He leaves behind the KK6GSJ call  as he upgraded from a Tech to General Class Amateur Radio Operator.  Nick and our friend Greg, WB7AHO are working on getting a National NCX-3 HF rig on the air from Nicks apartment using a MFJ apartment antenna.  More on this to come next month!  Have FUN Nick!

Don’t forget the SBE IRLP (and Echolink) Hamnet, the first Saturday of the month.  AND the EMF Hamnet now is the same manner on every Monday evening at 7pm Mountain time for radio discussions, both broadcast engineering and Amateur radio.  Details on how to join are at  http://www.qsl.net/ke0vh/sbehamnet.  I hope you will be able to join us and share your engineering and ham exploits!

73’, God be with you, & see you next time!  KEØVH