Blog Archives

The KE0VH Hamshack for October

November 9, 2018
By

October 2018

 

Welcome to Fall!  To start off with, I want to congratulate Matt KEØLNU for his BEAUTIFUL blue LED display Kenwood TS-2000, which he bought from a ham in Louisiana from the QTH.com classifieds section

REALLY GREAT LOOKING SCREEN!  I may do this myself for mine!

There was a lot of work done on the KEØVH QTH the past couple of months, we had new windows, siding, and a roof installed.  Then I had to paint the exterior with 2 coats, BEFORE the work on antenna’s and upgrading some of the hamshack ops were done.  Looks beautiful and ready for winter!

So with that, one beautiful late day in September, Harold W6IWI came over and we put up the Alpha-Delta DX-LB Plus 160 thru 10m dipole for the KEØVH antenna farm.  It fits my space at 100 feet long with loading coils along its length for 80 and 160 meters, in a fan dipole configuration for 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters.  I ordered mine from HRO (https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-005123) and it arrived in a few days, then with busy weekends on the house had to wait a bit for getting set up.

W6IWI unreeling the antenna and separating the fan section elements

 

KEØVH Hoisting up!

Hoisted up to about 25 feet.  Yes is needs to be more but for now this is its home.  Is quieter than the vertical and tunes fairly well on all bands!

Plus its much quieter on receive than the vertical.  And since the work on the house was done, it was time to remount the 6 meter/dual band j-pole antenna pole (after sitting on the ground for the past couple of months, see last month’s article).  Once again Harold W6IWI came over on a Sunday afternoon with a mount that he had in his junk box and helped me get the antenna back up and properly mounted to the hardibacker siding we had installed.

Installed and it ain’t goin’ nowhere!  That Hardibacker is tuff stuff!

You may remember from a previous hamshack article the “lazy susan” rig for tilting my 5 BTV vertical antenna.  To see that go to: http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201703Mar.pdf  .  I have been wanting to improve on that for some time so I thought and thought about it, and after looking at some commercial offerings (pretty pricey all the way around I came up with this:

A couple pieces of zinc coated angle iron (cut from 1 piece purchased at the Home Depot, some self-tapping screws and some planning resulted in a much sturdier, MUCH less expensive tilt mount for a vertical antenna!

The beauty here is that it will tilt both directions to make the coax mounting point easily accessible!  COOL and STURDY!  AND did I mention Inexpensive?  

Harold W6IWI with the antenna tilted 1 direction, then….

Tilted the other way!  Really more versatile than anything commercially I have seen!  KEØVH designed homebrew!

Also in the month of September my wife and I hiked 11,000 foot Estes Cone, seen here from the trailhead at Lily Lake just west of Estes Park CO.  14’ner Longs Peak is to the left in this pic.  Lots of fun but PAIN coming down.  The last .7 mile is very steep up the rocky slope of the summit.  Ham Radio fun here as with my TYT handheld I could hit the 449.450 repeater back in Denver and worked W9BNO, K0GPA, and KC8GPD.  Great day with my wife and ham radio!

 

KEØVH ON THE SUMMIT!

My good friend Lee NØVRD submitted this recently.  3D printing a KU Feed horn!  Will let you know how this works out.  What a cool idea!

And, seen on an episode of “Star Trek Enterprise”!

An alien version of a Heil Classic Pro?  J  Really interesting they should use this!

And, I got this “fortune” at a local Chinese Restaurant during lunch with my wife!  We HAD to LAUGH!  Only ME!

AND, FINALLY, Ham Radio across the Colorado Connection repeaters back to Rich W9BNO in Denver from 11,000 feet Castle Peak north of Eagle Colorado!  What a great Field Day site someday!

See past editions of the newsletter at:

                                   2 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/08/

                                   3 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/08/   

                                   4 YEARS AGO

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/08/  

                                   5 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2013/08/

                                  6 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2012/08/

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

 I hope You will be able to join us and share your engineering and Ham exploits! 

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

 

The KE0VH Hamshack for August and September

November 8, 2018
By

August & September 2018

Greetings all, this has been a CRAZY couple of months so we are going to revisit in part a couple of writings from last year.  I have had a lot of questions about AllStar for ham radio, so I want to look back at a previous article and include it again for informational purposes.

As you may know now we have a new AllStar remote base that ties into the 449.450 HUGE area coverage repeater in Denver.  It has now become our main base of operations both locally and thru AllStar.  It connects on command to the 46079 AllStar Skyhub system so that other AllStar nodes can connect into the hub and come out on 449.450 locally here in Denver.  There is a web interface that I will share with you if you want to connect to use here in Denver.  We are affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Radio League and I want to thank Dunnigan, K1DUN President and repeater trustee for allowing us to set up the Remote Base connection to 449.450.

Setting up a portable AllStar node for being able to get back into the Denver K1DUN 449.450 repeater and the Denver AllStar Skyhub (Skyler, KDØWHB) is something I have had a as a project for this summer.  Skyler has been so instrumental is setting up AllStar systems for myself and other folks here in Denver and we really appreciate the time and expertise of this fine young engineer.  Skyler has spent a lot of time experimenting and perfecting the software setup and hardware to make all of this work.  So one day he and I got together after I had gathered all the parts and he helped me to get my portable simplex node going.  I gathered up a Raspberry Pi3, a Syba USB CMedia CM119 Sound adapter, and a Yaesu VX-170, to use as a portable AllStar node (46372) for connecting to the AllStar systems via WiFi.  I am planning on using this when on the road thru my iPad hotspot, or in the hotel rooms I stay in thru their WiFi or Ethernet.  There are a lot of directions on how to do this available, but Skyler has figured out how to use these ($5 on Amazon) Syba sound cards instead of buying some of the $50 or more interfaces available.  Very simply done too.  The Raspberry Pi3 has on board WiFi so it can connect to the internet.  The soundcard is the interface to the radio for the transmit and receive audio, and the PTT to the radio.  The VX-170 I had on hand had a proper 4 conductor mini plug along with the interface wiring from an earlier data project.  The same line off the radio for mic audio had a capacitor and resistor already attached for the PTT thru the resistor and passing the audio down the line.  This speaker mic cable by the way, like just about everything else can be obtained thru Amazon.  Many other radios are usable and adaptable to this system.  Here soon it will be my intention to do a full “how to” write up on how we setup my node.

This is my schematic for the pinout on the waterproof cable for the Yaesu VX-170.  As you can see in the schematic below, I had already installed a capacitor and resistor on the cable from an earlier project for data in and out of the radio, so we incorporated that into the schematic for the Syba USB soundcard interface.  Skyler showed me how he had wired up the soundcard for past projects and he did a beautiful job putting the components in and getting them to fit into the case of the Syba as the pictures will show.

The Schematic for interfacing to the VX-170.  This interface should work for most radios, the cap/resistor upper right is for the VX-170 combined mic/PTT line from the radio:

$5.00 soundcard from Amazon.  Must be the CM108 or 119 Chip

One of the connections to the Syba USB soundcard, takes a little bit of care in soldering to the pins on the chip

 

The final component layout all connected to the soundcard and plugged into the Raspberry Pi3

Another view of the soundcard and Pi3

Since the Yaesu VX-170 is a 2 meter radio only, I am using a 2 meter frequency

coordinated for using as a simplex repeater node.  This also makes powering the easy as you can put 12 volts directly into the battery charging port.  I will be including pictures of the setup into a carry case in a later edition of “The Hamshack”.

The testing setup, using a Baofeng radio to test into the VX-170

Testing the node on the network at home

Another way to connect into the AllStar system is thru your cell phone!  It is a portal that will connect into whatever AllStar node/repeater you want to dial into.  Just think of it as a remote audio link to your radio, repeater, or connection into the AllStar system.  I have used this thru my motorcycle helmet blue tooth communicator into my iPhone to connect into the local Denver repeater or Skyler’s Skyhub.  Jeremy, N5JER showed me how to set up an automated dialer contact in my phone to one button dial like a regular phone number.  When you dial into the phone portal you must tell it what node you wish to connect to, your personal PIN number (given to you when you register with AllStar) and whether or not you want to use VOX or a command to “PTT”.  You can program this into your cell phone contacts.

My cellphone dialed into the KDØWHB AllStar hub (Node 46079).  You can see part of the automated dialing process, (my pin blocked out) easily done on a cell phone.  Once again, just think of it as a “long mic cord” to a radio system!

And below you can see the AllStar connection chart with the phone connected:

To use the phone portal, you must register with AllStar (https://allstarlink.org/).  You don’t have to setup a node or do anything other than register if you want.  Then even where there is no coverage by radio, repeater, or AllStar repeater you can get into whatever node you wish.  VERY COOL SYSTEM!

Thanks again Skyler!

And another radio prop from the FX series “The Americans”, A Hallicrafters receiver used by the “Russian” consulate in the series.  COOL PROP!

 

Thanks to Rich W9BNO for spotting this in Colorado during the VHF contest weekend!  Looks like this guy is ready to mountain top for sure!

The KEØVH 6 meter beam and dual band 2m/440 J-pole down for maintenance while the QTH gets new siding and painting.  Unfortunately this occurred during the VHF contest weekend. It does provide though a good chance to maintenance the antenna as it hasn’t been down in a few years.  Maybe almost 10!  All looks good as it will go back up when the siding and painting of the house is done in September.

Take a look at this.  Robert KC8GPD, who is a low power Part 15 enthusiast, has this beautiful little AM station on the air from his home in the Denver area.  Robert is a great radio engineer and assists me in the area that I work in, and really has the understanding of the FCC rules for low power unlicenced operation according to the FCC Part 15 rules for unlicensed stations.  More hobby than anything, many regular broadcast stations would be envious of his well appointed setup!

Roberts “control room” for his Part 15 AM, WOW!

Garden House AM and KC8GPD, Robert

The transmitting antenna and transmitter, plus official rules box at bottom of the support pole.  The part 15 station SOUNDS GREAT!

As seen ONLY in Wyoming!  Or maybe Nebraska!  J

And finally, thanks to Jim KCØRPS

See past editions of the newsletter at:

 2 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/08/

 

3 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/08/

 

4 YEARS AGO

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/08/

 

5 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2013/08/

 

6 Years AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2012/08/

  

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

You will be able to join us and share your engineering and

Ham exploits! 

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The KE0Vh Hamshack for July

August 2, 2018
By

SUMMER IS HERE!  Lots of projects completed and ongoing!

SO I have written a lot lately about the BIG JET FLI!  I am now voice tracking the 7p-12 midnight (Eastern Time) Top 40 of the 60’s and 70’s show on Monday and Tuesday nights, filling in other time slots when needed!  It feels AMAZING to be on the radio again having fun and playin’ the hits!  You can check it out at

https://tunein.com/radio/WFLI-1070AM-The-Legend-s28777/ or the WFLI App on the phones.

SO when you can tune in and check it out!  Jack Rockin’Roland!  (Works well huh?)

 

As of this writing, this past weekend myself,  Jim Langsted KCØRPS and Skyler Fennell KDØWHB just climbed Torreys Peak, one of the 53 mountains out here over 14,000 feet, topping out at 14,275 feet above sea level.  https://www.14ers.com/route.php?route=torr5&peak=Grays+Peak+and+Torreys+Peak

We all brought HT’s, and so worked Rich W9BNO, Cris W5WCA, and Robert KC8GPD on simplex and thru the 449.450 Rocky Mountain Radio League repeater.  GREAT WEATHER, an early start, and a great round trip hike of 8 miles and a total elevation gain (and down) of 3040 feet from the trailhead in Stevens Gulch near the “ghost town” of Bakerville on I-70 west of Denver.

Hams on the SUMMIT!

Getting started at the trailhead about 5:15am

An hour or so later! Torreys on the right.

 

KCØRPS on the trail about 11,500 feet!

 

KDØWHB heading over the snow trail to the saddle at 13,500 feet

 

Above the snowfield to the SUMMIT at the saddle between Grays and Torreys

 

ALMOST THERE!

View back down the mountain from the summit to the I-70 Exit leading to the trailhead

View off to the WSW of Mount of the Holy Cross, which I hope to SUMMIT this summer!  You can almost make out the “cross” snowfield in this picture

KCØRPS and the EOSS group (www.EOSS.org, Edge of Space Sciences) launched a 2 mylar balloon set carrying a micro solar powered 20 meter APRS transmitter this past June that had quite the adventure and actually really became lost in a circular eddy of winds the the Bermuda Triangle.  NO KIDDING!  It circled for about 3 days in a pattern of wind and finally the signal was lost as it traveled no more.  It was tracked by WSPR stations on the frequency of 14.097 mhz.  It generally remained above an altitude of 30,000 feet until its last day when it dropped to around 21,000 feet and then was finally not heard from again.  The transmitter was a super micro 20 meter unit, flea weight, and was suspended by half of a 20 meter thin wire antenna with the other half of the dipole suspended from the transmitter.  Check the prep and launch of the system here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RVhlBpa1k0

KCØRPS should have a full article up soon about the flight and I will report on that here as soon as possible.

 

Another activity I am involved with and very happy to have become a member of is the Christian Motorcycle Association, the “Riders In The Light” Lakewood Chapter.  I am looking forward to a very long association with this fine group of folks who love the Lord and motorcycles.  Look them up sometime!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Todd, KEØVH Jack, VP Tony giving me my RTL patch

Here is the new “remote base” AllStar Node in my shack.  We are using it to connect the AllStar Network to the 449.450 K1DUN repeater in Denver.

The 449.450 repeater covers from Cheyenne Wyoming down to Monument hill and HUGE area’s of eastern Colorado from 11,440 feet on Squaw Mountain 35 miles west of Denver.  Think almost a “clear channel” frequency repeater and it is a BLOWTORCH coverage wise.  We can control the AllStar link radio seen here with a GUI interface and are developing its use on the Rocky Mountain Radio Leagues (http://www.rmrl.org/) repeater.  More to come on this exciting development, and we hope you will join us on the Monday Night Society of Broadcast Engineers “Chapter 73’ of the Air” net at 7pm Mountain time, 9pm Eastern.  Details on how to join us are below in the newsletter article.  Thanks to Skyler again, KDØWHB for the setting up and administration of the link radio AllStar system.

 

And speaking of KDØWHB, here is his well setup APRS system using an old Motorola Radio and Raspberry Pi3 being fed by an inexpensive GPS antenna.

 

And the ham of the month!  Amanda KDØCIC in her neat hamshack here in CO

 

And FINALLY THIS MONTH, trying to learn OHMS LAW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

I hope

You will be able to join us and share your engineering and

Ham exploits!

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

The KE0VH Hamshack for June 2018

July 31, 2018
By

                                                     

June 2018

SUMMER IS HERE! Lots of projects completed and ongoing!

Gotta thank my boyz from Galvanized Endeavors for the great and fun install of the antenna’s at the Loveland translator site in May!

Up goes the receive antenna on the VERY busy tower site and the antenna installed:

Thanks to Victor, Shane, Chuck, and Hodges! GREAT JOB GUYS!
Also Daniel and Alex from the best tower guy company!
As I wrote about previously, I’ve been helping out the guys at WFLI in Chattanooga Tennessee. My original first job in radio station. 50,000 watts on 1070 AM, 2500 night. They are going to open up the National Top 40 Radio Museum at the station here this summer. Visit when you can!

And how about this! Still operational, and a part of the museum to open, this 1964 Gates Gateway console from the late 60’s that was still on air when I started in 1976!

More summertime work! Proofs of our stations go on, using the connection back to HQ, the Field Fox, and Bird BPME’s. Makes it easy and quick!

 

Watching on Amazon, in a series called “ Man in the High Castle”, low and behold, a D-104 microphone on the podium!

Pretty cool movie prop!
Well for those of you who know W9BNO Rich, you know that he carries a virtual office with him almost anywhere he goes. So one Sunday afternoon as I am talking to him on the local 449.450 repeater he sends me a picture of his “mobile office” on a Denver RTD Light rail train! Leave it to him! 🙂

Radio in the window on the left, yes he is checking station logs on his laptop! Even on the train! Had to laugh out loud!

Well we had scehduled the new antenna installation at our Denver station for this month and that is why the newsletter is a little bit late! First of all I have to thank my crew from Galvanized Endeavors again for the 2 days of hard work to get this beautiful antenna up and operating, and then our good friend Steve KE6FIO for the QUICK tuning and proofing of the antenna and Nautel GV40 system.

Thanks to the guys from GE!

Chris, Hodges, Tor, Vic (not pictured Brett)

One of the shiny new antenna bays unboxed

The old antenna bay number 1 and tuner unit

The old antenna removed and new antenna ready to be deployed

The Chris and Brett removing the old antenna (drone shot)

Hodges and Tor mounting the top bay
Thanks again to all the crew, and Alex and Daniel at Galvanized Endeavors! By the way I will have some great video of the guys doing the install up soon. I will let you know by email when it is ready.

So again about Rich, while at a Wyoming transmitter site near Laramie, he had just finished getting our station up there back on the air. He walked out the door and saw this!

This thing has to be at least an F3! It passed to the North of our transmitter site there. Rich and I were talking on the IRLP link repeater in Laramie to Denver as the storm marched thru. Some great video of this very photogenic twister here:
https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news/2018-06-07-wyoming-tornado-laramie-albany-county-june-6

There is also animation on this page of the radar and satellite views of the storm. Some of the most AMAZING video I have ever seen!

https://weather.com/storms/tornado/news/2018-06-07-wyoming-tornado-laramie-albany-county-june-6

And finally, if you haven’t seen this:

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air
AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING
At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both
Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.
Details on how to join us are at
http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

I hope
You will be able to join us and share your engineering and
Ham exploits!

73’ from “the Shack” & God Be With You!

 

 

The KE0VH Hamshack for May 2018

June 20, 2018
By

A BLAST FROM THE PAST!  Circa 1979!

Currently “KEØVH” then “WD4HPO” ON AIR  in Lafayette Georgia (35 miles or so SE of Chattanooga TN) on then 1590 WLFA, now WQCH!  Look how young!  Doin’ the afternoon show!  This 5000 watt daytimer was my 3rd job at the time.  The station still exists pretty much now as was then, the cart machines and McMartin control board are of course long gone.  Then GM and PD Rich Gwyn is still there today, having taken over from his father the late Charlie Gwyn who founded and owned the station.  You can see the station’s website at http://wqch.net/ .  The building and 5/8’s wave antenna are still pretty much the same too.  Take a look!  Part of my history!  It was a very exciting time for this then 19 year old!  I actually have an aircheck from this station at this time.  If I get brave enough I may put it on YouTube!

And, this is really cool, just before the above part of my DJ career, as I have written before, WFLI Lookout Mountain Chattanooga, a 50,000 watt mid-south powerhouse top station in the 60’s and 70’s has come back on air playing the HITS from the time period.  This station was beloved by so many of us growing up in the area, and is the only station in town to have the same call letters and the same building on O’Grady drive just west of the city.  Still to this day I have dreams about WFLI!  It has been a lifelong radio love to many who were on the station.  Now so many of us remember those years when Top 40 boss jock type of radio was king of the airwaves and the DJ’s of the era were upbeat, LIVE, and very entertaining.  I was very fortunate to get on the air there as a young almost 16 year old High School guy!  That was in the day just after you had to have a 1st Class radiotelephone certificate to operate a directional AM, thank God!  I still though had to study and go to Atlanta FCC office to test for my 3rd Class Radio Telephone operator permit (I still have it).  I learned about radio from my first program directors Jim Pirkle and Max O’Brien, and had a lot of fun being on air, driving station vehicles, meeting people, and the music was just incredible.  SO I was SO sad to hear that the heritage station was going dark after nearly 50 years of broadcasting!  But then, a couple of entrepreneurs  in the Chattanooga area, Evan Stone and Marshall Bandy, longtime fans of WFLI were going to buy the station and a week after the sale turned it back on with basically a news/talk format with some of the original music thrown in here and there.  Evan told me that the response to the music blocks was such that they decided to return to the stations roots and put the “pop, soul and Rock n’Roll back on the station full time.  So Monday April 23rd, the station after its morning news show (very good I might add, wish Denver had a REAL news station, they could take lessons from these guys) turned on the old WFLI music with all the old production elements, positioning statements, and format!  Of course today they are also streaming, taking the audio off a real air monitor!  This is SO COOL because for me, I can stream the station here in Denver and pipe it thru to my old tube Zenith radios and such.  Man the nostalgia of this is absolutely amazing!

The station was known as “The Big Jet Fli”, with a special jet sound effect that was a staple of the station, and so many times that sound was the signature effect of the programming.  There are a lot of great stories about that.  One of the really cool things too about the transmitter plant for the station was the distilled water cooled Western Electric transmitter that started its life actually at WTOP in the NE. See a full article on this at https://www.thebdr.net/articles/prof/history/HPH-WFLI.pdf.  (Thanks Barry)  Back in 1992 there was a video shot by Stanley Adams and put up on YouTube that gave a nice tour of the facility, and believe it or not little has changed since the 70’s, it is almost like a time capsule of what the times were like in radio back then.  Now, the Western Electric is still there and is capable of operation, but a Harris DX-50 handles the daily on air operations and of course is much cheaper to operate.  And these days parts for the Western Electric are nearly impossible to find, but ran until just a few years ago, being lovingly maintained and kept on air by a couple of longtime broadcast engineers from FLI.

My Kawasaki Vulcan in front of the still there WFLI building during a visit last year

So after hearing the news about music coming back to WFLI from my friend David Carroll of WRCB TV3 in Chattanooga, I got in touch with Evan Stone, and offered to do liners and voiceovers for the station, and sure enough, I sent some promo’s and production to them, and now you can hear ME on WFLI!  AFTER 40 YEARS!  Glad I have improved since then!  Unfortunately I don’t have any air checks from my days there, but you may hear me again on WFLI as a jock just for fun!  Stay “TUNED”!  Check it all out at https://tunein.com/radio/WFLI-1070AM-The-Legend-s28777/

Speaking of “vintage”, check out these OLD films on ham radio.  These are really AWESOME!  A real look at what is was YEARS AGO!  Old chirpy code, a look at Field Day, homemade antennas and more!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0igVLrt3uY

And some of you may remember K6DUE (SK), Roy Neal of NBC back covering the space program.  I actually got to contact him and have Roy’s QSL card!  Check out his video here on YouTube promoting ham radio.  In this video he is talking about upgrading from CB Radio to Ham Radio!  I have to admit that I was a fan of his when he covered many Apollo flights and more, then I got to contact him via ham radio!  SO COOL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1S6bnyr1s

By the way if you aren’t familiar with hamspeak, SK means “Silent Key”.  Roy passed on in August 2003

By the way, yes I have a real affinity and affection for CB Radio.  That’s how I got started in 2 way communications!  I also happened to live in an area growing up that had some very friendly and helpful people on the CB!  In this video, in the first few minutes, you can see my first ever CB, a Realistic TRC-24C 23 channel radio.  AND a Signal Kicker antenna.  So that along with shortwave listening, was the beginning of what I do today!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMeFe68vDCc

My first CB!

Another activity with ham radio this month I got running was setting up my Kenwood TS-2000 and Winlink RMS Express and then setting up the TS-2000 internal TNC and using WInlink to send and receive email via VHF packet radio.  Its text based email, so nothing fancy, send me one at ke0vh@winlink.org.   I have been doing this via HF for a while and have a demo video on running this at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR5dnDS65DA .  I will try to get a demo up of doing it on VHF and how to setup the TS-2000.  Actually very easy to do, and a lot of negative reviews on the Kenwood TS-2000 on board packet TNC are out there but with the right setup works great!  There is already a video on how to do this from Rick, K4REF.  You can see it at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XTGlp2Gkow

See Ricks ENTIRE Kenwood TS-2000 training series at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxvd7Hts-hw&list=PL0-gH_7Nm60Zkogw5sdlSTcOseWaefHI6

This month I have installed a small buffer board in my TS-2000 to be able to have basically a full SDR panadapter utilizing a RTL SDR dongle and rig control from the free HDSDR and Omni-rig software available.  You can also use SDR Sharp.  This essentially takes just about any HF rigs 1st or 2nd IF and uses it to feed the dongle and display the range of frequencies for whatever band you are using.  This really almost can replace any of the higher priced SDR radios that are on the market. Plus this allows you the pleasure of operating your older HF rig with all the advantages, filtering, and visual display of the full SDR radios.  I really have been fascinated with this, and love working on projects in the Hamshack so this was a fun and pretty easy effort too, thanks to all those whose information can be looked up so easily!

And again just about any rig where you can tap into the IF can be done in this manner.  Some of them even have an IF port on the outside of the radio, but modifying is pretty easy regardless.  The TS-2000 has a readymade spot for the buffer circuit to go in where for a digital voice recorder could go, so that was easy.  Connections for the 1st IF required just a small modification of the connection point, the first IF connection (giving more visible bandwidth due the fact that it is before the roofing filter which limits you to about 30 kHz bandwidth but does provide some susceptibility to dongle front end overload) is an open pinned test point easily accessible.  I then used the HF receive only RCA antenna connection to get the buffered signal out of the radio and with a piece of coax connects to the dongle.  Works GREAT.

The bottom cover of the TS-2000 has to come off to get to the connections needed.  As you see in the picture below the buffer board (a PAT 12 from https://www.sdr-kits.net/ is in the upper left, the connection to the input of the board is from TP 4 or CN6 which is right after the 1st IF before the roofing filter.   The red wire is from a 12 volt tap off a diode on the other side of the radio’s RF board to power the PAT 12.  The coax on the left side output is going to (in my case unused) HF receive only antenna input to the radio.  The buffer board gets its negative power from the coax shield.

Another couple of good websites to check for more information are:

http://www.hamradioandvision.com/hdsdr-accessibility/

https://kd2c.com/

And by the way, live near a high powered broadcast facility and RF is wiping out your receive on HF?  Check this out:

https://kd2c.com/filters

 

Our friend Skyler KDØWHB while in school in Socorro New Mexico is getting a chance to intern at the Very Large Array radio telescope facility this year.  Take a look at how they move these gigantic antenna’s in this video shot and edited by KDØWHB https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyLfQjxrYYk

You know you can find anything on YouTube of course, and I really enjoyed watching this set of 2 videos on the repair of the sensitivity of a Kenwood TS-2000 from the “TRX Bench” YouTuber.  A fine example of systematic troubleshooting and repair.  Glad to know where this one is in case I ever need it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FjSme0C5B8

One night on the Monday night SBE NET George, NO7O brought this up as a topic of discussion.  You may want to check this out:

From Amazon:

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

 

Code Girls reveals a hidden army of female cryptographers, whose work played a crucial role in ending World War II…. Mundy has rescued a piece of forgotten history, and given these American heroes the recognition they deserve.”—Nathalia Holt, bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls

Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

Thanks George, sure this would be really great reading!

Visiting my friend Harold, W6IWI at his home QTH was a lot of fun one day earlier in April.  Harold has a very nice setup in his shack and his HF rig is a Seacomm SEA245

Harold at his operating position

Harold’s remote antenna tuner.  It tunes his multiband dipole seen in the picture below.

 

A close up of Harold’s rig

 

The power for the radio and power conditioner/charger for the battery power

 

See Harold’s site at www.w6iwi.org for more details

 

What do you do when you drive up to a site (to investigate an off air situation) and find this:

Unfortunately one day someone had accidently backed into the dish feed and broke the feed horn!  But he is a great guy and left a note and STUFF happens!  So, take it apart, re-piece it together, a little electrical tape, and station BACK ON THE AIR!

The BUC just temporarily taped up until the new mount arrived

Repaired, cross-poled, and note the reflectors for future reference!  J

 

                                                                    2 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/05/

 

3 YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/05/   

 

 

Don’t forget the SBE Chapter 73’ Of the Air

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html.

 

 I hope

You will be able to join us and share your engineering and

Ham exploits! 

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