Blog Archives

The KE0VH Hamshack for May 2021

May 29, 2021
By

 

Starting off this months newsletter with a picture of my son William KCØYPJ then, in June of 2007 (see the article at: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/oldnews/0907news.php ) and talking on my then VX-5 handheld back to his sister Emily KC0YYG on a hike to the top of Grays Peak west of Denver. My kids since then have really given up ham radio, but we have some cool memories of the time when as my wife homeschooled our kids part of that was getting a ham license.

William is since grown and a homeowner and adult living his life as a bassist musician and is teaching others and performing in bands around the metro area and is doing life wonderfully! I am very proud of him these days, finding this picture recently and wanted to include it in the “Hamshack”!

And another picture, which I made into a QSL card!

Myself, my sons William & Levi, my father-in-law Bill, and nephew Michael, on the top of Grays Peak.

One of my projects this month is to get the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 ready for great rides over the summer. I have really wanted to incorporate ham radio along, also APRS so I can beacon my position out for my wife and those who might want to follow along, especially on longer day trips and more. So last month I wrote about how I was going to mount the system on the motorcycle, and now I have been able to prove out my headset Bluetooth link to both the FT3D handheld and the FTM-400. I purchased the Yaesu BU-2 bluetooth module for the FTM-400, and installation into the radio with the already integrated Bluetooth connector took less than 5 minutes, and then the headset and FTM-400 paired right up much easier than anticipated. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to do this, so I will not go into those details here. The headset had paired with the FT3D just as easily in a preliminary test and I had used it on a ride one Saturday afternoon talking to several of the folks on the SkyHubLink system thru the 448.350 Fusion repeater.

Motorcycle helmet headset connected to the FT3D before the ride.

And then paired to the FTM-400, where then I made a couple of contacts thru the 448.350 repeater for testing.

Reports were great!

 

Note the Bluetooth symbol on the FTM-400 display.

To protect the control cable from the display and where it was mounted on the handlebars to the saddlebag, I installed a section of cable tubing. It was easy to find a route for it down and under the fuel tank, into the middle area and out to where it will attach using a small electrical wiring passthrough into the saddlebag for connection to the radio.

Cable protective tubing running from the handlebars to the back of the motorcycle for the control head

 

The new Colorado Springs Fusion Wires-X repeater to be located at the KRDO TV studios downtown will hopefully be online by the time you read this. Daniel KFØDZG, the chief engineer for the station will be installing it and getting all ready to go as seen here in these pictures. The repeater will be on the frequency of 447.425 and will be locked to DN (Digital Narrow) and will homeroom on Wires-X SkyHubLink room 46361. With the other SkyHubLink Wires-X repeaters on air now from Bakulite Mesa (447.900), Cedar Point near Limon (447.650), and Hugo (447.150) Colorado Springs and the surrounding area should be completely covered by SkyHubLink Fusion Wires-X. All are fully Wires-X steerable and can be used on the Yaesu Wires-X repeater linking system https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/index.php. You can check a listing of Wires-X repeaters online now at this site: https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/id/id_usa.php.

Daniel KFØDZG, Chief Engineer for KRDO Radio and TV with the boxes of gear to install, and the rack that will be the new home of the KDØSBN SkyHubLink 447.425 repeater

One of the control rooms of KRDO-TV and other affiliates that it feeds with television signals.

 

The Colorado Springs repeater getting setup on my workbench. Ready for install and tested.

 Another project I worked on this month was to have a backup battery supply for the Yaesu FT-991A when the power goes out. I wanted it to be switchable from the main PS to the battery with ease at the operating position. This project incorporated the use of two manual switches to route power to the Rigrunner 4008 power distribution box from the main station power supply and the battery bank backup. That battery bank has four 7 mah batteries in parallel to provide the 12 volts for the radio, which allows me to have about 8 hours or so of operating time (with 5 watts out to the 448.350 repeater in tests) in case of Xcel failure. The switches are standard DPDT mounted in an electrical box from Homey Depot and wired into the system as seen below. I have standardized all my radio power connections with Anderson Power poles, continuing the scheme with this project.

Switches wired up with Anderson Power Pole connectors and the housing box.


The box mounted and with the wiring in place, and the switch configuration powering the radio from the battery.

 

And another project regarding converting computer and server power supplies to power our ham radios. This one involves a HP model DPS-750RB A supply that I salvaged out of an old Dell server that was discarded. The PS is capable of 12 volts at 62.5 amps! I looked it up and sure enough it is easy to get running to power a mobile or with that amount of current available power a 100 watts HF rig! There are several YouTube videos available to do the conversion and make the PS go up in voltage. I used a 22 kohm resistor as prescribed by the video I saw and with the small adjustment pot adjusted the voltage to 13.8 volts. I tested the supply with the FTM-400 on the workbench and it ran the radio very well at 50 watts. These power supplies have been tested to be low noise even with an HF rig, so it is a great alternative power supply in a pretty small package. You could add a power switch, metering, and whatever power plug design you need for your particular setup. As mentioned before, I really like the versatility and safety the Anderson power poles give. If you need any information on these, shoot me an email!

The HP DPS-750RB A Power supply at the beginning of the modification process. Note the jumper that turns the PS ON

The 22 Kohm resistor connection points on the side circuit board. The bottom is the 4th from the right in this row of points. The pot at the top connector point is tapped at the left hand contact point, then adjusted for 13.8 volts.

Heat shrunk and insulated against shorts.

 

Initial test running the FTM-400 and later with a power indicating BRIGHT WHITE LED, with a full up transmit test talking Tom KD4DT and Tony EI7BMB on the SkyHubLink below!

Details on how to modify this are at: https://makenotes.de/2020/04/turning-on-a-hp-dps-750rb-server-power-supply/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQwuC1_SIbE

On the Monday night 5/17 SkyHubLink NET we talked about our mobile installations, radios, wiring, etc. I thought that this month I would feature a couple of other installs in addition to the motorcycle setup I described earlier. The first is our good friend Tom KD4DT and his FTM-300 setup in his vehicle. Tom did an excellent job of his install, making the radio come in and go out between his two vehicles, taking only about 3 minutes to move from one to the other.

Toms’ setup with the FTM-300 in vehicle number 1, then 3 minutes later,

Setup in vehicle #2!

Part of the reasons Tom can move the radio’s so efficiently and quickly:

Modular design and two sets of cables mounted in each car.

 

And our friend Steve KDØSBN in Pueblo has a neat install in his Ford truck, an FTM-300 and FTM-400. He uses one for direct on air to repeater comms, and the other for use as a mobile node radio.

Looking for a Raspberry Pi case, how about this that Mark NØXRX printed up from a file on the internet!

This Pi will also be serving one of our node radios here soon on SkyHubLink! More details on that soon!

************************************************************************************************* By the way, as of this writing, we are looking to have the Pilot Hill Laramie/Cheyenne repeater on the air soon, new coordinated frequency is 447.400. Fully Wires-X capable and home-roomed on SkyHubLink 46361. Pictures of the install and more information will be in next month’s newsletter!

AND, at one of our radio sites in Colorado!

 


Our good friend Lou Moyer from Rhode and Schwartz transmitters, and Chris KK6QCP
working on transmitter modules in the field at the site. These liquid cooled transmitters are amazing and have solved a lot of issues for high altitude transmitting. Lou and Chris are doing an upgrade of the heat sink and power supply bus in one of the modules, 6 of them to make around 28 kw. These are liquid cooled, and the system is really ingenious! I hope to do a full write up on this system in a future “Hamshack” article.

And here is the KE0VH Hamshack you see in the lead picture in “Flight Sim” mode, using X-plane 11 and the Zibo 737- 800 at 35000 feet on the way to Denver from Albuquerque. And yes, I was talking on the 448.350 repeater on SkyHubLink during this flight, combining ham radio and virtual flying. WAY TOO MUCH FUN AND COOL!

AND we have 3 new repeaters on the air on SkyHubLink on the eastern plains covering along I- 70 east of Denver and Colorado Springs bringing much needed coverage and communications out in the “hinterlands” east of the front range. This will also bring top notch severe weather information to this area via SkyHubLink as Daryl W3ORR and Matt KØLWC are on air with the Colorado Severe Weather Watch Net (www.coloradosevereweather.net) on the system.

Thanks so much to Bill KDØOXW in Limon for this addition to the system. We are looking forward to welcoming all out on the plains to amateur communications with the rest of the state and travelers along I-70. With this edition we are pretty much covered from almost Kansas to Utah on I-70, and Wyoming to New Mexico along I-25. See the skyhublink.com/repeaters for more information.

 

And the perfect wine for the amateur radio operator!

And finally!

I CAN RELATE!!!!!!!!!

 

 

HAMSHACK ARCHIVES FILES

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

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

7 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/05/

 

Click HERE TO CHECK OUT the latest BDR.net articles at: https://www.thebdr.net/articles/thisweek.html

The KE0VH Hamshack for April 2021

April 18, 2021
By

                   April 2021    

Greetings and Welcome to springtime in April!

We had some really warm days here in the Denver area during the latter part of March and early April, and now cold and wet back in as is pretty typical.  One of my projects for the year is to get APRS and voice ops running on the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 utilizing my other FTM-400.  That project saw a test run on a Saturday here recently as I configured the system for a test run and took off for what ended up being a 200 mile 6 hour or so ride thru the mountains west of the front range area west and north of Denver.  My good buddy Todd Hooks (of my Christian Motorcycle Association group) and I left about 10am and got back around 6 or so.  The mountains were beautiful and the temperatures were in the upper 50’s so the ride was a comfortable one.  The APRS system worked very well in showing our trip that day.  The radio was in the right saddlebag with the Diamond SG-7500 on a mag mount on the back “luggage rack”.  The radio head was mounted on its RAM mount on the handlebars.  All in all it worked very well as you can see in the following pictures and maps of the trip taken from APRS.fi.

Above you can see the antenna mounted with the mag mount (also chrome!) and below are APRS.fi shots of our route!

The total route above, and the closer up views below

Todd’s Harley and my Vulcan (KE0VH-9) with Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak (14,259 ft AMSL) in the background.

KEØVH, the Vulcan 900, and Estes Cone (11,000 AMSL) in the background, near Estes Park CO

The Vulcan also turned over 50,000 miles on this trip!  Just outside of Nederland CO.

Myself and Todd Hooks in Nederland CO, and yes, we stopped at a transmitter site on Buckhorn Mountain!  Look at the HUGE piles of snow.  During the “blizzard” I wrote about last month, this particular spot got the most amount of snow of any location along the front range.  Nearly 75 inches!

Here is the FTM-400 on the workbench after the ride.  I am converting all my power connections to Anderson Power Poles for ease of changing out configs and they are so solid and reliable.  You see the display in the small case next to the

Radio and notice the small turbine type fan next to the control head, it will exhaust with small outlets on the other side of the case.  Note the power tap insert for the fan in the right hand picture.  It is my plan to utilize this “pelican” type case to house the radio in the saddlebag while riding and to contain the whole radio system for storage and to take with me away from the bike when parked, as seen below.

And new this month, the new 449.775 KEØDNL SkyHubLink Fusion Wires-X repeater is on the air from the temporary Borie Hill transmitter site west of Cheyenne.  Thanks to the courtesy of our good friend Vic Michael for the site, & Daryl W30RR who houses the node radio at his QTH in Cheyenne.   For about a week Daryl had the repeater on the air from his home QTH since the weather wasn’t co-operating with getting it to the site.  Below are some pictures of the temporary setup at Daryl’s home.  Note the “clothesline” antenna support, and the repeater and duplexer on the workbench.

And finally, on to the site itself:

The temporary placement for the repeater antenna at the Borie site, a L-Com ASPD-701 UHF band antenna that will eventually move to the 449.625 Mt. Morrison site for that repeater.  We have another antenna for the Cheyenne repeater that will stand up to Wyoming’s windy conditions.  WHY is this all TEMPORARY? More on that here shortly!

Daryl’s FTM-100 Node Radio feeding the repeater via the Wires-X system, and Daryl at the site with the antenna

Daryl W3ORR in his hamshack with the node radio lower right

Before we deployed the antenna pictured above, I used a stand that used to be a roadside stand for signs.  I needed something that would hold up a heavy antenna during test.  This antenna was tested using the Nano-VNA analyzer and it did a great job showing the characteristics of the L-Com ASPD-701 antenna under test before deployment.

The “test” stand, borrowed from Mark NØXRX under test with the NanoVNA, & the antenna stood up in the back yard

Pertaining to the temporary mentions above.  Since the Cheyenne repeaters deployment we have secured an even better site with much better coverage for the 449.775 Fusion repeater on Pilot Hill thanks to my good friend Paul Montoya, the DOE for Wyoming Public Radio.  This spot will just about triple the repeater coverage and also cover way west of Laramie along I-80, nearly to Scottsbluff to the northeast, and I-80 to Nebraska.  Stand by for news on this one, it will be a very exciting move for SkyHubLink.

Current Cheyenne 449.775 coverage above, and below is the proposed Pilot Hill coverage.

AND, Larry KCØWVE is working on a new site for the Scottsbluff 444.825 repeater that was previously housed at the Scottsbluff hospital location.  Plans at this time are to move it to a site south of Mitchell on the high bluffs west of Scottsbluff/Gering.  This site will also improve the coverage of this repeater overlapping the Pilot hill site coverage, providing continuous SkyHubLink coverage from Scottsbluff to New Mexico along I-25 and more.  Here is a picture of the proposed NEW coverage of the Scottsbluff repeater.

And another new system is now connected to SkyHubLink full time on Fusion Wires-X, the VA5YXE repeater in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada!  Thanks to Richard VE5RH for linking up and becoming part of the SkyHubLink.  Below is the repeater, duplexer and amplifier for VA5YXE/R

                                                 The VE5RH Hamshack in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada

 

Have you heard about the “Hamshack Hotline”

The Hamshack Hotline VOIP phone system is by and for amateur radio operators to enhance communications capabilities, a FREE dedicated VOIP service to the amateur radio community.  See https://hamshackhotline.com/ for more information and details.  Setup couldn’t be easier, you can attach an outside phone number to the system to receive regular phone calls, and the tech support is awesome.  Some of us in SkyHubLink are using these to keep in touch and discuss “behind the scenes” information and other uses.  Pretty soon you can communicate over SkyHubLink the system using these phones.  See Matt KØLWC’s you tube channel offering on Hamshack Hotline https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMr9a_6CuNE and how it might benefit you.  Pretty soon we will be setting up a directory of those of us on SkyHubLink that are using the system. The phones are inexpensive, using a lot of the now “discarded” Cisco phones such as the model SPA514G seen pictured here in the KEØVH Hamshack.   My Hamshack Hotline number is 12113, feel free to call!

 

UH OH!  Something burnt up!  No wonder it’s not putting out power. Thanks to Mike ABØRR for the picture

showing why the Park County repeater in Bailey went down.  Mike is working feverishly to resolve the issue and get the repeater back on the air, normally linked to SkyHubLink.

Check out this magnificent picture, taken from a plane getting ready to land at Denver International Airport. SPECTACULAR!

Saw this on an Instagram posting, a UHF VHF combined polyphaser setup, and below, I LOVE these old aviation radio adds: Does anyone remember this Channel Master radio that would receive VHF and AM frequencies on a portable radio, complete with a leather carrying case. The Price: $54.95 ($456.32 today)

 

1974

 

Product: Zenith Royal E94Y

Key features: 6-band receiver, including AM and FM, weighed a hefty 5 lbs.

Price: $99.95 ($530.33 today)

1984

Products: Sony Air-8 and Sporty’s Air-Scan

Key features: A powerful scanner from electronics giant Sony and a desktop receiver custom designed by Sporty’s.

Price: $269.00 ($677.24 today) and $79.95 ($201.28 today)

____________________________________

1989

Product: Sporty’s A300

Key features: Sporty’s first transceiver moved beyond just listening to transmissions to become a valuable backup option for talking to Air Traffic Control.

Price: $365.00 ($730.51)

____________________________________

2001

Product: Sporty’s SP-200

Key features: Third generation Sporty’s transceiver added localizer display for backup navigation—a first in a portable radio.

Price: $299.00 ($441.88 today)

____________________________________

2010

Product: Sporty’s SP-400

Key features: Top-of-the-line model with a huge screen and full ILS display—the ultimate backup radio.

Price: $399.00 ($478.64 today)

____________________________________

2019

Product: PJ2 COM Radio

Key features: The only portable radio with built-in headset jacks, the PJ2 is ideal for emergency use and costs under $200.

Price: $199.00

 

HAMSHACK ARCHIVES FILES

  

                                                  4 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/03/

                                                  5 Years AGO:  http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/03/

                                                  6 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/03/

Click HERE TO CHECK OUT the latest BDR.net articles at: https://www.thebdr.net/articles/thisweek.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

The KE0VH Hamshack for February 2021

March 20, 2021
By

                                                                                        February 2021

This month we have 3 new SkyhubLink projects in the works.  The first is the new Fusion/Wires-X repeater to be deployed just west of Cheyenne on 449.775 (Callsign soon to be KE0DNL).  Daryl W3ORR will be running the node radio system at his QTH on the west side of town to link the repeater into the SkyHubLink Wires-X room 46361.  The repeater will be steerable for Wires-X rooms of course.  We would like to thank the members of the SkyHubLink email list who responded with donations to make this happen.  Thanks also to our good friend Vic Michael for the providing the site for the repeater.  More to come as it becomes available on the deployment time as we are awaiting weather and scheduling to get it on the air.  We hope to be at the 100 plus foot level on this fine tower Vic has in “Granite” WY.

Second will be the 2 linked repeaters in Sterling & Holyoke.  Kent Seger, who is a ham operator and tower owner in the area will be providing the repeaters, internet connection and sites (Sterling’s is just east of I-76 in the area) for this NE CO coverage along I-76 helping to pretty much fill in the coverage to Nebraska.  More information and maps will follow soon.

Thirdly, the Brandmeister Talkgroup 31083 for the Colorado Severe Weather Watch NET will be moving to the SkyHubLink.  More information on that will be upcoming to the SHL Email list soon.

Our good friend Steve KDØSBN who is running the Pueblo Wires-X Fusion repeater that is now on the new coordinated frequency of 447.900 -offset.  Steve will also be setting up a NEW repeater soon south of the Spanish Peaks from the Weston Colorado area that will have coverage from about Walsenburg to Trinidad along I-25 in the southern part of the state.  When this project is completed, and the move of the Scottsbluff NE repeater is accomplished (also this spring) SkyHubLink will have almost continuous coverage from Scottsbluff down to Cheyenne WY and on down the almost the New Mexico State line.  Stand by for more news!

As I wrote in last month’s edition, I have been working full time now from the home “office/hamshack/Flight Simulator” and really enjoying it.  I have everything I need right at my fingertips and with the addition of the worktable on the left I can do my personal and work projects with just the spin of the chair.  The table is actually a kitchen prep all metal aluminum table that I also have now a static pad that covers the workspace.

Here is a test of the Field Fox spectrum analyzer after it had returned from service on the new worktable and interfaced with my computer on the left side of the office area.  My vertical HF ham antenna and the multiband dipole made really good test subjects.  The Field Fox is now ready for some real-world real work projects coming up in the next couple of months.  Great setup!  I have been loving this little “office” in a major way!  I can monitor and control all work functions via remote facilities, test equipment and get a LOT DONE!

One of my personal projects over one weekend was the rebuilding of the Flight Sim X-plane 11 computer.  The newly setup worktable and static pad grounded at the station ground made a very safe and secure way of handling static sensitive parts including the old and new motherboard, RAM memory, and hard drives.

I upgraded the computer from an Asus Z-97 to an Asus Z-490A with 16 gigs of DDR3 RAM, and the processor changed from a 4 core i5 3800 to an 8 core i7 10700 with 32 gigs of DDR4 RAM.  I am still using my Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card.  But quite the upgrade!  Also, with the new as of Christmas CH Products flight yoke and the rudder pedals, flying the simulator software is pretty dang realistic!  I have also been adding a lot of scenery files via the Ortho4XP free software.  See videos on how to do this at: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ortho+4+xp+x+plane+11 and if you need some simplified instructions on how to use the software, email me for a copy that my good buddy Jeremy N6JER put together.

Flying close to the 808-foot-tall in real life WSM Blaw-Knox radio tower south of Nashville Tennessee in

X-Plane 11 and the real-life thing!  The scenery in the upper picture was generated in ORTHO4XP.

And here I am sharing the “cockpit” with my copilot little grandson Lucas, complete in an aviator jacket visiting Grandpa!

Hitting “TOGA” button Grandpa!

Many thanks to our good friend Paul WBØQMR for the repeater facilities of 146.70 in Dillon/Silverthorne. The repeater is connected to SkyHubLink full time and covers Breckenridge, Dillon, Silverthorne, Frisco, and up the valley on CO 9 towards Green Mountain Reservoir.  Thanks, so much Paul for being part of the system!

And from another NETFLIX movie I watched lately, another great prop using a Zenith Transoceanic H-500 tube radio.  The story was set in the 50’s and this was actually in a radio station in the movie “The Vast of Night”.  And below, another radio setup with some pieces that are recognizable from the series “The Walking Dead”, also on NETFLIX.  A D-104 mic and Heathkit radio?  Motorola handheld?

 

And finally, this from my friend Evan Stone at WFLI in Chattanooga Tennessee!

What DO YOU DO with an old cart machine?

 

I was really happy to be able to get out on a ride this fine and WARM January day!  Sure do look forward to more!

HAMSHACK ARCHIVES FILES

 

                                                  4 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/01/

                                                  5 Years AGO:  http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/01/

                                                  6 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/01/

 

Click HERE TO CHECK OUT the latest BDR.net articles at: https://www.thebdr.net/articles/thisweek.html

 

 

 

SBE VHF/UHF Chapter 73’ of the Air SKYHUBLINK HAMnet

 

 

The SBE Chapter 73 of the Air SKYHUBLINK Hamnet is every Monday at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) worldwide via Echolink KG0SKY-L, node 985839 (available via computer and radio), Allstar node 46079, DMR Talkgroup 310847, AND try it with your hotspot on YSFtoDMR then TalkGroup 310847 or C4FM Fusion YSF node 92722.  The Hamnet is based in Denver on 449.450, pl 103.5, KDØSSP-RPT 448.350, Fusion/Wires-X, 449.600 Fusion and the 449.625 Fusion repeater, linked to WiresX room “DenverSkyhubLink” node 46361.  Also on DMR Talkgroup 310847 on the 449.750 Timeslot 1 DMR repeater in Denver.  See www.skyhublink.com for more information.

You can listen on the LIVE STREAM thru Broadcastify at:

https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/25448/web

or https://hose.brandmeister.network/group/310847/  

We hope you’ll join us. 

See the latest edition of “The KE0VH Hamshack” for more information at www.ke0vh.com.

 

 

The Society of Broadcast Engineers

9102 North Meridian St, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46260
317-846-9000 ■ Fax 317-846-9120

 

 

 

 

 

The KE0VH Hamshack – March 2021

March 20, 2021
By

                                                              March 2021

I meant to include the “Happy Birthday” to Nichelle Nichols in December 2020!

She paved the way for women in so many fields as Lt. Uhuru in “Star Trek TOS”.  Here she is at the “Capcom” position in Apollo Mission Control Center.  She is 88 years old!

The “First Lady” of COMMUNICATIONS!  Wonder if she ever thought about getting a ham license!?!?

I am going to start off this months edition by typing about the big winter storm that we had the weekend of March 13/14 here along the front range of Colorado, and up into Wyoming and Nebraska.   The storm (and yes the Weather Channel had to dub it with the name “Xylia”)(who sits around and thinks of this stuff?!?!?) was a prodigious snow producer and set up just perfectly to pound the northern front range and really hit a knockout punch to Wyoming as you will see in the pictures that follow.  I had 12.5 inches officially at the KEØVH QTH with drifts of 25 inches or more in spots.  The wind blew tremendously on Sunday, and I spent several hours digging as the storm progressed to help keep my driveway clear as possible without leaving me way to much digging to do when the storm abated.  We had blizzard warnings here in my area during Sunday afternoon, and the wind kept the snow horizontally coming down for several hours.  During the storm beginning on Saturday, we activated the brand on “Colorado Severe Weather Watch Net” (https://skyhublink.com/csww-net/) on the Skyhublink system with Matt Kaskavitch KØLWC as lead forecaster and NET control.  He is a well known forecaster in the storm chasing severe weather national community so having him with his system on SkyHublink is a real plus!  Matt is a former Colorado resident who has always been fascinated with our crazy weather patterns.  Matt maintained a tireless vigil, taking more than 100 check ins during the weekend, answering questions, giving updated forecasts for certain areas, and continuous briefs on the movements of the storm plus road and highway closure information.  Here is a picture of Matt’s “command, and net control” hamshack in Maple Grove Minnesota.

Above picture my looking out my front door in Wheat Ridge after a couple of shovelings!  WET HEAVY SNOW! Didn’t want a busted car windshield either!  And WAS THE WIND EVER BLOWING!!!

This picture shows the center of the storm wrapping around the powerful Low Pressure point in the eastern part of Colorado.  Below is the associated radar.  Just about a perfect slow moving “upslope” condition here that produces large amounts of snow over the front range.  Note the extremely well defined “dry line” thru western Kansas down into Texas.  This was producing severe tornadic producing thunderstorms ahead of the dry air.

Here you can see the dry clear sky air extending all the way down to the western edge of Mexico

nearly to Baja, drawing large amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico….  No Wonder!!!

 

Daryl W3ORR from his vantage point in Cheyenne Wyoming provided information and totals on the storm during the event as well.  Daryl is a certified SkyWarn ham radio operator and a professional news/weather broadcaster.  He provided up to the minute information as well during the event.  All in all the very first activation of the Colorado Severe Weather Watch Net kept all SkyHubLink users informed and kept a lot of ears on the system repeaters for not only the forecasting but in case of emergency needs such as stranded motorists and the like.

Daryl W3ORR next to a Wyoming drift against his home!

Daryl’s hamshack and the Wires-X link radio for the SkyHubLink node in Cheyenne.  He will also use this node radio, a FTM-100 for the SHL link to the new 449.775 repeater that we will deploy as soon as we can.  Currently the node is operating on 449.775 simplex until weather and scheduling permit the deployment.

Clearing the massive amounts of drifted snow from I-80 near Daryl’s QTH (photo W3ORR)

 

Starting to clear the runways at KCYS (Cheyenne airport) and Daryls weather monitoring station at his QTH

Matt and Daryl linked into the SkyHubLink system using DMR, YSF, Wires-X and Echolink connections over the duration, providing a great test of the different connecting systems on the SkyHubLink during an actual activation.  As many of you have heard me say, SkyHubLink is here to provide communications for fun and everyday amateur use for connected repeaters and to be available for emergency communications when needed.  SHL is monitored daily by quite a few folks that alert us to outages and issues, which fortunately are few and far between these days thanks to Skyler WØSKY, Jermey WØJRL, Steve KDØSBN, and others. 😊 PLEASE JOIN US! www.skyhublink.com!

The KEØVH backyard and HF antennas, and below, Liu Liu, enjoying finally being out of the house!

In other happenings this month, on the Monday night before the snow started I was in Scottsbluff NE to install a new transmitter at our site the next morning.  The SBE/SkyHubLink Monday Night Net was ran via hotspot to cell phone tethering from my hotel room that evening.   Hotspot versatility is so useful when away from the main repeater coverage, although we hope to have the Scottsbluff SHL repeater back on the air soon from the South Mitchell site west of Scottsbluff and Gering.  When it is back on the air not only will the repeater cover the local area but a large section north, west into Wyoming, east towards Hastings, and SE towards Cheyenne, bringing just about non-stop coverage from Nebraska to New Mexico!

The Hotspot in the hotel room.  It is a Raspberry Pi-ZERO with an MMDVM board inside a small plastic case picked up at Walmart.  Travels well, I always carry it with me for reaching back to SkyHubLink when no linked repeaters are available.  You can get a kit that includes all except the $15 or so RPi0 board by going to this link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/For-Raspberry-pi-UHF-VHF-MMDVM-hotspot-OLED-Antenna-Case-Support-P25-DMR-YSF-/402644605559

Our friend and sysop of the KDØSBN repeaters Pueblo west and Weston Steve, has been working on and tuning filters as of late for the machines he is setting up.  He has found a very effective way to test using Baofeng HT’s along with utilizing the NANO-VNA antenna analyzer.  Steve has done a great job setting these up using these inexpensive testing tools.  Very clever and cost effective!

Tuning the filters using the NANO-VNA

And then testing the passthrough and rejection frequencies using the Baofeng HT’s

 

 USING THE NANO-VNA connected to a laptop with the software

By the way, he is setting this system up for the, as he says, “somewhere near Weston” deployment for SkyHubLink coverage south of Walsenburg down to Trinadad.  Right now, he is operating it on the repeater frequency of 145.31 down in that area.  GREAT COVERAGE, and we cannot wait to get the repeater on line down there!

 

We may actually have another announcement regarding Fusion Wires-X and Colorado Springs SOON!  Stand by for NEWS!   Oh, and By The Way:

HAMSHACK ARCHIVES FILES

                                                   4 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/03/

                                                  5 Years AGO:  http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/03/

                                                  6 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/03/

 

Click HERE TO CHECK OUT the latest BDR.net articles at: https://www.thebdr.net/articles/thisweek.html

 

 

SBE VHF/UHF Chapter 73’ of the Air SKYHUBLINK HAMnet

 

 

The SBE Chapter 73 of the Air SKYHUBLINK Hamnet is every Monday at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) worldwide via Echolink KG0SKY-L, node 985839 (available via computer and radio), Allstar node 46079, DMR Talkgroup 310847, AND try it with your hotspot on YSFtoDMR then TalkGroup 310847 or C4FM Fusion YSF node 92722.  The Hamnet is based in Denver on 449.450, pl 103.5, KDØSSP-RPT 448.350, Fusion/Wires-X, 449.600 Fusion and the 449.625 Fusion repeater, linked to WiresX room “DenverSkyhubLink” node 46361.  Also on DMR Talkgroup 310847 on the 449.750 Timeslot 1 DMR repeater in Denver.  See www.skyhublink.com for more information.

You can listen on the LIVE STREAM thru Broadcastify at:

https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/25448/web

or https://hose.brandmeister.network/group/310847/  

We hope you’ll join us. 

See the latest edition of “The KE0VH Hamshack” for more information at www.ke0vh.com.

 

 

The Society of Broadcast Engineers

9102 North Meridian St, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46260
317-846-9000 ■ Fax 317-846-9120

 

 

 

 

 

The KE0VH Hamshack Sept/Oct/Nov 2020

January 11, 2021
By

Well, dadgummit (no he didn’t dad had teeth!) here I am finally getting around to getting out a 3 month edition of “the Hamshack”.  Lots of stuff to share with you in this edition, so buckle up it may be a long one.  But a lot has happened since August, so let’s get started.

By the way, I have a small editorial that I am writing here that will be at the end of this month’s article.  Just a heads up.  It’s a doozy…………….

The new repeater is up and operating at the weekend and getaway QTH of Cris W5WCA in the Grand Lake area north of Granby.  448.250 covers a large portion of the valley and Cris reports that you can get into the repeater going down the east side of Berthoud pass and on thru the towns of Winter Park, Frazer, and the rest of the valley.  We were worried about Cris’ place there during the “Troublesome” fire that destroyed many homes in the area around Grand Lake but thank the Good Lord Cris’ and Amanda WØHOP’s places were spared, where so many others lost homes.  We are thankful primarily for that of course, and that the repeater is still on the air for that area connected to SkyHubLink.  The repeater is a Motorola pair with a flatpack duplexer and is putting out 20 watts on AllStar node 506061 connected to SkyHubLink fulltime!

The repeater at W5WCA’s cabin, Coverage map, and the Cushcraft AR-450 antenna.

And now after a wait the long anticipated 449.625 has finally found its permanent home on the marvelous site of Mt. Morrison between the towns of Golden and Morrison on the west side of Lakewood overlooking the Denver Metro.  This site has just a TREMENDOUS view of the metro area and the repeater is covering from Castle Rock up to Greeley and some of the mountain valleys west.  We seem to have a shadow though up I-25 thru Thornton and north.  The antenna is a Diamond X-50 and the repeater is Fusion digital with full Wires-X capabilities.  You can steer the repeater around the Wires-X system with your Yaesu Fusion radio in Wires-X mode.  On Saturday nights we put 449.625 on the America Link Wires-X room for the International Wires-X net.  Check it out sometime and have fun with the repeater!  And thanks to the crew who helped set up the repeater on that beautiful day.  KD0SIY, N0XRX, W0SKY, KD4DT, KE0LNU, & KE0VH, with a special thanks to the site manager Mark Smith for helping us out!

The VIEW from Mt. Morrison and the 449.625 Diamond X-50 antenna

Skyler WØSKY, Matt KEØLNU, & Mark NØXRX looking at the antenna placement, and Mark hooking up the duplexer for 449.625

 

Matt KEØLNU mounting the antenna base, Jack KEØVH putting on a ½ inch connector. Below, Scott KDØSIY doing the climbing needed for the project!

As of this writing as well we are anticipating getting a new Fusion Wires-X repeater on the air from Milner Mountain above Loveland in the next month thanks to Conrad KØSVT.  This system will give great fill in Fusion Wires-X coverage from Thornton north to the Wyoming line and all of Ft. Collins, Loveland and Longmont.We also have been given another analog system that we will think about where it is needed in 2021.  Plus the 449.575 repeater will be on air soon covering a large area near Pueblo for SkyHubLink from Bakulite Mesa on the NW side of Pueblo.  Stay tuned for details on when these machines come on line.

The new home on Milner Mountain for the new 447.800 Fusion Wires-X repeater (not shown) and the old derelict and abandoned Motorola repeater that will find a home sometime on SkyHubLink.

😊So how about “Shopping Cart Mobile”!  Gotta always have your radio with you!  One day at King Soopers! 😊

Another project at “The Hamshack”.  I was wanting to use my Astatic D-104 microphone with the Yaesu FT-991A, so sure enough someone had information on how to do the modification already, so I ordered the little kit from W2ENY on Ebay.  (https://www.ebay.com/itm/W2ENY-HiFi-kit-replacement-element-for-Astatic-D-104-All-Models/233277861976?_trkparms=aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160323102634%26meid%3Dd181a0ac62574f338a5f6efefb27fc7f%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D5%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D352922839514%26itm%3D233277861976%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675%26algv%3DDefaultOrganic&_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1 ) It works great.  The kit comes with everything you need to do an upgrade for todays transceivers including a voltage blocking cap.  And, the microphone is easily reverted back to its original form if you so desire at a later time.  So these days you will hear me on the mic when I am at home on the FT-991A it will be on the modified D-104!

 

The old original dynamic mic element removed from the head of the D-104, and the new condenser assembly

 

 

And old Amazon mailer as the backer/insert padding to hold the element in place, and the finished conversion wired into the FT-991A.  I left the original 4 pin Kenwood type plug assembly on the mic cable, and adapted to the RJ-45 type input on the radio with a temporary setup to test.  My favorite microphone of all time, will never part with it.  Well, at least not while I am alive!  😊😊😊

Another project fix from Skyler WØSKY.  So the repeater for WØJRL analog 447.175 on SkyHubLink, an older Yaesu DR-1, lost its transmit.  We had been operating the repeater on Lookout Mountain (and may be moving it soon to a better location) and all of a sudden it stopped transmitting.  Well Skyler went up and found that the transmit section was indeed dead.  So with a little research and his ingenuity, he managed to insert a Motorola VRM-650 and get it to interface to the DR-1 controller. The repeater is based on a pair of FTM-400’s contained in the repeater box.  Skyler found the pinouts for both radios and matched them up.  Now we are running this repeater as analog, but Skyler is confident that it COULD possibly be used as a YSF digital repeater. The VRM-600 is capable of passing digital signals and can be used for DMR and possibly P-25 digital modes too.  The Motorola however is only capable of 20 watts full duty cycle, so it wouldn’t be quite as powerful as the original FTM-400 50 watt radio.  Skyler refers to it as the “YaesuRola” or “FrankenFusion” repeater.  We will be redeploying it soon at a better location for analog coverage to complement 449.450.

On the left you can see the Yaesu radio and on the right is the Motorola VRM-600

***********************************************************************************************************************

AND another NET joins the SkyHubLink system!  If you have digital questions and would like to learn more about operating those modes such as DMR, FUSION WIRES-X, and others, be sure to join Doug KEØDC and Bucky (Bill) WØSUN on the radio or Google Meet where they will talk about everything digital radio, It’s held on Wednesdays at 19:00 (7pm) MST on the Sky Hub Link. You do not have to have a digital radio to participate, you can join them via analog 449.450 and the various AllStar connections. For more information and how to connect, go to https://skyhublink.com/repeaters/ and https://skyhublink.com/nets/.

****************************************************************************************

HEY!  A GREAT FIND on Amazon for a power supply that will power just about any radio!  It says it is rated at 30 amps.  When I was running it in the shack I didn’t notice any voltage fluctuations or noise being generated either.  It seems pretty darn solid in testing.  We are going to use it to power a node radio for the Pueblo 449.575 repeater connection back to the SkyHunLink system.  So far as we have not been able to deploy the system yet, during Skyler W0SKY’s testing the power supply bears itself out!  And, it is very small, at 7.75 x 3.25 x 1.5 inches.  Now I haven’t tried to power my FT-991A with it, but it supposedly has enough horsepower 😊 to do so.  The voltage output is adjustable with a small pot next to the output section.  So far, I am suitably impressed!

A closeup of the output side of the power supply showing the voltage adjustment pot.

The Motorola GM-300 analog node radio, the Raspberry Pi3 AllStar link with fan (Love the lights!) and the Power Supply with a volt/amp digital meter.  This is the AllStar node radio that will be deployed for the Pueblo 449.575 repeater.  The node setup will be hosted by our good friend Ray, AAØL.

As mentioned above, you can adjust the voltage out of the supply with a pot located just to the left of the outputs for a “perfect” 13.8 volts!  And it just plain looks GREAT!  Easily readable!

The Pueblo repeater on 449.575.  This had been deployed on Mt. Princeton working well for a couple of months until the 449.925 Methodist mountain repeater came on line.  Now it has been re-allocated for the Pueblo area from Bakulite Mesa.  We hope to deploy this one weather and scheduling permitting before the end of the year.

Tom KD4DT is the proud owner of a new Yaesu FTM-300 and shows the way that he mounted the control head in the dash of his car.  The radio itself is mounted under the seat and can easily be moved to his other vehicle!  Great job, nice install Tom!

 

Seen by Skyler WØSKY on a hike in the mountains!  An APRS solar powered digipeater setup probably setup by Chuck NØNHJ.  I say probably because according to Skyler he is responsible for at least 15 of these around the state!  This is really awesome since APRS coverage in the “hinterlands” (where there ain’t a hint of nothin’) is so very important for emergency APRS use.  Skyler saw this one in the Dillon area.

AND, JUST FOR FUN AT THE END! For all us Engineers!

 

 

My Jinki and Liu Liu LOVED THIS! Thanks to Jim KCØRPS!

 

Well, OK here is my editorial that really has nothing to do with the “Hamshack”, so I will stow it at the end here.   I need to say something about the pandemic going on.  As of just yesterday, the USA is seeing more than 150,000 new cases a day.  There are so many hotspots that I can’t mention them all there, but the information is readily available from many sources, so you can pick the one you trust and go from there.  I have a wife in healthcare, and folks, the medical community will tell you that this is an ongoing and serious issue, and they are ALL exhausted.  So, if you don’t believe the news media, talk to someone in the medical community.  We want to know the real truth and facts, so get it from those who are dealing with over loaded beds and are on the front line.  And as I shared on the SBE SkyHubLink Net, we need to be wearing masks.  If you simply don’t want to for whatever reason, now we are getting word that, as I have really thought all along, it will provide you a modicum of protection for yourself, and especially for those around you, from you!  As one lady put it, I heard last week, “I wear a mask because I care about you.  If you don’t, I guess you don’t care about me”.  By the way, the graph below is just Colorado as of this writing.  34 average deaths per day.  Honestly, I don’t know how I could look someone who has lost a loved one during this time in the face and not think that the complaining and arguments that have arisen between so many can be justified.  Shame on us. We should care about EVERY SINGLE DEATH, more than a quarter of a million at this writing fellow Americans.  Are we really THAT selfish and petty???????  Unfortunately, we have a lot of people making decisions not to wear masks and by that token, are making the decision to expose you and me.   Very sad……..  THANK YOU to those of you who do care.

 

HAMSHACK ARCHIVES FILES

 

                                                  4 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/09/

                                                  5 Years AGO:  http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/09/

                                                  6 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/09/

 

Click HERE TO CHECK OUT the latest BDR.net articles at: https://www.thebdr.net/articles/thisweek.html

AND DON’T FORGET THE MONDAY NIGHT SBE/SKYHUBLINK NET at 7pm Mountain, 9PM Eastern, 6pm Pacific

 

SBE Chapter 73 of the Air SkyHubLink HAMnet

 

 

The SBE Chapter 73 of the Air SkyHubLink Hamnet is tonight (Monday) at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) worldwide via

1.    Allstar node 46079, tied into repeaters all over Colorado, see www.skyhublink.com/status or link in via your local AllStar repeater.  Email or call Jack KE0VH for details on how to.

2.    Echolink W0SKY-L, node 985839 (available via computer and radio)

3.    Via Yaesu FUSION Wires-X Room “SkyHubLink” 46361.  

4.    With a HOTSPOT on YSF00002 YSF to DMR for DMR radio’s set to talkgroup 310847. 

5.    With a Hotspot node number YSF92722 The US SKYHUB

6.    Locally in Denver on 449.450 Analog pl 103.5.

7.    Locally in Denver on the Fusion Repeaters 448.350 KDØSSP/R, 449.625 KEØVH/R and 449.600 NØPUF/R,  OR WORLDWIDE linked to WiresX room “SkyhubLink” room 46361.

8.    Locally in Denver ON DMR 449.750 KI0GO/R, Timeslot 1, Talkgroup 310847.

9.    Locally in Colorado Springs on Fusion YSF Simplex node 446.275

 

You can listen on the LIVE STREAM thru Broadcastify at:

https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/25448/web

or https://hose.brandmeister.network/group/310847/  
If you listen on the live stream text Jack at 303-704-3290 during NET time and you will added to the check in list.


We hope you’ll join us. 

See the latest edition of “The KE0VH Hamshack” for more information at www.ke0vh.com.

2020 0601

 

The Society of Broadcast Engineers

9102 North Meridian St, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46260
317-846-9000 ■ Fax 317-846-9120

 

 

 

 

Society of Broadcast Engineers, 9102 North Meridian, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46260

 

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