Blog Archives

The KE0VH Hamshack for December 2017

December 20, 2017
By

 

Merry Christmas Everyone!

This was very cool!  A picture from a show on the Rocky Mountain PBS program “Colorado Experience”.  This is showing paleontologists from Colorado Mountain University in Gunnison Colorado looking at a dig site from the mountain above Gunnison where we have a transmitter site!  There are facilities here from Colorado Public Radio, various two way facilities, and one of ours too.  We are in the building on the right.  Been there many times.  I always had to let the University know when I was going up the mountain being careful to stay on the “road” when traversing the site.  Here is the reason! Cool to see it on TV!

Colorado Mountain University Paleontologists at the dig site on the “W” mountain above Gunnison Colorado.  Picture from my TV during the show.

From Chris Scherer at the SBE National office:

WW1USA Radio
Since debuting in 2014, amateur radio special event station WW1USA has reached more than 13,000 people in more than 60 countries across the world. This occurred as the ham operators were back for the final operation of the year for 31 consecutive hours on Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 14-15. Learn more about this incredible worldwide effort!

https://www.theworldwar.org/amateurradio

As written in previous articles, I love seeing old radios and trying to identify them in movies and TV Shows.  So here are some pictures from the 1st James Bond movie, “Dr. No”

 

This is a K.W. Vanguard Shortwave transceiver, as you can see on the website

https://rigreference.com/rigs/3531-K_W_Electronics_Vanguard

Note the amateur bands listed on the upper right hand of the VFO dial.  The website notes this was used in the Bond movie.  Interesting that they didn’t need the receiver rig on the right to be accurate.  Any ideas on its identity?

The lady above of course didn’t survive the next 5 minutes of the movie as she was eliminated by the bad guys in the movie.  She was trying to communicate with the British Intelligence center in the right hand picture.

Any idea what these radios are?

Very cool to see these radios.

 

 

 

 

More radio’s are featured in the Netflix show “The Americans” which is about Soviet spies living as regular Americans with families, jobs, and basically a “normal” life in Cold War era Washington DC, while carrying out espionage and covert operations as KGB spies with the FBI and other agencies.  They have been using ham radio’s and shortwave receivers in this series to show them communicating and receiving communications from “The Center” (Moscow) for their operations.

A Yaesu radio set to the 2 meter frequency of 145.00 mHz seen from “The Americans”.

I actually own one of these!  A Zenith Royal 7000 being used in the show.

I am in the process of studying for my Remote UAS pilots Part 107  license so I can fly a drone around towers for inspections and seeing what is going on up there!  Jeremy N6JER obtained his last year and EMF has bought several drones of the DJII Phantom variety to be able to do our own tower inspections.  You must have the certification to fly a drone for commercial purposes and have the knowledge to know when and where it is safe to fly.  I basically am studying all the information you must know to basic airman facts and laws.  I am learning how to read sectional charts and weather METAR information, and know what is required to safely operate a drone under these requirements.  Very interesting and fun.  As a supplement and to learn practical application too I am flying my Flight Simulator 9 (2004) again.  This is fun of course and really interests me as I am learning all about flight I can.  I have been flying a Southwest 737-300 around the country planning flights and using IFR.  Learning flight characteristics, weather, and how to use navigational aids is absolutely fascinating.

And yes, I can even land the doggone thing very well.  I have only made my “passengers” sick a few times!

Flight Simulator picture of a 737-300 landing

If you would like to see what is required for a Remote UAS certificate you can look here:  https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/acs/media/uas_acs.pdf

We have finally brought 449.625 the WØKU (IRLP at this time) repeater online for the Monday night SBE Chapter 73’ of The Air VHF/UHF Net along with WØGV thru the AllStar and Echolink system.  Skyler KDØWHB has made all the links possible thru his AllStar Skyhub system, basically a computer that acts as a linking system for the various nodes that can connect together.  Very similar to an IRLP reflector.  The WØKU repeater has one of the best audio sounds on a ham repeater I have ever heard. Scott WØKU and Tracy KIØHC worked hard over the Thanksgiving weekend to get the IRLP link working thru Tracy’s network connection and were successful after a few hours work.  Scott connected into the W4YI IRLP/AllStar repeater in Chattanooga Tennessee and talked to Kenny, K4KR and all systems were working perfectly.  The nice this thing about the W4YI repeater is that it is capable of simultaneously connecting into the AllStar and IRLP networks.  So when we connected into the W4YI repeater link via IRLP it was already connected into the AllStar network where WØGV was already connected, so the entire system was linked up between the various repeaters.  Very cool system.  We do in the future hope to put WØKU on AllStar too. AND, you can see all of this on the AllStar “bubble” chart internet feature.  Email me for more information on this.  AND, be sure to try to join us via Echolink too.  Details are at:

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

The WØKU repeater antenna on Mt. Chief SW of Denver

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  SEE YOU IN 2018!

AND, Remember this?

SEE back issues of my articles available now! Copy or click these links into your browser to see previous installments:

 

ONE YEAR AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/12/

TWO YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/12/

THREE YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/12/

I will be adding more to my website archives here soon.

AND

 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 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’ es God Be With You!

 

The KE0VH Hamshack for October 2017

October 14, 2017
By

 

Once again, my new email address is now ke0vh@outlook.com.  I have changed it due to some problems with access and my cell phone.  Please make a note of it!  J

Thanks to my buddy Chris, WXØPIX for this information:

Long Island Ham Radio Operator Helps Relay Messages From Hurricane Victims In Puerto Rico – CBS New York https://www.google.com/amp/newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/09/22/ham-radio-hurricane-maria/amp/

Hurricane damage and OSHA violations!  J

Several humorous statements from the guys who posted these pictures such as “Can you hear me now”? and “just adjust the picture as so and the tower is plumb!”.   Wish I could claim the brainpower for those captions.

Well I am back from my trip to the Chattanooga TN area to visit my Mom and stepdaddy Lester.   Had a great trip on the Vulcan!  I used the AllStar phone portal to keep in touch with guys back in Denver and Kenny K4KR in the NW GA area as I went and came back.  I ran into thunderstorms on the way out near Paducah KY and then storms and COLD rain on the way back around Colby KS to Denver the next weekend.  I used the AllStar phone portal and took my Baofeng HT with me to keep in touch while in the Chattanooga area using the W4YI repeater and Kenny’s AllStar node.  And I want to thank Tracy KIØHC, Greg WB7AHO and Kenny K4KR for keeping me company on the ride and helping me with a couple of tech problems with the motorcycle I had on the trip.  Basically it seemed I lost my charging system and had to get a couple of jumps on the trip to Chattanooga, and I had to buy another battery and battery tender while visiting my Mom and friends but I made it back home just fine.  Really enjoyed the trip and catching up with friends and my family.  My Uncle gave me a really great Motorcycle rain suit that literally saved me on the way back with the severe thunderstorms and COLD RAIN back into Denver!

Dressed for bad WX on the motorcycle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loved taking the “state line” pictures!

 

The VERY FIRST radio station I worked at as a teen-ager!

The Vulcan at WFLI, Lookout MT, Chattanooga TN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into Georgia, and a visit to Chickamauga Battlefield near Kenny in Chickamauga

 

Yeah about 2700 miles all said and done when I returned home. AND, now the charging system on the Vulcan is working again.  More on that later.  Note the HT holder on the right handlebar.  Not real sure if I will ever make such a long ride again, or at the very least not try to do 1350 miles in two days both directions.  12-14 hours a day on the bike was just too long.  Guess we will see!

Also, I had APRS KE0VH-5 beaconing for the trip and Rich NØEB tracked me and the statistics of my trip.  Now I was using a phone ap to do so as I hadn’t time to set up radio, but it worked just fine and served the purpose.  My wife, mom, uncle, Kenny, Tracy, and several other friends kept up with my progress as I motored across.  Thanks Rich for sending me these stats:

“There and Back Again” A motorcycle trip, not a Hobbit tale! KEØVH-5

By the way, one morning on the trip I went to have breakfast with Kenny K4KR!  Thanks for the great waffles breakfast buddy and the visit to the K4KR hamshack.  I of course had to see the K4KR AllStar Node 45649.  Kenny’s setup for his simplex node is really neat and clean and operates very well on his 2 meter simplex frequency.  Nicely done Kenny!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The K4KR AllStar node radio, power supply, and Raspberry PI3

 

Kennys AllStar audio interface between the radio and Raspberry PI3

 

 

 

 

 

 

And speaking of AllStar, I used my portable node from the hotel room I stayed in at Steamboat Springs.  The node utilizes my IPad connection to the internet and can be of course signed into a Wi-Fi from your hotel or home.  I also use my node at home by connecting into my wired network with the Raspberry PI3’s capabilities to do either.  Talking into the network with my Baofeng HT to the VX-170 node radio is easy and gets you on the air from wherever.  Thanks again to Skyler for helping me set this up.  If you missed the earlier article and descriptions of setting this up go to my archived 2017 August “KEØVH Hamshack article listed link below in this edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The portable KEØVH_AS2 (my second AllStar node)  portable AllStar kit box and Raspberry PI3

The IPad acting as the bridge to the internet plus the Terminus software to do different functions with the Wi-Fi connection to the PI.

We put in a new Bandpass/notch filter in our Steamboat Springs facility thanks to Steve (KI6FEO) at American Amplifier Technologies.    As I wrote about last year AAT supplied the bandpass filter for our Denver station and it has worked flawlessly!  So when we needed a new filter at 11000 feet in Steamboat we called Steve.  Proofing unfortunately will have to wait until next year due an early October snowfall of 24 inches at Steamboat.   Just didn’t make it in time this year.  AND, thanks to Steve as these filters he builds with AAT are really superior to anything I have seen before.  I will be requesting these filters exclusively from now on due to the workmanship put into each one of them and the performance.  Steve goes the extra mile (or hundred miles) essentially to build the filter to the specific needs of the station. This filter has a notch built into it to reject another close adjacent (in the same building) station.  Note the cooling fan on the top.  This is a high altitude site (11,000 feet AMSL) so you can get these with or without the cooling kit as needed.  Great stuff Steve and the folks at AAT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new bandpass filter in at Steamboat Springs, and KEØVH connecting it up!

 

 

 

 

 

We also installed a new bandpass/notch filter at our station in Colorado Springs and this time a receive filter since we are on the edge of reception for the station being repeated.  This is another site that we just obtained and moved the station essentially from a mountain top to a much better site down in the city to fill in a hole between our two 100 kw stations south of Colorado Springs and in Denver.  This site is also right on the southwest side of the city with mountains between the higher power sites so reception was tricky.

 

The new bandpass transmit and receive filters install at another site

 

When we put in this station the signal indicator on the BW receiver was reading in the 19-20 dbuV range.  This site is right under multiple 100 kW stations on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs.  Lots of RF to cause interference overload.  With close adjacent signals.  As you can see below, the signal basically doubled in strength, and multipath improved, really improving our repeated signal with the new receive filter.  AGAIN, great job American Amplifier Technologies.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  We have completed our transition to the ALLSTAR system, and we have with a better connection for those of you using ECHOLINK, which will stay in place, but simply move to another ECHOLINK NODE.

Henceforth, those of you coming in via ECHOLINK, please use Echolink node KD0WHB-L, or number 985839.

I will be keeping a link into 9615 IRLP for special use by those who only have an IRLP link capability at this time.  BUT it will not be the main link anymore due to problems it has been having cross connecting into ALLStar.

 

You will find that the audio coming thru the new ECHOLINK 985839 is much better than the other IRLP reflector too.

 

NOW, if you want to get on AllStar directly,

1st, see if there is already an AllStar repeater on the air near you.  Email me if you want help on this.

2nd, you can build your own portable AllStar node out of a RaspberryPi3 which of course is readily available.  Email me for more information on this.

 

3RD and most immediate, you can (you will have to register anyway), you can get on the AllStar Phone Portal via your cell phone very easy.

Go to https://allstarlink.org/ and sign up for an account.  Once you have that, (it usually takes about 24 hours to register) and you have an AllStar PIN, you can use the phone portal to get on the net.  Think of it as a long mic cable to connect your microphone (cell) to the system linked to a repeater (or several).  I can send you an auto dialing script once you have your PIN.  Makes it very easy, audio is great, simple to use and no more having to employ a laptop.

 

BTW, you can also get the Echolink APP for your phone and do the same thing if you don’t want to use AllStar.  As stated above, please start using the Echolink node 985839, or KD0WHB-L

 

SEE back issues of my articles available now! Copy or click these links into your browser to see previous installments:

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201702Feb.pdf

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201703Mar.pdf

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201704April.pdf

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201705May.pdf

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201706June.pdf

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201707July.pdf

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201708Aug.pdf


http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201709Sep.pdf

 

 

 

ONE YEAR AGO:

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack20160910SeptemberOctober.pdf

TWO YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/10/

THREE YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/10/

 

I will be adding more to my website archives here soon.

AND

 

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 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’ es God Be With You!

The KE0VH Hamshack for September 2017

September 10, 2017
By

September 2017

Once again, my new email address is now ke0vh@outlook.com.  I have changed it due to some problems with access and my cell phone.  Please make a note of it!  J

The Monday Night SBE Chapter 73’ of the Air AllStar/Echolink NET is making the transition to the new connections very well.  We hope you will join us some Monday night in the future.  We are soon hopefully going to in addition to the WØGV 448.975 repeater adding the 449.625 WØKU repeater that we were on before.  We are planning on moving it to Mount Chief in Denver since KXKL FM (KOOL 105) vacated a space in the “basement” of the building.  It will also be connected to AllStar via facilities provided by Tracy, KIØHC.  More to come on this in the future.

Speaking of AllStar, Skyler, KDØWHB help me to put together my raspberry Pi3 portable node to carry on trips with me.  The node is easy to transport and sets up quickly in a hotel room.  I then can connect either via the Wifi to my IPad, or a network cable plugged into a system.  On my last trip to Steamboat Springs I used it to talk back to the Denver repeater and linked AllStar system.  I hope that many of you will look into connecting to us with one of these very transportable system.

 

More on the Raspberry Pi3.  See this article for how to use a Raspberry Pi as a ham radio TNC: https://tnc-x.com/TNCPi.htm

 

I hope you got to view the “Great American Eclipse” on August 21st.  I spent the days prior building a really easy “sun funnel” to put on my reflector telescope for safely viewing the event.  In Denver we expected a 92 % occlusion of the sun.  Glasses 2 weeks before the event were easy to find.  But the week before, they were nowhere to be found.  A pinhole projector of course would be usable, but I wanted a better look in magnification.  So after a search on the internet I found how I could build a funnel to attach to my 4.5 inch reflector telescope.  A trip to an auto parts store later I came back with a standard easily available oil funnel and some hose clamps.  Then after a visit to a local Walmart for a cheap shower curtain, I built this:

 

The Plossl eyepiece fitted into the smaller end and the bigger end of the funnel with the shower curtain (2 layers) “screen”.

 

My 4.5 inch Konusmotor 130 reflector, with sun aperture cover and the sun funnel showing the first aiming at the sun as the eclipse started

Here are some views taken with my cell camera of the eclipse as it progressed here.

The Eclipse at its maximum here in the Denver area

Pretty amazing!  Our tree acted as a “pinhole” projector!

A closeup!  Pretty cool!

 

How I built my sun funnel:

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/Build_a_Sun_Funnel_v4.pdf

 

More pictures of the eclipse on 08/21

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=90796&src=nha

This is what the eclipse looked like from 72000 feet as seen from

The EOSS (Edge of Space Sciences) high altitude balloon flown from central Wyoming by the Colorado based group (www.eoss.org). See the entire video of the shadow moving across that part of the country at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oom8jEDAdT4

 

Good friend and “transmitter” whisperer J Steve Wilde, KI6FEO, took a trip out to help troubleshoot and find some issues we were having at a site here in Colorado.  Steve is an expert at tuning filters and getting things running in the best way possible.  He solved a couple of issues and did some fine tuning in our bandpass filter at this site.  Steve really has the touch when it comes to tuning high power filters and getting everything operating within parameters.  Steve, myself, and Rich W9BNO, worked for several hours on the transmitter, RF “plumbing”, the filter, and other issues and finally got the station running back at full power and stabilized.  We are hoping to make further improvements and doing more work at this site in the future.  THANKS STEVE and Rich!

Steve working on tuning the high power filter at the site southwest of Pueblo CO

Getting the parameters well within proper operating limits!  GREAT JOB STEVE!

 

As I have written in previous editions, I love it when you see ham radios used in TV shows and movies.  This month’s capture features a shot of detective Danny Williams (played by Scott Caan) using what looks like a Yaesu FT-60 in one episode.

With today’s laptops and computers serial ports are becoming a thing of the past and sometimes makes using some older ham gear interfaces a bit of a challenge.  You can always use a USB to Serial adapter to make the connections needed, but most of these will use something like “COM 10 or 11” to interface the software to the ham equipment being used.  Older software will sometimes only have COM 1-4 available in a pull down menu.  There is a way though in Windows to make happen what is needed in these cases.  Going into “Control Panel”, then to Device manager look for “Ports”.  Look there for the USB device that the computer has listed that you want to use.  Double click on that and then on “Port Settings”.  Another window should open then you will select “Advanced”.  You will get a dropdown that will allow you to look for another port number.  Selecting a Com number that matches your software requirements will solve the problem.  Virtual Com 11 becomes whatever Com you need.  GREAT TIP I read about on the internet!  This will help with many older serial devices used by ham operators to keep good stuff running (at least in the current versions of Windows.  I wish it were that easy in Linux!  J

By the way, another picture of the Eclipse taken by Sam, in Rocklin CA during the event.  I forgot to include it above.

 

Here is a beautiful mobile installation done by our friend Robert KC8GPD.  Robert also is helping us out as a contractor for sites here in CO.  He installed a Motorola Analog Spectra 70cm rig and a CB SR89MC radio in his Suzuki Grand Vitara.  He hopes to replace these radios soon with a Connect Systems CS800D (the dual band model)!  Stay tuned!

IMPORTANT NOTE:  We are going to make yet another move as we transition more to the ALLSTAR system, with a better connection for those of you using ECHOLINK, which will stay in place, but simply move to another ECHOLINK NODE.

 

Henceforth, those of you coming in via ECHOLINK, please use Echolink node KD0WHB-L, or number 985839.

 

I will be keeping a link into 9615 IRLP for special use by those who only have an IRLP link capability at this time.  BUT it will not be the main link anymore due to problems it has been having cross connecting into ALLStar.

 

You will find that the audio coming thru the new ECHOLINK 985839 is much better than the other IRLP reflector too.

 

NOW, if you want to get on AllStar directly,

1st, see if there is already an AllStar repeater on the air near you.  Email me if you want help on this.

2nd, you can build your own portable AllStar node out of a RaspberryPi3 which of course is readily available.  Email me for more information on this.

 

3RD and most immediate, you can (you will have to register anyway), you can get on the AllStar Phone Portal via your cell phone very easy.

Go to https://allstarlink.org/ and sign up for an account.  Once you have that, (it usually takes about 24 hours to register) and you have an AllStar PIN, you can use the phone portal to get on the net.  Think of it as a long mic cable to connect your microphone (cell) to the system linked to a repeater (or several).  I can send you an auto dialing script once you have your PIN.  Makes it very easy, audio is great, simple to use and no more having to employ a laptop.

 

BTW, you can also get the Echolink APP for your phone and do the same thing if you don’t want to use AllStar.  As stated above, please start using the Echolink node 985839, or KD0WHB-L

 

SEE back issues of my articles available now on this web site.

ONE YEAR AGO:

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

TWO YEARS AGO:

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

THREE YEARS AGO:

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

 

I will be adding more to my website archives here soon.

AND

 

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 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’ es God Be With You!

The KE0VH Hamshack for August 2017

August 13, 2017
By

 

August 2017

Check out how K-LOVE (and now Air1) has grown over the years!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2zZa8V53FY&feature=youtu.be

 

By the way, my new email address is now ke0vh@outlook.com. I have changed it due to some problems with access and my cell phone.  Please make a note of it!  J

 

Setting up a portable AllStar node for being able to get back into the Denver WØGV 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.  It is my intention to use this feature to communicate while riding my motorcycle to the Chattanooga Tennessee area in September via interstate to visit my Mom.  If you want to be able to do this too, I will be glad to send you a template for a contact for you cell phone.  Just send me an email.  I will also carry a HT to get into Kenny, K4KR’s system there in the Chattanooga/Chickamauga GA area to talk around town there and back to Denver via Kenny’s node.  By the way, while on the trip I will be beaconing APRS as KE0VH-5 on APRS.fi.

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!

 

And yes, I am actually getting a lot done this summer for K-LOVE/Air1! We have had several ongoing projects that are keeping me very busy.  Earlier in the spring my good friend Ken from KUNC radio noticed a broken strut on the tower supporting both his and our Air1 transmitting antenna during a visit.  We had a tower crew immediately go up and sure enough, not just one strut but several supports.  Buckhorn Mtn is an EXTREMELY windy site and the gusts during storms or just fronts moving in can be of hurricane force!  Sure didn’t want our transmitting antennas blowing down!  So that was a biggie to get done.  Again thanks to my guys at Galvanized Endeavors for the great work in getting this site back to specs.

The transmitting antenna on the mountain.

AND, during the inspection of the tower, I had them look for a leak as our line pressure had started to become an issue, making the dehydrator run more than normal. Sure enough, while doing this support work they found this:

Hmmmmmmmmmm, there’s the problem!

 

Turns out the line section had been rubbing against one of the supports all this time, wind had exacerbated the problem, hence the link! So, on with new sections and the problem is cured!

This fixed it! Thanks again Galvanized Endeavors!

 

Check out this old electrical panel!

Yes this is still running a radio station!

We were having issues with the top fuse blowing. Seems to be solved after several months now of no problems.  Turns out tightening the mounting brackets SEEMED to do the trick.  All has been running well since.  I have an excellent electrician in Mike Cooper from Colorado Springs has done an excellent job for me on several sites.  Including wiring in the Denver Nautel GV-40.

By the way, I forgot to include this picture earlier in the article. Testing the AllStar node setup via laptop before programming the Pi3.

Thanks again Skyler!

SEE back issues of my articles available now on the SMPTE/SBE web site.

 

ONE YEAR AGO:

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

TWO YEARS AGO:

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

THREE YEARS AGO:

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

 

 

I will be adding more to my website archives here soon.

AND

 

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

IRLP (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 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’ es God Be With You!

The KE0VH Hamshack for July 2017

July 24, 2017
By

July 2017

Last month I wrote about how we had installed an AllStar Node (46020) in the office here in Lakewood. It by the way can now be seen by going to APRS.fi, and putting in the callsign search box ke0vh-1.  Jeremy N6JER wrote up the instructions on how to set this up after doing an exhaustive search on the internet but not actually getting a complete set of instructions.  If you go to his website: www.n6jer.com, you can see the complete instructions on how to do this. I followed them with my node and it worked great.  Took a while to get the GPS co-ordinates matched up with the map, but as you can see below it works really well.   Just another feature of AllStar that is really cool!

Right now I don’t have an external antenna of my node, just a whip in the office. But it allows Rich W9BNO and I to have a great link out of a very RF dead building with one link into the 448.975 WØGV repeater here, and of course whoever else is linked in.  Jeremy N6JER’s node (45844) at EMF HQ in Rocklin is on a frequency of 442.950, PL 141.3 and has some really good coverage around Rocklin and Roseville CA with 5 watts.  You can see his coverage map on his website too.  We link my node and his node more or less permanently to the KDØWHB SkySystem AllStar hub (node 46079) so we can pick up our HT’s in our respective offices and talk to each other between here and there.  Click this website: http://stats.allstarlink.org/getstatus.cgi?46079 to see what is currently connected to the hub right now. Thanks again to Skyler, KDØWHB for bringing us into and helping us with both hardware and education of the AllStar world.  AND, at this time, we are planning on using AllStar as the backbone for the SBE Chapter 73’ of the Air Monday night net with the WØGV repeater in Denver as the flagship machine.  We will still be using IRLP and Echolink with Skyler’s bridge to those systems from AllStar.  More to come on this in the near future.  I am also going to use a Raspberry PI computer to make a portable AllStar Node, for times when I am in a hotel or in an area that may have cell but not repeater, and specifically an AllStar repeater around.  More on this in the future as Skyler teaches me to do this!

By the way, the WØGV repeater here in Denver is getting a new amp to take the power up to 75 watts depending on where Gerry (repeater owner) sets it. Thanks to Keri, KBØYNA for donating it to us out here on the Front Range eastern “side of the rockpile”.  The repeater is a GE Master II e, and this will really help with the coverage here in the Denver area.  More to come on this one too!

AND, here is another repeater project that we will be hooking up to AllStar as well, a 5 watt Kenwood repeater that we will probably use here at the office or maybe on a hilltop soon. Once again, Keri KBØYNA in Grand Junction is helping with re-frequency-ing and tuning this radio for some use here.  No real plans yet, but I will keep you up to date on this project as well.  The repeater does transmit and receive, but needs a controller, which will probably be done by Raspberry PI.  More to come!

As you may remember, I love spotting old radios in movies. Here is the latest spots from the movie “Independence Day: Resurgence”.  A fine Yaesu FT-101!

And this

A really fine transistor Zenith Royal 3000

I LOVE SEEING these.

 

Finally, in this really busy summer, and in particular this month, I found this prayer and it really speaks to me about our Freedom, and Privileges given to us by a loving Heavenly Father.

SEE back issues of my articles available now! Copy or click these links into your browser to see previous installments:

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201701Jan.pdf

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201702Feb.pdf

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201703Mar.pdf

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201704April.pdf

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201705May.pdf

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201706June.pdf

 

AND ONE YEAR AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/07/

TWO YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/07/

THREE YEARS AGO:

http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/07/

 

I will be adding more to my website archives here soon.

AND

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

IRLP (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 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’ es God Be With You!

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