The KE0VH Hamshack for March 2017

March 17, 2017
By

 

Greetings all for the month of March!

This is a very cool website that I saw at our EMF Engineering Summit meetings that they had displayed in our Network Operations Center. It is a map of current VHF Propogation going on around the world.  This is a picture of what was going on in the Continental US at the time I wrote this.  Check out the website at http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/ for the legend to the map and scalability thru google maps. This is really cool for us who like to look for 6 meter openings!  Our NOC uses it to see if there are any interference patterns going on that might be interrupting some of our service.  I check it frequently to see if I can call CQ on 50.125!

                 The Legend you will see on the website

In the past you have seen me write a bit about my 5 BTV vertical antenna (now sold by DX Engineering) and how I added 12 and 17 meter wires to make it a “7 BTV” J antenna. One thing that was always a pain was the fact that to work on the antenna I had to take it totally off its ground mount water pipe driven into the ground along my back fence where the antenna is mounted.  I wrote about the project where I put in the PVC pipe into the ground carrying the coax to the antenna, and so on and so forth.  The next project for it was to homebrew a tilt mount so that taking the antenna into a position to make it easy to work on without having to spend money on a store boughten mount (see DX Engineering’s page if you want to purchase one: https://www.dxengineering.com/search/part-type/hf-vertical-antenna-mounting-tilt-bases). Now these range from not terribly expensive to really expensive and I thought “I bet I can come up with an idea to circumvent spending that kind of money”.  So the idea of a “lazy Susan” planted itself in my mind and I thought of the various ways to possibly accomplish this.  So, at least for proof of concept, this is what I came up with.  After I made a trip to the local ACE hardware (grew up around an ACE hardware and love going there instead of HomeyDepot or even Lowes) I found what I needed for around $7!  I am not sure of the wind handling capabilities of my finished setup, but I sure can tug on the antenna with my weight and it seems to be just fine.  I do have another idea that I will try in the future and report on here, but for now, this system is working great.

The antenna on its base before the conversion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side view of the original mount and the wind broken spar and “spider”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lazy Susan turntable attached to the new antenna mounting pole

Self tapping screws secured the turntable to the antenna mounting pole easily enough. I sank several extra screws for better security in the mount.

 

The antenna removed from the mount and horizontal. You can see the broken spar and spider underneath the 40 meter section.

 

The antenna can be lain over on the fencing for work here, but of course loosening the U-bolts on the ground pole (seen above left in the picture) takes time. Plus it puts a strain on the feedline turning it up like this.  Hence this project!  Here you see the new antenna mount on the ground pole

 

 

And the antenna mounted on the ground pole. The tilt mechanism works great!  Now I can fix the broken part!

The antenna upright and locked back in!

Project complete, and the broken spider repaired!

 

This month I also put up a YouTube video demo about a demo of RMS Express HF email thru the Winlink 2000 system. This free software, my Rigblaster advantage and my Yaesu FT 897D allows me to send and receive email via the HF airwaves.  My Winlink email address is KE0VH@winlink.org. I will check this a few times a week by logging into the system on nodes on 40 or 80 meters usually.  Very versatile for WHEN the internet will go down, or out in the field when there is no internet or no other communications possible for email.  Many ARES and other amateur services are using this system.

 

Screenshot of the video. Catch it at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR5dnDS65DA

 

Seen at the Adams County Hamfest! Boy did I drool over this.  A COMPLETE HeathKit SB station!

Unfortunately this signifies another “SK”, Silent Key. This group was selling this well loved station on behalf of an Amateur’s widow.  While great to see, I hate to think of someone’s wife having to deal with this.  This group had graciously offered to help with the sale of this gear.  I hope that they were able to sell this beautiful station for what it is worth, both monetarily and emotionally, and not have to part it out.

 

On the other hand, look what I ALSO found!

A refurbished HeathKit Model 1410 keyer!

I bought this for $10 from a guy at the hamfest. He had put in new IC’s and cleaned it up!  I am now working on getting my CW speed “up to speed”!  I can do about 10 words per minute so I am slow, but I am finding plenty of others like me on the CW bands to practice and make QSO’s with.  A lot of fun it is!  So many new hams these days have abandoned even trying to learn the code.  I am a 13 wpm Extra.  I had to take the 13 wpm for my General test way back when I had to take the amateur test IN the Atlanta Georgia FCC office.  Pretty heady stuff back then!  And you know, I don’t know if I have ever written about this, but I also had to go to Atlanta to take the 3rd Class Radio Telephone Operators Permit test with the Broadcast Endorsement!  And I still have the Certificate!

You can see the “Issuing Officers” name, it was Angelo Ditty. Mr. Ditty was a big Italian man who struck fear into the heart of us who had to take tests under him in the Official FCC Field Office!  Actually I am sure he was a nice man, but I do remember he had that “official” bearing and mannerism’s you might expect.  Especially for a 16 year old at the time!

 

By the way, if you would like to see past editions of the KEØVH Hamshack articles, you can see them at:

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKEØVHHamshack201701Jan.pdf

 

http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKEØVHHamshack201702Feb.pdf

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

Or see the complete archives at:

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

AND

Don’t forget the IRLP (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

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

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio. The first and

3rd Mondays are also SBE Chapter 73’ of the Air NET nights. 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’ & God be with you. See you next time! De KEØVH

 

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