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/

 

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