The KE0VH Hamshack for November

November 26, 2018
By

November 2018                     

BUSY Fall SO FAR!  The weather turned wintry in Denver the week of October 8th!   An ice storm above 6500 feet, which of course effected Denver area broadcasters, then a 60 plus degree day, then a Sunday not out of the 20’s, then a week of clear sunny skies and 50’s to 60’s.  I LOVE COLORADO on the front range!

Now for the Monday Night SBE Chapter 73’ Of The Air, we are on the web with the live stream of the Rocky Mountain Radio League repeaters at: https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/25448/web. If you can’t check into the NET please listen in there and then email me that you are listening over the internet, and I will count that as a check in!

Details on how to join us on the NET are at 

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

As many may or may not know, I am doing a radio show on WFLI Chattanooga Tennessee as they have gone back to their 60’s and 70’s Top 40 roots.  I am loving doing it for fun as an almost screaming Top 40 DJ really up tempo delivery like back in the day.  I’m on from 10-1a Eastern, 8-11 mountain with the same kind of fun we had back then!  With the setup in the Hamshack voice tracking is easy and pretty quick.  I was asked to show how I am doing it.  I get the logs from the FLI guys, then cold track them as the automation system they have at this time doesn’t have remote tracking capability.  I remember the music and can even preview a song thru my collection or hear it off YouTube these days J.

I am using Audacity as the recorder, Radio DJ for playing bits and drops, and the 3rd computer on the left for internet information and such.  A pretty functional radio studio as well as hamshack and flight simulator setup!  See this edition for the Flight Sim Setup:  http://www.ke0vh.com/hamshack/archives/TheKE0VHHamshack201804April.pdf .

The voicetracking setup with the Heil Classic Pro microphone, Radio DJ computer using the “Instant Player” feature for playing drops and bits, essentially as a “cart” machine!

The log for the midnight hour and a voice track below in Audacity

Check it out the station when you can at:

www.WFLIOnline.com

And this is really cool!  The week of 11/14-17 I will be doing my show live from the WFLI control room in Chattanooga as I am taking time to visit my mom in the area and stopping in to have some fun ON AIR LIVE! 

Now the cool thing about this is that this is the very first Control Room I EVER WORKED in radio!  The station itself is largely unchanged over the years, and so it will be very nostalgic and fun!  I will post pictures here in a newsletter article soon, and even a video aircheck on my YouTube channel (I hope!)

MANY MANY things are going on in amateur radio in the KEØVH base and mobile hamshacks.  I am back into operating some DMR with the addition of the Zumspot DMR Hotspot.  Lots of activity with these very small and compact, plus easy to operate units when you can’t hit a DMR repeater or you are mobile using the hotspot thru the cell phone hotspots.

It sounds a bit complicated but really isn’t.  The little Zumspot is available thru HRO, and of course it isn’t the only offering available.  DMR to me had been troublesome and not really very effective with operating around Denver, with the exception of the RMHam (Rocky Mountain Ham) groups linked repeater systems around the state, but they are not hooked into the Brandmeister world wide networks to facilitate for instance talking to Kenny K4KR in the Chattanooga Tennessee area.

SO with the sale of several pieces of gear and a couple of radios, I was able to get some new gear for the KEØVH Mobile hamshack.  The first is the Yaesu FTM-400 true dual band Yaesu Fusion rig with built in GPS and APRS.  I absolutely love this radio with the 3.5 inch touch screen.  Menus are easy to navigate, something I have found that almost all Yaesu radios have in common.  50 watts out makes it a mobile with punch on both UHF and VHF.  APRS is fully operational in one band while monitoring on another frequency on the other.  This includes the digital Fusion C4FM system that is operational in many repeaters around the country.  You can also do DMR with this rig and a hotspot that translates the Fusion system to DMR.  With the screen size too it makes viewing during mobile operation really easy.  There are so many features available with this rig you need to check it out for yourself.  The faceplate is totally mountable to your dash in many configurations, or however you may want to do so.  It comes with a separation cable I have mounted my radio under the seat with the control head on a dash mount easily viewable.  The microphone plugs into the main radio, and not the control head, so that was one possible negative as you don’t have a lot of standard cable length to play with.  However, you may obtain a Yaesu factory microphone extension, but it is kind of pricey.  HRO actually has an aftermarket extension cable that they offer for much much less.  I bought one of these and am really pleased with the length and quality.  Works great in my installation.

The FTM-400 control head with dual band display.

As you see in the picture above, another great feature not selected here is a bandscope.  The radio will also with its onboard GPS will display altitude, number of GPS satellites in view, and more.

The APRS function of this radio being built in is surely a really big deal.  It will also display the information, distance to, and direction from the station being received.

HEY! It’s my buddy Robert KC8GPD with a status beacon just sent

A shot of the screen with me talking to Kenny K4KR using the radios Yaesu Fusion to DMR function of my hotspot utilizing simplex 446.075  & digital mode. More on that later!

AND, although there is a normally hefty price tag for this radio, Ham Radio Outlet has it on sale thru the beginning of the year that you simply must check out!

And, I decided to go ahead and get a companion backup rig to the 400, the Yaesu FTM-100, also on sale at HRO.  This radio is a perfect backup and addition to have in the office, and for utility carry around use.  I am actually taking this radio with me on my above mentioned trip to Chattanooga for APRS, beaconing as KE0VH-9, (look for it 11/14 thru 18) Fusion to DMR use with the hotspot (still to come in this article) and for talking on the analog AllStar W4YI repeater in Chattanooga to tie into K1DUN 449.450 in Denver.  This is going to be a fun trip with this radio along in the rental car!

The FTM-100 DR/DE front panel

This radio does basically all the 400 does except isn’t a “true” dual bander, doing only one function and band at a time, with the exception of being able to “Dual Watch”, listening on one frequency and frequently sampling another for a signal.  And, one more limitation, while beaconing APRS, you must manually turn off the APRS modem in a menu, otherwise a beacon could be sent out on the repeater frequency you are talking on.  All the menu functions of the 100 are essentially the same as the 400, without the touch screen.  Easy to get up and operating from the unboxing though.   By the way, this radio and the FTM-400 also include the Yaesu programming cable, and a separation cable for control face units.  The other difference here too is that the FTM-100 faceplate will attach to the radio unit making a single unit radio.  The FTM-400 faceplate control head does not.  It must be used separately.  They both come with control unit mounting brackets and mobile mounting brackets.

I hope that one day in a future firmware version you could program one of the Yaesu microphone buttons to turn the modem on and off.  Good idea for this radio huh?

SO finally, information on the Zumspot hotspot that I have been using with these radios and my TYT MD-380 DMR handheld.  My buddy and colleague Shane KØSDT turned me on to this really cool little unit that runs off USB power.  A wall wart power supply runs mine while in the shack or at home, and mine has a USB socket on it, so I can plug in the USB cable to a USB Battery charge, or a vehicle USB port.  The hotspot will allow you to setup your own simplex or duplex “repeater” on whatever UHF frequency you choose.  I am using a standard UHF simplex repeater frequency of 446.075.  This device will do DMR, D-Star, Yaesu Fusion, Yasue Fusion to DMR crossover mode, PX-25, and a couple of other modes I had never even heard of.   When you power up the unit for the first time, it will send out its own Wi-Fi signal that will allow you to connect to it and begin programming it for how you want it configured.  Then as with most Wi-Fi devices you can store different Wi-Fi connections in the unit so that it will automatically logon to the Wi-Fi at hand.  I have several set in mine, home, office, & cell phone hotspot at this time.  When in a new location it is easy again to get on for instance a hotel or airport Wi-Fi by simply using its on board Wi-Fi to access all configuration functions.  I am really pleased with this unit as well, and being that I had practically given up on DMR because of signal and data issues to many DMR repeaters, this has made me enthusiastic about being able to keep in touch with DMR advances in communications.

My Zumspot hotspot dashboard showing several stations that I talked to via the radio interface.  Kenny K4KR in Chattanooga TN, Shane KØSDT while in Kalispell Montana, and Glenn WN0EHE in the Phoenix Arizona area.

The unit is super compact.  Only 2.75×1.5×1 inch in size.  Note its little antenna.

The hotspot comes with the Zumspot board, a Raspberry Pi-0 board and the antenna.  The operating system and software for Pi-Star is included on a SD-Mini card that comes with the set.  The case you see it in above is extra, but really protects the two boards and is worth the extra $10 or so.  There is also as seen on the right hand side LED indicators for power, mode, receive status, and other functions.  If you would like more information, send me an email, and again these are available thru Ham Radio Outlet.  And of course there are many other hotspot systems in use and for sale you can find on the internet.  But for the price, the versatility, and the modes and ease of use available thru this unit I really like it and really look forward to using this a lot.

My good friend Matt KEØLNU and I got together on a Saturday recently and I rode the motorcycle on a beautiful Saturday to help him tune up his Alpha Delta DX-LP multiband 160 thru 10 dipole.  And of course I got to see his really nicely apportioned shack.  Tuning the antenna with the Sark 110 antenna analyzer went smoothly, and so now since Matt has upgraded to General Class and JUST barely missed the Extra exam, he is going to have a great time operating HF from his awesome home in the mountains NW of Golden Colorado!

The operating position for KEØLNU with the TS-2000. MFJ autotuner, and Heil Microphone!  It really sounds and looks GREAT!

KEØVH looking at the antenna measurements for the KEØLNU antenna via the Sark Plots software

Hey congrats to Harold W6IWI on his find at a local hamfest recently!  A Dentron Clipperton L Linear!

Harold had to replace a couple of resistors and caps, but now all is fine! 

So, I have had an old Alinco DR-570 working well dual band rig but the little incandescent light bulbs behind the display had quit working with age.  So I ordered some LED’s and lo and behold, it lit up beautifully!  Then I thought, well why not do the same with the backlighting on the buttons on the front?  Well the first one went great and the FUNCTION button lit up all pretty! Then on to the next one under the ABX button.  Should have stopped with the screen.  Did something, now the LCD display is all lit up but no numbers or indicators.  Perfectly operating true dual band rig with crossband repeat capability.  Now you just can’t tell what frequency you are on.  Robert KC8GPD decided to take on trying to repair this as I ran out of time.  A new display from a dead radio might do the trick.  So if you know of one…………

AND, seen on the Netflix show “Designated Survivor”.   Just happened to catch this in a scene from that (in my opinion) EXCELLENT SERIES!  Looks like a Baofeng to me, but can’t quite make it out.  Inexpensive prop probably huh?

 

A great article on setting up a node radio for AllStar!  Simply and inexpensively!

http://crompton.com/hamradio/baofeng888/     

 

What would happen if a DJi Drone hit a general aviation aircraft?

See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH0V7kp-xg0&feature=youtu.be

 

Flying a drone, please do it legally and check for TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) areas.  THIS APPLIES TO EVERYONE.  You may be being watched as YOU watch:

https://www.krqe.com/news/balloon-fiesta/hundreds-violate-faa-s-no-drone-fly-zone-at-balloon-fiesta/1510662538

See past editions of the newsletter at:

                                                                    

                                                                     2 YEARS AGO:

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

 

3 YEARS AGO:

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

 

4 YEARS AGO

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

 

5 Years AGO:

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

 

6 Years AGO:

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

 

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

AllStar (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING

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

Broadcast engineering and amateur radio.

Details on how to join us are at 

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

 

 I hope

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

Ham exploits!

 

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

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