The KEØVH Hamshack for June 2016

July 3, 2016
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Hamshack March 2016

Hamshack Photo March 2016

 

The current layout of the KEØVH Hamshack November 2015 till now!

Greetings all, and Happy June to you! Happy summer to you!

I actually got a few projects going in the Hamshack this past month! Felt it was about time! And my last PET scan on May 19th which showed NO CANCER! PRAISE GOD! Thank you for all of your kindness, support and prayers. I am VERY grateful to all of you for your friendship and prayers for sure.

Here is a project I wanted to do for a while and now in an evening I got it done! My APRS box was getting worn and needed to be replaced. So I took this old Dewalt drill case and modified it to hold the APRS radio and Opentracker. Placing a cooling fan was easier on this one too, and so the radio inside will stay cooler on warm days. Look me up in my travels at either APRS.FI (enter KE0VH-2 in the “track call sign” box. Or go to: map.findu.com/ke0vh-2. The APRS.FI site will automatically update my track, you have to refresh the findu site to get updates.

 

 

 

Radio in Console

Dewalt

The new APRS box under the center console in the Ford F-250

radio cables

The radio, Opentracker and wiring. Note the fan right above the handle. Vents are on the front

And back of the box. All the wiring tucks neatly into the foam when the box is closed.

 

The KEØVH 75 meter and 5BTV vertical antenna’s with a beautiful thunderstorm on May 30th. This storm later produced tornadoes NE of Denver.

Storm

My 6 meter, dual band J-Pole, and ADS-B receive antenna and the storm

ham beam

6 meters has been open a lot lately, figuring on that of course during the summer months. There has been a lot of sporadic E as our sunspot cycle seems to be on the downswing. Pretty soon I will be doing a lot more with some of the digital modes including JT65 HF. I am already as of this writing have some fun with that on the low bands too. I am setting up my 75 meter antenna to work down in the digital/CW bands on 80 and 160 meters. I will write about that for next month’s article. I came up with a solution that I am rather proud of to make a “switchable” 75/80/160 meter antenna out of my current 75 meter dipole.

 

Speaking of 6 meters, I found this site that has current to the moment openings on the band and area of the world of your choice. I have been using this frequently to check on especially 6 meters openings and it works very well. 6 has been open a lot of evenings lately and as some of you may know, I really love 6 meters. This month is the June VHF contest, the second full weekend in June. Begins 1800 UTC Saturday, runs through 0259 UTC Monday (June 11-13, 2016). I am going to try to have a REALLY great time during this weekend.

 

Check out this site for all of the information. It is a lot of fun to play with!

http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/map.php

 map

I am using my Yaesu FT-857D in the work truck for communications as I drive around the state. I spend a lot of time of course while around the Denver Metro area on the Rocky Mountain Radio Leagues (http://rmrl.org/rl/) 449.650 repeater. This repeater is on top of Sqauw Mountain 30 miles west of downtown Denver at an elevation of 11,440 feet and has TREMENDOUS coverage. While out of town I am on the Colorado Connection a lot and also will be on various IRLP machines such as the KBØYNA machines on the western slope, Grand Junction to Ouray and across that whole valley. At home I have a Yaesu FT-897D and the Flex 3000 radio’s as you can see in the header picture of the article here. One thing I had been wanting since obtaining the 897 was a “FT Meter” which you can buy for $70 or so from HRO or even get it on Amazon. I started thinking though how about home brewing one? SURE ENOUGH, a lot of other people prior had the idea, and there are many sites dedicated to this, (http://mds975.co.uk/Content/amateur_radio_projects.html) even making a printable meter scale and face downloadable and scalable to your meter size, easily done with PowerPoint. So, here in these pictures you see my finished “homebrew” version 1. I am going to redo it with a smaller box and clean up the meter face.

FT

The FT-897 on the left, and the homebrew “FT-Meter” in action in the shack

Meter

usb gizmo

 

AND, now operating in the shack, the latest version of the RTL-SDR USB stick, this is the “version 2” available now. The latest version is more sensitive and has some other features. Here you see it in action in the Hamshack showing the spectrum around our KLDV 91.1 in Denver. It decodes RDS and to the left you can see the signal from Colorado Public Radio.   Now I have this one for the shack and one to carry with me in the laptop bag to see the spectrum at different sites. VERY COOL!

spectrum display

Plus it receives ADS-B signals so you can track aircraft. All of the software is free to operate these modes. All from one little 10-20 to More $$ USB dongles available thru Amazon. And with my homebrew collinear receive antenna I can receive signals from as far away as Nebraska!

planes map

Don’t forget the Monday Night Broadcast Engineering

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 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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