Greetings and Welcome to springtime in April!
We had some really warm days here in the Denver area during the latter part of March and early April, and now cold and wet back in as is pretty typical. One of my projects for the year is to get APRS and voice ops running on the Kawasaki Vulcan 900 utilizing my other FTM-400. That project saw a test run on a Saturday here recently as I configured the system for a test run and took off for what ended up being a 200 mile 6 hour or so ride thru the mountains west of the front range area west and north of Denver. My good buddy Todd Hooks (of my Christian Motorcycle Association group) and I left about 10am and got back around 6 or so. The mountains were beautiful and the temperatures were in the upper 50’s so the ride was a comfortable one. The APRS system worked very well in showing our trip that day. The radio was in the right saddlebag with the Diamond SG-7500 on a mag mount on the back “luggage rack”. The radio head was mounted on its RAM mount on the handlebars. All in all it worked very well as you can see in the following pictures and maps of the trip taken from APRS.fi.
Above you can see the antenna mounted with the mag mount (also chrome!) and below are APRS.fi shots of our route!
The total route above, and the closer up views below
Todd’s Harley and my Vulcan (KE0VH-9) with Mt. Meeker and Longs Peak (14,259 ft AMSL) in the background.
KEØVH, the Vulcan 900, and Estes Cone (11,000 AMSL) in the background, near Estes Park CO
The Vulcan also turned over 50,000 miles on this trip! Just outside of Nederland CO.
Myself and Todd Hooks in Nederland CO, and yes, we stopped at a transmitter site on Buckhorn Mountain! Look at the HUGE piles of snow. During the “blizzard” I wrote about last month, this particular spot got the most amount of snow of any location along the front range. Nearly 75 inches!
Here is the FTM-400 on the workbench after the ride. I am converting all my power connections to Anderson Power Poles for ease of changing out configs and they are so solid and reliable. You see the display in the small case next to the
Radio and notice the small turbine type fan next to the control head, it will exhaust with small outlets on the other side of the case. Note the power tap insert for the fan in the right hand picture. It is my plan to utilize this “pelican” type case to house the radio in the saddlebag while riding and to contain the whole radio system for storage and to take with me away from the bike when parked, as seen below.
And new this month, the new 449.775 KEØDNL SkyHubLink Fusion Wires-X repeater is on the air from the temporary Borie Hill transmitter site west of Cheyenne. Thanks to the courtesy of our good friend Vic Michael for the site, & Daryl W30RR who houses the node radio at his QTH in Cheyenne. For about a week Daryl had the repeater on the air from his home QTH since the weather wasn’t co-operating with getting it to the site. Below are some pictures of the temporary setup at Daryl’s home. Note the “clothesline” antenna support, and the repeater and duplexer on the workbench.
And finally, on to the site itself:
The temporary placement for the repeater antenna at the Borie site, a L-Com ASPD-701 UHF band antenna that will eventually move to the 449.625 Mt. Morrison site for that repeater. We have another antenna for the Cheyenne repeater that will stand up to Wyoming’s windy conditions. WHY is this all TEMPORARY? More on that here shortly!
Daryl’s FTM-100 Node Radio feeding the repeater via the Wires-X system, and Daryl at the site with the antenna
Daryl W3ORR in his hamshack with the node radio lower right
Before we deployed the antenna pictured above, I used a stand that used to be a roadside stand for signs. I needed something that would hold up a heavy antenna during test. This antenna was tested using the Nano-VNA analyzer and it did a great job showing the characteristics of the L-Com ASPD-701 antenna under test before deployment.
The “test” stand, borrowed from Mark NØXRX under test with the NanoVNA, & the antenna stood up in the back yard
Pertaining to the temporary mentions above. Since the Cheyenne repeaters deployment we have secured an even better site with much better coverage for the 449.775 Fusion repeater on Pilot Hill thanks to my good friend Paul Montoya, the DOE for Wyoming Public Radio. This spot will just about triple the repeater coverage and also cover way west of Laramie along I-80, nearly to Scottsbluff to the northeast, and I-80 to Nebraska. Stand by for news on this one, it will be a very exciting move for SkyHubLink.
Current Cheyenne 449.775 coverage above, and below is the proposed Pilot Hill coverage.
AND, Larry KCØWVE is working on a new site for the Scottsbluff 444.825 repeater that was previously housed at the Scottsbluff hospital location. Plans at this time are to move it to a site south of Mitchell on the high bluffs west of Scottsbluff/Gering. This site will also improve the coverage of this repeater overlapping the Pilot hill site coverage, providing continuous SkyHubLink coverage from Scottsbluff to New Mexico along I-25 and more. Here is a picture of the proposed NEW coverage of the Scottsbluff repeater.
And another new system is now connected to SkyHubLink full time on Fusion Wires-X, the VA5YXE repeater in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada! Thanks to Richard VE5RH for linking up and becoming part of the SkyHubLink. Below is the repeater, duplexer and amplifier for VA5YXE/R
The VE5RH Hamshack in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada
Have you heard about the “Hamshack Hotline”
The Hamshack Hotline VOIP phone system is by and for amateur radio operators to enhance communications capabilities, a FREE dedicated VOIP service to the amateur radio community. See https://hamshackhotline.com/ for more information and details. Setup couldn’t be easier, you can attach an outside phone number to the system to receive regular phone calls, and the tech support is awesome. Some of us in SkyHubLink are using these to keep in touch and discuss “behind the scenes” information and other uses. Pretty soon you can communicate over SkyHubLink the system using these phones. See Matt KØLWC’s you tube channel offering on Hamshack Hotline https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMr9a_6CuNE and how it might benefit you. Pretty soon we will be setting up a directory of those of us on SkyHubLink that are using the system. The phones are inexpensive, using a lot of the now “discarded” Cisco phones such as the model SPA514G seen pictured here in the KEØVH Hamshack. My Hamshack Hotline number is 12113, feel free to call!
UH OH! Something burnt up! No wonder it’s not putting out power. Thanks to Mike ABØRR for the picture
showing why the Park County repeater in Bailey went down. Mike is working feverishly to resolve the issue and get the repeater back on the air, normally linked to SkyHubLink.
Check out this magnificent picture, taken from a plane getting ready to land at Denver International Airport. SPECTACULAR!
Saw this on an Instagram posting, a UHF VHF combined polyphaser setup, and below, I LOVE these old aviation radio adds: Does anyone remember this Channel Master radio that would receive VHF and AM frequencies on a portable radio, complete with a leather carrying case. The Price: $54.95 ($456.32 today)
Product: Zenith Royal E94Y
Key features: 6-band receiver, including AM and FM, weighed a hefty 5 lbs.
Price: $99.95 ($530.33 today)
Products: Sony Air-8 and Sporty’s Air-Scan
Key features: A powerful scanner from electronics giant Sony and a desktop receiver custom designed by Sporty’s.
Price: $269.00 ($677.24 today) and $79.95 ($201.28 today)
Product: Sporty’s A300
Key features: Sporty’s first transceiver moved beyond just listening to transmissions to become a valuable backup option for talking to Air Traffic Control.
Price: $365.00 ($730.51)
Product: Sporty’s SP-200
Key features: Third generation Sporty’s transceiver added localizer display for backup navigation—a first in a portable radio.
Price: $299.00 ($441.88 today)
Product: Sporty’s SP-400
Key features: Top-of-the-line model with a huge screen and full ILS display—the ultimate backup radio.
Price: $399.00 ($478.64 today)
Product: PJ2 COM Radio
Key features: The only portable radio with built-in headset jacks, the PJ2 is ideal for emergency use and costs under $200.
HAMSHACK ARCHIVES FILES
4 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/03/
5 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/03/
6 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/03/
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