I meant to include the “Happy Birthday” to Nichelle Nichols in December 2020!
She paved the way for women in so many fields as Lt. Uhuru in “Star Trek TOS”. Here she is at the “Capcom” position in Apollo Mission Control Center. She is 88 years old!
The “First Lady” of COMMUNICATIONS! Wonder if she ever thought about getting a ham license!?!?
I am going to start off this months edition by typing about the big winter storm that we had the weekend of March 13/14 here along the front range of Colorado, and up into Wyoming and Nebraska. The storm (and yes the Weather Channel had to dub it with the name “Xylia”)(who sits around and thinks of this stuff?!?!?) was a prodigious snow producer and set up just perfectly to pound the northern front range and really hit a knockout punch to Wyoming as you will see in the pictures that follow. I had 12.5 inches officially at the KEØVH QTH with drifts of 25 inches or more in spots. The wind blew tremendously on Sunday, and I spent several hours digging as the storm progressed to help keep my driveway clear as possible without leaving me way to much digging to do when the storm abated. We had blizzard warnings here in my area during Sunday afternoon, and the wind kept the snow horizontally coming down for several hours. During the storm beginning on Saturday, we activated the brand on “Colorado Severe Weather Watch Net” (https://skyhublink.com/csww-net/) on the Skyhublink system with Matt Kaskavitch KØLWC as lead forecaster and NET control. He is a well known forecaster in the storm chasing severe weather national community so having him with his system on SkyHublink is a real plus! Matt is a former Colorado resident who has always been fascinated with our crazy weather patterns. Matt maintained a tireless vigil, taking more than 100 check ins during the weekend, answering questions, giving updated forecasts for certain areas, and continuous briefs on the movements of the storm plus road and highway closure information. Here is a picture of Matt’s “command, and net control” hamshack in Maple Grove Minnesota.
Above picture my looking out my front door in Wheat Ridge after a couple of shovelings! WET HEAVY SNOW! Didn’t want a busted car windshield either! And WAS THE WIND EVER BLOWING!!!
This picture shows the center of the storm wrapping around the powerful Low Pressure point in the eastern part of Colorado. Below is the associated radar. Just about a perfect slow moving “upslope” condition here that produces large amounts of snow over the front range. Note the extremely well defined “dry line” thru western Kansas down into Texas. This was producing severe tornadic producing thunderstorms ahead of the dry air.
Here you can see the dry clear sky air extending all the way down to the western edge of Mexico
nearly to Baja, drawing large amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico…. No Wonder!!!
Daryl W3ORR from his vantage point in Cheyenne Wyoming provided information and totals on the storm during the event as well. Daryl is a certified SkyWarn ham radio operator and a professional news/weather broadcaster. He provided up to the minute information as well during the event. All in all the very first activation of the Colorado Severe Weather Watch Net kept all SkyHubLink users informed and kept a lot of ears on the system repeaters for not only the forecasting but in case of emergency needs such as stranded motorists and the like.
Daryl W3ORR next to a Wyoming drift against his home!
Daryl’s hamshack and the Wires-X link radio for the SkyHubLink node in Cheyenne. He will also use this node radio, a FTM-100 for the SHL link to the new 449.775 repeater that we will deploy as soon as we can. Currently the node is operating on 449.775 simplex until weather and scheduling permit the deployment.
Clearing the massive amounts of drifted snow from I-80 near Daryl’s QTH (photo W3ORR)
Starting to clear the runways at KCYS (Cheyenne airport) and Daryls weather monitoring station at his QTH
Matt and Daryl linked into the SkyHubLink system using DMR, YSF, Wires-X and Echolink connections over the duration, providing a great test of the different connecting systems on the SkyHubLink during an actual activation. As many of you have heard me say, SkyHubLink is here to provide communications for fun and everyday amateur use for connected repeaters and to be available for emergency communications when needed. SHL is monitored daily by quite a few folks that alert us to outages and issues, which fortunately are few and far between these days thanks to Skyler WØSKY, Jermey WØJRL, Steve KDØSBN, and others. 😊 PLEASE JOIN US! www.skyhublink.com!
The KEØVH backyard and HF antennas, and below, Liu Liu, enjoying finally being out of the house!
In other happenings this month, on the Monday night before the snow started I was in Scottsbluff NE to install a new transmitter at our site the next morning. The SBE/SkyHubLink Monday Night Net was ran via hotspot to cell phone tethering from my hotel room that evening. Hotspot versatility is so useful when away from the main repeater coverage, although we hope to have the Scottsbluff SHL repeater back on the air soon from the South Mitchell site west of Scottsbluff and Gering. When it is back on the air not only will the repeater cover the local area but a large section north, west into Wyoming, east towards Hastings, and SE towards Cheyenne, bringing just about non-stop coverage from Nebraska to New Mexico!
The Hotspot in the hotel room. It is a Raspberry Pi-ZERO with an MMDVM board inside a small plastic case picked up at Walmart. Travels well, I always carry it with me for reaching back to SkyHubLink when no linked repeaters are available. You can get a kit that includes all except the $15 or so RPi0 board by going to this link:
Our friend and sysop of the KDØSBN repeaters Pueblo west and Weston Steve, has been working on and tuning filters as of late for the machines he is setting up. He has found a very effective way to test using Baofeng HT’s along with utilizing the NANO-VNA antenna analyzer. Steve has done a great job setting these up using these inexpensive testing tools. Very clever and cost effective!
Tuning the filters using the NANO-VNA
And then testing the passthrough and rejection frequencies using the Baofeng HT’s
USING THE NANO-VNA connected to a laptop with the software
By the way, he is setting this system up for the, as he says, “somewhere near Weston” deployment for SkyHubLink coverage south of Walsenburg down to Trinadad. Right now, he is operating it on the repeater frequency of 145.31 down in that area. GREAT COVERAGE, and we cannot wait to get the repeater on line down there!
We may actually have another announcement regarding Fusion Wires-X and Colorado Springs SOON! Stand by for NEWS! Oh, and By The Way:
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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