Well, dadgummit (no he didn’t dad had teeth!) here I am finally getting around to getting out a 3 month edition of “the Hamshack”. Lots of stuff to share with you in this edition, so buckle up it may be a long one. But a lot has happened since August, so let’s get started.
By the way, I have a small editorial that I am writing here that will be at the end of this month’s article. Just a heads up. It’s a doozy…………….
The new repeater is up and operating at the weekend and getaway QTH of Cris W5WCA in the Grand Lake area north of Granby. 448.250 covers a large portion of the valley and Cris reports that you can get into the repeater going down the east side of Berthoud pass and on thru the towns of Winter Park, Frazer, and the rest of the valley. We were worried about Cris’ place there during the “Troublesome” fire that destroyed many homes in the area around Grand Lake but thank the Good Lord Cris’ and Amanda WØHOP’s places were spared, where so many others lost homes. We are thankful primarily for that of course, and that the repeater is still on the air for that area connected to SkyHubLink. The repeater is a Motorola pair with a flatpack duplexer and is putting out 20 watts on AllStar node 506061 connected to SkyHubLink fulltime!
The repeater at W5WCA’s cabin, Coverage map, and the Cushcraft AR-450 antenna.
And now after a wait the long anticipated 449.625 has finally found its permanent home on the marvelous site of Mt. Morrison between the towns of Golden and Morrison on the west side of Lakewood overlooking the Denver Metro. This site has just a TREMENDOUS view of the metro area and the repeater is covering from Castle Rock up to Greeley and some of the mountain valleys west. We seem to have a shadow though up I-25 thru Thornton and north. The antenna is a Diamond X-50 and the repeater is Fusion digital with full Wires-X capabilities. You can steer the repeater around the Wires-X system with your Yaesu Fusion radio in Wires-X mode. On Saturday nights we put 449.625 on the America Link Wires-X room for the International Wires-X net. Check it out sometime and have fun with the repeater! And thanks to the crew who helped set up the repeater on that beautiful day. KD0SIY, N0XRX, W0SKY, KD4DT, KE0LNU, & KE0VH, with a special thanks to the site manager Mark Smith for helping us out!
The VIEW from Mt. Morrison and the 449.625 Diamond X-50 antenna
Skyler WØSKY, Matt KEØLNU, & Mark NØXRX looking at the antenna placement, and Mark hooking up the duplexer for 449.625
Matt KEØLNU mounting the antenna base, Jack KEØVH putting on a ½ inch connector. Below, Scott KDØSIY doing the climbing needed for the project!
As of this writing as well we are anticipating getting a new Fusion Wires-X repeater on the air from Milner Mountain above Loveland in the next month thanks to Conrad KØSVT. This system will give great fill in Fusion Wires-X coverage from Thornton north to the Wyoming line and all of Ft. Collins, Loveland and Longmont.We also have been given another analog system that we will think about where it is needed in 2021. Plus the 449.575 repeater will be on air soon covering a large area near Pueblo for SkyHubLink from Bakulite Mesa on the NW side of Pueblo. Stay tuned for details on when these machines come on line.
The new home on Milner Mountain for the new 447.800 Fusion Wires-X repeater (not shown) and the old derelict and abandoned Motorola repeater that will find a home sometime on SkyHubLink.
😊So how about “Shopping Cart Mobile”! Gotta always have your radio with you! One day at King Soopers! 😊
Another project at “The Hamshack”. I was wanting to use my Astatic D-104 microphone with the Yaesu FT-991A, so sure enough someone had information on how to do the modification already, so I ordered the little kit from W2ENY on Ebay. (https://www.ebay.com/itm/W2ENY-HiFi-kit-replacement-element-for-Astatic-D-104-All-Models/233277861976?_trkparms=aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160323102634%26meid%3Dd181a0ac62574f338a5f6efefb27fc7f%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D5%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D352922839514%26itm%3D233277861976%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675%26algv%3DDefaultOrganic&_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1 ) It works great. The kit comes with everything you need to do an upgrade for todays transceivers including a voltage blocking cap. And, the microphone is easily reverted back to its original form if you so desire at a later time. So these days you will hear me on the mic when I am at home on the FT-991A it will be on the modified D-104!
The old original dynamic mic element removed from the head of the D-104, and the new condenser assembly
And old Amazon mailer as the backer/insert padding to hold the element in place, and the finished conversion wired into the FT-991A. I left the original 4 pin Kenwood type plug assembly on the mic cable, and adapted to the RJ-45 type input on the radio with a temporary setup to test. My favorite microphone of all time, will never part with it. Well, at least not while I am alive! 😊😊😊
Another project fix from Skyler WØSKY. So the repeater for WØJRL analog 447.175 on SkyHubLink, an older Yaesu DR-1, lost its transmit. We had been operating the repeater on Lookout Mountain (and may be moving it soon to a better location) and all of a sudden it stopped transmitting. Well Skyler went up and found that the transmit section was indeed dead. So with a little research and his ingenuity, he managed to insert a Motorola VRM-650 and get it to interface to the DR-1 controller. The repeater is based on a pair of FTM-400’s contained in the repeater box. Skyler found the pinouts for both radios and matched them up. Now we are running this repeater as analog, but Skyler is confident that it COULD possibly be used as a YSF digital repeater. The VRM-600 is capable of passing digital signals and can be used for DMR and possibly P-25 digital modes too. The Motorola however is only capable of 20 watts full duty cycle, so it wouldn’t be quite as powerful as the original FTM-400 50 watt radio. Skyler refers to it as the “YaesuRola” or “FrankenFusion” repeater. We will be redeploying it soon at a better location for analog coverage to complement 449.450.
On the left you can see the Yaesu radio and on the right is the Motorola VRM-600
AND another NET joins the SkyHubLink system! If you have digital questions and would like to learn more about operating those modes such as DMR, FUSION WIRES-X, and others, be sure to join Doug KEØDC and Bucky (Bill) WØSUN on the radio or Google Meet where they will talk about everything digital radio, It’s held on Wednesdays at 19:00 (7pm) MST on the Sky Hub Link. You do not have to have a digital radio to participate, you can join them via analog 449.450 and the various AllStar connections. For more information and how to connect, go to https://skyhublink.com/repeaters/ and https://skyhublink.com/nets/.
HEY! A GREAT FIND on Amazon for a power supply that will power just about any radio! It says it is rated at 30 amps. When I was running it in the shack I didn’t notice any voltage fluctuations or noise being generated either. It seems pretty darn solid in testing. We are going to use it to power a node radio for the Pueblo 449.575 repeater connection back to the SkyHunLink system. So far as we have not been able to deploy the system yet, during Skyler W0SKY’s testing the power supply bears itself out! And, it is very small, at 7.75 x 3.25 x 1.5 inches. Now I haven’t tried to power my FT-991A with it, but it supposedly has enough horsepower 😊 to do so. The voltage output is adjustable with a small pot next to the output section. So far, I am suitably impressed!
A closeup of the output side of the power supply showing the voltage adjustment pot.
The Motorola GM-300 analog node radio, the Raspberry Pi3 AllStar link with fan (Love the lights!) and the Power Supply with a volt/amp digital meter. This is the AllStar node radio that will be deployed for the Pueblo 449.575 repeater. The node setup will be hosted by our good friend Ray, AAØL.
As mentioned above, you can adjust the voltage out of the supply with a pot located just to the left of the outputs for a “perfect” 13.8 volts! And it just plain looks GREAT! Easily readable!
The Pueblo repeater on 449.575. This had been deployed on Mt. Princeton working well for a couple of months until the 449.925 Methodist mountain repeater came on line. Now it has been re-allocated for the Pueblo area from Bakulite Mesa. We hope to deploy this one weather and scheduling permitting before the end of the year.
Tom KD4DT is the proud owner of a new Yaesu FTM-300 and shows the way that he mounted the control head in the dash of his car. The radio itself is mounted under the seat and can easily be moved to his other vehicle! Great job, nice install Tom!
Seen by Skyler WØSKY on a hike in the mountains! An APRS solar powered digipeater setup probably setup by Chuck NØNHJ. I say probably because according to Skyler he is responsible for at least 15 of these around the state! This is really awesome since APRS coverage in the “hinterlands” (where there ain’t a hint of nothin’) is so very important for emergency APRS use. Skyler saw this one in the Dillon area.
AND, JUST FOR FUN AT THE END! For all us Engineers!
My Jinki and Liu Liu LOVED THIS! Thanks to Jim KCØRPS!
Well, OK here is my editorial that really has nothing to do with the “Hamshack”, so I will stow it at the end here. I need to say something about the pandemic going on. As of just yesterday, the USA is seeing more than 150,000 new cases a day. There are so many hotspots that I can’t mention them all there, but the information is readily available from many sources, so you can pick the one you trust and go from there. I have a wife in healthcare, and folks, the medical community will tell you that this is an ongoing and serious issue, and they are ALL exhausted. So, if you don’t believe the news media, talk to someone in the medical community. We want to know the real truth and facts, so get it from those who are dealing with over loaded beds and are on the front line. And as I shared on the SBE SkyHubLink Net, we need to be wearing masks. If you simply don’t want to for whatever reason, now we are getting word that, as I have really thought all along, it will provide you a modicum of protection for yourself, and especially for those around you, from you! As one lady put it, I heard last week, “I wear a mask because I care about you. If you don’t, I guess you don’t care about me”. By the way, the graph below is just Colorado as of this writing. 34 average deaths per day. Honestly, I don’t know how I could look someone who has lost a loved one during this time in the face and not think that the complaining and arguments that have arisen between so many can be justified. Shame on us. We should care about EVERY SINGLE DEATH, more than a quarter of a million at this writing fellow Americans. Are we really THAT selfish and petty??????? Unfortunately, we have a lot of people making decisions not to wear masks and by that token, are making the decision to expose you and me. Very sad…….. THANK YOU to those of you who do care.
HAMSHACK ARCHIVES FILES
4 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2016/09/
5 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2015/09/
6 Years AGO: http://www.smpte-sbe48.org/wp/2014/09/
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