By Jack Roland, CBRE, CBNT, AMD
The new www.KE0VH.com website is up and working now. Thanks to Klaus, K4NIX who is building a web hosting site at his home for a new business that he will be running. I will have more information at a later time for his systems here shortly. If you are in need of webhosting, Klaus will have MyExpertise.net operating soon. Stand by.
These two months have been the busiest I have ever been. August will be the same it looks like too. Unfortunately with the weather we have been having in Colorado after a very snowy and cold winter even as of this writing we have had so many torrential rains and thunderstorms that I can’t keep my antennas connected day to day in the Hamshack. We have had lightning strikes take out antennas and equipment at 3 sites, including two major 100 kw facilities (yes including Rye!), had delays in doing an upgrade to a station on Grand Mesa, and having various other little fires that have kept me and my K-LOVE contractors hopping. I haven’t had time to do an article since May, so here is my offering and update for now.
I have hiked another 14’ner as of July 4th. It was my intention to summit Torreys Peak next to Grays Peak as I had already “conquered” Grays a few years ago. But a snowfield still on the main trail up to Torreys was still there, and I was carrying a backpack with my Yaesu FT-817ND backpacker radio, and the rest of my supplies and my boots weren’t up to to the trek thru about 500 feet or so of snow, so I went ahead and finished the hike to the summit of Grays Peak. Unfortunately I didn’t really get to operate the 817 as the antenna tuner cable between the radio and the tuner had not been packed with the rest of the gear. DOH!!!! So, I had to settle for some repeater contacts on our 449.450 machine with Rich W9BNO, Greg WB7AHO, Jim KCØRPS, and Rick KDØFQN with my Yaesu VX-6 (never leave home without your radio!). Because it was nearly 12 noon by then (4.5 hour hike up) I decided to go ahead and go down instead of going across the snow-free saddle between the two peaks as it was really too late in the day by then. Going down carrying a full backpack was harder on the knees and ankles than going up, but you sure don’t get as winded. And the scenery just takes your breath away anyway! I got back to the vehicle about 4:20 pm, and headed home for Denver, sore and tired and wondering what makes me do this……… J
Next day though, I wanted to go back! Torreys is still calling me, & I really hope to do the Mount of the Holy Cross near Vail before the season is over, and operate 6 meters with the FT-817ND. Stay tuned!
By the way, speaking of the 817, I bought a small MFJ backpacker CW Iambic key for the radio as it has a built in keyer. I am working on getting my code speed back up and have been making some CW contacts. I am still woefully slow, but am working on it.
On a trip to Telluride, Montrose, and Grand Junction last month I got to finally have a visit and eyeball QSO with our friend Harvey, WØHLC and Rosalie, his wonderful bride of 60 years in the town of Cedaredge CO. Harvey and I have been talking on 7.195 and 7.166 MHz for a few years now and had not met until this point. Harvey and Cris, W5WCA and a group of folks get on those frequencies and have a great time doing what hams do best! Visiting and making friends. While visiting he asked me if I knew anyone who might be able to repair his backup HF rig, a Kenwood TS-570D as it was having some SSB receive issues. Sure enough, I called Greg WB7AHO. Greg is very good a “rat killing” and getting things to work again, so he of course said, “bring it on back”! So I will let you know how that goes. One of the things Harvey wanted to show me is a really incredible generator setup he has at his QTH. The power in his area can be a little flakey at times, and he had been wanting a setup like this for quite a while. He calls it his “current pride and joy”. The real truth is that he had in installed so that he could make sure his bride’s oxygen machine would never fail as she really needs it each day. Not to mention now he will always have communications even if the grid is gone! I haven’t seen many broadcast facilities where the backup generator setup is this nice. Holler at him sometime! Harvey is on most every morning at 7:30 MT time, and he and Cris visit frequently on the weekends about the same time, so get on one morning and look for WØHLC!
I had a great vacation with my wife and our 2 youngest boys in the Black Hills of South Dakota in July. We hiked, swam saw Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments of course, and look what I found in the Custer SD 1880 Court House Museum!
A Japanese Army Radio from WW2! Wonder if it works?
And no, it wasn’t for sale or I would have been SORELY tempted!
And this was the FIRST radio seen at the museum in Custer.
I also got to operate some amateur radio from the Bavarian Inn Motel that we stayed at (which we loved and HIGHLY recommend) in Custer. I obtained permission from the owner, Sherrie, and strung my 40 meter wire dipole into the tree just behind the table in the picture below.
Radio, tuner “power supply”, and logbook
Talking to Rich, W9BNO on 7.173
Rich and I had a good 15 minute QSO from Custer SD to Centennial CO on LSB, and then switched to CW for about 10 minutes. I tried calling a few more CQ’s but it was getting later in the evening and was time to call it a day after hiking and horseback riding that day. The 817 worked great and so did the wire dipole antenna at the back of the motel!
Operating from the Bavarian Inn, Custer SD
KEØVH and Mai on Harney Peak, 7242 AMSL!
The next morning my lovely bride (Mai) and I hiked the highest point in SD. Harney (named after a civil war general) is the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains all the way to the Pyrenees in SW Europe! The trail begins in Custer State Park next to Sylvan Lake and traverses 3.5 miles and 1500 or so feet of elevation gain to the summit. There is a stone fire lookout tower there, so the views of the surrounding Black Hills are just phenomenal! You can see the backside of Mount Rushmore way down below you to the NE, and on the Rapid City in the distance. I had my Yaesu VX-6 with me, but didn’t do any operating amateur radio from there as we wanted to get back down the hill to get our boys and go on a tour of Custer State Park. There is a lot of controversy over the naming of the peak since General Harney also has some really questionable history in his treatment of the Indians in the area, namely the Sioux Indian tribes that consider the Black Hills and especially this mountain very sacred ground. There has been a big movement in SD to rename the mountain after medicine and holy man Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux since he had a vision from the summit stating “And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy”
Black Elk and the Sioux tribes of course didn’t know of any peak higher than this one, and again the Black Hills were sacred ground. As of this writing, the request to rename the mountain has been turned down in SD. I think they should rename it after Black Elk. Much more fitting….. Very interesting history in this area for sure.
And the Colorado 14’ner Ham Radio event is set for Sunday August 2nd. It is my intention to spend the night at the base of Torreys and Grays Peak at the Stevens Gulch trailhead just off the I-70 and Bakerville exit west of Denver, get up at 5am and hopefully on the peak between 9am and 10 to operate until noon for the event. See: http://www.k0nr.com/wordpress/2015/07/2015-colorado-14er-event/
See this site for information on Torreys Peak;
I will be taking the FT-817ND, a battery, a six meter dipole, and the VX-6. As of this writing Klaus, K4NIX and a friend will be joining me for the hike up. I will report on that next article.
Don’t forget the Monday Night Broadcast Engineering
IRLP (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING
At 7pm Mountain time 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
73’ & God be with you. See you next time! de KEØVH