Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NVIS QRP and QRPP style on 40m last Saturday

Last Saturday was a very fruitful "fun" net.  We had 5 participants from the Tulsa/Broken Arrow area, Collinsville,  Yukon, and even Dallas/Fort Worth.  All on PSK31, with a change to Oliva 8-500 for good measure.

N5PT gave the most complete signal reports.  He was running 5 watts and I consistently copied him at 21 db at my location on PSK31.  The rest of the reports below are for Olivia 8-500, which will usually be a full 15 db lower due to its broadbandedness compared to PSK31.

Tim KG1GEM out of Dallas was between -6 and -9 db, but 90%+ copy.

Scott KD5NJR was 1.9 db at 5 watts and then dropped to -2 db at 1 watt.  Great copy.

Scott KC5SHE was -12 db and had the least copy of the group.  However, Jeff 5ME (Broken Arrow) was able to copy Scott at 24 db on PSK31 and could have easily relayed to N5PT or KG1GEM if necessary.

Like Scott KD5NJR stated, 1 watt between his location and Collinsville would be impossible on 2m or 6m.  Definitely out of the question to OKC or Dallas.  But he was having a blast running 1 watt on 40m NVIS.

We're going to do the "fun" net again this upcoming Saturday (February 28th) at 2:30 PM on 7036 kHz with a center frequency of 1500 Hz.  We'll start out on PSK-31 and adjust from time to time.  TxID will be used to make sure stations know what is the current mode from net control.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekend Hammin' de Scott KD5NJR

Had the opportunity to play some "Ham Radio" Saturday late-morning / early afternoon with Steve KE5URG. 

1) Showed him how to set up his Buddipole.  ie: using the included table to pull out the right amount of telescoping whip and make the right tap settings.

2) Showed him how to use his MFJ Versa-Tuner's cross needle SWR meter and tuner controls to find a good tuner solution.  This is where FLDIGI's TUNE feature lets me get both hands on the tuner instead of worrying about whistling into the mic while holding the PTT down.

3) After feeling good about SWR, worked a couple 10m European DX (The Netherlands) stations.  One on the 817 and one on Steve's Ten-Tec Scout.

4) Switching to 20m module on the Scout; worked the Titan Missile Museum WE7GV and a ice fishing shack on frozen Goose Lake in Minnesota.  Temp in ZIP 74012 :  72F.  Temp at ice fishing QTH : 0F.

That Buddipole antenna is a lot of fun.


Radio Shack

How did everyone fare as the Radio Shack's closed down ?  I grabbed some pretty good deals.  Mostly on little sensors and stuff for the Arduino / BasicStamp class microprocessors.  -- Scott KD5NJR

Small Wi-Fi Routers

I can imagine some instances where you want to quickly set up a WLAN consisting of a few Raspberry Pi.  Internet access would not necessarily be a requirement but using DHCP to hand out a few addresses would be.  Has anyone had good luck with a small wireless router ?  Ideally the administrator screen would play well with mobile devices ex: an iphone or ipad.  Then after I see the RPis are working, I could log out and leave it along until it was time to disassemble the demonstration.    -- Scott KD5NJR

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Raspberry Pi 2 Breakthrough!

For those of you that are interested, the Raspberry Pi foundation has formally announced the Raspberry Pi 2.  It is a quad core next generation ARM processor machine with six times the speed and twice the memory.

And there is even talk about Windows 10 running on it.

For those applications (primarily DSP) that were borderline to run on the Pi, this may be the breakthrough that brings them on board.

By the way, all of this is at the same retail price of $35.

Check out the link to the announcement here: