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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Repeater Progress

Slowly making progress on what will be the 70cm NU5G repeater.

The primary use for this 440 MHz. repeater will be for general use of local Hams. It will also be used with Skywarn and will make an excellent back up for the N5RCA club repeater. With an available 100 watts, it should be a nice addition for ham communications in the area.  I have the controller software all sorted out and a prospect for a good closed cabinet for the entire system to sit in. The power supply, duplexer and cavities will take some time to acquire and install in the cabinet, but I also have a source lined up for each of them. All things considered, I should have this project together before Thanksgiving and can begin testing the system on my 55' tower. Once all the bugs are worked out, the chore of finding a site with some elevation will begin. Stay tuned for updates.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This is the best app for learning code from scratch or just working on your speed. I've tried several others and this one is the best by far.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Motorola Droid Maxx Review

This is a little off the beaten path from Amateur Radio, but I'll explain why it's relevant. I've had the Droid Maxx since January 2014 and agree with everything but the bad camera review. I switched from iPhone because of the poor battery life and constant ball and chain of iOS. This 3500 mAh battery is amazing and 48 hours with normal usage is an understatement. Another point that even Motorola does not boast about it is the Maxx's water resistant coating. I've seen several videos of the phone being dropped in a bathtub and held under a faucet. This makes it a great choice for Skywarn. With the outstanding battery life and not having to fret about getting rained on, I can run my radar apps, NWS chat, and play in the rain with out any worry what so ever.

Monday, July 21, 2014

FEMA and ARRL working together

FEMA and the American Radio Relay League signed a Memorandum of Agreement to enhance cooperation in the area of disaster communication.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Broadband-Hamnet Greatly Expands its Usefulness, Adds 5.8 GHz Support

Broadband-Hamnet announced yesterday that they have a new firmware release for the WRT54G's and have also expanded to 5.8 Ghz. With this release, Broadband-Hamnet now supports the Ubiquiti M5-series hardware, giving Hams use of the 5.8 GHz band for mesh networking.

Among the release's many new features are the ability to easily connect collocated nodes into clusters and to span the mesh across both ham bands.
More information here

This is Ham Radio!

This is what Ham Radio is all about!

The Rusk County Amateur Radio Club was barely15 months old when the club held it's first ever testing session. The test session resulted in one new Ham and two upgrades. 

 Congratulations to the group!

Read the full story here: RCARC new and upgraded hams

Information on how to become a Ham can be found here .

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pay Now or Pay Later

When mounting my 20m dipole atop my 55' tower, I had the forthought to add a pulley so I could raise and lower it. Then I grabbed some random rope that I had laying around, pulled it all the way up  and hung both legs in trees in the front and back yard. This worked great for about 8 months. Then yesterday I noticed the rope broke on one of the legs.

So I examined the rope at the ground end and found that the rope was weathered and broke with minimal effort. 

" No problem" I thought to myself since I was wise enough to install the pulley. I can just lower it enough to tie on a new rope and raise it back up. Should only take a few moments. I already had to go to Lowes so I grabbed some UV resistant rope that should last a while. 
Today when I tied to lower the dipole the rope would not move thru the pulley. About 20' up a grape vine had fused the rope together. I jumped up on the roof and pulled the vines free and was quickly back on track. I lowered the dipole down until the leg was at arms length. I tied the new and improved UV rope on the leg and began to raise the antenna back into palace. 
About 5 feet from the top the dipole, rope and Pulley all came crashing down.

It was a moment filled with several involuntary expletives. I used a heavy duty cable tie to attach the pulley and it pulled free. It didn't break, but the result was the same. 

So tomorrow I will crank down the tower and use a u-bolt and re-install the whole system, as long as something else doesn't break. ;)

What's the moral of this story???  Use top quality parts no matter how easy the repair could be. 
You pay now or you pay later!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

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