Saturday, December 13, 2008

The table in action!

Well, it's done and it works!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Table Gadget

Well...with a little dinner time tomorrow my table will be on wheels. The Table Gadget works...just crank the car jack and easily lift the end of the table say 1/2"...remove the current support cabinet...roll in the new support that is on wheels (that will be next series of pictures) and crank down The Gadget.

Go to the other end of the table...repeat the process...and there you have it! A table that I can roll out away from the wall and work on the back of the rigs.

The exciting moments will be when I remove the existing metal cases that support the ends and roll in the new supports. Just need to NOT knock over The Gadget just at that moment!

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Sun Shows Signs of Life

Nov. 7, 2008: After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

VoIP HF Bridge

(Click on the image to enlarge)

This is a pictorial representation of a recently tested Skype-based amateur radio HF VoIP bridge station. Working with well developed and tested component elements: Skype and a radio computer interface were linked to provide a HF VoIP bridge--somewhat similar to Echolink. Recent tests found that given sufficient Internet bandwidth, and a relatively robust computer to serve as the conference hub, Skype can provide exceptional audio between all participating stations.

In the most recent trials, the HF tranceiver was set for VOX operation thus allowing conference participants to easily key the transceiver. This easy access does require some discipline to minimize doubling on the part of conference and on-air participants.

On-air participants reported excellent audio quality and no objectionable latency. Obviously the readability of the on-air signal will depend on the power of the HF bridge station and propagation conditions between on-air participants and the HF bridge station.

A special thanks to WA5MLF and W4BXI for many suggestions and encouragement.

June 18, 2010

ARRL just released their first Remote Operating for Amateur Radio.  I was impressed by their first figure!  See below.

Well, gosh.  I guess that's just about the only way you could draw it!  I'm just glad they are promoting a great idea.  Hats off to TRX-Manager, HRD, and a host of other innovative programmers who have made it all possible!

Friday, August 22, 2008

HF via Echolink

Several of us have been working to setup an Echolink server to facilitate an early morning HF round-table when 75m propagation is not particularly good for all stations. The following screen shots show the current state of affairs. You can click on each image to seen a full size rendering.

The above screen shot shows the microKeyer audio routing necessary for COM port or Winkey PPT. Note that this configuration is called a "C" type of routing.

The following screen shot shows the required port configuration. Note that the PTT port is set to COM4. We'll see that COM4 setting again when we look at a the Echolink PTT setup.

See the Echolink Preferences-Connections-Push-to-Talk Settings below. Note the Serial Port COM4 selection.

Echolink inbound audio (RXCtrl) is set to VOX as shown below.

Echolink out-bound (TX-Ctrl) is also set to COM4 as shown below.

And lastly, Echolink must be told where to find the in-bound (Rcv) and out-bound (TX) audio. In this case, the sound card as shown below.

Configuring this particular installation was complicated by the the interface (microKeyer) choices audio routing and possibilities and transmitter keying, coupled with a number of different parameter choices in Echolink.

I'm not sure we are yet properly configured but I think we are closer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grounding Project

Each leg of the tower is grounded to an 8' ground rod. The rods are tied to each other.

One of the three 8' ground rods.

Looking up from the base of the tower to the entry panel. Note the feed lines come off the tower at roof line and go directly to the entry panel.

The entry panel. Note the ground wire. This runs down a leg of the tower and is tied to one of the ground rods.

Feed lines from the UHF, Beam, and Fan dipole. The fan dipole goes to the connector labeled beam--go figure!

Note the tower sits just to the right of the guest bedroom. Can you guess what I'm think?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Alabama QSO Party

I used the N1MM logging program. After a bumpy start, Mickey Mouse worked great. With all the testing, I did not confirm that I could enter state abbreviations. Some how I managed to break this feature. After almost an hour all was working.

Of the many nice features, the ability to record and manage voice keying was very handy. While I setup wav files for several different transmissions, the one I really used was the CQ call. Just hit the F1 key and the station called CQ. All I had to do was log the contacts!

The dual monitors allowed me to watch many of N1MM's windows. The paper in front of the keyboard includes a conversion for county names to 3 or 4 character abbreviations; two-character USPS abbreviations; and a copy of the rules!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Alabama QSO Party

Alabama QSO Party starts at 11:00AM CST, Saturday, June 7th. I've never been a contester but am going to give it a try this year. I'm going to use the logging program N1MM with digital voice. I've recorded all the messages and setup the layout. More on the results after the weekend! Click on the picture of a larger image.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Omni VII HF+6m Transceiver

OMNI-VII is the first truly Net-Ready ham transceiver. No PC required at the rig to operate remote! Locate your OMNI-VII anywhere you have wideband Internet access. Simply connect its built-in Ethernet port to your router with our exclusive One Plug connection. Delivers live receive AND transmit operation from anywhere else in the world from another wideband Internet access!

Click on the picture for a hi-res image.

Friday, May 16, 2008

K4ZGB -- Tom Hardison

I spent a couple of hours at Tom's QTH this afternoon. What an amazing place! The antenna farm is fantastic and he has built a magnificent shack in his basement. There is no way my pictures can do this QTH justice, but I had to try. Click on any image to see a larger hi-res version. Let's start in the shack.

I hope Tom will forgive me but I didn't tell him I was coming and wouldn't let him "clean up" the shack. We all like a working shack anyway Tom! What you see is what we all open horse shoe with easy access to every piece of equipment including the back! No, I'm not jealous! Right!

Take a close look at this one. You know it's not feed guessed it...some serious antenna control. Don't get in a hurry. We'll get there! Look at the attention to detail. You can tell Tom knows how to do it right.

Count the feed lines on this next one. Now you begin to get a better understanding of what is to come! there is something BIG outside. For a hint on just how big, let's take a look at one of the anchors!

So, where does it begin?

Wow, the rotor is on the wrong end!! Well, you've seen it in the magazines, here it is on the ground...and in the air! This great tower will NOT fit on one computer screen on the image and scroll up and down, count the stacks and the number of bands you think this tower can work!

One more for today. How would you like to have an 80m vertical that does not need to be electrically lengthened and has an SWR of 1.3 across the band! Well...this is what the base would like.

And from a distance!

Thanks for a great visit Tom! All the pictures can seen on PicasaWeb.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Intermodulation Distortion and IP3

John Krupsky, John Drum and I recently prepared a Power Point presentation on Intermodulation Distortion and the third order intercept point (IMD-IP3). This link includes sound. The file is rather large at 11MB. We invite you comments.

IMD IP3 Presentation

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Station Back Together

UHF/VHF rig and rotor control are now in place. TRX-Manager, shown on the right-hand screen, provides rig control for the FT-1000MP Mark V, an Internet web cluster pane, logbook, and rotor control. The VL-1000 linear, above the Mark V, provides antenna switch between a 80/40 meter dipole and a 3-element yagi. The Palstar tuner is used primarily for 60 meters when the dipole is used with a Marconi adapter.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Software Defined Radio (SDR)

For those of you interested in SDRs, WA5MLF and I have started a new SDR Blog. We've purchased a small SDR receiver and will keep you posted as we learn more about this rather amazing new aspect of amateur radio. New to us that is, not to a lot of other good folks!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The fate of all who live in an imaginary world....

Dynamic Range and 3rd Order Intercept Point

This is a graph showing the foundational elements used to establish a receiver's dynamic range.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Intermodulation Distortion and IP3

John Krupsky, WA5MLF; John Drum, W4BXI; and Carl Ferguson, W4UOA have prepared a Powerpoint presentation on Intermodulation Distortion and 3rd Order Intercept Points for the Tuscaloosa Amateur Radio Club. Click on the hyperlink to view or download the presentation.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Carl Sagan Remembered

Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer and astrochemist and a highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics, and other natural sciences. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

He is world-famous for writing popular science books and for co-writing and presenting the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which has been seen by more than 600 million people in over 60 countries, making it the most widely watched PBS program in history.[1] A book to accompany the program was also published. He also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 Robert Zemeckis film of the same name starring Jodie Foster. During his lifetime, Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and popular articles and was author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books. In his works, he frequently advocated skeptical inquiry, humanism, and the scientific method. (Wikipedia)

Please take a moment to enjoy one of his master works, "The Pale Blue Dot".

Carl Sagan's "Cosmic Calendar" was first shown on his PBS series "Comos" a most amazing program.
The theme song from "Comos" follows the "Cosmic Calendar".

Play the following clip to hear all of the theme song to "Comos".

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Software Defined Radios

With the launch of FlexRadio, the amateur radio community is beginning to pay serious attention to the concept of software defined radios. Many of us, like myself, are VERY late-comers to this most fascinating topic.

With special thanks to WA5MLF for calling these to my attention, let me suggest for those of you interested in learning more, check out the four-part series by Gerald Youngblood, AC5OG. They were published in the Jul/Aug 2002 edition of QEX.

SDR Part 1 - SDR Part 2 - SDR Part 3 - SDR Part 4

WA5MLF has also pointed out a very good general discussion of software defined radio on Wikipedia.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dual Monitor Display Close-up

This is a screen shot of the dual-monitors showing TRX-Manager and DXAtlas. Click on the picture for a hi-res image. TRX-Manager provides rig control for the FT-1000 Mark V; logbook; web cluster; rotor control; and quick access to memory channels. The left monitor can be shared with DXAtlas grayline, Chatroom, e-mail, etc.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dual Monitors

I think I'm going to really like the new dual-monitors. They are at just the right height and provide a lot of space for a variety of applications. Cable management still leaves a little to be desired. That will come in time! Hi!

Click on the picture for a hi-res image.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

Cleveland Deck Project

My son and I added a deck to the back of his house July 2007.