Node back on the air

You might remember about three weeks ago when I posted the following:

First of all my Yaesu Fusion Node is off the air….  Windows did an automatic update and now the Node software is not functioning.  I’m guessing that a re install is needed but at this time I just don’t feel like jumping through the hoops a 2nd time.  I’m hoping that re installing the drivers will make it all work again…  It does however make me wonder IF there might be a more stable operating system to do this on….  I am the first to admit I use computers in my hobby but they are far from being my hobby.  ….  It will be back sometime (and I hope soon) but there is lots going on in my life at this time (all good) but time management is starting to be an issue…..

Well its back and seems to be mostly stable…. it only crashes now when my internet is flakey but the driver issue has been fixed.  I found a small usb powered fan and now whenever the laptop is on my node radio and the power supply for the node radio is being cooled.  Its working so well that I have returned the power to the 25w level that I started at.  The overheating problem has been cured by the usb fan so as long as the intenet is behaving the VE3ORF system has its Kingston node running again.

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The node is running on UHF (frequency on the pic above) and it is normally connected to the VE3ORF system

Hope to hear you sometime…

73bob

Operating with a “Stealthy” #HF #hamradio Antenna

Antenna Restrictions-  The ability of a Condo Board, HOA agreement, Landlord or Property Owner to limit the ways we can enjoy our hobby.  Sometimes even local goverments will try and interfere as well…. Normally these restrictions tell us as the resident what we can do with the outside of our living space.  However normally there are ways to circumvent the restriction although we might have to think outside of the box.  In most cases these are just rules that you can’t attach anything to the outside of the residence or to any of the “common ground” areas of the property

Stealth Antenna– My defination of a Stealth Antenna is an antenna that is up 24/7 and is very disguised (hidden) in such a way that you can operate when you want to.  I will give you some examples later.

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Portable Antennas- Antennas that can be used as they are not attached to the property.  Buddipoles or any other antenna which could be tripod mounted are the best and easiest examples although they may not be the best they do get you on the air…  Put the tripod on your deck or in the back yard….  Erect the antenna….  Play radio…. then take down and put away till the next time you want to play radio…

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The examples are various but…. the intent is the same..

Some basic suggestions for Stealth Antennas – Hiding it in plain sight is usually the best.  If you are living in an older neighborhood you might get away with using RG59 which we know as cheap 75 ohm coax as a long wire.  Where I used to live the cablevision companys solution for fixing problems was to re run a new feed line to the house.  They would just string the line from the pole to the house whatever way they could so….  We got used to seeing lots of people in Orange vests and a white hardhat tossing wire into trees and along fence lines.  Get one of your ham friends to wear a vest and run wire from you home into a tree and see what happens.  Just short the ends of the coax and treat it as a long wire….  This will be non resonant longwire so a good tuner will be needed along with a few radials on the ground where they will not be seen.

If that will not work for you try loading up the rain gutters.  It does work…. yes you do need metal gutters or perhaps a wire running down the plastic eves and gutters but use your imagination and see what you can use.

remember that you don’t listen to any ham who says it won’t work.  You try it and show him it works…

Over the years I have had the best luck using a tree that was in my back yard….  Tossed a thin insulated wire over the higher branch I could and used a 4:1 balun along with radials inside my fence and I stayed on the air in Ottawa for 20 years with acceptable results (DXCC, WAS, Triple Play)  When doing this I suggest you use insulated wire the same colour as your surroundings…  Using a Fir tree use green wire…. Regular tree try a brown wire….   Non Insulated copper wire tends to stand out for a while till the shine comes off….

None of these suggestions are guaranteed winners….  Your results will vary depending on many factors….  Think outside the box and see what you can do to stay on the air….

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Game on….

73bob

The $500.00 hat

Well I went to the Hamfest as you know. Had a fantastic time and brought home a new radio as well…. Here’s the history on it….

When leaving home I was instructed to have fun…. say “HI” to the guys back in Ottawa and not to buy any new radios …

Well you would not believe the deal I got at the Radioworld display… I bought a Designer Yaesu Hat for $500.00 and they threw in a free FTM100-D

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it….

(She never told me not to buy a hat)

73bob

2nd Road trip with the new truck

I was planning to take the train to Ottawa for my Doctors appointment (Thurs Aug 22nd) but that was before I bought the new(er) truck….

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So at 6am I headed out and fueled up and headed east on the 401

The route took me east bound to the 416 and then northbound on the 416 exiting at North Gower and then heading east on county road 6 (skirting the southern end of Ottawa) to the village of Metcalfe then heading North into Ottawa

Ham Radio Note:  There was not that much activity on some of the repeaters along the 401 that I am guessing that it was due to the early start time of my trip.  However I was able to access the Linked VE3ORF Digital (C4FM)Network through their Prescott Ontario 2m repeater when close to Prescott and then held the repeater as I went North on the 416.  Close to Kemptville Ontario I switched over to VE3ORF (Kemptville )(uhf) and continued on with my conversation with the group untill Ottawa South when I switched over to the VE3ORF (Ottawa UHF) repeater and continued again with the morning drive in chatter.

For more info on their repeater system go to :

http://www.ve3orf.com

I made it to my Doctors office at 830 am

After the appointment and then taking care of some business …

Unfortunately due to the last minute timing of this trip I was not able to visit all who should of been visited.  Medical, business and family had priority this time but next time the trailer will be following the truck and I’ll have some time to socialize…

Ham Radio note:  While travelling west across Ottawa I did make a C4FM Wires X contact on the 146.805 repeater VE3DRE  I worked a couple of VE1 Stations as the repeater was connected to the CQ Canada Room on the Wires Network

I then grabbed lunch and headed east to Embrun Ontario to have a visit with my oldest daughter.  We don’t see each other as we would like and as an added bonus my youngest grand daughter was there and I got to catch up with her as well.

After a few hour break for supper and chats it was time to head back home to Kingston and so I headed out via the back roads as I headed south west to hopefully find the 401 wb at the Morrisburg Ontario exit.

Ham Radio Note:  leaving Embrun I was able to work the OVMRC Repeater VE3TWO (fm) on 147.300 and join in their weekly net.  The repeater has great coverage and I was able to copy from Embrun to just south of Winchester

I found it and then headed back home to Kingston.  At the end of the long day (16 hours) I had travelled just over 500 kms across various road styles.  The truck behaved itself and there were no issues.  If I did the math correctly I am getting 8.5 litres per 100km for my fuel economy.  The old Dodge used 11 litres per 100 km so that in itself is a savings.  I know that that will change once I start pulling the trailer but I am still pleased….

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Next time we meet there should be a posting about how good (or bad) the truck is as it leads the trailer around Eastern Ontario….

for now….

Safe Travels and to my hams followers….

73bob

1st Road trip

It was decided that the new VA3QV mobile would head out and look for trouble….  We did about a 220km circle (actually more like a square)as shown below:

So far we are pleased and the fuel economy is not too bad for driving without the trailer behind.  That will happen in the near future travelling from Kingston to …… wherever the road takes us

Safe Travels

Bob

A new (to me) Tow vehicle

Well it had to happen….  The oil spots in my driveway and wherever I parked the Dodge was telling me that the end was near… IMG_0497

This was also confirmed by the guys at the local “Oil Changers” who advised me that the oil pan gasket was leaking and the oil pan was also rusting and was approaching critical.  The same was found to be happening on the Transmission Gasket as well but not as bad as the oil pan.

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This post is not about The Oil Changers franchise operator but I do appreciate the honesty of their staff….  Their opinion greatly influenced the rest of this post….

So what was supposed to be search starting in the spring suddenly became a search that started about two weeks ago and finished today with the arrival of :

trucks

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And I took possession of it this afternoon… and the Ham Gear is starting to get installed

Its a bit newer….. lots less KMS….. with a larger engine…..  more than enough b@lls to tow the existing trailer (and the planned new trailer) and the Air Conditioning works fantastic….

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will be taking the trailer out for a test pull and adjust the trailer brakes as needed…. Its first trip could be early in September and we do have plans for a two week trip in October….  In October the temps are great during the day… The bugs are scarce and in the evening an extra blanket makes the evenings just fantastic….

More on how the new truck handles this thing we call life in the next post…

bob

 

 

 

 

Finding #hamradio stuff

Liz has been commenting that a few boxes are sitting in the garage (since we moved in last June) that have the words “Radio” on them that just seem to be gathering dust. To be honest I don’t know whats in them but as I have not opened them it seems that I had no need for the contents.

It has been suggested that I open them and sell the contents….  Seeing that I have already been selling some unused gear this year….  It seems like a good idea….  So an email was sent out to the Ottawa Amateur Radio Club asking that they reserve me a table at their Hamfest on September 7th in Carp Ontario. 

If they have the space available I should be there.

On the table will be: 

Buddistick Portable Vertical Antenna with some additional accessories

Hamstick Dipole Mounts

Homebrewed W3EDP HF antenna

Winkeyer USB

2m, 6m, and dual band (2m/70cm) mobile antennas

Baluns 1:1, 4:1, 4:1 unun  

Numerous runs of coax,  Some RG8, RG8X, RG58 all with PL259 connectors also some Patch Cords 

A couple of Power Supplies (low amperage)

…..  and thats all that I’ve found so far after going thru the first box……  

Seeing that “Stuff Out” = “New Stuff In”  I have already ordered a new Yaesu FTDM 100 (Fusion C4FM) radio and it will be brought to the hamfest by the Vendor which saves me the shipping and if it gives Liz some room in the garage at the same time it should be a “win-win” situation. 

Once I empty all the boxes I will post some pics of the neater stuff that I find…

Who knows????  I might even find some other stuff that I havn’t missed yet….

73bob