A few changes here

Nothing too earth shattering but there have been a couple of changes here both in the RF Department and the RV side of things….

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…..

And the last change is that on Saturday evening I sold (after consulting with my daughter Erika) our trailer.  It has left on the next great adventure in its life to become part of a hunting camp along with being a portable ham radio shack as yes….  I did sell it to a ham radio operator from Ottawa.  I have no doubts that I will be seeing it again at a field day site as it was at field day 2016 that the new owner  saw it for the first time and I still enjoy playing radio with that field day group so…..  I do look forward to seeing the modifications he has planned for it.

Now I am not giving up on the RV Lifestyle but rather just getting ready for a newer rig.  It might be in the spring or the late summer depending on how much time I can recover as this weird thing we call “Life” progresses.  Not much point in getting the new(er) rig if we don’t (can’t) find the time to enjoy it….

More on all of this later

Safe Travels and best 73

Bob

Some things work first time then others….

…..Don’t

Right on the heels of my Sunday Portable HF operations I decided to try something I had read about years ago ….  It was a 40/80m NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave) antenna that used the body of my truck as the ground….

The basic idea that if you attach a 66 foot long wire to the stud mount that holds your mobile vertical HF antenna (just above roof height of the vehicle) you in effect would have an 80m NVIS antenna.  By folding it back on itself and shorting the ends of the wire together you would now have a 33 foot long antenna giving you the 40m NVIS effect as well.

For a good description of NVIS go to: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_vertical_incidence_skywave

or click on this link: NVIS

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I had all the pieces necessary in my junk box and headed back to Lake Ontario Park to build and do the basic testing.  For me the basic testing meant stringing it out and then testing using my MFJ Antenna Analyzer and it it worked return later with the FT 450 and see if it likes RF.

As I do not have a 3/8 stud mount on the new pickup (yet) I improvised with a single magnetic mag mount that had a stud mount attached.

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I set up at the park and proceeded to check things out and to my shock it worked on the first try.  SWR was excellent and all appeared well.  I then packed everything up and headed to meet a couple of local hams for a coffee then head back to the park with the FT 450.

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On my return to the park I re strung the antenna up and hooked up the FT 450 and found that the antenna would not load up…  On 80 or on 40….  I seem to remember from many years ago when I mounted a Hustler 80m mobile antenna on the luggage rack of a mini van the same thing happening.  That problem was cured by running a ground strap from the frame of the vehicle to the mount on the luggage rack but today I did not have any way to ground a magnetic mount so…..

Looks like I will have to wait till I install the mobile 3/8 mount on the truck.

Now on to “Other Stuff”….

I re installed the HF gear back in the shack as I realized that it is much better to be on the air with a poor antenna than not be on the air.  Its also better to be listening to anything on HF while waiting for some one to to call on a Local Repeater or one of the Wires X or for that matter than just to sit waiting.

The VA3QV  Wires X Node is working fine.  Along with East-West coverage I have also found that I go as far south as Lake Ontario (about 4km from my site) and still hear and use the node and that takes me to the end of the boat ramp and I can’t go any further south without getting wet.

Due to the ongoing overheating issues I now keep the node at its 5w setting  when its operating.  I have a cooling fan I have to install and then the power level issue will be looked at again after the install.

Tuesday night (last night) I listened to the VE3ORF/3730 Digital Net which was held on Yaesu Wires X Room 40505.  It operated for just under 1 hour and had 21 check ins from VE1, VE2, VE3, VE6 and the States of Mass, Virginia, Rhode Island along with a VK station.

The Net runs every Tuesday night at 8pm Eastern and is found on most of the digital platforms (C4FM, DMR) and for more information go to the VE3ORF Website.

The trailer still has to be winterized although the final camping trip of the year might be cancelled as there was a frost alert for the area we were planning to go to and also a family member (was not Liz) had to spend the night in the hospital (she was released the next day) so all is well but….

Liz and I are thinking if we tried to get away Murphy’s Law might  see us having to break camp and rush back,  so why not stay close to home as its better to be safe than sorry….?

So as usual its much more RF than RV in the blog post.  I think that Erika has spent more time in the trailer than Liz and I have this year….  Don’t see that changing till next spring…

For now Safe Travels and…

73bob

 

 

 

Updated Node coverage area

Thanks to Allan VE3AJB from Manitoulin Island who talked to me from Kingston to almost to Joyceville and also to Steve VE3AVP in Ottawa who talked to me from Kingston almost to Odessa I can now say that the nodes coverage is :

But to be honest it was a bit rough in the valleys but on the high ground it was fantastic…  The coverage between the HWY 15 exit and the Gardiners Road exit was excellent (armchair copy)

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Just to remind you that the VA3QV Node is running 70cm C4FM (Yaesu Wires X ) on 443.1625 and is located in Kingston Ontario at the Corner of John A MacDonald and John Counter.  Its output is 25w going into a 1/4w dual band Arrow Groundplane at approx 20 feet above local ground.  The node is connected to the VE3ORF Network of linked digital repeaters ( 40505 in Wires X).

This node proves proof of concept but it is not in its final configuration.  I would hope to move it to a location with more dependable internet connections  that allows a higher antenna and that should come when we move to our new QTH .  When that happens is up to Liz with an extimated move date of the summer of 2020.

More to follow

73bob

Back home after the OARC (Carp) Hamfest

This is just to update you on the happenings….  I arrived in Ottawa (Stittsville) on Friday evening and parked my trailer at a business that I used to work at…..  The owners and I parted way on excellent terms and so they had no problems giving me a place to park for the night….

I drove north bound on Hwy 15 to Hwy 7 (Through Smiths Falls to Carleton Place and ended up in Stittsville.  The new truck handled the trip and the trailer with no issues…  On the RF side of things it seemed like everyone was sleeping early in anticipation of Saturdays event and no one made it in the VA3QV Mobile Log from Kingston to the parking lot in Stittsville

Saturday morning I headed over to the Carp arena to pass on some treasures and to buy one new toy from Radioworld…  By noon both goals had been accomplished with all my treasures sold and the new toy (Yaesu FTM-100/DR) in my possession.

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Saturday afternoon I headed to the east end of Ottawa and parked at the Trainyards Walmart where my oldest friend pick me up and we headed out for a few cold ones and some story swapping…

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Operating from the trailer with my FT70 handheld along with a magmount attached to the range hood in the camper I made many contacts on the VE3ORF C4FM Repeater system on the Saturday evening and Sunday Morning….

Sunday morning I left Ottawa and headed south on Hwy 416.  I remained in communications on the Ottawa ORF repeater till close to Kempville…  I then switched to the Kempville ORF repeater then finally switching to the Prescott ORF repeater.  I stopped for a few minutes at Angelo’s Truck stop on hwy 16 just north of the 401 to meet up with Mike VA3MPM.  Mike is the driving force with the VE3ORF linked repeater system.

After our chat we continued on our respective travels and were able to keep contact up on the linked repeater system till I finally ran out of repeater as I passed thru the City of Brockville on Hwy 401.

Arrived home and put the camper back in storage….  tired but happy and as I type this also trying to figure out how to operate the new toy without having to read the book of words….  not going as good as I thought…

73bob

First Tow with the new(er) Truck

This morning I headed over to the storage yard and hooked up to the trailer just to test out the Silverado….

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It was a local tour as if anything was going to fail I wanted it to be closer to home to cut the towing costs if anything went south….

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I toured around Kingston for a while and parked ( took up a few spots) at the local Timmies and had coffee with VE3FI Bill and then headed over to my local Walmart and took a couple of pictures just to prove I actually went somewhere….

Anyway long story short….  We need to do a bit of work on the Trailer Brakes but other than that all is fantastic….

First trip with the trailer is to the OARC Carp Hamfest on the 7th of September and aftetr that I have 2 days to make it home to Kingston before I am scheduled to work next so Gawd knows where I will end up….

I have some goodies to sell at the hamfest (Buddistick antenna, Winkeyer USB,  Yeasu MD 100 desk mic) and lots of COAX and other such stuff….

Also plan to be heading home with an good HF(40m and 80m) mobile antenna system which will work easily while travelling along with a new FTM 100DR C4FM rig for the Silverado….

Hope to see you there

73bob