Ham Radio

March 2014

Mar 22 2014

Internet Access

I’ve struggled to find a good way of scheduling contacts. Should I use a spreadsheet, Word document, scratch pad, Post-It notes, electronic calendar with alarms or something else. All of these are problematic for a portable station in the field surrounded by chaos.

On this trip, I’ll try something entirely new for me. I will arrange for Internet access to help me announce activity and arrange contacts. This is unrestricted outside of contests.

Today I signed up with Verizon cellphone service. The Samsung Galaxy handset will provide a local WiFi hotspot for my laptop, which can then use Ping Jockey, email, chat rooms and other aids. This will be great! (Assuming it can get cellphone service.)

Mar 20 2014

Planned Daily Expedition Schedule

How should I choose my operating schedule?

The goal is to explore and hand out the grid contacts. This means a compromise between driving and sightseeing, and being on the air. This particular station takes a long time (upwards of 2 hours) to setup or tear down and stow.

I feel there’s only enough time in a day to set up once. And I want to do meteor scatter, and that works best in early morning, so I’m strongly motivated to camp out instead of using hotels. This will let me operate both evenings and early 5 am mornings. It will be living rough for five days, but that’s okay.

Now, as for the schedule itself…

I want to be easy to find on the air. Ideally, I’d just only use one frequency on six meters for all contacts on all modes. I know it’s non-standard but then at least if someone heard me they’d know what mode I’m using just by listening. The logical spot is 50.125, the national calling frequency, which is what everyone uses. However, this is certain to run afoul of some self-appointed frequency enforcer. So the next easiest place to be found is 50.128. This is a dandy place to be. Unless the band opens up. If the band opens, then my modest remote station is quickly blown off and I couldn’t hold the frequency, even if I’m in the rarest grid in the country.

In conclusion, I’ll operate SSB/CW all evening on 50.128. And I’ll operate FSK441 all morning on 50.270. I’m flexible – if “stuff” happens then I’ll have chat rooms and spotters to help coordinate changes. Hang loose and have fun!

Mar 14 2014

Planned Oregon Grid Expedition, April 1-5

I have a big grid expedition coming up. K7BWH will operate portable in CN82, CN92, CN93, CN94, CN95 in the Oregon interior during the week of April 1 -5, 2014.

My goal is to give 6-meter contacts from these relatively unpopulated areas. I invite you to schedule contacts with me in the evenings and mornings.

Equipment: 6m5 antenna, 500 watts, 20' mast, and some really good hilltops.

The schedule is to activate one grid each day from late afternoon through the next morning. It's a five-day excursion with one grid per day. I'll drive midday to explore and setup the next hilltop campsite. I'll be on the air in the evening on SSB/CW and in the morning on FSK441 meteor scatter. And then break camp and head off to the next grid square to lather, rinse, repeat.

I know this isn't the best time of year for either 6m propagation or meteor showers. But this is the only free time in my schedule for a while. The operating plan is simple: Afternoons are SSB/CW until dark. Early mornings are meteor scatter. I will have a dedicated expedition chat room while on location to schedule contacts (assuming cellphone network service). Of course posting spots are appreciated, esp on Ping Jockey Central.

Evenings

  • Evenings 5 pm – 8 pm PDT (0000 – 0300 gmt)
  • SSB/CW
  • CQ and listening 50.128 MHz

Mornings

  • Mornings 5 am – 9 am PDT (1200 – 1600 gmt)
  • WSJT FSK441
  • Dedicated chat room (details coming soon)
  • CQ and listening 50.270 MHz
  • Always sending on first sequence
  • Sending signal report (not grid)
  • Short tones on

Itinerary and locations

For schedule updates see my expedition blog at www.k7bwh.com or track me real-time on APRS using http://aprs.fi/k7bwh .

I will not have 144 MHz on this trip, and will not be operating the 2m Sprint on Monday, 4/7, and do not have EME capability.

Want a grid? Send me email off-list to schedule a contact. And use the K7BWH chat room (details soon).

73 Barry K7BWH
Seattle, Washington CN87xn
barry at k7bwh.com

  < Previous Page 5 of 14 Next >