The KEØVH Hamshack For June 2013

By Jack Roland, CBRE, CBNT, and AMD

KLove /Air 1 Denver Engineering.


For years my venerable Yaesu FT-8100R has had no backlighting in the display.  The radio had for 11 or 12 years had seen service in my personal car as my daily use dual-bander.  The FT-8100R was a workhorse of a radio that originally belonged to Rich, W9BNO and we did a trade for it I think back in 2000.  So I finally got to getting around to seeing what it would take to get the backlighting to work.  As it turns out it was very easy.  Just remove the backplate from the front panel and at the bottom of the circuit board were four incandescent bulbs (they looked like little 3mm red LED’s) inserted into their positions thru a hole on the circuit board.  I found out the information from a (you guessed it) tutorial on how to do this on YouTube.  (  This guy was changing the amber backlighting to blue.  But, the information was great, and showed me the location of the bulbs anyway.  So, here is how it turned out.




   Before                                                               After

Looks pretty good if I do say so myself!

While on a trip thru Steamboat Springs, Craig, Meeker, then down to Rangely and back to I-70 via Meeker, I had the opportunity to work KJ4VKC, Chuck in central Tennesse who is a county hunter.  I was able to give him the pretty rare counties of Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Clear Creek and then finally Jefferson Counties on this trip. This was a lot of fun, we talked on both 17 and 20 meters, with signals pretty good both ways over the 2 day excursion.  If you look closely at this picture, you can see his signal coming to me on 17 and 20 meters in Moffat and Garfield Counties in central western Colorado.




Talking to KJ4VKC, Central Tennessee on 17 and 20 meters from Moffat and Garfield counties in Colorado.

By the way, the IC706MK2G is no longer on the dash of “Truckzilla” as I call it.  I now have the separation kit and I will write about that in the July edition.  It certainly looks much better and is better for the radio.  SO, if you have mobile HF (I am adding a 6 meter hamstick antenna here soon), try to send out a CQ from a rare county or grid square you might have the opportunity to travel thru.  This is really lots of fun and you can literally have a pileup of your own to work.  I will be doing this more in the future.

And, my buddy and co-worker Patrick, KDØTRZ, found himself facing FOUR presidents here recently, and sent me this picture.  Too bad he didn’t have a radio handy at this location!


KDØTRZ with Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln!

During the Dayton Hamvention, my friends from Denver Jim, KCØRPS and Cliff, NØZUQ had the opportunity to tune in, literally LIVE, to the Hamnation program with Bob Heil, K9EID and Gordon West, WB6NOA.  They recently just celebrated the 100th episode on the TWIT.TV network.  Jim and Cliff watched the guys do the show live from the Dayton Hamvention!


As seen at the Dayton Hamvention, and on TWIT.TV!

One of my projects too just completing was the putting up of a good 75 meter antenna to be able to participate in nets around the region and state.  One I check into regularly is the Colorado Columbine Net, a really friendly traffic net on 3.989 mHz at 7:30pm Mountain time. I really encourage anyone who can to check into the net and chat with the guys on it.  There are quite a few engineers who frequent the net, including a contractor I have with KLove, and a whole bunch of others.  And there are many topics discussed that you might find interesting.  It is a good way to pass a friendly message and meet up with other folks.  Now for awhile I had my wire dipole up but it wasn’t long enough, resonating at about 4.3 mHz, and I just hadn’t had the time to get to it.  But, now I have, and I tell you, the Field Fox I have on hand sure made the job a lot easier.  I ended up needing to have about an extra 6.5 feet added to the wires on either side to get it where I wanted it.  And it worked AMAZING!  Here is a picture of the final Field Fox measurement:


As you can see the marker is on 3.989 mHz, right on the Columbine net frequency.  Here is a picture of the feed point of the dipole, only about 15 feet up:


AND, how about this for a restoration project.  A 1954 Admiral TV, with the original manual, schematic, and even the showroom tags from when it was originally bought.  A local Denver ham, WNØEHE, had has this being stored away for about 15 years since the last time he had turned it on.  Sure enough, some tubes have had to be replaced.  BUT, the set is working now, with a bit of horizontal squeeze still at this point.  My good friend Greg, WB7AHO is working the issue as he is an expert at all things tube.  Thanks again to him for his help on this project, and I will make sure to report later on this.  What a beauty!

And finally this month, it is with great sadness regret we report of the untimely demise of Tim Samaras, WJØG.  Tim was seen many years on the Discovery channels series “Stormchasers” and he was one of the foremost stormchasing authorities and scientific researchers.  He and his son Paul, along with longtime driver and fellow researcher Carl Young were killed by a multi-vortice tornado near Oklahoma City on May 31st.  There are many articles on the internet about this story.  Tim lived here in Bennett Colorado and was a major force in the science of learning how to predict when and where these storms occur.  I cannot help but think his work has saved countless lives, and will continue to do in the future.  If you have time look up his call at  Tim wrote a really great piece on his life at that site. 


As always don’t forget the SBE IRLP (and Echolink) Hamnet, the first Saturday of the month.  Details on how to join are at  I hope you will be able to join us and share your engineering and ham exploits!

73’, God be with you, & see you next time!  KEØVH