The KEØVH Hamshack for March 2016
The latest layout of the KEØVH Hamshack November 2015 till now!
I am continuing to recover from the head and neck cancer treatments. My doctors say I am doing great, the cancer cells are dying and going away, and I am progressing well. I will be getting another PET scan in the next couple of months for the follow up. As of this writing (which is really late for March, sorry Bill!) I am back up to speed enough to be taking some day trips to transmitter sites and doing some work that really needs to get done. I really want to thank my contractors and all the K-LOVE staff for all their help during the time I was in treatments and was not able to travel or take care of the things I usually do. Thanks to Rich Anderson W9BNO, Bill Frost WØBX, Greg Beveridge WB7AHO, Mike Baldur, Ray Uberecken AAØL, Jon Banks in Glenwood Springs, and of course all the fine folks at EMF who supported and prayed (and still do) for me, plus other friends around the country. I have been blessed beyond ALL imagination with love, care, support and friendship. I am grateful to our Lord for it all.
As a matter of fact, one of the things as I mentioned previously was that my wife and I want to do some motorcycle riding around the state of Colorado. What a more beautiful place to do so I cannot imagine. So as of the weekend of 3/12 to 13, I took a beginners motorcycle course sanctioned by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation of the USA at Blue creek Motorcycle School here in the Denver area and HIGHLY recommend this school if you are in the area and ever decide you want to pursue riding a bike with great training on how to be the safest you can be on a motorcycle. (http://www.bluecreekmotorcycletraining.com/) They even test you at the end of the two day course in skills riding and the written exam then when you pass it they give you a voucher to take the Colorado DMV so you can get your license motorcycle endorsement. So that is what I did. This is REALLY COOL! So now, after paying off medical bills we will look into getting a bike of our own one day in the next year or so. In the meantime I will probably rent a bike to practice on occasionally and get more experience. Lots of fun, YOU BET!
Training on a Honda Nightwing 250
Listening to a podcast of “Hamnation” with Bob Heil, I heard Bob talk about the “gentlemen’s agreement” about band use specifically concerning AM mode windows on the ham bands. Now this is not an official “band plan”, or allocations, but back in the days when AM was KING and SSB was starting to become popular on the HF bands, there were certain frequencies that were generally agreed upon to continue to operate in the AM mode. The ARRL has a couple of excellent pages on operating in this nostalgic but still really useful mode, especially if you enjoy the wider bandwidth fidelity of a great sounding AM station. Check out: http://www.arrl.org/am-frequencies. Many have not only restored old AM tube rigs but when a broadcast AM station has retired an old transmitter these enterprising amateurs have even converted the transmitters to the 160, 80 and even some 40 meter operation. Check out http://www.amwindow.org/ for even more information and some great reading.
Here is another old Zenith model Royal 1000 radio as seen in the Kevin Costner movie “Thirteen Days”, a movie about the Cuban Missile crisis. Way too cool man! I have a model Royal 3000 Zenith. The 1000 was the first transistorized model that the company put out after stopping production on their tube radios, finishing out with the 600 series, like my A600 Zenith Transoceanic I featured here a month or so ago.
Actor Kevin Costner in “13 Days” with the Zenith Transoceanic Royal 1000 radio on the office shelf.
PRAISE GOD! We are making great progress on getting KLCX Pueblo (Rye CO) on air with its “new” to me Continental 816-R 5C. After a window in the weather where my crew from Galvanized Endeavors out of Colorado Springs (Alex Arpins Tower climbing do it all guys) was able to transport the transmitter from their loading dock to the site, up a really snowy road using chains, and some great help from Rich Anderson and Mike Baldauf, we are now turning the transmitter on and going thru the tuning process. It was a great day when I was able to turn it on and begin the tuning process. We did run into a couple of snags though and will get’er done here soon. These pics tell the tale:
I think I can I think I can I think I can, I KNEW I COULD I KNEW I COULD!
Delivery at the building! GREAT JOB GUYS!
And KEØVH getting to turn it on for the first time!
And hey, how about some antenna stuff? Here is the latest addition to the antenna farm on “Truckzilla”! As some of you may remember, the K-LOVE company truck is a big Ford F-250, and when I went to work for EMF I had been driving a Dodge Neon before as a commuting vehicle, and going into a large truck was huge difference. So hence, “Truckzilla”! JJJ On board is my APRS setup, and a Yaesu FT-857D mobile HF thru 440 rig. My HF antenna is a ham stick (I have several different ones for different bands), and APRS antenna, and of course a 2 meter/440 antenna. I just replaced a Larsen 2m/440 antennas with a higher gain Diamond SG7500 NMO antenna with a 3.5 dB gain on 2 meters and 6 dB on 70cm! This is almost double what my Larsen was capable of. And, I ordered it off of Amazon.com on a Friday. Couldn’t believe it, it was here on the following Monday! Free shipping too from HamCity.com. And in the first week it definitely performed better than the old antenna. This will improve the signal received and transmitted thru the mountains of Colorado for sure. Great buy and value. Check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AR0A2M4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 or http://www.diamondantenna.net/sg7500nmo.html. Or you can get even more gain with their SG7900 model, but it is taller and requires more than a magnetic mount, or a very large one. The one I use is a 5 inch diameter model and it does very well with this antenna at highway speeds.
You can also see the Ham stick and APRS antenna in this shot too. The Diamond antenna also looks really cool too.
And speaking of antennas, I am really glad that my contractor Mike Baldauf turned me on to the copper J-Pole antenna’s made by KB0BVR. They make several different models for different VHF frequencies and Mike had told me that they make very tough wind resistant antennas that he has used for EAS reception at some of his other stations. This really appealed to me as the winds in Colorado can sometimes get hurricane force and above in the mountains and Front Range. I have had to deal with a few broken, bent, and de-ranged (I like that) EAS reception antenna’s at several of my sites here. They cost in the 30’s, have several different frequency bands to choose from, and are easy to mount and setup. I chose the weather “band” model as most stations don’t have a problem picking up the LP1 and LP2 broadcast stations but the weather stations are of course sometimes a lot weaker. The first one I installed out on the NE plains of Colorado at a site worked very well and since the winds get really high out there I am looking forward to seeing how durable it is at this site in particular.
The J-Pole and mounted to the building
The signal received by the antenna was full quieting on the 2 broadcast stations and the weather station received by this site. A pretty good solution price wise, and in durability. AND, it would be fairly easy to duplicate cheaper with a trip to a hardware store! J
Don’t forget the Monday Night Broadcast Engineering
IRLP (and Echolink) Hamnet, every MONDAY EVENING
At 7pm Mountain time (9pm Eastern) for radio discussions, both
Broadcast engineering and amateur radio. The first and
3rd Mondays are also SBE NET nights. Details on how to
Join are at http://www.ke0vh.com/net/net.html. I hope
You will be able to join us and share your engineering and
73’ & God be with you. See you next time! de KEØVH