Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Club

Well it has been a while. Of course I've been a little busy with new job and new baby. However, I have been very busy working on ham radio over the last 2 months. I felt strongly to start a school amateur radio club at the school I work at. So I got some key people to agree to get involved and before I knew it I officially had a club started. I got a club license and already got a vanity call sign assigned. Since the name of the school is Northside Methodist Academy (NMA) I got the call sign N4NMA. We have our first event that will be with the Wiregrass Amateur Radio Club here in Dothan. NMA will host the event on June 18th for Kids Day. Lots of excitement is building with the potential for this new club and I am excited in the response I have received. I got a logo designed and a banner currently being made. So we are ready to start this new school club for the fall semester. Over the summer one of our science teachers will be working to get his license and the two of us will work to help students and anyone in the Dothan area get their ham license.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Echolink App for Android

Just a couple of weeks ago I purchased a new cell phone because the coverage in Dothan was not acceptable with AT&T. So I went with Sprint and got the HTC Hero. The first app I downloaded was the Echolink App. I did not know it was even out yet although I knew they were working on it due to the success of the iphone version of the app. So today I got to play with the new app and let me say it is awesome. I did not have to do anything but download the free app. I was able to connect to a repeater in Rowlett TX just outside of where I used to live and talk to my friend K5RXQ. Later I talked to my Dad N5ME in Memphis on the repeater there and directly using his computer. It worked great and I did not have to do anything with the settings. If you are familiar with Echolink for the PC, you know there is a lot of setting up to do just to make it work. I think they hit a home run with this app and really makes me want to play more with Echolink.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

First Buddipole Try in New Town

I decided to put up my Buddipole to see what I could do in the new home location. I have to say it wasn't too bad. I made the following contacts in just over an hour of operating:

* Indiana
* Mexico
* Canada
* Guadalupe Island
* Germany
* Ukraine
* Italy (twice)

I also heard Israel, England, and Bosnia as well. So I guess it is working and working quite well. I think those long whips make a difference for good solid DX contacts.

Picture is of Buddipole Vertical with long whip with some stray clouds of Tropical Depression Bonnie in the background.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This is the big week for my big move with the family from Texas to Alabama. Of course I could not drive a moving truck 900 miles without having access to some 2 meter and 440 repeaters on the way. I put my dual band mag-mount on the truck with my HT to help pass the time. Two full days of driving will be tough, but looking forward to getting to Dothan and getting on the air ASAP.

Over the past weekend while visiting in-laws, I put my buddipole up with the psk31 setup just off Lake Whitney Texas. I made several psk31 contacts along with some ssb and cw contacts during the contest over the weekend. I put the Buddipole up in the vertical configuration using the settings my Dad and I came up with for long whips and it work perfectly and I did not even have to use my tuner. The SWR meter on my FT-857D did not register most of the time. I had to check to make sure it was still working was.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

RARC Recognition / Moving

Today was the Rockwall Amateur Radio Club's annual Field Day event. Always a good time to see the area Hams get together and operate on the radios for this event. Shortly before the contest started on the air, the club presented me with this plaque for the work I have done for the club this year. I was elected as an officer for the club and had to step down last month because my family and I are moving to Dothan, Alabama to start a new job there. I will miss the Hams in the local club here. I have really enjoyed being a part of the group and helping the club grow this year. As I was leaving tonight, Eric N5EBW even gave me a Tiny Trak 3 that he built. I know I will have fun playing with APRS and that unit. Thanks again to all the Hams in Rockwall making me feel welcomed and more importantly, needed this past year.

73 to you and I hope to see you on the air when I get to Alabama.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Settings For BuddiPole Vertical and Long Whips

I have been experimenting with the new longer whips for my Buddipole Antenna. My Dad recently got a new Buddipole Antenna and purchased it with only the long whips. So yesterday evening, my Dad and I got the MFJ antenna analyzer out and decided to find the settings for a vertical using the longer whips. Below is what we came up with. We did 10-40 meter except for 12 meters which you can use the 10 meter settings with a tuner if you needed 12 meters.

*Note that these settings were found with 50' of coax and the Versatee at about 6' off the ground.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Day for Buddipole

This afternoon it was such a nice day I decided to put the Buddipole up. Les (K5RXQ) let me borrow a long whip to try out so I tried the vertical with the long whip. Instead of telling how I think it worked, just look at the contacts I made on 20 meters this afternoon.

European Russia
Rockwall, TX

I would say it worked quite well. I noticed I was able to pick up weaker stations that I have not in the past and usually was able to make contact with them using just 50 watts. I guess I will need to buy some of the longer whips for my Buddipole.