On the Air



Wires-X Room # 62656

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Do I still operate in the Digital Modes?

The short answer is yes. The long answer. I don't do it as heavy as when I started, but the costs involved in buying all this gear it would be foolish of me not to at least use it. So I make a game of it now. Some days or weeks I'll make a QSO per day. Or I'll make one on 80m, one on 40m, one on 20m, one on 15m and one on 10m. Or just focus on a band for that week. I might go for quantities in a short amount of time. It's just what kind of mood I'm in. I don't nitpick my contacts as that would probably get pretty boring. Not to mention the others out there that are doing WAS or some other award might need my contact. That's why you won't see CQ DX or (country) on my calls. FT8 isn't the only mode I use either. I like to play around on PSK31, RTTY and JS8Call. The modes that can be used for low power emergency communications. FT8 doesn't fall into that group, but is still fun to play with. Do I do voice? Nope, just on 2m and 70cm. I haven't got that confident in my hearing or my abilities to understand q-codes. Soon though.

R2D2 , C3PO, batteries and chargers oh my

After seeing the battery life on the FT3D not make it a day on the first day I ordered these from Amazon. I have the CD-41 from HRO at home, but figured I'd get one for my desk at work. I got these a week ago and have been bouncing back and forth between the both of them. I can't find any faults with them. The battery doesn't have the springy clip like the factory one does, but it only make it a slight bit more difficult to remove from my molle rigs. The charger comes with the wall wart and is 12v 1a so you don't want to use this wall wart with the radio directly. A cost savings of 61$. 
Charger with wall wart 24$ original 38$
Battery 2200mah 33$ original 80$

Read more: R2D2 , C3PO, batteries and chargers oh my

Wires-X: The 10 Drivetime Room

I created THE10DT for us commutors and radio enthusiasts that frequent the 146.840 repeater in Fort Worth during morning and afternoon rush hour, but not limited to. Anyone is welcome to come in. I didn't assemble it for privacy but so that we didn't step on any toes of the regulars on Texas Nexus that may have had a routine like we do on the 10. So with that said I sunk the cash to build this setup and here's what it consists of.

  1. An HRI-200 that without this we wouldn't have a room. Purchased from HRO in Plano, TX $$
  2. An FTM100DR and  SMB-201 that has to be sacrificed to the Yaesu gods before this whole contraption will work. Purchased from HRO in Plano, TX $$$
  3. An old HP Xeon E5 that know next to nothing about, but works mostly. Special thanks to Gary W5GGH.
  4. 80A DPDT Contactor to switch to battery if the grid fails. Purchased from Amazon. $
  5. APC 1000VA UPS. Pulled from a production enviroment as it was eating batteries. 
  6. Massive AGM out of an electric bus. Special thanks to Ben and Dago for allowing me to swap out my old bad batteries for the skechy maybe good maybe bad batteries before recycler pickup at not cost. That really helps projects like this.
  7. 35A Power supply from M&M Merchandisers. This was pulled from production as well for catching fire. It sit on a shelf at work for 5 years then sit on my home work bench for another 5 years before I cracked it open and found it was just a cratered rectifier and that I had some in my toolbox for a Club Car PD2 charger.
  8. MMDVM & RPI running Pi-Star as a YSF reflector.  It will go down if power fails. I might fix that later. $
  9. A Tram 1480 antenna perched at 16', but am looking for small tower pieces to set it at 27'8" to stay within the limits of city ordinance. (not shown)

Infrustuture is handled here about 15 feet to the left of my ham shack. From left to right and top to bottom.

Cisco clustered AP  /down Fortigate FGT60C Firewall appliance / Spectrum modem / Dell R710 /down Patch panel / Netgear GS748T 48 port managed switch / Security DVR DS-7308HFI-ST (Special thanks to Ben King for offering this when the company did an upgrade) /down A whole lot of power strips and wall warts. / APC 750XL Smart-UPS /down 4 East Penn Deka Group 31 AGM batteries. Two series packs parralleled for a solid 24V that lasts days of grid.

This is where you can find my other ramblings