Category Archives: N0BCB

HAM radio call sign, N0BCB, previously KD0PVZ.

portable amateur UHF repeater

Motorola GM300 cross band repeater

I’ve been playing around with old Motorola commercial gear on the amateur bands, and decided to try a cross band repeater. This setup is using 1/each of the VHF and UHF versions. For ID and repeater control, I built an ID-O-Matic IV by hamgadgets.com. The duplexer is a MFJ916B. Antenna is a TRAM-1480 @ 35′ AGL.
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Other images of this repeater setup can be found at: mainelife images

New VHF/UHF antenna

I finally got around to adding an antenna for the 2m and 70cm bands at my house.  I chose the Tram 1480 since it got great reviews and was half the price of comparable amateur base antennas.  The antenna is fed with about 40′ of LMR-400 and is mounted to a short satellite TV mount about 30′ above ground level.  So far this setup seems to work great, but I don’t spend much time on these bands so time will tell. I did use self-sealing antenna tape on the mid-section joint, based on reviews about water getting into the antenna.

 

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W0C/SR-059 Mt Democrat and W0C/FR-001 Mt Lincoln

Continuing on with my recent desire to add more points to my SOTA total, I decided to drive to the Kite Lake TH last night and camp for an early am start up Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Democrat.  Mark, Christian and I hit the trail head at 6am to beautiful weather.  It had rained some around 4am but was clear when we left camp.

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When we got close to the summit of Democrat, dark clouds were already building.  The weather forecast had been clear until 2pm.  So much for weather forecasts!  We pushed on to the summit and the clouds moved off to the West/North.


I worked a few guys right away from Democrat, then packed it up with hopes of making Lincoln before bad weather hit.  I had forgotten (thin air?) that I was going to try working K1Jd and KT5X in Santa Fe on CW.  I had scheduled a QSO on 2m with Bob K0NR, and he was within range of 2m at his cabin.

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We crossed over Mt. Cameron.  This one doesn’t qualify for SOTA, and really doesn’t qualify as a 14er for any bragging rights.  Not enough prominence.  Somebody had left these cardboard signs on all the summits.

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There were more chasers available from Mt Lincoln.  I quickly had enough in the log and moved on.  The weather was really starting to close in.   It was fun to work a few guys on 40m-CW.  Nowhere near the pileup I would have dealt with on 20m.

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On the way across from Cameron to Bross, it started hailing and thundering.  I decided to not try my luck on Bross (plus it’s a closed summit, but that wouldn’t normally stop me!).

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The final track log and elevation profile:
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All the photos from this trip can be viewed in my Smugmug Gallery

73 de Bryan N0BCB

KD1JV MTR v2 Part 1

I’ve been slowly building up my Steve Weber Mountain Top Radio version 2 kit over the past week. For the SMT parts I chose to try reflow soldering in a toaster oven, and I’m glad I did it that way. I used solder paste in a syringe from Cash Olsen as recommended by Steve. For the oven I used an unmodified $20 Rival oven from Walmart set to 420F and simply watched for the paste to become glossy solder.

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Once the SMT parts were in place, it was easy to finish the standard through hole parts.

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Right now I’m in the process of winding the toroids and soldering them down. I’ll update this again once all parts are down and I begin with adjustments and testing.

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Buddipole 2m 5/8 wave vertical

I’ve been doing some searches for a 2 meter, 5/8 wave vertical using Buddipole parts, and so far I haven’t come up with one. So, I decided to figure it out on my own! This is pretty easy to build if you have the Versatee and rotating arm kit. I only had 2 whips available, but with 3 and a jumper you could use 2 ground planes.
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This antenna is tuned around 146.52 as a center frequency. Adjusting the element lengths and/or the coil taps should allow use over the whole amateur band

Freqency

SWR

R

X

145.0

1.4:1

44

17

146.0

1.1:1

45

4

147.0

1.3:1

63

10

A closeup of the Versatee.  Connect the Red coax wire to the Blue Versatee connection.  Connect the Black coax wire to the Black versatee connection.  The Coil wander lead connects to the coil 1.5 turns in from the brass screw at the top of the Coil. This should equate to ~ 0.15 uH of inductance.

MFJ-259b at 146.52

Ground plane element length (19.25″):

Vertical element length (48.0″):

Mini coil tap (1.5 turns in from the top, brass screw)

5BTV radial wire system

I put together a radial system for my 5 band trapped vertical antenna. I’m using (32) 16.25′ radials, soldered to a 10 gauge bare copper wire. The copper ring will connect to the 3 bolts at the base of the vertical. For wire, I purchased a 500′ roll of underground dog fence wire at Home Depot. Each wire will be buried just below the surface in a star burst pattern. I used the ARRL antenna book to calculate the optimal radial system for the amount of wire I have.

5BTV radial wire

5BTV radial wire

Blue Sky Marathon 2013

Erin and I helped with the Indian Summer North aid station at the Blue Sky Marathon for our 4th consecutive year on Sunday.  Erin was the race photographer, and I helped with radio communications.  It was a fun day, with great weather.  I made a time-lapse movie that covers roughly 7am to 1pm, looking West from our aid station.

 

Activation Alert: Pemigewasset Loop

I’ll be backpacking the Pemi Loop in New Hampshire this weekend, and plan to activate 4 summits.  Times listed below are approximate depending on hiking speeds and conditions.  I will be running 10 watts SSB with my KX3 and LNR 10/20/40 EFHW trail friendly antenna.

Pemi_Loop

Saturday 9/21/2013

19:00 W1/HA-092 Owl’s Head Mountain (10 pts)

Monday 9/23/2013

13:00 W1/HA-022 South Twin Mountain (10 pts)

15:30 W1/HA-095 Mt Garfield (10 pts)

19:00 W1/HA-022 Mt Lafayette (10 pts)

 

If I’m feeling really ambitious, I may detour on Sunday the 22nd and pick up W1/HA-228, Pt 3051 (4 pts).  I will probably get on the air Sunday night from my campsite.

 

Hope to hear lots of stations on the air!

 

Bryan N0BCB

Alternative Buddistick Vertical

I started my HF career with a Buddistck kit, and learned to tune it pretty well with the factory options. It was my primary SOTA antenna until I switched to a 24′ carbon crappie pole and EFHW for lighter weight and faster deployment. I’ve been looking for a way to use the Buddistick as a camping and travel antenna. My goal was to keep the component lengths to 13″ for suitcase packing.
I decided to add an 8′ Buddipole shock cord mast so that I don’t need to rely on a place to mount the clamp. I also upgraded to a Versatee and the rotating arm kit RAK so that I could deploy the antenna without a wire radial.

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Tonight I tested the setup on 20m and was able to contact K4Y with 10w from my Elecraft KX3, first try!

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The whole kit weighs a few pounds and takes up very little space when packed.

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I made my own guying kit from MSR aluminum tent stakes and paraline. I am planning to print a 3D guy ring so that
I can still rotate in horizontal mode.

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Soon I will add a couple more 13″ arm sections to make tuning easier.