Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Hodge Podge of Amateur Radio

It's been a while since I posted, as other things have taken up my time, but I've been able to squeeze in some amateur radio items in here and there.

First, I took over the website committee for my local club.  The website is www.slsrc.org which is a Joomla site.  I'm still in the learning process for all the configuration, as I inherited what the previous owner had setup.  Along with those duties, the club has a January ham fest called "Winterfest" which has it's own website and on-line store for vendors and attendees to purchase flea market tables and advance tickets.  I've also been helping out with the web banner ads on QRZ for Winterfest.

Back in Oct, our local club ran an special event station, W0A, to celebrate the 50 years of the St. Louis Arch.  John, our W0A coordinator was on Ham Nation back in Oct to talk about the special event and our operating procedures.  Myself and another club member re-wrote an existing on-line logging program called Cloudlog for members to log W0A contacts from home.  The special event lasted about a week and we made around 865 contacts as a group.

Lately I've been getting into APRS.  Coverage around the St. Louis area is not the greatest, so I decided to put up an iGate at my house.  This process included installing another antenna at the house which I competed today.  The next step is to get another dedicated radio for passing APRS traffic to my computer which will pass it to aprs.fi.

For my 2nd VHF antenna, I constructed a 2m slim jim j-pole because it had an extra 3db of gain.  I thought that would be a good attribute since it will mostly be a receiving antenna vs transmitting.  I ha an old Dish Network satellite mount, but was missing the actual pole, so I just used PVC to create a new pole.  After installing it on my roof, I attached the slim jim, ran some flexible LMR-400 into the house.  Now to get a secondary radio.  In the mean time, a friend of mine loaned me his Kantronics TNC which I'll hook into my Kenwood mobile/base at the house.