“60C” !

First there was 55N, then WSC, then there was the breadplant, then came woodlands, then came dugald road — now — comes “60c” our newest site for installation of RF units to support the expansion of the VA4WAN high-speed network!  Some of these sites are still undergoing change to bring them fully into the network, but we keep on trying to bring sites in that make sense to the expansion …

A number of us headed up the 14 or so flights to the top of the building — Jim VE4SIG, Colin VE4CST, William VE4VR, Derek VE4HAY, Wyatt VE4WDZ and myself Dan VE4DRK.  Meeting in the parking lot later after work we assembled the clan around 6:45pm(ish) and loaded up with Colin’s gear and the odd antenna piece.  Luckily, it was a nice warm day and the only thing we had to worry about was ensuring we had enough liquids to keep us hydrated while we’re up there.  We co-share this site with a number of cell providers and there was quite the power units up there (I forgot to bring my tinfoil hat!) hi hi …

We have a great shot at our main-site .. look below for a great pic of our main site – -the big building on the left-centre:

60c - 55n
60c – 55n

 

From this vantage point, it will server the surrounding areas and southern parts quite well!  Looking eastwards(ish) I see an area that should be my house in the distance .. except there appears to be some form of large’ish building just in the way a bit .. not sure how much .. but very very very close to blocking the entire view 🙁

hmmm
hmmm
somewhere behind there ...
somewhere behind there …

So, we had quite a few guys to help putting things up, down, apart, together etc .. so we started getting at it …

at_it1

at_it7

at_it2

at_it3

at_it4

UPS, routers, control box being setup
UPS, routers, control box being setup

After spending almost 4 hours up there, it was time to call it a night …

timing ...
timing …

 

So, now – while all the ethernet runs appear to be good as we can talk to all the units, the RF connectivity is only so-so.  So, while we ran out of time, we need to go back and do some diagnostics on some of the links/units to verify they are 100% RF output … will see shortly!  I suspect there is another venture to 60c in the future …

73, Dan ve4drk

Taking down of Ed VE4YU (sk) tower …

A number of hams gathered at the home of Irene, widow of the late Ed Henderson VE4YU (sk) Saturday to take down his tri-bander and other antenna items and his 40′ tower.

Dick VE4HK doing his thing ..
Dick VE4HK doing his thing ..

While it took longer than expected, we were treated with sandwiches, pickles and cupcakes from Irene and her daughter – very tasty at that!

Thanks to Dick VE4HK for all his climbing skills, the event went without a hitch.  Helping with this endeaver were Radiosport Manitoba members Cary VE4EA, Kelly VE4XT, myself VE4DRK, as well as Glen VE4GWN with Rosie VE4YYL and newly minted ham John VE4VJR.

Some pics during the day below- the day started off cool, then warmed up nicely when the sun was out in full.  Link from my google photos:

Photos of tower takedown

73, Dan ve4drk

 

Dayton!

Well — been licenced for 25 years — had not (yet) been to Dayton –  until this year!  The XYL and I planned a touring trip to some of the surrounding states to fit in with my attendance to the hamfest.  Well — the trip was good, saw a number of sights and visited a number of them on the way.  When I got there, I knew Walter VE4VB and Derek VE4HAY would be there from our city – so we hooked up with them for a bite to eat the night before and it just seemed apropos to join them when they attended.  They have vendor passes and have great parking!  and they get to show me around (i still get lost!) – -was great – Walter has been coming to Dayton for decades!  and Derek had some bargaining skills – so was fun to pick up a few units here and there.

I checked in with Cary VE4EA as well as Tom VE3CX and finally met Gerry W1VE in the flesh – so visiting these guys at the ARRL HF Experience booth was fun.

Cary, Dan ,Tom
Cary, Dan ,Tom

(Note in the background “RadioSport Manitoba” !! )

Was great to see a number of hams I had not met for some time — a few from the states and some from Calgary — even saw Ken Olke VE6AFO from my Calgary days there.  Tim VE6SH was also manning the IARU booth – man, does he get around!

I was able to pick up some used gear (of course!) I can’t believe the number of people in the flea market – a veritable treasure trove of used “stuff”.

Just as the gates were opening …

Starting up...
Starting up…

I found that there were a number of sessions on the first day that I wanted to attend, so I spent quite a bit of time in there.  Another session on HackRF 🙂

HackRF !
HackRF !

I did finally find my first purchase .. didn’t take that long to find some enclosures and units I could use:

first purchase
first purchase

It was great to have both Derek and Walter show me around a bit – (did I mention I kept on getting lost!) — Walter showed me a few vendors and introduced me to them – they certainly know Walter from years gone by …

Walter - VE4VB in his glory
Walter – VE4VB in his glory

We also felt we struck a good deal on some sectors … we were able to purchase 2 sets of 3 120 degree sectors with mounting hardware … they were heavy to carry from site to site – lucky the local transport crew spotted us lugging these things around and gave them a lift … so, trying to make sure they fit in Derek’s SUV:

Sectors!
Sectors!

Another session I had attended to was talking all about digital etc … Bruce and associates were certainly well-attended:

dayton_session2

sessions
sessions

well .. .I did buy some more gear at Dayton — I stopped by the TAPR booth and bought one of their 20m WSPR filter cards — this little guy attaches to the Raspberry Pi and puts out a whopping 100mW 🙂

QRPi 20m filter
QRPi 20m filter

I tied it to my 5band ground-mounted vertical and it appears to transmit as it is being heard in NA at least .. so — a better antenna and I’m sure it’ll make a bit longer trek 🙂

20m QRPi filters mounted
20m QRPi filters mounted

so — we left —

leaving - tired
leaving – tired

so – on the way back, we tried to meet up on 652 and I had my APRS on — so it seems when I stopped for gas and checked my messages, Derek had mentioned they had to stop in IL and saw me on my APRS passing them — didn’t hear them and didn’t see them … but they had engine problems .. seems the old GM hybrid blew a valve .. now THAT was an expensive venture for them … (at least our gear arrived) 🙂

The WSPR is interesting .. just today in the last while 20m is so-so but the 100 milli-watts is being heard 🙂

20m WSPR sightings - so-so
20m WSPR sightings – so-so

I was also able to pick up a new Raspberry PI kit .. came with all the goodies to get it working right out of the box! 🙂

raspberry pi kit
raspberry pi kit

Since I wasn’t able to buy one in person at Dayton, I ordered one on-line as I was coming back – took only a week to get it!   I like all things digital – so this little RF – digital interface was interesting .. so I bought one . .a DV4MINI .. my dstar and dmr radios can operate through this little guy – USB powered unit with low-power UHF radio to-boot:

DV4mini
DV4mini

so – would I do it again – sure – be interesting to talk to more guys as to what they’re up to and see what other “goods” can be found on the market … ’till next year!

73, Dan ve4drk