Check out the YouTube video below to find out more about Quartzfest.
Want to get out of the cold next January?
Check out the YouTube video below to find out more about Quartzfest.
From the ARRL newslette
New Mesh Software AvailableThe leaders at Broadband-Hamnet (formerly known as HSMM-MESH) have officially released a version of their MESH software for some of theUbiquiti products. See http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/documentation/186-ubnt-fw-release-101
Unlike the Linksys WRT54G series of indoor, table top routers/radios, the Ubiquiti devices are designed for outdoor use. In addition, at least two Broadband Hamnet capable Ubiquiti devices, the NanoStation Loco M2 (NSL-M2) and the NanoStation M2 (NS-M2), incorporate a router radio and an antenna in one unit. The main difference between the NanoStation Loco M2 and the NanoStation M2 is the strength of their built in antennas. The Loco M2 provides 8 db gain while the M2 offers an increase to 11 db gain.
If I were to update my old Volusia Mesh presentation (as discussed in the January issue of this newsletter), I'd replace the WRT54G routers with the Ubiquiti M2. You can buy the M2 new from Amazon.com for $88.99, just about the price of an old WRT54G, an antenna, and a waterproof box. --Mark Friedlander, KV4I, Assistant EC, Volusia County, Florida ARES
After more than a year of delays, we are excited to announce that the antennas are finally installed on the roof of the pantry. While there still remains a little work to be done in installing static arresters on the cables, the antennas are ready for use.
This will allow us to call the net from the pantry when desired or necessary.
We will hook up one of the antennas to the packet radio system currently running in the pantry. The other will be used for the dual band radio that is ready to use.
Do you have a QSL card? If so, we would like to put one on the bulletin board in the radio room at the pantry.
This is a good way for you to let others know who you are and will help make our radio room look official..
If you do not have one , look online and there are a few downloads for doing them on your own printer. (I did this one on my color printer.)
There are also several companies that will make them up for you for a very reasonable price. Standard ones go for around $10 for 100.
Check out www.cheapqsls.com
The 10 meter band
The 10 meter ham band can be very exciting with worldwide communications or more down to earth with just local QSO's. It mostly depends on the 11 year solar cycle and whether we are at the bottom, peak or on the way back down. We are near a peak now but solar activity has been spotty.
When the cycle is at it's peak, worldwide propagation prevails with very minimum power levels required. At times, 5 watts SSB can get you into Australia, the Far East, Europe and many other countries or just around the U.S.! Even with minimum conditions at the bottom of the 11 year cycle there are random periods of "sky wave" propagation that are caused by temporary Ionospheric conditions. Some of these conditions are caused by Ionized particles that randomly occur as "clouds" in the upper atmosphere that reflect radio waves on 10 meters. "10" can be a fantastic challenge or just plain easy as eating a piece of pie.
If you're up for a challenge, then the 10 meter band is for you. But you will have to be patient.
Ham: a poor operator; a 'plug' (G. M. Dodge; The Telegraph Instructor)
The first wireless operators were landline telegraphers who left their offices to go to sea or to man the coastal stations. They brought with them their language and much of the tradition of their older profession. In those early days, every station occupied the whole spectrum with its broad spark signal. Government stations, ships, coastal stations and the increasingly numerous amateur operators all competed for time and signal supremacy in each other's receivers. Many of the amateur stations were very powerful. Two amateurs, working each other across town, could effectively jam all the other operations in the area. Frustrated commercial operators would refer to the ham radio interference by calling them "hams." Amateurs, possibly unfamiliar with the real meaning of the term, picked it up and applied it to themselves. As the years advanced, the original meaning has completely disappeared.
Although we are still called “hams” today, the connotation is certainly better and we are often looked at as those who can communicate “when all else fails”
Amateur Radio operators are;
CONSIDERATE . . . never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL . . . he offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE . . . with knowledge abreast of science, well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.
FRIENDLY . . . slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED . . . Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to his family, job, school or community.
PATRIOTIC . . . station and skill always ready for the service to country and community.
-- The original Amateur's Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928
Ubiquiti Networks Inc. is a manufacturer of Wi-Fi equipment and other communication products. Our hat goes off to Ubiquiti Networks for their outstanding products and technological advances.
We as amateurs simply use the Ubiquiti name as a reference for the network we are developing using equipment manufactured by Ubiquiti Networks Inc.
What we as amateur radio operators are interested in, is that ability to use the channels that fall within the amateur radio band. Hams may use Wi-Fi gear under FCC part 97 if they stay within 802.11 channels 1 through 6 so the RF signals will be within the 13cm ham band.
The equipment we are implementing is the Ubiquiti Bullet M series Wi-Fi radios. This equipment is typically used in normal “over the air” Wi-Fi networks, but we are utilizing them to build a community network for communications. By assigning specific SSID ID’s, we are able to develop a closed network and send data files i.e. text, pictures, video etc. over this network and incorporate BBS, packet, Telnet and other data protocols in the network.
All in all it is an exciting aspect of amateur radio and we will develop it over time in our community to become a “backbone” in our communication efforts.
Using the 2.4 Ghz Frequency Band and ordinary Wi-Fi equipment like used in most homes around the valley, a high speed, high bandwidth Internet type connection was made in the local mountains east of the valley. This signal was able to pass full color streaming video with audio, similar to internet video like Skype, of the event from connected aid stations, down to a Laptop in the Lodge at the Brighton Ski Area. But unlike your home Wi-Fi, which many of us have problems just getting the signal to cover the short distance to all the rooms in their home, these Amateur Radio Operators, commonly known as Hams, sent the signal out several miles in mountainous terrain! And that was in ham lingo, “barefoot”, or not using the higher power levels that Hams are licensed to use! In fact, the level of signal used ( about 60 millawatts) was far less than the power used by the average kid’s toy walkie-talkie!
Seven experienced Hams, using high levels of radio equipment skills were able to establish what they call HSMM-MESH (High Speed Multi-Media MESH) connections linking three Aid Stations for an event high in the mountains, each about 2.5 miles apart.
The event was Utah’s Wasatch 100 - a 100 mile race through the heart of the Wasatch mountains, starting about 17 miles north of Salt Lake City, just east of Kaysville/Layton, Utah, and ends in the mountains in the Heber Valley, at the Soldier Hollow Pavilion.
The event lasted from Friday, September 6th thru Saturday September 7th, and the Ham’s had darkness, rain, and mountain winds to contend with, along with the normal cold temperatures of the mountain heights. And, of course there were no power outlets close by to conveniently plug their equipment into – they had to provide their own battery or solar power for all their equipment, a fairly normal situation for these hams.
Ham radio operators are expected to provide all their own equipment and often, power source when providing volunteer communication services for what Hams call “a served agency” – in this instance, the Wasatch 100 Race group and runners. They are also expected to be totally self sufficient as to anything they may need to be on site for several days at a time if they are called out to help in an emergency situation such as the recent flooding in Colorado, where over three hundred Hams manned more than sixty locations around the clock in shifts to keep crucial communications links up after regular methods such as cell phones, and standard phone systems failed.
For this event, as in past years, other hams also provided Voice and text ability using Ham Radio 2 Meter equipment at each aid station along the route so that race officials could track each runners progress, and could be informed immediately of any runners that had medical needs.