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New addition to the Hidde...
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146.780 PL 100
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Back on HF...almost
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  New addition to the Hidden Valley skyline
Posted by: KC1BB-Jim - 04-02-2018 06:22 PM - No Replies

After years of thinking, planning, and finally executing, I finally have my tower and tri bander up.



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  Antenna Projects
Posted by: W7CGC-Chris - 03-28-2018 09:16 AM - No Replies

So it's been awhile since I've posted on here, so I thought I'd share a little of what I've had in the works.

I finally got my WT-51 tower up a couple of months ago, after going through the whole city permit process, and HOA process for over a year.

This included digging the pit for the tower base, building the base, and pouring the concrete.

Assembling the N4ARR Hexbeam
[Image: 20180121_160709_1518622067387.jpeg]

Preparing the Tower, mast and Rotor:
[Image: 20180121_160729_1518622063799.jpeg]

Attaching the Hexbeam and connecting the coax:
[Image: FullSizeR_03.jpg]

Lifting the tower into place was a complicated task, of pounding in earth anchors into the ground, to secure the tilt pole that rests against the concrete and attaches to the tower. I unfortunately did not get pictures of this, but the earth anchors are designed for 400lbs of force each.

Once the tower was in place we noticed the tower was not raising properly, so the cable had to be rerouted, and in order to do this, tension had to be taken off the cable. Good old leverage was used to take the pressure off, and it was taking awhile to reroute the cable, so my social media addiction probably kicked in here as I was holding the lever.

[Image: 20180121_172859_1518622059105.jpeg]

[Image: 20180121_172904_1518622062596.jpeg]

It was important to be able to raise the tower slightly because it was making contact with my dual band base antenna:
[Image: IMG_20180121_172854.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20180121_172847.jpg]

Tower was finally up:
[Image: IMG_20180121_174754.jpg]

View from the front of the house:
[Image: IMG_20180130_124002.jpg]

One limitation that I had was that the hexbeam only goes down to 20M, and I had no option for 40M on the tower. So in order to install an antenna switch, and my 900Mhz Yagi antenna, the tower needed to be tilted back down, since I could not reach the feed point of the hexbeam with a ladder.

Everything seemed to be going well on the lowering of the tower, but make sure you check your straps when you do something like this. Because of the age of my straps, a strap did break, and the tower did fall a foot or two onto the frame we were using for safety in order to keep the tower off the ground and destroying the antenna. It barely survived, if the tower had fallen any further I don't think the frame would have survived, and my hexbeam also would not have survived. Fortunately the hexbeam bounced, and just some of the cords had to be reconnected:

[Image: IMG_20180318_105027.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20180318_105022.jpg]

[Image: IMG_20180318_105008.jpg]

As you may notice in the pictures, there may be a commonality in all of the antenna incidents... Hmm.

Big Grin

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  Technical Committee Meeting Notes Feb 24, 2018
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 03-06-2018 07:42 PM - Replies (3)

Technical Committee Meeting
February 24, 2018

1. What is on the air as of today.

a. At CACC two GE MASTR II's and the Arcom RC210 controller are on loan from Bob, W8RH. One is on 145.210, PL 162.2 (On the air); the other is on 449.125, PL 136.5 (Down but ready to go as soon as the hardline is ran).
b. At T-bird water tower one Fusion repeater on 446.300 PL 100.0.

2. What has been done as of today.

a. Tuned the 2M cans, as somehow they were knocked off frequency at CACC.
b. Tuned the 449.125 can at CACC and made it ready to go on the air.
c. Tuned the 446.300 can at T-Bird as best as possible until the proper jumpers can be ordered.
d. Preamps have been installed on the repeaters at CACC, and ordered for T-Bird.
e. Two - 260 ft spools of 1/2” hardline and Type-N connectors have been ordered for CACC to run from the tower to the repeater room.

3. What needs to be done.

a. Pull two runs of hardline at CACC for the 2M and 440 repeaters. ASAP! Once done put the 440 repeater on the air.
b. Order the correct jumpers for the T-Bird duplexer.
c. Modify the Fusion repeaters for cooler operation and circuitry protection.
d. Add the preamp inside the case of the Fusion at T-Bird.

4. What can/will be done?

a. CACC will be removing their microwave equipment from the tower and repeater room in the coming weeks. They will (hopefully) leave the two extra runs of LMR400, the extra rack and maybe the UPS. The extra rack and UPS will remain the property of CACC and will not leave the room.
b. There is a strong WiFi signal in the repeater room that we can use via VPN to connect one, or both repeaters to VOIP networks. DMR, YSF (Fusion), P25, D-Star, EchoLink and/or IRLP. Depending on the network(s) chosen, the repeaters might not be able to be linked.
c. If no VOIP networks are to be used, do we want the repeaters at CACC permanently linked? If not what would be the appropriate schedule for automatically linking them?
d. Do we want to create a link from/to T-Bird from CACC?
e. Do we want to link other repeaters from the CACC site? i.e. Mt. Lemmon 6M, Tucson 900Mhz, etc. If so, what repeater and permanently or on demand?
f. Raise the antenna at the T-Bird site.
g. Anything else I know I missed?

5. What do we want to do?

As this affects the entire club it is open for discussion and a final decision by all club members.

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  Back on HF...almost
Posted by: N7FAN-David - 03-04-2018 11:27 AM - Replies (3)

I am now the owner of a Kenwood TS-440S. Now I need to figure out an antenna for the backyard.

I haven't built a dipole since I was 17. Ugh. I don't even remember where to start.

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  900Mhz feedline and antennas
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 01-19-2018 11:01 AM - Replies (5)

Part 1

Speaking only in generalities, us amateur radio types almost always try and do things as cheeply as possible. While this is just fine for HF antennas and feedline it does not always play on the upper bands. Here is an attenuation chart from QRZNow.com for the most popular coax used by hams. Some of the values are scary!

[Image: COAX-LOSS.jpg]

A more detailed sheet for RG type coax is shown here.

[Image: RG-Atten.gif]

And here is the LMR attenuation for 900Mhz.

[Image: low-loss_chart.jpg]


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  GTX900 Program List
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 12-30-2017 05:21 PM - Replies (8)

Here is a list of frequencies that have been / will be programmed into the GTX900 radios.

1 927.3375 WHITE TANKS (ARA - CALZONA Link)
2 927.4125 PINAL PEAK (ARA - Rim Link)
3 927.2125 SOUTH MTN (MOT)
4 927.0500 MT LEMMON (Future links to 6M @ 220)
5 927.6500 MARICOPA
6 927.1125 MINGUS MTN
7 927.4625 USERY-FHART
8 927.8375 PINAL-FHART
9 927.8000 SIMPLEX (High Power)
10 927.5000 SIMPLEX (Low Power)
SCANNING: Ch 1-5,9,10

This is the updated code plug I am putting in the recent radios. Let me know if you want this one instead.

1 927.3375 WHITE TANKS (ARA - CALZONA Link)
2 927.4125 PINAL PEAK (ARA - Rim Link)
3 927.2125 SOUTH MTN (MOT)
4 927.0500 MT LEMMON (Future links to 6M @ 220)
5 927.0250 White Tanks (Linked system)
6 927.4375 Chandler (MOT)
7 927.0875 Mingus Mountain
8 927.1625 Scottsdale (ARA)
9 927.8000 SIMPLEX (High Power)
10 927.5000 SIMPLEX (Low Power)
SCANNING: Ch 2-5,9,10

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  What's in your VHF/UHF Radio?
Posted by: N7FAN-David - 10-04-2017 04:01 AM - Replies (3)

Which repeaters do you have programmed into your radio memories? Maybe you hang out on a simplex frequency?

What do you have programmed?

There seem to be several thousand repeater pairs in the Phoenix area, and only a few good repeaters. So, share with us which ones you listen to.


I found an old memory list from when I lived in Chandler. Half the repeaters are no longer on the air, and most of the rest of them you can't hit from Maricopa.

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  Monday Night Net
Posted by: K7NDM-Nathan - 09-18-2017 08:06 PM - Replies (2)

I haven't herd a net in a couple weeks now. Did we change Frequencys again? Thanks Nathan

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  EchoLink up and running on 449.800
Posted by: NA7CS - Curt - 07-27-2017 05:55 PM - Replies (3)

After a little head scratching I managed to get EchoLink working on my 449.800 repeater, PL 110.9. This is open to all to use within the limits of FCC rules Smile All I ask is, if you bring up a node you disconnect it when done. I have also configured it so that 5 separate stations can connect simultaneously. Depending on how that works, I can increase the number of "Conference" connections significantly.

For those curious, the repeater is a Motorola R1225 running 25W into a 6dBd antenna. The EchoLink interface is my SignaLink USB in VOX mode that has been collecting dust.

Here is a quick intro from the EchoLink web site and useful links.

"EchoLink® software allows licensed Amateur Radio stations to communicate with one another over the Internet, using streaming-audio technology. The program allows worldwide connections to be made between stations, or from computer to station, greatly enhancing Amateur Radio's communications capabilities. There are more than 200,000 validated users worldwide — in 151 of the world's 193 nations — with about 6,000 online at any given time."

EchoLink differs from IRLP in that once a ham is registered, they can connect to any other registered repeater, link, conference or user directly in one of three ways. Hams can make connections through a local repeater or link station, using their computer and finally their smart phone. Each one can connect to the other directly.

Even though you can connect to a node using its call sign, the easiest way to connect to a node via DTMF would be with the node number. For example my node number is 885610. The best look-up tool for on-line node numbers is here. On-Line EchoLink Nodes

This is where you will find the DTMF commands. EchoLink DTMF Commands

There are some similarities with IRLP, and some differences. However I believe the many ways a station can connect to another station makes EchoLink a little more attractive.

In the coming days, the 448.525 repeater will be connected on the AllStar Link System. When done I will add a little ditty about it.

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  Grounding and Bonding Presentation
Posted by: W6SDM-Steve - 06-12-2017 05:43 PM - No Replies

At our May meeting, Andy Keels, KD4ABB, gave an in-depth presentation on grounding and bonding. Andy is a Professional Engineer with the Salt River Project.

There is so much to know about this subject. I think everyone there learned something new, regardless of how much experience they had, to begin with. Here are the slides from Andy's presentation.

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page1-L.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page2-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page3-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page4-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page5-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page6-M.jpg]

[Image: Bonding%20Grounding%20NEC%20for%20HAMS-page7-M.jpg]

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