Category Archive: Operating

The “go shack” with DMR

I took this picture weeks ago but never managed to get it up here.  The “go shack” has been updated (as noted below) with the TYT MD-9600, replacing my Kenwood GMRS rig that I think may have bitten the dust anyway.

(The SignaLink is collywobbled because the bolts holding the FT-7900D in place stick up from below the shelf.  I have a plan to deal with that at some point, by simply installing a wood spacer beneath the SignalLink with holes in it to clear the bolts.)

This is, for what it’s worth, the cleanest you will see my shack desk until I build the new one that will have about twice as much square footage.

Another planned change will remove the power supplies from the top of the rack so speakers and other things (maybe including the Kenwood GMRS mobile, if its finals haven’t actually bitten the dust) can be installed.  The power supplies will go into a 2U Gator box that’s collecting dust under the desk at the moment, and the interconnect will use two sets of 75A PowerPoles that are also sitting around collecting dust.  The intent is to be able to take the go shack in the car and run it off of battery power without having to lug the heavy power supplies along with it (and I will make up a heavy cable with a splitter on the radio end for that purpose).  For normal operations, or operations with generator or utility power, the power supplies can then be brought along and hooked up separately.

Anyway, that’s for the future when I actually have time to tear the box down to that extent.

Florida again

The XYL and I have been in Florida since late last week, for R&R and for her to attend a conference (she has an MS in therapeutic recreation and is the aquatics director at a local hospital-owned health club, and she spends a certain amount of time keeping her skills honed in aquatic therapy).  We were in Naples for the R&R portion of the trip, and we moved up to Fort Myers on Monday for her conference.  I didn’t bring any radios this time (other than a couple of handhelds) because I didn’t want to go through the TSA hassle with them and didn’t want to spend the money to FedEx them down here like I did last year.

Of course, ARRL Field Day was last weekend, so I wasn’t able to attend with WD9BSA and the Indianapolis Radio Club.  But I did wander over to the Field Day setup put on by the Amateur Radio Association of Southwest Florida (ARASWF) in Naples, and spent about three hours with that club.  Which was nice, because it’s no great secret that we intend to retire down here, and for some time I’ve wanted to see what the local club was like.  The answer is that the local club is great.  They welcomed me and treated me like one of their own, and even let me make a few Qs for them once the station went on the air at 2PM Saturday.

They had a very nice 4A station, all Icom, and working 15, 20, and 40 meters through a triplexer and 6 meters run to a separate antenna, which I think they said was a moxon of some sort. There were a couple of beam antennas on mobile crankup towers and a dipole strung between them.  The logging software was N1MM Logger+, which I’d never had a chance to use, and which I promptly fell in love with.  Need to get that installed at WD9BSA.

Anyway I had a great time with them until I had to leave to feed the XYL.  If I hadn’t had the rental car I probably would have stayed longer 🙂

I was also listening to their Fusion repeater for awhile, back at the condo.  We have a couple of them in Indy but none of them seem to be close enough to the house for my FT-2D handheld to pick them up.  (To be honest, the DMR repeater in Indy is also barely within range.)  The Fusion in Naples on 147.030 came in just fine.  I picked up a digital QSO between a ham in Kentucky and a ham in Australia, so they must have their Fusion repeater hooked up to WIRES-X — I didn’t get a chance to ask them about that.  I’m just sort of vaguely aware of Fusion because a) the reception issues noted above and b) DMR has been the big digital mode back home for quite some time, and will probably continue to be if the two sides in our current little civil war over access to the statewide talkgroup can resolve their differences.  But there seems to be an interest in Fusion down here alongside DMR (they use DMR+ down here) and D*Star (a mode I’ve never had much interest in).

Anyway, had fun, looking forward to going home, but it’s good to have made eyeball contact with some hams in our likely future QTH.