K2HAX is on the air! With our move to the new space, we have access to the roof. On a beautiful fall day, Chris Olin and I put up a 30’ fiberglass mast on a tripod base (not attached to the roof). Then we hoisted up a trapped dipole for 10-80 meters and a G5RV. The dipole is oriented SW-NE, the G5RV is SE-NW. We also put up a 2m/70 cm J-Pole for VHF/UHF. All the feedlines were run with previously used 8/U down to our space (about 150’) and into the Ham Shack.
We initially had a Kenwood TS-530s transceiver and roller tuner setup for HF and we made a few contacts. We wanted to get the Yaesu FT-857GX out of the storage container and try it out. That is setup now along with an automatic tuner. Reception seems decent. We are waiting on an operable microphone to get back on the air. Bill, Von, Rowan, and Steve are working on that. We will be working on CAT control and a hook-up for using SDR like functionality with Ham Radio Deluxe, allowing us to get into the digital communication modes.
The Yaesu FT-8800 VHF/UHF rig is working well, K2HAX normally monitors 146.61 (N2MPE local ARES/RACES repeater) while someone is in the shack. We have cables for programming this rig on order and also have a cable for use with the PacComm TNC for packet, etc.
We also have a desktop PC with a nice monitor setup for use with the transceivers. We are waiting on a 2 port serial card to communicate with the radios. The remote programming of the radios and the option for digital mode communications (PSK, Packet, etc) opens up with the PC.
Our bench includes power supplies, frequency counters, various multi-meters and hand tools. We have a great selection of soldering tools for discrete and SMT component work. We have a variable temperature iron and a variable speed and temperature blower for re-work. On order is a Hakko 808 de-soldering tool. We have 2 antenna analyzers, a new Comet and an older MFJ. Several bench projects are already underway including Jamie’s whispering clocks, many cable hacks for the radios, and Walter’s attempts to repair blown audio equipment.
Ham radio is witnessing a rebirth in popularity. Emergency preparedness at the county/state/and national level has recognized the value of Ham radio as the most dependable means for communication during an emergency. Interlock members have participated in local POD drills, Ginna nuclear event practice response teams and are regular attendees at the local ARES/RACES meetings. Ham Radio can provide texting, TV and many other familiar forms of communication without any annoying infrastructure. We can DX with Ham operators around the world, by voice and many new and old digital modes. SDR is an emerging technology applied to Ham radio; opening up some fantastic possibilities for low power operation, contesting, and pulling weak signals out of the noise.
Ham radio is growing in popularity. Interlock Hams would love to introduce anyone interested to the hobby and answer any questions you may have.