All Things HF: April

All Things HF
Where in the world would you like to go today…I’m not thinking about today. My thoughts are about 3Y0Z and the Bouvet DXpedition in January 2018. My excitement meter is pegged to the max as is with the worldwide DX community. After all, Bouvet Island is number two on the worlds most wanted list and there’s 20 radio operators preparing to visit one of the worlds most serious and dangerous isolated Islands located in the Atlantic Ocean. The approach will be attained by an experienced crew of sea going sailors aboard a very serious ship. Landing at the operating site will be by helicopter that is carried aboard the ship. All personnel and supplies will be landed at the sight by helicopter. Operating equipment including antennas, antenna mounts (being designed), radios and all operating support equipment such as amplifiers, generators and the like are being gathered and tested will be air lifted to the operating site which at best can be called a glacier. This DXpedition will be using ground breaking technology for the first time with SDR radios by Flex Radio Systems along with state of the art proven antenna systems. These dedicated HAM radio operators are focused on making sure that every DX operator in the world is given an opportunity for an ATNO (all time new one) for their logbook. One of the operators is Glen Johnson (W0GJ) a good friend of the Brainerd Radio Club having made two presentations at past club dinners. I would urge all those interested to go to QRZ.com to W0GJ and visit Glens world class radio operating station. This is a trip that will amaze you just how dedicated this man is to our hobby and to operating DX. Glen is also an accomplished contester and…both a fixed wing aircraft and helicopter pilot. As for this DXer, I’m at my station most days either calling CQ or answering someone else’s call. In-between times, I manage some CW activity. Those who know me also know that I am not a fan of 20-meters (too many sharp elbows and nets) but…the band has been the go to band because its open most of the time. When the going gets tough, the tough get going and that’s why you’ll find me on 20-meters during poor conditions. Tip of the day for you new Hams who plan to DX sometime in the future…put up a wire antenna and listen, and listen and listen. You’ll become a good operator after listening to those who have gone before you. In the meantime for those of you who are on HF, sit down at your station and call CQ because someone somewhere is listening. Don’t disappoint them. That’s about it from Huntersville for now…best 73 es gud DX from Bob/W0ZPE.

BAARC Remote Station Antenna installation at the high-rise.

BAARC Remote Station Antenna installation at the high-rise.
On Saturday April 1, 2017 Mitch, Al, Steve, John, Nick, Lyle performed some work on the high rise in anticipation of setting up the BAARC remote HF station.
The  group hung up an Alpha-Delta Fan Dipole, the response of the antenna is somewhat narrow and the team will investigate some additional options. The antenna remained in place until we determine the next steps.
Al and John put a new termination on the hardline for the 6-Meter repeater and re-started the repeater.

BAARC Club Meeting Program April 30, 2017 – Winlink email using HF radio

BAARC Club Meeting April 30, 2017
We were very fortunate to have visitors from the Duluth area. Doug Nelson (AA0AW) and Jeff Nast (KC0MKS) presented a program on using HF radio to serve as an email routing tool. In times of emergency or when you are not near an internet connection, the ability to send and receive emails can still be done via your HF radio and computer.
Winlink, also known as the Winlink 2000 Network, is a worldwide radio messaging system that uses amateur-band radio frequencies to provide radio interconnection services that include email with attachments, position reporting, weather bulletins, emergency relief communications, and message relay.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winlink
Jeff reviewed some background regarding the various protocols and the multiple transfer paths to route emails.
Prior to the meeting Al, Lyle, Steve, and Mitch put up a temporary antenna to use for the demonstration by using the fire station antenna tower with a pully system, some trees, and a fence.
While Jeff demonstrated the transmission and receive waterfall screens, Doug was able to use an HF radio and we could hear Jeff’s  HF station located in Knife River sending the receiving emails.
Jeff also reference and actual situation where this email mode provided valued information due to an very heavy storm that impacted the Duluth Metro area. While Jeff/Doug and a team of people were on Isle Royal National Part during an National Parks on the air event. This storm hit the Duluth area and team members were able to send emails to home and determine if everything was OK, upon sending and receiving email confirmations that everything was fine, the team then continued on their mission to execute the “Parks on the Air” event.
In closing the program, Jeff asked that members seriously investigate putting a system on-line to pass email traffic. Remember, all you need is an HF radio, a USB sound card interface, and the installation of the software .