N4FNB - AMATEUR RADIO STATION
THE TOWER - N4FNB
The HDBX48 reached its full height on March 29, 2014 dressed with a new Force 12 Delta 4 SLX antenna. Also sharing the mast is a 20 T Two meter beam with 10 elements vertical and 10 elements horizonal. Above it is a 4 element six meter beam topped off with a Hygain dual band 144/440 omni antenna. The first time on the air I worked 4 China stations and the next day received a 59 +10 from Reunion Island. Verdict - Huge success. For more pictures and the story, check here.
A GREAT INTERVIEW OF A FAMOUS HAM - BOB HEIL - K9EID
The below link will lead you to an interview on Internet TV - TWIT.TV. Bob Heil was a kid playing with electronics in the 1960's. The hobby of ham radio and his love for organ music led him to play around with amplifiers. He had gathered speakers others had thrown away and built a sound system that came in handy one night when the Fed's confinscated Jerry Garcia's sound system. Jerry called a young Bob and well..... If you like rock and roll history, you will love this interview, if you are also an electronic "nerd" you will find it wonderful, and if you are a HAM, well this is 52 minutes you will truly enjoy. By they way, I have a PR 40 mic as my primary mic in my shack!
Every ham should learn about the Fletch Munson Curve that Bob discusses in this interview. ENJOY..... http://twit.tv/tri8.
Above is a log of the last 10 contact in my logbook. Clicking on this log will take you the the HDRLOG.net site which provides more infomation on amateur radio around the world.
The map above has spotted a number of my recent logged contact around the world. It is most interesting to click on the map then on the wording "open in Google Maps" to get an overlay of the contacts on Google Maps. It is amazing what technology we have at our fingertips today. Also scary.
The above map is a grayline map showing the movement of daylight and dark on the earths surface as the earth turns. This has an effect on the layers of the ionisphere, affecting the bouncing of radio signals from the atmosphere back to earth. The maximum usable frequency (MUF) is the highest frequency that will bounce off the ionisphere and not pass on into outer space. The higher the frequency, the better the chance for longer communications around the world.
The maximum usuable frequency (MUF) and propagation of radio signals is affected most by the sun and the activity related to sunspots and solar flairs and storms on the sun's surface. The chart above provides data that assist in calculations used to predict propagation. The SFI give the solar flux numbers which when are high and the A-index and K-index are low or 0, HF propergation will be great. But only is no solar flares have distroyed the frequencies with S9+ static crashes!
Visitor from around the world. Click Here to check out the flags and their nations.
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NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!
(Update on Oct 22, 2014) The 2014 CQ Magazine's World Wide DX Contest is this weekend! If you are looking for me, check the "On the Air" red sign below for a band and frequency. Sometimes there is a lag in the info getting to this page, but if I am running in one spot, that will be current. Need to clear over 1,000 QSOs this year and shoot for 1,250.
(Update Oct. 30, 2014) The band was great for the CQ WW DX contest weekend. I didn't make the 1,000 QSOs, but made 987, just 13 short of my 1,000 mark and 91 more QSOs than 2013. Multipliers totaled 333 up only 2 from last year. Points totaled 1,245,716 up 130,217 from last fall. I found the number of QSOs per band intesting to study with 40 meters.
(Update Nov. 17, 2014) Just finished the 2014 ARRL Sweepstake SSB. The bands were great and lots of participates. I went for the sweep and got 82 of the 83 sections, miss by not finding a Mississippi! Settled for 375 contacts but could have had over 500 is not looking for the sweep. Try again next year!
DSTAR REPEATER IN MORRISTOWN
Click above on the Amateur Radio Section and then go to the DSTAR Page for special information on the new D-Star 144 and 440 repeaters now on the air in Morristown.
(Update Oct.22, 2014) The two repeaters are runing well in west Hamblen County with the 444.475 MHz. W4LDG B repeater reaching a whopping 6 or 7 miles, but it will get better soon. The VHF still get around my subdivision on 144.92 MHz (plus 2.5 MHZ) but I plan to get the duplexers tuned in the next few weeks and put that one on top. Plans are still being discussed to move it to a better spot, as soon as one is avaliable. (You kind of have to be invited to some of these sites.)
One other item, I am running the ircBBD Gateway along with the G2 side of the DPlus and and Extra configurations. Both the W4LDG C and W4LDG B are set to default to the REF060 C which is the Nashville rag chew site. If you want logon and change to the REF030C Atlanta reflector, go right ahead. Please when finished set it back to REF060 C, but if you forget, it will set it's self back in 5 minutes.
You can connect to the Tennessee D Star Net work using a DVAPand connecting to REF060 C. Give us a shout.
The Icom 2000 and 4000 DSTAR digital repeater under the call of W4LDG is on the air at 444.475 MHz + 5.0 MHz and at 144.92 MHz + 2.5 MHz. If you have a DSTAR radio, you can now access the gateway system from Morristown. For more information follow the link above to the DSTAR page.
How to set up my DSTAR radio for a contact through the W4LDG repeaters.
(Update on Mar 4, 2014 ) Force 12 was sold to the folks at InnovAntennas in Colorado. I received a call a few weeks ago that everything had been moved to Colorado and they have enough parts to build 4 or 5 Force 12 Delta 4 SXL beams, do I want one? YES. The beam should be shipped the last week of March. Parts are being assembled in my yard, lower drive and basement. ----- On Friday, at 1:00 just seven hours before the start of the spring ARRL DX International SSB Contest, FedEx rang my bell and the guy says I have some very heavy boxes. IT MADE IT IN TIME. IT is my new Alpha 9500 microprocessor controlled HF Linear Amplifier that gives me full power PLUS! I had to pick that weekend for a head cold, but still operated 17 hours and racked up 777 DX contacts. It took me over 158 countries confirmed, 100 countries confirmed on 10 meter band for a certificate to hand beside my 20 meter DXCC certificate. Man it was fun. (SEE A SNAP SHOT AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.)
(Update on Dec 6, 2013 ) I have evey thing in and at the house now except for the BEAM! I can't find out from HRO when Force is going to fire up the new plant in Colorado and begin sending out the new antennas. I kope in the next two weeks. I have assembled the AR270 for the top of the tower, the 440 beam is assembled, I will get the 6 meter ready this weekend. Mounting the Yeasu 800DXA in the top tower section this week end and will then thread the 21 ft mast will be slid into the thrush bearings and into the rotor. I want to get as much together and under the tower for when the beam shows up and the boom thruck is hear to put it up there.
(Nov 15, 2013) Equipment started to arrive this week for the changing tower at N4FNB. The plans are to raise the 32 feet of tower 16 feet by adding two sections of BX tower. I plan to replace the A3S Cushcraft beam with the 40 meter dipole with a new Force 12 Delta 4SXL. The Delta 4SXL is a combination of a Force C-3S plus a D240. The C-3S covers 10, 15, and 20 meters and is tunable on 12 and 17 meters all with no traps. The C-3S comes with 6 elements. To make the Delta 4SXL, Force simply takes a D240, a 2 element 40 meter beam, and mounts the C-3S elements on it. This gives the beam 6 band coverage with two feed points.
I will move the Cushcraft 148-20T 2 meter beam with 10 elements vertical and 10 elements horizonal to the new mast which will be 14 feet above the tower. I am adding a new Yaesu G800SDX with the computer interface as the rotor. Between the Delta 4SXL and the 2 meter beam will be a new 4 element 6 meter beam on a 12 foot boom. I am mounting a new Cushcraft A449-11S beam with 11 elements on 70 cm above the 2 meter beam. The mast will be topped off with a new Hygain A42VS 2 meter/70 cm omni antenna. That will put the tip top at 71 feet.
I am using a new grounding system from DX Engineering. The coaxal cables will be terminated just off the base of the tower into grounded PolyPhaser coax protectors attached to Alpha Delta ground rod clamps. I purchased a Rig Expert AA-170 Antenna Analyzer on John's recommendation after seeing his at last month's LARC meeting on antennas, to help make sure all these antennas are set and operating just right. I have also added a West Mountain Radio RigBlaster to connect to the FT 847 and a SignaLink USB to connect to the FT 857. The Flex 5000A does not need an interface as it uses virtual cables to connect the computer.
A couple of new additions to the Shack at N4FNB. The Alpha 99 was replaced with a new Alpha 9500, what a dream of an amplifier! Full legal power, and a lot more... automatic band tuning set it directly from the transmit on the Flex Transceiver. To help match the antennas to the amp, a new PalStar HF-Auto Automatic Antenna Tuner. This is one of the best tuners on the market. These two pieces really help to set this shack as one of the best operating positions around!
NEED A RADIO MANUAL, MAP, FORM OR EMERGENCY DOCS?
Check here for a handy place to find your radio manual area maps, forms, charts, emergency communications document; various useful files related to amateur radio and emergency communications service. I am always looking for these on line so I thought I would just add them to my page. From a Flex 5000 to a Baofeng UV-5R or if you have a question on your WaveNode WN-2d or your PalStar tuner, you might find it here. A map of the Tennessee counties, to AUX Comm Training Videos are linked here. If not here, email me and if I can find it, I will try and keep it. Just click the Download sign to the left or go to the Information Links tab at the top of this page.
DISCOVERING AMATEUR RADIO
The above program is an excellent video presentation introducing to the general public the field of Amateur Radio and Amateur Radio operators. It explains the hobby, the equipment, and the some of the services provided. Please full screen the video, turn up the volume, relax and listen as K1AN introduces you to the power and possibilities of Amateur Radio.
Link to Software Defined Radio Presentation by Howard White, KY6LA - March 4, 2015. Modern Radio's SDR-101 This slide presentation gives a great history of the development of the amateur radio up to today's newest technology. Very well done.
WRTC 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship - Great video production of the 2014 WRTC from New England where the best in the world gathered to determine the best radiosport contester in the world. From station set up, to team hosting, to scoring and final awards, a great look into radio contesting at its top level. Click Here and enjoy.
The Yaesu New System Fusion. With at least 6 new Yaesu System Fusion repeaters that have arrived in the Lakeway Area, its time we learn more about what's coming for area hams to play with. I have set up a page that gives links to the new C4FM digital/analog repeater with several YouTube videos, manuals, and files you might find of interest. Please share and if you find something you think others might like, let me know and I can add it. To get to the System Fusion page go to the Digital page or Click Here.
The two Fusion repeaters on the air in Morristown are the KQ4E 145.45 + 0.600 with a tone of 141.3 on Short Mountain north of Morristown, and the KQ4E 444.9125 + 5.000 with a tone of 141.3 in west Hamblen County in a testing location on Hunters Ridge. Both are running in auto mode which allows both C4FM digital and FM analog modes. The Lakeway Amateur Radio Club purchased two Fusion repeaters to replace existing equipment with the 147.03 and 443.450 - W2IQ repeaters on Clinch Mountain. No time for the switch out has been anounced by LARC officials. KQ4E, KC4LU and N4FNB have at least 2 more repeaters to put on the air with frequencies assigned at 147.390 mHz and 444.975 mHz. Both will have a 141.3 tone and be under the KQ4E call sign.
The Amateur Radio Service has long been know for its countless hours of dedicated service to the local communities, states and our nation in times of natural and other emergency and civil needs. Ham radio operators have been in the middle of the storms providing weather information, health and welfare information, passing official traffic, and working with local, state, and federal officials to provide communications when every called upon no matter the time of day, or the type of need. Local amateur radio operators in Hamblen County are proud of the Hamblen County AuxCom organization that works with the local govenment officials under a memorandum of understanding thru the office of Emergency Management Agency and the County Mayor's Office. We are also a part of the Tennessee ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) and the national ARES program sponsored by the American Radio Relay League. Both of these operate with letters of understanding from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). N4FNB has been selected by the leadership of TNARES to be a part of that leadership group and serve as a Tennessee Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator responsible for Technology in the State of Tennessee. He also serves Hamblen County as an Assistant Emergnecy Coordinator of Administration.
For more information on Emergency Communcations, the above agencies, a copy of the Tennessee Sectional Emergency Plan, maps and more, click here for the EMCoM section of this site.
For general information on emergency prepardness follow these links:
For amateur operators: www.tnares.com
For Tennesseans in general: www.TNEMA.org
For every American: www.ready.gov
W4LDG B 444.475/449.475 AND W4LDG C 144.92/147.42 D-STAR REPEATERS
Upper East Tennessee's and the Lakeway's Areas first D-STAR Repeaters
to see your call on the X Net
CCS Live Monitior
Click on logos for repeater system information
Learn about Space weather and solar weather and its impact on HF signals and amateur radio. Click the banner.
Watch Ham Nation on Wednesday at 02:00 UTC ( 9:00 EDT) Click the banner above to view.
DX Propagation Bulletins - For the latest ARRL DX Propagation Forecast Bulletins from K7RA click on the link above.
DMR in East Tennessee
Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) is growing in East Tennessee. For the most current information check out the site www.volnetdmr.org. Join the group as we learn more about this new digital mode of communications. The following sites share lots of good information.
DMR-MARC Worldwide Network K4USD Network
Amateur Radio Guide to DMR
Control Center - See your call and others live on the DMR Network
MITCOM - Several links on DMR and D-Star (Click on News & Info, then Info-Docs-Tools)
Getting Started - Where to register you radio for your DMR ID number (PRN NC Site)
NC, SC, VA, & WV Repeater listing for DMR Repeaters
DCI - cBridge Netwatch and Informaton Page - lots of good information here!