Sep 01 1997

Welcome

I’m Randy, a 37-year old ham living in Amersfoort, which is located about 25 miles east from Amsterdam. Licensed since aged 17 in 1997 and active on all bands from 10 meters up till 3cm tough VHF, UHF and SHF are prefered in (SSB) voice, ATV, CW and weak-signal/DIGI modes.

On the day to day job I work as Technical Consultant specified in Infrastructure and Linux solutions. Also doing some hands-on support stuff for repeater group PI2NOS and PI3UTR and PA6ATV (Hobbyscoop)  and trying to promote HAMNET and DMR-activities with a group of ham’s throughout the country.

May 22 2017

RSGB 144 MHz May contest 2017

Last weekend the RSGB held the annual 144 MHz May contest. I’ve made 17 QSO’s on Saturday. Just for fun. The log is send as checklog. I”ve made one mistake with G3WSK’s locator. UT1FG/MM was a surprise as operator, active from his boat on the Northsea. The band was quiet dead. ODX was M0WYB with 548 kilometers.

May 11 2017

Preparing 23cm station

I’m preparing my 23cm station. Last weekend I’ve made some QSO’s during the May contest but with a very limited set-up. Time to have some more punch. Onboartd is a Gemini SSPA easily capable of delivering 180 Watts. More than enough for the 120 Watt limit here in the Netherlands for bands above 1 GHz. Also mountes is the SHF Elektrotechnik LNA capable of handling the same power. The todo is the antenna. I have to mount a 45-elements (5-elements reflector) 3,4 meters boom yagi for the 23cm band.

May 08 2017

May 2017 VHF-UHF contest

Active on 144 and 432 MHz. New was 1296 MHz with a (very) limited set-up: 15-elements yagi (120cm boom) without pre-amp and 10 Watts of output power. Still able to work Belgium, Germany and England.

May 08 2017

Antenna maintenance and QRV on 50/70 MHz

Last weekend I’ve performed some antenne maintenance. The LNA’s for 144 and 432 MHz are in place. I also mounted a small 15-elements antenna for 1296 MHz (23cm). During the contest last weekend I was able to make a QSO with Belgium, Germany and England with only 10 Watts of power and no LNA. I even heard a OK-station from the Czech Republic but due to lack of power I wasn’t able to work him.

For the Sporadic E season, a dual-band Moxon antenne is mounted for the 50 and 70 MHz bands. So with this set-up I’m able to work on 50, 70, 144, 432 and 1296 MHz and the HAMNET dish for 5600 MHz.

Special thanks goed to Gerton (PD0G) for helping me out. He was driving by for a cup of coffee while I was packing stuff to go to the roof.

Apr 30 2017

N1MM+ and Icom IC-7300 Waterfall

The developers of N1MM+ software released a new build Amongst bugfixes there is one new feature to mention. Waterfall support for the Icom IC-7300. Read more on the N1MM Logger+ Facebook page or the documentation page on the website.

IC-7300 Spectrum display in N1MM+ version 1.0.6221Setup • Keep the noise level low by setting the ref level low and…

Geplaatst door N1MM Logger+ op dinsdag 25 april 2017

Apr 26 2017

VHF and UHF preamps

Today the preamps for 144 and 432 MHz arrived from Wimo. They are manufactured by the German SHF-Elektronik and powered via the coax-line (My Icom IC-9100 supports 12 volt over coax). Both units have a VOX unit so no need for a seperate PTT-line (for now). Now I only have to find some time to mount them before the first weekend of may contest.

Mar 27 2017

HAMNET QSY to PI1UTR

Last week we’ve reconnected the 220 meter high accesspoints in the Gerbrandy tower. Tough I’m not able to physically see the tower since it’s 31km away from my home (I can see the PI2NOS tower 16,3 km from my home) I accidentally discovered the Gerbrandy signal (PI1UTR) on HAMNET is 5 dB louder then the PI1NOS signal only halve the distance.

I turned the antenna permanent. The link looks stable with about 40 Mbit/sec bandwidth, using 5 dBm power in a 40cm dish (25 dBi gain), which makes 1 Watt EIRP in total. The ISM limit for outdoor Wifi in the Netherlands. This looks very promising since we’re busy rebuilding the PI6ATV repeater with output on 10 GHz.

I wrote an article in Dutch on HAMNET.nl.

Mar 05 2017

March 2017 VHF-and-up contest

This weekend I found a few hours to participate in the IARU Region 1 March VHF-and-up contest. I started late on Saturday due to work for HAMNET and PI6ATV in the IJsseltein Tower but managed to run for about two hours. On Sunday late in the morning I found another few hours to contest. In total I’ve made 37 QSO’s on 144 and 432 MHz using low power without pre-amps. Best DX on 144 MHz: OK7O (606km) Best DX on 432 MHz: DL0HTW (573 km).

Feb 05 2017

New rotatable tower

Today I’ve made some progress by replacing the antenna tower on the roof. It’s now rotatable. The Diamond X6000 has been replaced for the X5000 so the total length doesn’t exceed the 5 meter due to regulations to keep it license free without the need for a building permit. The 9-element LFA for 144 MHz and the 19-element LFA for 432 MHz are installed. The 120 cm dish for 1296 and 2320 MHz is on the todo list after there is some more counterweight placed.

Special thanks to Remco (PA3FYM) for helping me out.

LFA-power

LFA-power

Thanks PA3FYM for helping me out.

Thanks PA3FYM for helping me out.

Dec 09 2016

HAMNET live

The HAMNET connection is live. It’s not VPN based, but radio based on 5 GHz. I’m using an Ubiquiti Nanobeam M5-400 with 40cm dish to have enough gain towards the TV tower located about 16km from my home. Line of Sight is (just) availlable which is mandatory for a 5 GHz connection.

The dish needs to be moved up a meter or so since the flat roof is in the fresnel zone. Horizontal signal is about -85 dBm, vertikal about -81 dBm. Since I’m using cross polarity, +3 dB can be added making the total signal received about -80 dBm. Enough for 19,5/19,5 Mbit/sec with 10 MHz bandwitdh. The goal is about -75 dBm signal.

Oct 18 2016

ATV station for 5700 MHz (6cm)

The new ATV station for 6cm consists of:

  • 23cm UniTX transmitter for 1400 MHz uplink
  • DG0VE Frequency multiplier
  • DG0VE amplifier: 60 mWatt > 600 mWatt
  • Final amplifier: 150 mWatt > 14 Watt
  • SMA coax relay to switch between TX and RX
  • RX converter 5,7 -> 1,0 GHz with pre-amp
  • Some sensors for temperature, fan control, etc

The complete set-up (excl. antenna) is mounted in an outdoor enclosure. Any 75Ω satellite coax can be used as transmission line since losses are low due to the 1400 MHz uplink and 1000 MHz downlink. These frequencies are outside of the 23cm band so there shouldn’t be any interference. For the last 2 meters between outdoor unit and antenne, Aircom Plus is being used with a length of about 3 meters. The unit is powered by 12 Volts and 4 cables to control the unit are going down. Any decent outdoor UTP (STP) cable is sufficient for this.

I’m able to receive om 23, 13, 9, 6 and 3cm and transmit on 23cm (low power) and 6cm (medium power).

img_1670

Aug 10 2016

Building an 13cm SSPA

With a few hams on the club we’re busy building 13cm SSPA’s. The base equipment is ex 3G/UMTS equipment. There are two models availlable for around 10 euro’s and can be found on ham flea markets. The small module has an output of about 30 Watts, the big modules output is around 90 Watts. on 2140 MHz. Both are usable on 2350 MHz. First, let’s have a look at the stages and modules used. Goal is to use the SSPA for the Es’HailSat 2 uplink. See PA3FYM’s website for details about antennas used for this project.

IMG_1335

From left to right we have 2 modules on the 30 Watt SSPA, 3 on the 90 Watt SSPA. I’ll write down the details of the 90 Watt SSPA. The 30 Watt version is the same, but the last stage is missing. The input (left) is +5 dBm (3 mWatt) and is feeded into an MHL21336, the blue module. This has an amplification of 31 dB and is feeded into the second stage, an MRF21030S with an aplification of 13 dB. From here, it goes to the final stage to add 5 dB more gain using an SRF7068H5HS (MRF21085S?).

I’ve created an bypass in the first stage. The output of the LZ5HP transverter is about 2 Watts and, altough 1,5 dB to less, enough to feed the second stage. The alternative was to attenuate the TX-signal from the transverter with 30 dB from 2 Watts down to 1 mililWatt. Additional benefit is that the first stage (blue module) has an aplification of 31 dB wich will result in difficulties in the housing due to howling and crosstalk. By bypassing this module, that problem is solved the easy way.

All is powered by 28 Volts (DC) and still work in progress. To be continued.

Remco's (PE1PIP) result...

Remco’s (PE1PIP) result…

Aug 06 2016

Hytera MD785(G) noise modification

The Hytera MD785(G) DMR transceiver works great out of the box, both analogue as digital. But there is one problem. Noise coming out of the speaker. Even when the tansceivers audio gain botton is set to zero. When the squelch opens, noise can be heard. There is no way to fix this in the firmware of CPS codeplug by programming.

The modification is to put a 22 Ohm resistor in serie with the speaker. So, hardware needs to be mobified. The good news: The modification is easy and no SMD needs to be soldered. Just remove the front of the MD785, carefully remove the flatcable and put a 22 Ohm (variable) resister in series with the red speakerwire. That’s all.

Now reprogram you radio and set the speaker output level for both analog and digital by +2 or +3 db as compensation for the resistor you’ve just placed. Upload the codeplug and you’re done. The noise is gone.

Step 1: remove the front and *carefullly* remove the flatcable if you need more space.

Step 1: remove the front and *carefullly* remove the flatcable if you need more space.

Step 2: Put a 220 Ohm (variable) resistor in serie with the red speaker wire.

Step 2: Put a 22 Ohm (variable) resistor in serie with the red speaker wire. Adjust the resistor if you feel the need to do so by a few Ohm.

Jul 14 2016

Welcome 13cm band SSB

Since last month I’m QRV on 2302 MHz to, with help from the LZ5HP transverter. Next is to build an SSPA based on ex 3G/UMTS equipment. The modules and 24VDC PSU is there. I only need to find the right heatsink.

LZ5HP_13cm

Jun 29 2016

Bluestack and BlueDV: Hotspot in a box

Developments for DMR and D-Star hotspots go fast. I already owned a UHF hotspot from PE1PLM which fits on top of the Raspberry Pi. With custom firmware, this also works with MMDVM software thus DMR. A new toy is the BlueStack, developed by PE1MSZ and sold via CombiTronics.nl.

Put the DVMEGA (UHF) transmitter on top of the BlueStack, install BlueDV on your Android phone and the unit connects via BlueTooth to your phone and from there to the D-Star and DMR networks. I don’t have to tell you that a USB power pack will give you a full portable hotspot. Nice for the car, on holidays or in the offices. Good work guys!

Update: To communicate via such a hotspot, a transceiver capable of the used DV mode is necessary to operate, the hotspot provides only an access gateway to the selected infrastructure. The hotspot has only one time slot. At the moment, the subscription on BrandMeister is dynamic and valid for 15 minutes.

A complete portable D-Star and DMR hotspot

A complete portable D-Star and DMR hotspot

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