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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:51 pm 
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I made a post about some learning curve issues with the buddiepole, but it seem to be steamrollered by your post about your recent ham adventures, so like already stated, I took it that this was your personal "look at what I'm doing" thread.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:28 pm 
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July 4th, set up as NCS for the Fredericksburg Heritage Festival 5 mile Run through downtown Fredericksburg.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:51 pm 
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redacted


Last edited by KJ4VOV on Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:13 pm 
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Starting my amateur class this saturday. Test will be in 6 weeks.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:58 am 
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Pelagius wrote:
Starting my amateur class this saturday. Test will be in 6 weeks.

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Looking forward to welcoming you to the ham community when you pass it. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:08 am 
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This weekend:

Saturday: Colonial Beach Triathlon (Sprint). This is the shorter of the two triathlons held this weekend in Colonial Beach, Virginia. For the second year running I'll be the NCS station for both races, with 7 stations covering the bike and running courses.

Sunday: Colonial Beach International Triathlon. This is the full length, Olympic class triathlon, and we have 10 stations assigned but we urgently need to fill two slots on the RUN portion of the course. If you are a ham living close enough to help out, and would like to volunteer, please contact me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:25 pm 
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KJ4VOV wrote:
Took part in VOPEX (Virginia Operations Plan EXercise) for 2012 today. My position was outside the Spotsylvania county EOC as backup for their amateur radio capabilities, which turned out to be a good thing. This is a brand new EOC, and the first time being used for a VOPEX, and it turns out they had not installed the HF antenna yet (for traffic with the state EOC in Richmond) and of the two VHF antennas installed, only one actually worked. That allowed the EOC to track APRS, and transmit on the local repeater, but nothing else, so the EC used an HT to stay in touch with me simplex and I relayed traffic for him on HF, two VHF repeater nets, and two simplex VHF nets, all at the same time. The exercise was a simulated nuclear accident.

Yeah, it got a little hectic. :mrgreen:

Obligatory pics of my truck doing what it does... That's the new county Public Safety building in the background.

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SprintPhoto_bl3c3x by bwbehling, on Flickr

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SprintPhoto_buvczx by bwbehling, on Flickr

From what the EC told me after the exercise, FEMA was rather impressed with us. :awesome:


Is that a buddie stick on the tripod in from of the rig?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:54 pm 
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NYKh wrote:
Is that a buddie stick on the tripod in from of the rig?


No, that's an Eagle One 80-6m setup I was using for contacting the state EOC in Richmond on 3.947.

http://www.w8afx.com/


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:04 am 
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Well, the Colonial Beach Sprint Triathlon went off with just a few slight problems, and a bit of heartburn for me, the net control station. Five minutes before the start of the race the event coordinator informed the shadow operator we had with him that they decided to run the course counterclockwise, instead of clockwise as had been shown on all the planning documents and maps. That gave me just 5 minutes to reposition units to the other side of various roads, because now the riders and runners would be coming from the opposite direction. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:41 pm 
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Well i took my first class today for my technician classification. Learned lots of good stuff and looking forward to more. Funny how there is lots if this i already know from being an electrician and college math courses. Just being taught a different way to put it all together.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Pelagius wrote:
Well i took my first class today for my technician classification. Learned lots of good stuff and looking forward to more. Funny how there is lots if this i already know from being an electrician and college math courses. Just being taught a different way to put it all together.

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Hence why this stuff was called basic science in school. It's basic to many different areas of science and engineering. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Got the Olympic class triathlon done today and got a very nice compliment from the local police chief. After talking with an officer on traffic duty about drivers who are so oblivious they don't see the officer standing there waving at them I jokingly suggested next year we park my truck in the middle of the intersection instead of off behind the McDonald's as we usually do. The replay came back, "You go ahead and park that truck of yours anywhere you want to, with our blessings."

Why is this so nice to hear? Because two years ago our club did not have a good relationship with the local PD. I broke the ice somewhat last year by bringing the officers on traffic duty near me cold sodas and ice water from the cooler in the truck. I did the same again this year, and both years made it a point to keep the officers informed about where the riders and runners were on the course, and when they could expect to see them approaching. The drinks and the "heads up" were much appreciated, and our working relationship with the PD has improved accordingly.

:)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:41 pm 
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Funny what simple respect and good will can accomplish
:-)
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Ordered an external speaker the other day for my TM-D710A rig in the Soccer Mom Minivan of Doom, and got it installed today.

Plan on picking up a GPS unit for it at some point. Just trying to decide what I'm going to get.

Think that the GPS-710 by Green Light Labs is looking like a winner.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Pelagius wrote:
Funny what simple respect and good will can accomplish
:-)
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Isn't it though? :wink:

The previous Net Control operators hadn't interacted much with local PD, except for a confrontation some years back which no one could quite remember the details of, but which probably had to do with a vehicle exceeding the 25 mph local speed limit.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:42 am 
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I suppose I should tell how the comms were done this year. The course for day two can be seen at this Google maps link: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=212455990717808913890.0004c4b441e298de406ea&msa=0
The big challenge each year is overcoming the terrain with minimal equipment. Those operators actually in the town (positions 1, 7,8, and 9) were limited to HTs with aftermarket antennas. The other positions were all vehicle positions, so they had more power and better antennas available.

For the most part, the vehicle positions erected J-poles and used their regular mobile rigs, though position 5 decided to go with a full size Ringo Ranger on a short mast in the bed of his pickup truck. Of course, he turned out to be the weakest station. :roll:

The operators in town all did very well with their HTs and net control had no trouble copying any of them.

As Net Control I put a homemade aluminum J-pole (dual band) up on 30' of mast attached to the truck, then used a FTM-350R to crossband between 446.075 and 146.490 (146.490 being the simplex frequency we used for the race) so I could then use my HT and move around to the corner and watch the race. Our club event coordinator also brought his motorhome to both events, with another of my dual band J-poles up on 25' of mast and had no problem reaching any of the positions on the course. It also gave me a nice, cool, place to hang out while waiting on the last runner to complete the course.

We also had one of our club members out on the water as a maritime mobile with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, using an HT and keeping track of the swimmers for us. That was a last minute surprise for net control, as the operator himself hadn't known his aux unit would be at the race that day. The joke we have going now is that someone is going to have to show up with an ultralight air mobile next year.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Wasn't done today, but yesterday. I finally submitted my first piece of traffic (message) to the local NTS Net. So I'll be getting involved with that, and I'm waiting to hear from the local ARES group about my background check. Would have submitted more traffic today, but there was no net unfortunately.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:45 pm 
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Supported the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail 50k Run today, acting as net control. Up and in place by 0600, wrapped up at 1500. Long, hot, sweaty, miserable day and I was exhausted. Came home and slept for 5 hours and only now getting to eat dinner.

Tomorrow, Berryville, VA hamfest @ 0700. The wife gave me a few $$$ to spend so I'm happy. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:36 pm 
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Sunday, Aug 19th, supporting the Hartwood 10 Mile Run (charity run) and then, afterwards, driving 200+ miles to check radio positions for the September 8th Lakes & Grapes 100 mile bike race (supports the local YMCA) which should be a fun event to do. Looking forward to testing out a new 2m beam I bought at the last hamfest.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:38 pm 
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I've been busy getting back into the ham radio world recently. I picked up an FT817ND and various accessories, got a "real" antenna (for the first time in my life, since we had severe antenna restrictions at my last QTH on the west coast), and got some batteries and a solar panel to charge them up. I'm only a QRP station (max 10W PEP on HF), so it's a little hard to be heard sometimes but I've been able to contact stations in St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos, and even make an IOTA contact in Scotland. No long QSOs or anything, but at least I know I can make contacts with 10 watts.
However, I did just order a "qrp" amplifier for my 817 to put out max. 45-50W, so hopefully that will give me a nice boost.

All in all, it's been a very productive week ham radio-wise, and I feel much better prepared for a real, actual emergency :)

ETA: Oh, and I also got a Kantronics Kam98 for digital modes, but packet seems all but dead here unfortunately. Which is crazy, I think packet is perfect for emergency comm's.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:17 pm 
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Well, due to selling some stuff on eBay and a generous mother :), it looks like I'm going to be picking up a little 100W base HF station. I'm thinking of ordering an Icom IC718 to replace my little IC703+ (will most likely be selling that little beaut soon, which will be kinda sad since it's a great little rig but I don't really need 2 QRP transceivers, especially since I don't currently have a decent base station that can put out some RF).

Once that is purchased, I'm pretty sure I'll be done buying ham radio stuff and I'll be focusing more on PLAYING with it all :awesome:

EDIT: Okay, I pulled the trigger on a Yaesu FT-450D instead of the IC718. Now I have to be patient and wait 4 weeks for it to come in :-/

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Tomorrow our local club is supporting the Lakes & Grapes Century Ride, a 100 mile bike ride and visit to the Lake Anna Winery. I'll be manning one of the 8 rest stops.

September 30th we'll be supporting the Cannonball Century Bike Race, and I'll be the chase vehicle. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:14 am 
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The county put our EmComm Team on alert yesterday and activated us at 0700 this morning. I'll be manning the radios at a local shelter starting at 1000. We're activated now through Wednesday.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:07 am 
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KJ4VOV wrote:
The county put our EmComm Team on alert yesterday and activated us at 0700 this morning. I'll be manning the radios at a local shelter starting at 1000. We're activated now through Wednesday.




stay safe buddy

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