How to Grow A Rohn 25G Tower

Well as with all flowers, spring is the best time to get them in the ground, and a Rohn tower is no different. You must make sure to plant no sooner than the final frost, or there is risk of your antennae wilting and falling off the tower.

Joking aside, we have lived in this house for 5 years and my Rohn tower has done nothing more than sit under the deck and collect more tower sections as I take other towers down. This is all well and good, but as an amateur radio operator I should probably have a place to put my antennas. So let it begin…

Step one when building a tower is finding a good place to put it. I did that, so step two is DIGGING A HOLE.

Now there are 3 main ways to dig a hole in the crust of our planet, but the most efficient one is to rent a backhoe and pay a man or woman to do it for you. Well I am cheap and slightly overweight, so the next best way is with shovels and a lot of hard labor. I dug this hole over the period of a year. I dug half one day in August of 2017, and the other half today!  Shovels opted for were a round nose, square nose, and a non-shovel, the “spud bar”. Little known fact of the spud bar, it will destroy you. A few hours of using it to bash rocks, and break dirt will turn even the manliest of men into a crying toddler, much like myself. That aside, your manly essence after using one of these things will waft through the countryside, meaning all the single ladies will be bangin at your door. Married men look out, you’ll have some splainin to do… read more

Repeater Live Feed Functional!

Well as with many things, getting the live audio feed from the repeater working ended up being a fiddly process, but it was a learning experience every step of the way. Feel free to check it out on the right side of this page!

The current setup is a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian, with an older scanner feeding the audio into the Pi, and then being uploaded using DarkIce to the Broadcastify servers. This offers a pretty small physical footprint, with low power usage, and makes it relatively bulletproof. In the future I look forward to getting everything reconfigured utilizing a USB SDR receiver, which will eliminate the need for the external scanner and the required power, since the USB SDR stick will be powered off of the Pi itself!

Once I finally get all the little bugs worked out from this project, I hope to build up a second Pi with an SDR receiver that can be web controlled. But, we shall see! read more

Operation “Ham Shack Move” 1.1

Well with a little bit of free time on my hands I decided that it was time to move to the other side of the basement and set up a much more well organized and layed out shack/lab space for my projects.

The bench area has been my first area of concern, mostly so that I can secure comms and music before anything else. Without comms and music, working in the shack is a rather boring prospect. To hold me over, I have the trusty Motorola Radius SP50 mounted to the bench  so that the club repeater can be actively monitored. My bookshelf speakers and monitor have been mounted to the wall an effort to keep the bench as clean as possible. The bookshelf speakers obviously supply the music.

A shelf has been mounted under the bench in a continued effort to keep the top of the bench as clean as possible. The shelf houses the audio amplifier which drives everything from the computer audio/radios/turntable into my speakers, and keeps wires off of the floor. read more

An Update From the Treasurer….

All –

First off I wanted to state that I am extremely excited about our new website and the new look.  It looks quite polished and I am happy to see a lot more multimedia content (read pictures, text, member blogs, email, etc.) being displayed.  A major kudos and props should go to Craig H. (KD8FYT) as he has done a really wonderful job!

I wanted to also provide an update to our wonderful group of club members from the treasurer’s perspective.  Several of the action items that were on my agenda have been or are in the process of being completed.  I know that I am being a bit cryptic but since this is a public blog I don’t want to share to much (once we perhaps have a members only area of the site that may be where I post this information). read more

Upcoming Club Meeting…

The planning for Hamvention continues, and shall be the hot topic for our upcoming monthly club meeting on Wednesday, 4-11-2018. We plan to cover our badge printing procedures in order to speed up the process, and to prevent any long wait times like we experienced last year. Thanks to everyone that bought a badge from us at the 2017 Hamvention, and for your patience while we tried it out for the first time!

Unfortunately there is no power for us to use in the outdoor flea market area, so OVEC solved the problem by building our own power system! It consists of 4 deep cycle marine batteries, a battery monitoring system, and an inverter system to run the printers and laptops. At night we wheel the entire power cart over to the booth of our friends at the HamRadio360, and The Workbench Podcasts where it gets a good recharge for the next days activities! Thanks KF7IJZ for the literal “hookup”. read more

Xenia Hamvention Preparations…

Well as everyone in the amateur radio community knows, Dayton is no longer the hosting city for Hamvention since being moved east to the city of Xenia. Last year was a learning experience for everyone involved, but after registering our spaces for 2018 I feel confident that this year’s shindig will be one for the record books!

We will, once again, be printing ID badges at the same place in the outside flea market as last year (Spaces 9530 and 9630). This is not located inside the infield, but sandwiched between the main road and the buildings where the ground displays excellent drainage attributes!

Our location for badge printing at the 2018 Hamvention

More information to follow as planning continues!

73

Craig H. (El Presidente)

Field Day 2017

OVEC will be holding Field Day 2017 at the same location as last year: 4962 Beechwood Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45244.

This year we will be operating as N8A (special event callsign to commemorate the annual K9MUL Field Day) as a 3AB station – 3 transmitters, non-commercial and non-generator power, QRP.

We will be running a GOTA station for inactive hams or unlicensed people who are interested in ham radio! This is your chance to get on the air with a coach who will guide you through making contacts.

Once again we will be experimenting with a number of different antenna types, from standard dipoles to NVIS inverted vees, and for the first time we will have a 10-15-20 meter beam.

All are welcome at our Field Day site, licensed or unlicensed. We will be having a potluck dinner on Saturday at 6:30 pm – please bring a dish or a side to share. read more

Milford Hamfest 2017

OVEC will be attending the MARC 2017 Hamfest as a club. The hamfest takes place on 17 June 2017 at Eastside Christian Church, located at 5874 Montclair Boulevard in Milford.

We will be selling many items that will be ham related which include radios, equipment, etc. In addition, we will be offering services for the entire ham community that we are sure will be a hit (this includes custom made ID Badges, stickers, etc. made right on the fly)!

During the entire event you can contact OVEC (Club call KD8LBS) on 447.800 Mhz Simplex. We will be actively monitoring and communicating on this frequency for the entire duration of the event.

We encourage you to stop by our booth and visit us!

Field Day 2016 Information

The annual Field Day is fast approaching. This year the Field Day will be operating from Saturday June 25, 2016 at 14:00 Local Time (2:00 PM) to Sunday June 26, 2016 at 14:00 Local Time (2:00 PM). For more infomation about our annual Field Day Event please click the link “Field Day 2016 Information” at the top. Any member of the public may attend and participate during the entire event. You do not need to be a licensed ham radio operator to transmit on the amateur radio frequencies that we use during the event. We will have amateur radio operators on site that can assist any member of the public!