B-17s at Grimes Field

We’re hosting a special event station at Grimes Field in Urbana, Ohio today to celebrate the Gathering of B-17s. Look for us on the bands!


We had a good time and good travels back and forth to Urbana.  That red wire from the go-box got us through about 25 contacts on 20 meter ‘phone.  Some of the stations will visit us Friday at the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Intiative booth, Dayton Hamvention, Xenia, Ohio.

Repeater Status Update

In August we bought a repeater at the ARRL New England Division Boxboro Convention.  (See W8EDU at Boxboro for why we went and W8EDU at Boxboro part II covers the fact that we didn’t know what we were doing.)  It is a MSF5000 and we have a tired looking but functional Celwave 6 Cavity UHF duplexer to go with it.

I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m pretty sure that I haven’t screwed anything up thus far.  We currently have a Proposed Frequency Assignment and are on the clock.  We received the assignment on April 5th.  Through Saturday May 5th we were in a 30 day objection period in case a neighboring state repeater coordinator thinks we might cause problems.  I think objection is unlikely given our planned location puts us a stunning 60 feet above average terrain, thanks to the Portage Escarpment. (That lovely slope between bottom and top of the hill on the south side of campus.)  We also estimate that we will be pumping out a staggering 6 watts of power.

Between when we purchased the repeater in August and April the repeater project wasn’t really moving forward.  I was doing some research and acquiring bits and pieces to eventually get us operational.  At the end of last semester we purchased a PiRLP, getting W8EDU/R registered with IRLP.  We also got W8EDU/R registered on echolink. I want to say thank you to Jonathan Taylor K1RFD, for the donation towards the repeater, the advice on connecting with Echolink (from the designer), and for giving us the opportunity to meet a childhood friend of our faculty adviser AD8Y.  It seems whenever we travel with David we find friends which makes the travel even more fun.

Our duplexer is being tuned and we haven’t built an antenna system yet, but plans have been made and parts acquired. (Most of the antenna bits we had, but I did spend ~$10 for a couple more pvc connectors and a copper pipe cutter.)  The antenna will be a dipole in a pvc housing, but none of it has been cut yet.  Also we will need to do some wiring for the antenna and duplexer.

On the plus side the repeater is on and nominally keying W8EDU/R into a dummy load.  (Given that the coax I used is of unknown age and origin and the coax center connector on the dummy load was designed with an air gap I don’t know that much power is actually reaching the dummy load/heat sink.)  The repeater responds to a couple of different tones right now, but I think that it will be without tones for the first on air test period.  (I have to read about the system to see if it can be set to respond to carrier and also to parrot back a tone if one is sent.)  The IRLP & Echolink functions will likely remain off until after we are pretty sure that the repeater is functional and isn’t randomly getting keyed from campus noise.  So we will be using the internal controller to start with.  The IRLP/Echolink set up will  see us transition to the PiRLP for most of the control functions.  That will require either I do a lot of reading up on Linux and the Pi or more likely this will move into the “somebody else’s problem” field.  (N8OBJ I’m looking at you potentially, as you are comfortable with both Linux and the Pi.)

I have intentionally not listed the assigned repeater frequencies.  When the repeater is ready for use and/or public testing they will be listed on the Repeater Page.  However as it currently is transmitting into a dummy load and doesn’t have a receive antenna connected, having them won’t help much.  We are getting close to being functional and the frequencies will appear when we are.  If you really want to know the frequencies feel free to contact me, but I don’t know if the repeater ID is able to be heard two rooms away from it let alone out side the Glennan building so I’m mainly hoping to prevent complaints from having people find frequencies listed but not on air.  They aren’t a secret, I just don’t want them to be scraped from the website and for it not to be there.  Also we potentially could find our frequencies changing if complications arise.

Nathaniel KB1QHX

New Licenses Spring 2018

We congratulate this semester’s licensees, both new and upgrades:

Lydia Sgouros KC1IYM

Madison Hillyard KC1JJQ

Becca Segel KC3KUV

Michael Russell KD2JWT (Amateur Extra)

Mylee Rolock KD9KGF

Pierce Laing KE0QEP

Jeffrey Rabinowitz AD8AN (ex-KE8GVC, Amateur Extra)

Tyler Anderson KE8ITD

Tyler Keen KE8ITE

Adam Cordingley KE8ITF

Isaac Collier KE8ITG

George Dozier KE8IWC

Clay Hamilton KE8IWD

Hangxing Liu KE8IWE

Caleb Main KE8IWF

James Schmidt KE8IWG

Steven Cady KE8JIB

Hyewon Lee KE8JPD

Chad Brommer KE8JPE (General)

Yifan Wang KE8JPF

Jasmine Philipoom KE8JPG

Matthew McConnell KE8JPH

Charles Hart KE8JPI

Cameron Wheeler KM6RSF

Victoria Schoenig KN4JUV

Now get on the air, everyone!