September 2021 VHF contest

Never missing an excuse to get on the air, the ARRL VHF contest was this past weekend. Many of us, myself included, have permanent VHF / UHF antennas (plural) on the roof. Don’t ask how many, we’ve surely lost count… But they’re extremely non-ideal when the polarization doesn’t match the traffic you’re trying to work…Continue reading “September 2021 VHF contest”

Rethinking J-Pole antennas

Early on, both of my tower trailers started out with fibre-glass vertical antennas. They have great gain, and you can get them in longer lengths to get every bit of elevation you want. I am starting to re-think that strategy. I discovered that it’s alarmingly easy for a long fibre pole to be just longContinue reading “Rethinking J-Pole antennas”

Bumblebee #15

How far away can some random city in Wisconsin be? I live about nine air miles from the border. I saw this one on the Hansen Auction site- bit rusty. Bad generator- not news. Lobbed in a crazy lowball bid. Then decided to study the photos. The little toggle /clamp in the two inch ballContinue reading “Bumblebee #15”

Lucky #14

I’ve lost track of how many tower trailers we have. N0NAS did suggest placing low bids and walking away. I did this twice last week and have two new to us rigs in my driveway. Lucky is a Terex RL4000, similar to the excellent Terex RL4 I already have. The idea was a matched pair,Continue reading “Lucky #14”

Getting Internet access and N3FJP Logging configured at your ARRL Field Day site

ARRL Field day is an exercise for emergency communications, and a fun contest for ham radio operators. Most clubs use software, like N3FJP to handle logging from multiple locations at the same time. This presents the need for a network to connect the server to the clients. Having done this many times in many differentContinue reading “Getting Internet access and N3FJP Logging configured at your ARRL Field Day site”

Fleet Rebalancing

The supply of running older used tower trailers at auction continues to be good so I keep adding new ones. Several of the older or non conforming ones were sold. I am trying to standardize. Every one is 30′ and diesel. The concept is to generally deploy with pairs of similar looking diesels. So N+1Continue reading “Fleet Rebalancing”

Baking Electronics

Locally here, we’re on a multi-day 90 degree or higher weather marathon. So what does that do to electronics, like Rasberry Pi devices in your outdoor tower trailers? Good question…. Well, our batteries are getting pretty well charged in the sun. This time of year, the solar panels can run mesh and small computers 24/7Continue reading “Baking Electronics”


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