Remote Updates to Ham Shack Firmware – Daily Uploads? 20 - April - 2013Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, US Islands.
Tags: Greengate Farm, K9ZW, W9EVT, Washington Island, WI-001L
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Quick stop at friend George W9EVT’s shack, to which I brought a thumbdrive of the latest firmware updates downloaded two days ago.
Loaded no sweat, only to find some of the updates have been updated in the last 48 hours!
The vastly improved internet infrastructure on Washington Island (US/CA Island WI-001L) made downloading the “latest latest” easy and a quick repeat brought things truly up to date – at least until the next firmware is released.
Very rough ferry ride out (I didn’t mind too much, but it wasn’t reasonable to read, so a quick kip substituted. Cold, but sunny (14F or -10c this morning early).
Hope to get some operating in tomorrow.
Trips to Washington Island, Heath SS9000, Flex-Radio PowerSDR 2.4.4 and Death’s Door Pig Roast 23 - September - 2012Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Death's Door Spirits, Greengate Farm, Heath SS9000, K9IY, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, M0ZMX, Red Cup Coffee House, W9EVT, WI-001L
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Last weekend was a quick run to Washington Island Wisconsin (WI-001L) to pick up George W9EVT for the W9DXCC event. Spent a little bit of time with John K9IY who retired to the island a few years ago and I had managed to somehow not meet.
This weekend we ran up to catch the Death’s Door Spirits Juniper Harvest & Pig Roast
We also caught up with numerous friends, spent a little “Red Cup” coffer shop time, and kicked back.
The Red Cup has switch provisioners to AnoDyne Coffee from Milwaukee – http://www.anodynecoffee.com We can recommend their coffee, having had is served to us on the mainland several time prior, and bulk purchased it for our machines at home.
Spending some time with Susan and George W9EVT Ulm I also updated George’s Flex-5000A to the latest PowerSDR 2.4.4 and did other minor repairs/tweaks. Great to see them! I made but a single QSO being too busy visiting and being outside – Mark M0ZMX on the Isle of Grain (really not an island, but sounds cool) was 59+1- into the island on the Flex.
George has asked me to check out an unusual Heath radio – and SS9000 and PS9000 Power Supply. He has several and I am to give this backup a workout while sorting out a minor glitch. Here is a shot of this last ever Heath series transceiver from the period ad:
All in all a great time and truly this island is “North of the Tension Line!”
What happens to the BPL Systems with IBEC gone? 6 - January - 2012Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: BPL, IBEC, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, W1RFI, Washington Island, WB9KZY, WI-001L
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Some very interesting questions surrounding IBECs sudden closure and the BPL orphan systems like the one on Washington Island WI-001L:
My question is, what happens if the hardware is left as is ? Even assuming the BPL system use is stopped, won’t the hardware still be humming along and interfering ?
No, I never got an antenna up before the cold weather and the hard, hard ground showed up.
Here are some recordings I made last year during and after a power outage:
Chuck Olson, WB9KZY
Washington Island, WI
Chuck WB9KZY’s recordings catch the BPL non-interference pledge out – revealing that it was pure bunk and the BPL system is a major source of RFI.
There are some really sticky legacy issues, as the Island Coop can’t legally simply leave it up and running until it breaks or try to run it themselves.
Per Ed Hare W1RFI at the ARRL HQ [Bold Unline is Mine]:
If the system there follows the pattern I’ve seen elsewhere, it operates about 15 to 40 dB over the FCC limits and doesn’t notch the NTIA bands. Now that it is going to be disconnected, but powered up, it will continue to make noise, but have two additional rules violations associated with it — it is no longer controlled as to power level and frequency as required by the rules and it does not have an operator at all, much less one that is listed in the BPL database.
At this point, has anyone talked to the utility? Do we know what they intend to do? They really need to get that system operating legally, or climb all the poles and disconnect the power. Simply turning off the head end is not sufficient, as that adds to the illegality by making the system that is still generating carriers uncontrolled.
It seems unless the Island gains full control of the whole system getting itself listed in the BPL database as a control operator and supports the system fully, it will be an illegal system with likely every increasing problems and liability for the Coop for its rule violations.
Perhaps a third-party manager could be brought in, though whether another provider could be found that would take over the ex-IBEC Access-BPL system isn’t very likely – especially if the system were expected to remain in continuous operation.
Presently it would seem the best choice could be to power down the head and disconnect every pole mounted unit, leaving everything in place until a long term solution is found, or better weather allows “havesting” of the orphaned gear for salvage.
What a mess! Worse is the costs may not end with a shut down, depending on how the funding repayment in respect to discontinuance works.
Washington Island looks to be loosing its BPL service 3 - January - 2012Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: BPL, IBEC, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, Washington Island, WI-001L
Looks like Washington Island is loosing its BPL service as part of the folding IBEC situation.
While BPL remains in general not very ham-friendly and not likely to be missed by many hams not employed in the industry, it is sad to see the Island suffer this loss as their direct investment wasn’t insignificant. It may have been that the financial risks were understated or not understood if the BPL service provider were to fold.
It will be a shame if the Islanders end up paying for years for an instantly obsolete system they won’t even be able to use.
Area Amateur George W9EVT Featured in December 2011 QST Magazine 10 - November - 2011Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: AA7BQ, ARRL, Greengate Farm, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, W9EVT, Washington Island, WI-001L, WI001L
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The ARRL in its QST Magazine has a couple pages on our friend George W9EVT and his amazing Washington Island “Ham Hotel.”
Fred AA7BQ the owner of QRZ.com had recently visited George W9EVT and did a write up on the QRZ.com website at http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?311312-Washington-Island-s-Ham-Radio-Treasure
Congratulations to George W9EVT for the well deserved recognition!
Washington Island’s Ham Radio Treasure – W9EVT Featured at QRZ.COM 4 - September - 2011Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Greengate Farm, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, QRZ.com, W9EVT, Washington Island, WI-001L
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Our friend George W9EVT written up by Fred AA7BQ owner of QRZ.com:
Washington Island’s Ham Radio Treasure
This week we had the rare opportunity to visit the ham shack of George Ulm, W9EVT, and were treated to an experience that may well be unique in all of amateur radio.
We’re hoping George’s dream of his collection becoming the core of an amateur radio museum can happen.