Monthly Archives: May 2008

Mancorad Hamcram Summer 2008

Mancorad W9DK has announced a summer 2008 Hamcram with VE session.

The pre-session orientation is June 2nd and the Hamcram & VE session Saturday June 21st.

Here is the PDF announcement:  hamcram-summer-2008-announcement-v2

W9DK has sponsored several Hamcrams (check this blog – search on Hamcram) and this is the second session where the Sheboygan Radio Club has offered to provide massive support for the VE session.  



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Hiberling PT-8000 Receives FCC & CE Approvals & More Hiberling News

The Hiberling PT-8000 has received it’s FCC approval! Here is the German Announcement:

PT-8000A·B / HN-8000A·B 21.05.2008

Im Mai ist die Prüfung der PT-8000 Transceiver auf Übereinstimmung mit den Zulassungsbestimmungen der Federal Communication Commission (FCC) der USA abgeschlossen worden. Die Transceiver können nun in den USA und in Kanada vertrieben werden.

Da die Zulassungsbedingungen der FCC den CE-Bestimmungen in Teilen ähnlich sind, konnten noch ausstehende Tests für die CE-Kennzeichnung ebenfalls abgeschlossen werden, so dass auch in den EU-Ländern in Kürze ausgeliefert werden kann.

Hier [1372 kB] kann der Prüfbericht für die FCC eingesehen werden.

Here is the link to the FCC Approval Letter:

Here is the link to the FCC Approval Testing:

Now I have to figure out how to get PT-8000 operating time before I part with the amount of scratch needed to aquire one of these rigs!

In other Hiberling News:  (From the English Translation by Southgate of the German Press Release)

Brand new Hilberling PT-8000 donated to Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

There was a special VIP visit at the DARC HQ on Tuesday.

The Hilberling Company were there to donate the first serial Hilberling PT-8000 to the HQ.

The DSP-transceiver for HF, 6 m and 2 m, will be set up in the shack of the HQ-radio-tower at Baunatal. It will be used for transmitting the DL-news bulletin every Thursday night at 1730 UTC on 3770 kHz ± QRM or similar. 

DARC Vice-President Dr. Walter Schlink, DL3OAP, Leader of the technical department Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE and Secretary Helga Gautsche, DO1FIB, thanked Hans Hilberling, DK7LG, Klaus Lohmann, DK7XL, and Jan Hauschildt of Hilberling GmbH for this brandnew transceiver which is given on permanent loan.



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Dayton Hamvention 2008 Follow-Up Report No. 21 – Dayton the Unwashed

The more I reflect on Dayton 2008, specially contrasted with expositions, conventions and events I have attended elsewhere, the question begs “Why is the Hamvention in Dayton?”

Is time running out for this show in this city?

Time Running Out


The Hara was a filth pile. Unswept, vendors with roof leaks in their areas, toliets out of service, broken door hardware, windows grey from not being washed.


The Salem Mall remote parking was a dodge-em of pot holes, uneven pavement, construction debris, various levels, knee high weeds & thistles, and poorly thought out pedestrian walk patterns taped off – it was about like parking in a construction site.


The surrounding area is full of abandoned stores, empty buildings, buildings in various stages of either natural or controlled demolition and basically an area of heavy blight.


Special events I attended were mostly at the Crown Plaza, which is for DX and Contestors the unofficial center of activity outside of the Hara. Though the events were great, the Crown Plaza Hotel is still under reconstruction (it was last year too!), there were broken toilets, the hotel provided a single toilet for the needs of 220 Contest University attendees and the same for multi hundred person groups of Major Dinner Attendees, locking those toilets during the Supersuite Events as they have a homeless people problem, attached parking ramp featuring broken elevators, corners of the stairs having been used as toilets, unwashed windows & missing signage.


I could go on, covering the volunteer’s complaints of late notification of tasking, the Flea Market slot assignment computer chaos, the volunteers & paid staff who were not fully briefed and their supervisors who also seemed to be unbriefed.

But lets reflect on the various other shows I’ve attended – Construction shows with a fraction of the Hamvention’s attendance at Navy Pier in Chicago, in New Orleans, in Dallas, in Minneapolis, in Milwaukee, in Kansas City, or hobby shows in Atlanta, Milwaukee, London (UK), Green Bay, Chicago, Manchester (UK), Birmingham (UK), or other industry shows in Dusseldorf (Germany), Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, or minor shows in Bilbao (Spain), Mannheim (Germany), Verdun (France), Toronto (Canada), Winnipeg (Canada), dozens of Wisconsin cities (Madison, Wausau, Stevens Point, Lacrosse, Eau Claire and more) – in all of these I do not recall a single one that was as shabby as Dayton.

In the few cases where a show’s venue didn’t meet basic expectations, it simply was moved for the next year to somewhere that was better!  These shows don’t settle for second, third or fourth best…….

I’ve had a number of emails from various hams telling me that they are looking to attend this or that alternative to Dayton, mostly based on the shabbiness of Dayton.

Looking at the cost to drive to Dayton and the costs for sloppy hotels (I can stay at the Intercontinental Downtown Chicago in luxury for what a junky “traveller’s room” costs at Dayton), I am wondering if my personal cost/benefit ratio would be higher if I attended a European Ham Show or perhaps the California DX Show?

Certainly the Dayton show has limited curb appeal for many XYLs. Perhaps that is OK, but I can go to an “All Canada Show” and not have to put up with the squalor and wonder if my car would be there in the morning.

Will the Hamvention remain at Dayton is the other large question. Several writers have been proposing that other cities get to bid on the Hamvention, with the goal of securing a kept up cleaner facility not in the midst of massive urban decay.

Only time will tell if the Hamvention moves before the Hams do, or if the Ham community adopts other shows leaving the Hamvention in Dayton like some aging former beauty queen ignoring the wrinkles and infirmaries of age?

Would appreciate hearing your comments!



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Use or Misuse of Request for Clear Frequencies? – Colombian Earthquake Frequencies and a New Quake off Guatemala

Just out on Amateur Reflectors is this request:

Colombian Earthquake Frequencies + New Quake off Guatemala:

From the CQ Newsroom…

CQ Public Service Editor Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, relays the following information from the International Radio Emergency Support Coalition (IRESC), via G4HPE:

The following frequencies are in use by amateur radio rescue teams following the 5.5 magnitude earthquake in Colombia:

7077 kHz
7085 kHz
7140 kHz

PLEASE keep these frequencies clear to allow the emergency support to continue.

Frequencies provided from Oscar HK6PRO, Emergency Dispatcher and Firefighter – IRESC member in Colombia.

In addition, the IRESC website reports today (5/27) that, according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck just off the coast of Guatelmala this morning at 11:28 UTC. This is confirmed by the US Geological Survey’s Earthquake Center. As this is posted, this has not yet been reported by the mainstream media, and there are no reports yet of amatgeur frequencies in use there.

All amateurs should keep the above frequencies clear (as well as the Chinese earthquake emergency frequencies, 7.050, 7.060 and 7.240 MHz, which were still in use at last report), and listen for any distress calls out of Guatemala.

Though I will personally keep clear of these and listen for any aid requests, one wonders if this is a bit of over-reaction given the reports of “a damaged church” and very limited serious damage?

Is the clear channel request “crying Wolf” or a sensible precaution?

Hard call to make, but certainly we can all do our part to help!  I know I will!



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Dayton Hamvention 2008 Follow-Up Report No. 15 – Buying Boatanchors

At Dayton I had the chance to help George W9EVT with boat anchor purchases.

George W9EVT has by far the knowledge to select the “good stuff” for his collection, but the real trick was how to get them out of the Flea Market area.

The grunt & lug was manageable by borrowing a hand tailer, but the trick was how to get my vehicle to the Flea Market.

Turns out it is pretty straight forward, you pull into the main enterance to get a pick-up 20 minute pass and drive to a designated loading zone outside of Gate C.

That none of the Flea Market paid or voluneer staff seemed to know what the pick-up system was, and were in a near panic when I did this was annoying.  Somehow their briefings failed to cover such a simple basic as “how people pick up their purchases.”

All that aside, after wasting hours to do teh pick-up right, we did pick up George W9EVT’s buys:

Collins ART-13 Flyer

A Collins Autotune ART-13
with a Power Supply for it (check out W2EC’s video on an ART-13 in Operation)
A National HRO-50 with coils
and a Hallicrafters HT-17 Transmitter

The links are from the excellent Rigpix Homepage – recommended!

Rather filled up the back of the vehicle! 

Hopely for 2009, if the Hamvention is in Dayton, that the staff will have a better biref & system to facilitate boat anchor pickups.



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Back from Washington Island (WI-001L) Memorial Day Weekend

Great Ferry ride and drive back from Washington Island W9EVT, where we had booked again with George W9EVT and his XYL Susan. Memorial Day weekend on an Island, yeah! Adding to our Memorial Day observance is that George W9EVT is a Korean War era Navy vet and I spent my time in the Cold War Army.

Great time had by all!  Huge Thunder & Lightening Storm with Heavy Rains last night – power went down for a 1/2 hour across the Island.

The expanded “Ham Mansion” W9EVT/WI9DX Hamshack is moving along.  The main operating room will be 2-1/2 the length once the plasterers finish in the next few weeks.  The first of the theme rooms to be ready will be the “Collins Room” which was a couple days from being ready for moving gear in.

The rest of the “Ham Mansion” is a work in progress, all framed & closed in, with various areas ranging from needing just plaster, trim & paint to being open walls.  My understanding is the additional rooms will be progressed after the main room and Collins Rooms are completed.  

Various gremlins made radio work fall behind being helpful on other projects.  When we arrived the internet for the whole complex was down due to serious misguidance received from an On-Line call-in Tech Center somewhere out there.  Guidance from one of these “tech on the phone” led to a Router being used as NAT interface between the inside system and the Motorola Canopy system loosing all it’s settings.  

Certainly the phone tech meant well, and it very hard for a phone tech to visual what is a decidedly more complex than the average system, but the result was the entire system being unusable.  We had been called before we left, so we knew there was an awaiting troubleshooting exercise.

Having a go rebuilding the setting matrixes was a no-joy outcome.  Extremely puzzled I broke off for dinner and was very pleased when most of the system came back to life!  Seemed once the correct settings were installed that it took a while for the Canopy system re-authorize the network connection.  

A couple buildings I wasn’t able to hotrod the wireless back up to running, lacking the admin passwords to make corrections, but I was able to get plug in ethernet points up.

Always fun to trouble shoot a system you hadn’t designed or built, specially without full documentation.

The TenTec Omni VII received its bootloader update and full software updates.  I didn’t bring the correct cabling to update the Orion II, Icom IC-7800 and Yaesu FT-2000 units.  Next trip!

Working with the SPE Expert IK-FA it was clear that this particular example needs help – Expert has a new Level-III Update program to bring these amps up to spec.  George W9EVT is going to send it in for the warranty upgrades needed.

After the huge lightening storm – lightening could be seen running across the tree tops like a freight train at one point – we discovered the internet was again down, the phones were partially out and a few of the radios seemed to have reset themselves despite being disconnected and leads grounded.

The radios were a puzzler, as no direct hits were taken and nothing was “smoked” anywhere on the farm.  Guessing that the heighten airborne ambient energy was enough to “tickle” them.  At the peak of the lightening display you could feel a tingle while watching from a covered porch.

The internet turned out to be a wall wart to the same annoying NAT router that had not liked going onto battery backup and burnt out.  A trip out to th e workshop across the farm for a spare wall-wart (power cube) and all was well!

Phones were a bit more vexing, and by a process of testing & elimination we found a Direct-TV Satellite box in the Applehouse Master Bedroom had internally shorted out.  This is the second Direct-TV Satellite box to turn belly-up at Greengate this year (they have a bunch).   

Operating time was mostly limited to testing equipment.  

Did a spot of “poor man’s surveying” by using a GPS unit to pick out relative antenna base heights and spacings.  The unit I used is not highly accurate and perhaps is accurate, relative to the other points measured, by six feet (2m) or so.  As for absolute accuracy the entire plot should be within 50 ft (16m)  of actual.  I will use this data as a model the antenna array in NEC.

DIdn’t get the WI9DX work done I had planned, but hey there are only so many hours!

Far too short of a weekend.  great to get back onto the Island and at least get a few QSOs completed.

I need to ask permission to post the construction photos. Hopefully more to come!



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