Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Here's an updated view of my HAM Shack.  I will build a shelf so I can add the laptop I am using with SDR software/hardware to listen to HF frequencies.  AN HF unit is on the "wish list" for when I upgrade my license.



I had an extra Raspberry Pi and RTL-SDR dongle laying around (who doesn't?) so I put together an APRS iGate.  This listens to the 144.390 frequency for APRS packets and uploads them to the internet so we can track location.  Most packets are getting picked up by the more powerful radios/repeaters around me, but occasionally, mine is picking up one that isn't getting captured, and I'm uploading it.   https://aprs.fi/


I also have a similar setup that listens for and uploads aircraft ADB-S signals.  I'll post that separately.

The photo here is the APRS setup.  You may barely make out yet another Raspberry Pi with Ethernet behind it.  I use that as a remote receiver for the laptop.  I connect via TCP and use my SDR software to tune to frequencies as if the SDR dongle were connected directly to the laptop.  That enables me to play with the radio  wireless from the living room, etc without having to drag antennas around.  More on that later as well.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Well, finally got the J-Pole installed... sort of.
I found some long thin-walled pipe and coupled 2 sections together.  I clamped to a metal fence stake I drove into the ground.  I don't have it guyed down, just sort of "woven" into the apple tree.

The elevation gets the antenna just about above the top of the tree and the tallest part of the house, but not quite.

The cable just goes into my office next to the window air conditioner.

Eventually, the antenna will be permanently mounted to the highest fascia on the house.

For now, this is working great.  I hooked my 5W HT to it an EASILY hit the repeater on the mtn top 30 miles away.