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Messages - cockpitbob

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Who uses what to see if their signal will get there?

 For HF, I've been using the app DroidProp. It's a little clunky, but I love how it presents the information because it tells you what band will work now plus later in the day. It grabs the latest ionosphere info from the web before making its prediction.

 Below is the output for the following setup:
 Tx: Home
 Rx: Houston, Tx
 Mode: CW
 Power: 100W

 Horizontal Axis: Time (24hr GMT). Vertical line is the time right now.
 Vertical Axis: Frequency MHz

 Red means Very likely to make the contact. It looks like 20 and 17 meters are rock solid right now.

For VHF/UHV I just found
 You input the Tx and Rx antenna height and polarization, power, frequency then click on the map the Tx location and pull a box for the Rx area you want to see. Here's my home for 50W on 2 meters.

 One thing it doesn't seem to do is account for the 100' hill across the street from me. Still, it's pretty nice and in general seems to agree with my experiences.

So, what do you use?

Net Activity / Hurricane, EmComm and Interesting Nets On The Air Now
« on: September 21, 2017, 04:33:19 PM »
Let's use this as a place to post interesting nets and activities currently on the air.

On the air now:
14,265 SATERN Net for Puerto Rico has been active with net control readable in to MA all afternoon. 

Until just a couple hours ago there were NO ham operators on the air in PR.  Among other things Net Control was asking for a condition report on the airport to see if the Red Cross can start flying in supplies.  I guess those with back-up power had to re-build their antennas.  Net control now is talking to someone in PR and taking traffic.

New To Radio / Re: HT Programming With Chirp
« on: September 19, 2017, 09:22:31 PM »
Hi Mark, and welcome to the board! :)

I assume the quote below from is what you mean.

The Tones are like a key your radio transmits to unlock a repeater that is "locked" with CTCSS(continuous tone coded squelch system).  In some areas there are repeaters that share the same frequency and are close enough that one will hear the other and re-transmit it.  Or some areas just have a lot activity on the frequencies, some of which happens to be on the repeater's frequency.  Repeaters with Tone Squelch require the incoming signal to have a specific frequency (continuous tone) along with the voice before it will re-transmit the signal.  These tones are always below 250Hz.  Since voice bandwidth is 300Hz - 3KHz, the radio filters out everything below 300Hz and you never hear the tones, but the repeater does.

All modern HTs will not only broadcast the tone you program into them, but you can set it so it will ignore incoming signals without the tone you programmed it for.  That can be handy if the band is full of chatter.  Some repeaters put out a tone, so you can set your radio so it's squelch will only open with the repeater's tone.

Here's a Wikipedia page on CTCSS.

Tone ModeThis sets the mode used to transmit or receive squelch tones (or related selective calling technologies). The following explains what the options means:
  • (None): No tone or code is transmitted, receive squelch is open or carrier-triggered.
  • Tone: A single CTCSS tone is transmitted, receive squelch is open or carrier-triggered. The tone used is that which is set in the Tone column.
  • TSQL: A single CTCSS tone is transmitted, receive squelch is tone-coded to the same tone. The tone used is that which is set in the ToneSql column.
  • DTCS: A single DTCS/DCS code is transmitted, receive squelch is digitally tone-coded to the same code. The code used is that which is set in the DTCS Code column.
  • Cross: A complex arrangement of squelch technologies is in use. See the definition of the Cross Mode column for details.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 18, 2017, 02:45:21 PM »
At 18:40 I'm hearing half of a long QSO on 10,117, but it's so faint and QSBing in and out that I haven't picked up any call signs.  RBN shows lots of hits, but none are across the Atlantic.  My DroidProp app makes lit look like 10m will open up between us a bit in the next hour.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 17, 2017, 11:48:11 AM »
Looks like I missed you.  The last RBN spot was 2.5hrs ago. 18-21wpm.  You've knocked the rust off your CW skills.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 16, 2017, 10:51:36 PM »
One time he flew a banner with a guy proposing to his girlfriend, she said yes! It was in all the papers. Fun times.

That's how I proposed to my wife 26 years ago!  True story.   We were in Fremont, CA and the banner tow guy (Belanca Scout) was based in Livermore. 
I really need to get my old negatives scanned.  Somewhere in a box in the basement I have a pic of the plane towing the banner.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 16, 2017, 04:43:29 PM »
I am thinking already how long a dipole could I fit in that wing?!


Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk
Go end-fed, maybe lol.  I met a pilot that flew some long over-ocean trips in a piper archer back in the 1970s.  He had a wire antenna on a crank spool that was mounted next to him in the cockpit.  The wire exited the tail of the plane.  He had a small funnel attached to the wire to provide drag to pull the wire out and, I assume, keep it from whipping in the air as he flew.  I suppose he would crank in/out the right amount for a good match on the band he was on.  I wonder if he ever forgot to crank in the antenna before landing :o

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 16, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »
Nice Hammerheads! 8) ;D
What a fun plane!  Unlike conventional bi-planes you aren't way back and between the wings where all you can see is fuselage in front and wing panels on either side.  The visibility in that plane looks fantastic.

You towed b.. b.... banners?!?!?!?  Wow!  That's some pretty hairy-chested stuff.  Low and slow but don't hook the ground(!), then grab extra weight and a ton of drag and fight your way back up to altitude. 

Morse Code / Re: Morse using Inexpensive Stations
« on: September 14, 2017, 05:11:06 PM »
Joel, mega Dx on a rig you built yourself 8) .  Ham radio doesn't get much better than that!

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 14, 2017, 04:58:12 PM »
You guys are killing me with all the great aviation memories :'( .  Not flying hasn't hurt this much in years ;D .

Gil, a Pietenpol!!!! ;D ;D .  That's the first plane I actually felt like I had a crush on.  I never got to fly one, but for years I planned on building one.  I had the plans, back issues of the International Pietenpol club news letters, etc.  I gave all that to a friend who actually did build a Piet.  I gave it all away because I bought a scratch built 80% replica of a 1933 Fairchild-22.

My wife and I flew it to Oshkosh from CA in '97 and the EAA liked it, and the fact we flew it 2,000 miles at 95mph camping under the wing, so much they did a little article on it and us.  Yes, it has no electrical system.

Morse Code / Re: Morse using Inexpensive Stations Stations
« on: September 14, 2017, 10:41:22 AM »
Awesome! 8)

I'll never forget my QSO with RI1ANT in Antarctica 10,700 miles away using my Ten-Tec R4020 and 63' wire EFHW antenna.  Power was probably 3W because shortly after looking up who he was, doing my happy dance and logging the contact, the rig switched itself off due to low batteries.
When the propagation God's are smiling on you CW is just amazing.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 14, 2017, 01:08:25 AM »
Tri-Pacers (I call them flying milk stools), T-carts, Chiefs, Champs (I soloed in a 7BCM, 85 horse Champ) and building a Tailwind.  It's like you are talking dirty to me.  I'll be in my bunk (with an EAA magazine). ;D

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 13, 2017, 11:37:09 AM »
I was not taught the third method of aerial navigation, pilotage and dead reckoning yes, but smellage no. LOL
My wife was in the front hole on a long trip and pioneered Nasal Navigation after smelling a few things before we got to them(head winds) or once we were abeam them (cross winds)  Looking on the chart to find what we smelled really helped pass the time.

Back in my flying days, I bought a Piper Vagabond, (PA-15), for $2500 which was nothing but a clipped wing Cub with a short fuselage. It was a cute little plane after restoration. I miss those days, but I'm too old and too broke to fly anymore.

A Vagabond?  Nice 8).  I love short winged Pipers.  +1 for being a rag and tube tailwheel pilot.  I owned a Stinson Voyager for a bunch of years, but if I was smart I would have gotten a Pacer.  Similar size and performance with much less maintenance.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: September 12, 2017, 04:13:33 PM »
Have a great time.  Sadly I almost never hear France, at least from the antenna in my upstairs office.  But if I see you active and DroidProp says there's a chance, I'll move to the basement where my 180' long-wire comes in.

Great that you're flying again!  I'm not and really miss it.  I looked up that Moto du Ciel.  Ha, it looks like a 21st century, open cockpit equivalent of the Paper Cup, I mean Piper Cub.  Great, great fun!  I've got 100s of hours in open cockpits and on the good days you can navigate with your nose ;D.  The smell of things like saw mills, paper mills, stock yards and garbage dumps have gotten my attention, then I looked to find them on the chart.  It made a nice cross-check to my pilotage and ded-reckoning.  That, or a good indicator of the wind direction (I miss dirty, smoky factories when I fly non-GPS lol).

Batteries & Solar / Re: My New Favorite Battery Pack
« on: September 12, 2017, 04:00:39 PM »
Darn, I thought it had a built-in USB charger. I have one on order and will buy more.

Genasun has solar chargers for these batteries, so it might be time to order one  and a lead/acid model..


Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk
At least it has a protection board (non-balancing) so you don't need a smart charger, though I think it would be a little better to have one.

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