Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Happy Spring everyone!

In my last post I talked about getting on D-Star and all that jazz.  Well I'm happy to report the VHF/UHF repeaters in the area are pretty active so there's a lot of travel time stuff to listen to and take part in.  I actually played Jeopardy on a repeater one night.  That was something new!  There are even special interest nets on the main repeater for astronomy buffs, food buffs, and Raspberry Pi people, and the net controllers seem very down to earth.  All in all, it has been enjoyable listening in.
We signed the lease at our new apartment complex, Bella Vida Estates.  It's further north in Plano, just about to Allen.  They have a brand new remodeled club house which is really nice.  They have lots of community activities and events and they invited us to their grand opening party last week.  There was a few contests and drawings including an Instagram drawing that I managed to win!  So I've got a few bucks to spend!
A sample of the decor in the clubhouse
So now that we know where will be moving to, I've started to plan my activity for the next year and I decided with the challenges I've experienced so far, I'm going to try a bit more to play on VHF/UHF.  Oh a whim I spun the dial around the bottom end of 2m to see if there was any weak signal (SSB/CW) activity and was pleased to find a round table going on.  With the polarization losses and lack of directivity with my Arrow J-pole, I could only hear one or 2 guys but I figured out what the net was so now I know what to look for next week.  With that gift card I won at the party, I am going to get an Elk dual band log periodic antenna to get some gain and directivity too.  Of course, I'm going to go back to trying my hand on the satellites too.

Have no fear though, I'm not giving up on HF.  I will probably give up on my magnetic loop for the time being.  Unfortunately it just doesn't do the job most of the time.  I have my hamsticks from mobile ops (which are very very few and far between) so I might go ahead and try to get them set up on the balcony somehow.  HamCom is coming up here in Dallas so I'll probably pick up the goods to get something going on the balcony at the new place then.  

Speaking of HamCom - I'll be there both days.  I decided to take Friday off of work and peruse the goods.  I think all of the presentations are on Saturday and I don't want to miss the deals in the flea!  Anyway, if you're coming in, let me know.  We'll definitely set up some sort of Reddit/Twitter meetup as we get closer to the date!

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