Need to Fill-in APRS in Barstow

I have been trying to test a balloon payload, but the coverage around here is not good. In fact you have to be a few miles away to get into a digi.

So I am testing a fill-in digi. Currently it is made up of an Argent Data OT3M, a Po Fung UV-82, and a Diamond X-30A antenna up 30 feet. The fact that it is very marginal into a distant digi illustrates the issue I am having.

So, I am likely going to add an igate to capture data here, and maybe re-vamp the equipment…

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Uncategorized

A Close-Up of Copernicus Crater


This was captured using my new Orion digital imager on my Celestron Powerseeker 127.

Getting to the level of clarity I am hoping for…

Information and the video used to make the image.

Posted in Uncategorized

Another Step Forward

The image on the left is the one I posted before. On the right is an image from tonight.

moon compare

Getting better, but still needs work…

Posted in Uncategorized

Baby Steps into Digital Astrophotography

I am playing with astrophotography. Barstow has a fairly dark sky, although the background in photos lightened faster than stars, even here.

A first try at the full moon:


I also tried a bit with Orion and varying magnifications and exposure times.

40x, 4 seconds:

Orion 4 seconds

40x, 6 seconds

Orion 6 seconds

Orion’s belt and sword (with just a beginning hint of nebula):

80x, 8 seconds

Orion belt and sword

Posted in Uncategorized

Titan Missile Museum, 2014

This is my third year going to the Titan Missile Museum, south of Tucson, Arizona. The group goes every year on this weekend to use the incredible HF Discone. This antenna was built by Collins Radio for the Air Force in 1963, and is maintained by the Green Valley Amateur Radio Club. It is usable from 40 to 10 meters.

Here is the group, with the antenna in the background:

4x4 Hams Operating

And the antenna closer up. Note the picnic table and junction box with the coax connection. You just need to sign in at the museum office during normal business hours.

Antenna and feedline

A sign onsite with info on the GVARC:


Posted in Uncategorized

Ham Station Coming Together!

ham station

Icom IC-718 is upper left, with LDG auto-antenna tuner, external speaker, and SignaLink USB.

Local Broadband Hamnet node at top left.

VHF and UHF mounted under the shelf. The one with the pink display is 222 and the blue one is 2 meters. I have a 440 version on the way (which takes a while from China). I will have all three bands of the TYT TH-9000. This makes programming and remembering what the function buttons do much easier.

Posted in Uncategorized

Finally an HF Antenna!

I finally got an HF antenna up, after only seven months in this house!

Antennas 0914 posting

I also mounted my dual band 2M/440 antenna on top of the same mast, and relocated my 220 antenna to be at the new shack.

I put up a parallel dipole with elements for 10, 20, and 40 meters. I used a W2AU balun to help give a consistent pattern. The ends are tied to 10 foot tall lengths of 1/2″ EMT, so the antenna is fairly flat and the ends are well up out of the way.

I also put my Diamond X-30A on top of the mast, so it and the dipole are about 30 feet up.

I relocated my 220 antenna to the other end of the house, since my operating point is better.

I fed all three antennas with RG-213, to minimize loss.

So, I should be on the air more!

Posted in Uncategorized