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KB5HMU USA flag USA

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QSL image for KB5HMU

Last Update: June 3, 2014@ 2155UTC
Location: Traveling


It's summer, my winter job is over and I'm traveling north to the Montana DN35 QTH. I will activate Grid border DN20 and DM29. After that I'll be in DN35. I plan to activate some grids in that area. Check back here for the latest.

Summer 2013 Grid Activation RV Journey

My summer RV trip is now over. I spent 4+ months on the road in my RV activating many rare grids on 6 and 2 meters. Sure had fun. I still have some QSL cards to send out.

Activated 24 grids during Summer 2013: DM71; DM92; DM94; EM14; EM26; EN81; EN86; EN85; EN75; EN76; EN65; EN67; EN28; DN77; DN78; DN68; DN67; DN57; DN47; DN36; DN26; DN25; DN13; DM23

RV Rover Operating Procedure:

When I am operating on battery power, I will mostly listen for your signal and then Tx. when I hear you.

  • I mostly operate WSJT modes: FSK-441 (Meteor Scatter), ISCAT and JT65 (Weak Signal).
  • I always switch to SSB during band openings.
  • My emphasis is on 6 meters but I also carry 2m, 70cm and 23cm antennas.
  • Standard Frequencies I use (if there is no interference):
    • 50.220 SSB, ISCAT, FSK-441 and beacon.
    • For FSK-441 I call CQ on 50.260 and listen on 50.220
    • For JT65, I operate on 50.276 for terrestrial. You may also call me with JT65 on 50.220.
    • 144.220 SSB, ISCAT, JT65 and FSK-441
    • 432.100 SSB, ISCAT, JT65 and FSK-441 (if busy, QSY to 432.220)
    • 1296.100 (if busy, QSY to 1296.220)
  • WSJT FSK441 procedures while I am Rover:
    • I usually don't make lists. If I am operating, join in.
    • You call me, I work the first station I hear.
    • I always operate first sequence. That eliminates any confusion while I am a rover.
    • I send my current grid in Tx2 on 6m. For 2m I use report.
    • Unless you are away from your home grid, please TX Shorthand Tones (ST or SH on).
    • If we are on PJ and you receive my Tx4 (RRR), please post so I can move to the next station.
    • If you are waiting to contact me and see me send Tx3, Tx4 or Tx5, you may start calling.
    • If you do not need the grid I am in, please let others go ahead of you since time is limited.
    • After about 10+ minutes of no decodes and if others are waiting in line to work me, I will move to the next person . After that I will try you again. Thanks for your understanding.
    • Sequence To Use Via ISCAT or FSK441.
      1. If you are calling me, send my call and your call in Tx1
      2. If you have received my call and your call, you send Tx2 (your call, my call, AND report)
      3. If you have received my call, your call and my grid, you send Tx3 (your report, PLEASE use short tones (ST or SH)
      4. If you receive my RRR's (Tx4), you notify me on PJ or send 73 (Tx5)

Proper Sequence Notice: It is important that you understand the correct sequence to use. If you do not follow the correct sequence, I may stop the QSO. When you don't operate correctly it wastes time and battery power and makes other operators wait. Follow the 4 steps above or you can press F5 in WSJT to get instructions for the proper sequence to transmit. Call or email me me if you need further explaination as I am happy to help you.

I will try hard to stick to the above procedures but sometimes things change. Thanks for adapting.

Grids I have activated from my RV (not complete list):

CN DN DM EN EM
72 10 19 28 14
73 13 22 65 26
74 20 23 67  
  21 28 75  
  22 29 76  
  25 31 81  
  26 37 85  
  35 38 86  
  36 39    
  42 46    
  47 47    
  57 63    
  67 71    
  68 92    
  77      
  78      
  92      
  94      

Contact Info:

QSL Cards:

If you send me a SASE and card, I'll make sure you get my card. During the summer my mail has to be forwarded to me from Yuma. This takes a while and I am slow about responding. Let me know if it is urgent (Like FFMA #488!). If you need a fast QSL card response, I can email you a PDF file of my QSL card ready for you to print out. I don't use LoTW. I tried it: hate it. I don't use any other form of QSL.

Beacon Operation

Whan I am traveling in the RV, I sometimes run a beacon on 50.220 when not operating. Mode will be FSK-441 OR ISCAT on 15 second intervals transmitting first. The message will be my call, current grid followed by BCON. (e.g.. KB5HMU EN67 BCON)

The purpose is for grid hunters to see which grid I am currently in and check propagation conditions between our stations. With WSJT software you should be able to decode either mode to see if the band is opening or the presence of meteors. Let me know if you hear it.

My Power Systems

Most of the time my RV is powered by the sun, with a propane generator backup, while I am not connected to shore power. Sunlight is converted into DC electricity by 1450 Watts of PV solar modules on my roof. Two Outback FM60 charge controllers convert the high voltage (70 and 90 volts) from the PV arrays to 12 volts nominal for charging the battery and powering loads. Also, as the sun heats the Earths surface and creates winds, I capture that energy with a wind turbine. (see pictures below)

The energy I capture is stored in 360Ah of Li-ion batteries totaling 4.75 kWh of storage. When the sun shines, I can make over 7 kWh per day. A Magnum Energy 2800 VA sine wave inverter is used to convert DC energy into AC for powering loads. My renewable energy (RE) systems are sufficient for all power needs except the air conditioner.

I have over 12 years of system design and installation of RV and off grid power systems like this. If you have questions or need help with a RE power system, let me know.

PHOTOS & GENERAL INFORMATION (this always needs updating)

My enjoyment comes from working weak signals on the VHF and UHF bands. Using WSJT software, I bounce signals of meteor trails that are ionized as the meteor burns in our upper atmosphere. Lots of fun on 6 and 2 meters. The most enjoyment I get comes when I can operate from different grids while traveling (rover) in the RV. Six meters is my favorite band and I enjoy helping people with their FFMA award, working all 488 CONUS grids on 6 meters, which is a very difficult task. Learn more here. Ocassionally I operate on the HF bands with a vertical aluminum antenna and AH4 tuner. That has always worked good enough for me for many years.

Pictures below show the roof, antennas and RV operating position.

KB5HMU RV Operating Position

RV Station prior to the Icom 9100 and KPA500

Operating from DN35 Lost Trail Pass

Foreground mast is 6 meter Halo (top), 70cm and 2m HO Loop below that. I have replaced the Halo with a PAR OA-50 antenna which is proving to be FAR superior. These antennas are mounted on a crank-up mast for fast deployment any time I stop. Only takes 1 minute to be on the air on 3 bands. RV roof POWER

Operating from CN73vq. Wind turbine deployed, HF vertical, 6 and 2 meter beams.

The front pole is 43' stack of aluminum tube for HF. It's connected to a 4/1 balun and then to the IC-9100. It only takes 60 seconds to get on the air on HF and with the built in tuner works good on most bands. A small rotator towards the front has been great for a number of antennas from 6m to 1.2gHz beams. BTW, I am not trying to work EME with the 6m antenna. It was shadowing the PV solar modules causing power loss so I tilted it back.

Operating from DN21cq, Wild Horse State Rec. Area, Nevada

Operating from a remote area in DM39

View to NW while operating from mountain top in DM19mk, 6, 2, 432, 1296

Mountaintop Operation from DN35 during the September VHF Contest. 6m, 2m, 70cm and 23cm on an AZ/EL mount. The motorized head is from a broadcast television ENG vehicle. I modified it for wireless remote control.

This is a picture from DM71 after I upgraded the PV solar array to 1450 Watts. Most roof space is gone.

73,

Larry
kb5hmu@starlightsolar.co

1001604 Last modified: 2014-06-07 19:58:22, 15775 bytes

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