Friday, April 15, 2011

Emergency Communications with the Polaric system

Last night I attended training on an emergency tracking system based on APRS and the Norwegian Polaric Trackers and the Polaric portable Map Server. The intention is to give APRS trackers to voluntary search teams and emergency vehicles and provide a detailed map with tracking data to the people in charge of the operation. The system relies on both fixed digipeaters as well as a number of portable digipeaters that can be placed on any suitable hilltop to provide APRS coverage in the area of the emergency. The map server can run offline so you don't really need Internet to show maps and tracking data.

The system is tested in several real life situatons.

Links in Norwegian:
Polaric Tracker and Polaric Server

Links translated with Google Translate
Polaric Tracker and Polaric Server

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mobile operations

Recently I have taken up mobile operations again. I use a FT-857D at 5w and an ATAS-100 antenna. My external loudspeaker is not very good so tonight I tested the Heil Traveler Single sided headset. I worked EG5CI on 17m, UR5IFB on 20m and LA1BNA on 10m. So far I have worked CT9, E7, S5, UA4, 9A, 5B, LA, I, UR and EA on SSB QRP from the car this year.

The ATAS antenna is mounted on triple magnet base but I'm not really happy with this solution. I have tried to find a SO-239 antenna mount for roof rails suitable for HF antennas. Any suggestions? I use a counterpoise magnet mat as antenna ground.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

QSLs, 10m contest and N1MM Logger

Today I have spent some time printing QSL cards and QSL labels. On my old card (to the left on the photo) I print directly on the card and for the new card I print on labels. I use the new card (to the right) for QSOs made from foreign countries. The two stacks contain 220 cards.

Tonight I planned to join the NRAU 10m Activity Contest but I guess the conditions were not right for QRP as I only managed to raise one single QSO with EA7IQQ! I could hear Argentina and the Falklands but was not able to work any of them. I have e-mailed the N1MM Logger development team and asked them to add the contest to N1MM Logger and Nick NA3M replied within minutes to let me know it was on his to-do list.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Norwegian Hammeeting and FT-817 elbow connector

This morning I picked up Aage LA1ENA and his son at 7.00 am and headed for Gardermoen just north of Oslo to attend the Norwegian Hammeeting. The trip took us 2,5 hours. Several radio suppliers were present and there was a large flea market and a number of lectures. I listened to a lecture by Roy W7EL who was talking about antenna modelling with EZNEC.

Permo is the largest radio supplier in Norway and on one of their tables I found a box of elbow PL-259/bnc connectors. I noticed the placement of the teeth inside the PL-connector where asymmetric! I guess these are specially made for the FT-817 to mount small verticals like the MFJ-1899T (ATX) straight! Using a normal elbow connector will make the antenna lean over to one side. I bought one of these connectors and a couple of chassis SO-239 connectors for a balun project.