[lug] VHF radio contest madness

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Wed Jun 7 00:01:03 MDT 2006

This isn't 100% Linux-related, but I know there are some Ham Radio folks 
on both CLUE-Tech and BLUG that might like to see it...

Some friends and I built a "Rover" station for the upcoming VHF 
Sweepstakes contest, this coming weekend.  They also put together a 
communications trailer for their operation at/near Limon, CO.

The Jeep "Battlestar Butt-Ache" rover has radios and antennas for every 
Amateur band from 50 MHz (6 meters) through 1.2 GHz (microwave), and 
also a modified used Dish Networks antenna with a feedhorn on it for 10 
GHz (higher microwaves!).  The dish is riding inside and gets put on the 
roof when working microwaves.  The rest of the antennas are on a 12' 
mast on the receiver hitch, stabilized by attaching the mast to the 
luggage rack.  It has to be seen to be believed.

It also has real-time Internet and mobile GPS tracking via APRS (low 
speed packet radio), so you can follow along and see where I am (or 
point your antennas at me!).

The links to the fun are around the photo of it and me on the front page 
of http://www.rmham.org -- see the "click here" link that shows 
real-time location and mapping data, as well as the link to the route in 
PDF format.

There's no Linux on-board this year, but there is MacOS running a TCL/TK 
app for logging contest contacts!  http://www.2ub.org/roverlog/  It'll 
run on any platform that'll do TCL/TK.

Depending on time, etc... I may have low-speed GSM data on and running 
on the laptop, and might be available for IM's when safe to do so.  I'll 
post all the details at www.natetech.com before I head out on Saturday.

If you're a Ham Radio operator and haven't worked the big VHF contest - 
it's a ball.  Virtually the only time around here that you'll hear 
activity on SSB on the bands above VHF!  If you have a multi-mode radio 
and can work any band above 6 meters, fire it up this coming weekend -- 
you'll find you're VERY welcome and the big contesters will pile up on 
you -- especially if you're outside of Denver's Maidenhead Grid Locator 
square on the map... if you're outside of DM79, you'll be much 
sought-after as a new contact in that grid.

Contest starts Saturday at noon, ends Sunday at 9PM local time.  See the 
ARRL site for rules and information.  

73 DE WY0X,


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