Ham Radio - First Steps

Dear reader! 2k16 is almost over and although this post is not a strictly LXRobotics related topic I'd like to write about it on the LXRobotics blog: In October 2016 I sucessfully took the class 1 CEPT amateur radio exam at the Oberösterreichische Fernmeldebehörde. I am now not only eligible to broadcast and listen to a lot of frequencies but also are allowed to design, develop and operate my own communication equipment. While the development of such gear is definitely something not happening too soon I purchased some commercial equipment to get started. On the picture below you can see my temporary shack located at JN78SH consisting of my old thinkbook for looking up stuff like the repeater map of Austria. As radio I am using a Kenwood TM-D700 2m/70cm radio also capable of ARPS/Packet Radio. The necessary power is supplied by a MAAS SPA-8350 13.8 V / 35 A stationary power supply unit. A Diamond SX-400N SWR & Power-Meter is used to monitor output power and standing wave ratio.

The Kenwood radio is connected via a short N-Male/N-Male cable with the SWR-Meter which in turn is connected via a 20 m N-Male/N-Male connector cable with a Diamond X300N antenna which is mounted to a refurbished traffic sign pillar. The whole construction is actually pretty high and easily reaches up to the start of the roof.

After everything was setup I was ready to go on the net. For a while I was listening to a conversation going on via the 2m repeater OE3XLS in Sandl/Langenlois. Later I tried to establish a conversation about aforementioned relais but the incoming signal was barely readable (the propagation conditions had changed). Fortunately my communication partner helped me to change frequency a couple of times which led ultimately to us having a QSO (amateur radio communication) via the 2m repeater OE3XPA at Kaiserkogel. With only 5 watts of TX power I was able to communicate reliably via the Kaiserkogel repeater. And the end of our QSO the other ham invited my to join a broadcast round on the repeater the next day which I gladly accepted. Since my shack was a only temporary first tryout I had to disassembly everything ... nonetheless I am looking forward to soon go QRV (ready to receive) in Oberwölbling/Linz again.


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