The shack

I finally took a picture of the “operating position” in my tiny shack.  It’s an 8′ x 10′ room so there’s not much room in it.

The 706MKII is sitting on a shelf to the left in this picture.  Seen are my Kenwood TS-430S, Yaesu FT-450D, Yaesu FTM-3100 2m radio, and my MFJ-969 Deluxe Versa Tuner II antenna matcher.  The computer is running Slackware 64 Linux with Xfce.  The certificates above the shelf are my Feld Hell Club and American Legion Amateur Radio Club membership certificates.

It’s a small modest setup but it works for me.  I like to use the TS-430S for SSB and the FT-450D for digital.

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Configuring the serial port under Linux

I discovered that this new computer has its physical serial port at address Ox3F8 but on IRQ 10.  I wasn’t sure how to correct this problem so I dug deeper.  This is specifically for Slackware Linux but this should apply to other Linux distros because I am using common tools.

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Using the tw suite under Slackware Linux

Tonight I decided to install most of Ted Williams’ WA0EIR suite of Linux-based amateur radio programs on my new shack computer running Slackware 64 Linux 14.2.  It was a very simple install with a minor variation you need to be aware of.

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Been a while

I haven’t been active in ham radio much lately.  On February 27, I was hit head-on at 70 MPH and walked away from the accident with a badly broken right pinky finger and a banged-up left knee.  I’m healed enough now to where I have been cleared to return to work.  Due to storms, my antenna is no longer any good so I am working on getting another one once I am working again.  I’ve moved the shack computer back to Slackware 64 Linux and have been moving things around to get settled again.  I can’t wait to get back on the air again!

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New antenna

I’m going to be ordering the EFHW-8010 end-fed half-wave antenna from next week and the mounting hardware as well as a tripod to mount the back half of the antenna on the shed.  I’ve got to get my own antenna going as it’s driving me nuts not being on the air.

Today, my dad was given a container full of “ham radio stuff” and there was a working SignaLink SL-1+ in it!  So now I have the SignaLink USB and the SL-1+.  I like the SL-1+ since you don’t have to deal with drivers; just plug it into the computer’s soundcard and go.  I’m thinking about using that one with the Kenwood TS-430S as a “dedicated” digital station once I have the room to set up the other radio…or not.  We’ll see.

So far, all I seem to hear is FT8 and after looking into that mode, I have no interest in using it.  I much prefer Feld Hell or even PSK31 over that!

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Packet BBS

I’ve been toying around with the idea of setting up a packet BBS for quite some time now.  I run my regular BBS on a pretty stout server running Slackware Linux so I had been researching on how to set up a packet BBS. Continue reading

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2 meters capability

I got around to installing my Yaesu FTM-3100 2 meter mobile radio in my shack. Thanks to help from my dad, KD7SXQ, we were able to get my ol’ reliable 2 meter J-pole installed on the outer wall of my shack (Dad made that antenna for me). The FTM-3100 can push up to 65 watts of power out so I’ll be able to cover quite a bit of area even from out in the sticks. That also means that I might start actually checking into a few nets again. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of setting up a packet BBS also for fun and to just tinker with something new.
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Tennessee QSO Party on 9/1

I will be on the air for the Tennessee QSO party starting at 2 PM Eastern on Sunday, September 1. I’ll be hanging around on 20 meters during the day and 40 or 80 meters at night. If you work me, please spot me!

(EDIT: That was a total washout with no propagation to speak of.  I hope next year will be better.)

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New log upload

I just uploaded my logs for July and August to LotW,, ClubLog, and eQSL.
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Still busy

I’ve not been on the air much due to a lot of traveling for my work. This next month promises to be quite busy with interstate travel three weeks out of four. I am hoping to get back on the air as soon as I can. I am working on saving up for an ATAS-120a antenna for the shack. Right now, our Internet connection is out at the house but it should be fixed tomorrow. I will then upload my latest logs to the usual sites. It’s been crazy but at least I’m not bored. Looking forward to participating in a few contests this fall and winter.

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