Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Handiham World for 18 August 2010

Welcome to Handiham World!

Second remote base station goes into beta testing phase

screenshot of w4mq software interface showing w0zsw

With the addition of the W0ZSW remote base at Handiham headquarters, members now have a choice of two remote base stations. Users who have signed up for access to the “Handiham Remote Base” (W0EQO) will be added automatically to the list for W0ZSW, with the same password. The remote base concept has been gaining in popularity as more of us want to be able to use an HF radio without the need to drag along a lot of extra gear while traveling. Some users live in condos or antenna-restricted areas and simply want to expand their operating horizons beyond VHF and UHF repeaters. The remote base stations allow users to operate real HF radios connected to real antennas, and make friends far and wide on the HF bands.

The W0EQO station at Courage North, a Kenwood TS-480SAT equipped with the VG-S1 voice module, is preferred by our members who are blind. We have a Kenwood TS-570S set up at this time in the W0ZSW station at Camp Courage. The two stations are quite a distance apart, hundreds of miles, so they can be used at the same time with no chance of interference between the two. W0EQO is in the tall pines of northern Minnesota, near the headwaters of the Mississippi river. The location is a very quiet one, with little interference. We have reports of users making very successful DX contacts. The station operates on 80 through 10 meters. This is due to the capabilities of the current antenna, a G5RV, which will not tune on 160 or 6 meters. The W0ZSW remote base station has a 300 foot "W0OXB Special" antenna, up an average of 45 feet. This antenna covers 160 through 6 meters, including the WARC bands. The W0EQO station will hopefully get an upgraded antenna system later this year, bringing it more in line with the W0ZSW station for band coverage and performance. Camp Courage is about 40 miles west of Minneapolis.

The DSL internet service has given us a great deal of trouble at Camp Courage, so the W0ZSW station has been off line as much or more than it has been on line. We hope to remedy this situation soon, but I have been tied up in meetings and office work and have been running behind with this project. One other issue with the W0ZSW remote is that we do not have the frequency speech readout working. The TS-570 does have the VS-3 voice module, but apparently the software does not support the voice readout. It may be necessary to replace the radio with another model for which the speech output will work if we cannot find a solution for the TS-570.

Lyle, K0LR, and Eliot, KE0N, have been working with me on this project and we are anxious to get it out of beta testing and on the air for our users. Please keep watching the Handiham website and this newsletter for the latest updates.


Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager