Archive for the ‘Storm Chasing’ Category

This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.20, 2017.21, 2017.22   Leave a comment

I have been on the road on my annual storm chase trip for the past two weeks.  I spent quite a bit of time talking to my chase team, all five of which (including me) are amateur radio operators.  We spent all of our time on 2 meters.

Outside of that, I did try to get APRS running in my car, using an Icom IC-281H, a TinyTrak3, a Garmin eTrex GPS, and a magnet mount.  Not only was I not able to get good packets to the TinyTrak, a giant tumbleweed knocked off the magnet mount, and destroyed it.

I also tried to run a few counties on both 20 meters and 40 meters from my Yaesu FT-857D.  The noise floor was too great, and I couldn’t hear anyone.  I am going to borrow the Tech Amateur Radio Association’s radio, and see if that helps.  If not, I am not sure what to do next.  If their radio works, I will send mine off for repair.

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This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.19   Leave a comment

My amateur radio activity has been limited over the past week.   Having said that, I did check into the Albuquerque SCAT Net on both the VHF and the UHF side a few times, and I did attend the last Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) meeting of the semester.

I will have an active radio week coming up, however, as I will be leaving for storm chasing on Monday.  In this next week, I am getting all of my amateur radio systems tested and ready.  Still on the list is getting the APRS system up and running (TinyTrak3 to an Icom IC-281H), tuning a 20 meter hamstick, and tidying up some of the cords that run around in the Crown Victoria.

I have been slowly updating my DX4Win Logs as well.  They need to be up-to-date so that I can start the storm chase out with a clean voice recorder, and perhaps fewer QSL cards sitting in the pile to return.

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This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.17   Leave a comment

I didn’t make many contacts this week, though I did check into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times on the UHF side.

Most importantly, I did help VE an amateur radio exam in Socorro.  Turn out was low, but we do have a new licensed ham out of it, so it was all worthwhile.

I also submitted my NM QSO Party Log and updated my log books.  I still need to update DX4Win.

However, it is getting close to storm chasing season.  I will probably switch gears and start working on APRS stuff and getting ready for storm chasing.

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Crown Victoria Work   Leave a comment

I spent yesterday evening working on the Crown Vic, prepping it for storm chasing. I put my Kenwood TS-130S on the floor, and wedged the Yaesu FT-7800 between the seats for now. I tested both of them, successfully.

In terms of antennas, I tuned Hamsticks for 15 meters and 17 meters. I also disassembled a multiband antenna only to find that the base was cracked (hence why it was so hard to tune). What a shame!

The Yaesu FT-857D is still not functioning correctly. I’ll have to get that repaired, if there is ever money to do so.

I did manage to check into the SCAT Net this morning from US-60 in Magdalena. That’s a long ways!

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Daily Radio Report: 6/8/15   Leave a comment

Yesterday, I began my long trek back to New Mexico from storm chasing. With the temporary radio set-up, there is a lot of noise, so I have been minimizing the strain on my ears by only running a few counties that I haven’t ran before.

I operated from Perkins, NE; Phillips, CO; Dundy, NE; and Cheyenne, KS, all on the 20 meter SSB county hunter net.

There was a long break in the middle as there was a storm to chase on my way home.

6-7-15 gustnado 01 hc no 02

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Daily Radio Report: 6/6/15   Leave a comment

Once again, I spent the day on the road storm chasing. In terms of storms, yesterday was an over-hyped forecast day, and we busted in northeastern Nebraska.

This was all familiar country, and we chatted on a 2 meter simplex frequency for much of the drive. I did take a few minutes to run Antelope, NE, on the 20 meter county hunter net, which was the first new one I crossed into for the day. By the time we reached the next new county, storms were firing, and I put the HF radio away.

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Daily Radio Report: 6/4/15   Leave a comment

I have been on the road storm chasing for the past two days. I ran into my alma mater (Virginia Tech) storm chase team on the road, and so I have been part of their caravan.

Yesterday, we drove from Limon, CO, into rural northwestern KS, ending the night in Colby, KS. I ran several counties in Kansas, though I have not yet gone through my recordings to see how many (or even to remember which counties I ran).

I have spent the majority of the the time talking between other storm chaser vehicles on 2 meters, but also took some time to run on the 20 meter county hunter net.

The storm chase yesterday didn’t net a tornado, but I did get some neat pictures of lightning. Here is one, just because:

6-4-15 lightning 02

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