Archive for the ‘TARA’ Tag

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.23   1 comment

I borrowed the NMT Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) Yaesu FT-857D to compare against my own.  While mine has S9 +20dB noise on all bands, all of the time, theirs hovers between S3-S7.  I am currently borrowing their rig for this particular road trip.

With TARA’s radio, I was able to make a few contacts this weekend, in both a shipboard contest and the Alabama QSO Party, though I have not yet updated my logs.

I spoke with Yaesu customer service and they said to send mine in for a repair, which I will do as soon as I have time to go to a post office.

I’m currently on the road to the east coast, but one of these mornings, I will have some extra time and can send it off.

Thank you for reading my post.


This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.12   Leave a comment

The biggest accomplishment of this week was getting caught up on my logbooks and DX4Win logs.  Finally.   I had not done so for over a month.  I also sent off a few QSL cards, though I have a long ways to go there before I am caught up.

I made a few HF contacts on the 20 meter county hunter’s net and I also checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times over the past week.  I tried to check into the Caravan Club Net, but I am having all sorts of problems with my VHF/UHF radios.

I have an Alinco DR-605 and an Alinco DR-130TP.  The Alinco DR-605 powers down on transmit, regardless of power output or frequency.  The Alinco DR-130TP transmit audio was cutting out and had a loud hum (the net control reported this to me).  I replaced the microphone on the Alinco DR-130TP to try to fix this problem, but with the new microphone, the rig will not even power.  I am currently mapping out my entire radio system to develop a list of action items to try.  I will post my plan on this blog.

I taught another section of the amateur radio license class.  I basically showed off some useful websites including,, and  We also set the exam date, time and location.

I also finished the February issue of QST.  I am behind on my reading as well.  I will begin the April issue this week (and skip March for now).  In the February issue, I really appreciated several articles.

First, I really liked the article called, “6 Meter Halo Antenna for DX-ing,” by Jerry Clement, VE6AB.  I really like that this antenna is sturdy enough for mobile use, and I will try building this, once I finish up a few other radio projects.

I also really liked the article titled, “Rebuilding the West Point Cadet Amateur Radio Club – W2KGY” by Matthew SHerburne, KF4WZB.  As someone who has spent time rebuilding the Tech Amateur Radio Assocation at New Mexico Tech on several occasions, it was neat to read another article about rebuilding college clubs.  Also, this student was a former member of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association (VTARA), as was I.

I also love reading articles about DXpeditions, so I appreciated, “Central African DX Adventure,” by Bernie McClenny, W3UR.  Some day, I will go on a DXPedition. I don’t know how or when or where, but I will do so in my lifetime.

Thank you for reading my post.

1.  Clement, Jerry.  “6 Meter Halo Antenna for DX-ing.” QST, February 2017, pp. 30-33.

2.  Sherburne, Matthew.  “Rebuilding the West Point Cadet Amateur Radio Club – W2KGY,” QST, February 2017, pp. 79-81.

3.  McClenny, Bernie.  “Central African DX Adventure.”  QST, February 2017, pp. 100-101.

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.8   Leave a comment

This has been a busy week for amateur radio.  First, I set up a Yaesu FT-857D in the Malibu for a few days.  I set it up and parked it by the Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) club station, and left my keys with those folks so that we could operate during the School Club Roundup contest.  I personally made several contacts (including Hawaii and a special event station in British Columbia) and a few others from the club did as well.

I also made my first contact on the TARA repeater (442.125 MHz), so that was exciting.  I think it is completely configured and in place at this point.

Over the weekend, I repaired my Morse Code key, as it has lost one of the contact screws.  Unbelievably, I found the screw on the floor of my shed amidst the mess, while looking for something else.

I also mounted my Yaesu FT-857D and Yaesu FT-7800 in the Crown Victoria.  I’ve been meaning to do that for ages, but finally got around to it.  I think it’s working out well.  I gave it a good road test and drove to Socorro, making a few contacts along the way.

In terms of operating, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net several times.  This morning, I worked Russia, Louisiana and Minnesota on 20 meters from Socorro.

I attempted to check into the Caravan Club Net, but my Alinco DR-605 kept powering down every time I transmitted.  I’ll have to look into this next weekend.

I also updated my log books from the last two weeks of QSOs.  I added quite a few VHF contacts, and a handful of 20 meter HF contacts to the books.

Due to a scheduling conflict, I did not teach the amateur radio license course this week.

Thank you for reading my post.

This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.6   Leave a comment

I couldn’t figure out why I had not received my latest QST.  I was going through some paperwork on my desk, only to find that I had not renewed my membership to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which explains why the February QST had not arrived.  I renewed my membership this week.

In terms of operating activities, I checked into several local 2 meters nets, including the Caravan Club, Albuquerque SCAT Net, and Rusty Raider’s Net, multiple times from multiple radios.

I have also been tracing the coax that runs through my backyard and removing broken pieces from past antenna projects.  I really want to make sure I have the correct coax connected to the correct radio.

The paperwork has been submitted for the Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA), and we are waiting to hear our club status and how much funding we will receive.  I am also looking into what is required to have us put up a dipole antenna for the School Club Roundup contest next week.

The amateur radio licensing course is going well.  This week, we started building a 40 meter QRP radio.  I will let you know how that goes as we build it.  Last night, we put all of the capacitors in place, an all of my students are comfortable soldiering.

This week, I have quite a few radio-related projects planned, so I will let you know how they go in 2017.7.

Thank you for reading my post.

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.5   Leave a comment

This week has been about preparing for my Amateur Radio class.  I have been looking over my lecture notes and importing test questions into Canvas (the academic software package we use at New Mexico Tech) in preparation.

Outside of the classwork, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net and Rusty Raider’s Net several times over the past week, as well as the Caravan Club once.  Sunday evening, I also listened in to the Amateur Radio Newsline broadcast.

I did have a little trouble with the Caravan Club Net, as my radio kept powering down.  I increased the voltage output and the problem went away.  I will probably need to check all of my antenna connections and see if I can figure out why I have so many antenna problems.

I also figured out how to unlock the Kenwood 707 that has been in my truck.  I accidentally locked the radio on 145.520 MHz.  I was able to unlock it and program the 145.330 MHz Albuquerque repeater into a memory channel.

The Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) went to the Winter Tailgate, selling some equipment and buying some other stuff as well.  The dust hasn’t settled yet, but the club members seem happy with their weekend.

Thank you for reading my post.

Amateur Radio This Week: #42   Leave a comment

This week, I was able to set up my Icom 2100 in the Malibu.  I replaced the coax that ran from the antenna to the radio, as the old one had been split for a long time.  I tested it by checking into the SCAT Net from Belen on Monday morning.  The contact was cut short as my power cable popped out, but there was no actual problem with the radio or antenna.

I also went to the Socorro Hamfest this weekend.  I picked up a few cheap multimeters, as well as 95′ of coax to replace my hodge-podge coax that runs betwen my HF radios and my vertical antenna in the back yard at my house.

I also acted as a Volunteer Examiner (VE) for the amateur radio test sessions that were offered at the hamfest.  Everyone who showed up left with either a new license or an upgrade, so it was a successful test session.  In fact, we have nine new licensed ham radio operators at NMT, so the Tech Amateur Radio Association has grown considerably!

On Sunday, I made a contact or two in the NY QSO Party as well.

I did not send any QSL cards but that will be in my new goals in the upcoming week.  This week, I will:

1.  Update all of my logbooks (clear my phone of all voice recordings!)
2.  Send 5 QSL cards

Thank you for reading my post.

Amateur Radio This Week: #38   Leave a comment

This week was slow in terms of contacts, as I made none.  I did, however knock both goals off my list this week.

#1:  Skyler now has access to the TARA station, and he cleaned it up beautifully.  We hung up a US map and a world map on the wall as well.

#2:  I was able to swap the VHF antenna on the Malibu.  One NMO mount was in bad shape and the other worked fine.  I wanted to swap them, as one NMO mount is really close to the FM broadcast antenna, and I wanted to give them more space.

Not only did I do both, I also tuned a ten meter antenna for use with the Radio Shack HTX-10.

Goals for this week:

#1.  New power connection in the Malibu.  I have a nice power cable running to the trunk, but none running to the passenger compartment.  As the radios I will mount in here are not remote mountable, I need power to the passenger cabin, not to the trunk.  It would be a shame to rip out the existing cable, however.

#2.  Test out the Yaesu FT-857D.  I received it and it is still sitting in the box in my living room.

Thank you for reading my post.