Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ham Shack Update - May 2013

Figured it was time to post an updated picture of the Ham Shack.

Lots of changes since the last posts, feeling a bit neglectful of the blog itself actually.

Changes include...

A 10" digital photo frame streaming all my eQSL cards, much easier then printing them and storing them in a photo album. It runs on a power on/power off schedule, so it's only going during hours when I might be in the shack or have visitors.

Completed my Ham Shack Solar Power System.
  • I started with a large professional panel on the roof 250W / 30A
  • A 30A solar controller in the shack
  • 2 large deep cycle 12v batteries
  • a 12V RigRunner power strip (to power all the radio gear)
  • A 1000W pure sine wave inverter (to power the PC, monitors, and audio mixer amp)
The system can run all the shack radio gear and computer off the hydro grid entirely. During a sunny day the input power from the panel exceeds the drain of all the radio gear running. In the evenings it can run for hours on the batteries alone before needing to recharge the next day. If I want to really stretch the solar power I can turn off the inverter and just power the core HF/VHF radio gear from 12V.

Built up a proper lightning arrestor system for the antenna's and gear. This includes 4 Alpha Delta lightning arrestors mounted to a copper bus bar in a steel enclosure outside at the shack on the wall. All the antenna feedlines (HF and VHF) route to individual arrestors in the enclosure, then patch cables route them into the shack and the radio gear. Large gauge copper ground cable runs from the bus bar to ground rods just a couple feet away. The project isn't finished with weather proofing to follow, but at least it's functional now to protect from lightning and static discharges. We've already head a early spring electrical storm and another if forecast for tonight.



VA7AEJ is now a Radio Amateurs of Canada - Official Bulletin Station.

Radio Amateurs of/du Canada
RAC Field Organization
Official RAC Field Organization Appointment Description
Official Bulletin Station (OBS)
            Rapid dissemination of information is the lifeblood of an active, progressive organization. The RAC Official Bulletin Station network provides a vital communications link for informing the amateur community of the latest developments in Amateur Radio and RAC. RAC bulletins, containing up-to-the-minute news and information of Amateur Radio, are issued by RAC Headquarters as soon as such news "breaks."
            To serve the greatest possible "audience," OBS appointees who can send RAC bulletins over VHF repeaters and via uploading to packet bulletin board systems (PBBS) are of maximum usefulness and much in demand.  If possible, an OBS who can copy bulletins directly from Internet (or the Bulletin Manager) should be assigned to each major repeater in the section. Bulletins should be transmitted regularly, perhaps in conjunction with a VHF repeater net, on a repeater "bulletin board" (tone-accessed recorded announcements for repeater club members), or via a RTTY or packet (computer) mailbox, if one is functioning locally.
Duties and requirements of the OBS include the following:
1. OBS candidates are required to have and maintain full RAC membership and hold a Basic or higher Amateur Operator’s Certificate of Qualification (or equivalent, as stipulated by the Radiocommunications Regulations).  They should always operate radio equipment only within the limits and privileges of the certificate and qualification held.
2. Retransmission of RAC bulletins must be made at least once per week to maintain appointment.
3. OBS candidates are appointed by the Section Manager (or by the Bulletin Manager, if the SM so delegates) and must adhere to a schedule that is mutually agreeable.
4. OBS appointees should send a monthly activity report (such as FSD-210 under "Schedules and Net Affiliations") to the Bulletin Manager, indicating bulletin transmissions made and generally updating the Bulletin Manager to any OBS-related activities. This reporting arrangement may be modified by the Bulletin Manager as he/she sees fit.
5. As directed by the Bulletin Manager, OBSs will include in their bulletin transmissions news of local, section and regional interest.
            Recruitment of new hams and RAC members is an integral part of the job of every appointee.  Appointees should take advantage of every opportunity to recruit a new ham or member to foster growth of Field Organization programs and our abilities to serve the public.