Two Items – SDR and Transmitter Shed

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Posted by w0ep on December 30, 2017 at 8:36 pm

[Thursday: 3.5 miles; today: 6.1 miles]

After running this morning I worked for a couple of hours on moving the radio station transmitter out to it’s new home in the transmitter shed.  We were off the air for about 1-1/4 hours while I moved equipment and rerouted the feedline.  I hope to eventually replace that feedline with something shorter and more efficient.  (I coiled up all of the excess and mounted it on the exterior wall of the shed.  Getting a shorter feedline requires some paperwork with the FCC and I really wanted to get this move done before 2018.)  We are out of the house! Yay!

I came back later in the day, and even though it was very cool outside, the interior of the shed was too warm.  So I fired up the AC unit and that brought things back under control.  I think the AC is going to be on pretty much all the time.  It illustrates how much that transmitter was interfering with the A/C in our house! I hope my little window unit has enough oomph to do the job in the summer time. (People had asked me if I had installed a heater in the shed.  I was expecting the equipment to do that job, and little did I know it would do it too well.)

The second item:  I received a cool new ham radio toy for Christmas. It is called a software defined radio (SDR) and this particular unit is the RSP2-Pro from a company called SDRPlay.  It covers a wide range of frequencies as a general purpose receiver.  I downloaded the free software and got it working.  I have a lot to learn about how to use it.  Here is a screen shot of a contest on the 160 Meter ham band, lots of morse code signals.  You can kind of see the dots and dashes in the “waterfall” display at the lower part of the picture.  There is other software I can download to actually decode and display what people are saying.  But I know how to do that by ear.

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