Club Meeting 4/28 and Radio Installs 4/29

Well, I finally got to attend my first meeting! That was a lot of fun, and met some very fun people. Meeting started at 7 and was done by 745 and me and Roland were voted in, however I stayed until almost 10pm chatting with another fellow IT Ham. I learned quite a bit and definitely helped shape my current focus while waiting on a response from AMPRNet.

Our next focus was to get a mobile unit installed in the jeep and then to validate the feasibility of a suggested cable path to my roof. To that extent we installed a RAK Wireless MNTD Hotspot for Helium Mining on the roof, and it was actually surprisingly easy. Josh got up in the attic and me and Roland got on the roof, they fished some UV rated outdoor CAT6 through a small hole in the bottom of my chimney and then Josh used some velcro inside to make sure the cable wouldn’t slide back in…. again….

And here was our final result:

Ultimately my end goal is to add 1 or 2 more larger antennas up there with the initial goal of just being able to hit the local repeater. I’ve been sitting here for an hour surfing the internet and my HT hasn’t received the CW Ident signal from the repeater yet. But I get it at the office now. Small steps forward!

As to the Jeep, we did successfully get it connected, but as so many things we seem to do lately, the guys were in a rush and did not get many pictures. I intend to make another post since the install isn’t totally complete, but it’s almost there. I purchased a Quadratec universal mount, and since I already had a Btech UV5001, we just decided to re-install that in the Jeep.

To mount the antenna I purchased a Driver Side Antenna Mount Bracket for the Jeep Rubicon. For the antenna, I took a chanced and purchased a “ghost antenna“, which we have major reservations about how it will do, but if it works, will be a very nice touch to the Jeep. During install, we had to peel back the protective gasket on the bottom of the antenna clip and remove the screws so that ultimately we could attach the antenna base to the Driver side mount, during this process, the solder broke between the base unit and the cable. So, it’s on the calendar for 4/30 to have Roland resolder it together, but that was a lesson learned and next time, I will definitely focus on more standard and easy NMO mounting options.

I started looking at Jeep Spare Tire Antenna Mount kits and cable with the intent of simply running a second cable to the tailgate and installing a mount kit for immediate or future use if the ghost antenna turns out to be absolutely useless.

I hope to have this install finished this weekend, and move on to our deployment of a linux streaming server and ultimately investigating our first allstar node. We did get a server up and running but learned that the SDR we have does not like the processor that is in the box we’re using, so before we try to roll that into production we’re looking into solutions. Roland is dead-set on using a powered USB hub and an intel NUC that is being decommissioned from a customer because it’s an Intel core i5, however I’m concerned we will get weird issues over time with it. Our current road map for that project is to get ice cast working and use the trunktracker for Waco PD, and then use the SDR for McLennan County Fire. And a pipe dream hope is that we can use the same SDR to listen to multiple frequencies. and input them, but if not, we’ll add another SDR and possibly use that for one way audio. Our end goal with this box is to be able to utilize the audio streams in FreePBX as Music On Hold classes so anyone on our servers could listen to the feeds with little to no effort. Our end goal with the All star node is to be able to transmit without the need of a base radio at our hoses and communicate with the Eddy Repeater.

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