RMHam U – Antennas, feedlines, SWR

12/16/2017

About 25 hams attended Chris Hamilton’s (AE5IT) RMHam U class on Antennas, Feedlines and SWR (subtitled:  Every Antenna is a Multiband Antenna).   The Chris explained why even mismatched antennas can be effective radiators as long as your are using a feed line with low loss.  The class also had a practical demonstration of wave  propagation.  RMHam holds these classes monthly during the ‘cold’ months and you can sign up by clicking on “RMHam University” in the menu bar of this web site.


Support RMHAM this Holiday Season!

11/06/2017

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio has found a great opportunity for you to have a portion of your purchases through http://smile.amazon.com donated to Rocky Mountain Ham Radio.  This costs you nothing, and RMHAM receives a portion of your purchase! Click Here to sign up and support RM HAM or just visit Amazon Smile and choose Rocky Mountain Ham Radio, Inc as your 501(c)(3) charity of choice!

Our network expansion this year alone (Westcreek, Leadville and Vail) cost $15000.00 and that doesn’t include any of our maintenance from lightning strikes or equipment damage!

We would love to have your support through Amazon or donating directly to us via our link under About RMHAM Radio, Support RMHR.  You’ll thank us when you go to use our network!

 


Maker Faire Success

11/04/2017

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio attended Maker Faire Denver on October 14th and 15th 2017 at the Denver Merchandise Mart.  The Comm Trailer was set up in an area that had great traffic and many visitors during the event.  Willem reported that the crystal receiver was a bit hit with attendees and there were ongoing discussions about Ham Radio in general and kit building in particular.  Thanks to Chris, AE5IT for leading the group.


RMHAM is an ARRL Affiliated Club

  • 01/26/2019RMHAM-U: Repeaters 102
  • 02/09/2019 9:00 amCCYARC/RMHam VE Testing
  • 02/16/2019The Swapfest Set up with Trailer
  • 02/17/2019 9:00 amThe Swapfest
AEC v1.0.4

Exhibiting at MakerFaire

10/05/2017

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio will be exhibiting its communications trailer at the Maker Faire Denver on October 14th and 15th 2017 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. 451 E 58th Ave, Denver, CO 80216.  We will be there from 10AM Saturday to 5pm Sunday.  This is a great event with many crossovers to amateur radio.  Come out an join us or just to look around.  More information is available at their website:  https://denver.makerfaire.com.

Directly from their website:

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning. Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers. They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The original Make Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA, and in 2014 celebrated its eleventh annual show with some 1100 makers and 130,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in four years to 600+ makers and 80,000  attendees. Kansas City, Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Orlando, Silver Spring, Paris, Rome, Oslo,Trondheim, Tokyo, Newcastle (UK), and Shenzhen – and now DENVER – are the home of larger-scale “featured” Maker Faires and over 120-community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world.


Three Sites, One Day. Again!

10/01/2017

A crack team of 15 RMHAM team members pulled off another 3 site day interconnecting the RMHAM network to Leadville and Vail.  This push gets DMR into these areas that have not been covered with DMR until now.  We now cover I-70 nearly contiguously from Genoa through Avon.  We installed two microwave hops from our Fairplay site to our Leadville and then over to Vail with three dedicated teams.  By noon on September 30, 2017, the DMR systems were in place and ready to carry traffic.  We also added new digital linking for the Colorado Connection and upgraded both the Leadville and Vail repeaters to new digital hardware!  Ski Country ARC from the Vail area assisted the Vail RMHAM team in completing this task.  Fairplay team of K0JSC, N2MED, K0GUR got the microwave in and peaked.  Leadville team of W0VG, AC0KQ, AE5IT, N0DEV, K0IBM, K7AIH.  Vail team was K2AD, WA1JHK, KI0KN, N7CTM with prework by W0KU.  Ski Country folks that helped out KD0MA, KE0JEG and N0ECT.  They installed microwave, power, routers, and all assorted cabling along with doing lots of antenna rework to handle the new configuration.


RMHAM-U 2017-18

09/02/2017

Based on the results of our survey regarding RMHAM University, we are pleased to announce an exciting program for RMHAM-U this year.

In addition to six new half day classes, we will also have a Home Brew and Kit-building Expo in conjunction with the ARA Swapfest in February.

Oct 21, 2017 DMR in Ham Radio (Mike K0NGA)

Nov 18, 2017 Getting a Handle on RF Noise and Interference (Ron N0IVN & Tom W0IVJ)

Dec 16, 2017 Every Antenna is a Multiband Antenna (Chris AE5IT)

Jan 27, 2018 Designing, Building and Deploying your PodCom (David K0PWO)

Feb 18, 2018 Home Brew and Kit-building Expo

Mar 17, 2018 RF Applications for the Raspberry Pi (Willem AC0KQ)

Apr 21, 2018 Locating Interference (John W0VG)

Click here for more information and sign up for these events.

This year we will not be providing a pizza lunch, so there is no cost to attend. Participants are invited to join us for an informal lunch and ragchew session afterwards at a nearby restaurant to be selected at the spur of the moment.

If you would like to show your creation at the Home Brew and Kit-building Expo, please sign up for the event and the coordinator Chris AE5IT will contact you with more information. Note that this event is on a Sunday morning to coincide with the ARA Swapfest, while the other RMHAM-U classes are on Saturday morning.

We look forward to seeing you there!


RMHAM Supports Tour De Ladies

07/14/2017

July 8, 2017, Parker, CO.  Rocky Mountain Ham Radio and Douglas/Elbert County ARES with the assistance of member Mark Atkinson, W0ATK made the Rocky Mountain Ham Radio Communications Trailer and cache radios available for the use of the Tour De Ladies.

Tour de Ladies is a fully supported, non-competitive, women-only cycling event through the rolling hills of Douglas County, south of Denver, starting in Parker.  The ARESDEC folks do a superb job making sure that the event is safe and fun.

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio is proud to help support the event!

 


RMHAM hosts 2017 CSVHFS Conference in Albuquerque, NM

06/18/2017

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio, New Mexico hosted the 2017 Central States VHF Society (CSVHFS) Conference in in sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico (DM65) on July 27-30 at the Sheraton Airport Airport hotel.

This event is the largest VHF/UHF/microwave conference in the nation, and attracted some of the most knowledgable VHF/UHF/microwave hams from across the United States and Canada.

A special thank you to the following RMHR members for designing, planning, and executing a great event:

New Mexico: Bill NM5BB, Chris W5CBP, Jim KC7QY, Mark KF5DFV, Rick AE5JI, Alan N5BGC, Carol N5ZYP, Pat W5RMY, Katelyn KA5TLN, Tom K5TEE, Sue KF5LEG, Phil KF5LEF, Chris NB5T, Ed KA8JMW, and Brian N5ZGT.

Colorado: John W0VG, Jeff K0RM, Chris AE5IT, and Doug K2AD.


RMHam Supports Triple C Bike Ride

05/18/2017

The weather on May 13, 2017 was absolutely perfect for bike riders and volunteers alike as Rocky Mountain Ham Radio provided communications for the fourth year in a row to this excellent event. The Triple C Bike Ride is an early season ride on the Front Range of Colorado, starting in Broomfield, going north to Johnstown and back to Broomfield for an end‐of‐ride celebration. All proceeds from the ride benefit the Rotary Club of Broomfield Crossing Foundation, a 501C3 which provides grants and scholarships in our surrounding community and around the world. For more details on the Ride Click Here. We were fortunate that there were only a few minor spills this year and that most of our radio communications were devoted to tracking the riders between the Rest Areas as they rode one of the three courses offered. RMHam deployed our Comm Trailer with our Quick Response Vehicle (former TV news van) alongside at the Start/Finish line in Broomfield. We operated two separate nets this year, as the number of riders has increased so has the need for more radio traffic. One net operated on the RMHam North Talk Group 721 and was devoted to Rest Area traffic which was primarily passing of riders bib numbers as they traveled the course. The second net was on the RMHam Central Talk Group 720 and was used by the course vehicles, these included the “SAG” an acronym for Support And Gear, although these vehicles are known for succoring riders with mechanical problems or those who may have overreached their riding capabilities and “sag”. The other course vehicles were the Rovers, who were on motorcycles. The Rover’s tracked the leading riders on the courses.
This year RMHam began testing a new technology. John Maxwell W0VG is pictured with a home grown RFID reader this new system for tracking riders looks very promising. In the future, when a participant rides past this, their ‘bib number’ will be transmitted to a program running in the Comm Trailer. Cool stuff! Once again Rocky Mountain Ham Radio is leading the way in adapting new technology in support of events. A great time was had by all and the members of RMHam will be looking forward to our 5th year of support to the Triple C Bike Ride in 2018.


March RMHAM-U Impedance, Reflections and Transformation

03/18/2017

March 18, 2017, Chris Hamilton AE5IT did a very hands on presentation on Impedance, Reflections and Transformation relating to antennas and feedlines.  It was a very good description of how antennas, feedlines and SWR is related.  It was a great demonstration with lots of real-world demonstrations on how antennas and feedline matching relates to power and antennas.

If you ever wanted to see SWR visually, you’d love this presentation.  Look for it at an event in the near future.

We know it’s going to be at an upcoming Denver Radio Club meeting!

 


The Swapfest 2017 Edition!

02/28/2017

Once again the Aurora Repeater Association, Cherry Creek Young Amateur Radio Club and Rocky Mountain Ham Radio put on one heck of a show. Sunday February 19th was a beautiful day with temperatures not too hot or not too cold, no threats of snow and no icy roads.  The attendees came from near and far, well over 500 in attendance with over 120 vendor tables filled with everything from soup to nuts and trash to treasure. Highlights of the Swapfest were displays of the RM Ham Communications Trailer and their QRV2 rover vehicle.

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio unveiled its 2017 Pledge Drive. In order to continue the maintenance and expansion of the DMR repeater system RM Ham is asking the amateur radio community to chip in what they can so that we can continue to offer this premiere system and expand it throughout the region. Here are the details of the Pledge Drive.

We want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all those who volunteered to help put on the Swapfest and to all those who came out and attended the event! Mark your calendars for February 18, 2018 for 2018’s Swapfest


Jack McComb W0JMC SK

02/24/2017

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Jack McComb, W0JMC on February 23, 2017. Jack was a dedicated member of Rocky Mountain Ham Radio, as well as former EC of Arapahoe County ARES (ACARES) and a tireless supporter of amateur radio and its causes. Jack was a former over the road truck driver, a board member of Owner/Operator Trucking Association.  Jack and his family used to own an ambulance company in Denver.  Jack was a paramedic and owned a company that supplied emergency medical services to the film and television industry. Many of us were able to visit with Jack at the January Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club hamfest in Loveland last month where we were able to share many memories with Jack, he indicated he had had suspended the aggressive treatment of his cancer in favor of enjoying the time he had left with his family and friends.

His widow, Jocelyn KD0ZVA, indicated that they weren’t going to have a formal service, but maybe a graveside when the weather isn’t as cold. More information will be forthcoming.

We will surely miss him.


RMHR Donates UHF Repeater to TARA

02/12/2017

Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) is a university amateur radio club at the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology located in Socorro, New Mexico.  TARA is currently being led by a familiar face, Skyler Fennell KDØWHB of Denver), who is a freshman studying electrical engineering.

One of TARA’s current projects is the construction and operation of a UHF repeater to rally their members on the air, to provide teaching opportunities using their test gear, and to attract other New Mexico Tech students to amateur radio.

On behalf of Rocky Mountain Ham Radio, a few members (Alan N5BGC, Dave KB5YIW, Ed KA8JMW, Brian N5ZGT) attended TARA’s monthly meeting to present a Yaesu VXR-5000 UHF repeater and duplexer that RMHAM has donated towards TARA’s repeater project.  We look forward to these young hams to do great things with the system (they had it unpacked and on their air in a temporary configuration before the meeting ended!).

Ed, in his capacity as New Mexico Section Manager, also presented TARA’s membership with an ARRL Handbook and General Class study manual.  Jim Lommen KC7QY, president of Socorro Amateur Radio Association was also on hand for the repeater presentation.

The ambition these young hams are showing, under Skyler’s leadership, is as impressive as it is rare within amateur radio, and it’s a treat to have them emerging within New Mexico’s amateur radio community.

For more information about TARA, visit http://infohost.nmt.edu/~tara

 


George Bartling, WA9TCD SK

02/08/2017

It is with deep sadness that we must announce that another key has gone silent. Our very own George Bartling WA9TCD died suddenly this week leaving many of us in shock and wondering why.  Those of us that had the pleasure of knowing George, know that he gave of himself selflessly. Need him to cover the EOC, no problem, need him to teach a class, no problem, need him to solder a connector he was there every time.

George was an active member of Rocky Mountain Ham Radio for many years. In addition to RMHAM, George was also very active in Arapahoe County ARES, O.M.E.G.A. Responders, as a teacher, and Volunteer Examiner where he is responsible for bringing many new hams to the ranks. George’s upbeat and positive attitude made him enjoyable to be around and helped make learning fun and interesting. George is survived by his wife and two sons. An informal memorial service is scheduled for 2PM Saturday, January 11, Beck Recreation Center, 800 Telluride Street, Aurora, CO. Rest in peace my friend.

 


Baofeng DM-5R and Radioddity GD-55 test results

01/03/2017

(Updated Apr 3 2017 to include the Radioddity GD-55.)

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio continues to investigate alarming problems with recently released low-cost DMR Tier II radios. This article focuses on the Baofeng DM-5R Plus, Baofeng DM-5R with Tier II firmware update, and the Radioddity GD-55  (a rebranded Tytera MD-398).

Performance of several DMR Tier II radios compared. From left to right: Tytera MD-380, Baofeng DM-5R, Motorola XPR 6550. The Baofeng has the Tier II update applied, making it equivalent to a DM-5R Plus. Not shown: Radioddity GD-55.

Our tests find that the Baofeng DM-5R Plus and Radioddity GD-55 are unfit for DMR use and degrade the repeater network. We will continue to forbid the use of these units on our systems.

Here are our findings.

Read more →


RMHam U – Microwave Transmission

12/17/2016

Sub-zero temperatures and upwards of 12-14″ of snow in some areas of the Denver Metro area didn’t stop the December edition of Rocky Mountain Ham University. Instructors Doug Sharp, K2AD and John Maxwell, W0VG conducted a lab in which 16 students set up, configured and put point-to-point microwave radio links in service.   Attendees learned about the pros and cons of several different vendors, networking options and many “do’s and don’ts”.