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!

 


RMHAM is an ARRL Affiliated Club

  • 08/18/2019Commtrailer to DRC Swapfest
  • 09/06/2019ARESDEC Using Trailer for Tour de Cure
  • 09/07/2019 7:00 pmDMR Tech Net on RM Wide
  • 09/21/2019TRAILER TO WWV 100TH
AEC v1.0.4

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”.


Problems with New Baofeng DM-5R, TYT MD-398 and Radioddity GD-55 Models

11/25/2016

During 2016 we have noted some new and good DMR radios, and unfortunately we have also seen some radios which cause concern. The radios in question are the Baofeng DM-5R, TYT MD-398 and the Radioddity GD-55.

At this time Rocky Mountain Ham Radio is requesting that amateur operators refrain from using the Baofeng DM-5R, TYT MD-398, the Radioddity GD-55 radios on the RMHAM or DMR-MARC Repeater Systems. This request also includes clones of the above radios such as Pofung, Retevis, Chierda, VITAI, Juentai, SAMCOM, Zastone, HYDX, etc.

Early tests show serious problems with these radios which will jam other users and severely degrade the repeater system. Further tests are planned and we will keep our members and users informed of the results on the www.rmham.org web site. This request does NOT pertain to the new firmware release of the TYT MD-380 and MD-390 and the use of these radios remains acceptable. We do strongly recommend updating to the most recent firmware for these units.  In addition you can find a list of radios known to properly interoperate with our system here DMR Radios, as well as sample code plug to program your radios Code Plug Samples.

In a nutshell here is what is being observed with these radios. When these radios transmit on Time Slot 1, Rocky Mountain Wide on most of the RMHam repeaters, they will actually transmit for a significant amount of time within Time Slot 2, which on the RMHam system are usually North, South or Denver. The net result? These radios are, in effect, jamming Time Slot 2 or at the very least causing harmful interference to any potential user in Time Slot 2. The user of the Baofeng DM-5R, TYT MD-398, Radioddity GD-55 radios or their clones will be able to use Time Slot 1 and will have no idea they are producing harmful interference to other users.

If you already own one of these radios all is not lost. You do have some options. These radios appear to function normally in FM Analog and DMR Simplex modes. If you purchased your radio from Radioddity or their Amazon affiliate they are honoring the 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. The manufacturers and importers are not currently considering this a product flaw. The radios and upgraded firmware are advertised as Time Slot 1 only. They are not currently addressing the jamming issue. For the details concerning the protocols and more technical details See Technical Information


RM Ham University

11/22/2016
Mike Lozano K0NGA Class Instructor

Mike Lozano K0NGA Class Instructor

Saturday November 19 found almost 30 students attending the second of the this terms courses on amateur radio topics.  This month was DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) which gave an in depth look at this modes technology.  The course covered everything from the basics of of the, including the theory of operation of the TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) which allows two separate conversations on one repeater along with the two DMR networks available in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Ham Radio network and the DMR-MARC Network. This comprehensive 3 hour course reviewed best operating practices, a introduction to some of the DMR capable radios available and the techniques used in programming the radios.  You can obtain the course slide material in Adobe pdf format at the Course syllabus link under the RMHAM University Tab above.  There are still courses available on a range of topics that will be held monthly, December through April, on the 3rd Saturday from 8 AM –  11 AM. Registration is $10 and features a pizza lunch at the conclusion of the course. Advanced registration is required to insure we have pizza for all! Check out the courses offered and feel free to register at the RMHAM University Tab above.


2016 BARCfest

10/02/2016

barc-fest-2-october-2016Boulder Amateur Radio Club’s annual hamfest at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont was a great event and lots of deals were found.  Rocky Mountain Ham Radio cleared out a few estates worth of equipment and a few pieces of equipment.  We all had a good time and had a few first-timers show up to help out with sales.

We all went to our after-hamfest tradition to the Rib House in Longmont and had a wonderful meal and a chance to chat with lots of friends and catch up.

We’re going to start our fall curriculum this month for Rocky Mountain Ham University.  See the menu above for more information.

The next hamfest event we will be attending is the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club hamfest at the Ranch in January.


RM Ham Supports CAP

09/11/2016

deployed_capRocky Mountain Ham Radio was happy to deploy our Communications Trailer September 10th in support of the Civil Air Patrol’s Colorado Wing as they conducted a communications exercise.  The first phase of the exercise consisted of originated messages from the RMHam Trailer being relayed from Fort Collins to Grand Junction using aircraft flying in assigned sectors between the two airports, while amateur radio sent other messages using an IRLP link between ARES (R3 D2) and Mesa County RACES.  The second portion consisted of having operators on the ground relay messages using a CAP airborne repeater (strapped in the back seat)  of a CAP aircraft. During this period a second aircraft flew in from Cheyenne with a second airborne repeater and relieved the first aircraft “on Station”. During both phases, the CAP operators used their portable HF equipment to establish communications on CAP frequencies to Idaho and other locations. Eric Schwarm N6RFI, who was the exercise lead thanked us “We have always had to relied on our own vehicles or borrowed locations as bases for our exercises, we really appreciated Rocky Mountain Ham Radio allowing us the use of their trailer for this exercise “. Participating for RM Ham where David KØPWO (who missed the photo op!), Chris KDØZYF and Wayne NØPOH.


RMHAM-U Announced for 2016-2017

09/08/2016

FullSizeRenderClick on RMHAM University above for more information and course syllabus.  Our fall/winter class curriculum has been posted and we’ve got another great year of learning for you.  Our classes are limited in number, so make sure you sign up early.  Pizza lunch will be provided for your registration fee.

 


RMHAM Does NPOTA Right!

08/15/2016

20160812_103451A few members from RMHAM activated the Great Sand Dunes National Park (NP25) from August 11-13th.  The ARRL National Parks on the Air year long event has been a huge success in getting hams out to the parks and showing off their portable operating skills while teaching the public about amateur radio.

Neal Tew – KD0MBL, Jeff Carrier – K0JSC, and Amanda Alden-Carrier-K1DDN, members of RMHAM had fun setting 20160812_12345up 2 portable operating stations from the park’s picnic area during all three days.  Band conditions were less than favorable, so most QSO’s were made on 20m.  Other QSO’s were made on 40m and 2m.  Put to good use was RMHAM’s QRV3, which supplied generator power and a home for the hamstick antennas.  Neal operated his station on solar and battery power supplied by his trailer fitted with two 120 watt solar panels.

Visitor turnout was low, but those who did make it had a great time.  One of our visitors was from Dayton and while not a ham knew all about ham radio!  A big thanks goes to Dave Newmyer – N0KM and John Fink – W0DNR who assisted with making contacts.  There were a few public visitors who needed a table to have lunch and were lucky enough to learn about amateur radio at the same time.

When the bands are bad, they re-enacted Star Wars.

When the bands are bad, they re-enacted Star Wars.

344 QSO’s were made in a combined time of 15 operating hours.  NPOTA chasers were happy to work a new one.  One more bonus for the chasers, the Old Spanish National Historic Trail runs through the park.  Therefore they all got a two for one!  NP25 and TR19.20160812_123456


DAYTON HAMVENTION® 2016 CLUB OF THE YEAR

05/28/2016
Frank Beafore, WS8B and Chris Hamilton, KDØZYF Photo Courtesy Joe KØNEB

Frank Beafore, WS8B and Chris Hamilton, KDØZYF
Photo Courtesy Joe KØNEB

To the Members of Rocky Mountain Ham Radio

“Congratulations on your winning the Hamvention® Club of the Year Award for 2016. You were chosen from a prestigious group of clubs from across the U.S. The judging team reviewed the nomination and your web site and came away completely impressed with your accomplishments. We especially focused in on your public service efforts and especially your attention to the younger folks. I am looking forward to meeting your representatives at Hamvention 2016.” Warmest Regards,  Frank Beafore, WS8B Chairperson, Hamvention Awards

Chris KDØZYF RMHam-CO, Brian N5ZGT RMHam-NM, Doug K2AD RMHam-CO accepting the Award from Hamvention Chairman Jim Tiderman N8IDS

Chris KDØZYF RMHam-CO, Brian N5ZGT RMHam-NM, Doug K2AD RMHam-CO accepting the Award from Hamvention Chairman Jim Tiderman N8IDS

“Congratulations on your club being nominated as Club of the Year for the 2016 Dayton Hamvention.” Jim Tiderman, N8IDS, General Chairman, 2015 – 2016 Dayton Hamvention.

Read more at the Dayton Hamvention Awards Page