I got my cap! Where's the AR SIG?



Nice hat!

I haven’t seen anything about the Amateur Radio SIG since a reorganization meeting last year. I haven’t been to the new Electronics space in months so I don’t know if the feedlines were run to the roof, antennas reconstructed, power supply and yellow panel reinstalled, or if there is even a corner for amateur radio.

I looked at the wiki and I am still listed as being in charge of the SIG, but that hasn’t been the case for over a year - really longer than that.

I plan to go by DMS this weekend (8/10/19 or 8/11/19) to see if I can pick up the thread and get back involved. I’m happy to meet anyone there. I have the regular “Hams ‘n Eggs” breakfast at the Whataburger near Old Denton and the PGBT (by the Walmart) Saturday morning and Metrocrest Amateur Radio Society (MARS) Radio Play Day at the Carrollton Public Library - Josey Ranch but can come by later in the day or on Sunday.


There was some talk (see Art) of installing a SDRPlay near Electronics and installing a external antenna, but it needs a computer and to go thru commitees. It would be a good start.

I own one and it is great: https://www.sdrplay.com/rsp1a/

I put the title up more to stir up interest than as a real question. Yes, there is a desk with some radio equipment. @richmeyer is working the feedline project. He is also looking to set up a DMS Volunteer Examiner group to administer testing. @yehuda613 has been doing some Technician classes.

Not sure about the AR SIG. Appears to me that someone needs to grab the reins and charge ahead. Go for it!

I’m in Colorado for a few weeks but look forward to meeting you when I get back.

I have repeatedly reminded/requested that the AR SIG have mtngs to decide what they want to do.
There are as many opinions/wants/interests/etc. as there are members.
Start having some mtngs and work it out.
I already have to many feet in the various dysfunctional “groups” across DMS.
Prefer not to have to moderate this.
Bottom line - Y’all gonna make it happen

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Here’s my $0.02. As an apartment dweller, I can’t put up HF antennas. (VHF/UHF is no problem, of course - I have a J-pole and it works very well indoors: link). So having a general purpose HF antenna available would be great.

Of course, coming to consensus on the best one will be tough. Maybe we can just start with a random wire and possible grounding rod with lightning arrestor. I had a random wire at my last apartment (they were less restrictive) and I used it to hit all U.S. but Alaska with FT8. I also hit Russia, Antartica research stations, Japan, and Europe. So a random wire is not too bad. I also used the random wire to run my SDRPlay which worked very well too.

It would be excellent to have a DMS-supplied HR rig and computer available to run digital modes, but that might be to much to ask right now. (I don’t have a HF rig, only VHF/UHF right now.) Having an HF antenna available would be very useful to those who cannot install one at home. It could provide an attraction to a lot of hams in my situation!

I recorded my progress in HF before I lost my random wire when I moved to DFW.

For those unfamiliar with FT8 digital mode: FT8 signal processing software was designed by the Nobel Prize winner astronomer who discovered the most distant heavenly bodies: quasars. Ham radio got him going in the direction of radio astronomy when he was young. Right now we are at solar minimum, and propagation is to be desired, so every one is downloading his software and using it because DXing is tough. It’s better than nothing. :slight_smile:

We are in a good situation here compared to a lot of amateur radio clubs, because we have the space and venue to set up a “shack”. Actually, we might want to enter a partnership with the local clubs. We could supply the antenna, they could supply the rigs and events and expertise. AARL often has contests for clubs which we could help out with. Annual Field Days also.

Just brainstorming here! There are tons of practical constraints. Elmers?


We can run just about any digital mode, certainly FLDIGI and WSTJ-X, off of a raspberry pi 3b or better. The antenna we had was pretty good when it wasn’t blown over or the tuner was having a headache. A random wire would be a nice and easy addition.

Don’t see why we can’t run a long wire on the roof.
Keep in mind we have high tension pwr lines that run parallel to the front of the bldg.

Can’t say what landlord would consider ok, but a Hexbeam could be mounted n the middle of the roof, and be pretty invisible from the street. Decent performance too.


I have SDRPlay working on a rpi now. Plus there is a new one out that is even more powerful. FT8 and fldigi would be even less demanding.

I am ready willing and able any day to get this antenna thingy up in the air. :slight_smile:

How do we get the coax thru the ceiling to the roof? At least we know we must do that, and decide what antenna thingy later. (or maybe have an antenna farm HAHAHA!) Where is the table/station going to be located? In electronics?

Before the expansion process went through its big kerfulle and the headaches from that as well as some family and medical stuff made me step back for a bit. The plan was we would be setting up the bench by the window in electronics and running our grounding needs through the wall in the plumbing closet and then we were supposed to get a 4" conduit through the roof with waterproof boxes on either end for routing the coax etc. I seem to recall hearing @richmeyer say that was still the case since then, but maybe he can let us know if that is something still in the works or not.

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Adam, what was your role before you took a break? Logistics, architect?
Art said something about some water closet and sneaking a coax out through some conduit?
How does one get onto the roof?

I won’t do anything (except whine) until I get an elmer to show me the plan and stuff.
I need to talk to Rich about then. Is he around DMS proper?
We can talk about commandeering a table in electronics too.

BTW, there is a trick about using a common engine spark plug to make a lightning protector. It sounds like there could be some good ground in the plumbing closet if there is copper piping that we can trace to the ground and it does not transition to PVC pipe.

Nothing official really, just a member and an extra class license holder, I tried organizing a few SIG meetings at the end of last year. The first time a bunch of people came. After that it was like two or three. Then the politics started getting rough and some personal issues ate my spring and summer.

I’ve only made it up there a handful of times since then. I did stop by for a few hours last week and poked at my µBITX Digital Shack in a Box Project, and am hip deep in another Electronics project so I’m looking to get more involved again.

I think the thing with the closet was that there is an existing penetration in the wall there that we could run our grounds outside through rather than running them to the pipes in there. I suppose if the nice roof opening isn’t in the works anymore we could route coax the same way.

There is a ladder access at one end if the building. I believe it is locked. Not sure who would have the key. I wouldn’t mind going up there, but I think the roof might not like my quarter ton butt walking around up there.

We don’t mess with ANYTHING plumbing wise in that closet. It’s the fire sprinkler system closet, not regular plumbing.

That said, the holes in the side of the building are a bit oversize. I think we can get some ground strap thru there and into the electronics area. Rich said he could get us a map of the outdoor plumbing and pipes and such. With that in hand, we can drive some ground rods. I have an electric jackhammer with the ground rod attachment. No kidding - under 2 minutes for an 8 foot ground rod. We can install several.

The hold up right now is getting the conduits installed to the roof. Until we have that, there is no point in proceeding.

Once we do, we’ll have a few high quality coax runs from the bench area up to the roof box. We can potentially install several antennas and switch among them.

I for one want one completely without a tuner on the roof. I know the tuner we have is supposed to be a good one, but it sure has had a lot of problems. A fall-back no tune antenna of some sort would be a good thing to have. Long wire, full wave loop. Maybe a mag loop.

Note that I will have zero time for this until October. Be happy to help then.

73’s de K5SLR.

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Rich is leading the charge. He’s been on vacation for the last two weeks but he should have just gotten back. If y’all are serious, organize a meeting after the 26th and Rich and I will be there to speak from the pulpit on conduits.

We need the SIG to select an initial antenna design to run past the landlord. Something small and simple. Once it’s up and they’ve moved on, we can add to it later. The conduits themselves will be oversized.

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Sounds like the ball is rolling! Let me know if I can help with anything at all. I will be available for certain any day until the end of August.

Success! Random wire installed outside. Both of Walter’s old radios work great! I was able to get WWV US govt time at 10 Mhz crystal clear. Able to pull in 144.88 MHz repeater reporting traffic rush hour net. Able to pick up 14.1 PSK digi mode. Able to pick up 7.2 MHz FT8 warbler. No transmitting, SWR is way too bad, auto tuner won’t work. Can’t wait to get a real antenna on the roof. When is AR SIG going to meet to determine the antenna? Maybe we can meet when Electronics meets.

Rumor has it that the conduit to the outside is approved and we need a work party?

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There is a really old but awesome Dell desktop in Electronics and a monitor, too. Can we get that connected to the DMS net? If I get the green light, I can check it out and see if it is able to connect thru wireless or wireful, whether it is Windos or Linux, etc. Is that desktop healthy? It would be great to have a portal to the net for both Electronics and ArSig for looking up stuff. My ulterior motive is to put FT8 on it of course, but anyone could use it.

Do the DMS internet cable tentacles extend all the way to Electronics? Hope so!

ELab pc is windows7/8.
Would not recommend plugging your usb into this machine.
Needs a full rebuild and update to win 10.
Currently there’s no network connections in the 102 front area.
There is wifi.

I would be glad to donate a 3.1 series apple Mac Pro that is running linux with 12G ram. It’s a really good machine that I was using in my shack until recently. I also have a broadband SCG folded dipole HF antenna, 5/8-wave 2M/440 base antenna, and various accessories like wattmeters to donate. I’m eager to get something happening in the space but it doesn’t seem to be clear who can push the feedline/conduit issue through to completion. Thanks, K5JCJ.