What is that New I-70 Antenna?

by N0ECT and K0LWC

QTH:  I-70 Eastbound – St. Patrick’s Day – Just west of Dowd Junction and the Vail Exits.

Just a standard I-70 overhead road sign and associated WebCam…HOWEVER there is a newly installed Antenna…for CDOT/Panasonic’s new V2X prototype system.clip_image002

This is a CDOT/Panasonic Prototype System vehicle-to-everything V2X technology.  Purportedly for Traffic Safety reasons.  This new radio system is designed for 2-Way communication between Vehicle and CDOT broadcast safety notifications.  In the future…likely use for driverless vehicle’s if/when that ever comes to pass on our Interstate roads.

To learn more about this Prototype (Click On) the CDOT News graphic below.

Special Thanks to young Matt – K0LWC who was the first to “ID” this new Radio system!

Matt “hangs out” on BrandMeister TalkGroup 3171 – NoCO DMR, Loveland-Ft. Collins, Colorado    73s  N0ECT



SCARC Makes CQ Magazine – GREAT AGAIN!

How to make CQ Magazine Great Again?

Get the Ski County ARC involved!  That’s How!

Can-You-hear-me-NowCurrent HF Band Conditions not difficult enough for you?  CQ’s “QRP Special” will make it about 20 times more difficult operating at 5W or below – instead of the usual 100W on HF.

“Can you hear me now?”  Indeed.

(Click Here) to download the PDF file of the February 2019 edition of CQ Magazine.


Mighty – .61 on Vail Mountain – ThanksGiving 2018

Sounding Better than it has in Decades…The Mighty – .61 on Vail Mountain in Colorado is taking FULL ADVANTAGE of the Analog Repeater Linking capabilities of Allstar.  Giving Thanks (this ThanksGiving 2018) to Doug Crompton WA3DSP and his SW Development team – whose Raspberry Pi 3 – SW is now powering 61’s connection to the UHF Link Radio – connecting the rest of the Ski Country ARC Analog Repeater system.    .61  [ 146.61 (-)   PL 107.2 ]   (Below – .61 Tallest Vertical – UHF Link Yagi Antenna can be seen – directly below pointed West from Vail Mountain).  K3NI is about to experience what WA3DSP’s RPi 3 software – really can do!

DMR Aficionados can listen (and transmit) into the SCARC Analog Repeater System – by using the BrandMeister TalkGroup 31085.  Your DMR Audio uses our DMR<—>Allstar Gateway Function – so you’ll be heard on Vail Mountain, Aspen, Beaver Creek and SunLight Ski Resorts – all over the Western Slope of Colorado.  Key up (with or without your Skis on) and enjoy a new Colorado Ski Country QSO!

73s  N0ECT – Happy ThanksGiving to all!


N0THY – Decoding Satellite Weather Images

by  N0THY

N0THYLooking for a Winter Ham Radio project?  Check with N0THY for tips on decoding NOAA Satellite Weather images by building your own Satellite Weather Image Receiver.  (scroll down to see Bryan’s images)


Here are the weather satellite pics (screenshots) taken of some of the hurricanes this summer with N0THY’s LEO (low earth orbiting) satellite receiver setup.

 Hurricane Florence 2018-09-14 Hurricane Florence 2018-09-14 1Hurricane Michael 10-10-18Hurricane Willa 2018-10-22 Hurricane Willa 2018-10-23 Hurrricane Willa 2018-10-23

Beat – your Analog FM Addiction!

Wondering where?  Answer: Right here in Colorado.

A very helpful group of young HAMs – ready to help you beat any Analog FM addiction you may be suffering from – in your pursuit of the HAM Radio hobby.

How too’s…Videos, Equipment Lists, piece parts are here to help get you going with DIGITAL Amateur Radio.  DMR, C4FM (Yaesu’s System Fusion), NXDN, P25, DSTAR are all supported and used by this group of (mostly – Front Range Hams) exploring what the new frontier of Digital Radio has to offer.

Just imagine a world where poor HF Band Conditions – are never an issue again!

Check ‘em out!    www.W0dmr.org   – or just click on the graphic below!

73s  – N0ECT


ARRL Field Day 2018

ARRL-Field-Day-JUN2018It’s time to stop doing what you were doing and get ready for the ARRL Field Day – (Saturday – Sunday) June 23rd and 24th 2018.

This annual event is centered on putting HF QSO’s (short 10 second HF radio contacts) into a computer log file for a 24 hour period.  Day and Night.

Operators are encouraged to run the Radio’s off of Emergency Power Generators – to simulate Amateur Radio Operators – Operating during Emergency Environmental situations…(Hurricanes, Tornados, generic power/cell phone) outages and the like.  To learn more about the history of Field Day (Click Here).

To learn where you can join in (you don’t have to be a licensed Amateur Radio Operator) to join the weekend activity.  It’s an easy drive to the Field Day site for folks living in Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Rifle.  (Click Here)  Yeah, that’s Mt. Sopris in the (back right)

The New Frontier – Digital Amateur Radio

by N0ECT

Today’s Digital Amateur Radio (DAR) – has almost nothing to do with HF

Arguably, DAR is the fastest growing segment of Amateur Radio Hobby today.

ALThe big Commercial Radio companies were first to enter that Digital Radio market – however Amateurs have been quick to catch up – and are now providing Digital Radio “cross-connections” between different proprietary Digital Radio systems and they’re running those online today.

Are you Ready to explore genuine Digital Radio for Amateurs?

Step 1 – Turn OFF your HF Rig

What you’ll need…is some new Radio vocabulary to hang with the younger Hams that are pushing the limits of what Digital Amateur Radio can do today.  Did you know that Amazon’s “Echo/Alexia” product is being integrated with DAR today?  Young Hams with well developed SW and Programming Skills are leading and testing those new innovations right now.  Who would have thought?

Step 2 –  Think of the Internet as your worldwide Repeater System.  The “band conditions” on this Repeater System are always open 7x24x365.  “BrandMeister” servers are something you’ll likely be using for day to day World Wide DAR communication.  The growth in BrandMeister DMR connections has been exponential over the last year.  The focus in this DAR community is testing, exploring, engineering and building new Radio Repeater/Hotspots and interconnections.  Adding endless, brief QSO’s in a log file is not what DAR is all about.

Step 3 – You don’t have to “break the bank” with your choice of a new Digital Radio – some models are under $100.00/Amazon.  You also might need a “HotSpot” you can build or buy for about $100.00  DMR (Digital Radios)BM are by far the most affordable compared to DSTAR (Icom’s Digital Radio) and C4FM (Yaesu’s System Fusion) Digital Radios – so we’ll stay focused on DMR for now.  “PileUps” don’t exist in the world of DMR.  If you click on the graphic to the right you can listen to the Digital Radio World of BrandMeister – just by using your computer, no need for a DMR Radio – just to listen – to perfectly clear Digital Radio Audio.

DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is an “open” spec developed in Europe.  (side note) Motorola adopted it, added their own proprietary digital extensions – and market their Motorola Commercial Digital Radios as part of their “MotoTrbo” product line.

DMR for Amateur Radio can be used with or without a (example: Mountain Top) DMR Repeater.  There is no requirement to be connected to the Internet to have DMR Radio working for you.   DMR/Simplex (example: 146.520Mhz) works just fine.

Q.)  If I’m the only Ham in my geography with a DMR Radio – how do I use it to communicate with other Hams?

Answer:  You can use a DMR HotSpot that you can buy as a Kit or build one yourself for about $100.00.  Photo below shows a DMR Hotspot with a standard USB Battery PowerPak and a Radioddity GD-77  VHF/UHF DMR (Tier II) Radio.  Yes, the DMR HotSpot below uses a WiFi connection to the Internet to reach the BrandMeister Servers.  Below is using the WiFi my iPhone can provide for complete Portable/DMR operation anywhere in the world.DMR-Portable-4FEB2018

DMR Hand-held (HT) Radios (Tier II) can be had on Amazon for well under $100.00  They provide traditional analog FM (VHF & UHF) capabilities (just like your Baofeng) in addition to DMR.  Other Models of DMR HT’s include (TYT/MD380 and 390 – AnyTone AT-D86UV – Retevis RT82).  Interestingly, these new DMR HT’s are (SDR – SW Defined Radios) that can be easily upgraded by loading new (Firmware/Software) into the HT.  Bug fixes and in particular new DMR features are being released all the time.  Be aware that you won’t find much information on the ARRL web site – about this – the younger Hams are using Facebook, dedicated Facebook Groups and Vendor Web sites and Blogs to share their new information, capabilities and upgrades. (Click Here)

More on the HotSpot…As shown above the HostSpot uses a Raspberry Pi “ZERO” computer and a small “daughter card” that plugs on top of the Raspberry Pi “ZERO”.  The daughter card is the low power UHF Transceiver that the Radioddity uses to reach the DMR/BrandMeister Servers on the Internet – if you want to operate on the DMR World Wide community.

Setting up the HotSpot:  The MicroSD card that the Pi Zero uses as its hard drive…is powered by FREE software known as “Pi Star”.  The Pi Star SW (developed in the UK) is controlled by an easy to use “Web Browser Interface” that is simple to use for setup from a PC or Mac.  More information on DAR soon.  73s – N0ECTPS