04 June 2024

Hermes Lite 2 on the air

I spent last weekend tromping through the woods to get a wire antenna up.  It ended up being longer than I expected, and I eventually would like to get it up higher. Maybe this weekend?  Point being, I have a working receiver. Shown in this picture is SparkSDR, a host program compatible with the HL2, running 8 digital skimmers across 4 different bands simultaneously.
I can't get over how cool SDR'S are.

Next step is getting the antenna higher and after that, transmitting. Hope to be checking into sniper's net soon!


16 May 2024


 Nothing like a simple fix to a problem you've been banging your head against for months to humble you...

As a bit of background, one of the APRS systems I manage for the KL7AA club is an HF APRS igate, running robust packet (RPR) on 30m at 10.1473 USB.  Its not my favorite mode, given its closed-source nature, but I will grudgingly admit it performs well.  Having a free software modem version available helps make it more accessible, but that's a rant for another post.

This system has been down for most of the winter, and given the harsh winter storms we've had, I believed the issue to be with either the feedline or the antenna, and began to troubleshoot.  Another club member happened to be close by, and we began discussing the issue.  It was at this point they asked 'is this cable supposed to be plugged in?'

It was the interface cable from the modem to the radio.

All winter this cable had been unplugged, making me chase my tail for months trying to troubleshoot it.  Plug it back in, and the packets immediately started to flow again.

Putting my silly moments out there helps keep me humble.


30 August 2023


 Fiber is pulled all the way through the conduit, into the garage and house.  Confirmed as good end to end with equipment connected on both ends.  Next step is to get radios and hamputer relocated, everything on a UPS, vlans set up, etc etc.  The important takeaway though is I now have a working layer 1 between house and garage!

~shotgun moose

20 August 2023

Shotgun Moose goes off half-cocked

 Somewhat expensive lesson to learn, but learn it I did. Always pull cables by their jacket, not their termination.

Internet out to garageshack will (eventually) be provided by a fiber run.  I had purchased a pre-terminated length of fiber with LC connectors on each end.  Off I go, eager to get operational, and I make the mistake of tying pull line to just the LC connector, and not the cable jacket too.

Half way though, the pull line gets really light, and all that comes out the other end is the LC housing, sans any fiber.

Don't be like me! Learn from my mistake!

~shotgun moose

10 July 2023


I've been playing around with meshtastic recently, using three lilygo t-beam units.  So far, performance has been impressive.  Further testing is needed, but I'm inclined to set up a dedicated solar powered base station that can be co-located with the KL7AA-10 digipeater.  This site would provide coverage of the entirety of the Anchorage bowl, at minimum, with the potential to reach south as far as Kenai/Soldotna.  I don't know if nodes would need to be utilizing the same encryption key or range settings in order make use of a hypothetical repeater, but it's an intriguing possibility.

~shotgun moose

07 July 2023

KL7JFU Field Day 2023

Jermey, KL7EC put together an excellent video of the KL7JFU sponsored Field Day 2023 up in the MatSu.  Although the bands weren't great, a good time was still had by all involved.

KL7EC does a fantastic job editing his videos.  I would highly recommend checking out his other videos of his POTA adventures.  I can't say enough good about Jermey as an ambassador for ham radio.


~shotgun moose

06 July 2023

Hello World

 Welcome to my little corner of the internet.  Here I plan to mostly document my ham radio forays, although there may be the occasional rant on here as well.  More to come soon.

~shotgun moose