Sunday, April 30, 2023

GMRS Radio For Sale

I have a Radioddity GM-30 for sale.  I bought this about 6 weeks ago to learn about the GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) band.  

Radioddity GM-30 - bought it about 7 weeks ago.  It comes with two batteries.

BL-13UV Battery 2200 mAh 7.4 vdc
BL-13UV Battery 1500mAh 7.4 vdc
3db gain antenna, Radioddity RD-332 - replaces stock rubber duck

Charger (USB-C)

Programming Cable
Programming software is free from the Radioddity Website.

Radio also comes with the stock rubber duck antenna.
Works perfectly.  Advertised as 5w.

Radio - $39.99
Antenna - $15.99
Programming Cable - $12.99
Extra 1500mAh Battery - $15.99

Total New:  $84.96 plus tax plus shipping 

Asking $70.00 for all, with original boxes, manuals etc. 

I am selling it because I am on the fringe of the local GMRS repeater, so I am going to buy a mobile 25w GMRS rig and setup a home base station.   Email me if interested at 

Sunday, April 16, 2023

A Week of Vacation Comes to an End


I have been on paid time off since Good Friday (PTO). Old timers like me used to call it vacation.  I could not have asked for better weather either. It's been sunny and in the 70's and lower 80's all week. For Indiana this time of year, that is very unusual.  

Never mind the fact my town was hit by multiple tornadoes on the 31st of March.  THAT was something else.  Fortunately our home was completely spared.  My wife and I were huddled in the walk in closet clutching flashlights, and my 2m radio, listening to the severe weather net, the tornado sirens, and our cell phones sounding alarms, many prayers were being said and thank God many were answered. 

Whiteland Indiana - Morning of April 1st 2023

We felt the house shake for a couple minutes and then it was all over except for the torrents of rain and flashes of lightning.  No damage anywhere.  Our neighbors to the east were not so lucky.  Whiteland Indiana and most of Johnson County was without power for 24-72 hours. We lost 47 utility poles, estimated 28 homes, and a 25,000 sq foot warehouse just disintegrated and was spread over 10 square miles.  No lives were lost.  THAT was a miracle. NWS says we had a EF3 tornado rip through our little burg.  We hope we never have to experience that again. 

So with Easter weekend upon us, we were very busy with family gatherings, church, and feasting on grilled and roasted goodies.  

On Wednesday April 12th, I headed to Atterbury Fish and Wildlife to activate K-4183 again.  This would be my 17th time here, you get an award for 20 so that's my goal.  I was using the K1 and the Eagle One antenna and a set of plastic paddles a friend of mine made on his 3D printer.  

Elecraft K1 Radio at 5 watts

I made a quick 18 contacts in about an hour, most of them on 40m.  Not bad for the first outing of the year.

Happy Campers 
On Thursday April 13th, my wife and I took off for Brown County State Park K-2155 - it was a GLORIOUS day.  Sunny, 80's, redbud trees blooming, just perfect.  We had a great day!  I setup on the highest hill I could find and using the K1 and Eagle One, I managed to make 12 contacts in about 35 minutes.  We packed up the station and headed to the park office to buy fishing licenses.

This was my second activation of the year, and it was successful.  It took almost one hour but I logged twelve CW stations of which seven were Park to Park contacts.  Ten were on 20m and two were on 30m.  Managed to get a couple of "hard to get" states, Vermont from W2RON, and South Dakota from KC0MYW, both on 20m.  We had a great time visiting the Nature Center at the park, they have a really nice setup, a bird watching room, and displays of snakes, turtles, and many other animals. When I was a boy, some fifty years ago, this nature center even had a black bear cub for observing.  All in all a great day! 

Then on Saturday April 15th, I headed back to K-4183 Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area for my 18th activation of this park entity.  This time I setup my station at the Mink Meadow Marsh.  The morning was bright and sunny, with temperatures in the low 60's and a slight breeze.  I did a little mushroom hunting but came up empty...we've had four great warm and sunny days, the mushrooms ought to be popping up any minute now. 

Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area - Franklin Indiana

Once again I deployed my Elecraft K1, Eagle One vertical, and those little plastic paddles.  This was the first day of the "Support Your Parks" event so I knew there would be hundreds of parks on the air.  I had my first ten contacts in about 15 minutes.  Operating QRP at 5 watts and all CW, I managed to be heard in IL, Ontario, NJ, VA, WV, MI, NC, PA and TN during the first 15 minutes.  I was operating on 7067 Khz.  I ended up with a total of 20 contacts in about 50 minutes.  Of the 20 contacts made, four of them were "Park to Park" contacts.  

SUV Antenna Mount - POTA at K-4183
I woke up this morning, Sunday April 16th, with intentions to head out again today and activate another park, but it was 60 degrees and starting to rain.  Weather forecast is calling for possible snow showers by evening with temperatures dropping steadily throughout the day.  Plus we are now in a high wind warning until some time tomorrow.  Not what I call weather fit for radio from the park.  

So we're staying home today and doing some chores around the home front.  I have been off work for ten days, and LOVED every minute of it.  I could not have asked for better weather.  Monday is a workday and I feel like I am ready for it.  <grin> 

I may do some POTA hunting this afternoon.  This is the last day of the "Support Your Parks" event weekend, so there are tons of stations out there operating from the great outdoors.  I still need just Alaska and Hawaii contacts to complete my "Worked All States" for POTA.  Maybe today I'll finally nail those those two down.  No easy feat at 5 watts.  
So until the next time, 73 and here's to good DX! 

73 de KB9BVN

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Where did the time go

Well I have been working and just doing what we do when we get real busy. I have not been to a POTA park since November 2022.  I have been hunting pretty hard all winter and finally hit the 700 parks hunted the first week of February.  

So far I successfully hunted at least one park every day this year.  The weather around here is going to be breaking soon and I can not wait to get back in the Activator chair.  As of today, March 2 2023, I am at 762 unique parks worked.  I expect to hit over 800 by the end of the month. These have all been QRP CW from my attic dipole...

Also this winter I bought a GMRS license.  I know I know...but the local VHF scene around here is pretty dead, and the GMRS repeaters seem to be fairly lively.  I bought my first GMRS radio and I have been having fun learning about GMRS, repeaters, and all the different radios.  You have Baofeng, Btech, Wouzon, Tiradio, Radioddity, Midland, Motorola $$$, and a few other lesser known brands to look over.  Luckily Youtube to the rescue.  Look up a Youtuber named NotARubicon.  He's a ham out in southern California that does radio reviews. ALL kinds...ham, FRS, GMRS, shortwave receivers, and a lot more. 

I got interested in the Radioddity GM-30, cheap enough at $39.99 from Amazon.  This little HT is 5w, can be charged via USB-C, receives VHF, and transmits on FRS and GMRS frequencies, comes programmed with the 30 GMRS channels, including 8 channels for GMRS repeaters.  It's been fun to play with. 

Setting it up was pretty easy, the programming software is a freebie from the Radioddity website at just download that and get a program cable (RD-201) and you are off and running.  It can be programmed via the keypad but there is no fun in that.  I also bought the higher gain antenna (RD-332) and it made a big difference in reaching out and touching a repeater. 

I am in Central Indiana and within the footprint of the Indy 600 repeater on 462.600 Mhz.  This repeater is part of the Midwest GMRS network of linked repeaters.  So at any given time I can talk with other operators in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and occasionally operators from Long Island New York, and Iowa.  

They have a family net every two weeks, and a regional net every two weeks.  They get so many checkins on the regional net it takes about three hours to get through it all.  It's been fun learning about this radio service, but I have NOT gone to the dark side and some of my ham buddies think.  

Well that is it for now, hoping to get back to the parks this month sometime, depending on weather. I look forward to posting my adventures here as they unfold. 

73 de KB9BVN

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

McCormick's Creek State Park - POTA!

Last weekend Wayne AC9HP and I got up early on Sunday morning and headed to McCormick's Creek State Park to do a POTA park activation.  The day was perfect, sunny, clear, slight breeze and temperatures in the mid to upper 70's.  This park is about an hour and twenty minutes from my home QTH, and is one of the most popular state parks in Indiana.  

Founded in 1916, this is Indiana's first state park, and it is rich in geological treasures.  This part of the state was at one time part of an ancient shallow sea, and the stopping spot for glaciers that brought down granite from Canada.  There are several caves on the property, as well as sink holes, and fossils to be examined by the park visitors.  The most notable feature in the park is the waterfall on McCormick's Creek as it races toward the west fork of the White River. 

Park Entrance, Pay Here $7 for Hoosiers, $8 for out of state

We arrived at about 9AM and stopped at the Canyon Inn for breakfast.  Let me warn you in advance about the Canyon Inn.  This is the Inn  that is in the state park.  The state subcontracts the management and services of the Inn.  The Inn used to be a Sanitarium that folks would come visit and stay for the mineral waters, springs, and fresh air.  So the rooms are very small. The prices are very high. 

We had breakfast in the dining room, mainly because it was convenient.  Two eggs, one biscuit, two slices of bacon, and about a half cup of French fried potatoes (they tried to pass the fries off as potatoes O'Brien), and no coffee cost almost $13.00, being a tight fisted ham, notorious for being cheap, I was aghast...but we ate it, it was good, it was hot, and the waitress was very nice.  When the state ran things here 25 years ago, you could stay here for about $35 a night, now it's more like $170 a night. We did not stay here, we were just visiting for the day. 

I sat up my operations from the parking lot of the Deer Run shelter area.  I had enough coax with me to mount the Eagle One antenna to my SUV and then run the cabling over to a conveniently located picnic table, in the shade.  It was a very peaceful location, virtually no drive by traffic, and no other folks within earshot or eyesight.  Wayne sat up his operation about 100 yards away, he was using his IC-705 and end fed antenna.  We both operate QRP.

The bands were mostly up and down and the QSB on 20m was slow and steady.  Florida stations would be booming in and then within 10 minutes, they'd be gone...then 10 more minutes they'd be back.  It was a little frustrating.  My K2 was pushing about 10 watts to the vertical, and I was able to get my first 10 contacts in about 35 minutes.  20m was doing well at first and then it fizzled a bit so I finished up on 40m.  KC4HCH was at a park down in Alabama, so he was my only Park to Park contact on this outing. 

This is only my second park to activate, and it was great fun.  I bought an annual pass at the entrance gate. $50 a year and it gets you in to all the Indiana State Parks for the year.  I hope to get out more now that the weather is a little more predictable and hit as many of the Indiana State Parks as I can. 

Best 73 de KB9BVN


Sunday, April 10, 2022

Just hanging around...

This weekend has been a mixed bag of weather.  Saturday (yesterday) it was snowing and sleeting in the morning and today it was sunny and almost 65F.  I had too much to do today so I didn't get to got out and play POTA today.  I did manage to get one of my Vibrokeyers working again, I have another one sent to Vibroplex for clean up and repair currently.  A few months ago I accidentally knocked them off the desk and messed them both up.  

Here's a look at the one I have working now, pictured here with my Elecraft K1 (SN 1205), I built the K1 20 years ago after buying it from Wayne Burdick N6KR at the 2002 Dayton Hamvention. 

My Elecraft K1 and the Vibrokeyer SN 216228, made in 1960

As I had previously noted, my K1 needed some technical care beyond my ability, so I sent it to Dale Putnam WC7S of Quality Electronics in Cheyenne Wyoming.  He did a great job getting the filters set just right, the offset just right, and put a good alignment on it for me.  Very reasonable fee too.  If you have a K1 or even a K2 that needs  checked out, send it to Dale.  You can always contact Dale at this email address 

One other thing of note, I was issued the following award from Parks on the Air this week. I got the certificate today.  This is for HUNTING 400 different Parks or references.  It took me about 2 years of very casual hunting to get that many in the log book. 

POTA Award for hunting 400 different Parks 

I am currently at 412 different parks hunted, with 533 total hunted contacts, 40 states, with 401 contacts on 40m, 28 on 30m, 102 on 20m, 9 on 17m, and one each on 15m and 12m. These are all QRP contacts from my home with the K2, or K1, or Hilltopper rigs. 

Looks like the weather is going to start getting better later this week, once Easter weekend is over I will be doing more activating from the parks in Indiana, and maybe a few in Ohio and Kentucky.  

Happy Easter to you all! 


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Stone Arch Lake - POTA

Seen here is the new check in booth at Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area, also known as K-4183 in POTA parlance.  Sun was out today and the temperature was a balmy 52F so I net up with Wayne AC9HP at the site and we played radio most of the afternoon.  Today my setup started out with the venerable Elecraft K1. I just got this back from Dale Putnam WC7S out in Cheyenne Wyoming. I had a issue with it not being on the frequency that was being displayed. I can't cry about it much as I built this radio 20 years ago.  Dale did a fantastic job getting tuned up for me, also replaced a bad headphone jack and thanks to the United States Postal Service, the coax jack had to be replaced as well as it had been smashed in shipping.  Good thing I bought the $8.00 shipping insurance huh?  Nope.  The insurance they sell isn't worth the paper it's written on . The repair cost for the postal damage was about $80.00, so I took pictures, lots of pictures, and filed my claim.  About 10 days later I got a letter from the guys at USPS.COM and my claim had been accepted BUT for $25 instead of the $80.  So I send it back to Dale, he fixes it. sends it back.  The day it gets back I get another letter saying I have 2 weeks to take the broken radio and all the packing to the local post office so it can be inspected, or I will get no payment.  Well it's hard to do that now that it is fixed, and I was told the pictures would be good enough.  So I'm getting stiffed.  Lesson learned.  I'll use another shipper next time. 


So back to POTA and having some radio fun.  So I got there about 2PM local time and started setting my station up.  Today I went with the K1 at 5W, the Eagle One hitch mounted vertical, a couple LiFePo4 batteries and my usual set of paddles.  And root beer.

Wayne AC9HP showed up with this sons and while the kids played, Wayne and I got busy trying to make some contacts from the park.  I was getting a little frustrated because I was hearing nothing...then Wayne noticed I had not connected the antenna to the tuner...which was connected to the K1.  DOHT!  So once we rectified that situation, I started making contacts.  Now I need to tell you that Wayne and I had decided to run nothing but 5w radios today to just see what we could get worked out.  I ran 10 contacts on 40 and 30 CW in about an hour. Those contacts covered Oklahoma to the Carolinas, and Michigan down to Georgia.  The band was very flaky but it started smoothing out.  QSB was ferocious at times.  Wayne had brought an assortment of cheap Chinese radios for HF, and we gave them a try on SSB.  The first one is a Chinese 8 bander capable of 5 watts maximum.  So we set it up on 7213 and I started calling can see this on a Tik Tok video that Wayne posted. This little rig had a tiny red button on the bottom that you pushed in to talk, and you talked into the front of the radio.  I found it to be very much fun and I was amazed at how well it was working.  We were getting answered from all over the southeast and midwest, with reports from 45 to 59. I was hesitant to tell the contacts we were QRP at 5w SSB...but I did and some were amazed at the reach of 5 measly watts. 

I made 14 more contacts with the little SSB rig.  I was done, so it was Wayne's turn, he setup his IC-705 and started out on 20m CW.  He had a pile up going in no time.  The 5W and the Eagle One were doing a bang up job. One thing new this trip, Wayne brought me a set of two radials that just clip on the Eagle One.  I usually just use the SUV as my counterpoise, along with the coax on the ground.  This made a very noticeable difference in what I think I could hear. 

Wayne AC9HP working the IC-705 POTA pile up on 20m

Red is SSB and Green is CW 

All in all it was just a great day.  Good day to be outside.  POTA activation 16 is in the books. 

Best 73 de KB9BVN