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