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Alamo Peak Status

The Alamo Peak repeater is currently offline due to a lightning strike on the mountain this week.  Bill & Mickey visited the site this morning and investigated the problem.  The solution will require replacing both radios at the site.

I am currently building a repeater pair using the new Yaesu DR2X machines which will replace the Alamo Peak radios.  I will also build a pair to replace the James Ridge radios.  This will finally bring C4FM to the Alamo & James machines.  The analog FM link to Weed will remain operative, but ultimately the Weed machine will also be replaced with a C4FM repeater bringing the whole system up to 21st century standards.

Until the Alamo system is rebuilt and the new equipment installed, that machine will be down.  The James & Weed machines remain operative.  Expect the Alamo machine to be  down for at least two weeks before we can get back up to the site and swap out the hardware.  In the meantime, the 145.230 MHz machine on Benson Ridge, the 145.350 MHz Mega-Link machine on Long Ridge, and the 147.000 C4FM machine in High Rolls are viable substitutes for the Alamo Peak system.

2018 Cactus To Cloud Update #3

Final preparations are being made for the race this coming Saturday.  As of this post, I have 4 volunteers to occupy aid stations:

AID 1/6
7:30am – 1:30pm – Craig, KG5VIN
1:30PM – 7:00PM – LARRY, WW6USA
AID 2/5
8:15AM – 1:00PM – BOB, KF5VLJ
1:00PM – 5:30PM – Bob, KF5VLJ
AID 3/4
8:45AM – 12:30PM – Mickey, KG5DAC
12:30PM – 3:00PM – Rich, KB2MEZ
NET CONTROL
7AM – 1PM – RICHARD, KG5EKP
1PM – 7PM – RICHARD, KG5EKP

 

I am still planning on sweeping at the least the loop after Aid 3/4 due to the potentially exhausting conditions and lack of aid support along that portion of the trail.

The Pre-Event Net will still take place Friday evening at 7PM on the linked repeater system.  All volunteers are strongly encouraged to make that net.  I will issue comms guidance for event support by Wednesday evening to allow newcomers to review the planned procedures so they can bring questions to the Friday evening net.

Thank you, in advance, to all the volunteers who are making this event possible.

2018 Cactus To Cloud Update #2

As previously reported the 2018 Cactus To Cloud race has been altered and is now the 2018 Cloudcroft Ultra 53k / 10 miler.  The race will begin at 7am and conclude no later than 7pm.  The new race course starts at Zenith Park in Cloudcroft and ends there as well.

AID STATIONS

There will be three aid stations, which each runner will pass through two times…once on the way out and once on the way back.  The aid station locations are as follows:

Aid 1/6:  Rim Trail Entrance #2 near MM1 on Sunspot Highway

View Larger Map
Aid 2/5: FS Road 636 (right off Sunspot Highway just past the old Snow Play Area)

View Larger Map
Aid 3/4:  Rim Trail intersection with Alamo Peak Road

View Larger Map
AID STATION TIMES

Due to the relatively quick nature of the course through Aid Station 3, I’m suggesting the following times on station:

AID 1/6:  On station by 7:30am.  Expect first runners by 7:45am.  Cutoff time into Aid 6 on the return trip is 6:00pm.

AID 2/5:  On station by 8:15am.  Expect first runners by 8:30am.  Cutoff time into Aid 5 on the return trip is 4:30pm.

AID 3/4:  On station by 8:45am.  Expect first runners by 9:00am.  Cutoff time into Aid 3 on the outbound trip is 11:00am.  Cutoff time back into Aid 4 on the return trip is 2:00pm.

All of the Aid Stations are accessible by vehicle, however, Aid 2/5 is on a fairly small twin-track road with no room to turn around, so you may have to park your vehicle and walk in about 1/4 mile to get to the station itself.  (This is the station Bob Good usually mans every year).

AID STATION/NET CONTROL MANNING

Due to the potentially long times at the aid stations, I’m suggesting we break up the manning periods into two blocks:

AID 1/6:  First block – 7:30am to 1:30pm.  Second block – 1:30pm to 7:00pm.
AID 2/5:  First block – 8:15am to 1pm.  Second block – 1pm to 5:30pm.
AID 3/4:  First block – 8:45am to 12:30pm.  Second block – 12:30pm to 3:00PM.
NET CONTROL:  FIRST BLOCK – 7AM TO 1PM.  SECOND BLOCK – 1PM TO 7PM.

 

If you are interested in manning an aid station, please email me at my callsign at gmail.com and let me know which block(s) you are interested in staffing.  If you want to staff both blocks at an aid station, that is fine…just let me know.

I’m still looking for Net Control manning in Zenith Park.  It’s an easy job, there’s great food, and lots of great folks to hang around with.  I’m planning on running most of the course, particularly the loop from Aid 3 back to Aid 4, as that is a very difficult trail and will be run in the hot part of the day with no shade and steep terrain.  (Sounds fun…feel free to join me!)

I’ll publish a race bible as soon as I get one, so we have more complete information about the Aid Stations, but the above info should get us started.  Pick your participation, and please send me an email ASAP so I can identify if we have any coverage gaps.  All timeslots at all aid stations are currently open, so feel free to pick the time/location which best fits your schedule.  When you email me, please also email me your preferred T-shirt size so I can get the order back to Cindy ASAP.  Request you email me no later than right after the net this Saturday night.

Thanks to everyone in advance for supporting this great event and flexing with the last minute changes.  Let’s get ready for a race!

 

Alamo Peak Site Visit

Several club members recently visited the Alamo Peak repeater site to investigate rebuilding the equipment shed that is currently housing the repeater:

Alamo Peak Equipment Shed

The shed has been weathering it’s mountaintop location for several decades now and is need of replacement.  The club is investigating several options as a suitable replacement, and budgeting calculations are well underway for the new project.

Surveying the equipment shed

In addition to the new equipment shed, the club is planning on reworking the antenna setup on the tower at the Alamo Peak site:

Alamo Peak Antenna

A wind storm two winters ago torqued the standoff antenna mount for the repeater antenna, causing the whole assembly to be tilted approximately 10 degrees to the east.  Several different options are being considered for the job, and a gin pole will be sourced for climbers to implement the fix.

Once the equipment shed is brought up to standards, the Club will be able to install the new Yaesu DR-2X repeater purchased for the site last fall.  Stay tuned for progress on the site improvements as we work to improve our amateur radio service to the Sacramento Mountains and Tularosa Basin.

ICOM ID-51A For Sale

Rick Lubke, N7SGT, is liquidating some ICOM D-STAR inventory:

N7SGT ICOM ID-51A Package
Like new ICOM ID51A plus2 (Black) ($329.00) for sale with the following extras:
IC-BC-202 02 Rapid Charger ($59.95)
IC-LC-174 Leather Case ($39.95)
IC-SJ-1 Silicon Jacket ($39.95)
IC-HM-186LS Hand Mic ($52.95)
Programming Cable ($25.00)
Internet Labs 2m DVAP ($239.00)
Total Value retail from HRO:  $780.80
Asking: $500.00
If interested, you can contact Rick directly at: n7sgt@q.com

2018 Cactus To Cloud Update #1

For those planning on supporting the 2018 Cactus To Cloud race, logistical issues with the race organization have prevented the traditional C2C race run on May 12:

https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=51838

Instead, Matt & Cindy are working to organize a new race route for a 53k race which starts and finishes in Cloudcroft.  I’m waiting for the updated race course so I can work with Cindy to figure out what support they’ll need on the new race routing, but I expect they’ll need communications support as only a small part of the course will be in the vicinity of the village itself.

Bottom line:  keep May 12th clear on your calendar and if you were planning on supporting the C2C, plan on supporting the new race route.  More words to follow…

Kenwood TS-2000 Manual

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Official Kenwood manual for TS-2000 series radios.  Includes TS-2000, TS-2000X, and TS-B2000 radios.

Kenwood TS-480 Manual

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Official Kenwood instruction manual for TS-480 series radios.  Covers both TS-480SAT and TS-480HX models.

Amateur Weather Station – Part 2

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Brief review of Part 1.  Introduce several options for weather station barometric pressure sensors.  Introduce low-cost GPS receivers for precision position & time reporting, to include high-level overview of Network Time Protocol servers.  Introduce high-level concept of ultrasonic anemometer using 40kHz transceiver.

2018 New Mexico QSO Party

The 2018 New Mexico QSO Party will be held Saturday, April 14th from 8:00am – 8:00pm MDT.  For New Mexico-based stations, the objective is to work as many NM counties, states, Canadian provinces, and other DX entities as possible in the 12 hour period.

Club members are strongly encouraged to participate in the QSO party, as this year’s rules allow club members’ individual scores to be aggregated and the Club ranked against other participating clubs.  Last year our club placed 13 out of 17 among participating clubs and we’re looking to increase participation to boost our ranking at this year’s QSO party.

Content rules, participation categories, logging procedures, and other contest-related information can be found at the NM QSO Party website:  http://www.newmexicoqsoparty.org/

We will discuss participation in the QSO party at this weekend’s monthly meeting.  Of note, the scoring system for the QSO party affords mobile stations a 5000 point bonus for each county from which 15 or more contacts are made.  I am planning on activating many of the southern counties in NM to include: OTE, CHA, EDD, LIN, SOC, SIE, DON, LUN, GRA, and HID.  A quick trip from Cloucroft to Artesia to Roswell to Ruidoso and home activates 4 counties and can be accomplished in half a day.

If you have questions on the QSO party, please contact me at your earliest convenience.  Hope to see you on the air next Saturday!