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Posts published in “Hardware”

Fun with Airplane Data

I have started playing with ADS-B data again. For those that do not know, ADS-B is a system where planes send their position, speed, heading and other telemetry to the ground via a radio on typically 1090 Mhz. This is unencrypted data that anyone with a receiver and antennas can pickup and use. The above chart is generated by the PiAware software running on a Raspberry Pi 3B. The planes and position reports you see are all received locally by me with a small antennas sitting on the window sill…

Chronology of a New Ham Radio Release

Part of any new radio release is a treasure-trove of commentary on the new radio’s email reflector. This is a summary of those topics so when you order your new radio you can recognize some of these common patterns. I started this with the Icom 9700 and it has been true for every new radio since then. Discussion if the rumored radio will actually be sold and when. General hand-wring regarding the vendor’s included/missing features. Consternation regarding how long it is taking to release anything. The inevitable price guessing (and…

Operating from Home

Thanks to Clayton KJ4RUS going up the tower along with ground crew Bob N2ESP, Pat AA0O and Ed NZ1Q, I have a wire antennas on the tower. Clayton climbed the tower to put a rope in the tower standoff’s pulley and the ground crew connected things so the antennas could be raised. The ends were tied off and it all seems to work well. The picture below is of a contact I made on FT8 showing the coverage of the antennas on 20 meters. This looks like a great pattern…

Tower base is firmly in the ground

The concrete is in the ground secured by a good amount of concrete. The contractor that rebuilt the house is doing the base and house brackets for this project. We had some false starts on the hole. Specifically, the first one they dug was too far from the house relative to the house bracket. The second hole was too far from the house in the other direction (the house bracket would have hung over). I really do not understand why it is so hard to look at a set of…

Tower project full steam ahead!

I thought I was going to wait a few months after the house was finished before I proceeded with the tower install, but plans changed. Since we obtained the tower permit as part of the house project, the permanent Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is dependent upon closing all projects on the main permit. Hence, the tower has to be installed sooner than planned. With this in mind, I ordered 4 sections of Rohn 55G which was delivered recently. The general contractor has the specs to have the rebar cage built.…

Tower Permit in-hand

After a contentious Special Exemption meeting where 5 of my neighbors made their case why this tower permit should not be granted, I am in possession of the tower permit. We submitted this permit application near the end of May 2018 and due to the hoops Madeira Beach required me to jump, we were granted the permit mid September.  I applied for the tower permit at the same time we are building the house as the tower is house bracket’ed in two places. The top bracket is built into the…

Special Exemption Hearing Date Set

The final step in the saga of the tower permit is for the Special Magistrate to review the application for special exemption. This seems to be just to cross the T’s for the way the City of Madeira Beach has setup for amateur radio tower’s to be reviewed. That meeting is Monday August 27th. http://madeirabeachfl.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Special-Magistrate-Special-Exception-Complete-Packet.pdf  

Planning Commission Approval!

The Madeira Beach Planning Commission met tonight and approved the tower project. This now moves to the Special Magistrate to just verify it meets the Special Exception process on August 27th. During the presentation tonight, the planning director and two commissioners mentioned how thorough the packet of material I presented was. It does make one wonder what they normally get for these things. The planning directory also mentioned that the city may want to review this whole process to simplify it. After my tower is permitted and our house is…

Tower Install on the Planning Commission Agenda

Madeira Beach has scheduled my tower permit on the Planning Commission agenda. The city staff has recommended approval. After the planning commission approval, it goes to the Special Magistrate at the end of August. Here is a link to the agenda packet with my info for those interested.