Over the weekend (April 28/29 2018) station W0EQO had a partial failure – the station would appear when a user logged in, but although the interface was responsive for frequency changes and other settings, there was no audio. This means that the audio server failed, and the RCForb server application needs to be halted and restarted on the host computer. Only a station admin can do this, so please be sure to email email@example.com to alert me. If we don’t hear from users, the station may remain out of service, so we really appreciate your help with this.
April showers have returned to the USA Upper Midwest, and that means thunderstorm season is here.
Here’s what to expect: One evening a spring storm pushed through southern and central Minnesota, and lightning accompanied rain, hail, snow, ice, and high winds. In order to protect the station and computer network from lightning damage, the station was shut down and the antenna disconnected. The station did return to service the next morning – but remember that shutdowns will happen throughout the remaining spring, summer, and fall thunderstorm season, depending on conditions.
W0EQO, located in far northern Minnesota, was not affected, but outages can happen there as well. This sort of thing is to be expected during the spring, summer, and early autumn months.
Both stations are in service, but will experience intermittent outages for passing thunderstorms, system maintenance, or local activity. W0EQO will periodically be offline when the station is being used on site by Boy Scout groups.
The Tune button on the W0ZSW remote interface is now available to transmit privilege users. It works through the Windows PC and Android apps, activating the LDG automatic antenna tuner to match the impedance of the 270 foot dipole fed with 450 ohm ladder line to the Icom IC-7200 transceiver. When the tuning sequence is activated, you will not hear the receiver until the cycle completes. At that point, the signals should be coming in even better, since the antenna is now tuned. Often tuning the antenna will make the difference between hearing nothing on a given band and the band coming alive with many signals. Always identify your transmissions.
Sometimes you will encounter a frequency where the LDG tuner has not already “memorized” the tuner settings. When you toggle the tune button, it may then take 20 to 25 seconds to go through the whole tuning sequence as the LDG tuner tries one combination after another to get the best match. During this time the receiver will be silent, but when it is complete you will once again hear audio. Then you can identify and go ahead and operate.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to report any problems. Have fun with the radio!
Following a transmitter failure in the TS-480HX, W0ZSW was sidelined. The station is now back on line with an Icom IC-7200, but we are waiting for a data cable to connect the radio to the LDG automatic antenna tuner. We expect this to be available soon, but in the meantime it is necessary to provide some RF carrier to tune the antenna prior to transmitting phone or CW. You must identify all transmissions.
Once the data cable is installed, the “Tune” button will work and take care of the antenna tuning process.
Station W0ZSW is offline due to a transmitter failure. Although the Kenwood TS-480HX receiver still works, the transmitter section is not functional, putting out no RF at all. The radio will probably be replaced with a different one, but for now the station remains offline. Station W0EQO remains in operation.
Audio from W0EQO was down for around 8 hours between 3 January and the early morning of 4 January 2017. A reboot of the RCForb host software has resolved the issue. Please report any outages to email@example.com.
The antenna at W0ZSW has stopped tuning properly. There has been an ice storm followed by high winds in the Twin Cities, so we will have to check the antenna system for damage. With subzero temperatures in the forecast, this work will be delayed.