W1TR Upstairs Station

Updated 05-Feb-2016  20:18

 

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This station is located in the office on the main floor just off the kitchen, so the Chief OP can make a few contacts while the XYL is cooking dinner or using her computer without becoming a hermit and resorting to use of an intercom system to the cellar just to have a conversation.  She likes to get a few words in edgewise during some of the QSOs, especially when we both know the operator on the other end of the radio.  Sometimes she will even call me using the Paxton, MA (146.97) repeater during my commute home.  Mostly she just listens to me talk while I’m on my way home to make sure I don’t make any unauthorized side trips (and so she knows when dinner should be ready ! ;-) ).  Since retiring in Spring of 2015, there IS NO MORE COMMUTE! :-) ;-)

 

Station Update in 2014

The original 2005 Upstairs Station was a TS-2000x and an Ameritron ALS-600s amplifer and LDG-AT-1000 antenna tuner.

The ALS-600s had a malfunction and needed some repairs and was replaced with an ALS-1306. 

The ALS-600s, AT-1000, and an IC-7000 are now part of a portable station for field day and vacation QTH.

 

In Spring of 2014 there was a major addition to the W1TR Upstairs Ham Shack…

Dual Computer Monitors, an SDR Radio, a Palstar HF-Auto tuner, and redeployment of the old LK-500zc 2x3-500z amplifier from downstairs!

In Fall of 2015 there was another major upgrade to the amplifier, the LK-500zc was replaced with an Ameritron ALS-1306 and the LK-500zc went back downstairs.

 

Below is a picture of today’s Upstairs Station 

Upper Left, there is an AcuRite wireless weather station (blue screen) with the sensor mounted on the HF Tower.

Lower Right (above the coffee cup), there is a second Radio Shack wireless thermometer station with 3 remote temperature sensors on the outside of the house.

Upper Right is an MFJ dual time-zone 24 hour atomic clock. 

To the left of the clock is a hanger with various headphones and boom microphones.

Dual Asus 1080p Monitors are Center Left.

Center Right there is a stack of equipment:

  A Palstar PM2000AM Wattmeter

  A RigBlaster Pro

  An Autek Research MK-1 electronic keyer (I don’t like the one in the TS-2000) on top of a stack of remote antenna switches.

Lower Left, the Yaesu G-1000DXA HF Rotor Control and the Yaesu G-600RC VHF Rotor Control.

Next to the rotor controls is the Hercules LE MIDI DJ Controller to provide knobs, dials, and buttons for the SDR radio which has none!

Next are microphones, the Kenwood MC-60 mic for the TS-2000 and the Radio Shack dynamic mic for the SDR.

Lower Right is the Kenwood TS-2000x 1.8 to 1296 MHz.

A Bencher BY-1 key paddle is to the right of the TS-2000x.

Far Center Right is the Apache Labs Anan 100D SDR with 6m and HF antenna switches under it and then the Epson Scanner at the very lower right.

 

Upstairs Station 14a

 

Below is a picture of the Apache Labs Anan 100D SDR transceiver. 

This radio has two separate Analog to Digital Converters (ADCs) for coherent dual diversity reception using Direct Down Conversion (DDC),

an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) for Direct Up Conversion (DUC), and a 100w solid state amplifier for transmit…

The dual receivers allow beam steering of the receive antenna system if a second receive antenna is available.

OR the second receiver can be used to monitor a different frequency, on an entirely different frequency band (MARS channel).

A beverage for 160, 80, even 40 meters would be very helpful!

Below the Anan 100D is a pair of Alpha Delta antenna switches for 6m and HF.

Below the antenna switches is a really old Epson 2450 scanner which has very high resolution at 4800 dpi.

To the right of the scanner is the Palstar HF Auto, a maximum legal power automatic tuner 1.8 to 54 MHz.

On top of the Palstar HF-AUTO is an Ameritron ALS-1306 solid state HF+6 KW amplifier.

 

 

Below is the Apache Labs Anan 100D SDR transceiver: 10 KHz to 54 MHz, 100w, Direct Down Conversion (DDC) Receiver, Direct Up Conversion (DUC) Transmitter.

External transmit filters are required for the 630 meter and 2200 meter bands.

 

 

 

The Ameritron ALS-1306, solid state MOSFET HF+6 KW amplifier:

 

 

The Palstar HF-Auto showing the Ameritron ALS-1306 Peak Output, equal to a pair of 3-500z’s.

 

 

This is a screen shot of the Remote Control software for the Palstar HF-AUTO developed by W1TR

 

 

This is a screen shot of the Remote Control software for the Ameritron ALS-1306 developed by W1TR.

 

 

The computer was also upgraded in 2011, it is now a Dell XPS-8300 Intel Pentium I7-2600 (3.4 GHz) 4 core 8 thread, 12 GB RAM, 1.6 TB Disk.

Software is Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Microsoft Office 2010 Pro, Visual Studio 2010 Pro, and more, plus the PowerSDR software for the SDR Radio.

It was upgraded in 2015 to Windows 10 Pro, some add-in PCIe adapters for USB 3.0, a better network card, and a solid state disk (SSD) 500 GB.

 

The UPS has been upsized to a Back UPS Pro 1300 VA model, the power supply was upgraded to an Astron RS-35M, and there is a new installation of a RigRunner RR/4012 12V distribution system, and the 50 volt 50 amp power supply for the ALS-1300.

 

 

The 100D SDR radio has no knobs, meters, or dials on the front panel, just a power switch and some jacks for microphone, headphones / speakers, CW key, and Ethernet LAN.
So you need to use a GUI on a computer screen to operate the system.

 

AFA1DI USAF MARS Digital Operations using Apache Labs Anan 100D SDR and FLDIGI

This is the PowerSDR GUI screen.

 

 

If you DO want knobs and dials, a USB DJ MIDI Controller can be connected to the computer for that tuning knob, audio gain, or other controls that are on the large contest radios such as a Yaesu FTDX-5000MP.

The Hercules LE unit is a small DJ controller, but other manufacturers such as Gemini, Numark, Pioneer, Behringer, Denon, Stanton, Novation, and Vestax offer units with more knobs than the Yaesu radios!

Unfortunately, PowerSDR software support for anything other than the Hercules unit does not exist yet, but could be added in the future.

 

SDR Hercules DJ Controller

 

This is a screen shot of the FLDIGI software for digital modes

 

 


Screen shot of the W1TR ZKS Application to Automatically Generate Net List (ZKS) from FLDIGI Receive Window

 

 

Screen shot of the MIL-STD-M110a Software: MS-DMT for MARS digital messages.

 

 

Screen shot of the Automated Message Terminal (AMT) accessory for MS-DMT: assists in composing, sending, and receiving digital MARS messages.

 

 

Here is the Ultimate in CAT Control (Cleo), and alternate NCS on the MARS net.

 

CAT Control

 

Here is my solution to spurious CAT CALLS…

The cats, particularly Cleo shown above, like to pace back and forth on the desktop walking on the DJ Controller for the SDR and the PTT button on the microphone.

There are two buttons: 1) a momentary contact push button, and 2) a latching push button that requires pressing to lock and pressing again to unlock.

After a number of unauthorized cat calls, I found a suitable rubber foot in the local hardware store that can shield the latching push button from Cleo’s feet!

The DJ Controller already had a cover, but the PTT remained exposed to bootleg operation!