Monday, August 31, 2009

My OMISS Number!

Greetings All,

I got my OMISS member # tonight, 6644, while checking into the 40M net.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ham Radio Deluxe Logbook w/ Mac OSX Backend

Hello All,

I've been searching for a good logging program for sometime now. Not being very high on MS Windows and it's long term reliability and stability. I'm a Mac/OSX guy, however one of the best HAM radio application suites I've found is Ham Radio Deluxe ( only runs in Windows. With the recent release of HRD Beta version 5, the developers have created a new stand alone logging program (HRD Logbook). I've been experimenting with the HRD Logbook for a few weeks and have grown to like it. It also allows you the flexibility to use either MS Access, MySQL, or SQL Server for its back end.

So, I setup a small Windows XP VM in Parallels on my Macbook for which I'm running the front end HRD Logbook and DM780 (for PSK31) applications, on the back end I installed and configured MySQL server on my iMac (connected to my home network). My iMac has a 1TB RAID 0 attached to it and is my primary iPhoto and iTunes sever and backup.

Setup is fairly straight forward:

Step 1: Download HRD Deluxe Version 5 from the HRD Website (

Step 2: Download MySQL Server from (I used the Mac OSX 10.5 x86 Version)

Step 3: Download the MySQL Administrative GUI Tools from

Step 4: Install MySQL Server (I created a symbolic link to my RAID e.g., ln -s /usr/local/mysql /Volumes/RAID/mysql)

Step 5: Install the MySQL Startup Item from the Disk Image

Step 6: Copy "cp /usr/local/mysql/my-large.cnf to /etc/my.cnf"

Step 6: Start the MySQL Server "sudo /Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/MySQLCOM start"

Step 7: Install the MySQL Admin Tools on your Mac

Step 8: Login to the localhost as root (probably no password unless you set it)

Step 9: Click on Catalogs and create a new db called hr_deluxe

Step 10: Click on the accounts tab and add a new user, I called mine hrd

Step 11: Click on the right arrow and look for the % sign under the user name and click on this

Step 12: Select all of the available privileges and move them into the assigned category

Step 13: Install the MySQL OBC connector ( on the Windows machine that will be running HRD

Step 14: Install Ham Radio Deluxe

Step 15: Launch the HRD Logbook

Step 16: Click on Tools and then ODBC Manager

Step 17: Click "Add", Data Source Name = hrd_logbook, Description = HRD Logbook, Server =your mac's ip, User=hrd, Password=what u set, Database=hr_deluxe, click "Ok"

Step 18: Click on "Logbook", then "Databases", then "Manager", click on "Add" then click on the drop down under "or select" and select hrd_logbook. Then enter your user name and password for the "hrd" user

Step 19: Enjoy

HRD Logbook allows you to readily import ADIF files and exports from other HRD Logbooks, so if you are traveling you could use the local database and sync when you get home.

Here are some screen shots of portions of the install. When I have some more time I'll attempt to align with the steps.


Friday, August 28, 2009

OMISS Member Application

Hello All,

This afternoon I submitted my member application to the OMISS association. Earlier in the week I made 3 succesful contacts with current members, which qualified me for member status. Membership is $7 for your lifetime. OMISS is a worked all states net, which promotes and supports the aquisition of the WAS plus the net specific awards they sponsor.

More info can be found at .

I'm looking forward to posting my member number.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009



This evening I checked into the OMISS 40M Net using my FT-817 and 40M OCF Dipole at 5W. Using this combination I successful worked KD8HZC in Michigan, W4CSL in Georgia, and ND8F in Georgia. The OMISS requires 2 successful QSOs with current OMISS members to qualify for membership. I worked 3 out of 3 OMISS members this evening (plus net control), so I can now apply for my membership and receive my #. The main objectives of the net are to promote good will, to pass emergency, formal and informal traffic, and for members to work each other for awards (from the OMISS website). As I'm working towards my Worked All States award, this is a great opportunity and means to achieve this goal.

More information can be found at


Sunday, August 23, 2009

40M OCF Dipole Anntenna

Hello All,

What do you get when you combine zip ties, a 2x4, a 4x4 bolted to a deck, reel of 12 pound fishing line (bought on sale for $1.88), and a 33' Push Up mast for which all hope was almost lost for? Well, you get a half way decent mast system that gets a 40M OCF Dipole up around 20' or so .

The following video shows you the base of the antenna, the whole system up in the air, and SWR readings for 40M, 20M, and 2M.



Hurricane Bill - EchoLink/IRLP and HWN

Good Morning,

As Hurricane Bill makes his way up the coast Amateur's are activating their stations, some as net controls, contributors, and relay stations. This morning I brought up the EchoMac software and plan to bring online my HF station on 20M, in the event that the net requires a relay between New England and Net Control.

The Hurricane Watch Net will be online this morning at 0800EDT on 14.325MHZ, for more information please see the link below:

The VoIP/IRLP net came online this morning at 0400EDT, for more information please see the link below:

ARRL, has also posted a good synopsis of the upcoming hurricane operations, more information can be found at the following link:


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Portable at the Beach

Hello All,

Another good day at the beach and I also managed to pick up a few more contacts. This afternoon I setup and then moved my MP-1 at an attempt to clear some of the QRM. In doing so, my SWR changed resulting in a non-optimized configuration. I used my MFJ-259B to tune my MP-1 antenna to a reasonable match for 20M. I've included a You Tube video of the 259B, the MP-1, and finally the FT-817 showing no SWR bars while operating PSK-31. Upon making my adjustments I made contact with WB2MIC of Vermont. I apologize for the lack of narration, however the preceding text captures the essence of the video.

My portable setup is as follows:
Radio: Yaesu FT-817
PSK Interface: Rigblaster NOMIC
Antenna: MP-1
Accessory: MFJ-259B Antenna Analyzer



Saturday, August 15, 2009

40M from the Beach

Hello All,

Just finished a few quick qsos from the beach using PSK-31 on 40M.
20M had a lot of noise, plus the best the mp1 want to match at was
around 2:1. So, I gave 40M a run for which the mp1 load up around a
1:1 match and there was less noise. Overall, one contact with Cuba
and another into Tampa, FL.

Until next time.



Hello All,

Greetings from Myrtle Beach, SC I'm here on one last vacation before
the end of summer. I plan to operate portable during the evening
hours, stay tuned for operating times and frequencies.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

MD 2009 QSO Party


We'll the QSO party is now over and I met my personal goal of exceeding the minimum 50 Points required to receive a participant certificate. I operated QRP 100% of the time and accumulated a total of 396 Points, which included
both SSB and PSK31 on 20M and 40M. I learned that I have near zero capability on VHF/UHF as I had no MD contacts during the QSO party.
I got a chance to use my Off Center Fed 40M dipole antenna and my old stand by 20m dipole. While the dipole worked out great the MFJ-1910 mast did not work as well and was very disappointing for $79.

Overall, I made several great contacts from Europe (Germany [PSK31 Club Station] and Italy[ Light House]) to Indiana and everything else in between!

The first picture is of my setup in doors, the heat drove me in off the back porch. On the left is my FT-817ND which is connected using a Rigblaster NOMIC to the Dell Laptop on the right running DM780 Beta 5 for PSK31 on 14.070MHZ. My Macbook is directly to the right of the 817 and is running N3FPJ's contest logging software, which is well worth the $6 paid. In the background is my IC-735 which was
connected to my 40M OCF Dipole to monitor the other band while I worked 20M digital.

As you can see from my backyard, the new OCF dipole is almost invisible to the general eye. I'm working to add a small hook to the point of my house to attach a pulley that
will allow me to hoist my dipoles up further in the air. I currently have my dipole secured from my 2nd floor bath room window.
More photographs of my QSO Party setup can be found at KB3LMC's Ham Radio Photos.

Great fun, so will leave you with a couple of videos of my setup from this weekend.


Monday, August 3, 2009

MDC QSO Party this Weekend

Hello All,

This upcoming weekend is the MDC QSO contest and will run from Saturday (8 August) Noon until Midnight [EDT] to Sunday (9 August) Noon until 8:00pm. I plan to be on the air a portion of the weekend with a goal of making the 50 QSO point mark to be eligible for a participant certificate.

In preparation for this great event I ordered a new 33' Fiberglass Mast and 40M DX-OCF Windom antenna which has an operating range of 40M-6M. I've also have an old discone antenna in the garage, which should be resonate on 2Ms to try to work some local DX. Look for me on 10M (if open) and 20M during the day and 40M at night. I'm going to attempt to work the entire contest QRP with my FT-817, so we'll see what we come up with.

For more information on the MDC QSO party, please see the following link


Ten Meters: Alive and Well in Maryland

Hello All,

Yesterday afternoon I discovered the world of 10M, as it was alive and well in the Mid-Atlantic. The Ten-Ten Summer Phone contest provided a good amount of activity on the band. I worked stations both in Oklahoma and Illinois on a good skip into the Mid-West. N9ETH (Brian) of Waliconda, IL using his IC-706MkIIg had a great signal into my QTH and sounded like he was sitting at the table with me having a conversation.

I used my MP-1 which I tuned with my MFJ-259B and ICOM 735 running at 80W.

With any luck, the 10M band will be open for next weekends QSO party in MD. Look for me on the 20M and perhaps 10M bands operating as KB3LMC at my home QTH.



Sunday, August 2, 2009

Amateur Radio Light House Society Weekend QSO Contest

Hello All,

Over the last few weeks and the coming there have been and will be several exciting contests. I've "dabbled" some in each and plan to participate in next week's MD QSO Party.

Of particular interest this week and into next week is the Amateur Radio Light House Society's Weekend QSO contest. More information is available at for the contest and general information on the society.

So far, this weekend I've worked 2 lighthouses in the North East (20M band conditions have been less then desirable), N1QLL/ USA 1119 (in Maine) and N2OB/USA 1812 (in New Jersey) using my FT-817 at 5W.

The following is a Flip video of AA1KS operating at USA 459, I was unable to work him.

The contest continues through next weekend, with several additional lighthouse activations.