I have made an EchoLink http://echolink.org/tour.htm node as I was inspired
by OZ5ACI, Franks node activities with a cheap dual band radio from China and a surplus laptop.
I already had 2 Baofeng UV-5R
so I ordered http://arsrepeaters.com/USB_AllStar_Adapters.php from USA.
also had a mono band antenna for UHF I wanted use for that purpose.
When the adapter arrived I began, I put my adapter in an available usb port on my computer, and connected my Baofeng UV-5R, after that I set
the EchoLink software up in sysop mode, with a little help from Frank. At first my little Baofeng stood indoors in its cradle and was transmitting one (1) watt and coverage was very local .
Then I looked for a
clear UHF frequency, 433.025 in this case and added 82.5Hz CTCSS to keep things quiet. I found a piece of coax, mounted my mono band UHF antenna outside on the top of my chimney, 2-3 meters above ground, and connected the UV-5R, still only one watt.
I started my car up and drove around town, I soon found out I had a reach of 2-4 km with dead spots where I could not reach my link. I had problems in densely built up areas in particular. Equipment in
my car is a Yeasu FT-817, 1-5 watts on UHF. The antenna is a three-band antenna, model SG-9700 from Diamond on a mag mount.
After that it was time to try and run the system on 6 meters. In the car I have my, afore
mentioned, FT-817 and a small amplifier for 50 mhz. At home I have a Yaesu FT-8900 cross band repeating to my UV-5R on 433.025 where my EchoLink node picks it up, I have to say it works really well, especially during the daytime.
I estimate I had a range of about 10-15 km running 5 watts on 6 meter from the car. With the amplifier running 50 watts I got about 20-35 km.
A new discovery 22-8-2014:
I was considering settling for running the system on UHF, so I connected my dual band VHF/UHF antenna that sits up in my mast to the UV-5R. It sits about 6 meters above ground in the backyard, still only 1 watt on UHF.
Again I started the car and drove and this time I had coverage in a 20 km radius. I think this is very well done with 1 watt. So this is my setup right now.
I have also downloaded EchoLink for
my iPhone 4S so I can connect when I'm at work if I want.
We were a small group dropping in on the link as time allows: OZ5ACI, OZ2KEC, ZL3DMH, K2UH, KD2CYZ and of course visitors from other parts of the world.
You are most welcome do drop by and give us a call if you feel like it, everyone is welcome.