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So, Today (August 2015) the newest N0CRD 442.625 repeater will sport the Yaesu DR1-1x Fusion controller.

Allowing data, GPRS, C4-FM, FM and allows transfer of picture information among many other features!


Last Updated on Friday, 07 August 2015 21:08

Newsflash 4

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Response from Dan Stark, N0CRD,

concerning the article…  “The Last Word” in the ARRL Contact, January 2015

ARRL’s Centennial is now over. The candles have been blown out of the birthday cake, and now that the Centennial QSO Party is over, the bands seem awfully quiet in comparison.

The inevitable question that hangs in the air is, “now what?”


Well, at 70 years of age and looking back, I have always been a dreamer and experimenter! Not afraid to walk into an area I am not familiar with. Willing to make big mistakes to learn and apply new found results. Taking a risk to experience the gain of knowledge or rewards that step might bring.  I have always been a risk taker and some times failing miserably. But not always! Sometimes the rewards are really fruitful!

An Amateur Radio license is your ticket to experimentation. Experimentation is how you learn!  Don’t be afraid of it!  However, before you do take a risk, learn all you can and minimize the risk!

Risk taking might be the very trait that has built my strong background in Electronics, Computers and Amateur Radio!  Because of this trait I have always been a little ahead of the technology curve, for my age, even before I was ten years old.

My first experiment (a confession) as I recall at the age of ten or eleven.  I was listening to a AM broadcast radio science show (about circa 1954) describing how you could make a microphone out of several pencil leads by laying them across two razor blade (sharp edges up) and with the two wire leads (for the audio) coming off the two razor blades.  What I didn’t understand at the time was this was audio not 110 volt ac.  Not knowing the difference at the time, Of course, when I connected the razors to the 110v outlet… a hole was quickly burned into the carpet!  No one in my family or neighborhood understood this process nor appreciated it! Nor did they offer to tell me why this result happened!  They did inform me what would happen should I do it again on the new carpet!  This failed experiment, for me, started a whole new search for answers, and maybe a vocation!

Yes even in my lifetime professional occupations, the same reasoning (only now educated) would lead to daring and bold moves to learn, experiment and apply. And without getting to deep into resumes, you can be assured that I have traveled the bleeding edge nationally and some internationally, learning, marketing and successfully applying some very new technologies in electronics, communications and software… The bleeding edge is a roller coaster ride you would never forget!  Better to stay close to the cutting edge. The thrill keeps leading you back to the beginning of the loop! You will want to discover more and more once you go down this road!

That being said, I have always wondered why amateur radio hasn’t walked into some of those bleeding / cutting edge areas of activity? Don’t get me wrong, I understand and have participated in the Amateur Radio forefront of communication experimentation, including communication in space, weather, GPS, digital and a host of other things. But I don’t see a whole lot of progress in the area of Amateur Radio and (AIML) artificial intelligence! It is a perfect fit!

I do understand that most hams have to work with what manufactures have made available to the market. Operators in general rely on excellent Ham or commercial equipment, and so do I.  This is the story that I am challenging concerning “Where do we go?”

It seems very exciting to me to watch and participate in the development of I-Phone, Android, Google, Internet, search engines and space technology.  Amateur Radio has made it possible over the years to grow with and use all these technologies.

Now, Software Defined Radio (SDR) is going to challenge every thing we are accustomed to understanding and using in our hobby.  Not just in how we access, tune and handle.. It is going to change how we actually use the radio for communication.

You see SDR is software, the programming of the computer using code languages. The code / software will control everything.  Yes, even the spoken word, response or action.

On the local Kansas City 6 meter repeater we have just activated, which is controlled by a” computer, every detail of the legality for Ham use (less the observation of who is using it) is pretty well covered and complied with the software controlling. It knows when to ID, time out, announce messages, insert a beep tone. And yes, soon I hope, it will hold a conversation with you.  It is the latest risk I am employing to learn exactly how to make the result a pleasant and useful one for all Amateur Radio operators that use this repeater.

It is far beyond a pipe dream.  Anyone with a little bit of experience in the Electronics, Computers and Amateur Radio area could do this!  It is not a fully developed field, but sufficiently enough we should have these Amateur Radio auto bots active abundantly in our community repeaters in the next ten years.

The conversation from the repeater A.I.M.L. controller being communication concerning Ham Radio, Emergency Services, weather, math, radio principals, formulas and just about anything (non commercial) you can derive out of the Amateur Radio Handbook or other “on line” or storage device sources.  .

How will it do this? If the Amateur radio Hand Book (or any other Amateur Radio Source) can be reduced to a data form, locally or streaming in from afar, to a central (repeater controller).  The central controlling computer could

1. Search for interpretation of the speech request or command (Speech Recognition available in most Microsoft windows,7 +) reference ( ttp://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/set-speech-recognition#1TC=windows-7)

2. Search for the correct response via all allowed resources (think Google search or use the A.I.M.L. data sets search system. (See more at A.L.I.C.E. http://www.alicebot.org/aiml.html  )

3. Then the same computer controller could be equipped with Text to Speech software for responding to questions you are asking via your Amateur Radio Handheld.  The same response could do it with a human derived personality voice (Reference.. http://sheepridge.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk?botid=fef38cb4de345ab1&skin=iframe-voice )

In Amateur Radio Television (A5) you could even see an animated character talking to you responding with your answers (or requesting more clarification).   And what about streaming video over the wide bands we haven’t used much yet. Think about smart phones, video and data. Our 900 MGHZ and up might allow for some real experimentation in this area! Equipment seems to be everywhere. All we have to do is learn how to convert and use!

In the digital mode, guess what, all the above information could be presented.  The whole process is already a digital state.  Where do you want to go?  What do you want to learn?  How do you want to interact with your hobby, profession or skill set?

Perhaps what we as Amateur Radio Operators, experimenters and entrepreneurs should be doing as Elmer’s, clubs and  organizations, is target in where we want to be. Knowing where we want to be will allow us to target our learning, teaching, experimenting and goal setting.

This is the future of Amateur Radio and the future is available now. Who wants to get aboard.


November 2014 KC 6 Meter Repeater Update

The one thing I like about the Amateur Radio Hobby is that there is no deadline on any given project one might take on. Therefor allowing for the sharing, study, experimentation and building of projects to your liking! As one amateur put it.. "it is like the making of fine wine!" slow but sure.
Currently transmitting 70 to 80 watts out from Olathe Kansas, with the transmit antenna at only 30 to 40 ft. with a vertical polarized J-Pole transmit antenna.
Currently in the hunt for a better(100ft or so) elevation for the central transmitter and receiver nodes and a way to boost the power to 200 or 300 watts.
The power solution is being worked on by experimenting with the pairing of 2 each 110 watt RF Power Amplifier units (salvaged from old GE Ranger 110 watt rigs) to achieve 200 watts. I am told you can do two pair of pairs to achieve 300 watts or better. Have the finals on hand and since the Ensor Auction I now have the 50 amp power supply needed. Will keep you updated down the road.

With a J Pole near the water tower location, and as a fixed, tuned, receive antenna in Independence MO, we are getting good reports from some of the higher elevations in Independence. But most in that area are not equipped with a tuned 6 meter Ant. A receive node will be placed in that area when we get the basic power and central location solved.

With these limitations and the current Transmitter height and power, The 6 meter repeater is not doing so well in the KC metro wide area coverage.
Output...  52.97 (pl 91.5)..  Input is 51.27  (pl 91.5)
We are equipped (the voting unit) for up to 10 each receive nodes. However, today we only have 2 each receive node locations in actual operation. They work very well. Without better central unit placement or power out increase, We can only hope to serve better the area which we can cover.

The link freq for all 5 current programmed link receivers is 434.5. All 5 having a different pl tones. Each link being feed with a pair of homebrew 434.5 stacked Qagis'.

#1  Shawnee, KS Receive node covering up to Riverside, MO  PL tone is 203.5
#2  Olathe, KS  Receive node covering really well to Southern Springhill and as far south as the Paolas, club repeater site on 68 highway.. ( in my mobile at least) PL tone 162.2
#3  PL Tone 88.3  Built but Not in service yet.
#4  PL Tone 192.8  Built but Not in service yet.
#5  PL tone 151.4  Built but Not in service yet.

The biggest problem we have at this juncture.. is either increasing the elevation of the transmit Antenna / or Power. Either or both would then allow a larger outlying area for the receive nodes to be placed.

See more at http://www.gracetime.com/n0crd

Currently (while waiting for these solutions to arise) I am also doing research and programing on the possibility to install a personal Amateur Radio assistant / talking robot in the 6 meter machine. His name will be "Elmer".

In this process I am learning much about chat bots, personal assistants,
AIML - The Artificial Intelligence Markup Language
The A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation promotes the adoption of the A.L.I.C.E. and AIML free open source software for chatrobots, chat robots, chatterbots or chatterboxes.


Just a quick update.. KC 6 meter repeater project...October 2014...  KC 6 meter / Metro update

Well...  6 meters may not be dead after all!  It is good that others are pursuing this band! The new 53.55 / 224.880 repeaters in Warrensburg is a good start.. and will encourage more use of the band.

I see more and more 6 meter / 220 new handhelds being sold on E-bay!  That is a good sign!

While the 52.97 machine is already serving a very large area on the Kansas side... with Receive nodes in Shawnee and Olathe.. and WORKING VERY WELL FOR OVER 120 DAYS NOW.

I have decided that while tweaking the existing  52.97 machine and waiting on the additional right receive node location solutions here in KC... along with an elevated location for the central voting unit / transmitter... And because most of the 6 meter machine and building project is complete)...

I am going to bring alive a Automated intelligence device.. to be added to the 6 meter repeater.. His name will be "Elmer".. a talking robot attached to the 6 meter repeater. He will be an Amateur Radio advisory (someday)!  Ha Ha..

My second major in college and last 20 years of employment was based around Computer software and related technology.. so I feel comfortable in taking on this challenge. I am sure "this old dog" will certainly learn some new tricks on the way! :-)) And could use help and advise always!

Any way that will be my winter project.. An answer bot like SIRI..on i-phone .. only better and focused on Amateur Radio and the legal things you can do on the bands. Weather, data, math, formulas, positioning and stuff you would search for in the day to day Amateur Radio endeavor..

Have already accumulated the machines for the servers and have found the open source software, with plenty of examples on how to do it.. It will be Linux based using Suse or other servers.  Another cross road where Amateur Radio and computers meet.. Only this one will carry on a conversation with you like a chat bot.. Maybe even translate Morse code or other to English for you?

The IBM machine software "Watson" that was used on the game show Jepordy to challenge the All time winners of the show.. was all based on open source SUSE, and AILM code...<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/science/17jeopardy-watson.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>

On ‘Jeopardy!’ Watson Win Is All but Trivial
The Watson computer’s performance was proof that I.B.M. has taken a big step toward a world in which machines will understand and respond to humans.

"Elmer" will be alive and well someday next year on the 52.97 machine..  He will port into the machine via one of the voter links. Yes, he will talk to you and answer your questions about Amateur Radio! That is the plan and That is going to be the next major goal..

Anyone interested in helping with this project? .. Shoot me an email!

Fun for the winter! And making amateur Radio come alive with current technology!


The 10 Meter repeater Cross Link has been nixed due to concerns of possible improper license issues.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 17:46

All about N0CRD

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Raytown group

Have been actively involved in Amateur Radio since 1966.  
Tutored early in teens by "Pappy Teets", A retired Navy Avionics 
communications Electronics instructor / amateur Radio operator.

Then after high school and during a two year Vo-Tech Electronics course 
and was reintroduced to Amateur Radio by "K0PUX (John Campbell, 
Electronics instructor and dear friend, now deceased). 

Currently a Member of Quarter Century Club, CERT certified (via Olathe, 
Ks Fire Department / Johnson County ).  RACES / SATERN member 
(Kansas City Area and Paola, Ks activity. I Get excited about chasing DX 
and Field Day events. Have been known to build and maintain local 
repeaters, set up and operate satellite tracking and communications.
ATV operation back in the 80s. Computer (college trained and career 
certified) savy in every sense. Big value to me is the ability to design, 
manufacture and operate your own(if you want) under the FCC / ARRL 
experimental agreement. 

And I have... (rolled my own... radios and test equipment that is! :-))))  ...   
But lately as the years have gone by... I am liking more the Store
bought equipment. and of course horse trading makes sense too! :-)) 

The Best though... is the community, Friends and service the hobby serves!  
See my many movies at (general)  http://gracetime.com/media  
More poular are How To alternative fuels    http://www.gracetime.com/tv
Ham Page.      http://www.lifeandstory.org/n0crd
Join me at Twitter! https://twitter.com/gracelineusa
We have not, to date, determined where the permanent receive site will be, and would be 
open to suggestions. A little height (roof top) and a Kansas City metro / 
Overland Park / Shawnee / Olathe or other location would be best. 
 Alternatively, If you know where we might have a small roof top area, we would not need the tower. 
We would need it to be equipped with 110 v outlet and a place to set a 6 meter J-Pole along 
with a small 440 Mghz 5 element beam.  
Please give us a shout as we are currently / seriously looking!
 For this piece of the puzzle; the sooner the better!
All in all, the project is still coming together nicely! 
Thanks to the generosity of our community!

June 21, 2014 update
I am betting there are those that are wondering if this project
will ever get done! Life and work has a way of demanding your time.. 
However, the project is very much alive.
We have our first 6 meter receive link positioned in Shawnee, KS.
 Currently installing newer coax and beam link antennas to increase reliability ect. .

K0KN (Kyle) was kind enough to respond to our request for some
pre-wired RJ (mike) connectors and made life a whole lot easier 
in finishing the link modules. Currently he is helping to convert
 a pair of Kenwood radios for the project.

The Temporary central Link receive location with the voter unit is in Olathe. It is operational, waiting for the Shawnee link to come on line. It is test mode.. announcing every 15 minutes on weekends and some week days. Depending on our work / and mods we are doing.

Out of necessity, 4 each 8 element (12 db gain) Quagi beams were manufactured from scratch this last week at a material cost of under $10 each and about 2.5 hours per unit. The performance of these antennas is outstanding and will be used for all the 70 cm control links along with runs of Beldon 9587 (75 ohm) low loss coax. The low SWR and match was so good it required no further matching.

It has become obvious however, That since we have somehow lost the downtown Commercial bank location for our Central point, In order to cover the Kansas City metro and outlying areas ( 50 to 100 + miles) we will have to either increase our 6 meter power output to about 300 watts plus... AND / OR find a much more elevated location for the Central control receive / 6 meter output. Any locations suggestions or equipment donations are now open for consideration..

The Central unit does not have to be in downtown Kansas City.. Currently it is in Olathe it does pretty well. Actually, if we were elevated 100 plus feet, I believe we would do more than OK Add a little more power and all would be good.

If anyone out in Larry's list land happens to have an extra VHF 300 watt or better PA they are not using.. Or even an old tube style 300 watt + 6 meter transmitter, PA or repeater shoved back in a corner somewhere.. We would be interested.. There were many old combination PAs built for 10 meters and 6 meters. We are not picky.. We might be able to convert a 10 meter unit to work 6 meters.

Actually on Ebay there might be a newer / better solutions for increasing the power.. But That requires money we don't have. 1. ME750 6 Meter RF deck - 2x GI7BT's installed - NEW OLD STOCK! 2. 48-73 MHz 300 WATTS 4 METER PROFESSIONAL PALLET RF POWER AMPLIFIER NEW MODEL Both choices would require more Power supply and control modules ect.. More construction. It would be better to find an older, out of service, self contained unit..

Currently we hit Independence, MO (I am told) with an s4 reading.. Corporate Woods S6 - 7, Shawnee 20db over, Desoto 20 db over, Spring Hill s7 to 9, And I have no idea what type of antennas / rigs these reports are coming from. We are good for about 15 to 30 spotty miles.. now. With a correct vertical receive antenna at these remote locations, I believe there would be much signal improvement. at these locations. Of course, to best receive the 6 meter 52.97 Mhz signal it is always good to have a vertical polarized antenna tuned to the 6 meter center frequency you are trying to receive. (like the inexpensive J-pole).

By the way, anyone wanting a home brew j-pole built for them, I will be happy to manufacture one for them for a cost of about $25 FOB my place.. That would be a break even cost considering wear on tools etc. The antenna itself would be about 15 ft tall but very slender (easily handled) and made of electrical conduits. @ 52.97 mHZ about a 1.5 to 1 swr. or less. Something you could easily put up beside your residence. I put mine on top of my HF beam mast. Works great! Home brew J-pole Equipped with an SO 239 coax socket for your PL259 connector / coax and Ready to mount on your 1 1/4 inch pole or other. Antennas would be built in batch lots.

We hope to have full repeater function with the first link up before the end of JUNE. We hope! Any comments, Suggestions or other is always welcomed!
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 17:29

N0CRD Amateur Radio Community Portal

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KC 6 meter (Olathe Linked) update ..  Jan - Feb 2016
The 6 meter platform is up and running well.. with an exception of some desense problem on the local link receivers. The Desense is being created and is problematic because of an addition I made back in November of a Low power 442.625 transmitter. The transmitter was added on the 6 meter machine to key the 442.625 machine simultaneously (6 meter and 70 cm cross band communication ) . Apparently the antennas were to close and the power was not low enough (using a powered down 25 watt unit). If anyone out there wants to help the project and has an old throw away 440 fm hand held (1+ watt) that can be programmed for 442.625 / pl tones ( xmit only is OK). We could clear the desense problem up quickly. In the mean time, while I am recovering from some medical corrections, I have the remote 6 meter inputs turned off. Soon to be reactivated. ARRL audio reports still xmitted on both platforms every 5 hours starting at 7:35 AM to 10:35 PM daily.

Get the latest and greatest by visiting here frequently.

The 442.625 repeater, sporting the new Yaesu Fusion Digital / FM controller is and has been continuously functioning quite well. Thanks needs to be given out to the generous donations from select members of the Santa Fe Trail, Olathe, KS Amateur Radio club and others who helped with the tuning of the duplexers.. for making this Yaesu controller available for the Olathe and surrounding community. While the national blogs reflect several problems with these Fusion controllers, I have not experienced any difficulty with this Yaesu Fusion controller / repeater so far. Rock Solid.
It is (because of the repeater location and lower antenna elevation in Olathe KS ) for the time being, it will still be just a Olathe and local 25 mile to 30 mile area repeater.

Understanding that the 6 and 70 cm platforms are performing well, the new direction of concentration has been on the promised Personal Assistant / AIML controller (Chat Bot / Artificial Intelligence Amateur radio repeater controller). We have at this time, three select programs up and running and being tested and developed in my residence on local computers.  After months of research and learning, we have started to settle on a well developed technology.. Something called a “Chat Bot” containing the features of the emerging field of Artificial Intelligence (AIML), Speech Recognition, Text to speech, text input, text output and streaming digital video.  Almost the same as current smart phone technology with the difference being that we can separate and use each feature individually or in a combined mode. We as Amateur Radio operators can also dramatically increase the Power used with each function (as compared to cell / smart phones) with increased distance / range for all applications use.

All this, while also offering the capability to interface commands with the serial ports of controller computer CPU’s for transmitter control etc. Here are the better planned features of this device ( I am calling “Elmer Ham” that will appear on the 6 meter / 70 cm platforms this coming spring or summer.. You will get to know it as “E-Ham”. E-Ham will work in concert with the Earth Station controller.
It will ....
1. Be able to Identify who you are by call and name.. (you will tell it who you are) and signal you when it is your turn to communicate your comment, questions and commands.. After identifying you and listening, the AIML software will be responding to your comment, question or command.
2. Currently, being able to hold an almost intelligible conversation with you, answer your questions relating to Basic Math, “What is” , what are and how do I...   and many other actions. It will also tell you when it does not have a response or source.  Perform your select “Amateur Radio or first responder type commands such as “What is the current weather” and other related non-commercial reports.
3. Once we get the basic system interfaced up and running, we will include many different search-able digital libraries (Using any CD’s / DVD s / data base that contain needed or relating non commercial information) in the artificial intelligence portion of the unit. For sample.. ie; a call sign ID library, basic electronics, antenna design, and Amateur Radio Handbook and other library’s.
You will address the unit by saying " E-Ham", You wait for a confirming beep.  Upon hearing E-Hams confirmation it hears you .. you then say..  "This is"  (saying your call sign)..  You wait for E-ham to respond.. (Your call sign and " how may I help you" (or something along this line.  At that point in time you will ask your question, make a comment or direct a command.  Remember, it now knows your call sign at this point and will give you a calculated response .
These are the baby steps being taken now.  Sound impossible? We are already half way there!
Bigger plans are in the works and I will in a few months be challenging the Amateur radio community for help and assistance in the planning, creation and implementation of a smart phone like experiment in the 430 ATV band or 900 mghz band.
1st challenge!   Are there Interested Hams out there that have information on smart phone bandwidth requirements?  Can an Android or other smart phone transmit and receive be reprogrammed for the Amateur Radio 900 band??
Has anyone looked at this kind of conversion?
I am thinking it is time for Amateurs to have access to the new technologies.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 January 2016 18:21

We are Volunteers

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The  KC 6 Meter Project Core Team and Working Group members are volunteer developers, designers, administrators and managers who have worked together to take the KC 6 Meter Project to new heights in its relatively short life. The KC 6 Meter Project has some wonderfully talented people taking Open Source concepts and old used wide band radios to the forefront of amateur radio standards. The KC 6 Meter Project is a major leap forward using proven concepts used by city / county governments in communicating with low powered mobiles (in not so well covered areas) .. and represents the most exciting KC 6 Meter Project in the KC area.  And if it were not for the generosity of all the donors....  donations of old radios, antenna materials, power supplies, Node locations.. This project would not be happening!  Most important are the folks who have been generous with there time  and labor in their helping with guidance,  programming radios, setting up computers and many task too numerous to mention!

It is a Grand experiment still unfolding!  Keep your fingers crossed.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 10:13

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KC 6 Meter Project makes it easy to launch a a multipurpose Amateur Radio project.. like Low powered 6 meter reception or experimental projects like "MESH". Whether you want a single site or you are building a large online community, The  KC 6 Meter Project hopefully will establish a way for you to make new friends, deploy a new project in short time and add maybe allow extra functionality as you need it.