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Projects on the Move

On Friday I went down to Swan Hill to do some window shopping. This so called window shopping was to get pricing on some of the parts needed to build my second 2m (VHF) yagi antenna. I have one already which was made by a local amateur, Rex, VK3OF in Swan Hill. All I have to do is copy this antenna for my second antenna. As I've said in other posts I'm wanting one antenna for repeater use and another one for SSB use. I also have a friend that wants me to make him one of these antennas and I thought while building mine I can just as easily make another one. While this I don't think is going to happen because of the costs involved. It's going to cost me about $150 to make mine and I don't think I'll be able to build him one with those costs. There is no way I can cop that cost, not when my tower project is going to cost me about $800 once finished. Of course I won't have to pay this amount out in one go but by the time it's completed the costs are going to be much higher than I first planned. A lot of this cost is because of the fact I'm changing the mounting of the tower so it can be laid down which will make it much easier to work on the antennas or for adding new antennas.

I'm also got plans to install a IRLP node with a simple simplex radio. This node will allow me to use a normal handheld radio to talk to the world. A friend was always on my back about setting an IRLP node but the costs were too high, around the $1,000 mark, well these days they have gotten a node to work with a Rassberry Pi which has dropped the price down a lot. I can now purchase an IRLP node for about $400. This makes it now very do-able. So I'm hoping early in the new year to have this node on the air and working. I still have my 2m repeater project going but due to the lack of supply of VHF cavities this project has hit a brick wall so to speak, so getting an IRLP node on the air will be much easier and quicker. In fact I have a funny feeling that the IRLP node will be used more than the repeater will be.

So at the moment I'm hard at work working on getting my tower up and the antennas installed on it. This will then give me greater range for my station. I'm hoping by years end the tower project will be completed and then I can start on my next project, the IRLP node. So I have a few very busy months ahead of me.