International Lighthouse, Lightship Weekend 2019

International Lighthouse, Lightship Weekend 2019

CQARA members once again activate Curtis Island Lighthouse for the ILL weekend.

Nice portable setup ready to go. Seems to be a few Calls already on the notepad. VK4YLW Leigh manning the radio. Short break from the rigors of radio work VK4XXX in red, Graham VK4GRZ sitting, VK4YLW Leigh at bottom of stairs and VK4ALR Allan behind the camera.Lunch impatiently waiting for a hot bath.

Winlink Project

Winlink hut coming together

Site preparations well under way

Toyota loaded to the gills with gravel, about 1.5t. Decided to put 100kg of concrete powder on bonnet to help hold front wheels down for traversing steep road

Mick VK4NHX fitting new hoses to machine

Mick up and running building a new piece of road to negate the existing steep sections on the access road

The crew digging the foundation holes. From left, Les VK4FLES on shovel, Chris VK4FGKO also on shovel, Bob VK4FRC on the water tank hose, Ray VK4XXX on the Dingo digger, arguing with the tough digging work. Ground is harder than concrete!

When the digging gets tough, add more weight 🙂 from left, Mick VK4NHX, Trevor Bell, Chris VK4FGKO and Ray VK4XXX

Mixing starts, from left is Les VK4FLES (our resident concreter) and Chris VK4FGKO on shovel!

From left, Jack VK4JRC and trusty Dingo pouring in the mix, Chris VK4FGKO observing, Les VK4FLES guiding the mix into the hole and Mick VK4NHX (our resident foreman) supervising!

Les VK4FLES finishing off troweling around the foundations.

VK4LM Jack Picasso handy work 🙂

At left, Mick VK4NHX, Les VK4FLES and Trevor cutting out insulation on tray of Landcruiser.

Chris VK4FGKO and Ray VK4XXX installing insulation.

It’s up and bolted down 🙂 Now to start the fitout.
From left Chris VK4FGKO, Mick VK4NHX, Jack VK4JRC and Les VK4FLES.

Winlink site from the air.

Winlink site from the air.

View of winlink shed and what appears to be an abandoned vehicle 🙂

Ray VK4XXX chief solar engineer at work!

From left, Les VK4FLES, Mick VK4NHX (Project Works Foreman) Ray VK4XXX laying out panels on mounting hardware.

Today’s finished job! Battery installed, solar charger installed wired and working great. 19in cabinet in place awaiting equipment install. Loop antenna up and ready for some RF

From left Mick VK4NHX, Merv VK4DV, Ray VK4XXX, Les VK4FLES (Concrete engineer) Neil VK4NJR. Taking advantage of cooler weather to get some more site works completed. Installation of the antenna feed point pole, for the sky loop antenna. Coax to shed has been laid underground in conduit. The RT-600 antenna tuner will be mounted on the pole and supplied with 12volts via a bias-t from the solar system.

Chris VK4FGKO holding ladder for Ray VK4XXX as he slides the remote ATU enclosure up the pole. The enclosure final mount point at top of pole. Concreting Wireless Internet and VHF beam mounting pole and conduit into trench.
Neil VK4NJR slaving over a hot shovel! Ray VK4XXX on shovel Jack VK4LM and Chris VK4FGKO working out 4G panel antenna mount.Les VK4FLES checking 4G panel antenna mounting. Jack VK4LM feeding cable into conduit. Kay VK4FKJW supervising work, Ray VK4XXX sorting cable into conduit
Chris VK4FGKO and Les VK4FLES taking a break.

Ver 1

Ver 2

VK4LM Winlink node is online and installed in it’s final site.

System is scanning dial frequencies 3571 7041 10141 14081 modes Ardop Pactor VARA HF and Winmore with a IC7200 connected to a Chameleon CHA SKYLOOP antenna. FT8800 on 144.075FM mode VARA FM on a home brew 3E horizontally polarized yagi. The PC stick has been getting a work out with concurrent connections on Pactor  HF and VARA FM VHF with out a problem. We have been getting connections from ZL2 ZL4 VA VK1 VK2 VK3 VK4 VK5 JA K7 SA6 as well as our local test team VK4JRC and VK4FLR on most bands and modes with good reports. Jack has been giving 160M a work out mobile also with great results (160M currently offline). Been able to maintain connections mobile on Mt Morgan range as well as Mt Morgan CBD. Capricorn Highway Burnett Highway and Gracemere CBD also work fine. Rockhampton CBD noise floor is a bit much. Watch this space for more mobile and field deployment testing.

Please Note: VK4LM is running VARA HF 3.0.3

The system will fill a big hole in the coverage of VKs East coast and the Pacific Ocean. It is a hybrid gateway so if the internet is down emails will be forwarded via HF radio to a node with internet it will then forward emails to the CMS.

 Quick demo of Winlink and Pactor. 2574Km on 10W

System has had real world testing and it passed! 4186Km north east of us. Emails collected and sent via Pactor 3.

email addresses deleted for privacy reasons

Mobile testing 160M Pactor port

Emergency Services Day 2019

Another very successful Display. A steady flow of foot traffic and some interested people stopped for a chat. Despite being a little noisy on VHF we were still able to get some pictures on slow scan TV. There was a few email going back and forward via VK4LM winlink node on 7.041MHz as well as ZL1SEA on 10.1455Mhz.

ABC Radio interview on the day. Broadcast on Monday 29/07/2019