GOT A PROBLEM?

The only dumb question is the one not asked.   

The objective of the Got A Problem? program is to seek out those club members who could use some help and connect them with appropriate club resources willing to assist. The principal focus is technical stuff like "what do I need so I can do xxx?" or maybe "what does yyy mean?" or how about "I built this neat kit but it doesn't seem to be working". You get the idea. The rules are simple: there are no dumb questions and each one is important.


The methodology is evolving but here's where we are at present:

 
1. ANY problem or question should be emailed to the program coordinator, Jim  K7MQV (k7mqv@ARRL.net). Jim will acknowledge the receipt of the problem/question. Some additional back and forth may be needed to get clarification.

 

2. Next, the problem/question will be posted here on the club website (see list below) so that the largest number of club member helpers can see them and offer help. PLEASE NOTE: The posted problems/questions will NOT reveal the identity of the originator, so don't be bashful.

 

3. Willing helpers will contact the program coordinator who will arrange contact between the willing helper and the person needing help.

 

4. The program coordinator will track how these mentoring sessions go. Some problems will be resolved and some may not. That's OK. That's life. But we, as a club will have given it our best shot and that's what it's all about.

 

 



 

 

List of Got A Problem? requests for help and status—

===============================================================

 

Problem #5: DMR questions

The presentation of this problem departs from previous formats and conventions for the purpose of demonstrating that sometimes, all it takes is a little "networking" with other club members. BUT, without that initial question, the networking may never have happened---see below.

Helpers:  Several—see below.

STEP 1- Problem is identified on December 11....

From: Don Sass

Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 11:46 AM

To: k7mqv@ARRL.net

Subject: DMR Questions

 

Jim,

I am looking for assistance with DMR. Is there someone who can elmer me on this. I have ordered a new radio and getting ready to set it up. Looking for code plugs and info on operation and repeaters in the area.

 

73'

KC7OO

DON

STEP 2- Networking with club members....

From: Rich Cronin

Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 6:31 PM

To: Jim Wonn

Subject: Re: DMR Questions

 

Jim

 

THE man in town who knows more about DMR than (most) is Dave Bauer N7BUK - lives in Cashmere.  The next best bet is Skip Frans KE7MPO in East Wenatchee.  Skip set my DMR radio up, got necessary passwords, etc and loaded an array of code plugs in my Radioddity HT.  Then later on Dave updated my software and code plugs after dining with him at ABBY's on a Monday noon pizza fest.  He usually brings his laptop and an array of cables to mate up with various radios - and he is a regular almost every Monday.  He knows his stuff and is very up to date on all the latest stuff.   I also understand that not too long ago a DMR antenna was installed next to our repeater on Burch mountain. 

 

I confess to hardly knowing enough to get by, but I have participated in a Net Checkin a couple of weeks ago with a group and the folks checking in came from all over, Spokane, Portland, Canada, Bellevue, etc. 

 

This will give you a start on your quest for answers, Jim.  There is a LOT of new language and procedure to understand.  It's like changing driving habits from a Porche to a front-loader. 

 

Rich

From: Jim Wonn <wonn.jim@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 8:27 PM
To: Don Sass <kc7oo@hotmail.com>
Subject: Fw: DMR Questions

 

Hi again Don. Since my last email to you, a couple things developed. First, I happened to see Dave N7BUK tonight and mentioned your need for help. Sounds like he might be able to help if your DMR radio is in his “tool box”. So he suggested you text him (1-509-630-0860) and let him know which radio you have and see what he can do for you from there.

 

Then, if that does not pan out, you can see (above) what Rich K7RBC sent me on this subject. Sounds like Rich went through the same learning curve you are anticipating and Dave N7BUK fixed him up, but again, sounds like is radio-specific. You can also see the other suggestions Rich makes, including Skip KE7MPO, etc.

 

Good luck on your DMR endeavors. I may need you to teach me one day!

 

Please keep me posted and 73,

 

Jim, K7MQV

STEP 3- Starting to make progress....

 

From: Don Sass

Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2019 12:43 PM

To: Jim Wonn

Subject: Re: DMR Questions

 

Sent the text to Dave and Sal called me. I really appreciate the assistance, that's what clubs are for. Haven't received the radio yet, but should be here any day. Got my DMR ID also.

STEP 4- Checking on progress....

 

From: Jim Wonn <wonn.jim@gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 8:16 AM
To: Don Sass <kc7oo@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: DMR Questions

 

Hi Don,

 

I hope you have received your new DMR radio by now. Did you get the help you felt you needed?

 

Merry Christmas.

 

Jim, K7MQV

STEP 5- Problem getting resolved...

 

From: Don Sass

Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 12:30 PM

To: Jim Wonn

Subject: Re: DMR Questions

 

Jim,

I did receive it, but because I purchased it now, my wife is wrapping it up as a Christmas present. HI HI.

I went to the Abby's lunch last Monday, and Dave was there and we sat down with his laptop and went over several things. So after the first of the year we will get together with the radio and make sure it's working correctly and I can learn some more. I really appreciate the help.

 

STEP 6- Case closed December 21. 

===============================================================

Problem #: 04

Date Posted: May 10, 2019

Problem Description:

A club member asks if someone would be willing to help with a few questions on RMS Express and local Gateways.

 

Volunteer Helper: Matt Kozma, AE7MK

 

Status:  On June 11 the following email feedback was received from the person requesting this help:

 

"I spoke with Matt and we got several things resolved. Once I started trying nodes on 40 meters I started getting contacts. I was also trying to use QRP and that doesn't work. Once I started running 90-100 watts I started making contacts."

 

The person needing this assistance thanks Matt for answering their questions and the relationship established with Matt has been, and will continue to be, very valuable.

 

So as Sargent Preston used to say to his wonder dog, King, "I guess this case is closed".

 

===============================================================

Problem #: 03

Date Posted: March 27, 2019

Problem Description:

So I have a Yaesu 857D that has a 2m plug in and then an antenna tuner for HF. I have 2 antennas, 2m/70cm and HF. 2m direct to radio. HF to tuner to radio. I am wondering how, or even if, I can use an antenna switch or two to save me from swapping coax cables every time I want to switch bands from HF to 2m/70cm?

Or can I just leave everything attached and just switch bands on the radio? It would seem prudent to disconnect the antenna not in use? Either through a switch or through physically removing the cable which is what I do now.

Volunteer Helper: Jim, K7MQV

Status: (April 1, 2019) Turns out the 857D radio has separate coax output connectors, one dedicated to 2m and the other for the HF bands. So this ham's intuition was correct-- just connect the 2m antenna to the one coax connector, and connect the HF antenna to the other (HF) antenna connector. No need to disconnect whichever antenna is not being used. 

This ham also uses an external HF antenna tuner and wants to be able to use either of two antennas for HF operation. The final set-up diagram is shown below. Case closed. Good DX! 

===============================================================

Problem #: 02

Problem Description

I have a brand new Baofeng UV-5R+ attached to a brand new Mobilinkd TNC-2 with the proper Mobilinkd connector.  Also in the mix is a  LG Nexus 4 in prime condition that has successfully bluetooth connected to the TNC.  Also the TNC has been able to talk to the Baofeng, but not correctly. 

My feeling is there is some parameter set on either the phone or the radio that is not allowing a successful link and transmission to APRS.FI.  This is all new to me, I have been working on this for days, do not know what else to do or where to look.  It may be a very simple setting, all the hardware seems very good.

For help I will go to helper's location if that is more convenient for them.

Date Posted: March 12, 2019

Volunteer Helper: No longer needed!!

Status:  Breaking News, March 14, 2019-- Through persistence and a series of insightful flashes of wisdom, this problem has been solved by the equipment owner him/her self. Truly inspirational.

===============================================================

Problem #: 01

Problem Description:

I built a folded loop 2 meter antenna (pictured below) and I need someone with a good SWR meter (or antenna analyzer) who could advise me on how to get to 1:1 or close before the final soldering is done.  I can come to you if needed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Helper:  K7MQV Jim

Date Posted: March 8, 2019

Status:  March 11, antenna tuned. Problem Solved

===============================================================