I’m working on some significant upgrades to my ham radio station. I finally received a Mercury IIIs amplifier. I was on the waiting list for about a year. I also got a Palstar HF Auto tuner to handle the increased power from the amp. For outside the shack I also got a K4KIO Hexbeam antenna. The only problem is that I don’t have a tower for it yet. That will be next, and hopefully soon! I’ll make additional posts as I bring the new equipment online.
I wanted to incorporate some of my most recent ham radio activities into a new QSL card. I reached out to my friend Jeff, K1NSS, and gave him a basic idea about what I wanted. I wanted my DX hound buddy Luke the Catahoula featured in the card. As usual, he worked his magic and came up with a fantastic design that captured my vision, and then some! What do you think? This version will be going to the printer soon.
I’m not sure exactly why I did it, but on a whim I decided to apply for for a few 1X2 and 2X1 vanity callsigns in call area 4 that were becoming available. Much to my surprise, yesterday I received a notice that I had been granted a new callsign – N4MI. It was not at the top of the list that I submitted to the FCC, but it turns out this is a great callsign for CW: -. ….- — ..
I did not realize how many things would need to be updated with a new callsign. To name just a few:
ARRL and Logbook of the World
QRZ.com logbook and callsign page
Reprogram hotspots and D-Star, DMR, APRS radios
Updating the name and domain for this website
New Email address (if it’s based on your callsign)
New QSL cards, shirts, hats, name tags (any physical item with a callsign)
New license plate with new callsign
WSJT-X, JTAlert, JS8Call, Ham Radio Deluxe, logging programs, Winlink, etc.
… and probably several other things I’ll discover later!
If you’re an active ham, when you apply for a new callsign do yourself a favor and make a list of things that will need to be updated ahead of time. Some of these changes are easy, but others are more involved and require time to complete.
A local ham friend shared a link with me for Hamshack Hotline, which is a free dedicated VOIP service for the ham radio community. In order to get on this network, I purchased a used Cisco SPA504G IP phone from eBay for $29. There are several other IP phones that will work with the service, but the SPA504G works great, and the price was right! It is important when purchasing a used phone to ensure that it is unlocked. The Hamshack Hotline website has all the information necessary to get started.
Once I received the phone, and connected it to my home network, I followed the instructions on the web page, and submitted a ticket for a new line using the HHOPS Help Desk. The Help Desk web page also includes a knowledge base and downloadable documents that are a great help for installing an IP phone on their network.
Within a couple of days, I had a response from the Help Desk team with my new HH phone number, and a link to a provisioning document for my phone. The instructions were easy to follow, and the team has created a process for provisioning that is nearly foolproof. I say nearly because I did have a slight issue with my home network, but the Help Desk team came through again and got me up and running very quickly!
My Hamshack Hotline phone number is 11642.
This should be fun! I am learning how to build web pages and sharing my adventures in ham radio.