Blog

Persistent threats of T-Storms here.

Sorry all ops. We’ve had unseasonably warm weather here in Alabama which has brought us many threats and forecasts of thunderstorms and lightning. During these times I have to keep the gear off the air, antennas disconnected, etc. So it looks, as of this morning, that this condition may continue into the evening. The remote is off line. Remember to always check lightningmaps.org to get a good view of what’s going on in and around the Birmingham Alabama area. 73, Ed

Major T-Storms sweeping through

If you have been following the news you will see that a major band of t-storms and high winds is passing through Alabama . Thus, the remote will be down and all antennas and rotor are disconnected. Hope to be back up by 6PM or so. Y’all keep safe. 73, Ed

Reminder to turn the gear off, etc.

Hello folks. We have added a number of new ops lately so it’s probably a good time to remind everyone about turning the gear off. I woke up this morning to the amp running and nobody on the remote. Since the amp was running in load fault condition I am pretty sure it was caused by someone leaving the remote without following the process. I could look through the logs and determine the exact user but would rather spend this time with a blog reminder. Please remember this:

When you are the control op and you are finished with the remote please do this in order:

  • Turnoff the amp–the bar on the KMTronic Switch
  • Turn off the radio PWR button
  • Disconnect your internet connection from the remote

If you simply leave the remote without doing the above you may cause issues for the other ops who come behind you. Thanks to all for following procedures. Wishing you all a great 2020. 73, Ed

Seasons Greetings and some reminders…

Seasons greetings to all of our ops out there. Many thanks to the fine operators, for their friendship our mutual interests in our hobby, and the fine operating skills and communication we enjoy on the K8EA Remote.

Here are a few reminders, especially to newcomers.

  • Remember that I need a copy of your license before I will authorize privileges. Always upload to remotehams.com, best if you can do this before requesting permission. For some reason only a jpg file seems to work. Upload to remotehams.com. Do not send directly to me;
  • Remember that to use this remote your user name must be your call sign that way I know who is on the air;
  • Remember that you MUST ID yourself as “through the K8EA remote” or similar, when identifying your station;
  • Note that the remote will almost always be unavailable between about 5:00-8:00 AM CST. That’s when I am operating in the same room and using the same antennas. So obviously I must disable the remote during this period. That’s my allotted ham radio time each day so alternatively the remote is almost always available from about 8:00 AM CST through 5:00 AM the following day;
  • Remember to communicate with other users through the chat bar;
  • When you leave the remote please be sure the amp is off, then turn the radio off. Then don’t forget to disconnect from the remote. If you do not disconnect you will continue to be connected to the remote and show up as currently logged on;
  • If you find the remote is off line you should check the wx in the Birmingham Alabama area, zip 35210. I use lightningmaps.org. We will always disconnect antennas when we expect heavy t-storm activity.

Thanks for keeping our remote running well. All the best you everyone for a happy and prosperous New Year. 73, Ed

Sadly, some op issues

Hi folks. I am generally very patient with ops on the remote and willing to help when I can. But with 200 or so ops now some irresponsible ops are making it difficult for the rest of us. All too many times I will find the radio and/or amp left on. Or an op signed on to the remote but no longer using it. I am very fond of the many ops who abide by the simple courteous rules of operation. Many of you know that my office and ham shack are in the same room where I trade stock and options during the day (my retirement job, LOL). So while I don’t listen to the remote I can see and hear the signing on and off, and relays clicking and clacking much of the day. I enjoy that and can often ID the op by the way he/she signs on, what frequency they choose, or how they use the rotor. Short story though is that I will begin discontinuing privileges on the remote for those who don’t take the time to turn off the amp, turn off the radio, and disconnect from the remote–just as anyone would do with their own equipment and station. Also, I am asking that our fine ops please let me know if you encounter an operator who doesn’t abide by the simple rules. Remember, if there is more than one op on the remote you should always ASK to TUNE. And, use the chat bar to communicate. If leaving the remote when someone else is connected, you should always fully shut down, telling the other op that you are shutting down and that it is up to them to turn the radio back on should they wish to operate. That keeps everyone responsible for turning off what they turned off and no one should be able to say, “well I left it on because KZ5ABC was logged on.” Thanks for everyone’s patience. 73, and best wishes from K8EA.

Yesterdays issues and a special thanks…

For some reason I think I forgot to reactivate the remote yesterday so if you were unable to log on please forgive me. There’s a lot to do to vet new members, keep the remote up–and remember to enable/disable when I need to use the antenna farm. Sometimes I forget. As a reminder my personal operating is generally limited to 5:30 AM CST-8:00 AM CST just about every day. Other than that I transfer the antenna farm to the remote and enable it for most of the day. The rest of the time it’s available to our many fine ops.

BTW, this remote is free. It’s a labor of my love for the hobby and my personal belief in sharing. Nevertheless, I want to say a special THANK YOU to those who have made donations to the K8EA Remote through the donations tab. Donations are always welcome to maintain the equipment, defray the initial cost, and to provide for insurance and replacement. 73, Ed

If changing call signs…

Hi folks. A lot of ops are upgrading and changing call signs. All great news and congrats to all! That said, if you have a new call sign please fill out a new contact tab and let me know. There are a lot of moving parts here at this remote and many are automated. So this will avoid a lot of confusion. You must also upload (in jpg format) a new copy of your license with new call sign to the remotehams site. While this may not be a remotehams requirement, it is a K8EA requirement. I need to have a valid copy of your license on my server. We have approximately 200 fine operators on the remote now and I can’t always remember who is who so please help me with this. Many thanks for all the fine operating skills and courtesies displayed on the K8EA Remote. 73, Ed

Please log out correctly and turn off amp and radio

Sorry to keep bringing this up but it seems to happen way too often. PLEASE when you are finished using the remote properly “exit the station.” It is not enough to just disconnect, or turn off your browser. Too many times I have been out of the radio room only to return sometimes 12 hours later and see the amp running in the load fault condition. I know nobody does this purposely but if we follow a few basic rules this won’t happen. It will make the gear last longer. Moreover, when the amp is in load fault condition others who sign on later may face some difficulties using it. So please help with these steps:

  • If you turn the the amplifier on, then you should turn it off. If there is another op in the queue he/she can always turn it back on should they desire. So whoever turns the amp on also turns it off;
  • When leaving remote follow this sequence: Always turn the amp off (if on) and then the radio. Then disconnect from the remote. This sequence will work best;
  • Please communicate with others on the chat bar;
  • If you log on to the remote and there are no other ops on but the amp is running (highlighted switch) turn it off. Then if you want to use it you can simply wait a few moments and turn it back on. The “load fault” setting will reset itself if you do this. Otherwise the amp will not operate.
  • Remember that these procedures may be different than for some other remotes because the ALS600 is not directly supported by remotehams. So we use a work around. That said, we’ve had a pretty good history of compliance. And it’s a fairly powerful/flexible station with 80/40, and 20 through 10 with yagi and rotor.

Thanks to all the fine operators on this remote station. 73, and have fun. Ed/K8EA