RTL SDR, Ham It UP!, and more

A quick video I put together at BCIT of me messing with my new “Ham It UP!” upconverter for HF signals.


The BCIT ARC is back on BCWARN with a new 5.8ghz data link. This new radio replaces the previous VINE radio which operated at 2.4ghz.

BCWARN is a network of EOC (Emergency Operations Centers) and radio clubs which support emergency communications. The BCWARN network is based on high-elevation sites which act as hub-nodes for the network. These nodes are often multi-homed with other sites, forming a partial-mesh or ring topology. The current network map shows a ring between UBC (main internet gateway and server host), SFU (busiest RF site), and Mount Seymour (Highest elevation location), as well as a ring between SFU, UBC, and a high rise in Burnaby known as “The Boot”. These multiple rings allow for sites to fail without sever impact to other sites in the network.

BCIT is a single homed site as SFU is the only site which BCIT can see reliably. A path to Mount Seymour is not possible due to tree cover, even though the mountain is prominent to the north.

Check out the installation photos, and a time-lapse below:

A special thanks goes out to Jeremy (VA7NSA) and Ian (VE7HHS) who did the tower work. Ground support was provided by Duncan (VE7NEO) and Patrick (VE7SDI) while I “supervised” the stationary camera.

Cheers, VE7WNK


It was a good year for 10 meters and 80 meters. From the BCIT ARC I made 514 contacts in a rather small amount of time.

Friday evening I headed to the station around 7/7:30 after finishing dinner and driving down there. On my way I listened via my phone to a local station (VE7GL, Dale) as he worked probably EVERY JA on the band. Once I got there, the first thing I did was spin up 10 meters and found wall to wall stations. By the time I had the N1MM software loaded the band had gone soggy as the grey line had long since passed.

I dropped down to 15 and made about 30 Q’s by hunting for mults and calling CQ a time or two. My CQ’ing was cut short by RF blowing up the computer and getting into everything. Well deserved tho, we are using a laptop as our main station. The RF issues continued as I jumped onto 20, then 40, and eventually 80. By 3AM I figured I should head out, and I made my way home.

The next morning I had plans with some co-workers to take our XYL’s to a pumpkin patch, but all I could think about was picking off rare DX on 10. By 14/1500 local I was back on air and went directly to 10. For the next 4 hours I hopped between 10, 15, and 20, mostly looking for mults. I took some time to call CQ, but found I did better when busting up pile ups. I did have a pretty good run on 28.501 (Giving plenty of room to the DXpedition on 28.490).

Don, VA7LNX came to the rescue, and brought in some toroids to deal with the RF leaking into the USB! Problem solved!

The station stayed empty Sunday as I didn’t get out of my warm bed until after 11 – I was burned out.

Here is my final score after just a few hours invested – maybe 10?


Band-by-Band breakdown of Q’s, Points, Zones, and Countries.

A few files to share: Log and ADI

If you look up VE7BFC on ustream.tv you will find some video from the weekend.

Thanks for checking it out.


Using VoIP to check into the BCPSN

I have been using an VoIP phone lately to check into the BC Public Service net. When I check in I am connecting over the internet. To remote control the radio I log into the BCIT ARC computer and control it using VNC. The remote control is via the IC7600′s USB port. I use Ham Radio Deluxe in order to use the VFO and cause the radio to transmit. The radio also has a USB soundcard in it which allows me to operate the radio from the soft phone. My audio (SIP g911/g729) goes via the BCWARN network over the radio shot, not via the internet like the remote-control traffic. Using the BCWARN link I connect to the core network and can reach the SIP server at the main server location out at UBC.

The audio quality is great and no one knew that I was remote until I told them. The latency is also not an issue.


Here it is in video