Saturday, February 23, 2019

Reboot Amateur Radio Whats App Group Coffee drink events Mossel Bay/George

I started the Reboot Amateur Radio Whats App Group a few months back to create more activity among radio amateurs country wide.  The membership started out slowly with 4 radio amateurs but has since grown to 21 participants.  On this group we exchange anything related to Amateur Radio.  From the oldest technology till the latest new technology.   This group has become very popular and all South African radio amateurs are welcome to join this group.  Just send you name, call sign and cell phone number to sawois04 AT gmail DOT com

A further idea between myself and Johan ZS1I has seen the light.  We decided that the group will have a coffee drinking get-together once a month alternatively one month in Mossel Bay and the next month in George.  The first meeting was held at STARS in Mossel Bay in November 2018.  The December 2018 event was skipped due to the holiday season and a lack of a suitable venue.  The January 2018 event was held at Deacon Bistro in George and the February 2018 event again at STARS in Mossel Bay.  The attendance figures increased with every coffee drinking session.  This is great to see old friends again.  It is not about attendance figures but chatting to radio amateur friends.

Example of invitation:  Notification:  Reboot Coffee Drink Occasion - 23 February 2019 09h00 (9 am)  Place:  STARS Restaurant, SPAR Shopping Centre Mossel Bay.  We as radio amateurs will visit STARS to gather around a cup of coffee.  Everybody is welcome to join us.  I also invited radio amateurs that's not on the Whats App Group.  I have my doubts about the validity of some email addresses.  If you have any contact with other radio amateurs, please invite them/him/her to join us for a cup of coffee.  Please bring your project, new radio or point of discussion to the gathering.  Please note the Reboot Amateur Radio Whats App Group is NOT club related or affiliated or a new club in this area.  We are just a bunch of radio amateurs that loves coffee and talk about amateur radio.  No politics or club matters will be discussed or allowed!!  Ps.  You pay for your own coffee and or order.  See you there!!

I will in future compile a feedback report on what was discussed and demonstrated at the session.

Herewith three photos of the radio amateurs that attended the three coffee drinking events.

1st Reboot Amateur Radio Coffee Drinking Event 17 November 2018

2 nd Reboot Amateur Radio Coffee Drinking Event 19 January 2019

3 rd Reboot Amateur Radio Coffe Drinking Event 23 February 2019

Here is a few images of the projects discussed and demonstrated at the event.

HF QRM Noise Canceller as demonstrated by Thys ZS1TBP

Magnetic Loop Antenna by Danie ZS1DJB

Capacitor Matching Mag Loop Danie ZS1DJB

Size of the Magnetic Loop Antenna

Solar Power Supply/Generator by Johan ZS1I

Danie ZS1DJB also demonstrated his Arduino Baofeng Programmer. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of the programmer but will in future take photos of all projects at these events.

Thys ZS1TBP demonstrated an Interference Black Box (HF QRM Noise Canceller) he recently obtained to minimize and eliminated noise at his QTH.  Now this is really a handy unit to have, especially if you are plagued by interference.  I will upload an image as soon as I receive it from Thys.

A feedback report was compiled but is unfotunately only available in Afrikaans by request.

A big thank you to all who attended these meetings and make it the success it currently is.  After all it is about Amateur Radio the hobby we all love!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Loadshedding in South Africa calls for Solar Power Supply to be build for AREDN Nodes

Once again South Africans got to endure loadshedding.  I was sick and tired to reset modes after the power comes back on.  Not to talk about damage to equipment due to unstable voltages and spikes.  The Raspberry Pi's do not like power fluctuation and being switched on and off.  I decided I had enough.  All nodes in Mossel Bay, South Africa will in future have a back-up power supply.  I  decided to build the first Solar Power Supply (some call it generator) with the following futures:

  1. Must be portable and light weight.
  2. Must be rain /damp proof.
  3. Need several outputs.  2 x Terminals, 1 x Car Cigarette Lighter Socket and  2 - 4 USB Power Socket. (2 x 5v 3Amp and 2 x 5v 1 Amp)
  4. Solar Voltage, Battery Voltage, Cut off Voltage, Floating Voltage, Discharge Reconnect Voltage and Discharge Reconnect Voltage must be visible via the Solar Charge Controller.
  5. Up Power Converter and Down Power Converter for Raspberry Pi and Aredn Mesh Node.
  6. Space for accessories.
  7. Must provide adequate power and amps for at least two - three hours. 
I am not going to go into detail of how to construct this unit as this is available freely on Youtube and several WebPages.  The photos gives great detail of the build.

I will soon do a final test with the solar panel connected and will then post more images and results of the tests.  I am quite pleased with the outcome of the Solar Power Supply.  I now there is a lot of other components I could have added but I am happy with the build.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Add static pages to this Blog

I  added the following static pages to the Blog:
  1. HOME
  2. Donations
  3. Photos
  4. Mesh Projects
I will add and populate pages when I have the time.  Hope to add a lot more content in the next few days.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Major Changes: AREDN Mossel Bay Mesh Network

Many things happened in the past two months.  Major Changes included:

1. Change of Internet Service Provider:  Due to bad service from the telephone company (to many outages), I decided to move to a new service provider. Unfortunately this meant that I had to say fair well to MWeb with whom I had good relationship and service since 1995.  Unfortunately the telephone company is the cause why I left good old Mweb!!  Many might not understand.  If you change from service provider and telephone company many things/settings need to be changed.  One was the AREDN Mossel Bay Mesh Network Web-Pages and this Blog.   We are still not up and running on this blog but hopefully I find some time to update it soon.

2.  I had to deal with family matters.  I spend the past month assisting one of my children to accomplish his life long dream.  Many "knots" still need to be tied and will the next three months determine the outcome of this life long dream.

3.  I had several personal matters to attend to.  It was breeding season for my collection of parrots and that took up most of my day. (feeding, hand-rearing, care etc.)  Birds need good care and then they will reward you with many chicks.  The season is now over.

4.  It is not all doom and gloom here.  I created the "Reboot Amateur Radio WhatsApp Group" and found some time to attend a coffee drinking session once a month.  Here we discussed many amateur radio matters and projects.  This group really rebooted amateur radio in the Southern Cape.  This is however still ongoing and I hope that inactive and other radio amateurs would join in on the fun and coffee drinking sessions.

5.  I found a few hours to do some "Wardriving" in Heiderand, Mossel Bay.  I currently plot dead areas iro the AREDN Mossel Bay Mesh Network.  This is also and ongoing project depending on the weather and time I have available.

Finally:  Every thing is not lost.  I am sure as the year progress I will find some more time to attend to more projects and updating this blog site.

Until next time


Johan ZS1I
Administrator:  AREDN Mossel Bay Mesh Network

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New Home: AREDN Mossel Bay Mesh Network

Soon to be the new home of the AREDN Mossel Bay Mesh Network!!

Please visit this site later to view the new home of AREDN Mossel Bay Mesh Network.