Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Emory Texas Hamfest April 23,2022

 This is a nice Half Day Hamfest just over an hour drive away for most of us

The Emory Hamfest is April 23rd,  7 AM to about 1 PM

At the Rains County Fairgrounds at the intersection of US-69 and TX-19 in Emory.  

The Fairgrounds are 1hour and 10 minutes East of US-75 & Hwy 190 

1 hour and 20 minutes from US-75 & Hwy 380 in McKinney.

Bring your Own Table and Chair



Thursday, March 31, 2022

ARRL North Texas Mentor Fest is this Saturday April 2nd, 2022 This is a FREE event


Please join us a reward our Presenters with your attendance
I will be Providing One door prize at each presentation as well as
Numerous Prizes given out during the Great Pizza break
The New Dual Band Yaesu HT drawing for thos that RSVP'd
by the 28th of March will also be drawn

Steve KG5VK

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

How I use Stream Deck and Node-Red tools at my Station KG5VK

Stream Deck and Node-Red tools at KG5VK


 A buddy of mine (K8KI) recently said 

"He had heard of both tools but was unsure how he would benefit from their use"


I decided to document my answer here...


Stream Deck (Manufactured by Elgato)

I use the Stream Deck tool for two things:

  • Allow quick access to buttons which launch Aps
  • Allow use of Macros via other Software on my Desktop 
The first is the Aps, which I could easily navigate to on my Computer Desktop via mouse movements, but I find much easier with a one button click are pictured below on the Main Stream Deck profile I use


From Top left to Bottom right, I have the "Next Profile button, SDR, DAX, CAT, Tune etc.
SDR launched my FlexRadio SDR software, Dax and Cat are launchable if I have terminated them for some reason (They normally launch when Smart SDR is launched)
Tune allows quick access to Enable/Disable of the SDR Tune button versus movement of the mouse
TQSL simply launches that app versus mouse usage and the same with N1MM+, Antenna Genius Software, DxLabs, FRStack and Slice-Master are there for less mouse use as well.

The CQ Test button takes me to another profile set within within my Stream Deck
allowing use of buttons to send Voice keyer messages, The FlexRadio Power button keys the shut shutdown of my radio locally in the shack.
Pressing the Commander button allows me one button selection of tools within the DxLabs Commander control of my radio allowing one button selection of keys like A=B VFO, A/B VFO, etc. which would other wise require mouse movement and mouse clicks.

I find pressing a button or even two or three buttons easier 
than dragging a mouse and clicking several times
much easier especially under contest or working a needed DX entity much less stressful.

My Stream Deck is the smaller 15 key version, however keep in my 
we can have many different profiles for different page sets of keys and what they do for us
Some of my keys launch a new page profile, some of the keys simply launch an App versus dragging the Mouse, the key is you setup your Stream Deck for your needs.


Node-Red

First off what the heck is Node-Red......

Node-RED is a programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways.

It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using the wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click.

IOW it is a Browser based tool for building a Program to do something with Hardware or other software, without the requirement to get a degree in C# Computer programming or even have a basic understanding of C#


Want to learn more there is a fantastic Groups dot IO email reflector with lots of 
Flows (Scripts) on Node-Red for use in Ham Radio here is a link to it.....
https://groups.io/g/nodered-hamradio/messages


So how do I use Node-Red tools:

Mainly for both local and remote control of equipment with my Ham Radio shack


I mainly built this to use when I am on the road and want to use my station remotely and be able to select different antennas, rotate an antenna etc.
My display layout is a bit rough, but it works for me
You will note two exact columns of beam heading on the right side

The Left column is for my 40m beam and the right one is for my HF Log periodic

I do not have a Flow installed on my Raspberry Pi that holds my Node-Red software and Scripts
which would show the Radio's different meters, I do have two other Node Display pages, which are available by clicking on the ICON to the Top Left of My Callsign on the page shown.

They look like this....



The Top one controls relays to a Receive antenna , changing the direction it is favoring
The lower screen controls a board with eight different relays mounted to my Raspberry Pi
for other tools in the shack, such as selecting an entirely different Receive antenna.

There are more than a few different tutorials on YouTube of getting started with use of Node-Red
my recommendation is just jump in and play with it
Start with small sketches and build-up from there.
I am far from a programmer, having only learned a bit of basic programming in the 70's in high school with Basic and punch cards.

I barely know what C Sharp (C #) is  :)

Node-Red Flows are built using Sketches versus writing Scripts or Code


I will tell you building Stream Deck profiles is supper easy

Cheers!

Steve
KG5VK 








Saturday, November 06, 2021

Presentation of the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award to ARRL North Texan

 The First North Texan

and the first Young lady in Texas

to receive the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial

youth award. 

Ms. Katherine M. Forson KT5KMF, amateur radio Extra class Licensee, was presented the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Youth Award. The presentation was orchestrated by Sean Kelly W5SPK President of the Plano Amateur Radio Klub (PARK) at a gathering of fellow amateur radio operators and dignitaries on the 20th of September in Plano, Texas

(Seated Left-Right, John Robert Stratton N5AUS The ARRL West Gulf Division Director,
Steven Lott Smith KG5VK ARRL North Texas SM, and Deputy Mayor Maria Tu of  Plano, Texas)
 
                   

John Robert Stratton N5AUS ARRL West Gulf Division Director
Presents Katherine Forson KT5KMF the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial plaque



Attendees included friends and family members of the award recipient, as well as officers and members of more than a few ARRL affiliated clubs from North Texas and the former ARRL North Texas Section Manager Jay Urish W5GM


The Check accompanying the award is presented by
West Gulf Division Director John Robert Stratton N5AUS and ARRL NTX SM Steven Lott Smith KG5VK, while the honorable Deputy Mayor Maria Tu of Plano, Texas looks on.
              
                    


While Katherine is the first ever North Texas amateur Radio op and the first YL in Texas to receive this prestigious award, she is far from a stranger to receiving awards and making milestones. Having received her first Amateur Radio license at the young age of 15, in 2018 she was the recipient of the First place award in the Plano, Texas District Science Fair and went on that same year to secure second place in the Dallas Texas Science and Engineering Fair.

In early 2019 while campaigning to become the ARRL North Texas Section Manager (SM), I was afforded the opportunity to see a Ms. Forson do a rehearsal presentation for her third science fair competition, I was so impressed I decided that if I became the new SM  I would waste little time asking her and her parents if she could be our Section Youth Coordinator.

In May of 2019, I appointed Ms. Forson KT5KMF as  the ARRL North Texas Section Youth Coordinator, She has of course excelled at her position being one our most active and engaged ARRLNTX Section Staff Members. It is a great honor to have come to know her and her parents. (Steve KG5VK)

 

 

 

  


Monday, August 30, 2021

Thursday, April 01, 2021

KG5VK updated Bio as of 2021

 

KG5VK 
Steven Lott Smith

Born Miami Florida September 1955
First Licensed in 1972 as WN0FOI
Graduate of Parkway High School Manchester Missouri 1974 (But I am class of 75)
Entered Active Duty with The United States Air Force September 1974 where I trained as an Aircraft Electrician.
Met my Wife who is from North Texas, while we were both stationed in California.

Next tour was at Spangdahlem AFB in West Germany for three years.
We lived in West Texas from 1981 - 1985 (Dyess AFB)
During that time, I was twice president of the Key City Amateur Radio Club in Abilene, Texas.

From Abilene we went to Grissom AFB in Indiana.
Following that assignment we were at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, where I was the President of the Shreveport Amateur Radio Association for 3 years consecutively and two more years later.
I served in Desert Shield / Storm from December of 1990, through March of 1991 with the 801 Bomb Wing (B-52's)

August of 1993 I served as the Electro-Environmental NCOIC on the KC-135 maintenance team at Riyadh Saudi Arabia during Operation No Fly.
Retired from the USAF October 1st 1993 and started a Professional Photography Business (Lott's Photo), continued that line of work and also began teaching photography at Bossier Parish Community College in 2001 to late 2014
In 2015 My wife and I moved from Louisiana to North Texas
In 2016 I started work at Main Trading Co. Paris, Texas.
In 2018 I retired from working a day job and ran for election as the ARRL North Texas Section Manager.

In 2021 I ran as the ARRL NTX Section Manager again, this time unopposed.
I greatly look forward to hearing your concerns and accolades on what the league can and has done, for you my fellow ARRL members as well as recruiting new ARRL members.

A member of the Dallas Fort Worth Contest Club,
Lone Star DX Association, CW OPS (#1806),  A-1 Operator Club and of course The ARRL.

DXCC awards:
5 Band DXCC Award,
DXCC CW with 298 entities
DXCC Phone with 283 entities
DXCC Digital with 127 entities
Early 2021 Attained confirmation of entity 331 (mixed)
and was accepted in to The DXCC Honor Roll

I pledge to be Transparent and available to your communications
KG5VK at ARRL dot ORG