This website is maintained as a reference for a variety of Ham Radio and other Linux and Astronomy related projects.
6 Dec 2015: After a couple of weeks of unsuccessful HF radio shots across the Morongo Basin using a NVIS antenna on 40 Meters, a vertical whip was put into place. This whip is 1/4 Wave length for 40 Meters (7.240 MHz) and with 150 watts of power, should be capable of producing as much as 80 Km of ground wave, depending partly on the terrain involved. This antenna was constructed with 3 lengths of 10' Copper Pipe for a total length of 30 feet. The antenna is naturally resonant at 40 Meters and does not require a tuner. It also hosts an Ugly Balun and (2) ground radial wires, both of which are 1/4 wave in length.
Also, I think it is important to note that my testing of the NVIS radio shot was between Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley Ca, a distance that is less than 30 km. These tests were only conducted between the times of 1930 and 2030 (after dark) and a not necessarily representative of what the propagation would look like in the day.
Photo of 1/4 Wave Length Vertical Whip:
Photo of Balun with ground radials:
8 Nov 2015: Conducted some testing over the weekend. Using 2.4GHz BroadBand Hamnet equipment, data was able to be transfered between Donnell Hill and both: City Hall (29 Palms) and the Morongo Basin School District office. When operational, this network has the ability to provide digital phone service, email, and file sharing between several agencies during disaster emergencies when normal forms of communication and power may be down.
This was the portable node that was on Donnell Hill during the testing:
A link between Donnell Hill and my home was also able to pass data as well as open web pages from my home ISP.
This is the view of Donnell Hill from my garage roof (approxamately 4 miles distance):
Soon to have a companion 5GHz Ubiquity Bullet with a respectable antenna and AREDN Firmware, this is a Linksys node with BBHN Firmware and a TP-Link 2.4GHz, 24dBi antenna. We will see how this holds up in the Mojave Desert heat next summer-- I may have to add a bird house to add some shade to the node equipment. (Due to the high loss in this band, the coaxial cable is limited to 6 feet.):
Inside the box, sits an archaic Linksys WRT54GL router with a Raspberry Pi. The Pi hosts both a file server and a webserver. The node is currently wireless and simply requires 12 volts of power to run both the Pi and the Router. The Raspberry Pi draws its 5 volts of USB power from an after market vehicular USB socket (from O'Rileys Auto Parts) that also is powered by 12 volts. These devices are also set up to be run via Power Over Ethernet (POE) with a CAT5 connection to networking device: