First HB ECI Net March 20, 2015

Laurie and I got everything ready for the first ECI Net at 7.30Pm. We really didn’t know what to expect but the Icom IC-765 was ready on 3615 with Laurie at the mic and I was ready with the old 2M radio set for the HB repeater on 670. We started the roll call and much to my surprise had 12 stations call in on 670 in quick succession Things were going well until Murphy showed up . More on that later.

Laurie was kept busy on 3615 with 6 stations checking in. All in all we heard from Hastings, Napier, Pakowai, Takapau, Palmerston North and Gisborne with good communications both ways. We followed up the check-ins with a question on what capability each station had. Many had National System, 670, 725 and HF. About half the stations had portable battery power capability.ZL2GT Shack

The shack was set up so that we could have a headset on 3615 but it proved quite difficult to operate the 2 stations site by side. We will solve that next month for the check-in by moving the 2M radio out of the shack and into the main room away from the noise of 3615. We won’t need headsets either.

The 2M radio was a problem in that it would transmit on 610 and when I release the hand mic the frequency readout would wander off 670 to 669 or down further. I know that I didn’t hear replies from several stations until I twigged to what was happening. Obviously a radio fault and we will put a different radio into service next time. We have a spare Yaesu FT1500 for our use.

Dave Walker let us know that the IC765 was a bit off frequency. In fact it was about130 Hz high on thansmit. We will sort that before next time.

Thanks to all for making it successful and we hope it will continue and become a bit more crisp as time goes on. The concept of an informal network of trained amateurs being offered to CD, Police, Fire SAR or any other service that needed us may prove attractive if a disaster happens. If nobody wants us we still may be able to help each other if it all turns pear shaped some day!

The next ECI is next month on Wednesday April 15

73, Lee ZL2AL and Laurie ZL2TC