We became interested in ham radio, upon looking at some remote land in Alaska. The thought of being able to communicate with others with out the convenience of the Internet became very enticing. With cell phone service being at the fringes, the Internet looked to be out of grasp in the remote site we were looking at.
I started studying for my technician license, and passed on Feb. 10th, 2015.
Our first transceiver was a Yaesu 2900R. A 2 meter radio. We were soon on the radio scanning the frequencies, where we found some interesting conversations. Unknown to me at the time, I had stumbled across a local repeater that was tied to IRLP. We began investigating IRLP.
After talking to many "hams", I found out there was people building IRLP nodes, or ordering them from Dave Cameron off of his website. We then discovered K7IZA, Mark Guibord, who was building the Nano Node at the time. I had to have one! It was a low powered device, portable and perfect for going on the road and using at my off grid location. I soon discovered that we needed a better cellular connection to make this work. Enter the We-boost cell phone signal booster. It worked great, and still does. We had to throw up a 30 foot pole with the Yagi antenna, to get a good signal for the We-boost to work. But work it did! So well in fact, I can now work from the cabin via the cell phone Internet. Back at the house we built our own IRLP node out of a 1U rack mount server, and connected it to a Diamond X50.
Soon after this we discovered Allstar and Asterisk. K7IZA, KL7RW, NL7EZ and KD8WOF were a big help, and lots of fun times with learning something new. We built an Allstar node and played with that for a bit. I found that in my case that using the Allstar Web Transciever was more convenient, as my job requires me to be on a PC for the most part. With time it sat around not being used. Part of it found a new home with the help of KL7M.
In the summer of 2016, we made a trip to Seaside Oregon, for the hamfest. It was here that WA7BND and KF7MLE introduced me to Yaesu Fusion WiresX. We picked up the FT100DR, the HRI-200, and the FT2DR HT. (also went back the next day, had to have the FT400 for the truck) I had made a big investment, and to this day I still enjoy C4FM. We have our node running now, serving the greater Anchorage, AK area. There is many "rooms" out there, but my favorite has been the MINWIS room. Sizing is about right with about 30 nodes and repeaters connected on a daily basis, which allows some casual conversations. On the busy days, when the .nets are being held, there can be over 100 connected Wires X nodes and Repeaters. (not to mention the bridge which allows others like DMR, Dstar, or P25 to join in) You owe it to yourself to check out hamoperator.com
We recently purchased the FT-991A, on to HF !