Two-Way Radio Landmark in Daet

Fellow amateur radio enthusiasts find this landmark very fascinating, featuring a two-way radio. It is located near the Daet-Basud boundary, along the Pan-Philippine Highway (do not confuse it with the new highway—Quirino Highway—which does not pass through Daet). The landmark was built by Kabalikat Civicom 139 Daet Chapter.

In case you wish to visit the landmark on your next DU4 visit, I’ve had it located in Google maps.

April 2019 Daet
I first noticed this landmark in the 90s, when we moved to Bicol

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Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

 

Contact with Radio Enthusiasts in Bicol

It is always exciting to establish contact with fellow radio enthusiast especially if those contacts are from your home province. In a recent trip to Bicol, I was able to get in touch with a number of amateur radio enthusiasts in Camarines Norte, from the group CANORA (Dx4CN, 144.720 MHz, Camarines Norte Radio Amateurs, Inc.). Not only that I was given a warm-welcome-on-the-air, I was also given access to their repeater, which pretty much covers the whole of Bicol region!

I was also able to get in touch with the Kabalikat group in Camarines Norte.

IMG_7645
A landmark in Daet, popular among radio enthusiasts

To view all posts related to my amateur radio adventures, head directly to Amateur Radio.  To watch the video on how I installed a two-way radio on my EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced).

Related links:
EcoSport 200-km Range Mobile Setup
DIY Motorized Antenna Mount
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic)
Testing the Range of my Two-Way Radio 
Stock Antenna Modification

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about our beloved EcoSport, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

200-km Range Two-Way Radio in an EcoSport

In October 2018, I’ve performed a series of tests to determine if it is possible to get in touch with fellow amateur radio enthusiasts 200 km away, using only the equipment I installed in our EcoSport. Though the signal was very weak and almost unreadable, I was able to establish contact with stations in Baguio, while the vehicle is in a favorable location—cruising along the NAIA X elevated highway in Pasay! The straight-line distance covered, which is the radio’s effective range, is approximately 210 km. Baguio’s elevation of 1540 m coupled with good propagation, and my station’s vicinity to a body of water (Manila Bay) have likely contributed to the extended range of the radio.

 

210 km manila baguio 2

To watch the video on how I installed a two-way radio on my EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced).

Related links:
DIY Motorized Antenna Mount
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic)
Testing the Range of my Two-Way Radio 
Stock Antenna Modification

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about our beloved EcoSport, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Stock Antenna Modification (Two-Way Radio)

Since I do not often use the AM/FM radio, I’ve decided to modify the stock antenna and replace it with an antenna that is tuned to amateur radio frequencies. This antenna shall allow me to use a hand-held transceiver (HT) for scanning and occasionally, for transmitting signals in the amateur band.

Recent tests showed that this antenna is capable of extending the range of my Motorola CP-1660 to about 30 km range, even with obstacles (I was in our garage in Bacoor Cavite, yet I can still use my HT to contact stations in QC, 30 km away, with just 5W!) .

AM/FM reception was not totally lost, as the stock antenna was relocated to the front left pillar of the vehicle.

stock antenna relocated

In the video, I have drilled through the stock antenna mount, and hand-tapped a thread to make it compatible with several of my antennas. Proper coaxial cables and connectors were also made to bring the signal to the HT, located at the left side of the driver.

To watch the video on how I replaced EcoSport’s stock antenna with an antenna for two-way radios, head directly to Stock Antenna Modification (Two-Way Radio).

Related link:
Testing the Range of my Two-Way Base Radio (75W)
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic)
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced)

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ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Testing the Range of my Two-Way Radio

Any place with high elevation offers ideal conditions to test the range of a radio gear. I was in Tagaytay last week testing out the two-way radio equipment I have installed in my EcoSport. With multiple successful contacts from Tagaytay to other radio stations in Quezon City, I was able to determine that my current radio setup has an effective range of at least 70 km.

Tagaytay to QC Radio
Tagaytay to Quezon City, Distance: 70 km

The two farthest-ever distances reached by my radio setup is (1) about 135 km, when I accidentally received a “CQ” (a call) from a station in Calapan, Mindoro, while driving along Roxas Blvd., in Manila and (2) about 210 km QSO with local stations in Baguio, while driving along NAIA X elevated highway in Pasay.

Manila-Calapan
Manila to Calapan, Distance: 135 km
210 km manila baguio 2
Manila to Baguio, Distance: 210 km

The equipment I used for these tests are as follows:

Yaesu 2900R VHF 75-watt base radio
Diamond SG7000 dual band mobile antenna (1/4-wave VHF, 6/8-wave UHF)
Diamond K33 antenna mount
Diamond SX200 SWR meter
4 meters of RG8 cable

 

 

To watch the full-length video on how I installed a two-way radio in an EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced) and Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic).

To view all posts related to my amateur radio adventures, head directly to Amateur Radio.  To view the reviews of other EcoSport-related accessories, click here.

Related link: Stock Antenna Modification

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about beloved EcoSport, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Installing a Two-Way Radio

As a licensed amateur radio enthusiast (call sign 4G1AWN), I definitely would want to install a radio in my EcoSport! With a mobile-type radio and a proper antenna installed, it is possible to communicate with fellow radio enthusiasts within 10 to 15 kilometer radius (in a city). The farthest contact I was able to get was from Manila to Calapan, with a distance of about 135 km (I had to relocate the antenna to the roof to improve signal propagation and reception).

Antenna_EcoSport

To watch the full video on how I installed a two-way radio in my EcoSport, head directly to Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic). To check out the second version of this radio installation (advance and more invasive), head directly to Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced).

Related link : Testing the Range of my Two-Way Radio 

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

A visit at a Philippine Naval Base

In June 2019, I had a chance to visit the Philippine Naval Base Pascual Ledesma in Cavite. I was invited to demonstrate to members and officers of the Philippine Navy how to bounce a signal off a satellite to greatly improve a radio’s range, far enough to reach nearby countries such as China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan.

Naval Sea Systems Command
Bouncing a signal off DIWATA2 satellite

For details about this event, head directly to my blog on amateur radio.

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To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Receiving Transmissions from Space

I’ve used the two-way radio installed in our EcoSport to receive a transmission from the International Space Station (ISS), a satellite orbiting the Earth at a height of about 400 km. Tracking satellites is part of my hobby as an amateur radio enthusiast. Installing a powerful receiver in an EcoSport allows me to move around easily and find optimal places to conduct radio-related experiments.

Contact Camarines Norte (hi-res)

To watch the video on how I received transmissions from the ISS, head directly to Receiving Transmissions from Space.

Related link: View all posts about amateur radio

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

 

Removing EcoSport’s Antenna

There may be several valid reasons why you would need to remove the stock antenna of an EcoSport: (1) the antenna has been damaged and needs replacement, (2) you plan on replacing it with a fancy non-stock antenna, (3) you have no need for it and plans on installing a shark’s fin instead (antennas can damage car covers, and car covers can damage antennas).

To watch a video on how to remove EcoSport’s stock antenna, head directly to Removing EcoSport’s Antenna.

Related link:
Stock Antenna Modification
Amateur Radio

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
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ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines

Shifter Knob Button

If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, you would know that I am also a licensed amateur radio enthusiast (Class B: 4I1AWN). A number of modifications done in this EcoSport are geared towards improving my mobile radio setup. In this video, I have shown how I placed a press-to-talk button in the shifter knob for a hands-free operation of the radio.

The modification involves drilling a hole in the shifter knob and then placing a switch (with light). The shifter rod was also shortened to make room for the switch. Spiral telephone wire cables were used to allow movement of the shifter rod with minimal stress to the cables. Installed in 2016, this shifter knob button has worked flawlessly ever since.

To watch a video on how I installed a shifter knob button in our EcoSport, head directly to Shifter Knob Button.

Related links:
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced)
EcoSport 200-km Range Mobile Setup
DIY Motorized Antenna Mount
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic)
Testing the Range of my Two-Way Radio 
Stock Antenna Modification

To view all EcoSport tutorial videos, click here.
To subscribe and receive posts about our beloved EcoSport, click here.

ECOSPORT DIY SERIES
Isa na namang kaalaman sa ating minamahal na EcoSport
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)