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

To view other road adventures with our beloved EcoSport, click here.

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

 

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Walking on the Beach with our Rooster (April 2019)

We’ve just returned from a Bicol trip with our pet rooster Chocobo. As always, we’ve visited the two-way radio landmark near the Daet-Basud boundary, along Maharlika Highway, and the Bagasbas beach (also in Daet). Watch the video of our pet rooster as we take a walk along the beach at sunrise.

 

To view other road adventures with our beloved EcoSport, click here.

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

 

Folding the Motorized Antenna Mount at Highway Speeds

About a year ago, I’ve built a DIY motorized antenna mount (for two-way radio) from a spare stepper motor and controller. There are two design requirements in building motorized mounts: (1) it must be stable enough, even at high speeds and (2) it must be able to lower and raise the antenna even at high speeds.

Motorized Mount 1

To watch a video showing how the antenna mount performs at highway speeds, head directly to Motorized Antenna Mount Road Test.

Related links:
Shifter Knob Button (PTT)
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 beloved EcoSport, click here.

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)

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)

DIY Motorized Antenna Mount

I have recently finished building (DIY) and installing a motorized antenna mount for two-way radio, using a geared stepper motor with a stepper motor driver (I have made a detailed post about stepper controllers in my other blog). This motorized mount allows me to raise and lower my antenna with the touch of a button. The mount’s motor is waterproof and has enough torque to carry heavier loads such as 5/8 wave antennas. It can also be modified to become an antenna rotator, or add another motor to build a two-axis satellite tracker, perhaps for a future project.

Motorized Mount 2

To watch the video of the motorized antenna mount, head directly to DIY Motorized Antenna Mount.

Related links:
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Basic)
Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced) 

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)

Installing a Two-Way Radio (Advanced)

Six months after passing the amateur radio technician class exam (Class C), I have now finished setting up the two way radio in my EcoSport. I have made a number of improvements from my first version such as an increased range (with better SWR) and seamless integration with the vehicle.

Two-Way Radio Inside an EcoSport

I have been using this setup for more than 4 months now, and made consistent and reliable contacts with stations within a 30-km radius. The farthest contact made with this setup in this configuration is 210 km (simplex).

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)

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)