Connecting to the network depends on a few things: will you have coverage where you are? are you planning to integrate into your existing network, or create a new one? While many people have succeeded in joining the network independently, we recommend working with a HamWAN elmer initially to help make the process easier. Join us in our webchat to ask any questions.
In this guide, we will purchase the hardware, assemble the hardware, configure the metal to connect, find where you have signal the best, mount the hardware, and then integrate it with your home network.
Request your ARRL LotW Certificate
This process is a bit time consuming, due to waiting for a postcard to arrive to verify your account. So, we recommend you start here. You don’t have to have an ARRL membership to use this service, either.
- First, download the software “TQSL”. Links are as follows (current as of April 2014): Windows, Mac, or Source
- Install the software as required on your specific platform. For more specific help with this, refer to the ARRL.
- Once installed, you will be prompted with “You have no callsign certificate installed on this computer with which to sign log submissions. Would you like to request a callsign certificate now?” Click yes.
- Fill the fields with your details; note that QSO end date in most cases should be left empty.
- Once complete, you will be prompted “Do you want to upload this certificate request to LoTW now?” Click yes.
- Once this has completed, you will see the full TQSL window. Go ahead and click on the “Callsign Certificates” tab, select your certificate, and click on the “Save the callsign certificate” button.
- For radio amateurs in USA authentication is done with a postcard that is mailed to your address that is in the FCC database. If this address is not current please visit the FCC ULS website and update your address information. You will go to the LoTW web page and enter an eight digit code from the postcard after which the TQ6 file will be e-mailed to the user.
- If you’re in the US, the postcard will give you instructions; basically, go to http://p1k.arrl.org/lotw/passwordand enter the code on the front (located 2 lines above the mailing address). Once you get your postcard, jump to the section marked “Import your certificate for HamWAN”.
Buy the hardware
Assemble the hardware
- Assemble the grid dish, taking care to ensure it is oriented for H-pol like in the picture to the right.
- Mount the grid dish on a mast, which then on put on something like a tripod
- Attach the metal to the grid dish. FYI, make sure to never power on the metal unless it is attached to an antenna
- Use the included hose clamps to mount the metal to the mast
- Connect the metal to the power injector, and plug it into your computer; attach power and listen for the beeps
Configure the metal to connect to HamWAN
- Upgrade your modem
- Download the latest version of the “mipsbe”, “All packages” version of RouterOS from here
- Connect to the router using winbox. The WinBox application above is a GUI tool for configuring the router. To auto-discover your modem, click the […] button and then double click on the MAC address (not the 192.168.88.1 IP address) that comes up. This will force winbox to use a Layer 2 protocol, not dependent on IP settings. If you double click on the IP address, winbox will use a Layer 3 protocol, and any IP changes you make might disconnect you. Default login = admin and password is blank.
- Click on “Files”
- Drag and drop the file you downloaded into the Files window
- After the transfer is done, reboot the router by clicking System -> Reboot
- Re-connect to the device once it comes online and open the command line interface to the router. You can open a command line in WinBox by clicking on “New Terminal”. To paste commands in winbox, it’s necessary to right-click and select paste rather than trying to use Ctrl-V.
- Give your modem a name! Your callsign and then your location is a good idea.
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