Monday, October 20, 2014

WM4AA Milestone - 300 DXCC and QRP DXCC

My Field Day partner WM4AA reached a milestone this week. 300 DXCC and QRP DXCC. This is a rare combination of operating prowess. Few operators reach this milestone in their lifetimes. Congratulations Matt. Lunch is on me tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

VK9DLX and TX7G - All Time New Ones - Active Right Now

Nice organized DXpeditions with very good operators.  Here is a handy little tool that allows anyone who follow this blog to keep track of how they are doing in making contacts to this DX.

Just type in your call sign and see if you have worked them.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nauru C21GC Dxpedition - On their Way Home

Nauru Dxpedition  team C21GC will be history.  I was able to work them on 4 bands including 12 and 80m.  They will be vacating the island today.  All the low band antennas are down and team continued to work the high bands on the Spidebeams .

Sunday, October 12, 2014

K9AY Loop is Up and Running

That is all that is visible of the two loops at right angles.  The peak is hanging from a tree at 25 feet.  Each loop is comprised of 85 feet of wire.  The NEMA box contains the relays that reverses the termination of the loops and has selectable terminating resistors selectable in the shack control box.  The control box also has a 16 dB preamp as well as a 1700-5000  Hz band pass filter.  The band pass filter is switched on with the preamp.  The loop direction is selectable in the control box.  The combination of the loop direction as well as the terminating resistor optimizes the null of the noise sources (QRN, broadcast stations, etc) that is to be minimized.  On 160 meters a 40 dB front to back ratio is typical.

160 Meter Antenna Now Up

My 160 meter antenna is just my modified inverted L that I used mainly for 30 and 80m.  It is largely based on the antenna design published by NU8Z.  All I did to it is added an extension of 15 feet to an otherwise 70 foot quarter wave inverted L.  The key to this extension is a piece of 2 inch PVC pipe wrapped with 156 turns of  tightly wound 14 gage insulated wire giving me about 119 mH of inductance.  This coil acts as a trap for frequencies below 80m.  The coil acts as a shortened 1/4 wave vertical on 160m.  A full size quarter wave on 160m is 40m long or roughly 134 feet.  The shortened vertical is about 85 feet long with the coil between the 70 foot and 15 foot extension.  It really works - the resulting SWR pattern is as shown below.

It rather narrow banded with about 50 kHz around the center frequency that is below 2:1 SWR.  The dip at 1820kHz.

It uses the same radial field as shown below.

On air results are QSOs with stations in the PA QSO party, W1AW/4 portable and friends N4IQ and N0TR.

It probably could be more efficient.  My input impedance is right at 52 ohms indicating that I need more radials.  On 80m it is efficient enough to have gotten me close to DXCC - 95 confirmed. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Three All Time New Ones - Seychelles, Nauru and Western Kiribati

I woke up early o October 7 thinking that I would hear Alaska on 80m.  The bands were empty except for T30D - Western Kiribati with a small pileup.  He was S1 just peeking out of the noise floor.  There were a bunch of loud W4 stations trying to call above him on his split listening range but he was not working any of theme.  The callers were about 2-3 kHz up and I was 1 kHz up.  He appeared to be working (at least from my vantage point) weaker stations.  I was running 500 watts on the KPA500.  With a  couple of calls he returned to me.  I showed up in his log in Clublog a couple of days later.

Nauru C21GC was much easier to work and I was able to get him on 30m and 80m.  I would like to get T30D on 80m as well.  T30D is spotted early mornings on 80m.

Seychelles S79KB was on 20m CW on October 6.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#247 DXCC Confirmed in LOTW - Eritrea E30FB

This was a tough one to get with all the lids on SSB.   I would rather have worked this on CW but then - those were the cards I was dealt.  Either grin and bear it and work it to get that all time new one, or accept that this all time new one will not be in the log.  Eritrea is activated so rarely that I thought it was worthwhile.

#235 ZD7VC Saint Helena Card #0 (from 8/22/14 application)
#236 A25CE Botswana - Card #1
#237 ZL7AAA Chatham Islands - Card #2
#238 NH0J Marianas Islands - LOTW #1
#239 S01WS Western Sahara - Card #3
#240 8Q7TS Maldives - Card #4
#241 4W/NY1C Timor-Leste LOTW #2
#242 ZD9XF Tristan de Cunha LOTW #3
#243 VK9NT Norfolk Island LOTW #4
#244 TY1AA Benin LOTW #5
#245 BX4AD Taiwan Card #5
#246 9G5ZZ Ghana  Card #6
#247 E30FB Eritrea LOTW #6

Up and coming
#248 C21GC Nauru (Confirmed on 4 bands in Clublog) QSL requested
#249 T30D Western Kiribati (Confirmed on 2 bands on online log)
#250 S79KB Seychelles (Confirmed in Clublog - QSL requested)

All Time New One- C21GC - Nauru

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bob Heil - the Science of Audio


The story of Heil Sound

Did you know Joe Walsh of the Eagles was a ham?  Joe Walsh was Bob Heil's beta tester.  Bob Heil's traveled with the Who, the Grateful Dead and a bunch of rock groups fixing up and running their PA systems.

Fletcher Munson curve - what is it?  Scientists from Bell Labs who were the pioneers in sound audio technology

There is QST article on a two level equalizer that he came up.   Bob Heil since then invented the equalized microphone.

Man cannot hear 3dB difference.  He demonstrated it.  What is important is equalization to get an apparent gain in sound power level.  Passed array is how to get 15dB  on 75m and 40m.

Putting a Face to a Distant Contact - VU7AG Lakshadweep Island

This bring me back to late summer 2013 when a group decided to activate a remote island on the Indian Ocean.  We talked about the expedition at length, all the logistics, equipment, antennas,what works and what does not.  Those verticals on the salt water work great.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

#246 DXCC Confirmed - Ghana

#236 A25CE Botswana - Card #1
#237 ZL7AAA Chatham Islands - Card #2
#238 NH0J Marianas Islands - LOTW
#239 S01WS Western Sahara - Card #3
#240 8Q7TS Maldives - Card #4
#241 4W/NY1C Timor-Leste LOTW
#242 ZD9XF Tristan de Cunha LOTW
#243 VK9NT Norfolk Island LOTW
#244 TY1AA Benin LOTW
#245 BX4AD Taiwan Card #5
#246 9G5ZZ Ghana  Card #6

Sunday, September 21, 2014

All Time New One - E30FB Eritrea

I never thought I could get through the pileup - good old L4B still came through.  He (Zorro) will upload logs to LOTW at the end of the dxpedition.  He was running 100 watts the whole time on his TS590 or so claims his QEZ page.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#242 All Time New One (ATNO) DXCC Tristan de Cunha ZD9XF Confirmed

Of late I have been able to work a few all time new ones (ATNOs) Norfolk Island VK9NT and Tristan de Cunha ZD9XF.  With VK9NT and TY1AA (Benin) confirming me in Clublog - it almost ensures confirmations for #238 and #239.  Below is an image of Nigel G3TXF operating as ZD9XF.  Thanks Nigel for the ATNO

#236 A25CE Botswana - Card
#237 ZL7AAA Chatham Islands - Card
#238 NH0J Marianas Islands - LOTW
#239 S01WS Western Sahara - Card
#240 8Q7TS Maldives - Card
#241 4W/NY1C Timor-Leste LOTW

Up and coming..... confirmations
TY1AA Benin
VK9NT Norfolk Island


Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Main Shack Control

The Station Pro2 makes easy work of not just RF switching but the sharing of amplifiers, keys, speakers and microphones. This is the box with the green lights in the middle of the image.

New Horse in the NY4G Stable

Well, here it is at last, the last one to fill out the Station Pro slot.  The station pro makes it a breeze to switch between rigs.