Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Field Day 2012

KQ4VY and his station

Field Day 2012

Well Field Day is history. 260 CW contacts and 13 phone contacts and my partner was KQ4VY Matt. Antennas were a hex beam and an end fed dipole. Entry category was 2B and QRP. Mailed the entry to the ARRL 2665 points and 350 bonus points.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

QRP Setup in Cape May NJ

Arm chair at my brother's Camp site in Cape May. Battery is a 12v from 8AA ganged together and a simple head phone. Antenna is a multiband end fed half wave strung in the trees surrounding the camp for 10-20-40m. Made two contacts in WV and NC in the middle of a geomagnetic storm with the noise floor at S6.

101 Enties for DXCC Credit

Just checked my LOTW DXCC Status and the ARRL has given me 101 entities for mixed mode and 96 entities on CW.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hex beam Project - Lessons Learned

The hexbeam performed better than expected with SWR flat and below 1.5 on all bands. The push up mast is hitch mounted. There will be detailed instructions which I will post later. The design is based on the G3TQX design per Leo Shoemakers instructions. I came up with a unique base plate design which speeds up installation and takedown. The lessons learned are as follows:

1) the hitch mount should be mounted as close to the tailgate to allow assembly while mounted on the mast.

2) The stub connected to the rotator must be as short as possible.

3) The electrical connections must be checked before raising the push up mast and antenna assembly.

4) North position must be set on the rotator before raising the mast.

5) The connection to the flanges must be snug.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shack in a Box Project

I just finished my shack in a box project and here are a couple of photos. The neat thing about this box is that everything is self contained. All external connections are to the box. There are three bulkhead connectors two of which are for HF and one for VHF. There are no visible wires outside of the box except for the plug wire for power supply. The power distribution within the box is through a 5 connector Rigrunner. The battery is is topped off with a West Mountain Radio Powergate which distributes the power to the rig runner and the battery and indicates the charging rate on the battery from float to bulk charge. Their is a small circuit board that monitors battery voltage. A button push (shown by my finger in the photo) indicates battery charge through a 3 color LED - red means below 11.5 volts and green is above 12 volts and yellow in between. Another feature of the box is a drawer for accessories which keeps everything neat. There is a switch in the back which switches between the primary radio and the back up radio. One radio is always connected to an antenna while the other is connected to a dummy load. This feature protects against connecting to an open feed line. The antenna tuner has provisions for two antennas and can match a wide range of impedances. There is a sound card interface for digital modes and metering is provided for two radios - one of them having 10/1/0.1 watt scales for QRP and QRPp. The entire box can be carried to another room or a remote site. It is a great box for an EOC Emergency Operations Center or for ARES command post.

Chat with N8ZYA

Had a short chat with John just before dinner. He later sent me a short note and described his Isotron antenna at only 18 inches and indoors. He has a great radio blog and a great read.