Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sputnik transmitter kits

Bill N2CQR, mentioned in SolderSmoke #142, that there are now kits available for the the Sputnick CW Transmitter replica;

I think I'd like to get a couple and start to get a working knowledge of vavle gear...



John Moyle Field Day

I had fun on the weekend. A whole lot more than last time I was able to get up on air for a contest.

I made 27 contacts! Previously on the JMFD I made 9. This time I worked on and off for six hours, I made contacts on 80m, 40m and 20m. Made most the contacts on 20m.

Also on the weekend I had a QSO with F5PAU and ED4GUI. So I can add a few more DX contacts to the log.

I am really liking the Off Centre Fed Dipole. Although I expect that it is more to do with the height that its suspended at now. Its about 5-6 meters up with the ends folded back.



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tinkering on 15 meters today

Some time back I put together a dipole for 15 meters. It is made from elements from an old VHF television antenna. The boom from the old VHF log periodic remains and the longest elements were reused along with the next longest elements, joined together by about a meter of wire looped around reused egg insulators.

I've been testing the dipole, attached to the boom, using c-clamps on the top of the Hills rotary clothes line. That way I can rotate the dipole to get the strongest signal. However rotating it didn't seem to produce much improvement in signal. So I lowered the mast and bolted it up about eight meters above ground level and about five meters above the shed.

I was running 50 watts in both locations. On the clothes line the SWR was 1.2:1. Then on the mast the SWR was around 1.1:1. However the signal strength of incoming stations wasn't much improved.

I tried making contacts for about two hours. The band was quite noisy, S7-S9. Around 0700 UTC the band cleared up locally to S2-S4 noise. Tuning around I heard JH2UZR calling CQ. However the local noise near JH2UZR made for a difficult contact. None the less we exchanged signal reports, 4x8 for JH2UZR and he gave me a 5x9.

Afterwards there was a pileup on 3W7W, Wayne in Vietnam. I had a couple of attempts to call back but he retired for the day. I had a couple of attempts to contact other stations heard, but the noise came right up.

One of these days I am going to have to figure out why everyone seem to hand out 5x9 even when it has been a difficult contact...

Anyhow, it was exciting getting a DX contact on 15 meters this afternoon =)