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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

23cm transverter part I

Poor pictures but EME166 sequencer built (no photo)



Butler oscillator and 60'C heater. 576 MHz.


It will go in a Hammond 1590 dicast box padded with white polystyrene foam.
I'll align using an RTL SDR in the first instance, I also have a 100MHz to 1GHz noise source to box up will do at same time.


E51KTA QSL arrived so will start to go out this w/e



Big box arrived so will start to go out this w/e. Those who sent donations first, then directs then those I have OQRS BURO for. The twitter ones for camb-hams I'll take to next pye and pint.

Note I will NOT 100% QSL regardless and will only send a card when asked for it. Best way through BURO is send me a card. OQRS for directs or send me a direct request (with your card too please!). Otherwise you'll find electronic confirmation is it clublog or LoTW, I don't do eQSL don't even ask will not bother.


Monday, 10 April 2017

The dBM ladder

Lots of talk about output power levels and interference and filtering... so graphically what does this all look like.

The reason is investigating filtering and stubs for use in DX location when two stations are operating.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

FT817ND TXCO-9

FT817 2nd time...

Old unit is duff but saved for parts etc... PA module still fine as are the rest of the bits.

After a PSU went high a few years back finally found a decent (cheap) 2nd hand FT817 unit.
Transfered the 500Hz cw filter and TXCO-9 module easily...


I bought the TXCO-9 for a fraction of the cost of the 'official' unit from AliExpress I just looked prices are even lower now... $16 not $21 which was what I paid originally. Works fine.


I'll use this for satellite working and as a uWave transverter.



Thursday, 30 March 2017

E51KTA QSL Cards

The bit of any trip I like least... the QSL cards.

Still two options for printing ...

FDS


or 

UX5UO


I went with FDS. The rear has the QSO info
I had considered a QSL manager but will do these myself.
So far quite a few OQRS and direct requests.

For all you nice ops out there that managed a QSO especially on 160m or 80m DONATIONS via OQRS are accepted I paid for the trip myself there was no sponsorship.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Home again from E51KTA

Tnx all for comments about the E51KTA trip which was complete departure from normal QRP operation for once as I used a locals shack with his PA and antennas. Propagation conditions were very difficult and I noted that sending a CQ QRP CQ on most bands did not result in any QSO and never appeared on the reverse beacon network. A 200mW 30m WSPR beacon was left running for a several days and the signals just abouit reached about the pacific with one or two spots on the US west coast which just showed how bad things were.

The antenna feeders at QTH needed some care and I was glad to spend some time analysing and fixing the feeders. For this use the MiniVNA was an excellent bit of kit to take. Some feeders that were Belbin 9913 (better than RG213) the velocity factor had dropped from 82% when new to c70% due to moisture ingress and the outer shielding was often corroded over the lengths. The cook Islands is definitely not a kind place for permanent RF installations. I left some red liquid rubber to perhaps help protect some of the connections.

QRT three evenings (local) early mornings EU/UK time in the end due to WX (all feeders were disconnected due to local lightening) and another visiting amateur using the shack.

In these days of instant internet communication you have to be prepared for the bad comments as well as the good these days I guess so you have to give the arm chair DXers their opportunity to rant a bit about it having been a 'holiday' operation, it wasn't! Perhaps they should go themselves? Last I'll say on it.

2734 is my QSO count including the BERU contest. Thanks especially for all the ATNO notes, I tried to get as many of you in the logs as I could in what were definitely trying propagation conditions. I never concentrated any effort on 20m SSB as that has been done so many times by so many ops, 20m CW likewise. Had I done the QSO counts would have been much higher. 160m was a lot busier than expected at first, so was 40m CW. 17m SSB ended up being 3 short evenings of 3hr pile ups whilst the path to EU was open. Only a few 30m QSO (was only running 15W on that band in the end) but certainly shows promise.

I left a 2 el 40m vertical directed at EU with E51AND so I hope that will find some use with others. It is not steerable right now but the choice of direction for me was obvious, it will be the RX signal improvement that is important. A 30m GP was left as well. I will work on and send a control box to make the 40m 2 el partly steerable.

Was surprised the QRN was no where as bad as expected on LF, yes was there but nothing like what I was prepared for and most days no issues to speak of. You could definitely hear the atmospheric QRN on 40m and the new antenna showed it's ability well as it managed to null out that noise efficiently.

I am sure I will return to E5 and I have lined up the major logistics for a E5/N target now too (with a PA again) but will not say more. There is another going to a rare E5/N group in a few weeks will be interesting to see how he does.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

E51KTA antennas

Well the 30m GP (was 4sq) is working fine as WSPR beacon antenna (will try some SSTV/CW tomorrow.
 
 
Think the VSWR is OK
 
 
Whilst work on 40m stuff seems 30m GP works.
 

I love this one. The feed point is about 2.5m up.... as this was where the element got to when secured from the top of the pole. Helically wound again. The radials were all added to fit the freq, lowered from the 4sq versions which were 100kHz higher than the overall.

The 40m 2el is performing better than expected. It is a vertical and I am near the see and surrounded by water so it is great for LONG skip stuff, so the UK hits that spot on 40m just right.... Sadly issue with being QRO is as everyone hears me well I get all the stations calling so the noise levels rise.

 
I think the VSWR is OK. About 4th attempt. Elements were 42 and 48cm too long (front/back).
 
Design got tweaked a bit as wanted more front gain but didn't want elements as close as 1/8th wavelength apart. Not switching this is all or nothing in one direction. Andy E51AND made up the little box after a shopping trip and rummage for bits.
 
 Just laying it out. It is directed towards UK.
 
 M1KTA Office gets everywhere. Wearing socks with the sandles as there are these red ants in the grass, ouch when they bit.
 
 Measuring up... so hot sweat buckets so change of T shirt to Stewart Island one. Knew the tape measures would come in handy.
 
 One of the feed points. Belbin 9913 coax and those ARE M5 brass nuts, washers and wing nuts from 30m 4SQ. 10m travelling poles just bit too short so helically wound the element on it. Lots of ground based radials.
 
 
Sadly when it works it really works so this is RBN showing all the guff I have to get through to hear UK signals still about 10dB lower! RBN but call for G only and I hear ROW too :-)