Ham Radio

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
80M Sked With Fellow Blogger - Bas PE4BAS

This evening was the first time that I made QSO with fellow blogger and radio amateur Bas - PE4BAS. We have been following each others online activities for years and our radio contact was well over due. Bas suggested we try the 80 meter band at 21.45 utc, I checked to see if the frequency was clear and heard a big gun signal telling me to clear off h.i. It was the amateur station of PE4BAS who was coming in very nicely indeed. We moved up the band and managed to sustain a perfect QSO  for almost an hour with 5/9+ 20 to +40 db copies at both ends throughout the entire QSO. Bas was running an 80m Loop which was horizontally polarized with his ICOM and 100 watts out. I was running my FT-1000 MK-V and 100 watts into my Windom antenna. I checked the Hustler 6BTV during the QSO and found that I could hear Bas just as well apart from about 20 db drop in his signal strength with the vertical. All in all it was an excellent radio contact with plenty of information exchanged during some very nice radio propagation.

    The image is the signal received from PE4BAS at my station on Wednesday 15th of February

 I am looking forward to the next time I catch up with PE4BAS. Thanks again Bas and 73 to all!
posted by Simon Davison @ 10:56 pm   1 comments
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Family, Work, Shack, & Sleep!

As another weekend draws to an end I am once again listening out for any interesting signals coming through on my ham radio equipment before bed. Me recent antenna modifications definitely seem to have improved my station both the beam and vertical are working well. My next tweak will be shortening the Carolina windom by 3 inches or so to make it more resonant higher up on the 80m band. That will be easy enough and I might get it done one evening after work weather permitting, currently the windom is showing SWR at 1:1 on 3.6 MHz and reading 1:8 - 2:0 on 3.8 MHz which is where I want to listen for DX. Besides that I am active working random stations near and far in between family life and work. 73 have a good week!
posted by Simon Davison @ 11:23 pm   2 comments
Sunday, February 05, 2017
CUSHCRAFT MA5B - New Ally Mounting Pole

Last weekend I ordered a 50 mm / 2 inch diameter aluminum antenna mast from TLC electrical supplies, at a reasonable price. The tube arrived last Monday which was a very quick delivery, my YL Louise M3TLL knew I would be itching to put it into service so she sent me a message when it arrived at lunch. On the way home I asked my work mate Kyle who is also a neighbor if he was up for lending a hand which was fine by him. I have the Cushcraft 5 band mini beam mounted on a home-brew heavy duty tripod which is held stable with ground rods and large concrete blocks, I previously made a service platform above the tripod which allows the mast, rotator and antenna to be taken up and down reasonably quickly.  With the assistance of Kyle who towers over me at a mighty 6 ft 4 inch of height I knew the changing over of a short 2 ft tube to my new shiny 6 ft tube would be a lot easier than my usual one man struggle. Sure enough the extra pair of hands paid off and the Beam was up, down, switched and back up higher than before by a colossal 4 ft. :-) The new mounting pole is just what I was after as the antenna is now looking over the local roof tops. My QTH is situated on the edge of our estate/neighborhood, half way up a cliff side at 450 feet ASL on a elevated knoll surrounded by moorland and trees with a nice path to North and South America. I am now hoping that the extra few feet will improve the path to Japan and the far East.

Band conditions have been slightly better this week but I have yet to fully test out the stations latest updates to both the MA5B height gain and Hustler 6BTV radial install. However I have been active throughout the week trying my luck with one or two nice DX qso's entered in the log. 73 Have a nice weekend!

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posted by Simon Davison @ 12:12 am   0 comments
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Hustler 6BTV - New Radials

HF radio conditions have been pretty grim on an evening back in the shack lately so I decided to try and optimize my Hustler 6 Band Trap Vertical in the hope that I may get a bit more of a helping hand on the 40 meter band. My new Pup Finn is already showing interest in antennas and is inspecting the new radials for size!

I decided to go with the recommended radial sizes seen below taken from the Hustler 6BTV user manual. I used some 2.5 mm multi-strand PVC coated copper wire which is typically used in electrical installations. With the help of my larger soldering iron I was able to join three radials to two sides of the mount giving a total of six radials which worked out as, two for 40M, two for 20M and two for 10M. I might add some more bands later as the result so far are providing excellent SWR readings less than 1.2 without the ATU. I just need some half decent conditions to get some good DX signal reports down on 40M and I shall post the outcome. In the meantime check out the recommended radial sizes below. Best 73!

posted by Simon Davison @ 5:14 pm   0 comments
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
M0YKS Mobile - ZL1BD New Zealand

On the way in to work I was fortunate to get my 100 watts and FT-857 /m heard by AL - ZL1BD

 I have been hearing AL ZL1BD on and off in the mornings for the past week or so but today was especially good conditions as his signal was peaking at 5/9 as I drove over Baildon Moor. I had a good couple of overs into Hamilton New Zealand and received a 5/3 signal report back to the van.

The Shack of ZL1BD AL
posted by Simon Davison @ 9:17 am   0 comments
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Puppy Love

Hello from Finn, our new 8 week Lurcher pup. Finn will soon be learning about Ham radio, especially portable operations once he is big enough to embrace the great outdoors.
posted by Simon Davison @ 10:52 pm   0 comments
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Dudley The DX Hound

Sadly My Beloved Companion and Loyal Friend Passed Away On Wednesday The 28th Of December 2016

Dudley was the best dog I could have ever hoped to have had the pleasure of sharing 13 years of pure happiness with. He will be in our hearts forever, My family and I are feeling very sad and hope the New Year brings some good times for everyone.

posted by Simon Davison @ 5:26 pm   2 comments
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