It’s nice getting an award in recognition of time spent trawling the bands or chasing some Special Event stations, especially using very modest equipment, relatively low power and very basic antennas.
Some Clubs have an award programme that recognises the achievements of its members from construction to operating. The Havering & District Radio Club do have various awards such as the Constructor’s Cup, Chairman’s Cup, or just recognition for some outstanding contribution to the success of the Club. The Cray Valley Radio Society also has an extensive award programme and I was particularly honoured to receive two awards at their AGM this week. The first coveted award was the HF Shield awarded for achievements on the HF bands and a further award of the 40M Challenge Cup for Achievements on 40M. Both presented by the Club’s President, Bob Treacher, M0MCV (pictured on the right).
Also during the month of April 2015, the Russian Radio Society has been operating 30 Special Event Stations to commemorate 120 years since Alexander Popov invented radio! You had to achieve more than 300 points for working each of the Special Event Stations, R120RA – R120RZ plus R2015R and R1895R. I did work them all on various bands giving a current total of 750 plus points which included other country stations such as ER120R, UP120R. The electronic award looks like this:
So, you see what you can achieve with a bit of time, patience and skill. All these awards were achieved using only CW, but they do have SSB awards too.
73, Fred, G3SVK.
The club will be taking part in a military event at the Secret Nuclear Bunker over the weekend 25-26th April 2015. We will be using the special call GB0SNB on hopefully both VHF and HF for the weekend.
The Facebook page for the event is at https://www.facebook.com/events/1490636201170943/
I recently decided to purchase a remote matching unit, I had been looking for one for a while. The only options I have previously seen included the name MFJ, and I was therefore keen to see who else was in the market.
I found a unit from LDG the RT-600, in theory capable of 600w (in practice I would be happy with 200w). The unit has a in-built bias-tee and remote tune head. This allows you to put 12v up the coax, keeping the installation neat and tidy. The unit is in a plastic box, one would assume IP65 but it doesn’t specifically say. The unit is water proof, but it does suggest you tape the PL259 plugs after installation.
The tuner can cope with 4 to 800 Ohms and is 9″x 8.5″ x 3″ (what ever inches are) or for the rest of the world 225 x 215 x 76 mm and the manual says it weighs 3Lb (well it is American). I didn’t open it up for a look, mainly because its a sealed unit and I didnt want to disturb any seal. Its currently installed with a 12m vertical (ATU at the base) and it seems to do a very nice job on 14,18 and 21 MHz. Its always hard to compare the performance of any antenna system, but when compared to my doublet the receive often seems stronger in the evening.
The proof is also in the using, and so far in data modes on 10w I have worked VK2AJF, 8P6DR, JH1NLE, VK4ACN, JH1KYA, JH7VHZ, JJ2PIK to name a few.
Is it the best antenna in the world, no probably not …but if you want to feed your miss matched antenna with coax then you need the ATU at the base.
73 Dave M0TAZ
This evening Dave M0TAZ/P took part in the ROPOCO contest. In this contest you have to give your own postcode as your first contact, and from then on you give the last postcode you received. Its really strange when half way through the contest you get your own postcode back.
The idea is to be accurate and fast, and this year we completed 47 QSO in 90 mins with the assistance of John M0UKD.
M0TAZ/P RoPoCo Contest 2015 – IC-7200 100W
RoPoCo Contest 2015 – Antenna (Inverted V Dipole @ 11m
The weekend of the 28th and 29th March saw GX4HRC take part in the WPX contest. The World Prefix contest encourages states from all around the world to work each other with as many different prefix types as possible. The GX prefix is highly regarded, as you dont find many on the air, many stations replied with “Thanks for the new multiplier”.
We managed to run 2 stations, George M1GEO was in charge of the 14 MHz station, using his home-brew 3e beam. Dave M0TAZ operated the 21, 28, 7 and 3.5 Mhz using a combination of doublets or Spencer M0STO ASL2010 8 Element Log periodic.
Both stations managed to work its best DX into VK at 14980 KM. The stations statistics worked out as follows.
Guide to map
Red- 28,21,7 and 3.5 MHz
Yellow – 14 MHz
Station 1 on 14 MHz worked 521 QSO and DXCC 72
Station 2 on 28,21,7 and 3.5 MHz worked 318 QSO and DXCC 52
Total QSO count 839
The main issues was the blustery wind, this cause a few major antenna problems !
73 Dave M0TAZ
The solar eclipse provided the perfect reason for a number of amateurs to launch high altitude balloons. AMSAT-UK is the place to go and read more about amateur radio space exploration and amateur radio satellites.
Southampton space flight launched MAJORA and OLAF (pictures on their website)
Further launches are detailed on the UK High Altitudes website and these included MARVIN, KRYTEN, EAGLE and an APRS beacon GEMINI 1 (Callsign LZ2WIN-11 on 434.5 MHz).
I tracked Buzz, with its altitude peaking at 30 KM above the earth. Using a special version of FLdigi detailed here I was able to track, decode and upload the position of Buzz every few seconds.