Saturday, September 20, 2014

The "day" had arrived.

The famous:

MWRS Flagpole Contest 2014

With conjunction: Talk like a pirate day.

Once a year special, non imitable, worldwide, becoming famous all over the world.

As you may have glanced... the way to get many points you have to use the aluminium telescopic pole topped not only by the antenna, but the pirate flag.

Using the trusty G5RV antenna.

It worked a treat:  Portable QTH on North head

Interesting observation: despite that the portable QTH was less than 1km (straight line) from my home the QRN/QRM was nil (no noise coming from the speaker).  Hard to believe.

In meantime: back at the HQ:


Friday, September 19, 2014

Behaving on the air - Reflections of and old man.

Yet again I've blown my stack and went QRT on LP EU CW.  The stations calling were just as normal - misbehaving.
I know that my ears are not as good as they used to be and above all my patience is even worse. (after all I'm close to 70 years and therefore cranky old man).


  1. When you calling, you don't need to repeat my callsign three times... I know it already. Since I've called CQ I do assume that if you just use your own call you are trying to make a contact.
  2. If the CONDX are good (and they were excellent today) I can pick you callsign on a first go.
  3. The problem is when several stations call at once in the middle of my passband... I have great difficulties to figure out who is calling.
  4. In that situation I typically can copy part of your call... so I send it and hope that the station with the letters I was able to copy will come back and OTHERS WILL WAIT..
  5. There is no point to send your calls all at once... I can't copy them.
  6. Good idea is to use your XIT button and try to call a little (100 to 200 Hz) above or below my frequency.  That way I will be able to pick you from the pile.  Three stations calling constantly on one frequency (the same tone) - my ears can't cope with that.
  7. Well then I get angry and frustrated and go QRT.
  8. Your fun and my fun is over..

Now... blame me if you want... but the same misbehaviour  will upset any operator and I'm pretty common VK station... Can you imagine if you behave like this with really rare DX...  Ouch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last night lecture at Manly Warringah Radio Society.

The once a month lecture at the MWRS club was by Peter Jensen VK2AQJ about clandestine military/spy radios over the beginning to almost current technology.  Very interesting.

Here are a few photos of the items on display.  Oh .. what changes happened even in my lifespan.

I did not include descriptions, I guess the beauty of the gear is the most important feature.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TY1AA Benin

We were away for a while so no DX.  Since arrival three days ago I was trying to work the TY1AA Benin...  Africa is always hard from my QTH (and so say several amateurs I know).

Yesterday afternoon I just "got lucky".  Got him on a third call - long path.

It is known that nowadays the "smart" DX operators know that most DXers are using the panadaptors and try to call on the frequency of the last station worked.  I.e. the DX station gets too many signals in his passband.  At the time I had noticed that he is slowly moving down in the band.  Miracles do happen you know.

Monday, August 18, 2014

International Lighthouse weekend.

Steve VK3TDX and I made the trip to Palm Beach Barrenjoey Lighthouse where the boys from MWRS were operating.  The day was very windy and heavy rain showers were on and off, or rather mostly on.

We were lucky that during the short window while we climbed the hill the rain stopped.

In the lighthouse's keepers cottage Dom VK2JNA and Geoff VK2AVR  were very busy working one QSO after the next.

At the time the boys had about 150 QSO's in the log.

Richard VK2SKY our publicity officer organized a press release in Manly Daily few days earlier so there were visitors interested in amateur radio.


For those not in the know: International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.

Visiting Bruce VK4MQ.

Third visit... Visited Bruce VK4MQ (formerly VK2ZZM).  Bruce and his wife Liz decided to leave the big smoke and move North to more sun and clean air.

We were lucky to have a long standing invitation to call in for a "cuppa".

Both Bruce and Liz are very happy in the new QTH.

Bruce's shack with all the toys... he built special shed/office just for the radios and test equipment.

We were there the same time as Greg VK2VGM and his wife Chris plus the latest "harmonic".

Amateur radio is not the only "hobby" at the new home... Bruce and Liz are trying to be farmers as well...

Everybody is happy.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Visiting Alan VK4SN

Another amateur radio shack to visit.  This time Alan's VK4SN... keen contester.

What a great setup...

Please note the "wallpaper" behind Alan...

Great station, great antennas and great operator.

Thanks for the coffee Alan.