Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Visit to VK2WPJ

Peter VK2WPJ had relocated from Berowra to North Coast relatively recently and I had the pleasure to visit him.  Huge and beautiful house and no antennas.  Lovely setting and no doubt Kim's dream.  Peter had built a enormous "shed" to house his toys.  Never seen so many model airplanes in one place.

Peter and Kim both looked very happy being there.

We all had lots to talk and reminiscent about... Mainly Peter and I  ....   all about the good old times... ah... how good it used to be being much younger.

Still life is good even now... I'm sure that Peter will put up some antennas and will restart in the real hobby... Amateur radio.  After all he has plenty of space to string dipoles... verticals with "lotsa" radials and more.

It was delightful visit

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Just worked PT0S  Saint Peter And Saint Paul Rocks Special Event

Hard work... but he is very strong here.  http://www.pt0s.com/

When I went to the site... they are using interesting antenna: http://www.gardenbeam.com/  called Garden beam...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What antenna was I using on the island?

I was asked about the antennas I was using on the island.  Well I had actually four antennas, but used only three.
  1. 20 m wire antenna with about the same length of counterpoise for the KX3.
    I used it only couple of times "to prove a point".
  2. Off centre fed dipole cut for 80 m and which worked very well on all bands (including 30 m).
    The wire was about 40  m from the beach parallel with it.  The centre about 6 or 7 meters above the ground.
  3. Vertical cut for 40 and 30 m with coils for the other bands.  The counterpoise was five 20 m long wires.  Antenna was positioned less than 30 m from the water and  two wires of the counterpoise were in the "brine" at high tide.
The best performer was the dipole.  I thought that the vertical will be great for DX.  However the dipole outperformed the vertical always.

Here I'm using the KX3 with the vertical.

Detail of the feed point and ground wires.

The wire is very hard to see, but you may get the idea.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The 30 m antenna saga

Last number of days my 30 m dipole was misbehaving.  It was fine on some days and very bad on wet and high humidity days.  I had problem like this before - it was water in the coax.  So I've prepared myself for a coaxial cable replacement.

When I've unscrewed the  cable from the balun box... it looked like new so I decided to check the balun (good housekeeping -  service all parts).

Well....  the toroid was cooked... blistered paint and a little crack which the photo does not show.
Where do I get a new toroid in a hurry???

Quick look on the "net":


Do I have the materials to make one...? Of course.. The junk box is "full of potential".  Little over an hour later I have this on the bench:

The Ugly balun  about 6 m of RG58 on 75 mm pipe couple of stainless screws piece of aluminium and SO 239.


This is not "ugly"... it looks good up there.

The SWR is very good (reflected does not move the needle).  The amp is happy and I'm happy too.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wideband WebSDR

I'm sure most of us played with one of these.  Just got a note that:
http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ is in operation again.

Here you have a screen shot of the page:  Waterfall, frequency etc

 Here is a detail ot the above screen shot.  My signal (TEST DE VK2PN) is on the left.  Next is a stronger A93GE ( David from Bahrain).
Great toy and great way to find if your signal is "getting there.  The screen shot was taken on Tuesday 6th October about 0400 GMT.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Elecraft KX3 on Lady Musgrave island

We had just returned from our annual trip from Lady Musgrave island.  Where is that (I'm sure you are asking)?

The island is about 35 nm east of Gladstone and is serviced by tourist boat called Spirit of 1770 from  Town of 1770.

I had my normal portable station and I may talk about it in future blogs.  But to make is really special I added my KX3 and worked a few contacts.

This video was taken only minute or two after I had CW QSO with Dom FK8CE 559/579... Thanks Dom and believe me that I was little surprised when you returned my call...  I think I had a little over 5 watts into about 20 m wire 1.5 m above the sand with the same length counterpoise on the sand...  MAGIC.

The results from RSGB "BERU" contest are out.

As I noted in earlier post, my result was not as good as previous years.  In recapping it was not caused as much as decline of propagation b...