Hope you're all well and safe during our World changing pandemic. On a positive I have been keeping my students from college engaged in online studies and experimenting with online streaming as well as using video to assist my learners.
I haven't done much if any live streaming previously so as you can imagine it's been quite good fun trying it out. Before I was a licensed ham I played music on a local broadcast station for 20 years and I have all my music as well as some new stuff. So I hit the decks and tried some live streaming on Facebook to a few friends. I must admit I have enjoyed it a bit too much lol. For information I play reggae.
I used the DJ setup to familiarise myself with Facebook live and see how I could get a clear and quality sounding audio with a view to trying it all in the shack. This turned out fairly cool and I have since live streamed my station on air working DX. The next thing that I thought I would have a look at was a group page to put the shack stream on where others could watch or add their own shack stream. So.....I created this group for anyone to join. Follow the link if you would like to listen or participate. Ham Radio Operator Live
I will still be making my usual videos of DX and other Ham radio activities on my YouTube channel the Facebook streaming is an additional option to follow the latest antics from myself M0YKS Simon. Stay safe. Get a radio. 73
The past few evenings have been awesome up on 20 meters and also 17 meters has been good with reliable openings into the USA, Caribbean and South America. I also heard VK3MO two nights running and tonight I squeezed a quick QSO in with Ian before he had to do some work over there down under.
My log shows some great DX over the past week all of which have taken place late in the evening.
Its been a while since my last post which is quite strange as I have had plenty of time to blog but not really been in the blogging mood, probably because of the world pandemic which we are all suffering. As it is for most the way of life has changed considerably at the moment but thankfully we are all holding out well and keeping healthy.
The radio however has been in use and I have been busy making DX on 80, 40, 20, 15 and even 10 meters. My new fan dipole pictured below is performing spot on with great reports into the US on 40 and 80 meters.
I thought a close up of the centre might help you see how easy it is to construct this amazing performing 80/40m antenna. My Fan Dipole is 1:1 to 1:3 across both 80 and 40m without any ATU required I definitely should have built one years ago!
With such a good result regarding the 40/80M Fan Dipole I was back playing around with the Hustler 6BTV. This excellent 6 band trap vertical has been subjected to many storms over the last 15 years and one particular storm bent the lower section many years ago. I was able to use my metal working skills and workshop to repair the bent tube to a fashion and have been using it with a slight banana type configuration ever since. With the wx been as it has been which is good I have been outside in the garden a lot and noticed the 6BTV had become much more banana like.
After checking I could only find a replacement section in the USA the price of a replacement was 50 dollars plus the same again and some more for shipping bringing it to $140 US dollars.
I measured up the tube size and sourced some similar suitable tube locally in the UK 1.25 inch diameter ally tube with a decent wall thickness, which worked out at £19 delivered. The section I wanted to replace was the bottom section for 10m and I required a length of 1800 mm aluminium tube, which is just short of 6 feet. The length I purchased was 2000mm which was ample, I got to work in the garden and swapped the bent section over and now the 6BTV looks great as it soars up in the air nice and straight! Whilst I was working on the Hustler I went to town on cleaning up the radial and coaxial connection points as well as the actual antenna. Its working great and I am happy to be able to use both vertical and horizontal polarisation on all HF with good results all round.
Hope you are all healthy and well, Catch up soon, Stay Safe! 73 Simon M0YKS and Family
I have been wanting to try something new for 40m and today I decided to add two elements cut for 40 meters to my 80 meter mono band dipole making it a FAN Dipole.
The end result for today was, the 40/80m Fan dipole is resonant without an ATU on both bands and works very well on my first test. I put a video together operating on 80m using 50 watts during a RSGB 80m contest. I wanted to be sure that the extra elements would not have any detrimental effects on the performance on 80m. I found that the low power did not matter the dipole is still working really well on 80m. I checked it on 40m and I heard signals slightly stronger with the new Fan dipole over the vertical. Japan was coming in very well and later I made a nice QSO using the Fan dipole on 40m with VE9FI - Russ over in Canada. A good result so far!
Sizes of each leg is 80m - 2 x 67 ft lengths and 40m - 2 X 33 ft lengths.
Here is the video which will help you to pass 20 minutes, Stay Safe! Stay In! Save Lives!
Its been quite a busy week so far as I am able to work from home using my chromebook and currently have been in communications online with a lot of our welding students. Every morning I have been on video conferences with my work colleagues. Its been very interesting and quite surprisingly good fun at times as we all keep up to date with a little humour to help keep a bit of sanity at the same time. One of the biggest positives I have noticed during this pandemic, is that we all have improved our use of apps and general IT skills, especially video calling on platforms like Whats App and Hangouts. These trendy apps and latest technology are actually quite useful at times of need and so far our infrastructures in the UK seem to be holding up well.
As for personnel well being, my family are all doing well and keeping me busy and fully engaged in fatherhood, which I am happy to say is also extremely nice to get in all the special family time which would not normally be possible. I have also had some great fun operating from my Ham Radio Shack.
I was active over the weekend during CQ WPX and made some great DX contacts during the contest. The previous week I was also making lots of DX on 20M, 40M and 80M. The bands have been quite good and plenty of Hams are on the Air. I worked North and South America this evening as I caught a late opening on the 20 meter band. I have been catching some of my radio activity on video to help some of you pass the time and if you haven't already caught them, you can catch up right here.
Best 73 stay safe! Simon.
I am sure we are all feeling anxious and maybe even a little scared as we all take to hiding out in our safe havens. The World is suffering and people are becoming cut off and lonely as they try their hardest to keep away from harm. The bands are in pretty good shape at the moment and have been for the past couple of months. Now is the time to get on the amateur bands and make contact with others and help to keep high spirits and well being by just making a few radio contacts and engaging in conversation with another Ham in the same situation either located down the road or even around the world. Pull out your old radio equipment and get back on the air, it will help take your mind off of the current situation and fill in some time. If your already set up get yourself out in the garden or in your roof space or maybe a balcony and make either: a long wire for HF, delta loop or a 10m dipole just for fun and then make a QSO on it.
Maybe its not for you but perhaps a QSO or even a regular Ham Radio Net is your thing, get in touch and I will be happy to get on board. I was contacted earlier today and asked to try make QSO up on 10 meters with a station not too far away. This contact didn't work out but I had fun trying and worked into Italy instead. Keep safe and stay at home as much as you can. Best 73 Simon M0YKS
This week I have been enjoying getting to grips with my latest edition to the shack. A brand new YAESU FT-2980, 2m fm mono band radio which I am now using with my mono band Diamond F23 high gain vertical antenna. I purchased the FT-2980 from Ham radio UK after my YL Louise M3TLL suggested I treated myself to a new radio which came without fan noise. I am really impressed with the new Transceiver it's very well constructed with a substantial heatsink and great all round feel when using the vfo, volume, squelch and menu features. I have made a couple of nice qso so far and like the sound I am receiving. A great bit of kit for a very nice price.