The kids are asleep, the dog is asleep, Louise my YL is asleep. It's M0YKS Ham Radio Shack Time!
It's been full speed ahead since the new year where I have been off to a fine start when it comes to getting my finger out and cracking on.....Especially when it comes to keeping the family sweet with a bit of home improvement.
There is something about bending pipe that gives a you a special kind of happy feeling when you do it. Before I got into teaching I worked in the industrial sector where I maintained lots of plant, industrial and technical equipment as well as the buildings and workshops. Needless to say I am multi skilled which always comes in handy for keeping the costs down.
As for getting on the bands it will be business as usual which means most evenings after 9pm local and /Mobile, as for any other opportunities I will take them when they appear. I still have got quite a bit of pipework to run and a few radiators to change before I am done and not forgetting lots of family fun. Best 73 and Happy New Year!
I was very pleased to find the 20m band wide open this morning as I drove to work /Mobile, I was straight into Sydney Australia as I worked VK2DX giving him a juicy 5/6 signal. Nick VK2DX was booming with a genuine 5/9 signal. Well that's all for now time for some work. If you can get on 20m right now its wide open.
I built myself a full wave 40m loop, ordered a 22m fibreglass flagpole and went outside into my back garden. I erected the loop in a delta formation with one end supported by a convenient tree, the other my new flagpole and used a 4:1 balun and coaxial choke to feed the antenna with 50 ohm heavy coax.
I am amazed that the the 40m delta loop works on 80 without any need for an atu with 1.5 swr. Also swr readings of 1.5 and less on 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m. Thats is awsome! I just need the atu to tune 40m and 20m as they are reading swr at around 2.5:3 which I may have a go at improving on when I get chance. So far the 40m Delta Loop is receiving superbly and seems great on transmit with my single calls getting over the pileup on 100 watts quite easily. Its looking promising and I will enjoy testing it out over the winter months.
Homebrew 40m Delta Loop - There will be much more info including build instructions/dimensions and band results on the new 80m - 10m (40m full wave Loop) in my next post, until then very best 73!
This afternoon I introduced my engineering/electronics students to the world of amateur radio.
The students are in their second year with me studying part time on a three year schools provision we are delivering at the college. The students have all built FM receivers so as promised I brought in some of my standby ham radio gear to show them how things work.
I set up my YAESU FT -767 in the back of the van which I parked inside the college grounds. I showed the students my collection of mono band antennas explaining their purpose regarding wavelength size and resonance without trying to overcomplicate things too much.
I decided to make the most of the opportunity and got out the large Hustler mono band mobile antenna which has separate resonators (interchangeable top loaded whip sections) for most of the HF bands. I powered up the trusty old Transceiver and began to check out the 40m band with the students listening by. We were fortunate as the band conditions were favorable and I was soon in qso using the college's club call MX0KSC. The students soon got the hang of it and were keen to try and tune the vfo to a voice signal, I gave them a go under strict supervision and to my pleasure they were taking things seriously. I spent the next couple of hours changing over the Hustler resonators to explore the various HF bands as we worked lots of stations on 40m, 20m, 17m and 15m.
The confidence levels soon crept up and when the first student took to the microphone to pass a message and help me work a station in Northern Ireland I then had my hands full because they were hungry for more. We called CQ and had a few takers and in the end managed qsos into Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania, Bavaria and Bulgaria. The students enjoyed the experience and a couple of them might even become Hams of the future. I was very pleased with their behavior and operating manner as well as surprised just how interested they were in ham radio as it was quite a chilly day. Next week they will be back in the welding workshop nice and warm but there will be more from MX0KSC in the very near future. 73
Last Call - M0YKS Feeling Pleased & Tired Finishing The CQ WW 2015 Contest at 00.00 utc
This year during CQ World Wide I managed 172 QSO's and 18 CQ DX Zones, conditions were reasonable throughout the contest but not quite as good as last year. Despite that I heard four other CQ DX Zones, Zone 3, 10, 23 and Zone 30 which if I had managed to work all four I would have beaten my high score of 21 that I had repeated last year. Nevertheless, I had a great time participating as a low power single unassisted operator and managed to log CQ Zones 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 33 and Zone 40. I was happy with the station and everything went well with some interesting DX from China, Japan, The Middle East, The Caribbean and West Indies, North and South America as well as Europe. I worked across the entire HF bands and thoroughly enjoyed myself, Thanks to All Stations Worked! I made a video during this year's CQ World Wide Contest which is now available to view below. I hope I caught you on video during CQ WW 2015. 73
I have had a nice steady stream of subscribers to my Youtube Channel since I first began my video antics back in september 2006. Drum roll.....followed by loud trumpet!!
Well today I made it to 1000 subscribers on Youtube! Thanks Guys! :-)
I made a couple of ham radio related videos over the past few weeks which I have posted below. Thanks again, your support is very much appreciated. 73 Happy Ham ing!
My mobile amateur radio set up has been doing a fine job as usual. For the second week in a row solar activity on the 20m band has continued to provide some fantastic openings into VK and I have heard many stations coming in really well early in the morning.
Today at around 7.10 utc I heard VK1MA - Matt from Canberra, Australia. I had recently worked VK1MA just last week whilst mobile and this morning it was very nice to get another opportunity to test my YAESU FT-857 and MALDOL HFC -20 mono band antenna pictured below. My signal report from Matt this time was 5/6, he was a good 5/9 solid copy into the DX Machine...
I had a quick browse back through my blog and noticed I worked VK1MA back in March so I guess the 10500 miles between our antenna is almost a regular path for good two way communications on the move! 73