Ham Radio

Thursday, April 30, 2009
Home Brew Yagi and Tower
Earlier Today I built myself a Yagi beam and a lattice tower.



What I forgot to mention was that its a model Yagi & tower that I made from 3mm wire, MIG welded together. I would like to build the real thing one day!

It looks good in the shack and it would make a nice ornament or gift, I am considering mass production with different antenna themes.
posted by Simon Davison @ 6:51 pm   4 comments
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Two Wheel Station
The past week has been a busy one both at work and at home but I still managed to play quite a lot of radio. I also got a bargain buy on Friday which was a Yamaha XT600E.
I am already considering the XT600E for portable off road radio operation and I will be fabricating some brackets to be used to mount the FT-100 and a mobile whip. I can also ride the Enduro machine up to the trig point located on the summit of Baildon Moor. Set up the Arrow beam and see what happens during the monthly VHFCC contests (WX permitting of course). The new Bike should prove to be an interesting way to play some Ham radio on two wheels rather than four, as well as getting to the slightly more difficult locations.
Picture shows the XT being guarded by DX Sniffer Dudley
Besides riding the Yamaha XT600E with Louise- M3TLL (riding pillion), I did work 6 Stations on 20M, 4 Stations on 40M, 13 Stations on 2M FM and 3 Stations Via VO-52 Satellite. Check the log for Call Signs and information. click to enlarge log

Antenna Swap
I recently went back to the IOIo for VHF work as it out performed the recently constructed 4 element yagi. The old saying “If it works, leave it well alone” came to mind when swapping back to the IOIo antenna.
HF
When I have been active, propagation levels on the HF bands has remained fairly low with mainly DX openings happening in the early morning times. Hopefully solar activity will awake soon allowing some long awaited 10M DX activity, as well as opening up the other HF bands.
posted by Simon Davison @ 8:53 pm   0 comments
Sunday, April 19, 2009
2 Meter DX - Working M6MOF

This afternoon I heard Caine - M6MOF working from his mobile in Lincolnshire whilst I was monitoring S20 on the 2 meter band. Caine - M6MOF is a member of the Brigg and District Amateur Radio Club - BDARC and is also a fellow YouTuber.
We made a qso on 145.525 FM and Caine was coming with a 5/2 signal to my FT-847 and 7/8 wave vertical antenna.
Thanks to Caine's video cam you can hear how well he received me at his end.
posted by Simon Davison @ 7:32 pm   2 comments
2M Tour
The last week has been spent touring around the South West Coast of Scotland and taking in the many spectacular sights as well as making some good radio contacts on the way!
We arrived at Ayr where we were to be based for the stay at the beginning of the week and once we checked in at the accommodation, we were straight out checking out the scenic views and lovely beaches.
Listening around the bands from the mobile set up proved to be very interesting as the noise levels were none existent allowing weak signals to be heard with ease especially on the 20 meter band.
I found a nice beach side location to park up the Toyota to try work back to some of the big signals we were hearing.
Louise - M3TLL (MM3TLL/M whilst in Scotland) kept the log and I began putting out a few shouts operating under the Scottish prefix 2M0HTS instead of my home call 2E0.
It wasn’t long before the calls were answered back to other operators on the 20 meter band, the first contact I made was at 19.13 utc on Tuesday with UR5ZVP who was 5/9. Then at 19.15, I worked Mike – W2YP from N.York again 5/9, followed by KG4CN – Dan operating out of Guantanamo Bay, also 5/9 both ways. Mike – KA3UOL was next with a 5/7 signal from central Pennsylvania followed by AB9HP – Rick in Indiana coming 5/5.
The last station worked before we walked on the beach with Dudley the beach loving greyhound was CT1VV – Alberto from Lisbon, Alberto was a strong 5/9 signal.
The following day we visited Maidens and then Dunure Castle where I worked Archie - VE9AR from Kingspeer. Archie was 5/6 and struggled with me a bit as it was early (11.10 utc) and the band was only just opening up.

The next stop off was at Greenan Castle close by to the heads of AYR, we had a bacon sandwich and a hot drink made on the camping stove which always seems to taste the best for some strange reason!
Later on that day (Wednesday) we returned to the Sea Side DXing parking spot which was between Ayr and Prestwick and gave out a few CQ calls. N3GN – Ken returned to the call from Galena in Maryland with a 5/9 report and a nice rag chew! I was then called by MM3IPU – Alan from nearby Dreghorn, We had a good 15min qso and Alan mentioned he had worked a VU (Indian) station earlier in the day. The next station to call me on 20M was also local operator Chris – MM0ABB, Chris was located in Kilmaurs which was close to Kilmarnock which is also in Ayrshire and he was also booming through with 5/9. It was a pleasure to meet these two guys on 20m and I hope I hear them on the LF bands in the future.
On the drive back to the hotel I heard MM0BIM calling CQ 2meters so I gave him a shout back whilst mobile. MM0BIM – Gordon returned to the call back and we had a good half an hour talking about the local area. Gordon recommended that we visit Largs, and also that we should check out local phenomenon known as the Electric Brae . We followed Gordon’s advice the very next day and had a great time, not to mention the dog who loved the stunning empty beaches and beautiful views of the offshore Islands.
As we took in the stunning views and cooked lunch on the petrol stove I heard IT9RYH – Nino in Scilly, I called Nino and had a pleasant qso with Nino as we watched the seagulls dive into the clear sea water catching their lunch. IT9RYH – Nino was 5/9+ to Gull point at Portencross which was where we were parked up.
After lunch we explored Ardneil Bay and went on to Ardrossan beach which over looked Horse Isle.

Later that evening we parked up on the promenade at Ayr and worked VE3LX – Herman, from Thunder Bay near Lake Superior. Herman was 5/7 back to my mobile Yaesu Ft-857 and Maldol HFC-20m antenna. I tuned around as the band was slightly quieter than the previous evenings and then I came across Tony – IZ6BXV. I gave Tony a quick 5/9 report and had one last tune around.
The last station I worked from the sea view parking spot was W2IW – Mike from North Carolina which was a difficult copy but I got there in the end. I got a 5/4 report back and gave Mike a 5/7 into Ayr.

All good things must come to an end and Friday we set off back to the home qth via the coastal route which passed through Galloway and Dumfries and then into Cumbria. I made a couple of contacts on the way back down which were ER5GB – Alex from Moldova who was 5/9+ and RV3NA – Serge 300km N.E of Moscow also coming with a 5/9 signal.

Once we crossed the border I returned to 2E0 and as we entered N.Yorkshire I worked fellow CRAG member Adam – M6AXL from Keighley followed by old CB mate from many years back M3RIZ – Craig, also located in Keighley.

We arrived home safely and now need another holiday to get over that one h.i.

Thanks to all stations worked and also thanks to MM0BIM – Gordon for his suggested places to visit. Very enjoyable!
posted by Simon Davison @ 12:48 pm   0 comments
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Holiday DX and Satellite Activity
This week has been excellent so far regarding radio and up here on the blustery Moor top, I am in to my 3rd day of holidaying away from work loving every second!

I started off on Monday running in and out of the garden making lots of QSO’s via the “birds”. I worked into AO-51, SO-50 and AO-27 very easily using the two hand held rigs coupled to the tripod mounted Arrow antenna. The little Station performed very well with 4W, making 12 good contacts and a couple of others that were caught up in the QRM. The Satellite worked Stations I managed to exchange locaters and reports successfully with were, LY3L , RA3OEV, UA9FFF, DG7MHR, OH7FES, F1UGK, ON4CAP, MM3YEQ, F1UGK (again but this time on a different Satellite), EB1GKS, EI2HW and regular contact/fellow Yorkshire Man, DL1YAL - Steve . I am still getting very excited when the signals are booming through as I point the antenna into the Sky and call “CQ Satellite”. Hope to play some more when the wind drops.

In between running in and out and as one neighbour once said “Taking picture’s of the sky” (How they can mistake a Cross Band Yogi for a camera? It is quite amusing) I have kept a check on the HF bands.
Whilst listening around LF and HF in between the Satellite passes, I found myself on 18 MHz – 17M, I managed to get lucky and worked CO8LY for the first time on 17M as well as working VP5/WF5CW who was also on 17M...
I then went on to work KU4WE up on 20M.

Later on in the evening I played some more radio and joined in on the local CRAG net which takes place Monday evenings usually around 144.562.500 MHZ using FM.

*********************************************************************

With the day before been so much fun I was up early Tuesday listening out for some 20m DX.
It was a good job I did as I came across VK7ROY from Tasmania who was coming 5/7 into my FT-767 using the Home brew delta loop. I called back with a 5/5 signal into Tasmania to find that Roy - VK7ROY was originally from South England.

Shortly after that around about 08.18 utc I heard VK6MV also called Roy and also originating from England, I called VK6MV again on the Loop and Yaesu FT-767GX and managed to put a 5/6 into Cuballing in Western Australia.
VK6MV - Roy came with a 5/8 solid copy up here on Baildon Moor and we had quite a rag chew, Roy mentioned that he uses email to QSL so I sent an email and gratefully received Roy’s QSL today. ;-)
posted by Simon Davison @ 11:20 am   0 comments
Friday, April 03, 2009
"Bird" Watching
It's that time of the year where we find ourselves spending as much time as possible in our gardens or out walking enjoying and making the most of the much welcomed lighter nights.

As well as walking over the surrounding Moorland with our Dog Dudley this evening, I decided to root out my QRP Satellite set up. The portable set up comprises of my arrow antenna, FT-470, TH-F7, Ipaq and my old Compass.

I gave the Yaesu FT-470's batteries a quick charge and headed back out side just as it was getting dark (18.45 utc). I assembled both hand held transceivers to the home made ally rig mounts that are fitted to the boom extension.

Next, was to run the TrackSat software on the Ipaq palm held P.C which showed AO-51 approaching.
I checked the satellites position data and used it to set the arrow to 205 degrees azimuth and 10 degree elevation. It wasnt long before a hive of activity began to flow through the arrow into the FT-470. I called through AO-51 a couple of times using the TH-F7 for the up link transmission hearing myself on the down link via the FT-470. The little station works extremely well and despite the pile up I am sure I heard Fellow Hams and keen Satellite Ops LA4FPA Erling and Steve DL1YAL somewhere in there!
I should be busy outside in the fresh air operating over the weekend (WX permitting) as I participate in watching some "Birds" that might be putting a nice footprint over the QTH.
posted by Simon Davison @ 9:13 pm   0 comments
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Official CRAG Members

Tonights Craven Radio Amateur Group meeting took place and the group voted and annouced that Louise - M3TLL and myself Simon - 2E0HTS are now officially members of the group.
It is fantastic news that we are now both "Craggies" and We are excited about getting involved with the CRAG monthly activations.
posted by Simon Davison @ 11:26 pm   0 comments
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