Since I got the FT-817 and Miracle antenna I have been pondering over a few ideas that I would like to try whilst out and about in the great outdoors. One of the ideas was to make a light weight tripod type of mount, that would allow the Miracle antenna to be used with feeder rather than a direct chassis mount. I wanted something that I could mount inside my rucksack that would stick out of the top just enough to mount the antenna clear of my head and body. I also wanted something that could be placed on a wall, rock or flat spot quick and easy.
With this in mind I set about the task and came up with this. I made the tripod with the intention of standing it on Trig Points that are located nearby on the Moor top at high spots and summits. The tripod also sits well on my shack desk where earlier I heard the ARRL DX News coming in 5/7 on 14.275MHz with the little Miracle antenna, set up as seen here. Close Up of the aluminium cradle and tripod which has been riveted together using 4.8mm long reach rivets. The new tripod mount is very light and easy to use, I made it from 2mm aluminium which I folded into shape. The three legs and cradle are joined together using rivets. Total build time was less than 30 minutes.
I hope to get out over the coming weekend and work some QRP contacts using the new kit, with a bit of luck there may be a video showing the results.
Once again we awake to a fresh covering of Snow up here on the Yorkshire Moor top. I thought It would be a good idea to take at look at the Weather(WX) for myself with the help of Earth Orbiting NOAA-17.
The NOAA-17 Satellite is in continuous orbit with an altitude at around 500 miles and produces excellent real time images of the Earth that can be received around 137.620 MHz APT (Automatic Picture Transmission) or 1707.00MHz HRPT (High Resolution Picture Transmission).
Earlier This Morning Once the Satellite came into range (from the North) I was able to receive the signal using the FT-847 and IO-10EL Sat Antenna. The received signal was decoded with the computer using Radiocom 5.2(RC50) which can be seen in the image below.
Close Up Of The UK Covered With Snow Clouds I've been decoding the NOAA Weather Satellites for over 5 years using the RC50 software with excellent results which can be found in my archive posts. The images allow you to make up your own mind up regarding what the WX will be doing, as data can be collected during each of the many NOAA Satellite passes. Looking at his one, I think I will be wrapping up warm and reaching for my boots before stepping out. Stay warm!
Whilst listening around 40M tonight, I managed to stumble across a nice pile up down on 7.157.6MHz. I was pleasantly surprised to hear EY8MM coming in 5/9 loud and clear. As expected EY8MM had lots of stations calling him in the pile up and with his excellent operating skills listening for specific regions one at a time, lots of Stations were worked.
I called into the pile up when appropriate, giving only the last three letters(Suffix) of my call sign - HTS. After about 10 minutes EY8MM pulled out "Tango Sierra" from the crowd and I was in like a flash working him with a 5/9 exchange both ways.
Tajikistan is an all time new one for me which inspired me to share the news. At present I'm up to 149 DXCC so far, out of a possible 338 DXCC. Its always nice to catch a rare opportunity and add a new one like EY8MM - Tajikistan.
The equipment that I was running was: Heil Gold Line GM-5, Yaesu FT-767GX (50W), into a Vertical (Hustler 6BTV).
Since I erected my latest home made wire antenna which was the full wave 80m Delta Loop, I have spent quite a lot of time down on 40M & 80M experimenting with the new loops performance. The loop tunes up well from 160M through to 15M with the MFJ-969 ATU and is resonant for 80M at around 3.5 MHz. It is slightly on the long side for the band as I will be operating mainly on the phone portion higher up the band with some occasional psk31 down on 3.583 MHz.
The immediately obvious improvement that I noticed first, was the clean receive and clear sounding signals that I am now receiving across all of the HF bands. The Loop also provides minimal noise levels compared with the previous Dipole and G5RV antennas. Since the installation I have had a good couple weeks to give it some stick and the tests have been interesting as well as rewarding as I worked some DX Call signs whilst using the new Delta Loop.
The Loop antenna seems to put out a good signal which has been noted to have improved significantly on the previous dipole according to G3OFA, whom I have worked a few times recently on the #TWNET (Twitter Radio Net). So far on 40M, I have worked DX such as, N2QQF, W4NP as well as 6W/GM4FDM and on 80M, I also got across the pond with the loop working W3JK and K1NIU both on 3.795 MHz.
I have been working plenty of G-Stations as well as into Europe with good reports from 80M to 17M and also managed a local net on 160M, which was a first for me as I have never managed to tune up any antennas for top band before. I shall be continuing to experiment with the 80M Delta Loop and comparing it with the smaller 20M Delta loop and Hustler 6BTV. In the meantime have a great Weekend and many DX!