HF Backpacking

Since I tested my latest project the miracle antenna mount, I decided to make another type of portable mount only this time I wanted something to house a mobile whip. I came up with a four legged stand which I made from 6mm thick aluminium as seen in the picture. Once I cut the aluminium, I was able to bend the four legs into the required shape fairly easily using a fly press. I then began to assemble the mobile antenna mount that would allow my vast collection of mobile HF antenna’s to be mounted securely as well as gaining a good RF ground through the mount. The next stage was to add wire radials directly to the aluminum which can be spread out into an X configuration. Once I completed the build I packed the gear into my rucksack and headed outside to climb the Moor top. After around 20 minutes of doggy walking, I found a bell pit where I quickly set up and I tried 20m and 15m out with some interesting results. Louise – M3TLL and or furry companion Dudley were kind enough to once aga

My DX View

I could not resist sharing tonight’s fantastic Sunset view looking out from our Hill Top Shack which was taken earlier this evening by my YL, Louise – M3TLL. The winter WX is finally coming to an end up here on the Moor and band conditions on HF have been very interesting lately with a lot more reliable & good dx openings into VK & ZL occurring most mornings. I worked VK6ANC on 20M from my mobile last week 5/9 in the clear at around 8.15utc, using the FT-100 and Maldol HF-20 Mono band antenna. Evening DXing has been spent down on 40M most nights with plenty of QSOs into North America and the odd Caribbean station. 20M has also been good in the evening especially over the weekend during the US contest, It was nice to see the higher end of the HF bands also up on signal with lots of contester's booming in on 15M. I had a bit of fun working lots of big signals from across the pond down on my favorite band for DX, 20M. Antenna Comparisons. Both the 80M & 20M Delta Loop ante

Hustler Mono Band HF Mobile Antenna System

I recently acquired a set of mono band Hustler mobile antennas covering 80M, 40M, 20M, 17M and 15M. Over the weekend I got the opportunity to try the 40M Hustler antenna whilst parked up at 1175 feet on top of neighboring ILKLEY Moor. The antenna was pulling in some big signals and putting out a rather nice footprint as I worked a handful of Irish Stations as well as a couple of Europeans. I made a quick video of the new Hustler mobile antenna in action on 40M with the help of camera Woman Louise – M3TLL (My lovely YL). The latest Video can be seen below. I am looking forward to testing the rest of the Hustler Mono Banders as soon as possible! Thanks for the visit, 73.

Home Made Tripod Test With Miracle Antenna & FT-817 - Video

Despite freezing those parts that don't like freezing off, I managed to try out the latest metal work project. Due to the cold I was in Test mode which was short and sweet as seen in the video.

Miracle/Wonder Ally Tripod

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 l

NOAA 17 Weather Watching

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

New DXCC Tajikistan in the log

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).

Top Performance from the Home Brew 80M Delta Loop

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 improv

Home Brew 80m Delta Loop

click to enlarge image of Delta Loop I have been so pleased with the 20M Delta loop I decided to scrap the dipole and have a go at home brewing an 80m Delta loop instead. The result was well worth it as I found that the new loop antenna receives and transmits very well on 80M (resonant band), it also tunes up very easily on 160M & 40M, giving impressive results with very low noise levels. The Delta loop is installed as seen in the above image with all of the dimensions included. I shall be posting more once I have had chance to test it further, I am really pleased so far and excited as usual, I'm looking forward to telling you more!

Trans Match System For Loop Antenna's

I have been using my home made Delta Loop vertically polarized for the past couple of years with very good results. The Delta loop was made by myself with the intention of using it on 20M, I originally blogged about it here and since then, It has moved from the horizontal to like I said already a vertical configuration. The horizontal testing of the loop brought slight noise levels where as the vertical triangle or pyramid configuration, is very quiet for noise and excellent on performance both RX and TX. The only issue I have had with the Delta loop was with my original calculations which proved to be slightly long, making it resonant on 13MHz instead of the desired 14.200 frequency. I cut the loop around two years ago and unfortunately made it too short as it was now resonant at 14.800 which was slightly higher than the intended frequency. Subsequently I have been managing fine with the help of the ATU, but the burning feeling inside has been growing and niggling away as I have want

Tweaks and Tweets

The first Twitter Net was a lot of fun despite the 80M band being a little difficult for into G at the times that we have been running the net. However the Thursday Net still had plenty of us trying to get our signals back to each other with some nice QSOing had by all that made it in. Unfortunately my first NET QSO was shorter than I anticipated as at the time there was around 3FT of snow covering my dipole ladder line, which after around 5Mins of TXing shorted out the feeder and caused a very high SWR reading back in the shack. I was forced to continue monitoring the Twitter Net in SWL mode but could still pass reports as “Tweets” to the #TWNET that were monitoring Twitter at the same time. Before the Snow shorted the feeder, Tomas OK4BX Tweeted that he could hear me in Czech Republic along side the other Stations that were also operating on the Twitter Net. Tomas OK4BX kindly interfaced his Icom powered Shack with his web cam and streamed his side of the Net live over the internet w

80m Twitter Ham Net LESS Than 24HRs

Lots of interest has been shown so far on Twitter regarding the 1st ever 80m Twitter Ham Net, which will be held tomorrow (Wednesday 13th January) at 20.00 UTC. Since the idea was suggested there has been a lot of Hams tweeting messages and leaving comments confirming that they will be by their Ham Radio Stations and at the same time be on Twitter tomorrow night. I can’t believe how well you have all responded from as far as The USA, to Czech Republic and the UK alike, there is a lot of enthusiastic Tweeting Hams out there! The easiest way to join in is by getting on Twitter, create an account and either follow somebody or just search for other Hams to follow such as myself, example @2E0HTS. Once you find us all, you will easily see what were up to and which Hams are operating as well as any SWLs. All are welcome. :-) Useful info for Twitter Ham Net Ops - All updates can easily be searched for by using the trending topic #TWNET - Tomorrow Nights NET - 80M. Actual Frequency will be post

Twitter Ham Radio NET On 80M

Over the last few months I have been slowly building up my list of interesting Twitter users to follow and be followed by. This has helped to take the mind off the WX (which of course is still snowing) by enjoying some Tweeting over the internet. Most of the Twitter Folks I follow are Either HAMs, SWLs or people involved in radio and they are all full of interesting Tweets which I have enjoyed a lot. Since new friendships are beginning to form via Twitter, We have all decided to try out, a planned radio sched on 80M this coming Wednesday evening at 20.00 UTC. We will use twitter to relay the frequency on the night at 20.00 UTC as well as any reports from SWLs and anyone struggling to get back to NET. So far there has been 7 Stations that have confirmed that they will be on the Air at 20.00 UTC (Wednesday 13th) and as we only decided two hours ago we are off to a fine start. There will be regular updates on Twitter regarding which Stations will be active and on the night as well as disp

The New Year Continues To Test Us All

The New Year is proving to be a challenging one so far for many of us across the Globe. Here at Baildon Moor, Yorkshire we have been suffering now for almost 3 weeks with no sign of improvement. At present the temperature has dropped down to -2.5°C which isn't helping much regarding the frozen pipework that is preventing the use of the kitchen sink and shower. We have been visiting the Family on a regular basis where hot food and the use of the shower is available, but to be honest it has been really hard going. The upside was a chance to play on my new Yaesu FT-817 at a different location using the Miracle Whip and 5 Humble Watts. It wasn't long before I got my first long distant QRP contact on 20m, which was Andy - EW6GF from Belarus. The QRP rig worked very well for me and back at the QTH, I decided to try the little FT-817 with the Hustler 6BTV. The mighty Hustler Vertical and 5Watts began to impress me as I continued having QRP fun working as far as The US thanks to K3C,

The Perfect Present

I was very lucky this year as far as receiving presents. Louise (M3TLL) my lovely YL got me something that she new would be well received and appreciated more than most things, which was of course some Ham Radio equipment. Thanks Lou! Louise managed to get a good deal from our local Ham Buddy – Adam 2E0LXA, who had a great little Yaesu FT-817, QRP multi banded/mode portable transceiver that he was selling. The little rig came with a “Miracle Antenna” and a “Wonder Wand” tunable counterpoise which I have already tried successfully on 5Watts making QSO into Estonia as well as across the Atlantic into the US. I must admit I was surprised with the performance of the Miracle Antenna and I am looking forward to getting out with the portable QRP station and finding out what the possibilities are with a simple QRP set up, as well as using the rig outside on the Satellite’s. I have already been trying the standard rubber Whip (YHA-63) connected to the BNC located on the front panel, I worked m