Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mountain top portable

Here is a photo of the new shed for the top of the mountain, the TH3 yagi is at top, mostly out of view, with 2metre horizontal yagi for 144 MHz weak signal DX. 70cm horizontal array still attach to the old garden shed. [ Grid square QF46 ]

The shed is approximately 3m x 3.5m, includes a bunk bed, desk, chairs, and rack for the radio equipment, battery cabinet at rear, plus 800mAHr solar panel on the roof.

APRS digi to go in soon on 145.175 MHz, maybe 70cm FM voice repeater too.

6metre FM activity 30th November

a good afternoon for 6metres, found a few FM repeaters open late afternoon, after Jack VK2XQ tipped me off that the band was open, found 53.550, 53.600, 53.625, 53.750 all strong and open, gave some calls but nil responses. Later that evening found 53.775 and 53.875 open.
Seemed to be VK3, 5 & 7. The unknown was the 53.550 it was not Lismore, so must be a new repeater.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mountaintop portable - Oct 2011

We went to QF46 from 2nd to 6th Oct, operated on 23cm EME WSJT, my first 23cm EME contact with Bruce PY2BS in Brazil. This is the 5m dish down at the house. Tim VK4TIM came down from Brisbane.

Also did some AE contacts on 144.200 morning sked, working VK1, VK3 and VK4 over a couple days, using the 8el 2m yagi, FT-221 with Tono amp, giving approx 60w PEP, need to get some more drive from the FT-221 to get 300w PEP for next time. Contacts included VK1BG, VK1KW, VK3BJM, VK4OX, VK3DUT & VK3VFO on 144.200

And made contacts on 40m, 10m, plus worked Tim VK4TIM mobile2 on 52.525, as he approached from Dubbo to Orange, prior to that on the Coonabarabran rptr (146.800) whilst he mobile up past Gilgandra.
On 40m, worked club members VK2HL, VK2XE & VK3BQ/7on the 80m Loop antenna.
On 10m, worked T32C, I0KNQ plus others, 10m FM was useless, with wall-to-wall Indonesian fishing boats blocking most of that band, did hear a BY station on 29.600 a few times.

Did some work on antennas, added a few more basic antennas to the shed, e.g 2m 5/8th, 2m 1/4 wave, 70cm 1/4 wave for rptr usage. Fixed the 13.8v power distribution, for easier connection of xcvrs when working in the shed. New larger shed is planned.

More pics on the Flickr site. I still need to add the screenshots of the EME contact here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mountain top portable

planning to go mountain top portable across the October long weekend, Oct 2nd to Oct 6th, hope to be active on most bands from HF up to 23cm, at QF46 at 900m ASL, near Gowan, n.w. of Bathurst. Probably use to report our activities, in between doing some work activities.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Android for Echolink

One thing I noticed about this HTC (Android based) Aria phone, is that when used for Echolink using the headphones, that the audio from the Echolink side does not come out of the headphones, but comes from the speaker on the rear, although the warning tones, etc do come out the headphones.
I kept checking the settings of the phone and Echolink app to see if it was something I did wrong,
but no, after some Googling, I found another ham in UK reporting the same issue and same phone
on one of the Echolink forums, but of course nobody replied, so I contacted him, but nil reply from him, shame, as I hoping there was a fix.

so the downside is, I have android phone and a headset, but can't run Echolink when I am out
pedestrian mobile.

I looking to borrow an iPhone4, just to download the Echolink app and try it with its headphone.

Well, at least everything else works great on the HTC Android. Time to email Terry VK2KTJ as he is a Android fan.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

6metre FM operation in Japan (JA)

here's a little snippet of information that's hard to find:

In Japan, the FM segment is 51.000 to 53.999 MHz in 20 KHz steps. There are no 6m FM repeaters. The 6metre FM calling frequency is 51.000 and most FM activity is from JA to HL. I think the JA's use 52.525 (or the equivalent channel) for data use.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Weekend wrap-up

EME, only did some pings of the moon with Dave as the moon was too far south, therefore nil opportunities for working norhtern hemisphere ie. Nth America and Europe where the majority of EME'rs are found. This would only leave Africa , Pacific and Sth America and very few EME'rs in those regions.

HF, poked around on 20metres, Bob VK2ABP was primarily on 20m working DX, uisng the TS-50s and TH3.

I tried making contact with rest of the club members on 40m & 80m sked freqs, as they were camping & 4WDing up at Coolah Tops National Park, no joy, one thing was they didnt get on 80m, so it was 40m only and they just weren't around at the time I called.

I also poked around on 2m SSB using FT817 and 8el 2m yagi, very quiet on 144.1

Did some tests on 80m, 40m & 20m with Tim VK4TIM, was heard by Tim on the 80m loop antenna on 80m & 40m, Time was very QRP so could only just make out his voice. For 20m we used the TH3 with 300w, but no contact made, although there was a T31 station in Kirrabati with solid, strongs signals on 20m for several hours.

Spent most of the time away working on clearing the scrub surrounding the mountain top, burning off a lot of chopped down trees in the direction of Sydney, next the trees on the n.e. direction need thinning too to give better takeoff to VK4 and VK2 north coast.

A new larger shed planned for the mountain top with bunk beds and more operating space, as opposed to the small garden shed, which will become a equipment shed for APRS digi, repeaters, etc.

Good wx the whole weekend, unlike Sydney where it rained.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter/Anzac holiday weekend

counting down the days until go portable DX'ing, location QF46pu (896mASL) and QF46pv, or known as Gowan which is n.w. of Bathurst NSW, across 22nd to 26th April.

Operating bands: HF, VHF, UHF, SHF
modes: FM, SSB and maybe digital modes,

Planning to make some contacts with other local MWRS club members, some of which will be also portable at Coolah Tops National Park (grid QF58) on 40m (daytime) and 80m (nightime)

check for operations.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter/Anzac holiday weekend

planning to go portable, QF46. HF, VHF, UHF & SHF activity on the drawing board.
see vklogger.

another great photo

another great photo with 23cm EME dish in foreground and what looks like a 70cm yagi and 2m yagi possibly for terrestrial DX. This is 10 min timelapse looking to the southern polar centre.

great photo

Amazing pics of 3m dishes (for 23cm operation) by Bob VK2ABP, with TH-3 for HF in the background.
One dish for EME and one for terrestrial DXing.
The red glow is from the campfire.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mobile operation

sorted out the mobile bracket, after 3 attempts, finally came up with a bracket that suited me, made one for the 6/2/70 antenna, then thought, while I at it, make another identical bracket as a spare antenna mount, useful for 10metre operation when travelling.

Anyway, I'm back on drivetime for 6/2/70 FM

Friday, March 4, 2011

23cm operating

also thanks to Dave, I now have a 80cm satellite dish and mount that I can use for 23cm, I will now attempt to mount the double-quad antenna on the feed point and then go portable and poke it around at a few places on 23cm. I have a tri-pod to mount the dish on for portable operation.

29 MHz FM

thanks to a long time loan from Dave, I now have a TS-430s which has FM for working 29 MHz FM simplex and repeaters. Whoo-hoo 29.600 here we come, unfortuantely summer over, so not likely to get anything until next summer, when I can work the 29 Mhz FM simplex and repeaters.

What I did notice tuning around was a heap of commercial RTTY sitting outside the band above 29.700, I will have to try decoding them.

Philips PRM-80 on 70cm

Tim VK4TIM brought me some goodies, a few PRM-80's a 8010 (10channel) for my Echolink node 70cm port and a couple PRM-8020 (64 channel) for general 70cm FM usage in the shack.
Nice little slim-line xcvrs, had not seen these in person before, only from photos. Now, I'll be more active on my local 70cm rptrs.

Tim now trying to make a couple of E-bander PRM-80's work on 6m FM.

Wyong Field Day 2011

Went to Wyong last Sunday, had missed the last few due to work committments, glad to catch up with many old friends, some I hadn't seen for 5 or more years.

It was hot & sticky as usual, probably quieter in the afternoon, I think most came before 9am
and left at lunchtime.

Tim Vk4TIM came flew down to Sydney on friday night and stayed over, just so he could go and checkout Wyong FD. Tim was also able to meet up with people he had met on-air.

We went to the VK9NA Expedition post-mortem seminar, thanks Andrew and Kevin for the presentation.

Then caught up at the MWRS meeting, seeing many ex-patriot club members who were in Wyong for the field day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Solar Cycle 24 & 25

a couple good articles to read on how Cycle 24 and 25 will proceed, basically the peaks have now been downgraded, so neither Cycle 24 or 25 peaks will be good.

The solar peaks are expected in May 2013 for Cycle 24 peak and somewhere in 2024 for Solar Cycle 25 peak.
What this means for working HF & 50 MHz DX, is that you will be working harder and require a bigger, better station to make good contacts.

As for the weather, expect even more worse droughts in the cycle lulls (e.g.. around 2018 and 2030).

Here are the various article to read up on:

S-Meter website's Past Cycles and Predictions for Cycle 24 page

Current Solar Cycle predictions for Cycle 24 from NOAA Space Weather Prediction Service

Solar Cycle Prediction - NASA Marshall Space Centre for Solar Physics.

Solar Cycle Progression from NOAA Space Weather Prediction Service

Solar Cycle Grand Minima and Solar Cycle Modulation article, some heavy theory about the effect of planetary movements within the Solar System and the inter-modulation effects on solar cycles

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's Rangoon to you, is Grafton to me

an old radio play from 2JJ Am in 1978 , (before it became 2JJJ FM),
listened to it again today after many years, very enjoyable.
It even has a reference to Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

6metre, 2metre and 70cm FM DX

plenty 6metre activity over Christmas/New year period, with only FM gear, it was restricted to just FM section above 52.500, worked into the Lismore VK2RSC rptr 53.550, that was good, as it quite short E skip and not found that often. Next contacts both via rptrs and simplex into VK4,
including a long qso with VK4XMC up central Qld via VK4RGA 53.725 and vk4NW in Sunshine coast via the Sunshine Coast rptr VK4RSN 53.700, also worked VK3ELV via the VK4RGA rptr.

And worked VK4XMC direct on 52.525 and 53.000 FM simplex. Could hear VK3ELB on 52.525 from Rockhampton in for quite some time working all states.

Even worked a local VK2BOW who I think was portable at Braidwood via the VK4RGA rptr at one stage

I think there were plenty others on 52.525, and the Brisbane rptrs, but most were quite weak when I tried them.

Next couple days, VK5 opened up, worked VK8RR/5 via one of the Adelaide 6m rptrs and VK5NLI on 52.525 for a chat, who was in & out for a good hour working many stations.

Been too busy working to be monitoring 6m FM most of the time.

Have heard the VK5VF beacon a few times, even on FM and off frequency for a 25kHz channelled radio.

All this on just a 6metre 1/4 wave, can only get better if build a 6metre 1/2 wave J-pole vertical.


as for 2metres, the usual 147.100 Buladelah, 146.700 Ulladulla, 146.900 Newcastle, 146.950 Mt Ginini coming through on and off a regular basis, predominantly coastal ducting.
Heard Dave VK2AWZ on 146.500 simplex from Vincentia (near Nowra), which is a a good haul for FM simplex.

What I have seen is some localised enhancement affecting VK2RDX Mt Bindo 146.650, normally it is about s3, but seeing several days where it maybe s9 or even 60db/9, then a couple hrs later it drops off again, I guessing a local inversion.


for 70cm rptrs, 438.325 Goulburn was in a couple days, that's quite rare, 438.050 Mt Ginini the same, also heard 438.025 from Newcastle which is also rare.