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Archive for June, 2015

QRP365 Update 26

It’s Saturday June 27th 2015 and I have now completed week 26 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

22/06/15: DL2SWK, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 517mi (834km) / 103.4mi (166.8km) per Watt.

23/06/15: OK1AW, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 597mi (963km) / 119.4mi (192.6km) per Watt.

24/06/15: RA3TS, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1762mi (2842km) / 352.4mi (568.4km) per Watt.

25/06/15: UR5XMM, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

26/06/15: IZ0QAW, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

27/06/15: SP1F, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 667mi (1076km) / 133.4mi (215.2km) per watt.

27/06/15: SQ2HQP, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 791mi (1276km) / 158.2mi (255.2km) per watt.

27/06/15: GI7AXB, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 252mi (407km) / 50.4mi (81.4km) per Watt.

27/06/15: I2FGX, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

27/06/15: LA3LUA, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 697mi (1125km) / 139.4mi (225km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was RA3TS with a cracking 1762miles (2842km) worked.

It has been a rather difficult week this week with major geomagnetic storms up to G5 level following an earth directed CME from the sun.  In fact HF was all but wiped out on some days, proving to be a real struggle with my 5W.  However, on the worst affected day, the 25th June, I still managed a QSO with UR5XMM.

You may have noticed that this is posting up a day early – Saturday and not Sunday.  This is because tomorrow (June 28th), my transceivers and myself will be helping to run a special event station – GB2EGG – at Swaton Vintage Rally and the World Egg Throwing Championships.  Operation will be on both phone (SSB) and CW so listen out for us there.  If you are able why not come along – it is just off the A52 between Threekingham and Boston.

I have also been busy writing out the QSL cards for this month that will be posted to the RSGB QSL Bureau in a few days.

CIhr5EKWwAAdnAL  This month’s QSL cards waiting to go….

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 5th July 2015.

QRP365 Update 25

It’s Sunday June 21st 2015 and I have now completed week 25 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

15/06/15: R1AY, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1267mi (2044km) / 253.4mi (408.8km) per Watt.

16/06/15: F6CBL, 5W, PSK125 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 430mi (694km) / 86mi (138.8km) per Watt.

17/06/15: RK6ART, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

18/06/15: LY2BOS, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1006mi (1622km) / 201.2mi (324.4km) per Watt.

19/06/15: RA3LAS, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1542mi (2468km) / 308.4mi (493.6km) per Watt.

20/06/15: OK1ZCF, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 764mi (1232km) / 152.8mi (246.4km) per Watt.

21/06/15: YU2DVA, 5W, PSK125 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1111mi (1792km) / 222.2mi (358.4km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was RK6ART with a cracking 1851miles (2985km) worked.

Not so much radio activity to report this week as I have been rather busy with work related stuff and have struggled to find the time.  However, one day this week did involve my travelling to the Emirates (Lancashire County Cricket Club) in Manchester to attend a technical convention on LED’s, RF and Wireless.  Whilst there I did find an excellent source for both variable or fixed inductors and Low Pass or Band Pass filter arrays – http://www.coilcraft.com – and also a source for low power oscillators that would be ideal in a VFO or small TX circuit – Linear Technology at http://www.linear.com. There are also some excellent tools including downloadable “free” software to help in the design of inductors and LC filters, available on the Coilcraft website.

CH2OYupWcAA2-DN CH2OZNDXAAA2y2z On the left, silicon oscillators and on the right the oscillator boards.  These are practically a complete VFO for integration into a circuit.  SSFM oscillators are also available.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 28th June 2015.

QRP365 Update 24

It’s Sunday June 14th 2015 and I have now completed week 24 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

08/06/15: IZ5EKX, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

08/06/15: EA1EAS, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHZ, a distance of 856mi (1381km) / 171.2mi (276.2km) per Watt.

09/06/15: UT9LI, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1579mi (2546km) / 315.8mi (509.2km) per Watt.

09/06/15: ES1JA, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1104mi (1781km) / 220.8mi (356.2km) per Watt.

09/06/15: E72NA, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1024mi (1652km) / 204.8mi (330.4km) per Watt.

09/06/15: IK1SOW, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 638mi (1029km) / 127.6mi (205.8km) per Watt.

10/06/15: RD3WX, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1492mi (2406km) / 298.4mi (481.2km) per Watt.

11/06/: R3PV, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

12/06/15: YO4RXX, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1379mi (2225km) / 275.8mi (445km) per Watt.

13/06/15: DL2OCE, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 449mi (725km) / 89.8mi (145km) per Watt.

13/06/15: RA1APV, 5W, PSK31 on 14.070715MHZ, a distance of 1260mi (2033km) / 252mi (406.6km) per Watt.

14/06/15: ON4KEB, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 313mi (505km) / 62.6mi (101km) per Watt.

14/06/15: UT7WZA, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1071mi (1727km) / 214.2mi (345.4km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was R3PV with a cracking 1851miles (2985km) worked.

Time for some stats I believe.

BAND QSOs
40m 6
20m 195
17m 2
15m 68
12m 1
10m 2
CW 8
DATA 270
ALL 278
DXCC 41

CW is a lovely mode to use. People may consider it difficult and out of date or unnecessary but it is all part of the history of what is a fascinating hobby and means of communication.  It is also a much cleaner signal than many, taking up just a few hundred hertz as opposed to kilohertz and is much less likely to cause TVI or EMC.  Also, following the stroke I had just over a year and a half ago I have a tendency to stammer when talking which sometimes makes it difficult for others to understand me during a QSO.  At least with CW I do not stammer (although sometimes my mind goes a little fuzzy and I forget what I am sending).   Give it a try, you may be surprised at just how easy it is.  It is also much easier to build a CW transmitter and receiver than it is to build one for phone so if you fancy a go at homebrewing some kit, this is probably the first thing to look at – a crystal oscillator, a buffer, an amp and a key to turn it on or off (not forgetting harmonic filters after the final stage so as not to annoy other users).

CHYBI_cWwAAzvV_ Some fan mail that arrived this week. QSL cards are the final confirmation of a QSO and are collected by some radio amateurs.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 21st June 2015.

QRP365 Update 23

June 7, 2015 1 comment

It’s Sunday June 7th 2015 and I have now completed week 23 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

01/06/15: SN12SDZ, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 843mi (1360km) / 168.6mi (272km) per Watt.

02/06/15: OE4ATS, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 771mi (1244km) / 154.2mi (248.8km per Watt.

02/06/15: I3FII, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 730mi (1178km) / 146mi (235.6km) per Watt.

02/06/15: UT2AA, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

03/06/15: DL0PCK, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

04/06/15: OE7GX, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 771mi (1244km) / 154.2mi (248.8km) per Watt.

04/06/15: SQ1KUK, PSK125 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 649mi (1119km) / 129.8mi (223.8km) per Watt.

04/06/15: SP1YKO, PSK125 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 649mi (1119km) / 129.8mi (223.8km) per Watt.

05/06/15: UA6XES, PSK63 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 2104mi (3394km) / 420.8mi (678.8km) per Watt.

06/06/15: UA3PQN/3/M, PSK31 on 21.07015MHZ, a distance of 1595mi (2571km) / 319mi (514.2km) per Watt.

07/06/15: OM3DM, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 919mi (1482km) / 183.8mi (296.4km) per Watt.

07/06/15: SP8QC, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 843mi (1360km) / 168.6mi (272km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was UA6XES with a cracking 2104miles (3394km) worked.  However, QSO of the week has to be given to the one with UA3PQN/3/M as he was /M (mobile) at the time – a first for me on HF Data.

CQ is a lovely mode to use. People may consider it difficult and out of date or unnecessary but it is all part of the history of what is a fascinating hobby and means of communication.  It is also a much cleaner signal than many, taking up just a few hundred hertz as opposed to kilohertz and is much less likely to cause TVI or EMC.  Also, following the stroke I had just over a year and a half ago I have a tendency to stammer when talking which sometimes makes it difficult for others to understand me during a QSO.  At least with CW I do not stammer (although sometimes my mind goes a little fuzzy and I forget what I am sending).   Give it a try, you may be surprised at just how easy it is.  It is also much easier to build a CW transmitter and receiver than it is to build one for phone so if you fancy a go at homebrewing some kit, this is probably the first thing to look at – a crystal oscillator, a buffer, an amp and a key to turn it on or off (not forgetting harmonic filters after the final stage so as not to annoy other users).

The picture this week is of something I have been working on to enable more accurate testing of any TX I build.  It consists of both a dummy load (10W)  and an attenuator enabling it to be connected directly to an oscilloscope or other low power test equipment,

CGeozX7WsAAPjfi

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 14th June 2015.