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Posts Tagged ‘QRP’

Making Waves, 23cm and infinity

As I have stated previously I purchased a 1296MHz transverter from SG-Lab in Bulgaria.  Anyway, upon applying power to it and testing the transmit (with an IF of 145MHz at 2.5W from my FT-817) I noted that it was not working as described.  Upon opening up the top of the case I noted that one of the components was raised and obviously burnt.  I contacted Hristiyan, LZ5HP, at SG-Lab and sent photos of the faulty component in situ.  He immediately identified it as a short in the choke having caused the problem and I returned the unit to him.  Two weeks later it was back with me in full working order with a replaced choke.  This time when I applied power and some IF it worked as it should.

I also mentioned that I would look at constructing a DL6WU Yagi but, unfortunately, work has got in the way and I just haven’t had the time.  I looked online for suppliers and, after much deliberation, decided to purchase one from Dual Antennas in Serbia (www.antennas-amplifiers.com).  This was down to both price and quality.  Although there are manufacturers both in England and in Germany, Dual seemed to offer the best deal.  For a 13 element Yagi it cost me 59€ plus shipping.  there was the other issue that when it arrived in the UK it was held by customs for a week whilst they added import charges and VAT but that only came to £19.15.

23cm-Yagi--Antenna-Rear-Mount-PA1296-13-R-420x200The 23cm Yagi from Dual.

So now I am fully operational on all bands from 80m – 23cm (except 4m currently).  I have not yet had a QSO on 23cm although I have put out a few CQ calls, so maybe next Thursday evening during the UKAC contest.

23cm Yagi

The 23cm Yagi up at CVO Towers

M0CVO QRP Setup

The transverter visible in operating position below the X1M HF QRP set with the FT-817 providing the IF to the left.

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QRP365 Update 50

December 13, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday December 13th 2015 and I have now completed week 50 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?

07/12/15: OK2RN, 5W, CW on 14.026MHz, a distance of 722mi (1164km) / 144.4mi (232.8km) per Watt.

08/12/15: IZ5OVP, 5W, CW on 14.025MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

09/12/15: RU3ZL, 5W, CW on 14.015MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

10/12/15: 9A90IARU, 5W, CW on 14.024MHz, a distance of 911mi (1470km) / 182.2mi (294km) per Watt.

11/12/15: RA3ZF, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

12/12/15: OM7LW, 5W, CW on 14.033MHz, a distance of 922mi (1487km) / 184.4mi (297.4km) per Watt.

12/12/15: RU6AV, 5W, CW on 28.008MHz, a distance of 1528mi (2464km) / 305.6mi (492.8km) per Watt.

12/12/15: RY6Y, 5W, CW on 28.026MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

12/12/15: LZ4TX, 5W, CW on 28.023MHz, a distance of 1363mi (2199km) / 272.6mi (439.8km) per Watt.

12/12/15: RK3ER, 5W, CW on 28.023MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

12/12/15: RV3FF, 5W, CW on 28.029MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

12/12/15: ER4A, 5W, CW on 28.014MHz, a distance of 1339mi (2159km) / 267.8mi (431.8km) per Watt.

12/12/15: US8IM, 5W, CW on 28.023MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

13/12/15: US2MT, 5W, CW on 14.019MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

As can be seen, the best distance worked this week was with 1851mi (2985km) and this was shared between three Russian stations – RU3ZL (20m), RA3ZF (10m) and RY6Y (10m).

The seven QSOs that I managed on 10m yesterday were during the ARRL 10m Contest, which I believe is still running until 2359 today.  Although I am not actively taking part in this contest and will not be entering a score it was interesting to see how much activity there was on a band that is for all means rather dead most of the time currently.  Love them or hate them, at least the contests keep the bands alive.

An interesting and enjoyable week using different modes – CW and PSK – to obtain several countries.  Only 2 weeks remaining now and then we will be into 2016 and I shall be drawing up conclusions of this year’s experiment.

CH2OZNDXAAA2y2z

Circuits become so small – this is a silicon oscillator (UHF) on a chip. The penny is for size comparison.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 20th December 2015.

QRP365 Update 49

December 6, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday December 6th 2015 and I have now completed week 48f 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?

30/11/15: IZ0UIJ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 957mi (1544km) / 191.4mi (308.8km) per Watt.

01/12/15: OM2015TITANIC, 5W, CW on 14.027MHz, a distance of 922mi (1487km) / 184.4mi (297.4km) per Watt.

01/12/15: DJ8SW, 5W, CW on 7.023MHz, a distance of 423mi (682km) / 84.6mi (136.4km) per Watt.

02/12/15: IK4RSR, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

03/12/15: SP3QYJ, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 742mi (1196km) / 148.4mi (239.2km) per Watt.

04/12/15: EW3BF, 5W, CW on 14.013MHz, a distance of 1195mi (1927km) 239mi (385.4km) per Watt.

05/12/15: ER18KDR, 5W, CW on 14.034MHz, a distance of 1339mi (2159km) / 267.8mi (431.8km) per Watt.

06/12/15: IK2CRG, 5W, CW on 7.015MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was ER18KDR on the 5th with a cracking 1339mi (2159km) worked.

An interesting and enjoyable week using different modes – CW and PSK – to obtain several countries.  Only 3 weeks remaining now and then we will be into 2016 and I shall be drawing up conclusions of this year’s experiment.

49er completed. Pixie, 7.023MHz.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 13th December 2015.

QRP365 Update 48

November 29, 2015 1 comment

It’s Sunday November 29th 2015 and I have now completed week 48f 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?

22/11/15: DK2SC, 5W, CW on 3.577MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

23/11/15: OK5JM, 5W, CW on 7.023MHz, a distance of 722mi (1164km) / 144.4mi (232.8km) per Watt.

24/11/15: I2ZU/5, 5W, CW on 14.021MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

25/11/15: E74X, 5W, CW on 14.022MHz, a distance of 1024mi (1652km) / 204.8mi (330.4km) per Watt.

25/11/15: IZ1UJM, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

25/11/15: R50WWW, 5W, CW on 14.011MHz, a distance of 1851mi (2985km) / 370.2mi (597km) per Watt.

26/11/15: HA5AEK, 5W, CW on 14.027MHz, a distance of 940mi (1516km) / 188mi (303.2km) per Watt.

27/11/15: OH6MM, 5W, CW on 14.015MHz, a distance of 1170mi (1887km) / 234mi (377.4km) per Watt.

27/11/15: IN3GNV, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

The above were all done during the week under normal band conditions this weekend is the CQWW CW Contest for 48 hours and the bands are crammed with CW operators right up through the data portions of the band so I decided to put myself to the test and give it a go as a QRP op.  The results are amazing and now, at 07:47 on 29/11/15 I have managed to work 81 stations in 43 countries with 7 new DXCC entities to my name.  Obviously I am not going to list them all on here as that is just too much but I shall list the new DXCC entities that I have achieved and those that have really surprised me.  The new DXCCs are:

28/11/15: K4TCG, 5W, CW on 7.045MHz, a distance of 4066mi (6558km) / 813.2mi (1311.6km) per Watt.

28/11/15: P3F, 5W, CW on 14.024MHZ, a distance of 2046mi (3300km) / 409.2mi (660km) per Watt.

28/11/15: ZA1AW, 5W, CW on 14.019MHz, a distance of 1201mi (1933km) / 240.2mi (386.6km) per Watt.

28/11/15: YL2BJ, 5W, CW on 21.025MHz, a distance of 1071mi (1727km) / 214.2mi (345.4km) per Watt.

29/11/15: 4O3A, 5W, CW on 7.026MHz, a distance of 1137mi (1834km) / 227.4mi (366.8km) per Watt.

29/11/15: VE3EJ, 5W, CW on 7.009MHz, a distance of 3517mi (5672km) / 703.4mi (1134.4km) per Watt.

29/11/15: UN9GTE, 5W, CW on 14.023MHz, a distance of 2859mi (4612km) / 571.8mi (922.4km) per Watt.

Other outstanding distances were:

29/11/15: K3LR, 5W, CW on 7.017MHz, a distance of  3638mi (5867km) / 727.6mi (1173.4km) per Watt.

29/11/15: N4AF, 5W, CW on 7.003MHz, a distance of 3773mi (6085km) / 754.6mi (1217km) per Watt.

29/11/15: AA2A, 5W, CW on 7.007MHz, a distance of 4066mi (6558km) / 813.2mi (1311.6km) per Watt.

All the 7MHz QSO’s during the contest were made before 06:00Z – I started at 05:00 on 28/11 and again at 05:00 on 29/11.

As can be seen the best DX this week was shared between K4TCG on the 28th and AA2a on the 29th with a cracking 4066mi (6558km) worked.  I never thought I would be able to work the USA with just 5W but have managed it on several occasions during this contest.  I know that their stations have massive antenna systems which are probably doing much of the work and I did need to send several times for them to get my call but perseverance wins out in the end.  Haven’t managed 1000miles per Watt yet but have certainly managed 1000km+ per Watt.  Did hear a JA as well but could not work him.

An interesting and enjoyable week using different modes – CW and PSK – to obtain several countries.  Only 4 weeks remaining now and then we will be into 2016 and I shall be drawing up conclusions of this year’s experiment.

20151129_081450 Using N1MM Contest Logger for the CQWW CW Contest

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 6th December 2015.

QRP365 Update 47

November 22, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday November 22nd 2015 and I have now completed week 47 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?

15/11/15: LZ2HR, 5W, CW on 21.005, a distance of 1363mi (2199km) / 272.6mi (439.8km) per Watt.

16/11/15: IK1LRY, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 671mi (1082km) / 134.2mi ( 216.4km) per Watt.

17/11/15: DL2IAD, 5W, CW on 7.0265MHz, a distance of 418mi (674km) / 83.6mi (134.8km) per Watt.

18/11/15: S58MU, 5W, CW on 14.032MHz, a distance of 843mi (1345km) / 168.6mi (269km) per Watt.

19/11/15: UA2FIA, 5W, CW on 14.036MHz, a distance of 907mi (1463km) / 181.4mi (292.6km) per Watt.

20/11/15: YU270AJM, 5W, CW on 14.018MHz, a distance of 1169mi (1886km) / 233.8mi (377.2km) per Watt.

20/11/15: F5SYC, 5W, CW on 7.012MHz, a distance of 430mi (694km) / 86mi (138.8km) per Watt.

21/11/15: DL9MBZ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 634mi (1022km) / 126.8mi (204.4km) per Watt.

21/11/15: OK1DCM, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 722mi (1164km) / 144.4mi (232.8km) per Watt.

22/11/15: PA3GVI, 5W, CW on 7.022MHZ,  a distance of 250mi (404km) / 50mi (80.8km) per Watt.

22/11/15: DL5YL, 5W, CW on 7.015MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was LZ2HR with a cracking 1363mi (2199km) worked. Distances worked are much less this week but then I have been working mainly with the main mast lowered due to weather conditions and hence the antennas lower in relation to the ground.  This does result in a higher angle of elevation reducing the chance of DX.

An interesting and enjoyable week using different modes – CW and PSK – to obtain several countries.  Only 5 weeks remaining now and then we will be into 2016 and I shall be drawing up conclusions of this year’s experiment.

IMG_20150821_155331

RTTY decode on the FT-DX1200.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 29th November 2015.

QRP 365 Update 46

November 15, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday November 15th 2015 and I have now completed week 46 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?

09/11/15: UW1HM, 5W, CW on 7.017MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

11/11/15: DA300CFG, 5W, CW on 10.118MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

11/11/15: IK7XZJ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 2512mi (4052km) / 502.4mi (810.4km) per Watt.

12/11/15: S53OAZ, 5W, CW on 14.026MHz, a distance of 834mi (1345km) / 166.8mi (269km) per Watt.

12/11/15: E74X, 5W, CW on 14.021MHz, a distance of 1024mi (1652km) / 204.8mi (330.4km) per Watt.

13/11/15: OK1RO, 5W, CW on 14.026MHz, a distance of 722mi (1164km) / 144.4mi (323.8km) per Watt.

13/11/15: HF110MR, 5W, CW on 14.024MHz, a distance of 843mi (1360km) / 168.6mi (272km) per Watt.

14/11/15: PA1FP, 5W, CW on 7.023MHz, a distance of 250mi (404km) / 50mi (80.8km) per Watt.

14/11/15: DL0NR, 5W, CW on 7.027MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

15/11/15: DK2FG, 5W, CW on 7.032MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

15/11/15: OM8LM, 5W, CW on 14.024MHz, a distance of 922mi (1487km) / 184.4mi (297.4km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was IK7XZJ with a cracking 2512mi (4052km) worked. However, right now at 08:06UTC on Sunday 15th November, due to ever increasing wind strength I am lowering and luffing my mast until the storm passes.  Storm Abigail passed us by with no incident in IO92QV but ex hurricane Kate seems to be causing us more damage/concern.

An interesting and enjoyable week using different modes – CW and PSK – to obtain several countries.  E74X was the most difficult as he was running at speeds of 30wpm so was difficult to follow.  However, it is more of an achievement for this reason only.

B9t5vlYIAAAjDRg Another Pixie, this one on 20m (14.060MHz)

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 15th November 2015.

QRP 365 Update 45

November 8, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s Sunday November 8th 2015 and I have now completed week 45 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?

Firstly I shall start with a couple of QSOs I had last Sunday after writing my blog update:

02/11/15: G0DIH, 5W, CW on 7.020MHz, a distance of 216.9mi (349.1km) / 43.38mi (69.82km) per Watt.

03/11/15: YO2UH, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1229mi (1982km) / 245.8mi (396.4km) per Watt.

03/11/15: DL5GBP, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 523mi (843km) / 104.6mi ( 168.6km) per Watt.

03/11/15: DH0VB, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

04/11/15: E74X, 5W, CW on 14.022MHz, a distance of 1024mi (1652km) / 204.8mi (330.4km) per Watt.

04/11/15: HA3GZ, 5W, CW on 14.015MHz, a distance of 952mi (1535km) / 190.4mi (307km) per Watt.

05/11/15: EA2CNU, 5W, CW on 14.016MHz, a distance of 959mi (1547km) / 191.8mi (309.4km) per Watt.

06/11/15: HA3PT, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 962mi (1552km) / 192.4mi (310.4km) per Watt.

06/11/15: SM7WNM, 5W, CW on 14.019MHz, a distance of 904mi (1458km) / 180.8mi (291.6km) per Watt.

08/11/15: HG7T, 5W, CW on 14.027MHz, a distance of 1050mi (1693km) / 210mi (338.6km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was YO2UH with a cracking 1229mi (1982km) worked.  It was also nice to work a fellow G-QRP member – G0DIH – an enjoyable QSO.

An interesting and enjoyable week using different modes – CW, PSK and JT65 – to obtain several countries.  I am getting more and more confident on the key (paddles) now.  Practice certainly does make perfect (or at least better).

CEPHd6-WYAAv4VyPixie (40m)

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 15th November 2015.