November 25, 2014

G3XBM (Roger)

50MHz UKAC contest - Nov 25th TONIGHT

Even though my voice is still very bad I may try for a few points in the 50MHz UKAC contest 2000-2230z tonight. The only 50MHz antenna I have is my V2000 vertical, so I am unlikely to work much.  I'll probably not be on for too long.
Just 2 stations worked in 50MHz UKAC this evening with 5W to vertical V2000
UPDATE 2122z:   I was on for about 50 minutes and had to stop as my voice was suffering badly.   Being crossed polarised with most stations did not help. I managed just 2 QSOs with 5W to the V2000 vertical with best DX being G3WIR/A at 116km. With, for example. a 6m halo, horizontally polarised antenna, I'd probably have worked many more stations than I did. Still, it was worth a go.

Posted at: November 25, 2014 10:57 PM

QRT on 630m and 10m WSPR

This evening and overnight I decided not to go on WSPR at all.  Both my 10m WSPR-AXE beacon (500mW) and my 630m (472kHz - 5mW ERP) WSPR stations have been turned off and antennas disconnected. 

I shall probably resume on 10m WSPR in the morning after breakfast.

Posted at: November 25, 2014 10:55 PM

Spark transmitters and modern simple rigs

In the early days of wireless, spark transmitters were all they had. Selectivity and bandwidths were not major concerns.  These days it is all so different with sometimes very crowded bands and the bandwidth of both transmitter and receiver being of major importance.

See for some interesting reading. I recommend you do not try a spark transmitter as you would be very unpopular because of the wide signal and interference caused.   By all means read about them though.

A modern challenge is to see just how simple rigs can be made yet still function credibly on the amateur bands today.  Rigs like the Pixie are fun, but such ultra-simple transceivers are let down by deaf or easily overloaded receivers. To my mind, the receivers have to be selective, sensitive, have netting, and not be easily overloaded. The challenge is to overcome these issues! Often TX power is not the deal breaker.

UPDATE 1740z:  W5OLF has just shown me a photo of his tiny 1 inch ferrite rod antenna on which he has had some success with on 10m WSPR.  I tried some WSPR experiments with ferrite antennas some years ago on 40m, 30m and 20m. As long as the ferrite does not saturate they do work. See .

Posted at: November 25, 2014 07:18 PM

My brain

I am still puzzled by my brain functioning.

Most mental functions seem fine, but when I do an email or blog post I seem slow to spot errors like spelling mistakes or missing full stops. Usually, I try to correct errors before sending, but looking back I still spot mistakes that I've missed. It is as if my brain needs far more time to actually see the mistake. This must be yet another stroke related thing. Driving seems absolutely fine: I am not giddy and I feel in good control.

If you see blog errors please tell me. I want to correct the errors and know when my brain is not doing its job right.

Posted at: November 25, 2014 07:15 PM

472kHz receive here last evening

I receive 472kHz via my transverter but on RX it is totally passive i.e. I receive directly on 472kHz on the FT817 through a series tuned circuit at 472kHz.  Last night, mid evening, 472kHz WSPR was quite busy (see below):
If anything, the FT817 is marginally deaf on 472kHz. This does not seem to be issue though as I seem to hear most of what's going. The "antenna" for the above was the short baseline earth-electrodes: one end is grounded in the flower bed with a 1m long earth rod, about 15m away, whilst in the shack the other connection is to the mains earth. The link back from the far electrode to the shack is 32 x 0.2mm PVC covered wire at a height of about 2m. I am lucky that my RX noise floor is low at this QTH.

On TX last night I was copied by 8 different stations with best DX last night G8HUH (250km). Best DX on the earth-electrode system (on TX with 5mW ERP) is DL-SWL (701km).

Posted at: November 25, 2014 07:08 PM

Last 10m USA spot tonight

K3ZV (5692km) was the last to spot my 500mW 10m WSPR-AXE beacon tonight at a very early 1650z. Since then just local G4IKZ (18km) copying me.

Posted at: November 25, 2014 07:05 PM


DU3/R7KW y DU3/YL3GM, Filipinas

Serge R7KW y Oleg YL3JM están planeando una operación en modo holiday-style desde Filipinas del 24 de noviembre al 2 de diciembre 2014.

Su QTH estará ubicado en la isla de Luzón OC-042, y habrá que estar atentos a una posible excursión a la isla de Corregidor OC-244 del 25 al 27 noviembre.

QRV principalmente en Cw, con participación en el CQ WW Dx Cw Contest.

 QSL vía K2PF (OQRS en ClubLog). Fechas tentativas.

  • DU/YL3JM en el aire desde Corregidor Is, OC-244 ( click )

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 25, 2014 06:48 PM

DU3/YL3JM en el aire desde OC-244

Hace unos días anunciábamos la operación desde Filipinas de  DU3 / R7KW y DU3 / YL3GM y la posibilidad de que visitarán Corregidor Is. OC-244.

En el reflector IOTA se ha Recibido la siguiente información:
Oleg DU3 / YL3JM comenzo su actividad desde la isla de Corregidor OC-244.   Usando 100w y vertical. 
Actividad mayormente en CW. Operará en principio hasta el 27 de noviembre. Fecha es provisional

De 73, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 25, 2014 06:46 PM

TX8C, N. Caledonia

FK8DD/Sam - FK8IK/Mic - FK8CE/Dom estarán activos durante el CQ WW Dx Cw contest 2014 como TX8C desde Noumea, N. Caledonia. CQ Zone 32 - ITU Zone 56 - IOTA OC-032 - RG37FR

QRV con TS-590S - Tokyo High Power Amplifier 400wtts. Spiderbeam - V Invertida 40m - L wire para 80/160m

Qsl vía NI5DX.

  • Las Qsl estarán listas en viarias semanas y correrán a cargo de UX5UO.

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 25, 2014 05:54 PM

G3XBM (Roger)

Sunspots and 10m conditions - Nov 25th 2014

The sunspot number has climbed to 111 today and 10m daytime conditions are again "good". I missed out on 10m this morning until about 1412z, when the band was wide open to the USA, yet again.

Posted at: November 25, 2014 03:29 PM


T88FC, Palau

Hiro JA7DAJ estará activo desde Koro como T88FC del 3 al 6 de diciembre 2014.

QRV en bandas de HF y 6mts sólo en Ssb.

QRV JA7DAJ buro o directa

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 25, 2014 03:12 PM

A25J, Botswana

John ZS5J / 24 noviembre 2014

Hoy 24 de noviembre 2014 finalmente se me acaba de conceder licencia en Botswana por la autoridad BOCRA Botswana. Me conoceréis tal vez por mis otros indicativos C91J, ZS5J y 7P8 / ZS5J.

Espero conseguir actualizar los Qso de este indicativo en LoTW, pero si quieres una tarjeta QSL de papel, por favor envíe $ 3 y SAE con su tarjeta a:

JOHN KRAMER PO BOX 102303 Meerensee, 3901 SUDÁFRICA

El equipo es actualmente un Icom IC-7000, 100 vatios. Las antenas son  SteppIR BigIR 80mts,  - vertical para 6 mts y wimdom de 10 a 80mts. Voy a traer mejores antenas y un amplificador lineal en mi próximo viaje a Botswana.

73 John, A25J cerca de Francistown, Botswana

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 25, 2014 02:03 PM

E44Y, Palestina 2016

La idea surgió durante una conversación con Marco HB9OCR. Después de regresar de la isla de Lampedusa  para participar en el CQWW SSB 2014 (IO9Y), decidimos organizar una pequeña DXpedición a Palestina E4.

Después de una breve revisión en Clublog vimos que Palestina está en el lugar número 48 del DXCC de los más buscados en los EE.UU. y en el puesto 98 en Asia. INTERESANTE !!!

Fijamos una fecha para marzo de 2016. En muy poco tiempo se nos unirán dos amigos ..

Te mantendremos informado de nuestras actividades en nuestra web y redes sociales.

73, PALESTINA 2016 Team

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 25, 2014 01:43 PM

SV8CS (Spiros)

SV3DVO 1st transmittion on 474 KHz

My friend Manolis, SV3DVO has tune today his Antenna from 136KHz to 474KHz and he made 1st transmittion in MF 474 Khz in OP-8 and WSPR-2. He is using the Marconi "T" type Antenna with 4 parallel wires 18,00m long and 10,00m vertical on the roof of his QTH.
The transmitter power is 20w and his signal was captured in Italy, Germany and France just with the firsts transmittions.

My congratulations Manolis for this nice job and many DX on MF.
73, Spiros/SV8CS 

Posted at: November 25, 2014 12:59 PM

W2LJ (Larry)

I'm dreaming of a white .......



Yes, Virginia, it looks like the east coast is going to receive a rare white Thanksgiving.  Even though it approached 70F (21C) here yesterday, a change is in the offing.  By 8:00 AM tomorrow morning, the busiest travel day of the entire year, a classic Nor'easter will be making its way up the coast, bringing much colder air and snow with it. By Buffalo, NY and Great Lakes region standards, we're talking a mere dusting of snow - maybe only 3-8 inches (7-20 cm), but enough to make traveling to Grandma's house a trickier proposition than normal. By the way, the last time it snowed in these parts for Thanksgiving was 1989 - some 25 years ago.

On a Ham Radio note, it appears my W3EDP antenna has gone the way of the DoDo Bird, that is - extinct.  I plugged it into the KX3 the other day and I noticed that it is considerably deaf.  Stations that I can hear plainly and loudly with the EDZ and the Butternut are but a mere whisper on the W3EDP.

I suspect I know where the trouble is.  There are only three parts to this antenna - the actual wire, the balun, the coax.  I'm placing my money on the coax.  I suppose water could have gotten into the balun and could be wreaking havoc, but it is a commercial brand, popular make balun.  I think it's way more likely that water probably got into the coax.  I probably didn't weather-proof the connection as well as I thought I had.

Unfortunately, I don't have a piece of coax long enough to replace it right now.  Guess I'll be ordering some over the long Holiday weekend.  I don't suppose there are any coax stores holding day-after-Thanksgiving Black Friday sales, eh?

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Posted at: November 25, 2014 10:10 AM

November 24, 2014

G3XBM (Roger)

10m stateside

The first spot in North America of my little 500mW WSPR beacon was by W3CSW (5886km) at 1206z today. My report was -14dB S/N suggesting 10dB weaker (or even less) would still have been enough. Since then, several USA stations have spotted me. I have lost count now of the weeks and weeks the 10m band has opened to the USA and Canada after lunch.

In years to come, we'll look back on these days with envy! In the quieter years it can be a very long time indeed between good E-W openings. At such times multi-hop summertime Es can be the best/only chance of getting to the USA.

UPDATE 1824z:   The last USA 10m WSPR spot today was at 1716z by K9AN (6505km).

Posted at: November 24, 2014 06:24 PM


FP/N7QT, S. Pierre y Miquelón Is

Robert N7QT estará activo como FP/N7QT desde S. Pierre y Miquelón Is. del 20 al 29 de julio 2015.

QRV de 10 a 80mts en Cw, Ssb y modos digitales.

Qsl vía N7QT buro, directa y LOTW.

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 24, 2014 06:08 PM

G3XBM (Roger)

10m WSPR-AXE summary

 Just some of the 91 unique spots on 10m WSPR in the last 2 weeks.
My little W5OLF designed "all on one tiny PCB" 500mW 10m WSPR beacon has been spotted by 91 different stations in every continent in the last 2 weeks.

This is the probably the smallest 10m WSPR beacon possible (it fits in a tiny Altoids mint tin), need no PC, and it works remarkably well. It "fits the bill" perfectly on 10m WSPR beaconing for me.

Perhaps I should improve my 10m antenna, but having reached every continent I probably will stick with the 3-band antenna as it gives me so much flexibility. The PAR tri-band antenna covers 10m, 20m and 40m without an ATU.

Posted at: November 24, 2014 06:07 PM


YB4IR/8, OC-157

Busca a Imam YB4IR / 8 que va a estar activo desde Bandaneira Isla OC-157 entre el 22 y el  27 de  diciembre 2014.

QRV de 10 a 80mts en Cw, Ssb y Rtty.

QSL via YB4IR.

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 24, 2014 06:05 PM

VP2M, Montserrat Is.

Robert N7QT( recordar VK9AX y TX5Z en 2014) prepara sus próximas actividades para el 2015. Del 11 al 25 de marzo 2015 lo encontraremos activo desde la isla Montserrat como VP2M.

QRV de 10 a 80mts en Cw, Ssb y modos digitales.

Qsl vía N7QT buro, directa y LOTW

73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 24, 2014 05:55 PM

J88PI, San Vicente Is.

Brian GW4DVB volverá a operar como J88PI desde Palm Island NA-025 (Granadinas) entre del 13 al 21 de abril 2015.

QRV principalmente SSB.


73´s, Luis EA1CS

Posted at: November 24, 2014 02:07 PM

G3XBM (Roger)

10m WSPR this morning so far

Using the 500mW WSPR-AXE beacon on 10m, it has just been Europeans spotting me so far. Spots have been from France, Norway, UK and Ukraine. I expect the 10m band will open to the USA for me shortly. The USA is already open for some Europeans.

UPDATE 1216z:   Still no stateside 10m spots as yet.

Posted at: November 24, 2014 12:16 PM

472kHz WSPR this morning

As I can now use the FT817 with PC totally separate from my WSPR-AXE beacon for 10m (this needs no PC or separate rig), this morning I continued use of the FT817 on 472kHz WSPR.

G8VDQ (93km) is still being spotted and locals G0LRD and G4KPX are still spotting me. I need to check clock sync.

Posted at: November 24, 2014 12:13 PM


IZ0UDF Samantha Cristiforetti e’ in orbita !

Nei prossimi sei mesi di missione sulla Stazione Spaziale Internazionale, l’astronauta italiana Samantha Cristoforetti oltre alle attivita’ scientifiche si dedichera’ ai social network e alla radio come fece il suo predecessore Luca Parmitano . IZ0UDF e’ il nominativo di Samantha Cristoforetti la prima donna astronauta italiana che speriamo di sentire presto sulle frequenze della ISS […]

Posted at: November 24, 2014 11:29 AM

G3XBM (Roger)

Bang good portables

There is some confusion over these radios. Although some are limited in the number of channels and some may come pre-programmed, for example, for the  European licence free 446MHz band, several models (such as the ones shown yesterday) say they can be re-programmed in the 400-470MHz range. If so, they would make very low cost 70cms portables.

 On the Bang good website there are even lower cost units for the USA market.

Posted at: November 24, 2014 11:27 AM

Sunspots - Nov 24th 2014

The sunspot number has slipped a little lower to 66 but 10m daytime conditions remain "good". Some F2 propagation should be expected.

Posted at: November 24, 2014 11:20 AM

VE3WDM (Mike)

Armchair ham radio at it's best!

The armchair setup
There have been evenings when Im relaxing and icing on the cake to the evening would be the added flavour of ham radio. Having said that I do have a "shack" in the condo but there are times when you are in the Lazy boy chair and sitting in the cold hard wooden chair at the radio desk just does not turn my crank! While relaxing in the chair and thinking of radio I came up with a nice solution to bringing ham radio to the Lazy boy chair. On a side table I am able to comfortably place my Elecraft KX3 and the MFJ 1788 control head. I ran a shorter piece of RG8X coax from the MFJ 1788 loop to it's control box. From the control box to the KX3 the RG8X is rather bulky so I used a piece of RG58U coax that came with BNC connectors on each end. The MFJ control box require a voltage source from 9 to 16 volts to work. To make things more simple I used a 13 volt DC power pack that I can recharge. The KX3 is powered by my Astron power supply back at the radio desk, in the condo that is not to far
A closer look 
away. The key Im using is my Palm radio mini Paddle since the KX3 is on a side table to my left using the KX3 paddle would be awkward. The Palm paddle can nicely sit in front of me and I have a 3 ring binder with a metal plate on it the palm paddles magnets hold it secure. I brought along my iPad mini as I can look calls up on QRZ.COM and am looking into a logging program for it, one that I can upload to LOTW and club log.  During my short operation on Saturday evening I was able to contact VE1BA in Nova Scotia my RST was 589 with some QSB and our QSO was a KX3 x KX3 and QRP x QRP contact. It was a nice QSO as we chatted about the weather, antennas and rigs. On Sunday I was almost able to complete a contact with W9MIC as the conditions on 20m were not all that great. I really can't log W9MIC as the contact really was not completed as we both faded into the noise floor. Another benefit of this setup is I have the opportunity to use my KX3 and become more familiar with it. There have been times when I have been using my KX3 out in the park and forgot how to do certain functions……maybe those moments will be far and few between.
The op desk with Palm paddle

Posted at: November 24, 2014 12:45 AM

November 23, 2014

G3XBM (Roger)

10m spots of the WSPR-AXE 500mW beacon so far today

The tiny little W5OLF designed WSPR-AXE beacon continues to do a great job with lots of spots again today. Although things were a little slow towards the USA and Canada earlier, there are plenty of stations over there spotting me now. This is a list of the unique 10m spotters so far (to 1600z).  In most cases, stations have reported me multiple times.
Unique 10m WSPR spots with WSPR-AXE 500mW beacon so far today.
UPDATE 2022z:  The last USA station to spot me was AB4QS at 1736z.

Posted at: November 23, 2014 11:48 PM