13 March 2015I’ve been working on building my six meter station. You’ve probably seen my posts on adding a Par Electronics Moxon and the Yaesu G-450A rotator. This round has been adding the Elecraft PR6 Preamp. Attending Contest University and the VHF sessions, Joel Harrison, W5ZN, had recommended that most new transceivers need a preamp on six. Plus, I was getting some reports from meteor scatter contacts that they could hear me long before I could hear them. Both those things gave me a clue that upgrading receiver capabilities was a good next step. Naturally, I looked first at the Elecraft options. I found Read more
6 March 2015I’ve found an online application that will take your ADIF logging file and map out the grids on a Google Map. You can see the result of my six meter logbook below. It is at WG7J GridMapper online. It works really nicely. I had been trying to plot out my worked grids on a printed map and by about the 50th grid get confused or off track. This takes care of all that for you. Plus, click on a grid square to see who you’ve worked.
5 March 2015This week I received my certificate for earning VUCC by confirming 100 grid squares on 6 meters. All of these confirmations were via Logbook of the World, which made applying for the certificate really easy. I currently have just over 150 grid squares worked and almost that many confirmations. However, the rest of the confirmations aren’t on Logbook of the World. For me it’s been a bit surprising that so few of my 6 meter contacts with USA grids are confirming via LoTW. As a result, I’ve been collecting QSL cards the old-fashioned way. I’ve got enough to complete the Read more
1 March 2015The last three NAQP RTTY contests I’ve entered in the QRP category. In February 2014 I managed to place first in that category with 230 QSOs, mostly because the real competition, Mark K6UFO, wasn’t running. In July 2014, I completed 151 QSOs and finished second to Mark’s result. This year I managed 144 QSOs. Not a bad effort at five watts output into an MA6V vertical. During the contest, which I operated around 8 hours of the 10 allowed, I worked 10 and 15 meters well. Most could hear my call and copy my exchange. On 20 meters it became more difficult Read more
20 February 2015Once again I have encountered six meter magic. On Wednesday, February 18, I was reading (QST, of course) while listening on six meters when PY3PR started sending a loud and clear CQ. He responded to my call and we made a brief QSO, my first to Brazil on six meters. A couple of hours later, now February 19 UTC, the band completely lit up. First, it was a number of Florida stations followed by adding these stations to my log: PY2FN PY2HN PY2RN PY2OC ZP6CW CE2AWW ZP5SNA PY1ZV PY2MC XE3N LU5FF The additional new countries were Paraguay and Chile. Argentina I’d put Read more
15 February 2015I wasn’t sure if I’d be up to running this contest. I returned from Malaysia on Thursday and slept all day and most of the night. As has been the case in several contests of late, I elected to enter on a single band — a daytime band so that I could sleep at night. This time it looked like 10 meters would be lively and it was. I entered low power and with the MA6V vertical. Managed to snag 215 QSOs and 171 prefixes for a total score of 82,080. It was a bit easier running low power rather than Read more
3 February 2015I worked K1N on 20 meter CW yesterday afternoon. What a huge pile up. But I found for the first time that the second receiver in the Elecraft K3 can really do the job. I had tried using it before, but when it is activated there is a 3 dB drop on the main receiver. When you’re barely hearing Tromelin, cutting it my 3 dB brings it to nearly nothing. In this situation, the K1N signal was strong. So all I really needed to do was move down the pile up listening for the station who was responding. Once I zeroed Read more
3 February 2015I’m headed to Malaysia for the 2015 planning meeting of the World JOTA-JOTI Team. It will be great to be back with this five person team to plan our next event and to meet the new staff at the World Scout Headquarters. The HQ recently moved from Geneva, Switzerland where we held last year’s meeting. I won’t be operating while there. I see that the application process can be somewhat extended and I’d only have a hand-held with me. Plus, I’ll be really busy over the three days of meetings. I’ll have more to report after I return and we Read more
27 January 2015I was pretty excited to enter the ARRL VHF Contest this past weekend. I’d heard that we shouldn’t expect much if any sporadic E openings. That proved true. Six meters was not the band to be on at least here in North Texas. I managed to work eight contacts and four grids. There weren’t even many locals on to add to the totals. Late in the contest I heard a couple of guys chatting and asked them for their grid squares. Otherwise, I’d have six contacts. My highlight was a meteor scatter contact with K0TPP for a new grid. Since we’re Read more
10 January 2015I’ve been wrestling with adding an FM filter to my Elecraft K3 main receiver for a few years now. Mostly I’ve been looking for a way of receiving AM signals, not necessarily for shortwave broadcasting since that is mostly dead at this point. But for wandering around the amateur bands and trying out both AM and FM. I’ll also admit that there’s been a hole in the bank of five filters that is just crying out to be filled. Plus, INRAD’s annual offer to discount the filters on New Year’s Day by the number of the year has always been Read more
Welcome to my amateur radio blog. Amateur radio is one of my obsessions, er… hobbies. My primary activities are DXing, Contesting, and VHF. I’m also involved in Radio Scouting — amateur radio in Scouting.
I hope you enjoy my posts and projects. Comments welcome.