20 May 2015I’ve always thought my nifty punched tape image was pretty cool. After all it took me a fair bit of work to pull it together using Photoshop along with a teletype font. However, I’ve just realized that many of you have never seen punched tape. So, here’s just a bit of background. Above you can see a punched tape running through a paper tape reader. This particular tape also has each character printed on the tape. Since this is Baudot which is a five bit code, there are five rows of punches along with a feeder row. The five bits Read more
18 May 2015The editors at QST were kind enough to publish an article on Radio Scouting in their June 2015 issue. It covers all the latest news about amateur radio within the Scouting movement with a particular emphasis on the Boy Scouts of America. I encourage you to check it out. Here’s a link to a PDF QST June 2015 Radio Scouting I also encourage you to get involved in your local Scouting activities by supporting a Jamboree on the Air station or serving as a Radio Merit Badge counselor. You can find lots of information on the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association website.
17 May 2015The image above is from a six meter sporadic E opening on 14 May 2015. You can see that I was just a bit outside the broader opening on the east coast. Even so, I managed to work several stations in Virginia and picked up a new grid. There was a really big opening on the 8th and 9th of May where I worked Florida, Illinois, Colorado, North Dakota, Georgia, Missouri, Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, California, North Carolina, West Virginia, Arizona, and Nevada. During that opening I operated on CW (included a pile up in response to my CQ), Read more
4 May 2015I’d noted in a previous post that I’d applied for VUCC-125 on six meters. The sticker arrived last week from ARRL and my Logbook of the World account has been updated with the additional QSOs via cards. I’m beginning to see the reasons behind the concerns expressed on some of the VHF groups about being second class citizens. Logbook of the World works great for entering DXCC paper QSL cards and then having them checked. The VUCC system requires extensive paperwork. Plus, I now have paper QSLs recorded for New Zealand, Ecuador, etc. on six meters but they don’t register Read more
26 April 2015As I noted in an earlier post, I’ve purchased an InnovAntennas 3-element LFA yagi for six meters. It was the best antenna that would fit in my side yard. I would have liked more elements, but just didn’t have the room. Ordering and Shipping I ordered the antenna from Force12 thanks to their current discount on their six meter antennas. I had been somewhat concerned about the $56 shipping cost from England, but the discount helped me over that hurdle. About a week after the order, Federal Express notified me that the antenna had been picked up in England and Read more
24 April 2015My certificate arrived today for the Worked All States with W1AW portable operations. It had a few extra stickers for DC, KH8, KP2, and KP4. I worked WAS on both CW and RTTY but didn’t find anything to signify those achievements. I’m not sure that was a part of the award criteria. It was a fun activity throughout 2014 and I know many that really got involved. I didn’t work on the points challenge. Working the W1AW operations was enough for me. Hope you have fun with the program as well.
18 April 2015Over the past month I’ve been further developing my six meter station and spending some time on the air. Equipment You’ve see my previous post where I added the Elecraft PR6 preamp. Not much else going on at the moment for equipment. I do have my heart set on adding the Elecraft KPA500 linear amplifier. But that will no doubt need to wait at least until late this year. Antennas I’ve been reviewing my options around adding some more gain to my antenna set up. I’ve also looked at setting up a turnstile antenna. That seems like a good replacement for my current Read more
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
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.