Category Archives: Uncategorized

New SSB/CW dual-band for 4 and 6 meters

Good news. This looks like a great rig. I want…

Ham Radio Blog PD0AC

Still in beta, but might be interesting for the European market. A company called “Noble Radio” (link) is developing a dual-band SSB/CW transceiver for 4 and 6 meters. Price point unknown at this time.

Noble Radio

Preliminary Technical Specifications

Frequency Coverage
4M: 69.9 MHz to 70.5 MHz
6M: 50.0 MHz to 52.0 MHz

Modes:
SSB (USB & LSB) and CW

Circuit Type: Down converting design
Dual Conversion: 1st IF: 10.7 MHz 2nd IF: 25 kHz

Sideband elimination using phasing techniques with digitally generated Quadrature carriers and Image Reject Mixers preceded by 15 kHz crystal roofing filters

Ultimate receiver bandwidth set by adjustable SCAF filters (two 8th order filters used. One for High Cut and one for Low cut)

Sensitivity:
MDS = -130 dbm

Dynamic Range Figures:
Blocking: 110 db
IMD (3rd Order) = 95 db

Selectivity:
500 Hz to 4 kHz adjustable with the SCAF filters
Ultimate attenuation of filters are 55db…

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SOTA – Homebrew 23cm 12 element Yagi Antenna

Super homebrew work well worth the reblog.

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

Sunday 18 June 2017.  I recently purchased a new 2.5 watt 23 cm transverter from SG-Lab in Sofia Bulgaria. The package includes a 2el HB9VC PCB which has turned out to be a great addition for portable work, particularly from a hilltop with a good uninterrupted view of the horizon.  Today from the summit of Mt Taylor VK1/AC-037 locator QF44MP, I worked Rod VK2TWR in Nimmitabel over 130 km, not bad for 2 watts in to a tiny PCB antenna.

While the PCB antenna is a great addition to the SOTA kit, be it for local summits or perhaps on a long hike 10 km or more, what I really need is an antenna with a fair amount of ‘oomph’ that’s non-techo speak for gain, whilst keeping weight and size or length within reasonable limits.

For SOTA purposes keeping antenna construction as simple as possible is a key attribute to…

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SOTA – Getting on 1296 MHz with a Transverter

I hope to be on 23 cm myself by the end of 2017. Great stuff!

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

How do you get on 23 cm 1296.2 MHz USB for SOTA activations without forking out loads of dough for an ICOM IC-910 or IC-9100?  Answer a lightweight all mode 2.5 watt 23 cm transverter from Hristiyan LZ5HP in Sofia Bulgaria.  The current unit on offer is version 2.3.

SG-Lab all mode 2.5 watt 23 cm Transverter version 2.3.  The parcel arrived after 13 calendar days between Bulgaria and Canberra Australia, pretty good considering the transition points along the way.

The 23cm transverter’s default configuration is simplex with the local oscillator (LO) set to 1152 MHz.  The unit has internal jumpers to change the LO frequency by +/- 2 MHz, this option permits simplex operation on 1294 MHz FM.  A separate jumper configures the unit for simplex or repeater operation while a fourth jumper configures the repeater offset which in VK is 20 MHz.  We don’t have a 23cm repeater…

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Sporadic E on 6m – 50 MHz SSB

Sporadic E in Australia and what can be done with a modest antenna. Interesting. Well done, Andrew.

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

Tuesday 20 December 2016. Operating from my home QTH (QF44MP) 9 km south-west of Canberra GPO, I made several 6m Sporadic E QSOs today plus Matt VK1MA, currently on Norfolk Island 1908 km (1,185 miles) north-east in the South Pacific Ocean, reported hearing me call CQ on 50.110 at 01:15 UTC 🙂

Stations heard: ZL1TAP calling CQ DX on 50.110 and Frank VK5KV in Port Augusta, South Australia.

My equipment: Yaesu FT-857D @ 80 watts. Antenna is a homebrew omnidirectional 1/2 wave vertical mounted 500 mm above a flat corrugated iron garage roof. 🙂

VK1AD 6m QSOs, 20 December 2016:

Time UTCFrequencyCallsignNameReportGrid/Location
1:0550.120VK4AMLGregS58 R59QG62LP 963 km (598 miles)
1:1850.165VK4AMGGeorgeS59 R53QG62LO 959 km (595 miles)
3:2150.160VK5XDXOlyS59 R59Angle Vale, PF95HI 951 km (590 miles)

Post update @ 0900 UTC:

At 08:11 and…

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SOTA – Yaesu FT-857D configured for SSB

Useful info on a handy little rig.

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

For Yaesu FT-857D owners, I have published a Quick Reference Guide on the configuration of the radio using a standard MH-31 microphone or the MH-59 AJ8 remote DTM microphone.  I prefer to use the MH-59 DTMF microphone with programmable P1 and P2 buttons for quick access to selected menus.  Watch out for the nifty VFO wheel on the upper right edge of the microphone just where your right thumb sits.  Yes I too have been caught out shifting the VFO in the middle of a SOTA contact!    🙂

See my new page  FT-857D Menu Settings

FT-857D deployed for a SOTA activation of Mt Little Joe VK3/VC-027 FT-857D deployed for a SOTA activation of Mt Little Joe VK3/VC-027. The Mic pictured is the standard MH-31

Purchased accessory MH-59 A8J DTMF Microphone

MH-59 DTMF Microphone MH-59 A8J DTMF Microphone. The VFO thumbwheel is pictured on the edge of the microphone.  P1 and P2 buttons are programmable to give you direct access to two selected menus.

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Shingleback or Stumpy-tailed Lizard 

Always keep your eyes open in the countryside. You might get a bonus like this.

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

Walking at lunch today I passed this perfect specimen of the Shingleback. Length is about 350mm or 14 inches in the old scale. The shingleback lizard is native to Australia. The name ‘Stumpy’ is from the short tail.

Canberra is well-known as the bush capital.

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Excellent VK0EK Heard Island Video by Vadym, UT6UD

Noble but chilly expedition in the names of amateur radio and perhaps international understanding also

Please enjoy this excellent video made by Vadym, UT6UD who was one of the “dynamic duo” on Top Band (along with Dave, K3EL), and a major reason why VK0EK broke Top Band records from Heard Island:

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Prime Meridian – Greenwich Mean Time

Welcome, friend, to the home of GMT.

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

In most cases, amateur radio operators record the time of a conversation (QSO) as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or also known as Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). Why? No matter where in the world the amateur radion station is located, GMT or UTC is the time refrence by which all amateur radio QSOs are logged, doing so eliminates potential errors or misunderstandings of individual station time zones. The same can be said for all emergency services radio communications and radio conversations between air traffic controllers and pilots of aircraft. The time reference for all essential service radio communications is Greenwich Meant Time (GMT). The prime meridian serves as the world’s standard time zone

Today my wife and I visited the Royal Greenwich Observatory the location of the Prime Meridian at Zero degrees Longtitude (0). Yep we are in London! The prime meridian divides the earth’s Eastern and Western Hemispheres. 15 degrees…

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SOTA – VHF/UHF Kit Upgrade

2 Metres and 70 cms in VK. Aman after my own heart.

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

SOTA – Coax cable signal loss at 432 MHz

Using good quality RG58AU MilSpec coax at 144 MHz is a compromise of weight saving versus RF losses and the ability to coil a 5 metre length of coax to fit in the SOTA back pack. Yes I hear you, considering the losses in RG58AU it’s not ideal for weak signal reception!

Using RG58AU at 432 MHz was a temporary measure but in doing so my UHF set up will have losses in the coax feedline in the order of 33% or more.  Assuming a perfect VSWR and no losses in RF connectors, the cable loss will be 1.72 dB.  The reality of my UHF set up is more like 3 dB loss where half of the FT-857D power output is lost in the coax cable before any amount of RF signal is successfully radiated by the antenna.  It’s not all…

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MEETING LINKS EXPEDITION WITH OPERATIONS NEARLY 50 YEARS AGO

Historically interesting amateur radio from 1969.

Hugh Milburn, who was active on Heard Island in 1969 as VKØHM, paid a visit to Expedition Leader Bob Schmieder. Hugh is one of a handfull of people who have had the extraordinary experience of visiting and working on Heard Island. He was there nearly 50 years ago. Bob’s previous visit was a mere 20 years ago.
The ANARE site is reclaimed by the elements. (Upper row) 1947, 1969. (Lower row) 1997, 2012.
Feb. 24, 2016. The Expedition has a remarkable visitor today: Hugh Milburn, known to some older amateur radio operators as VKØHM. He operated mostly 20m during his working stay on Heard Island during 1969-70.

Hugh recounted the circumstances of his work at the ANARE station, at Atlas Cove:

My stay there was not for DX of course, but driven by the Cold War when there was a strong interest in knowing the size and shape of the…

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