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Friday 28 September 2012

Fox hunt from DX location.

I am about to do the DX thing again and I will be QRV 4th October to 11th October ???/M1KTA will be the call and I will be doing LoTW uploads daily for the DXCC chasers the final location though you will have to find me on air to discover it bit like a fox hunt :-)

I have a stop over in Honolulu on 3rd means so I will be qrv as KH6/M1KTA on the morning of the 4th October (No LoTW). I will be QRV on the USS Missouri probably as KH6BB at some point thanks to Bill KH6OO. Please note that KH6 is not my final destination.

This trip I have been asked to say where I will be TX as some could not find me in C5 or 6W so I list possible TX operating frequencies, IF I hear these frequencies are occupied I will be close to them.
Note for JA the digital frequency will be different.

160 (maybe!)
(3.520-3.530 JA)

I will try to activate all of these at some point.

Note my CW will be sub 16wpm, if you send faster I will probably ignore you.

If there is a pile up PLEASE LISTEN to any instructions if I am calling for a specific station or prefix I will wait until I get the station I want. I will not respond to part call signs as a rule and will answer full call signs only, you are likely to be ignored otherwise. I will not have the power to argue about it. Note that I will ask stations to shut up if they are effecting others unnecessarily.

I will probably be working simplex initially and split if needed I will be listening up 5khz for SSB and up 2khz for CW but listen on air.

Please allow the previous caller to complete their over before calling as it is likely I will ask them to repeat anyway.

I expect I will be working EU/UK mostly at sunset/sunrise especially on the lower frequencies give or take 30 minutes. EU/UK is my prime focus this trip. From my prime location everything is likely to be LONG PATH ONLY so point anything directional SOUTH from UK/EU. If I find a better location for short path I will advise. For an antenna I'd advise a sloping dipole and point it SOUTH.

This is what the grey line looks like from UK morning (c05:45) on second day.

Interestingly the ZD9UW station (look South Atlantic) from Rob M0VFC also from my local Cambridge club is in the same grey line :-)

My antennas will be a buddipole, vertical moxon for 20m and higher, phased verticals for 40m, loaded 40m vertical on 80m and 160m (maybe an AKI on 160m?). All right on the beach.

Rig will be Elecraft KX3 so I will be QRP but if 40m/80m/160m is possible I have a small dual MOSFET linear.

The QRSS 30m beacon will be qrv a day or two into the trip and remain on the whole time and it will be sending QRSS 3 "my call and locator", I would welcome any reports. The WSPR beacon will be on the same band and should be active at the same time.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

M1KTA version of ARRL 50W PA

I have a Dx trip I am about to go on and I have been asked if I can try LF and the ARRL 50WPA challange looks like one option as it will do 160/80 and 40m.

Drive will be from KX3.

I had a Microwave Modules 25W 2m pa doing nothing...

So time to remove the guts...

 Interesting 12v relays I might find a use for them another time... The main transistor is junk so it will no longer work but I'll save the board in case I want if for later.

Cut a piece of FR4 and slid into where the original used to be and cut two 'panels' for TO220 IRFZ24N transistors. I have a dual IRF510 PA that might do in case this one doesn't work.

This is the input side... I used a BN43-202 and not the FT37-43 as originally spec'ed as I had seen from PIC-A-STAR that the VSWR in input was better wih the binocular core, I note that in the original Donald W6JL used one anyway!

Input stage:

I am building mine Manahatten style with pads (cut from a sheet with harbour freight punch) all the parts except the PA transistors and the output toroid were all from the 'junk box'. I had ordered a few of the transistors and the BN43-3312 a while ago.

Output stage added:

I used a couple 1000pF poly caps temporary and I put them into the RG58 out sleave off cut.

I will replace with a single 2000pF (c2n2) cap.

The space top left will be for an RF sense and QSK relay. See N6BM Miniboots PA for an idea of that.

The random extra manhatten pads in the centre I'll remove.

I will add a fan on the top of the heatsink.

Monday 24 September 2012

Plastic ground screw

Chance spot in a garden centre.... plastic ground screws.

Just like the ones from Lidl a while back (which are galvanised steel) but this time tough plastic, take the metal rod out that is used to 'plant them' and they are so light weight. 660g with the metal rod insert, 560g without!

As one that does the DX bit from time to time and on flights I thought I just had to get a couple (4 to replace those I have for the beach 80/40 4 square). Already checked they are fine for different 10m and 12m poles. They have a reduction insert for smaller diameter poles too, I'll probably jettison everything not needed and sort out some thing to screw them in locally.

Pillimore Garden Centre, Melborn.

I paid £9.95 each they can be bought cheaper...


Sunday 16 September 2012

G4STT Award is qrv on 20m

I managed to put the RSGB award (well it is a rig) on air after a few checks. The Tick keyer isn't announcing the frequency as it should so I used the old ploy of another Rx local and tuned the rig until the TX frequency zero beat. I am about 5-15Hz above 14.060... anyway cq'ing for a bit....

I am using a K1EL Winkeyer USB so I put the rig into straight key mode.

I am sending slow at 12wpm.

Friday 14 September 2012

GQRP Rishworth Talk

I will be giving a talk at Rishworth - QRP from West Africa.

Do more with less. QRP DX operating this time an Elecraft KX3 from West Africa where Dom M1KTA travelling solo operated from 6W and then C5, activating IOTA AF-045 along the way.

Apart from the usual power point presentation I will bring along a set of audio and video recordings from both UK, Italy and those from 6W and C5 on the operation and a selection of the kit used.
If you were in the log I might have actual qsl cards by then, I will advise if I do in the talk. I will have the on air recordings too so you might be able to hear what you sounded like to me!

Probably the least technical talk of the day.

I will also have some of the shack kit for sale in the main hall ... see an earlier blog post.

Monday 10 September 2012

GQRP club asked me to become Communications Manager

This email says it all really...

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: George Dobbs
Sent: Monday, 10 September 2012, 14:12
Subject: [GQRP] New Communications Manager

For many years, Peter Barville, G3XJS,
has been the club Communications Manager.
Our sincere thanks to Peter for his years of excellent service to the club.
Peter now feels the job needs a fresh face and fresh ideas and is stepping 

The good news is that Dom Baines, M1KTA,
has agreed to be our new Communications Manager.
Many of you will know Dom from his excellent blog
and will have read about his recent DX exploits on this reflector.

For the purposes of his role as Communications Manager
Dom will be using the email address
Could members who have any information or reports
for the Communications Manager (e.g. Summer Sizzler reports still 
Please send these to Dom at the address above.
This will save forwarding of mail.

There will be a fuller announcement with welcome for Dom
and thanks to Peter in the winter issue of SPRAT.
(the autumn SPRAT is now with the printers)

My thanks to Peter and Dom

George Dobbs G3RJV

"It is vain to do with more
what can be done with less"
William of Occum 1290-1350 

Sunday 9 September 2012

Was at RSGB NRC active as GB3RS

I was at the mike of the RSGB NRC for a bit this morning. Christine (XYL) took me to Bletchley Park for a Birthday treat (it is on 13th but I am working). I remembered the licence at last minute, good job I did..

The FT9000DXmillionoptions is a HUGE rig. It was running 200W initially and to be honest turn the beam to any station and 100% if you could hear them you would work them. I turned it down to 50W to make it a bit more of a challenge. Antenna is a STEPPIR, but it is only about 40ft AGL so not really optimal.

The DL EU DX contest was on so only outside EU stations responding.

I was on SSB and worked 9 or 10 stations into Asiatic Russia, Middle East, 5B4AIF (Cyprus), Iran, Brazil... nothing spectacular really and there was an audience and someone else was running the log and real time plotting where on the world (display way above the photos) I was talking to at any one time. Active on 17m and 20m. The volunteer Peter (a G4) afterwards said is was much easier explaining what was going on when someone was able to make contacts and they could talk about what was going on. Having just come back from 6W and C5 I guess I am still in 'pile up mode' hihi so was a bit quick.

Bit of a shame no 'normal rigs' that the ordinary amateur might have, or might afford. I should have taken the KX3 and showed that off, interesting the operating slot to the right was completely empty! I feel a comment to RSGB about this...

The GB3RS call I'd have expected it to be really active but it did not seem so. NA stations liked to hear that were from Bletchley Park and all that meant though bit like GB2IWM at RAF Duxford.

Saturday 8 September 2012

M1KTA/6W video

Some of the pile up from M1KTA/6W recorded back in in UK by G0VQY I was working EU, North and South America and about 16min in I 'seemed to have disappeared as I was working NA as well.

This was on 15m and the band was wide open.

You cannot tell from the video but I had horrendous conditions at the other end so I was deliberately slow and repeated. This was 10W SSB from KX3 into a 3 el 15m yagi I had no idea I was this clear or I would have sped up bit.

QSL Cards

Lots of direct and email QSL requests.

The cards have not been ordered yet (will be using FDS) as soon as they arrive I will send them out.

Logs  to LoTW and CLublig have been uploaded.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Spock on the pile up idiots

This made me laugh but the sad bit is it is so true as well.

emailed to the CDXC list...

Dear CDXC,
Try this message from Spo ck, in his best American Vulcan! 

73 de Roger/G3SXW.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Shack clear out

As I was in the workshop (I have a separate shack too!) after the C5 and 6W trip, putting some stuff away I realised that I really do need to shift some things so I am thinking of selling off almost all the little kit builds I have completed (MKARS 80m SSB, HB-1A, BITX-20 (qrpkits), 4 band Elecraft K1, PFR-3 (qrpkits), FT TutHill80 (qrpkits), Norcal-20 etc) so many of the kit built TX/RX TRX would go.

I suspect all the test kit kits I'll keep as I use them as well as a few things like the ATS-3B(KD1JV), 3 different PIC-A-STAR and my qrp2004 build.

I will have to confirm it all works first and produce output plots etc!

I might even sell off the bags of bits that are complete projects (with docs) or part builds such as many different SDR RX (all from Tony Parks KB9YIG) so fixed freq and agile too, I have a couple SDR RXTX like the Firefly 20 which I have an SMT and through hole version, Small Wonder Labs SW20+, a PSK-20, Norcal-2030 (unbuilt) GQ-20, OpenQRP TRX (unbuilt), Flea, ATS-3 and a few others.

I have a couple commercial rigs too, some vintage that might go too.

All the bodge type builds (6V6 rig) and 100% homebrew maybe not but most of the kit builds and random rigs should definitely go. At GQRP rally in Rishworth I will ask for a table or try to sell before hand. I am not short of cash, and do not need to scale down but I suspect would raise enough for another dx trip or maybe a long way towards another KX3 or antenna.

Most have been pictured on this blog at one time or another .... anyway I'll be taking it all the GQRP Rishworth unless I sell it earlier. If interested please drop me an email I can tell you if it is available or not.