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Tuesday 30 July 2013

How did you get to EU-138, can you confirm it?

Asked ... how did I get to EU-138 from UK... can I prove it?

Bit of an odd one but here goes...

XYL dropped me off at Stanstead near home and I flew to Copenhagen via Easyjet EZY3091.

Note the two bags checked in.

I took a train from Copehagen to Karlskrona...

Johnny SM7UCZ then picked me up and took me to the ferry at Torhamn where I crossed to the Island.

Sat and had a coffee in the cafe before hand, after contest.. returned to Torhamn, then Jamjo to Copenhagen (lift with SM7UCZ) where I stopped off at SM7EQL on the way and Easyjet flight EZY3096 back to Stansted.

Note no bags to check... SM7UCZ brought them to UK and gave them back to me about an hour ago.

Pretty sure there is a stamp in the passport on the way home.

I have been asked to confirm travel to C5, AF-45 in 6W and KH8 before but never an island in EU ho hum!

No this was not RSGB guys but the comment was made that I could have installed a remote station there as I was there a month before and not travelled :-)

You could contact Ulf the owner of the lighthouse cottage on the island if I really was there...

Quick visit to SM7EQL on way out of SM land

Quick stop over to visit a great DXer and vintage radio shack of SM7EQL.

Bengt is a GQRP member (just rejoined) and his shack is 100% filament no transistors (well maybe a couple in places). Wonderful WS-19 sets and more working vintage radios than most might see in a lifetime. I loved the working WS-19 sets with RUSSIAN lettering on them that were in use by the Russians when UK and Russia were allies in WWII.

Collection of photos starting with me at his operating position:

 My card is proped up on the cw key.

Behind me are a RX and TX of the sort that they USED to go on DX trips with.

Those WS-19 sets have Russian lettering on them!

The HRO used to be Finnish and the Swedish secret service. You can tell (apart from being told) by the red dot on the front panel top right.

 Old ships TX in the corner.

Spark TX ... it works as well.

Local club use this as a meeting room from time to time.... so much history and inspiration.

The necessary Vintage QSL wall.

 Homebrew 2m setup with homebrew transverter and a modifiued Command set (80m I think) that drives it.

Wow now that is what I'd call a transmission line from a TX :-)

These are not all static display radios they all work!

Sunday 28 July 2013

sm7/m1kta/p qrt

Almost the same number of contacts in the contest as before and afterwards.

Was hard work (contest) and 10m was totally dead, spent time on CW 15m, 20m and 40m and gave away lots of point/multipliers. Nowhere near as many IOTA as usual but more qso but points will be lower. I'll be in the QRP DXpedition category so will have to see how I do.

Saturday 27 July 2013

RSGB IOTA Contest... and the're off..

Contest started...

30m beacon is up and running on EU-138 (own power supply and antenna too)

10.140.500 sending cw at 16wpm and sometimes changing to DFCW3

Getting very hot.... KX3 PA complaining

Will drop some shade over it but KX3 PA complaining about heat again (like in 6W) not running SSB with 10W now 8W.... I have put a 12V  8cm PC fan on and directing it at KX3.... PA temp dropping fast now.

I did not fit heatsink to this one, should have done that... ho hum.

Thank heavens SM7UCZ lent me the PSU as have the fan running off different one to the rig.

EU138 qrp station but doesn't weigh like qrp kit...

 Before the ferry...
The long bag contains the poles... cool box food for w/e
Box is from Sm7UCZ and contains batteries, 10 litres of water, power supplies and all sort of heavy stuff.

The ruck sack and other bag contains clothes etc... my kit weighs less than 17kg!

 Three antennas in a line. The 12m pole has bent over a bit as the base was not secured properly.
10/15/20 dipole, 80m dipole (as inv V), 40m GP (and 30m beacon)

The 'shack' this is serious comfort!

Feeders above the ground... This morning a line of house martins had taken up positions on many wires!

Operating position. Two PSU one powers the beacon, a 12V fan and a light the other the rig and laptop.

I have an internet connection! That I brought.

So LoTW and spots will be uploaded immediately. RBN (CW) and SSB tests last night and this morning seem to say I am getting out.

Friday 26 July 2013

QRV in SM Land

Up and running... antennas for 10/15/20/40 and 80 all up and running...

RSGB IOTA is tomorrow from 12:00 UTC (13:00 UK, 14:00 Local).

rows to show:
showing spots for DX call: *M1KTA* 
search spot by callsign
HA6PX SM7/M1KTA/P7029.6CW CQ13 dB21 wpm1853z 26 Jul
RZ3DVP SM7/M1KTA/P7029.5CW CQ10 dB21 wpm1853z 26 Jul
DR1A SM7/M1KTA/P7029.5CW CQ22 dB21 wpm1853z 26 Jul
DL1EMY SM7/M1KTA/P7029.5CW CQ20 dB21 wpm1853z 26 Jul
OH6BG SM7/M1KTA/P7029.5CW CQ15 dB20 wpm1853z 26 Jul
DK9IP SM7/M1KTA/P7029.5CW CQ15 dB21 wpm1853z 26 Jul
DL8LAS SM7/M1KTA/P7029.5CW CQ18 dB21 wpm1853z 26 Jul
HB9DCO SM7/M1KTA/P7029.5CW CQ19 dB21 wpm1853z 26 Jul
HB9DCO SM7/M1KTA7030.0CW CQ10 dB12 wpm1744z 26 Jul
HA6PX SM7/M1KTA/P7030.1CW CQ8 dB21 wpm1743z 26 Jul
DF7GB SM7/M1KTA/P7030.1CW CQ17 dB21 wpm1743z 26 Jul
DQ8Z SM7/M1KTA/P7030.0CW CQ18 dB21 wpm1743z 26 Jul
GW8IZR SM7/M1KTA/P7030.0CW CQ11 dB21 wpm1743z 26 Jul
DL1EMY SM7/M1KTA/P7030.0CW CQ26 dB21 wpm1743z 26 Jul

SM7/M1KTA/P EU-138

Just arrived in SM land and on train to Karlskrona... should be qrv from EU-138 later this evening if all goes well.. ferry from Torhamn..... will be qrv for the RSGB IOTA contest 12:00 UTC (14:00 local, 13:00 UK).

Saturday 20 July 2013

6W note you need a visa now!!

The Senegal government now from 1st July 2013 need a visa for a tourist visit. You have to apply in person. Initially quoted min 4 days turn around. You can use visa shops that are a bit quicker but note they need your passport.

Thursday 18 July 2013


Just had a few hours fun... not QRP though!

Operated the 80m then 40m station for G100RSGB in Cambridge.

Monday 15 July 2013

Component Tester

Postie just delivered this... from china.

Nice and cheap cost was £18... ok you can get much of what it will test on slightly advanced DVM but this seems like a nice easy tool for the travel kit.

It is powered from a PP3, power it on and it measures and displays the input voltage... I think I'll fit it into a box with a transformer/rectifier and LM7809 regulator.

It measured (quick test) C from 33pF up to 20,000uF (large can!), R 0.1 up to 15M seems reasonably accurate.

It couldn't tell a diode from a zener but did tell it was a diode.
pnp, npn and mosfet transistors all fine.

The main reason I thought would be useful is it has an ESR feature so for electrolytics it showed the ESR resistance too. Yes I have a couple of analogue ESR meters as well (see this blog for details).

Tuesday 9 July 2013


Certificates requested for SM/M1KTA/P, SM7/M1KTA/P and OZ/M1KTA/P if the qso YOU upload does not reference one of those you will not see a QSL match.

Monday 8 July 2013

Made 40m dipole for EU-172 tonight

As asked a few times (by DL station especially) please can I put up an antenna for 40m so I have made an antenna for 40m quickly from a reel of RG174, It will either be a 1/4 vertical with two radials or can be a inverted V dipole. I will suspend it from the 12m fishing pole (vertical feed will probably be about 1m AGL) and place it right by the shore and see who/what I can work. This will be from c18:00 UTC until 19:30UTC this evening... wh the cut off... I have to be off the beach by 22:00 LOCAL so 19:30 UTC is 21:30 LOCAL.

QRV from EU-172 this morning

 The station setup... pretty sinple.

The ugly operator... note the essential hat as even in the morning the sky is clear and getting very warm. Apologies for the necessary unshaven somewhat scruffy appearance so essential when running a /P IOTA station :-)

Station as always ... KX3 10W from 7 AH SLA into my homebrew vertical dipole for 20m right at the waters edge (see video) QRV from 0715:UTC until 12:45 UTC when band died (for me almost like a switch went on and S9 noise from Russioan broadcast stations and could not hear anyone through it) and KX3 power was folding back to 5W as battery volts had dropped (had used last night as well and was not recharged).

The local boats (off shore and 500m to the North) meant I had to use the NB in the KX3 for first time in ages as they had battery chargers running, the NB with a setting of 4 cleared the tatatatat noise immediately.

Plenty of QSO... bit hard at times and QSB was up and down. Some reports put me at 59+20 into central UK, then 59+10 in Spain then 53 in UK and almost nil in Spain again... very very wierd.

Short video again... UTC is TWO hours behind local not the one I said in video.

Sunday 7 July 2013

QRV from EU172

Evening activation.... tried some grey line as sun was setting.

Some nice DX heard (KP4P) but only worked usual EU stations, tnx F1MQJ for the spot.

Saturday 6 July 2013

Should be QRV from EU-172 shortly (in morning)

About as simple a station as it gets. The ferrite on the headset lines seems to calm down all the RF in a busy enviornment. I am running 10W, using 5W got nothing at all.

After a last hurrah on the air operating literally from the ferry quay at Tars when I finally managed to work GB100RSGB on 40m :-) I added another 20 qso into the EU-029 log including Gozo EU-23 (9H3AY ex. G3SDG)). I then left EU-029 (Lolland) via the ferry from Tars to Spodsbjerg (N /MM possible) so now on EU-172.

QSO with OZ6GH Gorm yesterday... today invited to (as only 5 miles North of youth hostel where I stayed in Koge) stop by for a visit to his shack and his amazing literature collection going back to 1900. Nice to chat and sit still for a bit.

Staying just outside Faebaek which is on the north of the island. I will cycle down to Dagelokke on west coast (couple miles) tomorrow and see about operating sites.

Going to stay here for two extra nights which probably means not activating EU-171 unless I asked very nicely as it will mean a whole days driving to get there and back, but will activate EU-125 before going to the ferry :-)

I hear that the sun is playing havoc with the higher bands and if today was anything to go by the great conditions of 4 days ago are a memory... shame.

Anyway hope to work some stations from a new IOTA tomorrow.

I'll try the W3EDP as well as the 10,12,15,17 & 20 m dipole.

EU-029 QRV 6/7/2013

Should be QRV in about 45 mins c05:30UTC until 12:30 UTC

Friday 5 July 2013

EU-029 QRV

Operated from Mon which is an island off the main road just south of Koge and Copenhagen. Was late as should have only been an hour after operating near YSATd so conditions were not optimal. I heard lots of 'V' stations on air exercising their new calls on 20m and 40m (made a simple wire dipole for 40m).

Not a lotw of QSO (26) but everyone was nice to get band conditions were not great.

Tomorrow should be QRV earlier.... been invited up to shack in Copenhagen so might do a trip up there before moving on.

Thursday 4 July 2013

EU-030 QRT until early morning

Operated since arrived and batteries need recharged as output below 3W now and voltage levels dangerously low on batteries. It is 18:20UTC local right now expect to be qrv about 05:00 UTC, sun rise 04:28 local (03:28 UTC)... will be active for couple hours then will relocate until leave island about 17:00 UTC.

Noone wants EU-030 ?

cqcqcq for hours few calls and nice reports but almost no qso.

was qrv about 04:00 UTC and worked 40m as well as 20m but very few takers.... relocating to a beach until ferry... hope later on EU-030 is better.

Started to rain a bit so decided to leave for the ferry early and get to EU-029. So 08:30 (06:30 UTC) ferry to YSTAD.

Operated from the beach to est of ysatd on coast road for last time as SM7/M1KTA/P before moving on to EU-029

Almost a perfect location (if it were not for 100's of sand flies!). The SLA battery holder made for me by SM7UCZ (thing with the handle) has a 7AH SLA in it so it is heavy enough to hold the feeder so it is almost at 70 degrees... you cannot tell but the antenna is leant towards you and there is a wind that is away from you... the net result is a near vertical antenna ;-)