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Tuesday 27 February 2018

ATS3B in C6 be careful else you'll kill the PA!

Had a quick email from another ATS3 fan, "please don't connect the ATS3B up to a poorly matched antenna it might result in tears before bedtime".

I built mine back in 2009. This was just before adding the C to the band modules. Added 60m as well to it since then.

So just to calm those interested, I have a nice phono to BNC adapter so I'll take the signal out from this and feed it into the £10 (what cost me see Elecraft T1 ATU I made up years ago with it so the Pa will be 'protected' to a degree.

I'll also take a few BS170 with me just in case Murphy becomes an operator.

The ATU will probably be a bit redundant though initially as antennas will be mono band & resonant too, I'll use a KD1JV, to be sure they are before use.

qrpkits photo I'll swap with my own this evening.

Monday 26 February 2018

Glad I didn't try to activate E5/N

Just told
"Shipping would have been risky!!!  The MS Lady Moana made two attempts to get to Pukapuka but made it to Palmerston.  First trip it was too rough to put anyone ashore on Palmerston.  Second trip -- last week -- also very rough but the ship's hull got a hole -- rusted through -- so they dropped all the Pukapuka passengers on Palmerston and headed back to Raro with just the crew.  The ship has now got 3 holes in the hull and is on the way to Tahiti for repairs -- however -- I am not sure it is repairable -- and if it was patched, I would NOT travel on it.

The people dropped on Palmerston will likely be there for several months as Tapi Taio has only one small vessel left -- though he has bought another vessel in Norway and it is being refitted.

So be glad you did not make it to Palmerston!  You would likely be there for a long time."

Sunday 25 February 2018


Need to be sure the ATS-3B doesn't get powered by more than 11V.

The homebrew PSU (ex PC ATX supply and switchable 110V or 230V) will go to 13.4V which would be terminal.

I used to have a QBSA but sold it (big mistake). Anyway going through setup for latest trip and realised need a way to control the voltage that the ATS3B will be powered with so built something based on the QBSA (from KD1JV) section. Where you take the main shack supply and use an LM317 to provide an adjustable output voltage.

Used part of an ebay module kit that uses the same LM317 and has a voltage display and has a handy 5V circuit. LM317T for ATS3B is good to 1.5A

I omitted the AC diode bridge (4 diodes) as I don't need them and just added a wire.

and squeezed into an Aluminium box (will add an arduino nano frequency display and VSWR later) with a set of DC leads (and 2 amp inline fuse)
 to the PSU and a 2.1/0.7mm barrel connector

to the ATS-3B.

Thinking might fit these bits plus the basic PSU and the basic SO2R into an EC2 enclosure (have one spare). Then if travelling with K2 etc again (likely) will reduce the number of units.

GP connectors

Thought I'd make up some GP base connectors after what learnt over time.

BNC for the RF and M6 BRASS wing nuts.

Reusable cable ties.

Inside the boxes (2" x 1" x 1/2" deep) connections are using solid wire that has been wound about a screw driver so it is sort of like a little spring, so if for whatever reason the connection goes loose the connection will still work.

As asked.... the vertical wire will have am M6 ring terminal soldered and crimped on on end that goes on one M6 and it is secured in place between the washers and the butterfly nut and the other end goes up the pole or whatever you are using to support it, the radials connect to the other M6, either bare wires just wound about the M6 bolt or M6 ring terminals. When they are attached to a pole I know which is which so have not labelled them but I might.
The boxes do have enough space for a T80 toroid balun to just fit inside but I have not done this. Nothing stopping you adding one outside or feeding differently.

Friday 23 February 2018

M1KTA SO2R pt 2

Following on from as asked I will post some more details of the Arduino shield shortly.

Might not be until after C6/BERU trip mid March though as not as much time left before going.

As remarked yes only doing only simple cw and audio switching. NO SSB or PTT. You'll have to make sure you sort out PTT out so when one rig is keyed it sends a PTT lock out to the other so doesn't TX.

On C6 trip will be reviewing some kit

Been asked to review a bit of kit (rig accessory) and so will provide a link/updates on the blog once spoken to the vendor after trip.

Interesting option, so if any other vendors are ever interested in asking....

Sunday 18 February 2018


Had these in the workshop for a while and thought was time to make then up.

Basically Butterworth band-pass filters for 80m, 40m, 30 and 17m.

Used T80-6 torroids and 500V (I think) SM caps.

Should be good to 20W at least, probably a lot more.

The 80m and 40m ones I used thin wire in the winding so probably not good for higher powers, the 30m and 17m ones used 16SWG wire should should be good for 100W

Monday 12 February 2018

C6AKT now on clublog & LoTW

As I found out C6AKT was a reissued reciprocal SK call (Glenn W2CXX) and they had registered it through clublog and LoTW etc. So had to go through the steps needed and they are both now live again so requests for QSL will come to me.

Please make sure you realise I will not be dealing with requests for QSO or operation before my time there 8th March 2018.

"On 2018-01-13 16:31:45, Dominic Baines (M1KTA) requested that C6AKT be transferred to their account.

The allowed 28-day waiting period has now expired, and glen fadden (W2CXX) has not responded.
As a result, this Callsign Transfer Request has been automatically completed and C6AKT has been
transferred to Dominic Baines (M1KTA) as requested. The original log has been renamed C6AKT-1 and
remains under the account of glen fadden (W2CXX).

This resolution is now final, and the Callsign Transfer Request has been closed.

vy 73,
Michael G7VJR and the team at Club Log -"

Thursday 8 February 2018

Keyers work in SO2R mode

Just tested, before going to the salt mines (sadly work still), that can use the keyers (K1EL Lite and WKUSB or K3NG) and the ATS-3B and K2 rigs independently of each other when switching manually and they are fine. In case ask/puzzled, the plan is I will using ONE manual key input through the SO2R and those will go into the 2 keyer paddle inputs. But I'll use win-test to key just ONE of the rigs the other will be manual.

Will be testing the win-test functionality and effect when change from rig1 to rig2 etc over the w/e.

Got to make sure the TX lock out works.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

A 5th 10m travel pole goes in the bag...

And still inside weight limit :-)

The suggestions are:

4SQ try 4SQ+1 so a 5th parasitic element might help in one direction or other.

The theory is to either place it in the dead centre or inline (along the diagonal) with the required direction.

IF there is 15m or 10m activity, add a second GP.

Friday 2 February 2018

C6AKT 100% homebrew

As asked... Will be QRP.

The C6 trip will be 100% using home brew kit.

2el on 80m, Supports are two 12m poles from Spiderbeam, with top capacity hats. Directed end-fire towards UK/EU. Wires all new.
4-square on 40m, Four 10m traveling poles from SOTABeams will support the radiators, radials all new wires from CPC. Using a TK5EP based hybrid controller, same as used elsewhere, this time M1GEO made me up a QRP PCB and much lighter so will be trying that instead of the S2JW version.
VDA on 20m, 12m pole, Tesco chopping board and parts from two 4m poles. See details how to build one. TX6G David Aslin G3WGN also has excellent designs. There is a 1/2 wavelength version out there too...
GP's 15m and 10m (Not expecting much if anything on 15m and 10m)

Feed is NEW Aircell-5 with 75ohm webpro 100 between the phased antennas.

Taking coax stubs for 40m and 20m made from coax I picked up from SM7UCZ a while back (tnx G4BWP for the conversations and corrections)
W3NGN based BPF (but qrp versions) between the TRX and antenna

I'll use an SO2R arduino controller not really for running SO2R but to switch between the antennas.

Rigs will be ATS-3B and K2
Homebrew Softrock "Lite + USB Xtall" V9.0 Si570

I do have KX3 which I 'built' but they don't really fall into the hombrew category so they stay in UK