Sunday, 25 May 2014

Visiting EA2BCJ

I met my friend Tomas EA2BCJ in our home town last Friday. I could not help but noticing the 3 microwave dishes on top of a 6-storey building as we approached his QTH. He explained that he runs 40m of coax from the top to his shack, most of the length is 1/2" section professional low loss type required for the UHF and SHF applications. 

His shack is a truly "man cave" with a lot of serious toys. He powered up his computer and Motorola FM 4m radio as he explained that a couple of days ago he had worked Albany on sporadic-E. He has been working that band and mode lately.

He looked at real time MUF on DXMAPs and said it was not likely to make it at the time ("the cloud is too far and the MUF is too low"). After setting up the alert on a telnet cluster and sked web, essential to work in the higher frequencies, as he explained, we called CQ without luck. I noticed the day after that his call had been picked up in Italy. He was running 20W on a homebrew resonant dipole up 3m in the tower on top of the building.

We went on to see all his /P contest antennas for 2m and various other bands and more toys and tools. Among other things, he gave me a short low loss RG-142 MIL spec jumper, which will be great for my QRP. 

During dinner, we had a good chat about all things HAM, with a good glass of his homebrew 1980s "old wine", typical of many towns and villages in Aragon, always a remmarcable experience. Among other things we discussed connectors (so far, I have soldered mine, but he favours the compression or crimped type), he also recommended the linear amplifiers from HA8UG. I told him about all my recent QRP experiences and projects (MTR v2, VK5JST antenna analyser kit and betterqrp baluns). He told me he has recently opened an online shop,

It was a lot of fun to meet Tomas again and I learnt quite a lot about some other aspects of the great amateur radio hobby!

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