Sunday, 18 October 2015

Conventions.... RSGB & upcoming GQRP

Last Saturday I visited the RSGB Convention at Kent Hills - near Milton Keynes. It was the first time I attended this event and I was joined by my neighbor & DXer Chris G3SJH.

We both enjoyed the various presentations we attended. This was my pick.

Contest Strategy - Olaf  Lundberg  G0CKV / M5E
From Hartley to Hardwin - Paul Darlinton M0XPD
Is 3dB worth a divorce - Glenn Johnson, W0GJ
PJ7PK IOTA DXpedition - Dave EI9FBB
Portable operation using the sea to give you a boost Richard Bone, M0UOO
Understanding HF Propagation  Steve Nichols, G0KYA 

I got a few ideas for my modest cw contest station and my next project (playing with Arduino and DDS shields) as well as learnt about the Chilton Ionosonde life data among other things...

At lunch time, I had a few minutes of CW with the special event station MB5RC  - TS990

Special event station: Kenwood TS-990, Cushcraft A4S Yagi.

Next weekend I am off to Rinsworth for the GQRP Convention and the Buildathon.
We will be building a regen receiver - the Urmston

Monday, 5 October 2015

Swapped RSGB21/28 contest for nice WX & /P VHF

Before the weekend, I had planned to spend a few hours on the RSGB 21/28 contest on Sunday.
On Saturday, I upgraded the 10m dipole to 100W with a new hombrew balun (Sotabeams cores) and was keen to give a go to the new 12m Spiderbeam HD mast I got at the hamfest ...hoping the additional height would improve my RX.

On Sunday, I switched on the rig on the G7FEK aerial at 7.30z - not a soul I could hear..
By 09:30z I had heard a couple of UK stations and a very few week Russians & worked one 4Z...

A friend called around that time and I decided  to join him at the Clent Hills for a walk & kite flying with our sons. I found today in the UK HF Contest Yahoo Group that the conditions were the worst remembered for a very long time..

When we stopped for a snack I gave 2m a quick go...
Best "DX" was with Ken G3LVP & Giles G0NXA near Cheltenham...we had a good chat. Both are also keen HF cw operators. I got very complementary reports on my VHF setup. I promised to publish some photos here.

2m vertical dipole @ 4m above ground

I was running a Kenwood TH22E [on low power setting - 500mW] & 2m full size dipole @ 4m above ground.

Kenwood TH22E

Thursday, 1 October 2015


With more sunspots in view and increased Flux in the last few days, the propagation conditions seem at its best since the summer.

Many thanks to Edward KH2L ... who hanged in there with me (qsb & other callers I suppose) on various repeats to complete the qso.

I am happy to have logged 4 new DXCCs, all on CW 100W & G7FEK aerial @ 7m [buried in the garden] -

7Q7BP        Malawi          10m
AP2NK       Pakistan        15m
HL5BMX   South Korea  15m

I heard Z21MG again, but was not able to break through...