24 May 2010

MORE ACTIVITY ON 6M

I'm very pleased with the way  things have been going on 6m - the antennas up, we are up and running, and there appears to have been a lot of activity today.


I have worked into Croatia today - 9A2AJ  -  OK2PAY - HA8EK these were earlier this afternoon - will take another look  at 6m later.
the other bands seem to be in better shape as well.





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23 May 2010

Interference source disappears

Basically it's a wireless router thats been causing the problem - our nearest neighbours about 30 feet away have moved out - I knew this was iminent and whilst they were a nice family in every way - and sorry to see them go, part of me says I'm glad as it means that wireless connections will be more reliable in the future - I had been having some difficulties with my wireless connections on the laptop due to their BT HUB... It always came up first in the XP connections list with a significantly stronger signal than my own network box, sitting on the same desk,  one time it would connect, then another day it would not let me connect at all, or indeed (even SEE it), despite trying different channels it was not always reliable and so I ended up hard-wiring the laptop permanantly.
The move happened yesterday (Sat)  and I have been running the Laptop on wireless all day no problem - and it connected pretty much straight away - so far so good - we're lucky here , houses are pretty much spread out but how do people manage in congested housing areas?  where all have their own broadband connections ? plus if your into Amateur Radio  all that electrical interference, it must be a nightmare.

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1st 6m contact

I had recently put the beam on the test mast to make those final adjustments I'd promised a few days ago, and had been tuning around on 6m only to hear very faint distant whisperings - tonight (Sun) after the hot day I popped into the shack for a quick look again and again heard some faint G's then found an HA station booming in as if he was local - very low background noise on CW, I called in and we exchanged a x2 way 599 using CW using 10w - this is fantastic, my first qso on 6m, It might seem daft but I felt like I'd just got my licence again.- - feeling chuffed tonight - tomorrow I'll raise the beam at it's 28ft resting place.
We're up and running :-)


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18 May 2010

6m opening

Well, today I decided to do other jobs here and give radio a miss - I even prepared the evening meal earlier in the afternoon so I did'nt have to rush around later - I did however make time for sneak - peaks on 10m, nothing!  I had checked the other bands also - one or two weak Psk signals on 40m/30m, I'd long given up hope on 10/6m, it was not until late on I decided to nip out and put up the test mast and quickly rig up the 6m beam, I ran a length of ur213 and connected up and switched over to 6m - the Swr is still on the high side so I do need to make some adjustments tomorrow - but whilst slowly  tuning around 50.150 I noticed a different background noise - in fact the noise level had come up somewhat, and that familiar distant chatter of a station in the distance - was there an opening ?  Yes just one, Henri IZ0GYP in Roma working into G and he vanished - this is the first activity I have heard on 6m for about 3 yrs, it's new to me but I'm going to give it a try - Hopefully next time I will be ready for action having made the necessary adjustments !

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13 May 2010

At last 10m action

Whilst sitting at the computer here I had the radio on 10m in the background - I heard some cw, I was all ears and it was the DX-Expedition station IS0R run by F6KOP,  I called in but he was split - ooops! a quick adjustment and he was in the log !
My first 10m contact for goodness knows how long - they are running from 7th - 15th May 2010 
Dont forget 1up !

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Gear up for Awards

A couple of weeks ago I joined the 30MDG and had a quick look at the main home page - I did look at the Awards page but to be honest I did'nt take much notice of it, and did not really take it in  -  well last night I worked Barry G0IOW over on the Isle of Wight  I had seen his call up onscreen before but we had not crossed paths and he mentioned about the 30MDG Awards - so far I'd only used 30m for cw contacts so using it for digi was really quite new for me - I took another look at the awards page and have decided that actually it would be a bit of a personal challenge to go in for some of these awards as some are fairly easy to obtain, and in any case I have no "Achievements" to date, so I think since I'll be starting from scratch it could be fun.
I did not realize just how many awards there were available, so we're starting at the bottom working up !
Thanks to "Barry" for starting me off...


              Thanks Barry - for starting me off, who knows where it will lead.



Of interest initially will be the wkd members/countries, there is a QRP award using 5w or less - I think this will be interesting as I think I might now use the FT817 set up on my other (Main Linux machine), so it looks as though it might mean another shack re-shuffle - to be honest the "Shack-in-a-cupboard" concept is not working - as the room "ALWAYS" looks untidy when you enter because the doors are  always open now, and one of the doors covers the printer.
So looks as though 30m is finally going to get a caning  while I can !


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8 May 2010

Psk on 40m

I had not been on air for a couple of days so decided to have an early session this morning using Psk on 40m - did not work any dx but found some new calls resulting in a few nice exchanges with  JOSE -  EA5HIH seen here in his shack.He is in Valencia - one of my favorite regions, we regularly visit an area just to the south of Valencia  near moraira (a typical small fishing village and you get a feel of Spain in the old town)  same as Benissa and further south is Calp or (Calpe).. but it's a bit touristy - but the sunshine's hot here especially during july/august - in early spring/summer the air is pleasantly warm and full of orange blossom - I have also operated from here as well with my FT817 into a dipole - the whole kit packed into my hand luggage - no fuss at the airports either !!!  Thanks Jose for the Qso - I long for a return trip to your country soon.
Other stations worked were Dan LA2NRA, and OL75PKY  Jiri   who is age 75 fantastic!  Good Job.

Jose EA5HIH & swl?


6 May 2010

Wspr

Had a very quick session last night - did not seem to be a lot happening on the bands in general - although I have to say I've been spending some time scouring 6/10m for signs of activity, but gave up - so though I'd give Wspr a go - of interest was CX2APB, there were the expected crop of EU's and a handful of W's - even a GM  I'm scratching my head here as it's 10,00km+ maybe my antenna has a sweet spot in this direction ? (Inverted V @ 30 feet) NE  to  SW.
Also of note I heard most of these stations as well plus a VK6.





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5 May 2010

10m

Checked 10m on the hour every hour (just about) today  but nothing again, I guess thats the way it goes sometimes, I suppose tomorrow when I have to go out there will be an opening.
I did however check 40/30m throughout the day (Did not work anyone) - the noise levels on 40 were running at S5-6 during morning hours but I noticed it eased off late evening - 30m was quite good and for the first time in about 2-3 weeks I actually heard some W's - 20m was also open slightly later than usual as well - 15m has been quiet too.
Going back a few years now (probably solar cycle21) I recall tuning across the entire 10m band and apparently there were no stations around - this would have been on a sunday morning, but I noticed the tell-tale signs that there might be an opening with slight background hash, and those crashes and pops, I then thought I'd call cq (Think I was only running about 20w) and worked 2 JA's (my first in fact) and the band exploded into life - with stations popping up everywhere - I suspect 6m will be similar -I have yet to work ANYTHING on 6m yet - lets see what tomorrow brings!

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