25 Aug 2011

DX

It was getting on a bit and having spent a while listening to QST transmissions on 20m decided to spin down the band and found a "Pile", now I'm not usually into Pile-ups as my simple dipoles and verticals dont usually cut it, but tonight they did - CO6RD in Cuba and a commemorative call H77REX in Nicaragua which is actually a new one for me - This on the I-Pro antenna !!!! both working split on CW.
Cannot complain about that.

73'

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24 Aug 2011

FT450/Dodgy Jacks

Cheapo Jack Sockets - installed on this radio, owners of the 450 will no doubt have spotted this problem, I did last year when I made up a lead for my key, the plug inserted ok - but do you think I could get it out ? after much ado I did manage to extract it (Darn near broke it) -  seems some 3.5mm jack plugs have a larger ridge on them making life "Difficult" removing them after - I had meant to post about this problem earlier but dismissed it, thinking perhaps it was me? However I spotted this link  on one of the 450 reflectors which explains.
Come on   Yaesu - you can do better than this - sadly the LATEST model FT450D is the same - wonder if the FTDX5000 has the same NAFF sockets?  while we're here the DSP/SEL knob is wonky on both my 450's (Extended spindle)???  this is actually a nice little radio but it has some rough edges (R o u g h) !!

http://ws4e.blogspot.com/2011/08/ft-450-jack-repair.html

Cheers:

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20 Aug 2011

Faroes

I had been doing some work in the Garden today and was itching to get in and take a look at the bands – scrolled through the bands and found 12m was open and an OY (Faroes)  was calling on CW – it’s a new one for me (on ANY BAND) m y newly re-installed FT450D ( Now with Wideband TX)  was quickly tuned and I snagged him – NOT “DX” in terms of distance but nevertheless he’s in the log – I am pleased as several “DX” stations have got away of late including W6VX  KH6MB  JY5HX  7Z1HL FK8CP . . . . !

Tnx Carsten Qsl on it’s way Direct:

OY1CT-shack

Pic – From QRZ.com - Carsten in his Shack

19 Aug 2011

August Update

Have been very busy during this week, however I spent some time listening on the bands last evening and again this morning on 17 and 20m and since purchasing a new pair of headphones it's opened up a whole new world of "DX" For years now I have only listened to my radio's through a small communications loudspeaker I purchased from the old Tandy stores many moons ago, and I drifted away from working "DX" because the stations sounded too far distant, so I contented myself to working stations I could "Hear", mostly EU, by cutting out ambient room noise it's easier to pick out those weaker signals - this takes me back to my 40m night shifts working the Caribbean and USA - so it's headphones from now on - and the TS590S receive is great.
Also, whilst working Qrp over the last 10 years or so I have to say it's been fun and WILL continue using Qrp/Low Power where appropriate but in the quest to add a few more countries to my list its QRO from now on, I have got the bug again and CW IS the way to go, what a great mode that I have been neglecting for some years now !
My NOV application for 60m was granted last week so will be working toward getting on this band very soon - The FT450 has had the wideband TX mod done so we should be good to go - looking forward to using Wspr on 60m.
I tackled the shack desk last week by removing the shelf above the desk and put some feet on it to stand the monitor on - this raises it above the radio gear and looks a whole lot tidier (I'll post a pic or three later) just need to re-arrange the equipment until I'm comfortable with it
Planning slightly ahead - Winter months will be upon us before we know it so looking at ways and means of getting a huge 264 foot Topband antenna up in some land running alongside our drive - my thinking is along the lines of somehow stringing it up in the huge poplar/oak trees however will require a remote tuner and up to around 100m of cabling - plan B might involve erecting an inverted "L" but it's a project I need to measure up and think about.
Isn't radio fun ?  -  So enjoy it over the weekend................

73'

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10 Aug 2011

Nov 5Mhz

Have been hearing some stations using 5Mhz recently and after a visit to a friend of mine (Robert) G3RCE persuaded me it might be worth considering applying for the Nov (Notice of variation).
The TX needs opening up on the 450D and its a mod I can do locally - should be interesting as I'll be able to use Wspr Psk and Cw - early indications are that its good for inter G working - but early days yet, so we wait in anticipation.

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BLACKOUTS

Yesterday I was listening to ne of the nets that come up on 80m which concluded and I’d noticed the signals were fading off – I checked 40m and there was nothing across the entire band, same on 30m, 20m had two VERY weak cw stations  and nothing on any other band, in fact I was wondering if the antenna had disconnected ! I even checked the other radio on the vertical – apparently there had been an X-class flare earlier in the morning, this would be around  09:00.

This morning signals were well up and noise levels have dropped off on 80m, I have heard bands fade off before but not like this – seemed as though the entire HF spectrum was affected and it lasted for a few hours as when I checked again 4 hours later the bands had improved somewhat.

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