Saturday, June 15, 2019

My Magic Antenna

The 160 meter inverted L is my go to antenna that continues to amaze me! 

It loads on all bands 160m thru 10m with the exception of 80m.   No antenna tuner is required on 6m ,  50.313 or 160m and I think 15m as well...cant quite remember.  No special antenna tuner required the FT450d built in tuner is good enough. 

 This evening I worked into VK land on 20m.  I checked to see how my receive compared to what others were reporting in this part of NA.   













My QTH circled in  red and the 2 blue circles are the only hams that received the VK station at a higher level then me! 


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

1 am est on 17m June 12 , 2019

Propagation at the winter and summer solstice is always interesting.

Just lit up 17m and got a big surprise by a report from the land down under....


Monday, April 22, 2019

Playing with WSPR again!

You know that there is something unique happening when your one of two stations in North America receiving a WSP on 20m from EX0AA  KyrgyzstanIs it just propagation ,  low noise or antenna?   Probably a little but of both.  Its not who hears your WSPR its all about who you can here now thats the real measure of your setup!

The antenna is a 160m inverted L located 500' from the house atop a 120' hill in a secluded rural area with next to ZERO man made QRN. 













01:14  EX0AA  7.040041  -23  0  MN72hu  2  PY1EME  GG76qt  14084  271  2019-04-23 01:22  EX0AA  7.040041  -24  0  MN72hu  2  PY1EME  GG76qt  14084  271  2019-04-23 01:34  EX0AA  7.040041  -26  0  MN72hu  2  PY1EME  GG76qt  14084  271  2019-04-23 01:16  EX0AA  7.040041  -25  0  MN72hu  2  PY1EME  GG76qt  14084  271  2019-04-23 01:32  EX0AA  7.040041  -26  0  MN72hu  2  PY1EME  GG76qt  14084  271  2019-04-23 01:20  EX0AA  7.040041  -25  0  MN72hu  2  PY1EME  GG76qt  14084  271  2019-04-23 01:32  EX0AA  14.097045  -24  0  MN72hu  2  N2HQI  FN13sa  10040  339  2019-04-23 01:58  EX0AA  14.097041  -27  0  MN72hu  2  VA3IMI  EN94og  10024  343  2019-04-23 01:44  EX0AA  14.097041  -25  0  MN72hu  2  VA3IMI  EN94og  10024  343  2019-04-23 01:46  EX0AA  7.040042  -14  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:28  EX0AA  7.040042  -17  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:56  EX0AA  7.040043  -20  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:40  EX0AA  7.040042  -15  1  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:58  EX0AA  7.040043  -17  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:50  EX0AA  7.040041  -17  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:38  EX0AA  7.040042  -17  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:52  EX0AA  7.040042  -20  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:26  EX0AA  7.040042  -15  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:20  EX0AA  7.040042  -15  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:44  EX0AA  7.040042  -14  0  MN72hu  2  EA8BFK  IL38bo  7781  291  2019-04-23 01:40  EX0AA  7.040059  -27  0  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:16  EX0AA  7.040059  -24  0  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:34  EX0AA  7.040058  -24  0  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:22  EX0AA  7.040059  -20  1  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:20  EX0AA  7.040058  -19  0  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:46  EX0AA  7.040058  -23  0  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:26  EX0AA  7.040058  -24  0  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:32  EX0AA  7.040058  -24  0  MN72hu  2  EA1IOW  IN83gj  6087  299  2019-04-23 01:56  EX0AA  7.040041  -23  0  MN72hu  2  F4ASK  IN96ij  5783  302  2019-04-23 01:52  EX0AA  7.040040  -26  0  MN72hu  2  F4ASK  IN96ij  5783  302  2019-04-23 01:58  EX0AA  7.040041  -25  0  MN72hu  2  F4ASK  IN96ij  5783  302  2019-04-23 01:28  EX0AA  7.040040  -26  0  MN72hu  2  F4ASK  IN96ij  5783  302  2019-04-23 01:38  EX0AA  7.040040  -28  1  MN72hu  2  F4ASK  IN96ij  5783  302  2019-04-23 01:46  EX0AA  7.040040  -26  0  MN72hu  2  F4ASK  IN96ij  5783  302  2019-04-23 01:26  EX0AA  7.040040  -22  1  MN72hu  2  F4ASK  IN96ij  5783  302  2019-04-23 01:58  EX0AA  7.040052  -26  0  MN72hu  2  F5OIH  JN06ci  5681  301  2019-04-23 02:02  EX0AA  7.040052  -25  0  MN72hu  2  F5OIH  JN06ci  5681  301  2019-04-23 01:46  EX0AA  7.040051  -30  0  MN72hu  2  F5OIH  JN06ci  5681  301  2019-04-23 01:26  EX0AA  7.040051  -27  0  MN72hu  2  F5OIH  JN06ci  5681  301  2019-04-23 01:28  EX0AA  7.040051  -27  0  MN72hu  2  F5OIH  JN06ci  5681  301  2019-04-23 01:20  EX0AA  7.040045  -28  0  MN72hu  2  F/G8DXZ  JN05  5670  300  2019-04-23 01:26  EX0AA  7.040044  -29  0  MN72hu  2  F/G8DXZ  JN05  5670  300  2019-04-23 01:28  EX0AA  7.040045  -29  0  MN72hu  2  F/G8DXZ  JN05  5670  300  2019-04-23 01:14  EX0AA  7.040045  -26  0  MN72hu  2  F/G8DXZ  JN05  5670  300  2019-04-23 01:22  EX0AA  7.040045  -27  0  MN72hu  2  F/G8DXZ  JN05  5670  300  2019-04-23 01:16  EX0AA  7.040045  -30  0  MN72hu  2  F/G8DXZ  JN05  5670  300  2019-04-23 01:22  EX0AA  7.040050  -25  0  MN72hu  2  G4MSA  IO90au  5625  307  2019-04-23 01:28  EX0AA  7.040050  -26  0  MN72hu  2  G4MSA  IO90au  5625  307  2019-04-23 01:58  EX0AA  7.040050  -29  0  MN72hu  2  G4MSA  IO90au  5625  307  2019-04-23 01:34  EX0AA  7.040050  -26  0  MN72hu  2  G4MSA  IO90au  5625  307


Last 8 hours....



Sunday, March 31, 2019

Good Ears

When it comes to WSPR it all about what you hear not how you are heard.   Anyone can pump out allot of power into a so so antenna and be herd everywhere but if you really want to know how your station is working compare what you hear to others.

Below is a 10 min RX on 20 meters.  I arbitrarily choose a bunch of stations as a comparison














The antenna is my 160m inverted L on the top of the hill 500' from the Ham Shack.  There are 8 1/4 wave radials.     The vertical part of the antenna is 33' and the antenna runs North South. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Thank you Radio World

 My  Yaesu FT450 packed it in a few months outside of the warranty.    Initially the front display dimmed and there was a hum in the audio and although it was still functional it was marginal.  The failure occurred after the house was coll for a week while I was on a Skiing Vacation.   I took the radio apart ,  checked connections and reseated and cleaned everything that I could but it didn't make any difference. 

 I contacted Radioworld for a referral to a repair depot and much to my surprise they do the repairs there!   Boxed it up and mailed it off to Toronto.  A week and a half later I hadn't heard anything and was going to follow up with them but I didn't have too ... the radio showed up in the mail.  Not hearing anything I figured I would open the box and there would be a notice " Beyond economical repair".  Much to my  surprise the note said " replaced voltage regulator ".   I was a little sheepish ,  shoudl have clued into the dull display top check the voltage!!!!    An even greater surprise was not being billed,  yeah they did it for free and even ate the shipping!   I have purchased many things from Radio World over the years ,  perhaps that weighed in or maybe it was that I was a few months out of warrenty who knows the bottom line is the radio is back up and I am FT8ing away again.



Thanks for the great service Radio World ...  Radioworld




Saturday, December 29, 2018

6m Sporadic E Opening - Dec 30 , 2018 01:00 GMT

Had a nice 6m opening this evening.   Around 01:30 6m was open between Southern Ontario and Texas.   The activity was super spotty ,   it would fade out then come back sometimes for 10s of minutes and sometimes for 10s of seconds.      When Texas faded out there was a short opening to the West ,  mid - West working a Colorado station ... the opening here was pretty short!   The opening ended with a rather spectacular hour and a bit opening towards Manitoba signals in the +20 db SNR values.    Worked two guys in Winnipeg.     As 6 was closing I asked the VE4s to QSY to 10 meters where I went on to work one of the Winnipeg stations again. 

Made it to the QRZ DX spotting network ...


















Here are my 6m and 10m spots for the evening....

























and the log....




Thursday, November 8, 2018

Telstar 18V Launch

  Its a radio blog but there is a story to be told.  Growing up in the 60's I was a huge fan of the Gemini and Apollo programs.    My Grandfather worked as a Tech at the Goddard Space Flight Center and provided me with a constant stream of NASA literature through this era.  In the early 70's he gave me my first " Ham Radio" a single 6146 Tube CW Transmitter.    I eventually teamed this up with a receiver and used it for the first year of hamming.   Radios and rockets were a natural mix.  Worked the MIR Space Station ,   loved RS10/11 even played with some of the X.25 birds.   I always loved looking at the night sky and loved identifying various LEOs over the years.

 Going to a launch was a bucket list item and when the invite came I jumped at the opportunity to attend the Telstar 18V Launch at the Kennedy Space Center. 

 Its all started with a welcome kit including  a " VIP " badge that we were required to wear at all times.   It was pretty cool walking through the exhibits as a tourist wearing this badge! 


























Prior to the launch we got to spend some time with the rocket.  They had a photographer there and provided us with the pictures.





















SpaceX gave us the 101 on the Falcon 9 Rocket and what to expect in the hours leading up to the launch.


















We watched the launch from the top of a 5 story NASA building about 5 miles from the Launch Pad
















The launch was perfect... it was far brighter then I expected but not as loud as I was expecting.