Tuesday, August 29, 2006

VHF Array

Had a bit of a panic this afternoon, on calling CQ, to notice that the 2m SWR had gone high. How was I going to break that to Justin....

After a little investigation, it turned out that the problem was actually safely in the shack and that a bit of the H-100 had got a bit stressed. So, I cut back the lead a little and reterminated and the system is working ok again.

Mind you, after I'd reterminated it, conditions seemed to take a dive, which was a bit worrying, but PI7CIS and F5XAM are up out of the noise again now and GB3VHF is same as usual, so I think we're back in business.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Back on VHF - and turning!

Back in April, I think it was, the rotator on the small VHF array on the house stopped turning. That was frustrating as it had only been up there a few weeks. I think the problem was due to the rotator overshooting the end stop or something like that.

Since we were about to get married, it didn't seem the time to get the rotator sorted out!

As I'm not at all great on ladders, it wasn't until this weekend that an opportunity to resolve the problem presented itself. Justin, G4TSH was staying with us for the weekend. I'd been able to get some rotator spare parts in the week. Justin kindly volunteered to go up the ladder - and we managed to fix the problem.

So, the little VHF array (5el for 144MHz, 9 el for 432MHz and vertical for 70MHz) is turning again. The beacons all seem to be doing what they should - GB3VHF on 144MHz is a huge signal, with PI7CIS up and down but consistent copy.

My enjoyment on 144MHz in particular, is to make CW tests with stations over a few 100s of kms to see how they work out. It's surprising how often they do!

Thanks, Justin, for your help today!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Montenegro on six!

I've been meaning to post this all week, but we've had a busy one....

Last Sunday evening around 1900z I thought I would check out 6m. Popped up there and found an IK0 on the key, who I worked quickly as well as OH3BHL. Tuned quickly up the band and there on 50.108 was YU6AO calling CQ. I didn't really expect to make it, as he was quite weak, but he came straight back. Oddly, despite me spotting him on the cluster, I didn't hear him work anyone else. So that's two new European countries on 50MHz this summer, Hungary and Montenegro.

Shortly after I'd worked them on 6m, I found YU6AO on 10MHz too! Great work guys!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Impressive 7MHz conditions

I don't normally operate that much HF from home during the summer months. There's so much else to do, that it doesn't really get a look in. Besides, I can't usually get too excited about the conditions which are pretty dull during the day.

I thought I'd get on and make a few QSOs during the Worked All Europe CW contest this weekend though. HF was fairly typical, but I enjoyed the few contacts I made. Around 1800z (ie about 3 hours before dark) I thought I'd see what was coming through on 40m, really expecting, I suppose, to hear some ZC4/5B4 stations.

To my surprise, there were some loud UA9 stations that I worked as well as a weaker UA0 and some hints of JA stations. A real showstopper of a signal was 4L8A who was huge! I tried a few calls without success, and actually, I didn't hear him work any other G stations, he seemed to be working mostly DLs. Good to hear the propagation though.

Perhaps when I get the car back, I'll put the 40m coil on the car!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

RSGB NFD Results

This year's NFD results have been published on the RSGB HFCC's site (www.rsgbhfcc.org).

Great turnaround by the adjudicators this year! Nice work and thanks.

I'm back!

We went on holiday last week, so no postings and have been getting up to speed since.

Haven't been operating mobile this week as the gearbox on the VW Polo I use experienced some problems on the M4 last weekend and has been in the garage since! I've been using Julie's Jeep since, which would actually be brilliant for mobile operating being automatic!

Last weekend I saw Roger, GW5NF and he was telling me that he'd worked the Carribean on 50MHz over the summer and also Montenegro - nice stuff.


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