Tower 1

Tower 1
Tower 1: Main tower supporting 50MHz 6M2WLC yagi, 14MHz 5 element yagi and 75m full wave loop.
Please note that all times are in UTC. As such comments relate to the next morning/day AEST unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wow what a welcome surprise. Rod ZL3NW reported Kaz K8KS on 6m (50.095MHz CW) and then worked a couple more.

I started CQn on 50.092MHz CW, and while I didn't hear anything, it was great to see the following report by Mike KF8MY on the KST R2 page

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another step (very small one) towards the DL6WU 1296MHz yagi... mounted the driven element and matching system to the boom. As best I can measure, within 1mm accuracy to being centred.

Now to find some aluminium rod to make the elements and repeat the accuracy!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Turned the Kenwood TL-922 on today and immediately hear a very loud 'BANG', followed by an immediate loss of power.... and a few choice words!

A check and one of the 15amp fuses had 'evaporated'. Replaced fuse, turned power back on and the amp came to life. A quick test TX, and no output. Input was returning a high SWR on all bands, shutting the FT-1000MP TX down completely.

Opening up the covers revealed (besides a lot of dust) a molten filament choke [very bottom of pic and centre].

Fortunately, a few years ago Graeme VK4FI had given me one "just in case".  A quick trip to the workshop, the dust blown away with compressed air and replacement of the choke was completed. Returned to radio room, powered up, test TX... no high SWR, and amp tuned for full output once again.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's feeling like just baby steps are being made towards the install of the 144, 432 and 1296MHz yagis, but as each stage gets ' ticked off' the project completion gets a step closer (funny that!)

Today's focus was measuring and cutting three lengths of LDF4-50 coax for the main coax runs up the tower.

And then fitting the connectors.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A little more progress made on the first of the DL6WU 36 element 1,296MHz yagis.  The 19.2mm square section boom drilled with pilot holes for the elements.

And the driven element mounting finalised, with 13mm spaces made, and the positioning finalised.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The UX-910 arrived today from California.. installed in the ICOM IC-910H and running.

Now I just need to complete the 35 element DL6WU yagi for 1296MHz so I can operate!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More great progress made on the VHF/UHF station today with the DL6WU yagis for 144MHz and 432MHz advanced significantly.

This essentially involved complete rebuilds on the the driven elements and matching sections with the driven elements replaced by aluminium tube.

One of the 28 element DL6WU 432MHz yagis

The resulting 1.2:1 SWR... and the same result for the second. Very happy!
The two completed 432MHz yagis

The 12 element DL6WU 144MHz yagi

The resulting 1.1:1 SWR

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nice surprise this afternoon to hear Atsu 5W1SA on 6m at 0623z... a quick exchange and contact complete.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A little more progress on the VHF/UHF station with the driven elements and matching sections for 2 x 1296.1MHz yagis completed today.

Folded dipole, matching section made from UT-141 semi-rigid coax and an N-Type connector.

And finally - two driven elements completed. One for use here at VK4CZ, the other for Field Day use as VK4CZ/P.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

After a 10 year hiatus, I'm returning to 144/432MHz with the addition of an ICOM IC-910H to the shack. This also will mean an entry to 1296MHz (1.2GHz) for the first time.

Whilst the amp for 432MHz is arranged... options for 144MHz now need to be considered!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

With the transport of the new 432MHz amplifier being finalised, it's time to get the antenna system prepared.

I've just resurrected the 28el DL6WU 432MHz yagi. Originally built in approx 1998. This one never saw 'action'. Finalised the driven element and feed resulting in 1.1:1 @ 433.2, and 1.3:1 @ 432.2. This is OK, but want 1.1:1 down another MHz... small tweak required to lengthen the driven element!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So far this morning, 6m condx have been poor, with just MS pings or a weak trace being seen from Remi FK8CP. But things have improved... Remi FK8CP now in on scatter up to RST529, with scatter from Paul VK4MA now also audible - with some doppler/multipath effect evident.

An interesting pulsed carrier that has been heard in last few days when TEP conditions have been experienced on 6m... 50035.972 with 50MHz sidebands. Source unknown!

Finally some life has returned to the 6m band... a day of intense Es propagation, but one interesting contact made from here..

Andy YS1AG worked at 2328z 26/11/2012.

Alerted to the path potential by a spot on VKLogger from Norm VK3DUT, Andy YS1AG was worked on 50.100MHz CW 519 sent, 339 received.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This weekend saw the Spring VHF/UHF Field Day 'contest' run. VK4CZ/P was activated from Walter Franklin Park, high above Kobble Creek (just 11km north west from my home station) in grid square QG62jr.

Station was a simple set-up.

Txcr: FT-857D 50MHz - 100w, 144MHz - 50w, 432MHz - 20w
Antenna: 50MHz - 3el YU7EF yagi, 144MHz - 12 el DL6WU yagi, 432MHz - 29 el DL6WU yagi

Participation was again down on past years, and in whilst many calls were made with antennas facing to both the north and south no 'DX' contacts made (although VK2MAX appeared on 144MHz just as I was packing up!!!!)

Watching the conversations on VKLogger and iChat saw much focus and attention on local participation around SYD and MEL, but nothing that encouraged further development of the paths. The future of VHF/UHF Field Days for operators in SE VK4 requires a significant development in the rules to encourage stations to actively look for participating stations from further afield.

I hope that the recent paper prepared and submitted by Andrew VK1DA and Colin VK5DK to the WIA seeking change is received and acted upon!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Working any DX on 6m has been few and far between, but monitoring the moon today and one decode from Lance W7GJ before local QRM impacted on the noise floor and degraded the signals too much!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Whilst the 6m band continues to seem subdued, occasional signs of life appear. Over the weekend, Andy YS1AG in El Salvador reported hearing me CQn on 50.100 but no two way Q completed.

The TEC map each day has shown areas of high intensity, just like today's (shown below) however paths across or skirting these (like those worked in Feb this year)are non-existent.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Backscatter from Remi FK8CP continues (top trace), but the very interesting dopler effect on Paul VK4MA's signal was a stand-out. Triple trace!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Es link into the SW Pacific with Remi FK8CP being heard direct. Below is screen grab of Remi CQn with MS pings very evident..

Saturday, November 3, 2012

As I type this, Peter EA8/G8BCG is working trans-Atlantic paths, yet here looking across the Pacific... ziltch.

Whilst we have had a few TEP openings to JA/HL/BY, these haven't been at the regularity expected for the 'peak' of a solar cycle.

The saving grace here is QG62 against the lack of propagation has been the complete lack of the deliberate 'jamming' and carrier transmissions for the last two weeks.... observations are now starting to determine that this isn't a coincidence, and time will tell if these observations become fact!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Consistent backscatter from Paul VK4MA at present... with none of the doppler shift seen earlier today (screen shot below this post).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More amazing doppler effects on Paul VK4MA CQn this morning. Paul signal is zero beat (600) yet two separate traces are being seen when he CQs.

Great doppler effect on Paul VK4MA with my yagi QTF 310

Es link on 50MHz between FK and VK4.. FK8SIX/B in at RST529, and Remi FK8CP being heard CQn up to RST559

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bored.... maybe. Just gave the shack a clean up in case I play in CQWW this weekend!

I usually compete as a SOAB HP, but without the ability to dedicate myself to this, I may just provide an additional multiplier for a few stations.
Interesting condx on 50MHz again today... whilst the band is not popping, report from Phil TI7/N5BEK hearing Paul VK4MA is a great sign.

The TEC map is looking promising...

But monitoring both Remi FK8CP and Paul VK4MA on 50.1106 has been quite interesting with the strength of their signals on backscatter oscillating between who was strongest.. and then MS dominating completely

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Whilst HF condx have been exceptional, and 10m delivering some amazing LP contacts (C50C the pick), 50MHz has been quite depressed over the last few days.

An interesting observation and update since my post on Saturday Oct 13 (UTC) has been the complete lack of the localised QRM that has been experienced here of late. The last time this was heard was Thursday Oct 18... with nothing since then!

Hopefully this mean that either these deliberate actions have ceased... or unfortunately the station just not active over this period of time.

No doubt time will tell.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Monitoring 50.102 for T30SIX beacon, and a very large MS ping was just RXed.

Condx in that direction are being supported by some E layer prop, with FK8SIX being heard earlier at 0546z

Friday, October 19, 2012

The best indication of F2 we've seen in QG62 for a while, has been this:

NZ TV1 Kau Kau 45.249988MHz TV video carrier back scattering from the North Pacific (signal peak QTF 60). Strong enough at times to see the 50Hz sidebands.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

50MHz is currently open between Bob ZL1RS and XE/W6, interesting is that the resultant scatter from Paul VK4MA beaming into the area of ionisation is not as strong as expected, and very unstable.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I walked into the radio room this morning just as someone had finished CQn. Am unaware who it was, but presumed it was local (very close to the QRG that VK4HJ has when on CW), however far more interesting was the multi-path or shift being observed on their signal...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's disconcerting when interference interrupts weak signal radio communications, but when it's made by fellow radio amateurs and coincides with attempts to operate when a band conditions are marginal seems both deliberate and malicious in nature.

Whilst this deliberate 'QRMing' behavior has been witnessed on an increasingly frequent basis in QG62 on the 50MHz band, the following screen shots show the nature in which it was being delivered in the last two days.

This is a local station. The carrier signal strength is S9+20.

Friday Oct 12 0012z... VK4CZ operating on 50.100 CW liaising with Phil TI7/N5BEK determining if the path was open on 6m beyond the known TI and FK8 path, when after just a couple of CQ's the carrier transmission commenced moving up and down around the centre frequency of 50.100. Further attempts to

Some 10 minutes later, and following a CQ call on 50.111MHz CW by George VK4AMG the deliberate interference was seen to commence again.

George VK4AMG is seen CQn on 50.111 CW (50.110 SSB) and the carrier effect 'behind'  him.

And Friday Oct 12, 2116z (Sat morning AEST) and after a CQ call... the deliberate transmission of a carrier commenced again.

Whilst I've been witness to a number of poor operator behaviors over the years, the last twelve months I have seen some of the worst on air behavior ever on 6m.

I know as a result my own operating has changed significantly over the last 12 months. Where once I would regularly CQ, now I rarely do choosing to monitor the band and related indicators and avoid the deliberate interference and QRM.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

After observing the TEP last night completely missing South East Queensland and being focused to latitudes much further south (about time the VK3 & 5 stations had some TEP) we have CCTV indicators in strongly this afternoon.

Anhui 49.749.955MHz

Yongcheng 49.750.058MHz