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, May 30, 2012

Just when I should have been down the shed working on a project, I quickly looked at the ON4KST R2 page and saw that Lance W7GJ was TXing on our moon rise. Turned the radio on and got WSJT running... and 'heard' Lance off the moon! By 0418z we'd completed.

What is most amazing is that the moon was at 19.4degrees elevation when we did this!

It's also interesting to see the following WSJT screen grab from Phil VK4FIL showing multipathing of my signal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Whilst today's LP condx to EU was down in comparison to yesterday, some good Qs were completed. The map below summarises some of these.

More antenna work today. What started out as a quick antenna install, turned into an all day affair!

I had planned to just lower tower #2 to install my Diamond SX-3000 2/70 dual band vertical, but the rotator locked up this morning, requiring the 10m yagi removed, rotator disconnected and rebuilt. The issue... and my fault... the bearing retainer was installed upside down two weeks ago when I serviced the rotator and greased the bearing races!

Anyway, the dual band vertical is now on the top of tower #2, fed with LDF4-50 coax. Just needs to be cranked to full height and the coax terminated inside the shack and then it will be at approx 20mAGL.
Fantastic condx this morning on 28MHz with longpath open between the South Pacific and Europe. Many stations worked with RS59+ signal reports exchanged. And working Manuel FM1FV was a nice conclusion!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quiet day on 6m... I was just  working a pile-up of EUs on 10m (most big signals RS59+), John VK4TJ started CQn on 6m... at last a signal on 6!!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fantastic to see the EU's with propagation on 50MHz into Nth America, the Caribbean and Sth America (see map below) but it raises questions for the propagation theorists...  Given that this is the start of the Northern Hemisphere Es season, what mechanism is it that is extending the paths into Sth America?

Is it TEP, and if so, why dont we see the same effect on the path from EU to VK?

If you know, please share!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Very quiet on 6m lately... even the Bs from Remi FK8CP has stopped. But just tuned past the 49.750 R1 TV video and one lonely and weak video offset visible and just audible.

It's so nice having the FT-1000MP back in the shack... been on HF the last two days and really enjoying it again. Condx this morning were good. Jorge EA8TL was worked via the longpath on 10m, and then numerous stations worked on 15m - the best of these was Barrak 9K2UU via the longpath.

Monday, May 14, 2012

After what seems like an eternity of trying to source a replacement board (the story for this is as long as a.......well you get the picture!), and thanks to Bob ZL1RS and Jim KS7S I received a new display board for the FT-1000MP and it's been returned to service as the main HF radio in the shack.

The FT-1000MP and new display board

The covers removed and the display board accessible.

The old display board removed.

Bob ZL1RS did warn me that the MOX and VOX buttons would go MIA... and although I kept the front panel level throughout the replacement, the MOX button took a detour!

The new board in and test power up.

Re-installed into action in the shack.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The installation of the 10m yagi on tower #2 is almost complete. The yagi is mounted on the mast and the tower is now back vertical and at half height. I will complete the install once I have hardline to install the Diamond 2/70cm dual band antenna on the top too!

Friday, May 11, 2012

10m WSPR has just been shut down... condx continue to be depressed. Although as can be seen in the screen grab below, the path to EU is available with DB0ZDF being heard and hearing me!

6m has been fairly quiet again today. Over the last hour TEP condx have been present with numerous R1 and CCTV video offsets audible (see Spectrum Lab screen grab below), but not 'human' stations heard.

But to break up the boredom, the confirmation of my 6m EME contact with Peter G8BCG arrived.... was very happy to receive that QSL card in today's mail.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tower #2 completely lowered and yagi off. Great progress towards the 28MHz yagi going up!

I just noticed an unpublished blog entry from May 3, 2012... so I thought I'd better publish it!

A quiet day.... I spent it working outside. But come 0745z and JAs are reported. My yagi is still parked QTF 85, but John VK4TJ is a good signal CQn on 50.1106.

Condx over the last week have been very poor, with the sun's progression north and a lack of activity by the sun (except for the M-class flare earlier today!). This has been very noticeable today with condx on 10m showing a significant decline. With the 10m WSPR station running, normally pages of reports, but as the pic below shows, just a couple of trans-pacific reports and the development of domestic Es links.

So with that in mind, progress has been made towards installing the 10m yagi on tower #2. The tower has been lowered so the old K6STI design 8 el 50MHz yagi can be removed, the rotator repaired and serviced and then the 10m yagi can be installed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A very quiet day... very poor scatter on 50MHz to the east/north east earlier today with Remi FK8CP just audible at times. Afternoon TEP just starting but very weak condx with the R1 TV audible when pulsing up as seen in the screen grab from SpecLab below: