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.

Friday, December 27, 2013

All ready for the final tests of the 2.4GHz tvtr.

I had to rebuild the 8vDC reg circuit after the first regulator failed (worked fine, then let out some smoke!). Tested all voltages. 

 Ready to put the 2.4GHz tvtr on the test bench with some RF into it !
And then had a chance to assemble the VK4GHZ Thunerbolt Commander board to go with my Thunderbolt GPS.

Monday, December 23, 2013

2.4GHz tvtr almost ready for 'smoke' testing. Just PTT lines to be completed, and some internal DC protection.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Good AE condx this morning... QSYed to 1296MHz and ran SpecLab monitoring for Grant VK2MAX. Three good periods when planes were in the hot spot...

At 2203z Grant's CW was 419... very workable, but a shift to SSB and I could just hear Grant (41 on peak). QSO not competed!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

ZL2WHO/B 144.271MHz beacon in.

Was great to walk into the shack this morning and see that we had tropo condx between SE VK4 and ZL.
Worked Harry ZL2ADU a few times up to RS57 on 144.1MHz. QSB was very deep.

ZL2WHO/B on 432.271MHz was also heard on one of the QSB rises up to RST419. Then I went to Brew by U to bottle the latest batch of beer, and missed out on a few more station :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Further progress towards 2.4GHz.

Spent far too many hours last night getting the aluminium sheet fitted, and then all the boards mounted.
Now to start the coaxial lines, as well as all the wiring!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A bit more progress made today.

The Trimble Thunderbolt GPS unit with VK4GHZ controller mounted in 2U 19" rack cabinet to match the 2.4GHz tvtr.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Amazing AE impacts on 144MHz WSPR signals from VK4MIL and VK4LHD

Progress towards 2.4GHz has taken a big step forward. The transverter's 2U 19" cabinet now complete (except for labels).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fantastic to see a Es opening on the first night that Alan E6RQ was active from Niue on 6m. Propagation favored the southern states, but good to work Alan again from QG62lp.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Spent last weekend up at Sundown N.P.
 CQ'ed a lot. FT-817ND at 5w PEP into my OziPole portable dipole, just isn't like being at home with the 5 element HF mono-banders and QRO ;)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Just random MS pings from  Remi FK8CP while CQn this morning, then all of a sudden a full CQ at RST529!

Fred KH7Y just worked on 50.1106 CW... nice to work Fred again.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Good signal from Remi FK8CP CQn 50.1106MHz via scatter currently.
Was only audible on MS pings 15 minutes earlier, now up to 529 at times.

Monday, October 21, 2013

ZL TV video coming in via Es... NZ1 TV1 Mt Te Aroha 46.2396 RS51. Didn't expect that just now!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Great to see the return of scatter on 6m. Remi FK8CP CQn on 50.1106 at 2149z today. Yagi QTF 80.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A quick summary of my weekend radio activities... Zip, zero, ziltch!

I spent the weekend playing with my other hobby... four wheel driving. Went to Landcruiser Mountain Park, camped, wheeled and watched a few stages of the Coopers Rally.
Even got the chance to creep down, just 20m from the track, to take a few pic's.

But it did mean missing out on participating in the Oceania DX Contest again ;(

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nice to hear Remi FK8CP CQn on 50.1106 just now.... even if only RST419 by scatter.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Put a third monitor on the desk (for VHF/UHF digital comms) and it's just a tad crowded now. Must get the shelf built for the operating position in the shack..... been on the to do list since I built the desk 10 years ago!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Good 50MHz MS conditions this morning. Frank VK7DX, Norm VK3DUT, Oly VK3XDX and Peter VK5PJ all worked on SSB.

Oly VK3XDX currently on CW and signal almost constant via forward scatter.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fantastic.... Leigh VK2KRR msg'ed me that Adrian was working Bob ZL3TY on 144.1 CW.. I could hear Bob on CW, but my 100W just not enough. A QSY to 144.23 on JT65B and we completed... 100w barefoot, no RX preamp here.
Now listenig to Adrian VK4OX working Bob on 144.1 CW... Bob 419 here, Adrian giving 579. That's what 550mASL does for you.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gary VK8AW teasing us with reports of the A47RB beacon RST529 and Dave A92IO RST559 on 50MHz at just after 1330z.

Finally got the rack into the shack, mounted SSPAs and made new patch cables, etc.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Great AE condx on 70cm this morning with Grant VK2MAX peaking RS53 and I received RS57.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Watching AirScout on the path to Grant VK2MAX... five planes in the 'hot spot'... most I've ever seen!

Pic below captured when four where present... missed grabbing screen shot of the 5!

Finally signs of life back on 6m. Remi FK8CP CQn on 50.1106 this morning.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another attempt to work Steve VK2ZT on 70cm via AE.. at one stage there were two planes in the 'hot spot' and another two approaching. Steve reported me at RS51 but again the best I could do was tell that there was weak SSB.... must get RX LNA in line!

Tried to extend the 432MHz AE path today. At 2135z heard Steve VK2ZT on 432.2 when he was working Rod VK4ARN.
And when we tried again on the next plane @ 2200z, Steve VK2ZT reported hearing me RS51, but best I could report was weak SSB in the noise!
Later at 2250z worked Grant VK2MAX RS52, report to me RS57.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

AirScout proves its worth again... three planes in 'hot spot' and Grant VK2MAX RS53 (RS58 given to me) on 432.2MHz.

Great progress made on the 2.4GHz transverter. Multiplier board completed.
Transverter board completed - well almost! Dropped a 22pf SMD cap on the floor... just need another one and it's done!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Four planes in the 'hot spot' and at this moment on 432MHz Grant VK2MAX was up to RS53 and gave me RS59!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The M2.5 taps arrived, so construction of the 2.4GHz tvtr has started!
So far holes drilled and tapped to enable the multiplier board (not epoxied as yet) and SMA connectors to be mounted to the base plate with M2.5 5mm s/steel pan head screws.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Moon set this morning was very inconvenient... right on queue for getting kids to school etc... but left the 6m rig running with the yagi on the moon....
Nice to get home and walk into the shack to see decode from Ken G4IGO calling John VK5SIX (VK5PO).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Have just completed 2-way CW MS contact with Oly VK3XDX... Oly was up to 579 and 599 received.
It was interesting to see on one of Oly's CQ calls 100HZ sidebands on his signal in the pic above.
Some more progress towards being active on 2.4GHz... MiniKits EME166 Sequencer kits built and tested.
And FT-817ND (IF txcr) arrived (Thanks Col VK4MIL for the courier service)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Completed 2 way 50MHz MS contacts with Frank VK7DX and Oly VK3XDX on SSB this morning, and have been hearing Oly VK3XDX consistently on CW (see pic below)... but haven't completed contact on CW.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's been a while since we've observed TEP at this latitude.... but the R1 TV and CCTV has returned this afternoon.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Running 6m MS this morning. Frank VK7DX occasionally heard. But Oly VK3XDX is almost constant on CW... very weak 319 on forward scatter!

Friday, August 16, 2013

E6RQ – Niue 6m Activation

 Alan VK4WR and Graeme VK4FI are off into the pacific again for another go at six meters from Niue E6. Callsign will be E6RQ.

Their visit is planned around the southern hemisphere E season, arriving on the island 7th December for a 10 day stay.

The equipment will be an IC-7000 and IC-706MK2 plus a solid state amp. Antenna is 4 elements on a 12 foot boom which will be up about 25 ft.

Their last trip to Niue in April 2013 produced good contacts into Japan, China, Philippines, Hawaii and Australia. They only had one contact into central America which was disappointing as they’d expected more in that direction.

This time around they’ll will be looking towards South America for the long haul plus of course VK and ZL.

QSL is to VK4FI

Monday, August 12, 2013

Great levels of enhancement observed today when working Grant VK2MAX via AE on 432MHz. At one time Grant provided me with an RS58 report. With these levels of enhancement we moved to 1,296.2MHz to see whether we could also make a successful QSO on 23cm. Whilst I am very confident I could hear Grant very weakly, no QSO was completed.

What was also interesting was the appearance of a digital signal just above 1296.2MHz, with my yagi QTF 180 as can be seen in the following video....

I'd be interested in any ideas of what it could have been!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

6m MS conditions not brilliant today, but some good pings and burns observed. Gavin VK3HY was a good copy at times on CW

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A new web site from Adam VK4GHZ focusing on his own operating and also projects... worth a read!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hump day funny.....
Made me laugh (considering the recent experiences in fixing one of my SSPAs)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tried to work Adam VK4GHZ/P at Mt Coot-tha this afternoon on 10GHz, using the VK4OE 'three-in-one' box.

I thought this would have been an easy contact as I can see the tips of the TV towers from the driveway. But not a trace heard of each other.
A quick terrain profile was run, showing a potential reason why.... what I believe is one of the slopes from Mt Enoggera is right in the path!

By running the profile with the antenna at this end elevated to 50mAGL, the path becomes LOS (hence why I can see the tops of the towers).... but it still doesn't explain why absolutely no signal was heard, as over 14.4km I'd expected that we would have heard even a weak carrier. But then again, this is part of the challenge when operating on 10GHz!