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.

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!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Success.... after replacing a FET in a PA stage, I quickly measured the resistance of the device from input/output to ground. Whilst all others on the board (and other boards) were measuring ~2.2K the new device was measuring ~1.2K

After walking away in disgust a few times, I invested a couple of hours yesterday to determine if other components were causing the result. I'd been advised to look at any of the tantalum and electrolytic caps. Removing all of these associated with the replaced device produced no improvement.

A closer inspection under a bright light showed that, although I'd cleaned the board after inserting the new FET with IPA, flux was built up between the input leg and ground. Scratching away the flux, cleaning with IPA and repeating a few times and the flux 'bridge' was gone!

Measured the impedance - ~2.2K
Reassembled on heatsink. Applied 50vDC... no smoke (and all voltages tested fine).

A happy day!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Running JTMS on 432.230MHz this morning. Both KJ VK4UH and I TXing to the south... Arie VK3AMZ TXing to the north.... nothing yet seen here, although Col VK4MIL has had one good decode from an MS pig, and Arie has a decode from KJ.