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.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's the stuff dreams are made of!
This path map of the 6m contacts in EU worked by Gary VK8AW on May 21 would have enabled the completion of my 6m DXCC! And whilst Gary is in VK, for the EU's who still don't understand VK geography, he's 2,830km from QG62lp... and no, the band wasn't open here!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Finished the Mini-Kits 70cm pre-amp off last night. Installed into a jiffy box with BNC connectors and a feedthru cap for the 12vDC.

BNC and Teflon coax fitted.
Pre-amp fitted and mounted on stand-offs.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Got stuck into the MiniKits 70cm preamp today.

Surface mount components going on (struggled with my eyes doing this bit - they were only checked in Dec and all OK. Must improve the lighting over the work bench.)
Then the resistors, caps and regulator.
 Finally the inductors.
Now to box it up and test it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Would be really interested to know where this carrier was originating from..... yagi QTF 300.
 Signal almost non-existent with yagi at 120 (ZL)!

Gary VK8AW and Marc VK8MS working EU again on 6m this evening. Ever hopeful I've left the yagi QTF 300, and all of a sudden a burst of weak CW on 50.1106. Just audible, but unidentified.

Been a cold and miserable day, and I actually found myself in the shack a little this afternoon.

After working EA8TL on 28.497Mhz LP at 0427z, I was surprised to return to the shack and see that a strong path to South Africa existed, working Volka ZS3Y RS59 at 0532z.

Keeping the shack warm  with the glow of the 3-500ZG tubes was a welcome addition, but to later work ZS8Z Marion Island was a great thrill... DXCC #245 from this QTH on 10m.

Although I found and have re-boxed my old VK5EME 70cm RX pre-amp (pre-MiniKits), I decided to purchase a new Mini-Kits 70cm RX pre-amp kit to go in partnership with the SSPA. The old one will go into the 'small' 300w 70cm amp being built for Field Day use!

Once again , brilliant service from Mark at MiniKits... ordered and delivered in just a couple of days!
Now some more construction work begins.

Two days ago Paul VK4MA had a short but productive opening to the east coast of the USA on 6m. Whilst Paul was working stations up in QG64, not a peep could be heard down here in QG62.

So yesterday and today I've been here in the shack working with one ear on the radio, just in case. This morning VK4MA's CQs have been audible (yesterday no backscatter and very weak ground wave), but his last CQ at 0057z had significant Doppler with a second strong trace 100Hz from his main QRG being returned.
And again later at 0142z even more

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Back on January 29, ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald marched south along the VK4 coast bringing strong winds which took out a tree that had for the last 10 years formed my 'cable way' bringing coax and control lines from the main tower over the pathway and back to the shack.

So after much procrastination over how to replace it, a new cable way was installed this morning forming an arch way over the gate [and finally removed the need to lift hardline out of the way each time you used the gate ;) ]!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Es link to ZL now evidenced with MUF above 50MHz - NZ1 TV1 audio in Te Aroha (near Hamilton) is RS59+
Interestingly, there was absolutely no sign of the ZL2WHO/B on 50.024!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fantastic condx on 28MHz the last few days with LP from EU available from 20:30z through to 23:00z.  Here's a quick summary of the paths on:

May 12
May 13
May 14
 and today May 15

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The numerous requests for support of 2m WSPR from Leigh VK2KRR finally convinced me to run for a while... so while I was out weeding the bush section at the back of our block, I left 144MHz WSPR running.

Not a bad result. A constant 'to and fro' between Col VK4MIL and myself over the 129km path to Gympie from QG62lp. All but the first of these reports were achieved with the yagi beaming towards Wayne VK2XN (Narrabri QF59ar), but no reports of VK2XN this time.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

BARC-Fest today... spent some time catching up with some great people.. most surprising was catching fellow contester Tony VK3TZ. As for purchases... spent a whole $3.00 on a TIG welded aluminium case.

Now sitting, once again, listening to the KH9/WA2YUN beacon... countless RX reports now. A new DXCC slipping away. Hope the DXpedition in October is able to be a little more active!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Been good meteor scatter condx the last two days as the tail of the Eta Aquarid shower passes. Have been successful in making a number of completed contacts with stations on 144MHz.

This morning VK5RBV on 50.315 has been consistent, with occasional well sustained burns.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Scatter on 6m from the Pacific is up this morning. Remi FK8CP is a constant RST529 while CQn on 50.1106MHz.
Also just had a great contact with Brian VK3BBB on 144.2 via MS.

Friday, May 3, 2013

This morning I had one of those "Oh sh!t" moments.

I was working Grant VK2MAX on 144.2MHz with OK signals and we QSY'ed to 432.2MHz. Turned on the 432MHz amplifier and called. Nothing heard. Called again, and this time when I released the TX, the noise floor on 432.2MHz was up significantly. At the same time I noticed that the amplifier PSU was still 'cycling' high, as though it was still in TX... and a quick glance to the amplifiers display panel revealed that it was continuing to generate approx 150w of carrier while enabled in TX mode.

I turned the mains power off... RX audio returned to normal. Mains back on, enable TX and the same occurred.WTF!

A nanosecond later I realise that I had not reduced the drive levels from the ICOM IC-910H and had TX ~70w into the 150w driver stage of the amplifier... it only requires 30w for full output ;(
Luckily I had a spare driver board. Replaced it and the amp is back at full output, without the 'self oscillations'!

I must be very careful until the attenuator pad arrives and I can install it!