Welcome

I’m Randy, a 38-year old ham living in Amersfoort, which is located about 25 miles east from Amsterdam. Licensed since aged 17 in 1997 and active on all bands from 10 meters up till 3cm tough VHF, UHF and SHF are prefered in (SSB) voice, ATV, CW and weak-signal/DIGI modes.

On the day to day job I work as Technical Consultant specified in Infrastructure and Linux solutions. Also doing some hands-on support stuff for repeater group PI2NOS and PI3UTR and PA6ATV (Hobbyscoop)  and trying to promote HAMNET and DMR-activities with a group of ham’s throughout the country.

August 2018 NAC contest on 432 MHz

August 2018 NAC contest on 144 MHz

Lot’s of noise due to upcoming thunder storms. Therefor I had the idea that less stations from the UK were QRV tonight.

New amp coming in…

Today I’ve ordered a new SSPA amplifier. Now it’s for the 144 MHz band. I already bought a Gemini 180 Watt amp for 23cm in the past with the DXshop in the UK. After experiencing some issues with it, Roger (GW4WND) the owner of the shop, provided more than excellent service. And providing good service to customers pays off. The Gemini 2-500 is capable to deliver 500 Watts of power, so more than enough for the 400 Watt legal limit in the Netherlands. This new unit should line up perfectly with his brother on 23cm.

July 2018 NAC contest on 1296 MHz

Only 10 minutes in the shack before the doorbell rang and visitors arrived. No time to test-drive the new 120cm dish. Hope there will be some activity during the 1st weekend of August contest.

July 2018 NAC contest on 432 MHz

Terrible propagation. In the beginning of the evening I wasn’t even able to work OZ1BEF. Later, when temperatures were cooling down we’ve made a QSO. SK7MW is missing in the log to to the lack of tropo. In total I’ve made 20 QSO’s in about 2 hours (20.00-22.00 local time) with a total of 5637 km. ODX is OZ1BEF (510km). Total points: 11137, good for a second place (1st place in the LP10 section).

July 2018 contest results

I’ve worked hard the day before the contest to get the 120cm dish for 23/13cm mounted on the roof. Special thanks to Frans PC2F for helping me out. During the contest, the 144 MHz station was Multi-Op since Remco PA3FYM was coming over. He hasn’t been QRV on VHF for a while. I think the last time was PA6NL in 2016. Since he was logging on paper, I was busy on Sunday afternoon…

144 MHz results

432 MHz results

 

July 2018 NAC contest on 144 MHz

There were very good tropo openings towards LA and I was able to work multiple stations in JO59. Norway was a missing DXCC for me on 2-meters. I could even hear those stations on my FT-817 with rubber duck on the windowsill. Booming signals! After 2100 localtime I turned the antenna towards the UK. The desert of this contest was a QSO with GD0AMD/P from the Isle of Man. A complete new DXCC for me (didn’t work it on any band before). ODX today: LA2Z with 860 kilometers. In total I made 54 QSO’s. It could be a bit more but I had to stop before the end of the contest.

This maps shows tropo paths. Very good openings towards LA.

This maps shows tropo paths based on APRS data. Very good openings towards Norway (LA) and Denmark (OZ).

June 2018 NAC contest on 432 MHz

First NAC on 432 MHz this year. The 2nd Thuesday of the month is always difficult for me. In the log: Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and England. ODX was SK7MW with 617km.

June 2018 NAC contest on 144 MHz

Todays NAC contest just finished. There were very good tropo conditions. Yesterday I could hear the OY beacon on both 144 and 432 MHz, today I didn’t (yet). But heard and worked many stations in GM and even a little bonus with stations in North Ireland. ODX: GM7PKT/P IO76NO 824 km with FT-817 and 5 Watts.

The other good thing: many active stations including many PA-stations. The amount of PD (Novice) stations participating is growing to every moth.

The map is too small :-)

The map is too small 🙂

RSGB 144MHz May Contest

Saturday during the start and Sunday morning I spend a few hours in the shack and was able to work 21 stations. Amongst them, 1 in Schotland, 2 in Wales and the rest from England. I was using a 9-elements LFA and 100 Watts power. ODXC was GM6MD in IO75VG (717km). The log is uploaded as checklog.

New 23cm antenna

Last week a new antenna for 23cm arrived. It’s the SHF-design 67-element (5 meter boom) from Wimo. It should give about 20 dBd gain and will replace the borrowed 23-elements Tonna. I hope that this beam, in combination with the Gemnini amp, gives me enough punch to work stations more than 500 kilometer away.

I hope to put the beam in the mast tomorrow and test it during the Nordic Activity Contest every 3th Thuesday of the month. Eventually this antenna will be replaced by a 120cm dish with dual-band ringfeed for 23cm and 13cm but I need to shop for a new rotator and (2nd) mast first, so this will cost me some more time.

May 2018 contest results

Only spend a few hours in the shack.

New HAMNET link

Last weeks I’ve changed the HAMNET set-up. The radio is switched from Ubiquiti PBE M5-400 to Mikrotik using a 60 cm dish. The s/n ratio is now 50 dB(!) from my home to PI1UTR in the Gerbrandy tower, 31 km away. Furthermore I’ve switched to BGP-based routing with the fiber internet connection as back-up.

Storm :-(

Last week, storm hit the Netherlands with speeds up till 128 km/h. My temporary mast went down. A new base is ready to be mounted. This time with more counterpose and guy wires. The Moxon for 50 and 70 MHz needs some new aluminium. Besides that (and the bent platform) no damage to the roof. 

Buying 23cm transceivers in Japan

Last week I’ve received a shipment with several 23cm capable transceivers from Japan. One was the Kenwood TM-541 and two others were Kenwood TM-833’s. The 833’s are quite unknown since there are only brought to the Japanese market. basically it’s the more familiar dual-band 733 but now with the bands 70cm/23cm.

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