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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23cm receiver PI6NOS

I’ve build an extra 23cm receiver for the regional 23cm repeater system PI6NOS in Hilversum. Building was quite straightforward. Just take a Raspberry Pi, an RTL-SDR stick and connect it to an antenna (using a band-pass filter not to overload the RTL-stick with crap).

The repeater system is based on an svxlink controller so just installing remotetrx on the RPi is enough to get started.  And since we’re hamradio operators and not internet amateurs, the remote receiver is connected via 5 GHz HAMNET. It even uses an indirect link from my house via the IJsselstein tower towards the Hilversum tower where the controller and transmitter is located.

There are still some improvements to be made and I have to mount a dedicated antenna for the system.  There is only one problem: when using my Alinco DJ-G5 triband portable on 23cm the signal, even with 100 mWatt, is blocking the receiver.

First price Belgium 144 MHz Spring contest

I won the first prize in the Belgium UBA spring contest on 144 MHz. within the QRP segment outside of Belgium. The caveat: I was the only one who send in a log :). Nevertheless I’d like to thank all Belgium stations for there patience working me. I was using about 5 Watts of power using a Ukrainian transverter behind the Icom IC-7300.

If I was sending in a regular log (no QRP) then I would have been second of the DX-stations. See you next year.

July 2017 NAC-contest 144 MHz

The first two hours I started beaming OZ and DL. Signals from OZ (and SM) where very loud. From 120 degrees (Germany Ruhrgebiet) I noticed local QRN. That’s why dots are missing in Germany. Later on I directed the beam 270 degrees towards the UK. Unfortunately no Wales or Scotland. The biggest surprise was a neighbour station a few hundred of meters away calling me. He said “Well. I guess this QSO doesn’t give you lots of points since we’re in the same locator”. Wrong! Each new locator (JO22) gives 500 bonus points. And since I didn’t work any other stations in JO22, this QSO gave almost the same points as a QSO with an OZ station in Denmark with a competitor in the same grid locator. So dutch hams. Build a Moxon (It will only costs you 15 minutes), put it on a broom and put it out of your attic window. Or take it with a FT-817 up a hill. You will work OZ, DL and G-stations and you will contribute to other competitors in the contest. Don’t have 144 MHz SSB? Visit PI4RCG. They have 2 base-stations for sale for 100 Euro each.