Sunday, 24 October 2010

The 13s

Old Man Of Coniston G/LD-013 - 21st October
Used FT-817 into mobile antenna taped to a broom handle. Rained on the way up.

Also used the 70 MHz Wouxun handheld to work G4RQJ and G7RNX.
The FT-817's voltage was dropping from 11.1 to 8.9 on transmit. The LiPo battery wasn't flat (after putting about 1Ah into it afterwards it was fully charged) so there must have been some high resistance joint in line, could be the power connector because there isn't much contact area between the socket and the board where I re-soldered it.

Gun G/SP-013 - 24th October
Used Icom IC-E91 handheld and the battery kept going flat, even though it hadn't been used on transmit since I charged it a few days ago. Maybe it was the cold? The battery meter was reading full but when going back to receive, the radio would switch itself off (never halfway through a transmission). In low power, this never happened. I've had this happen before. I know the battery will discharge after a couple of weeks of non-use but not this quickly.

Summit to Summit with G/WB-007 Heath Mynd

APRS tracker now on a sticky mat instead of a taped up mess

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

4m handheld experiment

I'd got my new Garex 70 MHz flexi whip for the handheld but it still didn't seem that good compared to a handheld on a higher frequency. So I tried a few different lengths of wire and other cables as a counterpoise.
A data cable plugged into the speaker/mic sockets on the side made an improvement in my transmitted signal, this cable was around 90cm or just under 1/4 wavelength on 70 MHz. Other cables such as plugging the speaker mic in made little improvement, so the length was quite important.
In the end I went for 90cm of insulated wire, with a few cm bare wrapped round the SMA connector. This wire was left to hang down behind the radio.
I then tried using the original Wouxun rubber duck with the wire counterpoise and the result was better than the Garex whip + no counterpoise. I'm guessing about 6dB improvement from the longer whip and 10dB difference from the wire counterpoise. It meant the difference between signal or noise to G7RNX who is about 5Km away, while I was stood indoors.
On a different handheld such as an ex-PMR one where there will be a bigger area of metal (battery pack, metalwork on the case) there might not be as much of an improvement but it would definitely help.

The lift conditions are still there on VHF/UHF and have been for over 2 days. Today I left my APRS station receiving on 144.800 all day and there were packets being received from France and Belgium, as well as some in the south west of Ireland.

Last night I fixed the power socket on my FT-817, the centre pin of the socket had been pushed back inside (this might have been because of a damaged plug) and this had broken the solder connection with the circuit board. I put the centre pin back in place and soldered it. The rest of the socket was OK.

Monday, 11 October 2010


Last night, conditions on VHF/UHF were really good. I was hearing stations from the Midlands and south east England. I tried 2m WSPR, even though there weren't many stations active on there.
Here are the reports from last night, I received and got a report from DL1DBC in JO31, 762Km away. That was me using 10 watts to a vertical.

Monday, 4 October 2010

PSK Reporter

40m (7.035 MHz USB) PSK31 reception tonight using Digital Master 780. List of countries: