Wednesday, 26 October 2016

#cqww SSB 2016 from a contestsite

Together with my XYL I decided it was time to try someting else for contesting. I knew local contest station PA6GR had a need of operators for the upcoming CQWW SSB contest so I will participate the contest together with this team. We decided to apply for the section multi operator, one radio, low power. Unfortunately we only have one good antenna, a large 3 element 20m monoband beam at 20m agl. So main band will be 20m. At night we will use a wire antenna fed with through a 1:9 UNUN for other bands, not the best but good enough to get some multipliers I hope. Now, we wish some nice propagation and nice DX!  My shift is from Saturdaymorning 5 UTC - 13 UTC and 22 UTC- 8 UTC Sundaymorning. I wish everyone a lot of fun and hope to work some of you readers!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Observing my own 30m WSPR TX results last week(s)

I dare to have my WSPR W5OLF 1W transmitter almost on 24/7 with 18 minute TX intervals (still continues). It might be a interesting thing to analyse who received me and when. But I haven't got the time for it. Hoping for some new ones in my WSPR log, so far only one (9A2WB Croatia). Still nothing from south and central America, could it be they are not allowed on 30m digital? However some interesting reports in the morning did catch my eye. Those are the reports from the USA around 8-9 UTC. Most of the time just one spot, sometimes a couple of spots. It seems it is a different from normal path but excisting almost every day according to my log. PH0NO Lars did point me at some propagation predictor called Droidprop which is a app that installs on my android phone. I actually already installed the app but never used it before. Anyway, I predicted 30m on a particulair day I saw K4COD spotted me (just as a example so I have a locator).

Normally 30m opens late in the evening. But you see that one spot again on 8:10 UTC. Now what does the prediction say. I thought to use both Droidprop as VOACAP although they say the same. See that peak at 8 UTC? But it just is below 10MHz although there is a small possebility it could rise a bit. I discussed it with several operators because I think it is much more likely that it these spots are made on longpath.

Look at the prediction. The MUF goes beyond 10MHz, actually there is much more chance for a long path signal to travel to the USA over the day. But I haven't got a directional antenna on 30m and can't prove it. I'm not a expert either. Interesting to think about it just as a experiment.

The 1W WSPR TX is normally powered from my solarpowered battery in the garage but since it is in my shack now I connected it to a new homemade device. It's a mini switched power supply with over/under voltage protection. It gives a 4 Amps max with 13V output. Especially made to power my FT-817 at vacation as a conventional power supply was too heavy and too big. I'm testing the durability before I will take it with me. The small TX does a great job on it at least. I still want to change some minor things on it. So a review of the internals and test will be given later on on this blog.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Icom IC-7300 price drop

Lots of radioamateurs that don't want to spend all their money on their radiohobby are waiting for a expected price drop of the Icom IC-7300 including me. I know it's too early and the radio is still too new. But with a expected follow up SDR from Icom the IC-7610 I think the radio will be much cheaper. Price here in the Netherlands has dropped down with 30 euro, a new one will cost you 1339 euro now. I already saw the radio sold second hand on the dutch marktplaats (kind of eBay) for as much as 1150 euro for a 3 month old IC-7300. I think that's too much considering you can almost buy it new in the UK that price. Since the british pound has made a downfall compared to the euro it is now interesting to buy a IC-7300 in the UK I think. Several HAM stores in the UK sell it for 1049,95 GBP. Which is converted to euro 1160,55 and considerable cheaper as here in the Netherlands. Buying it via internet however is not interesting as you have to pay shipping and custom taxes importing the radio. But if you  dare to make a trip to England to get a few of these radios you can make some extra money or fund your own one . It's just a idea!

Update: It seems no problem to order one in the UK as you don't have to pay extra taxes within Europe. Thanks to some of my readers comments! So, this could really be interesting. Sorry for those living in the UK but I think it's just a matter of waiting till the british pound is dropping any further. You really can get a bargain out of this...