Category Archives: Amateur Radio

BITX40 now goes digital

Earlier this year, Farhan of BITX20 fame, released a 40m version of his famous transceiver. The difference this time was it was not just the schematic with detailed instructions, but a full kit, for the princely sum of $45 (about £35 GBP). And this is an almost ready to go kit, with all onboard components already fitted. These boards are assembled by a team of ladies in India, and provides them with employment. All the user has to do is select a suitable enclosure and with some basic metal bashing skills, put together a decent single band SSB transceiver, with 6-7 watts of RF output.

One of the observations of many early adopters of this kit was it suffered from drift, due to the varicap tuning arrangement. Also, tuning with the supplied pot was somewhat critical, and many users purchased a 10-turn pot to overcome these limitations. Yet others have put together Arduino-based VFO’s with digital readout etc.

Farhan has now addressed these comments and produced a version complete with Arduino-based digital VFO + readout for $59! This is a real winner, and I am being seriously tempted to purchase the kit. I have been ‘off-air’ for many years due to the reduced level of conduct on the HF bands, but this kit may just tempt me back. It would provide an ideal back-pack or SOTA rig, powered by a 12v gelcel.

For more details about this kit see the HF Sigs website

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2m Transatlantic QSO achieved!

From the website of D4C comes the news of a successful 2m transatlantic QSO.

A new 2m barrier is broken. PY1MHZ- V51PJ QSO

Successful Bilateral Transatlantic 144 MHz QSO made !

Between 04 and 05 October 2016 a new record was set. PY1MHZ Marcos received in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil from locator GG87JC the 2 m signal of V51PJ  from locator JG82IE in Rosh Pinah, Namibia by using digital mode WSJT-X via Tropospheric ducting.

The distance between the two stations is 5987 km

Here the details of the records:
Frequency: 144.250MHz
Mode: WSJT-X – QRA64

Time and intensity:
04 OCT 2016 2038 UTC -37db at PY1MHZ

05 OCT 2016 0028 UTC  -36db at V51PJ

Rig setup:
PY1MHZ 2x12el Horizontal polarity, 400W,  Preamp 16db

V51PJ 2x13el Horizontal polarity, 1kW

Only thanks to the persistence and determination of these OM this historic achievement was possible.

 

 

VK0EK Heard Island DX-pedition – Update

From VK0EK web site:

“On March 1, 2016 the first of the Heard Island Expedition Team board flights for Cape Town, South Africa, the accumulation point for the expedition to Heard Island.

The first three to depart, Bob Schmieder KK6EK, Ken Karr NG2H, and Adam Brown K2ARB, will arrive in Cape Town at 1:00 PM local time, to be met by members of the South Africa Support Team. They will be followed over the next four days by the other team members: Fred Belton KM4MXD, Arliss Thompson W7XU, Gavin Marshall VK2BAX, Hans-Peter Blattler HB9BXE, Alan Cheshire VK6CQ, Bill Mitchell AEØEE, Dave Lloyd K3EL, Jim Colletto N6TQ, Vadym Ivliev UT6UD, Dave Farnsworth WJ2O, and Carlos Nascimento NP4IW.

The Cape Town Support Team has been interfacing with the vessel (also due to arrive in Cape Town March 3), and the local agency for inspecting the vessel and cargo for biological threats. We will be shopping, cleaning the tents, and loading the Braveheart, preparing for the scheduled sailing on March 10.

All news while the team is en route and at Heard will be posted here,

 http://www.vk0ek.org “

Texas APRS balloon crosses Atlantic

From Southgate ARC News:

The solar powered amateur radio APRS balloon BTL-42.1 W5BTR-11 has successfully crossed the Atlantic
The balloon was released by the South Texas Balloon Launch Team on February 7 and its signal was picked up at 17:57 UT on February 10 off the coast of Northern Spain.


BLT-42.1 balloon 1910 GMT on February 10, 2016

The balloon payload normally transmits on 144.390 MHz FM but has the capability to switch to 144.800 MHz FM (5 kHz wide deviation, 25kHz channel spacing) when in range of Europe.

Real-time track at
http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=6&call=a%2FW5BTR-11&timerange=259200&tail=259200

Pics of balloon and payload at
http://www.w5acm.net/b421.html

The IARU Region 1 meeting in Vienna on April 15-17 will discuss Global Harmonization of the APRS frequencies, see
http://amsat-uk.org/2016/01/27/iaru-paper-aprs-harmonisation/

This Weekend: Croatian CW Contest, OK DX RTTY Contest and RAC Winter Contest

The Croatian CW Contest will be taking place from Saturday, 1400 UTC through Sunday, 1400 UTC on 1,8/3,5/7/14/21/28 MHz.

Points :

10 points contacts with 9A stations on 1,8/3,5/7 MHz, 6 points on 14/21/28 MHz

6 points contacts with other continent on 1,8/3,5/7 MHz, 3 points on 14/21/28 MHz

2 points contacts with own continent, including entrant’s own country on 1,8/3,5/7 MHz, 1 point on 14/21/28 MHz.

Multipliers : DXCC countries plus WAE list on each band 1 point.

Complete rules: http://9acw.org/index.php/rules/english/106-rules-2015. The contest website is http://9acw.org/index.php.

zagabria

The OK DX RTTY will be taking place on Saturday on 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters.

Points:

On 10, 15 and 20 meters bands:

1 point for contact within own continent

2 points for outside own continent (DX QSO)

On 40 and 80 meters bands:

3 points for contact within own continent

6 points for outside own continent (DX QSO)

Multipliers: DXCC Countries and OK stations on each band

Complete rules: http://okrtty.crk.cz/index.php?page=english.

Finally, thw winter RAC contest will be running on 160 – 2 meters, in CW and SSB on Saturday, 0000 UTC – 2359 UTC.

The rules are at http://wp.rac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015-Winter-Contest-Rules-English-French.pdf.

Hungarian Amateur Radio contest over the Xmas period

From Ceglédi Rádió Sport Egyesület:

HG5XMAS, Christmas activity by Hungarian radio amateurs,
and Memorial Certificate
Purpose of the activity: maintaining the spirit of friendship between amateur radio operators in the Christmas period, and provision to obtain the certificate. Taking part in the DARC XMAS, and the HNY contests.
Time period: 2015.12.18. 00.00 UT – 2016.01.02. 23.59. UT
Frequencies: 160-10 m HF bands. Modes: CW,SSB,RTTY.
Condition to receive Memorial Certificate:
In the activity period, 3 contacts shall be made with HG5XMAS, but on 3 different days, on 2 different bands, in 2 different modes.
For example: 3,5 MHz CW on December 20, 3,6 MHz SSB on December 21, 7 MHz CW on December 22.
E-mail address of the special event station: hg5xmas@gmail.com , by HA5MY.
Facebook: Hg5xmas Christmas radioamateur activity
The certificate shall be applied for on the hg5xmas@gmail.com, by providing the data of the 3 contacts.
Please do NOT send us a paper QSL!
Our QSL will be downloadable from e-QSL.cc. QSL cards can be downloaded after uploading the logs, thus the certified e-QSL cards will only be available after January 3rd, 2016. by HA7AX.

Ceglédi Rádió Sport Egyesület's photo.
Ceglédi Rádió Sport Egyesület's photo.

‘The Ham Sandwich’ 1 – A Show For Radio Hobbyists.

From QRZ.COM comes news of a new video show:

“After more than a year of thinking and mulling ideas over back and forth with fellow Ham , Steve KD0PXX , we have finally actually produced something.
It is a video show that is primarily for Amateur radio hobbyists , but something that we think that ALL radio fans would like.

Unlike the overproduced , over rehearsed smiling faces that want you to buy something , this show has no sponsors and no agenda other than providing an engaging half hour show that reveals more of what really goes on in Ham shacks around the world.

Being based in northern Europe I , Greg OH2FFY , bring my experience with Ham radio from Europe , Australia , and the UK.
Steve covers the scene in the United States.

While I am now out of the electronics industry Steve is still working in electronics servicing and repairs , and has a personal favorite being older tube type technology.

His technically accurate and thoughtful input to the show offsets my ‘fun’ relaxed and easy going style and combined this creates a conversational warm atmosphere on the show. , which is EXACTLY the way it is when a couple of Hams get together and talk about their projects and whats going on.

This show is fast paced , easy to watch and we believe has GREAT potential.
We think its time to ditch those old stale Video shows , and grab — ‘The Ham Sandwich’ :)

After more than a year of thinking and mulling ideas over back and forth with fellow Ham , Steve KD0PXX , we have finally actually produced something.
It is a video show that is primarily for Amateur radio hobbyists , but something that we think that ALL radio fans would like.

Unlike the overproduced , over rehearsed smiling faces that want you to buy something , this show has no sponsors and no agenda other than providing an engaging half hour show that reveals more of what really goes on in Ham shacks around the world.

Being based in northern Europe I , Greg OH2FFY , bring my experience with Ham radio from Europe , Australia , and the UK.
Steve covers the scene in the United States.

While I am now out of the electronics industry Steve is still working in electronics servicing and repairs , and has a personal favorite being older tube type technology.

His technically accurate and thoughtful input to the show offsets my ‘fun’ relaxed and easy going style and combined this creates a conversational warm atmosphere on the show. , which is EXACTLY the way it is when a couple of Hams get together and talk about their projects and whats going on.

This show is fast paced , easy to watch and we believe has GREAT potential.
We think its time to ditch those old stale Video shows , and grab — ‘The Ham Sandwich’ :)

Greg OH2FFY