Thursday, December 30, 2010

W8JOD ... is "Radio-Active" !!

I was on 40 meters last night, and worked John ( W8JOD ) is his 18 wheeler.
Man does he have a BIG SIGNAL from the mobile !!
Look at his QRZ Page and see why.
This Guy is indeed "Radio-Active" !!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Final J6 Blog Post

Click Here ..... For The J6 Slide Show
This will be my final post for our
Buddies in the Caribbean
Ultra-Light DXpedition
Hope you have enjoyed all the photos
I'll be back soon with more
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

J6 ...The Trip of a lifetime !!

First ... Let me say thanks to Budd/W3FF for the invitation to St Lucia.
Thank you Guy/N7UN for all the countless hours you spent organizing the trip.
Finally... thanks to all the Ham's who waited in the pile-ups to work J6/N4LA and the J6 team.
This trip was with out a doubt, the most fun I've ever had as a Ham !! ...
and with 8 guys splitting the cost it didn't break the bank.
The 8 man team got along very well which actually surprised me.
Usually, there's always a bad apple in the bunch ... but not this time.
We gathered as 8 total strangers ...
We left as 8 lifetime friends !!
The Pile-ups were amazing at times ... and the overall experience was more than I had hoped for !!
We ended up with over 7500 qso's .... Operations were very casual with no pressure
If you ever get a chance to participate in a "Caribbean Buddies Dxpedition"...
Don't pass it by !!
I met an elderly English lady on St Lucia while we were exploring
Pigeon Island National Park who gave me some great advice ...
She said ...
Life is not a rehersal ... this is it
Enjoy it while you can !!

Click Here ... to view more Photos of J6

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The White Jamaican and his posse

W3FF ... Budd's favorite Spot

We spent a bunch of time on 40, operating from the Gazebo..
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If you ever get a chance ............

Don't pass up a opportunity to visit St. Lucia...
The views are spectacular, and for Hams ...
The propagation is amazing around the world.
Thanks Budd and Chris for the invitation ...
and thanks for the trip of a lifetime !!!
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St Lucia ... Pigeon Island

Here is another view from Pigeon Island ...
The far peak was called Signal Hill, and was leased by the US Navy during WWII
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St Lucia ... An amazing place !!

Pic of the day ... This picture was taken from Fort Rodney on Pigeon Island
The only national park on St. Lucia
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Who's from Iowa ??

Gary has told us all week that he was born in Iowa ...
Looks like he found a relative at the St Lucia street party on Friday night !!
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W3FF ... Directing J6 Operations

L to R ....
J6/W3FF ... Budd
J6/ N4LA ... Todd
Stevie ... The Black Jamaican
J6/NX8L ... Gary
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J6 update ..Don't tell Bills wife !!

We recently discoverd that Bill/W7ZT can cook and do Laundry.
He has been the villa chef for the week here on J6
Don't tell Bill's wife ... they have been married over 50 years...
and she still doesn't know he cooks and cleans !!
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Mr Pile -up !!

Pancakes on J6 ....Here's a pic of Gary/NX8L...
getting ready to work a pile-up of pancakes !!
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N4LA... at the St Lucia Street Party

Hey Mon... The white Jamaican on the drums !!
Friday night we had a local street party... lots of cruise ship visitors and locals
The food here was amazing !!
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

J68UN / Guy

Here is Guy setting up for the 10 meter contest..
Most of you know him as N7UN
Guy, is our group coordinator ... and he's done an amazing job !!
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Top Gun ...J6/K8EAB ...Wey

Here is Admiral Wey-Bob on 30 meter CW ....
Running on Jet-Fuel Man !!
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J6/W4OKW ... Tom

Tom was our lone PSK31 op here on J6
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Friday, December 10, 2010

J6/W7ZT ... Pedestrian Mobile

Buddies in the Caribean... Pic of the day
For those who worked Bill / W7ZT .... Here's a shot of Bill's Buddipole set-up.
He has worked the world while walking, with a little Yaesu FT-817 at 5 watts !!
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Thers's a white Jamaican on J6 !!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mr. Pile-up !!

Here's Gsry J6/NX8L at the 17 meter op position ...
Up 5 .. Up 5
Spread-em out boys !!
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Here is Kent J6/K4MK working the pile-up on 15 !!
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J6 .. Amazing Beaches !!

Pic of the day .... Here is a picture of what we call "The Rogue Wave Beach"...
We went down to set up for beach portable today... But the rogue wave struck again !!
Sorry guys maybe before the week is over
But let me tell you ... the beaches here are simply ... Amazing !!
73 de N4LA
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

J6/N4LA .. Running 15 Meters

We had a decent run on 15 SSB today, although 15 never really opened that well into Europe
We were using a Buddipole vertical on the roof today for 15 meters
I had lots of people in the states comment on how cold it was ...
One guy in S. Florida even said they had frost down there overnight.
As you can see in the picture above, we don't have that problem on St Lucia.
We were near 90F today with wicked humidity !!
One guy in N Dakota even offered to trade places with me !!
I told him that I guess I would try and stick it out until we leave !! (Hi Hi)
Thanks for all the qso's today guys and remember ...
We'll be in the 10 meter contest this weekend as ... J6BP
So if you need J6 on 10 meters here is your chance ...
If propagation allows of course ... 73 for now
de J6/N4LA
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Our 17 meter Buddipole on J6

Pic of the day .... Here's Todd & Guy moving our 17 meter antenna around to work the USA... I'ts a standard Buddipole on a shockcord mast.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

W3FF... J6 Mobile

Todays J6 Pic shows Budd / W3ff getting ready to head out and operate mobile.
Budd's using the NEW SHORTY COIL (available soon) and a cap hat on his mobile set-up.
This little antenna is amazing !!
We had much noise / qrn on most bands last night... 40 meter SSB had a S9 noise level while I was operating.
Sorry if I missed some of you guys.....Guy had a great run on 80 cw last night.
We plan to be on 160 tonight around 22:00 - 23:00 UTC ...if all goes as planned.
Thanks for all the qso's
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Fun in The Sun ..We are on St Lucia

We are starting to get organized finally ... most of the villa antennas are up and running on the higher bands ... we hope to get antennas up for 60 and 80 this afternoon....and possibly 160 by tomorrow afternoon.
Weather is amazing, with temps in the mid 80's ... and a nice ocean breeze.
The picture above was taken this morning, while I was helping Guy/N7UN install antennsa for 17,20 and 30 meters.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from N4LA

Today  I thank God for My beautiful wife Trica ...
My 2 beautiful daughters Taylor & Sydney....
I thank God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon me ...
I thank God For Family and Friends
I thank God for the USA
I also thank God For our Military men and women who are not able to be with their family and friends today ... These are the same men and women that are protecting me and my family right now ... they sacrifice their Thanksgiving so that all Americans will have this opportunity to give thanks today.
  ... and for that, I am thankful .... Lets remember our troops today, and while you watch this short video ..please say a little prayer for those proudly serving in harms way.


73 de N4LA
US Navy Vet

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guam ..KH2/N2NL on 160 Meters this morning !!

This video is for those who can appreciate the challenge of working rare DX on Topband.
I put KH2/N2NL (David) on the island of Guam, in my Topband log this morning at 11:51 Z or 06:51 local ... for a new one on 160 ....I worked him 7 minutes before my actual sunrise.
David was working split (up 1) so qrm was minimal .... What amazes me is, I couldn't even hear him 15 minutes earlier !!
Signal reports were 559 both ways. .... Conditions this morning were great on Topband (Solar flux 91 / A Index 5 / K index 2)
I also heard a Russian station in zone 19 just after my sunrise .... I didn't call, since signals was fading rapidly.
Davids signal peaked about 1 minute before our sunrise.... he was S7 on the Inverted L.
The MAGIC of Topband !!! .... What a way to start the day !!
73 de N4LA / Todd

What is this ?
Click Here ... to find out on the KH2/N2NL website !!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The "MAGIC" of Topband !!

Ever since I was a kid  ..the " Magic" of amateur radio has captured my heart in a way I find hard to describe.
When I hear that voice from "far away"... it just has that special sound ...  a sound I really can't describe ....a sound that just sounds ...far away !! 
It's the voice thats gets me up early, before the sunrise ... and keeps me up way too late ... it's the voice I may only hear once in a lifetime ... It's the voice that may only be there for a minute or even seconds  ... just long enough to make contact, only to quickly say goodbye ... Then bam !! ... it's gone ... just like "Magic".
The "magic" itself  happens when you're at the right place, at the right time, if only for a split second... It's when you finally hear that lone voice you've been searching for ... It's the voice that  may  be thousands of miles away on the other side of the world.... yet it's the voice, that sounds like it's right there in the room with you.
It's why I don't sleep ... I don't eat .. and I spend money I don't have .... It's Amateur Radio ... and to me, it's still "magic" after all these years !!

This morning I came in from work and done my daily ritual  ... say hello to the wife and kids ...give them the hugs & kisses they deserve ... and then for 10 to 15 minutes, listen for signals on the low bands ... especially 160 meters.... before I take my oldest daughter to school.
Well this morning I had a nice surprise ... I heard a pile-up on 1.832  at 11:43Z or 06:43 EST... It was VK6HD / Mike  working the states on Topband !! Luckily I already had the Alpha 78 fired up ... so I grabbed the CW paddles and threw my call in the mix ..... after quickly repeating my call 3 times, the "Magic" happened .... I heard N4LA N4LA de VK6HD VK6HD ur 469 469 BK .... I quickly replied  ur 559 559 and said 73 from NC ...Finally after 3 lowband seasons ... a VK6 was finally in my log on TOPBAND  !!! .... After the short qso ....I found myself shaking, like a deer hunter with his crosshairs on a trophy buck !! .... Is that crazy or what !!!

After our quick cw exchange this morning..... I sent Mike / VK6HD this (thank you) E-mail ...................

Hi Mike ...
Thanks for the Topband qso this morning at 11:43Z ... you were the loudest VK I've ever heard on 160 meters ...
You were also my very first VK on 160 ... so thanks again !!
I would like to qsl via LOTW if possible ?
Also wondering what you are using for equipment on 160 ... you were very strong here in North Carolina !!
I'm using a inverted L w/ 200+ radials on TX .. and beverage antennas on RX
73 de N4LA / Todd
Denton, North Carolina

Here is MIke's (VK6HD) reply ..............

Hi Todd,
Pleased we got you in the log for your first VK...The QRN was horrendous ...the QRN was not too bad on 80m so tried 160 but in the end I had to give it away. The QSO has already been loaded onto LOTW. I have 156 radials under the antenna and using an IC7800 .I used to have beverages but got fed up with having to repair them on a daily basis due to damage by kangaroos.
73 Mike
60 years QRV and still a great hobby!

What a way to start your morning !!! .... 

I love the "Magic" of Amateur Radio !!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Portable Ops.. A Kaleidoscope of Color

I called my friend Larry up on Thursday ...and ask him to join me on a short hike in the Birkhead Wilderness Area on Friday morning.  First let me say... it's beautiful in North Carolina right now ... the leaves just passed peak color a couple of days ago, so the colors are spectacular.... plus hiking is loads of fun & great exercise.We decided we would take a couple of HF rigs for some portable ops as well. It doesn't get much better than this. My 2 favorite hobbies .. Ham Radio and Backpacking, in the same day !! I took my Yaesu FT-857D & A123 battery pack plus a 17 meter Par End Fedz antenna for SSB ... Larry took his little ATS4 (qrp rig) & straight key, a gell cell battery... plus a 40 meter Par End Fedz for CW.
When I do portable ops ...I usually try to fill up a log page( which is 15 entries) before I quit. Propagation usually decides if I make my goal of 15 contacts and how long it will take. Most of the time it takes a couple of hours at least... even with 50 to 100 watts output. But I guess the propagation gods were smiling on me today... I made my goal of 15 contacts in 53 minutes.... I even worked Budd (W3FF) on bicycle mobile using 50 watts ... and Paul (W0RW)while operating pedestrian mobile using 5 watts .... Plus I worked 3 European stations as well  ....Thanks for all the Q's !!!

All contacts were made on the 17 meter / HF Pack / calling frequency ... 18157.5
Log Start ... 1542Z
Log End ... 1635Z

N4LA Log on Nov/12/2010 ...... HF Portable Ops

CALL ......My Signal .....QTH
1. VE5WX ... 53 ... W Canada
2. K9DIG ... 59 ... North Dakota
3. F6EZR ... 54 ... France
4. DL8ZT ... 55 ... Germany
5. W0RW ... 59 ... Colarado (Base & Backpack Mobile)
6. 6Y5WE ... 55 ... Jamaica (Mobile)
7. VE5CAT ... 59 ... W Canada
8. SV2CXI ... 57 ... Greece
9. N0EVH ... 57 ... Missouri
10. WM6Z ... 57 ... California
11. KD0CRI ... 55 ... Missouri
12. W3FF ... 59 ... California (Base & Bicycle Mobile)
13. KI0AJ ... 59 ... South Dakota
14. K7MCX ... 58 ...  Washington
15. W9BWR ... 59 ... Minnesota

For more pics ... Click Here

A special thanks to Paul / W0RW who spotted me on QRP Spots and HF NOW .... this certainly helped me fill my log in record time !!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

IT's NO JOKE ...A Buddipole Vertical ... On 40 meters ... in CQWW SSB !!!

I've been trying to find some time to give a quick report on my Buddipole Vertical I used on 40 meters last weekend during the CQWW SSB Contest. Well here it is one o'clock in the morning... we just set our clocks back one hour...  and I finally found the time I was looking for (Hi Hi) ....I know what you are thinking ... That Buddipole Vertical is too small to be effective on 40, and it will never bust the CQWW  SSB pile-ups with only 100 watts !!
Well let me tell you ... 40 meter SSB, running low power during CQWW is tough for any station !!!! ... even with big antennas and big towers... low power on 40 takes plenty of patience and determination !! ... 40 meter CW is much easier with low power in my opinion ...and with the sunspot cycle still below par ... 40 meters at night is a busy place, since 10/15/20 are basically shutdown after dark.....  BIG POWER & BIG ANTENNAS RULE at night on the low bands!!
I was not expecting much... in the way of DXCC country totals with the little Buddipole Vertical.... but I thought it would be a great testing ground for the antenna.... I thought "If I can work DX on 40 in this environment ... then this antenna will be a great portable antenna for 40 meters ... and a keeper indeed".

So I guess you are wondering ... How did it perform on 40 SSB during CQWW ?

I was really surprised at the results ... 
And I think you will be also !!

Operation Goals ... To work as many countries and CQ zones as time allowed ... to test overall antenna capabilities and performance.
Operating schedule ... off and on after dark  ...3-4 hours total
Total QSO's ... 48
Total DXCC Countries ... 38
Total CQ Zones ... 15

CQ Zones worked .....

DXCC Countries worked .......

1 Spain
2 Germany
3 Morocco
4 Virgin Is.
5 Barbados
6 Aruba
7 Slovakia
8 Italy
9 Madeira Is.
10 Turks & Caicos
11 Cape Verde
Click on picture to enlarge
12 Portugal
13 Dominican Republic
14 Hungary
15 Brazil
16 France
17 Netherlands
18 Belize
19 England
20   Cuba
21 Mexico
22 Colombia
23 Netherlands Antilles
24 Hawaii
25 Slovenia
26 European Russia
27 Croatia
28 Moldova
29 Bermuda
30 Montenegro
31 Senegal
32 Sicily
33 Alaska
34 Liechtenstein
35 Canary Is.
36 Mozambique
37 Ireland
38 Greece

Not to Shabby for a  so-called ...undersized ... under-rated ... 40 meter (ultra-light) vertical w/ only 1 radial and only 8ft off the ground  !!
This little antenna amazed me on 40 to say the least ... I never expected these great results or so much fun !!
Was I first in the pile-ups ? .... NO
Were the pile-ups tough to break .... YES
Were there pile-ups I couldn't break ... YES
Patience and determination were a must with this set-up during CQWW SSB
YES YES YES ... this antenna is definitely a keeper !!
My hats off to Budd and Chris at Buddipole for a great antenna design !!
For more info on Buddipole antennas CLICK HERE

73 de N4LA