Sunday, January 30, 2011

VP8ORK... Wow !!

VP8ORK / South Orkney Islands
Check out more info at the links below...

M0TNX / Kev .. Has a new website !!

Back on Jan 15th .... 
I had a nice qso with Kev ( M0TNX ) while he was portable.
Kev has recently started a webpage with lots of good info ... 
which includes his portable op reports.
Check out his link below !!
Thanks for the info Kev !!

The Terrible " T's "

For years I've heard that any African station  that has a prefix that begins with the letter " T "... 
will be tough to work. That may not be the case with TJ3AY. Henri had a crushing signal this morning.
59 into North Carolina at 13:30 utc on 15 meter SSB.
Thanks for the contact Henri ... and thanks for being " Radio-Active " !!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Buddies in the Caribbean" Dominica (J7) DXpedition

The "Buddies in the Caribbean" DXpedition (Team #1) which specializes in 100 watt or less low power radios and the Buddipole portable antenna systems will be on Dominica (J7) February 1-9th, 2011. We plan to stay at the Calibishie Cove hotel ( ) on the north shore of Dominica. The entire mini-DXpedition is limited to equipment that can fit in your airline suitcases ( 75 lbs / 34 kg max).

With J7 licenses, the eight operators are: Budd/J79FF (W3FF), Chris/J79HFP (W6HFP), Dan/J79ZP (WZ1P), Paul/J79AVO (KB9AVO), Mike/J79VG (KC4VG), Steve/J79AT (wG0AT), Wey/J79EA (K8EAB), and Guy/J79UN (N7UN). There will be 3 hotel stations in operation at various times on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB, and RTTY. During the day, several teams will be battery-only, field portable either from Dominica beaches, scenic mountain tops, or national parks. 160m and 80m CW operations are planned, conditions permitting. QSL via LoTW, eQSL, or mail to the operator's home callsign (SASE required).

Monday, January 17, 2011

M0TNX is "Radio-Active" !!

I worked Kev (M0TNX) over the weekend on 17 meters...
 while he was operating portable on the beach.
Here's a couple of photo's of  Kev's portable set-up 
Kev had 25mph winds while operating.
Thanks for sending me some photo's Kev !!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

N4LA Antenna Repair

This past weekend I spent  most of my Saturday repairing my ... 4 element ... 40 meter ... wire yagi
Above is a picture of the 40 meter driven element
I also have two directors, and one reflector in this wire array 
It's pointing approximately 35 degrees NE 
Although its not quite a flat top ...its darn close ... and works very well  pointing into Europe
This is the 3rd low band season its been utilized ... and each year I've tried to make minor improvements
This year I changed the spacing of the reflector and driven element
That alone improved the front to back at least 6db / 1 S unit
I also replaced all the rope that holds the ends of the wire elements up with ... .095 Weed Eater string !!
This is an old trick a friend of mine (Dave / NA4L ) from SW Virginia showed me a few years ago.
He used this stuff to hold up the wire verticals to his 80 meter 4 square.
Some of the Europeans call it Weed Whacker String !!
Its quite a bit stronger than the small rope I was using.
It's UV resistant ... it doesn't fray like rope does up in the tree tops
It slides over the tree limbs much easier than rope... so less snags
Its almost invisible ... and, it last a long time
Best of all ... its about half the price of the rope I typically use on antenna projects 
I also use springs on the center supports that hold up the middle of each dipole element
The spring allows movement of the dipoles ... which helps strengthen the yagi in high winds.
These small improvements should decrease my maintenance time 
and increase my operating time !!