Saturday, October 10, 2015

Packtenna in the Wild

Thanks to George at Packtenna for a development kit to try out

I am very pleased with the performance of the the 3 baluns I made and my operations on 20m and above

The approach to get as much wire in the air helps make more contacts because its a 20m dipole at full length of 32 feet not a shorter antenna

I have the shorter antennas and they all serve a purpose but if I can get a dipole up then my antenna is more efficient

I have to make my baluns protected with a full heat shrink but i am very pleased with the performance

The standard T-200 toroid is NOT the best choice it seems and with my focus on 20m and up operation the -63 mix is better

Check out

In this demo its just a silly 20m dipole but the brilliance is in the balun and the pcb board

the excellent and well designed 1:1 balun

My tripod and mast system gets it up quickly and efficiently

CQ DX...
Nite EZe and orange paracord is a blessing

Get orange paracord. The black stuff just means that you will walk into it unless you are trying to be covert

Bingo the match is spot on...just follow the instructions and measure twice and cut once

Ozzipole Antenna Build Out - DIY

The lads down under came up with the Kangaroo version of a Buddipole with a interesting design twist. These guys down under never sleep when it comes to creativity in the world of antennas

Naturally, as an antenna experimenter I just HAD to build this vegamite version

Here is the canuck version and it took a few iterations in the waterfall design methodology to get it right

Its a great antenna and after finding the sweet spot I was able to make some quick contacts into Europe and South America and yeah several K6, N3 and K5s

The antenna is a keeper and sits in the Buddipole, Pac-12 and Packtenna hall of fame

The whip element i used was 48" with radio shack whip

attached to my MSR mast with custom mount

I chose to use a binding post approach for antenna connections in case i decided to toss the antenna. The antenna passed the ve3ips tests
I love hardware stores and the center mount is available in your electrical section

A 8 foot antenna is a joke on 40m so i did not make these winding's with a focus on 20m and up

Nirvana is achieved right out of the box for the 20m qrp cw calling frequency....qrz??

Once I got a baseline swr it took 3 minutes to nail it down and blip out a CQ on the qrp cw channel.

I have pdf versions of the ozzipole antenna available if you wish to build one as the kits have gone qrt...just email me for a copy

I had a good go with this antenna pushing out 20watts on the yaesu 857d making easy contacts on 20m and 10m

I had a super kerchunk into the clubs 6m repeater once I took the pocket tape measure to get the 54" figured out but my antenna analyzer is not 6m equipped

The Yaesu 857D is the standard for operations beyond the 5w qrp. Let's call it MQRP for medium power QRP at 20 watts

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Motorola SATCOM Terminal LST-5B

When you need to get a message out this is the way to go!

SATCOM/TACSAT Portable Antenna for your own Zero Dark Thirty

The SATCOM Communication system requires a specialized antenna that offers a right hand polarized method for improved reception. The satellites are also geostationary so for better reception you must have the tactical antenna pointed at the desired satellite within your reception footprint.

Thats why you see the comms guy pull out his tacsat antenna and point it where needed out in the field.

A popular antenna is the Dorne & Margolin DMC-120  which offers 6db of gain

My portable version offers similar gain and robustness, however it is not easily field packable. I magnetic mobile mount is still on the drawing board.

Either antenna is ideal for the Motorola LST-5B lightweight satellite terminal

Portable Operations from the Back Deck

Here is a simple easy to grab and go radio set up.

The foundation is the battery box.

I have a 12A 12V  SLA mounted inside and added a 4 pole anderson pole on the side.

I also added a 3/8" female stud antenna mount and ground/radial binding post. I can now connect my Buddistick or Hustler RM17 antenna to the box.

In order to accommodate the Elecraft KX3, I made up a shelf assembly and added a front foot to stabilize the box.

My list of improvements are to:

 Add a higher capacity battery to power a FT857D possibly
Add a USB socket with voltage monitor
Add a collapsible antenna that fits in the box
Add a magnetic mic holder
Add a light for night time log keeping and operating

Friday, September 4, 2015

Aeronautical HF Map

Aero listeners will benefit from this map on your while to keep track of the various centers and flight paths

Get one from here and check out the rest of the website

Thursday, September 3, 2015

ITALY - Private MW legal in Italy.

Private MW legal in Italy

To The Community Amateurs Radio, Shortwave Listeners, lovers of radiolistening DX and
Broadcasters of stations in Medium Wave Band.

Dear Friends, I have the very pleasure to inform you that, in the History of the Italian Radio, today
- 18th August2015 - has borned a star ! In fact the scene of the radio band “Medium Wave” from
Italy, today is a turning point. After 11 years since the beginning of the switch-off of historical
transmission plant in mid wave of the Public Service of RAI broadcasts on a radio band (MW)
that has made the history of radio, will no longer be confidential or restricted to public service but
they will be free to be privately operated. This opens the way for an interesting world in which
broadcasts Band "Medium Wave" will become the protagonists of a NEW media and the future of
the radio hobby. This is the first, interesting milestone reached by the new Law nr. 115 of 29 July
2015 which will open the door to new radio operators <private>.
I wish inform you that a more detailed presentation of this initiative of the Law, is available on
the web: . (italian version). The ARI is supporting this initiative and for the
protection of an important band in the history of radio, is in first place in the development of a body
of opinion to support transmissions in Band "MW". I invite everyone to read the web page on the
website recommended ARI: . (Alfredo Gallerati , IK7JGI, A.R.I Italian Amateur
Radio Association via Mediumwave.Info)

HAM FAIR 2015 - Alex PY1AHD and Japan MLA-48 Group

I was lucky to meet Alex (PY1AHD) at Pacificon 2014 and he was hanging in the HRO booth. I owned his antenna and it does work very well. He did mention something about Ham Fair. Well he did attend as a reporter and ham on the street and antenna manufacturer  of the Alex Loop fame and had his excellent antenna as part of the Yaesu-Musen booth.

Alex has been a tireless supporter of QRP and Magnetic Loop antennas

Our buddy Phil AD5X does a nice review of the walkham

Wimo has a nice page

But check our Alex's web page and operating ideas

HAM FAIR 2015 as seen by Alex PY1AHD


JARL at the Tokyo Ham Show 2015  

  JACOM – Jacom Communicatios AlexLoop distribuitor in Japan

 Tokyo Big Sight Tokyo Ham Show 2015


Mr. Sugi Noboru JACOM – Japan Communication CEO

 Mr. Totsuka Inoue ICOM CEO on the JARL Booth for the official QSO on the Tokyo Ham Show 2015 opening

                                          Kenwood Staff at the Tokyo Ham Show 2015

 Kenwood TS 990 SD

 Icom IC7300 SDR Radio
COMET CAA-500 SWR analyzer  
 AOR SDR Transceiver
 Diamond Antenna
 XTAL Radios great homebrew artworks

                                                       MLA- 48 Group Booth
This nonprofit  group was founded 5 years ago for the research and development of Magnetic Loop Antennas. 
                               MLA- 48 Group Magnetic Loops Antennas constructions

 MLA-48 Group dinner in honor of PY1AHD Alex, Alexandre Grimberg and his wife Miriam Grimberg promoted by MLA-48 members.

 Alex at the Yaesu booth
 Mr. Toshi Totsuka With Alex and the Coke-Loop
 Alex at Yaesu booth
 Yaesu staff member at  YAESU FT817  AlexLoop area

 PY1AHD Alex – Alexandre Grimberg e Miriam Grimberg em  Outubro de 1971

 PY1AHD Alex – Alexandre Grimberg e Miriam Grimberg em  Outubro de 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Yaesu FT-817 - How to read the power meter

Page 28 of the FT-817 operating manual attempts to explain how to adjust your power output. Itis very difficult to understand because the coders cannot represent power output in a easy manner for some reason.

So take a minute with a coffee and you will NOW know how to set the power on your radio.

To control the power levels, press the function (F) button for 1 second

Rotate the SELECT knob to display the menu item 9 [ PWR MTR xxx ]  (xxx will represent pwr for POWER level, alc for ALC level, swr for SWR display or mod for FM deviation level).  

Press button A to control the power level, button B to select the meter display

Press the PWR button (button A) to step through the display.

With the input voltage  GREATER THAN > 11.5 volts, the display will look like this.

(L_l__) One bar displayed = 0.5 watts.

(L_ll_) Two bars displayed = 1.0 watts.

(L_lll) Three bars displayed = 2.5 watts.

(L____) No bars displayed = 5.0 watts.

With an input voltage voltage LESS THAN < 11.5 volts, the display will look like this.

(L_l__) One bar displayed = 0.5 watts.

(L_ll_) Two bars displayed = 1.0 watts.

(L_lll) Three bars displayed = 2.5 watts.

(L____)-(L_lll) (BLINKING) Three BLINKING bars displayed = 5.0 watts.

For an odd reason the blinking display is a warning that you are using the 5-watt level while on battery power. if you have the stock 1400 maH battery installed then you will have known by now the battery life is very short.

The Windcamp lithium FT817 internal battery is well recommended

Monday, July 6, 2015

BaoFeng Buys Tokyo High Power Labs

BaoFeng Buys Tokyo High Power Labs

BaoFeng Buys Tokyo High Power Labs

This acquisition, completed just before the end of 2014, signals the entry of BaoFeng into the HF radio market.  This was discussed in detail on QRZ.
In recent weeks, Factual Amateur Radio Technology Services have learned of a product roadmap for both amplifiers and a new HF transceiver.  We’re still gathering details, but what we’ve learned so far includes:
  • Three New HF Amplifiers, modeled after Tokyo High Power Labs models.
  • Three New HF Transceivers, with features to delight even the most critical of operators
  • A new remote base protocol
Details are still a little sketchy, but the rumored HF Transceivers are reportedly being labeled:
  • BaoFeng Hurricane (SDR with knobs, 250 watt all band transceiver)
  • BaoFeng Tornado (SDR with knobs, 400 watt all band transceiver)
  • BaoFeng Tsunami (SDR no front panel, 100 watt all band transceiver)

The rumored pricing suggests BaoFeng intends to dominate the HF Transceiver market in a similar fashion that they have supplanted the VHF and UHF handheld world.  We could not verify at this moment, but the suggested retail price for the Tsunami is $180.00 US!