Archive for the ‘Mobile Operating’ Category

Amateur Radio This Week: 2020.20   Leave a comment

This week was a little slow for amateur radio.  I didn’t make any HF contacts, though I did try a few times.  I called CQ on 17 meters as I drove to Socorro, but received no responses.

I also listened for the 10-10 Net at noon on a bunch of days,  but heard nothing.  I’m thinking now that maybe I have the wrong time for the net, but either way, it has been quiet.  I’ve parked my Radio Shack HTX-10 on 28.400 MHz and listen for DX, and I’ve heard nothing.  I’ve also set it to scan mode and heard nothing but static.

On VHF, I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times, the Caravan Club Net once, and the 432 UHF net once.  I also routed some coax for a 6 meter antenna, and will hopefully have that working by the end of the week.

I sent out a few QSL cards and made up a bunch of DX cards as well.  I have a stack of about 100 DX cards, ready to send.  I also set up my printer to print out return labels.

This week, I hope to:

  1. Finish reading QST – May 2020
  2. Set up the 6 M antenna
  3. Power and test the 6 M rig
  4. Buy more stamps

Thank you for reading my post.

Amateur Radio This Week: 2020.12   Leave a comment

This week, I’ve done a bunch of maintenance work on my radio station.

I made several 17 meter contacts on the road to Socorro the other day, including working a station in Panama, which was really neat.  I also checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times.  I did some ragchewing on the Socorro repeater (146.680 MHz) Friday night on my commute back to Rio Rancho as well.

I didn’t send out my normal batch of QSL cards, though I might today.  I was out of stamps, so I’m hoping to pick up some more today.

I rerouted all of my power cables and coaxial cables and moved my radios around on the bench.  I also attached a ground braid from the HF radios, power supply and antenna tuner so that they share a common ground.

I found out that my power input was in the wrong place on my power strip, so I fixed that as well.  I seem to have less current-draw power-downs across the board now.

Because NMT has locked down, I borrowed a few small projects from the Tech Amateur Radio Association.  I borrowed their Alinco DR-MO6 and their Jetstream JT220M.  I will hopefully get a chance to build antennas for these radios (6 M and 222 MHz, respectively) for when we return to school.

Here is a current photo of my station:

Thank you for reading my post.

Amateur Radio This Week: 2020.11   Leave a comment

I did a bunch of radio-related things this week, though I have not yet sent out a batch of QSL cards.  I did update my logbooks from the ones I received, however.

On Friday, I spent some time at the Tech Amateur Radio Association, taking stock of what radios we have.  I was not able to find the Kenwood microphones for our HF radios, and I really need to find those.  I was unable to make contact with Lithuania, which I could hear loud and clear on 20 meters with our small loop antenna.

With the Coronavirus scare, I have been interested in getting the radios in all of my places up and running.  I figure this is a test run for a real emergency.

On Friday night, I drove home in the Ranger, and ragchewed with a few folks on the Socorro repeater (146.680 MHz), as they discussed education and classes and such.

I didn’t do much radio over the weekend, other than to check into the Albuquerque Caravan Club Net on Sunday night.

On Monday, I made a 17 M contact- my first in several years.  It was good to be on the that band again.

Thank you for reading my post.

Amateur Radio This Week: 2020.10   Leave a comment

I went on a rampage, sending out QSL cards this week.   I went through a book of stamps and probably filled out a couple dozen DX cards as well.  I will probably send out a packet of DX cards this weekend.

The big highlight of the week was the ARRL DX contest that happened this past weekend.  I only got to play in it for about an hour, but I picked up 13 QSOs on 20 M SSB, four of which were new DX entities for me.  I worked stations in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Panama, and a few others.  I am working on a better way to display my DX contacts on this blog, but haven’t come up with a solution.

I also checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net once and the Caravan Club Net Sunday night.

Thank you for reading my post.

Amateur Radio This Week: 2020.9   Leave a comment

This week, I was a little more active on the radio.  I made three contacts on 40 meters (VA, NC, OR).  The NC contact was in the NC QSO Party, and the VA contact was a station I had worked before and discussed the Virginia Tech Hokies, so we chatted about Virginia a bit.

I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times, the Rusty Raider’s Net once, and the Caravan Club Net Sunday night.

This weekend, I sent 10 QSL cards and added quite a few DX cards to the pile as well.  I will try to send out an envelope of DX cards this weekend.

I also finished reading the March issue of QST.  My favorite article was The Saga of Clipperton Island, by Allison McLellan.  I had heard of Clipperton Island, especially its high placement on the desired DX lists, but I had no idea of the history and the story of this place.  I highly recommend this article.

Thank you for reading my post.

1.  McLellan, Allison, The Saga of Clipperton Island.  QST, March 2020, pp 68-71.

Amateur Radio This Week: 2020.8   Leave a comment

I hit my QSL commitments hard this week.  Not only did I sent out a standard batch of QSL cards, and update my logbooks from the ones I’ve received, but I also started making out more DX ones, and will probably send a batch of those out this weekend.

I was able to repair the antenna mount on the Crown Victoria as well.  I have two ball mounts:  one was snapped off at the ball by someone who clipped the antenna when they parked, and the other has a worn-out set of threads.  I was able to extract the broken nub of the antenna from the old ball, and it is now in place on the trunk of the car.  I will probably put some Lock-Tite on the ball with the worn-out threads and put a spring coil or some quick disconnects in place in this ball.

Outside of the antennas and the QSL cards, I was able to check into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times, and the Caravan Club Net on Sunday night.

Thank you for reading my post.

Amateur Radio This Week: 2020:5   Leave a comment

This week, I was relatively quiet on the radio.  I checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times on the 2 meters side.  I also checked into the RV Service Net on 40 meters one morning as well; I think that is my first 40 meter contact of the year.

I have been keeping up with the QSL cards.  Each contact I make, I either QSL or write down why I’m not QSLing.  Some folks don’t do paper QSL cards any more, and some (such as the net contacts), I already have a card from them on that band.   I sent out a few cards this weekend.

I received a few QSL cards as well, as shown below.  I am pleased that I now have the Cayman Islands confirmed!

We’ve had really windy conditions the last few days, and that’s brought my mobile HF operations to a halt.  The Ranger uses a magnet mount, and I’m not trusting it in the high winds.  The Crown Vic’s ball mount has worn out threads, and so I don’t trust it either.

Thank you for reading my post.