Archive for the ‘HF’ Tag

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.30   Leave a comment

I have been quite active in the world of amateur radio this week.

I started out by making a few contacts on 20 meters late at night each night this week.  I worked Ecuador, West Virginia and Hawaii.

I sent seven QSL cards this week, and organized a few more stacks.  I also updated DX4Win and my paper logs.  More QSL cards will be processed when I return from my road trip.

Speaking of road trips, I drove from Rio Rancho, NM, to Forsyth, IL, for a chemical process safety training.  Along the way, I played on the 20 meter SSB county hunters net.  I operated from ten or so new counties in KS and MO.

I will do some more site-seeing around Illinois before driving home in a few days.  I will operate from more counties along the way.

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Amateur Radio This Week: 2017.29   Leave a comment

This has been a good week for amateur radio.  I installed the Yaesu FT-857D in the Crown Vic and I made quite a few contacts driving around Rio Rancho.  Most of my contacts have been DX stations:  Spain, Mexico and Ecuador.  I did work a few stations in the US as well.

Last night, I attended the ARRL Hurricane webinar, which talked about the differnent hurricane nets that run all season (and even into the off-sesaon).  This was a really great presentation, and I was happy that I attended it, even if I missed the first twenty minutes due to no cellular service.

I also checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times from the 2 meter side, though I was unable to get in this morning.

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This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.25   Leave a comment

I have been on the road for the last two weeks, and I had some time to play on the radio.  I am still catching up on logging my contacts.

Two weekends ago, I ran some counties on the 20 meter SSB county hunters net, which has mostly disappeared.  I ran three in PA, two in WV, and two in OH.  On that Sunday, I drove to VA, and played in the VHF contest as a rover, and I made six meter and two meter contacts along the way.

I also drove to the Delmarva Peninsula, and operated from several new counties in MD and VA.

Last weekend, we drove from WV to AR, and I made contacts in KY, TN, MO, and AR.  I haven’t even aeverdded up how many new counties I operated from.

I will post new graphics on this website, soon.

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This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.23   Leave a comment

I borrowed the NMT Tech Amateur Radio Association (TARA) Yaesu FT-857D to compare against my own.  While mine has S9 +20dB noise on all bands, all of the time, theirs hovers between S3-S7.  I am currently borrowing their rig for this particular road trip.

With TARA’s radio, I was able to make a few contacts this weekend, in both a shipboard contest and the Alabama QSO Party, though I have not yet updated my logs.

I spoke with Yaesu customer service and they said to send mine in for a repair, which I will do as soon as I have time to go to a post office.

I’m currently on the road to the east coast, but one of these mornings, I will have some extra time and can send it off.

Thank you for reading my post.

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.15   2 comments

This week has been unfortunately quiet on the radio for me.  I checked into the Albuqeurque SCAT Net once or twice on the UHF side.

The big disappointment was the NM QSO Party.  I had big plans to drive all over New Mexico and give out counties.  Instead, I never left Sandoval County.  I started out on 20 meters and did not hear a peep.  I suspected my antenna (there is a problem with the Hamstick I was using).  I switched to 40 meters and made a few contacts.  In almost two hours, I only made seven contacts, several of which were other NM stations that I was working on groundwave (Sandoval and Bernalillo Counties).  I did hear one of my contesting friends and he told me that 20 was totally dead in CA as well.  I guess conditions were just bad. I would call CQ for 15 minutes straight and get one response.

With so few contacts, and needing 15 per county for them to count, and finding out that my hours at work will be cut soon, I opted to not burn the gas and travel for the less-than-lucrative day.  I am sorry for anyone that was counting on me for those counties, but I simply wasn’t hearing many stations at all.

On Monday, my amateur radio license class finsihed constructing a 40 meter CW transceiver.  We were able to hear static, but weren’t able to hear any signals on 7.023 MHz.  I will set up a better test next week.

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This Week In Amateur Radio: 2017.12   Leave a comment

The biggest accomplishment of this week was getting caught up on my logbooks and DX4Win logs.  Finally.   I had not done so for over a month.  I also sent off a few QSL cards, though I have a long ways to go there before I am caught up.

I made a few HF contacts on the 20 meter county hunter’s net and I also checked into the Albuquerque SCAT Net a few times over the past week.  I tried to check into the Caravan Club Net, but I am having all sorts of problems with my VHF/UHF radios.

I have an Alinco DR-605 and an Alinco DR-130TP.  The Alinco DR-605 powers down on transmit, regardless of power output or frequency.  The Alinco DR-130TP transmit audio was cutting out and had a loud hum (the net control reported this to me).  I replaced the microphone on the Alinco DR-130TP to try to fix this problem, but with the new microphone, the rig will not even power.  I am currently mapping out my entire radio system to develop a list of action items to try.  I will post my plan on this blog.

I taught another section of the amateur radio license class.  I basically showed off some useful websites including eham.net, qrz.com, gigaparts.com and arrl.org.  We also set the exam date, time and location.

I also finished the February issue of QST.  I am behind on my reading as well.  I will begin the April issue this week (and skip March for now).  In the February issue, I really appreciated several articles.

First, I really liked the article called, “6 Meter Halo Antenna for DX-ing,” by Jerry Clement, VE6AB.  I really like that this antenna is sturdy enough for mobile use, and I will try building this, once I finish up a few other radio projects.

I also really liked the article titled, “Rebuilding the West Point Cadet Amateur Radio Club – W2KGY” by Matthew SHerburne, KF4WZB.  As someone who has spent time rebuilding the Tech Amateur Radio Assocation at New Mexico Tech on several occasions, it was neat to read another article about rebuilding college clubs.  Also, this student was a former member of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association (VTARA), as was I.

I also love reading articles about DXpeditions, so I appreciated, “Central African DX Adventure,” by Bernie McClenny, W3UR.  Some day, I will go on a DXPedition. I don’t know how or when or where, but I will do so in my lifetime.

Thank you for reading my post.

Sources:
1.  Clement, Jerry.  “6 Meter Halo Antenna for DX-ing.” QST, February 2017, pp. 30-33.

2.  Sherburne, Matthew.  “Rebuilding the West Point Cadet Amateur Radio Club – W2KGY,” QST, February 2017, pp. 79-81.

3.  McClenny, Bernie.  “Central African DX Adventure.”  QST, February 2017, pp. 100-101.

This Week in Amateur Radio: 2017.10   Leave a comment

This weekend, I was active on 20 meters during the ARRL DX Contest.  I haven’t added up all of my scores yet, or even tallied the number of contacts, but I made quite a few in the Caribbean.  I know I worked Brazil, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Columbia, US Virgin Islands, and Hawaii, and there were likely others.

I checked into a Bible study on 20 meters this morning as well.

This weekend was the Adventist Radio Association contest, though I heard no stations participating.

I was not as active on VHF/UHF over this past week.  I left my HT in a lab (I was using the receiver to see if our ultrasonic equipment was switching “on”).  I also messed up the repeater programming on the Icom IC-2100H, which lives in the Malibu.

Also, March 1 marked 25 years of amateur radio for me.  I was licensed on 3/1/92, at the age of 10 years old.  I passed the Novice class license exam and the 5 WPM Morse code exam, earning the call KA3ZWS.  A month later, I earned my Technician class license, and traded in my callsign for N3MRA, which I still use to this day.

Thank you for reading my post.