Sunday, 26 June 2016

A promise

I made a promise to PD0FF Foppe I would come back to install a HF antenna for him so he could listen with his Kenwood TS450. As you probabely all know Foppe has a muscle disease called ALS. Unfortenately this disease cannot be cured and his life will get worse and worse. It was last year I arranged that his big antennamast and antennas were removed so his wife is not left with those  I also sold most of his equipment for him as he was already not able to use it anyway.
So this Saturday I finally had time to finish what I promised. I visited Foppe and found it difficult to see him. He is getting worse, can't walk anymore and isn't able to talk properly. But still in his head he thinks he can make QSOs on the bands. It is absolutely a terrible situation and I don't wish this for anyone. Since he is not able to do much I designed a system so he can listen to both VHF/UHF and HF at the same time with the only single coax running to his old shack. I don't know anyone that have a system like this actually? So it was a experiment how this would work out. I bought 2 duplexers which are capable to split 2m/70cm and HF. One is below the antennas and one behind the radio. Of course it will attenuate a bit. But the advantage is that Foppe or his wife will never have to switch for the right antenna and you can listen HF/VHF/UHF simultaneously.



I bought a 3 band endfed for him that looks fine to me. A small risk as I normally do not trust commercial build antennas until they have proven to be good for me. Foppe still had a 6m mast at the back of his garden providing me a good anchorage for the antenna end. It's hanging about 6m above the ground now. Amazingly the antenna manual was right about the factory tuned SWR. The only thing I had to do was shorten it about 20cm at the end. Almost perfect SWR on 7100 KHz. 14 and 28 little worse but below 1:2. Good enough for listening. I checked both before and after the duplexer with great results. After that I went to install the TS450 and check it out. I found that the receive was good. Only the noise was a little high, but could be the location of course.

Hopefully Foppe enjoys some listening now....



Monday, 20 June 2016

6m in, 6m out


Very instable propagation today. I didn't hear any activity on SSB/CW. On 50.276 MHz JT I discovered more activity with signals going in and out. One moment you see several signals in the waterfall, the next minute everything is gone. I made 2 QSOs into the Ukraine. Just reports as there was not even time to say goodbye. And yes, I was spotted in several countries surprisingly!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Royal Air Force Blue Ham unique experience today

A unique experience this weekend. Contacting militairy stations on 60m instead of other hamradio operators. Unfortenately I only had about a hour to try. And luckely worked 3 stations. It was nice to experience and I found the stations I talked to were not that strong but very good readable as the articulation was very good. Very correct as well always repeating my callsign before transmission and ending with "over". Militairy style radio is so different from what we are used to. I don't think they use Q codes like we do. Viewing the map the activity was most of the time within the UK. Although Dutch, Danish, Irish and even a Polish station has been worked. Not shure if the green spots at sea are correct, although it could be ships.

Stations worked:

Callsign: MRE43
Norfolk&Suffolk Wing Air Cadet  Organisation

Callsign: MRE80
Army Cadet Force/Combined Cadet Force Team Lead

Callsign: MRE67
Harlow Wing Air Cadet Organisation

In the Netherlands we are only secundairy users of the 60m band. The militairy is the primairy user and we should not interfere with their transmissions. This was a nice event to show that HAMradio operators and the militairy can share radiofrequencies. 2016 could be the only year that this unique event was possible as next year we probabely get new rules. Only 15 KHz of the 60m band and max. power output of 15W. In such a small spectrum there will be no room for this kind of events. I'm glad I'm able to do this at this time of "history". It is probabely something I will remember over the years.




Thursday, 16 June 2016

UK Air Cadets 5MHz Radio Exercise

Air Cadets on the Air - Exercise Blue Ham 2016 

On 18 and 19 June 2016, the ACO (Air Cadet Organisation) will be organising and running a military style national radio exercise named ‘Exercise Blue Ham’, this will be one of the many events the organisation is holding to mark its 75th Anniversary of Formation during 2016-17.

To make this successful we would like to invite Amateur Radio Operators to take part with us and make this the biggest radio exercise that the organisation has been involved in.

The exercise will take place on the MOD 5MHz (60 Meters) Band and a significant part of the exercise will be on the section of the band that amateurs are authorised to use.

The cadets operate from noon 18th till noon 19th. Main exercise Callsigns will all be in the range MRE01 up to MRE98 although other MR, MF and MA prefixed callsigs may be taking part. The information exchange to score the contact will be your Callsign, signal report, your Location, Transmitter Power, Antenna type and Direction.

Link: http://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham/

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Predicting

Predicting radio propagation is like predicting the weather. That means nothing is for certain.
Things can change within a hour or even in a few minutes. Radio propagation is depending on the sun, day and night, auroral conditions and greyline. I even suspect a changing earth magnetic field can have a influence on radio signals. Some interesting links:






Sporadic-E is not really predictable, the actual status can be seen here though:: http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/map.phpLan=E&Frec=MUF&ML=M&Map=EU&DXC=N&HF=N&GL=N

Tropo is as predictable as the weather (about 5 days), a forecast can be seen here: http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo_eur.html

Meteor scatter is is almost the same every year as meteor showers arrive every year at the same time:  http://www.qsl.net/g0isw/g0iswms.htm

Aurora prediction can be found here: http://www.aurora-service.eu/aurora-forecast/

For HF you have the famous VOACAP that can be found here: http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html

Though, I like the experimental Proppy as wel found here: http://139.162.54.202/proppy/area


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Veron A60 & Hunsotron

Lately we have been busy to move our clubsite to another CMS platform. The problem is that our old website was written in HTML and I was the only one that could maintain it. Since I haven't got all the time of the world, updates were sometimes too late. With this wordpress system it is easier to share the tasks with other members. This wordpress system is on the VERON server and has the same lay-out as the VERON main site and some other clubsites. This way we get a uniformety within the whole organization. Of course this is not really interesting for international readers as the whole site is in Dutch. That's why I will write part of this post in Dutch.

De laatste paar weken zijn we als VERON afdeling A60 Hunsingo bezig geweest om onze afdelingssite om
te zetten naar de VERON wordpress site. Onze oude site was gebouwd met HTML en ik was de enige die dit eigenlijk kon onderhouden. Met die CMS systeem is het bijhouden van de website door meer mensen te doen. Daarnaast is de site nu aangesloten bij het algemene systeem van de VERON zodat we dezelfde huisstijl aanhouden. Uiteraard is dit alles misschien niet zo heel interessant voor amateurs en belangstellenden van buiten de regio denkt je. Maar daar in vergist men zich. Wij geven namelijk ook een leuk tijdschriftje uit genaamd Hunsotron met veel interessante onderwerpen. Deze Hunsotrons zijn te downloaden op onze verenigingssite.

Veel leesplezier

De site is hier te vinden: https://a60.veron.nl/ of op http://www.pi4h.nl


Sunday, 5 June 2016

DKC & QSO today

DKC what can I say? Well, it seems propagation was not working for me this weekend. I hardly heard any station or only with low signals just above the noise. The only stations I heard that were strong did mention the bands were wide open, at least for them. From what I heard is that at night propagation with the USA on 20m was good and a few operators did take advantage from that. Well done! I only made 32 QSOs in total and I was lucky enough to have at least one QSO with PJ4NX from Bonaire, it was also my best distance this weekend. Surprisingly I made 1 QSO on 6m with Italy. Well, not a big score but like I mentioned before, participating is more important as winning.

Just checking my DKC log and uploading it this evening when I heard YI3WHR Wahhab on 20m calling. Wahhab is a new station on air. It has been ages that I heard a personal Iraq station on air. And yes I worked Iraq (YI1OM) before in 2008 on PSK31 but never got it confirmed. YI9KT in 2006 is confirmed however so this is not a new one for me.





As always, just before closing the station, I tune over 6m to see if there is any activity. Nothing heard, so switching back to HF I accidentally heard a station on 10m, the only station actually, it was OH0JFP Sture from his home location. Sture is well known as a contest operator and has a (rentable) contest station as well. I made a short QSO with Sture and fascinated by his only strong signal on the band I switched back to 6m as there was a high possebility of ES this evening. Nothing was heard on SSB but I did hear some CW signals in the bottom of the band. So, I tried to give CQ in SSB and only made a few calls when I got response from several Finnish, Swedish and one Estonian station. Not bad for a Sunday evening. After a local QSO with PC7B Bram I checked my e-mail to see if my DKC log was confirmed. I noticed another mail had arrived from PA2REH Eric. Eric reported he had received me on 6m in Oegstgeest on a V2000 antenna at 10m height, a distance of 200km. Probabely some tropo conditions as well...



Saturday, 4 June 2016

Dutch Kingdom Contest 2016 reminder

Just to remind you all. The Dutch Kingdom Contest (DKC) starts today at 15:00 UTC.

Last year I became a winner in the A1SSB section. I wish I had some more time to participate again in this contest but other duties are more important so I have to let the contest go at least during the day. However, winning is not important but participating is!

Hope to meet you readers on the air.