Thursday, 31 January 2013

20m CW action over 2 days.

not  lot of time spent playing radio, but a few QSOs none the less.

SP3FGQ Poland
DJ3GS Germany
DR90VOX Germany
DF1UG Germany
9A2N Croatia
DL7USY Germany
EA7FWG Spain
I2ZZU Italy
F8EAI France
DL6UNF Germany
DL0DPM Germany
DK1MHW Germany

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

a fair few QSOs today.  some easy, some hard work.

Ironically one of the hardest to hear was the closest.  MI0GRG is only 30 odd miles away and he was really hard to pull out of the mush.

DN2UDX was sending slow morse, and his call is a training thing.... but his separation of dots & dashes made it really easy to copy, and I told him so.  compared to a station I QSOed yesterday who also sent slow, but blurry and SOOOOOOO hard to read!

another interesting one is DL4NCO .  He has arthritis in his hands so cant work a regular morse key.  he sends with a breath operated key which he invented himself.  very clever!

HA4GGM Hungary
EA2DPA Spain
MI0GRG Northern Ireland
DL1LBV Germany
OZ9XU Denmark
OK2KJU Czech Rep
HB9CCL Switzerland
UE70Q Russia
RW4WN Russia
I2XBO Italy
SM7CFF Sweden
DL9DBI Germany
LA6UG Norway
DJ3SM Germany
UA4UCW Russia
DL9LM Germany
YO3BBM Romania
S51NP Slovenia
DL2WX Germany
DN2UDX Germany
DL4NCO Germany
DL8DXW Germany

Monday, 28 January 2013

3 days, 2 on the air and a few firsts......

Saturday was (as usual) contest day on HF.  I got bored and answered a few contesters and made up a number that was around the same as them......  anyway, one was 80m CW in France. F6KHM.   My furthest 80m contact to date.  the long wire does work, just not THAT well.......

then today I stayed on 20m as it was behaving very nicely indeed!

first up was my first QSO into Bosnia and Herzegovina (E77O), then a few more around Europe.

Morse is a funny thing.

in the fast & furious sending, sometimes letters run together and you "hear" what you EXPECT to hear..... this morning, I had just finished a nice contact on 20m with a guy in Malaga, Spain.

as it finished I heard someone calling me. first my callsign, then his, but it was fading in and out.

I HEARD dah dah dit dit.

Now MY Northern Ireland Call starts MI

Dah dah, dit dit.

so I'm thinking that this is someone relatively close by, using low power or maybe using a beam antenna pointing away from me.


Dah dah dit dit is the letter Z

which was followed by L2IFB

and dear friends ZL2IFB is Gary Hinson, and he's only 11381miles away in Hastings, North Island, New Zealand!!

very chuffed indeed!!!  previous longest QSO record more than doubled.  In fact, very nearly tripled!  WOW!

So I told the XYL and her reaction?

"Well done.  Does this mean that now you can't get any further away you're going to stop this silly rubbish?"

Oh Dear!

here's the stations worked.....
DJ5QJ Germany
F6KHM France
E77O Bosnia & Herzegovina
OK1RO Czech Rep
RA1ALS Russia
EA7EGU Spain
ZL2IBF New Zealand
DL6FAX Germany
DL3FBD Germany
OM3CFF Slovak rep
YU7EA Serbia
R1ZAB Russia
UR5HJL Ukraine
RU2FZ Russia
UX4LL Ukraine
EA8/G3XAQ Lanzarote
OE2013U Austria
F8CHT France

and the latest update on my top 20 distance QSOs

ZL2IBF New Zealand 11381
PT0S St Peter & St Paul Rocks 3943
W8PT USA OH 3414
5N4EAM Nigeria 3372
AF3R USA DE 3308
RC9O Russia 3297
K3MD USA PA 3274
AA3B USA PA 3252
N2NC USA NJ 3206
K2WY USA NY 3096
VE2WU Canada 2978

Friday, 25 January 2013

trying the FT101 post cap change....

well, beforehand there was no 160m, 80 has wall to wall QRN at s9 and the clarifier.... to match clarifier off, it needed to be about 2mins pas 12 o'clock.


no change on anything but the clarifier.  now it needs 2 mins TO 12!

so, as its easier to clarify in in SSB I called CQ for a radio check on 40m and GM3UCH came to the rescue, then I switched to 20m and cw.  first call was DL3DC, my first YL CW QSO

then later in the day I copied HA9RP, my first Hungarian QSO

all in all a good day!

DK2SZD Germany
HB9FAI/P Switzerland
DL2SWK Germany
GM0HKS Scotland
GM3UCH Scotland
DL3DC Germany
HA9RP Hungary
DL2RTU Germany
LY2KA Lithuania
DL9CM Germany
F5MDM France
SM5CAH Sweden

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Changing the Caps in a FT101B

My 1974 Yaesu FT 101B

So we all know that the original caps die eventually and kill the rig.

so, I went to the FOX TANGO Candy store and bought their KAP KIT.

so this morning I attacked the beast and replaced the old ones with the new ones.

Now, some folks can read schematics like a native, but I'm not one of 'em. 

so while the Foxtango site has pics of which caps to replace, it doesn't show where to find them!!

so anyway, here's what I did to find them!

so, case off....

bottom view

 and that big metal plate needs to come off

then remove this little board on the left....

 and finally fox tango's pic becomes useful!!

 swapping the caps was about 15 mins work including dismantling and reassembling.

and here are the old ones.....

 so, are the new ones age proof or do I need to replace them after a couple of years again?

Monday, 21 January 2013

haven't had a lot of time to play radio lately.  and when I've been on there hasn't been great conditions.....

so I'm afraid a full week's QSOs amount to.....

LY2PX Lithuania
RW1AM Russia
YU2NZ Serbia
I1QQC Italy
PD4JP Netherlands
F5NBX France
G0GKH England
DH6YAG Germany
HB9ANE Switzerland
F/HB8RC France
F5RJW France
DJOPM Germany
G0TAK England

Ah well.........

other news?

well, this morning when I called CQ I used this........

cost me £10.01 inc post........

then the postie arrived!!

this was listed on ebay as a MOD morse code reader.

therefore hardly any-one looked and even fewer bid!!

£14. (inc post)

compared to the ones I've found on line for £45.....

and it is SOOOOO smooth to use!

 it APPEARS to be a Larkspur Mk2, but if anyone wants to tell me I'm wrong, I'm open to correction!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

a little antenna work today.

the long wire joins were soldered and taped.  so its now above the hedge supported by GRP fishing rods.

I've also shorted the ground spike to the wire fence around the boundary of my QTH.

a few 20/40m QSOs

IK4VFD Italy
IK1UGX Italy
YT1E Serbia
F5JGA France
UR7HN Ukraine
DL1JGV Germany
UR5LQY Ukraine
RZ4NWA Russia
LY2PX Lithuania
RW1AM Russia   

Sunday, 13 January 2013

so, the windom is history, now replaced with a long wire. 

the balun is in the same place, about 7m up, then the wire runs roughly horizontal around the perimeter of the garden.  the other wire drops to the ground  where it is attached to the boom of an old TV antenna which I hammered into the flower bed.

the tuner brings the SWR to 1:1 and although I still have a lot of static, I've been using 80m for the first time. 

Saturday evening gave me two QSOs into Germany & Denmark,

Sunday afternoon gave me a few inter-G contacts.

80m is open and available!!

OK1AJZ Czech Rep
DF2DR Germany
IZ6YLT Italy
DL8UE Germany
OZ4UN Denmark
G3UJE England
GW3YDX Wales
G3UFY England

Friday, 11 January 2013




really really tried

and made no progress at all.  couldn't get the SWR under 2.75:1.  Also it just didn't work.  on RX on both 20 & 40, it was a full 3 S points lower than the G5RV jr.  on a 20m QSO to mainland Europe I switched and again, a drop in performance.

absolute poo.

ah well, I'm prolly going to use the balun for a long wire.

time will tell.

as to activity, what with spending so much time up ladders and hurtling in and out to check SWR, I didn't get on the air much!

so the last 4 days I only got these...... all on 20 except the last one on 40m

 I also HEARD a station in Hawaii.......

 K3MD goes in at #7 in my all time distance charts

DL3KC Germany
UA2FR Russia
CT1BQH Portugal
DK6UY Germany
DL6FAX Germany
PA2THD Netherlands
SP4DNX Poland
Z320R Macedonia
IK8TEO Italy


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

So, evil bay provides me with a 4:1 balun for the middle of my planned windom, but there are some stumbling blocks.

there is no way to attach the balun to a pole, and call me Mr Paraniod, but just tieing the wires off to the bolts & wingnuts looks a little flimsy.....

so Worzel Gummage thinking head on!!

here's the balun as it arrived

then two screws through the support holes in the balun case to the back board and all assembled (with a couple of dummy wires, just for looks.......)

if tomorrow is dry I might get a chance to take things further......

Monday, 7 January 2013

well, my good lady wife is studying for a Masters Degree.

Thursday is hand in day for her current unit, so she's been in the study with all her papers spread over every surface getting stuff done, for pretty much the last wek.

the problem for me and the radio is, that the radio is in the study, and obviously I'm not in using it while She Who Must Be Obeyed is working......

so only a few QSOs this week so far.

each good in it's own right, but todays QSO with ON4CKZ/LH was my first light house......

and I may be wrong, but I THINK that Z320G is my first female CW QSO.......  hard to tell from the voice, but the op name is Jane......

RA1TV Russia
IZ2RLO Italy
OH6OB Finland
CT3AS Madeira
DL4OCE Germany
F5MDM France
HB9CCL Switzerland
OM3LL Slovak rep
UA1HY Russia
EA2AJB Spain
12JIN Italy
ON4CKZ/LH Belgium
F8BBL France
IK6DIN Italy
DL1ASJ Germany
HB9CTO Switzerland
Z320G Macedonia   

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

3 days and a few more QSOs.  all CW, all 20m

IZ2AJE Italy
YU2NZ Serbia
DK9MH Germany
DL2EEJ Germany
F6UIG France
OK2KJU Czech Rep
SQ4NR Poland
DL6FAX Germany
HB9AJM Switzerland
OK1CWK Czech Rep
VE2WU Canada

I'd heard Marten VE2WU yesterday but he was ragchewing with another station so I didn't break in. Today he was chatting to another station and as the QSO ended I called him and he answered.

now, at the time, I was a little perplexed by what he did.  but as I thought about it later, he actually did me a big favour.  Basically, what he did was say "I'm looking at your page and a can see your nice pic, and how you have a Yaseau 101B and you make guitars and I hope your back gets better......."

there was a little QSB so I gave him a signal rept and said there was QSB but all info OK.

so he pretty much repeated his last (long) transmission.

like I say,at the time, I was thinking, Aw man, you're got all my info, I've got nothing left to tell you"  but what he did was to give me a chance to listen to the same transmission twice and it contained a load of info that I already knew.....

a real help to my receiving, so THANKS MARTEN!!