I heard N9OHW
/6 Mike on Mt. Diablo on 18.157.50 through heavy QRM.
We had a quick QSO on USB. I heard KJ5GT
5x9 right afterwards talking
LT1D 5913 24.608.85 USB 25W
My first 160M contact
W7AT 5903 1850 LSB 25W 5903 CQWW
CQWW First Contact
I don't know what I did wrong but when I said "5903" he kept asking for my "number."
I got a 5x9 from EM1HO Paul in Anarctica. QSL via I2PJA. According to the ARRL DX Report, "Paul is UX2HO is QRV as EM1HO from Akademik Vernadsky Station on Galindez Island, IOTA AN-006. He may be here for one year." QRA MC24bu, or 10,500 miles from here, great circle. I have no idea what the real propagation path was.
I was running 25W from my HFPacker amp. 14.200 USB FT-817.
On 21.135 I heard JF8EVE Kazu from Sapporo, on Hokkaido in Japan calling CQ at about 25WPM. I bravely
answered him QRP on my K2 and he came back and got my call (through QSB)
in a few tries (only one letter off the first time). I was running 5W
to my G5RV and he was 579.
It looks like Kazu has a 100W license.
Working on the loop.
JW7VW and WA6HHQ heard but not worked
I heard JW7VW
Bjarne on 15 meters,
calling from Bjørnøya (Bear Island), near Svalbard. I couldn't break the pileup
with my FT-817 and HFPacker amp, but I heard WA6HHQ
Eric using his K2. I was listening on my K2 and building modules -- no SSB yet. Maybe
that K2 Mojo helped Eric. Or maybe it was the SteppIR beam and amplifier he mentioned...
Parallel Evolution: JL3AML's
site and weblog
I finished the K160RX last night and installed it. The instructions
say to orient the ground tab of the RX antenna BNC to the left, to avoid
The ATU instructions say to orient it down towards the RF board. Down
towards the RF board doesn't fit because of the tight clearance.
Left doesn't fit because it covers one of the new transverter RCA jack
cutouts. I oriented it left and slightly above the RCA jack, which
makes the ground wire parallel to the center conductor for most of the way.
When I first tried it, the RX antenna was about 1 S Unit above the
main BNC in level. I fiddled and pressed, and then noticed that it
seemed to be related to AGC action.
I readjusted the AGC; it was supposed to be 3.8v but was 3.9v or so. I
then read a message from N7KR Wayne that said to adjust it to give you the volume level you want, so I put it down around 3.5. Now I can see no difference between the two antenna connectors in S meter reading, and they both come out to about -140dBm MDS with the XG1.
Then I started on the KNB1. Mine is revision D.
I worked Andy G4EZT
on 18.157.5 with my FT-817 and HFPacker amp at 35W
and he gave me 5x7. I also gave him 5x7 but he was running 300W to a
log periodic...so he was probably being generous. Andy is in
Stratford-upon-Avon and had a day off from work near the airport at
Brighton, and squeezed in a few QSOs before he had to go pick up his
I heard Andy work 6Y5MN
in Jamaica, who has just got his antennas
back after Hurricane Ivan.
K2 in the wild
I forgot my antenna tuner cable, but it receives OK on 40, 20, and 17.
Haven't tried the K2 with the 30m coil yet.
I really have to go build the internal tuner so I can get SWR readings and match...
XE2SIV on 14.070
During the great all-bands opening Today I heard Antonio XE2SIV
, who was my first PSK contact
last November, on 20M. He gave me a 579 at 1735z. I was
running 2.5W from the PSK-20.
I cleaned up the shack a bit and put the K2 in place, above the FT-817.
Still plenty of modules to build, but it is fun to use as is for now.
First K2 contact: ZL6FF
Appropriately enough, my first contact with the K2 was DX and CW.
I heard ZL6FF (the New Zealand FISTS club station) calling CQ C2C for the FISTS Coast-to-Coast contest on 14.058 and answered
with my power set up 15W for good luck, but I probably could have
worked op Ralph QRP as he gave me a 599 and he was 579. (Ralph is probably QRZ:ZL2AOH).
Uses FISTS buro for QSL.
It works, on 80-10!
I had used the LRF support screws in the control board somehow but that
was my only uncaught mistake. I have a chipped resistor to replace, but
it works for now.
Next step is to do the XG1 signal test to make sure I didn't break the
mixer (or some other part). Then the 160 RX or maybe just the cover and
I heard K7HI
/MM about Howard about 900 miles south west of Seattel
on a 750ft container ship running 5W from an FT-817 to a random wire.
He is just coming from Honolulu to Seattle, and will be on 3880 around
midnight pacific time tonight. Howard gave me a 5x6 and suggested that
I get the OBP mic for my FT-817.
He has the OBF and the DSP and the OBP and the TXCO...etc.
Both of us running 5W.
Just the 8 cans, 12 toroids, 2 transformers, and the final amplifier
left before final assembly.
Just under 7 pages to go before alignment.
I lost a 100pF capacitor and borrowed it from the NB.
BCD SWR/PWR meter $26 (already had one) and DDS card for PIC-EL $23.
I was too sick to go to the Sunday of Pacificon, so I stayed home and built my XG-1 1uV/50uV 7.040MHz signal reference.
The first thing to do with is is receiver sensitivity testing using the 1uV signal.
Elecraft gives clear instructions, but they do get a bit ahead of themselves in rounding off numbers before they say they're going to...
My KX1 had the following measurements with me BK2704B meter on the 200mV scale and some rather long probes, at full AF again:
|20 log S/N||26.4|
My FT-817 had the following measurements with me BK2704B meter on the 200mV scale and some rather long probes, IPO not selected, out the DIN connector and through the attenuator in a SignalLink SL-1+ isolator:
|20 log S/N||29.6|
My FT-817 had the following measurements with me BK2704B meter on the 200mV scale and some rather long probes, IPO, out the DIN connector and through the attenuator in a SignalLink SL-1+ isolator:
|20 log S/N||21.5|
I heard KB9WLF
calling CQ DX and then CQ Pacific, with no takers,
on 24.950. I seldom hear anything on 12M so I gave him a call and
used my HFPacker Amp at about 20W. Carl was using a TenTec Pegasus
in Orion emulation mode (or was it the other way around) with his
beam pointed west. He gave me an S5! Carl lives in southern Illinois
and uses vintage equipment on 75M at night.
Ameco from Jim Cates SK auction. It went for about $150.
Antennas at Pacificon
Ozark 17 in custom chassis
Tin ear and prototype
Debra KG6UI built this 40m transceiver and a 20m one for some people on a
sailboat around the world but they only wanted the 20m one. The receiver is
an MRX-40 varactor-tuned receiver with anNE602 mixer and the transmitter a Pixie 2 with a separate sidetone oscillator.
Vern WA6MMA showed his new MP-1 which is being manufactured in China. Dan Tayloe N7VE showed a prototype AMQRP 20-30 rig (20 or 30) using his innovative mixer design.
Tommy Henderson WD5AG showed his Ozark 17 from Ozarkon, but demurred when I asked about the availability of the beautiful hand-machined case. No wonder -- it looked like a tremendous amount of work.
I bought a 2M/440 car antenna with a big mag mount and some coax (not RG-174) for $9.88 and could bring up N6NFI repeater from the Marriott parking lot in San Ramon, CA with it and my Yaesu VX-2R.
Oddly enough. VFO lineaization fixed the VFO non-linearity. Next step:
the rest of the band filters and the transmitter!
I turned it on and heard CW on 7.030, QTH Los Gatos...it is doing VFO
Linearization right now...I hope that fixes the weirdness where the VFO
knob would switch what signals I heard but they didn't vary in pitch at
all until they disappeared.
Ready for 40m receiver alignment.
I checked in
to the HFPack SSB net on 14342.50 CW from my KX1, with 5W into an end-fed 28ft wire in a tree at the school next to Mitchell Park. It was on the other side of a chain-link fence, and maybe that caused problems, but it was hard for QRZ:KI0PF to hear me, so when I got home and the net was still going, I checked in again with my FT-817, HFPacker 50W amp, and G5RV.
Finshed the 75 capacitors and some ICs and a few other parts. Some errata work to do on this page and then on to the next.
At the school playground I put the 28ft wire in a tree and two 16ft wires, one on the ground and one across aluminum picnic tables. I tuned around and heard KG4LDD calling CQ on 14.045. I answered him on my KX1 at 5W and he gave me a 449. Steve lives in luisville, KY, in the foothills of the Smokies, and said he was running 100 Watts from a Tentec Delta into a 3 elt beam. He said it was sunny and crisp and 75F in the day, but was then cloudy and 63 with rain in the forecast.
Steve has been working 10 meters in the late afternoon and said maybe we could try for an opening.
Elektor Electronics DRM Receiver
This is a photo of the ready-built DRM receiver from Elektor
Electronics. Dave M1CTK sent me the photo.
I have one of the board, and am gathering the parts. It is a broad-band DDS-synthesized receiver with an LSB 12KHz output -- kind of like a super version of the PSK-20 receiver.
The parts list calls for "100nF SMD case shape 1208" capacitors, but they are probably 1206, as 1208 doesn't exist. I'll have to measure the board... C5 and C6 seem to be 15pF ceramics, and C10 a 3.3nF and C18, C19 1nF and C20 4.7nF all seem to be ceramic. IC5 is a 50MHz oscillator, a COTC=50 5V AEC-3J in this picture.
|Part||Pin Spacing (center to center)|
|C22||5mm or 8.5mm?|
I put in more capacitors on my K2
. A few aren't labeled
like the manual says -- the 47pF is 470 and the 83pF is 820, unlike all
the other small-valued ones, which are ceramic (1pF through 68pF).
W2MJN, portable from Santa Cruz, CA
In Santa Cruz, CA in Mission Park
, I heard W2MJN
call CQ at 0000z on 14.040. Mike
in Warwick, NY is 44 and has been a ham for 6 years, and on CW for the
last 2. He was running a Yaesu FT-767 to a Yaesu FL8k amp at 300 watts
to a Mosley tri-bander for a 579. I was running 40w or so from my my
HFPacker amp driven by a KX1 to a Z100 tuner and my Pac-12 with stock
radials for a 337(!) which Mike later revised. It is possible I had
some RF feedback, but I don't know yet. We had solid copy both ways
after that until someone calling CQ at 5wpm spot on QRM'ed him away and
we signed off at 0024z. Mike said it was 67F there, and it was about
the same in Scruz. QSL Sent
Finished page 48. Next step is to install about 75 capacitors.
for recent HFPack and HFNOW APRS Activity.
Operating 14346.50 CW for HFPack in San Jose with PAC-12 and KX1. No
takers. 14342.50 and 14339.50 are busy.
Finished the regular resistors for the PLL cicuit and built the
temperature-compensated replacement for one of the resistor networks.
Four more parts to go (networks and the new replacement for one)
to go before I finish the first page of Part II...