Tuesday, December 30, 2003 Zulu
Eham writes:
"Tthe IARU proposed adding a new character--the commercial "at" or @ symbol--to permit sending e-mail addresses in Morse code. The draft new recommendation proposes using the letters A and C run together (.--.-.) to represent the @ symbol."

- posted by Leigh @ 22:36 z 0 comments
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20M exit sign dipole
I worked K0GZL Rob from Spearfish, South Dakota using my 20m dipole clipped to the EXIT sign and up and down the 2nd floor hallway inside my heavily-rebar'd building and got a 599! Then QSB hit and I lost him.
- posted by Leigh @ 01:45 z 0 comments
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Sunday, December 28, 2003 Zulu
I had a nice long PSK31 QSO on 14.07015 with W7NAT Nate in Salem, OR who gave me a 579 on the 20m flagpole dipole. It got cold (45F) and dark and I had to go QRT.
- posted by Leigh @ 02:02 z 0 comments
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Balun on flagpole, prior to raisingantenna at about 20ft, with coax coming off sideAntenna wire in tree is pretty much invisibleit is halfway up the flagpoleLaunch VehicleRig: FT817+Z11, Lbiretto, and Coleman 10AH battery power

This is a 20m dipole on the flagpole at Palo Verde elementary school, which is closed for break. The coax ito the balun is 18' long and the FT-817 is up on about 4' so with the angle of the coax it evens out to about 20ft HAAT. It is pointed roughly east-west, about 90 degrees away from my G5RV at home. I used rubber-band rockets to launch nylon monofiliment fishing line over tree twigs to support the ends of my dipole, which is a bit corroded from 10 days beachside in Maui...

I worked KB7GFL on this antenna, Much less QRN here!

- posted by Leigh @ 00:44 z 0 comments
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Monday, December 22, 2003 Zulu
Report on 10 days QRP operating in Maui, HI

I have just finished 10 days of operating as KH6/WA5ZNU in Kahana on Maui, Hawaii, grid BL10. Contrary to reports I had read I found QRP HF operation in Hawaii to be easy and fun.

I brought my Yaesu FT-817+Z11 tuner, a PSKMeter, and two laptops: a 73 Mhz Sony Vaio running Linux and a 233Mhz Toshiba Libretto running Win98, a balun, coax, and 166 feet of wire.

The condo was an end uint second and third floor over a sloping hillside 150' from the ocean with two lanai displaced horizontally on both floors oceanside.

I tried two different antennas in three different configurations.

  1. A 100' loop around both 3rd and 2nd floor lanai with a 45 degree angle between the upper and lower suares at 3rd and 2dn floor level, fed directly with coax (no 4:1 balun as I don't have one). This antenna worked but did not pick up as much as #2 and there wasn't enough room to do the 136' necessary to be 2 wavelengths on 20m so I abandoned it.
  2. An 34' inverted L with one leg dangling down the side of the building to about 6' off the ground and the other across the 3rd-floor wooden semi-awning over the lanai, with 3' of it angled 90 degrees horizontally. I was able to work 3D2AA (first ham from Rotuma, operating from Lautoka, Fiji) and JH1BZJ with this antenna.
  3. When I figured out that the condo next door was under construction, I turned the antenna into a 20m dipole but moving the balun to the post between the rooms and extending the legs across the tops of both lanais, and suspending the wires with nylon rope. The balun was shielded from view by the u-shaped column, and was mostly invisible. A little black tape would have taken care of the slight glint you could see from the parking lot, but since it was invisible from the pool and beach anyway I didn't bother. I was able to work FK8GX in New Caledonia, JM7OLW in Japan, WA6OVP in Nevada, ZL2AUJ in New Zealand, and a variety of other US West Coast and midwest stations. I *heard* plenty of Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Australia, and one early evening even got a QRZ out of a ham in Spain! As for local HF, I heard some folks on Kauai on the KH6/KL7 HF SSB spectrum around 7.090 but didn't break in as they were coordinating maintenance of their inter-island linked 2M/70cm repeater system.
  4. The last day the condo maintenance finished and I dropped the other leg od the antenna down at a 45 degree angle to make a inverted-L-V, which didn't work as well but I did hear 3D2AA again and worked JA4BPI and got 579.

I am looking forward to trying my salt-weathered dipole again.

- posted by Leigh @ 20:13 z 0 comments
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Sunday, December 21, 2003 Zulu
I am now QRT in KH6, my last contact last night having been JA4BPI Tad from Kurashiki-shi Okayama-ken, Japan. He gave me a 579 on my 20m combination inverted-L-V on 15 meters BPSK31 (the construction ended next door so I had to take down the half of the dipole I had strung up over there).
- posted by Leigh @ 20:56 z 0 comments
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Thursday, December 18, 2003 Zulu

Just before 9pm HST I heard a VK4 and a VK6 in Australia having a long QSO, 100% copy both sides.

I called CQ and someone very strong answered but I couldn't get phase lock, even though I turned off the preamp and used the attenuator. I did QRZ but same story, and I guess he gave up. A few mimutes later I heard - posted by Leigh @ 07:22 z 0 comments

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003 Zulu

Around 6pm HST we got back from our whirlwind tour of Makawao, Paia, and the 'Iao Needle and just as the sun was setting I turned on the '817 and heard 3 or 4 stations on 20m and one on 15m. I answered a W0, and a Brazillian station, but no response.

Then I heard ZL2AUJ Dave who answered me from Wellington, New Zealand and said he was running 10 watts into end end-fed long-wire. I got 80% copy dipping to 50% at one time, and we had a nice long QSO. Just at the end, the local power went out, but the laptop and '817 kept on, though it switched to 2.5W automatically (wish it wouldn't do that) and he still heard me.

- posted by Leigh @ 06:15 z 0 comments
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Monday, December 15, 2003 Zulu

Today at around 0800z I heard WA6OVP Tom in Sparks, NV but not as strongly as before, when he was 599+. I answered his CQ and we had a short QSO but he never got my call.

Right afterwards I heard N7EL Elmer in Flagstaff, AZ calling me, but by the time I called him back, the band faded and I had to go eat breakfast.

While unhooking my antenna I saw a beautiful rainbow (will add picture later) and so the early morning ended well.

- posted by Leigh @ 19:05 z 0 comments
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I got a qRZ out of DU3NXE in Bataan, but no QSO. Heard JM7OLW again around 11:00 HST but had to run.
- posted by Leigh @ 03:47 z 0 comments
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Saturday, December 13, 2003 Zulu
Maui QRP
balun for dipoleviewWindy PalmsNapili Kai - Sea House Rest
In Maui, Hawaii using PSK31 into a 20M dipole on the roof of the condo. Stations I worked so far on 14.070 PSK31 - 3D2AA Aisea (the only PSK31 op in 3D2) in Lautoka, Fiji. - JH1BZJ Jun in Ibaraki-KEN, Japan. - FK8GX Michel in New Caledonia, all above on LinPSK 0.7.1 on 733 MHz Sony Vaio with Griffin iMic. - JM7OLW Jun in Fukushima, Japan -- 599+ with his 300W into 3-el beam on a 35M tower, and he said I was the only signal in the band and answered my tune-up ID for WinPSK on the Toshiba Libretto, which I switched to because the switching power supply for the Vaio generates way too much hash noise.
- posted by Leigh @ 22:16 z
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Monday, December 08, 2003 Zulu
I went to the PAARA end-of-year show-and-tell night and showed my PSKMeter software for Linux, and talked about plans for a client-server PSK31 system, with a ui-free back end, a protocol, and a UI front end such as a Java applet. The bandwidth requirements would be low. I demonstrated what it would look like, using VNC on a Hiptop over GPRS talking to my laptop at home, which is running LinPSK talking to my Yaesu FT-817. The PSKMeter software is at http://www.wa5znu.org/pskmeter and I've been sending it to George Rothbart and he's sent me some helpful feedback and suggestions.
- posted by Leigh @ 07:08 z 0 comments
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