Thursday, May 27, 2004 Zulu
30 Meters KE5AKL
I heard KE5AKL Mike in Albuquerque, NM 599 on 10.120 and answered him with the FT-817 and K5OOR HFPacker amp, but he gave me a 419 and said it was rough copy after that, so we said 73. I am thinking of putting up a Moxon for 30M pointed South, so it will catch much of the Southern US and South America. There's not much straight North of me so the F/B will be somewhat wasted, but it will cover a direction I don't get now, and the gain will be useful. The back of my house points roughly south and is 35 ft long, which is just enough for the 35x9 30M Moxon rectangle.
- posted by Leigh @ 01:13 z 0 comments
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Tuesday, May 25, 2004 Zulu
I worked W7TY Howie in Logan, UT, near the Wyoming/Idaho border, in mountain valley at 4000ft. Howie was using a Ten Tec Pegasus at 35 watts and a rotary dipole. He was a radio op on merchant marine in WWII on Liberty Ships, and then again in Korea, and then on oil tankers through the Vietnam era. I was using RPSK and running 40W on 14.07115.
- posted by Leigh @ 16:48 z 0 comments
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Monday, May 24, 2004 Zulu
I build a 29-turn 30 meter coil for my PAC-12 and put it in the back yard. The SWR was 1.4:1 with a couple of the 20M counterpoises tied together lengthwise. At around 0145z WB6MLC/PM Ken in Fremont, CA was about 439 with my Autek QF-1A and KB6BA Oliver on his K1 and dipole-ish wire in the city park in Milpitas was around 459. I moved my Pac-12 to the roof and put on a longer counterpoise network (not sure it's am improvement) and the SWR is about 4:1 I heard Bonnie KQ6XA call CQ HFPack at 0254z about 559.
- posted by Leigh @ 03:49 z 0 comments
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Sunday, May 23, 2004 Zulu
I heard KH2D calling CQ on PSK-31 on 20 Meters and there were no takers, so I gave him a quick call. Jim lives on Amelia Island, Florida, a 13x4 mile island near Jacksonville across the river from Georgia where he moved after 16 years on Guam (hence the call). Jim lives in a subdivision and has a 25-ft high Window and was running 20 watts. He gave me a 559 and I gave him a 479 to 579 with QSB. Jim doesn't collect QSL cards.
- posted by Leigh @ 03:34 z 0 comments
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 Zulu
My first VK is VK7YAD (Tasmania)!
I saw a CQ on a relatively quiet 20M band and it was VK7YAD Greg in Launceston, Tasmania QE38nn on my PSK-20+K5OOR HFpacker amp at abotu 40W into the G5RV. He was 579 or 589 most of the time. Distance between CM87WK & QE38NN is 12700.27 km (7891.945 miles), bearing 235.3 degrees He gave me a PSB of 359 and was working 5-8 Watts from an Icom 703 into a center-loaded vertical.
- posted by Leigh @ 06:12 z 0 comments
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Friday, May 21, 2004 Zulu
I worked VE4RRB Rob in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada EN19kv until his signal faded at 0630z on 14.070 with my PSK-20 and 40W amp. He could barely copy me at 2.5W from the PSK-20 and was running about 8W from his ICOM-703+. Rob also has a G5RV (his is at about 12M, a little higher than mine). Rob is the RAC Section Manager for Manitoba and also has a UHF repeater there. He was 589 until QSB set in.
- posted by Leigh @ 06:41 z 0 comments
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Thursday, May 20, 2004 Zulu
Really wide PSK-31 signal from an OM that was wiping out half the band. Looks like RF getting in or something.
- posted by Leigh @ 04:16 z 0 comments
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CX7BF in Montevideo, Uruguay
On 2004 May 20 0325z I worked CX7BF Walter in Montevideo, Uruguay on 14.070 PSK-31 with my PSK-20 and K5OOR HFPacker amp at about 40W into the G5RV, my first QSO with Uruguay. Walter, a ham since 1967, was running 500 Watts with a Hy Gain amplifier! Uruguay is off the wrong end of my G5RV, so I was surprised he could copy me. Walter said it was about 10C-12C there, it being nearly winter time. There was a terrible QRM problem with someone overmodulating and taking out at least half of the band so I had to cut the QSO short, though Walter said I was solid copy on his end... It looks like he wants QSL direct.
- posted by Leigh @ 04:04 z 0 comments
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Tuesday, May 18, 2004 Zulu
DJ6SX in Wesel, Germany
I just saw a faint trace on the upper end of the PSK-20 range and got a QRZ and then a call back from DJ6SX Wilfried in Wesel, Germany. We had a nice QSO from his Kenwood TS850, and he said I was solid copy. He varied between 25% and 50%, but I didn't expect much as my G5RV is pointed North-South and Europe is Trans-Polar from here as well. Wilfried will QSO via bureau.
- posted by Leigh @ 06:00 z 0 comments
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Monday, May 17, 2004 Zulu
DX callsign lookups

- posted by Leigh @ 21:48 z
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BX2AK Chang in Taipei, Taiwan
I turned on my PSK-20 this morning and saw a weak trace at the top end, and worked BX2AK Chang in Taipei on 14.070. He was 449 and gave me 479. He said it was 33C there! Hot. Mon May 17 14:31:02 UTC 2004 to Mon May 17 14:39:32 UTC 2004
- posted by Leigh @ 14:40 z
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Sunday, May 16, 2004 Zulu
AZ Scorp 803
I finished my AZ Scorpion keyer paddle #803.
- posted by Leigh @ 16:21 z
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Saturday, May 15, 2004 Zulu
Not much on 20M after 11PM PDT; there was an FO5 from Tahiti in QSO with UA0ZS, but he went QRT, and JM7OLW, both of whom I have worked several times under more difficult situations. JA7FLI from Morioka, Iwate-ken, Japan, was calling CQ DX so I answered him with 2.5W from the PSK-20 but just got a QRZ, so I went to the K5OOR HFProjects amplifier and he gave me a 569. It was about the same WX there as here...then he went QRU and now I see nothing on the waterfall. QSL via BURO.
- posted by Leigh @ 06:52 z 0 comments
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I put a white label on my amplifier. I wanted to get it powder coated and stenciled, but the best is the enemy of the good.
- posted by Leigh @ 03:33 z
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I finally had enough confidence in my code to try an RPSK QSO. QSB was funny today -- there would be nothing and then 20 stations and then a few minutes later, nothing again. I saw VE7YXX Michael in Abbortsford, BC calling CQ on 14.070 and answered him, but the band was gone. Half an hour later he was back and gave me a 599 on the first call, with my PSK-20 at 2.5W! He was using a new ICOM after having switched from Kenwood, and this was his first day using it for PSK-20, though I have seen him on the bands before.

Michael picks up his ham mail in the US so I will wait for his QSL and send the return back to his US post office box.

QSO End 2004 May 14 2355z - 2004 May 15 0110z

QSL Sent
- posted by Leigh @ 01:13 z 0 comments
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Thursday, May 13, 2004 Zulu
I talked to FK8HM Eric in Noumea, New Caledonia, who called CQ on 14.070 MHz. At first he said I was 599 but then couldn't get my name; I guess QSB set in. Eric was running 50W into a dipole he made for his Icom-746A.
- posted by Leigh @ 06:34 z 0 comments
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I heard WB6REZ Larry in Fremont, CA calling CQ on 30M, which my G5RV doesn't do very well, and answerwed him. He gave mea 579 but said it was hard to copy as we were so close.
- posted by Leigh @ 04:38 z 0 comments
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004 Zulu
QSL Cards
Mailed: AL1G, K6DSP, NM3B, N0JRN, W8FDV, WX7P, WA5EOG, W9JIF, KG6SGP, KB9OND Need to reprint: K3YQD, OM3LO Ready for BURO: 8P7JD, LU8EKC, ES1QD Missing in action: various BURO Japanese cards from Hawaii
- posted by Leigh @ 04:57 z 0 comments
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004 Zulu
OM3LO in Slovak Republic
I worked OM3LO Tibor in Trencin, Slovak Republic on 14.0713 PSK-31 at about 40W with my PSK-20 and HFpacker Amp. (PSE QSL Direct) Tibor reported that it was 15C in Trencin and gave me a 599! He'd previously given a 599 to KX5S in Dallas, TX. Tibor has been a ham since 1967 and was using an ICOM 746 at 40 Watts into a tri-band yagi, with DigiPan.
- posted by Leigh @ 05:06 z
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Monday, May 10, 2004 Zulu
COAX and Ground
I had been running the coax line to my G5RV through the same hole as the DSL line and the 100-Base-T STP cables going out, but when I keyed up with my big 50W QRO it caused the DSL to lose sync. Last night I got out the big drill bit and made a new hole for the coax and put a long double SO-239 through it. Rich KD6WYK says I should put a metal plate on both sides to prevent it from chewing through the wall...I also ran a line to the ground stake but haven't got it hooked up or bonded yet.
- posted by Leigh @ 03:06 z
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Sunday, May 09, 2004 Zulu
K6DSP; conditions unsettled
I worked Mike K6DSP in San Diego on 20M PSK31. First his signal was fine, then very wide, and then he reduced drive and it was OK again. Then mine started having problem -- garbled, and then unsteady, and he couldn't copy me. I took my PSK-20 and HFPacker Amp off the antenna and put it on the dummy load. Maybe I had the audio gain misadjusted down and the VOX was cutting out... anyway, I have the PSKMeter hooked in now, on the QRO setting, but I am not getting reliable readings for IMD when the amplifier is on. I don't know if it's the A/D in the PIC or if I truly am having trouble with the amplifier.
- posted by Leigh @ 07:28 z 0 comments
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G5RV up higher now; LU8EKC PSK31 on 20M
I moved one leg of my G5RV up from a tree on the side about 5M up to a tree in the front about 10M up. It's not quite straight any more, but Cebik says that if it looks like a dipole still it's probably ok, and I figured the additional height would help. I came in and found that the resonance had gone down from 14.10 to 14.0 and the best I could get was 44 Ohms R and 10 Ohms X, as determined by my Autek. Probably the twists I'd put in the wire came out when I pulled it up; I think I should lower it and move it a little shorter. The HFpacker amp is doing well on 20 and I still need to find a way to reduce the output of the PSK-20 or pad it as 50W out is too much and it gets a bit warm. I saw LU8EKC Dan from Buenos Ares, Argentina calling CQ and answered him; he came back and gave me a 579. He had a tribander beam...9 May 2004 0044z
- posted by Leigh @ 00:44 z 0 comments
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Friday, May 07, 2004 Zulu
W0SMY Ralph

I worked W0SMY Ralph in Omaha, NE 599 on 7.053. Ralph is a retired Methodist preacher and is just getting back into CW on his Ten Tec Jupiter, having been a ham for 50 years. He gave me a 599.

QSL Sent
- posted by Leigh @ 06:30 z
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AL1G in Alaska
I worked AL1G Corliss in Anchorage, AK on 7.035 QRO but it was just a quick 5NN/5NN exchange. I guess he was after more DX than California. I found the switcher -- it was for my cell phone thing. I have two so I'll try the second one and see if it's any different. eqsl


- posted by Leigh @ 05:23 z
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I worked N0JRN Jerry in Springfield, MO on 7044, as part of FPQRP QRP and was his first Californa contact. There was lots of QRN from a switching power supply (dunno which one but I've heard it before on 7044), so I turned on the Autek QF-1A and was able to peak him out, but it was still rough going.
- posted by Leigh @ 04:44 z 0 comments
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Thursday, May 06, 2004 Zulu
Tiny Computers
Here are some tiny computers -- it would be nice to figure out how to hook a small graphical LCD display and kbd to one for backpack PSK31. And EarthLCD has this zLCD-001 Display Module - 2.7" 240x160 small form factor TFT Color LCD Display with LCD Controller for $199 with controller board, qty 1. And this I2C A/D D/A converter
- posted by Leigh @ 22:36 z 0 comments
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NM3B, Autek QF-1A
Tonight I hooked up the Autek QF-1A I bought as the ASVARO flea market in Sunnyvale for $25. It's about 25 years old and I bought it from a Japanese ham who was very meticulous about it, and included the original manual. There was QRN on 40M so I tried it out and heard NM3B Wayne in Saint Mary's, PA calling CQ on 7.043 around 0520Z 2004 May 06. There were no other takers so I gave him a call back and tried out the QF-1. Sure enough, he reported lots of QRN but I could pick him out just fine. Wayne said he built an Elecraft K1 three years ago, and was using his homebrew tuner to a Zepp antenna up 50 ft at the apex, but I missed a bit of the feedline part because of QRM.
- posted by Leigh @ 05:26 z 0 comments
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Wednesday, May 05, 2004 Zulu
K3YQD, HFPacker Amp

A few nights ago I plugged my HFPacker amp into my PowerPanel 8 and it blew a 20A fuse! I took it in to Rich KD6WYK's borrowed current-limiting supply and it checked out fine. I guess it was feedback or something. Not very satisfying though. Virgil K5OOR is sending me some new MOSFET insulating shoulder washers and a few other parts Rich and I ordered, so I will be sure to change those out!

I worked K3YQD Bill in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania on 20M PSK31 with my HFPacker amp at about 50W, driven by my PSK-20. I need to figure out how to reduce the drive on the PSK-20! 2004 May 05 0130z. He gave me a 599.

QSL Sent
- posted by Leigh @ 03:20 z
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Sunday, May 02, 2004 Zulu
New shack and desk. We re-organized the office at home and I got a $99 desk with hutch from Ikea and we put it together. It's been fun to have a "shack" again.
- posted by Leigh @ 01:42 z 0 comments
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