I’ve got the Elecraft K3 running JT65-HF in the house this winter finally using outdoor antennas I’ve resurrected in the backyard. I’m only running ~5-10w and the antennas are ZS6BKW @ 45′ NE/SW, a 40/80m dipole @ 40′ NW/SE and a several hundred foot long wire @40′ running west. Below is a quick view of the stations hearing my signal over the last 24 hours on the HF bands. Meter bands are color coded. Hover over a marker to read more about the station copying my signal. Click on the View Larger Map link below the map see a full page interactive map.
You can see another full page interactive map listing the stations I have heard on JT65-HF over the last 24 hours, click here to view my reception reports. Click the map markers to read more information about the reception reports.
With the solar flux rising again in the winter of 2014 I’ve resurrected my PIC controller based WSPR beacon and put it back on the air on 28 MHz running 20mw to an attic dipole antenna. I’d developed a script awhile back to pull data from WSPRnet and display who has been copying my 20 milliwatt signal. Below you will see a Google map on which I plot stations who have received my signal over the last week. The red 0 icon is my beacon location at the intersections of all the lines. The other blue icon #’s are placed over the 6 digit grid square or approximate latitude and longitude of the receiving station. Those blue # icons represent what band (in meters) my signal was received. Click on the icons to read more information about the receiving stations to include their call sign, grid, distance, beam heading, average signal to noise ratio, # of reports posted, frequency and first and last times I was spotted. The color of the lines represent received signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) in dB [red <-20, -20 < yellow <-10, green >-10] and line thickness represents the number of beacon transmissions copied [thin<5, med< 10, thick>10]. Click on the View Larger Map links below this map to see a larger and more interactive map with more data for the past week, day, 12 hours and 1 hour.
My beacon is running W3PM WSPR PIC controller code on a PIC-EL III microcontroller board by AA0ZZ. The transmitter is a DDS-60 20mw 0-60 MHz synthesizer board by N2APB. My antennas consist of a full wave 40m loop in the attic and a 20-15-10m wire beam also in the attic. Antennas are roughly 30′ above the ground. The wire beam consists of an all band dipole driven element and directors on either side, giving bi-directional gain. It is beaming NE and SW. The antenna is 2 elements on 20m, 3 on 15m and 4 on 10m.
This past June I again had the opportunity to rove with Terry W8ZN. We had last roved in the ARRL Jan. VHF SS contest and had a great time and scored very well. Since the K8GP Grid Pirates Contest Group were unable to host an operation from their multi-op, multi-trasnmitter contest site in FM19bb, the two of us opted to pull together another plan to enter the Classic Rover category. Rich N3UW was kind enough to allow us to again borrow his rover for this event. Terry and I spent some additional time improving and re-engineering the rover given what we learned in Jan. Read more about our preparations, route planning, contest weekend experience and post contest analysis by clicking here.
I had the opportunity to participate in the ARRL Field Day 2014 event this past June. I joined members of the Fauquier Amateur Radio Assoc. to enter in the 2A emergency power category. We operated from Crockett Park in the county, near Germantown Lake. We provided a GOTA (Get-On-The-Air) station for the public to participate, as well as established V/UHF station, a Voice station and a CW station for our club members to operate. We had great weather and a good turnout. I took a number of pictures, video and even some aerial shots from my quadcopter. To see a photo collage and some video excerpts of the weekend event, please see my Youtube video by clicking here, or below.
I’m celebrating 35 yrs since I made my first SSB/CW VHF contest QSOs back as a young WB1ALW and KA1GD back in CT. This year I was fortunate enough to be able to rove with Terry W8ZN in this past ARRL January VHF SS contest. I assisted Terry in rebuilding the rover of Rich N3UW who graciously allowed us to take it out on a maiden voyage. I wrote an in depth article covering the preparation and contest weekend experience. I put together pictures, audio, video and some graphics and analysis maps covering our various grid stops. Check out the full article for more or click the picture below.
N3UW Rover used by K8GP Rover in the ARRL January VHF SS
Check out my article covering the 4 hour sprint event I participated in recently. I had the pleasure of activating the K8GP contest station in grid FM19bb on 144 MHz during a spectacular tropospheric opening that occurred in conjunction with the radio competition. I captured some weather maps to explain the conditions that lead up to the nights great propagation. Below is a snapshot of the live 2m APRS tropo map that gives a slight idea of who was hearing who. Also visit my article to see some statistics on my best DX contacts, view my log and even listen to some of what I heard. Click here to read more!
2m APRS Live Tropo feed animation loop for Fall 2m Sprint 2013 (2300-0300z)
I’m now active on APRS via APRSDroid. Find me when I’m mobile. I am usually active on HF on CW or SSB. I run an Icom 706mkIIg at 100 watts with a AH-4 tuner and a 2.75m steel whip. Hope to see you on the bands!
I was fortunate enough to catch a 2m ESkip opening on the evening commute home Tues. July 24 from about 630p to 8p local. Many locals in the Va/D.C./Md area were on from fixed locations working the opening. Locals K1HTV, K4RTS, W4CLJ, KE2N, N3ALN, N4MM, K3ZO and K4HJF among others, were all heard working the DX from 0 land and 5 land, much of I which I couldn’t hear. I was only using an Icom 706 MKIIG @ ~ 50w and a dual-band magmount vertical on the roof of the SUV, but I was able to work 4 stations in the mid-west. I logged N0IGZ (KS – EM27 @ 932 mi.), K0WYN (MO – EM48 @ 759 mi.), W0BLD (MO – EM37 @ 844 mi.) and K5SW (OK – EM25 @ 985 mi.). I copied 8 other unique calls during this time to include AF5CC (OK – EM04 @ 1174 mi.) who heard me but never completed, WA0CNS (MO – EM48 @ 645 mi.), K0DOK (MO – EM48 @ 714 mi.), KC0SNN (MO – EM27 @ 918 mi.), WB5AFY (TX – EM04 @ 1233 mi.), W7QJQ (OK – EM25 @ 959 mi.), KB5MR (OK – EM25 @ 1016 mi.) and N5UWY (OK – EM15 @ 1100 mi.). Click on any of the calls above to hear what I recorded from the mobile on my Android phone using an MP3 recorder acoustically coupled to the rig’s speaker.
Another useful VHF propagation tool to watch on a daily basis for these types of openings is the DXMaps VHF MUF Map of North America, which offers a real-time view of the maximum usable frequency (MUF) across the country.
VaQP is over! You can read about my weekend experience by clicking the following K1RA as KW4VA /M in Virginia QSO Party 2012. In the article you can read and learn more about my operation as well as see pictures and videos from the weekend event.
I activated KW4VA from the mobile this past Mar 17-18 for the 2012 Virginia QSO Party. I ran 10 bands: 160-6m (SSB/CW) and 2m, 1.25m, and 70cm (FM). As the contest was broken into two segments 10A-10P Sat. and 8A-8P Sun., I’ve decided to run 2 separate routes.
Day 1 on Sat. I was to run west of Warrenton and down Skyline Dr. That consisted of 10 stops covering 12 counties: FAU, LDN, CLA, FRE, WAR, RAP, PAG, MAD, RHM, GRN, ALB and AUG. I didn’t quite make all the counties I planned.
Day 2 on Sun. I was to run an eastern route towards D.C. and south down I-95. That was to consist of 17 stops covering 17 counties and cities: FAU, PRW, LDN, MAX, MPX, FFX, FXX, FCX. ARL, ALX, STA, FBX, KGE, CLN, SPO, ORG and CUL. Again I didn’t quite cover all the ground.
You can see my planned route on the map below. It not exactly what I managed to cover. Read to follow on article mentioned above to find out the actual details.