20 June 2008

4m contest: been there, done what?

Last Sunday I managed to take part for a couple of hours in the "70 MHz and Cross-Band Contest 2008" promoted by ARI Roma. I was in a nice place, open towards most of the Italian territory with no band noise and managed just one (local) contact.

Setup was as follows:
  • RX IC706MKiiG
  • TX homebrew CW 100milliW
  • Antenna 4m Moxon
  • Antenna 6m car whip
from the parking lot of Santuario di Belmonte, JN35TI at about 700 masl.

Activity was null, even if the band was open with sporadic-E to Greece. I could easily work Adriano I1NAI in 4m cross-mode. At 9UTC I was disappointed nobody was around, the parking lot was going to be filled with a FIAT 500 event (QRM!!), so I headed back home.

Adriano stayed a bit longer on the air, but he did not manage other QSO's either! Were all Italian operators busy with the HF Contest delle Sezioni? Are Italian ops not interested in a new band?

I could produce three short movies with the Samsung SGH-i780 :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF4A7X7ZtW0 (location summary)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K13WVOsIc14 (receiving SV5FOUR/B)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owjugPODRhg (receiving IZ1DYE/B)

Even if I had had more power I would have not had more contacts, but a small 1-2W PA will follow on the workbench.

Has anybody the QSL info for SV5FOUR/B?

13 June 2008

70 MHz activity alert!

Segnalo la mia possibile attività domenica 15 giugno 2008 mattina, in occasione del "70 MHz & cross-band Contest" promosso dalla sezione ARI di Roma. In caso di bel tempo dovrei essere in JN35TI con i miei 100mW e la due elementi Moxon (piu' dipolo in 6m). In caso di maltempo, da casa JN35TC, sul balcone. Per sked o altre info scrivetemi!
!! Per ora posso trasmettere solo in CW; RX all-mode !!

On 15/June/2008 morning I will most probably take part in the "70 MHz & cross-band Contest" organized by ARI Roma. If the weather is good I will be in JN35TI with my 100mW and 2 element Moxon (plus a dipole for 6m). In case of bad weather I will stay at home in JN35TC. Write me for a sked or other info!
!! I can transmit CW only; RX all-mode !!

06 June 2008

Primo QSO in 4 metri

Il primo QSO o qualcosa del genere, ieri sera 05/06/2008 a 70304 kHz alle 20UTC circa, cross-mode CW/SSB.

Avevo modificato la configurazione del keyer in IAMBIC-A, e non riuscivo a mandare correttamente i simboli (ah, il buon vecchio tasto verticale!).

Povero IZ1DYE con tutta la confusione che ho fatto! Abbiamo concluso il QSO al telefono, ma i segnali erano presenti.

QRB: 32km. Moxon contro dipolo, 100mW contro qualche decina di W, CW contro SSB.

Qualcun altro vuole tentare il QSO? Anche cross-band. Io trasmetto solo in CW, ma ricevo all-mode in 50 e in 70 (e in 144, 430, HF). Sono penalizzato in direzione 110-140 gradi, a meno di andare di riflessione sulle Alpi. Vi aspetto numerosi!

Grazie Michele!

PS: perche' mi sta passando la voglia di imbarcarmi nella costruzione di un finale RF piu' potente?!

05 June 2008

Primo rapporto in 4 metri

Giusto il tempo di programmare il keyer, avvisare Adriano NAI ed ecco il primo rapporto di ascolto del mio trasmettitore in 4 metri. A 35km il segnale e' ottimo.

A causa della pioggia improvvisa alle 22 e' invece saltato il tentativo con DYE.

Promette bene. Ed ho anche in testa l'idea di realizzare un amplificatore per avere un paio di W...

Have you worked/heard IK1ZYW/M?

Have you heard or worked me on June 04, 2008 between 1515 and 1600 UTC on 6m?

Unfortunately the battery of my voice logging system was dead, so I lost the information on the 4 contacts I had. They where 3 HA and 1 SQ9.

I probably recovered the SQ9 call from the cluster, but it lists too many HA's to be sure I picked the right one.

If you can help rebuild my log for that day, please contact me at mycall at yahoo dot com.

04 June 2008

Small Wonder Labs SW-30+ - tuning

Time to do the smoke test to my SW30+!

First I powered it up without ICs. At 12V it took 3.45mA. No short circuits, looks good.
I checked the 8V line on each IC socket, and it was there.

Switched it off, added all ICs,switched on. Current went up to 15.4mA, that should also be the SW30+ receive current, perhaps a bit more with an antenna and earphones connected.

Time to tune the VFO. Instead of keying the transmitter into a dummy load, I chose a different way: the local oscillator has to be 7.68 MHz below the 10 MHz band. With some easy math, the LO runs around 2.420-2.450 MHz, that's where I tuned the primary receiver. My VFO was quite high, I had to add C7=100pF and squeeze turns on the VFO coil to obtain a 2.426-2.46 MHz range.

This means ca. 10.106 to 10.140 MHz.

Every time I've tuned 30m here in Italy I've found a strong RTTY station on 10.100 MHz, so better stay away from the lower band limit. This 34 kHz coverage puts me also away from the DX window. Anyway, coil adjustment will allow me to change my mind without soldering.

Next step, once the 4m TX system is finished, will be to tune the transmitter.

70 MHz, and the antenna is up!

Italian HAMs got a new authorization to use small portions of 70 MHz until 31/12/2008. The TX was already completed, now I needed the antenna I never finished.

The Moxon rectangle was chosen. A wooden "H" structure supports the wire. Lowest SWR is around 65 MHz, 2:1 at 70 MHz. On the balcony it looked like this:

Here it is beaming about 30deg. The tower is the background, for the locals, is at CSELT/TiLAB/whateveritiscallednow.