Posts Tagged ‘30m’

30m WSPR transceiver kit

By now, you probably realise that I just love WSPR. With quite simple equipment it is possible to be decoded across the planet consistently with real QRP power levels.   I am always on the look-out for new ideas, although until my health improves I am not in a position to build too much myself. See http://www.knology.net/~gmarcus/WSPR/wspr_v4.pdf for an example of a complete 30m WSPR transceiver.

This is NOT a new circuit  – it has been around for some years – and it still needs a PC for the WSPR software. Some TX-only WSPR beacons use microprocessors to generate the WSPR TX messages, thereby freeing up the PC and consuming little power overall. Some sync to GPS to avoid timing issues too.

More WSPR with 20mW

I’ve been WSPRing on 30m today, still with a power of 0.2W. I think WSPR is more interesting when you use low power: it’s always interesting to see how far you can get.

20mW is not the lowest power you can use, though, it’s just the lowest power the K3 will comfortably produce. (You can set the output power to 0.0W but I’m not sure how accurately the rig will maintain the power at such a low level – something to check.

Today my 0,02W into the MFJ magnetic loop in my attic was received by 30 different stations. Here’s the list:

Timestamp Call MHz SNR Drift Grid Pwr Reporter RGrid km az
 2014-01-13 11:52   G4ILO   10.140243   -11   0   IO84hp   0.02   ON7KO   JO21ce   637   124 
 2014-01-13 11:52   G4ILO   10.140209   -23   0   IO84hp   0.02   DL8HAF/P   JO53dm   899   92 
 2014-01-13 12:32   G4ILO   10.140206   -26   0   IO84hp   0.02   DK6UG   JN49cm   973   121 
 2014-01-13 12:54   G4ILO   10.140217   -22   0   IO84hp   0.02   DC5EO   JO31ed   760   117 
 2014-01-13 12:54   G4ILO   10.140210   -18   0   IO84hp   0.02   G8CRB   JO02bf   355   138 
 2014-01-13 13:18   G4ILO   10.140195   -19   1   IO84hp   0.02   G0GSJ   IO84jc   61   170 
 2014-01-13 14:20   G4ILO   10.140199   -19   0   IO84hp   0.02   G4ILR   JO02pp   379   124 
 2014-01-13 14:20   G4ILO   10.140224   -29   0   IO84hp   0.02   M0BLP   JO02ad   359   139 
 2014-01-13 14:30   G4ILO   10.140210   -20   0   IO84hp   0.02   OH8GKP   KP24rt   1945   43 
 2014-01-13 14:30   G4ILO   10.140203   -19   0   IO84hp   0.02   GM4SFW   IO77sn   331   349 
 2014-01-13 14:30   G4ILO   10.140199   -11   2   IO84hp   0.02   OH3HTI   KP21ag   1760   54 
 2014-01-13 14:30   G4ILO   10.140182   -13   0   IO84hp   0.02   LA5GOA   JO29oi   737   41 
 2014-01-13 14:38   G4ILO   10.140197   -23   0   IO84hp   0.02   OZ7IT   JO65df   1001   80 
 2014-01-13 14:38   G4ILO   10.140194   -13   0   IO84hp   0.02   SA6BSS   JO68   1084   60 
 2014-01-13 14:48   G4ILO   10.140189   -21   0   IO84hp   0.02   SM6WZI   JO67mp   1067   65 
 2014-01-13 14:56   G4ILO   10.140208   -21   0   IO84hp   0.02   DC8SE   JN48xi   1155   122 
 2014-01-13 14:56   G4ILO   10.140180   -7   0   IO84hp   0.02   ON7KB   JO21ei   634   122 
 2014-01-13 15:04   G4ILO   10.140204   -11   0   IO84hp   0.02   DK4TJ   JO31fc   768   117 
 2014-01-13 15:04   G4ILO   10.140236   -25   0   IO84hp   0.02   PA1GSJ   JO22da   586   117 
 2014-01-13 15:14   G4ILO   10.140238   -21   0   IO84hp   0.02   DL1WER   JN58dd   1189   122 
 2014-01-13 15:24   G4ILO   10.140195   -13   0   IO84hp   0.02   DL1KCQ   JO33uc   746   99 
 2014-01-13 15:36   G4ILO   10.140188   -25   -1   IO84hp   0.02   M5LMY   IO91oi   405   154 
 2014-01-13 15:36   G4ILO   10.140197   -12   0   IO84hp   0.02   PI4THT   JO32kf   729   107 
 2014-01-13 15:36   G4ILO   10.140196   -15   0   IO84hp   0.02   LA9JO   JP99gb   1949   26 
 2014-01-13 15:36   G4ILO   10.140191   -20   0   IO84hp   0.02   SM0FGT   JO89xg   1384   60 
 2014-01-13 15:36   G4ILO   10.140182   -12   0   IO84hp   0.02   LA5GOA/RX2   JO29oi   737   41 
 2014-01-13 15:46   G4ILO   10.140222   -12   0   IO84hp   0.02   DC0DX   JO31lk   776   113 
 2014-01-13 15:46   G4ILO   10.140215   -17   0   IO84hp   0.02   DC4LC   JN48np   1088   123 
 2014-01-13 16:22   G4ILO   10.140208   -17   0   IO84hp   0.02   DK4LA   JO54ae   868   88 
 2014-01-13 16:48   G4ILO   10.140196   -23   0   IO84hp   0.02   HB9FGQ   JN36kk   1163   137

Double Dip Weekend August 2012

Homebrew Buddipole inspection

Homebrew Buddipole inspection

Great weekend of QRP Portable fun. Saturday our Central FL QRP group had some new ops join us and we had a good time comparing antennas and rig setups at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, FL. As is typical, we did more talking than operating but did manage to sneak a few qso’s in on 20 and 17 meters. The contesters in Europe were hot and heavy on 15 m too so made for a fun day despite the heat and high humidity. I was a bit disappointed to not be able to snag any fellow Polar Bear QRP ops on 30m but the band did not stay open long and the other stations were operating on alternative bands.

Sunday after church was the first annual NJQRP Skeeter Hunt.  So glad to work Skeeter Hunt promoter and fellow Polar Bear, Larry, W2LJ before the lightning ran me off. Larry was my last QSO of the day as a thunderstorm started making LOTS of noise and it was my signal to pull down the 31 ft Jackite and wire and get out from under the shade of the 50 ft tall pine trees down by the lake! YIKES… just made it too!

I ran my Sierra at 2.4 watts out into an end fed half wave suspended as a sloper from the 31 ft Jackite pole in a WNW direction. I normally use the trees to get a bit more height for my wire, but the Jackite goes up and down faster and with storms coming, I chose the simple and fast way to git ‘er done. Turned out to be a good choice. Band conditions were pretty good on 20m and I was hearing a good bit of activity. After 1800 the Caribbean, Central and South American SSB stations were causing a good bit of QRM down here in FL. They all seem to run power and gain antennas so we learn to listen through the chatter here in FL.  The approaching storm was obvious as QRN increased with distant lightning stirring up the noise and crashes. Nonetheless, the signals were pretty good despite the distractions and there were some SKCC, FISTS and other cw fans out there having fun too which made the band busy.

I built a simple key and am posting  a photo of my K4UPG Knee Cap Key. Used the lid of a bulk black peppercorn jar and made a simple non-iambic key with paper clips, standoff and a bit of wire. It actually worked fairly well, but not good enough to use for the whole contest. As a long time CPG (Contest Point Giver) I decided that was a good way to give myself some points so took advantage of the bonus points! It did inspire me to try a more substantial lid and make a strap to use it as a leg key for portable ops.

K4UPG Skeeter 2012

Umbrellas for the rig and the op!

 

 

It was fun to hear so many familiar calls and work a few of our fellow Polar Bear Ops who were out for the fun too. Sure appreciate the effort to put this event on the calendar and process the results. Thanks to the NJQRP group for the support of our niche in the hobby and to you Larry for the time you devote to contests, blogs and getting us all out and on the air.

Here’s my results before the storm drove me for cover:

Date Time Call Band Pwr RST RCV SPC Nr
8/12/2012 17:12 N0SS 20 CW 2.4 559 579 MO #122
8/12/2012 17:17 W0EA 20 CW 2.4 559 559 IA #22
8/12/2012 17:23 NK9G 20 CW 2.4 559 559 WI #75
8/12/2012 17:25 VE3WDM 20 CW 2.4 559 559 ON #15
8/12/2012 17:37 KQ2RP 20 CW 2.4 449 439 NJ #27
8/12/2012 17:39 AB4PP 20 CW 2.4 579 599 NC #79
8/12/2012 17:42 N0JRN 20 CW 2.4 559 559 MO 5W
8/12/2012 17:46 N3AO 20 CW 2.4 449 559 VA #109
8/12/2012 17:49 W4MPS 20 CW 2.4 599 559 NC 5W
8/12/2012 18:00 KR9Z 20 CW 2.4 449 449 IL #10
8/12/2012 18:06 AA4GA 20 CW 2.4 579 569 GA #2
8/12/2012 18:08 N7UN 20 CW 2.4 579 559 NJ 5W
8/12/2012 18:14 WF4I 20 CW 2.4 559 559 NC #71
8/12/2012 18:18 K3RLL 20 CW 2.4 449 339 PA #21
8/12/2012 18:31 KX0R 20 CW 2.4 449 359 CO #69
8/12/2012 18:36 W2LJ 20 CW 2.4 579 599 NJ #4

A good time was had by me!

72,
Kelly K4UPG

Balancing Act

balancing work and life demands

When Work Gets in the Way of Ham Radio

Every now and then we hit one of those seasons of life where our work gets in the way of our hobby. For the past month, seems like work has overtaken the time and my radios have sat idle for WAY TOO LONG.

Thankfully, this weekend brings some relief and our Central Florida QRP group will take to the outdoors for our monthly outing. No one will be able to complain about the weather being too hot either, as the northland has sent us a reminder of why we moved to Florida. When it gets below 55F we get cranky and it looks like it will barely go above that temperature this weekend.

So look out for us this Saturday, 11 December 2010 about 1500-2000 UTC on the QRP watering holes on 40m, 30m, 20m and who knows where else. We’ll be out there with rusty fists on the keys once again. YAHOO!

72,

Kelly K4UPG PB #173

Cannot Get Enough QRP Portable

Now into the third week of my sabbatical, I am surprised how much I want to get out and operate my QRP portable gear. Guess I have deprived myself over the years of being a confirmed workaholic and avoiding time off, vacations, and time for my favorite hobby.

PB QRP

Grrrrr! The Polar Bears Are On The Loose!

This should be a good weekend for QRP portable. The Polar Bear QRP Group will be out for another Polar Bear Summer Picnic Event and Polar Bears from Spain to the West Coast of the US will be out looking for BSO’s. Grrrrr! I am PB #173 and we’re over 200 members now. With the new Twitter and APRS connections to QRPSPOTS.COM which also point to the excellent spotting site of K3UK with a section for FISTS/QRP Ops to spot and sked one another, there are plenty of ways to use technology to help find each other. Add in a few other contests and state QSO parties, and there should be some buzzing going on this weekend. Makes me wonder when the FOBB results will be announced! Buzzzz Buzzzzz

I’ll be out and if all goes well I will be field testing a new C Pole antenna based on the suggestion I received from Neil W0LVZ. I added some switchable capacitance to my BLT+ and have rewound the main toroid to see if I can push the range a bit more with it so will have a delta loop and probably my W3EDP in the air too. I love playing with antennas and am still amazed when the ones I build actually make contacts!

Give a listen for me on the QRP watering holes on 40m, 30m and 20m Saturday morning. I’ll be self spotting on QRPSPOTS and the K3UK sites to make it easier for you to find me. Let me know how my newest antenna is workin’.

72,

Kelly K4UPG

PB #173

K4UPG Back in Action!

Many work responsibilities have kept me off the air more than I’d like lately.

But we did manage to break away for a few days with family in Tennessee over Memorial Day. It was great to have an opportunity to get together with Chuck, AF4O the Hillybilly Bear and fellow Polar Bear QRP group member. We had an opportunity to work a bit of QRP portable in the Chickasaw State Forest in West Tennessee. It is a very natural and beautiful location and Chuck took me to his special spot in a very old and interesting cemetary set deep in the very tall hickory tree forest. Wow! I believe the latest date on the grave markers was 1927 and there were many from the early and mid 1800′s. It is a lovely and isolated spot.

K4UPG running a 30m EFHW sloper from the edge of the forest cemetary

Chuck said to bring along a screen shelter and I sure was glad I did! This was also a great spot for deer flies, hornets and other interesting biting bugs!

He had a nice setup and was running a random wire on 20m which he launched by throwing an antique glass insulator from an old telephone pole over a tree branch. He has a better arm than I do… think that heavy insulator would have broken my arm!

Back at the in-laws home in Jackson, I had some time to operate deck portable and was ably assisted by my niece Chloe. Conditions were horrible, but it was fun to be outside and hearing some sweet dits and dahs for a bit.

Now I am gearing up for the next outing of the Central Florida QRP group. The weather is HOT and the summer thunderstorms are back, but life and radio must go on… cu on the air!

72,

K4UPG

AF40 downs a Mountain Dew and doesn't miss a character of CW

Chloe gives me advice on copying cw through the QRN

Hontoon Island Qualification Report

Great weather, great site, and despite so-so band conditions but we made over 25 contacts to be able to submit our qualification of Hontoon Island, Deland, Florida as an official island to be listed and activated as a US Island On the Air.

The main picnic site

The main picnic area near the ferry landing

The team consisted of Wally Crew, KG4LAL, Jim Diggs, K4AHO and Kelly, K4UPG. We used the special event callsign K4T on operated on 20m cw and ssb, 30m cw and a few unsuccessful attempts at 40m & 15m cw. Jim was our secret weapon on 20m with his good cw, K-1 and a Par End Fed antenna in vertical configuration on a 33 ft MFJ telescoping mast. Without his contribution we would not have been successful! So a big thank you Jim for your good operating skills and equipment that made it happen in less than 8 hours at QRP levels.

FL481 is ready for future activations!

Thanks to the Polar Bear QRP group, QRP-L members, 4 States QRP Group, GORC QRP Spots, US Islands organization and HF Packers that helped out by listening and attempting to connect with our effort on Hontoon Island. It was fun to work as a team!


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