St Helena on 20m SSB
Tuning across 20m this morning and trying to work MM0PLX/P in the Shetland Islands, probably a bit close at the moment for 20m. Nevertheless, tuning across the band I was very pleased to find Peter in Jamestown, St Helena. Good copy 54 both ways.
St Helena …
Market Reef on 40m!
DXpedition 20 to 27th May 23.
Market Reef, or Märket, is a small reef with a lighthouse on the Swedish/Finnish border, just outside Åland in the Baltic sea. The border zig-zags through the island, making it a special DX entity. The OJ0 callsign prefix was issued in 1973, and has since that day been wanted in the logbooks of many DXers. At the time of writing, it currently holds the #162 on ClubLog’s DXCC most wanted list.
In May 2023 a team of four Norwegian operators will activate the entity once again, and hopefully give many operators world-wide a new (or maybe ATNO) contact with OJ0.
QMX 5-band 5W digi transceiver – ordered
Hans does it again!
Synchronised with the Dayton Hamvention I was delighted to see the annoucement of a new transceiver from QRP Labs. Ordered this morning without hesitation and looking forward to reporting on progress on the blog!
I think it will be some time before they are shipped – this will be a popular kit from QRP Labs.
Information so far:
The “QMX” (QRP Labs Mulitmode Xcvr): a feature-packed, high performance, five-band (80, 60, 40, 30, 20m) 5W multi-mode transceiver kit. , including embedded SDR receiver, 24-bit 48 ksps USB sound card, CAT control, synthesized VFO with TCXO reference. QMX transmits a SINGLE SIGNAL, it is not an SSB modulator with associated unwanted sideband and residual carrier, or intermodulation due to amplifier non-linearity. QMX outputs a pure single signal. QMX is currently only suitable for single tone FSK modes, which covers the majority of digital modes in use today (if it later supports SSB, multi-tone and phase shift digi modes will be possible). This includes everything in WSJT-X, JS8Call, some fldigi modes e.g. RTTY, Olivia and more. QMX is also suitable for on/off keyed modes such as CW because it has click-reducing RF envelope shaping; it is not suitable (until and if SSB is implemented) for phase shift keyed modes such as PSK31 or modes involving multiple concurrent tones such as WinLink.
- 80, 60, 40, 30 and 20m
- CW and FSK Digi modes
- All features of QCX-mini (VFO A/B/Split, RIT, Message and frequency memories, beacon, keyer)
- 5W output at 9V supply (can be built for 4-5W at 12-13V supply)
- SWR bridge built in
- Single signal transmission (zero unwanted sideband, zero residual carrier, zero intermodulation distortion)
- Solid-state band switching and transmit/receive switching under CAT control
- High performance embedded SDR SSB receiver with 60-70dB of unwanted sideband cancellation
- Built-in 24-bit 48ksps USB sound card
- Built-in USB Virtual COM Serial port for CAT control
- Si5351A Synthesized VFO with 25MHz TCXO as standard
- Easy to build single-board design, Professional quality 6-layer, through-hole plated, silk-screen printed PCBs
- All SMD components factory assembled
- Connectors: 2.1mm power barrel connector, USB B (for audio and CAT control), BNC RF input/output
- Built-in test signal generator and testing tools
- Switched mode regulators
- Receive current 80mA, Transmit current 1.0-1.1A for 5W output with 9V supply (around 0.7A for 5W with 12V supply).
- Optional aluminium extruded cut/drilled/laser-etched black anodized enclosure
After my success with the Ultimate 2 and 3, QCX Plus, QCX Classic and QCX Mini, and QDX, I am excited!
Info here: http://qrp-labs.com/qmx
Making a new VFO for the uBitx
Work in progress!
This VFO will be based on a Si5351A oscillator, controlled by an Arduino Nano. It is rotary encoder controlled and displayes the information on a SSD1306 OLED display. It is a modification of the design by CesarSound here: https://projecthub.arduino.cc/CesarSound/acdc2564-95dd-40c6-8cfd-347833b73ffa
I used EasyEDA to make the schematic and PCB Gerber files.
Yaesu System Fusion – first time user!
The HF bands have been pretty dire so I thought I’d fire up the old FT991 and see if I could get anywhere with Yaesu System Fusion, I’ve tried before with only limited sucess. The limitation was that whilst I could seem to work folks on the local repeater using CTFM I couldn’t manage to connect to the WIRES-X network. Apart from this my only other success on CTFM was a direct QSO with my old friend Dave G8LZE, who is new very sadly SK, Dave lived less than 1Km from my QTH.
Pulling my hair out with frustration unable to connect to WIRES-X I resorted to a google search. Very quikcly I found a helpful YouTube video by Jonathan Creaser, M0XXJ. According to Jonathan’s advice the Squelch (SQL) on the FT991 needs to be set at ’20’, don’t ask me why!
Still learning the ropes but good to have digital QSO with New Aealand and USA today.
I’ve loaded up a few node ID onto the 991 including: CQ-UK, Southern Fusion, NWFG and Z-AUCKLANDLINK.
Brazil on 6m … SpE is here!
Apart from the occassional FT8 QSO with European station I’ve been a bit slow off the mark this year with regards 6m and Sporadic E. This afternoon I noticed that Brazilian stations were being spotted by UK stations on 50.313. Neither the 5 ele YU7EF beam or the Moxon are up at the moment, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I had a go with my 80m EFHW (which I only put up last week to see how it compares with my G7FEK inverted L for 80m). Imagine my surprise when not only was I heard by at least 4 stations in the Sao Paulo area, I actually completed a QSO with one of them. Well, blow me down!
Maps from PSK Reporter
Fun in the UKEI CW Contest
287 QSO in the UK/EI DX CW contest, not bad for a CW rookie.
Most QSOs made on 40m and 20m with a smattering on the other bands. Not many G or EI stations worked (67, so just under 25%) which will mean low multipliers but I guess inter-G (and EI) conditions have been far from ideal. A couple of QSO including PV2K Brazil on 10m rounded things off Sunday lunchtime. The most frustrating thing was the Swiss contest running at the same time (with different exchanges!), a number (most) HB9 stations were not willing to work stations in the EU/EI contest.
QSO totals with DXCC in brackets:
80m: 38 (18)
40m: 128 (28)
20m: 91 (29)
15m: 20 (13)
10m: 9 (9)
Sporadic E season is back!
After the frankly terrible conditions on the lower HF bands over the last few days (with the Kp Index reaching 8 yesterday), it was good to see 6m (50MHz)open for Sporadic E propagation. Nothing spectucular worked but it is good to have the following in the log: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Andorra, France, Germany, Poland and Lithuanina – admitedly all with FT8 – nothing heard on USB. I did see some UK stations working South Africa, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, no such luck here on the Moxon at just 4m height but it’s still a good start to ‘the season’ 🙂
New DXCC on 10m D67AA Comoros Islands
M0ICR goes portable!
SOTA from the Jenner!
I popped onto the Parks on the Air website and I was very pleased to find this award waiting for me!
Difficult conditions due to solar disturbance …
Nice to work JA on Top Band!
Even better, Masanobu sent confirmation on Logbook of the Wolrd almost immediately!
Some nice new awards from ECA
ECA Winter Awards
English Castles Activations and Two Tree Island
The second activation was conducted on the same day as the Canvey Rally which also presented an opportunity to activate Canvey Island (west and east – WAB TQ78 and TQ88) for the Worked all Britain group. I also managed to activate Two Tree Island (TQ88) for the WABers, that activation also included Parks on the Air (POTA) G-0090 (Leigh Nature Reserve).
Equipment used: Yaesu FT857D, Ampro whip antennas for 20m and 40m, Ultramax 18Ah LifePO4 battery.
Find out more about ECA here: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/
Find out more about WAB here: http://wab.intermip.net/default.php
Fina out more about POTA here: https://parksontheair.com/
A few nice English Castles Awards
Find out more about the English Castle Award (ECA) programme here: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/
The ECA programme is part of the World Castle Award (WCA) here: http://wcagroup.org/
Google Earth KMZ layers showing the English Castle references and 1000m activation zones can be downloaded from this ECA page along with a Google Maps version also: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/reference-map/
Note how activation zones overlap so it is possible to activate multiple castle reference from a single operating site.
Thanks to Bob M0MJA for his management of the ECA programme.