SOTA Chaser Role of Honour

For months now I have been chasing Paul VK2KTT on the SOTA NSW Role of Honour, he has been #7 for some time while I have languished at #8. Each time I manage to get a little closer to Paul’s total, which at present is 2,796 he bounds away again. I might add, as far as I am aware Paul VK2KTT is totally unaware of my efforts!!

However, with all the SOTA action on the October long weekend 03-05 Oct 2015, I finally managed to push my nose in front with a score of 2,800 and claimed the covenanted #7 position. Look out Rod VK2TWR #6!!

Now the last time I wangled my way in front of Paul, within days if not hours, he jumped away again. I wonder how long before he does so again.

nsw_honour_role 04 Oct 15The question still remains, who will ever overtake Gerard VK2IO in position #1 on the almost unbeatable score of 14,103 and climbing.

73,    Garry VK2GAZ / VK2YA

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Frog Sounds QRPp

In the past there has been the Pixie QRPp and then there was the 49er QRPp now there is the Frog Sounds QRPp Kit.

frog_03Very strange name you might think for a CW QRPp kit however, don’t be put off by the name, this is a very good little kit. The documentation is a little confusing, however the PCB and components are very well put together.

The documentation received with my kit included a C21 0.1uF(104) capacitor which did not exist on the PCB and a R19 IK ¼ watt resistor which did not appear in the included documentation BUT was included on the PCB. I think this may have been an upgrade to the PCB but they did not update the documentation. Please, don’t be put off by this confusion, if you persist with the kit, it will all work out in the end with great results, if I can get it together then anyone can. I must acknowledge John, VK2ASU for all his assistance to me in completing the kit.

I am a little slow in putting these kits together but the reward was when the kit was completed and the all important “Smoke Test” was applied and it pass with flying colours.

After calling CQ for the very first time using this little rig I was delighted when VK2MZ Rob from Narrabeen answered my call. Rob gave me a 539 while I received him 559.

Just search “Frog Sounds HAM Radio QRP Kit” on Ebay, it was about US$12.00 including postage and well worth the meager outlay.

The purported specifications are:

Power supply: 9V-14V (Recommended 12V linear regulated power supply)
Antenna: 50 ohm
Transmission power: 2W (9V Power), 3W (12V power)
Frequency: transmitter local oscillator frequency: 7023 KHz; receive local oscillator frequency: about 7023-7026 KHz
Operating mode: CW

 

73,   Garry VK2GAZ / VK2YA

frog_01

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Scheyville National Park VKFF-444 Revisited

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Scheyville National Park was last visited on the 25th April, 2015 and a great time was had making 43 contacts. It was not until arriving home that the realization came that to activate the park 44 contacts were required ….. … Continue reading

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Shack Solar Battery Supply

As an experiment I wanted to run the radio shack completely from battery which in turn is powered from solar. This is what I have ended up with, this supplies all my power requirements for the shack which consists of 3 HF radios, 1 UHF radio and 3 auto antenna tuners. I also have a mains power supply just in case however, I have not had a reason to use it since the solar power was connected.

I have installed a 100 watt solar panel which comes through a CMTPO2 charge controller which in turn regulates the supply to two 20Ah Gel batteries connected in parallel. This supplies 12 volts at 40Ah, this has proven to be more than sufficient to supply all my shack requirements.

Box containing batteries, controller, gauges and wiring.

Box containing batteries, controller, gauges and wiring.

Solar controller, fan and wiring.

Solar controller, fan and wiring.

Two 20Ah batteries connected in parallel.

Two 20Ah batteries connected in parallel.

Volt meter, Amp meter, power monitor and on/off switch.

Volt meter, Amp meter, power monitor and on/off switch.

Bottom lead from solar panel, main power switch, top lead to HF gear and USB plug.

Bottom lead from solar panel, main power switch, top lead to HF gear and USB plug.

As a first time experiment I am very please with the results, the design has proven to be very effective,  although in the future it is my intention to improve on the housing but for now it is working well.

73,   Garry VK2GAZ / VK2YA

 

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100 Ah Battery

After talking with Andrew VK1NAM the other day, I thought others may be interested to see a few pictures of my 100Ah battery set up.

bat_01

The battery is a Rita Gel RA12-100 but any like battery would be just as good. It’s in a cheap plastic battery box ( $20 ) which protects the terminals from accidentally being shorted. I have one lead out with a plug fitting which matches all my radio equipment, there is also a cigaret type plug and a volt meter with on/off switch so I can keep an eye on voltage levels of the battery.

Voltage Meter with on/off switch

Voltage Meter with on/off switch

 

Battery with fuses to both leads.

Battery with fuses to both leads.

 

Lid showing wiring to plug and volt meter

Lid showing wiring to plug and volt meter

Now this is definitely NOT for use in your back pack on a mountain top, it weighs a tone however, for use in VK WWFF parks where you can drive to the location, this is a great power source.  Working with 20 watts on the FT-857 this has provide plenty of power for many hours.

73,   Garry VK2GAZ / VK2YA

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Scheyville Nation Park VKFF-444 25 April, 2015

How slack am I, however with a little inspiration from Col VK5HCF, it is time to tell you about my activation of Scheyville Nation Park VKFF-444 on Saturday, 25th April, 2015.

pic_001

After attending the ANZAC Day service in Windsor NSW I headed out to Scheyville Nation Park which is about 10 kilometers away to the north east. The park has been used as a Migrant Accommodation Center 1949 – 1964 and for the National Service Officer Training Unit (OTU) from 1965.

pic_002         pic_003

Today Scheyville Nation Park is a wonderful location at explore or just to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the serenity.

The rig used was an FT-857 and the antenna was a 40/20 linked dipole atop a 7 meter squid pole. I had plenty of power supplied by a 100 Ah 12 volt battery. All out the back of the Nissan X Tail.

pic_004

The band conditions were just fantastic, the location was RF quiet all making contacts most enjoyable. A total of 43 contacts were made from VK1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

These are the contacts made during the morning.

73,     Garry VK2GAZ

Call Name RST Given RST Received
VI5ANZAC Bruce 5/7 5/7
VK3BBB BRIAN 5/9 4/5
AX3VTH TONY 5/9 5/9
VI100ANZAC AMANDA 5/9 5/9
VK4FFAB ROB 5/9 5/5
AX2IO GERARD 5/9 5/9
AX2CCW MICHAEL 5/9 5/9
AX2BOR ROB 5/9 5/7
AX2JF JOHN 5/9 5/9
AX2CCJ CLIFF 5/9 5/8
AX2TTL RHODE 5/9 5/9
AX2JCC COLIN 5/5 4/4
VK1DI IAN 5/9 5/9
AX2PX/P PETER 5/9 5/9
AX2LEE LEE 5/9 5/9
AX2XXM ROBERT 5/9 5/9
VK2APS PETER 5/9 5/9
VK3FQSO AMANDA 5/7 5/3
VK2FDR DAVID 5/9 5/9
AX2BBQ KEN 5/9 5/9
AX3AFW RON 5/9 4/4
AX5AIM STEVE 4/4 4/4
AX3ANL NICK 5/7 4/5
AX2GX PAUL 5/9 5/9
VI3ANZAC ANDREW 5/9 5/9
VK3HRA ALE 5/7 5/5
AX2HC PETER 5/9 5/9
VK2FMIA DOUG 5/9 5/9
VK2FQSL GLEN 5/9 5/9
VK2NZ LUIS 5/9 5/9
AX3PF/P PETER 5/9 5/9
VK1ATP/P PAUL 5/7 5/9
VK2FADV JIM 5/9 5/9
VK1NAM ANDREW 5/9 5/9
AX4ARW RUSSELL 5/8 3/1
VK2AJD RON 5/9 5/7
VI5ANZAC JOHN 5/8 3/5
VK2KYO LUKE 5/9 5/9
VK4FEMO TREV 5/4 5/1
VK3FIRM MICHAEL 5/8 3/5
VK2MRX BRETT 5/9 5/9
VK3EME MARK 5/8 4/3
AX2TRL RON 5/9 5/9
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HI-PER-MITE CW Filter

HI-PER-MITE
An Active Audio CW Filter

The 4 States QRP Group (http://www.4sqrp.com/index.php) put out many very goods kits and one of them is the Hi-Per-Mite active audio CW filter.

filter_02I purchased the kit a few weeks ago after seeing some very impressive videos of it on the net.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk_GFJsux24&feature=plcp

The kit is very well produced like all 4 States kits, and this was easy to assemble, even for me. The power requirements for the filter is 5 to 13 volts, I included a small step down adjustable power model to supply the recommended 9 volts. ( See details below)

filter_01The filter is very sharp and excludes all but the CW signal you are tuning to.

Specifications:
Center Frequency: 700 Hz
3 dB Bandwidth: 200 Hz
Signal Gain: 0 dB to 50 dB, user selectable
DC Power: 5 to 13 VDC, <15 mA
Audio Power: 500 mW into 8 ohms, from 9v supply

filter_03

All in all a great little project, US$26.00 delivered and lots of fun in the process.

Here are the details of the power supply module.

 

 

3x LM2596S DC-DC Step down Adjustable Power Supply Module 4-40V to 1.5 V-35V 3A

LM2596S step-down power module, with wide 4-40V input range and the output voltage is adjustable from 1.5V to 35V, max. output current at 3A. Stable and high efficiency DC-DC step-down power module, perfect voltage switching regulator with wide applications.

Description:

  • Input Voltage: 4 – 40V (input voltage must be 1.5V higher than the output voltage)
  • Output Voltage: 1.5 – 35V (adjustable)
  • Output Current: Maximum 3A
  • Dimension(L x W x H): Approx. 52 x 20 x 11 mm (With potentiometer)

EBay US$7.57

73,   Garry VK2GAZ / VK2YA

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November 2014

Another month has passed and although my intentions were to activate VK2/SY-002 that did not happen, maybe next month. It’s surprising just how quickly time gets away.

However, on a much more positive note, I did manage to make 71 SOTA contacts during the month, totaling 418 chaser points. A far better result than last month.

What surprises me the most, was I made at least one contact on nearly every day of the month. Now that means there are dedicated activators out there, bush bashing their way to mountain tops just so us chasers can claim a few more points. Their efforts are greatly appreciated by us all.

The highlight of the month for me was a contact into VK9 Lord Howe Island. It was the evening of 22Nov14 when contact was made to Wayne VK3WAM/P9 on VK9/LH-004 Malabar Hill. And to make the contact even more memorable it was CW, G599 R589 on 14.062MHz. My very first contact with Lord Howe Island in 28 years of Amateur Radio.

Well that’s all for this month, I do hope every one has a very happy and safe Christmas and we all catch up again in the New Year.

73,  Garry VK2GAZ

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October 2014

Last month I wrote “September 2014 has been a fantastic month for SOTA activity.” Well October was a fantastic month as well however, not so much as far as my SOTA activity was concerned.

There were only 14 contacts for the month and 81 chaser point added.

I was off the air for most of the month, my wife and I traveled to Burleigh Heads in QLD to visit our son and took a couple of weeks in doing so. We traveled just over 2,500 kilometers and enjoy all the placed we visited along the way.

Although, I was able to enjoy another of my obsessions, which is Geocaching. If you don’t know what Geocaching is all about, check out their website http://www.geocaching.com but I warn you, it can be very addictive.

Well that’s all the report for now, hopefully I can catch up with you on air and even complete the activation of VK2/SY-002 in November.

73  Garry VK2GAZ

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September Summary

September 2014 has been a fantastic month for SOTA activity.

During the month I made 85 contacts which covered three bands 7, 10 and 14MHz, seven CW contacts, and five contacts with DX stations. They were, 2E0YYY Mike x 2, M0IML Barry, G4WSB Bill and OE9HRV Herbert.

After seven months of SOTA activity on the 21st September 2014 I finally accumulated the required 1,000 points to qualify as a SOTA Shack Sloth.

Untitled-1As you will all know, if was not for those dedicated Amateurs Radio Operators who go out week after week and activate far off hill tops, we Sloths would not exist. Many thanks to all who enabled me to gain the 1,000 points.

During the month I also had the opportunity to go camping at Corrimal on the south coast of NSW. Most evenings the dipole was set up and the new FT-857 was brought into service. Running 20 watts, many contacts were made into VK1, 2, 3, 5 and DX some SOTA ones among them.

Well that’s all for now, looking forward to many more contacts to come.

73  Garry VK2GAZ

 

 

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