Freitag, 23. November 2012

Across the pond on 100 mW

Greetings to all readers,  I am posting this to let you know about my progress with WSPR ( Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) .

 I am running the Ultimate QRSS beacon kit for 30m band from Hans Summer G0UPL and Steve Farthing G0XAR it supports many modes one of which is WSPR,.

The UQRSS is in the garage in a woolly sock at the moment because the cold weather alters the frequency outside of the 30m WSPR segment.

The antenna is a homemade resonant 1/4 wave vertical, the radiator 7m long is at an angle of about 60 degrees in an NW direction and the 10 x 5m horizontal radials are in a fan shape of 45 degrees in a SW direction, the complete antenna is on top of the garage, the RG 58 coax is about 1m long and no balun is used.

I am very happy with the results sofar.

Please click on the links above for more information on the Ultimate QRSS kit and WSPR.

Thank you for reading my blog.

 Vy 73 de Colin DD5CF / G1ZOS

I would rather have a deckchair copy than an armchair copy any day

Montag, 13. August 2012

WSPR portable Ops from the Erpeler Ley / Remagen Bridge

Hi, for the last couple of Sundays I have been QRP portable from the Erpeler Ley which is a plateau in the village of  Erpel above the ruins of the famous Remagen Bridge on the River Rhine, this plateau is 191m above sea level and 131m above the Rhine, the locator is JO30OO.

I have been trying out the W3EDP antenna which I have built, it is also known as a Zeppelin Antenna as it was trailed behind the Zeppelin Airships which is fitting because there is a Zeppelin Stone on the plateau to commemorate  the fact that Graff  Zeppelin was forced to fly over the Erpeler Ley during trials of his steerable Airship due to an approaching storm front.

It is basically made of two wires one is 84 feet (25.6m) long (the radiator) the other 17 feet (5.2m) think of an OCF dipole, these then run vertically and parallel to each other for 17 feet in an open wire feeder configuration, (I use 17 feet of a comerical 450 Ohm open wire feeder) the longer wire (radiator) then needs to be vertical for another 6 feet (1.8m)  I fix the open wire feeder and the first part of the radiator to a 25 foot roach pole and the rest of the radiator can be hung at an angle up in a tree or from another roach pole, add a 4:1 balun and an antenna matching unit ( I have the 4:1 balun connected directly to the AMU) and you are good to go as they say, you should be able to match this antenna to the 40 20 15 and 10 meter bands, I have only tried it on 40m to date with good results, people are amazed that I am running just 5 watts with this antenna, it can be put up in a couple of  minutes, needs no trees and would also be a good antenna for SOTA operations, I have had this antenna up in some high winds and have not needed to guy the roach pole.

I am also interested in portable digital modes and have built the Softrock RXTX ensemble by KB9YIG Tony and also the Ultimate QRSS tranceiver kit by G0UPL Hans, the softrock I built for 30 20 and 17m bands and has an output of 1 watt, the Ultimate QRRS kit I built for 30m band it runs off 4 AA batteries (6v) and has an output of 180 milliwatts the QRRS kit can also be used on WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter) as a stand alone transmitter with no PC required,  for WSPR on the 20m band I use the softrock with an old  laptop and a homebrew 20m band C-POLE antenna from HB9MTN's website, this antenna also fits on the 25 foot roach pole and again has not needed guying during high winds.

 I have had my very first WSPR spot into Australia on 40m on Sun 12/Aug/12 at 07:15 UTC with VK5EE Tom, running  1 watt and the C-POLE antenna from the Erpeler Ley at a distance of 16124 Kms.

The Ultimate QRSS kit for the 30m band I use with a small homebrew magnetic loop (the Wonder loop) from G4ILO's website, I have increased the diameter of the loop from 80cm to 1.30m by bolting 4 x 1m long aluminium strips the kind you can purchase in DIY stores (use washers and self  locking nuts so the loop can be folded into one 1 m length for transportation) , the loop is on an ordinary camera  tripod and the QRSS kit can be straped to one the legs, just switch the QRSS kit on in WSPR mode then leave it alone  all transmissions are automated,  I have had a number of spots on WSPR through out Europe with just 180 milliwatts and the magnetic loop antenna, I also use this loop with 5 watts SSB on 40m and have QSO's into UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands and once could be just heard in Norway.

Its fun to have two WSPR modes and SSB QSO's all at the same time and the three antenna look very impressive and are a good conversation starter.

Thank you for reading my Blog, I am more than happy to answer any questions, photos of  the antenna to follow.

http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/W3EDP/  W3EDP antenna

http://fivedash.com/ Softrock RXTX Ensemble.

http://www.hanssummers.com/shop  Ultimate QRSS kit

http://www.qsl.net/hb9mtn/hb9mtn-c-pole.html C-POLE antenna

http://www.g4ilo.com/wonder-loop.html  Wonder loop antenna

Vy 73 de Colin DD5CF / G1ZOS
2012-08-12 07:14  DD5CF  14.097167  -24  -3  JO30nq  0.5  VK5EE  QF02  16124  86 

Donnerstag, 14. Juni 2012


A bit off topic I know but will eventually help me learn Morse Code for my portable ops.

-.-.-   Pocket Morse Tutor from an idea by DJ5AM

The Pocket Morse Tutor (PMT) uses a programmed ATtiny45 chip from Atmel the programme and circuit idea belong to DJ5AM Steffen, you can see his original article with the circuit diagram and photo’s on his website: 

The PMT is a fun project and easy to build and would be ideal for clubs and schools, the circuit is built around the ATtiny45 chip, power is supplied by a 3v button (coin) cell and the output is enough to drive a pair of MP3 player type ear-buds.

List of parts:

1x Programmed ATtiny45 chip, contact Steffen at:  Steffen.Braun@web.de

 At the time of writing the price was 7.50 Euro postage inside Germany included, on his website he has a link where the HEX-Code can be downloaded.

1x 8 pin chip socket.

1x 10k linear pot, the value is not critical what ever you have in your junk box, a smaller value will increase power consumption.

This will change the character per minute speed from 30 to 150 using the Farnsworth timing method.

2x push-button switches, S1= start a lesson and S2 = proceed to the next lesson, these should be flat enough that the lid of the tin does not press down on them.

1x 10nF cap.

1x 3v battery with holder.

1x 100nF coupling cap for the ear-buds which are usually about 32 Ohms, you may have to experiment any cap from 1nF - 4, 7µF should work, DL2LTO used a 470nF cap in series with a 1k2 resistor for his 64 Ohm ear-buds, the resistor could also be a pot to give some volume control, experimenting is fun.

All the passive components’ I was able to get from my junk-box and I built the circuit on a scrap piece of Perfboard.

Have a look at DL2LTO’s excellent website for details of the Perfboard and circuit diagram  he used for this project to fit into a very small peppermint tin:

Click on the link to the right of the Perfboard diagrams to open a larger picture.

The power drain of the circuit in sleep-mode is under 0.2 uA so Steffen recommends that no switching is needed for the power supply, but as the battery needs to be removed and replaced for the Q-code lessons Uli, DL2LTO has included a jumper switch as he found removing the button cell a bit fiddly, replacing the battery always acts as a reset so you will have to start from the beginning.

When you insert the battery if all is well you should hear the welcome text:

Morsetutor 1.9 de DJ5AM

 (1.9 is the current version at the time of writing) after which the PMT goes into sleep mode until a button is pressed:

There are two buttons S1 which is START and S2 which is LESSON

The first time button START is pressed lesson 10 (random, all characters) will be sent, PMT goes into sleep mode again, if you press START again lesson 10 is repeated if you want to move on to lesson 1 you need to press LESSON and START (see text further down the page).

There are ten lessons using the Koch method:

1:    k m u r   (ka) (ar)

2:    e s n a

3:    p t l w

4:    i . j z

5:    - f o y

6:   , v g 5

7:    / q 9 2

8:    h 3 8 b

9:    ? 4 7 c

10:  1 d 6 0 x =    (all characters)

Included is also a lesson with Q-Code groups, more about that later.

Pressing START you will hear a long tone (confirmation that new characters will be sent) followed by  short tones = the lesson number, 24 groups of 5 characters will be sent randomly for each lesson, to repeat the same lesson press START again,  the short tones for the lesson number will be repeated and the characters will again be random.
To go to the next lesson press LESSON and START together.

The lessons cannot chosen individually  they follow one after the other, the new characters in the lesson will be sent first followed by the ones already learnt.

After the 10th lesson the PMT goes back to the 1st.

Lessons start with KA and end with AR 

Lesson is repeated by pressing START

Next Lesson press LESSON and START

Lessons with new characters will be confirmed by a long tone.

Short tones indicate lesson number

Pressing the LESSON button for longer than one second will stop the current lesson (long tone).

When you have had all the fun you can take with learning the characters remove the battery, press and hold LESSON and replace the battery (two long tones confirmation) you are now in the Q-Code lesson mode, pressing START the PMT will send 24 groups of Q-Codes, pressing LESSON for longer than one second will stop the Q-Code lesson.

Remember, removing and replacing the battery will reset the PMT, you will hear the welcome text and lesson 10 also the memory of your progress will be lost.

I hope you will have as much fun with this great little project as I have, when you have boxed your PMT send a photo of it to DL5AM Steffen: Steffen.Braun@web.de he will be happy to include your PMT on his website.

And now a word of warning.

If like me you use public transport to and from work and like me you will use this time to learn morse code with your PMT you will get some strange looks when you sit there with the other passengers all with their MP3 players running and you take out your PMT from your breast pocket to change the lesson and they see your ear-buds are connected to a Peppermint Tin, the first voice you will hear will probably be from a child sitting next to you with their Mother,  " Mummy why is that man listening to his Peppermint Tin"  the answer will probably be something like  "Shhh darling, its very rude to stare" as she puts an arm protectively around her child.

I am in no way affiliated with DL5AM Steffen, I am just happy to pass on details of his project translated as best I can into English.

Vy 73 de Colin DD5CF / G1ZOS  .-.-.

Montag, 7. Mai 2012

Portable ops from Rheinbach near Bonn JO30ko

Hi, my wife Barbara wanted to go shopping in the town of Rheinbach which had an open day this Sunday 6/5/12 and wanted to know if I could drive her there, knowing  Barbara can spend hours looking through one shop I said yes but only if I could do my own thing, so the idea was born to try out on the 40 meter band my homebrew 10 watt linear amp with the homebrew wonderloop from an idea by Julian,G4ILO and the Hairspray can antenna from an idea by Arthur DL7AHW from a forest car park near by.

I first tried the magnetic loop which has a diameter of just 80cm and had a QSO with Stefaan, ON2BS at 14:53 he was 57 with me I received 55 at a distance of 125 Kms (78 Miles), then at 14:58 with Christoph, DM5HF/P, he was 57 and I received 56 at a distance of 373 Kms (231 Miles).

I then changed to the Hairspray can antenna, at 15:30 Jean, F8CHM, him 59, me 57, 583 Kms (362 Miles), 15:35, Peter G7FMF, him 57, me 56, 670 Kms ( 416 Miles) and 16:01 Mike, F5VIG, him 56, me 44 at a distance of 780 Kms (484 Miles).

It was raining and some condensation got into the 360pF air varible cap on the magnectic loop, I noticed some flash over on the vanes which never happend when I was running 1.5 watts, I will have to think about sealing the plactic box for the mag loop, no condesation problems with the Hairspray can antenna, I will post some pictures later.

Vy 73 and thanks for reading my Blog de Colin DD5CF/G1ZOS.

Mittwoch, 4. Januar 2012

Portable ops from Muenster

Hi, when I am visting my in-laws in Münster I take my 40m and 2m portable setup which all fits into a backpack, included are a monoband transceiver (1.5 watts) from a kit from England (The Fivehead) and my trusty old FT 290R II (2m) which has been with me since 1986, the antenna I use for 40m are a hairspray can antenna from an idea by DL7AHW, G4ILO's Wonderloop (both for the 5th storey balcony of my in-laws flat), in the field I use a  resonant 40m short dipole (each leg 8.23m and 2.44m ladder line) on a 7m roach pole from an idea by G3TKN (see QRZ.COM G1ZOS for photos), for 2m I use a rollup J pole antenna made from 450 ohm ladderline (balcony ant) and in the field a double quad SOTA antenna for 2m and 70cm from an idea by DL1JMS also on the 7m roach pole.

My best contacts were using 1.5 watts on 40m and the hairspray can antenna, with GD4WBY Mike (Isle of Man) at 07:47 UTC on 31/12/2011 who gave me a 5/7 report he was 5/9, at a distance of 523 miles (841 kms) and IZ8FRH (Enzo) at 17:08 on 31/12/2011 he was 5/9  he had my callsign right but I lost him before I could receive my report from him, at a distance of 828 miles (1332 kms).

Vy 73 de Colin DD5CFG/1ZOS

Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2011

Portable QRP SSB ops from banks of the river Rhein

I went to my old spot on the river Rhine  today where my 3 favorite trees are standing and tried out my new homemade antenna, I have made a simple 1/2 wave dipole with a 1:1 ferrite rod balun and 8m of RG 58 u, for 80m with switches along the wire so I can also use it on 40m, I had 5 contacts on 80m running 4 watts but none on 40m as the band was choc-a-block, we have a public holiday tomorrow so I will be QRV again with the new antenna, Vy 72/73 Colin  DD5CF/G1ZOS

Mittwoch, 24. August 2011

Portable ops as G1ZOS/P from Clacton on sea beach

Short 40m dipole (from an idea by G3TKN) on a 7m roach pole, 2x  8.23m elements, 2.44m open wire feeder, 1:1 balun on ferrite rod, 8m coax to tranceiver, no AMU needed. 
I went back to my home town for 10 days holiday and was QRP SSB QRV
on 8 of those days, I had a number of contacts through out Europe on 40m using homemade equipment and running just 1.5 watts into a short dipole as inverted V (from an idea by G3TKN) on a 7m roach pole, my furthest contact was with IV3SUS, Savino at 07:43 UTC on 15/8/2011, my report was 5 and 3 and his was 5 and 5 at a distance of 1334 Kms. I also used my homemade hairspray can antenna for 40m and one for 80m,( from an idea by DL7AHW) my furthest contact with the 40m hairspray can antenna was at 07:05 UTC on 20/8/2011 with DL7MEF, Franz my report was 59 and his was 56 at a distance of 761 Kms with just 1.5 watts and a 50 cm long antenna, I am always amazed at how far I get with these two, the 80m hairspray can antenna has just been built and I had my first two QSO's  with this on 20/8/2011 at 08:29 and 08:39 with GB2HLH and TM0LHG  at a distance of 134 Kms and 113 Kms using 4 watts, the 40m ant has one hairspray can and the 80m version uses 3 cans.

Vy 72/73 de Colin G1ZOS / DD5CF
80m Hairspray can ant
7m roach pole holding up really well in a sea front storm, homemade "Wonder loop" from an idea by G4ILO on the left.
40m hairspray can ant