Welcome to the shack of Michael VK3ALZ/VK3LM
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat." AE
GMKS Node Adapter
VK3XDK Transverters including 600M
VK3FI Mildura 473Khz beacon
I'd like to say this is in my backyard but alas it isn't. My friend built it and controls everything from the shack.
Icom IC-7100 HF/VHF/UHF Mobile
Suddenly turned up in the shack!
I like the note on the box!
This radio was in excellent condition.
All it needed was some contact cleaner.
5/8th and 10M LFA
2M LFA and 70cm Yagi
Finally a FT-847 in the shack
A UK Nato 2000 CB
For some reason I couldn't embed a video into the page even though I had done it before. I used the code from below and kept getting either a old video and nothing displayed on firefox and an error message on IE. Have a look at the three video near the bottom of the page.
Stryker 955HPC SSB 10 Meter Radio
AO40 Audio grabs ( I found these today lurking on my hard drive, I don't know the exact date as the file's dates are incorrect)
I'll have one of these in the mail soon. I was reading about it and was in two minds whether to purchase one but for less then $100 AU dollars you couldn't go wrong. It will be interesting to compare it to the WOUXUN KG-UVD1P.
Worldwidedx Baofeng UV-5R Review
Baofeng UV-5R Part One
Baofeng UV-5R Part two
This year I wasn't able to participate in the CQWPX 2012 and the propagation didn't sound that good at my location. It will be interesting to see the number of logs and scores.
Shack February 2012
I can't believe its already 2012. There's been some fantastic DX on 6M here in VK but just haven't heard any of here in my shack or been home at the right time. Have a look at this map from the vklogger forums.
Also have be reading a little about AIS being used for a propagation tool and run across this receiver.
VK Logger 6m spots
I bought this toy this week, it was my Christmas present to myself!
MB Radio Electronics
Uniden Scanner Software
Oceania DX Contest
Czech Radio Prague
Czech Radio Prague
Czech Radio Prague
Czech Radio Prague
Today (9-6-11) I have been licensed for 23 years.
Wouxun QST Review
Honey, I shrunk the radio. Have a look at this new Elecraft KX3.
Now I have seen it all, you'll just have to check this export radio. I was speechless!
Connex 3300HP BB, Big Betty
The Shack currently
A picture is worth a thousand words!
Working Hawaii on 10 Meters FM!
I operated the CQ WPX contest on the weekend of the 26th and 27th. Much better propagation compared to last time on the higher bands. I made 150 QSO's this time around with 12 on 10 meters. For some reason 40M wasn't as good but 20M really came alive to Europe and I made a heap there. My calculated score this time around was much better but I'll wait and see how it goes when I get the corrected score in a couple of months time.
Here's a short video of the band conditions on 20M.
I managed another Certificate of Merit from the CQ WPX 2010! The next SSB WPX is in about a months time, March 26 -27.
CQ WPX Certificate of Merit
I've had a go at uploading some videos. Currently there is 2, one is a shack tour and the other a recording of E51CG working into VK from Nikao in Rarotonga.
My YouTube page
Radio Prague ends shortwave transmissions
Anytone AT-5555 10 Meter Radio
Alpha 10 Max AM-1000 10 Meter Radio
I found this cupboard at Office Works. Fitted in nicely and now those things that didn't have a home now have space instead of being in various locations including the floor. I also found that my 23cm seems to have problems. I still have my old F9FT yagi so I will put it up sometime soon.
Part of the F9FT Yagi
More of the F9FT Yagi section
Cupboard for storing DX! :-)
I'm working on a 23CM ATV System at the moment.
Sony Monitor and Receiver above it.
NextWave Satellite Receiver.
23CM Minikits ATV Transmitter.
1 Watt Amp 23Cm Amp (don't look at the soldering!).
Totally unrelated new arrival to the shack!
I have seen a while ago that Kenwood were releasing a new HF/6M rig. It looked like an update of the TS-570. I was reading through the details of the brochure and saw some interesting specs relating to 130Khz to 522Khz.
The RD Contest is now done and dusted. I wasn't able to operate all weekend but made about 90 contacts. These where spread over 160M, 80M, 40M and 20M. I put up my "random" wire for 160M supported by my ever trusty "squid poles".
WIA RD Contest 2010
Radio Prague 2010 QSL Card
A friend of mine gave me a Wilson 1000 mobile antenna recently. It had been sitting in his shed for a number of years. When installed on his car it worked a treat. I tried it out and it didn't seem to be working. I checked it with a multi meter and there seemed to be an open circuit. I finally took it to work and some friends at a NDT company x-rayed it for me.
Wison 1000 X-ray
I received an email from the CQ WPX committee yesterday saying that my corrected score was available for viewing. I logged in and found that I had 1 error and one call not in the log. So my score ended up being 19173. The run down of my score was very interesting. It even showed the stations that incorrectly copied my call sign (which there was 2 of). I also worked 40 countries.
CQWW SSB 2009 Logs with Reports
More stuff on the elusive IC-9100
Pre-release Information IC-9100
My friend and I took our annual pilgrimage to the MDRC Hamfest.
More CB Action Covers
CB Action No3
CB Action No4
I bought a FT-2800M a little while ago. It's been the most difficult rig to program memories into. I first though that I had a "dud" and it had a faulty cpu. After some swearing and cursing I managed to program channels into it. Thank god. In the process I did find a technical supplament.
I like the look of this new Yaesu rig.
CB Action No1
CB Action No2
Eastern Zone Nostalgia
I paid my subscription to CQ magazine again. I used to subscribe about 10 years ago. My first edition (February) arrived while I was away. Added to this I also ended up with a certificate from my participation in the CQ WPX. I was stoked. It's coming up at the end of the month so I'll be trying my hardest to improve on my score.
Speaking of the WPX, it came around on the 27th and 28th. I was hoping to improve on my previous score which I did. I reached the claimed score of 40K which I was most pleased with. At the start of the contest I had some problems with my R6000. Its connected via my LDG auto tuner and it kept retuning. After further inspection and connecting the MFJ antenna analyser I found that 10 and 15 meters had erratic swr. I finally traced this to the 2 elements and the bracket that connects them to the main part of the antenna.
I submitted my log for the CQ WPX 2010 and the rundown was:
QSOs: 111, Pnts:390, Mlts: 103 and score 40170
The band run down was:
40M: 27 QSOs, 162 Pnts and 25 Mlts
20M: 60 QSOs, 172 Pnts and 56 Mlts
15M: 23 QSOs, 55 Pnts and 21 Mlts
10M 1 QSO, 1 Pnts and 1 Mlts
The 10M and 15M bracket disassembled and cleaned
The bottom of the 10M and 15M bracket shows the corrosion
I finally got around to purchasing the CP610. I have got as far as opening up the box. Hopefully the weather will improved so I can put it up. I've also built a VK5DJ 2M Yagi but haven't built the balun yet. All in good time!
The CP610 in It's box
The CP610 in It's box
The VK5DJ 7 element yagi
The driven element
I finally finished the DK7ZB yagi on New Years Day. There is some issues with the return loss which I have to investigate further but it seems to work and last night I had a couple of contacts to VK6 (about 2500km). I also replaced the feedline with had some ingress of water even though I had sealed it with self amalgamating tape. This time I used some FSJ4-50 which I had a length of.
The complete DK7ZB Yagi
Another view of the Yagi
I've been looking for/thinking about a dual band vertical for 10M and 6M FM. Since most transceivers have these bands on the one antenna port it seemed like a logical idea to me. Then along comes Diamond with the CP610. I shall be purchasing one in the next couple of weeks.
Diamond CP610 6m/10M Antenna
My six meter antenna has been needing upgrading for a while now. I built a 3 element yagi but it was very susceptible to nearby objects. I'm currently using a Diamond HB9CV 2 element which works fine but is a bit low in the gain area. So I will give DK7ZB designs a go and that's why I've been rummaging around for aluminium bits.
At the moment I have the boom cut and have some of the elements and am working on the DK7ZB match. Next I need to make some sort of bracket/mounting arrangement for the Reflector and Directors as the design calls for "on top of boom" mounting (I normally mount through the boom). I want the antenna to be robust and well made so I'm taking my time!
Have a look at the SDR link, it's amazing. I was listening to some HB9 stations having a QSO on 40M a couple of days ago.
I also managed to work the Victor E51CG, Paul A35A on 6M and ZL1IU on both 2M and 70CM (thanks all of you) !!!
Amateur Radio-Station DK7ZB
More of the IC-9100
SDR on the Web
I've been looking for the circuit of my FP-700 power supply for a long time. I know I had one but just had difficulty finding it. Looking through one of my draws today I finally found it. I've scanned a copy and have both the full scan and a reduced size one here.
My QSL Card from Radio Praha arrived today! Awesome!!!
Six meters is probably my favourite band but it can be so frustrating at times and today (22-11-09) was one of those days. The vklogger map was covered in paint from spots, and do you think I could hear any of the DX? Everything seemed to be bypassing me or VK3 altogether. There's some stations active in the Pacific from South Cook Island (E51CG) and was hoping to hear them but no banana. It just amazes how it can bypass one area and not another. I don't think I was the only person tearing their hair out but that's cold comfort. I'll keep listening and hopefully I'll catch the right moment soon....
RD Contest Results
Radio Praha QSL Card for 11.6MHz report
Full size details
Full size circuit
I've been working on a job that involved terminating and testing fire optic cables. I've never done any terminating so it was interesting to watch. The testing was fairly straight forward but having good test leads sure helps as does having fresh batteries in the test gear!
Antenna connections are always a problem, especially when you don't have much room behind your rigs (and shack) and you need to connected and disconnect things quickly/frequently. This monster is my solution. I call it my Connection Matrix Mk1!
The CQ WW SSB DX Contest is coming up (24th October)! I'm really looking forward to it. No sunspots though (19-10-09) It's going to be hard slog like last time but I thoroughly enjoyed the CQ WPX. I've installed a dipole for 20M to see if it helps in anyway. Also recently 20M has been full of "spewglies" and there's heaps of them around tonight.
I've just about prepared the shack for the contest. I wired up a old footswitch that I got from work into the Heil mic adapter as I couldn't use any of the accessory connectors on the back of the FT-450. The Packet connector mutes the mic so that didn't work. I've setup my little Aldi Akoya Netbook for logging and VK Contest Log. Good little program. The Akoya is the quietest as far as RF hash goes, so that's why I use it.
I submitted my log for the CQ WW and the rundown was:
QSOs: 100, Pnts:263, Zones: 37, Ctrys:43 and Score: 21040
The band run down was:
40M: 17 QSOs, 43 Pnts, 6 Zones and 5 Ctrys
20M: 33 QSOs, 80 Pnts, 17 Zones and 23 Ctrys
15M: 45 QSOs, 125 Pnts, 11 Zones and 11 Ctrys
10M 5 QSOs, 15 Pnts, 3 Zones and 4 Ctrys
CQ World Wide DX Contest
VK Contest Log
The modified Heil Adapter
My Aldi Netbook (generates the least RF hash)
Drilling holes in the aluminium angle
The Matrix after first installing it
The completed product with labels
Close up of the connectors
Close up of the 16mm earth connection
Testing the cable loss with our Kingfisher Light Transmitter (the other end had the receiver)
N Connector Power Levels
I've been playing around with a Anritsu Spectrum Analyser over the past couple of days. We are going to use it to do some testing of NextG mobile signals (just basic levels). So I've been becoming familiar with it. This sweep is from a Telstra Tower in Sale Victoria. I swept just the mobile phone spectrum. The big spike with the marker over it turned out to be a broadcast link as I found out after talking to a friend. The sweep below that is from a RAAF Radar.
I did some Shortwave Listening for the first time in a long time today. One runs across stations on the upper end of 40M but usually just tune past them. Today I had a listen for a specific station, Radio Prague. I download their podcasts and listen to them on my Ipod Touch but haven't as yet heard them, but today they had a thumping signal. I wonder if those 2 sunspots had anything to do with it? I also heard a number of RTTY stations about and when I checked, realised the CQ WW RTTY contest was on. I also heard a number of SSB Contest exchanges but not sure what contest that was. I also finally replaced the balun on the OCFD. I purchased one from RippleTech so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. Unfortunately the VSWR still was all over the place (I ran the Analyser over it). It still seems to perform okay so I'll leave it for the time being.
The Anritsu Spec An
The Anritsu Spec An
My friend got himself a new HF transceiver. One of the many great things about this rig is that you don't have to delve into the menu to change things, it basically has a knob that does the function. If you are a knob twiddler, you'd be in heaven!
And this is the shack in it's current state!
Nokia E71 (what amateur radio uses does it have?)
I have been experimenting with the lower frequencies (1.8MHz and 136KHz).
I tested my collection of radios to see what they would perform like below 1.8MHz. All of them have attenuation automatically switched in below this and it cant be switched off (without mods). Apparently this is to protect the receiver from overload. In the end I ended up using the FT-450 which seemed the best out of the bunch (FT-897, FT-857, IC-706MK2G and FT-817). All these required quite large signal levels (100uV+) to do any good. The FT-450 could hear ok from about 5uV. I've also built a Mini-kits wideband preamp last night and it seems to be working ok. It doesn't have any filtering so I did notice some (what I thought) broadcast signals appearing ever so weakly below 200KHz. But overall it worked well and didn't introduce too much extra noise (It has a noise figure of approximately 2db). My antenna is a random length long wire (approximately 60M in a "U" shape).
I also made some (105) contacts During the RD contest. This included 160M, 80M, 40M and 20M. Had no luck on 15M and 10M. I was pleased as I had set a goal of 100 contacts. Also the little FT-450 preformed very well especially on 40M which was very crowded. The IF DSP works really well.
I also ran across this nice looking rig. I'm sure it should be in my shack!
This is the completed Amp. Yes it does work!
This is not the best picture but you can just see the wire cross at the back of the yard.