30 Sept 2008

HF AM excursion - all 9 bands!

M0BXT and I usually have a natter on 144.55MHz vertical AM on Mondays at 8pm. We were on last night but got distracted doing some tests on all 9 HF bands using QRP AM.....

Starting on 10m and working down to 160m we very briefly exchanged reports at 4W and then with some 10-20dB less to see how signals compared across each band on our end-fed antennas tuned via an auto-ATU at each end.

I have to confess to a brief AM QSO on 30m (shame, disgrace!!) but only for 20 seconds at most so no harm was done to the planet.

We managed solid QSOs at over S9 over our 2 mile path on all bands apart from 24MHz where signals were weaker, maybe because our wires had deep holes in radiation on this band. The best band was 80m where signals were 59 + 50dB or so. 160m was also pretty good.

M0BXT and I hope to have our first two-way single valve or single transistor transceiver QSO in the next few weeks on 80m but this will be CW.

19 Sept 2008

Decent DX around despite the sunspots

This last week has seen some decent DX around despite the zero sunspot number. V51YJ is booming in on 20m CW this evening. VK3PA was audible on 80m SSB a few nights back at sunset and YB6INU a decent copy on 40m SSB.

On 501kHz (600m) the SM6BHZ and DI2AM beacons have been reasonable signals in the evening this week.

14 Sept 2008

40m in good shape

Listening on 40m tonight in the contest there was plenty of decent DX around on SSB including PJ4NX, ZW5B, K5ZD (who "QRZ? ed" me with 10w and short endfed), W1UE and others at decent strength.

5 Sept 2008

Icom IC7000S

Anyone know if this version of the IC7000 series (10W low power I think) is available in the UK? This would make a nice QRP radio for many.

Interesting solar fact

August 2008 was the first calendar month with no sunspots since 1913 according to the ARRL propagation report this evening. They also note that cycle 19 (the biggest on record) was preceded by long periods without spots. You never know, cycle 24 might turn out to be a whopper and we'll all work the world on 70MHz with milliwatts.