Sunday, 28 September 2014

Scandinavian Activity Contest 2014 - CW

Also this year I participated in the SAC (Scandinavian Activity Contest - CW part) with my wire antennas and 100W. The contest end screen looked like this (WinTest):
During the last hour I realized that I will make my own personal record. A couple of "last minute" multipliers finalized the over 400 000 point claimed result. Initially I am in a good position in the claimed result list in my class.

New things in this contest:

  • New rig: Kenwood TS-590S. What a brilliant transceiver, especially in pileup working; the filter stuff worked great. I needed the 50Hz filter many times during the contest.
  • New class: Assisted. I wanted to check, what help I can get from the internet during the contest. Disappointment: the DX Cluster gave me just one multiplier: HS0 (Thailand) on 10m. But: the Reverse Beacon service was interesting and informative. I could check how my signals propagated, and I could follow how e.g. my fellow team station OH2BAH (where I was doing some IT preparation work before the contest) was changing bands during the contest.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

My delta loops by night

I've got a new camera that I am excited about: Canon EOS 700D. These pictures are taken in dark night, using Sigma 18-50mm objective. 

My 80m delta loop.
The spruce in the middle (at bit left) of the picture holds the northern corner of the loop at about 30m.
My 20m delta loop at left and the 80m delta loop southern corner at right.

Monday, 24 March 2014

OH3GGQ IARU HF 2013 Championship results

Class: All bands CW, low power (100W):
  • #1 of 5 in Finland (#1 also in 2012)
  • #19 of 460 in EU (#36 in 2012)
  • #30 of  818 in the world (#55 in 2012)
The full result list is shown in the ARRL Results database.

The ARRL report of the contest. (PDF)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Output gain control in digimode working - hints

When running digimodes, the controlling of the RF output in older or "simpler" transceivers can be a little bit tricky. The reason is that the AF gain is adjusted according to human voice and thus it depends on where on the waterfall spectrum you are sending. You might have noticed that the gain is smaller at the edges of the waterfall.
Output power as function of frequency. In this example HRD DigitalMaster and my IC-718.
Previously I wrote how this issue is handled with Ham Radio Deluxe's DigitalMaster: using the centering button and filters. This helps also greatly in QRM/AGC issues.

In JT65 working I mostly want to see the full spectrum, and in JT65 software there is typically no centering button. In the HB9HQX edition of JT65-HF this is solved neatly with a gain control window:
The audio gain control window in JT65-HF HB9HQX Edition
The gain control window above is not needed, when I work with my TS-850S, because there is a handy mic gain knob at the front of the rig. However, there are no such handy knobs in simpler transceivers, like my IC-718, so the gain control window is crucial for convenient working.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

My award from the Scandinavian Activity Contest 2013

I was quite happy with my result in the low power class: my first contest with over 1000 QSOs (1190 approved).  I used only wire antennas: 20m and 80m delta loops. Also this was the first contest where my long and complicated call caused significant harm...Vanity call in the next contest?

The contest result table here.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Australia on 80m band with 25W and delta loop antenna

My first contact to Australia on 80m was made tonight. Wow! (my feeling :) ) The mode was JT-65 and power 25W. The antenna was my Inverted Delta Loop for 80m.
I was very weak to VK4CMV Julian, and I had to repeat my info to him, but finally the QSO was finalized.

I have been playing with this vertical delta loop antenna on the 80m band, and I am now convinced that it is especially good in listening. I have hard time getting heard by DX stations when I work 25W (digimodes) and 100W (CW), but I have found out that I almost always hear distant stations that are spotted on the dx cluster. I have worked some U.S. stations before on the 80 meter band (mostly CW), but DX is rare stuff for me on that band.

UPDATE 28. Jan 2014: mail conversation with VK4CMV Julian:

Quoting a mail conversation with VK4CMV after permission from him:

Nice blog page Sauli - great to work you on 80m.
JT65a has opened up the possibility of QSOs on 80m and 160m which were previously very difficult.
73 Julian

PS: Have a look at what I was copying on 18th December (attached) - this should encourage people to try 80m JT65a!!

Julian continues:

Sauli - just in case people think they need a high quality rig like the K3 for JT65a - take a look at this video comparison I did between the K3 and Ft450d ...