Thursday, 30 Mar 17
Here we go! Finally.
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Sat 25 Feb 17 – Added a cheat sheet to How To Build A Variometer page for those who may not be into calculations…
Tue 31 Jan 17 – Surviving the winter. Fall and early winter produced just average conditions on 630m, but the last two weeks of January have been explosive – great propagation to Europe, Hawaii and all points between. There has been a huge spike in activity in the USA, both with SWLs and licensed Part 5 operators. I’ll be cleaning up some dead links in these pages over the next few days … Clifton Labs, acquired by DX Engineering, has not yet resurfaced, and AADE (Almost Digital meters) appears to be defunct. I’ve added a few things to “How To Build A Variometer”, as that is by far the most viewed section of this site. Hopefully 2017 will see a 630m ham band in the USA…
Tue 15 Nov 16 – Just completed building the outstanding 300W out G0MRF PA. See “TX” section for details. Info toward the bottom of the page …
Mon 14 Nov 16 – The fall Cross Band and CW MF event was a huge success as conditions held up and many first-time listeners appeared. WG2XKA ran a CW beacon on 472.00 kHz and all reports appreciated. Best was over 1000 miles with audible CW copied…I’ll get the QSL cards out this week. Setup here was the JUMA transmitter at 1 W driving the 2x frequency doubler and PA to about 400W out. UPDATE on the popular U3S QRT transmitter: Hans has updated the firmware to allow PTT switching to complete prior to asserting RF – no more hot switch possibility. TU Hans!
22 May 16 – the word is that the Clifton Labs line of filters, Norton amps, E-Probe, etc. has been acquired by the DX Engineering group…this is good news!
1 April 16 – U3S QRP TX added to TX page.
23 March 16 – TX page updated with a HOMEBREW section. Also, please note that the ‘Almost Digital’ company (AADE) is in limbo and the estate heirs have not reactivated their web site. Late winter/summer conditions are upon us, but in general conditions on 630m remain good and activity is high!
TUNING UP page added and in progress… 13 Mar 16 (Bad link fixed to M0BMU test gear site.)
04 Mar 16 – Finally managed to operate all night after three days of storms. Late winter conditions seem to be holding up in the northeast. For the first time in weeks, WG2XKA was heard by three Europeans – PA0RDT, G3XKR, and F1AFJ as well as WH2XCR in Hawaii. Conditions here were clear, calm and very cold – requiring daily tuneups to accomodate ground that is alternately sloppy wet or hard frozen…
12 Feb 16 – Probably the best single session ever, after four years of operating on 630m. WG2XKA was spotted in Alaska (very rare), Hawaii and eastern England while running reduced power due to severe windy, subzero winter conditions. Over 1000 spots logged while running WSPR-2 at a 15% transmit cycle. December conditions in Feb seemed to prevail…all good.
06 Feb 16 – Midwinter Cross Border CW Event – WG2XKA is running a continuous CW Beacon with greeting message at 475.30 kHz from Vermont FN33lq. Reports welcome and XKA QSL card available on request…GL all!
02 Feb 16 – Groundhog: No Shadow, come on Spring. Latest MF SOLUTIONS TX converter boards are here…see F/S Wanted tab for details…
29 Jan 16 The high performance RX converter is complete. More PIX at the bottom of RECEIVING page – works well!
21 Jan 16 I just completed an early winter project – a high performance MF/LF converter with an IF of 5 MHz…PIX follows, details in RECEIVING…
10 Jan 16 Very good domestic conditions have been the case in January with a few exceptions. Due to my more northern location, transatlantic spots have been scarce, but a generally good path to the Pacific Northwest and west coast persist. The RX Only vertical has become my go-to antenna and has proven to be a highly sucessful project! The following e-mail was just received from an interested listener:
I’m WB0VAK and just was listening on .472
Just thought you would like to know.
0710 7 -1.0 0.475617 0 WG2XIQ EM12 33 818
0710 -10 -0.8 0.475662 0 WH2XXP DM33 37 1280
0710 9 -0.9 0.475696 0 WG2XXM EM15 37 618
0710 -26 -1.0 0.475737 0 WG2XIQ EM12 33 818
0712 -14 -0.9 0.475640 0 WH2XZO EM85 33 803
0712 -17 -0.8 0.475688 0 WH2XGP DN07 40 1258
0714 -6 -1.2 0.475662 -1 WH2XXP DM33 37 1280
0714 -12 -1.2 0.475723 -1 WG2XKA FN33 30 1015
0716 3 -1.0 0.475617 0 WG2XIQ EM12 33 818
0716 15 -0.9 0.475696 0 WG2XXM EM15 37 618
0716 -20 -0.9 0.475761 0 WH2XXC FM18 33 929
0718 -7 -0.9 0.475640 0 WH2XZO EM85 33 803
0718 -5 -0.8 0.475662 0 WH2XXP DM33 37 1280
0720 10 -0.9 0.475696 0 WG2XXM EM15 37 618
0722 -5 -0.8 0.475662 0 WH2XXP DM33 37 1280
0724 -1 -1.0 0.475617 0 WG2XIQ EM12 33 818
0724 -12 -0.9 0.475640 0 WH2XZO EM85 33 803
0724 -21 -0.9 0.475761 0 WH2XXC FM18 33 929
0726 12 -0.9 0.475696 0 WG2XXM EM15 37 618
0726 -12 -0.8 0.475723 0 WG2XKA FN33 30 1015
02 Jan 16 More interesting doings last night. V01NA Joe in Newfoundland and G0MRF David attempted a transatlantic QRSS3 QSO, with several US stations and much of Europe monitoring. After some trying heavy QSB ended the experiment. Here at WG2XKA I was able to capture bits and pieces of the attempt using the ARGO QRSS RX package. The RX Only vertical was used. Hopefully they will try again. Here is one of the ARGO screen captures – the line at 600 Hz is a mystery signal also detected elsewhere; the snippet of QRSS3 CW is seen at 700 Hz above:
31 Dec – 1 Jan 2016
HNY! An amazing one hour opening to/from Europe hit during a strong solar event; from 0100 – 0200Z on 1 January. European stations DH5RAE, DK7FC, PA0A, and DJ0ABR boomed into the northeast, and several were heard south down the east coast and west into PA. I was heard by G3XKR and DJ0ABR several times – this on WSPR-2 with good spot strengths. The event featured stronger east to west propogation. A significant solar storm was underway with aurora across the N. Atlantic and Europe. All this after about almost zero transatlantic propo for six weeks – and this is the traditional peak time for 630m work. The RX Only monopole, described below, was in service at WG2XKA…
Steve, VE7SL, summed it up as follows on the 630m chat: ” Certainly a great demo of WSPR’s ability to pinpoint realtime short-term prop events.” So true.
18 December 15
The three, 50′ radials added to the RX Only vertical made a significant improvement. I estimate that signals are at least a unit higher, and noise is down. Last evening ran RX only on 2200m (137.5 kHz) as a test, and copied the three transmitting stations all session on WSPR-2. I have decided to run with the existing setup – the 80:8 turns ratio antenna transformer (impedance ratio = 100) and the 2N5109 low noise preamp at the shack end …
A .pdf of “The LF Experimenters Handbook”, published by the RSGB, can be found here: http://www.n5dux.com/ham/files/pdf/RSGB%20Low%20Frequency%20Experimenters%20Handbook.pdf
All 113 pages. I have the book, lots of useful projects…TNX, RSGB for releasing. Also in HOTLINKS section…
Sunday 07 Dec
Very strong conditions with unusual propogation,including a ‘spotlight’. At 0512 Z both DH5RAE and DJ0ABR spotted XKA; these stations are 11 km apart in Germany. These two spots occured exactly once. G3XKR also reported. RX VERTICAL UPDATE: Continues to perform well with impedance ratio of 100. RX levels are somewhat lower (than 12′ loop and E-Probe), but with far less noise! Today trying a vertical transformer with turns ratio of 8 (64:8), impedance ratio = 64. This has been reported favorable by Ken, WG2XXM…details as results and comparison obtained.
01 Dec 15 RX Only vertical performing well after initial tests. Winding a second set of transformers with Mix J material…update coming.
Friday 27 Nov
There’s been alot of chatter lately about ‘Hi-Z Receive Only Vertical Antennas’, so I decided to build one, using mostly what was on hand here. See the new page dedicated to this project…
Friday 20 Nov
For Sale/Wanted page added…
Saturday 14 Nov 15 … Mini Night Of Night action continues with the Marine Historical Radio Society gang on the air today and into Sunday early a.m. WG2XKA will resume the tribute CW Beacon at 472.5 kHz, only at considerably higher power (very considerably!), commencing late afternoon EST. I have determined how to make the JUMA CW rig (below) drive my main Class D amplifier chain…a new message will be transmitted. TU to those who reported last nights 60W signal …we plan on reaching out tonight! Looking forward to the event…—————————————————————————————————————-
Friday 13 Nov 15 ….WG2XKA is continuously transmitting a special Night Of Nights CW message at 472.500 kHz. Power right now is QRP – 60W TPO from the revitalized JUMA transmitter. REPORTS WELCOMED, and a QSL is available if desired…TNX FOR LISTENING!
Update: 5 reports so far received by Saturday a.m., 14 NOV – tnx, guys!
Friday 06 Nov 15
BERMUDA now on 630m! VP9GE spotting US stations now.
Tuesday 02 Nov 15
Three spots from Hawaii last session. Best -26 —Merv WH2XCR, 7945 km. TNX! Conditions steadily improving as the leaves fall.
Wednesday 01 Oct 15
Heard by Merv WH2XCR (Hawaii) from Vermont. Best DX of a young season…tnx Merv!
Thursday 24 Sept – First T/A of fall season – DK7FC Stefan received on E-Probe…
Sunday 20 Sept – New 630m RX antenna on line
Pictured is a tuned, resonant loop, nominally 5′ in diameter. It consists of 16 turns of #16 stranded wire spaced 1/8″ on wooden spreaders. The eight spreaders were bundled together, marked, and cut to a depth of 1/4″ with a hand saw to provide grooves for the coil. The ends of the primary coil terminate in sealed Tupperware box seen on the uppermost horizontal member. The primary coil is tuned by 365pF broadcast RX variable cap. Inside the primary coil, the one-turn secondary pickup can be seen. It terminates at a bracket with a BNC connector, and a short length of RG-58u coax joins a low-Z preamp not seen at the bottom of the tripod. The preamp accepts +12vdc from the coax via a bias tee. Tuning consists of peaking band noise at 475 kHz…
I built this last deep fall and it has been in storage as it’s not iceproof – the sad winter reality in Vermont! It’s been online at WG2XKA for the past week and has been a real performer considering the relatively small enclosed area. This winter it will be installed in an all wood shed, out of the elements…simple to build, works well and exhibits great directionality. (The Sunflower to the L is about 8′ tall)
Friday 18 Sept FLASH FLASH
John, KB5NJD/WG2XIQ has released his new 100w++ amplifier for the band. Several of these are already warming things up on 630m … check it out! Link to .pdf below and in HOT LINKS…
Thursday, 17 Sept
There have been lots of questions lately regarding ‘E-Field Probe’ antennas. They work very well when properly installed and grounded. I’ve attached links to several designs in the Hot Links section. A simple one can be built for $5 in parts + enclosure…
Conditions continue to slowly improve as we approach fall…not a bad week in the NE so far…
Wed 16 Sept
Overnight conditions slowly improving – 19 unique WSPR 2 stations at WG2XKA, summer’s best.
Thursday 03 Sept
Into September and high-summer conditions persist with poor propogation. Cooler weather and Fall can’t arrive soon enough!
Wed 19 July
More additions coming! Trying to get the station cleaned up for winter activity – summer has been somewhat of a bust here in the somewhat higher latitudes…but condx slowly improving! Stay tuned, and any comments on existing content are welcome!
UPDATE: John KB5NJD / WG2XIQ is marketing a complete 100+ W transmitter for 630M. This rig accepts low-level square or sine wave drive at ~10-12 V P-P. Max power requires ~24VDC @ ~5A … but makes usable power at 14VDC…check his blog/site for info…see HOT LINKS.
Just completed a JUMA TX500 MF rig given to me by a ham uncomfortable with surface mount work – it makes 60W and will be used primarily as a CW beacon rig…
2 July 2015 Field Day Antenna Rigging With Drone
The mission: Get antenna lines over four, 100′ light towers at the school football field – site of the Green Mountain Wireless Society Field Day location. A 3R Robotics (3DR) IRIS+ quadcoptor was used, outfitted with a bridle consisting of #18 flexible brazing rod attatched to the landing gear. This prevented the light line from fouling the props on descent. The leader line was 40 lb. test cloth ice fishing tackle. Once over the light towers, the light line easily pulled the main antenna rope up and over – no problem…the young Boy Scouts, recently licensed, assisted.
To be updated….4 Apr 2015
7 April 2015 RX and Variometer pages complete to date.
6 April 2015 TX page and Current MF Antenna pages complete. More coming, please sniff around.