Relocating HF aerial outdoors

For HF work, since the original setup post Foundation license, I have been using home-made fan dipoles in my loft.  These have allowed me to work contacts all over Eastern and Southern Europe with as low as 10W and up to 35W (for safety reasons).  Due to the North-South orientation of my loft, and also my dipoles, I have been limited to a beam pattern predominantly East-West which meant most of my QSOs have been Eastern European.  Also my signal reports have been typically low, due to (I think) large roof mounted solar heating panels situated right next to the dipoles.

Thankfully and due to a very generous G6ODA, I am now the proud owner of a Hustler 5-BTV vertical with a Hustler 17BTVS add-on for 17m.  This aerial is omni-directional and can take the full 100W from my FT-991 radio.  Excited is the wrong word.

Continue reading “Relocating HF aerial outdoors”

Just added a CT-22 Iambic paddle

I have been keen to continue my journey with CW, the only problem was that I didn’t have a keyer or paddle on the FT-991.  After much deliberation and numerous missed opportunities I found a used CT-22 Iambic Paddle on eBay.  It was offered at a great price and I won the auction.

Image from eBay advert

Continue reading “Just added a CT-22 Iambic paddle”

Starting out in Amateur Radio

After spending many evenings setting up telescopes in my back garden only to find the skies cloud over and spoil an evening of star gazing, a podcast by Prof Brian Cox gave me the idea of looking into radio astronomy.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no space for a mini-Jodrell Bank, but after some research I found an interesting article about using a fixed position Yagi antenna and Raspberry Pi to snapshot a slither of the Milky Way each day.  When combined, these slivers build up a reasonably good picture of space from the radio spectrum – totally invisible to the human eye.  One FunCube Pro+ Dongle later and some Pi software and I start “listening” to radio waves.  Now, there is one small problem… I know nothing about radio.  Oops.

Continue reading “Starting out in Amateur Radio”