FELD HELL – I Love It!

While crusing around the 40M band I heard a digital signal on 7.071Mhz. The signal didn’t sound familar to me so I had to flip through a bunch of modes to find that I stumbled upon a Feld Hell Net. I decided to monitor and after 10 min or so I tossed my call into the mix.  The NCS (Net Control Station) was Lou (W8LEW) from MI That acknowledged me.
I posted a screen shot below


As you can see in the Waterfall I confused it for a PSK Signal. But when I put the headphones on I knew it wasn’t. You can also see a snippit of the convo I had with W8LEW. The white part is me and the gray part is W8LEW. There were a couple of other people in the net and overall I had a great time. Props to the people at the FELD HELL CLUB. I suggest if your into Digital modes that you should try this if you haven’t

9/6/2010 Contacts

Started off the morning on 20m JT65 (14.076.00Mhz). I noticed there were people talking so I jumped in. Managed to get only two contacts with F8RZ (Jean, France) and N9GUE (Fred, US).

Later on in the evening I tried WSPR. Never heard about it until this morning while exploring PSK Reporter. What’s funny is that I confused it with a local spanish speaking AM radio station WSPR. After doing some reading about it and installing the Software. I let it sit for an hour on 30M and then TX my call a couple of time. I was amazed at who heard my signal.

WSPR MAP 9/6/2010
WSPR MAP 9/6/2010

I like this. It shows far your signal can reach. Granted the mode is designed for Long distance. I am going to try it again with only 5 watts.

While messing around with WSPR I kept hearing a digital mode that I never heard before. The person sent out an RSID using Ham Radio Deluxe stating it was a Olivia  signal.
I made contact with VE7NBQ (Peter, VANCOUVER, BC) and Rag chew for a tiny bit.

After that I wanted to exercise my lungs and do some voice contacts. I heard KH7Y (Fred, HI) with a pileup of people trying to get him. After about 10min of throwing my call I finally got him.  I hope he confirms through e-qsl and/or lotw because I don’t often hear Hawaii and by the pileup of people I don’t think they do either. A new state for the hunt of WAS.
I also heard HI8ROD (Rodrigo, Dominican Republic) and made contact with him quite easily.

9/4-5/2010 Contacts

I had to take down the G5RV dipole as I was hosting a party at my house. It would have been in the way and I didn’t want the kids to be messing around with it.
When I first put up the dipole I could not get my ladder high enough up so my Dipole was at an angle. Since I was tinkering around with the antenna I manage to get it much higher.  I am pleased with the results.

Now that my antenna is back up and had some spare time , I went on and made a lot of contacts. I also took part in the IARU Region I Field Day with only 16 contacts.
On PSK I manage to get my first contact with Saudi Arabia. His call was HZ1EA (emad) and he was running QRP @ 5 Watts.  Also worked Serbia for my first time with YU7AU.
I also tried PSK on 30m (10.140.ooMhz) for the first time. I got work UU7JC,  CO8LY and WB8TDG. WB8TDG was using RTTYM 8/500  which I never used untill tonight.

Overall very good night. Now I have to learn to submit contest  logs.

SAT COM: New Project

Ever since I got licensed I always wanted to try Satellite Communications. So after looking through one of my favorite websites (HackADay.Com) I saw an article on how to build a Yagi antenna using some screws pvc pipe and aluminum arrows. This peaked my interest in Satellite communications. I’ve been aware of the commerical antennas built for this purpose and I am also aware of some of the DIY antennas. All I have for a radio is  a handheld Kenwood TH-78A that I will be using and I plan on mounting the antenna on a old tripod.

Hopefully I can have this built before my daughter arrives. But either way it’s going to be a fun simple project.

My FT-950


Ain’t it a thing of beauty? heh…

Before I upgraded to general I purchased an FT-857D. I was planning on putting it in my truck but I ended up using it in the house since it was my only HF rig. I wanted a bigger system so I could put the 857D mobile and I ended up getting a Kenwood TS-430s. After making  the impulse purchase I realized that the TS-430S is not suited for digital. I kept using the FT-857D as a home unit and then I decided to sell everything for a new HF base that could handle digital. I was debating between the Kenwood TS-2000 or the Yaesu FT-950. For reasons which are unknown I ended up getting the FT-950. I am loosing VHF and UHF by getting the FT-950 But I think I made a wise purchase. So far I am loving this rig, it’s taking some getting used to but it’s amazing how a couple of adjustments makes a someone who I can barely hear sound like S9.

First CW Contact.

While my parts for my CW keyer are out for paint all I had to play with is the plexiglass base of the keyer.

CW Touch Key
Half ass assembly

I managed to get it working and I went on 7.040.50Mhz (40m) and started sending CQ TEST. All of a sudden I hear “-. .—- -… — -..- -.. . -.- -… —.. ..-. . (N1BMX DE KB8FE)”  I was happy because instead of using software to decode morse I did it by pen and paper. He was sending slow enough for me to understand even though I was sending much faster and messing up a lot. His call is KB8FE (Keith, OH). He asked me about my station and then told me to keep practicing CW. So I am please to make a contact and it makes me want to master CW now.

I’ve been noticing that I have been practicing CW more than I have been doing any other mode.

CW Project: Moving along

I just had to update.

Got around to doing some more fabricating. I laser cut the base, insert and plexiglass. The 1/8″ insert combined with the 1/4″ Plexiglass will make the glass sit flush on the 3/8″ steel base. I need to make the paddle contacts and the cover to complete fabrication. Can’t wait to test it out and powder coat it.

8/10/10 Contacts

I didn’t feel like using the radio. The office on TBS has episodes that i’ve seen many times so I ended up turning on the rig. 20m seemed dead so I went to 40m where there was a lot of PSK activity.

Start calling CQ with BPSK63 and AB4RT (Bob)  replyied. Call was familar and he just realized that he contacted me the night before. It was strange because HRD did not pick up on the logged call.  After that VE3SWS (Jay, ON) contacted me and told me that I was his first digital contact. I like seeing people get into digital. More for me to make contacts with so we rag chewed a bit and moved to a different frequency where we tried different modes out. Found out that Oliva is REALLY SLOW with a wide bandwidth. Too me it would seem great for low power long distance communication. Not for making quick QSO’s. Had a great time.


8/9/10 Contacts

I decided to do some digital work tonight. I started off on 20m (14.070.00Mhz) with some PSK 31.
I’ve managed to contact KE5PYF (David) and IV3GOW (Ervin, Italy) at about 21:30 the band started to die and I decided to go to 40m (7.035.00). PSK on that freqency was packed! Lots of people working. I managed to work on PSK63 CO3CJ (Juan, Cuba), M3XGV/P (Mike, England), PY2CX (Mauricio, Sao Paulo Brazil), WA3SMN (Ben, PA) and LU1BR (Luis, Argentina). I tried to make contact and exchanged with SE6Y (Rolf, Sweden). I Hope I did because I never made a contact with Sweden.

After a bunch of CQ’s with PSK63 with No luck I called it quits for the night. The band was still busy and their were a lot of PSK31 Activity. I just didn’t want to take part. PSk63 is great for fast quick contacts, However its hard to make out when there is QRM.